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 Posts

(from the Writer category)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

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.

Writer Category Blogs

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Writer category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 16,176 - 16,200 of 233,946
16176. Jaye Robin Brown, author of NO PLACE TO FALL, on getting out to have fun

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

The comp that I used when querying was Sara Zarr’s Story of A Girl and I think that still holds true. No Place To Fall is kind of gritty at times and Amber’s life isn’t easy. Some authors who I admire in contemporary are Nina LaCour, Sarah Dessen, Holly Cupala, Robin Constantine, and Emery Lord, to name a few. I would think if readers like contemporary, these might work.

How long did you work on NO PLACE TO FALL?

I’m a consistent drafter, and first drafts typically take me between 8-10 weeks. I write almost every morning for an hour or so and manage to get in, on average, 7k words per week. Then I usually go through one revision on my own, call in my first line reader, then revise as she reads, then on to a beta read or two, and now that I’m agented/editor’ed, on to one of the two of them. I probably wrote/revised the draft of No Place To Fall that my agent signed, in about 9 months. Then my editor and I worked on it for another six months before it went on to fun things like copy edits and first pass pages. I realize that’s not a compartmentalized time line, but publishing doesn’t really work like that.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

That I’m more tenacious than I realized. I had a couple of pretty major revisions and though it would have been easy to curl into a ball and stay that way, I didn’t. I pulled myself up (after a weekend of horse back riding and forgetting about it) and got to work. And miraculously? I managed to make it through!

What do you hope readers will take away from NO PLACE TO FALL?

That small-town girls from Appalachia have dreams as big as anyone else. And just because your family screws up, or you screw up, it doesn’t have to mark your future actions and choices. Oh. And that banjo players can be super cute!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

One of the biggest things we can do as writers is continue to live our lives. It’s hard to bring anything to your stories if your entire worldview is the bright screen of a laptop. Get out. Have fun. Take classes unrelated to writing. One of the best things in my life was a couple of years when a group of my friends had a sort of challenge. We would search for the most interesting and unusual places and experiences to share with each other. It got us off our beaten paths and into parts of our surroundings we might not otherwise have experienced. All of that stuff is great fodder for storytelling!

ABOUT THE BOOK


No Place to Fall
by Jaye Robin Brown
Hardcover
HarperTeen
Released 12/9/2014

Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

Purchase No Place to Fall at Amazon
Purchase No Place to Fall at IndieBound
View No Place to Fall on Goodreads

Displaying Jaye Robin Brown author photo.png

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jaye Robin Brown, Jro to her friends, lives on a fourteen acre farm in the mountains  north of Asheville, North Carolina. She is fond of dogs, horses, the absurd and the  ironic. She truly believes laughter and music are the best medicine. When not writing you can find her in the art room of the high school where she teaches.

0 Comments on Jaye Robin Brown, author of NO PLACE TO FALL, on getting out to have fun as of 12/13/2014 6:16:00 AM
Add a Comment
16177. Holiday Buffet of Free Ebooks compliments of Musa Publishing…

Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes some wicked-awesome deals! Anyone who has an ereader or tablet will benefit from this wonderful opportunity to score 40 fabulous reads for the holidays. Musa Publishingis offering 13 Days of Free Ebooks starting December 13th—whoa that’s TODAY folks! Below is a list of ebooks and authors on board with this promotion, but you better act fast, as their ebooks are available for free download for only ONE day. BTW—I’m on the list too, and anyone who gets an ereader or tablet for Christmas will benefit from my free download day! Ho Ho Ho…

December 13th, 2014:
The Rhesus Factor by Sonny Whitelaw
Returnby Lynn Rae
Struckby Clarissa Johal

December 14th, 2014:
Tournament of Chance by S.G. Rogers
Obsessionby JoAnne Keltner

December 15th, 2014:
Bridge to Desire by Alice Cross
Saving Hope by Liese Sherwood-Fabre
The Grimm Legacy by Addie King

December 16th, 2014:
Spire City: Contagion by Daniel Ausema
Stained Glass Summer by Mindy Hardwick
Time Will Tell by Mary Palmer

December 17th, 2014:
Guarding His Heart by Carolyn Spear
An Unstill Life by Kate Larkindale

December 18th, 2014:
Hunter’s Find by June Kramin
Five Golden Suitors by Jen Coffeen
First Frost by Liz DeJesus

December 19th, 2014:
The Reluctant Bridegroom by Arabella Sheraton
Persephoneby Kaitlin Bevis
The Glass Sealing by Andrew Leon Hudson

December 20th, 2014:
The Exile of Elindel by Carol Browne
Michaela’s Gift by Cordelia Dinsmore
Pantheonby Josh Strnad

December 21st, 2014:
Only a Hero Will Do by Susan Lodge
Prentice and Desiree by Brita Adams
The 13th Guest by Rebecca Royce

December 22nd, 2014:
Silhouette of Darkness by George Wilhite
Long Haul by Tom Olbert

