Questions Ė 1

1.      What instrument should I have Micah play?I would like to use the cello, but I donít want to choose something that would be too close to what the boy in the background story played.Iím thinking violin or trumpet, the former being almost solely a classical-music instrument, which would fit better with the background story.

2.      What instrument should David play?Cello?Iím thinking possibly of a scene at the end of the book where Micah, David and Betty play a trioóa symbol of reconciliation and acceptance.

3.      I was thinking about setting the story in a real small town in Eastern Washingtonóa place that Iíve never visited but might during the next year.Iíve looked at the town on a mapping program and have looked at satellite pictures of it. Iíve googled the townís information. Iíll use the information that Iíve gleaned, but should I use a real townís name or create a fictional town?

4.      I plan to use the city of Walla Walla by name.I donít like stories that talk about ďthe next city over.ĒWalla Walla is big enough to be named.Iíll also use Whitman College, a very fine school that is located there.Again, not an anonymous college.Any objections?

5.      I also plan to use Walla Walla College, a small Seventh Day Adventist school there.Itís a lot smaller school, and it is where the boy in the background story goes.This college wonít enter the story much, except thatís where Micah will be when David, a student at Whitman, encounters him again.I see the character Micah as having the brains and talent to go to a better college like Whitman, and maybe David will work to get him in there, so Walla Walla College will appear weaker by comparison.As an alternative, thereís also Walla Walla Community College, a state school. Comments?

6.      Walla Walla College is convenient because one of the religions for the Kingmans is Seventh Day Adventist.Also, I could make them Mormon.In either case, I need to do some research on any religion that I choose.I do want them to favor large families and to be, of course, anti-gay.Suggestions for a religion?Sources of information about Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons or other?Iíve looked at Wikipedia.

7.      Iím making Micah half Native American, but he could be half black or Chicano?The boy in the background story is half black, so Iím inclined to use something else.Iím not sure why Iím making him Ďhalfí anything.

8.      At the outset of the story, Micah will be in a foster home of a kind elderly couple.Would a 9-year-old call them by Mrs. or Mr. McDougall, by first names, or by Ďgrandmaí or Ďgrandpaí or something else?Anybody have any information that can help here?

9.      In the adoption process, I will have Betty and Stan Kingman going to the city (to be determined) where Micah is a foster child.Is it realistic to have Micah meet Betty and Stan in a meat-market atmosphere where he and a number of children are introduced to prospective adoptive parents?The alternative, I suppose, would be a computer match, or something like it, where Micah and the Kingmans are the only ones involved.

10.     One of the themes of the story is the tension between fame and maturity. Respect given to the famous person in fields other than the origin of the talent without the normal problem of having to earn respect; this leads to a certain immaturity.Bill Bradley, ex-Senator and New York Knick, talks about the issue in his book Life on the Run.Child actors and artists frequently suffer from this lack of maturity.Does anyone know of any good books, fiction or nonfiction, that could provide insight in how to write Micahís teenage years?