Guest post by Kirstin Pulioff

Princess Madeline and the Dragon - Tour Button - 3 Kirstin Pulioff

The Bookmarks of Life… 

“Today is a stepping stone for tomorrow. The bigger the stone you climb up today, the higher up you’ll be tomorrow.” – Lorrin L. Lee

Life is marked by the different experiences and adventures that we encounter. These are often described as stepping stones, turning points, and my favorite “bookmarks of life,” and impact everything, from social, political, business, to creative pursuits.

Part of the fun is taking a look back and recognizing the patterns, finding the truth about what made something so important. Sometimes I am surprised by what I have forgotten and what ends up leaving a lasting impression.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the bookmarks of my life- some of the books that have influences my life and inspired my writing.

Bookmark 1- My first book hording experience

My love of reading began with a special club- the babysitter’s club. Ann Martin found a way to incorporate relatable characters, normal activities, and deeper issues in this series. This was the first series that I horded, the first series that I chose to read on my own, the first books I spent went broke buying, and most importantly, the first books that I connected with at a deeper level.

Bookmark 2- Discovering the power of words

After procrastinating on a book report, I hastily grabbed a short book at the library hoping for a simple quick read to fill the requirements. Little did I know that grabbing The Little Prince would fulfill much more than just a book report. This was the first book that made me ‘think.’ Most books come with a lesson attached and some moral or growth portrayed through the character, but this was the first in which philosophical ideas were presented, challenging the way I thought and looked at the world. This book taught me about the power of words.

Bookmark 3 – Discovering preference

Libraries, I found, were a favorite place to explore. Through the long rows of books, I began to understand that there were books for everyone, in any genres. It was through this exploration, that I discovered my preference for traditional fantasy. My favorites quickly became David Eddings and the Belgariad series (my second book obsession). This series expended the love I already had for books and introduced me to the traditional epic fantasy and hero’s quest.

Bookmark 4 – When the books started to speak to me

There was a turning point in my life, where books ceased to be a passive activity and became an active part of me. It was no longer just for entertainment and escape (although there are plenty of those moments still) but also became a way of expression, creation, and intellectual stimulation. Orson Scott Card’s Speaker of the Dead series is the perfect example of this for me. It was fascinating to me to watch the seamless way that Card portrayed the scenes but also tackled a deeper issue. And while very calculated in his words, still left room to imagine and imply.

Ultimately, the books I have read, and these moments have influenced my life and my writing, giving me plenty of growing opportunities and practical application. I have taken the lessons learned and applied them to my writing career, and my middle grade fantasy, The Princess Madeline series. Full of magic, adventure, and dynamic characters, The Escape of Princess Madeline, The Battle for Princess Madeline, and Princess Madeline and the Dragon, offer a coming of age fairytale rich in the tradition of fantasy with a modern touch.

Thank you Jay for letting me guest post today. If you or any of your readers want to learn more about me or my books, I would love to hear from you! You can find me at