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Please welcome the talented and prolific Hope Tarr to the virtual offices today. Hope is celebrating the release of her new book, Operation Cinderella.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
@HopeTarr can be stubborn but funny; is always earnest, animal-loving, caring, creative, compassionate & innovative. My word is my bond.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Operation Cinderella?
[Hope Tarr] Love to! OPERATION CINDERELLA is the launch to my Suddenly Cinderella Series with Entangled Publishing. In it, New York City magazine editor, goth girl Macie Graham runs afoul of conservative media pundit, Ross Mannon. When Ross decries Macie’s article advocating teen birth control—“Forget the Fairytale: Teen Sex is Fact Not Fiction”— Macie is out for blood and like the Big Bad Wolf she scents a story—a behind the scenes exposé on the “real” Ross Mannon. Making a Cinderella transformation in reverse, she masquerades as “Martha Jane,” Ross’s wholesome live-in housekeeper. Expecting a frog, she finds a prince instead. Can Macie give up “Operation Cinderella” in time to land the Happily Ever After ending she didn’t know she wanted? Hint: it’s a romance. <g>
A winter holiday novella and two more books follow. A SUDDENLY CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL, releasing this month as an Entangled Flirt, integrates elements of Cinderella with the Dickens’ classic. The twist: the heroine is Cinderella and Scrooge! Why should boys get to have all the cranky fun!
PROJECT CINDERELLA (March 2013) takes place on the set of a reality TV show where the makeover contestant hero is the Cinderella character as well as the Ugly Duckling-cum-Swan. His Princess Charming is fashion photographer, Francesca (Ross’s ex in OPERATION CINDERELLA) who badly needs to learn that true beauty comes from within.
In the series finale, THE CINDERELLA CAPER (June 2013), Cinderella is a plus-size Greek American personal chef—readers first meet Stefanie as Macie’s helpful sidekick in OPERATION CINDERELLA—forced to make fat-free meals for her diet-obsessed stepmother and stepsisters. It’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” meets Cinderella.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and characters for the story?
[Hope Tarr] Well, I grew up pretty much eating, breathing and dreaming fairytales so those archetypes and tropes are familiar to me as well as beloved. OPERATION CINDERELLA is more than a story of opposites attracting – it’s a good, old-fashioned battle of the sexes and who among us doesn’t love that? <g>
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Macie?
[Hope Tarr] Bright, ballsy & brave.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Ross had a theme song, what would it be?
[Hope Tarr] “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Macie won’t leave the house without.
[Hope Tarr] Her shoes.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Ross’s bedroom?
[Hope Tarr] A cat, a video camera, a flogger.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Hope Tarr] Amazing writers and the inspiration I find through travel, especially the conversations I have with both fellow travelers and those who reside in the places I visit. Everyone, absolutely everyone, has a story, a behind-the-scenes. Real life trumps fiction every time.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Hope Tarr] My laptop, the Internet (for quick fact finding/checking) and a decently comfortable seat. Throw in coffee and wine at appropriate intervals and I’m a happy camper.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book you read that knocked your socks off?
[Hope Tarr] OVERSEAS by Beatriz Williams
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you onto reading, which would it be?
[Hope Tarr] THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Hope Tarr] Taking a long run on a gorgeous day is living large so far as I’m concerned. I also love seeing films and going to the theater. Going out for a few glasses of good wine and a simple but nice meal during the week is essential to my sanity. Reading, of course, both fiction and nonfiction, although like many writers I don’t get in nearly as much pleasure reading as I’d like—occupational hazard, I suppose. Hanging out with my boyfriend and cats doing nothing is another sanity saver.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Hope Tarr] Readers can find me at www.HopeTarr.com, www.BeerGardensNYC.com (yes, really!) and www.LadyJaneSalonNYC.com as well as on Facebook (http://www.Facebook/HopeC.Tarr) and Twitter (@HopeTarr).
Thanks so much for having me, Julie!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can purchase Operation Cinderella from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below. You can read an excerpt here.
About the book:
Magazine editor Macie Graham always gets her story—and she needs dirt on smokin’ hot radio personality Ross Mannon. After he trashes one of her articles, she goes undercover to get revenge on the infuriating Texan.
Ross wants a housekeeper and role model for his teenage daughter. When the perfect woman shows up, Ross is relieved. What he didn’t expect was an attraction to his gorgeous, red-stiletto-wearing employee.
“Operation Cinderella” was a foolproof plan, but Ross proves he’s as perfect behind-the-scenes as he is in public—until Macie uncovers a secret that could destroy his reputation. Should she chance losing her job or the fairy-tale ending she didn’t even know she wanted?
Oh No! If Pete doesn’t recover Santa’s Nice List in time, he could be out of a job!
Pete the Elf had one too many eggnogs at the Santa’s Workshop Christmas Bash and as he wobbled home, he dropped Santa’s Naughty & Nice List. As luck would have it, he managed to collect the Naughty List before the North wind blew in, but the Nice list scattered in its wake.
We can’t let that happen--he has a wife, a pet hamster and six elf-lets to feed!
Will you help? If you think you know someone (a writer, book blogger, critique partner or good friend) who should be on Santa’s Nice List this year, please fill out this simple form below.
On December 19th
, all of us will help Pete keep his job by spreading cheer for him through small gifts of ebooks, free ecards or other small kindnesses. Hopefully Santa will be none the wiser!Will you join us on this secret mission to supply the missing NICE LIST?
If so, fill out this form for OPERATION: HELP THE ELF!
and if you like, add your blog to the linky list
below. If you don’t have a blog, no worries! You can still participate :) Becca and I are committed to making sure Pete saves Christmas. Please join us! Let’s spread some joy to someone we've met online and let them know how special they are!
There’s a little stinker that sneaks into my life sometimes and hangs out in the corner of my mind, stealing my creativity.
And now that PiBoIdMo has provided amazing inspiration for finding fresh ideas and coaxing them into stories, I feel him lurking there again, trying to distract me from taking the next step.
He’s a clever thief and shape-shifter, and sometimes his name even changes.
On any given day, his name could be …errands, laundry, dishes, email, internet, TV, kid-activity-shuttle, homework monitor, gift buyer, holiday decorating, volunteering, car repair, home repair, toddlers, dinner, dog walking, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…
But the name that most people know him by is:
And if Procrastination is constantly lurking in the corners of your creative place too, I hope to help you block him out!
