Are you ready to learn how to write during the month of November?

NanoWriMoNovember is the National Novel Writing Month, a challenge for writers to produce 50,000 words toward a novel in a single month. If you write 50,000, you’re a winner! The challenge says nothing about the quality of the work, of course, but it’s a motivational tool to get you writing and writing a lot.


In response, picture book writers decided to make November a month for them, as well. Tara Lazer created PiBoIdMon, the Picture Book Idea month. Lazar challenges writers to create 30 concepts for picture books during the month of November. Read the FAQ here. You may create a character, produce a first draft, or develop a setting – they are just looking for a concept, not a polished picture book manuscript.

If you’re a writer, then this is your month to write! To make it easier, we’re offering a 10% discount on how-to-write books.

HOW TO WRITE: For 10% OFF, Use Coupon Code: write10

Start Your Novel on mobile.

How to Write a Children's Picture Book by Darcy Pattison

Does Halloween week put you in the mood for dark and creepy stories?
Personally, I don’t like horror stories and find few appropriate for kids. But sometimes a story pulls me in with its dark and disturbing plot. For just those moments when you want to something deliciously creepy, we suggest The Girl, the Gypsy and the Gargoyle.

Deliciously Creepy Novel - spooky middle grade fun. | by Darcy Pattison

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” —Michelangelo

But what if an unscrupulous sculptor could trap someone inside a block of stone, just so he could carve them? And can miracles come from tragedy? Threatened with the loss of the only home she’s known, Laurel listens to a proposal from Master Gimpel, a deformed stone carver. He intrigues Laurel and Jassy, her gypsy friend, when he offers a path to untold riches. Master Gimpel explains that his Troll’s Eye, a red jewel, is a doorway into the stone world where a treasure cave awaits. From the moment Laurel looks through the Troll’s Eye, she and her gypsy companion enter a dangerous race for their lives.

This is a rich, surprising and sometimes disturbing tale of gargoyles and those who carve the creatures from solid stone. There’s plenty of darkness in this cautionary tale that nevertheless pulls off not one, but two miracles—and in a surprising twist, brings Laurel home to stay.

More about The Girl, the Gypsy and the Gargyole: Creepy Novel for Middle Grade

  • This story is an audiobook narrated by Paula Bodin. Listen to a sample.
  • Read a sample chapter.
  • Read an outtake. This is a prologue that didn’t make it into the book but explains the backstory of the Gargoyle Man.

As a member of the Children’s Book Council, Mims House participates in many of their special events and discussions of children’s books. This fall, the CBC is highlighting books that address the theme of good v. evil. They say,”Good and evil come in all forms, from superheroes to villains to bullies at school.” The list includes novels and chapter books.

Seasonal Showcase Books: Good v. Evil Includes Chapter Book KELL, THE ALIEN

We’re please to have a Featured Book on this list: Read more about Kell, the Alien, Book 1, The Alien’s, Inc. Series.

GOOD V.EVIL-Recommended books from the Children's Book Council Seasonal Showcase | |#cbcbooks #goodevil

Besides the Featured Books, the CBC includes a longer list of chapter books and novels recommended for this theme. Read them here.

We woke up this morning to fall weather, with temperatures in the mid-50s. So I’m heading to the store this weekend to shop for fall clothing. Just like people need a regular change of clothes, books need updated covers. Our middle grade novel, the American fantasy, VAGABONDS, gets a new cover here.

Vagabonds: An American Fantasy and Middle Grade Novel

Middle grade novel, Vagabonds by Darcy Pattison | NEW Cover for this middle-grade animal fantasy. Read more at

For decades, the southern states have witnessed the relentless migration of vagabonds from Mexico. They are now found as far north as the Ozarks of southern Missouri. No one knows why they keep traveling north, ever northward. Until now.

In the tradition of classic middle grade novels, Charlotte’s Web or The Underneath comes the middle grade novel, the American fantasy, VAGABONDS, the saga of El Garro’s armadillo colony, the scouts and pioneers who have always been at the forefront of the migration. Rumors from their original homeland, the jungles far to the south, indicate that El Garro’s colony may be nearing the fabled Faralone Falls, where they will find the answer to why they have traveled northward for decades. Galen must leave the comfort of his den and lead the search party. Accompanying him are Victor, a representative of the southern clans, Corrie, who is El Garro’s daughter, and Blaze, the barn owl. Galen’s quest for answers plays out against the background of the armadillo colony who has never before challenged their nomadic way of life.

With luminous watercolor by Greta James, the cover firmly places this story in the Ozark mountains, at the heartland of the United States. This is a compelling read.

Learn more about Vagabonds and read a sample chapter.