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Old 06-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #2376
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Congrats on the books! Will have to check them out.

Hope you have lots of success!
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:24 AM   #2377
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I seem to get the most enjoyment from writing middle grade. I tried getting myself to do New Adult, but my characters always seem to default to MG these days.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:05 AM   #2378
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MG has all the fun, in my opinion. I like the sense of wonder that goes with writing MG.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:15 PM   #2379
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I agree with you, Meltong, it's the wonder factor. Whenever I think about the kind of book I want to write, I remember the themes that really grabbed me when I was 10-13. For me maybe it's just the nostalgia that kicks in later in life!

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Old 06-25-2014, 05:15 AM   #2380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlwashburn View Post
I agree with you, Meltong, it's the wonder factor. Whenever I think about the kind of book I want to write, I remember the themes that really grabbed me when I was 10-13. For me maybe it's just the nostalgia that kicks in later in life!

(I'm new here. )

Nice to meet you wlwashburn! When I finally sat down and thought about when I enjoyed reading the most, it was during those years. And their so many good books to read, and they cover so many different genres!
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:50 AM   #2381
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Originally Posted by wlwashburn View Post
I agree with you, Meltong, it's the wonder factor. Whenever I think about the kind of book I want to write, I remember the themes that really grabbed me when I was 10-13. For me maybe it's just the nostalgia that kicks in later in life!

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Yes! Totally the nostalgia factor...that's what makes it so much fun! It's the thin line between childish innocence and teenage identity issues.
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:50 AM   #2382
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I've always loved books like the Ramona series because of their timeless appeal. I think the best of MG stories all share this ability to feel like they could be talking about the reader themselves or someone they know.
Of course, that could just be the nostalgia talking for me to (I just joined, hello )
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:02 AM   #2383
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I've always loved books like the Ramona series because of their timeless appeal. I think the best of MG stories all share this ability to feel like they could be talking about the reader themselves or someone they know.
Of course, that could just be the nostalgia talking for me to (I just joined, hello )
Hi BookmarkUnicorn. It's nice to meet you! As an aside, when I was younger, I used to collect unicorn bookmarks. I bought one each time I bought a book (:
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:43 AM   #2384
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I loved unicorn bookmarks. All and all I'm still a big unicorn fan, call it a habit I guess . I'm not sure if the theme is as popular in children's books now? Hm.
I still collect bookmarks when I can even though I have a kindle to. They're almost an art form in their own way, I think.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:16 PM   #2385
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Originally Posted by BookmarkUnicorn View Post
I loved unicorn bookmarks. All and all I'm still a big unicorn fan, call it a habit I guess . I'm not sure if the theme is as popular in children's books now? Hm.
I still collect bookmarks when I can even though I have a kindle to. They're almost an art form in their own way, I think.
Used to be, all a book needed to hook me was a unicorn or a cat If I couldn't find those, a dog or a horse would do in a pinch. I don't think unicorns are ever really out of style. It's not always obvious what to do with them, though. Their mythology don't let them slot as neatly into the enemy or ally role as some creatures (dragons, for example).
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:39 PM   #2386
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True, but myth gave them kind of a bad hand I figure, they were tied up and done away with for their horn half of the time. I'm sure a dragon's fire keeps their teeth and scales from being collectables.
I guess with creatures in fantasy, most of all MG, it's not so much what they are as what their character is that matters. I would say girls liking anything horse like was just a stereotype if I could, but I'm a grown up example of that and know some in the next gen are very much the same .
Cats are so common place but mysterious in their way, it's no wonder they feature so much in books to...
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:59 PM   #2387
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True, but myth gave them kind of a bad hand I figure, they were tied up and done away with for their horn half of the time. I'm sure a dragon's fire keeps their teeth and scales from being collectables.
True, but OTOH dragons get it from both sides! Unicorns only get harassed by the bad guys. Dragons get killed by the good guys (if they're evil), or made to serve the bad guys (if they're neutral), or get tamed and made to carry around the hero (if they're good, with bonus points if they're telepathic).

Quote:
I guess with creatures in fantasy, most of all MG, it's not so much what they are as what their character is that matters. I would say girls liking anything horse like was just a stereotype if I could, but I'm a grown up example of that and know some in the next gen are very much the same .
Cats are so common place but mysterious in their way, it's no wonder they feature so much in books to...
Unicorns seem to have some of that same mystery. You're as likely to catch a glimpse of one, or have a single pivotal encounter with one, as you are to have a unicorn buddy to pal around with. Horses... horses are a fantasy of freedom and power and unconditional love all in one big bundle...no wonder that speaks to girls.

