I’ve heard it said that all writers who are worth their salt had unhappy childhoods.
If that’s true I’m cooked.
Mine was happy. Very.
My father was a hard working chemical engineer, my mother a prolific fiction writer.
My Italian grandfather (Nonno to me) lived with us. To offset my mother’s cheerful stories he provided the ballast of gloom.
All his tales ended with some variation on, “and then…they all died.”
But he did little to dampen my childhood—my brother, sister and I quickly decided whose stories to believe.
The Fogelin family lived comfortably but carefully in the shadow of the Great Depression—all three adults in our household had vivid memories of getting by on nothing. As a result my mother was a ketchup bottle washer—until the bottle was rinsed and the pale pink liquid added to soup the bottle was not really empty.
I am a second generation ketchup bottle washer—and a second generation fiction writer although it took me a while to realize I was destined to become my mother.
Before accepting the inevitable, I graduated from art school, worked as an illustrator for the Baltimore Zoo, retouched zits on photos for high school yearbooks. While living aboard a boat in the Florida Keys I did a little of everything from cleaning condos, to running my own art gallery, to managing a public library—all of which have given me great “material.”
Like my mother, I’m an enthusiastic fan of life.
Luckily, I inherited her sympathetic face so people tell me their stories.
I write them down, with a healthy dose of what-if and never-was thrown in.
Despite my many years as a grownup, and despite having lots of grownup things (one husband, one daughter, one grandson, a house of my own) I often feel like an imposter, a kid in disguise. Adults often baffle me, but kids I get, and that is the audience I usually write for.
In thanks for being a part of my life and the source of most of my best stories I maintain a completely independent library for the children of Seminole Manor Neighborhood.
You can find me, a bunch of volunteers, and a mess of kids at The Front Porch Library on any Sunday afternoon.
To date I have nine middle-grade and YA novels published by Peachtree Publishers of Atlanta, and five more soon-to-be-published, or languishing-in-a-drawer novels to boot. fourteen novels in all—even I’m impressed.
To write fourteen novels takes time, so maybe I am an adult. Whether I am or not, I find I have things to say to my fellow-former-kids.
My most recent novel features two seventy-eight-year-olds. Talk about a change from writing of the longings and woes of middle schoolers!
And that urge to express what I think about as a veteran of life is why I put up this blog. I invite you to join the conversation about this journey we’re all on.
The other thing I spend huge amounts of time on–some family members would say too much time on–is writing and performing music as half of a duo called Hot Tamale. If you’d like to hear the title track from our CD Sunnyland give it a click.
If you would like to hear more music, check out the website for my band, Hot Tamale.
To learn about my work as a children’s book author visit my website at www.adrianfogelin.com
If you are a writer in search of help from a diligent and experienced content editor check out my Book Coach Services. I edit in all genres, not just middle-grade and YA.
Thanks for stopping by Slow Dance Journal.