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Results 1 - 25 of 108
1. महंगाई

money

महंगाई महंगाई महंगाई !!!! आम आदमी के लिए जीना मानो दूभर होता जा रहा है … कोई बचत करे तो तब करे जब कुछ बचे … यहां तो सैलरी आते ही…  इसका बिल उसका बिल, दूध, बिजली, पानी, पैट्रोल , फीस, आदि भरते भरते जेब खाली हो जाती है… बेचारे पिगी बैंक का हाल आप देख ही रहे हैं

मध्यम वर्ग की लगभग आधी आबादी ने फलों पर किए जाने वाले खर्च का कम कर दिया है या फलों का उपभोग छोड दिया है। जी हां, ऎसा इसलिए हो रहा है कि क्योंकि बेमौसम बरसात के कारण पैदावार घटने से पर्याप्त आपूर्ति नहीं होने और बिचौलियों की बढती भूमिका के कारण बाजार में इस वर्ष आम, केला, अंगूर और सेब जैसे फलों की कीमतों में पिछले वर्ष के इसी सीजन की तुलना में 45 फीसदी तक की बढोतरी हुई है जिसके कारण मौसमी फल आम जनता की पहुंच से दूर हो गए हैं.

news vegetable and fruit rates high in market must read

Read more…

List of products to get costlier from June 1

नई दिल्ली। हर महीने की एक तारीख का लोगों को बेसब्री से इंतजार रहता है। 1 तारीख का आमतौर पर मतलब होता है तनख्वाह आना। लेकिन, 1 जून यानी सोमवार को आपकी जेब भारी नहीं हल्की होगी। ऎसा इसलिए क्योंकि आपको मंहगाई का झटका लगने वाला है। सर्विस टैक्स की बढी दरें एक जून से लागू हो जाएंगी। सोमवार से 14 प्रतिशत सर्विस टैक्स देना होगा। इसमें एजुकेशन सेस भी शामिल होगा। अभी सर्विस टैक्स 12 प्रतिशत है। एजुकेशन सेस मिलाकर यह 12.36 प्रतिशत होता है। लेकिन एक जून से होटल में रूकना-खाना, गाडियां, मूवी टिकट की ऑनलाइन बुकिंग, मैरिज वेन्यू, केबल सर्विस, रेल और हवाई यात्रा समेत कई सेवाएं महंगी हो जाएंगी। निगेटिव लिस्ट में शामिल एग्रीकल्चर, मेडिकल, समेत 16 सेवाओं की कीमत में बदलाव नहीं होगा। इससे सरकार की कमाई में 25 फीसदी तक बढोतरी होगी। इस साल 2.09 लाख करोड रूपये मिलेंगे। पहले 1.68 लाख करोड कमाई का अनुमान था। ये सब भी होंगे महंगे-होटल में रूकना-खाना। -वाहन खरीदना। -मूवी टिकट की ऑनलाइन बुकिंग। – मैरिज वेन्यू। -केबल सर्विस। -कुरियर, एप बेस्ड कैब सर्विस। -ब्यूटी पार्लर-सैलून में मसाज। -प्लास्टिक बैग, बोतलबंद पानी। -म्यूजिक कंसर्ट, थीम पार्क। -इंश्योरेंस प्रीमियम भी होगा महंगा। -रेल और हवाई यात्रा समेत कई सेवाएं होगी महंगी। जानें, कितना पडेगा असर-1000 का टिकट 5 रूपए महंगा होगा। -1000 के खाने पर 49 रू. ज्यादा लगेंगे। -1000 रू. के मोबाइल बिल पर 16 रू. ज्यादा। List of products to get costlier from June 1 Read more…

कुल मिला कर इस महंगाई का कोई न कोई समाधान जरुर निकलना चाहिए अन्यथा …

The post महंगाई appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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2. 12 Tips to Help Prevent Reader Boredom

Alikpeople_starsbigger

I thought the above illustration was a good fit with today’s post. Since I feel that this post will help you stir up you manuscript to keep your readers reading, just like illustrator Alik Arzoumanian did letting her cute lady stir up the sky.  (Note: I am looking for artwork to show off)

Alik received her BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston in 2004.   The first children’s book “Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! A Palestinian Folktale” by Margaret Read MacDonald received an ALA Notable Book Award in 2007. She was also featured on Illustrator Saturday.

Hope these tips help you stir up your manuscript:

1. Keep solving problems and adding new ones. Mix up the problems by using physical, logistical, and ones with other people.

2. Make your MC be in a worse place than before the last problem.

3. Beware of the “one Darn Thing After Another” Syndrome. You don’t want your MC to always be stuck dealing with things that don’t change their circumstances.

4. Deliberately shorten your sentences in tense scenes.

5. If you keep your chapters short, you will lore the reader into reading a little more before taking a break.

6. Stun your protagonist with a negative surprise that comes out of the blue. Shock your hero and you will shock your reader into reading more by ramping up the tension.

7. Delay revealing important information to ratchet up the tension. Let your readers worry about unanswered questions.

8. Contract you protagonists universe by making sure their are consequences for each choice. Lost opportunities add tension. When he chooses one option, he will no longer be able to purse the other good things he might have bee able to do.

9. Make an ally into an oppositional character with a conflicting goal.

10. Use dialogue to imply thing that are not directly said. Add in ironic statements to keep the reader wondering.

11. Make sure all the actions are built upon, leading to something. Look for places in your story that are dead ends.

12. Each scene must have a purpose – pointless events – excessive explanations – backstory. You might want to note the purpose after the first draft to remind you why you included it. This will make it easier to see if you need to eliminate it in later revision.

Do you have any other things you do to avoid reader boredom?

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, demystify, How to, inspiration, list, Process, revisions, Tips Tagged: 12 Tips to Help Prevent Reader Boredom, Alik Arzoumanian

1 Comments on 12 Tips to Help Prevent Reader Boredom, last added: 1/7/2015
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3. Books Read in 2014 – 2015 Books in the Wings

2014 Books Read


Adult Books

outlanderDiana Gabaldon wrote the first book of her eight book Outlander Series in the early 90’s, so I am sure many of you have already read these books by now. But if you haven’t read them I highly recommend that you do. The first book sat on my book shelf for two years before I picked it up to read in October. This series is hands down the Best Adult book(s) I read this year! The only problem is that each book is at least 1100 words in length, so each one is like reading three YA novels.

Outlander – Book 1

Dragonfly In Amber – Book 2

Voyager – Book 3

Drums Of Autumn – Book 4

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Great voice

Influx by Daniel Suarez – Has anyone read this book. I am almost half way through reading and I haven’t started to enjoy it yet. Does it get better?


YA Novels

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi – The third book of one of my favorite series.

Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown – The third book of one of my favorite series.

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld – The second book of the Uglies Series – one of my favorite series

Specials by Scott Westerfeld – The third book of the Uglies Series – one of my favorite series.

Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey – second book in 5th Wave Series


Contemporary YA Standalone Novels

We Were Liars  by E Lockhart – Great voice

Pandemic by Yvonne Ventresca - thoroughly enjoyed this book

Panic by Lauren Oliver – Love everything she writes.

Before I Fall – by Lauren Oliver – Love everything she writes.

Flat Out Love by Jessica Park – Jessica proves that self-published books can be great.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Giver by Lois Lowry – 1994 Newbery Medal winner


Middle Grade Novels

Wheels of Change by Darlene Beck-Jacobson – Hits all the things that people look for in a perfect middle grade book.

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler – on Darlene Beck Jacobson’s recommendation – another well-written and enjoyable book.

Cirque du Freak: Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan – Book Four – This series is great for kids who love to be scared. 12 books to this series.


Lined up on my nightstand for 2015 so far

The Young Elites by Marie Lubought this book because I loved her legend series.

Atlantia by Ally Condie - bought this book because I enjoyed her Matched Series.

Paradox by Ammi Joan Paquette – bought this book because I wanted to read something written by Joan.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – bought because of the reviews.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – bought because of the reviews.

Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple – bought because of the reviews.

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – bought because it was written by Neil

The light Between Oceans by M.I. Stedman – bought because of the reviews.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – bought because it won the Pulitzer Prize.

The Martian by Andy Weir – bought because of Goodreads reviews.

Red Rising by Piece Brown – Bought because of reviews.

End of Days by Susan Ee – Coming out May 12th 2015 – Pre-ordered because it is the third book in the Angel Series, which I loved.

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer – Coming out June 2nd 2015. Pre-order because it is written by Lexa.