December 23rd, 2014:
DEAD series by Lizzie T. Leaf
Looney Dunes by Anne Skalitza
Her Name by Alicia Joseph

December 24th, 2014:
Regarding Eliza by Viki Lyn
The Sun God’s Heir by Elliott Baker
Hard Pressed by Sharon Maria Bidwell

December 25th, 2014:
To Catch A Fish by Mary S. Palmer & David Wilton
She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth Walker
Identity Crisis by Elizabeth Ashtree


I hope you take advantage of this wonderful offer from Musa Publishing. There’s a book for every taste on the list from romance, science fiction, horror, thrillers, paranormal, fantasy, speculative fiction, and young adult, so please help yourself to this buffet of ebooks! Wishing you, and your family, a safe and happy holiday season! Cheers and happy reading!

0 Comments on Holiday Buffet of Free Ebooks compliments of Musa Publishing… as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16178. In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List!

Thank you, Teachability Lounge‘s Mary Graham, for including this blog among your “Top Ten Teacher Blogs.’  With all the blogs now out there, I sometimes wonder how many teachers read this one. After all, I’m pretty eclectic. So, I was thrilled with this affirmation.


1 Comments on In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List!, last added: 12/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16179. In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List!

Thank you, Teachability Lounge‘s Mary Graham, for including this blog among your “Top Ten Teacher Blogs.”  With all the blogs now out there, I sometimes wonder how many teachers read this one. After all, I’m pretty eclectic. So, I was thrilled with this affirmation.


0 Comments on In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List! as of 12/23/2014 12:27:00 PM
Add a Comment
16180. Corporate Storytelling

Andrew Linderman tries to teach people how to find that balance. A story coach, he works with companies including American Express, PBS and Random House, charging $1,800 to $3,500 for workshops and $500 to $5,000 for one-on-one training (less for nonprofits and start-ups). For $40, you can also take one of his two-hour classes,Storytelling for Entrepreneurs.

“The specifics of storytelling are relatively easy to articulate,” he said. “It’s the nuances that make a story distinct.”

Ah, Random House — the irony!  From “Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-up.


0 Comments on Corporate Storytelling as of 12/13/2014 8:00:00 AM
Add a Comment
16181. MIX IT UP by Hervé Tullet - GIVEAWAY!

Well, I wasn't able to get Hervé Tullet on, but his new book is getting a ton of praise and deserves every drop of it! MIX IT UP! is absolutely BRILLIANT! And it's not just for kids - it's a great introduction to color and color mixing. Heck, I want to use it in my Design class at Hollins University next summer. It's that good. It's also interactive...
Remember PRESS HERE? (also by Hervé) - watch THIS VIDEO:

MIX IT UP! also has you interacting with the book in ways you never would have thought of (in France, it's called "Couleurs"):

CLICK HERE if the embedded video gives you any issues.
Truly, this is such a fresh approach to what a book can be, and presented in such a pure form - simple color! I think the man might be a genius. CLICK HERE if the video doesn't work for you.


GIVEAWAY!
Despite not getting an interview, Chronicle has agreed to give away a free copy of MIX IT UP! to one of my lucky followers. Must live in the US or Canada to win. Enter below:

0 Comments on MIX IT UP by Hervé Tullet - GIVEAWAY! as of 12/13/2014 9:26:00 AM
Add a Comment
16182. Back with a Review of a Marvelous Book on Writing

My writing corner when it's tidy.
         
Although this is what is usually looks like.





Hello, again, at last, after the long silence. I have keenly missed blogging and connecting with blog friends, but I had to put writing first these last few weeks, and it's paid off. I finished my mystery, and now I'm doing the re-thinking, re-conceiving, additional research, etc. that is so much of the re-writing process. And I have been reading a wonderful book that I just have to share. The Art of Character, by David Corbett.



I first came across Corbett's insights in an article titled, "Characters, Scene by Scene", in the January, 2015 issue of Writer's Digest. (Yes, I know it's not January yet, but that's how magazines do things.)

In his article, Corbett emphasizes that "dimensional characters are born from drama—not description." Yes, you should know descriptive and biographical details: eye color, hair color, height, weight, hobbies, work history, biographical information, etc., but that's doesn't create characters who live and breathe. What brings them alive on the page is interaction with others in scenes that serve a purpose in the story.

To paraphrase just one of his examples: How your character looks isn't as important as, say, how her appearance makes her feel, how it makes others feel, and how this translates into behavior. The same is true of age: How does her age affect her interactions? I have to say that just reading this article inspired several insights into my main character and a couple of others, and I immediately sent off for his book, The Art of Character.   Here's the book at Amazon, although several sites sell it.                                                      
And I bought the paperback, not the kindle. (When I read something this pithy, I do a lot of underlining.)

