A Guest Post by Janet Lawler

Happy Wednesday! Author Janet Lawler stopped by to share the book trailer for Fright School and to take over my blog for the day. Many, many, many thanks, Janet! 

When I visit schools, I like to share with kids that my book-writing process is often lengthy. I emphasize the role of revision in all good writing—and that revision takes time but is fun. However, I must admit that audiences at my FRIGHT SCHOOL appearances are surprised to learn that I began working on this story in January of 2008, well before most of them were born!

I was surprised too, when I began looking back at my early drafts. It didn’t seem that long ago that I began writing this story. I suppose time flies when one is doing what one loves, which for me is writing fiction and nonfiction books for children.

My first draft was entitled GHOST SCHOOL. Soon, I graduated to NIGHT SCHOOL (since of course, that is when ghosts must go to school!), But why limit the fun to ghosts, when there are endless monster possibilities? I finally settled on FRIGHT SCHOOL and began playing with every Halloween monster I could think of while writing verse about where monsters go to learn to scare trick-or-treaters. I imagined skeletons “boning up” on math and mummies practicing dragging one foot.

Over the years, my story was read by critique group members, family, friends, and several editors. I developed two very different versions that came close to acquisition more than once. Finally, FRIGHT SCHOOL found a perfect home at Albert Whitman & Company. My editor there encouraged me to polish some lines and add punch to the ending before the manuscript was finalized.

I am thrilled with the artwork of Chiara Galletti. She has created characters that aren’t too scary, something that is important for a picture book. Her illustrations, including skeletons on skateboards and zombies wandering at recess, add delightful visual humor and detail to my Halloween romp and its surprise ending.

I hope kids of all ages will visit FRIGHT SCHOOL soon! And while there, they better pay attention! Educators and readers can visit the book’s page on my website to download and take a silly FRIGHT SCHOOL quiz

Of course, everyone will earn an A+! I bet you can guess the answer to the first quiz question:

When does the bell ring to start classes?

_____ 8 a.m.

_____ noon

_____ midnight

I hope you have a frightfully awesome HALLOWEEN!

Award-winning author Janet Lawler writes fiction and nonfiction for children. Three of her more than twenty books have appeared in the Scholastic Book Clubs, and two have been featured selections of the Children's Book of the Month Club. Translations of her work include editions in Spanish, Japanese, Hebrew, Korean, Arabic, French, and Indonesian.

Borrow Fright School from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 


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