Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cover Reveal + Giveaway - A TEAR IN THE OCEAN by H.M. Bouwman

Today we have the cover reveal for A TEAR IN THE OCEAN by H.M. Bouwman.

Book Description: 
Putnam, the future king of Raftworld, wants more than anything to prove himself. When the water in the Second World starts to become salty and his father won't do anything about it, Putnam sees his chance. He steals a boat and sneaks off toward the source of the salty water. He doesn't know he has a stowaway onboard, an island girl named Artie.

Artie isn't trying to save the world, she's just trying to save herself. On the run from an abusive stepfather, Artie just wants a place to call home. Putnam isn't the partner she would have chosen, but as the two face uncertainty and danger in their shared adventure, an extraordinary friendship forms.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred years in the past, Rayel is also on the run from Raftworld, escaping an arranged marriage she discovers is really a plot to kill her father. She'd planned to be gone just long enough to foil the plot, but once at sea and sailing ever southward, Rayel discovers she has an astonishing magical power that leads her to a new home and a sadness so deep it infects the world.

Told in alternating perspectives with Putnam and Artie traveling further and further into the uncharted southern sea--and Rayel, the key to the saltwater mystery, sailing the same sea in her own time--Putnam and Artie must put aside their differences and figure out why the sea is salty before it's too late. A companion to the critically acclaimed A Crack in the Sea, H.M. Bouwman's latest is a wondrous and heartrending adventure.

Release Date: 1/22/2019

And now for the AMAZING cover!

AND... we are giving away an ARC of the book. If you'd like to enter to win, please leave a comment below and some form of contact (email, twitter etc.) 

Photo credit Greg Stoeckel
About the Author: H.M. Bouwman is the author of The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap (Marshall Cavendish, 2008) and A Crack in the Sea (Putnam, 2017). A professor of English at the University of St. Thomas, she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her two sons.

About the Illustrator: Yuko’s Bio: Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and an instructor at the School of Visual Arts. In 2009, Newsweek Japan chose Yuko as one of the “100 Japanese People the World Respects.” Yuko is the illustrator of the picture book Barbed Wire Baseball, and her work can also be seen on Gap T-shirts, Pepsi cans, Visa billboards, and Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on numerous book covers and in the pages of The New York Times, Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and many others. She also illustrated A Tear in the Ocean's companion novel, A Crack in the Sea
Social Media:   

Check out an excerpt from A TEAR IN THE OCEAN

Part One
Explorer, Hero, Runaway

Putnam. The Present: 1949.
Putnam watched a tattered girl about his own age at the edge of the bonfire. For the past hour, she’d hovered in the shadows just outside the glow of the flames. Her face would pop into the light briefly, then snuff itself out again, only to reappear several moments later, then disappear, like a candle being lit and immediately blown out.

She’d been circling the fire, when Putnam, looking for the best spot to listen and watch, noticed her. But she stopped moving about the same time he did, not quite across the fire from him. As he listened to Jupiter, the storyteller, entertain the people with a funny tale about the time long ago when they tried to grow mangoes on Raftworld (sadly, there was not enough dirt for the trees to root in), Putnam’s eyes flicked periodically to the spot where the girl’s face would suddenly jut out of the darkness and then fall back into it. She didn’t seem to realize she could be seen, and no one but Putnam noticed her.

Part of the reason she stood out to Putnam so much was her obvious desire not to be seen. Putnam understood that desire; he was trying to stay out of the light, too. Everyone expected so much of him—the Raft King’s son! the next king of Raftworld!—and sometimes he just needed to get away. Maybe this girl had some of the same feelings. Maybe her so-called friends were always following her around, too, hoping for favors and being nice to her because of who her dad was.

Or maybe not. Putnam squinted at the girl through the smoke. Clearly an Islander, she had the lighter brown skin and straight hair and stocky body that was the classic Tathenlander look. But unlike the other Islanders, she wasn’t spiffed up, wearing her best clothes for the party; she acted as if she wasn’t even supposed to be at the party.

