During her literary career, Glenda Millard has published many picture books and children’s novels. An immensely talented author, she has the ability to write across different genres and age groups. Her books are mostly in the genres of children’s books and young adult (YA) novels.
Her first novel is The Naming of Tishkin Silk, which was published in 2003. The book was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and CBC Book of the Year Awards. Glenda doesn’t plan the story when she writes a book. When she has an inspiring idea, she just starts writing and the story develops.
Writing The Stars at Oktober Bend
The Stars at Oktober Bend was released in 2016. She got the initial idea for this book from a newspaper article about a homeless girl. The article described how the girl earned herself a scholarship for studying music at a renowned conservatorium. Heavily inspired by the article, Glenda based her story on someone who took to singing as a means of escaping a past trauma.
As she went further into the story, the characters started evolving and more information emerged. It changed the direction of the story. This change of direction led her to becoming aware of language disorders and their causes and effects. She could understand how someone feels when the individual struggles to express ideas verbally despite being intellectually brilliant.
What Glenda thinks about the characters in her books
Glenda prefers to be totally engaged with her characters and believe in them. This is her way of making others believe in her characters. She feels that readers must emotionally connect with them. If they don’t feel this connection, a good plot will not matter much.
They need that motivation to make them turn the pages one after another. Such motivation in readers is generally brought by the characters according to Glenda. The impact of characters on readers is such that it’s hard to forget them even after finishing the book.
The secret to creating unforgettable characters
According to Glenda Millard, creating a literary character is similar to acting that character in a movie. She tries to feel what her characters would feel. Once this is done, she expresses those characters in ways that readers would relate to them.
The readers not only relate to such characters in an intellectual way but they also relate to them emotionally. She also deliberately invents some characters. They may have all their human shortcomings, but may also have some good qualities.
About the audience she writes for
For Glenda, the age of her readers is something quite irrelevant. Even when she writes picture books, there’s no presumption in her that only children would read them. She focuses less on her audience and more on the story. That way, she ensures that anyone who reads the book will enjoy it. She also believes that every genre comes with its own pleasures and challenges.
Her books range from picture books to novels. She always tries to keep her writing fresh and avoids getting too predictable. Among her favorite authors is David Almond, a UK-based writer. When it comes to the authors in her home country, Australia, she greatly admires Ursula Dubosarsky.