What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 30 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<November 2014>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
      01
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: Blue Rose Girls, Most Recent at Top
Results 26 - 50 of 2,020
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
A group blog by Linda S. Wingerter, Grace Lin, Alvina (editor at Little, Brown), Anna Alter, Libby Koponen, and Meghan McCarthy.
Statistics for Blue Rose Girls

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 85
26. Learning more from the bad than the good?

I am housesitting for Grace, and one of the many fun things about being here is reading the books! She owns complete sets of many of my favorite series -- and when I was reaching for a book I hadn't read in awhile (I own every book in that series EXCEPT the one I was reaching for, which belonged to my brother), I saw that someone had written a modern addition to it --  NOT within the last ten years, earlier.

So I read that. There are some modern continuations, prequels, additions that are better than the originals. This one was well-written -- but curiously flat and dead. Even when big things happened, I didn't feel anything about them, I didn't feel what the characters felt. But I couldn't put my finger on why. The only obvious things the author did differently than the original author had were:

  • describing things in general, rather than telling of an incident on a specific day -- there was a lot of they would do this, they would do that
  • including far less dialog
  • leaving out all the little details of what people did and said that convey character--she described processes, but not people

When I finished it, I immediately started the book from the original series. What a difference! Each description was part of an incident and directly related to the child experiencing it. The POV child reacted emotionally to them all -- even when his feelings weren't told (sometimes they were, sometimes they weren't), you knew what they were: because of the selective use of detail.

And maybe this is the biggest difference of all: every incident was INTERESTING. She didn't just tell about the times they were walking to  -- oh dear, I can't be specific because it is no mission of this blog to trash other writers (it's hard enough being an author!). She described one specific morning, from the point of view of one child -- and a small detail/action that conveyed him. When then when they got there, you really wanted to know what was going to happen because there was an ongoing drama, tension, story....one that was concluded in a satisfactory manner a few chapters later.

Earlier that afternoon, BRG friend Alissa (another really fun thing about being here is all the good talks with people about writing children's books -- our own and other people's) had described reading a novel that wasn't very good. She said you learn more about writing from the bad than the good. I agree!

Rarely is it possible to compare two authors who are using the same material, and if anyone wants to name titles from authors who are dead and whose feelings can't be hurt, please tell us who you found or thought of.

I can't think of any children's book authors, only Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald -- you can also see his edits to her novel in some collections. But children's books, that's harder.

0 Comments on Learning more from the bad than the good? as of 11/15/2013 8:55:00 AM
Add a Comment
27. Advice that has nothing to do with writing (or does it?)





I love to read women's magazines -- almost ALL women's magazines, and when I'm waiting at the doctor or dentist, that's what I do.

Even though most of the advice doesn't apply to me, I read it with great interest and last week I was rewarded with this nugget. I can't remember the magazine or the exact words, but it was about what to do when people are rude -- tailgate with lights flashing or horns blaring when there's a perfectly good passing lane right there, don't pick up after their dogs, talk at top volume in restaurants or movies or do anything else without thinking of its consequences on others (FAR more common in American than Scotland and one of the hardest things about being back).....

Rudeness usually sends me into a frustrated fit. I can never think of anything effective to say, or do. I just fume.

So the article said when people are rude: don't react -- and don't even think about what has just happened. Just say (over and over if you need to):
"I am a polite person. I always ______"

I have been amazed at how much this simple -- some would perhaps say obvious and idiotic -- piece of advice has improved my mood!

It has nothing to do with writing, I thought: BUT yesterday the agent who gives me most of my freelance work told me that a book he was editing quoted a study saying that people who are in good moods accomplish a lot more. Three times as much, he said -- how they figured that out I don't know, but it makes sense to me.

