Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Love to Discover NYS Authors!

I always love to research an author I enjoy and discover that they live within an easy morning drive of me. No, I do not stalk them! But it is nice to know that not all authors live in big cities like New York City or exotic locales. 🙂

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Vivian Vande Velde was born in Rochester, NY in 1951, where she still resides. She has been writing and publishing for young readers and teens since 1984. She became a writer because she loves stories and I can think of no better reason! 🙂 She offers some great advice for writers on her website. The best piece of advice she offers is to write the kind of stories you enjoy reading.

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The first book by Ms. Vande Velde that crossed my path was Curses, Inc. and Other Stories (1996).  I also loved her Tales from the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Weird (1995). I am a sucker for magical stories! I have found in my comparatively brief writing life that short stories have their own structure and pace. It is difficult to master and I am learning from her and other masters of short stories for kids.

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A Hidden Magic (1985) is a story about a princess who follows all the rules only to discover that she may not be such a proper princess after all. In A Well-Timed Enchantment (1990), the main character loses her watch in a well and then falls through herself. She lands in medieval France. In User Unfriendly (1991), Ms. Vande Velde tells the tale of a role-playing game that plugs directly into your brain. You don’t play through the computer; you are really there.

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Heir Apparent (2002) finds her main character in another virtual game where losing means dying. Dragon’s Bait (2003) tells the story of a girl who is rumored to be a witch and is sent out to sacrifice a dragon. The problem is she isn’t a witch!

Most of her books weave tales of magic and fantasy, which makes it clear why I enjoy them so much. 🙂

She has written over 34 books, many that I just discovered in researching this post! Ms. Vande Velde also won the 2000 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel for Never Trust a Dead Man. She won the ALA Best Book for Young Adults for Being Dead (2003), Companions of the Night (2002), Heir Apparent, Never Trust a Dead Man, and Tales from the Brothers Grimm and Sisters Weird. She has won many other awards, including the Writers & Books Literary Award in 2005 for her entire body of work. Most recently- as in October 2015!- she was awarded the New York Library Association’s Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People. Congratulations, Ms. Vande Velde!

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Whether you are looking for wizards, witches, fractured fairy tales or a little horror, you can’t go wrong with Vivian Vande Velde’s books.

 

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