Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington, where she created a thesis on Coast Salish weaving traditions. I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE (HarperCollins, 2019) is her first novel. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Her work is represented by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
The short answer: Because young people are the future. Every word I write is a love letter to them.
The long answer: I became an avid reader at an early age. When I was a toddler, my parents read with me constantly. Every night, I fell asleep to the rhythms of Dr. Seuss, the trials of The Berenstain Bears, the dreamy splendor of fairy tales. As I grew older, we continued to read chapter and middle grade books together. At the time, I probably didn’t notice how deeply I cherished those quiet moments of my childhood. But as an adult, I can look back and reflect on those memories: the soft, hazy warmth of my bedroom at night; how my dad used funny, theatrical voices and sound effects in his storytelling; how my mom always cried at certain pages, no matter how many times we repeated the same stories.
I also cherished the books I discovered in school. I was often the girl who held her book open under her desk, because our silent, independent reading time had been too short, and I needed to know what happened next. I remember running into classrooms after recess—cheeks pinked and out of breath—excited to settle in for our read aloud sessions. I remember the book reports I created, labors of love filled with messy illustrations, pencil marks that had been rubbed out with erasers in my pursuit of perfection. I remember book fairs in the school library, the intense joy and adrenaline as I circled through those colorful displays. As a middle grade reader, my tastes became eclectic. I loved the suspense of the Goosebumps books, the quiet resilience of the Dear America series, the heartfelt adventures of stories featuring animals. I also developed a deep appreciation for books that painted pictures in my head, the literary voices and images that lingered in my mind long after I turned the final page.
In the later years of my adolescence, books became my refuge in an increasingly overwhelming world. School became difficult; I faced challenges and heartaches, in various facets of my life. The future was no longer this faraway figment of my imagination; it was fast-approaching and demanded my decisiveness in ways that made me anxious. Novels provided an escape, and a strong sense of reassurance. I loved stories steeped in research and introspection, with philosophical questions that had no easy answers. And I loved the high-stakes and cinematic quests that brought my own struggles into perspective.
Essentially, these are the reasons why I write MG & YA books. I truly believe in the power of stories. I never want to forget those younger versions of myself, the things I felt, the bonds that formed between me and my books and the people all around me.