empowering young writers online

Archive for the ‘Swept Up’ Category

World-wide Celebration of E-books

Read an Ebook Week 2014Thousands of authors, publishers and retailers are offering free and discounted e-books to spread the joy of e-reading – including me.

From March 2 through March 8 you can buy e-book editions of Swept Up and No Ordinary Lizard for half the regular price. You can read these books on your computer, phone, tablet or any e-reading device you have for $1.50. And you can download the books to as many devices as you’d like.

 To get yours, ask your parents if it’s okay. Then, have them select this link and enter REW50 into the coupon code box.

 I hope you enjoy the books and I’d love to hear what you think of them!


F*R*E*E for a week

Celebrating E-Book Week, March 4-10, 2012

From March 4-10, you can download my middle-grade book, Swept Up, at no cost. At all.

When I heard about this event, I had to participate because I love e-reading and I hope you do, too! To get your free e-book, go here  then enter RE100 into the coupon code box which will appear after you select “add to cart”.

Oh, and when you finish reading the book, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Thanks and happy reading!

Just released – Common Core Discussion Guides – get yours now

Teachers, have you been wading through the Common Core reading standards? Tired  yet? Then stop. I’ve already done it for you.

Here’s the result – grade-specific reading/discussion guides for my middle-grade light fantasy, Swept Up. These free guides are tailored to the Common Core and were developed in collaboration with certified classroom teachers. Every comp question, discussion starter, and independent/small group activity includes a list of the specific standards addressed, so you’ll know at a glance which standards you’ve fulfilled. Includes plenty of vocab, too. Click here to learn more and download your free grade-specific guide.

Picking the winner

In case you’re wondering how Nancy and I selected the winners for the ebook giveaway, here’s an inside view…

Yes, it’s a highly technical and incredibly complicated method!

And the winners are….

ebook winnersMary Edmondson Poarch and Megan! Your names were selected in the random drawing for the free multi-format edition of Swept Up. I will be contacting you by email. To make sure you receive this email, please add “dianeowens@allwritewithme.com” to your “safe” list.

Congratulations, Mary and Megan! I hope you both enjoy the book.

Thanks for playing!

The random drawing for the multi-format ebook edition of Swept Up is now closed. Nancy and I will be gathering names from all the entry locations and drawing two winners Wednesday night (Nov. 16). I’ll announce the winners right here on the “home” page on Thursday, Nov. 17. The winners will be contacted by email.

Good luck to everyone who entered!

Win an ebook!

In celebration of I Love to Write Day, I’m giving away two ebook editions of Swept Up.

It’s a little bit of fantasy and a whole lot of adventure.

What you’ll find inside the book
one angry janitor with an unbelievable plan
73 sixth-graders locked inside
an artificial town that’s becoming uncomfortably real
a popular girl who knows how to escape
a lot of kids who don’t feel like listening

What people are saying about it
“If you like adventures like the Percy Jackson series, you will love Swept Up!” – E & K Family Book Review
My class and I loved the book. It grew more suspenseful every day. You’re at the top of our bestseller list, for sure.” – Judy Smith, 3rd grade teacher
“I would give this book a full 10.” – Kayla, 6th grade
“I couldn’t put the book down!” – Gage, 5th grade
“I liked all the adventure…the only thing I didn’t like was that it ended.” – Breslin, 6th grade

If you’d like a sneak-peak, select the flapping book over there on the right.

How to enter
Comment on this post between now and November 15 and your name will be added to the drawing. If your name is selected, you’ll receive an ebook that you can read on any ereader, ipad/itouch, most phones and all computers.

Select “Comment” at the bottom of this post (just below that row of boxes), type your message in the “leave a reply” box, type your first name and last initial in the name box, then hit “post comment.”

Double your chances of winning. If you share something you’ve written, I’ll enter your name twice! For directions on how to share your writing, go to Share Your Writing.

I will announce the winners here on the “home” page and on the All Write with Me Facebook page after the drawing takes place.

Note: To claim the ebook, winners must provide a valid email address. If the winner is 13 years old or younger, I will need the email address of his/her parent or guardian instead. Email addresses can be provided here in the comments (they will not be published) or through my facebook page after I announce the winners. No emails will ever go to 3rd party groups. 

Good luck to everyone!

On the web

The internet is really cool. People from Orion, Illinois (me) can sit down and chat with people from Fresno, California (Nancy Barth) without even leaving their living rooms. That’s exactly what I did the other day and I’m glad I did. Nancy is a retired teacher who loves teaching so much that she continues to teach kids in her home. In celebration of I Love to Write Day, she invited me to talk with her about what we do here at All Write with Me. I also talked about writing when I was a kid, what it was like to write Swept Up and some of my all-time favorite authors. You can read the interview here and see Nancy’s comments on Swept Up here.


How something that really happened led to a story idea

Yesterday I wrote about where story ideas come from. You can read it here. I also promised a real-life example, so here it is.

A real-life example
The idea for Swept Up first occurred to me when my daughter came home from a field trip to BizTown. BizTown is this big building used by our local Junior Achievement. They’ve decorated the inside to look like a real town. It has everything – stores, factories, a city hall, even a cafeteria. Students spend the whole day at BizTown, doing the types of jobs they might have when they grow up – like working at a bank or delivering mail. My daughter managed the Exercise Center and she had a fantastic time. I liked the idea of kids getting to run everything for an entire day. I thought it would make a great story.

The problem was I was in the mood to write something a bit scary and extremely troubling to the characters. So I needed to turn this really fun field trip into an awful situation. To do that, I started asking myself “what if?”

It went something like this:

What if, for some reason, the teacher gets called away? What if, after awhile, the kids notice that not only is the door she went through locked, but all the doors are locked? What if it gets later and later and the teacher doesn’t come back? What if the kids call for help but no one comes? What if, after spending the whole night locked inside this fake town, some of the kids start acting like they belong there and no longer want to leave? And to make things even worse, what if there are strange, frightening noises outside and then the walls start coming down?

Well, I don’t know about you but that was enough to creep me out. Then came the hard part. Because for every “what if,” I needed a “why.” Why would the teacher leave? Why are the doors locked? Why doesn’t anyone come? Why are some of the kids acting like they belong there? Why are they hearing strange noises and why, oh why is the building falling apart?

That’s a lot of why’s. And it took me a long time to come up with answers that made sense.

But you know what? Every answer brought me closer to what the story was actually about and what had to happen to make it all work. Once I knew that, all I had to do was write it down.

It’s actually a lot of fun. Just pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. Be on the look-out for story ideas and don’t expect these ideas to be too much of anything at first. Be willing to play with them a little. If you ask yourself enough “what ifs” and answer them all with reasonable “why’s”, your thoughts and feelings will not only lead to a story idea but a full-blown story.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: