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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.

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853 entries.
Chi from Wausau wrote on October 16, 2018:
Mr. Coville
I am a student from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. This month, I will be presenting you as my author presentation. What advice should you give to the students of Children Literature class? And what is your favorite book of all time? Thank you.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Student! I'm flattered to know that you will be using me for your author presentation. As to advice for your fellow students, without a more specific request, my advice would be to read voraciously, and in as wide a range as possible! Find authors who engage and delight you and explore their bodies of work. I'm guessing that you and your classmates will be working with children in some capacity, so know this: The greatest tool for getting kids involved in the joy and love of reading is your own passion for the literature!

As to my "favorite book of all time" - wow, that's a hard one. And, to be honest, the answer would vary with my mood. At the moment, I would have to say "The Count of Monte Cristo," which my son once described as "Bruce Coville for grown-ups" which is possibly the nicest thing he ever said to me!

All best,
Ms. Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 12, 2018:
Hi Bruce Coville,
We liked Jeremy Thatcher and we hope you keep writing amazing books like this. We loved the creative details you used to describe the magic shop. We were wondering why the dragon egg changes colors? We can't believe you wrote 13 drafts! How long were you working on this story?
Thank you for writing Jeremy Thatcher!
Your readers,
D.C,K.B,R.C,A.W,A.H,and HC.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear D.C,K.B,R.C,A.W,A.H,and HC -

I'm so glad that you liked JEREMY THATCHER. Your question about how long I worked on it is an interesting one. I first had the idea for the book in 1982, when THE MONSTER'S RING, the first Magic Shop book, was published. I had wanted to do a sequel to RING, but the editor didn't want one. But I didn't want to let go of the Magic Shop, so my next idea was to do a set of short stories and I sat down and made a list of things you could buy in the shop.

When I started to write the story about the egg, it kept growing, and by the time it was forty pages long, it was clear it wanted to be a book, not a short story! That took a lot more thinking - the book was not published until 1991, nine years later! Of course, I worked on many other things during that time, but you can see that it took years for this egg to hatch!

Ms. Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Greetings, Mr. Coville,
We enjoyed your book Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher. It had lots of detail, and you used your senses. It was funny when Tiamat was chasing the cats. It was cool when Miss Priest came out of the woods. Our favorite character is Tiamat. Are you going to make a movie of Jeremy Thatcher? And also, are you going to make another version, but from Tiamat's point of view? We would love that!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Thanks for this message. The idea of doing another version from Tiamat's point of view is very interesting. I am unlikely to do that now, but I think it would be a very cool writing project for you guys!
As to a movie of the book - first off, generally speaking writers don't make movies. Hollywood makes movies! And I have had many Hollywood filmmakers approach me about making a movie of JEREMY. However none of them managed to get it done.
That said, in about an hour I will be talking to two young filmmakers who want to make a try at it. So wish us luck!

All best, BC
Rachel Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
We loved reading Jeremy Thatcher. We thought it was really funny when Tiamat messed up dinner with Mary Lou. What book out of the Magic Shop series would you recommend? Are you going to make a part 2 of Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher? You make us laugh when we read your books!

AGK , OKC , FAC , ELB , and KEB
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, AGK , OKC , FAC , ELB , and KEB -

So glad that you loved JEREMY THATCHER. I think it is the book of mine that is most likely to be around years after I have left this world! I'm glad you enjoyed the dinner scene - that was so much fun to write!
The next Magic Shop book I would recommend to you is JENNIFER MURDLEY'S TOAD - though to be honest, I should tell you that I love all five books in this series.
Of course, since it is almost Halloween, maybe right now you should read THE MONSTER'S RING instead. I wrote it trying to come up with exactly the kind of Halloween book I wanted to read when I was a kid myself!

All best,
Bruce Coville
Rogi Backwards from Nilbogsville wrote on October 11, 2018:
Roommate needed for the cellar beneath the cellar beneath the cellar beneath my house. Must be simple-minded, loyal, and a few other things I forgot. Apply by Oct. 31.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Rachel Bachmuth from La Canada wrote on October 11, 2018:
Dear Mr.Coville,
We enjoyed reading your book Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher. We liked how Jeremy and Tiamat communicated in thoughts, images, and feelings. We liked how Tiamat gave Mr. Kravitz a hot foot! Why did you sadly have to make Tiamat go to the dragon world? What books do you recommend for third graders to read?
From: O.P., J.C.,C.V., A.H.,and A.M.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi there, O.P., J.C.,C.V., A.H.,and A.M.! Thanks for this message. I'm delighted that you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER so much.