I strolled through a kids' art show recently. To the extent that it's possible to tell, every horse was drawn by a girl, and every car was drawn by a boy. I think cars are the socially acceptable boy's version of a horse fantasy.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:33 AM   #2388
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Dragons are fun, but I love when they are the more chatty types like in the Dealing With Dragons series, more than say, the aloft D&D dragon types.

I don't want to say that it's just a girl thing, as boys love horses to, but I think on some level the horse love is about a memory in our collected history as humans where horses were basically our cars and our pets rolled into one . As horse books go I was always more of a Black Beauty fan than a Black Stallion series fan. Something about the subject matter of horse racing seemed more like a boy theme, even though I didn't care about the MC being a boy or a girl.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:45 PM   #2389
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Quote:
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Dragons are fun, but I love when they are the more chatty types like in the Dealing With Dragons series, more than say, the aloft D&D dragon types.

I don't want to say that it's just a girl thing, as boys love horses to, but I think on some level the horse love is about a memory in our collected history as humans where horses were basically our cars and our pets rolled into one . As horse books go I was always more of a Black Beauty fan than a Black Stallion series fan. Something about the subject matter of horse racing seemed more like a boy theme, even though I didn't care about the MC being a boy or a girl.
I wish I still had my bookmark collection. I kept it for so long, but after many moves, I think it finally got donated! Hopefully, it made its way to some young bookmark collector. I still love bookmarks though. And I guess we have similar tastes because I wrote a horse and a dragon into my book (:
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:07 AM   #2390
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I wish I still had my bookmark collection. I kept it for so long, but after many moves, I think it finally got donated! Hopefully, it made its way to some young bookmark collector. I still love bookmarks though. And I guess we have similar tastes because I wrote a horse and a dragon into my book (:
It's hard to beat the classic animal characters . I'm mainly getting my feet wet with middle grade reading again to better understand writing it. I skipped many years.
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Old 07-26-2014, 01:56 AM   #2391
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Can someone clarify something basic for me: middle-grade is 8-12, am I correct? And while pitching to an children's agent, would specifically mentioning '8-12' be a good pitch? Or would something like '8-10' or maybe '10-12' work better? Or does it ultimately not matter?

Another question: 'Middle-grade' is essentially an American term, correct? Can I use this term with UK agents? Or do they just prefer the ages?

Sorry if it seems like I'm nitpicking - just trying to perfect this covering letter!
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Old 07-27-2014, 07:07 AM   #2392
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Another question: 'Middle-grade' is essentially an American term, correct? Can I use this term with UK agents? Or do they just prefer the ages?

Sorry if it seems like I'm nitpicking - just trying to perfect this covering letter!
OMG! That's a good question! There is a British agent I'm dying to query who reps one of my favorite British children's authors.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:13 PM   #2393
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Hi, I'm a Brit and queried in the US and UK/Europe with a middle grade book. I referred to it as middle grade throughout and would say that this is a universally recognised term. In the end I landed an American agent who lives in France -- the world is truly becoming a global village!
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:33 PM   #2394
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Stylo, that's good to know.

Supermarine Spitfire, I will weigh in on one part of your question:
If your target age range falls somewhere between 8 and 12, I'd just say MG. Don't limit yourself unnecessarily when making an initial contact. You want to appeal to as broad an age range as possible; the agent or editor will draw their own conclusions concerning the best way to position your books.
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Old 10-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #2395
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I think middle grade is pretty universal in publishing. However, I realized recently that when I say "I write middle grade," to other humans, they think I mean something very different. As in, not "high" or "low" grade, but middle...Ie: not that great. LOL! So, now I tell people that I write "for readers 8-12, in middle school grades," and that seems to get the point across pretty well. Then they also perk up if they have kids that age.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #2396
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Hi folks. Here's a bit of an odd request. I have a librarian/teacher looking for this:

Quote:
A middle school student is interested in an alternate history-science fiction novel, set during the Cold War, focusing primarily around what would have happened if the Cuban Missile Crisis had not been averted.
That Cuban Missile Crisis thing is pretty specific. Anybody have any thoughts/suggestions? Please and thank you!
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:53 PM   #2397
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Honestly, it sounds really familiar to me. It's possible I read about a book like that when looking into alternate history kid's books, but I can't place a title. It makes me think such a book does exist, though! Sorry, I can't be more help.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:43 AM   #2398
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This was the only one I could find. I'm not sure it fits:

http://www.amazon.com/Fallout-Todd-Strasser/dp/0763655341/ref=asap_B000AQ51AI_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=141347 8564&sr=1-2
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