Two weeks ago I visited Pollard Middle School in Needham, MA, for an author visit with the school's seventh graders. I love leading writing workshops for kids. I love talking to them about my life as a writer. But I especially love talking to kids who have read my books. It makes for a much different type of conversation. And these seventh graders had all read my first novel, TALL TALES. I talked about where the story had come from and all of the revisions I'd done before it was published. But then I spent a lot of time talking about the novel's external and internal plot lines as well as the multiple themes I incorporate. What a joy! Is there anything better than pulling a part a paragraph and doing a close reading? See, this is part of the internal arc. See, this is an example of theme penetrating the description. See? See! The kids were great and equally as interested (okay, maybe not quite as much as I was). They asked wonderful, insightful questions. And I left feeling good about the stories that I write and the sophisticated, thoughtful ways that these wonderful kids think and talk about books! Wow!