Qweepie Names

Moment Three: Unearthed

“I mean Killiope, Pester, Payne, Gayle, and Driew. Our names aren’t spelled right! They’re confusing, annoying. They even sound . . . painful. People automatically assume the worst in us,” said Driew, avoiding eye contact by tossing garbage onto the pile.

“Names don’t define people. People define names. Look at me, baby doll!” said Nieve, waving to capture Driew’s attention. “Your father and I can’t thank the hospital enough for the spellings. We lucked out with a caring nurse who couldn’t spell. We accepted the names and knew you would in time. That’s also why spelling is important! Words have power.”

OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters by M. W. Adams

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Who is Misses Merrie?

Moment Six: Festival

Missus Merrie chimed in, “I could search the Hopkins County Public Library. May I?” Miss Merry searched the county library system. “There is one book on cursive, The Cursive Handwriting Workbook. It’s located at our sister branch, Warren County Public Library. I can have the book delivered in a few weeks. Can you wait?”

“We’ll wait!” said Gulia.

“Which of you has a library card? I can place the hold now if you like,” said Missus Merrie.

Gulia whipped out hers. “Here, use mine!”

“You won’t get far in this town without a library card, mister. I can issue you a number now, and come by the public library Tuesday for your card. There, the handwriting book is reserved on Gulia’s card. I will also add some picture books my son illustrated. You can read them while you wait, Gulia!” said Missus Merrie. If there was anything you could fault her for, it was pushing her son’s literature.

OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters by M. W. Adams

“filled with fascinating and little-known historical facts…”—Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-book
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is an educational book for children written by Linda Smigaj and illustrated by Mark W. Adams. This historical tale is narrated by a Dutch cheese fly, named Anna, whose quest for adventure leads her to join forces with the Pilgrims on their 66-day journey aboard the Mayflower. Anna narrates how the Pilgrims and the other passengers bound for the New World had originally been scheduled to travel on another ship, but problems with its seaworthiness led to their voyage on the Mayflower, a merchant ship that had never carried passengers before. The daily life of those passengers was filled with hardships, as the ship had neither living quarters nor facilities and proper space for them. Storms and rough seas were especially difficult for all concerned. Despite the challenges of their journey, all on board, save for one sailor, survived the Atlantic crossing.

Linda Smigaj’s educational book for children, Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series, is filled with fascinating and little-known historical facts that make this Fly on the Wall book a particularly interesting read for both children and adults. Anna’s narrative is beautifully brought to life by the pen and ink and watercolor illustrations of Mark W. Adams. I instantly knew I was in for a treat when I opened the book to the illustrations showing the parts of the ship and the areas where the Pilgrims and the other passengers spent their time aboard the Mayflower. And while I was fully aware that I was reading an historical and educational book, it felt more as if I were reading an adventure tale, and an exhilarating one at that. What a marvelous way to introduce history to young readers! This very entertaining and informative work also contains a glossary and an appendix filled with more little known facts about the Mayflower’s journey. Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is most highly recommended.

When do you decide to share the OUTBACK writing with others?

When do you decide to share the OUTBACK writing with others?

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I waited until the OUTBACK book was half completed—about eight chapters. These chapters are rough and very general in creative language. My goal was to give a bland idea of the plot, character action, and historical content. If this was enough to inspire others to ask questions or want more, then the creative embellishments would be much easier.

For the first novel, I had my wife read it. She is very thorough and not a reader. Needless to say, she only read it once, and wasn’t excited. My next version was much more polished and the reader had decent feedback.

By the Beta Reader stage, all sixteen chapters had been edited using Fire Up Your Fiction: An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Stories, written by a colleague, Jodi Renner. Her book was a great resource for a newbie or established writer. I went chapter by chapter and was critical of what I’d written. Trimming excess really makes a difference when creating a fast reading fiction book.

Read the full OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, Conversation with the Author

Who is Killiope Qweepie?

Moment Four: Sinister

The glass door supporting Driew swung open. He collapsed onto the spongy rain-soaked doormat just inside the doorway. His body lodged the door open, leaving him both inside and out. Raindrops gathering on his lenses distorted an attractive teenage figure standing over him, wearing a sinister smile. Killiope released her grasp on the door.

“Where have you been, little bother?” she asked, wiping her wet face. “I’ve been waiting in the rain while you’re here, hanging out. Oh dear, what have you done?” Straddling him, she dropped onto Driew’s body. She pinned his arms with her sharp knees. “Your glasses are wet. Let’s clean those.” She licked her thumbs then smeared them across his lenses like boney windshield wipers. “Get up, you little bother. Let’s go!” she said, leaving little room for Driew to stand.

OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters by M. W. Adams

What advice would you offer new writers?

What advice would you offer new writers?

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Don’t wait to write a great novel. Age is not a limitation to becoming an author. Write everyday moments until the novel revels itself in your average day.

Write often in any format possible. Siri’s dictation on my Apple devices lets me write while walking, driving, or when I’m too lazy to use my thumbs. I carry my Best Sketchbook with me most everywhere to write and draw my thoughts. Use an app like A Novel Idea or software like Scrivener to keep track of your notes. Import your journal entries, dictations, and loose notes once a week into one main document that shows the word count. That will show you how quickly the story grows.

Join a professional writing group to enhance your writing. Join a publishing group to learn the marketing behind writing. Lastly, support local independent book stores. They will be the first to stock your book.

Read the full OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, Conversation with the Author

Killiope’s Eviction Letter

Moment Four: Sinister

Driew looked at Gulia, then Killiope, then back to Gulia. He slid toward Gulia and watched Killiope storm out the stairwell door. Confident with Gulia by his side, Driew decided now was the time to publicly post Killiope’s eviction letter.

He burst through the door, sobbing. “Sissy, come back! Sissy, come back! I promise to kiss you goodbye on the lips this time! Don’t leave mad! I love you!”

OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters by M. W. Adams

Student Question: What should I draw?

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Draw about your life. Things you enjoy: animals, home, school, or write about someone in your family.  The illustrations from The Invention of Hugo Cabret and OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters are about adventures in everyday life.

Draw about places. Boring places become interesting stories when people write about them. Driew Qweepie played on his farm, which he called Outback. Author Jules Verne included illustration about his Journey to the Center of the Earth. Document the seasons, birds, or activities that happen in your backyard using a Best Sketchbook.

Put your drawing skills to the test with this drawing challenge. Can you create all the related activities in Challenge 2?

See how many fun challenges you can create with this free drawing game. This teaching resource is a fun and easy activity that will keep students creative and save teachers time.

Which character do you have the closest connection to?

Which character do you have the closest connection to?

16-OUTBACK-Conversation_With_The_AuthorI feel a connection with each of the characters, they are like family. To pick one character I would say Killiope. As the oldest sibling in my family, I feel a responsibility for each of my siblings. Leaving home was my only escape from responsibilities, which soon caught up with me. As the series continues, I hope to become more relatable with each sibling hierarchy as the series continues.

Read the full OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, Conversation with the Author

How do you approach the writing process?

How do you approach the writing process?

16-OUTBACK-Conversation_With_The_AuthorMy writing process is fairly structured. I outline the story using a historical timeline which guides the rhythm of each book. As ideas appear, I categorize them into their respective place within the story timeline. I also parallel historical facts and words I want included from the time periods. Some days I sit inside my screened pool and become a prisoner to the story. Every breath is a moment trapped within Driew Qweepie’s story.

My favorite thing about being a writer is hearing from readers! Connecting with book lovers reminds me what writing fiction is all about—escape for us all. I enjoy reading Goodreads and Amazon reviews and seeing posts about the story—both positive and negative. I can’t improve without their honest feedback.

Read the full OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, Conversation with the Author