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Rita Williams Garcia: Draw on your own life… or use your imagination?

Bestselling author Rita Williams Garcia talks about how you can use your experience and your imagination when writing.

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Rita Williams-Garcia

Historial Fiction, Fiction

Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is the bestselling author of novels for young adults and middle grade readers — including Clayton Byrd Has Gone Underground and her trilogy about the Gaither sisters (One Crazy Summer, PS Be Eleven, and Gone Crazy in Alabama). Many of her books are rooted in our recent American history and all her stories brim with the authentic voices of young people.


Oh, the misconceptions people have about writing. I think especially where I’m concerned is that my work is autobiographical and there’s nothing wrong with writing from your own experiences. I mean, those are some of the really good stuff. But I spent so much time noodling around in my head that, a) yes, I’m flattered that people think that “Yes. This is my story.” or “Yes. This is my grandmother or my mother or what have you,” but no! No! I made that up in my little noggin’! You know. So … so that’s kind of … that’s kind of hard, you know and … and also I got … I want to encourage young people to imagine, you know, to really just go as far as they can go and … and not feel that you have to mine your own story. You can make it up. I do it all the time.