A message board is provided to readers for sending me their questions and comments. Click here to view the message board. Click here to enter your comment onto the message board. When possible, Lois will respond.
Another summer is over; school is back in session; and then, very soon, it will be holiday season. I hope you ‘re lucky enough to have an English teacher who allows you to read for pleasure as well as for AR points. If so, here are some books your class might enjoy.
The one you’ll probably want to start with is DOWN A DARK HALL. Why? Because the film rights have been optioned by Stephanie Meyer, the author of the TWILIGHT books. If you’ve read those books or seen the movies you know that Stephanie Meyer loves scary stories, and I’m thrilled to discover that mine are among her favorites. This story is about a boarding school called Blackwood and its mysterious students. Ensnared in the chilling world is new student Kit Gordy, who must unravel Blackwood’s haunted and tragic history before it’s too late. It’s a ghost story, and if it’s scary enough to give someone like Stephanie Meyer nightmares, you’d better plan to sleep with a night light.
Another book of mine that is currently being filmed is a remake of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. It was a very popular movie in the 1990s—at the top of the box office for four months—but Sony Pictures has decided it needs a new interpretation, so they’ve hired a new script writer and who knows what he’ll turn it into. It’s due to be released in 2016, so I’d advise you to read the book NOW, before seeing the movie.
Some other books that make for good classroom discussions: KILLING MR. GRIFFIN, DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU, and LOCKED IN TIME.
This past year was a very exciting one for me. The Mystery Writers of America named me a Grand Master. That’s the highest award they present and “honors exceptional achievement in the career of mystery writing.” My husband Don and I flew to New York City for the grand presentation at the Edgar Allan Poe Awards Banquet, which happened to take place on my birthday. What a way to celebrate!
This is a link to the presentation and my acceptance speech (which is very, very short, but at least you’ll see me in person being extremely happy.) https://youtu.be/7G8yZmZkXGw?list=PLiYm04WPG_MGSwa5uh1VW72wQ5Exyezmi
The statuette is not pretty--it’s ceramic and supposed to look like the horror writer Edgar Allan Poe. The important thing is what it represents. It’s sitting here right now on the shelf above my desk, glaring down at me as I write this. I’ve inserted a picture of the statue along with another of Don and me, all dressed up for the reception.
I also have a new book out, WRITTEN IN THE STARS. This is very different from my other books, as it’s a collection of the stories I wrote and sold to magazines when I was your age. (That’s how I made my spending money when I was a teenager.) This should be of particular interest to those of you who want to be writers, because at the end of each story I describe the things that were going on in my own life that led me to write that story. You’ll learn about my family life, my school life, my hopes and dreams and crushes—all of which I bet you can relate to because, despite all the changes that have taken place in this new era of technology, the emotions of youth don’t seem to have changed at all. My picture is on the cover of that book --a photo of me in my late teens, dreamily writing a story. (If I look old-fashioned—which I do—it’s because the photo was taken around 1952. That’s how we all looked back then.)
And when Christmas and Hanukkah come, and your parents and others ask for suggestions about what to give you, I hope that on your “wish list” you’ll include books. Not just “books” in general (or they might give you a dictionary), but specific titles by your favorite authors. Of course, I’d be happy if some of those books are mine, but, if you choose a different author, that’s fine too. The main thing is to read the kinds of stories that you enjoy, because reading can be at least as much fun as television.
My daughter, Robin, has now established me on Twitter. If you’re interested in trailing me around and listening to me chirp, feel free to join me at http://twitter.com/duncanauthor.
A Visit with Lois Duncan
Buy Now for this fall!
We are excited to announce the release of a new DVD, created specifically for classroom use:
The name Lois Duncan means different things to different people.
Teachers and librarians know her as the author of over 50 books and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award, presented by the American Library Association for an outstanding contribution to young adult literature.
Young adult readers know her as the author of scary suspense novels like I Know What You Did Last Summer and Killing Mr. Griffin.
Younger readers know her as the author of humorous books like Hotel for Dogs and News for Dogs.
On this 35 minute DVD, you and your students will meet the “real” Lois Duncan, visit in her home and office, and hear her describe the ups and downs of her career.
You’ll follow her step by step through her writing process, hear her respond to the questions asked most frequently by readers, and learn what happens behind the scenes when a writer’s novels go to Hollywood.
You’ll even get to meet some of her children and grandchildren.
Classes who view
“A Visit with Lois Duncan”
can write to Duncan by e-mail, and she will respond, so it can be an interactive experience.