Thought for the Day:
“Remember, the villain is always the hero in his own story. Wanting to
‘rule the world’ just to ‘rule the world’ is for cartoons.”
~ Kristen Lamb ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
This isn’t the sort of thing I usually link, but I found a great site for people concerned about helping kids become readers. Parents, grandparents, and teachers will find the site HERE really helpful, but writers will probably want to check it out as well.
It’s always good to keep your readers a little off balance. HERE K. M. Weiland tells us how to make readers like unlikable characters and dislike the likable ones. Interesting reading.
The Editor has a terrific post HERE on making sure your story is really finished.
Yesterday we had our regional SCBWI conference. It was a terrific event as usual. Our region really knows how to put on a conference — great speakers and great workshops. My only quibble is that I can’t attend everything! But I did get to attend two workshops with Kirby Larson — one on revision and one on historical fiction. She is magnificent! And Mark de la Peña taught us a lot about writing good dialogue, and he was so nice at the volunteer dinner. A perfect dinner partner. There were also editors and agents and other authors. I did volunteer, so I couldn’t be everywhere I wanted to be. In addition, I volunteered to drive people to and from the airport. It’s always great to have a half-hour or so of one-on-one time with an agent or editor and leave them feeling like I’ve done them a favor. Especially the ones I pick up in the middle of the night for an early flight. This year it was a lovely agent and worth every second of sleep I lost from 3:30 to 5:50, but I do feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. So if there are typos, please cut me a little slack.
Last week, I offered a gently used ARC for one of you of Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb. It’s such a cute book. This week’s winner is Jenni Enzor. Congratulations, Jenni! Jenni is a writer and posts great book reviews on her blog which you can find HERE. I will get the book out to you this week, Jenni. For the rest of you, stay tuned for another giveaway.
This week I’d like to tell you about a fabulous middle-grade book I read and reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review recently. It is The Perfect Place by Teresa E. Harris. I simply love this book. (And I love the cover!) The story is compelling, the characters jump off the page, and the writing is spectacular. If I ever meet Teresa E. Harris, I will bring a tiara and crown her queen of the simile and metaphor. I have never read such fresh, smart similes and metaphors before. I can’t find a link for her, so I know nothing about her, but I love this book. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
Treasure and her little sister, Tiffany, are woken in the middle of the night. Their mother sneaks them out of the apartment and into their car, leaving much behind. Their father has left again and Mom needs to find him. She takes the girls to their Great-Aunt Grace in North Carolina. Treasure almost immediately nicknames Great-Aunt Grace GAG, although she would never say it to her face. Treasure finds herself in another new place after a series of moves and takes a defensive stance, not allowing herself make new friends or letting down her guard. The one person who tries to befriend Treasure becomes her associate, so Treasure doesn’t have to open to an important relationship. As time goes on, GAG shows herself to be a true ally to the girls, and Treasure learns a lot about family, friendship, and love.
“When she speaks, I see a big wad of chewing gum rolling around in her mouth like a lone T-shirt tumbling in the dryer.”
Teresa E. Harris has written an absolute gem of a middle-grade book that
|Teresa E. Harris
deserves to reach a much wider audience. The writing is stellar and original. Harris’s metaphors are the freshest I’ve seen. The characters are well-rounded and endearing, the story moves at a good clip and is most satisfying. Do not miss this terrific book.
I have a gently-read ARC of The Perfect Place for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.