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Why is it some books you read linger in your heart and mind for the rest of your life, while you have trouble remembering much about another book only a few days later?

Is it because some books have characters that seem to leap off the page, vivid and alive? And those characters have a story to tell that moves and challenges you, making your pulse hurry and your throat thicken, making you turn the pages faster and faster because you are so desperately want to know what happens next …

And how do we, as writers, create characters that sing and dance and leap? How do we tell a story that makes someone we have never meet sigh, and laugh out loud, and weep?