Monday, December 30, 2013

YABookNerd: 2013 Reads in Review

YABookNerd: 2013 Reads in Review: Here's my 5th annual report on my favorite books this year. I can't of course choose just one (I did read 334 after all) Check out ...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Picture Book Girl: Happy New Year! Looking back on 2013 and looking ...

Picture Book Girl: Happy New Year! Looking back on 2013 and looking ...: 2013 turned out to be a great year for my writing career and my personal life. I spent the first few months of the new year promoting my...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Author Paula Stokes: Ten Ways to Support Your Fave Authors for Free

Author Paula Stokes: Ten Ways to Support Your Fave Authors for Free: I've had a couple people come up to me and basically apologize for getting Venom or Belladonna from the library, as if maybe they'r...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Austin Boro News: Vanishing Shadow Discussion Group Forming

Austin Boro News: Vanishing Shadow Discussion Group Forming: The Judy Bolton Fan Club is forming a Yahoo! Discussion Group for the book The Vanishing Shadow which is to begin on Thursday. The Vanis...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Do You keep a LIST?

Does anyone else keep a list of the books they read?

I keep my list in a small notebook which I keep on my computer desk. I number each book, put in the date, title, author name then give it up to 5 stars.

Some of my 5-star reads this year:
ROOFTOPPERS (midgrade)
OUT OF EASY by Ruta Sepetys Smith
THE FRIENDSHIP DOLL by Kirby Jeanette Larson
NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson
THE SILVER BOWQL by Diane Stanley
GRIMM LEGACY by Polly Shulman
FIFTY WAVE by Rick Yancy
CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst

Amazing books!! Read them and enjoy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Here's how it works.

Sit in a circle and have someone hold a wrapped present (or something that can be a reward for the winner).

For younger kids, explain carefully which hand is LEFT and RIGHT.

Someone then reads the following story, explaining that whenever you hear the word LEFT and RIGHT, the person holding the prize hands it to their left or right. The reader should read slowly and emphasize each LEFT and RIGHT. When the story ends, whoever is holding the prize gets to keep it. (Perhaps two prizes: one is good and the other funny).

The following story is one I sold to an online magazine but they folded so I got my story back and revised it to fit this game.