0 Comments on Advice that has nothing to do with writing (or does it?) as of 11/9/2013 1:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
28. The Gallery Project

         




I've posted about the Gallery Project before--this was the brainchild of Art Director Kirk Benshoff, and he brought it to Hachette Brook Group three years ago. Two weeks ago, the third annual Gallery Project in the NY office was held. Publishers Weekly reported on the event here:

Editors, designers, and publicists spend their days refining and supporting a writer’s art—his or her book. But, in an effort to once again put its employees’ own talents on display, the third annual Hachette Book Group Gallery Project was held by the publisher last week in HBG’s New York office.
The art on display ranged from photography, to painting, to book sculptures, and more. I didn't take a lot of pictures, but a few of the creations were children's book related, like this felt recreation of Ethan Long's Chamelia (posing with the book's editor, Connie Hsu).
Artist: Glen Davis
Of course, I was obsessed with this Lego sculpture of Mr. Tiger, from Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes  Wild. Jonathan Lopes is a true Lego artist. Check out his Facebook page for BKNY Bricks here!


Jonathan Lopes, Mr. Tiger, and me

1 Comments on The Gallery Project, last added: 11/4/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
29. War of the Worlds . American Experience . WGBH | PBS

And also in honor of Orson Welles's War of the Words 1938 Broadcast, I thought I'd post this:

War of the Worlds . American Experience . WGBH | PBS

This is a great tool to use in the classroom for older kids.

0 Comments on War of the Worlds . American Experience . WGBH | PBS as of 10/31/2013 7:12:00 PM
Add a Comment
30. A HALLOWEEN READING BY KIDS

I love this version kids did of my book:



Happy Halloween!

0 Comments on A HALLOWEEN READING BY KIDS as of 10/31/2013 7:12:00 PM
Add a Comment
31. That would be excellent

         




I've been a very bad blogger this year, mainly because of this, of course. But G's treatments are now done, and we're working toward getting our life back to our "new normal." But first, we're moving apartments this week and packing is exhausting!

As always happens, while packing I've been finding forgotten things, like this letter Grace had sent me back when we were both seniors in high school. I had brought this with me from my parents' house in California a while back because I wanted to quote some of the letter in a talk I was giving, I think.

In it, we talked about boys, of course. I had asked her to send me a boyfriend, so she sent me this guy:


Cute, huh? She named him Roger.

And here are a few snippets from the letter:

"I'm going to illustrate children's books, y'know. That would be so cool. One day when we're all grown up, you'll see in a book store: Illustrated by Grace P. Lin. That would be excellent."

and:

"I wish I could show you my portfolio. Then you could tell me if you think I'm talented. Or then you could lie to me and tell me you think I'm the bestest artist in the world and of course I will make it into RISD."

I wonder if Grace has the letter I wrote back to her. But I'm sure I said something like:

I think you're talented, Grace! You are the bestest artist in the world, you will make it into RISD, and you will become a famous children's book author and illustrator.

See, I can predict the future!

4 Comments on That would be excellent, last added: 10/31/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
32. How do you know when something is done?

Sometimes people ask how you know when something is finished. Usually I say something like,
"When my changes aren't making it better, just different."

But right now it's more like: when I absolutely can't stand to look at it again. I am at that point with this novel, but not done -- I do have to at least read it myself (or do I?).

I think I should read it over from beginning to end, which I've never done. I was going to before I started the last draft but I didn't because I already knew what I wanted to add.

But this time I really think I should. So to make that easier (I hate reading my own work once I'm done with it), I printed out the whole thing (above) and have started reading it, trying not to fix things as I go along. Trying to just sit there and READ, making notes of what I don't like --but not running over to the computer.

So far, that has been a total flop -- I feel COMPELLED to make the fix. If I don't, I can't concentrate on what I'm reading, or so I tell myself. But as soon as I finish writing this blogpost, I'm going to sit down and READ. Not write, not fix, not edit, just read and make quick comments.

On the plus side: the colours this fall are the most beautiful and vivid I've seen in years. This is me with the printed out ms. (I brought it on our walk to show a friend)in front of the old grade school in Stonington -- right on the water and divided into condominums. The ones on the other side have morning light over the Atlantic ocean.

