Thought for the Day:
“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or ten pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing — writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
~ Lawrence Block ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
All of our characters have backstory, but how it should be handled is pretty important. HERE Karen Dionne has an article in Writer’s Digest on How to Weave Backstory into Your Novel Seamlessly.
Melissa Donovan has a terrific post HERE on Writing Forward with 42 Fiction Writing Tips for Novelists.
If you ever need to do a little research (and you know we all should), Katherine House at Nonfiction Fest has just what you need HERE. It is a wonderful post with all kinds of resources you can use. Bookmark this one.
I got caught up on my classwork this week and am looking forward to the last two weeks of classes in this term. I wonder some days if I really have it in me to be a picture book author. My mind keeps wondering to my middle-grade novels, and I’m itching to get back to work on them. I think during the break between terms I will make a big push toward getting an agent. I’ve been doing some research to find agents who are open to new clients and have an interest in historical fiction. There are some out there. Fingers crossed. As I sat watching the Sunday morning news shows, I wondered how this terrible conflagration in Europe can end. Last week I saw ordnance being thown at a nuclear power plant and worried for my friends in Europe. I so admire the Ukrainian people and their amazing courage. So I send a little money to help them and wish there was more I could do. We live in interesting times.
Last week I offered a gently-read paperback copy of Famous Artists in History by Kelly Milner Halls to one of you. This week, our winner is Antoinette Truglio Martin. Congratulations, Antoinette! If you don’t know her, Antoinette is an author of middle-grade historical fiction. You can read more about her and her books on her site HERE. Antoinette, I will get your book out to you soon.
I have to admit I have an absolute fascination with the animal world, especially the odd ones and the dangerous ones, so I was really happy to see A Curious Collecion of Dangerous Animals by Sami Bayly on the review list for the San Francisco Book Review, and I requested it immediately. This is a deliciously fun book and the middle-grade set will love every page. I know I did. And that cover. How could you not grab that book? I’m going to have to check out some of her other books. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
There is no end to animal books, so bringing out a new one, especially at the middle-grade level, requires something really unique in order to stand out. This book takes a good look at sixty animals that are dangerous and scary. The Blue Dragon, a sea slug that is beautiful and small, has a sting that will cause welts, swelling, increased heart rate, and vomiting, while the Golden Poison Frog is so toxic that if it licks a person, it can kill him or her, and its skin has enough toxins to kill twenty people!
Each of the animals covered is quite dangerous and interesting, and each has its own spread with a close-up illustration, a paragraph with general information about the animal, its specific danger and why it’s so dangerous, what its conservation status is, what it eats, where it lives, and fun facts about it. The writing is lively and conversational. The illustrations are excellent and realistic, and the graphic design of the pages is attractive and designed to hold the interest of youngsters.
Once kids (and adults!) get their hands on this wonderful book, they will likely read it over and over. This is a real winner.
There won’t be a giveaway this week. This one stays with me. Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.