Janet Muirhead HillBest known for her series about Miranda and Starlight, a lonely girl and a feisty, young black stallion, Hill writes mostly for children in upper elementary through junior high school.
If asked what she writes, Janet will say, “I call it True Fiction—fiction because I completely make it up in my head— true because it confronts actual contemporary issues, using believable characters that navigate real conflicts and react with authentic human emotions.
“I get my ideas from the real world,” she says. “I see or hear of children or teens facing difficult situations, kids who have hard problems to solve. I fashion my characters after those kids, put them in a similar situation with a seemingly unsolvable conflict, and then I see what they will do and how they will end up. It let’s readers know they are not alone, and that there is a way out. ‘Have courage, and to yourselves be true’, is what I aim to say.”
In her Twin’s Trilogy, three books about a set of twins, a boy and a girl, whose dysfunctional parents separate them and keep them apart, deals with such issues as searching for lost loved ones, living in foster homes, both a good one and a bad one, natural disasters, dealing with parental dysfunction, the hazards of running away from home—and the impetus that leads one to do it anyway. And of course there is always the natural consequence of poor choices, and finding one’s self. The books are Kyleah’s Tree, Kendall’s Storm, and Kendall and Kyleah.
Danny’s Dragon finds a ten-year-old dealing with the grief over the loss of his father who died in a war. He withdraws from his mother and sister, who must face the loss and grieve in their own way. The death of his father brings on more changes and challenges when the family has to move from their ranch, leave their animals behind, and settle in a big city with grandparents Danny hardly knows.
The Body in the Freezer chronicles the transformation of a smart, rich, rude, and arrogant teenage boy. Community service opens his eyes and getting mixed up with a homeless girl his age gets him into trouble of a different kind.
In writing novels of this kind, Janet’s big ambition is to change the world, one child at a time by promoting tolerance, fairness, understanding, compassion, and confidence.
Because of the demands of young fans of the Miranda and Starlight books, Janet has written a seventh book to add to the series. In The Horse and the Crow, Miranda is brought head on to a conflict with a culture that she knows little about, but thinks she does. She soon discards her preconceived ideas and comes to respect and embrace a native tribe. This book will be available in the summer of 2015.
Janet Muirhead Hill lives in rural Montana where she divides her time between family, writing, editing, and publishing as CEO of a small press. (www.ravenpublishing.net)
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