My friend stopped to photograph the tree, and I asked her to include me. I only thought of it being in front of a former school later, but I'll take it as a good sign -- that  children are behind me, literally and metaphorically.

Anyhow, please wish me luck in either reading it to the end and making the fixes or if I really can't, trusting to memory and making them anyway--but either way, getting them made and the ms. to my agent, SOON!

4 Comments on How do you know when something is done?, last added: 10/27/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
33. We Art Boston event tomorrow



Tomorrow is the We Art Boston event at the Rose Kennedy Greenway from 11-3:00! There will be watercolor, collage, and bookmaking activities for kids, illustrators on hand for book-signing, stuffed animal portraits, kid's music and more. You will be able to view all the original artwork for sale. More details here. This is going to be a REALLY FUN event! And it's all totally free.

I will be helping out at the book making station from 11:00-12:30 and drawing stuffed animal portraits from 1:30-3:00. Come get an original drawing of your favorite stuffed animal to take home! I'll be drawing alongside some incredible talents: Barbara McClintock, Kelly Murphy, Scott Magoon, David Biedrzycki, and Julia Denos.

1 Comments on We Art Boston event tomorrow, last added: 10/20/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
34. Last weekend at the sale



The Fall RISD Sale was bustling and fun. It was a full day that started early and flew by.

But there was one sweet moment that caught my attention. In the early afternoon, a small girl sidled up to my table and looked through a bin of prints. She picked out an image of a bird in a nest and asked how much it was. Then she plunked a little pouch onto the table, and with her mother's help began to count out dollars and coins to pay for it. 
"Is that your allowance money?" I asked. "Yes," she said, and kept counting. I was tempted just to give her the print, but then I remembered the pride and feeling of independence that goes with buying something yourself. I remembered saving up my money and carefully deciding what to buy, contemplating the many different ways it could be spent. Though I don't remember wanting to buy things like artwork at that age, I think I would have gone for a toy or game. I was really touched that she wanted to buy my print, and impressed that she was bringing home something that couldn't be played with or worn or quickly thrown away. 

Thanks for the lovely moment, and to everyone who came out on Saturday!




1 Comments on Last weekend at the sale, last added: 10/19/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
35. Banksy and the persistence factor


Banksy is in town! If you don't know who he is, he's a street artist who is known for his stencils. His work originally crept up in London and can now be seen around the world. He is in NYC doing a month-long stint: stencils (many have been erased or vandalized, etc - he has enemies or "haters" apparently).









He also does sculptures. Here is one:

.

So work now fetches almost 2 million at auction. So how did he become so successful? Why do crowds race to the next work on a wall in NYC? Those are questions I've been asking myself because they apply to children's books (perhaps my problem is that I apply everything to what I do?). There are the examples of artists who hit the big-time immediately, such as winning the Caldecot first time around. But most often it doesn't work that way.

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE GO HERE:

0 Comments on Banksy and the persistence factor as of 10/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
36. RISD Fall Alumni Sale






Grace and I will be selling books and prints of our work this Saturday, October 12th, at the RISD Fall Alumni Sale. It's always a lot of fun to do the sale (and a major temptation to blow my earnings on all the beautiful hand crafted goodies)- come by and say hello if you're in the area, we'd love to see you.

ps. I'm on the card, woot! Check out this guy below...

0 Comments on RISD Fall Alumni Sale as of 10/7/2013 10:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
37. CARREY'S NEW BOOK: WORST OF THE YEAR

I've written a review of Jim Carrey's new book, How Rolland Rolls. I'm calling it "possibly the worst book of the year." We've agreed not to post book reviews on this blog so if you want to check out my review, go here.

It was a self published affair... and I think that it shows. BIG TIME. That's all I'll say here.

