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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Mindy Klasky, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. Ypulse Essentials: 85% Of College Grads Move Home, ReachOut Reads, Pharrell Joins Karmaloop TV

It’s graduation season, and what will college students (be doing now that they’re leaving school? 85% are moving home with mom and dad, according to one study. Sorry, IKEA, but next quarter isn’t looking so good. What other options... Read the rest of this post

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2. Mindy Klasky Tests ‘Reader-Supported Serialized Novel’

Author Mindy Klasky is testing a “reader-supported serialized novel” model with her new book, Fright Court. The author will publish her novel by chapters online, asking for PayPal donations at the end of each post.

Donors will receive a variety of gifts, ranging from a magnet to a personalized signed poster of the Fright Court book cover. Klasky has already published several books through traditional channels.

Here’s more about the book: “Sarah Anderson has found her dream job: Clerk of Court for the District of Columbia Night Court. Dream job, that is, until she’s attacked in the open courtroom by a vampire defendant. And until she’s forced to take self-defense lessons from her boss, the enigmatic vampire James Morton. And until she learns that she can’t share the truth about any of that with her best friend, Allison Ward – even over delectable cupcakes from the Cake Walk bakery.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. Long Overdue Thanks - to Teachers!

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of six fantasy novels, including the award-winning, best-selling The Glasswrights’ Apprentice and numerous short stories. Her latest trilogy, The Jane Madison Series, chronicles a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

I remember all sorts of things about school.  I remember stomping through puddles on rainy days, so that our socks got wet enough that we were allowed to go barefoot for the rest of the day.  I remember elaborate games that we played during recess, involving imaginary horses, pirates, and the occasional masked superhero.  I remember birthday parties and other special celebrations, where we kids devoured cupcakes and juice and ran around on sugar highs.

But most of all, I remember my teachers.

I remember Mrs. Robinson, an ancient woman (she might have been all of 50!) who welcomed me to kindergarten.  Within a week of class, she had me reading, sounding out the words in our giant “textbook.”  (I can still picture her finger under the “m”, which was drawn to look like two little mouse bodies next to each other.  I can see her pointing to the “g”, which was shaped into a girl (her ponytail formed the curlicue at the top of the letter in the formal typeface.))

I remember Mrs. Nesbitt, who first asked us to keep a journal, in second grade.  She told us that she wanted us to write every day - something, anything.  She promised that she would never read the pages; she would just check to see if we had held up our end of the bargain. I wrote my first poems in those journals, and I started any number of short stories.

I remember Mrs. Dolan, who insisted that we were old enough to read The Hobbit in fifth grade, despite parents who thought that the class was over-reaching.  That book led me on to The Lord of the Rings, and my love of the fantasy genre.

I remember Mr. Foxworth, in seventh grade, who guided us through Frankenstein.  My eyes were truly opened to symbolism, to themes in writing.  (I also learned that a movie is never a substitute for a
book.)

I remember Mrs. Vaux, my twelfth grade creative writing teacher, who said that she knew I’d be writing in the future.  At the time, I didn’t appreciate the certainty behind her words.  I didn’t realize that she was balancing a dozen misfits in her class, finding time to reach out to each of us in a unique way, in a manner that gave us confidence to continue the projects that we began.

There were other teachers, too - men and women who taught me proper grammar, who made sure that I knew the basic canon of American and English literature.  Because of those teachers, I became an English major, and ultimately a librarian.  Because of those teachers, I became a novelist.

Did any of your teachers reach out to you, when you were in school?
Can you trace who you are today to any specific educator?

1 Comments on Long Overdue Thanks - to Teachers!, last added: 5/7/2009
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4. Wish Upon A Book

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of six fantasy novels, including the award-winning, best-selling The Glasswrights’ Apprentice and numerous short stories. Her latest trilogy, The Jane Madison Series, chronicles a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

When I was a child, my parents told me that books could take me anywhere I wanted to go.  Books were like magic lamps, filled with genies just waiting to grant wishes for me.  I could travel as far as Narnia as I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, or I could stay as close as my own backyard, reading through the field guides of Herbert S. Zim, searching for the birds and insects and other creatures so painstakingly drawn in those pocket books.

My short stories and novels allow me to continue studying the power of wishes.  I can explore what the world would be like if witches truly did have powers to work their spells in the suburbs of Washington, DC (the Jane Madison Series).  I can play with forces of nature, extrapolate how priestesses could harness the age-old wisdom of their predecessors through an ancient, all-observing tree (Season Of Sacrifice).  I can study the high points and low points of human nature when children are used as political pawns, fighting to do what is good in kingdoms where evil is all too common (the Glasswrights Series).

