Monday, December 7, 2015

A Word About Writing Seasonal Picture Books

Keep your eyes on Eastern Penn Point blog for a word about writing seasonal picture books. 

A word from ROCK STAR SANTA.


Monday, November 30, 2015




A few weeks ago I reviewed Samantha's novel, Super Freak. Middle grade readers, and even some adults will enjoy the fast-paced story of a one-of-a kind human girl, who lives in a totally supernatural town. She's the only one who has no special magic…at least, she thinks she is. I highly recommend Super Freak.

Here is the link from that review.;postID=829468544446157665;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=1;src=postname



Saturday, November 7, 2015

Book Review of One of the Best Rhyming Picture Book of 2015 Nominees - There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Kinight!

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight
Author: Penny Parker Klostermann
Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date : 2015
ISBN: 978-0-385-30-80-4
There was an old dragon who needed a lesson in table manners!

I mean really, he swallowed everything in sight, and much to the delight of young readers, burped them all up again.

This rollicking retelling of a well-known children’s song has perfect meter, action verbs, and a rhyme scheme that makes the story roll off the tongue. Children especially LOVE the refrain.

As an adult, I’ve used this book as an introduction to cumulative tales in my 3rd grade writing class for Young Author’s Day at a local college and the children loved the lyrical language and easily understood the concept.

Nominated as one of the ten best rhyming picture books of 2015, There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight may lumber away having eaten yet another item, the inaugural Best Rhyming Picture Book Award.

Author Penny Parker Klostermann is a teacher, author and lover of picture books, especially rhyming ones. She’s a member of The Poets’ Garage, where she hones her rhyming skills.

Good luck, Penny and Dragon! For more information on Penny scroll down to my interview with her in September.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Young Author's Day at Keystone College

The crisp leaves cinched beneath my feet and the sun shined through the trees on campus. It was a day that inspired writing and over 250 children from northeast Pennsylvania schools did just that. They attended Young Author's Day ay Keystone College, in La Plume, PA.

I taught 120 third graders a fun writing activity. It was a bit hectic with that many children in one room, but with the help of Brooke and Kat, and a few elementary teachers, we got the job done. One child even shared his work with the group. The keynote speakers and the activities inspired these children to to write.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Interview with NA author Kim Briggs

1.     When and where do you write?

Thats the trick of it, isnt it? I steal time throughout the dayfirst thing in the morning, a few hours midmorning to early afternoon on days I dont work, late at night after the kids are in bed, really anytime I can squeeze writing in. I protect my writing time like a ninja warrior wielding words instead of swords.

I prefer to write at home at my beautiful maple desk surrounded by books and free from distractions. My real life obligations lead me to write during planning periods, in the car, on metal bleachers, or wherever inspiration strikes me.

2. How did you find the inspiration for AND THEN HE?
Inspiration for my books hits me suddenly and violently and usually when Im sleeping. I write down every thought, every image, and every conversation as soon as possible even if its in the middle of the night. These rough notes become the basis for my stories.

A few years ago, I dreamt about attending a high school reunion. I became the main character, Tiffani Watson, but Tiffani wasnt the real meI realize that thought process  might not make sense because Im the who had the dream, but its no different from any first person point of view story. Im not Katniss Everdeen but I become her during Hunger Games.

After I woke up, I wrote down the loose premise for AND THEN HE and went back to my Young Adult project I was working on. But Tiffani wouldnt quiet down. She wanted a voice and her own story, but a reunion just didnt fit into the proper Young Adult age range, 14-18. I toyed with the idea of a homecoming weekend at a private school, but it didnt feel right. I thought about a few other scenarios, but it still didnt feel right and at that time, I had no interest in writing an adult book.

Fast forward a year or two, and Im surfing Twitter, and I discover a new genre called New Adult. The age range of 18-24 fit perfectly into the parameters I had in mind for AND THEN HE, and so AND THEN HE took flight.

3. How long did it take you to write AND THEN HE?

I started AND THEN HE in the spring of 2013, then I rewrote my Young Adult book in the fall of that year before diving back into AND THEN HE for the remainder of 2014. I rewrote and edited AND THEN HE in the spring of 2015. Id say all in all about two years.

I dont write much in the summerI travel with my family, so I spend most of my free-time reading, which is essential to strong writing anyway, so win-win.

