Then, on the very first day, your professor assigns an essay. You proceed to procrastinate until the night that the paper is due only to find out that the writing that you did in high school was almost entirely different than what the prompt sitting right in front of you requires. Organization In high school, do you remember your teacher telling you that all essays should be five paragraphs?
For the next several hours, Rufus and Sebastien attempt to get to the bottom of the murder, bumping up against vicious classmates, tyrannous drug dealers, and an insidious new designer drug wrecking havoc on the community. The book starts with a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; who were the mystery authors who were influential to you as a writer?
One of my first influences was the great Agatha Christie. For a long time afterward, however, I had this unfortunate idea that a good mystery required a cast of wealthy aristocrats and clues that were totally impenetrable. But if I had to name one single author who made me want to sit down and write, it was Sue Grafton.
Her mysteries were compelling and direct, her characters complex and layered, and her writing was atmospheric but accessible. Her alphabet series is what made me finally want to try my hand at novels.
How were you able to strike the balance of solving the murder while still paying attention to the very real love story at the center of the book?
Romance is a perfect counterpoint to a life-or-death narrative, because in love the stakes can feel exactly that high; and shifting the focus from the mystery to the romance and back again is a great way to increase tensions across the board. What was compelling to you about a character who was at times at the mercy of almost uncontrollable emotions?
Warshawski—a stubborn, irascible, and reactionary figure, whose quick temper is part of what makes her so intriguing. I wanted to create a protagonist like that, who could be angry first and friendly later, and whose journey between those two emotions a reader would wish to explore.
What made this seemingly idyllic town the ideal location for your story? While there have been murder mysteries set in high school in the past, White Rabbit feels different with its attention to class differences and the economic pressure Rufus and his mom are under.
Can you talk about what went into creating the affluent yet violent world these characters inhabit? The ending of the book seems to leave open the possibility that there are more mysteries for Rufus to solve.
Will we see more books with Rufus and Sebastien?
Initially, I intended White Rabbit to be a standalone, but as I completed it, I saw an avenue for a potential follow-up. What role has the public library played in your life?
Public libraries have played a huge role in my life! We went once a week when I was a kid, and I would check out exactly as many books as the limit allowed.
It means a lot to me.Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School, a ministry of the Felician Sisters, is an independent Catholic school educating and transforming young men and women in grades for lives of Christian leadership, stewardship, and service to all.
The Pius XI Writing Center is designed to help students move through the writing process with a trained writing tutor. Students can bring any type of writing to the Writing Center such as papers for any class, college essays, ACT writing practice, and personal writing.
Monday - Thursday: M-Th , Friday: F , Sunday: S The University of Texas at Austin / PCL / Twelve Assignments Every Middle School Student Should Write is a revision and expansion of Gary’s earlier book, Middle School Writing Projects: Ideas for Writing Across the Curriculum. With this book, Gary has offered a roadmap for both using writing and teaching.
The center now named the MHJ writing center, in honor of the late teen, is conveniently located at East 26th Avenue, which is less than a 10 minute walk away from the high school’s campus.
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