Do you have a book that you thoroughly enjoyed? I’d love to hear about the book and why you loved it.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Book, Internet, list, Middle Grade Novels, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 books Read, books to read in 2015, Diana Gabaldon, Outlander, Veronica Rossi

8 Comments on Books Read in 2014 – 2015 Books in the Wings, last added: 1/7/2015
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4. Happy New Year! – Top Ten Books of 2014

New yearsWendyWehman

 

Top 10 Fiction of 2014

1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (20)
2. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (18)
3. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (15)
Redeployment, Phil Klay
5. Lila, Marilynne Robinson (13)
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
7. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (11)
8. Euphoria, Lily King (10)
9. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (9)
10. Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill (8)

Top 10 Nonfiction of 2014

1. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast (15)
2. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande (11)
The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison
4. On Immunity, Eula Biss (10)
The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
In The Kingdom Of Ice, Hampton Sides
7. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs (9)
8. Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (6)
Flash Boys, Michael Lewis
What if?, Randall Munroe
Capital, Thomas Piketty
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

Sources:
These are the 53 sources counted so far — and from each we take only their most selective lists (e.g. the NYT’s Top 10, not their 100 “notable” books).
Awards (Good Reads; National Book Awards; Booker Award; Kirkus Awards; Giller Prize; Governor General’s Awards; FT McKinsey Award) Critics (Maureen Corrigan; Dwight Garner; Michiko Kakutani; Janet Maslin; Sarah Weinman; James Wood) Magazines (Entertainment Weekly; Newsweek; New York Magazine; Oprah Magazine; People Magazine; Time; Village Voice) Newspapers (Boston Globe; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor; Guardian; Houston Chronicle; Minneapolis Star Tribune; New York Times; Newsday; Seattle Times; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post) Online publications (BuzzFeed; Daily Beast; Gawker Review of Books; Grantland; Huffington Post; Slate) Other Distinctions/Lists (Monthly Indie Next No. 1 picks; monthly Library Reads No. 1 picks; BEA Buzz Panel books; PL Buzz Books titles; top Google searches) Retailers (Amazon; Amazon Canada; Barnes & Noble; BookPage; Hudson Booksellers; iBooks Store; Indigo; Kobo) Trade publications (Library Journal; Publishers Weekly; Shelf Awareness)

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Book, Holiday, illustrating, list, success Tagged: Best Wishes for 2015, Happy New Year, Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2015, Wendy Wahman

3 Comments on Happy New Year! – Top Ten Books of 2014, last added: 1/3/2015
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5. Book Sales Results for January to September 2014

ChristmasNewYearWinter-Moon-Over-Chicago-©-M-Kogan-12-14-2014-copy
This illustration was sent in by Michelle Kogan to help get us in the festive mood for the New Year. Michelle teaches art, and in the summers spends a good amount of time painting plien air in gardens and nature venues in the Chicago area, including the Chicago Botanic Garden, Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. http://www.michellekogan.com

As reported by Publishers Marketplace: Trade book sales as measured by the AAP turned significantly negative for the first time all year in September, ratifying concerns that the lack of new breakout hits might weigh on consumer traffic and sales during the most important months of the year. Total trade sales of $618 million were down $44 million (or 7 percent), compared to $662 million a year.

Adult sales, which have been soft all year, accounted for all of the decline and then some, down $58.5 million (or 12 percent). Once again, hardcover sales — or weak frontlist — fell the most, down $41.3 million. Children’s and YA sales continued to gain though less so than in previous months, up $15 million (or 9 percent), to $183 million. (Those gains will likely be moderate for the rest of the year, as comparisons will get more difficult versus Veronica Roth’s breakout in late 2013.)

eBook sales also followed their pattern from previous months: Adult ebook revenues were flat at $106 million, as children’s ebook sales gained $3.7 million, to $17 million.

Trade sales are still in positive territory for the year, up 3 percent, though current indications point towards finishing 2014 flat or down slightly.

Here is our cumulative comparison chart for the year so far:

Month Adult Sales Change vs. 2013 Children’s/YA Sales Change vs. 2013 eBook Sales Change vs. 2013
January $362 million +$10 million $144 million +$44 million $137 million +$15.5 million
February $325 million +$6 million $137 million +$35 million $134 million +$6 million
March $316.5 million -$23.5 million $133 million +$22 million $108.5 million -$7.5 million
April $363 million -$20 million $128 million +$24 million $138.5 million +$19.5 million
May $371 million -$37 million $154 million +$39 million $120 million +$3 million
June $367.5 million -$3 million $129 million +$18.5 million $129 million +$11 million
July $367 million +$13 million $133 million +$15 million $127 million +$6.5 million
August $415 million +$8 million $179 million +$29 million $124.5 million +$2.5 million
September $435 million -$58.5 million $183 million +$15 million $123 million +$4 million

 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: list, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 Book Sales, Adult book Sales Comparison, Children's and YA Sales growth, Comparison Book Sales Chart, Ebook Sales and Growth, Publishers Marketplace

2 Comments on Book Sales Results for January to September 2014, last added: 12/30/2014
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6. The Best of 2014 Writing and Illustrating

penguins

Kendra Shedenhelm sent this illustration in for us to enjoy. It makes me think of the song that was out a year ago titled, “What does the Fox say.” Must be Tee Hee Hee. The fourth book she has illustrated, “You, the Magician,” was released in November 2014, and can be viewed at http://www.youthemagician.com. http://www.kendrashedenhelm.com/

HERE ARE THE LINKS TO HELPFUL ARTICLES POSTED IN 2014

WORLD BUILDING TIPS
TIPS ON WRITING ENDINGS 
THE MANUSCRIPT IN THE DRAWER 
SELF PUBLIHING – GETTING YOUR BOOK READY 
REVISIONS
TRACKING SUBMISSIONS
PRICING STRATEGIES FOR ILLUSTRATING
MORE SHOWING LESS TELLING 
AGENT/AUTHOR REVISION TIPS 
RESEARCHING AGENTS 
PUTTING WORDS ON PAPER
CREATING SYMPATHIC CHARACTERS
AMAZON RANKING vs. DAILY BOOK SALES
WORKING OUT THE DETAILS
TEN DREADED MANUSCRIPT ERRORS
PITCH IS CONCEPT 
STATE OF THE CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING MARKET
STATE OF THE MARKET PART TWO
STATE OF THE MARKET PART THREE
ATTACKING A CONFERENCE 
WHEN DO WRITERS STOPW WRITING 
MATCHMAKING FOR WRITERS CRITIQUE PARTNERS 
SEVEN WAYS TO MAKE YOURSELF AN EASY AUTHORS TO WORK WITH 
AMAZON SALES STRATEGIES
AMAZON STATEGIES – LOOK INSIDE
AMAZON STRATEGIES – SALES PAGE 
LITERARY vs. COMMERCIAL FICTION
RIGHT TO WRITEPICTURE BOOK CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT 
90 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER 
HOW TO SPOT A GREAT PICTURE BOOK
RESEARCHING FICTION
BEFORE STARTING A THRILLER NOVEL 
ROMANTIC BODY LANGUAGE 
NEVER SAY HE THOUGHT/SHE THOUGHT
CRITIQUING SECRETS 
MASTERING KID SPEAK
LETS TALK POV 
RIGHT TO WRITE 
GRAMMAR NAZI
FIVE WAYS TO FOLLOW UP WITH AN EDITOR OR AGENTS 
OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL 
BEFORE THE SALE – BOOK APPEAL 
FORMAT YOUR BOOK FOR CREATESPACE 
THREE TRICKS FOR SHOWING RATHER THAN TELLING
DEALING WITH REJECTION 
CRITIQUING SECRETS 
WRITING WORKSHEETS 
7 POINT STOR STRUCTURE SYSTEM

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, demystify, inspiration, list, Process, reference, Tips Tagged: Best of Writing and Illustrating 2014, Kendra Shedenhelm

4 Comments on The Best of 2014 Writing and Illustrating, last added: 12/29/2014
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7. Illustrator Saturday – Let It Snow!

Step in and visit. You will find many of the wonderful snowy illustrations that have graced books and Illustrator Saturday on this blog over the years. Hope you enjoy.

ruthsandersonC003_Christmas-Doorway

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

WinterWalkLauraJacobsen

Laura Jacobsenhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/illustrator-saturday-laura-jacobsen/

garland537342_472064872829893_784964187_n

Michael Garlandhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/

nancycotejbcopy

Nancy Cote - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/illustrator-saturday-nancy-cote/

robpenguins-snowman

Rob McClurkanhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/illustrator-saturday-rob-mcclurkan/

christopherabbeysnow

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

wenzelStar-Poster-printer

David Thorn Wenzelhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/illustrator-saturday-david-thorn-wenzel/

dANIELLE59464cropped

Danielle Arborhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/illustrator-saturday-danielle-arbor/

lynsnowman

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

michellesnowball

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

alisonsnowglobe

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

garlandrollingsnow

Michael Garlandhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/

robertaduck

Roberta Aangaramohttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/illustrator-saturday-roberta-aangaramo/

Kathleen04

Kathleen Kemlyhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/illustrator-saturday-kathleen-kemly/

bobSnow Finish

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

suzanne12_18_2013_sledding_copyright_suzannekaufman_2013

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

Stomping through the snowy woods500

Stacy Heller Budnickhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/illustrator-saturday-stacy-heller-budnick/

yvonnesnowlady

Yvonne Gilberthttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/

yvonne46_The_Snow_Queen-1400

Yvonne Gilberthttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/

barnessnowman

Sheralyn Barneshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/illustrator-saturday-sheralyn-barnes/

watson77365

Laura Watsonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/illustrator-saturday-laura-watson/

kristinasnowstorm500

Kristina Swarnerhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/illustrator-saturday-kristina-swarner/

randysnow

Randy Gallegoeshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/illustrator-saturday-randy-gallegos/

manchesswild500

Gregory Manchesshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/illustrator-saturday-gregory-manchess/

detwilerbclk_snowleopard

Susan Detwilerhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/illustrator-saturday-susan-detwiler/

maritSnowmancom

Marit Menzinhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/illustrator-saturday-marit-menzin/

hernandez_winter_a72dpi

Leeza Hernandez - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/illustrator-saturday-leeza-hernandez-3/

kirstie_edmunds_winter

Kristie Edmundshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/illustrator-saturday-kristi-edmunds/

Constanzebluewintercropped

Constanze von Kitzinghttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/illustrator-saturday-constanze-von-kitzing/

ruthwinterhorse

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

winter mayfield rd

Jeremy Tugeauhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/illustrator-saturday-jeremy-tugeau/

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7_42_18 AM

Anne Wertheimhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/illustrator-saturday-anne-wertheim/

alisonwinterscape

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

About_001

Lita Judgehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/illustrator-saturday-lita-judge/

