Who says you can’t be a mathematician and a children’s author? Well, I’m not really sure if anyone actually says that, but if they did, I’d just point to myself as the counterexample. (In mathematics, a counterexample is an exception to a proposed general rule.)
I spent the day at a mathematics conference called Cha-Cha days. (Don’t be deceived. There was no dancing involved.) From nine in the morning to ten at night, mathematicians from the South Eastern region of the United States presented their current research. (Myself included. My presentation was on the Dynamics of Nearly Circular Vortex Filaments.)
Anyway, through the course of the day, I not only listened to these presentations from a mathematical standpoint but from a literary one. More than once I found myself taking notes on how I could take someone’s idea and turn it into a plot for my series of books about a teenage superhero.
For example, during a talk by Dr. Demetrios Christodoulides of the University of Central Florida about Optical Airy beams and bullets, I worked out what is going to be book 3 of the Priscilla the Great series. What are Airy beams? I’m glad you asked. Basically, they are self-regenerative beams of light that bend on their own depending on factors of diffraction and dispersion. At this point in the research, they can shoot a beam of light or a bullet of light and have it bend around an object. Of course, they can only do this at the nano level right now, but imagine the implications if they can replicate this on a larger scale. Imagine a bullet that could bend it’s trajectory at will after it’s been shot. Or rather, don’t imagine it. Just read about it in Priscilla the Great 3: The Bending Bullet.
What’s the moral of this story? Inspiration is everywhere. What do you love? What motivates you? What do you think about when your fingers aren’t typing away the next bestseller or begging an agent for attention? I bet your passion would make a great plot. Inspiration is everywhere.