by Linda Joy Singleton

Allisha and Deryck left school and went looking for their friend Kelly Wright. They went right to the Wright house but Kelly wasn’t there. Kelly Wright’s little brother Zane shook his head right then left as he told them, "Kelly is gone."
"But Kelly said she’d come right to my house after she ate leftovers for dinner.”
“She left a while ago,” Zane said. “She said she was going right to your house.”
“But she left us waiting and never showed us,” Allisha said nervously twisting her black braid to the right then the left then to the right.
Deryck, Kelly Wright's latest boyfriend, raised his left eyebrow and demanded, "Zane, if you know anything, tell us right now. Where is Kelly?"
Zane knew they wouldn't believe him. Geez, it was amazing they remembered his last name even though it was Wright just like Kelly’s. Kelly and her friends treated him like something gross left on the bottom on shoes. They called him wimp, geek, or totally ignored him.
"See for yourself." Zane put his left hand in his right pocket and withdrew a small paper that read:
Going right next door to Leftmeyers' house.
Kelly Wright.
"Kelly would NEVER go there!" Allisha cried waving her right and left hands in the air. "Mr. Leftmeyer is weird and does strange experiments. Kelly's afraid of him."
"But she DID go there." Zane looked to the left where the driveway to the Leftmeyer’s house was blocked right up to the street by an iron gate. “And now she's missing."
* * *
Minutes later, Zane, Allisha, and Deryck left the Wright house to go to the Leftmeyer house right next door.
Mr. Leftmeyer lived alone in a ramshackle Victorian mansion which badly needed painting. Few people spoke to him or even knew what he looked like.
Zane boldly pounded on the door with his left fist. But no one answered.
"That's odd," Zane murmured, rubbing his chin with his right hand. His reached out for the door knob and turned it left then right and the door opened.
"We can't break into someone's house!" Allisha objected as she stomped her right foot.
"My sister could be in trouble,” Zane insisted. “I'm going right in."
"Me, too. I’m always left standing in the winner’s circle at my wrestling matches,” Deryck boasted, flexing his right and left arm muscles. “I’m not afraid of this old Leftmeyer guy."
“Maybe you should be,” Zane said ominously.
They stepped right into a dark room, lit only with antique wall lights. No sound. No life. They were left with only eerie silence.
"Kelly? Kelly Wright?" Allisha called. "Are you here?"
There was a faint distant thump in reply.
"Kelly!" Deryck yelled. "Come here right now!"
Two thumps this time and it sounded like it was coming from a spooky hallway on the left. Zane pointed his right arm to a shadowed hall. "The sounds came from the left."
Zane took a few steps to the left, but stepped right in his tracks when he heard a shriek from behind him. When he turned left, he saw Deryck was staring at a life-size statue of an elegant Victorian lady who held a bouquet of dead flowers in her right hand.
"She...She moved!” Deryck cried. “The statue is alive!"
"You're imagining things." Allisha was right-brained and very logical.
"No, NO!" Both Deryck's left and right eyes were wide and terrified. "She winked at me and then she...she-"
"What?" Zane asked.
"She kicked me right in my left knee. And it hurt!"
Allisha and Zane looked right at each other then laughed at Deryck.
"Don’t freak, out, Deryck." Allisha tugged on his left hand impatiently. "Focus on Kelly. We have to find her before Mr. Leftmeyer does something horrible to her."
"His statue already did something horrible to my left knee." Deryck rubbed his left knee. "This place is creepy. Why would Kelly come here? That doesn't make sense."
"My sister never makes sense,” Zane said with a shrug of his right and left shoulders. “But I hope she's all right."
"We have to find her," Allisha said fearfully. "Look! There's someone in that right hallway...or SOMETHING!"
"Only it doesn't have a head!" Zane cried as a glowing monstrous body glided down the right hallway like a ghost.
"He has a head!" Deryck choked. "But he's holding it in his left arm! I'm out of here!" Deryck, who bragged about being so brave at wrestling, sobbed like a big baby as he ran for the left hallway and bolted right for the front door.
But the door was locked. He pounded with his right and left fists on the wood. "Hey, let me out!”
"Don’t panic, Deryck. You’ll be all right but we can’t go until we find Kelly," Zane said, heading back to the left passage, which appeared to be the wrong way to safety but the right way to finding his sister.
The others followed right behind Zane even though he was younger and so short they could see right over his head. The door shut right behind them, leaving behind that horrible ghost wailing like a banshee as he held in his left arm.
