Welcome to our channel surf, where we highlight our favorite writing, publishing, and/or book-related posts of the week by middle grade authors! Hit the pause button for a sec and check this out…

Channel surfing

What to Stress About Before a Book Release

by Anna Staniszewski, author of the My Very UnFairy Tale Life series

“It’s scientifically proven that stressing about things you can’t control makes good things happen.” I fully agree, Anna. (And in case you missed it – we interviewed Anna earlier this week, and created a few book club packets for her awesome series!)

How I Plan a Story

by Caroline Carlson, author of Magic Marks the Spot

I’ve never been able to explain, even to myself, precisely what my story planning process is. Caroline’s post nails it. It’s the “flavor” she mentions – that sort of undefinable character or taste of a story that needs time to ripen – that really made me nod emphatically in agreement. I’ve never been hit with The Great Idea and immediately pounded out a first draft. Instead, ideas roll around in my head for months, or even years. Caroline articulated this far better than I could…just go read it!

Being Patient With Yourself, and Finding the Book Inside You

by Claire LeGrand, author of The Year of Shadows

Last weekend Claire met her writing guardian angel. His name was Clarence (says she). But seriously – I love stories like this. Sometimes, when we’re most in doubt, the universe brings us an answer. Or maybe the answer has always been there, and we’re just now ready to see it. Either way, I love this post.

The Importance of Multicultural and Diversive Children’s Non-Fiction

by Yvonne Wakim Dennis and Maha Addasi, co-authors of A Kid’s Guide to Arab American History

The title says it all. Yvonne and Maha discuss their collaborative effort to disprove the many myths and misunderstandings not only about Arabs, but of Americans’ false perceptions of many cultures and the history of the world in general.

The Lost Kingdom Cover Reveal

by Matthew Kirby, author of Icefall

I heart cover reveals ever so much. Matthew revealed the cover for his “Jules Verne-esque Colonial American fantasy” earlier this week, and boy, is that ever an accurate description! Check out the blurb, too – sounds like an awesome story.

The Art of Inconsistency

by Dawn Lairamore, author of Ivy and the Meanstalk

Fascinating post, because I’ve never consciously thought of this before – sometimes we, as writers, are so focused on making sure our characters act in character, we forget that it’s totally human and realistic for them to occasionally act out of character, too. But how do you choose those moments? Dawn has some great musings over on Project Mayhem.

Five Edits to Strengthen Your Writing, Right Now

by Janice Hardy, author of The Healing Wars Trilogy

As, knew, because, started – what’s wrong with these words? They can slip into your writing, but carry a lot of clunky weight. Janice offers some great tips (as always) on hunting down and nixing these little monsters and tightening up your prose.

What’d I miss? Let me know if you caught any great middle grade posts this week!

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