14921

David Hillhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/illustrator-saturday-david-hill-2/

ericsnowdog

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

PatrickSnowbot

Patrick Girouardhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/illustrator-saturday-patrick-girouard/

IMG_7604

Anne Wilkinsonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/illustrator-saturday-annie-wilkinson-2/

snowmanski

Michele Noisethttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/illustrator-saturday-michele-noiset/

marknewyorker500

Mark Meyershttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/

dillardsnow squalls

Sarah Dillarhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/illustrator-saturday-sarah-dillard/

ruthsleddingsnowmen

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

anchinTuBiShevat

Lisa Anchin – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/illustrator-saturday-lisa-anchin/

timsnowman sequence 5

Tim Bowershttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/illustrator-saturday-tim-bowes/

Angela Padron illustrator intesive FINAL

Angela Padronhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/illustrator-saturday-angela-padron/

melaniewinter

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

eaddy54629

Susan Eaddyhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/illustrator-saturday-susan-eaddy/

melissa iwaiwinter-scene3

Melissa Iwaihttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/illustrator-saturday-mellisa-iwai/

cotedarien

Nancy Cotehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/illustrator-saturday-nancy-cote/

ruthsnowqueensleeping

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

ruthsnowprincessflute

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

ruthracehorsesnow

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

cherylBR_1bigger

Cheryl Kirk Nollhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/illustrator-saturday-cheryl-kirk-noll/

Michaelpaintings%20021L

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

kathiembermap2a

Kathie Ember - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/illustrator-saturday-kathi-ember/

Sharonssnowman

Sharon Vargo - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/illustrator-saturday-sharon-vargo/

bogadeChristmascard stork2bigger

Maria Bogadehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/illustrator-saturday-maria-bogade/

jenniferskating

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

krisArosnowmancloseupil_570xN_44318912

Kris Aro McLeodhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/illustrator-saturday-kris-aro-mcleod/

hanstheboyinsidesnow

Hans Wilhelmhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/illustrator-saturday-hans-wilhelm/

carolsnow

Carol Liddiment – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/illustrator-saturday-carol-liddiment/

snowqueensmall

Susan Jeffers - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/illustrator-saturday-susan-jeffers/

ruthchristmasmailbox

Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, list, picture books Tagged: Illustrator Saturday Snow, snowy illustrations

3 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Let It Snow!, last added: 12/27/2014
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8. Critiquing Secrets

Interested in writing a Chapter Book? Don’t miss this FREE WEBINAR with Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg on Friday January 2nd 2015 at 5.30pm PST! They are also going to give some late holiday presents for some lucky folks that include a free critique with Hillary or Mira and some free signed books. Wahoo! See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-novel-writing-webinar.html#sthash.aEum3YJW.dpuf

Mira_pic2Mira is my Guest blogger for today’s post. Here’s Mira:

Critiquing Secrets by Mira Reisberg

First of all, thank you Kathy for having me on your fabulous blog. This site has been such a great resource for our community for a long time and I feel honored to be here. As we come to the end of the year, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we did to better our craft and improve our skills as people who create children’s books. Personally, I think it comes down to three things: take courses (i.e. study and improve your craft and keep revising), join the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and join and participate in a critique group. For this post, I’d like to talk a little about critiquing and then share some critiquing secrets.

Over the past 26 years as an illustrator, author, editor, art director and former literary agent, I’ve learned that although your work is uniquely your own, you can’t exist in a vacuum. Receiving criticism from fellow writers or illustrators, and peers is a must have regular part of your creative process.
So let’s talk about the secrets of critiquing for plot-driven books.

After struggling with a piece, if you can, let it percolate for a while and then come back not only with a fresh eye, but with fresh sets of eyes. Other eyes may see what you have missed, offer a different perspective, and question what you have taken for granted.

While you may be tempted to have your mother, your significant other, or best friend critique your work, they should not be your only ‘eyes’. They’re not trained to critique, may not understand your work, and may try to protect your feelings, regardless of their true opinion.

So what are some great critique techniques? For plot-driven writers the main things you need to look for are:
• How enticing is the hook or beginning?
• Do we care or are we intrigued by the character(s) enough to want to find out more about them and their journey?
• Does the tension build as the main character faces challenges and obstacles along the way?
• Do they solve the problem themselves?
• Is the climax and resolution satisfying with a twist at the end?
• Is each character different with their own distinct voice?
• What makes this particular story memorable?
• Does it have any underlying universal themes that are meaningful for kids?
• How can the drama, humor, pathos, or whatever key feeling the story has, be amplified?
• Does the pacing move at a good speed or does it slow down anywhere? Is there redundancy or excess?
• And finally does the language sparkle with techniques like alliteration and assonance, rhythm and repetition where appropriate?

All of these suggestions will help you in the critiquing process to get to the core and heart of your story to make it stronger, sweeter, funnier, or whatever its essence more appealing and thus more marketable.

Finally, for tender newer critique groups or critiquing partners who are vulnerable, remember to use the hamburger technique of starting and ending with something positive and getting to the meat of what needs help in the middle. As creatives, we tend to be a little thin skinned and starting with something positive will make it easier for the person being critiqued to hear the more challenging suggestions.

BIO: Mira Reisberg Ph.D. has worn many hats in the industry including being a university professor teaching children’s literature and now as the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Mira has taught and mentored many successful authors and illustrators.

Her next interactive e-course, for beginners to award winners, the Chapter Book Alchemist, co-taught by former comedian and award-winning chapter book author Hillary Homzie, promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with potential life and career changing benefits starts January 12th!

Click here to find out more: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-chapter-book-alchemist.html

The course includes optional critique groups, weekly live webinar critiques, and the option for critiques with Mira or Hillary among other goodies!

Mira, thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us. Good luck with the webinar!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, chapter books, list, opportunity, Tips Tagged: Critiquing Secrets, Free Chapter Book Webinar, Free critique, Hillary Homzie, Mira Reisberg

3 Comments on Critiquing Secrets, last added: 12/22/2014
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9. Critiquing Secrets

Interested in writing a Chapter Book? Don’t miss this FREE WEBINAR with Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg on Friday January 2nd 2015 at 5.30pm PST! They are also going to give some late holiday presents for some lucky folks that include a free critique with Hillary or Mira and some free signed books. Wahoo! See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-novel-writing-webinar.html#sthash.aEum3YJW.dpuf

Mira_pic2Mira is my Guest blogger for today’s post. Here’s Mira:

Critiquing Secrets by Mira Reisberg

First of all, thank you Kathy for having me on your fabulous blog. This site has been such a great resource for our community for a long time and I feel honored to be here. As we come to the end of the year, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we did to better our craft and improve our skills as people who create children’s books. Personally, I think it comes down to three things: take courses (i.e. study and improve your craft and keep revising), join the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and join and participate in a critique group. For this post, I’d like to talk a little about critiquing and then share some critiquing secrets.

Over the past 26 years as an illustrator, author, editor, art director and former literary agent, I’ve learned that although your work is uniquely your own, you can’t exist in a vacuum. Receiving criticism from fellow writers or illustrators, and peers is a must have regular part of your creative process.
So let’s talk about the secrets of critiquing for plot-driven books.

After struggling with a piece, if you can, let it percolate for a while and then come back not only with a fresh eye, but with fresh sets of eyes. Other eyes may see what you have missed, offer a different perspective, and question what you have taken for granted.

While you may be tempted to have your mother, your significant other, or best friend critique your work, they should not be your only ‘eyes’. They’re not trained to critique, may not understand your work, and may try to protect your feelings, regardless of their true opinion.

So what are some great critique techniques? For plot-driven writers the main things you need to look for are:
• How enticing is the hook or beginning?
• Do we care or are we intrigued by the character(s) enough to want to find out more about them and their journey?
• Does the tension build as the main character faces challenges and obstacles along the way?
• Do they solve the problem themselves?
• Is the climax and resolution satisfying with a twist at the end?
• Is each character different with their own distinct voice?
• What makes this particular story memorable?
• Does it have any underlying universal themes that are meaningful for kids?
• How can the drama, humor, pathos, or whatever key feeling the story has, be amplified?
• Does the pacing move at a good speed or does it slow down anywhere? Is there redundancy or excess?
• And finally does the language sparkle with techniques like alliteration and assonance, rhythm and repetition where appropriate?

All of these suggestions will help you in the critiquing process to get to the core and heart of your story to make it stronger, sweeter, funnier, or whatever its essence more appealing and thus more marketable.

Finally, for tender newer critique groups or critiquing partners who are vulnerable, remember to use the hamburger technique of starting and ending with something positive and getting to the meat of what needs help in the middle. As creatives, we tend to be a little thin skinned and starting with something positive will make it easier for the person being critiqued to hear the more challenging suggestions.

BIO: Mira Reisberg Ph.D. has worn many hats in the industry including being a university professor teaching children’s literature and now as the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Mira has taught and mentored many successful authors and illustrators.

Her next interactive e-course, for beginners to award winners, the Chapter Book Alchemist, co-taught by former comedian and award-winning chapter book author Hillary Homzie, promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with potential life and career changing benefits starts January 12th!

Click here to find out more: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-chapter-book-alchemist.html

The course includes optional critique groups, weekly live webinar critiques, and the option for critiques with Mira or Hillary among other goodies!

Mira, thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us. Good luck with the webinar!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, article, chapter books, list, opportunity, Tips Tagged: Critiquing Secrets, Free Chapter Book Webinar, Free critique, Hillary Homzie, Mira Reisberg

0 Comments on Critiquing Secrets as of 12/25/2014 8:54:00 PM
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10. YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers

As writers and illustrators the holiday season provides an opportunity to support the publishing industry by buying a few books as gifts for friends and family.

Goodreads announced their 2014 Readers Choice Awards. Click the picture below to review the nominees and the winners in all categories.

readerschoicegoodreads

Here are 25 YA books that Epic Reads suggests for Adults. How many have you read?

25books

Out of the books pictured above I have read 7 and have 4 bought and ready to be read.
AdultForYA-EpicReads

Out of the 25 Adult Books for Fans of YA I have read 4 and 3 are waiting to be read.
PopularBooksForTeens-HGLessonsSmall

From the books pictured above, I have read 23 and 12 are bought and waiting.

There are so many more wonderful books I have read this year. How many of these books did you read? Did you have a book that was your favorite? It doesn’t have to be pictured. I’d love you to share.

Oh, don’t forget the picture books: Each time you buy a picture book you support an illustrator and a writer with your purchase and the book you buy might be the book that puts a child on the path to enjoying books for the rest of their life.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, inspiration, list, Middle Grade Novels, picture books, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 Goodreads Best Books, Adult Book for YA Lovers, Goodreads, YA Books for Adults

0 Comments on YA Books for Adults and Adult Books for YA Lovers as of 12/4/2014 1:05:00 AM
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11. Thirteen Scary YA Books: Diverse Edition

Thirteen Scary YA Books (diverse edition)
Halloween is right around the corner. There’s no better way to celebrate than by reading books that will scare you to pieces! Here’s a lucky thirteen list of our favorites (all featuring diverse characters or by diverse authors):

  1. Half WorldHalf World by Hiromi Goto – Melanie Tamaki lives with her mother in abject poverty. Then, her mother disappears. Melanie must journey to the mysterious Half World to save her.
  2. Vodnik by Bryce Moore – Sixteen-year-old Tomas moves back to Slovakia with his family and discovers the folktales of his childhood were more than just stories.
  3. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – Allie Sekemoto survives by scavenging for food by day. She hates the vampires who keep humans like cattle for their food. Until the day she dies and wakes up as a vampire.
  4. Liar by Justine Larbalestier – Micah is a liar; it’s the only thing she’ll tell you the truth about. But when her boyfriend Zach is murdered, the whole truth has to come out.
  5. Battle Royale by Koushan Takami – A group of junior high school students are sent to an island and forced to fight to the death until only one of them survives.
  6. Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall – Odilia and her sisters discover a Wolf Mark coverdead man’s body while swimming in the Rio Grande. They journey across Mexico to return his body in this Odyssey-inspired tale.
  7. Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda – Zombies, ghouls, and vampires all make appearances in the story of Bilquis SanGreal, the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar.
  8. Panic by Sharon Draper – Diamond knows better than to get into a car with a stranger. But when the stranger offers her the chance to dance in a movie, Diamond makes a very wrong decision.
  9. Ten by Gretchen McNeil – Ten teens head to a secluded island for an exclusive party…until people start to die. A modern YA retelling of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
  10. Wolf Mark by Joseph Bruchac – Inspired by the Abenaki skinwalker legend, this YA thriller is Burn Notice with werewolves.
  11. The Girl From The WellThe Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco – A dead girl roams the streets, hunting murders. A strange tattooed boy moves to the neighborhood with a deadly secret.
  12. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad –  Three teenagers win the vacation of a lifetime: a week-long trip to the moon. But something sinister is waiting for them in the black vacuum of space.
  13. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake – Cas Lowood is a ghost hunter, called to Thunder Bay, Ontario to get rid of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, who has killed every person who has stepped foot in the house she haunts.

What else would you add to the list?


Filed under: Diversity in YA, Diversity, Race, and Representation, Lee & Low Likes, Tu Books Tagged: African/African American Interest, Asian/Asian American, Book Lists by Topic, diversity, halloween, Joseph Bruchac, Latino/Hispanic/Mexican, list, Multiracial, Native American, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Teens/YA, Tu Books

3 Comments on Thirteen Scary YA Books: Diverse Edition, last added: 10/17/2014
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12. How to Spot a Great Picture Book

dilysDilys Evans has been providing advice to young artists since 1978, when she founded Dilys Evans Fine Illustration.

Below is a summary of that advice—10 characteristics that she believes all outstanding picture books have in common.

Use it as a guide as you evaluate the picture books in your collection.

1. In the Beginning Was the Word
The pictures must be truly inspired by the story.

2. Preparation Is Paramount
The artist knows his or her characters, subject, and the setting inside and out.

3. A Great Cover Is a Great Start
If the cover art is compelling, it will make the viewer pick up the book and turn the pages.

4. The Artist Sets the Scene before the Story Begins
The inside flap offers a great opportunity to set the stage for the story or introduce a character.

5. The Endpapers Involve the Reader
Endpapers are another opportunity to add to the story or overall design of the book.

6. The Medium Is the Message
The perfect choice of medium to illustrate the text should convey every mood and nuance.

7. Every Picture Tells the Story
Every image is central to the story and moves it forward to the next page.

8. The Book Is a Form of Dramatic Art
Every scene must be carefully chosen to dully illustrate the drama and excitement of the story as it unfolds.

9. Art and Type Should Be a Perfect Marriage
The typeface should seem to be almost an extension of the art itself.

10. White Space Rules!
White space is a compositional element and not just a background to present the art.

Printed by the School Library Journal, September 2005

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, How to, list, picture books, reference, Tips Tagged: Dilys Evans, Guide to Evaluate a Picture Book, How to Spot a Great Picture Book

5 Comments on How to Spot a Great Picture Book, last added: 9/20/2014
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13. YA Authors are amoung the Top Earning Authors

LisaFieldsFallLeaves

This fun fall illustration was sent in and created by Lisa Fields.  She is an illustrator based out of New York City, who is represented by CATugeau Artist Agency.  She says she loves to focus on facial expression and color in her work.  LisaFields.com

Seventeen World’s Top-Earning Authors: Veronica Roth, John Green And Gillian Flynn New on List

Young adult author Veronica Roth‘s ranks 6th on account of her “Divergent” trilogy which sold a combined 6.7 million copies in 2013, earning her around $17 million from print and ebook sales between June 2013 and June 2014. She also benefited from the book’s 2014 film adaption, which grossed $270 million at the global box office. At just 26, Roth is the youngest newcomer on the ranking, and one of seven women on the 17-person list.

37-year-old newcomer John Green’s ”The Fault in Our Stars” propelled him to an estimated $9 million yearly paycheck before taxes and fees. The YA love story, which follows the trials of two cancer-stricken teens, has sold well over 1 million copies in the U.S. and spawned a weepy summer blockbuster.

Green is tied for 12th place with Gillian Flynn, who joins the rankings for the first time due to the continued success of 2012′s “Gone Girl.” While not a YA book, it is a New York Times bestseller that sold 1.2 million copies in 2013; a movie version starring Ben Affleck hits cinemas this year.

A 2012 Bowker Market Research study suggested 55% of YA books are bought by people 18 and older. Adults aged between 30 and 44 accounted for 28% of all YA sales, and the books are purchased for their own reading the vast majority of the time.

“The category has reached adult audiences and really become okay to read,” said Lori Benton, VP Group Publisher at Scholastic Trade Publishing. “Harry Potter was the very first one to reach that audience – it was quickly embraced by children, and just as quickly by adults.”

With $14 million in earnings, the original young adult tour de force, J.K. Rowling, ranks 8th on our list. She continues to earn from back sales of her iconic Harry Potter series, while Pottermore – a proprietary website she setup to sell Harry Potter ebooks – makes her a pretty penny. Unlike most authors, Rowling never signed over the digital rights to her books, so she sells directly to readers, earning far more from these digital sales than most authors do through ebooks.

READ FULL ARTICLE by Natlie Robehmed for Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2014/09/08/the-worlds-top-earning-authors-veronica-roth-john-green-and-gillian-flynn-join-ranking/

JUNE 2013 – JUNE 2014 TOP SEVENTEEN BEST SELLING AUTHORS – SIX ARE YOUNG ADULT BOOKS (Bolded)

Here’s the List:

ALEX CROSS and MICHAEL BENNETT series: James Patterson 90,000 million. His books account for one out of every 17 hardcover novels purchased in the United States.

INFERNO: Dan Brown 28 million

JEWELS OF THE SUN: Nora Roberts 23 million due to paperback and e-book sales.

A PERFECT LIFE: Danielle Steel 22 million

POWER PLAY: Janet Evanovich 20 million

WIMPY KID: Jeff Kinney 17 million

DIVERGENT Series: Veronica Roth 17 million

SYCAMORE ROW: John Grisham 17 million

DOCTOR SLEEP: Stephen King 17 million

HUNGER GAMES: Suzanne Collins 16 million

HARRY POTTER: J.K. Rowling 14 million

GAME OF THRONES: George R.R. Martin 12 million

KING AND MAXWELL: David Baldacci 11 million

THE HEROS OF OLYMPUS: Rick Riordan 10 million

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY: E.L. James 10 million (Sold 29 million copies in 2012 the U.S. alone. Sales dropped off in 2013 to a combined 1.8 million, but an upcoming movie could boost 2015.

GONE GIRL: Gillian Flynn 9 million

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: John Green 9 million

You too can join the list. All you need to do is write a great book, get a great Agent, how finds a great publisher, make all the Best Book Lists, sell it to a Hollywood Studio who brings it to the big screen then becomes a blockbuster hit and repeat year after year. So keep writing, because you don’t have a chance to make that happen any other way.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: Hollywood, inspiration, list, News, Publishing Industry, success, Young Adult Novel Tagged: CaTugeau, Lisa Fields, Six YA authors in top selling Book list, Top Earning Authors

1 Comments on YA Authors are amoung the Top Earning Authors, last added: 9/12/2014
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14. Pledge This Before Starting a Thriller Novel

For my next manuscript I plan to write a thriller, so I bought
How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters by James N. Frey to study.

damngoodthriller

I thought you might be interested in James Frey’s list of what to pledge before starting your novel.

