Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Read Q&A about my new book Daredevil on

Here's one of the questions and answers:

Question: You've written about bubble gum, a legendary racehorse, a life-saving dog, among many other topics. What inspired you to choose the life of little-known aviation pioneer Betty Skelton?

Meghan McCarthy: I actually struggled with this topic at first because Betty seemed to have an awe-inspiring life. When I write a biography, I like to include a little struggle—something to give the story a nice arch. But Betty was such a positive person that I couldn’t find any struggle! She put a positive spin on everything! I know it seems odd that I, a writer for children, would be looking for some sad drama, but I kind of was. I couldn’t find any. Even when Betty wasn’t chosen to go to space, she was okay with it. She seemed to enjoy the experience and said she loved working with the astronauts. She’d followed the career of John Glenn her whole life and wrote him letters but said he never wrote back. She just laughed about it. She was such a good-natured lady.

Why is Betty Skelton the person to write about? Because she didn’t care if girls weren’t supposed to fly planes or race cars or jump boats or be advertising executives. She just did what she wanted to do. As a kid I was like that. I played on an all boys baseball team. I distinctly remember running home and telling my dad that I needed a glove and socks and a “cup.” My dad sheepishly explained why I didn’t need one of those! Betty did things bigger and better than I ever could and that’s what I think is so awesome.

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