Blood on the Forehead: What I Know About Writing

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9780064462075: Blood on the Forehead: What I Know About Writing

Award-winning novelist M. E. Kerr shares for the first time the stories behind--and excerpt from--five of her novels and five short stories and offers young people dozens of sensible writing tips that can be used immediately by any aspiring writer of fiction. A professional writer who has earned her living solely as an author from the year after she graduated college to the present, Ms. Kerr--with her usual mix of sparkling with and common sense--talks about how she gets her ideas and, more important, how she uses them to create her stories.

Whether you are writing your next school assignment or thinking about writing as career, Blood on the Forehead gives you a fascinatinginsight into the way one highly successful author approaches her own work.For decades, Marijane Meaker has delighted readers of all ages. Shes written under the names Vin Packer, M. J. Meaker, and Mary James. But as M. E. Kerr, writer of books for young adults, she has won perhaps her greatest audience.In Blood on the Forehead M. E. Kerr shares both the stories behind and excerpts from five of her novels and five short stories for young adults, as well as tips about what writers need to remember in order to write fiction successfully (e.g., Courtesy #10 to extend to your reader: Cut! Cut! Cut! Your reader has a life.). With her usual mix of sparkling wit and common sense, Kerrs personal journey through the writing process is sure to buoy the spirits of any reader faced with the next writing assignment.

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About the Author:

M.E. Kerr is a winner of the American Library Association's Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the 2000 ALAN award from the National Council of Teachers of English. She lives in East Hampton, New York, and remembers clearly the hometown boy who chose not to fight when all the other young men, including her brother, were marching off to war.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 UpAYoung writers will take pleasure in this book of advice and encouragement by an award-winning author. However, there is not much new material here. Reprinted short stories and chapters from four of Kerr's novels, as well as from her autobiography, make up the bulk of the book. Short essays preface each lengthy selection. For example, in the section titled "What If?" Kerr tells how a neighbor inspired her to write Gentlehands (HarperCollins, 1978). In "Names," she explains how Marijane Meaker became M.E. Kerr. Readers unfamiliar with the author's work will scramble to find and finish her excerpted novels. Her fans will undoubtedly enjoy the personal reflections and discovering exactly where she gets her ideas; she aptly illustrates the fact that inspiration can come from the unlikeliest sources. Her remembrances of harsh critiques and abundant rejection letters drive home the importance of perseverance. Still, this book is more effective as a collection of her work than as a guide for aspiring writers. Kerr does offer several pages of general writing tips ("...give your characters interesting names," "Grab your reader right away"), but gives only quick examples. Young teens looking strictly for instruction in the craft of writing fiction may want to choose Marion Dane Bauer's What's Your Story? (1992) or Our Stories (1996, both Clarion) instead.AMiranda Doyle, Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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