Teaching creative writing, plot and revision in Hawaii.
Teaching creative writing, plot and revision in Hawaii.
I had the honor of being interviewed by the inimitable Joanna Marple, a fellow European transplant in the US and fellow children’s book writer. Take a trip to her blog Ms. Marple’s Musings to learn more about my books, my writing and my creative writing teaching.
Want to know more about me and the inspiration for my Boreas series? Hop on over to Dee White’s blog!
Today I’m very excited to welcome dear friend and fellow SCBWI Nevada mentee, Mina Witteman to my blog.
Mina is an amazing international author and editor, and today she’s sharing the inspiring story of how genetics, a love of books, and a lifetime of sailing led to the creation of her hugely successful Boreas series for middle grade readers.
Mina will tell us how she weaves facts and reality into her extraordinary fiction.
Mina writes in English and Dutch, and has seven middle grade adventure novels out in the Netherlands, over 40 short stories, and a Little Golden Book. She is currently working on an English novel for Young Adults and an English middle grade novel.
She debuted in 2005 with De wraak van Deedee (Deedee’s Revenge), followed by two more middle grade adventure novels with Van Goor Children’s Books. In 2010 she transferred to Ploegsma…
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So exciting! Just a few more days and Boreas en de vijftien vrienden / Boreas and the Fifteen Friends will see the light in the Netherlands. Right in time for the Dutch National Children’s Book Week, which is actually a ten-day long children’s book fest. This year’s theme? FRIENDSHIP! That’s exactly what Boreas en de vijftien vrienden is about.
Boreas en de vijftien vrienden is the final book in the Boreas series, which is lauded by readers, teachers and librarians alike. In this book, Boreas travels from Hawaii to Tahiti with his new friend Kirsten, who teaches him Polynesian navigation. Along the way they try to find a solution for the plastic soup that infests the oceans. After Tahiti and a sad goodbye to Kirsten, Boreas and his family sail on to New Zealand, Australia and Bali and then it finally feels like they are heading back to the Netherlands again. Although… Pirates? Real pirates?!
Boreas en de vijftien vrienden already made it to the long list of the Jonge Jury, the annual Young Jury Award. You bet I’m crossing my fingers that Boreas en de vijftien vrienden will make it to the short list!
Curious about Boreas? Here is an English reading sample! From Boreas and the Seven Seas.
About Boreas and the Seven Seas: It doesn’t matter if you like sailing or traveling, if you are a boy or a girl, a man or a woman. No one will regret choosing this book. – Nelly Hofman, boekenbijlage.nl
Crossing my fingers too that, like in the second book of the series, Boreas en de duizend eilanden / Boreas and the Thousand Islands, when Boreas crosses the Atlantic, that the books will make it across the ocean too. Publishers are currently reviewing the partial translation of the first book.
About Boreas and the Seven Seas: What’s great about this book is the adventurous voice. The lapping of the waves, the tinkling sound of boats in a port at night, the panic at sea when a storm lashes the boat. You’re there and you can feel the wind tugging your hair – Annemarie Terhell for Kidsweek (4 stars)
Writing the Boreas books was like a dream come true. Not only did I get a chance to travel the world, but I was also delighted that I got to incorporate the adventures of my parents, who sailed around the world for twelve years. My mother kept log books, just like Boreas does, and I inherited her writings after she passed away. When I read through the books, I can feel her and my father’s spirits in between the lines.
About Boreas and the Thousand Islands: Just like in the first book, the author knows how to bring the journey around the world realistically: not just the romantic dream is narrated, but also the loneliness, the dangers and the unpredictability:
“It is wonderful to be free, but at the same time it’s not, because sometimes I really like it if I know in advance what’s going to happen, like the past two months on La Gomera (…) I like knowing that I will go to school the next day and see my friends, that I can play soccer after school or can go to the beach to swim.” (page 20)
Despite that, this is first and foremost a book for daydreaming. A wonderful series that will spark every reader’s love for traveling! – Leesbevordering in de klas (Reading Promotion in the Class Room)
With this book the series is finished, but don’t despair. I am already working on a new book! This one is set in Berkeley, where I live now.
About Boreas and the Four Winds: Boreas enjoys every minute of the journey and can’t even imagine that it will ever end. That is very fortunate! Because this journey is as addictive for the reader as for him! – Leesbevordering in de klas (Reading Promotion in the Class Room)
To celebrate the upcoming release of BOREAS EN DE VIJFTIEN VRIENDEN (Boreas and the Fifteen Friends), I was interviewed by the unsurpassable Sandra Nickel for her amazing and popular blog What Was On Her… Sandra interviews writers and illustrators of children’s and young adult literature or, as she says, she gets to the heart of our work and lives by asking What Was on Their … minds, desks, play lists, refrigerators, and more.
So, if you want to know all about my method writing style, also called the ‘No Guts, No Glory Style’, hurry over to her blogpost and read What Was on My mind and more!
Sandra Nickel writes books and poetry for young readers. Sandra has two forthcoming picture books with Abrams Books for Young Readers and one with Lee & Low Books. Her poetry can be found in SCOOP magazine. Sandra holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has presented workshops on writing for children and young adults throughout Europe and the United States. Sandra is the winner of Hunger Mountain‘s Katherine Paterson Prize for picture books for two years running.
Sandra is represented by Victoria Wells Arms of the Wells Arms Literary Agency.
Hurray! I’ll be teaching again at the Book Passage Children’s Conference in Corte Madera. June 15 to 17. Check out the video and find out what this amazing conference can offer you!
Looking forward to seeing many children’s book writer and illustrator friends in June.
If you’re a Chilren’s Literature Writer or Illustrator, it’s time to visit the San Francisco Bay Area for this inspiring, fun, and informative children’s book conference. Also, I am excited to be on faculty with some hands-on workshops and masterclasses. See you in June!
I don’t think I have ever talked about conferences for writers on the blog, let alone had someone on who coordinates one. But with me on the blog is the fabulous Pamela Livingston, who roomed with me during grad school. She’s here to talk about the Book Passage Children’s Writer’s Conference in Corte Madera, California.
El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Pamela: 1. I was the Macy’s Easter Bunny.
2. I am the proud owner of both a VCFA MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults degree plus a Picture Book Certificate which I may have illustrated before finally finding space on a wall.
3. My newest aka is “Mama Goose” of Goosebottom Books since purchasing this award-winning publishing house from its founder, Shirin Bridges.
4. I’ve been a circus star stage mom.
El Space: Tell us about Book Passage. What is it? What is your…
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