What I learned

by Tim Burdick on 30 September, 2016

This summer, I worked with an editor to improve my query. The first paragraph is called a hook, which draws the interest of your reader-an agent or publisher. Below are my first and final drafts of my hook. See if you can notice any differences.

Thanks for the Bug!

by Tim Burdick on 19 September, 2016

Dear Kate,
Thank you for Paul Jennings' The Reading Bug. I love it as a parent and a children’s book writer.

Not Disney's Pan

by Tim Burdick on 23 August, 2016

Brom's The Child Thief is a scary and disturbing reinvention of J.M. Barrie's tale.
Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Lost Boys, and Neverland still exist, but with new twists and surprises await between the pages.

Summer Reading Picks for YA

by Tim Burdick on 25 June, 2016

Only one more month of summer, so many books, so little time. Enjoy.

Great Reads for Kids!

by Tim Burdick on 25 June, 2016

All the places you will go, when you open a book!

My Future Five

by Tim Burdick on 21 June, 2016

These books are my next exciting reads and the reasons why I chose them.

Summer Reading Recommendations

by Tim Burdick on 18 June, 2016

No matter where you are: on a beach, under a shady tree, near the sea or surrounded by the forest, I hope reading these books unlock your imagination and you disappear into a story for a few hours on a summer day. Enjoy.

The Creeps' book review

by Tim Burdick on 05 May, 2016

The town of Biddlecombe is strange, and not in a funny ha-ha kind of way. It’s been the center of the apocalypse. It’s home of an architect who designed loads of the town's ugly buildings, including the abandoned department store Wreckit & Sons. And it’s home to its teen savior Samuel Johnson, scientists working secretly on a superconductor, a few dwarves, and two demons. But, now someone is renovating the department store for a grand opening. Things are about to change, not in a funny ha-ha kind of way.

My closing line

by Tim Burdick on 27 April, 2016

Everyday I wrote a page or two in my journal to clear my head or get the creative juices flowing. My closing line used to be ‘don’t give up.’ But, when I read it, it sounds too negative, too desperate. My situation is anything, but dire.

What I learned

by Tim Burdick on 06 April, 2016

Last week, I met with a fellow writer to discuss the latest draft of my query and synopsis.

A Monster Calls

by Tim Burdick on 02 April, 2016

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is about a tree monster who visits Conor O’Malley every night at 12:07am. In it's first visit, the creature warns that it will return three more times and tell him a story each night. On the fourth and final visit, the boy must tell his story or die.

Doing the impossible. Again

by Tim Burdick on 29 February, 2016

Your novel. Done.

Query. Nailed it!

Now, writing a synopsis is a difficult task. How can you condense your 35, 000 word novel down into one or two pages so that anyone can see it and be captivated? Impossible right?

The Unwanteds (by Lisa McMann): a book review

by Tim Burdick on 18 February, 2016

On the book cover, one reviewer describe it as ---

Harry Potter meets Hunger Games.

And all I can say is--- Auugggh!

So, when I read this book, I found references to 1984, A Wrinkle in Time, Narnia chronicles, and Divergent. Please remember if you visit the world of Quill, try to see it with open eyes.

What makes your kid smile?

by Tim Burdick on 27 January, 2016

You know, you’ve read a children’ book (Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, LA LA LA!) a lot when you can recite it from memory.

Feedback Gifts

by Tim Burdick on 04 January, 2016


Christmas is over, but the presents keep arriving. When I asked friends for feedback on a new story about an elf, I wasn’t sure how many would respond. But for over the last few weeks, the constructive feedback has arrived from around the globe.

Why I like Bill Peet

by Tim Burdick on 11 December, 2015


Droofus the Dragon taught me – to find my purpose.
Cyrus the sea serpent taught me- to be myself.

What are you afraid of?

by Tim Burdick on 04 November, 2015

When I was younger, I was afraid of the monster living in my closet and the dark. Now, as an adult, I have replaced those old ones with new parental fears.

Can you read my 400 page children's book?

by Tim Burdick on 25 October, 2015

Hemingway: My opinion is that I hate it.

Gil: You haven’t even read it yet.

Hemingway: If it’s bad because I hate bad writing. If it’s good I’ll be envious and I’ll hate it all the more. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

A Tale of Two Graysons

by Tim Burdick on 06 October, 2015

Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

Have you heard of them? No?

Well, how aboutPaper Town?

Yes? And how aboutThe Fault in Our Stars?

Of course, yes, that’s better.

The Madeleine Factor

by Tim Burdick on 22 September, 2015

I have something in common with Madeleine L'Engle, author of A wrinkle in time.

Yes, it’s true.

Do we share a birthday? No,
Favorite color? Nope.
Are we from the same hometown? Guess again.
Did we write the same number of books? Not even close.

Our common factor is why we write. . . . .

The Last Book to Budapest

by Tim Burdick on 29 August, 2015

Every summer, we need beach books to enjoy as we lie on the sand and soak up the sun. But, what is the perfect book to read on a plane, in a car (if you don’t get sick), on a boat or a train?

One more Seuss in the world

by Tim Burdick on 16 August, 2015

“Good news, Dr. Seuss’s widow found an old manuscript in a bank vault,” My mom told me on the phone, during our weekly talk, “They’re going to publish it!”

Stay cool in Summer

by Tim Burdick on 03 August, 2015

Book Review of The Snowstorm

This Swiss Classic (by Selina Chönz) is set in a mountain village. Sister and brother Ursli and Florina tend to local animals in their barn or under the weather tree out in the forest. The story follows their preparations for the sledding day party. An excited Ursli wants to have the best sled for the big parade. As a storm approaches, he sends his sister to gather decorations for their sled. Will she get them in time and return home safe? The winter snow brings danger to the characters’ lives, but you must read to find out the ending.

Neverending Search

by Tim Burdick on 17 July, 2015

It is good to have a goal with your writing. Sometimes, I feel like a dog chasing my tail in circles. Brainstorming, drafting, re-writing, and editing my work until perfection. It’s fine to write and create, but let’s not forget the importance of publishing. This month’s blog contains my random weekly searches: the good, the bad and the hopeful of finding a publisher for The Ghosts’ Messenger.

Last week I bought a Czech children’s book O Čertovi by Pavel Čech. The illustrations showed a devil cast out from the fiery pits of Hades and sent to the human world where he caused all kinds of mischief: bending TV antennas and cutting laundry lines. Despite his nighttime fun, he felt alone, discovered an orphan girl and fell in love. But wait! How does the story end?

Goodnight Moon

by Tim Burdick on 28 June, 2015

To be honest, I’d never heard of this book until my mother gave me a copy for my newborn son and now it is a must read before bedtime.

Stories for Oliver

by Tim Burdick on 02 June, 2015

The father/son evening ritual. It is time to read him his bed time story. I place him in his crib. He is wrapped in his monkey blanket with only his head poking out. He is looking at me with his brown eyes waiting as he sucks on his pacifier.

The Next Step

by Tim Burdick on 25 May, 2015

I love writing, but I hate submitting. Formatting documents confuses me. Writing the perfect query makes me slam my keyboard close and want to hide in a closet. The rules of submission are so long that I get confused and throw my hands in the air. It is too much. It’s not worth it.


How many books have I abandoned, but now I have a story that I believe in. The Ghosts’ Messenger.

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