LIT JAM Susanville

Author visitsLIT JAM Susanville

2013 Lit Jam Susanville was yet another amazing author visit for Saltwater Taffy.  We sold out every book they hand in the Lit Jam bookstore as well as 2 additional boxes of special orders.

With over 500 kids and parents in attendance for the main event, LIT JAM Susanville was a huge success for Lassen County’s Education Department.  James D. Hall was an amazing leader and an inspiration to the kids in his district.

DSC_0042_7After 3 different all school assemblies in two days, I have to admit I was beginning to run on empty, but when you have a mic, 500 kids and your book the center of attention, you find the energy to carry on.  I am looking forward to a return to Lassen County as other elementary schools in the area have requested a Saltwater Taffy visit.  Yes, this is a good problem to have on the road to becoming a best selling children’s book.  I have been on the road for over two years, touring with Saltwater Taffy and I have to admit, this recent trip to the LIT JAM Susanville has to be one of my favorite stops of all.  The kids, teachers, and parents were amazing!

DSC_0041_7          Lit Jam Susanville


7 Secrets For Children’s Book Writing


While there are potentially 1000 tips for children’s book writing, here are my 7 Secrets for Children’s Book Writing.  I used these secrets to write my award winning children’s book, Saltwater Taffy.  And remember when taking advice from other writers about writing…find what works for you and apply it to your writing, but never lose sight of YOUR writing.  More and more, people are writing to satisfy either the marketplace or their agents.  What does that leave?  A bland and boring piece of writing.


1. MAKE IT FUN – Kids want adventure.  Kids want action.  I once heard a kid say: “If it’s not fun, I don’t want to read it.”  With fractured attention spans and our culture of ADD and ADHD, you have to grab your reader on page 1 with an awesome opening!

2. CHARACTERS AGE – Once you determine your target audience, tack on a few years to your main characters.  Kids like to read what it’s like to ‘be older.’

3. PACE IS EVERYTHING – On Law & Order, we had one rule; if the scene doesn’t move the story, cut it.  This speaks to TIP #1.  Kids want the story to read stories that are fun and cook! Read more



One of the biggest secrets to writing children’s books is to watch your own thoughts.   Be careful not to judge your abilities, just trust in the process and keep moving the story forward.  Remember, if a chapter or page doesn’t propel your story, then CUT IT.  Be bold.  Be ruthless with your story.  If you don’t, who will?  Certainly not your readers because they will lose interest.

The process of creating my Middle Grade Fiction novel, Saltwater Taffy has been a wild ride.  By saying it’s been a wild ride, I mean my thoughts were all over the place…thoughts of JUDGEMENT, right there alongside…. Read more