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Hey Kid! with Paige Britt (THE LOST TRACK OF TIME)

hey kid

Hey Kid!

I don’t know why I’m writing you this letter. I’m supposed to tell you what I think you’ll need to know to get through Paige_Britt_Donkeyyour tween years, but, honestly, no one can tell you anything. Not even me. Remember when Mom and Dad went on that weekend getaway when you were four, and they brought back little pewter brooches for you and your sisters? Each brooch was in the shape of an animal that was supposed to represent the personality of the girl it was given to. One sister got a unicorn and the other got a bird, but you . . . you got a donkey. A donkey. That’s how stubborn you were. Still are.

So what can I possibly say that you’ll listen to? The only thing I can say—which is what you’re going to do anyway—is, keep it up. Keep being that stubborn. It’s going to make all the difference. You’re quiet and sweet, and from a very small town. People—teachers, preachers, friends, co-workers, and even perfect strangers—are going to take one look at you and that Peter Pan collar you’re wearing, and think you don’t know your own mind. That you need to take their word for what life is all about.

You don’t.

Paige_Britt_tween

For a while, you try and go along with what everyone is telling you. You try and think what people want you to think and act like they want you to act. You’re going to try and do this longer and harder than you need to. This makes me sad, but I guess trying hard is all part of being stubborn. Eventually you stop. You just sit down, right where you are, and take a good long look at life as it is. Not as someone else told you it was. And guess what? . . . Nothing! I’m not going to tell you “what.” Because I would just be another person telling you how things are, instead of encouraging you to find out for yourself.

And so, little donkey, all I can say is go ahead. Put your foot down. Refuse to budge. Insist on going your own way. I’ll be right here waiting for you . . . off the beaten path. Because the path that catches your imagination and ignites your curiosity isn’t the beaten one — it’s the one “laid down in the walking.” And in the writing. For you, writing is about taking notes on what you notice when you stop and sit and refuse to budge. And what you notice is beyond belief and impossible to capture, but it’s worth giving it a try. Kind of like life.

Taking the path that’s laid down in the walking isn’t going to be easy. But the good news is that it doesn’t require you to do anything out of character. Going your own way doesn’t involve giving up being that quiet, sweet self. Turns out, real rebels wear Peter Pan collars.

—Me

LOST TRACK_cover_300dpiFind The Lost Track of Time on BookPeople, IndieBound, Amazon, B&N, or ask for it in bookstores and libraries near you.

Penelope is running out of time!
 
She dreams of being a writer, but how can she pursue her passion when her  mother schedules every minute of her life? And how will she ever prove that writing is worthwhile if her mother keeps telling her to “get busy!” and “be more productive”?
 
Then one day, Penelope discovers a hole in her schedule–an entire day completely unplanned!–and she mysteriously falls into it. What follows is a mesmerizing journey through the Realm of Possibility where Penelope sets out to find and free the Great Moodler, the one person who may have the answers she seeks. Along the way, she must face an army of Clockworkers, battle the evil Chronos, take a daring Flight of Fancy, and save herself from the grip of time.
 
Brimming with clever language and masterful wordplay, The Lost Track of Time is a high-stakes adventure that will take you to a place where nothing is impossible and every minute doesn’t count–people do!

Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

Paige Britt grew up in a small town with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds. She studied journalism in college and theology in graduate school, but never stopped reading children’s books for life’s most important lessons. THE LOST TRACK OF TIME is her debut novel.
Connect with Paige on PaigeBritt.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Hey Kid! with Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen (LITTLE MISS EVIL)

hey kid

Hi there 12-year-old Bryce and 12-year-old Kristy,

portaits_12yo

Bryce, I know that right now it’s an absolute nightmare being in that head of yours and you don’t know why. Unfortunately, in your time period, ADHD isn’t a thing yet, and Ritalin hasn’t been invented, so you’ll just have to muddle through with that messed up brain for a few more years until everything just sorts itself out. And Kristy, I know you’re probably wondering why you’re wasting time talking to us when you could be studying for the next 6 months worth of tests and obsessing over that last A+ you got when you thought you should have gotten an A++, but we’re here to tell you that marks aren’t everything and you’ve got to learn to…

Dang. Kristy just fainted.

OK, Bryce, stop spinning in a circle and help your future wife.

Is she OK? Can she sit up? How many fingers am I holding up? What? NO, this won’t be on a test later! What’s the matter with…

Ahem. Right. Encouragement. OK, let’s try that again…

Bryce, we know you’re probably confused and frustrated by all these people trying to “label” you. You’re probably even more frustrated that the government doctor put a big red “Mentally Challenged,” stamp on your file. He was wrong, but in his defense, you COULD have just answered his questions instead of trying to gnaw his ankle off like a rabid, insane hyena. That’s on you, little buddy.

And Kristy, we know you’re frustrated too, but for the opposite reason. Your parents picked out a label for you before you were born, and that it was “Academic Over-Achiever, Eventual Engineer” without even asking you. No, it doesn’t fit, and no, it’s not fair that your entire life seems to be planned out for you for the next twenty years.

But to both of you, we’re happy to tell you that both of you will eventually shed those labels you didn’t ask for and didn’t want. Bryce, you’re going to end up excelling in school, eventually graduating with a Masters of Computer Engineering degree from the most prestigious university in Canada. You’ll even get the girl in the end, which I’m SURE is something even your wildest fantasy couldn’t have predicted. And Kristy, you’re going to bust through your label and keep shooting for the stars. You’re not going to accept the hum-drum life of an office drone and you’re going to pursue your dream of being a writer with the intensity of a thousand suns until you finally pull it off.

