7th Grade Revolution: The Storeroom

As the personality of Silas Tucker became clear, I knew that if he had gone to the trouble of creating a secret room, then he would have hidden things of value inside. Here was a man who when building his house had put in a hidden staircase, hid a portion of the basement, and created a tunnel to escape through. … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Hidden Staircase

Last week I talked about the tunnel and how it created the school as a post Civil War mansion. Once I knew the era of the house, I knew it had to contain a secret staircase and rooms as well. The first Nancy Drew Mystery book I ever got my hands on was The Hidden Staircase and from that point … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Tunnel

When starting off on the journey of 7th Grade Revolution I didn’t have a lot of information beyond the portion based on the real life classroom experience. I had spent time getting to know my characters, but beyond knowing there was a conflict with an outside agency. Normally, before I start writing, I do work on some sort of outline. … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Class Clown

Every Middle School class has at least one … a kid with a sparkle in their eye and the ability to turn absolutely everything into a joke. They are the pranksters, the rebels, the classroom disruptors. The challenge for every teacher is to keep them at least somewhat toeing the line while not crushing their spirit. Because that spirit is … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: Willing to Fall

Success. It is a word I hear as a writer quite a bit. Is your book a success? Do you have a successful career? Since today is the launch of 7th Grade Revolution perhaps I should be wondering whether or not it will be a success. But for me, in many ways, it already is. In many respects, 7th Grade … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Generator

When there is a standoff, opponents will look for ways to weaken their opposition without a show of force. In 7th Grade Revolution, the students are inside the school, and the FBI is outside. The FBI is under orders not to create a situation which would bring scrutiny to their activities, and they don’t want to go in with a … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Outside Threat

One of the important elements for 7th Grade Revolution was the banding together of the entire grade to stand fast against an outside threat. Group dynamics have always fascinated me. The internal structure, the jockeying for power, the outcasts … each person plays their role. The role can change for each person depending on the circumstances and the group. While … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: Imagine If You Will

There are some points in 7th Grade Revolution where the story may become a little fantastical … which is as it was intended. Because it makes it a fun read. But nothing stretches the bounds of credibility as much as a single moment I wrote into the story. As I mentioned last week in my post about The Dungeon, the … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Dungeon

As much as I loved weaving in the actual occurrence at the Exploris Middle School, I knew I’d have to leave the regular school scene behind and launch into complete fiction part of the story. Only I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it happen. I knew I needed to segregate the 7th Grade from the rest of the school, … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: The Humiliation of Rhonda Snodgrass

Of all the characters in 7th Grade Revolution, the one my inner twelve-year-old identified the most with was Rhonda Snodgrass. Smart, funny, individual thinker, reader, and definitely not one of the “IT” crowd. And klutz. At twelve, I was an athlete — softball and swimming — and I couldn’t figure out how I could excel in things requiring hand/eye coordination … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: Bring Back the Fish

One of my greatest delights while writing 7th Grade Revolution was being able to take a moment that happened at Exploris Middle School and weave it into the story. There were so many moments it was hard to pick and choose which ones I’d be able to get into the story without bloating the beginning part of the book. When … Read More

7th Grade Revolution: Asserting Independence

Middle School is such an interesting time of self-discovery and stretching boundaries, which is part of the reason I am drawn to writing this age group. By this age many are beginning to assert their independence of who they are apart from their identity and role in the family. The opinions of their peers becomes more important than the opinions … Read More