INTERVIEW: CITY OF ISLANDS
Kirkus Reviews | July 24, 2018
Hailing from landlocked Colorado, seascapes always held an almost mystic allure for Kali Wallace. That lingering childhood fascination, combined with a Ph.D in geophysics, had been steering Wallace towards the world she envisions in City of Islands—a city spread out across the sea, a culture defined by the natural world it inhabits—but it took quite some time for the story to emerge in a way that felt true.
ESSAY: ADULTS RUIN EVERYTHING
Adults ruin everything. It’s an abiding theme of children’s stories: to have an adventure, you’ve got to ditch the parents and guardians. It might be a trope, but it’s one I’ve always rather liked. It’s always seemed to me the closest a story can come to capturing the moments a uninhibited, unsupervised make-believe of my 1980s go-play-in-the-ditch-behind-the-house childhood.
ESSAY: THE WORLDS WE BUILD
The city was born first. Everything else came after. It doesn’t always work that way. Some stories begin with characters, others with scenarios or single images. But City of Islands began with the city. It was so vivid in my mind, and the more I wrote, the more vivid it became. It was an archipelago city in a stormy, dangerous ocean. There were sea serpents, trading ships, noisy docks and boisterous taverns, palaces and slums. It was beautiful; it was also terrible.
ESSAY: COURAGE AND COMPASSION
By the time I was twelve years old, I had learned a number of valuable lessons from books. I had learned how to make dessert for a dragon dinner party. I had learned how to argue with fairies. How to find a magical world on a concrete patio or an abandoned cow field. How to pronounce Welsh. How to know which rules are worth breaking, and how to break them. How to run away from home. How to go back. How to kill the Witch-King of Angmar. How to cross the universe and face down powerful evil. How to know if your pet rabbit is a vampire.
Chuck Wendig's blog | October 12, 2017
I’ve heard writers say that the first draft of a novel is the one where we tell the story to ourselves. What I haven’t heard is that this can also be true of the second, third, fourth, and fifth drafts, because sometimes it takes that many tries to figure out what the hell we’re doing.
INTERVIEW: writing Shallow Graves and The Memory Trees
Semi-professional Book Person | July 28, 2017
The thing about first novels is that when we're writing them as innocent baby authors who know nothing of the publishing world, we're pretty much only thinking about the story and why we love it and why we want it out in the world. But second novels are different.
The Mark of Cain is a spooky, often terrifying story steeped so deeply in the ominous feeling of a singular place that the richness of the setting carries it along even when a sluggish pace and rotating points-of-view threaten to derail it.
ESSAY: Thinking of the Children
Chiara' Sullivan's blog | July 3, 2016
There's a lot of talk in the children's book community recently about the pushback certain books and authors are receiving for writing and talking about subjects that some people believe is inappropriate for their intended audience.
ESSAY: 7 Things I've Learned So Far
Guide to Literary Agents blog at Writer's Digest | January 27, 2016
There are writers in the world who finish a first draft, read it over a couple of times to clean it up, and that’s it. They’re finished. The story is done.
This is what I have learned about those writers: I hate them.
YA Highway | November 10, 2015
There's a ghost town called Rosita in the Wet Mountains of southern Colorado. It was born in the 1870s, one of the dozens of mining camps that evolved into towns during Colorado's silver rush, and like most its boom days didn't last very long. There's almost nothing of it left now: only the name, the old post office, and the graveyard.
INTERVIEW: Author to Author with Jenny Moyer
I love that even after I’ve pushed a story as far as I know how to push it, my agent and my editor can come along and say, “Oh, my sweet summer child, we are not done yet,” and open up ways to make it even better. It’s a fantastic feeling to look at the book in ARC form and compare it to the appallingly terrible first draft I finished way back when and see how much it has evolved and improved over time.