Welcome to the Guestbook!

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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923 entries.
gr.3Hum from Calgary wrote on March 22, 2021
Dear Mr. Coville,
Our class really enjoyed reading The Monster’s Ring. It was extraordinary and humourous. It started as realistic fiction and quickly became a fantasy story. Here are some questions that we have about this story.
-Will you write another book about The Monster’s Ring? Will Russell appear inanother book?
-Did you write books as a kid? Can you tell us about any stories you wrote as a kid?
-What made you want to become an author?
-We are interested in publishing stories too. Can you tell us about the process and how you published this book?
-In your other books, did you write about other students? (you mentioned in your author’s note that Russell and Eddie were modeled after read students)
-Are any of your character traits in this story? (especially, character traits of Russell)
We enjoyed the twist of the story! You really inspired us with this story! We think you should write part 2 of this story!
Mrs. Hum’s grade 3 class
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy, Mrs. Hum's Class -
Lovely to hear from you. I am delighted that you enjoyed THE MONSTER'S RING so much. It was the very first novel I published, and it thrills me that people are still reading it.
My goodness, you do have a lot of questions!
Will I write another book about Russell? Probably not. I wanted to write a sequel when it was first published, but my editor was not interested. But I loved the Magic Shop too much to let go of it, so my next idea was to do a book of short stories about the shop. Except I tend to get carried away, and most of the times when I tried to write a short story, it turned into a book instead. That's why there are now FIVE Magic Shop books!
Russell and Eddie are the only characters I have based completely on my students. Characters in my other books are made up, but I use a lot of what I learned about kids from (a) being a kid myself and (b) working as a teacher for seven years.
The first time I wanted to be a writer was when I in 6th grade. Other careers appealed to me, but the desire to write never went away.
As far as getting published, that is a huge topic, so big that whole books are written about it! The best book I know for kids about HOW to write better is SPILLING INK by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for writing - and keep reading!

All best,
Mrs. Jana Hodson and her Grade 3's from Calgary, Canada wrote on March 15, 2021
Dear Mr. Coville,
We just finished reading "The Monster's Ring". We loved it! It was funny and adventurous and cool. But we want to know more, so here are some of the questions we came up with. Did Eddie and Russell become friends? Did Russell change into a monster every full moon? How did he hide it from his mom and dad? What happened to the ring, did it fall off or did he absorb it? Was the full moon monster the same monster that Russell had turned into? Does Russell wake up naked every time he turns into a monster? We know that the magic shop makes 5 more stops, will there be anymore? We are about to start our individual novel study of Jeremy Thatcher, We can't wait to find out what happens next in the magic shop!
Mrs. H. and the Grade 3's
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy Mrs. Hodson's Class -
Thanks for your message. I'm delighted to know that you enjoyed THE MONSTER'S RING so much. You might like knowing that I wrote the first version while I was teaching 4th grade, and Russell and Eddie are both based on real life kids I had in my class!
You asked some good questions. Russell and Eddie definitely became friendly, but I am not sure they actually became real friends.
Russell does indeed become a monster every full moon. How he hides it from his mother and father would be one of the main points of the story if I were ever to write a sequel. Since I haven't written a sequel, I never really worked that out!
I believe Russell absorbed the ring.
The "full moon monster" would be something else that I would have to work out if I wrote a sequel. For example, it might be that it is a cycle - he becomes the first monster on the first full moon, the second monster on the next full moon, and the mega-monster on the third full moon. And then it would start all over again. He only loses his clothes with the third transformation, but once he knew it was coming, he would probably strip first and put his clothes in a safe place so he could get back into them once he turned back in the morning.
Wow! That's more that I've thought about what would happen next than I ever did before. Great questions!
I hope you'll enjoy the rest of the Magic Shop books. There are no plans for another one right now, but you never know . . .

Your friend,
Bruce Coville
Petrina M. from Everett wrote on March 12, 2021
I have greatly loved reading the Unicorn Chronicles and recently have been looking to purchase all of them for my own collection and was wondering when The Last Hunt would be back in print? It's currently really hard to find and I know there's an audio book for it but I would really like to have a hard copy. Thank you for this series!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Petrina -
So . . . about THE LAST HUNT. Here is a rather lengthy answer: First off,
I am very sorry about the situation. For reasons I have never understood, Scholastic failed to release a paperback edition. I'm still upset about that, and felt it was a great betrayal of my readers.
On the good news side, I have regained the rights to the books and I am working on bringing them back in print myself. The plan is to split up the totally-out-of-proportion third and fourth volumes (split DARK WHISPERS in half, and THE LAST HUNT into 3 parts) to make a seven part series that is more evenly divided.
The first half of Book 3 is now available as ENTER THE WHISPERER, and just a few days ago I sent the second half, which will be called SECRET OF THE DELVERS, to the designer. I am hoping to have it available on my website and at Amazon in the next 5 or 6 weeks.
So now it's on to THE LAST HUNT! I am hoping it will move faster than SECRET OF THE DELVERS, which required substantial revisions. (It has FIVE new chapters about Lightfoot!) My goal is to have all three volumes out before the end of the year, in the first uniform edition the series has ever had!

All best,
Lee P from Wigan, UK wrote on March 11, 2021
Wow, a guestbook! So 90s, I love it. Thanks for writing the "My teacher is an alien" series. I adored them growing up and it's a topic I've been fascinated with ever since. Led to a lot of knowledge! <3
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Lee -
Glad you have such fond memories of the MY TEACHER books. It's always a great thing to find that someone who read them as a kid still thinks of them with pleasure as an adult! Thanks for checking in here.

90's guy,
Bruce Coville
Amy from Columbus wrote on February 10, 2021
Hello Bruce,
I wanted to let you know that your unicorns are the most powerful and beautiful ones that I've read in fiction. I've held them close to my heart while growing up, and they still feel the most... real somehow, the most true to themselves. I was wondering if your personal conception of what a unicorn really is, at its core, has changed over the course of your writing career.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Amy -
I can't tell you how much I appreciate this message. You got exactly what I was trying to do with the unicorns of Luster - and the message makes me feel that I succeeded.

My second book, way back in 1979, was a picture book called SARAH'S UNICORN. I tried in that book to be completely true to unicorn myth and legend. I think working from that starting point my conception of unicorns has not so much changed as simply grown richer and deeper as I have had the good fortune to continue writing about them.

I will confess that (being old and cranky) I get pretty annoyed at glittery, sparkly, silly, pink unicorns. UGH!

Again, thanks for the kind words. Stay safe, stay well . . . and keep reading!

Mercedes Logsdon from Vancouver wrote on February 2, 2021
I found some old music that took me back to reading the unicorn chronicles however I could not remember the name of books for anything. After 3 hours of searching goodreads I finally found them. Thank you so much for this series. It helped get me through one of the hardest parts in my life. Thank you so much for bringing the books back! I'm waiting to receive the first three books to read them to my children.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Mercedes -
Thanks for this lovely message. You are not the first to tell me that the Unicorn Chronicles helped during a difficult time in their life. It is one of the greatest honors I can think of to know that my books have done this.

All good wishes,
Hannah Bowles from Salem wrote on January 16, 2021
Hi! So in the 4th grade back in 2007 we had to write a favorite author a letter in class. I picked you and you wrote back and to this day it is one of my favorite memories of elementary school. This week I started my Children's Literature class for my Elementary Education major. We had to pick a book that stood out to us a child and I immediately thought of you and that letter years ago. I remembered writing to you here in your guestbook back then too. I had to come back and see if I still could. Thank you so much for having such an impact on my life so many years later. I cannot wait to share your stories in my classroom one day!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Hannah -
Thanks for this lovely message. And how exciting that you are embarking on a degree in Elementary Education. That is the field where I earned my degree as well, and my Children's Literature classes ( I took a few more as a graduate student ) were my absolute favorites. I'm delighted that you remember my books so fondly, and wish you great joy and fulfillment in your teaching career!

Bruce Coville
Sigfredo Vega wrote on December 15, 2020
Last year it was the 20th anniversary of the TV series of "My Best Friend is an Alien" and didn't get any news about it anywhere. Is there a chance to get it or are they going to wait for the 25th? I did find only the first season episodes.Thank you for your time!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Sigfredo -
OH, I dearly wish the producers would do something to celebrate the show. I suspect they've pretty much forgotten about it. I am startled and delighted to know that you could find even the first season available.
They filmed it in Toronto. I live in upstate NY, and I made several trips to the set to hang out and watch the filming and talk to the actors. That was so much fun!

All best,
Bruce Coville
Rebbeca from spring valley wrote on November 11, 2020
Hi! i just wanted to let you know that i have read and own so many of your books. The depth of character and strength in all the books are absolutely riveting. My favorite series is the unicorn chronicles. I have read them over and over again and have never gotten bored:) thank you so much for your books!!!!!!!!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Rebecca -

MAny thanks for this lovely message - and many apologies for the delay in responding! The website is supposed to send me a notification when a new message arrives, but for some reason it has stopped doing that. I need to talk to my webmaster to get that taken care of!

It might interest you to know that I am working on republishing the Unicorn Chronicles. In doing so I am splitting up the extra long 3rd and 4th volumes. I'm working on what will now be book 4 (essentially the second half of what was DARK WHISPERS) and writing some new chapters about Lightfoot and M'Gama.

All good wishes,
Bruce Coville
Sarah (Debowey) Yeater from Minot wrote on November 7, 2020
I have written in here a couple times over the years. I appreciate you responding each time. My daughter is four and my son is seven, and I have started reading them, The Unicorn Chronicles. This is still one of my favorite book series. I am happy to hear that you’re planning on making this a seven part series. I plan on buying this for my children as well as my nieces and nephews. I would say on my own I probably still read the series at least once a year. Thank you for creating such a wonderful series!!

Is the Unicorn Chronicles going to be made into movies? Will you expand more on this book series?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Sarah -
I'm really glad to know that you like the new plan for the series. It's interesting, sometimes frustrating, always challenging, and also enjoyable to be working on these minor revisions.
As far as a film goes, there is a company (quite a good one) trying to get a film going, but, as you probably know, this is a very tough time in Hollywood right now. Keep your fingers crossed!