Thought for the Day:
“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
~ Gustave Flaubert ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
One thing that can be deadly to a book is predictability. HERE K. M. Allan has a great post on How to Add Unpredictability to Your Story. Keep it fresh!
Robert Lee Brewer writes a lot of good articles for Writer’s Digest, and this is no exception. HERE he has 60 Examples of Hooks for Books. It is a great way to help figure out a good elevator pitch for our own books.
I have often read how important it is to read your work aloud. I have finally gotten into the habit of doing that for my picture book manuscripts, but I haven’t tackled it with my novels. I know, after reading the article HERE by Michelle I. Mason called Revision Tip: Why You Should Read Your Manuscript Aloud, I really need to do it. Writing is hard work!
Not all my football dreams are going to come true this year. It’s a tough year when your third- and fourth-string quarterbacks both go down in the conference championship game while the first- and second-string quarterbacks are on the sidelines already injured. Maybe next year. I have spent a good deal of time this week fighting with my homeowner’s insurance company trying to get paid for the mitigation work for my roof leaks. I haven’t even gotten the bid for the repairs yet, but I suspect that will be another whole fight. Did I mention I have to have my furnace replaced this week? Sigh. I sure will be glad when I can get back into my study and able to concentrate better on my writing. Classes have started again with Storytellers Academy, and I am having trouble getting going without access to my books and workspace. Do I sound whiny? I didn’t mean to whine. Just frustrated. This, too, shall pass, but none too soon. On another note, I have been reading a lot of picture books this week for one of my classes. If you can get your hands on On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex, do it. It is such a funny book. It made my day. There are a few picture books I keep around for weeks such as this. I’m going to add this one to the list.
I have long had the desire to write chapter books, but I have never had an idea that is perfect for that genre. It takes a special writer with a very deft touch to do it well. I had lunch with my friend and former critique partner, children’s book writer extraordinaire JaNay Brown-Wood recently. I knew she was having great success with her picture books, but I didn’t know she had branched out into chapter books. It makes perfect sense. She’s such a terrific writer, I’m sure she can do anything. She has ten books coming out this year (I think I got that right), and she now has publishers contacting her asking her to write books for them! That is the kind of success few can dream of. And she does all this while teaching college classes full time and being a wife and mom. It’s kind of breathtaking, isn’t it? She was kind enough to give me copies of her first two chapter books, and I want to tell you about them today.
Love Puppies Best Friends Furever is book number one in the Love Puppies series. We meet the pups at the Love Puppies Doghouse. Rosie is the first of the magical pups to wake up when the Crystal Bone begins to vibrate. She hurries to get the other pups — Barkley, Noodles, and Clyde — up and ready for the day. The Love Puppies have been called upon to help a human child who is in need. This is their favorite kind of mission. They love helping kids solve their problems. The Crystal Bone shows them it is a girl, Meiko, a third-grader who had to move to a new school, and she doesn’t have any friends. She is lonely and sad. It breaks the Love Puppies hearts to see a child being sad. They fly to her school and watch through the window of her third-grade classroom to see if they can identify a likely candidate for friendship. Even with their magical powers, this is not a simple task, and things don’t always go as planned. The pups have to find more than one candidate and try several times to make things happen. It isn’t easy to make friends, but it is sure worth the effort.
I haven’t read book two yet. It’s called Love Puppies Lost Pet Blues, and looks as sweet as the first one. The third and fourth books are due out later this year. This is just the kind of series that will get emerging readers and reluctant readers to become readers. That is the goal of chapter books, isn’t it? There is magic and fun and sweetness galore. The writing is solid and books are of a good length to engage readers in a fun story with some complexity to it that can give emerging readers that feeling of success so necessary to keep them reading. And with another book ready and waiting, the success goes on. If you aren’t familiar with JaNay’s books, please check some of them out. They are all worth your time.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.
12 thoughts on “Love Puppies Series — Review”
JaNay gave me a copy of Love Puppies (Book 1) before I left, and I thought it was adorable. So proud of her and happy for her success.
They really are adorable. Her career is like a rocket! Thanks for the comment.
I’m a sucker for dog stories, especially ones you can read out loud. I’ll be looking for this series. Thanks once again for the links. Michelle’s post about reading your manuscript out loud was an important reminder. Have a great week (better times are ahead!) and Happy MMGM.
Better times are ahead, Greg. I have to believe that! Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you got some value from the post.
Aw, these puppies look SO adorable! And reading your MS out loud? Yes! I do it all the time. It really helps.
Who can resist a puppy? They are cute. Yes, I know I have to read my manuscripts aloud, but it’s hard for me to do. When I do it, it always helps. Thanks for stopping by.
Puppy and kitten books are big attractors for reluctant readers. Thanks for the post.
And as a side note, we have been in this house for 14 years and Everything is breaking down, fridge before the holidays, TV, water heater and dryer is making noise…
A fridge just before the holidays? That’s not fun! It seems this year that it’s one thing after another. Ah, well. I’ll get through this as I’m sure you will. Thanks for reading and commenting.
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Early chapter books are a specific niche, for sure. Thanks for the comic and link to the WD article on hooks. Saved it!
You’re welcome. Thanks for visiting.
Hope you get everything sorted in the house soon! I agree re reading your work aloud – it’s amazing how you can pick up things you miss. I’ve heard getting a computer to read it out is even more powerful, but I haven’t tried that myself . The Love Puppies books sound so sweet, I can see them being a big success, and I love the covers! Thanks for sharing!
I will have to try having my computer read to me. I hadn’t really thought about that as an option. Thanks for the suggestion and the comment.
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