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I’m always eager to read your comments about my books and stories, so please feel free to pitch in. Here are a few things for you to know:

1) I answer the messages here personally.

2) No message shows up here until I actually answer it to prevent spam and other inappropriate postings. So there will sometimes be a delay before your message posts, especially if I am traveling.

3) Teachers, a gentle request: Please do not have multiple children send me variants of the same message. A group email is much easier to respond to and not such a drain on my time. My thanks in advance for being alert to this.

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853 entries.
Rashea from Everett wrote on October 24, 2019:
Dear Mr. Coville,
I read your book The Weeping Werewolf and I would like to ask a couple questions like do you have a pet? Do you have a favorite book? How long does it take to write a book? Do you like sports or what is your favorite spot to write at?

Rashea your friend
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Rashea

I am so happy that you enjoyed "The Weeping Werewolf" I definitely had a good time writing it. All of those characters are fun to work with.

There is no good answer to the question "How long does it take to write a book" because every book is different. Sometimes a book just pours out and I can write it quickly. That doesn't happen often, though. Sometimes it takes months, or even years, to get a book completely finished.

I hope you will keep reading my books!

carlos from everett wrote on October 24, 2019:
Dear Coville,
Hi! My name is Carlos I am a fifth grader at Odyssey Elementary and I am a fan of The Weeping Werewolf. I have some questions for you. Whats you're favorite sport, Your favorite color and why did you make the were wolf Edwards dad, and whats you're favorite bock and why?

From Carlos
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Carlos -

Thanks for your message. As to your questions - I do not really have a favorite sport now. I am too busy doing things to watch much on TV. When I was in college I was on the fencing team (sword fighting!) which I loved.

I made the werewolf Edward's dad because I thought it was a cool idea and that my readers would like it!

Danna from Everett wrote on October 24, 2019:
Dear Mr Coville,
I just finished reading The Weeping Werewolf. I really like your book.s I really like when Edward was standing up for his friends. What is your favorite book you read? And when is your birthday and when did you write your first book? I really want to know how long it would take you to write a book. What is your favorite animal? Also, what school did you go to when you were in high school? Thank you for making books.

Grade 5
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Danna -

It's lovely to know that you like my books. I am especially glad that you liked the part where Edward is standing up for his friends. Friendship and standing up for what is right are things that are important to me.

I love reading, so I have many favorite books. My favorite kid's book is TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbitt.

I went to high school in a very small town in upstate NY called Phoenix.

Thanks for writing.

Joab from Everett wrote on October 24, 2019:
Dear Bruce,
My name is Joab. I am in 5 grade in Odyssey. I just finished The Weeping Werewolf. I loved it. My favorite character was Edward because he talked back to the witch.So what inspired you to write fantasy books? And what was your first fantasy book? What age did you start to write fantasy books?
Thank for Writting this book From Joab
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Joab -

I am delighted that you loved "The Weeping Werewolf" It was so much fun to write. It was also fun because my wife made the illustrations, so we got to talk about it a lot while we were working on it.

What inspired me to write fantasy books was . . . fantasy books! I loved reading fantasy, so when I started to write myself it was natural for me to write in that genre.

I started writing fantasy when I was in high school. I didn't publish a book until I was 28. That first book was called "The Foolish Giant"

Peter from Everett wrote on October 24, 2019:
Hi Mr Coville,
My name is Peter and I want to ask you some questions.Do you like dogs and cats? What was the first book you made? What school were you in in elementary? How old are you now? I liked reading The Weeping Werewolf and I like Edward because he stands up for himself when he was bullied. I'm in 5th grade.

Thank you for making books for kids,
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Peter -

Thanks for this message. To answer a couple of your questions (1) I LOVE dogs and cats. I love almost all animals, actually. (2) I am now 69 years old; I will be 70 in May.

I'm delighted that you liked THE WEEPING WEREWOLF. I really had fun writing about Edward and Moongobble.

Bruce Coville
Room 4 Late Birds from Los Angeles wrote on October 21, 2019:
Good day Mr. Coville!

We liked reading Jeremy Thatcher and loved the characters, Jeremy and Tiamat. Our favorite parts were when Mary Lou tried to kiss Jeremy and when Tiamat took Jeremy on the midnight flights.

We were curious about why you made Tiamat invisible to everyone except for Jeremy and Mary Lou. Also, why did Tiamat have to leave and make Jeremy so sad at the end of the book? Why didn’t Jeremy jump into the gate with Tiamat?

We have two more questions. What type of dragon is Tiamat? How did the librarian, Ms. Priest know about Tiamat?

Hope you have a happy Halloween!

Room 4 Late Birds
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy, Room 4 Late Birds!

I am very glad to know that you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER!

You have good questions, and I will try to give you good answers:

Q. Why did I make Tiamat invisible to everyone except for Jeremy and Mary Lou?
A. In the first draft that I sent to my editor, Tiamat never got any bigger than a large dog. That was because if she had, Jeremy could not have kept her hidden - could not have kept her safe! Also, Jeremy had to say good-bye to her in the front of the Magic Shop, and not go behind the counter to release her. My editor said I needed to try again, that I had ended the story too early. I was puzzling about how to keep Ti hidden when I came across an old French folk tale about an invisible dragon, and that gave me the key to how to continue the story and do what my editor wanted. It made for a much better book!