She made Putnam think of the story the Island’s former storyteller (now dead) had told the last time Raftworld had visited the Islands, when he’d been only two—ten years ago. He didn’t remember the actual words the Island storyteller had used, of course, but Jupiter had retold the tale since then: a poor orphan girl who’d been forced to work for her rich stepmother who hated her, and who, when the prince threw a party, snuck in and eventually captured the prince’s heart. Except—he reminded himself—that girl had been given a ball gown and fragile gypsum slippers when she snuck into the ball, and this girl was here simply as herself. She wasn’t likely to win a prince’s heart the way she looked and acted.

He smiled to himself at the next thought: technically, he supposed, he was the prince in the story. Though no one called him by that title, he was in fact the Raft King’s only child. So if he were to follow the story’s plot, he should chase this girl down and grab one of her shoes . . . if she had shoes . . .

The girl materialized one more time, the firelight playing on a set of bruises on one side of her face. Jupiter had moved on to a more serious story: how the Raftworlders’ ancestor Venus escaped from being enslaved. And this time, as Jupiter explained the moment of decision, the choice Venus made, the tattered girl emerged and didn’t puff right back into darkness. This time her face stayed in the light, entranced as she was by the story. And there was something in the fire’s glow that made her look—not pretty, no, nor healthy nor well cared for—but full of determination and spirit and energy. Just for that moment.

Jupiter’s story ended, and she vanished. Vivid in the fire’s flickering light one moment, gone the next.

A big hand descended on Putnam’s shoulder, and for one brief second he thought it was the girl, coming after him instead of waiting for him to chase her down and steal her shoe. But as soon as that thought flitted into his head, he knew it was wrong. First of all, the hand was too big and heavy.

“It’s time.” His father, of course—tall, thin, and a little stooped, in the dark red cloak he wore for official events, his graying beard closely trimmed.

Putnam nodded. He already stood in the back of the crowd; he didn’t even have to jostle anyone to leave. For a moment he wondered what it would be like to just vanish, like that girl.

“Are you coming?” asked his father. “Your first Session. Let’s be on time.”

Putnam nodded again and hurried after the old man.


The trading session—usually just called “the Session”—was the biggest meeting in the entire world, which wasn’t saying much, as the world was small, at least where people were concerned. The Session, which lasted for several days with long breaks for the Session delegates to attend parties and socialize, happened every decade or so, whenever the floating nation of Raftworld arrived in the course of its usual travels to the islands of Tathenland and the big island of Tathenn. Then the Raftworlders and Islanders got together for a week or more of parties and storytelling and singing . . . and trading. The Raft King and the Island’s governor—and other important people—attended meetings, exchanged important information, made deals. This year, the Raft King had said that now that he was twelve, Putnam was old enough to go to the meetings. As if that was a privilege. It was, but all the other delegates were grownups. And the entire meeting was talking.

Putnam sat in the back corner of the room next to a convenient tray of biscuits, rather than at the delegates’ table, which was only big enough for the eight women and men—four from each country—who ran the Session. He was supposed to be listening and learning. He nibbled and made crumbs and tried—he really did—to pay attention.

But the day had been long, and his mind wandered, and after an hour or more of discussions of flour and wool and embroidered cloth and hydraulic engines and so many other things, his eyes drooped. Just before he slid into deep sleep, he remembered himself and snapped back, shifting suddenly in his chair and crumbling the cookie still clutched in his hand.

Eight heads turned toward him, conversation stalling for a moment. “Sorry,” he muttered, feeling foolish, as they turned back to discussion. He knew he should be listening hard at his first Session, maybe even saying something important—but barring that, at least he should look like he was listening. He pinched his leg, hard, and sat up straighter, shoving the broken cookie into his mouth and chewing vigorously.

And the pinching and chewing helped. He felt less tired, at least for the moment.

Until he realized what the Session leaders were talking about now: the ocean. A cloud of gloom settled over the room. There had already been so much talk about the problem with the water, so much discussion about what to do.

“There’s no doubt at all in our minds,” one of the Islanders said stubbornly to Putnam’s father. “You don’t see it as much because you’re always moving around.”

“You make it sound like moving around is a bad thing. What are you trying to say about us?” asked a Raftworlder, one of his father’s advisors.

