What motivated you to become a children’s author?
I’m not entirely certain I’m a children’s author. At least that’s not what I think of when I look at my writing. And that isn’t what I started out trying to do—not on purpose.
Most of the stories I wrote (most have yet to find readership), are science fiction and fantasy. Well, more SF than fantasy. Then, depending on who you ask there may not be enough science fiction in my stories. Go figure.
My first sold short story, New Kid (published in Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine #25) is about a fourteen-year-old. In a way, this story was about me and growing up. I submitted this to a number of markets before it found a home, but I didn’t consider it children’s literature. I don’t think Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson at Neo-Opsis SFM do, either. I think the story grew on them.
Somehow, I found an inner voice in a fourteen-year-old character that seemed to resonate in New Kid and carried over when I started working on Sudden Mission. I tossed around a number of character ages and situations when planning this, but fourteen seemed the perfect age for the main characters. At fourteen, they have a narrower world view than older teens, souldn’t be able to drive, and would face challenges differently.
As a Christian, I wanted to keep the story focused on faith and courage and it seemed the age of the characters made that possible. They were still a bit on the innocent side and hadn’t developed the older teen’s cynicism and attitude. I also wanted to give the story characters that younger people would be able to identify with and emulate. Paul is tough, but vulnerable. Amy is bright and capable. Joe is funny, snarky at times, and loyal.
I also found it challenging writing about kids who were friends and living in the same town all their lives. This is something very foreign to me, as I moved around a lot.
The ages for Paul, Amy, and Joe was also important since they would face some challenges that younger characters may not have the skills or abilities to handle. Giving up was not an option. They had to continue toward the goal and not turn aside. Younger, less mature characters may not have the fortitude to deal with it. Older characters may find the challenges a bit too easy or not take the mission seriously.
What it boils down to is I wrote something I would have enjoyed reading when I was ten to twelve years old. I still remember some of the books I read back then, including Tom Swift and His Submarine Boat, Tom Sawyer, Lucky Starr and the Pirates of the Asteroids (Isaac Asimov writing as Paul French). I also read Heinlein and Bradbury.
Now, I have grandchildren in the one to sixteen year old range. I hope that this work is something they will enjoy reading. I want them to be proud of their Papa. So, in this way, I guess I’m a children’s author.
About Guy L. Pace
Guy L. Pace, born in Great Falls, MT, grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He served in the US Navy, including combat operations in Vietnam in 1972.
He was a Navy journalist, and worked primarily in community newspapers as a reporter, photographer, editor and finally a managing editor. He changed careers in the mid-80’s getting into computer support, training, networking and systems, and eventually information security. He retired in 2011 after more than 20 years working in higher education.
He lives with his wife, Connie, in Spokane, where he gets to spend time with children and grandchildren, and ride his Harley-Davidson.
Follow Guy L. Pace on his website at http://www.guypace.com
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ABOUT VOX DEI
Our name rhymes with Fox Day. We’re an imprint of Booktrope, a new type of publishing company founded in 2011 in Seattle, WA that’s pioneering a model called team publishing. Our mission at Vox Dei is to provide books for a primarily Christian audience that edify and entertain, encourage and inspire. While Christian themes are woven throughout our fiction, our purpose is not to preach a sermon but rather provide a quality alternative to the secular market for entertainment. Our non-fiction titles are intended to help readers explore the Bible in a more personal way and grow in their walk with Christ, while being informal in voice and approach. Whether fiction or non, our goal is to shine the light and love that is central to the Christian faith into a dark and messy world. Learn more at voxdeipublishing.com.