Monday, May 19, 2014

Utah Children's Writers - The Stories for Children Show

The Stories for Children show is on Mondays and is hosted by Mom's Choice and Award-winning Author Virginia S Grenier, who is joined weekly by guest authors to talk about writing for children and/or their favorite childrens/YA books. Grenier, with her guests, hope to not only share their love of the written word, but also what makes a good book for young readers and much more.

Our guests are:
Scott Rhoades has enjoyed writing since he was about five years old, when he used to make his own books by tracing pictures and making up stories to go with them. He especially enjoys writing stories set in the Middle Ages. He was a technical writer for Novell, Inc. from 1992 to 2007, after starting his career at Atari in 1988. He currently runs his own company, Write Field Documentation Services, LLC. He is also on the Board of Directors of The Tiferet Center, a center for Jewish education, ritual, and community service based in Vermont. Learn more at

Julie Daines spent eighteen months in London where she studied and fell in love with English Literature, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the fellow who ran the kebab store around the corner. After editing for other authors, she decided to take up writing again--this time in the young adult genre. Learn more at

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Friday, May 16, 2014

SugarPaw is back for another adventure and a bit more mischief - Pledge your suppot Today!
Whistle Beans is the second book in the SugarPaw Adventure series. The first book, Babysitting SugarPaw is a Silver Mom's Choice and 2011 Silver Quill Award-winner.

The artwork found inside the series is done by Illustrator and Animator Kevin Scott Collier.

The concepts for the books in the SugarPaw Adventure series are from my personal life.
When I was little, I couldn't whistle. A family friend, Charlie Baker, was one of the best whistlers and I wanted to have a strong whistle like his. I practiced everyday...but never got much out beyond the WHOOSHING sound of air passing my lips.

It was the holidays when Charlie shared his secret to a strong whistle with me over a big Christmas Dinner at my family's house. A memory I cherishes to this day!

SugarPaw will share this secret with young readers all over the world in his second children's book adventure, which is also dedicated to the loving memory of Charlie Baker!

 The KickStart Campaign

The KickStarter campaign is to raise the funds to get the book printed. It ends in 30 days! If we fall short of our goal, we don't get any of the funding & have to start over.

We wanted to make this affordable for all budges so we have a Shout-out Pledge (which posts on, SugarPaw's Fan page and more) - these will be for any one who pledges $5 or more to the campaign! It will be updated as we go along.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out our KickStarter page, please do! Besides offering the books, we also have some fun stuff starting with $10 pledges!

Poster - 11x17 glossy poster of SugarPaw and Bonnie Whisker. This is artwork from the original Mom's Choice Award-winning book, Babysitting SugarPaw with the SugarPaw logo, "Magic Comes From Believing in Yourself!"

Book Mark - I'll add them to any reward that has a book involved.

Plush 8" Sugarpaw Teddy Bear - I LOVE these!

T-shirts - These will be available in both Adult and Kid sizes. You can let me know the size you want at the end of the campaign.

Paperback signed copies of the book - Signed and personalized if you would like. You can let me know the details at the end of the campaign.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Writing for Children - Celebrating Children/YA Authors

Have some fun Wednesday MAY 14 at 11 AM PST  NOON MT  1PM CST  2 PM EST when Marsha and Virginia talk with children's authors as they all celebrate writing for children.  

Listen to the show at

It's CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK and the World of Ink Network wants to do its part by letting authors come on the show to share not only who they are, but where you can find their books. We have picture book authors to YA authors. All the books and their authors have been guest on past shows and the hosts (Virginia S Grenier and Marsha Casper Cook) wanted to share these wonders books with as we get ready for Summer Reading Fun.

Each author will have a few minutes to share about their book and where you can find it.

Guest Authors and Their Books:

Dominick Domingo
The Nameless Prince (a Young Adult Fantasy Novel)
The Nameless Prince Comic Volume 1 (Episodes 1-4)

Main website ( with more info. AND order links: )
To order the YA novel through the publisher ( Twilight Times Books ):

To order the Nameless Prince Comic Volume 1:

Margot Finke

Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques

Fun Aussie Cook Book with every autographed Young Teen book <> DIRECT from ME


Mikey Brooks
Author of the middle-grade fantasy adventures: The Stone of Valhalla, The Dream Keeper, and The Dreamstone. 
My picture books include: ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, Bean's Dragon, and Trouble with Bernie. The 

