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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Sara Crowe, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 6 of 6
1. The People Who Carry You

(Roman Holiday’s THE LONG WAY HOME, my anthem and TRACKED’s theme song, btw.)

This past week has been amazing, and I’ve been heartened by all the well wishes about TRACKED, but something’s been gnawing at me.

I didn’t do this alone.

I wrote a book, sure. I set out on a journey, but all along the way, there were people who picked me up when I fell down or got insufferably weary or couldn’t see my way through. There were people who carried me.

  • My husband, Chris, who always, always encouraged my crazy dream and put strong arms around me, protecting me from the relentless monster of self-doubt. When I thought about giving up, he bought me a Macbook and Scrivener. When I vowed to quit, the week before I sold, he told me I couldn’t, no way, no how.
  • My incredible agent Sara Crowe, who is tireless and responsive and so capable and kind. She is my champion, a true rock star agent who believed in me even when I couldn’t.
  • My editor Heather Alexander, the fiercely cool Penguin who saw something in Phee, my Han Solo girl, and took a chance on her.
  • My best friends Caron and Rosemary and Candy and Sally and Alex and Kate and Amber, and everyone at DFW Workshop who read book after book and who were never too busy to encourage or spur me on.
  • My family, who didn’t laugh when I said I wanted to be a writer, especially my father, who’s been with me the whole way, vicariously chasing the dream, getting just as choked up as his sentimental daughter.
  • My writing friends, online and off, who have been comrades in arms–Kendra and Bryan and Erin and April and Claire and Jamie and PJ and Janet and Julie and Lindsay and the Austin Girls and the Houston Horde and the DC Mafia so many, many more. If you’re reading this, the odds are good that you belong on this list, too. I haven’t forgotten that.
  • My first agent, Mary, who taught me so much, when I was just an embryo writer, still trying to find my voice.
  • Lastly, the infamous, mercurial Mr. Happenstance, who taught me that a good deal of luck–finding the right person at the right time–can make all the difference.

Thank you. Thank you for kicking me in the butt and inspiring me with your brilliance and saying kind things and tweeting me up. I can’t tell you enough how grateful and lucky that makes me feel. You’ve allowed me to be ridiculous and maudlin and silly, and now I get to celebrate and give you presents! So stay tuned, people of awesome, because I am already cooking up a MONSTER GIVEAWAY with lots of insanely rad prizes–a menagerie of carefully curated ‘must haves’ I know you’ll wantsssss, PRECIOUSSSSSS.

Until then, tell me. I’d love to hear about the people who carry YOU.


Filed under: TRACKED, Uncategorized, Writing Tagged: Dial Penguin, Grateful, Heather Alexander, Jenny Martin, Jenny Martin Writer, jmartinlibrary, people of awesome, Roman Holiday, Sara Crowe, THE LONG WAY HOME, Tracked, Writer Encouragement

2 Comments on The People Who Carry You, last added: 9/8/2012
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2. In Which I Go into Shock: A.K.A THE BOOK DEAL

Guys.

GUYS. I AM HAVING AN UGLY CRY ABOUT POSTING THIS AND I AM STILL IN SHOCK AND I CAN’T STOP SHOUTING IN RANDOM CAPS-LOCKY WAY BECAUSE…

My agent sold my debut. Our first book deal. 

(C’mon. I know you want to sing along with me.)

I can’t believe this is happening. And if you are my twitter friend, or my IRL friend, or my I-haven’t-met-you-yet friend, you may or may not know how daunting and scary and wonderful my writing journey has been so far. Whatever the case, thank you for sharing this moment with me. I love you for it. I would hug you very tightly right now, if you were here. I would ugly cry on your shoulder, and you would get impatient and tell me to stop being so maudlin and so silly, and I would listen to you. But just for a minute. Then I would start acting like a sentimental nincompoop again because…

One of my childhood dreams is coming true. I WRITE BOOKS AND SOMEONE BELIEVES IN THEM AND SOMEONE WANTS TO PUT THEM OUT INTO THE WORLD. I AM A PENGUIN.

I am so incredibly happy and lucky to be able to write that. I have so many people to thank (My family! My fabulous agent, Sara! My dream editor, Heather!). I have presents to give. I have (not very) gory details to share. But that is another post, one I’ll be writing soon. For now, thank you for reading this and being my any kind of friend. It means a lot to me.

