BLOG TOUR: The Flight of Swans by Sarah McGuire

Six years of silence. Magic as dark as black swan feathers. Sacrifice, struggle, and the interweaving of worlds. Today Storythreads hosts the fourth stop on the blog tour for Sarah McGuire‘s middle grade novel The Flight of the Swans! McGuire’s retelling blends the Brothers Grimm with Welsh and Irish legend, producing a layered tale of … More BLOG TOUR: The Flight of Swans by Sarah McGuire

Adapting Books for Stage & Screen – with Caitlin Boyle

Today, I’m thrilled to present an interview with Caitlin Boyle, an expert on children’s book adaptations for stage and screen! You can read Caitlin’s reviews on her blog, Bookology, and stay tuned for her forthcoming podcast, Words In Living Color, discussing everything adaptation-related. Yours truly had the privilege of being the first interviewee and we nerded out … More Adapting Books for Stage & Screen – with Caitlin Boyle

BLOG TOUR: Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

Today, I’m finishing off the Canadian blog tour for Mary Amato‘s YA book, Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery! When Lacy wakes up dead in Westminster Cemetery, final resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, she’s confused. It’s the job of Sam, a young soldier who died in 1865, to teach her the rules of the … More BLOG TOUR: Open Mic Night at Westminster Cemetery

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older (Guest Review for The Book Wars)

The Civil War meets dinosaurs in Daniel José Older’s new Middle Grade novel, Dactyl Hill Squad. You heard that right. Civil War + Dinosaurs. It’s a guns-blazing, teeth-gnashing, madcap concept with gut-wrenching stakes for the young heroes as they take on their would-be slavers. Check out my full review on The Book Wars…

Lessons from a First Novel: Supercharging the 2nd Act

The Second Act is the middle section of a novel and usually the biggest chunk of a book. It spans from when a character is first thrust into a new situation until the immediate build toward the climax. In terms of the hero’s journey plot line discussed in previous posts, the Second Act ranges from … More Lessons from a First Novel: Supercharging the 2nd Act

REVIEW: Sword of Power by Oliver Potzsch

Today, we’re diving back in time to 17th-century Prague! We’re getting there through the historical fantasy novel Sword of Power, second book in The Black Musketeers series, by German novelist Oliver Potzsch, and translated into English by Jaime McGill. Potzsch is a popular historical fiction and fantasy writer who lives in Munich, crafting books for … More REVIEW: Sword of Power by Oliver Potzsch

Lessons from a First Novel: Worldbuilding from the Inside-Out

Perhaps nothing simultaneously excites and intimidates a fantasy author as much as worldbuilding—crafting the geography, history, cultural norms, and magical workings of an imaginary world (or imaginary elements within our own world). If you are the sort of reader who loves maps on the inside covers of books, it’s thrilling to make your own world … More Lessons from a First Novel: Worldbuilding from the Inside-Out

Lessons from a First Novel: Plotters, Pantsers, and Outlines—oh my!

Today, I continue “Lessons from a First Novel” by reflecting on the outlining process. In writer slang there are Plotters and Pantsers. Plotters carefully outline their projects in advance. They may deviate or readjust from that outline as they write, but they have a good grasp of where the story is going in advance of … More Lessons from a First Novel: Plotters, Pantsers, and Outlines—oh my!

Lessons from a First Novel: Patterns and Parameters

Last winter, I finished a polished draft of my first novel manuscript. Of course, “finished” and “polished” are words that automatically come with a caveat for writers. Novels are like those curving lines on graphs that stretch to infinity, always approaching (but never quite reaching) the x and y axis. Even defining “first” novel can … More Lessons from a First Novel: Patterns and Parameters