The Art of Character does not disappoint. It's like a course in creative writing, with exercises that are challenging but oh-so useful if you want rounded out characters that truly drive your story. It's also like a course in psychology, probing your characters fears, desires, hates, loves, spirituality or lack of it. Or a course in sociology. Or philosophy. Or literature. (Corbett gives solid examples of stories, plays, novels, that illustrate the concepts he covers.)

You can tap into this book as deeply as you feel your work calls for, but the advice and insights gleaned from it are useful for any genre: light fiction, cosy mystery, MG or YA novel, literary adult fiction. It's the best book on writing I've come across in a long time. And it's the kind of book you can return to again and again.

You can visit his website to learn more about this book and the best-selling mysteries he writes. Meanwhile, I have to get back to the last chapter, the one on "voice". Happy reading.

And happy writing.

0 Comments on Back with a Review of a Marvelous Book on Writing as of 12/12/2014 8:04:00 PM
Add a Comment
16183. Catching Up

Put your jet lag on hold.
Start perusing the mail,
Or chaos on counters
And shelves will prevail.

Trash those emails you’ve read;
Fill the fridge with some food.
Make some phone calls no matter
If you’re in the mood.

Then proceed to unpack.
Throw the clothes in the wash.
If you yearn for a nap,
All those thoughts you must quash.

For it’s time to catch up.
Your vacation is done
And it’s back to reality,
Minus the fun.

Keep on pushing yourself
Or you’ll run out of steam.
Were you really away?
Man, it seems like a dream.

0 Comments on Catching Up as of 12/12/2014 5:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
16184. Unspeaking Character

Question: My book is about a Plague Doctor who is in a large city that has been placed under city wide quarantine. He goes around doing what is needed

Add a Comment
16185. Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday

Last Saturday I picked my favorite Illustrator Saturday Illustration from each illustrator who had been featured during the second half of this year. Even though I had picked my favorites from the first half on May 24th I still wanted to post the first half and added a new choice for each illustrator so there would be something new.

ELISABETH ALBA

albabattle-angel-final-s

albapiedpiper-b

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

OMAR ARANDA

29

omarbedfall

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/illustrator-saturday-omar-aranda/

DENISE CLEMMENSEN

denisefoxes

denisecatintreecropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/illustrator-saturday-denise-clemmensen/

MIKE CRESSY

cressyBubbles02

cressyWhenTheSunWentDownSML

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/illustrator-saturday-mike-cressy/

MICHAEL DOOLING

michaelfossilcoverlast500

michaelfap_looking_glass_LG500

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/illustrator-saturday-michael-dooling/

CHRISTOPHER DENISE

christopherabbeysnow

christopherbearcropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

ERIC FREEBERG

ericgoldilocks

ericsnowdog

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/illustrator-saturday-eric-freeberg/

MELANIE HOPE-GREENBERG

melaniehgQ14

melanie07

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/illustrator-saturday-melanie-hope-greenberg/

MICHELLE HENNINGER

michelleelvis

michellechoir_dvd_cover_paint_crop

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/illustrator-saturday-michelle-henninger/

CAROL HEYER

carolliberty

carolblackwingsback

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/illustrator-saturday-carol-heyer/

ALISON JAY

alisonfourfrogs

alisonflyingcropped

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/

SUZANNE KAUFFMAN

suzanneNight%20Owl_p24

suzannewonder_girl_balloon_facebook500

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/illustrator-saturday-suzanne-kauffman/

KAREN LEE

karenleeSlider-Dead-Anyway

karenleeHFC What Is It_ final

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/illustrator-saturday-karen-lee/

DANA MARTIN

dana800aladdin

dana800sinbad

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/illustrator-saturday-dana-martin/

WENDY MARTIN

wendy05-2TristanIsoldeWendyMartincropped

wendyorch

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/illustrator-saturday-wendy-martin/

BOB MCMAHON

bobBrunos Bakery

bobSing Clap Praise

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/illustrator-saturday-bob-mcmahon/

ANA OCHOA

anafishing

anaducks

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

LYN STONE

lynRumpletump-in-colour

lyncatdogfight

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/illustrator-saturday-lyn-stone/

JENNIFER THERMES

jenniferflying witch

jenniferwhipingwind

http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/illustrator-saturday-jennifer-thermes/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, picture books Tagged: Best of Illustrator Saturday first half of 2014

5 Comments on Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday, last added: 12/15/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16186. Jeanette's Painting of the Train Station

Hi, folks. Jeanette here. I was standing next to Jim while he was painting the gouache study of the train station last week. I liked the cool light coming in from the west window on the rainy day, and the contrasts on the terra cotta tile floor.  I spent about an hour on the pencil underdrawing before starting the transparent watercolor. 


The scene needed a figure so I added Scott Anderson and his French easel. Later, though, a passenger with the perfect silhouette walked through my scene, so I put her in as well. She stopped for just a second and looked around, and then kept going. I quickly penciled her in and then painted her from memory.

