Want to write a novel? This book is the motivation you need! Part writing guide and part memoir, this inspiring book from the author of Flipped and The Running Dream is like Bird by Bird for YA readers and writers.
Wendelin Van Draanen didn't grow up wanting to be a writer, but thirty books later, she's convinced that writing saved her life. Or, at least, saved her from a life of bitterness and despair. Writing helped her sort out what she thought and felt and wanted. And digging deep into fictional characters helped her understand the real people in her life better as well.
Wendelin shares what she's learned--about writing, life, and what it takes to live the writing life. This book is packed with practical advice on the craft: about how to create characters and plot a story that's exciting to read. But maybe even more helpful is the insight she provides into the persistence, and perseverance, it takes to live a productive, creative life. And she answers the age-old question Where do you get your ideas? by revealing how events in her own life became the seeds of her best-loved novels.
Hope in the Mail is a wildly inspirational read for anyone with a story to share.
In her first guide to writing, bestselling author Van Draanen (Wild Bird) shares "not the boring autobiographical stuff" but, instead, advice that "pertains to writing and silver linings." She includes anecdotes about her childhood and early writing years, providing personal insights into how she became a success. Most fun of all, she reveals how the ideas for her stories developed. For instance, readers learn that Sammy Keyes, a teen sleuth whose adventures kept the author busy for 18 books, bears a keen resemblance to a young Van Draanen, who wrote the first four books when she was teaching full-time and raising two children in Santa Maria, Calif. Throughout, Van Draanen provides both practical suggestions and encouragement to writers in a genuine, nondidactic tone. Suitable for both teens and adults, her amusingly told path to publication may serve as a beacon of hope for some struggling writers, and her creative suggestions may prove useful to those looking to sharpen their writing abilities. Ages 12 up.