Weird. Dumb. Cry baby. Cold. Strange. Crazy. Irritating. Distant. Frustrating. Dense. Scary. Stupid. Confusing. Sad. Difficult. Pathetic. Unfriendly. Freak. These are some of the names myself and my children with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, ADHD, autism, and other issues have been called throughout our lives. Names that are sadly too typical. It is a howling […]
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People often seem surprised by the idea of children’s horror. It strikes them as an oxymoron. Children’s novels are supposed to be sweet and safe – say the adults. But when given a chance to think about it, even adults who initially balk at the idea of children’s horror often remember reading – and loving […]
“I couldn’t put the book down.” “A real page-turner!” “I stayed up late to find out what happened next.” Compliments like these can make an author’s day. But how can we create the kinds of stories that receive such enthusiastic reviews? One way is by maximizing suspense. In his book Conflict and Suspense, James Scott […]
Growing up, I was a voracious reader. I loved nothing more than wandering through a strange new world full of magic and fantastical creatures. Needless to say, fairy tales were a constant staple of my literary diet. So, it isn’t surprising that my own books tend to remind readers of fairy tales, and I’m often […]
Anyone who writes for kids has probably heard some comment about their “voice” at some point. I personally have heard all three of these phrases from critique partners, agents, and editors: “I love the main character’s voice!” “This voice is too voicey.” “It’s not voicey enough.” Is voicey actually even a word? Since spellcheck is […]
Sally J. Pla, author of The Someday Birds, talks with us in a podcast about the importance of neurodiverse characters in MG. Questions? Comments? Leave us a note below!
In the spring of 2016, during my first-ever author panel, the moderator asked a question that gave me pause. “Why do you write about death?” For a moment, I was flummoxed. I didn’t think of Counting Thyme as a book about death. I thought of my debut middle grade novel as a love letter to […]
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Welcome to Mystery Writing 101…or as I like to call it: How to Get Away with Red Herrings. Wait. I don’t think I did that right. Oh, well. We’ve gone too far. Time to talk about clues and murder and stuff! Today, we’re discussing the basic building blocks of putting together a mystery story. These […]