A thriller is a pulse-pounding supsense. In the US, mysteries are not considered thriller, though they share some common elements.

In a mystery, the hero has a mission to find a killer.

In a thriller, the hero has a mission to foil evil.

To write a damn good thriller, you need a killer attitude. Pledge to yourself to do the following:

  1. Commit yourself to creating strong conflicts in every line of every scene.
  • Decide you will have fresh, snappy dialogue and not a single line of conversation.
  • Decide to write quickly when drafting. Fast is golden.
  • Give yourself production quotas of at least a thousand words everyday, even if you have a tough day job like kissing up to bad bosses. Three or four thousand would be better.
  • If your significant other complains your thriller writing is taking up too much of you time, get a new significant other.
  • Commit yourself to this: You will not have any major characters that are bland and colorless. They will all be dramatic types, theatrical, driven, larger than life, clever.
  • Create a step sheet for the whole novel or screenplay. You might start your first draft if you know your opening and have an idea for the climax.
  • Trick the expectations of the reader and create nice surprises from time to time.
  • Have your character in terrible trouble right from the beginning, and never let them get free of terrible trouble until the climax.
  • Have powerful story questions operating at all times.
  • End each scene or section of dramatic narrative with a bridge, a story question to carry the reader to the next one.
  • Always keep brainstorming and think about what’s happening off scene.
  • Make charts for the major characters that tell you what they’re doing when they’re not on scene.
  • Try to be fresh. Don’t use the same old cliches.
  • Be sure your prose is colorful and sensuous.
  • Keep the clock ticking and the excitement mounting right to the climactic moment.
  • Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, Author, Book, demystify, How to, list, Writing Tips Tagged: How To Write A Damn Good Thriller, James N. Frey, Writing a thriller novel

    0 Comments on Pledge This Before Starting a Thriller Novel as of 9/9/2014 2:23:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    15. Pledge This Before Starting a Thriller Novel

    For my next manuscript I plan to write a thriller, so I bought
    How to Write a Damn Good Thriller: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novelists and Screenwriters by James N. Frey to study.

    damngoodthriller

    I thought you might be interested in James Frey’s list of what to pledge before starting your novel.

    A thriller is a pulse-pounding supsense. In the US, mysteries are not considered thriller, though they share some common elements.

    In a mystery, the hero has a mission to find a killer.

    In a thriller, the hero has a mission to foil evil.

    To write a damn good thriller, you need a killer attitude. Pledge to yourself to do the following:

    1. Commit yourself to creating strong conflicts in every line of every scene.
  • Decide you will have fresh, snappy dialogue and not a single line of conversation.
  • Decide to write quickly when drafting. Fast is golden.
  • Give yourself production quotas of at least a thousand words everyday, even if you have a tough day job like kissing up to bad bosses. Three or four thousand would be better.
  • If your significant other complains your thriller writing is taking up too much of you time, get a new significant other.
  • Commit yourself to this: You will not have any major characters that are bland and colorless. They will all be dramatic types, theatrical, driven, larger than life, clever.
  • Create a step sheet for the whole novel or screenplay. You might start your first draft if you know your opening and have an idea for the climax.
  • Trick the expectations of the reader and create nice surprises from time to time.
  • Have your character in terrible trouble right from the beginning, and never let them get free of terrible trouble until the climax.
  • Have powerful story questions operating at all times.
  • End each scene or section of dramatic narrative with a bridge, a story question to carry the reader to the next one.
  • Always keep brainstorming and think about what’s happening off scene.
  • Make charts for the major characters that tell you what they’re doing when they’re not on scene.
  • Try to be fresh. Don’t use the same old cliches.
  • Be sure your prose is colorful and sensuous.
  • Keep the clock ticking and the excitement mounting right to the climactic moment.
  • Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, Author, Book, demystify, How to, list, Writing Tips Tagged: How To Write A Damn Good Thriller, James N. Frey, Writing a thriller novel

    1 Comments on Pledge This Before Starting a Thriller Novel, last added: 9/8/2014
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    16. Ten Tips to Juice Up Your Protagonist

    Most writers know every story needs a protagonist with a problem, but your MC also needs to be interesting, compelling, and sympathetic to keep the readers wanting more. We want our characters to jump off the page and grab our readers by the throat. Plus, we want our readers to remember and think about our characters and our story long after they close our book.

    Here are ten ways to make your protagonist do just that: 

     

    1.  MC has a problem that needs to be solved

    Make sure your protagonist is the one with the problem and no one else can solve this problem (or solve it as well as he or she can. The MC has to be central to the entire issue.

    2.  MC has the ability to act

    Don’t let your protagonists go around just reacting to things when they happen. Your MC should make things happen and move the story along through his or her choices and actions. A protagonist who knows what she wants and makes the story happen is a far more compelling character than one who sits around and waits for the story to happen. Make sure your protagonist is more than just someone in the middle of a mess.

    If this is not happening in your book, you need to adjust your story in order to get your protagonist in a position where they can affect the change.

    3.  MC needs reasons to act

    You can always give your MC something to do, but they need to have good reasons for their actions or your story will start to stretch credibility as to why they would get involved in something that clearly don’t care about. If you want to have your protagonist risk their life or happiness, make sure it’s for a reason readers will understand. NOTE: This is where a critique group comes in handy.

    4.  MC needs a compelling quality

    Like I said in the beginning, we want to make our MC interesting. Maybe they’re funny, smart or twisted. Maybe your MC has an unusual talent, skill, or quark. Whatever you choose, there needs to be a quality that makes a reader want to know more. Most times the thing that is compelling is also contradictory, making the reader want to know how these two things work together, thus hooking the reader.

    5.  MC has something to lose

    Just having a reason to act isn’t enough, so think about having your MC lose something that matters. This is a powerful motivating tool that will enable you to force your protagonist to do what he normally wouldn’t. You can have them take risks they would never take if there are consequences hanging over their head. This will make readers worry that your MC might suffer those consequences and lose what matters most to him.

    6.  MC should have something to gain

    An important aspect of the story’s stakes that’s sometimes forgotten or not thought through well enough is giving the MC something to gain. Readers want to see a protagonist rewarded for all their hard work and sacrifice, and a reason for your protagonist to keep going when everything says give up.

    7.  Give Your MC the capacity to change

    The sole of the story is character growth. It’s what turns it from a series of plot scenes to a tale worth writing. Giving your protagonist the ability to learn from his experiences and become a better (though not always) person will deepen your story. Your MC shouldn’t be the same person as they were when the story began.

    8.  MC needs an interesting flaw

    It is the flaws that make your MC interesting. Flaws let you show character growth and give your protagonist a way to improve themselves. Maybe your MC knows about this flaw and is actively trying to fix it, or perhaps he or she hasn’t a clue and change is being forced upon them. This flaw could be the very thing that allows your MC to survive and overcome the problems. Of course, it could also be the cause of the entire mess.

    9.  MC has a secret

    You don’t want your MC to be predictable – boring. A good way to keep your protagonist interesting is to have your MC hide something. Readers will wonder what that secret is and how it affects the story. Having your protagonist be a little cryptic, will keep your readers dying to find out.

    10. MC needs someone or something interesting trying to stop him

    Don’t forget that your protagonist needs an antagonist standing against him. The stronger the antagonist is that goes up against your MC, the more tension, suspense and victory you will provide for the reader. Give the reader a villain they will love to hate. The payoff will be keeping your readers turning the pages and reading into the wee hours of the morning.

    Do you have another tips for juicing up your characters? We’d love to hear it.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, article, How to, list, Process, revisions, Writing Tips Tagged: Juice Up Your Protagonist, Ten character Writing Tips, Writing compelling characters

    9 Comments on Ten Tips to Juice Up Your Protagonist, last added: 9/3/2014
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    17. Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With

    carly-watters-p-s-literary-agencyA few weeks ago, Agent Carly Watters on her blog talked about after you write a great manuscript, how does an agent decide to work with someone after that? She has seven tips.

    7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With by Carly Watters:

    1. Open to revisions

    Right away, I know if an author is going to be a fit for me based on how they react to revision ideas. Agents are looking for writers that are open to feedback and collaboration. If I gave you an R&R did you connect with my notes? Did you ask questions that take my notes from suggestions to big picture changes that make the novel better?

    2. Always wants to get better

    A line I like to use is “trust your future self.” What that means to me is if you can write good novel, you can write many more. Getting defensive about your novel means you are holding on to it when really you should be willing to let it go and work on the next. Agents are looking to represent authors for the long term, so what we need is the faith that you want to be the best writer, every time you write a new book. We know there will be ups and downs, but it’s that drive to succeed that will separate many writers from the ones that don’t make it.

    3. Treats assistants and senior industry members alike

    From time to time we get people who respond to our query letter auto-response with condescending and mean emails. It doesn’t matter who is on the other end of those emails, our principal agent or our assistant, you have to be friendly to everyone–not just the people who influence your career. Those mean emails just reinforce our decision to pass without a second thought.

    4. Asks questions

    I love it when authors want to know more about the process. Don’t be shy about wanting to know how the business works. Whether it’s a Twitter #askagent session or when you’re on ‘The Call’ with an agent, make sure you ask the important questions that help your understanding.

    5. Trusts us

    The number one way to work with an agent for a long period of time is trust. I know this isn’t built over night, but you have to trust your agent to have your best interests at heart. This is one of the most important long-term author/agent relationship requirements. Only query agents that you see yourself working with and that you already trust (whether it’s a referral, their taste or client list).

