I’ll never forget my first rejection. I submitted twelve queries to prospective agents for a middle-grade novel that I was convinced would amaze the entire children’s publishing industry. After all, I'd spent two years doing my homework, attending conferences, meeting with a critique group, and I was ready to start a career as an author. My first mistake was sending out queries just before going on vacation. My second mistake was looking at my phone [...]
Happy book birthday to Dianne Salerni and her new supernatural middle-grade novel, Eleanor, Alice and the Roosevelt Ghosts! We asked Dianne about her latest novel. Middle Grade Mojo: I love the description of your middle-grade novel as putting “a supernatural spin on alternate history"? What inspired you to create this alternate universe for 13-year-old Eleanor Roosevelt? Dianne Salerni: The alternate universe came first. I had an idea for an alternate reality where ghosts were real and so [...]
Congratulations to Ash Van Otterloo on her debut middle grade novel, Cattywampus, the story of two young witches—one grappling with the revelation that she is intersex, the other with her father's abandonment. Together, they accidentally resurrect a graveyard full of feuding ancestors, and must work to perform a counter-curse to save themselves and the rest of their Appalachian community. It's a fun read with authentic Appalachian accents and sayings like ". . . bless your [...]
Nikola Tesla was not only a genius, he was a complicated person with an interesting life that sometimes reads like fiction. Amy O'Quinn has done an amazing job capturing all the facinating stories about Tesla's life as well as his many achievments in the field of electrical engineering. Her book, Nikola Tesla For Kids is a wonderful read, and I would say it's not just for kids. We asked Amy about her inspiration and [...]
Today, we are thrilled to talk to Janae Marks from her desk in which she wrote From the Desk of Zoe Washington. We asked her about her writing journey and plans for the future. Janae has the mojo mic. Middle Grade Mojo: From the Desk of Zoe Washington, has been praised for handling the difficult topic of a parent being incarcerated. School Library Journal said it best. “A smart, necessary, and hopeful middle grade debut [...]
Congratulations to Anne Bustard on her middle grade novel, Blue Skies, a heartwarming story of a girl who has never given up hope that her daddy will return from WWII. So when the Merci Train boxcar from France is scheduled to make a stop in her Texas town, she’s certain that Daddy will come too. We asked Anne about her writing journey: Middle Grade Mojo: What do you want the reader to take away from [...]
In a time of uncertainty, as writers, we must keep writing. The characters we create, the worlds we build, the ideas we put to the page matter. Even if only a few see your words, you never know the impact those words may have. Keep writing!
Congratulations to Mae Respicio Koerner on her latest middle grade novel, Any Day with You. In this story, a creative girl named Kaia hopes that by winning a filmaking contest, she'll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines. The movie Kaia creates for her creative arts camp is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her great-grandfather tells her. It's a warm, tendor story only Mae can tell and we asked a [...]