Author Walter Dean Myers On Collaboration With Teen Fan

By Dianna Dilworth Comment

Author Walter Dean Myers has a new book coming out that he wrote in collaboration with a 13-year-old fan.

We caught up with the author at the 2010 National Book Awards, where his book Lockdown is one of the finalists for young people’s literature. He told us that the new book started when a fan wrote to him and asked his advice on how to become a writer.

The two struck up a correspondence and got to work. They shared outlines and story ideas and the book was born.

“I like the writing process and I like talking to young people,” says Myers. “But often they don’t have the follow through the is required to be a writer.”

Myers was impressed with the discipline of the teenager, who is now 16. “Other kids have written to ask for my advice, but haven’t stuck with it,” he says. “But Ross is very dedicated.”

The new book, which is called Kick, is about a high school soccer player (like the co-author Ross Workman) who meets an older black guy (like Myers) and they team up to solve crimes. Unlike Myers, the main character in the book is a police officer. The new book is coming out on Harper Teen Books in January.