Middle School Monday: Django Wexler guest post
Today, author Django Wexler joins us to talk about some of his middle school experiences and how he would handle the challenges his main character faces:
From the point of view of my later life, two important things happened in middle school. The first was that I started playing D&D with a friend of mine. We played it in a very primitive way, by my current standards — we didn’t have “plot” or “adventures”, we just took turns picking monsters out of the Monster Manual and fighting them, and then gleefully rolling up treasure hordes to add to our characters. But it was the beginning of a hobby that led in more or less a straight line to the writing I do now. I started reading Dungeon magazine, which had pre-written modules with actual stories, and it wasn’t long before I was putting together my own stuff. Long before I ever thought about writing fiction, I was filling notebooks with maps, scenarios, monster statistics, and all the rest.
The second thing was that I got my first job, working at our local library. The actual work was pretty straightforward — although to this day I can alphabetize faster than most people! — but the important thing was that it got me to spend a lot more time in the library. I had always been a reader, but a very eclectic one, and often focusing on non-fiction. But I liked science fiction and fantasy, and our library had a pretty good collection. Working there gave me freedom to choose anything I wanted, without oversight or approval (since I could check things out myself!) and the result was that I tore into the adult SFF section and read essentially the whole thing. This was the beginning of my love of fiction in general and the SFF genre in particular, and I’ve never looked back.
As to tackling the challenges that Alice faces, that’s a tough one! I definitely put her through some hard times. I like to think I’d do all right — a lot of what she does is use logic and reason to figure out a way through her problem, which is a skill I’ve always valued. I think Alice is a lot tougher than I am, though. I’d have a hard time mustering the courage to keep going in the face of everything she’s up against!
I would, however, very much like a talking cat.
The Palace of Glass (the 3rd book in Django’s The Forbidden Library series) is available now. Here is a summary from the publisher:
For Alice, an apprentice Reader, able to read herself into books, danger threatens from inside the library as well as out. Having figured out the role her master and uncle, Geryon, played in her father’s disappearance, Alice turns to Ending—the mysterious, magical giant feline and guardian of Geryon’s library—for a spell to incapacitate Geryon. But, like all cats, Ending is adept at keeping secrets and Alice doesn’t know the whole story. Once she traps Geryon with Ending’s spell, there’s no one to stop the other Readers from sending their apprentices to pillage Geryon’s library. As Alice prepares to face an impending attack from the combined might of the Readers, she gathers what forces she can—the apprentices she once thought might be her friends, the magical creatures imprisoned in Geryon’s library—not knowing who, if anyone, she can trust.
Want to win the first 3 books in the series? Enter our Rafflecopter giveaway.
Filed under: Middle School Monday
About Robin Willis
After working in middle school libraries for over 20 years, Robin Willis now works in a public library system in Maryland.
SLJ Blog Network
A Podcast Experiment: SPEED ROUND w/ Marla Frazee, Dan Santat, Doug Salati, and Amina Luqman-Dawson.
Review of the Day: There Was a Party for Langston, King of Letters by Jason Reynolds, ill. Jerome and Jarrett Pumphrey
Spider-Man Fake Red | Review
Not the Mermaid or Monster You Knew, a guest post by author Robin Alvarez
The Classroom Bookshelf is Moving