No, I am not kidding. I’ve seen it with my nieces and nephews, especially when they were younger.
They can immediately tell when adults are getting bored with something and then they descend like a flock of angry seagulls. They can also tell when someone is faking it. Their BS metres are very sensitive. So don’t try and do it when you are writing something for them, i.e. if you have zero interest in ponies or dogs or kittens. It’s not going to ring true. You may fool one or two adult, but you won’t fool the kids.
Find a subject or a plot that you are so excited about you want to stand on the rooftops and shout about it. One of the bits of advice from the LBF from Carole Blake specifically was: your enthusiasm, from the covering letter to the manuscript, should show. It will help create a feeling of breathlessness when an agent picks it up and it’s all they can think about, so that when they try and sell it on to a publisher, that excitement should show and carry that manuscript forward and into bookshelves and hopefully to bestseller-dom!
Also realise that if you happen to be lucky and you get published writing about something you really aren’t all that fond of, that the lie you’ve just written, will be something you have to live with for the duration of your book’s life. If you get a good deal and you head off to various school events and library events, there you are, continuing that lie, but your heart really isn’t in it. Can you imagine how that would feel? And what happens if you are asked to write another book or come up with a syopsis for a series…?
Okay, so, ignoring writing something you’re not interested in, what do you want to write about? Look at your hobbies, your interests. If you do some kind of martial arts, if you do fencing or if you are a boxer, what better than an underdog story a la Karate Kid? Dressmaker or fashionista? Look at the massive success of Threads from Chickenhouse – a wonderfully told story, making readers aware of where their garments come from. If you are a movie fan, how about writing something to do with the industry aimed at kids? Or if you are a movie genre fan, why not look at writing horror – case in point, the massively successful Witchfinder by Bill Hussey. He got the tone and situation just right and in fact, it freaked me out massively yet I loved it. And so do the kids. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject comes through. And it’s contagious.