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Showing posts from February, 2014

Review for Beth Winokur's The Willing Stone children's chapter book

Abby and her younger brother, Dean, along with their parents, have moved from California to Washington State to live with their grandparents. First, Granddad unloads about “The Folk,” a strange people living in the forest, even a ‘trickster’ crocodile that he warns Abby about. Of course Abby, facing a new school, new environment and trying to make new friends, has her own problems to deal with. Naturally, she wants to fit in. However, reality intervenes and she is almost fated to be friends with the school’s outcast, Sofia, otherwise known as ‘Bug-Girl.’ From there, Abby is off on a spectacular, fantasy adventure.Show more
One of the hardest things for many children’s authors is the presentation of serious material in an enjoyable manner. The trick is not to be pedantic. Beth Winokur pulls this off flawlessly. Themes of friendship, loyalty, nature, and even death (fantasy) are touched upon. Other themes of dislocation, fear, school pressure, and to a degree, bullying are all skillfully…

Why I Write About Strong Women Characters

In a speech for the group Equality Now, Joss Whedon, author ofBuffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers, told the audience that the most common question he’s asked is, "Why do you always write these strong women characters?" One of the answers he gave really stuck with me. "How is this even a question? Why aren't you asking a hundred other guys why they don't?"
He’s right.
Both of my most popular characters are strong women, so I’ve been asked the question dozens of times. In fact, I have a television interview next week and I’m sure I’ll be asked it again.
For my part, I want strong females in my stories that truly represent women, women who are tough but warm and sensitive, able to kick ass, and refuse to quit. Jillian Varela in Rare Justice and The Game’s End, as well as Terra Vonn in The Fountain of the Earth are both such characters.   They do what has to be done, but at the same time, they aren't overly mannish women. They can be thoroughly feminine…