Friday, August 30, 2013

Why I Write Middle Grade - by Tom Torre


If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me when I was going to act my age - well you get the point.

This is me now. Sitting on my home-made game of thrones, dressed up as some idiotic warlord. At my job. Talk about immature?

(bow before me, minions!)


I just turned the big 'ol 3-0 this past June, and how do I feel? Well, I still feel like I'm a teenager. But I guess that's the point. I don't think I am ever going to grow up. The fact of the matter is, I don't want to. Sure I know how to be responsible (sometimes?), and I know that I have to wake up every morning and go to work. But ask anyone. Ask my friends. Ask my wife. Ask my parents. Ask my co-workers. They'll all tell you the same thing.

Tom Torre? That guy is never growing up. And they aren't saying it in a bad way.

(I mean, how cool am I? Taking a picture with Leonardo)


Which brings me to the whole point of me writing this post. Why I write middle grade? This isn't even a question for me, it's a given. What better way for me to tap into my inner child than by reliving experiences through the eyes and mind of my MG's MC's. With each MG book I write, or outline, or formulate, there's a little piece of me in each one. So many of my fondest memories come from my childhood, and why wouldn't I want to relive it in as many ways possible?

(yup, like I said. I'm awesome)


Who was I in middle grade though? Saying I was a nerd, would be putting it lightly. I gamed constantly, and most of my hang outs with friends consisted of either playing video games, DnD or Magic the Gathering. I wished I was a member of the Goonies, and I would drag my friends out on obnoxious treasure hunts. Sure, as I got older I took part in more "normal" activities such as playing hockey (I'm a pretty dang good goaltender), but I always kept with my nerdly roots. I was that kid known for his stupid voices, and being the class clown. I was also the one that drew on my test papers, and all over my desk. As big as goofball as I was though, I was still a sensitive kid.

As you know, MG wasn't without its heart breaks. It's a critical point of development, and it's really, what I feel to be, the building blocks for the rest of your life. As much as I remember the good times, I remember some of the bad as well. But they balanced out, and I'm lucky for that. And each memory gives me a chance to shape it into a new story. Memories of friends, families, and events that you will remember for a lifetime.

With the hopes that one day my MG books will be on shelves, and you happen to pick up a copy, realize that when you're reading my work, you're reading part of my life. It may not be as it actually happened, but there's bits and pieces of me in there. Not just me from when I was younger, but me as I am now as well. After all, I feel the best group of people that I can relate with, are those I write for. And those that I feel I act like the most.

I'm just kid. Always have been. Always will be.

Anyway, thanks for reading, but that's not all folks!

For my rafflecopter giveaway, I shall offer my esteemed artistic services (which aren't that great mind you..but I was a cartooning major in college lol), and I shall sketch your Main Character & your villain from your novel for you. You would just need to provide me a description so I know what the heck I'm doodling. Otherwise, you're just getting a bear attacking a shark.....and the bear is going to be riding a raptor and the shark is flying on a pterodactly. In fact, that's kind of cool. So i'll draw that instead if you so desire.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 comments:

  1. From this point forward, I will only enter your contests if you will build me an Iron Throne. Because that thing is awesome, Tom! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I think I like the hat better than the throne. Not so much the guy under the hat, but the hat.

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  3. Perfect, Tom. Just perfect! (Dang I wish I could draw a bear riding a raptor.)

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    1. Teach me too please! II can only draw really epic stick figures!

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  4. Cool throne! My parents did set design for children's plays, so our family had an actual wooden throne sitting on our enclosed front porch for years. I'm a big fan of never (fully) growing up!

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  5. I've seen the picture of your iron throne, but not the TMNT one. And just when I thought you couldn't get any more awesome, too.

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  6. Growing up is vastly overrated.

    Which would be why I can never actually remember how old I am. lol

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