“Now, that isn’t what’s meant at all,” said the governor in a soothing voice. She was much younger than Putnam’s father, who’d been old already when Putnam was born. This governor looked barely adult. Tiny compared to Putnam’s father, she sat straight in her seat, as if trying to look taller. Her dark braids wrapped around her head like a crown and shone in the light.

She continued. “We’re only saying that we see the changes more, situated as we are in one location. In the past few years, the fish have been leaving us, heading north. The algae is dying. We know that our capital is better off than other places on Tathenn—it’s much worse on the southern shores. We don’t have anyone with the gift of talking to fish, like you”—she nodded toward the king—“but we can read the water pretty well even so. The changes aren’t good.”

“The water’s going bad. You can taste that yourself,” added one of the governor’s advisors, folding his arms over his chest and nodding at the pitcher on the table.

Several Raftworlders leaned forward to add their thoughts. One said, “It does seem worse the farther south we get. When we were north earlier this year, remember how fresh—”

Putnam’s father held up his long, thin hand, and everyone stopped for the Raft King to speak. “The water here has changed, it’s true. I can tell from our last visit that it’s different. Kind of salty, yes?” 

The governor’s advisor nodded, as did the other Islanders in the room. “But what you have to ask yourself is this: is it maybe because of something you’ve done here on the Islands?”

“And it’s affected the entire ocean?” asked the governor dryly. “Your advisor just said the water is different the world over.”

The king shrugged, his face impassive. “He said it seemed that way. And other times it seems fine. We need to study it more to be sure. That’s my suggestion: that we form committees. Maybe you Islanders can take samples and track any changes over time—compare data for a few years and see if it’s really getting salty and, if so, how bad it really is. And when Raftworld travels, we’ll take samples at key locations as well, so that the next time we stop at those places, we can also compare.”

“The next time? You mean ten years from now, when you circle back?”

“It’s not always ten years. There are some places we visit every five or six years. It really depends.”

“But the water’s gone from good to bad in just a few years. And you’re arguing for years more of testing,” said one of the Islanders, a gray-haired woman who looked about as old as the king. “Before we even do anything.”

The Raft King paused as if thinking about his answer, and then nodded. “It doesn’t help to rush.”

Putnam, sitting off to the side with the biscuits, could see the looks on the Islanders’ faces and in their stiff shoulders and bodies: frustration and worry. He could see, more faintly, similar looks in the Raftworlders’ faces—everyone’s but his father’s. This idea of moving slowly was . . . too slow. Obviously something needed to be done, and everyone but the Raft King was ready to do it.

“If we don’t take action . . .” said the young governor of the Islands. She didn’t finish the sentence. She didn’t have to. They all depended on the ocean—Raftworld and Tathenland—for food, for water. For everything.

One of the Raft King’s advisors broke the silence. “Well, this is a topic we should return to. Tomorrow morning?” She stood, stretching her lower back and smiling a little too big. “There is, after all, a party tonight to attend.”

Others stood, too, but not the young governor, who spread her hands on the table, palms down, almost as if the table were trying to fly off. She didn’t smile, either. “We’re not done here.”

“We’ll talk about it again.” One of the governor’s own advisors, an elderly man who wore the old-fashioned Island clothing even down to the luck pouch around his neck, patted her shoulder. “Tomorrow, when we’re fresh.”

Everyone filed out of the room except the governor and her elderly advisor, his hand still on her shoulder. Putnam, following the others out, turned in time to see the governor look up at the old man, her face strained.

“We’ll talk tomorrow,” she said.

“And then do something,” her advisor said.

“Sure,” she said, unconvinced. “If we stall long enough, pretending nothing is horribly wrong and forming committees”—she said the word as if it tasted bitter—“it will be just as bad as if we ignore it altogether. The sea is dying. And then we die too.”

The old Island man’s hand flexed in a tight grip, then loosened. He smoothed her hair down, as if he were her father and she a young child. It occurred to Putnam that maybe he was her father. “I know,” he said in a low voice. “If Raftworld ignores the problem, we’ll have to figure it out on our own.”

“The problem is coming from the south. We need explorers, scientists, people—to sail south, find out what’s causing this. Fix it.”

The old man nodded.