In my most recent books, though, I can explore the power of wishing much more directly.  Kira Franklin, the stage manager heroine of How  Not To Make A Wish, finds a magic lamp that contains a wish-granting genie.  She wishes her way into a production of Romeo and Juliet, thinking that her professional and personal lives will never be better.  Only then does she discover that some wishes are much more complicated than she’d ever envisioned.

Playing with Kira and her magic lamp allowed me to consider what I would wish for if a genie ever manifested in my home office.  (More bookshelves might be the first order of the day!)  I’ve considered gifts that I would give my family and friends.  I’ve thought about treasures I would seek for myself.

I’m collecting wishes, to include on my website in October, when the As You Wish series officially launches.  Tell me your wish in comments below, and I’ll include it on my website!  (Don’t be shy – I won’t be including names!)

0 Comments on Wish Upon A Book as of 9/2/2009 5:58:00 PM
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5. With Only One Wish…

How Not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of ten novels.  Her most recent release, HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH, launches the As You Wish series, which chronicles a mischievous genie and his effect on various theatrical productions and the people who run them.  Mindy also wrote the Jane Madison series, about a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers that she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

Last week, my newest novel hit the stands.  HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH is the story of Kira Franklin, a stage manager for a down-and-out dinner theater.  When Kira discovers a wish-granting genie in a magic lamp, her entire life is turned upside down.  I had a lot of fun writing Kira’s story, but it was challenging to come up with some aspects of her world.  No, it was easy enough to depict Minneapolis, a city where I lived for several years.  And it was easy enough to show how staging plays works – I spent a lot of time as a stage manager in college.  Specifically, it was challenging to come up with limitations on the magic in Kira’s world.

How do genie wishes really work?  Why doesn’t everyone just wish for more wishes?  Why doesn’t everyone wish for infinite money, which would make a lot of other wishes come true?  World peace, perfect health for everyone, the end of hunger – why not just embrace those possibilities and make them real?

In Kira’s story, the genie offers some very good reasons.  (Short version:  the genie has an attention-span problem.  Major wishes take major time to implement, and the genie can’t concentrate for long enough to complete the task.)

Nevertheless, when writing the book, I started to wonder what small time-limited wish could have the broadest impact on society.  My thoughts were gelled when I watched a segment on CBS News Sunday Morning, about long-time adult illiterates who found the courage to step forward and learn to read.  Every single one of those adults said his or her life changed radically, once they overcame a lifetime of hiding their inability to read.

People often ask me what I would wish for, if I only had one wish.  I have a whole long list of selfish things that I want.  But, if I were making a wish to better the world, I’d ask for everyone to be able to read.  (And if they chose to read my novels, well, so much the better!  ::grin::)

How about you?  What would you wish for?

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6. Writer Conferences – Why Bother?

How Not to Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of ten novels. Her most recent release, HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH, launches the As You Wish series, which chronicles a mischievous genie and his effect on various theatrical productions and the people who run them. Mindy also wrote the Jane Madison series, about a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers that she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

When I was a lawyer, I attended conferences regularly, to keep up to date on developments in the legal field, thereby avoiding legal malpractice.  When I was a librarian, I also attended conferences, to learn about new technology, new trends in customer service, and to reinforce my worth to my attorney-clients, helping them to avoid legal malpractice.

But why should I go to conferences as a writer?  Especially when I no longer have an employer paying my way?  Especially when every day that I spend at a conference talking about writing is a day that I don’t actually spend, you know, writing?

The first – and by far most important – reason to go to a writing conference is to visit the people.  At a writing conference, I can talk about the joys and jeremiads of a full inbox, and all the people around me understand.  I can discuss the terror of staring at a blank computer screen, and people share their strategies for coping with their own horror-inducing screens.  I can grumble about deadlines and or chatter about goals and aspirations, and every single person in the room has something to contribute, sharing their stories about the same.  A few business meetings take place at conference — I can see my agent and my editor face to face, conveying my excitement about current and upcoming projects.  Also, my closest writer friend is still the first one that I met at my first conference – there’s some bond there that can’t be broken.

