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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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…

Read more »

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….

Read more »

What I’ve Learned in a Year of Querying

One year ago today I sent the first round of queries for THE MODERN CAVEBOY’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING BATS, BULLIES AND BILLIONAIRES. In honor of this anniversary of sorts, I’d like to share a few tips from my querying journey. Titles are important. I did a number of things right when I started querying, but…

Read more »

MMGM: THE SEVENTH LEVEL

I’ve been meaning to read THE SEVENTH LEVEL ever since I saw it on the local authors table at the Missouri SCBWI conference in 2010. I’m excited to feature a book from a fellow St. Louisan. I’ve read a couple lately, although the other one (KATANA by Cole Gibsen) was a YA book. In both…

Read more »

The Querying Quandary: When to Wait

A couple of weeks ago I posted about why it’s so hard to get your first novel published, and I said I was having a different experience with the novel I’m currently querying. It’s because I have more experience this time. The key? Patience. I am not a patient person, but I learned in my…

Read more »

MMGM: THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA

I first learned about THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA on the agent’s* Twitter feed, but I didn’t decide to read it until I saw it crop up repeatedly in an impromptu Twitter survey of the best recent middle grade books. I figured if that many people recommended it, I should pick it up, too….

Read more »

My Thoughts on SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN (Spoilers!)

Yesterday was my ninth wedding anniversary, so my husband and I took the day off. We made it a movie day, with SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN in the morning and MEN IN BLACK 3 in the afternoon. We thoroughly enjoyed MIB 3. From the moment the credits came up with the same funky font…

Read more »

MMGM: BREADCRUMBS

I’m sure BREADCRUMBS has already been covered by someone for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, but I’m going to do it anyway. There was so much hype about this book when it came out–and not just from the author’s agent* and publisher, both of whom I follow on Twitter. I had read one other book by…

Read more »

Four Writing Devices That Shout, “I’m An Amateur!”

I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age, and I was an English major in college, but neither prepared me to be a publishable writer. When I wrote my first novel, I knew how to put a story together. With my English degree and my job as a writer and editor, my novel…

Read more »