I think of Procrastination as my time thief. He poses as life’s daily minutia, unexpected interruptions and distractions, and the multitude of excuses that feel like they are “Must-Dos-Right-Now.” He will keep you from continuing on your story journey… if you let him.
The trick is…not to let him. But how? How do you fit consistent writing time into your daily life?
I’d like to pass along a few tips to keep your creative mojo fresh, and hopefully, Procrastination-free.
1. Attitude and Expectations
I once heard a wonderful author compare life’s interruptions to a game of “Whac-A-Mole.”
Great description! And as I thought about it, I discovered that I was waiting for a time in my life when those moles would keep to their hidey-holes, and provide me with some free time to write. But as Dr. Seuss says, The Waiting Place is “a most useless place.”
Once I tweaked my expectations and attitude about life’s craziness, I stopped making its ups and downs my excuse not to write. Decide to make time to write. You’ll be amazed at the joy it brings and how your stories start coming together in ways you never imagined.
2. Track Where Your Time Goes
This is an interesting experiment: For 2-3 days, keep a log of what you do. Jot it down every hour. Then examine where most of your time is going. Is it going towards something worthwhile? Is it something that you value or will be glad you did a year from now? Are there moments when you could let go of a little web surfing, Facebooking, volunteering, etc. to schedule some time to grow your stories?
3. Goals and Rewards
Writing a complete story can seem overwhelming, which is sure to make Procrastination come calling. Break it down by listing small goals to work towards each day.
- Today I’ll write about or draw possible characters. I’ll ask them questions.
- Tomorrow I’ll write or draw potential actions and obstacles.
- The next day I’ll play with fun word combinations, etc.
Once your daily writing goal is finished, your sense of accomplishment will be a real motivator! But you might consider a reward as well – your favorite recorded show, some Facebook time, chocolate, coffee…
I like to make a pact with myself that I cannot have my “reward” UNTIL I have finished my daily goal. For example, I am not going to eat that delicious snack-sized Snickers bar until I finish working on the next two stanzas of my rhyming picture book. I know it may sound a bit crazy or like I have “parenting issues” with myself. But it really does work for me. Try it – it might work for you too.
4. Schedule Writing Time
Take yourself seriously. You are a writer/ illustrator. Ask your family for the time and space you need to pursue your stories.
Then SCHEDULE time for your writing. Put it on the calendar and honor it like you would a doctor’s appointment. Turn off the email, internet, TV, and phone if possible.
Before my children were in school, I hired a babysitter once a week for a block of time, and went to Panera to write. It was a delicious, productive time—and my first book, THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL, was written there. Panera holds a special place in my heart, as it was also the place where I received the email from GP Putnam’s Sons expressing interest in my story. Woo-Hoo!
But Panera also brings me to the 5th tip:
5. Go Somewhere Else to Write
If I am not making progress on my stories, it is usually a sign that I need to get away from all the little things that Procrastination tempts me to do. He rarely follows me into that corner booth of a coffee house, if all I bring with me are my ideas, a notebook, and my favorite writing pen.
I’ll leave you with a quote from From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg:
“Ideas drift like clouds in an undecided breeze,
taking first this direction and then that.”
Help your lovely, drifting ideas tell you which direction they’re going, by giving them the time they deserve (and not letting that sneaky thief whisk it away.
And speaking of thievery, I couldn’t help but “borrow” this cartoon from Facebook for my office cork board. It makes me laugh each time I look at it, but it’s also a good reminder.
Laura Murray is a children’s author, former teacher, and mom of three mischief makers. Her rhyming picture book, THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL (GP Putnam’s Sons, July 2011), received a starred ALA Booklist review, was chosen as Washington State, Florida, and Kentucky Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee, and has inspired a forthcoming sequel entitled THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE ON THE FIRE TRUCK! (GP Putnam’s Sons, July 2013). She loves writing picture books with funny, mischievous characters, and middle grade adventure/mysteries. Please visit her online for printables and teacher’s guides at LauraMurrayBooks.com.
Check out the new Video Book Trailer of THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL, made by the fabulous PiBoIdMo-er, Carter Higgins.
Laura got the opportunity to meet Mike Lowery, the book’s awesome illustrator, and have him sign a few copies of THE GINGERBREAD MAN LOOSE IN THE SCHOOL after its release. Please leave a comment to win a first edition (includes a poster) signed by both the author and the illustrator, as well as some fun Gingerbread Man SWAG! A winner will be selected in one week. Good luck!
Yup. Still buried in the deadlines--SORRY--but as always, I have made up the MMGM links! And before we get to them I also want to say a) thank you SOOOOO much for bearing with me this month with my terrible blogging habits. And b) I do actually have something pretty cool to share with you tomorrow, so make sure you stop by then!
Okay, on to the links!
-Faith Hough is caught up in SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS. Click HERE to see why. - Emily Ellsworth has an awesome gift guide for middle grade readers. Click HERE to see who she included! - Gabrielle Predergast has 2 features this week. Click HERE to see her thoughts on THIRD GRADE ANGELS. And click HERE to see her thoughts on PEARL VERSE THE WORLD. - Jennifer Rumberger is sharing THE FOURTH STALL. Click HERE for her review. - Susan Olson is loving THE CASTLE IN THE ATTIC. Click HERE to see what she thought. - Andrea Mack is caught up in THE EYE OF THE STORM. Click HERE to learn why she thinks its worth a read - Dorine White is shivering for THE VOID OF MIST AND THUNDER. Click HERE to see what she thought. - Flash, the Feline Extraordinaire, (and Professional Mews to Cindy Strandvold) recommends THE WEDNESDAYS. Click HERE to see why. - Rosi Hollinbeck ia featuring CLEMENTINE AND THE FAMILY MEETING--with a giveaway! Click HERE for all the fun! - Barbara Watson is cheering for MADISON MORGAN: WHEN DOGS BLOG--with a Giveaway! Click HERE to see why. - Laurisa Reyes is reviewing BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. Click HERE for her thoughts. - The lovely Shannon O'Donnell always has an MMGM ready for you! Click HERE to see what she's featuring this week! - Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time! - Pam Torres always has an MMGM up on her blog. Click HERE to see what she's spotlighting this week. - Michelle Isenhoff is always part of the MMGM fun. Click HERE to see what she's talking about today. - Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week. - The Mundie Moms are always part of the MMGM fun (YAY!). Click HERE to see their newest recommendations. And if you aren't also following their Mundie Kids site, get thee over THERE and check out all the awesome!
