Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten. Exposure to a host of great authors during his college years inspired him to begin writing. He currently resides in centralCalifornia, where he writes, gardens, and plays a variety of string instruments.
A few years ago I was involved in some research with children that included a lot of child-directed play. Interacting with children at this level taught me a lot about their interests, and it inspired me to write a story that would appeal to their imagination.
Do you have a character you enjoyed writing the most?
I really enjoyed writing Amy Lorovia, the main character of The Enchanted River Race. Because she is captain of the ship during the race, she is put in a variety of situations in which she must be a leader. As someone who is a bit unsure of herself, this is a difficult task. It was fun having her navigate this challenge.
Is there a genre you would like to try?
There are a few genres I’d like to explore, but my next work outside the children’s book genre will be a young adult book. I think it’s wonderful that, especially in this day and age, authors are free to deviate from the genre they started in.
Could you live without coffee?
Yes, as long as there is tea readily available.
What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?
I like seeing the ideas, plot, characters, etc., develop. It’s amazing to watch a few words on a piece of binder paper evolve into a fully fleshed-out world.
Three facts about you.
I’m a big music person. I have a guitar by my bed, and most of my days begin and end with music.
I do a fair amount of my writing with a Bic pen and spiral-bound notebook.
As a child, my favorite piece of playground equipment was the merry-go-round/roundabout. To this day, I wish I had one in my backyard.
What was your favorite snack growing up?
In the second grade, there was an assignment where I had to write about my favorite things. At the time, I vividly remember writing that my favorite snack was an apple. Honestly, I don’t know if I was trying to impress the teacher with a healthy choice or apples actually were my favorite snacks. But for the sake of this question, my favorite snack was an apple.
Would you rather have fame or fortune?
Fortune. You could do much more good with fortune. Think of all the research and charities you could fund!
Pick one book that is your all-time favorite?
Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier. I’ve connected with a lot of books, but no book has been as impactful to me as the Le Grand Meaulnes. It perfectly captures a number of emotions that most authors have difficulty putting into words. If you look at Alain-Fournier’s life, it’s quite apparent why his writing is so affecting.
Embarrassing guilty pleasure.
There are a few pop songs that I feel like I shouldn’t like, but I do.
Are you a tweeter, a re-tweeter, or you couldn’t care less about Twitter?
I do have a Twitter account (@caldricb). I think it’s a great platform for many things – the key is knowing which things.
Would you rather sit on a porch with your favorite beverage or go hiking with a bottle of water and a smile?
Definitely hiking. I’m quite an active person.
Tell us what you are working on now!
I’m working on another children’s book. I can’t give out many details, but I will say that it’s set in quite a different world than that of The Enchanted River Race.
Anything you would like to say to the aspiring authors reading this blog?
I think everyone’s experience is unique, so there isn’t a piece of generalized advice that applies to everyone. I can say that what worked for me was being persistent and connecting with the right people.