"This must be the kitchen," Zane said.
"But there are no windows or back door," Allisha replied, biting the thumbnail on her left hand.
"We gotta get out of here and get help right away!" Deryck exclaimed.
Zane rubbed his chin with his right hand and studied the dimly lit room. "I've read about old houses like this. There might be a secret exit."
"I hope so!" Allisha said. "Oh, no! ... WHAT's THAT?"
Sparks of electricity shot from the left side of the kitchen where a toaster burst into fire. At the same time, water squirted upright from the sink faucet. And a waffle maker clapped open and shut like a spiked-jawed monster, its loose cord flapping like a snake.
When the refrigerator door opened and flung out plastic containers of leftovers like soggy missiles, Deryck threw his right and left hands in the air and screamed like a little girl. "The kitchen's alive! It’s haunted!” he squeeled.
Allisha looked scared, too. She clutched right Zane's hand. "Can you get us out of here? Kelly always jokes about you being a geeky brainiac. But you’re all right and really brave. We could really use some of your brains now."
"The leftovers are attacking me!” Deryck said, dodging to the right when spaghetti splatted toward him. Then he screamed again as the waffle maker nearly chomped down on his right hand. "Help! We gotta escape!"
"I'm thinking." Zane ran his fingers right across a wall, tapping and listening for a hollow sound. He touched an uneven part of the left side of the wall, pressed a knob right near the floor, and a secret panel opened right up.
"All right, Zane!” Allisha high-fived him with her left hand. “You did it!"
The three hurried right down the passage, Zane in front with Allisha right behind him and sissy Deryrk hurrying so he wouldn’t be left behind.
Up ahead the passage split into right and left passages, but both were blocked by a solid wall.
"There's no way out!" Tears streamed right down Deryck’s whiny face.
"There HAS to be a way," Zane insisted, feeling the wall with both his right and left palms.
When he heard Allisha scream, he looked to the right and saw the glowing headless monster appear out of nowhere. The head floated like a bloody cloud in the monster’s left arm, coming toward them, closer, and closer....
Suddenly Zane's fingers touched a button and the right passage slid open right into a side yard. They hurried through, slamming the door behind them. SAFE!
"You did it, Zane!" Allisha sobbed, hugging him.
"Yeah. You did all right," Deryck said, looking down in embarrassment at the wet spot on his pants.
On the street, a car was parking left curb. Zane's mother, Mrs. Wright, was at the wheel. The left hand passenger door open, and out stepped Kelly.
Overjoyed, the three rushed right over to Kelly. "I'm so glad you're all right!” Allisha exclaimed. “We thought you were trapped in that crazy place with the headless ghosts and fiendish kitchen!" Allisha pointed at the Leftmeyer’s house.
Kelly rubbed her chin with her right hand, looking puzzled. "Didn't you get the note I left saying I had to go to my dentist Lefty Writenheimer?"
Deryck looked puzzled. "You didn’t write a note about Mr. Writenheimer. Your note said you went to Mr. Leftmeyer’s house.”
“That’s not the right message I left for you.”
“It doesn’t matter—as long as you’re all right.” Allisha gave a shaky laugh. "This has been a real weird day. Zane's the only one who kept his cool. Hey, why don't you come with us right now to my place to watch some videos, Zane?"
"Great idea!" Deryck added, patting Zane on the shoulder. “But I can’t go right there since I have to change my pants first. Then we’ll hang out and watch videos.”
Kelly looked at them and threw up her arms in outrage. "Are you guys NUTS?" Kelly demanded with righteous indignation. "Zane is always left behind because he’s annoying. We don't want my wimpy little brother hanging around."
"Don't you call my friend a wimp," Deryck warned, narrowing his left eyebrow right at Kelly. “Zane is all right and really brave, once you get to know him.”
Zane enjoyed the surprised look on his sister's face. About time she treated him with some respect. And watching videos, instead of being left out, would be fun, too.
Later that night when Zane was alone in his room, he withdrew two papers from his right pocket. Both were signed by Kelly, but she'd only written the one in his left hand. Zane had faked the one in his right hand.
Sometimes being a "brainiac" paid off.
Grinning to himself, Zane tapped the papers and watched them flare right into magical flames. It was a simple magic trick, one of the many he'd learned from Mr. Leftmeyer. Aside from being a great friend who enjoyed playing spooky tricks, Mr. Leftmeyer was also a brilliant magician.

