Ellen Klages (BSS #106)

Ellen Klages is most recently the author of Portable Childhoods.

Condition of Mr. Segundo: Affirming his miserable status.

Author: Ellen Klages

Subjects Discussed: On being approached by Sharon November at a convention to write a children’s book, writing fiction from a child’s perspective vs. an adult’s perspective, conducting research for a story, the 1950s, how characters kick-start stories, realism and fantastical elements, libraries, the gender divide in science, the label of “science fiction,” comfort food, Stephen King, missing words in sentences, the advantages of a late start, becoming a writer by hanging out with professional writers, writing “Portable Childhoods” with two meanings, word choice, and assembling a short story collection after many years.


Klages: I write about the point of view of children for a couple of reasons. One of them is because I think I remember being a child better than I really understand being a grown-up a lot of the time. It’s a much simpler mind set. And I don’t really do a lot of politics and, oh I don’t know, insurance claims. And that sort of thing. That if you have a grown-up character, they might have to worry about and it just goes right over children’s heads. Especially in short fiction. You can streamline the world a little bit if you’re telling it from the point of view of a kid.

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