In our February BookBaby Twitter Chat, Lauren Lynne, certified teacher and author of the young adult series The Secret Watchers, shared her thoughts on how to engage kids with reading and the importance of writing in the classroom.

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There's nothing quite like escaping to your favorite book. In just a matter of pages you're transported to a new world, sympathizing with some characters, despising others. Yet sometimes, even when you have the best intentions, a book will sit on your table untouched because it's long, difficult, or otherwise intimidating.

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Research tells us that reading and writing are deeply intertwingled. Engaging kids with reading develops their writing skills, and vice versa. Kids have amazing story ideas in them.

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Much of the joy and discovery of creative writing comes from the process itself. I'm finding inspiration and motivation from the very characters I've created.

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Maybe that's part of the nagging sensation I'm fighting, that I'm not really an author. And until I finish my first book, I guess that's true. What makes an author? Having a great story to tell? Having the ability to craft the words and descriptions to make it come alive? Sure, that and a finished manuscript.

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With the start date for NaNoWriMo just days away, I'm steeling myself to the task of completing a novel in a month. This infographic gives some insight into the habits and plans of writers as they stand on the edge of this challenge.

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Understanding your hero’s goals will help you plan your plot line and develop the engaging, motivated characters your readers will love to follow. Here are three easy steps to get you on your way to developing your characters' goals.

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