Meghan

0 Comments on CARREY'S NEW BOOK: WORST OF THE YEAR as of 10/3/2013 4:44:00 PM
Add a Comment
38. "I'm amazed that you didn't know that"

First drafts are by far the hardest for me, and definitely my least favorite part of writing. When ideas just come, it's fun -- but that happens all too rarely and for me the whole process is very anxious. There are terrible times of writing drivel, just because I have to put something, and frustrating waits which feel like trying to catch the wind in a sailboat on a calm day --  just stuck because there isn't any.

So I am very relieved when I finally have a nice solid draft--maybe larded with drivel (all the things I had to put when I had to put SOMETHING), but all there.

It's fun, too, when as I rewrite, blanks get filled in...I'll come upon a drivel scene (for me, that usually is two characters just chattering) and then (if I'm lucky) just KNOW what really happened there.


After I finished the not quite first, but first COMPLETE draft of this novel, I was bothered by one scene that seemed not only dull but anticlimactic -- and this was a scene the whole book had been leading towards! It was a real letdown and I fretted about it for a few days.

While I was taking a shower what was supposed to be there just popped into my mind. I wrote it, then celebrated by getting driven to what I find the most beautiful end of the island



and walking all the way back to the village with a friend. We stopped at two people's houses for a cup of tea on the way, but we did walk the whole way (about 8 miles, I reckon).



I don't usually talk about my work to people here, but I was so excited about what had just come to me that I had to tell her.

She said, first, that "I can see it perfectly" and "I love it," and then:

"But how could you write the whole book without knowing that?"

and, later, she kept bringing this up:

"I'm amazed that you didn't know that."

It didn't seem that odd to me-- it was what was in the box, and the heroine didn't know until that point, so why did I need to? I knew what it was made of, I knew what effect it had -- I just didn't know what it was.

And to me this didn't seem odd at all; one of the things I learned about my process from this book is that I like to know most of the characters before I start writing, and know where the story starts and where it's going; but discovering what happens in the middle is part of the fun.

Well--it's not fun when you don't know, but when you find out, it's very satisfying.

0 Comments on "I'm amazed that you didn't know that" as of 10/3/2013 6:28:00 AM
Add a Comment
39. DAREDEVIL Q&A

Read Q&A about my new book Daredevil on authorof.blogspot.com

Here's one of the questions and answers:

Question: You've written about bubble gum, a legendary racehorse, a life-saving dog, among many other topics. What inspired you to choose the life of little-known aviation pioneer Betty Skelton?

Meghan McCarthy: I actually struggled with this topic at first because Betty seemed to have an awe-inspiring life. When I write a biography, I like to include a little struggle—something to give the story a nice arch. But Betty was such a positive person that I couldn’t find any struggle! She put a positive spin on everything! I know it seems odd that I, a writer for children, would be looking for some sad drama, but I kind of was. I couldn’t find any. Even when Betty wasn’t chosen to go to space, she was okay with it. She seemed to enjoy the experience and said she loved working with the astronauts. She’d followed the career of John Glenn her whole life and wrote him letters but said he never wrote back. She just laughed about it. She was such a good-natured lady.

Why is Betty Skelton the person to write about? Because she didn’t care if girls weren’t supposed to fly planes or race cars or jump boats or be advertising executives. She just did what she wanted to do. As a kid I was like that. I played on an all boys baseball team. I distinctly remember running home and telling my dad that I needed a glove and socks and a “cup.” My dad sheepishly explained why I didn’t need one of those! Betty did things bigger and better than I ever could and that’s what I think is so awesome.

0 Comments on DAREDEVIL Q&A as of 9/25/2013 1:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
40. Online Book Party!

I'm having an online for Ling and Ting Share a Birthday on my blog! All day long, I'll be posting fun things to celebrate the book! So far, there's a podcast interview with Katie Davis' Brain Burps about Books (and an opportunity to win a free book!),  a downloadable party kit and I just posted a fun little game which feature some of the books by the Blue Rose Girls! There's more to come, so please check all day and have a good time!!

