News from middle-grade mystery author Fleur Bradley. Also, book reviews and cat pictures...
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
April 2022 News (or: on reading slumps and lots of editing...)
April snuck up on me like a thief in the night! I’ve been so busy writing, editing, and coming up with ideas for Daybreak on Raven Island’s book launch (in August!) that I didn’t even realize March was over. Phew! I’m not much of a winter person, as pretty as the snow is. And April means we’re getting closer to outside activities, so I’m excited about that.
My lovely Rocky Mountain SCBWI calendar.
On Reaching Reluctant Readers
Recently, I found myself in a bit of a reading slump. Books by my favorite authors just weren’t doing it either, which made me realize it was me, not the book. I just needed a change of scenery.
Reluctant readers can be like this too. And as I’ve talked about here (and there, and everywhere) before, I’m a reluctant reader. It’s not as bad as it once was, but I still find myself hesitant to pick up a book with a fat spine, tiny print, or lots of dense paragraphs (usually of interior monologue that I believe would be better if it were action and/or dialogue).
So what does a reader do when in a slump? I found myself drawn to non-fiction. To novels in verse, poetry. Biographies. Or just a little less reading altogether. That’s okay, I must remind myself. There’s a season for everything, and April in Colorado is still winter. Even on the reading front, it’s okay to have a lesser month of sorts.
As for your reluctant reader, it’s important to remember that ANY READING COUNTS. It keeps the brain moving, which helps with lots of other subjects (in school or life) too. So if you have a reluctant reader at home or in your classroom (my amazing teacher and home schooling friends!), don’t worry if they’re not reading fiction. Non-fiction can be just as beneficial (and great to learn new things!). Or poetry. Maybe even encourage your reader to write their own…
That’s my reluctant reader tip for the month: any reading counts!
This last bit of winter here in Colorado, I take my own advice.
What I'm Up To
April is all about revision for me—I’m a bear in hibernation, kind of. It’s hard work, but also great to see the story get better with each draft.
I’m still tinkering on my top-secret middle-grade mystery, plus next up this month: last revisions on my YA mystery before it can go back to my agent, and hopefully out into publishing submission land. Exciting and a little terrifying, because this idea has been bouncing around my head for at least a dozen years... It’ll be nice to say I finished the manuscript for sure, whatever happens to it once it leaves my writing studio.
In the meantime, I’ve also been enjoying restoring a few old typewriters I had mostly been using as décor; I’m proud to say I can type a real life letter, on paper, now. But first, I’ll need to get my finger strength back—typing on a typewriter is no joke.
I’m also looking forward to getting more time outside. I’ve been enjoying putting plants all over the house, but we’re running the risk of jungle status now… Time to get my green thumb on in the yard, where possible here on the western plains.
Where to Find Me
I’m going out into the world again, to see people! In person, and also virtual. It’s so exciting… Here’s where to find me in the next few weeks: