Tag Archives: kid lit

How I wrote Kyle McDuffy, Elementary School Investigator

I haven’t been giving much love to the blog as of late. I am currently focusing on getting a first draft of my next book revised. As any writer will tell you, this is the least fun of the entire process. Painstakingly going through every sentence and tweaking, removing, reworking, reimaging is, at times, a mind-numbing process. So, why not take a little break and tell you about how I got my ideas for the stories in Kyle McDuffy, Elementary School Investigator.

I started off by reading the entire original catalog of Goosebumps books. All 62 of them. I loved them as a kid and wanted to capture that same sense of excitement, horror and mystery that made those stories memorable. I also started watching reruns of the show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” Similar concept to Goosebumps with more of a paranormal bent. Originally, I had envisioned Kyle McDuffy as a paranormal investigation series. Once I started writing, I figured out it is much more interesting to read about the exaggeration of mundane things as can only be seen through the eyes of an elementary school kid.
So, inside my new book you will find several cases. Each case can be considered a chapter in a normal book. Each case deals with something extraordinary happening at the elementary school. For instance, the first case involves the principal’s toupee of terror. Is there really something living under his toupee, or is it just Kyle’s imagination? Or perhaps another case of Polly’s pigtails. How are they so perfect every day? And what’s up with Mrs. Micer’s voice? Could she really be a mouse turned into a human?

The first draft is finished and being revised. I look forward to sharing these great stories with you, and I hope you are excited to read them!
Stay tuned to this blog for official updates and a few sneak peeks as I edit the story.

Sneak peek of my newest story

Berea_Elementary_School,_Montgomery,_NY

I am currently working on two projects at the same time. It’s not something I’ve really tried in the past but, I love these stories too much to hold one of them back. Today I will be sharing a short section from Kyle McDuffy: Elementary School Paranormal Investigator. Enjoy!

Will and I sat next to the jungle gym, our eyes moving back and forth over the playground. All the other kids were laughing and playing kickball and having a great time. They didn’t know what was going on right under their noses. Where was Cindy? Recess was almost over and there was no sign of her. “Where do you think she is?” Will asked. “I wish I knew. She must still be in Principal Adams’ office,” I said. “Man, I hope she’s okay. I knew we would get in twouble,” Will said. The bell rang to end recess, and Will and I walked back to the dark halls. Cindy was usually in my third period. I was hoping she would show up, but the class came and went with no sign of her. I could barely focus on the jumble of plus signs and long division. My first investigation was on course to go horribly wrong. What would I tell Cindy’s parents if she got kidnapped by whatever was living under Principal Adams’ toupee?

 

 

Introduce your kids to Shakespeare!

shakespearesmBeing that today is Shakespeare’s birthday, why not use that as an excuse to introduce your kids to Shakespeare? Not sure where to start? You’re in luck, because I’m bout to give you a guide!

Start here: The Folger Shakespeare Library has an excellent site for teaching Shakespeare to kids. Filled with activities, facts, challenges and introductory Shakespearean word definitions, this web site will give you a lot of educational content to share with your kids.

No Sweat Shakespeare: This collection of Shakespeare stories are rewritten in simple English that kids can understand. They also pass over all the violence and lewd jokes (no fun for adults) which is perfect for younger kiddos.

Shakespeare 4 Kidz: If you are a bit more ambitious (and you should be), you can get these shortened, kid friendly Shakespeare plays to put on with your kids’ school, church group, friends, etc. Everyone learns and has a great time!

The best thing about all of these options is that they get kids interested in Shakespeare’s stories. The younger they are when they start learning the basics of Shakespeare’s work, the more interested they will be when they have to read that mandatory Shakespeare play in high school. And hopefully they will start taking an interest in not only literature, but theatre as well! Win win!