If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so I see it)
NOTE: I used to not have a cut-off time for adding links to the post, but with how insane my schedule is right now, if you don't email me by Sunday evening (usually around 11pm PST is when I put the links together) I can't guarantee I'll have a chance to add you. BUT, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you!
*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen posts ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me ahead of time
Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts and a huge Spencer Hill Press giveaway!
- Touch of Death Giveaway Winner! Congrats to Beth Consugar for winning the ARC of Touch of Death and SWAG for Touch of Death and Love All. There will be another giveaway this month, so stay tuned!
- Monthly Newsletter My free monthly newsletter comes out at 5pm EST today. If you aren't signed up to receive it but would like to, click here.
- SHP Holiday Giveaway
Here's what's up for grabs!
GRAND PRIZE Holiday Cheer Away Holiday Giveaway Bag One Spencer Hill Press book (winner's choice--can include soon to be release selections) TOUCH OF DEATH Handcrafted Pendant-www.stainedglasscreationsandbeyond.com Handcrafted Necklace and Earrings So Many Books, So Little Time Necklace $20 Amazon or Barnes and Nobel (Winner's Choice) First Chapter Critique-Mary Gray First Chapter Critique-Rhys A Jones Query Letter Critique-Trisha Wolfe Holiday Towel and Potholder BREAKING GLASS Handcrafted Bookmark FINN FINNEGAN Handcrafted Charmed Bookmark- www.stainedglasscreationsandbeyond.com
Contest is opened to entries from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 16th
Contest is open to all ages from 13 to any adult age. ( I love to promote reading and writing with young readers.)
Contest is opened to US and Canada residents only. Sorry :(
Fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
The last Simmone Howell novel that was published was Everything Beautiful
and that was in 2008, which was a very long time ago in Steph-time (when you are 18, four years is forever ago
. I'm sure you know this). And I loved that novel (as evidenced by my long-ago review
) and I loved her debut novel Notes From The Teenage Underground
also, and I have been waiting so long for another Simmone Howell novel and I only have to wait three months more until Girl Defective
is released. I am EXCITED. To say the least.
This is the blurb: We, the Martin family, were like inverse superheroes, marked by our defects. Dad was addicted to beer and bootlegs. Gully had "social difficulties" that manifested in his wearing a pig snout mask 24-7. I was surface clean but underneath a weird hormonal stew was simmering... It's summer in St Kilda. Fifteen-year-old Sky is looking forward to great records and nefarious activities with Nancy, her older, wilder friend. Her brother – Super Agent Gully – is on a mission to unmask the degenerate who bricked the shop window. Bill the Patriarch seems content to drink while the shop slides into bankruptcy. A poster of a mysterious girl and her connection to Luke, the tragi-hot new employee sends Sky on an exploration into the dark heart of the suburb. Love is strange. Family Rules. In between there are teenage messes, rock star spawn, violent fangirls, creepy old guys and accidents waiting to happen. If the world truly is going to hell in a hand-basket then at least the soundtrack is kicking. Sky Martin is Girl Defective: funny, real and dark at the edges. Here it is
on the publisher's website, and here is the author's very nice blog
When I run writing workshops I tell the students that all the words they are going to write are already inside them...rather like your teeth.
Finding those precious words is an act of mining; digging deep into the seams that run through our subconscious and bringing the words and thoughts and images to the surface. One of the most effective ways of mining is simply thinking. Meg Rossoff recently wrote in a blog that writing is only 20% of the work of forming a novel. The other 80% is thinking. I absolutely agree with her.
The problem in our high tech, race around world, is allowing ourselves the space to think. When I was young ( i.e. before marriage and kids and sharing all my space with other human beings) I spent an awful lot of time just lying on my bed dreaming into space, thinking and thinking and thinking. Today with all the distractions in our lives this seems to be so much more elusive, that magical thinking time when you let your mind wander and follow the thought all the way to Mars and back...you know what I mean.
But without deep thinking the novel remains on the surface, unlayered, undeveloped, the characters never truly reveal those hidden characteristics which will make them so memorable long after the last page is read. Yes, some of that comes as a gift, leaping onto the page as we write. But a great deal of those deep and important details sift up to the surface through the seams and seams of words and thoughts, during the hours of simply – thinking.
As working writers maybe we find it difficult to give ourselves permission to sit and think, or walk about and think. We might feel that we have to have an excuse, like, ‘Just off to the gym’ or ‘Must take the dog for a walk’ and yes, those might be the best ways for someone to do their thinking.
But thinking is such an important part of the work of writing that we should not feel we need to make any excuse at all – if ‘they’ come upon us, sitting on a chair, staring silently into space. We should be able to say, I’m thinking. And that should be seen as work as much as walking the dog or bashing away on our laptops. So the next time you see me sitting without speaking, eyes glazed over, you will know exactly what I’m doing..... won’t you?
By: Jodi Webb,
Blog: WOW! Women on Writing Blog (The Muffin)
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
, Angela Shelton
, WOW blog tour
, children's books
, picture books
, middle grade
, Add a tag
& giveaway contest!
If you had a super power what would it be? Invisibility? The ability to fly? X-ray vision? What about the ability to make hats? Not regular hats but magical hats . . . hats that make people blossom, help them become the person they secretly wish they could be. Tilda Pinkerton has that ability. But will hat making help her save the universe from evil powers trying to destroy it?
