Monday, August 27, 2018

Eight Energizing Years: Mayhemmers Caroline, Chris, and Paul On Their Writing Lives

Last week, after I announced the migration of The Mayhem from blog form to a Facebook group, I asked our bloggers to give a snapshot of their writing careers since Project Mayhem: The Manic Minds of Middle Grade Writers first appeared in 2010. Here are the responses from three of our long-time contributors.

Caroline Starr Rose ~

My writing career really got underway around the time Project Mayhem began. In 2010 I sold my first novel, May B. Since then I've sold six more books. As I've moved from an aspiring author to a debut and into a career, I've tried to hold the things I can't control loosely and learn to take the long viewMy aim these years has been to make beautiful books of enduring value that honor and extend dignity to children.

I hope I can continue to do the same for many years to come!

Chris Eboch ~

I'm not sure when I joined Team Mayhem. It wasn't at the beginning, but I feel like I've been part of the family for a long time. So what has happened in recent years?

I published You Can Write for Children: How to Write Great Stories, Articles, and Books for Kids and Teenagers in Kindle, in paperback, and Large Print paperback. To put together this book, I adapted many of the articles I wrote for Children's Writer newsletter, the annual Writer's Guide books, or other publications. It's one more way of sharing my love of writing Kidlit, and the knowledge I've amassed over the years of working in the industry.

Since 2015, 20 more of the educational publishing books I've written have come out. The most recent are four books in the Sweet Eats with a Side of Science series from Capstone, and Living through World War I  and Living through World War II from Rourke. In addition, I've done 10 titles in the Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints series, where I curate articles and write introductions and questions. This brings me up to 52 nonfiction books and 14 fiction titles traditionally published! That's not something I ever expected when I sold my first novel, The Well of Sacrifice, way back in the late 90s.

I'm also still writing for adults as Kris Bock. I haven't published a new romantic suspense novel since The Skeleton Canyon Treasure in 2016, but I've been working on a mystery novel that's ready to send to agents.

Less has changed on the personal front. I'm still living in a small town in New Mexico, still married to a wonderful man, still hiking most weeks, and still keeping ferrets – although our current pair are only a year old, so they are relatively new. Princess Pandemonium (Panda) and Teddy Black Bear (Bear) are playful when awake and snugly when sleeping, which is most of the time.

Paul Greci ~

A close friend, who teaches elementary school, once said to me, I never teach the same lesson twice because I am never the same person twice. Life is change and over the last eight years, like most people, I’ve seen my share. As a writer, I’ve had one book come out, Surviving Bear Island (Move Books 2015) and have five more under contract with three different publishers—Move, Macmillan, and Benchmark—scheduled to come out over the next four years.

I still write in the morning before heading to my teaching job, and my wife is still my main reader of manuscripts outside of my agent and the editors I’m working with at the publishing houses. That said, the biggest change for me as a writer has been writing books from start to finish that are already under contract as opposed to writing a book for which I do not yet have a publisher. Even though I am a disciplined writer, I admit that having deadlines I’ve signed off on has kept me on task even more.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the wonder, engagement and challenge I experience when writing a novel and seeing it through the twists and turns of the creative process. Another thing that hasn’t changed (which is also something I love about writing) is the continual learning curve I’m traveling as a writer. There is always more to learn when crafting a story, and that learning keeps the journey fresh.


  1. It has been an amazing time, Mayhemmers. Thank you for sharing this space. Through revolutions of different kinds, I have grown as a writer. So glad to see you all on the other side...of social media.


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!