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Toby, by Hazel Mitchell

When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion,... read more

How to Write for Children

Lots of writers want to know, “How do you write a children’s book and get it published?” Do you know how to write for children? If you think it’s easy, don’t do it. Writing for Children has an obvious appeal: the stories are often short, simple, and use basic vocabulary words. “See Spot run. See Jane run after Spot. Run, Spot, run!” But writing for children... read more

Ze End

For the first time in forever, I’ve completed one of these month-long, blog-a-day challenges. If you count one guest post and a few random bonus posts, I didn’t even take Sundays off for good behavior. Finished it fair and square, unless you consider “Ze End” to be cheating a bit. But I could write about zebras or zydeco or zen meditation, and it wouldn’t give me one tiny... read more

The Twisting of Genres is the New World Order

Years ago, there were only a handful of genres. In fact, you could count them on your hands. This fact held true for literature as well as music. Both art forms have evolved over the years and those old-guard rules simply no longer apply. Readers have risen above the stodginess of tradition and expect more. But how did this happen? When did “genre” become such a pliable, ever-morphing term? I’m fairly... read more

Books: The Power of Pixels, the Virtue of Dead Trees

I will confess, here and now, that I love my nook and Kindle devices. I knew that I would not like the look or feel of a tablet, for reading – though many do –  so I bought the eInk versions and invested in nice, leather covers for both of them, so that the sensation of holding a real book would still be there. Over time, the leather has taken on the smell of the real books it’s kept... read more

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