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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.
Tiffany Black from Douglas wrote on August 30, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
Our 5th grade class is currently reading My Teacher is an Alien. We love reading how Susan Simmons is finding out her teacher is an alien (we are currently reading chapter 5). Do you have any book suggestions for our class? Also, do you have any tips for us as writers?
Mrs. Black's Class
Reply by Bruce Coville
Ahoy, Mrs. Black's Class -

I'm delighted to know that you are reading (and enjoying!) MY TEACHER IS AN ALIEN!

As far as book suggestions - what are you looking for? More science fiction? Some fantasy? Books by me, or by other people? Tell me a bit more about what you want, and I will offer some suggestions.

Here are three writing tips for you:
1. When you're trying to make a scene come alive, use more than one of the senses. By that I mean don't just tell me what a place looks like; tell me what it smells like and what it sounds like.

2. To help make your characters more memorable, give them some little trait that is unusual, something to help them stick in the reader's mind. (For example, a character might put mustard on everything he or she eats. Or only reads mystery books. Or has a habit he or she uses - like biting his/her tongue - while thinking.)

3. Read your writing out loud. This will help you discover things that you need to fix when you are revising.

Happy reading . . . and writing!

your friend,
Bruce Coville
Arrianna wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville
I love JEREMY THATCHER,DRAGON HATCHER. Tiamat sounds so cute! How did you come up with crying diamonds? How did you come up with Tiamat's name?
Thank you !
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Arrianna -

Glad you liked JEREMY THATCHER. I found Tiamat's name by doing lots of research on dragons and the stories surrounding them.

I came up with crying diamonds by using my imagination!

All best,

Owen wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
is an awesome book. I love dragons! I was wondering how you get the characters' names?
Thank you,
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Owen -

Glad you liked JEREMY THATCHER. As to the names, naming is very important. Sometimes I am sending a message to a friend. Here's an example - I have a good friend, a librarian, named Cynthia Bishop. If you think about the name "Hyacinth Priest" you can see that "Hyacinth" is a bit like "Hi ya, Cynth" and a Bishop is a kind of Priest. So for that name I was playing a kind of private word game.

WILL wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
I really like the middle part of the book, JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER, because it's where the teacher gets the hot foot. I also like the part where Mary Lou comes to Jeremy's house.
I only have one question. When is the movie coming out?
Thank you for your time!
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Will -

So glad you liked JEREMY THATCHER. I based that art teacher on a very bad teacher my little sister had when she was a kid. Writing that scene where Tiamat gave him a hotfoot was a lot of fun!

As to a movie - people have been trying off and on for about 20 years to get a film of this book going. Maybe someday . . . maybe.

Olivia wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
I really enjoyed reading JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER. I admire Tiamat. She's so pretty. I've been wondering how long have you been writing books?

Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Olivia -

I'm so glad you liked JEREMY THATCHER. I have been publishing books for 40 years now . . . but I have been writing them for even longer, because it usually takes quite a while to get your first book published. I started writing when I was about 18 and I am now 68.

isaac wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,

I read your book JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER and I loved it. It was the best. My favorite part was Mr. Kravitz and his foot.
I do have some questions. Why would Tiamat get hurt in the portal, and why are they still connected? Thank you for writing such an exciting book.
A reader
Reply by Bruce Coville
Dear Reader -

Thanks for your message - I'm so glad you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER!

The reason Tiamat would get hurt in the portal was that she was caught between two worlds. If the portal closed while she was stuck that way . . . well, let's just say it wouldn't have been pretty.

Jeremy and Ti are still connected for many reasons - including that tooth that you may remember from the final scene in the magic shop.

Stella wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
I really enjoyed the book JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER. I have a question. How old were you when you wrote JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER?
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Stella -

I'm very glad you enjoyed JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER.

I wrote the book when I was 40 - but I first got the idea for it when I was 32!

Maggie wrote on August 15, 2018:
Dear Mr. Coville,
The book JEREMY THATCHER,DRAGON HATCHER was exciting. I love dragon so much. I love the book. How did you come up with JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER? How did you come with the dragon's name, Tiamat?

Thank you,
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Maggie -

Thanks for letting me know how much you liked JEREMY THATCHER, DRAGON HATCHER. I, too, love dragons!

Tiamat's name comes from Babylonian mythology. Even though the book is a fantasy, I did a great deal of research while writing it.

Sophia piña from Salem Oregon wrote on August 10, 2018:
I found you by looking up when Nancy Drew and the secret of the old clock was made and one of your books was listed under similar books. I went to your website and I couldn't find your first book to read. can you please add "from oldest" in how you want the books listed part?
Sorry if is sounded kind of confusing:-)
Reply by Bruce Coville
Hi, Sophia -

That's an interesting idea. I've been writing for 40 years now, and many of the earlier books are no longer in print (though most are now available as e-books).

My first three books were THE FOOLISH GIANT, SARAH'S UNICORN, and THE MONSTER'S RING. The first two of those are picture books. MONSTER'S RING is my first published novel, and it is still in print.

The books that would be most like Nancy Drew would be the three Nina Tanleven stories: THE GHOST IN THE THIRD ROW, THE GHOST WORE GRAY, and THE GHOST IN THE BIG BRASS BED. They are no longer in print, but you can get them as ebooks, or buy used copies on Amazon.

Happy Reading!

Bruce Coville
Karen Tran from Fairport wrote on June 5, 2018:
Bruce, it was so great to work with you at the Teen Book Festival this year! You are as wonderful a person as you are a writer. My daughter and I loved getting to meet you and spend time with you.
Reply by Bruce Coville
Thanks, Karen. It's a fantastic event and I really enjoyed working with you and your daughter!