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about writing

  I recently read an article in which seasoned editors gave advice to newbies. It was in Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2014, and was titled, “Voices...

Kersten Hamilton is the author of several picture books and many middle grade novels.


TYGER, TYGER, book one of THE GOBLIN WARS series, was her first novel for young adults, and was followed by IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT, BOOK TWO. 


We admire Kersten's craft and were happy she agreed to be interviewed.

Here's what she had to say.


Jennifer McKerley: The third book in your exciting YA series THE GOBLIN WARS was just released last month. WHEN THE STARS THREW DOWN THEIR SPEARS continues the fast paced fantasy series. Here are two reviews:

“This spectacular conclusion will satisfy fans and lead new readers into a complex world with fascinating magic and appealing characters.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Brimming with heroism,


How do you write a book that will sell?


Knowing the market is a key factor in producing a marketable manuscript. And part of being market savvy is knowing what category your idea falls into. 


There are various categories of children’s books, such as concept book, picture book, storybook, chapter book, reader and novel. On pages 15-16 of our workbook, Write a Marketable Children's Book, we explain the categories and the ages they target.

A writer should research the market to discover


An aspiring writer named Mike once wrote E.B. White and asked what he needed to do to get his book published.


The famous author took some time before he wrote back, but when he did, this was his advice:


"The principal thing (an author) has to do is to write a good book. Then he has to send the manuscript to one publisher after another until he finds one who wants to publish it. I'm glad you liked 'Stuart Little' and 'Charlotte's Web' and thanks for writing."


It may seem as if E.B. White were lazy and didn’t offer Mike much help. But his letter actually reveals exactly what a writer must do to get published.


I enjoy reading picture books for the fun of it, the art, and to analyze what makes a good story.


I would love to master the craft of writing wonderful picture books that become beloved favorites of children.

From researching and reading the masters, I’ve learned that most of the factors below are in stories that stay in our hearts.


A good picture book: