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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834 entries.
Peyton wrote on September 4, 2019:
Hey, Mr. Coville!
I love all of your books (the ones iv'e read anyway) and I was wondering where you get your inspiration from. Do you have a carefully thought-out plan when you write something, or is your writing spontaneous (do you make it up as you go along)?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hey, Peyton -

Thanks for this message. As to inspiration . . . well, honestly, that is overrated. If I only wrote when I was "inspired" I would have published maybe 3 things overall. Mostly you have to work with your imagination, and be alert and alive to the world around you.

The question about being spontaneous is interesting. I have written tight outlines, and mostly stuck with them. I have also written tight outlines and then totally thrown them away when I realized they weren't working and gone on by the seat of my pants.

I think the most important thing to know about writing is this: THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT!

All best

BC
Rina wrote on July 8, 2019:
I have long been a fan of your books. I remember waiting anxiously for The Last Hunt to come out- and then the astonishment I felt when I reread all the Unicorn Chronicles and saw the size of the first book compared to the last book!
I was recently talking to a friend of mine, and she mentioned something about unicorns with wings. I told her that unicorns don't have wings, that most humans don't know too much about unicorns. We started discussing unicorns as they were portrayed by the Grimm Brothers- as nasty, dangerous beasts, and then I said that they're not really like that, that the Grimm Brothers also had the wrong impression of unicorns- and I started telling her why. Before long, I was telling her Grandmother Beloved's story- which led to stories about other worlds. (Eventually I told her what the book was called and to read it, but the point is that when we had the conversation about unicorns, it was very matter of fact- not 'here's some fiction', but 'here are the facts about unicorns'.) I was shocked to hear that she had never heard of your books; I practically grew up on them. (I've even got a stuffed unicorn that I've had since forever named Lightfoot.)
Dragons and Unicorns will always have a special place in my heart, and I love the idea of other worlds that they can inhabit.
A few years ago, I started listening to some of my old favourite books as Audio-books so that I could relive the stories and do other things at the same time- and I discovered Full Cast Audio. I got so I recognised the voices of characters- I got excited when listening to Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher because I recognised Hyacinth Priest's voice, from Lark in The Circle of Magic quartet by Tamora Pierce. My favourite line of Sandry's Book- and perhaps of all three quartets in that world- is "The knives, Briar!" because of the way you said it while voicing Niko- who has become one of my favourite characters.
-Rina
Laura from Austin, TX wrote on June 22, 2019:
Hello Mr. Coville!
My story echoes other posts here: as a child in the early 90s I read Into the Land of the Unicorns and fell in love, but was heartbroken to find no sequels forthcoming. I'm now in my 30s and on a whim decided to check if an ebook was available- and was thrilled to find not only had you had written sequels, but that the first two books are available in ebook form. I understand from your comments here that you will be self-publishing the reprints of the rest of the series split up differently, I hope that they will all be released via ebook (and soon, please?). Thank you for creating such an enchanting universe that still has a place in my heart after all these years.
Katie from Kissimmee wrote on June 18, 2019:
Mr. Coville,

I discovered “The Unicorn Chronicles” when I picked it as one of the three books I was allowed to get every month from the book order forms from school. “Into the Land of the Unicorns” is (I am both proud and ashamed to say this) the most well worn book I have ever owned. I have read it until the spine is out of shape and the once black cover is striped white from bending it, laying it flat when I had to step away and falling asleep after finishing it for the umpteenth time. The copyright and title pages are no longer attached and I have to paperclip them to the cover in order not to lose them. I have read and reread this book for over twenty years! I know even as an adult I can return again and again and always feel the magic and discover something new.

Unfortunately, I was never able to find the rest of the series as a child/teen/young adult and I have been left wondering all these years. Until now. To keep away from spoilers I have only skimmed some of the comments entry’s in your guestbook and blog to discover that the rest of the series will soon be rereleased(?). I know the first two are ebooks, but I think I might wait and buy all Seven(?) at once. I’m very excited to see what will happen next!

I guess what I really wanted to express is that, even though I did not know it at the time, you were/are a great influence in my life. Because you created such a fantastical world that someone as young as nine could grasp and enjoy, I was given The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read after your book. I went on to devour Potter and earn a BA in English Literature with the hopes of becoming an author myself someday.

I am so glad you create this wonderful art for children to discover and help them grow! I want to THANK YOU! With all of my heart for being part of my childhood and being a spark that started a fiery passion within the soul of one lonely nine year old!
Liam Sheridan from Latham wrote on June 7, 2019:
Mr. Coville, I just wanted to thank you for visiting my school Boght Hills Elementary today.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Thanks, Liam. I had a wonderful time at your school - and it was a great pleasure to meet you. Hope you have a great summer vacation!

BC
Justo Sanchez from Barcelona wrote on May 19, 2019:
Dear Mr. Coville,

You are the best!

I just wanted to say hi and ask you what was your favourite book when you were a teenager"

Thank you!
Regards
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Justo -

Thanks for this, and sorry for the delayed answer. The guestbook is supposed to alert me when new messages come up, but it seems to have forgotten how to do that!

Because your tastes change during the teenage years, I had more than one favorite book at the time. THE HOBBIT was certainly one of them, and probably the one that I remember most fondly. Also the "John Carter of Mars" books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, which I loved passionately.

Bruce Coville
Jerry Russell from Liverpool wrote on April 1, 2019:
Hey Mister Bruce! Is this thing working, or what?
Reply by Bruce Coville
It appears not to be.
Amy Grubaugh from Forney wrote on February 13, 2019:
Dear Mr. Coville,
I am a dyslexia teacher in Dallas, Texas and have been reading the Magic Shop Series with one of my third grade students, Lucas. We are really enjoying them. He would like to know what your best selling book has been. Thank you!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Amy -
First off, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. We recently transferred the website to a new host, and getting everything back in place has been, well . . . a nightmare!
Please give Lucas my greetings. You can tell him that the bestselling book in the Magic Shop series is JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER. However my all time best-selling books have been the four titles in the MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN series.
My thanks for sharing my books with your students. And, again, my apologies for the delayed response!

Sincerely,
Bruce Coville
Lisa from Vancouver, BC wrote on January 9, 2019:
Dear Bruce,

My journey through the land of Luster began over 20 years ago, and though I am now 33 years old the series still holds a very special place in my heart. I am so happy to hear that the rest of The Unicorn Chronicles will be available this year! I have yet to read The Last Hunt (I'm a completist and was waiting for the paperback version which never came out). I am excited to finally read the conclusion of the saga when you re-release it this year!

Thank you for writing this series, and for persevering to complete it despite the long breaks in between. Please allow me to share with you my journey with this series, it has really meant so much to me 🙂

I vividly remember buying the first volume when I was 9 or 10 yrs old at my school book fair, absolutely thrilled that a novel about unicorns was available. Until that point I'd never heard of any unicorn stories aside from the 1982 animated film version of Peter S. Beagle's "The Last Unicorn." I was hungry for more stories about unicorns and was over the moon when your book came along.

For years after that I kept checking bookstores for the next volume (with no success of course). Though I eventually despaired of any more volumes being written or published, every once in a while I would still check my bookstore 'just in case.' And I re-read the first volume many times because it was just that good! Then, sometime in my teens I went to my bookstore to buy something else, and on a whim checked on The Unicorn Chronicles again. I was completely astounded to find that the second volume was not only in existence but had been available for some time, even in paperback, so I snapped it up right away.

Thankfully the age of the internet was in full swing by then and I was able to see the updates on your website about the progress of the next volumes. Sometime in my 20s, I eagerly picked up the third volume in paperback, still with some lingering astonishment that this story I started in my childhood was actually continuing.

When the final volume, The Last Hunt, came out, I patiently waited for the paperback edition to complete my collection. But of course you know what happened there. For a long time I would check for updates on a re-release, and eventually saw some of your comments in this guestbook which indicated that you were trying to get the rights back, which gave me hope. And now, at long last - I'm very excited for the re-releases this year!

I'm saying all this ultimately to tell you that The Unicorn Chronicles captured my imagination in a very special way and inspired a perhaps abnormally dogged pursuit to complete the journey. I so look forward to reading the final volume this year (after re-reading the others of course), by the end of which I would have read one volume during each decade of my life 🙂

Thank you Bruce, for crafting the world of Luster with its rich characters and stories. The only thing I'll be wondering after I finish the series, is whether movies will ever be made from the books 😉
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Lisa -

Thank you for this thoroughly beautiful message! It fills my heart to know how much Luster and these stories have meant to you.

It was a rocky road (no pun intended, given that "Rocky" became an increasingly important character) to get to the ending. I know, and regret, that I frustrated my readers by taking so long to finish.

Truth is, I also did myself considerable financial harm ... I would be much better off now if I had jammed the books out on a regular schedule! But it was more important to me to get them right than to get them out fast.

It means a lot to me that you have stayed with the series for all these years. And now that the story is complete (though I would still like to write more books set in Luster, this first arc is done) I am hoping that I can bring the series alive for a new generation.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for staying with me through all this.

All best,
Bruce
Natasha from Houston wrote on January 3, 2019:
Hello Mr. Coville,

I am in nearly the same predicament as another commenter in your guestbook; I've read the entirety of your Unicorn Chronicles series, love it, but only own the first two books as I borrowed the last two from the library. You said that you will be splitting up the last two books into two and three books respectively; will the text of the books change at all in the splitting? In any case, I'm very excited to have the possibility of owning these books and reading them again!

Thank you,
Natasha
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Natasha -
Thanks for this - it means a lot to me that you remember the chronicles with such love.
Your question is well put. If I do go forward with dividing the books, there will be some changes. For example, if I do split up DARK WHISPERS, I will probably rearrange the chapters in the middle to create a better rising narrative and endpoint for the first half of the book.
For complete disclosure, I am also making some changes to make the series more consistent. (In this, I am simply following in the wake of the master of us all, J.R.R. Tolkien, who back-revised THE HOBBIT to match what he did next) For example, there were errors regarding the family tree of the royal family (spotted by a couple of astute readers) in SONG OF THE WANDERER that I have tried to address.
Any changes will be in service of a tighter, more accurate representation of the adventures of Cara in Luster!

All best wishes,

Bruce Coville