I was using a Stillman and Birn hot-press Zeta Hardbound Sketchbook (5.5 x 8.5 inches) watercolor sketchbook. I love the heavy 180 lb. non-buckling paper and the vertical format, but it's a challenge for me to get smooth washes on that surface. The rougher Beta watercolor book gives me smoother washes.

0 Comments on Jeanette's Painting of the Train Station as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16187. My First Book Signing

Hi everyone!  I am very happy to say that I am doing my very first book signing at the Brower Bagel  in Oceanside, NY. On December 20.  If you have been reading my blogs and are not too far away, I would very much like to meet you.  Grab a bagel and a book.  You can't go wrong.

0 Comments on My First Book Signing as of 12/12/2014 8:18:00 PM
Add a Comment
16188. the One Thing Stolen catalog page, with a nod of thanks to the designers

The Chronicle catalog is so entirely riveting that one could put a bow on it and tuck it under a tree.

So that it wasn't until several minutes into my perusing that I happened upon this page, for the forthcoming One Thing Stolen, which is, I think (and I have nothing to do with this) so very beautifully done.

And so to those who develop surprise taglines, to those who tuck existing books beside coming books, to those who find the central questions of a story and lodge them right there, for catalog readers to see, thank you: You do exquisite work.

0 Comments on the One Thing Stolen catalog page, with a nod of thanks to the designers as of 12/13/2014 7:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
16189. December 13 Meme


On This Day: 

Not much in history about books or writing that I could find, so I thought I'd go for exciting explorer stuff because of the sensawunda it inspires in SF, my first love.

1577 : Sir Francis Drake sails off from Plymouth on his first round-the-world voyage.

1642: Abel Tasman, after whom our beautiful Tasmania is named, reached New Zealand. This is the closest I can get to something Aussie-related.

1972 : the Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked on the moon. This is the last time, to date, that humans have walked there. I remember reading an interview with Michael Collins where he was asked if he'd accept an invitation to go back to the moon. He said no, but he'd be all for going to Mars if he could. My favourite of the three Apollo 11 astronauts!

Author Birthdays: 

Slim pickings here, but I did find one I'd read and enjoyed.

Lucia Gonzales, children's writer and librarian

Ross MacDonald, author of a lot of hard boiled detective fiction about a sleuth called Lew Archer, was known as the heir to Dashiell Hammett.

AND - Ta da! The wonderful Tamora Pierce, author of the Lioness books and many others. Her heroine was a girl who wanted to be a knight and swapped places with her twin brother, who had other ambitions, disguised herself as a boy and went off to be a page. Go read them if you haven't and ... many happy returns, Tamora, one of my Goodreads friends! Tamora blogs regularly and is one of the few big name author members of Goodreads I know who actually reviews other people's books and lets people friend her instead of just becoming "fans" who can't communicate. I get the feeling with some of these folk that they're only there on the advice of agents and publicists to get a social media profile.

Celebrations

Today, by the way, is St Lucy's Day (aka Santa Lucia). Thought I'd mention it because my much-valued and respected library technician us a Lucy/Lucia.

I gather it's a festival centred around light because it used to be the (European) winter solstice before the calendar changed. Which reminds me, time to get the Chanukah candles, as our own feast of lights begins Tuesday night. Time to stock up on potatoes for the traditional latkes and find my way down to the doughnut stand at Footscray railway station, as doughnuts are also a tradition(anything oily to eat, you see, though I don't recall chips being a tradition...)  

Below is a Public Domain image of Saint Lucy. See the eyes in the dish? Part of the legend, in which her eyes were poked out or maybe she poked them out herself to put off a suitor. Ew! Yuk! But she's the patron saint of the blind.

0 Comments on December 13 Meme as of 12/12/2014 4:04:00 PM
Add a Comment
16190. Amy K Nichols, author of NOW THAT YOU'RE HERE, on transitioning previous work into a published novel

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

Back in my early writing days, I wrote a novel about a girl and her relationship with her sister. It wasn’t very good. In fact, it was terrible, as many early novels are. But there were a couple of characters in the story that I really liked: the girl, who was then named Janie, and her best friend, Warren. I decided to spend more time with them, so I began writing what I thought would be a short story. In it, Janie was sitting in her English class when the boy next to her startled awake and didn’t know where he was. I kept following the story, trying to figure out who this boy was and where he’d come from. Before long I’d written another novel. Janie became Eevee, and it turned out the boy, Danny, had jumped to her world from a parallel universe. Warren, Eevee’s best friend, survived the transition from terrible first novel to short story to published novel as well, and is one of my favorite characters in Now That You’re Here.

How long did you work on the book?