As for the ending, it was hard, and sad, to write. But I felt it was the right ending for this book. This world is no longer made for dragons, alas.

Some other books by me that I think you would enjoy are THE MONSTER'S RING (this is a Magic Shop book, like JEREMY), THE DRAGONSLAYERS, and MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN.

Happy reading!
Tyler Walker from Douglas, WY wrote on October 9, 2018:
Mr. Coville,
My 5th grade class read My Teacher is an Alien and they found it amazing and hilarious! We read the excerpt in the back, of My Teacher Fried My Brains, we are now anxious to read that one! Message from my students: "we never wanted our teacher to stop reading the book, we enjoy your book, we can't wait to read other books in the series! Happy Halloween!! Happy Thanksgiving!! Merry Christmas!!"
Reply by Bruce Coville
Man, what a great message! I can't tell you how much it delights me to know that you liked MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN so much. I hope you'll enjoy FRIED BRAINS, too. I will tell something I don't often mention - Duncan Dougal is based on a real boy I had in my classes back when I was a teacher.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all of you! (It's my favorite holiday!)
Julie Barnett from Saint George wrote on October 3, 2018:
Mr. CoVille, My 3rd grade class wrote to you about 20 years ago. We enjoyed reading your Magic Shop books and asked when your new book (Skull of Truth) was due to come out. you wrote back to us.
I still have your letter and I read your Magic Shop books to my class every year (I'm still teaching and still reading them) All my classes know of Jeremy Thatcher , Jennifer Murdley , Russell Cranneker, Charlie Eggelston and Juliet Love. We would like to know if there are any more or will be more of the magic shop books? I'm ordering several more of your books to add to our class I hadn't seen them in print before. Please Keep writing more books. You are an amazing writer. Thank you. Mrs Barnett's 4th grade class (I graduated to 4th grade) Red Mountain Elem. Ivins, Utah
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy Mrs. Barnett and 4th Graders! Thanks for this lovely message.

It delights me so much that you are reading and enjoying the Magic Shop books. As to whether there will be any more in the series . . . well, that remains to be seen. I had planned to do a 6th book, but I had some serious problems with my publisher, and as a result it has remained unwritten. But I do sometimes think about going back to it. It's a tricky situation.

However I can guarantee you that whether it is the Magic Shop or something else, I will definitely keep writing!

By the way, it might interest you to know that I used to be a 4th grade teacher myself. I love 4th grade! I think it's one of the best years ever!

your friend,
Bruce Coville
Adarsh Vivek from King Of Prussia wrote on September 18, 2018:
Hello Mr. Coville,
The MY TEACHER series is very good. I am inspired by you. One more question, do u play Fortnite? Please answer. Thanks so much!
Tiffany Black from Douglas wrote on August 30, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
Our 5th grade class is currently reading My Teacher is an Alien. We love reading how Susan Simmons is finding out her teacher is an alien (we are currently reading chapter 5). Do you have any book suggestions for our class? Also, do you have any tips for us as writers?
Mrs. Black's Class
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy, Mrs. Black's Class -

I'm delighted to know that you are reading (and enjoying!) MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN!

As far as book suggestions - what are you looking for? More science fiction? Some fantasy? Books by me, or by other people? Tell me a bit more about what you want, and I will offer some suggestions.

Here are three writing tips for you:
1. When you're trying to make a scene come alive, use more than one of the senses. By that I mean don't just tell me what a place looks like; tell me what it smells like and what it sounds like.

2. To help make your characters more memorable, give them some little trait that is unusual, something to help them stick in the reader's mind. (For example, a character might put mustard on everything he or she eats. Or only reads mystery books. Or has a habit he or she uses - like biting his/her tongue - while thinking.)

3. Read your writing out loud. This will help you discover things that you need to fix when you are revising.

Happy reading . . . and writing!

your friend,
Bruce Coville