You know, it’s too bad that our teachers and parents put so much effort into trying to label us. It was their way of compartmentalizing us, classify us. Figure out which box we fit in so they knew how to deal with us. What a useless, pointless waste of time. All that achieved was making us feel bad about ourselves, and in the end they weren’t even right!

Do yourself a favor. Next time someone tries to label you, see it as a challenge. “You think I’m just a nerd? Well, I’ll show you!” Next time someone tries to tell you what you can and can’t do, prove them wrong. And if anyone EVER tries to stick you in a box, you punch your way out the side and never look back.

~Bryce and Kristy

P.S. To celebrate our LITTLE MISS EVIL book launch on March 10, 2015, we’re hosting a Super-villain Super Giveaway! You could win an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, a $50 Amazon gift card, as well as signed copies of LITTLE MISS EVIL. Click here to enter.

Little Miss EvilFind Little Miss Evil on IndieBound, B&N, Amazon, or ask for it in bookstores and libraries near you.

When you live in a volcano, ride to school in a helicopter, and regularly see your dad on the news with the caption “EVIL GENIUS” underneath his picture, it takes a lot to rattle you.

Until you get a message that says: We have your father. Deliver the NOVA in 24 hours or we will kill him.

What’s a NOVA you ask? It’s a nuclear bomb capable of turning the city into a radioactive mushroom cloud, and ever since Fiona’s dad built it, it’s caused nothing but grief. But telling him to stop building weapons is like telling Michelangelo to stop painting.
And that’s why thirteen-year-old Fiona has a flamethrower strapped to her arm. After all, who’d mess with a girl who can throw fireballs?

Apparently, these guys.

Big mistake.

Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

Bryce and Kristy are a tag-team writing duo with too many voices in their heads. As engineers living in Toronto, they can’t be safely contained by mere cubicle walls, and therefore spend every waking moment writing to keep the crazy from leaking out at the office.
Connect with them on kristyandbryce.com, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Hey Kid! with Abi Elphinstone (THE DREAMSNATCHER)

hey kid

Dear 8-year-old Abi,

It’s 30-year-old Abi here. Yup, you’re still here. The monster that you thought lived in the attic at home didn’t actually gobble you up – even though you probably deserved it once or twice. I’m sorry to say that 30-year-old you is no wiser than 8-year-old you (you’re still headstrong, impulsive and lacking in common sense). But for what it’s worth, and with the power of hindsight, I’m going to answer ten of the questions that are whizzing around your head right now.

Abi by sea

  1. Why is my hair so knotty? Trust me, Abi, knots in your hair is the very least of your worries. I’m afraid you accidentally dye your hair pink the day before senior school starts and when, weeks later, you try to go for the Gwyneth Paltrow Sliding Doors style, you dodge that completely and end up looking like Dawson from Dawson’s Creek. So chill out about the knots; it gets worse…
  2. Will I form a secret club soon? Yes, together with two of your best friends, you’ll form BULC (CLUB backwards). It will be like Just William’s gang but for girls. You’ll have purple tracksuits, secret passwords, funky handshakes and you’ll get into trouble a lot.
  3. Why am I so bad at Maths? Don’t take it to heart when your brain freezes and you can’t add up the simplest sums. You’re not stupid. You’re actually dyslexic and it’s just that your brain processes numbers in a different way from a lot of other children. It’s slow to count but fast to build stories. And that’s fine.
  4. Will boarding school be scary? You’re going to have the time of your life there. You’ll have dorm feasts, you’ll run away with a group of friends in the middle of the night into the woods, you’ll play rounders for Scotland and you’ll make lifelong friends.
  5. Do I get any cool pets any time soon? You get two mice, which you pretentiously call Mozart and Beethoven. But you lose interest in them when a black rabbit called Shadow comes along. You lose in her, too, when she bites you so hard you have to wear ski gloves to handle her. You’re still waiting for a snow leopard. Ever hopeful.
  6. Is growing up going to hurt? There are times when it’s really going to hurt. Your parents aren’t going to stay together and though you think you can stop that happening aged 8, you can’t. This is something that can’t be fixed, Abi, and it’s not your fault. Though it’s going to knock you down for a while, you’ll get back up again and fight. And out of all the pain, good things will happen. For one, you’ll realise you have family and friends who will stick by you no matter what.
  7. Is it possible to stay 8-years-old forever? You’ll be pleased to know that your mental game is still pitched at 8-years-old. You had a giggling fit in front of twenty 15-year-old pupils you were teaching the other day, you wear a lot of animal onesies and you love swings so much you bought one to go inside your house last week.
  8. Am I going to be famous when I’m older? No. But you’re going to bounce on a bouncy castle with Charlie from Busted. And Westley from A Princess Bride is going to hug you. Three times.
  9. Am I going to present Blue Peter when I’m a grown up? You haven’t presented on that show (yet) but you did as your mum told you – you dreamed BIG – and now you’re a published children’s author.
  10. Do I still have my teddy aged 30? Yes, you do. It even comes on your honeymoon with you.

Yes, 8-year-old Abi, you can go back to your tree house now. Keep dreaming magical thoughts, don’t worry about the times you walk out of class with your skirt tucked into your knickers and know that the adventures you’re having right now – jumping into icy rivers, searching for hidden waterfalls on the moors, building dens in the woods – are going to happen all over again in your debut children’s book, The Dreamsnatcher.

~Abi

Dreamsnatcher Final High Res Cover

Find The Dreamsnatcher in the UK on Hive, Waterstones, WH Smith, and Amazon, worldwide on The Book Depository, or request it in bookstores and libraries near you.

Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson.

Find more Hey Kid! letters here.

Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. THE DREAMSNATCHER is her debut novel and when she’s not writing about Moll and Gryff, she runs her children’s books blog www.moontrug.com.

Connect with Abi on abielphinstone.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

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