Moldylocks and the new bear in town

April 26, 2022

320 Sycamore Studios is a kids-book publisher. We share recommendations for great kids books, send serialized stories via our weekly newsletter, and offer free PDF versions of all our books.
Heya <<First Name>>,

Want to know something I hate about writing? 

It’s that near the end of act 2 (in a 3-act story) I have to put in an “all is lost” moment. It’s that point when the worst possible thing happens to the hero. 

They’re at their rock bottom and they need to

  1. surrender an old way of being
  2. embrace a larger version of themselves
  3. take the fight the bad guys 
I hate it because it feels so cruel. After I’ve spent all that time with a character (months, or even years for a longer story), I don’t want to torment them. 

But I’ve learned that if I don’t torment them, there’s no change, no drama, no story. 

In our new book, the “all is lost” moment comes when I have the hero, Moldylocks, lying on her back under a table in the middle of her school’s lunchroom. She’s just betrayed someone she cares about, she’s been humiliated by her arch-enemy in front of the whole school, and she feels alone in the world. 

She has to answer the key question any story asks its hero: “Are you going to revert and die or change and live?” 

Given that the book is a novel for grade-schoolers, I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that Moldylocks opts for the latter. 

I hope you like the book. It’s called “Moldylocks and the Bear.” But I’ll be the first to admit: The premise is bonkers. Heh. It’s about a zombie girl (in a zombie town) who’s trying to win the lead role in the annual musical.

Her best chance of success is to get coaching from the new kid at school — an outsider. A bear. 

The crucial question for Moldy comes down to trust. 

Will she give in to fear, or will she listen to her heart? 

Isn’t that the question we all face? 

Shoutouts to my illustrator, Madeline; designer, Jennifer; proofreader, Dana; book shepherd, Robert; and business partner, Bob.

To celebrate the book’s launch, we’re selling it at cost this week: $7.66.

The price will bump back up to $11.99 on May 3. 

You can get the book on Amazon or read it free on our Storyblog.

And if you want a PDF — for your class, for a zombie-crazy kid, for whatever — just email me. I’ll send you a copy.

Happy reading,
… who believe that reading with kids can change the world for the better. 

In our current serial story: Winnie and her Whoosh take to the hills

Illustration by Dzana Serdarevic.

If you lose something like a book or a ball, it’s pretty easy to find it again. But what happens when you lose the thing that makes you YOU?

Well, if you’re a girl like Winnie Wisp — someone who likes doing things a bit differently — you set out on a journey to find it again.

Even if it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

Part 1: What IS a whoosh?
Part 2: Whooshes can be shy
Part 3: Yagotters liked thing-ing
Part 4: Winnie Wisp really didn’t like math
Part 5: Winnie and her Whoosh take to the hills

New: Will Moldylocks find her roar?

Misfit zombie girl Moldylocks LaMort has lost her roar. And she only has a week to find it if she’s going to win the lead role in the town musical.  

Moldy’s best hope is to train with the new kid — IF she can trust him. He is, after all, a bear.

Buy “Moldylocks and the Bear” >
<<First Name>>, we’d love to know what you think of this weekly story email. Just hit reply to talk to us.
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