Somewhere out in the Sombrero Galaxy, Tilda Pinkerton is being hunted by the Keeper of Darkness. But Tilda isn’t worried. Of course that could be because she doesn’t remember who she is or what she’s doing on the planet of Ooleeoo. Even in the middle of cosmic danger, Tilda does what she does best: creates hats that make people . . . not better, but MORE of the person they are meant to be. When the mayor of Ooleeoo bans Tilda’s hats is he just being a curmudgeon or is he secretly working for the enemy? Can Tilda figure out who she is in time to save the galaxy?The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
is the perfect combination: it has a roller coaster ride of a story for middle-grade readers and the interesting addition of words to expand their vocabulary that will make parents (and teachers) happy. If your child is looking for a new series to enjoy The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
may be the answer to their reading wishes.Paperback:
272 pages Publisher:
Quiet Owl Books (July 31, 2012) ISBN-10:
#TildaPinkertonThe Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton: Crash Landing on Ooleeoo
is available in print and e-format at Amazon
, Barnes and Noble
and your local bookstore.Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Friday, December 7 at 12:00
AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!About the Author:
Angela is an author, actor, and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds
. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of SafeSide Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein’s Julie Clark. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.
Her Tilda Pinkerton books can be traced back to her childhood fear of dictionaries! Angela was a big believer in the “if I can’t spell it, how can I find it in the dicitionary to learn how to spell it” school of thought. In fact, she was so frustrated by the uselessness of dictionaries that she destroyed several during her childhood. She eventually got over her fear of dictionaries (OK, she still hates them. But she learned to hide her antagonism for word books), and began writing. Her Tilda books contain a plethora (Go ahead, look it up. At least you know how to spell it!) of wacky words and definitions to expand the vocabulary of readers in a fun way. No dictionaries involved!Find the Author Online:
Tilda Pinkerton website: www.tildapinkerton.com
Facebook for Tilda Pinkerton: http://www.facebook.com/tildapinkerton
Angela Shelton: www.angelashelton.com
Facebook for Angela Shelton: http://www.facebook.com/AngelaSheltonFanPage
Twitter: @AngelaShelton------Interview by Jodi WebbWOW: We always love to hear the story of the birth of a book. How, when, and where did you get the idea for your Tilda books?Angela:
Actually, the idea of Tilda Pinkerton was presented to me during a meditation prayer. It was in 2010, January in Malibu. I was praying in the meditative way that I do and I asked what I was meant to write next. I always ask the muses (aka those little creative angels who plant ideas into our minds) because they tend to give you the best ideas. I asked what I should write next that was original, fun, and good for children and adults alike. I sat there and waited.
I heard Tilda Pinkerton collects hats in a very English accent and my eyes popped open. I announced that I loved it and wanted to hear more. Then I heard in my mind—not like hearing voices or something—Whenever Tilda Pinkerton gives you a hat, your life changes forever.
I loved Tilda from the first moment the idea of her was placed in my mind. And so Tilda Pinkerton was born, not through me but through a higher source. That’s how I work best. WOW: Your main character, Tilda Pinkerton, is making her debut in a middle grade series. But we see that you also have a chapter book for younger readers. Did you plan to cross age groups with Tilda? How did it happen? Is the middle grade series a "warm-up" for the chapter books? Angela:
The plan is to write a vocabulary builder with a character you grow up with—literally. So as you learn to read, the more you can learn about Tilda and her adventures from the picture book to the big book.
The middle grade book is a bit of a warm up, yes. It tells the history of where Tilda originated from and what started her on her hat making journey. The chapter books for K-3 take place when Tilda has already made it to Earth. So, the younger readers actually know more about Tilda’s future than the older readers do.
I’ve been around a lot of children at a lot of different ages and have seen how they love to advance. If they are reading a book series, they are very proud of the fact that they are on book four and their little sibling is only on book one. They love knowing more about a character than their friends do too. By switching things up and having the younger books be in the future, I let the little ones in on a few more secrets. There will also be a picture book series that tell the big book stories in very simple terms with gorgeous artwork. WOW: Why do you think Tilda appeals to such a wide range of ages?Angela:
I think Tilda appeals to all ages (so far 50+ are her most popular readers!) because the theme of finding ones inner strength while good battles over evil is universal and ageless. Plus, I think everyone loves hats and what better hats to have than a magical hat given to you by Tilda Pinkerton?
I wrote what I wanted to read and what I’d want to read to my little ones. A story that makes you think while inspiring you to learn new bigger words and concepts is right up my alley. WOW: Do you have a preference for writing chapter books or middle grade? What are some of the challenges presented by writing for each age group?Angela:
I absolutely love writing the chapter books. They are quick, fun stories loaded with life lessons and educational lessons—thank you to the elementary school teachers who are helping me on them. The chapter books focus on Tilda’s magical hats helping with various jobs so they definitely have more of a simple focus than the larger books.
But honestly, the big books are my favorite. I love that Tilda started making hats in the Sombrero Galaxy—and that there really is such a place. I love getting to write about nebulas and it pleases me to no end that things like the water bears and bionic bugs really exist!
It was decided that Tilda should first appear in the big books since it tells her history. The chapter books officially launch in March, 2013. Then I get to write my hands off for quite a few years it looks like—assuming readers love Tilda as much as I do. There are 26 chapter books mapped out and so far 5 big books. So, we shall see! WOW: You absolutely have to tell us how you got such an incredible book cover! How important do you think a book cover is in children's literature? How did you get so much input when the rule is that, unless they are also the illustrator, authors get little or no say in illustrations, book covers, etc?Angela:
I begged. I pleaded with the painter to paint it and I pleaded with the publisher to pay for it. I discovered Shanna Trumbly, the amazing painter from Trumbly Designs in Oregon where I bought a few of her pieces. Much later, after I had finished Book One of the Tilda series, an Oregonian friend reminded me of Trumbly as I was beginning the cover design process with the publisher.
I emailed Shanna from her website and told her about the book and asked her if she worked on commission. Sadly, she replied that she did not work on commission but the book sounded very interesting. The next day she emailed me back saying that she’d had a dream of a green hat and wanted to know more about my book!
From how Tilda was born, I bet you can understand how excited I was that a dream had inspired her. I told her all about Tilda and voila she said she would paint the cover. Then I had to go get it paid for. But when the group at Quiet Owl saw Trumbly’s work, it did not take long to convince them that she should paint Tilda.WOW: Your book has an unusual vocabulary facet. Why did you decide to include so many "50 cent words" in your book?Angela:
I had problems with big words as a child. Even though I was always placed in the advanced classes and gifted kids programs, I had a serious disdain for the dictionary. I slowly lost that as I got older, along with my fear of admitting I did not know a word used in conversation. I used to get so frustrated and angry at not knowing a word. Now I’ll pull out my Iphone and ask what a word means.
