Monday, February 27, 2017

Stealing Magic by Alex C Vick (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of a guest post by author Alex C. Vick, who shares her thoughts on...

Difficulties of writing for Middle Grade

by Alex C. Vick

Firstly, thank you very much to The Reading Addict for the opportunity to write a guest post!
When I sat down to consider this suggested topic, I realised that there are definitely a few potential difficulties! However, I absolutely love writing for Middle Grade. I’ll try to balance this post with a bit of what’s good about it too.

What exactly is Middle Grade?

Defining the reader is tough, because the age range, in terms of reading development, is enormous. A nine-year-old might be visiting Narnia for the first time in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. An eleven-year-old, on the other hand, might be discovering Panem in The Hunger Games. There is no ‘typical’ Middle Grade reader.

And defining a Middle Grade book is difficult too. I could say that Middle Grade is written in the third person, with shorter word-count, younger protagonists, no romance, and not much self-analysis. Then again, I could also list several very successful Middle Grade novels that break most or all of those stereotypes.

But there is some common ground. Middle Grade books tend to have fast paced, original stories. Middle Grade readers, once they decide that they like something, can be a very loyal and enthusiastic audience. And there are authors that successfully rise way above all the challenges of definition. J. K. Rowling and Rick Riordan, to name two!

2.     What makes a great Middle Grade book?

The author needs to grab the reader’s attention immediately!
Here are three of my favorite opening lines from Middle Grade books.

All children, except one, grow up.
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

      YEAH, I KNOW. You guys are going to read about how I died in agony, and you’re going be like, “Wow! That sounds cool, Magnus! Can I die in agony too?”
No. Just no. Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Something interesting should happen, and then keep happening, at fairly regular intervals. There will be a major challenge or difficulty to overcome. And the reader has got to like the main characters, otherwise why should he or she care enough to read to the end? The protagonist will probably be older than the reader, and quite independent, although adults can offer occasional help and can definitely be an obstacle! Finally, humour works well in Middle Grade, even if the story is a serious one. In conclusion, it’s a challenge, but still a lot of fun to write.

3.     How do I, as an author, reach the Middle Grade audience?

The Middle Grade reader probably doesn’t have the same freedom to discover and purchase books that someone older would have. However, if I’m very lucky, parents, guardians or teachers will come across my books and give them a try. They might then share the books with their children or students. It’s about visibility and word of mouth, whether that be verbal or virtual!

A good place to start is with price promotions and giveaways, a mailing list, a choice of formats, and having an informative website that also expands on the world building. Going on a blog tour, like the one I’m doing right now, is a great way to find potential readers.
Before I finish, I’d like to say that I’m still very much in the learning phase of being an author, and will probably be there for a very long time. If you have different experiences or ideas, I’d love to hear them!


Stealing Magic

by Alex C Vick

GENRE:   Middle Grade Fantasy



Shannon thought there was no such thing as real magic. Until that day. The day that changed everything.

Put yourself in her shoes. Would you open your eyes, if you were the one that heard them? Two magic-takers from another world, arguing about whether they can collect what they came for before you wake up. It sounds like a crazy dream, or a practical joke.

But what if the air around you started to vibrate with an invisible force field? What if, all at once, it felt scary, yet familiar too? You would have no way of knowing that this discovery would set you on a path no-one from our world has taken for centuries. Towards a deadly enemy, and a fight you will almost certainly lose.

All you know is that your heart is beating so fast you're worried they will hear it, and your brain is starting to buzz as the force field reaches it. Would you open your eyes?

Join Jax and Shannon as they live through the most exciting and terrifying ten days of their lives!

Stealing Magic will be $0.99 during the tour.



“Why do you-?” started Shannon, at the same time that Jax said

“How did you-?”

They both laughed nervously.

“You go first,” said Jax. “I’ve got a feeling I need to answer a few of your questions first before you can be any help answering mine.”

“OK,” replied Shannon. “Why do you travel to my world and steal its magic?” she began.

“Steal?” replied Jax, shocked. “Stealing magic is not what we do. We harvest it.”

“You steal it,” retorted Shannon. “If it’s not stealing, why do you only do it in secret? And why does no-one on my world seem to know that it’s happening?”

“Exactly!” said Jax. “If you don’t know it’s happening, and you don’t even know the magic is there in the first place, and you don’t miss it when it’s gone, how can it be stealing?

Besides, it has always been this way. For hundreds of years magic-takers have travelled from Androva to Terra to harvest its magic.”

“You still haven’t answered my question anyway,” said Shannon, crossing her arms. “Why do you do it?”

Jax shifted in his seat, and looked out of the window.

“I don’t exactly know why,” he mumbled.

“What?” said Shannon.

“I don’t know why!” repeated Jax, more loudly. His cheeks went a little red, and he scuffed his shoe along the floor.

“I am not permitted to know until I am of age. I only know that it has something to do with a very old Treaty, and that it’s a really bad thing if Androva doesn’t harvest its full magic Quota each month.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alex writes contemporary fantasy books for a middle grade audience and older. There are three (self-contained) stories in the Legacy of Androva series so far, with a fourth on the way. You can contact Alex, and find more information about Androva, including a character interview, at

Alex lives in the South of England with her husband and two daughters. When she's not working, or writing about magic, she also loves reading and photography.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here



  1. Just wanted to say a big thank you for featuring my book today!

    1. Hi, Alex! My deepest apologies, I don't get by to welcome folks in a timely manner sometimes. I love books that stimulate children's imagination and it sounds like yours will do just that. I hope the tour is going well!

    2. Thank you! I really appreciate your comment about my book. The tour is going very well so far, thanks to all my generous hosts!

  2. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  3. I do think MG tends to fall in the discussion cracks compared to YA or young children's stories...


    1. I think it can definitely happen that way. I'm grateful for the chance to post about MG on this tour. Thank you for following and commenting, I really appreciate it.

    2. Hi, Trix! I am always puzzled how to categorize books aimed at the younger reader, since I know that there are definitely different levels...and it's been such a long time since I was that age, lol. Thanks for coming by!

  4. MG can certainly vary in terms of the reader.

  5. Yes, that's true. I've seen that some people differentiate between upper MG and lower MG readers. Thank you very much for the comment, it's great to hear other views.

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment

    2. Good to hear, Rita. Thanks for the visit!

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks Victoria, that's great to hear :)

    2. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read the post, Victoria! (Are you going to California Readin'?)

  8. I love books with magic and its nice I can share this book with my kids---Rae

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it

    2. That's wonderful, Rae! Thanks for coming by!

  9. Congrats again on the new book and good luck on the rest of the tour! :)

    1. Thanks Ally, it's great to see you on this tour stop!

    2. Hey, Ally! Thanks for dropping by!

  10. What an amazing interview, thank you so much, was a pleasure to read it!!!

    1. Thanks Nikolina, it's so great that you're still following the tour, I really appreciate it!

    2. Glad you enjoyed it, Nikolina. Thanks for the visit!

  11. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  12. This sounds like a fantastic book! Thanks for hosting.

  13. I have really enjoyed following this tour and look forward to checking out this book! :)