Books of the Month, February 2018

It's nearly National Singles Awareness Day, followed by National All Chocolate is Half Price Day! Check out these three books that read well whether you're taken or on the market. Thwonk by Joan Bauer Student photographer AJ McCreary is hopelessly in love with her handsome classmate, Peter Terris. When a real-life Cupid appears and grants her … Continue reading Books of the Month, February 2018

The Deathworkers Agency

The most annoying thing about death is all the paperwork involved. Every morning, Lyle and I make the trip to the warehouse to sift through today’s files and see whose soul we get to summon and send into the light. “Harold Lassiter, aged eighty-six,” I read from the list of names. “Heart attack. Leaves behind … Continue reading The Deathworkers Agency

The Claire Witch Project

There are many things you can easily explain to your parents. Accidentally blowing up your uncle is not one of them. “You are so busted, Claire,” said my sister Lindsay, eying the singed curtains and the freshly made crater in my bedroom floor. “Wait until Dad finds out you were practicing transmorph spells in your … Continue reading The Claire Witch Project

How to Write a Book in 3 Months

Yes, it's possible. The first draft, anyway. If National Novel Writing Month didn't work out for you or was too rushed, try an easier goal of churning out a rough draft in 3 months. The idea is the same—you try to write a certain number of words per day—but the time frame is stretched out … Continue reading How to Write a Book in 3 Months

6 Ways to Open a Novel

One of the most important sentences in every novel is the first one. It hooks the reader in and tempts them with the story to come. There are multiple ways to open your novel, but here are the six most common and where they're most effective: 1. Give a general statement Seventy percent of the … Continue reading 6 Ways to Open a Novel

How to Make Your Readers Care

Conflict. Or, more importantly, conflict that matters.  One of the most common critiques you hear about a work of literature is a variation of, "I liked parts, but the story didn't grab me." You might at first puzzle over what that could mean—were the characters not compelling enough? Was the setting drab? Was it too thematic … Continue reading How to Make Your Readers Care

Books of the Month, November 2017

With the temperature dropping like a stone, here are a few book recommendations that go well with a cup of cocoa and an afternoon indoors, out of the cold. The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer Confession: I avoid starting book and TV series (serieses?) until they're either finished or about to finish. I can't sit months … Continue reading Books of the Month, November 2017

5 Books I’ve Reread the Most

1. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones I was a huge fan of the Hiyao Miyazaki movie in middle/high school and thought I'd check out the book it was (somewhat loosely) based on, and it's influenced my writing ever since. The reimagined fairytale tropes, the odd bursts of magic, the goofy but headstrong characters, the … Continue reading 5 Books I’ve Reread the Most

Books You Should Read: Legend by Marie Lu

Throwback to the early 2010s dystopian craze! Legend sees a wanted criminal facing off against a talented detective in a grungy, futuristic Los Angeles. I've had this book on my Gotta Read Someday list since 2012, and can finally check it off. The Basics: Daniel "Day" Wing is a notorious criminal haunting the streets of dystopian, future Los … Continue reading Books You Should Read: Legend by Marie Lu