I wanted Tilda Pinkerton to be a fun vocabulary builder for kids and adults as well as a beautiful adventure. And of course, as an author I get to live through Tilda, who has a much better vocabulary than I do. WOW: How are you reaching out to your potential audience? How are you making your book appealing not only to children but also to parents and teachers? Angela:
Finding new readers via blogging has been working well. Thank you, WOW!
Tilda is also reaching more children through the teachers that I’ve worked with on the books. I reached out to a group of local elementary teachers on the chapter books to help me with the teacher’s guides.
Teachers and parents love that there are teacher guides that go with each chapter book. We’ve tested them out on a group and I’m working with a group of teachers to make sure I make their lives easier by adding all kinds of things they can use in their classrooms, including many reproducables – a thing I did not know about before Tilda’s Teachers began helping. WOW: What's up next? Angela:
I have new things for kids and adults!
Book Two of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
has begun and it is one wild ride. Tilda’s chapter books for K-3 are launching in March along with a smart board website for teachers.
I write the most in the winter and have two other books in the works for adults. One is about my decade as a model in the fashion industry – that’s some mommy private time reading! I also have another book about how four French chairs saved their owner from a sociopath. The chairs tell the story and it has been very fun to write since each chair is very opinionated. One of them only wants male models to sit on her. It’s definitely not a kid’s book.
I love to write for younger readers, but there is always naptime . . .WOW: I can see your model and French chair books are definitely going to have to visit different blogs for their WOW blog tours! ---------Blog Tour DatesMonday, December 3 (today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/Thursday, December 6 @ Words by Webb
Wondering what The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
is all about? Stop by for today's review.http://jodiwebb.comFriday, December 7 @ Cathy C. Hall
Learn how dinosaurs affected Angela Shelton's writing and enter to win a copy of her middle grade fantasy The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://www.cathychall.wordpress.comMonday, December 10 @ Kid Lit Reviews
Angela Shelton, author of the Tilda Pinkerton books, is revealing a secret all children's authors should know: why teachers are an author's most valuable supporter.http://kid-lit-reviews.com/Thursday, December 13 @ Joanna Celeste
Need a great book for the tween in your life? Stop by for a review of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://www.joannaceleste.comFriday, December 14 @ Mother-Daughter Book Club
Learn about the challenges of writing fantasy for children from author Angela Shelton and win a copy of her latest book middle grade novel The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://www.motherdaughterbookclub.comMonday, December 17 @ Read These Books and Use Them!
Stop by to learn more about author Angela Shelton and the wacky Tilda Pinkerton! Also, enter to win a copy of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://margodill.com/blog/Friday, December 21 @ Joanna Celeste
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a space warrior...who also happens to make magical hats? If so, today's your chance to meet Tilda Pinkerton, star of the middle grade fantasy book The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://www.joannaceleste.comThursday, December 27 @ It’s About Time Mamaw
Don't miss a visit with Angela Shelton, author of a most unusual middle grade reader. You also have a chance to win The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
.http://itsabouttimemamaw.blogspot.comWednesday, January 2 @ Buried in Books
Want an attitude adjustment for 2013? You need a hat! Angela Shelton, author of the a middle grade fantasy about a hat maker named Tilda Pinkerton shares the power of hats today. She's also giving away a copy of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
. http://wwwburiedinbooks.blogspot.com/Thursday, January 3 @ Buried in Books
Don't miss a review of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
and your LAST CHANCE to win your very own copy!http://wwwburiedinbooks.blogspot.com/Monday, January 7
We're calling out the experts today! Stop by for a review of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
by a children's librarian. Don't miss your LAST CHANCE to win a copy!http://geolibrarian.blogspot.com/
To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar
. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at email@example.com
.Book Giveaway Contest:
Enter to win a copy of The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton
! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget this Friday, December 7.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Exciting news! Lynda R. Young’s short story titled Birthright has been published by J. Taylor Publishing in the Make Believe anthology launched TODAY! Virtual cake for everyone!! Make Believe is currently available in e-book format and includes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy stories inspired by the image on the cover. This will make great holiday reading.
Birthright by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.
She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.
Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.
Blurbs from all the stories included in Make Believe can be found on the J. Taylor Publishing website HERE.
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, J. Taylor Publishing
About Lynda R. Young:
Lynda R. Young lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock, and a cat who believes world domination starts in the home. She writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Make Believe Freebies
Celebrating Make Believe's launch:
One of the hardest things to write is good characters, all of them. How many times have you read a book and only one or two or three characters have any life to them? The rest are just...there?
Do you have trouble filling out your characters?
Have you tried the Power of Three for your characters?
Try these ideas on ALL your characters:
Three heroic qualities
Here are ones I did for my MC, Angelica:
To be a normal girl
For her dad to not have to work so much
Get her sister out of an abusive relationship
She really is a serial killer
She will lose her family
She is a monster
Set herself up to be unlovable so no one else dies
Chooses to be a wallflower
Three heroic qualities:
SmartNow your turn. Choose one category and share with us in comments! Or if that is too hard, tell us your favorite character.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I'm fresh off a win from NaNoWriMo with 50,000 words towards a single novel and 30,000 other words written for a personal best of 80,000 words written in one month. Congrats to all those who finished NaNoWriMo!
Another great giveaway hop where you can win some great things just in time for the holidays. Enter below on the Rafflecopter widget, and then visit the many other blogs participating. Thanks, and happy holidays!
If you’ve written a book, you know that marketing the book is more important and more difficult than actually writing it. And, an effective book and author platform marketing strategy is article marketing. Article marketing involves posting to your site on a regular basis, submitting to article directories, and it seems more important lately, being a guest on quality blogging sites.
As you may know, guest posting on a quality site in your niche does at least four things:
• It affords you a wider audience and often this leads to clicks back to your site.
• It allows you to cement your expert status.
• It provides the host site with fresh content.
• The host site will get additional traffic from your promotion efforts.Keep in mind that quality content is what counts!
With your quality content in hand, the first step is to find a blog that gets good traffic and offers quality content. If you’re not sure about a site, you can go to http://alexa.com to check the site’s authority.