I began writing Now That You’re Here sometime around 2009. It sold in the fall of 2012. In all, I spent about two or three years writing and revising before sending out query letters.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

A friend once told me it usually takes about ten years from the time you start writing to the time your first book gets published. Oddly enough, that was true for me. I started writing seriously in 2004. Here it is 2014 and my first novel will be released in December.  The most difficult part of the journey was getting out of my own way. I set a lot of land mines to trip myself up and keep me from writing. I’d over-schedule myself, taking on responsibilities and activities that kept me too busy to write. I’d set aside time to write but catch up on a TV show or go to coffee with friends instead. Anything to keep myself from actually doing the work. Fear and resistance were my constant companions. Over time, I learned how to write in spite of them.

In the fall of 2011, a writer-friend and I decided it was time to get off the revision hamster wheel and we set a spring 2012 deadline for querying agents. Having that deadline kept me motivated and accountable. In April of 2012, I began sending out query letters, and in August, I signed with Adams Literary. My agent called me over Thanksgiving weekend to tell me we had sold Now That You’re Here to Knopf. So, depending on how define “road to publication” my journey both difficult and easy. I’d put in years of hard work on my own; but the query process didn’t take very long, and once I signed with Adams, everything happened very quickly.

I drafted two other complete manuscripts before starting Now That You’re Here, and I’ve started at least ten others since. I’m hoping some of the others will be published, but I know most of the earlier ideas and partial drafts will never make that journey. They’re not a complete loss, though. Each one has taught me something about writing.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I’m the mother of two school-aged children, so sometimes having a regular routine or even writing location can be difficult (though usually I work at my kitchen table). I do try to write every day, and when I’m on deadline my family is very considerate about giving me space to work. If I have a ritual, I would say it’s music. I always listen to music when I write. Most of the time, I choose a song that fits the mood of the chapter I’m working on, then listen to it on repeat throughout that chapter. It probably sounds like a crazy idea, listening to the same song over and over, but I’ve found that as I work, the music sinks into the background and begins to function on a subconscious level. The mood of the song help me maintain the tone of the chapter. The quirky side effect of this, though, is that if I hear one of my writing songs when I’m out and about, in line at Starbucks, for example, or at the grocery store, my brain will automatically jump to the corresponding scene in the book I’m writing. If you see me scrambling in my purse for pen and paper, it’s likely a song came on over the store speakers and triggered my writing brain into action

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

I have two pieces of advice. The first is to give yourself a deadline and stick to it. We writers are very good at making excuses, procrastinating, daydreaming instead of actually putting in the work. I fully believe giving myself a deadline was key in getting published. The second piece of advice is to give yourself some grace. It takes time to learn how to write, let alone finish, a novel. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to face rejection. You may find yourself discouraged or disappointed. Give yourself room to learn, to fail, and to grow. Try to find the balance between being hard enough on yourself that you get things done and being gentle enough with yourself that you keep going.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m on deadline with copy edits for my second novel, While You Were Gone, the follow-up to Now That You’re Here, which will be published in August 2015. As soon as I turn the edits in, I’m jumping into a rewrite of a manuscript I wrote a couple of years ago and have been anxious to get spiffied up to send to my agent. Can’t wait to dig into a new project.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Now That You're Here
by Amy K. Nichols
Hardcover
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 12/9/2014

NOW THAT YOU'RE HERE is a he-said/she-said sci-fi thriller told in the alternating voices of Danny, a street-smart graffiti artist who is jolted into a parallel world, and Eevee, the quietly alluring science geek he kissed once in his world, and finds himself falling for in this one. Together, they must figure out what caused Danny’s jump, before another jolt in the space-time continuum separates them forever.

Purchase Now That You're Here at Amazon
Purchase Now That You're Here at IndieBound
View Now That You're Here on Goodreads



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AmyNicholsB&Wsquare
Amy K. Nichols has been crafting stories for as long as she can remember. She is the author of YA science fiction novel Now That You're Here, to be published by Knopf December 9, 2014. The follow-up, While You Were Gone, will be published in 2015. She is mentored by award-winning crime novelist James Sallis and lives on the edge of the Sonoran desert with her husband and children. Amy is a member of SCBWI and SFWA, as well as the Class of 2K14 debut authors. Visit her online at http://www.amyknichols.com.

0 Comments on Amy K Nichols, author of NOW THAT YOU'RE HERE, on transitioning previous work into a published novel as of 12/13/2014 6:16:00 AM
Add a Comment
16191. TURNING PAGES: RITE OF REJECTION, by SARAH NEGOVETICH

The Pineapple Express, she is expressing, and, at least on TV, there is extreme weather and pouring, driving, spattering rain. Here at home, it's just... like... raining. Which sometimes, despite all drought-without-end claims to the contrary, it... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: RITE OF REJECTION, by SARAH NEGOVETICH as of 12/12/2014 2:32:00 PM
Add a Comment
16192. Pre-PiBoIdMo Prize Winners!

I know you’ve been waiting patiently…

doggie

So here are the Pre-PiBoIdMo Winners!

