Writers of Children’s/Middle-Grade Books

Middle-School Fiction: A Void left by Andrew Clements Waiting to be Filled

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  • #117927
    Hobbitchild
    @hobbitchild

      I’ve been writing my book for about two years. One day, I sent a draft of the first chapter to a famous author, one who had inspired my own “writer’s voice” through his books. I actually received a reply. Andrew Clements, author of bestselling book Frindle, told me that what I had written made him want to read more.

      I found out recently that Andrew Clements passed away shortly after this correspondence. He wrote many books for young audiences, and without those new stories, the world of middle-school fiction will never be the same.

      I am attempting to put my foot in the door of that genre and see what happens. Nothing may come of it. That is up to my readers.

      My book will be released on August 15th, this week actually, and it will be FREE for the first five days. I will post the link to it below. If anyone would get a copy when it is released, it would be very encouraging.

      Thank you so much for your time.

      #119745
      imwritehere1920
      @imwritehere1920

        @hobbitchild

        Hi, I’m Lily and I love writing MG too!  That is so wonderful that your favorite author got to read a part of your work.  I’m so sorry he passed away.

        I know this reply came a bit late, but I’m definitely curious about your book (and checking it out right after this; thanks for the link).  I wish you all the best as you write for children.

        Just out of curiosity, why do you love writing MG?

        We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

        #119749
        Hobbitchild
        @hobbitchild

          @imwritehere1920

          Hi!

          Thank you for taking a look at my book! I’m currently in the process of making it a paperback (by the way, it’s soo frustrating! I just spend 28 minutes talking to Kindle Direct Publishing trying to troubleshoot a problem).

          Have you published a book?

          I like to write middle grade fiction because I read it a lot! I also like classics (I’m currently going through Little Women, and I love it!). A really good middle grade is The First Last Day…it’s riveting! 🙂

          #119750
          imwritehere1920
          @imwritehere1920

            @hobbitchild

            Hey nice to meet you!  No, I haven’t published a book yet.  Though I am very interested in self-publishing.

            Yikes, I hope the problem will work itself out.  I’m in the middle of taking a look at your first chapter, and I love the hook.  It’s strong and compelling.

            I love reading MG too!  I grew up with a lot of MG/Children’s books.  Little Women is a good one.  Do you have a favorite book?

            We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

            #119754
            Hobbitchild
            @hobbitchild

              @imwriterhere1920

              I have a lot of favorite books! To name a few, I like The Lord of the Rings, The Losers Club (written by Andrew Clements), and the Mysterious Benedict Society series. What about you?

              #123566
              imwritehere1920
              @imwritehere1920

                @hobbitchild

                Hey there!  I’m sooo sorry I missed your question!  Normally, I get an update from my email when someone replies; so either I forgot to turn on that feature, or the reply became lost somewhere where I can’t find it.  Either way, I haven’t visited S.E until more recently.  And in my S.E updates, it mentioned your reply *slams palm onto forehead*.  Again, so sorry for missing your question.

                First off, Happy New Year! How were your holidays?

                Second, I’d have to say, When You Reach Me, The False Prince, and Walk Two Moons are some of my favorite books(to name a few.  I have so many!)

                How has it been going with your book?

                We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

                #123569
                Hobbitchild
                @hobbitchild

                  @imwritehere1920

                  Hi!

                  I haven’t really been selling too many copies, but I think it’s going pretty well. My library ordered six copies so that’s exciting! I started the sequel, and (one death later) I didn’t know exactly where I was heading with it and got side-tracked with other projects. I’m in the middle of waiting to hear back from queries with literary agents for another manuscript. It’s really hard to find good agents, and it looks like it’s pretty hard to get one, but I’m trying! The manuscript is called Charging For Friendship, and it’s about a popular middle-schooler who tries to make money off of being friends with people (hence the title).

