KID REPORTERS’ NOTEBOOK
Seeing the Ordinary Through Magical Eyes
It’s late at night, and author Natalie Lloyd is tapping away on the keys of her computer. She’s in her cozy bed, her dog, Biscuit, curled up beside her. Stars shine through the high window.
That is how Lloyd works best. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with her in her hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lloyd told me that she is working on her third novel for kids, The Problim Children. It is due out in Spring 2018.
Lloyd is “hanging out with The Problim Children a lot right now,” she said. She is working on revisions, “which is the hardest part of the process” for her.
“The novel tells the story of seven siblings who have grown up in the swamp, and they are wild and crazy,” Lloyd said during our interview at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel. “They were each born on a different day of the week. I have a brother and sister I’m really close to, so it’s been fun to write about siblings. There’s a little bit of magic in this book, too.”
“THE WORLD I LIVE IN”
Lloyd is the author of A Snicker of Magic (Scholastic, 2015), and The Key to Extraordinary (Scholastic, 2016). She characterizes both middle-grade novels as magical realism.
“With A Snicker of Magic, I knew it wasn’t going to be fantasy,” she said. “It was going to be a world that looked like the world I live in. I wanted the characters to have very real struggles and worries, but also always be a little bit excited and have something to look forward to.”
Lloyd finds inspiration in ordinary places viewed through eyes attuned to magical possibilities. Seeing one of her favorite bands, the Avett Brothers, in concert sparked the idea for A Snicker of Magic.
“As soon as they started playing, it’s like something magical happened,” Lloyd said. “I thought, 'What if there was a town where music had this effect on the whole town, and everybody just fills up with the happiness that music brings?’”
When you pick up a Natalie Lloyd book, you journey to a town that seems ordinary but is filled with magic. The Problim Children will offer another chance for readers to experience everyday life through a magical lens, much like the author herself does.