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Jim Henson

I miss Jim Henson. I miss his brand of creativity and I miss what he brought to the world of entertainment. I – who never knew the man himself – see Jim Henson’s work as singularly inspired and gentle. I felt that there was in it always an attempt to celebrate imagination, uphold quality entertainment […]

Friendship

Every writer will tell you that every story needs conflict. The best stories have a strong villain and the most dramatic stories all need moments of levity. More experienced writers, though, will talk to you about the importance of friendship. Friendship is an opportunity for a writer to explore loyalty, love, and loss. Friendship unites […]

Villains

I often give workshops at public and private schools. I emphasize that everything is about telling a story and every story needs a good villain. When I ask if anyone can name a good villain, nine times out of ten I hear, “Darth Vader” or “The Wicked Witch.” Why? Because these are two clear examples […]

Childhood

While I am well aware that not every childhood is full of happy thoughts, there is a lens that all children look through where even the smallest things, like going for ice cream or playing outside on the sidewalk during the summer, bring them a type of magnified joy we so often lose in adulthood. […]

How do you construct a character?

I often get asked how I construct a character. I begin by basing my character on someone I know or have known. When I say this at public presentations, some people quickly respond by letting me know they feel left out of that umbrella, “But I write fantasy, and my characters are badgers and dragons”. […]

From Indiegogo to the Bookshelf

Despite serious interest from some established publishers early in Maggie’s development, author Kaja Blackley chose to pre-sell the initial print run for Maggie MacCormack and the Witches’ Wheel on Indiegogo.  The campaign was a success, slightly exceeding its initial goal. Maggie’s first adventure is now on sale on this website. Copies may be ordered, in […]

Teacher’s Discussion Guide Now Available for Download

Maggie MacCormack and the Witches’ Wheel is available for readers in Grade 7 and up . A free downloadable teacher’s discussion guide that can be modified in level-appropriate ways is available through the Resources tab under “For Educators.” This discussion guide helps educators spark lively conversations about topics for its young adult readers to think […]