At this point, you have the content and you have a website that will accept it. Now, it’s on to the tips.9 quick tips for being a guest on blogging sites:
1. Check the host blogging site’s guidelines carefully. And, be sure to know what type of content the site publishes, along with what’s already been done. You don’t want to offer to guest post about Google’s Penguin when it’s been done before.
2. Provide a brief bio with a link to your site or landing page (do not embed the link – provide the complete URL). If you don’t have a website set up yet, use your Twitter or Facebook URL.
3. Provide relevant tags for your host to use. A minimum of three tags should be included with your submission.
4. EDIT your content before sending it off.
5. Ask if the host would like you to send a relevant image for the post. A number of sites are requesting images accompany the posts to save time.
6. Thank the host for allowing you to be a guest blogger.
7. Once your post is published, promote it, promote it, promote. And, in you promotion, ask for visitors to leave a comment. Bringing traffic to the hosting site is nice, but getting comments is even better.
8. Stop by throughout the day to respond to any comments.
9. Stop by periodically for the next week to see if there are any other comments.
The most important tip is to be professional and courteous. These qualities go a long way in building relationships.
~~~~~RECOMMENDED TOOLCREATING AND BUILDING YOUR AUTHOR ONLINE PRESENCE
: Website Creation to Beyond Book Sales
An information packed 8 week ecourse by Karen Cioffi. Check out the course outline HERE
~~~~~MORE ON ONLINE MARKETINGWhat is an Author Platform and How Do You Create It?Creating Images – Simple and QuickIncrease Sales by Writing for the Web More Effectively
~~~~~To keep up with writing and marketing information, along with Free webinars, join us in The Writing World (top right top sidebar).
Multi-award Winning Author, Freelance/Ghostwriter, Editor, Online Marketer, Affiliate Marketer
Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012
Karen Cioffi Professional Writing Serviceshttp://karencioffifreelancewriter.com/karen-cioffi-writing-services/
Author Online Presence and Book Marketing Ecourse:http://karencioffifreelancewriter.com/book-marketing-ecourses/
“'Discover something new every day,' he said. That advice changed me as a writer and as a person.I give it to you now and hope that you will take it out into the waiting world, pushing forth through all of your daily work and joys and struggles with a bit of your mind focused on reality and the larger part of it quiet, still, and always thinking like a writer." For more on this, check out the essay here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/the-art-of-being-still/
Monday Morning Warm-Up:
For the past 24 hours, I have been struggling with something I've wanted to blog about for months. The issue keeps popping up and each time strong emotions bubble to the surface and I find myself feeling frustrated, disappointed, intimidated and confused. I would like to have a discussion about it, and yet... I admit I am a little afraid. Afraid of conflict. Afraid of hurt feelings. Afraid of causing a stir. And so... I try to quiet it in my mind. Again and again. Each time though, I get closer to bringing this up. If I don't, who will? How do we make change if we stay quiet? Today, I will at least try. I will try to put these thoughts into words. And hope to be brave enough to take the next step.
What do you want to talk about, or write a story about, but have been too afraid? Write a private note about it to yourself.
By: Aline Pereira
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, Picture Books
, Week-end Book Reviews
, children's non-fiction
, Cynthia Pon
, Elise Hofer Derstine
, Global Fund for Children book
, Maya Ajmera
, The Global Fund for Children
, Week-end book review
, What We Wear. What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World
, Add a tag
Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, and Cynthia Pon,
What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World
A Global Fund for Children Book/Charlesbridge, 2012.
Dressing up means something a little different to everyone, but for children dressing up is always important. It might mean trying on a parent’s clothes in the back of a closet, putting on a costume for a performance or holiday, painting your face, playing pretend, or wearing a team uniform for a big game. No matter where, dressing up is special, but the details of dressing up differ considerably depending on the traditions of one’s culture.
Though the outfits vary greatly from place to place, the reasons for dressing up unite us all. This richly photographed book of smiling children from around the world dressing up in every imaginable way will open windows onto other cultures for children everywhere. Whether vibrant beads on the head, neck, and shoulders of a Kenyan child or identical navy blue baseball caps on a Japanese team, it is clear that children everywhere delight in dressing up, whatever the occasion. Captions accompanying the photos suggest the different reasons people wear special clothing and where to find people wearing such garments: folk festivals, cultural events, religious rituals and even school. A world map highlights the countries the photographed children call home, underscoring the point that dressing up is universal.
Children will recognize the familiar in these pages and will also be delighted to see their counterparts in other countries dressed so differently. The pictures are likely to inspire a sense of wonder that may lead young children to think about what they share and how they differ from people of other cultures. The authors also make suggestions for learning more about dressing up all over the world such as going to museums, making masks and costumes on your own, and visiting cultural institutions and festivals.
Expressing one’s self and experiencing one’s culture through clothing is an important part of developing self-identity. This makes What We Wear a perfect book to have on the shelves of a pre-school or primary grade library, inspiring kids to see themselves and children everywhere as part of a global community.
By: Linda Formichelli,
Blog: The Renegade Writer
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You may have been putting off signing up for my Write for Magazines 4-week e-course that’s helped students break into magazines like Woman’s Day, Redbook, Weight Watchers, Writer’s Digest, GRIT, Spirituality & Health, E: The Environmental Magazine, Today’s Parent, Black Health, Women’s Health, Blue Water Sailing, Pizza Today, Graduating Engineer, and more.
The time to sign up is now, because after the January 3 session, I’ll be raising my prices. Other experienced e-course instructors have been telling me I’m charging way too little for the value I offer!
Right now, the Basic version of Write for Magazines with no e-mail support is Pay What You Want, with a minimum of just $30. The Premium class with full e-mail support and assignment critiques is $240. Both versions include two 45-minute group calls where I’ll tell you what to expect, provide motivation, and answer your questions.
If you’re interested in the Premium course, act now — I limit membership to 12 students and I expect it to fill up even faster than usual this time since I’m raising my prices soon. I keep the numbers low in this version of the class because I offer very detailed assignment critiques and can only handle so many!
Let’s get going on your freelance writing goals in 2013!
‘People kept remarking on how they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn’t changed me. I always responded, “Why would I change? Being me is the easiest person to be.”
I was lying. It wasn’t.’
At the Beijing Olympic Games, Matthew Mitcham made history with an unforgettable dive, scoring perfect tens, and winning gold for Australia.
