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.
piper petroske from precott wi., USA wrote on February 6, 2013:
i love your books i am doing a book report on u and i am loven it i wish i could meet you in person but that probly cant happen
sincerly piper petroske
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Piper -

Thanks for this message. I'm glad you love the books . . . and glad that you're loving working on the report.

It is not impossible that we might meet. I speak in schools all the time and if your school wanted to hire me to come in as a presenter it might happen. Whether it does or not, I'm thrilled to know that you like the books so much!

BC
F.P.Korcous wrote on February 6, 2013:
Dear Mr. Coville,
Have you ever heard an instrumental song that inspired a story?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Now that's an interesting question, F.P. - with a bit of a tangled answer. Though no story has been inspired by a single instrumental song, I have three stories that have been inspired by branches of classical music.

To explain: several years ago the Syracuse Symphony asked me to create a story to perform with them, the idea being that I would read the story to the audience while they enhanced it with selections from the classical repertoire. For the first of these stories I wanted to work with pieces from the French impressionists (particularly Debussy and Ravel) whose work I really loved.

We worked in kind of spiral fashion, me outlining, then discussing musical selections with the orchestra manager, then listening over and over to large sections of the music. It was a fascinating process, and the music definitely had a large impact on the story, "The Metamorphosis of Justin Jones."

Thanks for asking!

BC
Sherri Prather from Omaha, NE USA wrote on February 5, 2013:
I absolutely loved your books as a kid! I was just thinking about you because I am writing an essay about how much reading has touched my life. I am going to school to become a middle/high school English teacher (It's hard to decide-they are both so great) and I have always thought that your My Teacher is an Alien series was a big influence on that decision. I'm not an alien, no matter how much I wish I was, but I LOVED that series. It was from those books that I learned more about the world and the environment and when I first started really wanting to become a teacher.
Anyway, I just thought that since I was here I would let you know how great I think you are and to say thanks for all the great books that helped me through my childhood!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Sherri -

Oh, thank you for this message, which went straight to my heart. I can't think of any higher compliment than the idea that the MY TEACHER books helped influence your decision to become a teacher. I loved being a teacher. I hope you will, too.

Wishing you much joy in your future,

BC
Penny from USA wrote on February 4, 2013:
HI!!! I have only read 1 of your book's but it was awesome! Tiamat seems so cute. Are the books Jeremy mentions Real? And if you go to my website and leave a comment I probably wont be able to answer because my only E-mail account is for school and cant accept E-mail's from other websites. (I'm currently working on that).
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Penny -

So glad to know that you found JEREMY THATCHER "awesome"! It's been over 20 years since I wrote the book, so I can't say for sure, but as far as I remember all the books that Jeremy mentions are indeed real.

All best,

BC
L. from USA wrote on February 3, 2013:
i'm older already (19) but when i was younger (and okay still now) i love your books. please write more! especially the magic shop books. did you get the idea for that series from the twilight zone show the chaser? i was wishing that there was a movie of that and suddenly i see that show! anyway please continue writing the magic shop books!!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, L.

Thanks for the message. So glad you love the books! As to your question - nope, I didn't get the idea from a Twilight Zone episode. In truth, this is the magic shop I always wanted to find when I was a kid. I never did find it, so I started to write about it instead!

I have an idea for another magic shop book, but I am pretty unhappy with the publisher who does them right now, so I'm not sure when or if I will write it. Sigh.

All best,

BC
Samuel Johnston from Jamesville, NY USA wrote on February 3, 2013:
HI! I just wanted to say i am in the Syracuse Children's Theater of the Dragonslayers! You can hear the rest when my letter gets delivered to you!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Samuel -

I'm so excited about this production. Todd and his crew do a great job. I hope you'll have a barrel of fun rehearsing and performing!

BC
Madeline Kochheiser from Galion, Ohio USA wrote on February 2, 2013:
hi i signed your guest book once before because i was doing a project powerpoint on my favorite author and well you had told me that you had been thinking of igor and the other characters from goblins in the castle and said you were going to make a sequal to the book and i just wanted to know how that was coming along. anyway best wishes hope to hear from you soon.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Madeline -

Interesting you should write to me about GOBLINS at this time. I have finished a complete draft of the sequel to the book. Unfortunately, my editor felt it had some very serious problems, and I am hard at work on revising it now. Wish me luck!

BC
Angela Padron from Pembroke Pines, FL USA wrote on February 1, 2013:
Hi Bruce,
It was great meeting you at the SCBWI Conference in Miami a few weeks ago. I loved your your workshop on Friday and your presentation on Saturday. You not only made me laugh but you also gave lots of great advice and insight for an aspiring writer like me. Unfortunately, I have always been a horribly slow reader, but when I do pick up a novel yours are at the top of a pile, with my favorites so far being the Magic Shop series. Your stories have that perfect combination of humor and imagination that a struggling reader like me needs.
We hope to see you at another conference in Florida soon. Thanks again for coming, and have a great weekend.
Kind regards,
Angela Padrn
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Angela -

Many thanks for these very kind words. I see you so often on Facebook that it was very nice to have you in the intensive the Michael and Elizabeth and I taught.

I love the Florida conferences, and would love to return again before too long!

Bruce
Byron Lee from Skaneateles, New York USA wrote on January 31, 2013:
hey Bruce! thanks for everything!
i wanted to share the description of Lila with you and see what you think of it.
There was a teenage girl standing in the doorway about 12 feet away from them. She was lean, about 5 4 in height, and very beautiful. She wore a red and blue outfit that revealed her arms, the lower half of her legs, and her midsection. Her skin was beige, and had a slight glow to it. She had sandal-like brown leather shoes on her feet, and wore a bright red full length cape secured around her neck with the same kind of chain as Byrons green cloak. She also had very pretty brown hair that extended down to her waist, her lips were thin, and her eyes were of a deep blue, like the sea after a violent tempest.
is this a good enough description of her? or is there something i'm missing? PLEASE let me know!
Byron Lee
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Byron -

It's a very vivid and clear description. I would suggest two possible changes. (1) I think "about 5' 4" in height" is too specific . . . it's as if there's a measuring stick right beside her. I'd go with something like "a bit over 5 feet in height". (2) Conversely, "very pretty brown hair" is too vague. Why/how is it pretty? Is it glossy? Is the color particularly rich? Is it long and thick? "Very" is almost always a wasted word . . . I go through my manuscripts it cut it as often as I can. And "pretty" doesn't convey much information.

I realize that suggestion 2 is almost the reverse of suggestion 1. The difference lies in what one can observe with a quick inspection.

Over all, good work! Carry on!!

Bruce
Stephanie Dean from High Point, NC USA wrote on January 26, 2013:
I would love to see a lot more books in The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed series. My daughter loves mysteries and loves ghost books and these are GREAT!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Stephanie -

So glad you and your daughter are enjoying the Nina Tanleven books. I do have another book half finished. Alas, when I finally sent that part in (and I will admit that I was terribly late, for a variety of reasons) the original publisher decided that the series was "dated" and that they didn't want to continue it. I may go ahead and finish it and then self-publish it. I do love those characters . . . partly because Nine and Chris are based on my daughter and her best friend!

all best,

BC