Tag Archives: Roaring Brook

Ha-ha and tee-hee

My first YA novels – all unpublished – were heavy: a guy in jail, a school shooting, a cancer story.

My high school buddies listened politely to my plot summaries. They even read the guy-in-jail book. Then they said this: We think you’re funny. Why don’t you write something fun? Something funny?

That’s friendship code for these stories aren’t working.

So I took a stab at humor. It’s an intimidating writing style. There’s nothing worse than trying to be amusing and falling on your face – and not a ha-ha slapstick fall. An awkward, ugly fall.

People who’ve read The Graham Cracker Plot say it’s funny. Kids laugh when they read it. And a respected publishing house (Roaring Brook) bought it, so there can’t be too many awkward, ugly falls.


The release date is eight months away. My fingers are crossed for middle-grade giggles. Parent chuckles would be a bonus.

I’m not confident enough to blog something like, “How to Write Humor for Middle Grade.”

Someday, perhaps. But not today.

The Shelley Tougas Plot


It happened.

My novel (The Graham Cracker Plot) will be released in the fall of 2014. A big thanks to my agent Susan Hawk and editor Nancy Mercado. They’re my dream team.

Here’s the announcement from Publishers Marketplace.

Shelley Tougas’s middle grade debut THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT, in which eleven year old Daisy and her sometimes-best friend Graham, plan to break Daisy’s father out of prison and escape to Canada, in spite of a massive rainstorm, a mini-pony and other calamities, to Nancy Mercado at Roaring Brook Press, in a very nice deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, for publication in Fall 2014, by Susan Hawk at The Bent Agency (World English).

I’m rarely speechless, but today I can only smile and dream.

Ramblings will resume tomorrow.