Posts Tagged ‘children’s book’


Welcome to stop #2 on Kaza Kingsley’s Blog tour.  Check out some questions Kaza answered for us, her faithful readers, and then take a peek at Kaza from a few years ago.  If you have not yet read them, you also need to check out her Erec Rex books, The Dragon’s Eye and The Monsters of Otherness.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest and most overwhelming part of writing for me is what  happens after I finish the rough draft of a book. When I’m writing a rough draft, I free myself to go anywhere the story takes me. (Although I do follow some guideposts!) I don’t worry about the details, if I’ve used the same word too many times, or if a whole section isn’t quite right. I’m just living the story, watching it unfold. And I love that.

It’s what happens next that is so hard! I’ve been using a whole
different part of my brain for so long, it’s strange making the switch.  When I finish the rough draft I do a thorough edit on my work, and  it nearly drives me crazy.

That’s where I step back and look at the story as a whole. It’s not  as easy as it might seem. For me, at least, I have to picture all of  the scenes flowing together smoothly, watch for boring spots (those get yanked!) make sure the mystery is hinted at just right, and try and imagine the story threads like an interconnecting puzzle, with just the right chunks in the right spots. I move bits from one part of the book to another, cut scenes, add others.

It’s a huge pain in the neck! And it makes my head spin, until I get used to it after a week or two. It’s grueling, but definitely worth it. I’m kind of like a sculptor, chiseling the “right” story out of the rough draft. Once I have it where I want it, I still make a few more changes (being a perfectionist.) But at least then I can relax.

Doing the fine edit, wordplay, is low pressure and relaxing for me.

Plus, I really feel done then!

What is the best part?
Being finished!! Aahhh, so satisfying. I suppose a close tie is
writing the rough draft through some of the more exciting scenes. I really like that!

Do you ever get lost into your writing?
Yes. When I sink more and more into my story, which happens as I get  further into the rough draft, I do begin to feel as if it’s real. It’s almost like I’m living in two worlds at once! A cool feeling, really. Things that happen to me in real life don’t seem as significant then, which is good, I guess. It’s kind of like taking a vacation in your own mind!

That’s really only when I’m writing the rough draft, though. The editing part is so compulsive it gives me those kind of filing/ sorting /looking for things dreams at night.

If you had the chance, would you live in Alypium?
When I’m writing I kind of feel like I do live in Alypium!! But as far as really living there? Umm…No. I think I prefer magic to remain  inside my head. Not that I’m not adventurous, but Erec’s adventures  are a little wild for me! I like to know that I’ll be here tomorrow, safe and snug!

What authors would you most like to have dinner with?
Given anything, being a fantasy writer, I’d have to pick someone from the past. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a meal with William Shakespeare? When I was a kid I used to imagine how fun it would be to have someone from the distant past, like George Washington, appear in my kitchen
so I could show them all the new, cool stuff we have!

“Thanks for hosting me on my blog tour, Kate! It’s fun visiting so many sites. I hope you like the baby pictures of me along the way – each site is getting their own. You’ll see me grow up along the tour!”

Kaza as a Baby

Don’t forget to check out the rest of Kaza’s Blog Tour! She won’t be repeating any questions so you’ll hear cool new stuff every day!

1/7 – A Fort Made of Books

1/8 – Books4Ever

1/9 – Baseballs and Bows

1/10 – Fanatic Space Blog

1/11 – Bibliophile’s Retreat

1/12 – Children’s Literature Book Club

1/13 – Stephanie’s Confessions of a Book-A-Holic

1/14 – A Year of Books

1/15 – Author Chris Rettstatt’s blog

1/16 – Deliciously Clean Reads

1/17 – Into the Wardrobe

1/18 – Real Gurlz Magazine

1/19 – Chauceriangirl


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Marie Curie is an incredible scientist, but she also led a fascinating life. Krull once again presents the story  of a great scientist and shares more than just he dry facts.  She makes the person come alive  by introducing kids to them in such a way that they can’t hep but be fascinated.  Marie Curie is no different.  Krull  has a narrative approach to the biographies she writes and this makes the person seem more real.  Curie came from a proud Polish family who encouraged education and learning in their home.  It was very rare at the time for women to be seen as even remotely as intelligent as men, but Curie’s father always encouraged his daughters to learn, going so far as to send Marie math problems when she was a governess.  While Marie’s life became consumed by science, it was also consumed by her love for Pierre Curie that helped to balance her life (at least a little).  As someone who usually doesn’t care a jot for science, I find myself enthralled with the people presented in each of Krull’s Giants of Science books.  She makes the people seem real without going over kids heads with the technical science end of things.