“But without ocean boats or seafaring folks—”

“I know.”

“We needed Raftworld. They were our best hope, and they’re saying no.”

“It does sound that way. But maybe tomorrow . . .”

At the same moment they seemed to realize Putnam was still there, and as they turned to him, he muttered, “Excuse me,” and stumbled out of the room.

Was this what a Session was? A place to avoid the real problems of the world? And was this who his father was? Someone too slow-moving or too scared to jump in and fix things?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Top Five Reasons You Should Read EVERY SHINY THING, by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison:

1.  The structure: Alternating chapters told in verse and prose.

2.  Lauren: A sister who misses her brother when he's sent to a boarding school for autistic kids. A big-hearted girl who sees the disparity among her family's affluence and other families who can't afford the treatments and services her brother is receiving.

3. Sierra: A foster kid who moves into Lauren's wealthy neighborhood. A daughter who is fiercely loyal to her alcoholic mother. A protector. A caretaker, especially to her new friend, Lauren.

4.  The Robin Hood Scheme:  Lauren has an idea to help make money for autistic kids who can't afford a fancy boarding school or intensive therapy like her brother is receiving. Her idea, reselling items she doesn't need anyway, like the pair of expensive Lucky-brand jeans her mom buys her, seems like a good idea at first.  But as one online sale leads to the next, Lauren moves from reselling her own items to things that never belonged to her at all. Shoplifting from friends, neighbors, and even the mall is easy and addictive. And Lauren has Sierra to cover for her and hide the stolen items at her foster parents' home.

5. The takeaway:  Lauren and Sierra learn tough lessons about protecting others, standing up for yourself, and battling injustice.  I love how both girls finally turn to trusted adults for help. There is strength in admitting they are in too deep.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Interview with Historical Fiction Author Anna Myers

Today, I'm super excited to welcome award-winning author Anna Myers to Middle Grade Minded. She is the author of nineteen novels, all for middle-grade or young-adult readers, and her first picture book, Tumbleweed Baby, was published in 2014 by Abrams Books. Myers is a four-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award and has been honored by the Oklahoma Center for the Book with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books have received a wide range of honors, including New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age, American Book Seller’s Pick of the List, New York Public Library's 100 Books to Read and Share, Children’s Crown Award honor book, Society of School Librarians International Book Award, Parents’ Choice Award, ALA Quick Pick List, Junior Library Guild selection and more.

Hi, Anna! Welcome to Middle Grade Minded. Can you describe your process when starting a new MG historical fiction? Do you begin with researching the time period, creating a character or something else?

I am not an organized, methodical type. No two of my historical novels were likely to have been begun exactly alike. At some point, I always do a lot of reading about the time period. For most projects, I had a character in mind before I began, but not always. I remember ordering a book of court records from the Salem Witch Trials and reading it all before my character Drucilla from Time of the Witches began to come to me.

Immersing readers in a different time period seems like it would be overwhelming. What advice do you have for readers who might be too intimidated to approach historical fiction?

My advice is don't. In my experience, writers of historical fiction are lovers of history, those who find it easy to identify with the past. While historical fiction does sell in today's market, it is not the first choice of most publishers. There are too many other things to write to force yourself to try something about which you have misgivings. I'll go even further and say, don't write historical fiction unless you feel compelled to do so, unless you have fallen for a story that can't be set in today's world.

On a similar topic, do you have any advice for capturing a period voice while still making the language relatable to modern day readers?

Watch movies set during the period about which you are writing. Read novels that present the time. Make a list of words or phrases that were popular. Not many words need to be old fashioned or obsolete. Scatter the words and phrase among your sentences to help establish a time gone by. On the first page of my book, Assassin, I used the phrase, "When I was but little..." Those words would never come from the mouth of a modern teenager.

Describe your research process (type of sources, depth, how much of the research makes it into the text).

I like to do broad reading about a time period, and probably because I didn't grow up with computers, I like to do prolonged reading from books. I do, of course, use the internet for looking up the multitude of questions that arise while writing. I constantly need to know things such as when tree frogs make noise or what cotton looks like in the field. Thank heavens for Google. Not much of the information gleaned from the early reading makes it into the story. I am not looking for facts during that early reading, but rather I am seeking a feeling for the era.

