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Reading Matters

Doug Wilhelm is a full-time writer and an independent publisher in Weybridge, Vemont. His newest book is the novel STREET OF STORYTELLERS (Rootstock, 2019). His 15 previous novels for young adults include THE REVEALERS (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003), which has been the focus of reading-and-discussion projects in well over 1,000 middle schools.

Please! Be critical!

When I visit middle schools, kids often ask, How long does it take to write a book? I say there's no simple answer but it always takes longer than you'd think because it almost always involves many drafts. Many. The Revealers went through 11 ... I've probably gone through the new book close to 20 times. I enjoy that! Each time you get a little better, a little closer. Because I'm not working with a professional editor this time, for this "indie" publication, I've asked a number of people — middle-school teachers, teenagers, another professional writer friend — to read the manuscript and mark it up. I urge them: Please! Be critical! Only honest feedback and criticism helps you to make the book better.

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