‘The Man Who Would Lie and Lie’: Author Faulkner on Why Children’s Lifestyle Books Matter

When he was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, William Faulkner never expected his writing would end up in children’s books. But his 1985 text Horns, for children ages 6-10, was one…

'The Man Who Would Lie and Lie': Author Faulkner on Why Children's Lifestyle Books Matter

When he was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, William Faulkner never expected his writing would end up in children’s books. But his 1985 text Horns, for children ages 6-10, was one of the most popular of the year. Faulkner joined Steve Doocy to explain the process of writing children’s literature, why he considers it a privilege to be associated with children and why he believes kids can have a say in the political process.

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While the title sounds reminiscent of the bloodthirsty vampires who drink “black blood,” it’s about a boy who finds a mysterious skull and is intrigued by it, but it turns out the skull is possessed by a spirit who wants to talk to him.

Faulkner’s final draft of Horns included the line, “If you could only meet the boy, who, surrounded by adults and dismissed, is half as tormented as he is.”

Ahead of the publication of the book, the Faulkner estate threatened to sue the publisher over its theme. Faulkner said the book was originally approved by the estate of James Salter and was then approved by Faulkner, then rejected again. The author called the original approval process “extremely frustrating.”

The book was later renewed, but this time with a small amended title, Lee Moses. It also came out the same year that the “Zodiac Killer” case went unsolved, giving the small town “Horns” something to talk about.

According to the latest edition of the chapter book, the first chapters of the book are told from the perspective of Susie, who is from a small town and is overly concerned about the long-brewing scandal involving a local politician and his wife.

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