Of all of your MG historical novels, which was the most difficult to write and why? Do you have a favorite?

Actually, some of my historical fiction stories are young adult, and it was one of those, When the Bough Breaks, that was the most difficult to write. It is a story set in two time periods, modern and historical. It is also the darkest book I ever wrote. In addition, it was the first book I ever wrote without the help of my husband, who had died a few months before.

I also remember struggling with my middle grade, Stolen by the Sea, because the kids were in the flood water so long. I found myself tempted to drown them and get it over.

As to a favorite, I have several different favorites for different reasons. For instance, my favorite to research was Time of the Witches. I believe Tulsa Burning is my most important novel and the one I most want kids to read.

What is the important lesson, from either the writing or the business side, that you would like to pass on to new writers?

I urge writers to take time to dwell inside your character. Make yourself very small and become the character. Coleridge said a reader has to be willing to suspend disbelief, but first the writer must suspend his or her own disbelief. Your character is out there, and it is your job to find that character.

Wow! What awesome advice! Thanks to Anna Myers for stopping by, and here's a link to her website for those interested in learning more about her books, writing academy and mentorship program: http://www.annamyersauthor.com/.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Louisiana's Way Home: a completely biased yet totally true book review

This post is destined to be part fan girl relives awesome bookish moment and part book lover writes glowing book review, and yeah, I’m not even sorry. So, come for the fan-girl squee and stay for the book rec, okay? 😉

In June, I travelled to a galaxy far, far away…New Orleans, which seriously is a looong way from my home on the west coast of Canada. Five airports away, as it turned out. I’ve never ventured so far from home before, but oh, was it worth it! I was there for the ALA annual conference. (I WAS AT ALA!!! Author dream-list item achieved!) I had several events scheduled, but fortunately, oh so fortunately, they didn’t conflict with when KATE DICAMILLO was signing ARCs of Louisiana’s Way Home.

Kate is one of my favourite authors. I adore her books. But I also love how she seems to see the world, and I love her views on writing for children. She’s been an inspiration to me, and I wanted to tell her so.

The line at ALA was long, of course, but it was populated with wonderful librarians to chat with, and eventually, there I was, meeting Kate DiCamillo. I blurted out some form of adoration and thanks, which she graciously received, and then she shook my hand and congratulated me on my Schneider Award for Macy McMillan, and she signed a copy of Louisiana’s Way Home for me, and that was it and it was everything. Happy happy.

I read Louisiana’s Way Home on my way home from Louisiana (ha!), and it was every bit as delightful as I’d anticipated. Now, you're probably thinking I can’t possibly write an unbiased review, given my fan-girl confession, and you're probably right. But if you’re a fan of Kate’s work, trust me…you won’t be disappointed. Louisiana’s Way Home is classic Kate DiCamillo: sad and hopeful, tender and humorous, quirky and charming. 

Here’s the blurb from Candlewick Press:
When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town — including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder — she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes. (Which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.) 
Louisiana’s Way Home is a story about finding your place in the world and choosing who you will be. It’s also a story about the power of generosity and kindness, which Louisiana experiences through the family of her new friend, Burke Allen. It was wonderful spending time with “wily and resilient” Louisiana (after first meeting her in Raymie Nightingale). Yes, you have to suspend disbelief, particularly when it comes to Granny's actions, but I was absolutely okay with that. Both the voice and the story itself are unique, quirky, and compelling, and it all comes together in a perfect, hug-the-book-then-read-it-again ending – exactly what you’d hope for and expect in a Kate DiCamillo book. Highly recommended (obviously😂). 

Release date: October 2, 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Review: The Boy, the boat, and the beast by Samantha M. Clarke

It is rare that I read a book that is completely unique.

The Boy, the boat and the beast is that book.


A boy washes up on a mysterious, seemingly uninhabited beach. Who is he? How did he get there? The boy can’t remember. When he sees a light shining over the foreboding wall of trees that surrounds the shore, he decides to follow it, in the hopes that it will lead him to answers. The boy’s journey is a struggle for survival and a search for the truth—a terrifying truth that once uncovered, will force him to face his greatest fear of all if he is to go home.

