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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853 entries.
Carla from USA wrote on March 18, 2013:
Hi,
Mr. D, what is your favorite book you have written? How long did it take you to write the monsters ring? Do you ever wish you could have added some little detail that was important in your book? Have you ever tried writing nonfiction?
Sincerley,
Carla
Reply by Bruce Coville
Asking my favorite book is like asking which of my children I love the most!

As to THE MONSTER'S RING . . . well, I wrote the first version of the story in 1977 - but the book was not published until 1982! I did not work on it every day of those five years, of course. The first full draft probably took three or four months. (Hard to remember now . . . that was over 30 years ago!)

As to non-fiction, I've written for magazines and newspapers, and published on non-fiction book for kids called PREHISTORIC PEOPLE.

All best,

BC
jake from plano, texas USA wrote on March 17, 2013:
I am writing a biography on you for my school project and i would like to know what the biggest accomplishment in your life was. thank you.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Jake -

Though I am very proud of my writing and the books that I have published, I would have to say that my biggest accomplishment was raising my three children. Family is very important to me.

All best,

BC
Byron Lee from Skaneateles, New York USA wrote on March 16, 2013:
hey Bruce! Byron Lee again!
due to your advice, i did research the ranks of the navy as you advised. i confirmed with some of the research that Grand Admiral was the same as Fleet Admiral. but the rank was used in Germany, instead of the United States. despite the differences, i'm going to use both ranks and have Grand Admiral be highest rank in the Welterr Navy.
i did remember something that i wanted to ask. i listened to the audio-book of Into the Land of the Unicorns, and i heard one character mention something about the Delver King being "smarter than he is wise, may the rocks not crush my feet." i think that was said by Nebzik. (sorry if i spelled the name wrong.)
do you believe that there is a difference between being smart, and being wise? if so, what do you think is the difference?
thanks for all your advice so far! Byron Lee
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Byron -

Glad you did the research. It should help you be more confident about what you're writing.

Yes, the line you quote was from Nedzik - and, yes, I do believe there is a difference between being smart and being wise. I would say that all wise people are smart, but not all smart people are wise. You can have a head full of facts and be blazingly smart, yet still not understand people and how they work, or how to move gracefully through the world, trying in all ways to make things better.

All best,

BC
? from Bville, 29 USA wrote on March 16, 2013:
BRUCE,
what wee you a student of?how old were you?
Reply by Bruce Coville
I am a student of humanity. But if you are wondering about college, my degree is in elementary education.

BC
Samantha Young from Ontario Canada wrote on March 13, 2013:
Hello Mr. Coville!
My name's Samantha Young, and I'm seventeen years old. I read in your biography that you started working seriously to become a writer when you were my age, and I've just started to become serious about it myself. As a kid, I LOVED your books. Two of the first books my mum read to me, before I could read myself, were 'The Dragonslayers' and 'The World's Worst Fairy Godmother.' I even remember a time as a kid when I thought my teacher was an alien! I really believe your books were a large part of keeping my imagination alive; I was bullied a lot when I was younger, and if I hadn't read so much, I probably would have lost my love of fantasy and the bizarre. Reading your books was a prominent part of my childhood that I still remember today, and they were some of my best friends growing up. So...thank you, seriously. Hopefully you'll be hearing from me in the future! 🙂
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Samantha -

Many thanks for this lovely message! It delights me no end to know that my books meant so much to you. The idea that they were "some of your best friends" is especially lovely.

I hope you will find much joy and success with your own writing, Samantha. I'll look forward to hearing from you again - and seeing your name on a book!!

BC
? from Bville, 29 USA wrote on March 13, 2013:
Bruce,
Were you a teacher when you married Katherine?
What year was it?
Reply by Bruce Coville
No, I was still a student when Kathy and got married. It was in 1969.

BC
Cami from Syracuse, NY USA wrote on March 12, 2013:
hi again! Thanks for your response. Are you planning on coming to all of The Dragonslayer shows or one for each cast?
Quick question, how should i approach Willie? She is not mean and I dont want to look too stubborn...any ideas? Loooking forward to seeing you,
Cami
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Cami -

I'll be coming to as many performances as I can - definitely at least one from each cast!

As to Willie, she is not at all mean. But she is definitely stubborn. Mostly she's eager to experience life, continues to learn as she goes on her adventure, and loves being out in the world!

BC
Jonathan K. from Arlington, Texas USA wrote on March 11, 2013:
Dear Bruce Coville,
I wanted to thank you for your unicorn chronicles series though I've only read the first two. I found the second one and read it then looked for the first to read and only found your site and the other two. My question I would love answered is the cover art for my copies are different then the current cover art, why did it change? I would like to say I do love the old cover art. =)
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Jonathan -

Thanks for this message. I'm thrilled and delighted that you think so highly of the Unicorn Chronicles.

As to the covers: I'm not sure which ones you have. The first book has had three covers, the second book two covers, Books 3 and 4 only 1 each. The main reason for this is my own long lapses in finishing each installment. So much time passed between Book 1 and Book 2 that the publisher (Scholastic) commissioned a new set of covers. The same happened with the gap between books 2 and 3. (Books 3 and 4 were much closer together.)

All best

BC
Alyssa from USA wrote on March 8, 2013:
Hi Mr. Coville,
Has anyone of your family members ever inspired your stories? What is the most challenging step of the writing process? Have you ever used math or science or art or music that you learned at school ever been used in your story? What is your favorite book you have written? Have you ever wanted to be in your book? Do you ever wish you were jeremy in jeremy thatcher dragon hatcher?
Sincerley,
Alyssa
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Alyssa -

Oops! You've surpassed the "questions per message" limit! ;>

A few answers: My family members have not inspired my stories as such, but I have used them as characters in some of the stories. My daughter, in particular, is the model for both Nina Tanleven in the ghost series, and Cara Diana Hunter in The Unicorn Chronicles.

As for myself, I have appeared in one of the books, since Rod Allbright of "Aliens Ate My Homework" is totally and completely based on me as a kid.

I have never wished I was Jeremy, but I have definitely wished I could hatch a dragon!

BC
Sherri from Salt Lake City, UT USA wrote on March 8, 2013:
I wanted to thank you for all your wonderful books. I Was child who slipped though the cracks and didn't know how to read until 6th grade when took home one of your books and became hooked on reading.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Sherri -

Many thanks for this message. I don't think there's anything that thrills me more than knowing that one of my books turned someone on to reading!

BC