Look at my Desk – Lyn Miller-Lachmann

A few months ago I was with the crew from the Eastern New York SCBWI chapter and met Lyn Miller-Lachmann. And after chit chatting to her I knew that she would have to be here … because she has created a Lego themed book – true!

So for this edition of Look at My Desk it’s straight to the sets as we  delve into the creative space of Lyn Miller-Lachmann.


Look away from my desk. Behind me is a table that I once used for putting together MultiCultural Review, the quarterly journal I edited for 16 years. When MCR went out of business in 2010, a victim of the crisis facing print journals today, the Lego town that I began assembling in 2007 took its place.

Little Brick Township

Little Brick Township

Little Brick Township is more than a distraction. It serves as a laboratory for characterization, world-building, scene selection and structure, and finding the overall theme of the novel.

Patricio on bike

Patricio on bike

Here is Patricio, one of the principal characters in a graphic novel I’m creating with Lego minifigures. His facial expression never changes, just as a fictional character’s personality remains the same and will determine what he or she wants, believes, says, and does throughout the course of the novel. A character can grow and change, but within a believable range. Similarly, I can photograph Patricio so that he looks as though he’s having a good time, but no matter what the other characters do, they’re never going to make him completely happy.

Rouge launch nite

Rouge launch nite

The tallest building in Little Brick Township is Town Hall, and it serves as the center of my town. To me, Town Hall represents power, and conflicts over who has power and what they do with it. Much of my writing explores political issues—the effects of a brutal dictatorship on a family in Pinochet’s Chile, class differences that limit the possibilities of an academically gifted teenager from the wrong side of the tracks—but conflict lies at the heart of all my novels. Even personal conflicts grow out of unequal power in relationships—those on top bully or otherwise abuse their power, and those on the bottom want acceptance, respect, love. Having such an imposing building at the center of my Lego town reminds me that my novels need a thematic center, that every scene should in some way connect to that center, and that unequal power is the obsession pushing me to write.


Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the author of the award winning novel Gringolandia (Curbstone Press/Northwestern University Press, 2009) and most recently Rogue (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 2013), a Junior Library Guild selection.

You can find Lyn at her website where you uncover lots more Lego pictures.


2 Responses to Look at my Desk – Lyn Miller-Lachmann

  1. Wonderful post. And such a creative way to use the Lego minifigs. I love the notion of having a thematic center to one’s novel. That’s so important to the emotional core of the novel.

    L. Marie October 23, 2013 at 2:29 am Reply
  2. my son also loves Lego minifigures. thanks for sharing

    shirt elephant June 21, 2016 at 6:17 pm Reply

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