A favorite part of wintery Sundays in New England where I grew up was the New York Times Magazine. What I loved best in the Magazine was reading profiles of people. I loved reading about how they grew up, the choices they made, how they thought. Those Sundays came back to me after reading Cynthia Levinson‘s biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton-Do All The Good You Can. I felt myself sinking deep into all the corners and crevices of this life story. Not only is it well written, it is deeply researched. Most of all, I really like how Cynthia uncovers Hillary’s missteps. How she learns. How she thinks. It is a human story.
This Saturday I will be joining Cynthia Levinson at New England SCBWI to give a talk called: Working Backwards: From Fiction to NonFiction. Together, we will share how we use the same craft tools–setting, POV, dialogue–differently in our books. We both have the same goal: to make our books come alive in the mind of the reader but because our books live in separate genres–fiction vs nonfiction–our craft toolbox differs slightly. As we explore the use of those tools, we hope participants, whether they write fiction or non fiction, will benefit from seeing how we build our stories.
I am very proud to be working with Cynthia. She is a great writer and a consummate professional. I have to say that reading this book shifted my thinking about my vote in this year’s presidential race. Because of how Cynthia reveals Hillary’s character, I was able to put her combative missteps (e.g. health care, Whitewater) in perspective. I was able to see a human who has grown as she has continually challenged herself. (How would I have hung on to my heart and my ideals in similar circumstances?) I know she is running against someone who wants to change the system and I admire those ideals but my support is for the woman who has hung on to her ideals within the system. I believe, thanks to Cynthia’s fine writing, that, at her core, Hillary wants to do all the good she can.
Our talk will be on Saturday morning, April 30 at 10:50 am in the Kilkenny Room at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Hotel.