Brought to you by

Brought to you by David Farland's Writer's Groups -- a writer's forum divided into small groups by genre and experience.

Don't have a group? Join ours.

How to Participate

Anyone can call in and ask questions: At the appointed time, dial 1-857-232-0155 (long distance charges may apply, depending on your phone plan). Enter the Conference Code: 245657. To raise your hand and ask a question, dial 5*. To Mute yourself, dial 4*.


New interviews are being scheduled. Watch this space for details.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

29: Jessica Day George: Retelling Fairy Tales

Jessica Day George  has written many Middle Grade books, three of which are based on fairy tales: PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. The sequel, PRINCESS OF GLASS is very loosely based on Cinderella. SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW is a faithful retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon. She's currently writing another book in her princess series that is based on Little Red Riding Hood.

We discussed the origins of fairy tales, how to use them well, whether people are getting sick of them, and all sorts of other things.

The way you retell the story depends on what you want to do with it. Do you want to just retell the story, filling in the parts that might not be as fleshed-out as they ought to be? You can do that. Or you can tell your own story and just incorporate elements of your favorite fairy tale.

Have a listen and see what else Jessica had to say. You can listen to it below, subscribe to the podcast here, or download the MP3 here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

28: J. Scott Savage on Middle Grade Voice

Our guest tonight writes as J. Scott Savage, mainly because "Jeff Savage" was already taken (by another Middle Grade author who writes about sports--not fantasy). He goes by Jeff, but answers to just about anything now. He is friends with James Dashner and Nathan Bransford. They have a podcast together, called WordPlay Podcast.

Jeff is amazingly knowledgeable about the Middle Grade genre, and shared with us his tricks of the trade. Among these are:

  • Middle Grade spans from about 3rd grade to 7th grade, and the protagonist should be at the upper end of those ages
  • Short chapters equals happy kids who might get mom to read "just one more" (1500 words or less)
  • Each chapter should be a complete story
  • Kids are fanatical about the rules of the worlds they play in, so you better get it right ALL THE TIME or they'll call you on it
  • You have only a few paragraphs to catch a kid's interest... and you can lose it just as fast
  • Girls and boys are much more similar at that age... but girls still like a bit of romance
  • Kids like scary stuff, but make it safe scary
He has a new series coming out in 2013: CASE FILE 13, starting with ZOMBIE KID.
For about an hour and a half, Jeff shared his wisdom with us. You can download the MP3 here, listen to it below, or subscribe to the Authors' Advisory podcast here.