Kitty Griffin

The Beautiful Part of Writing

What Adventure Awaits?

I took this photo of our three girls, Sassy (the orange), Shy Cat (the tabby) and Willow (the black) just after a snowstorm turned our WesternPennsylvania home into a winter wonderland.

When I was a kid I loved animal stories. I read every Walter Farley book I could get my hands on. Stories like "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" led to me reading "Watership Down." Both of those books received numerous awards. What is it about the story of an animal that draws the reader in? How is it that a reader can suspend disbelief and find empathy with a small rodent?

Is it magic? No, it's a wonderful character.

I think there's a story waiting in this picture.


How do you know if what you've found is a good story?

If the character stays with you.

Sometimes, I think, wow, this would make a great story. But sometimes that little nugget I pick up isn't a story, it's an incident.

This can be such a challenge for every writer--the glittering incident that diverts your attention from your character.

How do you overcome it? Focus. Remember, what does your character want and what are they willing to do to get it. That's it.


This is a quote from Dr. Archie Carr. He is to the oceans what Rachel Carson was to land. I'm working on a picture book

Selected Works

A vibrant award-winning picture book
Revolution! Such a big word. What can one girl do? She can't stop the King. She can't fight as a soldier. She can RIDE!
A middle-grade adventure story for girls ages eight and up.
What if your ancestor was the man who stopped the American Revolution? What if his actions meant that the Royal Families united, not the colonies? Princess Emerald thought she knew her destiny. That was, until her own anger landed her at Teakettles Castle, a place where young Royals are sent to either change or disappear.
A middle-grade fantasy, 413 pages
Your brother forgives everyone, even Papa who left you in the woods to die, you forgive no one, not even yourself.
contemporary fantasy/supernatural YA
What happens when you find yourself at St. Peter's Fresh Air Institute
Set in 1952 with flying saucers
Middle-grade novel 160 pages
A starred review from "Publisher's Weekly" A glowing review from "School Library Journal" and a Junior Library Guild Selection



Clementine Sweet is on the loose! Kirkus, "..young readers will simply read a tale that will make them smile." Booklist, "Children looking for a heroine who takes matters into her own hands--make that feet, too--will find her here." SLJ, "Used as an introduction to the tale-tale genre or for just plain fun, this will be an enegetic addition to storytimes." Selected by the Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College as one of the best books of the year. (2005)

Yee Haw!

Cowboy Sam
Starred Review in Publisher's Weekly
*"Caballero wannabes will get a bigger-than-Texas bang out of Griffin & Comb's slangy, twangy debut...Rootin'-tootin' boot-scootin' fun, beginning to end."