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Percy is back in the their installment of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  Things have gone from bad to worse and now the goddess Artemis has disappeared just like Annabeth.  A quest is set down by the Oracle, but Percy is not one of the ones who gets to go at first.  But thanks to a malady that befalls one of the questors, Percy gets to go.  This book is there things really come to a head.  The gods cannot ignore the fact that Kronos is rising again.  They need the heroes more than ever, but one of them could mean their end forever.  We meet more gods in this book including Apollo, Artemis, and Aphrodite.  The gods are just as capricious as they were in the original tales, but it seems so much harsher in a modern setting set against the kindness of Percy.  This book feels like it is really launching the series.  The first two were exposition somewhat and to give readers a taste of Percy, but in this one it feels like the main course.  Now there is a purpose and reason to what is happening and it is up to Percy to go out and do some pretty hard stuff.  I can’t wait for the next one (and I won’t wait as long to read it!)

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Percy Jackson is back in the sequel to The Lightning Thief.  I had not read the net two books in the series because I felt I should go back and re-read the first, but now I have and so I read the next two.  In this book, Percy has almost made it through a year at school without any incidents.  But on the last day of school he has a bad dream about his friend and satyr, Grover, and then gets into a fight with some nasty monsters and sets the school on fire.  After heading back to Camp Half-Blood, Percy discovers that Grover is in serious trouble.  But things are wrong at the Camp and Chiron, the training master, has been fired for supposedly poisoning the camp. Now Tantalus, who used to reside in Hades, is in charge.  When Percy tells him of Grover, he does not send Percy as Percy plans, but sends Clarisse instead.  So Percy does the only thing  he can think of, he sneaks out with his half brother/ cyclops, Tyson, and his friend and daughter of Athena, Annabeth.  Soon they are battling monsters, stealing the Golden Fleece, and  fighting for their lives.  In this action packed adventure, Riordan does not disappoint with the stories he  started in Lightning Thief.

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Holm has done a great job with Babymouse and she does not disappoint here.  This is the story of Ginny Davis, a 7th grader, who is having a rough year.  Told through To Do lists, IMs, homework, notes, letters, and report cards, you delve into the world of Ginny and all the trials and tribulations of being in middle school.  The format reminds me of the Regarding the Fountain books by Klise.  Kids are always asking for books in this format, but there jsut aren’t a lot out there.  Though this book seems light and funny, it does have a serious undertone.  Ginny is happy, but life at home is not perfect and slowly as the year progresses, her grades and attitude slip.  Luckily she has her fairy godmother (her grandpa), her friends, and a couple teachers.  This is a rough year not only because it is 7th grade, but also because Ginny acquires a stepfather and her brother turns into a juvenile delinquent.  That would stress any girl out.  I am always surprised by how much you can learn about a character from books like this since there is not narration, you have to draw the conclusions yourself.  I really loved reading about Ginny’s life and hope that we get to heard what happens next.

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I thought this looked like an interesting non-fiction book that would be filled with interesting information.  Unfortunately, it was poorly written and confusing.  The book reads like a list of princesses without giving any information that girls might be interested in.  The princesses come across as these cutout people without interests of their own.  In addition, the author takes and mixes up contemporary and historical princesses.  You are never really sure that you are reading about the present or past.  Those should have been divided up.  There are little sidebars on most pages that give “details” about the lives of princesses, but sometimes they are narratives nad I am not sure if they are fictional or taken from a source since none are cited.  The layout is fun, but the writing is lackluster and will not grad young girls attention.  I was severely disappointed in this offering.

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In the sequelish to Street Magic, Evvy goes with Rosethorn to a small island to find out what is killing all the plants and animals.  It turns out that it is a volcano and it is up to Evvy to try and save the island.  That is the basic plot of the story, but it is really more about Evvy learn to love humans.  She loves rocks, but doesn’t really care if people live or die and it is in this book that she must learn to do so.  Pierce released this book first as an audio.  It won’t release as a book until 2008.  Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio did the book.  It is the first book (supposedly) to be released as an audio first.  I don’t know how I feel about the full cast audio.  On one hand, I found Evvy’s voice a bit annoying, but then because there were other voices, I did not have to listen to only that voice.  I think I will try another and see if I like it.  I think it is admirable that they are trying to make audiobooks important, but I don’t know if it will work.  Although I have to note that I wanted to read it and so instead of waiting a year I did pick up the audio so maybe it did work.

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