Join the Wild Girls

I just finished reading The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy, a writer whose work I had never read. It’s a middle grade novel about a girl who moves across country–from Connecticut to California–the friend she makes, and the stories they begin to write. It’s a book about writers and it’s a book for writers. There are lessons about writing in this book that are the equivalent of taking a writing class at Berkeley (the setting for some of the scenes). To tempt you further, you’ll meet the Queen of the Foxes, visit the Circus of Chaos, walk on stilts, and paint your face with lipstick to give yourself the nerve to read your writing in front of an auditorium filled with people. You know you can’t resist! Once you read it, I want to hear about what insights it gave you into how to tell stories that matter.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy Doherty says:

    I just ordered my copy at Amazon!


    1. kimgriswell says:

      Great! I just ordered another one of her books on Amazon. I guess she writes mostly sci-fi for adults. If anyone wants to check out her site it’s



  2. Liz says:

    I just ordered it from Amazon & put a hold on it at the library. Thaks for the link, Kim. There’s an excerpt from chapter 1 there. I’m looking forward to reading the book and discussing it with everyone!


  3. Kathy Doherty says:

    I just finished reading THE WILD GIRLS two seconds ago. I enjoyed the story. I’m glad it didn’t have one of those sugary-sweet happy endings. The author never told us, but I wanted to know what was causing Sarah’s dad to be so pugnacious [the subtext]. My guess is he didn’t love himself. And I’m glad Sarah’s mom didn’t end up with Gus. I had suspected that might happen.

    What did I learn about writing from this novel? Observe people and ask questions. Pay attention to the underlying issues that drive what people do and say. Try to figure people out. Think like a psychologist. Then apply this truth to your writing.


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