Matthew Winner’s Prize Winners (say that 10 times fast!): One picture book each

RITA ANTOINETTE BORG
KAREN CALLOWAY

Margie Myers-Culver’s Prize Winners: One picture book each

SHERRI JONES RIVERS
LAURIE SWINDLER
CAROL FEDEROFF
MIKE KARG

Lauri Meyers’ Prize Winner: PiBoIdMo Mug

PAM MILLER

Darshana Khiani’s Prize Winner: One picture book critique

SYDNEY O’NEILL

I will be  contacting you via email in the next few days to arrange delivery of your prizes.

Congratulations!

More prizes to come…


10 Comments on Pre-PiBoIdMo Prize Winners!, last added: 12/13/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16193. December 2014, part the first

I know, I know, I go dark for almost two weeks and then suddenly, what, four posts in one day. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in (ye gods) nine years and eleven months of blogging, it’s: if you have something to write, write it, and if you don’t, don’t sweat it. And following a related-links rabbit trail on the Huck post this morning led me through many moments I’m glad I chronicled. So here’s an entry for the memory vault.

Of course the main reason for my silence has been my pile of Cybils reading, as we’re rapidly approaching The Big Discussion right after Christmas. I gave up maintaining my sidebar and Goodreads reading logs weeks ago, but after the madness is over I’ll use my Cybils log to catch up. If you are stuck for book choices I can make suggestions, boy howdy.

(I love this committee. It’s so good for mah brain to consume a megadose of YA fiction every couple of years. And my fellow panelists are so darn smart. It’s the book club of my dreams—fierce but fleeting.)

The other occupier of my time has been a glorious stream of company. :) ’Tis the season for visits from college friends. We had Kristen and her family for Thanksgiving (Krissy, did you get any good pix? Mine, not so much) and then a long-awaited, unremittingly delightful week with my friends Ron and Larry from Portland. I got to show them Balboa Park (the best part of San Diego) not once but twice: two long lovely afternoons there roaming through gardens and museums. One day with kids and one day without. Beanie and Rilla came with us to the SD Museum of Art, where the “Gauguin to Warhol” exhibit wowed us. I wasn’t surprised to be choked up by seeing a Frida Kahlo up close (Self Portrait with Monkey), but I didn’t expect the Jackson Pollock to move me the way it did. The scope of the thing, a whole massive wall of paint crammed with small stories.

Soon we’ll have my parents here, and Jane finished finals yesterday (with a paper on Prufrock, color me proud) and will be headed home in a few days. Fortunately she wasn’t planning on taking the train home today! Amtrak had to cancel the coastal train due to this crazy storm. Water, finally! More than this parched land can handle. Much worse in LA than here. We’re cozying up at home for now.

The other notable thing about our December is, of course, that it’s our biggest birthday month. So before I pour in a bunch of photos from Instagram and elsewhere these past few weeks, I’ll just leave you with this: Wonderboy is eleven now. Eleven!

paperwhites
before the rain

umbrellaboy and during

grasshopperpie
genius at work: the making of the annual grasshopper pie

stampydolls
Rilla’s Stampy Longnose paper dolls

legoskates
shockingly, this did not end in a trip to the emergency room

museumofman
Museum of Man, Balboa Park

wethree
the mischief corner

10846420_10204556464885380_6870503969941367472_n
“Roots + history,” swiped from Larry’s Instagram

birthdayboy11
impossible yet true

Add a Comment
16194. Corporate Storytelling

Andrew Linderman tries to teach people how to find that balance. A story coach, he works with companies including American Express, PBS and Random House, charging $1,800 to $3,500 for workshops and $500 to $5,000 for one-on-one training (less for nonprofits and start-ups). For $40, you can also take one of his two-hour classes,Storytelling for Entrepreneurs.

“The specifics of storytelling are relatively easy to articulate,” he said. “It’s the nuances that make a story distinct.”

Ah, Random House — the irony!  From “Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-up.


0 Comments on Corporate Storytelling as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16195. Romina Russell, author of ZODIAC, on the subjectiveness of art

What do you hope readers will take away from ZODIAC?

 The most powerful insight the protagonist (Rho) gains on her journey—which I hope to impart to readers—is how integral our cultural differences are to our unity. As planet after planet is attacked and devastated, Rho learns that the more the Houses close themselves off to each other, the smaller their worlds grow—even their worldviews begin to shrink. She starts to understand that the reason the Zodiac has a dozen Houses isn’t so they can learn about each other, but from each other: Each sign brings a different strength to the galaxy because all twelve are meant to work together, not apart. I think the parallels to our world are easy to draw.

 What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

 Never stop writing. Even the best star readers can't predict what's going to get picked up. ZODIAC sold, but I have a book I've been working on for eight years that has yet to sell, and every few years I rewrite it and try again. Which brings me to my next thought— Rejections do NOT mean your book sucks. Art is subjective—it can’t be right or wrong. When you walk into a bookstore (or click into a virtual marketplace), you only leave with one or two (or a handful of) purchases. Even though you may not think of it this way, you're effectively "rejecting" hundreds of thousands of texts—most you never even looked at, some you glimpsed at briefly, a few you sampled and didn’t love. The ones you skimmed and set back down weren't bad books: They just weren't right for you, or maybe they weren't right for you right then, or maybe you just didn't have time to read everything you wanted and were forced to be a tough judge. Now think of the number of agents/editors you've queried with your manuscript—a number nowhere near the number of books you yourself have sampled and not loved in your lifetime—and keep querying!