                  I also am starting another series, this one geared toward older audiences (I’m thinking YA or teen, which is basically the same thing). It’s about…well, it’s kind of complicated LOL. Boarding school, man with one leg, lots of characters with mysterious backgrounds…actually several of the characters are connected to one mystery that some of them don’t know about, and certainly most don’t understand it completely! Like I said, it’s complicated.

                  The False Prince! Just finished reading that recently, and I am waiting for the next one from the library. I thought the writing was superb, and it really kept me riveted, at the edge of my seat with the story. And believe me, that DOES NOT happen often with books I read for fun. I can only remember two other times with two other books: The Orphan Train: A Family Apart and The First Last Day. The First Last Day is also a great book, but I used to like the orphan train series a long time ago, and it’s full of cliches and cringe-y writing. It’s certainly not all like that, and I would actually recommend kids to read it, but if you’re a little older, then there are better books.

                  I was actually disappointed with The False Prince’s ending. *SPOILER ALERT* I’m about to discuss the ending. So, the problem was I had read the Sage was actually the prince BEFORE I got to that part in the book, and I thought that perhaps he had suffered memory loss and didn’t remember. So, when I found out his entire character had a huge, dramatic secret he was hiding from us, the readers, and that his personality wasn’t the same as it had been portrayed to be, I felt let down. I was expecting something else. But still, the writing is amazing!

                  • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Hobbitchild.
                  #123581
                  imwritehere1920
                  @imwritehere1920

                    That’s exciting your library is ordering your book!  Your other story ideas sound really cool too.  I love a good mystery.  And I like the title, ‘Charging For Friendship’.

                    I heard getting an agent is hard; did you have to do a lot of research beforehand to find the reputable companies?  Or did you start with a type of book market guide?

                    I think I’ve heard of the Orphan Train (actually, I might have read them a long time ago…?  Either way, it’s most likely going into a ‘read again’ pile).

                    Yes, I love  Nielsen’s writing.  (I’ve recently finished her fourth book in the False Prince series.)  I had no idea, in the False Prince, that Sage was really *SPOILER!* the lost prince.  Usually, I like figuring things out before reaching the end, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to me who Sage really was.  I think it’s amazing when an author plays on the reader’s assumption.*END Of SPOILER!*

                    Hey, I was ‘snooping’ around the group discussion on marketing/publishing (I might, Lord Willing, be looking into self-publishing… who knows; it’s all up in the air right now.)  I noticed in one thread that someone suggested reaching out to other middle grade book bloggers/sites to market to your audience.  I don’t know if it will help, but I know of a site that does author interviews for MG/YA Christian writers; the only thing is, is that they feature only homeschooled/ homeschooled graduate authors.  If you’re interested, I can give you the link.

                    I wish you the best with your writing.  And I hope you find a great agent!  🙂

                    We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

                    #123585
                    Hobbitchild
                    @hobbitchild

                      @imwritehere1920

                      Thanks for the tip! I probably won’t contact them, but thanks for letting me know!
                      Nelson is really good at writing. However, I don’t like all of her books, and I don’t think any of them gripped me like The False Prince did. A Night Divided was pretty good though. I was reading another about a girl who was smuggling books, or she was starting to anyway, but I got bored and quit it. The story didn’t really hold me.

                      The way I found agents to query was through A LOT of research. It’s really hard to find an agent you want to reach out to. So, I would recommend to an aspiring authors to look up “Christian literary agents” or something along that line. I’ve unfortunately gotten only one response (a reject, but a very kind one). Another hasn’t replied, and I read that if the literary agency she is a part of didn’t reply within a month that means that they are not interested in representing my book. So, two rejects, unless there’s another development.

                      I hope to hear back soon from the other agents, but it’s hard to know if they will even reply. It seems like a lot of them are swamped.

                       

                      #123587
                      imwritehere1920
                      @imwritehere1920

                        @hobbitchild

                        No problem.  And good luck!  🙂

                        We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. — Ernest Hemingway

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