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Denice's most recent win for second place came in the Harvest Festival for her picture-book manuscript, "The Kite Builder. Her book, DRAGON CLOUD, was a winner in the pre-teen category of the 2011 Global eBook Awards.
She has also won first place with her partners for their screenplay, 'Boarders' in the 2012 Catalina Film Festival and silver place in the Oregon Writer division of the Oregon Film Awards.
Judging for several screenwriting contests, she is well-acquainted with the structure, plot, characterization and emotion needed to create excellent writing of any kind. Visit her website if you need a consultation.
Denice is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She specializes in fantasy, humor, adventure and drama. She has studied screenwriting with Cynthia Whitcomb, a playwright, T.V. and screenwriter. At Screenwriting U, she has taken numerous online courses from Hal Croasmun, a Hollywood writer/producer, owner of Class 3 Entertainment.
Being a member of several groups keeps her busy: the ProSeries Alumni - an active online group of dedicated screenwriters, SCBWI -a society for children’s writers and illustrators, the High Desert Screenwriters and Bend Children's Writer in Oregon.
on Aug. 14, 2011 :
Reading a middle school book (around grades 5-8) requires a certain level of intellectual focus by an adult, at least for me. I found that true of Dragon Cloud, but that is not necessarily a criticism. The human protagonists are aged ten and fifteen, after all. And even Tazure, the dragon, is an adolescent. I think this book would be better for the lower end of that middle school age grouping.
I finished the book with a flash, enjoying the ending. In fact, my overall assessment of the novel is to get through the first two or three chapters, and then enjoy the rest. There is an amount of stereotyping (selfish teen boy, egghead nerd girl) at the beginning, but this disappears as the book progresses. One could say that the characters have to start from somewhere, but the beginning was the least enjoyable part of the book for me.
Once the adventure begins, it moves with speed and efficiency to a satisfying conclusion. The world of Draggonfeld is described creatively, and the characters are developed to greater believability as the novel progresses. The action is straightforward and moves at a good pace. I especially liked the characterization of Dragonscar, the antagonist: creepy enough to be the "evil one," yet not too creepy.
All in all, this is a tale that is about becoming less self-absorbed and learning to think and care about others. It's a good tale for middle grades to read, a good message for middle grade students to think about. There are a few editing errors in the book, oddly enough also in the first half, but few enough not to become a big negative.
Denice Hughes Lewis sets the human part of the story in Oregon, in locations I've lived and visited, and the link between fantasy and actual geography, such as Crater Lake, was an added plus to the story. And the "price" of free ain't bad, either.
Originally posted at www.tomkeplerswritingblog.com
(review of free book)