4. Tell us a bit about your revision process for AND THEN HE.

After I wrote the first draft of AND THEN HE, I put it in the drawer for two months and worked on something else. When I came back to it, I was fresh and ready to work. I printed out AND THEN HE in a different font with wide margins and read through it. I made notes, examined Big Picture stuff like plot, theme and character arc, then I got to work rewriting the entire document. This revision step takes a lot of time, but it allows me to catch awkward phrasing and other holes I might miss otherwise.

Once I rewrote the draft, I downloaded it on my Kindle and read it again. I also listened to it on a reading app.

Throughout the entire process, my critique group, the Ink Sisters, identified weaknesses in character development, dialogue, scene creation, and grammar mistakes. Theyre invaluable to my writing process.

5. How many revisions?

Thats a tough question. The beginning I rewrote many times. I cut, I added, I cut again until I created an opening that pulled the reader into the story. Other sections came naturally and I worked on them very little.

Im a planner, so much of the character arcs and plots dont change. I know exactly what I want to happen and when; its just a matter of putting it into action.

The short answer: One complete rewrite of entire document, and several shorter rewrites of different scenes.

6. Do you have an agent?

I do not. My Young Adult novel is under review and I am actively seeking representation for that story. I also just finished a nonfiction picture book, that I plan to start querying in the next month or two.

New Adult is a different beast. I didnt write AND THEN HE for agent review. I wrote it for reader consumption. I wanted to get AND THEN HE into readers hands as soon as possible, and the reviews of AND THEN HE suggest I made the right decision.

7. Was there anything that surprised you about the editorial/publishing process?

Theres a learning curve for sure. I didnt tag AND THEN HE with the most relevant and appropriate search labelsIve fixed that, and hopefully AND THEN HE will come up within the first few pages of several different categories on Amazon.

I also learned that I am my own worst critic. I should have put AND THEN HE up for sale months ago, but now that Ive done it, I plan to dive in much sooner.  

8. From a practical standpoint, how do you keep various versions of a longer manuscript organized?

Im probably not the best person to answer this question. As I said earlier I am a planner. Im also very visual, so I visualize scenes and story arcs in my head before I ever put them down on paper.

But thats not very helpful to most people. Hmm, heres one, I dont label my chapters until the end of the writing/revision processthis way I can cut and paste easily without relabeling all the chapters. I also encourage writers to learn about downloading their personal documents to their Kindle or Kindle app Im working on a blog post on that very skill. 

Check out in the next couple weeks.

9. Any additional comments or thoughts?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to answer questions. I love to talk about writing and the writing process. I also love meeting new people.

The best way to help a writer after buying her book, is to rate the book on Amazon and Goodreads. Books sell by word of mouth, and those comments really help. So, come on, lets be friends!

Where to find AND THEN HE:


Where to rate AND THEN HE after AMAZON:


Where to find Kim:

Visit my website at and sign up for updates.

Im also on Facebook:

Lets Tweet! @KimBriggs_Write

10. Can you give us an excerpt from AND THEN HE? Sure.

AND THEN HE: A New Adult Romantic Thriller
by Kim Briggs


The first sip hits the tangle of nerves in my stomach like a shot of heat lightning. The second wraps its arms around the knot in a loving embrace. By the third, a seductive fuzziness travels down my limbs straight to my fingertips and toes.
Another? The hotel bartender asks. His dark brown eyes remind me of my favorite candy barsavory and irresistible.
I nod, as if the empty wine glass I pushed towards him isnt enough of an answer.
I throw another ten on the bar. Yep, my fifth.
On the house, he says, offering me his hand. Isaac.
Mine disappears into his large, slightly damp one. Tiffani.
Well, Tiffani, youre welcome to come back and visit me all night. He squeezes my hand, not to the point of discomfort but enough to encourage me to take him up on his invitation.
Tempting, I smile. A little harmless flirting with the handsome bartender makes me feel less like the lonely left behind girlfriend and more like a woman who deserves to attend her high school reunion.

Thanks for reading. If youre interested in reading more, heres the link:

11. Whats next for you, Kim?

Im always thinking about my next project. Im working on a New Adult romantic thriller called AVALANCHE. Then I have two big Young Adult projects lined up. Im also playing around with some nonfiction picture books, so visit my website htttp:// to stay up to date on all the latest happenings! 

Thanks for reading and stay in touch!

Energized to Write for the New Year

 So happy to be attending the SCBWI National Conference this week. My peer critiques went well two nights ago, and energized me to see the p...