New series:
Gates of Atlantis: Gaurdians of the Gates, by Laura D. Bastian
The Gates of Atlantis: Magicians of the Deep, by Jaclyn Weist
The Gates of Atlantis: Banshee at the Gate, by Wendy Knight
The Gates of Atlantis: Secrets of the Mine, by Juli Caldwell
The Gates of Atlantis: Madness Behind the Throne, by JR Simmons
The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis, by Mikey Brooks 

"Long ago, when Atlantis began, creatures of the world united to create a place everyone with magical blood could call home. Now the magic is under attack. One madman who thinks only his kind should be allowed is determined to shut down all the gates leading to Atlantis, to keep out the impure and unworthy before anyone figures it out and stops him.

Mermaids fall ill, and the source of light and power over Atlantis begins to fade. By mistake, two mermaids discover the broken gates and issue a call to all magical creatures: unite and fight. They team up with a group of unlikely heroes and together stand against what will not only be the downfall of Atlantis, but the world."

Release date: July 2014 (all the books)
Bobbie Shafer
First novel: Secrets of Eagle Creek series, The Legacy of Eagle Creek - published by Dancing With Bear Publishing.

Latest Releases:


Linda Joy Singleton

Jan Britland

Joe Linsdell

VS Grenier

A good book opens an exciting world for our children. 
VS Grenier takes children of all ages on intriguing adventures in the World of Ink. 

Available on Amazon, Kindle, B&N and any other major bookstore. Learn more at

For more info

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Taking Control of Your Story

Planning and organizing a whole story in your head or on paper may seem like an unnecessary bother. Many new writers feel it is easier just to sit down and start writing with a few characters in mind, then let these paper people take the story where they will. Isn’t that a far more creative way of storytelling? No!

Without some forethought on the part of the author, plots tend to play naughty tricks. They can wander, wind up at dead ends and become vague and/or confusing. They can even fail in resolving the problems and conflicts they set.

There are many different types of story form and styles—but each may be described as consisting of the unified sequence of events having a beginning, middle and an ending. By creating a road map by outlining your plots, you maintain control over what happens in your story. You can use a lose outline or a very detailed outline. The main thing is to have a very good sense how the story should play out. For example, a typical magazine length for a middle-grade story is 1,200 words. Since we know an average typed page is 250 words per page, using double spacing, that means a manuscript can be no more than five pages long.
By visualizing that limited space, you will see the affect it has on your plot. You will see right away how the story needs to jump right into the action and quickly as possible identify the conflict/problem of your main character, etc.

Let’s briefly consider three elements common to storytelling.

Characters—It’s important to make your characters life-like. Whether they are human, animal or completely imagined, they are the lifeblood of your story. Main characters need to have more detail and a background/history. Note: When you create character for your own stories, remember that what a character thinks, feels, says and does is often more important than what they look like.

Setting—Denotes a story’s timeline and place. A setting may be merely a backdrop, such as a home, school, park, office building, spaceship, courtroom, etc. Another kind of setting is the action setting that either creates or is directly related to the story’s conflict, like the storm in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Theme—This is the point of the story. It’s important not to have your story be devoid of ethical or moral content (even in adult lit). By adding this element, you will have a more satisfying story and some degree of healthy growth or change in the main character(s)—about themselves, others, their world, and perhaps about the larger world beyond.

Children’s Authors: Young readers do not want to feel a moral is being taught while reading. The primary purpose of a story is to entertain…not point to an explicit moral. Let me say this again another way…stories entertain while hiding the moral being taught to the young readers.

It’s important to note a good story’s form will seem natural and organic to the reader. The opening paragraph leads logically into the second and then third; the middle, climax and resolution all seem part of the natural flow. Nothing feels added in as an afterthought or just there for the mere purpose of detail.

It’s also important to remember the main character(s) resolve the problem and must go through some type of effort—a crucial action or decision that constitutes the story’s climax before the problem is resolved. A common term you’ll hear is the “Rule of 3”. This means your main character must go through at least three challenges (each one bigger than the first) before resolving the problem/conflict. This helps build climax and keeps the pacing of the story engaging for readers.

Many factors may determine the climax and resolution of your story from a lucky chance to a surprising turn of events. No matter the problem (which can take form as an urgent conflict, puzzle, question or challenge) the plot structure is the strongest and most compelling when it generates suspense for the reader. Master this classical story style first and then you can apply its lesson to other kinds of stories.