There was no hint of the harrowing battle this talented young dynamo had fought with clinical depression, self-harm, and his addiction to alcohol and drugs including crystal meth (also known as Ice).
Joyously out and proud, Matthew was a role model for his courage both in and out of the pool. Yet even after Beijing and ranking No 1 in the world, beneath that cheeky, fun-loving exterior he was painfully aware of how easily it could unravel.
Unbeknownst to everyone, even those closest to him, Matthew turned to crystal meth as a way of dealing with his personal demons some of which stemmed from his childhood.
When injury further threatened his London Olympic hopes, he struggled to overcome his addictions through rehab and counselling, and balance his perfectionism with the old fear of self-doubt. He may not have won gold but he triumphed over his physical and emotional pain – and showed us the true meaning of sportsmanship.
As Andre Agassi’s Open is to tennis, so is Matthew Mitcham’s Twists and Turns to diving. This is an inspiring story of a true champion, in and out of the pool.
“A searingly frank memoir” – Deborah Snow, The Sydney Morning Herald
Buy the book here…
And, for the penultimate A Dino a Day, it's the T.rex wet T-shirt contest at Barton Springs Pool! Or something like that.
|Me, tree, shallow end|
|The cone marks where the diving board used to be|
|Looking toward the north end|
|Grimacing, before I take the plunge. Or maybe there's just something with the goggles.|
This T-shirt features everyone's favorite theropod superimposed over the Public Library of Science
emblem (kind of hard to tell, but it's there). The PLoS organization publishes the PLoS ONE
public access scientific journal, which was very, very helpful in researching CHRONAL ENGINE
Here's a link to the PLoS ONE Paleontology collection
The T-shirt is from the PloS store at zazzle.com
The photos were taken at Barton Springs Pool
in Zilker Park. For those of you not from Austin, the three acre pool is fed by underground springs and maintains a constant temperature of around 68 degrees year-round. Needless to say, it is an Austin favorite during the purgatorial Texas summers. And, yes, Zilker is the same park with the Hartmann Prehistoric Garden
Links to previous days:A Dino a Day: Day 0
: Thundercloud Subs Turkey TrotA Dino a Day: Day 1: Book PeopleA Dino a Day: Day 2: Driskill HotelA Dino a Day: Day 3: Whole Foods A Dino a Day: Day 4: Texas State Capitol A Dino a Day: Day 5:Amy's Ice Creams A Dino a Day: Day 6: Austin History CenterA Dino a Day: Day 7: RunTexA Dino a Day: Day 8: Waterloo Records A Dino a Day: Day 9: Mt. BonnellA Dino a Day: Day 10: The Book Spot
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
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authors and illustrators
, Flash Fiction
, Max 1000 words
, Stories published in 2012
, The Micro Awards
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The Micro Award is presented annually for a work of prose fiction written in English, of any genre, not above 1000 words in length. Stories considered for the 6th Annual Micro Award must have been published originally in 2012. Qualifying venues are any form of print or electronic publication designed for public display. Self-published stories are eligible.
An author may submit one story of his or her own; the senior editor of a magazine or anthology, or any staff member designated by him or her, may submit two stories if both are from his or her own publication and neither is self-written. All submissions must include the full text of the story as originally published and a cover letter with the following:
■Venue of publication
■Date of publication
■Author’s mailing address
■Author’s telephone number or email address
The following works are all ineligible:
■Excerpts from longer works of fiction
■Visual art with literary texts
On or after Feb. 15, 2013, the administrator will send each judge thirty stories he has chosen from those submitted. The stories shall be identified only by their titles, and should any story have been written or published by a judge, it will be stricken from the stories sent to that judge. Not later than Mar. 1, 2013, each judge will return a ballot of five stories, ranking the stories in order of excellence. The stories shall be ordered by the number of votes, and then by the number of ranking points (five points for the highest ranked story on each ballot, on down to one point for the lowest ranked). In this way, a winner (story receiving the most votes) and finalists (stories receiving at least one vote) shall be selected. Should there be any ties after ranking points are tabulated, they will be decided by the administrator. The administrator may also add one story to the list of finalists.
The winner and finalists will be announced on this website on Mar. 17, 2013. The author of the winning story shall receive $500 US.
The Judge’s Choice Rule: Each judge may add one story to the final thirty so long as it was not written, edited, or published by that judge. The judge must provide the cover letter in this situation. Judge’s Choice Rule entries must be submitted to the administrator by Feb. 15, 2013. The decision of the Micro Award is final and not subject to appeal. Any violation of the rules may be grounds for disqualification. The administrator has authority to appoint and remove judges, amend and interpret rules, and decide any issue not covered in the rules. The Micro Award is a non-profit organization.
Questions and comments should be addressed to Alan Presley, Micro Award Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good Luck!
Filed under: authors and illustrators
Tagged: Flash Fiction
, Max 1000 words
, Stories published in 2012
, The Micro Awards
First, I have a winner to announce. According to random.org, the winner of the paperback of SAMANTHA SUTTON AND THE LABYRINTH OF LIES is:
Congrats, Jennifer, and expect an email from me asking for your address!
Now on to today's book recommendation:
Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli (coming January 8, 2013 from Knopf, for ages 10 and up)
Source: advanced reading copy from publisher
Synopsis: Jack wakes up one morning and everything is different. His beloved bike, Scramjet, is gone. Stolen by The Girl, Jubilee.
Without his bike, nothing feels right to Jack.
In Hokey Pokey, Spinelli has imagined a world where childhood is a place, not a time. It's like one huge funscape. (Note that the map wasn't in the arc, so I can't wait to see the finished book!) There's an actual Playground, but also the Jungle, the Great Plains, Tantrums, Snuggle Stop (because Spinelli wisely realizes every kid needs a hug in the dark), Thousand Puddles, Cartoons, a Doll Farm, Trucks, The Forbidden Hut, the giant statue of The Kid, and much more. There are no grownups except the Hokey Pokey man, who arrives to hand out shaved ice treats every day at noon, when the sun is high in the sky. Any flavor you imagine is available.