The Amazing Wizard of Illusion.

The End.


I giveaway a book on three holidays.

Halloween means book-giveaway.

All you have to do to enter is go to my website

And click on the ENTER CONTEST link, leaving your name.

Good luck!!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Random Acts of Writing: Hop, Skip and a Blog!

Random Acts of Writing: Hop, Skip and a Blog!: Ideas are a lot like opportunities. You never know when one is going to pop up right under your nose. So when my writing friend and awesome...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writers make the best friends!

Just want to say how grateful I am to my writing friends.

Today I went to lunch with Danna Smith (author of non-fiction pb BALLOON TREES) and afterwards I felt encouraged and ready to tackle the writing world with renewed energy. We usually meet with another writer friend, Linda Whalen, but she couldn't make it this time. When she's back in town, we'll get together again. Our trio-friendship started because I lived south of Sacramento and found out Linda and Danna (separately) had moved into the area and were SCBWI members. I contacted them and soon we were traveling to conferences together and sharing hotel rooms. Now we meet about twice a month to talk about writing and life.

I also have a critique group which meets every other week -- and while this is fun, too, we're very serious about our work and are all business. We meet in a coffee shop and start off with sharing about what's new with our work (we're all published in kidlit). Then we explain the critiques we've written down on the work passed out at the previous meeting. The critiques are wonderful even when they're brutally honest. I've grown so much, learning from these amazing writers (Patti Newman, Connie Goldsmith and Jeri Chase Ferris).

And a really close friend, Verla Kay, lives far away now but we keep in touch and visit each other. I met her at SCBWI Asilomar in the early 90's and soon we were best friends. We rooted and cheered for each other through our sales -- she published many historical picture books with Putnam while I worked on THE SEER series, DEAD GIRL series and BURIED with Llewellyn/Flux.

In fact, Verla inspired my first ever picture book, SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, coming out in March (currently up on Amazon -- preorders appreciated!). I went with her to a school talk and watched her power point presentation. When she showed a photo of herself as a little girl building a snow dog, the image stuck in my head, and the next day the words came to me - and five years later SNOW DOG, SAND DOG will be published by Albert Whitman.

Thank you to all my writer friends -- I hope you all know how much I value and appreciate you.


Sunday, September 01, 2013

Operation Awesome: September 2013 Mystery Agent Contest!

Operation Awesome: September 2013 Mystery Agent Contest!: It's PITCHING TIME! Are you ready to enter? Pitch your completed novel to our Mystery Agent. September's Mystery Agent has req...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Will you remember yourself in the future?

If you're a teen reading this, you may think you will definitely remember your pets, your phone number, your best friends, your teachers and everything about yourself in twenty, thirty...fifty years from now. And if you're lucky you will.

My memory isn't that great, and I seemed to know this when I was a teen.

Here's a journal entry I found from when I was 14:

(Writing it to myself)

Since sometime in the future you'll forget all about yourself, I'd better tell you about yourself.
* You're 14.
* Lori Leann Jones is your best friend.
* I have a small kitten named Toby. Powder Puff has adopted it. The kitten even tries to nurse on her. He's gray.
* Recently Lori and I have been making yarn dolls. My recentest is a genie. I named her Jeanie Lorraine. She's real cute. I'm making an alligator but he isn't turning out well.
* This June 24th I'll be really having fun at Lori's garden club picnic. It's going to be so fun.
* I've been waiting weeks for Margaret Sutton to write. So far she hasn't. Boo hoo! I wonder if she's getting tired of writing (to me). I sure hope not.

(I have to add this next entry)....

June 15th -- Margaret Sutton wrote!

(She was my favorite author and also gone now she'll always be my favorite). You can read more about her at

5 Questions for Blog Hop

Prepare to be SHOCKED!

Well, at least not bored as I answer five questions for a blog hop.
I promise to be brutally honest.

What are you working on right now?
After requests from THE SEER fans, I am writing a new THE SEER book.
This is not #7 in the series. It's not a prequel.
So what does that leave you might wonder -- it's a THRILLER!
A stand-alone title featuring all the favorite characters from THE SEER.
And for those fans who always ask for more of the romance with Dominic and Sabine--YES! That's going to be a huge plot. Dominic wants to take their relationship a step further--yup, you guessed it--he's planning to propose marriage. But is Sabine ready yet? Stay tuned while I write....

How does it differ from other works in its genre?
The stand-alone THE SEER is different because it's a younger YA -- the opposite of NEW ADULT genre. My target audience is readers from age 10 up...and for those adults who enjoy lighter YA books, which still deal with some serious issues, but without violence, sexual scenes or adult language. I'm not a prude or anything, in fact you'd be surprised at the wicked bad-taste teasing I'll do in private. But I have a softer, gentler view of people and believe there's good in everyone, and like to show in my writing that all souls in this world are connected and important.

