SINGAPORE - When author R.J. Palacio's elder son was 12 or so, he had a dream about a boy in the old West whose face was half-covered in blood.
"A story started taking root in my mind about the boy with the half-red face," says the American children's author, 58, in an e-mail interview. "What happened to him? Who was he? How was he doing? I began to create a world in which that boy could exist."