My Take:

This is a wondrous book, full of mystery, suspense, and growth.

The idea of a young boy washing up on an uninhabited island (or so he believes), with no memory of who he is or where he comes from, immediately sparks concern and fear in the reader. 

Initially alone, he is soon joined by a voice from inside his head, one who taunts and teases him and makes him feel small and incapable, but also, infuriates him into action. As he struggles to make his way home, he comes into contact with the island's animals, and of course, the beast, who challenges him to overcome his fears, even as we sense that the beast has other plans for the boy.

I can't give more of the plot away for fear of spoilers, for this book deserves to be read without any preconceptions, but know this: the ending is satisfying, surprising, and thrilling.

Samantha M. Clark has crafted a unique story using a unique voice that I think children and their adults will find compelling. Even better, the story will help many children stand up for themselves, just as the boy does.

This is a must-read!

For more information about the book and where to purchase it, visit the author's website.

Monday, July 9, 2018

3, 2, 1, ACTION!

One of the harder things to do as a writer is to craft an action scene. It not only has to have tension, but it has to make sense to readers so they can visualize it in their head. Writing an action scene can often feel as complicated as choreographing the perfect dance.

As a writer, where do you even begin when it comes to action? How to you make the scene work for you and the story rather than making it feel like work?

Below is a list of things to consider when crafting action scenes.
  1. How long is the action? This seems trivial, but in all seriousness, the average person doesn’t have the stamina to fight or run for more than a couple minutes at a time without outside factors. If this is intended for the long haul, there’s going to have to be hiding and breaks or your characters just aren’t going to be able to keep up. On the other hand, if this is a quick brawl or chase scene then going all out might not be a big deal to your characters.
  2. What's the goal? To run? to win? to kill? to injure? something else? Think about the motivations of the characters. Why are they actually fighting or running? Let this drive how each character acts within the action. Most people don’t want to fight if they don’t have to, so if there’s an alternative look for it. If not, let there be a good reason things are progressing as they are.
  3. Increase the stakes and danger as you go. An action scene shouldn’t just fizzle out. Like the climax of a book, once you hit the peak things move quickly and so should an action sequence. Pacing in general should be quick, but again if this is a long drawn out series of events, then find the natural pause and use them to continue to increase the stakes and danger even if your characters are taking a much needed break.
  4. What are your character's strengths and weaknesses? Play to their strengths sometimes, but also amp up the tension by throwing some curveballs at them. This will not only increase the stakes, but also make the reader more invested in the action.
  5. Similarly, what are your antagonist’s strengths and weaknesses? If your main character knows this, they can use to their advantage. On the flip side, it can be used as motivation for how the antagonist approaches an action or fight scene.
  6. Make your surroundings compliment your mood or contrast. Don’t forget about your surroundings. Pulling in some of the world around the action can further add to the tension and set the tone for an action scene. Don’t be afraid to play with the setting during an action scene, just don’t take too much time to describe the floral bouquet on the counter unless someone is going to hit someone else over the head with it.
  7. Consider sentence length. Shorter sentences can often make things appear like they are happening faster. Brief periods where sentences get shorter can be another way to increase pacing and tension during an action scene. But be cautious, you don’t want to maintain one sentence length for pages on end otherwise the story sounds monotone
  8. Verb choice can also help with pacing. Did your main character turn and run or did they bolt, scamper or stumble away. Each one of those verbs has a very different intention and sets a different tone. Choose your verbs wisely to maximize the impact of the action.
  9. When in doubt, act it out. Or draw it, or animate it whatever you need to do to make it make sense. Don’t be afraid to role play, do motions or enlist some others to help you choreograph the action. Seeing the scene play out in front of you can not only help you make sense of the action but also write it more clearly for the reader to see.
  10. Don’t forget about the reactions. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And every action scene should have a series of reactions that come after. Those feelings and reactions are just as important if not more so than what happened during the action. The aftermath reactions are what make the action all worthwhile.

Writing action scenes can be complex, but they can also really move your story along, set the tone, increase the stakes, and help propel your characters forward. What are you favorite tips and tricks when writing action scenes?