    6. Communication

    This is part of trust, but authors have to be up-front with agents. Did you self publish before? Have you had an agent before? Can you share your sales numbers from your previous book? It’s the little things that add up when it comes to communication. We need to know everything if we’re going to represent you well.

    7. Professional on social media

    As easy as it is for authors to Google agents to see if we might be a fit for you, when we fall in love with a query or manuscript the first thing we do is Google you back. What agents love to see on social media is a personality (not just link blasts). You don’t have to have a ton of followers (but points if you do!) to get our attention. It’s all about the balance between promotion and personality. We love it when authors are part of writing communities and support other authors. That means, when the time comes, those other published writers will support you too.

    You should check out Carly’s Blog: http://carlywatters.com/blog/

    PS Literary is looking for an intern. Carly has information about working remotely for them. If you have any aspirations to become a literary Agent, this would be something to consider.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, Agent, article, authors and illustrators, list, opportunity, Social Media, Tips Tagged: 7 Ways to Make Yourself an Easy Author to Work with, Carly Watters

    3 Comments on Agent Talk: 7 Ways To Make Yourself An Easy Author to Work With, last added: 8/10/2014
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    18. Amazon Strategies: Sales Page

    amazonsalespage

    If your book is up on Amazon, you can have an Author Page. This is another opportunity for you, so use it. Here are a few tips:

    1. Think of your book’s Amazon.com page as a ¼ page ad in a glossy magazine. You want to build excitement, hype, and the urge to buy rather than dutifully explaining your product.

    2. Watch out for typos and grammar, so you put your best foot forward. Make sure what is written makes sense. If you can’t write a good Author Page, most people will think you can’t write a good novel, either.

    3. Include review quotes. You want to draw someone into buying your book.

    4. Put up book trailers, interviews, and videos on your Amazon page.

    5. You can show recent blog posts and twitter entries.

    6. List places your events and the dates.

    7. Another thing you can do is to encourage a discussion with your fans on this page.

    Let’s take a look at Yvonne Ventresca’s Author Page:

    yvonneauthorpage

    Yvonne has included a lot of the tips on the above list, but I’d like to see her add a few quotes from reviews of Pandemic, a book trailer, and to work on getting a video interview she can put up on the page. Adding these things will maximize the free space Amazon has given her and help increase the sales of her new book.

    Good job, Yvonne!

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, authors and illustrators, Book, list, Marketing a book, Publishing Industry, Tips Tagged: Amazon Sales Page, Maximize Book Sales, Pandemic, Yvonne Ventresca

    2 Comments on Amazon Strategies: Sales Page, last added: 8/6/2014
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    19. Tracking Submissions

    HAVE A HAPPY PASSOVER HOLIDAY

    erikaphoto-45Tracking Submissions

    by Erika Wassell

    Polished manuscript?

    CHECK – one I’m proud of.

    Research?

    YUP – Found a few agents who are a perfect match.

    Query Letter?

    WRITTEN – Pitches my manuscript and myself.

    There it is …

    • THE SEND BUTTON – 

    My finger hovers on the mouse. Hesitation. I KNOW this is a worthy story but maybe I shou—– ACK! I’m doing it!

    CLICK. Message sent.

    So that’s it right? Wave goodbye and cross my fingers?  Not exactly.

    While I definitely support leaning back and letting out that breath you may have been holding, you still have another important step… tracking your submissions.

    First, the top three reasons WHY:

    1) So you don’t query the same agent without realizing it: How long to wait before submitting to an agent again is another topic. But you certainly don’t want to do it by accident! Repeat submissions can look very unprofessional.

    2) Follow Up: For many agents, no response, means it’s not for them. But in the research stage, you may find others that say at a certain point, it’s okay to reach out. Following up at the appropriate time shows that you’re dedicated and serious.

    3) In case you get a yes! The best reason of all!! If an agent or publisher is interested in your work, you will want to inform everyone else it’s currently out to. (A) Because it’s professional courtesy. And (B), it can drum up additional interest and lead to the sort of “bidding war” that every author dreams of!!

    Okay. So what exactly do I track?

    Here’s the HOW:

    My suggestion is use Excel. It’s easy to set up, and gives me data that is simple to keep track of, look back through and actually use – more so than the stack of scribbled on pieces of paper that form an ever-growing precarious tower next to my computer.

    Here are the eight column titles that I use when tracking submissions:

    First come the four most obvious: 

    Who: The name of the actual person I addressed the query letter to.

    Where: The name of the agency/publisher, including its website for easy reference.

    What: What manuscript did I send them?

    When: Exact date that I hit the all-powerful SEND BUTTON.

           These next four are not as obvious, but they’re JUST as important! 

    Why: A few notes about why the agent is a good fit for my manuscript, what interviews I read or what specific things made me query them.

    Wait time: What their estimated timeline is. Most places give you an idea of how long it may take them to look over your query and whether or not they will necessarily respond. I note things like “no means no, 6-8 months” or “will respond within 10 weeks”.

    Follow up: Often times, no response means not interested. But if I know someone is open to follow up, I make a note as to when to do that, and where I got the information. This way, in my follow up, I can say something like, “As per your interview with ____, I’m following up on the query I sent you three months ago.” IMPORTANT: When following up, I make absolutely sure that I don’t come off irritated. These agents work hard, and receive thousands of queries. I love when I’m able to follow up, so I make sure they know I appreciate the opportunity.

    Response: If I get a rejection, or any sort of response, I make a note of when I got it and what was said.

    It’s really just eight little columns in a spreadsheet, but it allows me to treat my writing professionally. I know what I’ve done, why I did it, and what I’m waiting on. And that’s really the best way to prepare for what I’ll do next.

    When I hit that at-times-OH-so-unnerving SEND BUTTON, I’m comforted in knowing that my manuscript still has a tie to me, right here in my tracked submissions and is not just disappearing into the world of Ethernet cables and fiber optics.

    I know your manuscripts deserve the same professional attention.

    Thanks Erika for the valuable post. Erika has agreed to be a regular Guest Blogger for Writing and Illustrating.

    Erika Wassall is a writer, a farmer and a liver of life. She is a member of SCBWI and a proud Mad Scientist, bringing science experiments right into children’s classrooms, and hearts. She has a small farm in New Jersey with sheep, chickens, pigs and vegetables. Check out her new website at www.TheJerseyFarmScribe.com where as a first generation farmer, she often takes the long way, learning the tricks of the trade on The Farm. On her website is also The Shop page with tips and a free Q/A from her husband’s mechanic shop, and The Writer page where she shares stories, experiences and characters from the heart. Follow her on Twitter at @NJFarmScribe. She’d love to hear from you!

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: Advice, article, list, Process, submissions, Tips Tagged: Erika Wassell, List of tips, Tracking Submissions

    6 Comments on Tracking Submissions, last added: 4/17/2014
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    20. Top Self published Books

    barbaraplane

    This high flying chick was sent in by illustrator Barbara DiLorenzo. Barbara was featured on Illustrator Saturday April 14th 2012. Click here to see her artwork and interview.

    Publishers Marketplace Reveals the Top 35 Self-Published Books

    1. The Fixed Trilogy, by Laurelin Paige  (Laurelin Paige; ISBN: 9780991379644)

    2. The Will, by Kristen Ashley  (BNID: 2940045582384)

    3. Reasonable Doubt, by Whitney G. Williams  (ISBN: 9780990317005)

    4. Mud Vein, by Tarryn Fisher  (BNID: 2940149516117)

    5. Ask More, Get More, by Michael Alden  (ISBN: 9781937110611)

    6. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith  (Adiva Publishing; ISBN: 9780982301821)

    7. Agnes Barton Senior Sleuth Mysteries (Books 1-3), by Madison Johns  (BNID: 2940148574064)

    8. Dangerous Dozen, by Charity Pineiro, Tina Wainscott, Maureen Child, Paige Tyler, Tawny Weber, Nina Bruhns, Virna DePaul, Karen Fenech, Kristin Miller, Gennita Low, Joyce Lamb, Maureen A Miller  (ISBN: 9780615971216)

    9. Chances, by Jackie Collins  (BNID: 2940014780711)

    10. Tempting Fate, by Vi Keeland, S.E. Lund, Penelope Ward, J.L. Mac, Julie Richman, Kahlen Aymes  (BNID: 2940149456109)

    11. Rebelonging, by Sabrina Stark  (BNID: 2940149195107)

    12. Unbelonging, by Sabrina Stark  (BNID: 2940148275213)

    13. Lost In Me, by Lexi Ryan  (ISBN: 9781940832920)

    14. Obsessed, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721601)

    15. Obsessed: Part Three, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721625)

    16. Obsessed: Part Two, by Deborah Bladon  (ISBN: 9780993721618)

    17. All Roar and No Bite, by Celia Kyle  (ISBN: 9781311031419)

    18. After the Ex Games, by J. S. Cooper, Helen Cooper  (ISBN: 9781940218175)

    19. 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith  (ASIN: B00I6W7O5S)

    20. Rook and Ronin, by JA Huss (ISBN: 9781936413393)

    21. Out of the Shallows, by Samantha Young  (BNID: 2940149401222)

    22. The Billionaire’s Obsession, by J. S. Scott  (J.S. Scott; ISBN: 9781939962010)

    23. When I Break, by Kendall Ryan  (BNID: 2940148290902)

    24. Lucky 7 Bad Boys, by Charity Pineiro, Sophia Knightly, Tawny Weber, Nina Bruhns, Susan Hatler, Virna DePaul, Kristin Miller  (Lucky Romance Authors; ISBN: 9780615955032)

