Author writes about girls' growing-up years

January 08, 2008|By COURTNEY BRADFORD / Pulse Correspondent

Nancy Rue is a well-known Christian author. During a period of about 26 years, she has written 105 books - 30 of the Christian Heritage series, 14 books of the Lily series, 12 of the Sophie series, and many others.

All of Rue's books are written for tweens and teens. She writes about the stuff that happens - such as physical and emotional changes - when a person is 8 to 12 years old. She also focuses on the social pyramid in middle and high school - how to deal with cliques, gossip and rumors - and relationships with friends and family.

Rue was inspired to write her books for a few reasons: As a child, she loved to read; She loves kids; And she loves to write.

But the reason she writes about Christian-based morals is that she felt called by God.

Rue realized she wanted to be a writer when she turned 10. She got sidetracked from that till she was in her first couple years of college. Her writing career began when she became a teacher. She had her students write essays on topics that would be fun. For example, back in the 1970s, she had her students write essays on Afro combs.


Her longest series is the Lily series. This series is about Lily, a sixth-grade girl searching for her passion. In every book Lily has a new thing to deal with and learn about.

In the most recent book, Lily is in the eighth grade. Through her years in middle school, she encountered issues of girl things. To help figure out things, Lily keeps a journal in which she writes to God. Eventually, she realizes that God is her passion.

Lily had issues with girl-on-girl issues as well. All of this mainly started in the sixth grade with the beginning of cliques and the rise to power of the popular kids. She thought to herself often, "Why does it have to be this way?" When seventh grade rolled around, the bullies of the girls created the Slam Book, a book which they passed around and wrote what they thought of different people. Then in eighth grade, it's all about boys. How wonderful is that?

So what makes a good author? Rue said there's a few things. Authors need to have a writing style that is comfortable for them. In particular, she said, a good author "has found his or her writing voice." And here's the thing she said that struck me the most: Authors need to have passion and discipline to write - "10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration," she said.

So what advice would Rue offer to young writers? In a word: Write. Write as much as you can. As with anything else, practice makes perfect. Everything doesn't have to be a finished product.

Beyond practicing, Rue had two other bits of advice for aspiring writers: Live life to its fullest - "Get as much life as you can," she said - and get a good education.

Rue said she writes books to help tweens and teens form a personal relationship with God. But she doesn't want kids to be one-dimensional. She encourages young people to have their feet on the firm foundation of religious faith, but enjoy many aspects of life. Her personal motto is a quote said by St. Augustine: "Love God and then do what you want."

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