The second reason to go to a writing conference is to attend structured programming.  At most conventions, there are panels where writers discuss specific topics for an hour or more.  I’ve attended panels to learn about new trends in my genres, about historic works in my field, about tangential scientific or social developments that relate to my books.  More often that not, I dig out my notebook during panels, sketching out new ideas for short stories or novels, inspired by the speakers.  Many conferences include other types of programming — readings (where authors read from recent work, which often results in my purchasing too many new books!), autographing sessions (where I can get those new treasures signed), and special sessions (such as one memorable “poison tasting” seminar, where an author used different brands of chocolate to encourage sensory analysis, all the while promoting a book about a woman who serves as a nobleman’s poison taster.)  Structured convention programming feeds my mind with new story ideas.

The third reason to attend a writing conference is to learn more about the place where the conference is held.  I’ve had the opportunity to explore major cities while attending conferences — Atlanta, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto….  The list goes on.  Leaving the convention hotel and getting out to the “real world” reinforces the power of the convention itself.  I can visit museums or simply people watch, and more story ideas flow, triggered by the swirling thoughts already stirred up by the conference.

Do you attend conferences for your job or your hobby?  If so, what do you get out of them?

4 Comments on Writer Conferences – Why Bother?, last added: 11/12/2009
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7. New Beginnings

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of six fantasy novels, including the award-winning, best-selling The Glasswrights’ Apprentice and numerous short stories. Her latest trilogy, The Jane Madison Series, chronicles a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

January is the classic time to make resolutions, to set goals, to build new ways of living for the fresh year.  This January, however, I find myself facing a tremendously exciting possibility that is totally, completely, one hundred percent beyond my ability to control, no matter how strict I am with resolutions:  the transition of my Jane Madison series of books (Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft, Sorcery and the Single Girl, and Magic and the Modern Girl) from novel to film.

Many authors dream of the day that Hollywood comes knocking.  We imagine sitting on sets, watching our favorite actors take on the roles that we originally created.  We dream of red carpet premieres, with searchlights sweeping the skies.  We crave glory, fame, and a golden Oscar.

The reality, of course, is a bit different.

I first learned that a producer was interested in acquiring the Jane Madison rights by email.  Okay, by email, voice mail, and by (missed) IM - I was out of town, and my agent was desperately trying to reach me with the great news.  When I finally connected up with him, he gave me all the details:  a producer for a small studio had found Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft at her local bookstore.  She read it.  She loved it.  She wrote him the sort of glowing letter that warms the cockles of any author’s heart.  And she offered to “option” the “property.”  (Those words!  They sounded so glamorous!   So Hollywood!  Right away, I felt an overwhelming urge to have my people call her people…)

After the initial rush of excitement wore off, we settled down to the hard business of reducing dreams, hopes, and expectations to stark legal language.  I worked as a lawyer before I became a writer, and I’ve read through my fair share of contracts.  I pored over the producer’s words, nit-picking here, asking for clarification there.

My agent consulted with colleagues, to make sure that we were getting the best possible deal.  We pushed on some points; we caved on others.  And after weeks of negotiating, we ended up with a signed, sealed, and delivered agreement.

TwinStar Entertainment has optioned all three volumes of the Jane Madison series.  They have paid me a (relatively) small amount of money to reserve the right to turn my librarian-witch novels into a television series, a made-for-TV movie, or a major motion picture.

They have one year to decide if they’re going forward with the project.  At the end of a year, they can “re-up” for another year, paying me another (relatively) small amount of money.  If, at any time during the term of the contract they decide they will produce the TV series or movie, then they pay me an agreed-upon sum, and production goes forward.  I have very little say about how the stories are adapted for their television or movie life.

It all sounds so simple.  So easy.  As if I could wake up, set my Tivo, and record my novels-turned-to-blockbuster-movies any day now.

Of course, fame and fortune are never easy.  The vast majority of projects that are optioned never get made.  Those that do get made often change the names of characters, or change the circumstances of the plot, so that they’re only vaguely recognizable, compared to the original novels.  Successful, accurate, enjoyable adaptations are remarkable because they are so rare.

And yet, I find myself hoping.  And waiting.  The first option year expires in the spring of 2009 - I’ll learn then whether the production company is going to exercise, extend, or abandon its option.  It’s hard to type with crossed fingers, but I manage to do so - hoping, all the time, that Jane Madison will make her transformation to a screen near you!

I don’t promise to have answers, but feel free to ask questions about this deal in the comments!

