We recently had the chance to catch up with Scholastic Awards alum Ned Vizzini and talk to him about his upcoming book, House of Secrets, (coming out April 23) which he wrote together with director Chris Columbus who began the Harry Potter film series! It’s the first novel in their exciting fantasy trilogy. Check out what he had to say about it below and take a peek at the artwork inside the book! You’ll also find some helpful advice for young writers at the end of our interview.
SA: What is House of Secrets about? And, what makes this story epic?
NV: House of Secrets is about three kids – the Walkers – who move to a creepy old house in San Francisco that used to be owned by an even creepier writer: Denver Kristoff. Kristoff is like an H. P. Lovecraft cult figure who wrote pulp tales of pirates and warriors and dark magic. When the Walkers anger the wrong person in their new home, they get banished into the world of Kristoff’s books, where all his mad creations come to life!
“I’ve experienced very few moments in my life that have brought me to hand-over-mouth, throat-gone-dry silence. One occurred on a weekday evening after babysitting, when I learned that I’d won the novel division of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards,” says Anna Waggener in an interview with Scholastic recently. The Novel Writing category judges of the 2008 Scholastic Awards spotted budding talent in Anna, and her Award-winning work went on to become her first novel, Grim, published by Scholastic Press and currently on the shelves of bookstores everywhere! Anna credits the Awards for “making it all possible”, and says that “the amazing thing about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is that they inspire teens to master form and technique and then push things farther.”
Check out the interview below!
Image: Cover for Havemercy. Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett. (Spectra, 2008).
The books Havemercy, Shadow Magic and Dragon Soul are part of a fantasy trilogy written by 2004 Scholastic Writing Portfolio Gold Medalist Jaida Jones and her co-author Danielle Bennett. The books begin with a tale of two cities, Volstov and Ke-Han. Amidst warring magicians, macho dragon riders and their mysterious mechanical steeds, these rich characters must ultimately work together to find lasting peace. How did Jaida and Danielle publish three books (with a fourth on the way!) and conceive a rich fictional world with original characters? Like many epic sagas, it started out with a Scholastic Award, a story about firefighters, and a sensitivity training class at a summer job. Read More
Image: Madeleine L’Engle. Juror for The Scholastic Writing Awards, Short Story Division. Literary Calvacade, 1973.
Sci-fi author Madeleine L’Engle enjoyed careers as a librarian and an actress by the time she judged short stories for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards in the early 1970s. But like the young writers whose work she evaluated, she was no stranger to criticism. L’Engle’s best known work, the sci-fi children’s classic A Wrinkle in Time, was initially rejected by dozens of publishers in the early 1960s. Why? According to Madeleine L’Engle: “A Wrinkle in Time had a female protagonist in a science fiction book, and that wasn’t done.” Read More