Thursday, July 4, 2019

Guest Post with Tara Tyler and Windy Hollow with Giveaway!

Today, we're doing something a little different here on Bookworm for Kids. Instead of just presenting a book, we have an awesome author stopping by! Tara Tyler has more than just a couple of books under her belt, ranging from Science Fiction to Middle Grade Fantasy and more. Her latest novel, Windy Hollow, is the third book in the Beast World Series and a great read at that! You can find my review here. I enjoyed reading it and can recommend it highly to readers ages 8 to 12.

So, without further adieu... here she is....

Tara Tyler!!!

I am so honored to have a spot at Tonja's place -- she became a famous author overnight! Her MG thriller, MUSIC BOXES is tremendous and everyone loves it--me included!

(Wow! I was blown away after reading this first part...and am blushing. Thanks, Tara! But it's definitely me who is honored to have you here today!)

So, how do we know what kids are going to like? Today, I'm talking about MG Kids.

Kids are so fun to read and write about. They're daring, funny, adventurous, and they want to grow up too fast, even the shy ones. If you have characters like that in your books, you're sure to be a hit too! Here are some of my thoughts on writing for MG Kids.
  • Age Appropriate - and I don't just mean PG. Though kids want to grow up, you can't make them sound like teenagers and give them teenage problems about intense relationships, unless something has happened to make them grow up sooner than they should. They should still be innocent, for the most part, full of wonder, curiosity, and energy.
  • Watch Your Language - again, not just PG. You have to know how kids talk. What are they into these days? What slang are they coming up with? Don't make them sound too young, either. Some of them cuss to sound cool in front of their peers.
  • How to discover these important factors:
    1. Watch them - now, if you don't have kids, this might seem a little creepy... try not to get arrested while you research kids behavior
    2. Watch their shows - this method is better suited to those who don't have kids... but the TV shows are a definite exaggeration of how kids really behave, especially the Disney shows. They want to be older, so they actually watch shows that are a bit older (I was devastated when my boys stopped watching Phineas & Ferb and The Suite Life, I loved those shows!) PS - they watch youtube non-stop, it's reality bloopers 24-7, ugh!
    3. Read their books - another excellent way to know what they like to read. And how to write it well.
  • The Adults in the Room - I discourage portraying adults as dimwits, but this tends to happen as kids find it hilarious. They can be realistic - dorky, sure, but still experienced and helpful. I think of the adults, especially the dad in Sixteen Candles. They're all clueless, but he's still a good shoulder to cry on. (SIDE NOTE: Clueless is another excellent movie MG Kids would love if their parents let them watch it because it might be a little old for them. It's funny to watch movies you thought were harmless with your kids--you notice every inappropriate thing you never really noticed before...)
  • The Issues - Kids always have issues, even if it's just boredom, which usually leads to trouble! And they always know who in their class has something going on, even if they don't know what it is. So choose your issue: Kid v. Kid, Kid v. Society, or Kid v. Self. There are general concerns (like growing pains and life lessons) and there are faddish concerns of the day (like the latest youtube challenge)
  • Be Funny - Even if it's a serious book, kids need funny to break the tension. They can't hold serious all the time. And they think some weird things are funny because they are kids after all. They like jokes, pranks, sarcasm, slapstick, embarrassment of others, and being smarter than adults.
Do you write for kids? Do you have kids? Do you read MG?

Tonja, thanks again for having me! When you get done with your whirlwind book tour, I'm looking forward to your video review of WINDY HOLLOW!

Thank you for stopping by! I enjoyed reading your tips and think they're spot on. 

Beast World is MG/YA. It's about teens and their problems, but they're fantasy teens who go on adventures. Though they do a lot on their own, they're still pretty innocent in the ways of the world. I love that sense of wonder and daring!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

This summer, Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

And here she is...

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks
newsletter: tara tyler news

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!


Tyrean Martinson said...

Great tips on writing for MG, Tara!

Tara Tyler said...

thanks, Tyrean!
And thanks again for having me, Tonja!