Why do you write what you do?
I love to tease readers. Cliff-hangers are my specialty! I love to play with words, create worlds and embrace readers with my passion for books.

What is the hardest part about writing?
The business end. Even after over 2 decades of publishing, rejections still sting--especially when a rejection comes from someone I trusted. And I lose faith in my own least for a few days of a pity-party. Then I brush off my damaged ego and try again. I'll never give up.

What is something unique you want readers to learn about you?
Unique? I don't think I'm that different from other writers -- and we're all a little crazy. Just yesterday I met with two writer friends and we were talking about our characters like they were real people. "I'm really going to make life difficult for her," I said about my character Sabine. "She'll stress out worrying that one of her friends is going to die and not knowing who--and I'll toss in some zombies, too."

Anyone listening to us would think we were plotting wicked acts--even murder.
Definitely not the kind of onversation non-writers have -- but it's sure fun!
Most writers I know think they're a little crazy. Not in the straight-jacket way, but crazy with creativity. You have to be a little crazy to stay sane in this business.


Read more about THE SEER via links on in two FREE short stories.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I’ve been invited to join this Children’s Author Blog Hop by fellow author Kay Lalone.

She answered a set of questions at her blog, The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection. She has tagged me to participate, and in turn I’ll tag three authors who will be posting their answers at their blogs.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

GOTH GIRL #2: REAPER -- Goth Girl/THE SEER -- opening chapter (a work in progress)

Linda Joy Singleton


I lie in bed, waiting.
Since finding the cryptic note in my locker, I’ve thought of nothing else:

To defend an honor,
Come join me,
Meet at midnight

The smiley face is the mark of the Grin Reaper; a vigilante cloaked in a knit cap instead of a cape. Justice Blankenship the 3rd (Jay) puts on this phony act at school, all pompous and pretty rich boy, yet lurking deep inside him are dark layers of amazing. I’m the only one at Nevada Bluff High who knows Jay is the Grin Reaper although I don’t know much else about him. What I do know I like. And I’d like to know more.
Nine minutes till midnight.
I’m ready for Jay, draped all in black; the color of night and secrets. The glowing numbers from my alarm clock and the dying flame from sandalwood incense cast eerie shadows, shifting ordinary furniture into strange shapes.
I hear a sound on my balcony where silvery moonshine defuses the darkness. I jerk up, clutching covers to my chest, not sure what to say when Jay arrives. Can I trust him? It’s a secret we even know each other, much less like each other. My bestie Rune suspects but I made a promise to Jay, so I admit nothing.
Reaching under my pillow, I pull out the folded note I’ve read and reread so many times it’s creased into dark roads tempting me into dangerous directions. I’ve told no one; hiding my thoughts during dinner with nods and smiles for my family. Only K.C., my “like a brother” friend who lives in a room over our garage, noticed my distraction, shooting me a suspicious look when I fake-yawned and said I was going to bed early.
As if I could sleep!
My nerves are razor-sharp, my thoughts spiking back and forth. What will I say when Jay shows up? He’s assuming a lot with the note—that I’ll jump at his invitation without explanation. Sure, being with Jay is a thrill ride like nothing else, but if I give in to him tonight, where will it lead?
Three minutes to midnight.
Sitting taller in bed, brass rails hard against my back, I stare at the illuminated numbers of my clock, willing them to speed up. Straining my ears, I listen for any hint of outside noise; rustling leaves, footfalls, the rumbling of an approaching car. But nothing. I wonder if he’s changed his mind and won’t be coming after all. Am I relieved or disappointed? The smart thing to do would be to burrow under my covers and forget all about Jay. But I’m not the smart kid in the family. That would be my younger sister Amy. She’d never accept an invitation from a guy who breaks rules, laws and hearts. She’ll never know what she’s missing….
My balcony is on the third floor, facing the backyard. Impossible to climb, you’d think. Not for Jay, who blends into shadows. He won’t need a ladder; he’ll use a grappling hook and rope like he’s freaking Spiderman. He’s not my boyfriend so he can’t expect much from me yet I can guess what he wants. What will I tell him?
No would be the sensible answer. As a P.K.—preacher’s kid—I’m supposed to set a good example for Mom’s congregation; heavy expectations that I usually give a middle finger salute to. Fortunately Mom’s cool with who I am, but not so much Dad. He still frowns when I come to breakfast in black leather, chains, army boots and piercings.
Midnight. So where is Jay?
A soft sound from my balcony and like a magic trick he unfolds from shadows. Medium-tall, slim, muscular, black jeans, black jacket, and piercing black eyes.
I toss my blanket aside and cross to the glass door, sliding it open, a gust of chilled night air shivering ice sickles up my skin. I step back as he reaches for the door with a leather gloved hand. He wears no hat, although I notice a corner of black knit hanging from his jeans pocket.
“Not in my face,” I say, blinking when he shines a hand-sized flashlight on me.
“Sorry.” He lowers his arm. “You look good, Thorn.”
“Thanks.” I keep my expression calm but inside I slap the moon a hi-five.
“What about me?” he asks lightly. “Don’t you think I look good?”
“You always do,” I say, and it’s true. Oh, yeah. So black-leather delicious, he’s a walking dessert, served steaming hot. Still his ego could use some knocking down so I add, “But that’s what I expect from a preppy rich kid.”
“You think that’s who I am?” His teasing tone has a sharp edge, as if I’ve struck too close to a raw nerve.
“Not really,” I admit. “But you assumed a lot with your note.”
“It was a poetic invitation, not an order.”
“Meter was a little off but not bad. Whose honor are we defending?”
“I’ll fill you in on the way. It’s good you’re wearing warm, dark clothes.” He gestures to my black jeans and long-sleeved shirt. “I wasn’t sure you’d be ready.”
I grab the jacket I’ve left hanging on a chair, but don’t slip it on. Instead I tilt my head, regarding him with reproach. “Not going anywhere without an explanation.”
“No time. If we don’t hurry, we’ll be too late.”
“Too late? What are you planning?”
“You know what I do on nights like this.” He flashes me a smug, irresistible grin. “Ready to go?’
I cross my arms over my chest. “Why should I go with you?”
“Because you’re up for anything exciting, and you know I’ll deliver.”
“Deliver trouble,” I scoff.
“I call it justice.” His black eyes shine. “Coming with me or not?”
It’s so tempting to say “or not,” and kill his smug grin.
When I hesitate he arches his brows in challenge. “Afraid?”
“Seriously? I can’t believe you said that.” I snort. “Afraid of what?”
“Breaking laws.”
I shrug. “Depends on the laws.”
“Misdemeanors. No felonies like grand theft or murder.”
I grip the edge of the sliding glass door. Stay here, a voice hisses in my head. Close the door and send him away.
“I’ll understand if you refuse,” he adds more seriously. “If we’re caught, things could get ugly.”
“So we won’t get caught.”
“Exactly.” His face lights up with a grin. “Does this mean you’re coming with me?”
I stand there between my sandalwood scented room and the dark mysteries of the night, aware of moonlight, his nearness and the thudding of my heart.
“Let’s go,” I tell him.
Turning away from safety and home, I close the door behind me.
And blend into the night with the Grin Reaper.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Have you ever tried to remember a movie you watched as a kid?

I just solved my own mini-movie mystery that has eluded me for decades.

As a kid (and adult actually) I am crazy about everything CAT. I have cat pictures, figurines, wall hangings in my office. When I was little I would listen out of my window for sounds of lost kittens that I longed to rescue and love. There wasn't much on TV about cats, though, so when I watched this animated cat movie with a white cat in love with a country cat, I fell in love, too. But as an adult whenever I tried to remember this film, it always sounded a lot like Aristocats and I wondered if my memory was just faulty.

