Episode 170: Writing a Middle Grade Series — Interview with William Meyer

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to middle grade author William Meyer!

From the Indus River to the Italian Renaissance, no topic has piqued the imagination of this high school history teacher’s students as intensely as the study of Ancient Egypt. As a result of both their interest and his own childhood curiosity about the mysteries of that era, he wrote the Horace j. Edwards and the Time Keepers series.

Listen in as we chat about his fantastic series and how to keep consistency and momentum going in a story.

This episode is brought to you by our amazing word nerd fans and supporters on Patreon. If you’d like to help support this show, hop over to patreon.com/DIYMFA.

In this episode Bill and I discuss:

  • How to keep your momentum going to write your second book.
  • Tips and tricks to write a novel under a deadline.
  • Why middle grade readers want the same but different story, and how to write it  for them.
  • World building and magic in historical fiction , and how to stick to your own rules.
  • How to balance giving young characters agency while grounding them in reality.

Plus, Bill’s #1 tip for writers.

About William Meyer

William Meyer is an author, a teacher, and a student of history. He was born in Detroit and lives with his wife and son in New York, where he is finishing his PhD at New York University. He continues to teach his high school students about the mysteries of Ancient Egypt and share his love for his hometown of Detroit. He is the author of the Horace J. Edwards and the Time Keepers middle grade series, which in many ways reflects his experiences as both a kid and a teacher. Books one and two of Bill’s fantastic series are available now.

To connect more with Bill check out his website at horaceandthetimekeepers.com.

Horace J. Edwards and the Time Keepers

Book 1: The Secret of the Scarab Beetle

Horace Edwards is an ordinary boy who’s just moved to Niles, Michigan. That is, until the start of 6th grade when he not only learns of the mysterious death of his grandfather, but also becomes the recipient of a strange inheritance. In his efforts to uncover the truth about his grandfather’s death and the secrets of his new inheritance, Horace finds himself transported back in time to the Ancient Egyptian city of Amarna. There he meets the future pharaoh, King Tut, and together these two boys become engaged in a dramatic fight to save the city from total destruction

In the process Horace discovers that he is the heir to an order of guardians, known as the Time Keepers. With help from two friends and a bully, Horace and Tut attempt to save the ancient city, stop the sale of Horace’s family farm, and protect a secret that lies at the very heart of Egypt’s existence, the magical power of the Benben Stone. However, their task won’t be easy. Tut’s uncle Smenk, is trying to erase the memory of Tut’s father from the pages of history and Tut with him. There is only one small problem with Smenk’s plan; he needs Horace’s magical scarab beetle to do it.

Book 2: The Search for the Lost Prophecy

In the sequel to The Secret of the Scarab Beetle, Horace continues to search for more information about the Time Keepers and his role in this secret order. After he discovers that the tree portal at his grandparents’ farm is destroyed, Horace, along with his friends Anna and Milton, travels back in time to 1920s Detroit, hoping to learn more.

There they meet keeper Herman at the Scarab Club and learn that someone is threatening the Time Keepers and the order’s mission. Horace finds out that the mystical Benben Stone is being stored in a crypt back in present-day Niles, Michigan. And Horace is now tasked with keeping the sacred stone safe. Will the person or persons threatening the Order learn of Horace’s true identity?



If you decide to check out The Secret of the Scarab Beetle or The Search for the Lost Prophecy, we hope you’ll do so via these links, where if you choose to purchase DIY MFA makes a small commission at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 170

(Right-click to download.)

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