"I thought it might be necessary to kill him off. "
For Robert Watson and his 12-year-old son, Alex, it was time for a difficult conversation.
Collaborating on an adventure novel about a family that encounters a tsunami while vacationing in Hawaii, the father and son co-authors had to decide whether to kill off a character and, if so, how to do it in a way that would be appropriate for their target audience of young readers.
“I thought it might be necessary to kill him off. But then, we thought, it’s a kids book so we can’t really do it,” Alex Watson said of the character Spike while discussing the novel “Tsunami” for about 30 listeners Sunday at the Lantana Road Branch Library.
Eventually, the Watsons worked out a literary solution for Spike. Over the months it took to write the book, they often used father-son walks or bike rides to resolve issues ranging from character names to writer’s block.
Robert Watson is a Lynn University American Studies professor who has written more than 30 books about history and politics. He said the bonding that came from working on a book with his son convinced him that other parents and children might enjoy trying it.
Read more at the Palm Beach Post.