MMGM: SAMMY KEYES AND THE HOTEL THIEF

Back when I was researching agents for CAVEBOY, I came across a book called SAMMY KEYES AND THE NIGHT OF SKULLS by Wendelin Van Draanen. As I was reading I got the distinct feeling I’d jumped into the middle of a series. Well, it turns out I’d picked up book fourteen! I enjoyed it enough…

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Homicidal Fairies and Other WriteOnCon Lessons

I spent the last two days glued to WriteOnCon, plus several days before in the forums critiquing and posting. If you are a writer and don’t know about WriteOnCon–particularly if you write for kids or teens–head over there now! The conference was online, and everything remains posted forever. Thank you to all of the published…

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MMGM: THE WESTING GAME

Some of you may be surprised to learn that until I read this post by agent Suzie Townsend on Claire LeGrand’s blog a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of THE WESTING GAME. When I mentioned it to my husband, he said that, like Suzie, he read THE WESTING GAME in school. At that point,…

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YA Series Recommendation: Kiersten White’s PARANORMALCY Trilogy

Like many others out there, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the final installment in the PARANORMALCY trilogy by Kiersten White. Since I prefer paperbacks (they’re not so heavy!), I was waiting quite impatiently in the hold line at the library for ENDLESSLY. Then a fairy godmother appeared in the form of Shannon Messenger, who hosted #StealShannonsBooks…

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The First Draft Blues

I hate writing first drafts. I see other writers out there talking about how much they hate revising and think, “How could you hate revising? It’s so much fun!” Not kidding. I love to revise. It doesn’t matter if it’s my work or someone else’s. An unpolished piece of writing is like a big puzzle….

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MMGM: THREE TIMES LUCKY

I love getting recommendations from other writers. In this case, Krista Van Dolzer saw one of my MMGM tweets and said I should cover THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage. I immediately requested it from the library, and it was waiting for me when I returned from the cruise. (Krista also did a review. Go…

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How Do You Feel About Spoilers?

Like much of the world, I’ve been glued to my TV this week watching the Olympics. I made it through Monday without seeing any spoilers about the men’s gymnastics team finals, but every day since I’ve seen some kind of spoiler. I still watched in the evening, but it marred the experience already knowing the…

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MMGM: LIESL & PO

I had this book queued up on my Kindle when Shannon Messenger reviewed it a few weeks ago, so I was very excited to read it. I’m not sure what I expected. It reminded me of BREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu–the language, darkness and magic. Despair is evident throughout, but the novel left me with a…

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The Questions We Ask While We Wait

Yesterday Susan Adrian wrote a great post on what to do while you’re waiting, with tips like work, read and observe, as well as what NOT to do. After I retweeted it, a fellow writer emailed me to check in on my agent search. It’s nice to have other writers who are in the same…

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Story Lessons from Pirates of the Caribbean

My husband and I decided to do a “Pirates of the Caribbean” marathon this week, which is appropriate since we just returned from the Caribbean. As you can see, our ship was a little bigger than the Black Pearl. This view is from an outlook on St. Thomas. As we were watching the movies, I…

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MMGM: A FAREWELL TO CHARMS

If you’ve read my query letter in a contest or my post on where I get my ideas, you already know I’m a big fan of Lindsey Leavitt’s PRINCESS FOR HIRE series. So of course I had to pick up the final book as soon as it came out. If you haven’t read the first…

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MMGM: THE HERO’S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM

As you’re reading this post, I’m somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on an epic family cruise (note to crazies: I have a house sitter and an alarm system). I’ve read so many great middle grade books lately I didn’t want to miss a week of MMGM and scheduled this one in advance….

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