Inspiration: the word “inspiration” comes from the Latin word inspīrāre, which means to breathe upon or into: in + to breathe (in + spīrāre) . It also means “to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence.” The original idea was that something outside of a person affected them in such a way that it left them somehow changed. That’s what I want to do with my writing, especially for kids. I want to influence them in a positive way that somehow leaves them changed.
I can’t do that, however, unless something also breathes into me. For The Bronze Dagger, the animating idea for the book came when I saw a dagger that looked almost exactly like the one I’m holding in this picture. I wanted to help students get more interested in the time period of Ancient Babylonia. I saw the dagger in an antiquities store and began to wonder what things the dagger had seen back in 1800 BC. Even now, just holding this bronze dagger from the time period and geographic location of Ancient Mesopotamia still inspires me!