 What are you working on now?

Right now I’m getting to do more of something I love—world building. Since I’m working on the sequel to ZODIAC, I’m creating the new Houses that Rho visits on this journey. The chance to build new worlds has been the best part of working on this series.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Zodiacby Romina Russell
Hardcover
Razorbill
Released 12/9/2014

 At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

Purchase Zodiac at Amazon
Purchase Zodiac at IndieBound
View Zodiac on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Romina RussellRomina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

0 Comments on Romina Russell, author of ZODIAC, on the subjectiveness of art as of 12/13/2014 6:16:00 AM
Add a Comment
16196. Post-PiBoIdMo Prize Winners!

Oh, this doggie is persistent! He is so eager to know if he won!

doggie2

Well, let me tell you if YOU won…

Timothy Young’s Prize Winners: One picture book each

JENNY SEIGER (The Angry Little Puffin)
ELIZABETH BROWN (I Hate Picture Books)

Carol Gordon Ekster’s Prize Winner: One signed copy of Before I Sleep

SHARON PUTNAM

Laura Zarrin’s Prize Winner: “Winter Dancing” print

ASHLEY BOHMER

I will be  contacting you via email in the next few days to arrange delivery of your prizes.

Congratulations!

More prizes to come…


10 Comments on Post-PiBoIdMo Prize Winners!, last added: 12/13/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16197. Being a Real Person Sheena Wilkinson



I’ve just become Ireland’s first Patron of Reading. Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun, is a north Dublin school in an area which was, in the past, a byword for deprivation. In recent years, Ballymun has been the subject of a huge regeneration programme, and it’s a place where I have been welcomed since I did my very first school visit there four years ago.

This was drawn by the principal, Ms Fran Neary.




where it all started 
In 2011, my first novel, Taking Flight, had just come out, and I’d only done a few local visits in Belfast schools. I was a fulltime teacher so I wasn’t nervous about talking to teenagers, but when the invitation from Trinity Comprehensive came in, it felt different. It was the first time I realised that readers outside Northern Ireland would connect with my characters. Joe Kelly, Trinity’s wonderful librarian, assured me that his pupils had liked Taking Flight‘because it seemed so real to them.’

That was the first of many visits to the school. I’ve done lots of talks and workshops in the library which is, like all good school libraries, central to the school, promoting literacy in its widest sense. I think I kept being invited back because I’m unpretentious and realistic. Earlier this year Joe and I decided to formalise the relationship by designating me Trinity’s Patron of Reading. I’m sure readers of this blog are familiar with the PoR scheme. It’s an excellent way for schools to connect with writers, and for writers to connect with readers. When I attended a ceremony in Trinity last month to mark becoming its Patron, one of the things I promised to do was to use my December ABBA post to celebrate being Ireland’s first PoR.
me on a school visit -- unglamorous but real 

In the last week, however, my thoughts have also been exercised by the furore over ghost-writing, transparency, and celebrity culture. There’s been a lot of nonsense in the media, as well as a lot of good common sense – not least here on ABBA: thank you, Keren David.

How does this link with the PoR scheme, and with school visits in general? I think the most important thing about authors visiting schools is that they make things real for the pupils. As a child, I had little concept of my favourite writers as actual people. The books just sort of appeared in the library, as if by magic, though I gleaned every little snippet of biographical information I could from the dust flap. When I wrote to Antonia Forest and she wrote back it felt like the most exciting thing that had ever happened anyone – to have a letter written by the same hand that had written the Marlow novels. (And I should point out that I was 23 and a PhD student at the time.)


the book that drove me mad
What I always emphasise on school visits is that writing is a process, and often a fairly torturous one. I don’t pretend to write quickly and easily. I show the pupils the whole journey of a novel, from notebooks with rough planning, through printed-out and much scribbled over drafts, to the final book. I’m not precious – I tell them about the times when it’s been hard; I show them a six-page critique of an early draft of Taking Flight, and point out that there is a short paragraph of ‘Positives’ followed by five and half pages of ‘Issues to Consider’. I tell them about going to an editorial meeting to discuss Still Falling, and how my editors spent five minutes telling me what they liked about the novel and 55 minutes telling me what wasn’t working.

I’m not trying to put kids off. I always emphasise that making things up is magical, and seeing your ideas develop into actual stories that people read is the best thing in the world. But I do let them see that it involves a lot of hard work.

