Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HOOK KIDS on READING at Robin Falls Kid's Story Time

The Reluctant Reader Lair
All about writing "Books That HOOK Kids
BOOKS their Reluctant Readers will read.


Tomorrow morning,
June 24th, at 8am Pacific time,
tune in to regular weekly Summer fun for kids,
Robin Falls Kid's Story Time -
Blog Talk Radio.

I will be a guest tomorrow, at 8am, to chat
about writing
books for boys, and read from
my latest book,
"Rattlesnake Jam" - a sure fire
reluctant reader pleaser!

Other guests will follow, + give aways,
and you and your kids can ask questions
at the end of the show.

Please phone in your questions or comments
(646) 649-1005

Go to Robin Falls Story Time on
Facebook for more details

I will also be very happy to answer any e-mail
questions you or your child send me.
( mfinke@verizon.net).

FREEBIE: Everyone who e-mails me tomorrow, or phones in a question for ME and leaves their name and e-mail address, will receive a link to me reading one of my stories, PLUS the fun illustrations.


Critiques - Writing Help - Rattlesnake Jam
+ 7 Book Series: fun and educational

Margot's Books for KIDS + Writing News

"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind"
C-O-M-I-N-G Soon!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The RELUCTANT READER LAIR goes on Robin Falls Kids Story Time - Blog Talk Radio

The Reluctant Reader Lair
All about writing "Books That HOOK Kids
their Reluctant Readers will read.


Hey there, mates. On June 24th, at the very early hour
of 8am Pacific time
, I will be a guest on the
Robin Falls Kids Story Time
Blog Talk Radio Show.

I get to chat about how to write books for reluctant readers - especially boys, and then read from my latest book, "Rattlesnake Jam," a boy friendly rhyming story if there ever was one.

I even sneak in a plug for my next book from G.A.P,
"Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind."

Ruthie is not a boy, but if I'd named her Stevie, the Hippo and her freak-out fits would fit Stevie, right down to the mismatched pair of socks! Stevie and the Hippo's Fat Behind would definitely hook small boys.

Everyone who leaves their e-mail address, when they phone in or leave a comment, receives a FREE AUDIO of me reading one of my rhyming kid friendly stories + the illustrations

So, phone in here -(646) 649-1005
Go to Robin Falls Story Time on Facebook


my 7 book rhyming series -
Fun facts about animals from the US and Australia.

Visit Down-under Fun or Wild Us Critters
for extra information about the animals in these books


Friday, June 12, 2009



The Reluctant Reader Lair
is all about authors writing "Books That Will HOOK Kids
on READING," and parents who are happy
to find and buy them.


Do You Worry Because Your Child
Doesn't Like Reading?

I have discovered that more reluctant readers are boys.
As a writer of children's books, I find this
shocking and unacceptable.

However, I'm betting it's because girl genes swoon over
frills, pink, cute puppies, playing house,
and dress-up.

On the other hand, boy genes go for fast action, frogs,
yucky stuff, dirt, shooting guns and practicing
gross underarm noises.

Who writes kid's books anyway?

More women than men write books for children, so it stands to reason that they tend to lean toward things that appeal to kids of the female persuasion: not always mind you, but quite often. Lady writers know what little girls (and not so little girls) like - right! So, with the profusion of story choices offered to them, about topics they think are cool, it's no wonder girls read more than boys.

Now that I've dragged this dirty little secret out in the open, what can writers do about fixing this, so our boys will also have a ready supply of books they love to read?

First off, female writers have to go discover the other side of the gene pool - the Testerone Mystery! What makes it tick? What interests those it inhabits? How can we entice a "testerone flavor of the month" into the books we write for boys?

It's beginning to sound like a banned book!
NOT SO, mates.

My son David was a reluctant reader. Short of my gluing a book to his hands, and threatening dire consequences, he would not read. Not sure about you, but I was certain this was not the way to get him HOOKED on BOOKS!

"It's boring, Mom."
"Can I stop now?" - after 5 minutes.
"I'll read it later - promise!"
"Laura liked it ( his sister), so it's gotta suck."
"But a lady wrote it!!"
"Aw Mom, the team will flub without me."

Just A few of my son's wiggle-outa-reading excuses. Books should be a can't-put-it-down-till-I -finish, kinda fun - not a gun-at-the-head torture. How could I hook this kid of mine on the pleasure of reading, the thrill of that magic carpet ride to fascinating and far away places, of intriguing characters, and boy targeted adventures.

Then I found him the Hardy Boy's Series. Not great literature for sure, but who cares: These books GOT DAVID READING. No nagging, no excuses. After reading the complete series of umpteen books, he asked for more of the same. Now that I knew his reading needs, it was no problem to provide my son with the sort of macho page turners he loved.

That's when the answer hit me right in the face. . .

Forget the frills and the fashions. Dump the giggles and the whispered secrets. Think mini-male.
Give boys a scaled down version of what their Dads, Uncles and Grandfathers enjoyed reading.

*An humorous action mystery
*A fast paced wild country adventure
*A school bully fed his own medicine
*How to survive ( macho man style) in an all female household.
*A bordering on gross holiday adventure - fast and funny!
*Fantasy and Sci-Fi dudes on the rampage.
*Tales about winning team sports.
*Bring on the dinosaurs!

Keep girls to a minimum and the DIALOGUE ALL BOY!
Let the yuck factor rule - especially with humor.

Get the picture. . . sorry, I mean BOOK?

Begin by researching what the boys you know and love like to do. When they gather to watch TV, sports, or play computer games, SPY ON THEM! Listen to the way they talk, their current interests, the food they crave. Note what they think is cool, and what they hate. Get a feel for what tickles the junior male funny bone!

Now, go to the library and read everything they have that was written with boys in mind.
Depending upon the age you want to write for, look for books written by:

Max Elliot Anderson
Gary Paulson
Steve Young
Louis Sachar
Lemony Snicket
Bruce Colville
Jeanne duPrau

Or, go to Michael Sullivan's Website

There you will find a plethora of books written with macho in mind - from picture books to young adult, from fiction to non-fiction, and everything in-between. More than 99% of them written by men. Come on ladies, we can't let men keep this side of writing all to themselves!!

If we want young boys to start reading, we as authors have to write books that have boy appeal.
And parents need to understand that little Andy and sister Jillian might look a lot alike, but this does not mean they want to read the same sort of books. Andy will want macho man stories, while Jillian will probably go for girlie stuff.


Authors need to WRITE BOOKS BOYS want to READ
And then. . .
Parents can buy books that HOOK their boy's interest.

Slam-dunk, Mates!



My Website - Manuscript Critiques

BUY any Autographed Book from my website,
and receive a
FREE LINK to me reading that book -
all reluctant reader friendly!