How Demonkeeper Came to Life

Last summer, the coolest thing happened when my book Demon Keeper went live. Thanks to the vision of Deb Currier, a theater professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA (where I live), the story came to life as a full stage children’s theater production called Monster Keeper. The play featured a 30+ person cast including life-sized muppet style puppets, special effects and an amazing set. Since Deb’s so smart, she videotaped all three performances which have been edited into a complete version of the show. Deb has also created a documentary on the making of Monster Keeper.

But wait! That’s not all! Now she plans to hold a  screening of both the play and the documentary. She’s even going to set up a museum in the WWU Performing Arts Lobby with props, artwork and puppets from the show. If you go, you can meet the actors, take pictures with the puppets from the play and get autographs.

The event is Sunday, February 15th starting at 2pm. Here’s a link to all of the details.   

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Summer Youth Theatre Institute at Western Washington University, which Deb pours her heart and soul into every summer to introduce kids of all ages to the magic of the stage. My kids participated in the program for a number of years and loved it.

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My Latest Writing Tips Via Twitter

Here are some of my latest writing tips that have appeared on Twitter. If you think they’re helpful or know someone who would benefit, go ahead and follow me on Twitter. You can also Like my author page on Facebook. The tips show up on both.

Writing tip: Set daily goal for word count. Simple, but effective. Do a daily minimum, not average. Averaging leads to excuses. Excuses lead to suffering (says Yoda)…

Writing tip: Use small details from real life. In its simplest form, this technique requires that you just look up from your computer. 🙂

Writing tip: Specific details over vague. “The dish with the half moon chip.” Not – “The broken dish.”

Writing tip: Cliffhangers = okay by me. The cheese factor is the key. Make them only as cheesy as tone of your overall story.

Writing tip: Eliminate “he said” and “she said” if it is clear who is speaking from the context.


What my English Degree Did for Me

Last year was my 25th reunion at Whitman College, where I obtained a degree in English literature. Whitman Magazine invited me to write an essay reflecting on how my experience at Whitman and my degree helped shape my professional life. Below is the first paragraph of the essay and a link to the whole thing.  

“It’s been 25 years since I graduated with a degree in English literature from Whitman, and I’ve been asked to reflect on how it prepared me for life as a working fiction author and attorney. I suppose it starts with the college’s general premise: “A Whitman liberal arts education offers great breadth over specialization …” More specifically, Whitman’s English Majors’ Handbook states, “Whatever else students of English call ourselves, we are first and foremost readers and writers.” So, presumably, I graduated a broadly educated reader and writer. But that’s not a profession, it turns out. So how is that degree turned into a career? In my case, it went something like this:”

To read more, click here.

Encouraging Children to Become Storytellers

I recently came across this article I wrote for Carolina Parent about encouraging kids to be storytellers back in 2010 and thought I’d share it with you. The ideas are pretty timeless, and I actually continue to use many of these when I visit schools. I am currently on deadline, so I have decided to keep my calendar clear of school appearances until after March 30, 2015.  

Until then, here’s a link to the article. Enjoy!


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