It never rains in Hokey Pokey (yet those Thousand Puddles are always there, and one of the four Rules states, "Never pass a puddle without stomping in it."). A kid grows from a Newbie, just out of diapers, to a Snotsipper, then a Gappergum, a Sillynilly, a Longspitter, a Groundhog chaser, and finally a Big Kid. Jack's a Big Kid, and something is off today. He can't quite put his finger on it, but games aren't as much fun, and he keeps hearing a train whistle that no one else hears.
In Hokey Pokey, bikes are wild mustangs roaming the Great Plains. Scramjet was the most powerful black and silver stallion of all and Jack tamed him. But now Jubilee is riding Scramjet. She even had the gall to paint him yellow and girl him up with pink handlebars and pom-poms.
His best friends, Dusty and LaJo, help Jack look for the bike, but they also notice something different about him. As the day wears on, it's not the bike Jack thinks about, but that faraway train whistle.
|Interestingly, this is the advanced reading copy cover - and I prefer this one!|
Why I liked it: Filled with inventive wordplay, this is a nostalgic look at an ideal childhood spent mostly outdoors, where distance is measured in spit lengths or frog flings. Where every kid has a bike, a cap gun and a slingshot. Where cartoons play all day long on a giant screen, yet there are no computers or video games. This is all bittersweet because it's also about growing up and leaving.
This isn't everyone's childhood, but Jerry Spinelli does an excellent job of convincing you this is what childhood feels like. This is what it's about. Or perhaps what it should be about.
Does anyone play outside anymore?
What would you add to Hokey Pokey?
I'd include a huge library where every book you want to look at is always available. Sure, I spent my share of childhood outdoors, climbing trees and running races and playing King of the Hill, but I also remember many happy hours spent reading. And before I could read, I followed my mother around with a book in my hands and begged, "Read this to me?" That's the one thing I think is missing here. (Instead, in Spinelli's inventive world every kid carries a walnut shell. When held to your ear, the shell tells you The Story, but it's the same story every night. The story of The Kid. As beautiful as that is, I would want different stories every day.)
I'm sure my sons would add a video game area. What about you?
MMGM is the brainchild of Shannon Messenger
. She has all the links, or you can check out my sidebar.
1. It’s Smugglivus!
If you are not familiar with the book blog, Book Smugglers, then there’s no way you’ve heard about the joy that is Smugglivus. Imagine if you will, YA book bloggers from across the world, listing there best of’s and most anticipated at one of the best blogs on the block. This event is the bee’s knees in keeping abreast of what has been fantastic in 2012 releases and what is getting many excited for 2013. Every taste is catered for so you are sure to stumble across something that piques your interest. Each year I ended up with a book list that makes my wallet significantly lighter but my imagination deliciously happy. Check it out!
2. A trained librarian is a powerful search engine
…with a heart. This poster was used as part of the US Mass Lobby of Parliament for School Libraries in October. The artist behind this wonderful poster, Sarah McIntyre, received plenty of interest in her work and has allowed it to be downloaded for free.
All she asks is that she’s made aware of where her posters have been posted. I think she would love to know that they are gracing libraries in Australia.
3. NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
It is with pleasure that we congratulate Penni Russon and Kate Constable on their success this weekend. Russon won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature ($30,000) for ‘Only Ever Always’. Constable won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature ($30,000) for ‘Crow Country’. Congratulations to both authors and one very happy publisher in Allen and Unwin!
4.Now for a little art
…of the skin variety. Flavorwire has posted what they claim to be “amazing tattoos inspired by children’s books”. The lamp post spun my wheels – which one is your favourite?
5. Best of…
We are entering that time of year when every one seems to create a list of their favourite titles of the year. Here are some to choose from: Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. There will be more to come in the approaching weeks.
By: Christina Farley,
Blog: Chocolate for Inspiration
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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned pulling out my plot grid when I was revising a manuscript and promised to talk more about that later. Now that NaNo is finished and many of you have a very rough draft in place, it's key to pull out or create a plot grid.
Why have a plot grid?
1. Plotting- Gives you a bird's eye view of the structure of your plot.
I'm a sucker for a good plot. Especially one that's unpredictable. Of course, creating an unpredictable plot is another whole blog post for another day.
2. Character Appearances- Allows you to see how often and which one of your characters appear throughout the book.
3. Setting- Where is your story taking place? Are you switching up your setting? To me nothing is more boring than bouncing your characters between the school cafeteria and home. Please don't do that. At least for my sake.
So, you're probably wondering what a plot grid looks like and how to put it together. Click here for the word document that I use. If you have a mystery plot, check this plot grid out.
You can also watch my vlog on how to make a bigger version of this. Personally, I need both.
So what do you find is helpful to making sure your plot flows, doesn't lag, and isn't filled with holes?
By: Lisa Gail Green,
If you read the blog last week (and did your homework) you're well prepared to get going! Got comfy clothes? Kidding! Any good workout has to start with some stretching and warm up so we don't jump in and hurt ourselves. Writing is no exception. So I want you to do the following exercise. You can do it each day and use a different outcome or you can do it once and jump into something you're dying to start. Think of it as a game.
Take the character you created last week and pick one from each of the following categories then write a couple pages. Just write. You don't have to show anyone, just see where it takes you.
- Deep space
- The Amazon
- an apartment in New York
- An animal
- A rival at work/school
- The weather/world itself
- A psychopath
- To retrieve something of value
- Save a relative
Okay now here's the fun part - don't make it obvious! Mix it up. Have her fight the world itself in an apartment in New York in hopes of retrieving something of value for example. You can mix these up and add your own as the week goes on so you try something new each day. OR you can use the first try to help you in whatever project you're working on now. Your choice.
Ready? Set. Go!
Artie’s poem Ceiling to the Stars was published in the November print edition of California Kids! To read the poem online, please click on the illustration below.
Artie’s children’s story The Hummingbird Who Chewed Bubblegum is being published in a book collection by the Oxford University Press in India. More to come.
COPYRIGHT © 2012 ARTIE KNAPP
Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law
to share with our city
the joy reading brings!
If you're in the Albuquerque area, we'd love to have you join us at Alamosa Books Tuesday, December 11 from 6-8pm. Music! Food! Local Authors! Good Cheer!
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More character sketches! Slightly different style from before. Outlined in Higgins Black Magic ink with # 2 watercolor brush. I used to prefer dip pens, but now I can't use anything but a brush haha. I guess I feel more in control of the line.