Today’s Kids and Yesterday’s Monarchs
Both Fascinate Judy Laik
Values. Who teaches them anymore? Who helps kids find an ethical path through the maze of dilemmas that face them today? That’s one of the questions raised by Judy Laik, author of Under Whose Influence, part of Parenting Press’s “The Decision Is Yours” series.
Laik, the mother of three and grandmother of five, is a longtime writer with a special interest in books for teens and pre-teens, what’s called “young adult fiction.” Her most recent manuscript, not yet placed with a publisher but recognized with an award by the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, discusses a 16-year-old’s transition from life on a commune. Written after Under Whose Influence, this book used one of the techniques Laik learned at Parenting Press: extensive review by the target audience. She routed copies of the manuscript to many kids, including some as young as 11. They were just as enthusiastic as Laik’s peers in the writers’ association.
When she’s not writing for young people, Laik is busy researching Regency England for her historical romances.
“It’s a fascinating period,” she points out. “The start of the Industrial Revolution, Napoleon’s exploits, the very well-read and witty people of the era—it all made for a society on the brink of change.”
Laik is hardly the only one interested in the early 19th century. She belongs to a Romance Writers of America chapter devoted exclusively to the period. Along with more than 200 other Regency writers, she researches how people lived in that era.
“Our readers are so knowledgeable we can’t dare be inaccurate,” she explains.