A Virginia Rememory

“I write for children (and their older allies) because I have such clear memories about being a kid.”

virginia hamilton at age 5
Virginia Hamilton at age 5

Yes, I was a child once, and in the (fuzzy) picture, I look tired and sleepy, having played too long and hard with my cousins.

There were five of us children and our parents on a 12-acre truck farm. My dad was the sun around which my world revolved. My mom, with her quiet, determined way, was my universe. My brother Bill was the closest to my age. He was the dreamer and shared his dreams with me. Having learned in school that China was on the other side of the world, he started digging a hole in order to get there. It was I who stood by his side as the hole, at a depth of six feet, began to fill with water. Memories of all those years, of summer days, winter nights, storms and sunshine, have given ample food to my imagination all of my life. So has living here in my hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. My husband and I built our house on the last few acres of my family’s farm. Across the way, other relatives live in close comfort to us.

Here on the land is the best place for me to write. I love the old trees, the great old one in which brother Bill had his tree house. Being an Ohioan means that I have a long kinship with so many people here, with the landscape and the Ohio sky. For me, there is nothing quite like an Ohio sunset.

I write books because I love chasing after a good story and seeing fantastic characters rising out of the mist of my imaginings. I can’t explain how it is I keep having new ideas. But one book inevitably follows another. It is my way of exploring the known, the remembered, and the imagined, the literary triad of which all stories are made.