    25. The Nelson Touch, by Christopher G. Nuttall  (ASIN: B00J6DKWSM)

    26. Plain Jane, by Carolyn McCray  (CreateSpace; ISBN: 9781452854342)

    27. Fated Mates, by Adriana Hunter, Liliana Rhodes, Lynn Red, A.T. Mitchell, Michelle Fox, Eve Langlais, Skye Eagleday, Tabitha Conall, Alexis Dare, Molly Prince, Georgette St. Clair, A.E. Grace  (Excessica; ISBN: 9781609827885)

    28. Mystery Spring Fling, by Gemma Halliday, Sibel Hodge, Kathleen Bacus, Christina A. Burke, Leslie Langtry, Aimee Gilchrist, Jennifer Fischetto, T. Sue VerSteeg, Maria Grazia Swan, Traci Andrighetti  (BNID: 2940045768450)

    29. Ultimate SEAL Collection, by Sharon Hamilton  (BNID: 2940149309016)

    30. Love and Danger, by Amy Gamet  (ISBN: 9780988218253)

    31. Dare to Desire, by Carly Phillips  (BNID: 2940149343454)

    32. The Virtuous Life of a Christ-Centered Wife, by Darlene Schacht  (ASIN: B00HZFSVLI)

    33. Knox: Volume 1, by Cassia Leo  (BNID: 2940149395767)

    34. Hardwired, by Meredith Wild  (ISBN: 9780989768429)

    35. Alphas After Dark, by Vivian Arend, Deanna Chase, Marie Hall, Crista McHugh, M. Malone, SM Reine, Roxie Rivera, Kit Rocha, Mimi Strong  (Bayou Moon; ISBN: 9781940299136)

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, list, News, Publishing Industry, Self-publishing, success Tagged: Publishers Marketplace, Top Self-published Sellers

    2 Comments on Top Self published Books, last added: 4/24/2014
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    21. The best and worst things about journalists

    By Tony Harcup


    Journalists are heroes to some and scumbags to others but the truth is that most are somewhere in the middle, trying to do as good a job as they can, often in difficult circumstances. That, at least, is the view of Tony Harcup, author of A Dictionary of Journalism. We asked him to tell us about some of the good – and not so good – things that journalists do. Do you agree with the below?

    The nine best things about journalists:

    1. We tell you things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know.
    2. Our default position is healthy scepticism.
    3. We know that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
    4. Our way with words translates jargon into language that actual people use.
    5. We juggle complex intellectual, legal, commercial and ethical issues every day, simultaneously and at high speed, all while giving the impression of being little deeper than a puddle.
    6. Our lateral thinking spots the significance of the dog that didn’t bark (noting in the process that Sherlock Holmes was created by a journalist).
    7. We speak truth to power (or, at least, we say boo to a goose).
    8. Our gallows humour keeps us going despite the grim stories we cover and the even grimmer people we work with (perhaps the most literal exponent of the art was journalist Ben Hecht who wrote the movies His Girl Friday and The Front Page about hacks covering a hanging).
    9. We identify with other journalists as fellow members of society’s awkward squad (which is why even those of us who have left the frontline of reporting and become “hackademics” still can’t stop saying “we”).

    Meet the press

    The nine worst things about journalists:

    1. We have a tendency to tell young hopefuls that all the quality has vanished from journalism compared to when we started out (journalists have been harking back to a mythical golden age for well over a century).
    2. Our scepticism can sometimes become cynicism.
    3. We routinely demand public apologies or resignations from anyone accused of misbehaviour (except ourselves).
    4. Our way with words is too often used to reduce individuals or communities to stereotypes.
    5. We have been known to conflate a popular touch with boorish anti-intellectualism.
    6. Our collective memory lets us down surprisingly often. (We won’t get fooled again? Don’t bet on it.)
    7. We are in danger of viewing the world through the eyes of whoever employs us, forgetting that, while they might hire us, they don’t own us.
    8. Our insistence that we are something of a special breed is a bit rich given that most journalistic jobs have more in common with The Office than with All The President’s Men.
    9. We eviscerate politicians for fiddling their expenses while celebrating hacks from the golden age (see no. 1) for doing exactly the same.

    Tony Harcup is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield. A Dictionary of Journalism, first edition, will be published 15 May 2014. It covers over 1,400 wide-ranging entries on the terms that are likely to be encountered by students of the subject, and aims to offer a broad, accessible point of reference on an ever-topical and constantly-changing field that affects everyone’s knowledge and perception of the world.

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    Image credit: Meet the press. By stocksnapper, via iStockphoto.

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    22. Kudos: Kirkus Review 2014 Nominees

    Last week, Kirkus Review put out a 27 page list of their 2014 Young Reader Book Nominees. They did a really good job of putting all the information about each one in an easy to use display. The link is at the bottom of this page. I took the books from the list that were written or illustrated by people I know for this post, but it is a great list to use to find books you might want to read.

    Kudos to all my friends who made the list below:

    SLEEPYHEADS by Sandra J. Howatt
    Released: May 6, 2014
    Reviewed: March 17, 2014

    Kirkus StarSLEEPYHEADS
    by Sandra J. Howatt, illustrated by Joyce Wan


    “A superb execution of soporific shapes and sounds perfect for the bedside table. (Picture book. 2-6)


    Sleepyhead readers explore a hushed woodland at dusk, where they discover animals nestled in their cozy places at bedtime. Read full book review >

    TEA PARTY RULES by Ame DyckmanReleased: Oct. 3, 2013
    Reviewed: Sept. 1, 2013>
    Kirkus StarTEA PARTY RULES
    by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K.G. Campbell


    “Strong storytelling, pacing, emotive illustrations that match the deceptive plot and an exuberant sense of fun make this little gem a winner. (Picture book. 3-7)


    What stops a bear cub from gobbling down a plateful of delicious cookies? Tea Party rules, of course! Read full book review >

    PETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO by Ammi-Joan PaquetteReleased: Oct. 8, 2013
    Reviewed: Aug. 21, 2013

    Kirkus StarPETEY AND PRU AND THE HULLABALOO
    by Ammi-Joan Paquette, illustrated by Joy Ang


    “Here’s hoping that there are more kerfuffles and shenanigans in the future for this undeniably delightful duo. (Picture book. 4-8)


    Quiet Petey and his devil spawn of a best friend indulge in a little chaos propelled by gleefully sesquipedalian writing. Read full book review >

    KING FOR A DAY by Rukhsana Khan

    Released: Jan. 1, 2014

    Reviewed: Aug. 31, 2013

    Kirkus StarKING FOR A DAY
    by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Christiane Krömer


    “This story soars. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)


    Set in Pakistan during Basant, “the most exciting day of the year,” this story focuses on the strength and resourcefulness of a child in a wheelchair as he navigates the skies at the spring kite festival. Read full book review >

    PANIC by Lauren Oliver
    THRILLERS

    Released: March 4, 2014

    Reviewed: Jan. 4, 2014

    Kirkus StarPANIC
    by Lauren Oliver


    “The only thing more terrifying than the game itself is not getting the chance to play it. (Thriller. 14 & up)


    Oliver makes a white-knuckle return to realism that will have readers up until the wee hours. Read full book review >

    LITTLE POEMS FOR TINY EARS by Lin Oliver

    Released: Feb. 11, 2014
    Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2013

    Kirkus StarLITTLE POEMS FOR TINY EARS

    by Lin Oliver, illustrated by Tomie dePaola


    “A tenderly crafted collection that captures the joyous individual moments of infant discoveries. (Picture book/poetry. 6 mos.-2)


    Twenty-three original, first-person poems for the very young. Read full book review >

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by H. Chuku Lee

    Released: Feb. 1, 2014
    Reviewed: Nov. 20, 2013
    Kirkus StarBEAUTY AND THE BEAST
    by H. Chuku Lee, illustrated by Pat Cummings


    “This lovely reimagining of an old tale affirms the browning of American’s contemporary young readership. (Picture book. 4-8)


    A brown-skinned Beauty—what a refreshing change! Read full book review >

    THE TORTOISE & THE HARE by Jerry Pinkney
    Released: Oct. 1, 2013
    Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013

    Kirkus StarTHE TORTOISE & THE HARE

    by Jerry Pinkney, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
    Released: Oct. 1, 2013


    “A captivating winner—start to finish! (artist’s note, design notes) (Picture book/folk tale. 3-6)


    With luminous mixed media pictures, a short, carefully meted-out text and a Southwestern U.S. setting, Pinkney (The Lion and the Mouse, 2009) takes on another of Aesop’s fables—marvelously. Read full book review >

    SUMMONING THE PHOENIX by Emily Jiang

    Released: April 1, 2014
    Reviewed: Feb. 26, 2014

    Kirkus StarSUMMONING THE PHOENIX: POEMS AND PROSE ABOUT CHINESE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

    by Emily Jiang, illustrated by April Chu


    “From the booming paigu to the delicate strings of the ruan, the lutelike pipa and the yangqin, or hammered “butterfly harp,” a lively medley that will expand the musical boundaries of most young audiences. (bibliography) (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-9)


    Thirteen young musicians of diverse ethnic background ready themselves to play their traditional Chinese instruments on stage in this informative and gracefully illustrated twin debut. Read full book review >

    THE GRUDGE KEEPER by Mara Rockliff

    Released: April 1, 2014
    Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2014

    Kirkus StarTHE GRUDGE KEEPER
    by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler


    “Wordplay and humor provide an effective vehicle for a valuable moral. (Picture book. 5-8)


    “No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except old Cornelius, the Grudge Keeper.” So begins this original fairy tale that provides a literal illustration of the idiom “holding a grudge.” Read full book review >

    THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Susan Jeffers
    Released: Oct. 1, 2013

    Reviewed: Aug. 14, 2013

    Kirkus StarTHE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
    by Susan Jeffers, illustrated by Susan Jeffers
    Released: Oct. 1, 2013


    “A whimsical, magical interpretation of a holiday classic, improved by the additional storyline and the charming narrator. (artist’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)


    Jeffers has created a lovely story incorporating the words of the old folk song with one important change: a clever substitution of Santa as the giver of all the gifts instead of the narrator’s “true love.” Read full book review >

    FIREFLY JULY by Paul B. Janeczko

    Released: March 11, 2014
    Reviewed: Jan. 15, 2014

    Kirkus StarFIREFLY JULY: A YEAR OF VERY SHORT POEMS

    edited by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet


    “Scintillating! (permissions, acknowledgments) (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)


    Choosing from works spanning three centuries, Janeczko artfully arranges 36 elegant poems among the four seasons. Read full book review >

    TWO BUNNY BUDDIES by Kathryn O. Galbraith

    CHILDREN’S AND TEEN
    Released: March 4, 2014
    Reviewed: Feb. 19, 2014

    Kirkus StarTWO BUNNY BUDDIES

    by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
    CHILDREN’S AND TEEN
    Released: March 4, 2014


    “Learning how to navigate the path of friendship is an important part of life, and these bunny buddies learn a lesson that is gently, beautifully shown rather than told. (Picture book. 2-7)


    In this simple but insightful story, two rabbits discover that lunch with a pal is more fun than eating alone. Read full book review >


    Don’t miss the full 27 page list. CLICK HERE FOR FULL LIST.

    Have you read any of the books? Do you know anyone whose book is listed? If so, give them a pat on the back.

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, Kudos, list, Publishing Industry Tagged: 2014 Young reader Nominees, Ammi-Joan Paquette, Amy Dyckman, Joyce Wan, Kirkus Review

    2 Comments on Kudos: Kirkus Review 2014 Nominees, last added: 6/9/2014
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    23. Fun – Cool – Interesting Words

    Author Tara Lazar posted a list of Fun Words on her blog. I have done a number of Word Lists on this blog, so as not to reinvent the wheel, I copied Tara’s list and deleted some words so you would have to visit her site. To the right of the column, I added some of my own fun words. I’m sure you have a bunch of words you could add. If you do, just leave them in the comments.

    Rainbow coloured swirl background

    All writers love language. And we especially love fun words, don’t we? Some have funky spellings, tongue-twisting turns, a satisfying “ooh”…and some sound too hilarious to be true! So I’ve put together a list of favorite fun words that I’ll add to periodically. Have fun, lexicon lovers!

    1. aficionado
    2. akimbo
    3. alfresco
    4. ambrosial
    5. anemone
    6. aplomb
    7. apoplectic
    8. appaloosa
    9.                                                  Arietta
    10. avuncular
    11. balderdash
    12. bamboozle
    13. barnstorming
    14. befuddled
    15. berserk                                    Bilge
    16. boffo
    17. bombastic
    18. boondoggle
    19. bozo
    20. braggadocio                            Brewski
    21. brouhaha
    22. bucolic
    23. buffoon                                    Buffoonery
    24. bulbous
    25. bumbledom
    26. bungalow
    27. cacophony                               Caboodle
    28. cahoots
    29. candelabra
    30. canoodle
    31. cantankerous
    32. caterwaul
    33. catawampus                             Chameleon
    34. chichi
    35. chimichanga
    36. claptrap                                    Clairvoyant
    37. clodhopper
    38. cockatoo
    39. codswallop
    40. comeuppance
    41. conundrum
    42. copacetic
    43. cornucopia                                 Coquette
    44. cowabunga
    45. coxcomb
    46. crestfallen
    47. cuckolded
    48. curlicue
    49. demitasse
    50. diaphanous                                 Diatribe
    51. digeridoo
    52. dilemma                                      Dilettante
    53. dirigible
    54. discombobulated
    55.                                                      Donnybrook
    56. doohickey
    57. doppelganger                            Drivel
    58. ebullient
    59. effervescence
    60. egads                                           Enchantress
    61. extraterrestrial
    62. finagle
    63. fandango
    64. festooned
    65. fisticuffs
    66. flabbergasted
    67. flapdoodle                                  Fledgling
    68. flibbertigibbet                           Floozy
    69. flummoxed
    70. fortuitous
    71. fracas
    72. frippery
    73. froufrou
    74. fussbudget
    75. gadzooks
    76. gallimaufry                                   Garantuan
    77.                                                         Giddy
    78. gibberish                                       Ginseng
    79. gobbledygook
    80. gobsmacked
    81. gorgonzola
    82. gossamer
    83. guffaw
    84. haberdashery
    85. harrumph                                     Harlet
    86. highfalutin
    87. hijinks
    88. hippocampus
    89. hobbledehoy                               Hobgoblin
    90. hodgepodge                                Hoedown
    91. hogwash                                      Hooey
    92. hooligan
    93. hootenanny                                Horsefeathers
    94. hornswoggle
    95. hubbub
    96. hullabaloo
    97. humbug
    98. humdinger                                  Huzzy
    99. huzzah
    100. hyperbole
    101. idiosyncrasies
    102. indubitably
    103. jabberwocky                               Jibber
    104. jitney
    105. juggernaut
    106. juxtaposition
    107. kaleidoscope
    108. kerfuffle
    109. kerplunk                                      Killjoy
    110. kismet
    111. knickerbocker
    112. knickknack
    113. kumquat
    114. lackadaisical
    115. lambasted
    116. lampoon
    117. limburger
    118. logjam
    119. logorrhea
    120. lollapalooza
    121. lollygag                                 Ludicrous
    122. lugubrious
    123. magnificent
    124.                                                 Magnum
    125. malarkey
    126. mayhem
    127. mellifluous                           Mealymouthed
    128. menagerie                            Melee
    129. milquetoast                          Mincemeat
    130. misanthrope
    131. mishmash
    132. mojo (character in THE MONSTORE) Motormouth
    133. mollycoddle                          Monkeyshine
    134. mulligatawny                        Niggle
    135. nincompoop                          Nitpicky
    136. nomenclature
    137. onomatopoeia
    138. oxymoron
    139. pachyderm
    140. palindrome                             Palooka
    141. panache
    142. pandemonium
    143. pantaloons
    144. parallelogram
    145. persimmon
    146. persnickety
    147. pettifogger
    148. phantasmagorical
    149. phylactery
    150. plethora
    151. pollywog
    152. pomposity
    153. poppycock
    154. potpourri
    155.                                                      Prattle
    156. quixotic
    157. raconteur
    158. ragamuffin
    159. rapscallion
    160. razzmatazz
    161. rejigger
    162. rendezvous
    163. resplendent
    164. ricochet
    165. rigmarole
    166. riposte                                       Rotund
    167. ruffian                                       Ruckus
    168. sabayon                                     Rumpus
    169. sassafras
    170. scalawag
    171. schadenfreude
    172. schlep
    173. scintillating
    174. scrofulous
    175. scrumdiddlyumptious
    176. scuttlebutt
    177. serendipity
    178. shenanigans                             Shindig
    179. skedaddle
    180. skullduggery
    181. smorgasbord
    182. sojourn                                     Soothsayer
    183. splendiferous
    184. squeegee
    185. squooshy
    186. staccato
    187.                                                     Stiletto
    188. superfluous
    189. Svengali
    190. swashbuckler
    191. swizzlestick
    192. synchronicity
    193. syzygy
    194. talisman
    195. taradiddle                                Teetotaler
    196.                                                    Teenybopper
    197. telekinesis                                Tenderfoot
    198. thingamabob
    199. thingamajig                             Tirade
    200. tomfoolery                               Tootsie
    201. trapezoid                                  Twadle
    202. usurp
    203. uvula
    204. verisimilitude
    205. vermicious
    206. vertigo
    207. verve
    208. vivacious                                      Voodoo
    209. vuvuzela
    210. wanderlust
    211. whippersnapper
    212. wigwam
    213. woebegone
    214. zaftig                                              Yakkity
    215. zeitgeist
    216. zenzizenzizenzic (yes, this is a word! look it up!)
    217. zephyr
    218. zeppelin
    219. zigzag                                             Zombie

    Here is the link to Tara’s list:

    http://taralazar.com/2014/06/09/list-of-200-fun-cool-and-interesting-words/

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: inspiration, list, reference, writing Tagged: Additional Words on List, Fun words, kathy temean, Tara Lazar

    6 Comments on Fun – Cool – Interesting Words, last added: 6/25/2014
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    24. YA Digital Book Publishers

    Here is a list of publishers who look to publish digital books. I thought you might like to keep this list for future reference, a good list to research. Note: The number of deals are only the ones reported to Publishers Marketplace.

    yadigitalpublishersyadigitalpublishers2a
    yadigitalpublishers3

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: list, Places to sumit, publishers, Publishing Industry, reference, Young Adult Novel Tagged: 2014 State of the Market Report, YA Digital Publishers

    3 Comments on YA Digital Book Publishers, last added: 7/22/2014
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    25. Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales

    Thought you might be interested in the information I presented at the “How to Sell More Books” Workshop I gave at the NJSCBWI Conference in June. You might want to use it as a general rule of thumb when checking out your book (on other books) on Amazon.
    amazon rank

    Talk tomorrow,

    Kathy


    Filed under: authors and illustrators, Book, demystify, How to, list, need to know, Publishing Industry, reference Tagged: 2014 NJSCBWI Conference, Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales, How to Sell More Books

    4 Comments on Amazon Ranking vs. Daily Book Sales, last added: 8/2/2014
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