0 Comments on Online Book Party! as of 9/25/2013 1:40:00 PM
Add a Comment
41. We Art Boston




I am so proud to be part of We Art Boston, a fundraiser for the Emergency and Trauma Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital. Original illustratons from over 40 children's book artists (including Grace!) will be auctioned off beginning October 10th. 

On the 20th there will be a fabulous celebration for kids on the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston, with art activities for kids, a stuffed animal portrait station, book signings, and book making station, among other things. Come by and say hello! I will either be signing books, manning the book making station, or sneaking my daughter's stuffed lamb over to get her portrait drawn...

Here is the piece I donated, from Abigail Spells



1 Comments on We Art Boston, last added: 9/24/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
42. Happy Birthday, Ling and Ting!

Yes, the book is now out!  In celebration, here is the book trailer!!!


Hope to see some of you at the birthday party on Saturday!

(there will be a belated online birthday party later on, stay tuned...)

1 Comments on Happy Birthday, Ling and Ting!, last added: 9/12/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
43. Mystery explained

One of the nice things about living on this island is that there is no ageism (you have to be over a certain age, I think, to know how prevalent this is in America). When someone turned 18, I was one of the people she invited to the pub on the night of her birthday.  Having your first drink there is a big deal, and I was honored to be included.

It was also a really fun night. Some of us were talking about the Lord of the Rings, and when the conversation turned to Harry Potter, I asked someone who had grown up with the books -- he is 19 -- why he thought they were so popular. I've asked lots of children why they loved them so much, but no one has ever articulated an answer.

He said he liked the mixture of the realistic writing and Hogwarts:

"Because when you turn eleven you think you might get the letter," he said, with a delighted, wondering smile (at the memory, I think, not the question.)

If that sounds unbelievable, or too fanciful, or not something American children would think, I remember once -- in the early days of the Internet -- getting an email from a child saying mine was the only author's email addresss she could find (it was at the back of BOTM) and did I know how she could write to Hogwarts?

"It is my hope that it exists," she wrote.

I think the line between what's possible and what isn't is blurrier when you're young; you can know something is not true and yet hope, almost believe, that it IS true.


2 Comments on Mystery explained, last added: 9/10/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
44. "I'm trying to think of the less obvious ones" (an eleven year old's recommendations)

One of the things that has been discouraging me lately about writing is that so many children on this island who USED TO read are now obsessed with computer games -- especially Mine Craft. "Obsessed" is their word -- they play it (though over the summer holidays many parents have banned screen time either completely or from 9 to 5) and talk about it with each other when they can't play it.

So I was more interested even than I would normally have been to meet a visiting eleven year old girl who passed on watching a movie with all the other kids so she could finish a book. Later I asked about her favorites, saying I was without ANYTHING good....and we liked so many of the same books that I have high hopes of her list.

It contains no classics, not because she hasn't read them (she has!), but because she assumed I had, too.

"I'm trying to think of the less obvious ones," she said when she paused.

Books we had both read and loved include Howl's Moving Castle, Five Children and It, Matilda, The Hobbit, A Little Princess (which she liked better than The Secret Garden), the Little House books (though she had been unable to get any 'after the fourth one' -- I think she gets most of her books from the library), all the Mary Poppins books (though she hadn't been able to get the 4th), The Little Book Room by Eleanor Farjeon...

She had never heard of Harriet the Spy or Saffy's Angel and the others in that series or Homecoming. Here is her list -- I've already purchased several of them on Kindle (going to a bookstore means spending one night on the mainland if I leave here Monday morning, two nights if I leave any other day; getting physical books online waiting at least 5 days) and one as a used book. So yes, of necessity I have become a screen reader. I'm even thinking of buying a Kindle, since people say it's easier on your eyes than an ipad.



Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crosby Holland (Viking times)

The Flask by Teresa Sweet

Wonder

The Silver Curlew (retelling of the Cinderella story with illustrations by Ernest Shepherd -- paid £14 for this -- in an "acceptable" condition, copies in good condition cost up to £125!) by Eleanor Farjeon


The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place

Firespell "really really good, about a girl who's turned into a puppet" Hmmm....I did not mention Pinncohio and did buy it

Sky Hawk

The Silver Bead

Wolf Brother (I really like the Kindle cover...)


War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This long list reminds me of what our (BRGs' -- not the editorial we!) Alissa said once:
"I think sometimes editors how many books little girls who love to read do read."

Over a visit of only a few days Elizabeth finished at least 3 books.

Now that is also encouraging.

1 Comments on "I'm trying to think of the less obvious ones" (an eleven year old's recommendations), last added: 8/2/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
45. a working studio






Even though the studio is not completely set up (note the empty book tower in the back), work cannot wait for my perfectionist aspirations. Work has begun on the third Ling and Ting book (right now titled "Twice as Silly!") and, just like when I was working on the last book, my "assistant" is ever devoted:

her rabbit might make a cameo in the book

But I'm excited! I think it's going to be a fun follow up to Ling and Ting Share a Birthday (which comes out in September!!).


2 Comments on a working studio, last added: 8/7/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
46. Next Big Thing Global Blog Tour: Now I'm it!



 


1. What is the working title of your next book(s)?

I am currently revising a draft of my first chapter book, tentatively titled The House on Oak Street. This title will change, it's more of a place holder right now until the right title sparks.

2. Where did the book idea come from for the book?

I've always loved animal stories and stories about friendship; this book is both. Once the characters formed in my head, the story sort of flowed out of their relationships with each other as I wrote about them. I am not usually the writer that says "the story wrote itself!" (I can't imagine that happening *and* my work being any good) but this might have been similar in that the ideas came when I needed them.

3. What genre does your book fall into? 

It is a young chapter book.

4. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Five friends live in an apartment building together teach eachother about friendship.

5. Who is publishing your book?

Alfred A. Knopf Books


6. How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Before I conceived of the idea for the book, I wrote one of the chapters as a picture book, maybe 3 or 4 years ago. When I came back to it in 2011, shortly after my daughter was born, I realized it was part of a larger story, and began writing other chapters around it. In total that first draft took about a year to complete, but I was also part-time at home with my daughter.

7. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I would love if it were compared to The Wind in the Willows or Winnie-the-Pooh, thought it is a very different book from both. Still, I took inspiration from the cozy worlds of both books, and the way the characters learn deeper truths about themselves through everyday events.

9. What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?  

It is going to be heavily illustrated, with illustrations on nearly every page, and a lot of fun for young readers! It will be in bookstores spring of 2015.



Now I tag Meghan!

3 Comments on Next Big Thing Global Blog Tour: Now I'm it!, last added: 8/13/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
47. studio update and event on Sunday!







So, I am still setting up the studio. I admit I have pretty high standards for it, which is why it is taking so long. One of the things I want to do is have the stairway wall going up to it set up like a gallery, a la salon style like this:

found on Pinterest

This is actually rather difficult to achieve. You need two people and neither can be afraid of heights. Lucky for me, the Sasquatch is not afraid of heights. He just doesn't like them. He doesn't like them a lot. But he does like me! So, we have been hanging frames:


 of some of my favorite moments:

the menu of  the Newbery Honor celebration luncheon

my seat reservation card at the Geisel Award ceremony
as well as my proudest:
my one and only math award, given to me in 5th grade!

We are almost done:


But there's still more to go...and that's just the wall of the staircase! I still have the whole studio to address!

IN the meantime....

This Sunday is White Square Books (in Easthampton, MA) is having a Starry River of the Sky book club meeting and I'm going!   With the move and Rain Dragon, I haven't done too many public appearances this summer and I looking forward to meeting new (and familiar) readers!

