Today I have the immense pleasure of introducing to you Penny Estelle on a stop during the Summer Teen Reading Party.
When I search for publishers for my middle grade/YA stories, their “wants list” usually consists of romance of all kinds, from sweet to not so sweet, paranormal stories of any kind, fantasies (no complaints here as my story, Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, is peppered with magic and fantasy), and science fiction. Vampires and werewolves seem to have a lot of staying power these days, no matter the age of the reader! Do you think paranormal is a fad? I mean a REALLY BIG fad?
So my question is – has family fiction gone by the wayside? I’m talking mother/daughter trauma, father/daughter trauma, grandmother/…..well you get my drift. What about family “feel good” fiction? Do these types of stories have a place in today’s world? Do publishing houses find these types of stories passé?
I tend to write short stories. Most are under 12,000 words, so eBooks are huge for me. I have a few stories I have written, under this umbrella of family fiction.
Do I hide them in my closet, or do I…..G U L P…..feed my wood burning stove?
Hike Up Devil’s Mountain
Ten-year old Andy Thompson disobeys his mother and sneaks into the basement of an old abandoned house that’s due for demolition. He stumbles upon a mysterious box under an old cabinet. And his troubles begin when he looks inside.
The Crew brothers, twelve-year old Jason, and ten-year old Danny, also find their way to the basement. New to town, Jason has established himself as the school bully. A struggle ensues between Andy and Jason and the bully ends up as a toad.
Somehow, the boys must reverse the magical spell. And that means hiking up the dread mountain: fast pace, fast action with scares and surprises on the way! The lives of all three boys seem destined to change forever, if they survive…
Twelve-year old Pam Simpson gets dumped on when her mother is called into work. She must cancel her plans for the mall to baby-sit her younger brother and his friend and take them to the public pool. To make matters worse her cousin, Candy, is also coming over for the day. She doesn’t even like Candy!
Much to Candy’s dismay, transportation to the pool is on inner tubes, floating down the canal. One thing leads to another and it is Pam who, once again, must save the day.
When things couldn’t seem worse, the day takes a drastic turn for the better and it is Candy, and the float down the canal, that makes this the best day of Pam’s life!
Billy Cooper’s seventh grade class has been given a last minute, weekend assignment. They must all draw a piece of paper out of a box and do an oral book report on the person or event that was drawn. Billy draws the name, William Tell, whoever that is. He has a full weekend planned, but figures he’ll do a ten-minute search and then be able to skate right through the assignment, having plenty of time for his busy weekend.
His outlook changes when he finds himself in the fourteenth century, standing in front of William Tell’s house. Billy’s modern day style and lingo has William Tell thinking the lad a bit unbalanced, but asks if he would like to go along with him and his son to the town of Altdorf. It is here, Billy learns just who William Tell is and why he is a legend.
A little about me
I retired after 21 years as a school secretary. I would watch all the little kids run into the school library to check out their books, always wanting to show anybody who would stop, the treasures they found and were taking home to read. I also noticed the enthusiasm with the older kids was hard to find. I truly feel with the world today, it is so very important for kids to read….and read….and read! They need to be able to read for their future and well-being. It also helps to be able to escape some of the harsh realities that are happening in their own worlds.
That’s why I chose this age group to write for. Their sarcasm and whit (two characteristics I must have in my stories) mixed with some adventure and fantasy, always makes for a good read. My hope is that kids that read my stories, can escape into another world and leave their troubles behind, if only for a little while.
Join me on Penny’s blog as I talk about writing YA characters!