I’d love to get some feedback!

Glixman in a Fix has been available in the U.S. for a while now, and I’d love to get some feedback from readers!

I have had a lot of people tell me they have purchased the book, their schools’ library has ordered it, or that their children are reading it. A few students from my kids’ schools have run up to me after school to tell me they went to bed late the night before because they were up late reading Glixman.

First feedback from kid about Glixman

An actual thank you note! ❤

And I even got a real, snail mail thank you note from Josh P. of Los Angeles! Continue reading

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Find my new reviews for Bina Lobell’s Super Secret Diary and Not for Sale in the latest Jewish Home L.A.

My reviews of Bina Lobell’s Super Secret Diary by Ruchama Feuerman and Not for Sale by Bracha Rosman are on page 16 of the most recent edition of The Jewish Home L.A. You can find those reviews here.

Interview with Suri Rosen, author of Playing with Matches

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with my readers an interview with Suri Rosen, the author of a new YA novel, Playing with Matches. (You can find my review of the highly-entertaining Playing with Matches here.)

PlayingWithMatches_hiRes (3)Suri piqued my interest in part because she has published her first book — a book with universal themes but with distinctively Orthodox characters and setting — with a mainstream, secular publisher. Most books with Orthodox themes tend to be published by Jewish publishers. I conducted this interview last week via email.

RK: This is your first novel, but as many of the reviewers have noted, you write with real skill. In particular, you handle Rain’s voice with humor and confidence.​ Have you published other genres before, taken classes, or to what else do you attribute your success?

SR: I’ve always been writing. (I cover this in detail on this website,’Dear Teen Me.’)

I read numerous books and blogs about writing and spent countless hours discussing technique with other novelists. But the most important aspect of becoming a publishable author  – to me – is getting feedback. Giving a critique also sharpens your craft but getting a critique to me is the single most important factor in developing yourself as a writer.

And it can be brutal! Continue reading

And in other publishing news…

I sent a post to Kveller for their Raising Kvell blog, and they published it this week. It’s totally the opposite end of the spectrum from this week’s Tablet piece:

  • non-controversial topic,
  • short,
  • I wrote it and it was published in a week, without the several months of editing required by the other piece.

It’s light and fun, but also meaningful. Check it out. You know, if you wanna…

Analysis: My first writing workshop for adults

Along with writing and editing, I’ve coached writers one-on-one off-and-on for the last couple years. I’ve presented writing workshops and made author visits to groups even longer than that, but those groups always consisted of school children. Yesterday, for the first time, I combined the two and taught a writing workshop for fledgling writers aged 15 and up. Actual grown-ups attended!

The Crash Course

Since my greatest area of expertise is writing for tots, tweens, and teens, I decided to offer a three-hour crash course in writing for those groups. My husband agreed to whisk away the kids who weren’t in school (some Jewish day school kids attend on Sunday mornings), and I prepared materials and advertised.

Overtime

I thought three hours would be enough, I really did. Continue reading

Can teenagers really save the world? Musings on middle grade and YA lit

I’m completely behind both writing and housework this week due to a bout of strep throat (thankfully, on the mend now due to penicillin).  This was the second time I’ve been laid up for several days since Sukkos, so it was pretty much a drag, and I really need to try to wrap up at least one story this week. However, I just feel the need to share this with my readers.

airborn by oppel

Can three teens really save their airship from pirates? Not sure I buy it.

While lying in bed trying very hard not to swallow (it just hurt too much), I read a slew of middle grade and YA novels. Now, I know that tween and teen novels tend to share certain characteristics, and that many of these meet the psychological needs of tweens and teens. But as a once-but-no-longer teen, a particular trait rubbed me the wrong way. Continue reading