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READ LIKE A WRITER, a teaching blog

Writing Diverse Characters Different from those Inherent to the Author

By Christine Kohler

In 1985, my first four fiction children’s books were published by Concordia Publishing House in a series called Growing up Christian. Those contemporary stories for ages 5-9 tackled social problems, such as attitudes toward disabled people and illness. My main character in two stories is Jennifer, who is white, and her  Read More 

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STATIONS OF THE CROSS, an Out-take Chapter from NO SURRENDER SOLDIER

By Christine Kohler

I do not recommend reading this chapter if you have not read my historical novel NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, set on Guam. But if you have read the coming-of-age story and are curious about the editorial process, you might find this fascinating. In the original version, I wrote this “Stations of the  Read More 

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11 TIPS ON WRITING AUTHENTIC DIALECT

By Christine Kohler

I have lectured on voice, dialect, and using foreign language within English-language texts. In many cases it is difficult to separate the three, especially in a novel liike NO SURRENDER SOLDIER (Merit Press, 2014) which is set on a Pacific island and all the characters are POC (non-white). However, for the sake  Read More 

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PTSD IN FICTION CONNECTS WITH READERS

Some people, such my dad, will not read fiction. To them, fiction is not true. I disagree. Nonfiction may be factual, but fiction can often show truths in ways mere facts cannot. What fiction can do, especially in middle grade and young adult novels, is to hold up a mirror in which readers can  Read More 

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LIBRARY BOOK LAUNCH TIPS

A book launch for NO SURRENDER SOLDIER at Stephens, Tom Green County Library, San Angelo, Texas.

My second book launch—both at libraries one week apart—for NO SURRENDER SOLDIER’s official release was hosted by the Stephens, Tom Green County, Library in San Angelo, Texas. At my first book launch at the Carnegie Library in Ballinger I gave a research program on the history behind the book, mostly about  Read More 

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PUTTING MY COVER IN PERSPECTIVE

When my Merit Press editor Jackie Mitchard e-mailed me the cover of NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, without hesitation I e-mailed back, “I love it!” What I loved about the cover is the perspective. I don’t know who is the illustrator of my cover, but he or she understood both the duel perspective—two alternate  Read More 

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GOURMET YA LIT, Part III

This is the third blog article in a series about the importance of food in YA literature.

SACRIFICE, COMMUNION, & FELLOWSHIP

In NO SURRENDER SOLDIER (Merit Press, Jan. 2014) food is significant both literally and symbolically. In Guam, 98 percent of people are Roman Catholic. As a result, Guamanians host huge fiestas, many celebrating villages’ patron saints.  Read More 

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Interview with Jacquelyn Mitchard, editor- in-chief of Merit Press

By Christine Kohler

This article is cross-posted on Uncommon YA as part of its “Behind the Scenes in Publishing/One Thing That Sold My Book” series. I interviewed Jacquelyn Mitchard, the editor who acquired my debut novel NO SURRENDER SOLDIER, tbr January 18, 2014, by Merit Press (Adams Media/ F+W Media).

CK: Merit Press is a relatively  Read More 

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WAR LITERATURE

"War is a terrible thing, and many return with wounds invisible to the eye." -- Terry Pratchett, DODGER (HarperCollins, 2012)

This is true of all my characters in NO SURRENDER SOLDIER. The after-effects of war on people's lives are like contracting a genetic disease, even passing it down to future generations.

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY ARTICLE

Men  Read More 

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BEHIND THE SCENES: MY PATH TO PUBLICATION F0R NO SURRENDER SOLDIER

This article is cross-posted on Beth Fehlbaum’s blog.

Every author’s journey to publication is different. Someone close to me once said, “No one cares where you’ve been or what you’ve done.” That’s true in many cases. There should be a take-away value for  Read More 

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