This morning while waking up I thought of it again and was sure it wasn't Aristocats so started doing searches online for what I could remember. I knew the cat was white and it was set in Paris and I thought the cat's name was something like Minuette -- not Duchess like Aristocats. Still my searches kept coming up with Aristocats. I thought it came out in the 80's...but I was wrong. Turns out the movie I was thinking of came out in 1962--which explains why I haven't seen it since I was a child. It felt great to finally find it thanks to Google. It has the voice of Judy Garland and is called Gay Purr-ee. I have just ordered a DVD and will share it with the little cat-lovers in my life.

Oh, and the cat's name was Mewsette.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Big Brother Insider Blog -- Big Brother 15 Spoilers: What We Know

The Big Brother Insider Blog -- Big Brother 15 Spoilers: What We Know: Julie Chen Host of BB15 Big Brother 15 is a month away! Can you believe it?! We thought it would be best to post the things we know ...

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Write Question: Children's Book Review: 'Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty D...

The Write Question: Children's Book Review: 'Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty D...: Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen illustrated by Michael Allen Austin Clarion Books , 2013 Cowpoke Clyde is ready to rel...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Janet Gurtler- YA Addict: What did Linda Joy Singleton and her Best Friend D...

Janet Gurtler- YA Addict: What did Linda Joy Singleton and her Best Friend D...: Hello, hello! And please welcome to the friendship blog,   YA Author,   Linda Singleton.   Linda Joy Singleton is the author of over 35 b...

Janet Gurtler- YA Addict: What did Linda Joy Singleton and her Best Friend D...

Janet Gurtler- YA Addict: What did Linda Joy Singleton and her Best Friend D...: Hello, hello! And please welcome to the friendship blog,   YA Author,   Linda Singleton.   Linda Joy Singleton is the author of over 35 b...


PROJECT MAYHEM: TEN THINGS A MIDDLE GRADE AUTHOR HATES TO HEAR by ...: -->      A few years ago, I was hired to speak at a writer’s conference as the token ‘juvenile novelist’.   (Yeah, I was confu...

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Things to know when starting a book:

* Introduce ONLY the most important characters--too many characters can be confusing.

* Introduce your characters in an active way -- while they are doing something even if it's just walking out of school. If they are talking, the conversation should lead into the story problem. Usually that means the heroine has something she wants and the story will show how she tries to get what she wants -- and sometimes she won't get it but will learn something about herself instead.

* Don't explain too much in the opening. Lead into the heroine's story problem. For instance if she's afraid to leave the house but her mother is kidnapped, she'll have to overcome her fears to rescue her mom. The opening wouldn't start at the kidnapping but show her arguing with her mom about never leaving the house--then right after she yells to her mother that she never wants to see her again, her mother is kidnapped--this sets up an external problem (kidnapping) and internal problem (getting along with her mother).

*Think of your story in 3 parts: beginning, middle and ending. The beginning introduces characters, sets up problems. Middle is action that rises both internally and externally. Ending is not always happy but the problem is solved; perhaps her mother is rescued but someone else is hurt along the way.

* Have fun with your story. Don't worry about making it perfect in the right draft. Rewriting is the best writing. Just write the storythen go back and improve it by rewriting and it can help to find a critique group either online or in person. Oh and go to for writing advice

Friday, March 29, 2013

Red Pen Reviews: Opening lines: location and movement

Red Pen Reviews: Opening lines: location and movement: At the suggestion of the commenters over on Captain Awkward , perhaps my favorite advice blog in existence, I'm starting a loose series ...

Friday, March 08, 2013

Making Stuff Up And Writing It Down: The Trailer-Makin' Post

Making Stuff Up And Writing It Down: The Trailer-Makin' Post: Last week the nice people at Project Mayhem posted the CHAINED trailer release, and I wanted to write a longer post today about how I made ...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

JennReneeRead: Review: Don't Die Dragonfly by Linda Joy Singleton...

JennReneeRead: Review: Don't Die Dragonfly by Linda Joy Singleton...: Title: Don't Die Dragonfly Author: Linda Joy Singleton Publisher:   Llewellyn Publications Publishing Date: September 8th 2004 Pages:...