Bruce Coville

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Bruce Coville
Bruce Coville.jpg
Coville in 2007
BornBruce Farrington Coville
(1950-05-16) May 16, 1950 (age 68)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
Occupation Novelist
NationalityUnited States
Genre Young adult fiction
Years active1977–present
SpouseKatherine (née Dietz)

Bruce Farrington [1] Coville ( /ˈkvəl/ , [1] born May 16, 1950) is an author of young adult fiction. Enraptured with reading novels at a young age, Coville was first published in 1977 and has over 100 books in his repertoire.

Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults.



Coville was born on May 16, 1950 in Syracuse, New York, [2] where he resided as of November 2012. [3] Bruce Coville's father (born Arthur Farrington) was adopted by his aunt, where he adopted her surname of Coville. [1] Growing up in what he called "farm country", Coville realized his bisexuality in his teens. [4] While waiting to publish his first novel, Coville was employed in a number of professions including toymaker, gravedigger, cookware salesman, assembly line worker, and elementary school teacher working with second and fourth graders. [2] Coville is wed to Katherine née Dietz (married when Coville was nineteen), and the two of them have three children: "a son, Orion, born in 1970; a daughter, Cara, born in 1975; and another son, Adam, born in 1981." [2]

Syracuse, New York City in New York, United States

Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, in the United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers.

A surname, family name, or last name is the portion of a personal name that indicates a person's family. Depending on the culture, all members of a family unit may have identical surnames or there may be variations based on the cultural rules.

Farm area of land for farming, or, for aquaculture, lake, river or sea, including various structures

A farm is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy, pig and poultry farms, and land used for the production of natural fibres, biofuel and other commodities. It includes ranches, feedlots, orchards, plantations and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, and includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea.


Coville began his love of books as a child, reading "Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and zillions of comic books". He read "books that made [him] laugh, but also made [him] shiver in terror." Wanting to impart those sorts of feeling to others is what spurred his love of writing. Coville knew he wanted to be a writer by his mid-teens, and by age 19 he "never looked back." [2] [5] His first novel, The Foolish Giant, was published in 1977. [5]

Nancy Drew fictional character in a juvenile mystery fiction series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer

Nancy Drew is a fictional character, a sleuth in an American mystery series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930. The books are ghostwritten by a number of authors and published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades, the character evolved in response to changes in US culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised and shortened, beginning in 1959, in part to lower printing costs with arguable success. In the revision process, the heroine's original character was changed to be less unruly and violent. In the 1980s, an older and more professional Nancy emerged in a new series, The Nancy Drew Files, that included romantic subplots for the sleuth. The original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series started in 1930 and ended in 2003. Launched in 2004, the Girl Detective series features Nancy driving a hybrid electric vehicle and using a cell phone. In 2012, the Girl Detective series ended, and a new series, Nancy Drew Diaries, was launched in 2013. Illustrations of the character evolved over time to reflect contemporary styles. The character proves continuously popular worldwide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over 45 languages. Nancy Drew is featured in five films, two television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold around the world.

The Hardy Boys fictional characters who appear in mystery series for children and teens

The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional characters who appear in several mystery series for children and teens. The series revolves around the teenagers acting as amateur sleuths, solving cases that stumped their adult counterparts. The characters were created by American writer Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of book-packaging firm Stratemeyer Syndicate; the books themselves are written by ghostwriters under the collective pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.

Tom Swift

Tom Swift is the main character of five series of American juvenile science fiction and adventure novels that emphasize science, invention, and technology. First published in 1910, the series total more than 100 volumes. The character was created by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a book-packaging firm. Tom's adventures have been written by various ghostwriters, beginning with Howard Garis. Most of the books are credited to the collective pseudonym "Victor Appleton". The 33 volumes of the second series use the pseudonym Victor Appleton II for the author. For this series, and some of the later series, the main character is "Tom Swift, Jr." New titles have been published as recently as 2007. Most of the various series emphasized Tom's inventions. The books generally describe the effects of science and technology as wholly beneficial, and the role of the inventor in society as admirable and heroic.

With no set paradigm for writing, Coville has successfully tried everything from writing from a strict outline to "writing from the seat of my pants." As of 2015, he uses what he calls an "ever-expanding outline" where he outlines the beginning and end of a novel, and works to fill in the middle later. [5]

Coville has written over 100 books for young adults, [3] with translations in over a dozen languages. [6] He has said that even with over 100 books under his belt, it gets harder and harder to write each successive book; he's concerned with living up to the work already written as well as not repeating himself. [5]

Coville is also the co-founder of Full Cast Audio, an audiobook company devoted to recording full-cast, unabridged copies of young adult fiction. [6]

An audiobook is a recording of a text being read. A reading of the complete text is described as "unabridged", while readings of a shorter version, or abridgement of the text are labeled as "abridged".


Coville has been the recipient of three Golden Duck Awards. He won his first in 1992 for the novel My Teacher Glows in the Dark, in 2000 for I Was a 6th Grade Alien, and in 2006 for producing an audio adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's The Rolling Stones . [7]

In 2000, NESFA presented Coville with the Skylark Award for contributing significantly to science fiction, both through work in the field and by exemplifying the personal qualities which made the late "Doc" Smith well-loved by those who knew him. [8]

In 2012, Coville was the 23rd recipient of the "Empire State Award for Excellence in Literature for Young People" as awarded by the New York Library Association. [3]


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  1. 1 2 3 "Bruce Coville: Audio Name Pronunciation". Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Coville, Bruce. "Bruce Coville: An Illustrated Biography". The Official Bruce Coville Web Site. Archived from the original on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  3. 1 2 3 Staino, Rocco (2012-11-26). "Humorist Bruce Coville Wins Empire State Award, Emphasizes the "Ripple Effect" of Reading". School Library Journal . Archived from the original on 2015-09-08. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  4. Moon, Sarah; Lecesne, James, eds. (2012). "Bruce Coville". The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Letters to Their Younger Selves. New York City: Arthur A. Levine Books. pp. 213–218. ISBN   978-0-545-50220-7.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Fry, Erin (2015-05-07). "Q & A with Bruce Coville". Publishers Weekly . Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  6. 1 2 "Author Spotlight". kids@Random. Random House. Archived from the original on 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  7. "Golden Duck Winners". Golden Duck Awards.
  8. "GThe E. E. Smith Memorial Award". NESFA.