Q. Why did Tiamat have to leave and make Jeremy so sad at the end of the book?
A. As the story explains, our world is not really safe for dragons any more. That's why they needed a world of their own.
Q. Why didn’t Jeremy jump into the gate with Tiamat?
A. Would you have jumped into the gate with Tiamat? Remember, if you did, you would have gone to a strange world, leaving behind your family and all your friends!

Ms. Priest works with Mr. Elives - you'll find her in some of the other Magic Shop books, too. Who she is, and who Mr. Elives is, are part of the mystery of the shop.

Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

Bruce Coville
Room 4 Early Birds from Los Angeles wrote on October 21, 2019:
Dear Bruce Coville,

Our third grade class loved reading Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. We enjoyed the part when Tiamat gave Mr. Kravitz a hot foot. We thought it was very funny when Mr. Kravitz yelled at Jeremy, “I want fruit!”

We were wondering about a few things:
How was Jeremy able to see into Tiamat’s mind?
Did you like dragons when you were a kid and did you have any imaginary friends?
Would you like dragons to be real? Are there more dragon eggs and portals out there?

We would love a sequel to find out what happens after the end of the story. Are you planning on writing one?!

Room 4 Early Birds
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi there, Early Birds! I'm glad you're enjoying JEREMY THATCHER. It's funny that you liked that line of Mr. Kravitz's so much. I directed the audiobook version of the book, and even though I did it about 20 years ago, I still find my self say, "I want fruit, Thatcher, not imaginary animals!" because the actor who read that part was so very funny when he did it.

As to your questions:

Jeremy seeing into Tiamat's mind is part of the magic of dragons.
I totally loved dragons when I was a kid, and still do, for that matter. And, yes, I did indeed have imaginary friends.
There are definitely more dragon eggs and portals out there!
I think it is unlikely I will be doing a sequel to the book. The only reason to do a sequel, in my opinion, is if I have an even better story to tell than I had in the first book, and I don't think that's the case right now. I do have one idea, but it would be more of a book for adults (Jeremy would be a grown up) and that just doesn't feel right.

Thanks for writing to me. And keep reading!

Bruce Coville
Cindy (tween book club) from Cypress wrote on October 16, 2019:
Hello, we are a tween book club and we have read a few of your books. You have very good imagery and very creative. Where do you get your ideas?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy, Book Club -
People always ask about ideas, and one thing I say is that you have to train yourself to have what I call "Story Brain" There are seeds of stories all around us, but you have to be alert to them.
The other important thing is to save ideas when they come to you. The human brain is an idea-generating machine. But it doesn't send ideas when you want them, it sends them when it feels like it. If you get an idea and say, "That's cool, I'll write it someday" but don't actually write the idea down, by the time someday comes, it will be gone! I have a thick file called IDEAS and when I get an idea I write it down and stuff it in there. (I also have a similar file on my computer.) I also tear out articles from newspapers and magazines that contain the seeds of ideas.

All best,
Letswookieswin (Christina) from Greenville, NC wrote on September 7, 2019:
Hi there Bruce. I've been an almost lifelong fan of The Unicorn Chronicles. The first two came out when I was a child and the last two were released when I was 23 in graduate school. I've read the series at least four times, but probably more than that and I've just lost count. It's one of my favorite childhood series. Even now at 32, I share the stories with friends and gush about how much the stories have meant to me.

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of the books to my instagram (letswookieswin). A stranger, someone I've never met, commented on the post with excitement and asked if this was a series with a unicorn and a "Bigfoot-like character." I replied that, yes, the Dimblethumb did remind me of Bigfoot in the way he's described. She replied again, telling me that she read Into the Land of Unicorns in her youth but couldn't remember the name of the book. She told me she had lost the book on a family vacation and had been trying to remember the title of her lost book for over 20 years! She sent me a message about a week ago, telling me she'd bought all 4 books in the series, that she re-read the first one, and it was definitely the book she'd lost. She was so excited to know the story continued past book 1 and thanked me over and over again for reuniting her with her "book that got away." I was overjoyed to be able to share in her excitement with her and just wanted to come on here and thank you for writing such a wonderful series that has touched the lives and hearts of so many readers.

Cara and Lightfoot are an irreplacable part of my childhood and each time I reread the series, I feel the same way as when I reread the Chronicles of Narnia - like I'm revisiting old friends. I'll never be too old for fairy tales and I have you and C.S. Lewis to thank for that.
Peyton wrote on September 4, 2019:
Hey, Mr. Coville!
I love all of your books (the ones iv'e read anyway) and I was wondering where you get your inspiration from. Do you have a carefully thought-out plan when you write something, or is your writing spontaneous (do you make it up as you go along)?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Peyton -

Thanks for this message. As to inspiration . . . well, honestly, that is overrated. If I only wrote when I was "inspired" I would have published maybe 3 things overall. Mostly you have to work with your imagination, and be alert and alive to the world around you.

The question about being spontaneous is interesting. I have written tight outlines, and mostly stuck with them. I have also written tight outlines and then totally thrown them away when I realized they weren't working and gone on by the seat of my pants.

I think the most important thing to know about writing is this: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT!

All best