"Sara: Did you ever have to rethink a scene to account for Tilda’s [clubfoot], or find that you had unintentionally used certain tropes? If so, can you give an example?
Merrie: There was a point in one draft where Tilda was falling down quite a bit–which, given the way her foot is situated and the rough terrain seemed likely to me. But my editor was concerned that this wasn’t doing the things I wanted it to do (mostly, I wanted it to heighten tension). I spent some time thinking on that. Had I ever seen my grandmother fall? Actually–no. And I spent many whole summers with her, in the garden, not always on great terrain. The only time she fell to my knowledge was disastrous, and that was at the grocery store, on wet tile. She was always very careful about her footing, and fell less than most people, I think. So rethinking that was good; it was lazy writing.”
[read the rest of the interview!]
In honor of Disability in Kidlit's one-year anniversary, you have a chance to win a signed copy of Merrie Haskell’s Schneider Award-winning MG fantasy novel Handbook for Dragon Slayers, which features a princess protagonist with clubfoot. Simply leave a comment on the WordPress post or reblog this Tumblr post. (Yes, doing both increases your chances!) In one week, we’ll select a single winner from one of these locations. This giveaway is open to international addresses.