White Square - Fine Books & Art
86 Cottage Street Easthampton, MA 01027
Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (I will arrive at 3pm)
Moon cakes and green tea will be served!

The event is FREE, but the store does ask that you register and have read the book. Send an e-mail to whitesquarebooks@gmail.com or call the store at 413-203-1717.

I hope to see you!!!

1 Comments on studio update and event on Sunday!, last added: 8/16/2013
Display Comments Add a Comment
48. book party! you're invited!







So, the Ling and Ting Share a Birthday comes out in September! That is next month!

Usually, by now I am knee deep in booklaunch plans with a date already set. This time, if you haven't noticed, I've been hemming and hawing.

That's because with the move, I'm in a new area. I don't know that many people in the area and I don't think that many people know me. I honestly don't know if people will come to a book party. And it's no fun to plan a party that people don't show up to.

But I am proud of the new Ling and Ting book--it's already received two starred reviews!--and I love the characters of Ling and Ting. As you know, I'm already hard at work on the third book and my dream is to make Ling and Ting into a real bonafide series. I think it's a book worth celebrating.


So I'm going to give the book party a shot! Please come! Ling and Ting would love to share their birthday with you!

Come with a friend in a MATCHING OUTFIT... 
and get a special-limited-amount-which-will-be-very-limited-since-I'm-unsure-how-many-people-will-come-so-best-come-early-it's-only-while-they-last-handmade prize!! (I won't exactly say what they are but some new edition Pocket Pacys might be interested in traveling...)

Saturday, September 14th
 5-6 pm
White Square Books 
86 Cottage Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
413-203-1717

 Cake, balloons and other goodies! What are they? You'll have to come and see...but I promise they'll be good! They were last time, weren't they?

 Please sign up for a free ticket HERE if you can make it, but you are WELCOME to come last minute! (The tickets are just so the store has a rough idea of how many people are coming). Invite your friends, spread the word! The more the merrier!

 Not local? Do you want your book autographed plus some free, exclusive goodies? Pre-order from White Square Books and they will get signed and sent to you right after the party. Keep your eyes open here or my facebook page for online launch fun!

0 Comments on book party! you're invited! as of 8/21/2013 12:18:00 PM
Add a Comment
49. NEW DAREDEVIL VIDEO

0 Comments on NEW DAREDEVIL VIDEO as of 8/23/2013 11:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
50. Advice that helped me

I love to read writers' autobiographies, for many reasons: the differences between their lives and their books,  the experiences they've had, the descriptions of their writing processes. But I don't think I've ever picked up any advice that I followed until Diana Wynne Jones's Reflections -- not an autobiography, but a collection of essays and talks and interviews.



These are the things that  helped or inspired me or just really interested me.

She thinks about her books for a long time before she writes them, but doesn't plan them out. Usually when she begins she knows only the beginning, the end, and something in the middle -- until she can see this scene in vivid detail, she doesn't start writing. Part of the fun of writing is learning how the characters got from the beginning to the middle.

She knows ALL her characters -- even the minor ones -- really well before she starts. She says that if you do, you'll rarely get stuck: when you need a character to be somewhere doing something you will remember that someone else, say, owns a grocery store and...You don't tell the reader NEARLY everything you know -- she, for example, knows exactly what all her characters look like, but rarely describes them: if you know, she says, their looks will come through to the reader.

She writes her first drafts in what she describes as a "white heat" -- just pours them out. Then in the second draft she gets very analytical and critical.

This was especially helpful to me -- I often get bogged down in being critical, and it really hampers the flow of ideas. The more the two processes can be separated, the better.

She advises  modeling villians on people we know; there is no need to worry that they will recognize themselves, she says, because few people think of themselves as bad...unfortunately I was unable to do this -- none of the people I wanted to use were quite right for the things they had to do -- but it's a good idea.

0 Comments on Advice that helped me as of 8/27/2013 1:44:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts