Emily Seo’s debut in middle class was inspired by her science pursuits

If writer Emily Seo could choose one scientific concept to describe adolescence, it would be the second law of thermodynamics: the entropy, or disorder, of the universe would increase over time. In short, there will be chaos – which is exactly what will happen in her first middle-grade novel, boys science (Tradewind Books), when main character and science student Emma Sakamoto tries to help a famous girl catch the attention of a boy.

Seo comes from science legitimately – she has a PhD in Chemistry, has worked for more than six years as a laboratory director at the University of British Columbia’s Shared Instruments Facility, and is currently writing for the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. She always wanted to write something for children, but of the non-fiction genre. Above Zoom holds a stapled set of hand-drawn pages titled Atoms are everywhere. “I did this book for fun, but it really got me interested in writing,” she says, flipping over the color graphics and reading the formatted text.

I took a continuing education course in non-fiction writing, followed by a fiction course, and this is where boys science seem. “There was a girl in my class who had a boy’s problems,” Seo explains. “I don’t know why she thought I was an expert in any way, but she asked how my husband and I would get along. I began to give advice: “You have to be yourself,” “Never abandon your friends for a man.” She said, the next thing you know, “That’s really good – why don’t you write it?” Another classmate suggested applying scientific principles to the advice. A short story was born as well as a love of writing novels.

For years, while she worked full time and had a young child at home, that short story remained neglected, even though Seo always thought about it. After the second maternity leave, life took a turn. “I was still focused on academia and science, but I found myself at a crossroads. Many factors played a role, but in the end I decided it was now possible or not to pursue my dream of writing this book.” With the interest of a publisher, I worked in writing and reading. Many. “I have read more in the past five to seven years than I have done in my entire life!” Seo says with a laugh.

She also did a lot of research – interviewing students in classrooms, distributing anonymous questionnaires to teens, talking to her friends who have older children – all of which helped identify the views and issues she addresses. boys science. And there are plenty of issues, from peer pressure to first likes and social media addiction — clutter. Seo also highlights relationships, such as the true meaning of friendship, shared family meals (Emma and her dad make breakfast with scientific tools), and game nights (they play a component board game, Elementabble, where they make words using the symbols of the periodic table).

Seo wrote chapters based on scientific concepts, but soon learned that this approach does not lead to a coherent whole. A reminder from her editor that when writing a novel, story comes first and science second, prompting Seo to rearrange and separate chapters to make the narration work. She then used the British Columbia School curriculum to find out what eighth graders were studying, and put these science concepts (instead of her more complex ones) into the story, allowing Seo to achieve the original goal of Atoms are everywhere: To introduce children to scientific terms so that they do not have to worry too much about the topic at school.

It has done exactly that. Seo explains science by applying it to familiar everyday life. In chapter two, for example, Seo introduces cell differentiation, a process by which a stem cell changes into a more distinct cell type, which is consistent with Emma’s observation of everyone’s differences on the first day of school. Siu says that using cells as an example to humanity “links everything together”. “It doesn’t matter who you are, we are made up of the same things, so we just want to be kind to each other.”

Writing was nice with Seo. She received a grant from the Canadian Council of the Arts for her upcoming mid-level novel. She was asked to write a sequel to Boys flag. She works on various manuscripts for younger readers.

So, what scientific concept would SEO apply to writing? chemical synthesis. “You have all these words and sentence parts as raw materials, and then you have to put them together.” “A chemical reaction is a rearrangement,” she explains. “Everything has to work together to achieve the desired product.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.