5 Things to Inspire Creativity

Galapagos Islands

There are so many things that inspire me. Some inspire me to work harder, others to play more, and some to be a better person. Inspiration comes in so many forms. Here are five things that inspire me and that can inspire you too: 1. Looking at Photographs — Whenever …

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4 Things Every Writer Needs

Message Stones

Every writer has his or her own needs. It could be a quiet place to write or music to inspire the words. It could be a pen and paper or a computer, or even a tape recorder. It could be a jar of M & M’s or a jug of …

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7 Favorite Books on Writing


Most authors have a list of  their favorite books about the writing process that they’d recommend to others.  Here’s my top seven: 1. Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook by Donald Maass — via hands-on exercises and examples from successful novels, this workbook teaches authors how to “develop and strengthen aspects …

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Why We YA and You Should Too


Guest Bloggers:  Stephanie Wardrop, Kelly Hashway & Rachel Schieffelbein          It’s summer, which means that visions of spending days basking in sunlight, reading a great book by the pool, and freedom from homework are dancing around in the heads of many. But summer also brings one more delight; Swoon Romance’s …

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On Writing YA and Adult Thrillers


Guest Blogger: James Phelan SURVIVOR is the second installment in my ALONE trilogy for Young Adults.  It follows a 16-year-old protagonist, Jesse, in a post-apocalyptic setting in NYC. The trilogy started because I’d already written 3 adults thrillers and was contracted for 3 more, and needed a different writing challenge.  …

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Seriously Funny


Guest Blogger:  Jill Wolfson The four novels that I’ve written for the middle-reader and the young adult audience all deal with heavy topics – foster care, unemployment, depression, death, medical emergencies. In COLD HANDS, WARM HEART, I actually killed character – a likeable teenage girl – in the first chapter, …

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When did you first make Miss Dickinson’s Acquaintance?


Guest Blogger: Michaela MacColl I have to admit that poetry has never been my thing. I’m a prose girl. I like plot and character development. All too often when I read poetry I feel as though the writer is scoring points off me – I’m just not as clever as …

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Point of View is Not Always a Good Compass For the Truth


Guest Blogger: Anne Greenwood Brown I love writing in the first person point of view. Somehow, telling the story how one character perceives it helps me channel that character’s emotions and capture a unique voice. I think first person works particularly well with YA fiction, where the reader wants to …

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The Haunting World of Scowler


Young Adult author Daniel Kraus was kind enough to answer a few questions about SCOWLER, his latest release. Daniel “is a Chicago-based writer, editor, and filmmaker. His debut novel, THE MONSTER VARIATIONS, (Random House, 2009), was selected to New York Public Library’s “100 Best Stuff for Teens.” Fangoria called his …

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The Secret Lives of Characters


Guest Blogger: Hilary Davidson While I while writing my first novel, I discovered that characters and their histories take up as much real estate in my brain as close family and friends. More, really, because I didn’t have to think about the long-simmering antagonism between two friends unless I’m inviting …

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