Saturday, June 7, 2008

Guest Blogger: William D. Smith

A few days ago, I reviewed BECOMING A SUPERHERO by William D. Smith. My daughter and I both enjoyed this book about the adventures of a young boy growing up in a Pennsylvania coal-mining town in the late 1940s. While there were many entertaining stories, I also found that Billy had a great deal of insight into life -- even at 10 years old! Since the stories in the novel are actually based on Mr. Smith's childhood, I thought it might be interesting to hear a little bit more about his novel. Mr. Smith offered to write a guest post to further explain some of the broader concepts that appeared in his novel....

Between the Lines

A good tale is a puzzle with most of the pieces, leaving a few gaps for the reader to fill in. When the puzzle is complete it a combination of author and reader. I’m the author of “Becoming a Superhero,” and I thought I might fill in a few of the open spaces between the lines of my story.

Let’s begin with Billy, who thought his new Superman cape had some kind of magic to help him fly. Everyone but Billy knew this wouldn’t work. His Mom suggested that he needed a new hero, possible Dick Tracy. What I didn’t write, was that my next best hero at the time was the Shadow, a radio hero who was invisible. Now you might think this is just as ridiculous, and it was until Harry Potter. Harry not only flew all over the place, but he had a magic cape that made him invisible. Strangely enough, our scientists have recently duplicated this concept.

I have another message between a few lines and that’s what Billy is really doing when he insists on writing his own answers to story problems in arithmetic. The message here is all about a barrier in Billy’s path. When his teacher insists on traditional answers to problems, Billy wants to suggest another way, or a different solution. Today, we are looking for some other form of energy to run our cars instead of gasoline. Just for the record, this is why Billy put wheels on his sled for kids to go sledding even if they didn’t have snow.

There is one other space that’s not filled in. It’s where Billy asks his teacher if we will ever have a hero in our country like M. Gandhi who solved problems by peaceful resistance.

William thought you might want to know what we were thinking about in between the lines.

William D. Smith
Author, “Becoming a Superhero.”

No comments: