“More enjoyable escapades for Henry and company in this delightful summertime series.” - Kirkus Reviews
I won! That’s me, Diane Bradley, children’s author, no make-up on, in a plaid shirt leftover from high school, and winner of our littlest fish of the day. When my family goes fishing, we fight for the title. Don’t worry, after the picture taking and bragging, my trophy fish went back into the lake to grow up.
But I’ve never grown up.
Inside I’m still a kid who thinks a perfect day is out on the lake fishing for walleye and watching fluffy clouds float by.
I write adventure books for kids, Wilder’s Edge, Wilder’s Foe, and Wilder’s Ghost, set in the wilds of our northern woods. Wolves howl at night, moose browse through the underbrush and bears gobble down blueberries. Fish can be tiny like this fellow I’m laughing about, or you can hook a northern pike longer than your arm. My Wilder kids explore Rainy Lake that borders the U.S.A. and Canada. They hunt for gold, deal with mysteries from the past and dangers from the present.
I wasn’t always a lake girl. I actually grew up as a river girl on the banks of the Big Stewart River in northern Minnesota. I couldn’t wait for the school bus to drop me off at home. I would grab my rod and reel and head down to the river. I learned to fish the swirling water that hid brown and rainbow trout. My bait of choice was earthworms. I could easily find some under rocks or logs along the shore. I remember being little hunting for big fat worms and sticking them in my pocket until my mom would yell at me to stop sticking those dirty worms in my pockets. I always washed them first after that.
In the early spring when fishing season started I would balance myself on boulders in the snow flooded river, letting my line float downstream and waiting to hook a fish. If I slipped, the water was cold enough to make my feet ache so I would leap from rock to rock trying to get the right angle for my line. I was happy as a river girl.
But it was college where I met my lake boy. It’s really all his fault. He introduced me to Rainy Lake. Seventy miles of water and endless fishing spots. I fell in love, with him and the lake. It took us years to afford a rundown cabin on the lakeshore. The roof sags, the windows leak and the floors are all uneven. It’s perfect. We’re teachers so we can spend summers on the lake.
It’s here where I write. I want kids to see sunrise and sunset here and rainbows after the storms. Every thirteen year old should know how it feels to dip a kayak paddle into the water. Kids needs to see the Milky Way light up the sky and watch the Northern Lights flicker across the night. I want every kid to win! That’s what I write about.
Thanks for reading and your support.
Don’t forget to enter my contest for my books. It ends on June 21. https://storyfinds.com/contest/14768/mysterious-adventure-young-adult-contest