Nowadays I think that’s even more important. I once shared a platform with two children who had self-published. It was a ridiculous, uncomfortable event: there I was talking about hard work and rejection and editing and how hard it is to get published, and there were these two little pre-teen moppets with their shiny books. The primary school audience, who won’t have known the difference between self-publishing and commercial publishing, probably thought I was some kind of slow learner. But I least I told them the truth.

Honesty. I think we need more of it. I’m so proud to be Ireland’s first Patron of Reading, and I intend to keep on being honest about writing as a magical, but difficult craft.
Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun.



0 Comments on Being a Real Person Sheena Wilkinson as of 12/13/2014 1:14:00 AM
Add a Comment
16198. Fried

During the month of November, I was a writing fool. For the last two weeks, there’s been a rebellion.

It was an exciting month, watching a story develop under my fingers on the keyboard. If I had a solid direction for where the story was going, I could put down 600-800 words per hour and could find three or more hours a day to write. The month ended before the story did, and after 50,000 words had been reached. So exciting was this story, I figured another week or two was all it would take to finish.

Then December hit. Admittedly, there were a few items around the house, neglected for thirty days, that needed attention. People included. Yet for some reason I seem to be fighting myself to get back into writing. It’s not writer’s block or anything. It is more like writer’s enough-is-enough, or writer’s take-a-break. 

It is worrisome to me, this lack of motivation. I had a coupe of stories in various stages and with NaNo, now there’s one more. I almost skipped the November writing marathon, just to keep moving on the other two projects. I even found a writing craft book on characterization last month that I became excited about. Now none of them holds my enthusiasm.

I think we writers need to back off every once in a while. I’m trying to give myself permission to let up and take a break, but it is hard.

On the other hand, Carol Lynch Williams talks about acting like a writer, and writers write. Thus to act like a writer, one should plant themselves down at a computer and plunk out words.

So easy to say. Sometimes so hard to do.


(This article also posted at http://writetimeluck.blogspot.com)

0 Comments on Fried as of 12/13/2014 9:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
16199. Comic: He's Checking It Twice...Just Not Yet

0 Comments on Comic: He's Checking It Twice...Just Not Yet as of 12/12/2014 11:04:00 PM
Add a Comment
16200. Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday

Last Saturday I picked my favorite Illustrator Saturday Illustration from each illustrator who had been featured during the second half of this year. Even though I had picked my favorites from the first half on May 24th I still wanted to post the first half and added a new choice for each illustrator so there would be something new.

ELISABETH ALBA

albabattle-angel-final-s

albapiedpiper-b

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/illustrator-saturday-elisabeth-alba/

OMAR ARANDA

29

omarbedfall

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/illustrator-saturday-omar-aranda/

DENISE CLEMMENSEN

denisefoxes

denisecatintreecropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/illustrator-saturday-denise-clemmensen/

MIKE CRESSY

cressyBubbles02

cressyWhenTheSunWentDownSML

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/illustrator-saturday-mike-cressy/

MICHAEL DOOLING

michaelfossilcoverlast500

michaelfap_looking_glass_LG500

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/illustrator-saturday-michael-dooling/

CHRISTOPHER DENISE

christopherabbeysnow

christopherbearcropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/

ERIC FREEBERG

ericgoldilocks

ericsnowdog

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/illustrator-saturday-eric-freeberg/

MELANIE HOPE-GREENBERG

melaniehgQ14

melanie07

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/illustrator-saturday-melanie-hope-greenberg/

MICHELLE HENNINGER

michelleelvis

michellechoir_dvd_cover_paint_crop

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/illustrator-saturday-michelle-henninger/

CAROL HEYER

carolliberty

carolblackwingsback

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/illustrator-saturday-carol-heyer/

ALISON JAY

alisonfourfrogs

alisonflyingcropped

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/

SUZANNE KAUFFMAN

suzanneNight%20Owl_p24

suzannewonder_girl_balloon_facebook500

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/illustrator-saturday-suzanne-kauffman/

KAREN LEE

karenleeSlider-Dead-Anyway

karenleeHFC What Is It_ final

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/illustrator-saturday-karen-lee/

DANA MARTIN

dana800aladdin

dana800sinbad

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/illustrator-saturday-dana-martin/

WENDY MARTIN

wendy05-2TristanIsoldeWendyMartincropped

wendyorch

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/illustrator-saturday-wendy-martin/

BOB MCMAHON

bobBrunos Bakery

bobSing Clap Praise

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/illustrator-saturday-bob-mcmahon/

ANA OCHOA

anafishing

anaducks

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

LYN STONE

lynRumpletump-in-colour

lyncatdogfight

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/illustrator-saturday-lyn-stone/

JENNIFER THERMES

jenniferflying witch

jenniferwhipingwind

https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/illustrator-saturday-jennifer-thermes/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, picture books Tagged: Best of Illustrator Saturday first half of 2014

0 Comments on Best of First Half of 2014 Illustrator Saturday as of 12/14/2014 9:48:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts