Writing Through the Ages (of my children)

When I first started writing, my kids were six, nine and eleven, and I found coming up with ideas on what kids were into doing, liked, disliked, got up to, came very easily, especially when inspired by my live-in research/demographic sample. It took a long time for me to realise that as my children grew up, the ages of my protagonists had increased too.

Gorgeous babyNow my babies are all adults and I find it interesting that I’ve written an adult novel. I think there might be a connection there. (I am, of course, still writing YA and kids’ books too. Mind you, they are novel-length of late and the output slower than shorter-length works.)

So I’m really excited that I’m going to become a grandmother shortly. I could gush here all day about the multiple, personal ways, I’m excited, but this a writing blog. With that in mind, I’ll just say how excited I am that I will get to tell lots of spontaneous, made-up stories and see the world again through the eyes of this special little person. Also I know that I won’t only go exploring through his or her experiences, because I remember the wonderful world of make-believe my own children reopened the door to – in my imagination.

Being busy writing some tough and reality-based stories over recent years, I’ve missed the world of whimsy and fantastical imagination. I’ve missed cuddling the soft, downy cheeks of newborns and giving horsey rides around the house too. I can’t promise the knees are up to any horsey rides, nor wait to welcome this new member of our family and, dare I say selfishly, lots of new story ideas too.

So a question for fellow writers: Do you find that the ages/stages of children in your world have influenced the age group or genre you write for?

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Dimity Powell

Chris, what a beautiful blog. The evolution of life I believe is mirrored in our writing. I suppose it must be. It’s something I pay passing thought to but do think about occasionally. I am lucky; Miss 7 still gives me much to ponder and think about writing wise. You are equally so…to hold a bubby again…ah. Congratulations. Dimity x

May 27, 2013 at 11:22 am
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Hi Corinne,

Thank you. Also you’ve made me think or wonder. I know the approximate ages of the YA lit genre, but what is the age range of young adults in real terms?

Best, C

May 27, 2013 at 4:16 pm
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Green Mama

What fabulous news, and what a lovely grandmother you will be. Enjoy, how exciting! Was actually thinking of you on Sunday- I took my girls to my parents farm at Cape, and my younger daughter went with my parents to theWonthaggi State Coal Mine.

May 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Oh, thank you, Green Mama.

    Lovely that you were thinking of me too. I hope your parents and younger daughter enjoyed their trip to Wonthaggi State Coal Mine. It remains one of my favourite places to visit, though I kinda preferred the atmosphere of the old information and welcome centre. It kept me connected to the past more. But it’s still an amazing place and a great opportunity to see the lives of what I know, from the many people I’ve spoken to about it, to be a considerable number of our ancestors.

    Best, Chris

    May 29, 2013 at 9:38 am
Bernadette Kelly" alt="Bernadette Kelly">

Bernadette Kelly

Nice blog post Chris, and congratulations on the pending arrival. I think we find our niche as we develop as writers. For some that may happen in a cyclic way, in time with what’s happening in our own lives. Now that my kids are grown and no grandchildren on the horizon (for a while at least) I find my inspirations are coming from other sources. Sometimes that’s more of a challenge, but I’m finding my eyes and ears are open to so much more these days. Thankfully, ideas are everywhere, but my own experiences are still bound to be the glue that holds together the shape of the stories.

May 31, 2013 at 10:44 am
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Thank you, Bernadette. I love, and agree with, your observation that your “own experiences are bound to be the glue that holds together the shape” of your stories.

    I think the more we write, the more our eyes and ears open to the nuances and idiosyncracies in life, and in people, and these inspire and fuel both our stories and characters.


    May 31, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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alison reynolds

Lovely post, Chris. And gorgeous baby photo.
I write all over the age-groups, so not sure what that says about my stage of life.
When my children were really little, I wrote an adult serial murderer novel.
I write whatever I can snatch from the swirl of ideas in my head.
Congrats again on your impending grandmotherhood.
What do you want the baby to call you?

May 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm
    christinemareebell" alt="christinemareebell">


    Hi Alison,
    I think you writing across all genres, and I might add, being published in them all, proves you are a wonderful and talented writer.
    It’s the focus of the swirl of ideas that changes for me.
    I’m not sure what this grand baby will call me yet. Just so long as the name comes with lots of cuddles, but I’ve been forewarned that often the little darlings find their own pet names even if grandmama has chosen something else! I am waiting to see most excitedly.

    🙂 Chris

    June 2, 2013 at 9:27 am

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