Ann M. Martin by Marylou Morano Kjelle

By Marylou Morano Kjelle

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It was a very tight circle in terms of emotional support. But we all shared the same silly sense of humor. ”34 When Martin did have a little down time, she tutored patients at a nearby state mental institute and taught sewing in an after-school program. She also wrote for Smith College’s newspaper, The Sophian. Sometimes she would visit nearby Yale University with the girls from Gardner House, but she rarely did so. The grueling courses she signed up for required much studying, which left little time for socializing.

She uses dialogue as a way of letting her readers know which way a plot is unfolding, and what is happening with the characters. In order to get her dialogue just right, Martin listens to conversations, especially those of young people who are around the same age as the characters in her books. Her vivid memory also allows her to remember conversations she had with friends when she was young. Martin uses some of what she hears and remembers when writing dialogue for her characters. Martin finds plotting the most difficult part of writing a story, but she enjoys becoming her characters for a brief time.

After Martin was finished writing the outline, she and Bethany would review it. Bethany suggested changes as she saw fit and then Martin would write the book from the edited and agreed-upon outline. Several series were “spun off” from the original Baby-sitters Club series. The first two were published in 1988. In July of that year, the first Baby-sitters Club Super Special book, Baby-sitters on Board! was published, and in August, the first book in the Little Sisters series, Karen’s Witch was released.

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