Paul Mosier has written his whole life, but did not imagine he could write a novel until he first tried in 2012. His three middle grade novels with HarperCollins (TRAIN I RIDE, 2017, ECHO’S SISTER, 2018, SUMMER AND JULY, 2020) earned numerous accolades including the ILA Intermediate Fiction Award, Publisher’s Weekly Flying Start, The Judy Goddard Award and others, and have been translated into several languages.
Paul is married and the father to two amazing daughters, one of whom passed to the next dimension in May 2018 at the age of 9.
He enjoys music, travel, walking, and quite a few other things in life, including the Oxford comma. A big believer in the muse, he finds himself most inspired by poets and lyricists. He lives a short walk from his place of birth in downtown Phoenix.
CAVE BOY’S GUIDE TO MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS
Middle Grade Novel
Recently arrived from the Ice Age, a 12 year old Neanderthal tries to navigate his interest in a modern girl without behaving like a caveman.
Newcomer Naar is largely shunned by the other students at Narragansett Cove Middle School, with the exception of activism-minded Lola, who appreciates his uncorrupted thinking. When the 7th grade boys learn Naar is a gifted athlete, they embrace him as the savior of their previously winless football team. Biff, the school’s standard-bearer for toxic masculinity, gives Naar advice on how to win points with Lola, and things quickly deteriorate with her.
Naar finally turns to his father––who has himself been having difficulty adjusting to modern life until selling the pilot of Caves of Our Lives to the Netflix tribe. Naar’s father teaches him that girls and women aren’t beasts to be hunted, but are partners and friends, and that Naar must show Lola his fire-building skills and the Cave Boy dance. Can Naar turn things around with Lola, and can the modern 7th grade boys learn from a Neanderthal how not to behave like cave men?
The story is narrated by Lobster Lou, the 10 foot tall plaster lobster mascot who stands at the school’s entrance, and whose communication has previously been limited to school announcements broadcast through a speaker in his base.
CAVE BOY’S GUIDE TO MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS is funnier than anything Paul has previously published, and obviously trades heavily in magical realism, but it also has an important message about divesting oneself from toxic masculinity, and isn’t too distant from what might be thought of as his brand. The first draft comes in at 31,500 words.
Middle Grade Novel
Kerouac is a a 12 year old girl living in Hamilton Heights, NYC. Her apartment is filled with
books, her mom is a Lit professor, and she and her cat––Sendak––are named for authors. But
ever since the death of her father––a novelist who never found success––she has turned away
from books, associating them with pain and loss.
She rejects the expectation that she will follow
in her father’s footsteps, which seems to be coming from everyone––Mr Hong at the bodega, her
former friend Wondrous, and the stupidly handsome barista-in-training, Hap. Prodded by the
muse herself, she crosses out the beginnings of stories that keep appearing in her journal.
In the week before the three year anniversary of her father’s death––which is also her 13th
birthday––a haunting begins. The books filling the apartment get noisy, the muse becomes
increasingly relentless, and Sendak seems to be conspiring against her, confronting Kerouac with
her abandoned love of reading and writing.
Finally, it all comes back to her––the stories read, the stories written, the coffeehouse with her vanilla lavender drink, the writer’s group shared with
her father, the beloved bookstore.
As she and her mother bridge the distance between their parallel griefs, Kerouac begins to
understand that though her father never found fame or fortune from his work, it made him
With the help of a threadbare poet named Special Ed, her former friend Wondrous, and a woman whose name she finds written in the front of an old book, Kerouac retraces her own steps and begins rediscovering her previous love of reading, of writing, and her father.
Empty Pages is complete at an economical 36,180 words.