March 2022

Book Recommendation: Too Bright to See

I’ve always loved monster stories where the “monster” isn’t evil and, while creepy and maybe a bit scary, is there to do good. Most ghost stories don’t do this. In middle grade fiction in particular, ghosts are common devices of spooky evil. And so the fact that the protagonist of Kyle Lukoff’s Too Bright to… Read more »

Story Bite 27: Shifting Perspective

My writing tip for this month is shifting perspective: describing something that might inspire a strong negative reaction in people with positive words. This can be a fun linguistic game, but also a chance to think of how we view things beyond our own initial perspective. In this exercise, we’re going to: Describe something disgusting… Read more »

Spinning the Yarn of Action, Depth, and Meaning

I’ve always loved layering timely topics in the action of my fast-past novels. For the last four years or so, however, I’ve been thinking about how to do even more. Not just weave one timely topic into a story, but many; or to weave one in are a very deep core. I like the analogy… Read more »

Book Recommendation: The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy is Anne Ursu’s latest delight. I’m one of her fans—Breadcrumbs and The Real Boy were inspirations to me when I first began writing middle grade fiction—and I saved this as a special treat. Talk about special treats. This was one of the best books of the 2021 for me, and also one… Read more »