Anne Mazer is the author of The Salamander Room, The Sister Magic series, and the bestselling Abby Hayes series. She lives in Ithaca, New York. Ellen Potter is the author of acclaimed books for children including Slob, Pish Posh, and Olivia Kidney. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, son and a motley assortment of badly behaved animals. Matt Phelan has illustrated many books for children, including the 2007 Newbery Medal winner The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
This playful guide for aspiring writers aims to demystify the creative process as it explores first drafts and finding inspiration, the meat and potatoes of writing, and writer's block and criticism. Mazer (the Sister Magic series) and Potter (the Olivia Kidney books) challenge readers to dig deep into their characters, make a "mental compost pile" to find inspiration, and face revision head on, while modeling their own approaches. "I get ideas while waiting in lines, staring at the clouds, or lying sick in bed," says Mazer; demonstrating how to build suspense, Potter shares the true story ("with a few embellishments") of a robber hanging from her neighbor's terrace. Phelan's ink illustrations and a lighthearted humor enliven the text, and honest advice, such as "Your character's heart's desire is what propels your story forward," are cogent and invaluable. Ages 9-14. (Mar.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"Cogent and invaluable." --Publishers Weekly "The best of recent volumes on the subject." --Kirkus Reviews "Two fine writers put their heads together and come up with an equally fine guide to their craft for beginners." --Booklist "For years I have been thinking about writing a HOW TO book for kids who want to write. Now I don't have to. Anne and Ellen have crafted such a wonderful, funny, wise book about how to craft a wonderful, funny, wise book that when eager young writers send me a letter seeking my advice I can now simply say, 'Read this!' My hat is off to this dynamic duo." --Bruce Coville, author of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher "The singular, intense yet funny voice of SPILLING INK shares advice--how to convince your characters they are alive, avoid noisy dialog tags, wear sunglasses to feel like a spy--with much lively wisdom, and nary a hint of adult condescension. An outstanding book." --Nancy Springer, author of The Enola Holmes Mystery series