Happy New Year -
Mindy

1 Comments on New Beginnings, last added: 1/7/2009
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8. The Shared Bookshelf: A Foundation For A Long and Happy Marriage

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of six fantasy novels, including the award-winning, best-selling The Glasswrights’ Apprentice and numerous short stories. Her latest trilogy, The Jane Madison Series, chronicles a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I essentially renewed our marriage vows:  after almost six years of happily wedded bliss, we combined our books.  Both Mark and I are avid readers.  We have always loved owning books, going back to them for frequent re-reads, for consultation on specific lines that we partially remember, for reference to precise character descriptions and plot twists.  His office and my office are filled with bookshelves - a total of 11 (and that doesn’t count the three gigantic built-in bookshelves upstairs!)

I learned a lot in our little marital exercise.

First, we had surprisingly few duplicate books.  There were a handful of exceptions (most notably, The Lord of the Rings - we own a surprising total of four complete copies!) and we both had copies of some “English-major” books (Twain, the Brontes, Hawthorne, Hemingway)- novels that we’d originally been required to read for high school or for college.  We both had extensive collections of popular fiction (mysteries, fantasy, science fiction), but our favorite authors varied enough that there was almost no duplication.  Sure, the public library gained a few bags of books for its ongoing book sale, but not nearly as many as I expected.

Second, we own a *lot* of mass-market paperbacks.  (Mass markets are the standard size of paperbacks, as compared to the larger, usually- more-literary “trade paperbacks.”)  That’s not totally surprising (see note above - we both had extensive collections of popular fiction), but it did pose a challenge for organizing our shelves. Mass markets don’t use bookshelf space very efficiently - they are too short and too shallow to get the most “bang” for the bookshelf “buck.”  We solved the problem by pulling out all of our mass markets, placing them in a separate set of shelves, stacking them from top to bottom, two deep, in alphabetic order by author’s last name.  The arrangement isn’t as convenient as traditional shelving, but we could fit in more than four times as many books.

Third, we now have a gigantic new “library” in our home.  I knew that Mark’s books were there before, and I’d perused “his” shelves occasionally in the past, looking for something specific.  Now, with the books organized in alphabetic order (except for those mass markets!) “his” titles seem to jump out at me more.  They issue louder invitations to be read.  I could easily curl up for months and months and months, just reading through books I didn’t even know we owned.

We didn’t combine everything.  Mark still has a separate stash of baseball books, and volumes about music and musical performers.  I still have my reference books on the Middle Ages, and I have a few shelves of my beloved children’s books (especially Caldecott winners!)  But for the most part, our books now live together as happily as we do.

So?  How about you?  Have you ever combined books with a sibling or a roommate or a partner or a spouse?  What did you learn from the exercise?

5 Comments on The Shared Bookshelf: A Foundation For A Long and Happy Marriage, last added: 3/18/2009
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9. Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

Guest blogger and First Book supporter Mindy Klasky is the author of six fantasy novels, including the award-winning, best-selling The Glasswrights’ Apprentice and numerous short stories. Her latest trilogy, The Jane Madison Series, chronicles a love-struck D.C. librarian who discovers she’s a witch. Visit www.mindyklasky.com to learn more about Mindy’s work and her support of First Book.

“Once upon a time….”
“Call me Ishmael….”
“In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit….”

Those are all great beginnings.  Classic beginnings.  Beginnings that call out to the reader to turn the page, to soak up one more paragraph, another chapter, an entire book at one sitting.  (Okay, maybe not the “Ishmael” one - I don’t think anyone has ever managed Moby Dick in one sitting.)

But beginnings don’t come easily.  In fact, I spend more time thinking about (worrying about, changing, modifying, adapting — see how challenging this choosing of words can become?!?) my opening sentence than I do any other sentence in my novels.

And I’m totally preoccupied with an opening sentence now.  I’m hard at work (or, rather, hard at not-quite-working-yet-on) my latest genie novel.  I know the characters, their plot, the complications that I’m going to toss in front of them.  I just need that perfect starting point.

I think about opening lines as I’m trying to fall asleep.  Often, I find inspiration in that hazy, misty place that lies between wakefulness and sleep.  Alas, the ideal turn of phrase, the one that I could never forget because it’s just *so* perfect, the Platonic ideal of a title, sometimes get swept away by dreams.  But I try to take comfort in my belief that a truly great opening line will survive that assault; it will last until morning.

I’m still considering a few different options for the as-yet-unnamed novel.  (Yeah, that’s another thing I need to meditate on before falling asleep - naming this baby!)  What are your favorite opening lines?  And why?

9 Comments on Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…, last added: 4/4/2009
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