TODAY

TOMORROW


Filed under: Writing Tagged: Book Deal, Dial Penguin, Heather Alexander, Jenny Martin, Publishers Marketplace, Sara Crowe, Tracked, Writing, YA novel, Young Adult Books

10 Comments on In Which I Go into Shock: A.K.A THE BOOK DEAL, last added: 9/8/2012
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3. Top Ten Reasons DFWcon 2012 Rocked Like Grohl

I belong to a great writers’ workshop, and we put on a writers’ conference every year. And this year, DFWcon melted my face off like Dave Grohl rocking during a Foo Fighters’ encore set.

Lemme give you 10 reasons why:

1. I met my agent, Sara Crowe, in person, for the first time ever!!! She’s so phenomenal in eleventy-billion ways, and hanging out with her all weekend just confirmed them all. I had so much fun gabbing and getting into shenanigans. (In-N-Out Burgers! Panel Discussions! Bull-Riding at Billy Bob’s!)

2. I met many other publishing professionals, and it turns out that PR genius Mer Barnes, and super agents Sarah LaPolla and Jennie Goloboy are just as crazy cool as you’d expect. (Psst…they aren’t bad at Texas two-stepping either.) And editor Stacey Barney? When she talks about YA, drop your fork and take notes. Her taste in good books (and dessert) is impeccable.

3. Alec Shane is at Writers’ House. He’s also a former Hollywood STUNTMAN. Dude. Fo Realz. He might not have an official action figure, but hey, google his IMDB page. Then award 1,000,001 street cred points for appearing in a flick called MAXIMUM CAGE FIGHTER. And award another 1,000,001 points for championing boy YA books. (Note to self: Write heartbreaking, edgy YA about a seventeen-year-old mixed martial arts master. Who cage fights. In Post-Apocalyptic Detroit.)

4. There’s a coffee shop in Hurst called ROOTS. They make blackberry green tea Chai lattes. That taste like warm blackberry cobbler. Don’t tell me how many calories are in a Venti. I don’t want to know.

5. Author Rosemary Clement-Moore is a perfect hotel roommate. She doesn’t snore, she doesn’t hog all the hot water, and you can totally pick her brain at 1:00 a.m.

6. Kate Cornell is the world’s best agent wrangler. She gets your agent coffee, packs a mean conference survival kit, tells perfect anecdotes, and absolutely, positively doesn’t hold it against you when you have to drive back to Abuelo’s and kidnap her because you couldn’t figure out the right exit to get to the airport.

7. DFWcon attendees are charming and sweet and 100% inspiring. When you teach a session, they don’t heckle you and they ask great questions. When they practice pitch you, they blow you away with high concept premises (Hey, Sally Hamiltinez!) and well-developed ideas. (Hello, MR. SECULAR APOCALYPSE, I’m talking to YOU.)

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4. Writing Young Adult Books Class: Meet the Special Guests!

I have news! The University of Texas at Arlington contacted me about developing/teaching a few courses for writers. This spring, I’m teaching Writing Young Adult Books. You do NOT have to be a UTA student. Anyone can enroll.

The class will run for five sessions, Monday Evenings from 7-9 p.m. CST.

Session one: April 30th
Session two: May 7th
Session three: May 14th
Session four: May 21st
Session five: June 4th (No class on May 28th for Memorial Day).

Basically, during the class, I’m sharing every secret I’ve ever learned about writing, querying, revising, landing an agent. And here’s the thing…You won’t just be learning from me and from the other students in the class…You’ll be learning from some amazing industry pros!

Check out these STELLAR SPECIAL GUESTS!
GWEN HAYES lives in the Pacific Northwest with her real life hero, their children, and the pets that own them. She writes stories for teen and adult readers about love, angst, and saving the world. Gwen’s first novel, Falling Under, was released in March of 2011 by NAL/Penguin and followed up by the sequel, Dreaming Awake, in January of 2012. She is represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. You can find her at http://www.gwenhayes.com/

Gwen will be sharing her expertise in creating chemistry between characters!

Jeff Hirsch is originally from the suburbs just south of Richmond, VA. Growing up, he always knew he wanted to do something artistic but it wasn’t until he started writing poetry and short stories in Junior High that something really stuck. Jeff  graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with an MFA in Dramatic Writing and is the author of The Eleventh Plague and Magisterium (Scholastic).  He lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife. Visit him online at www.jeff-hirsch.com.

Jeff will wow us with his expert skills in writing taut action with emotional intensity!

Kiera Cass is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives in Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. Her fantasy novel

4 Comments on Writing Young Adult Books Class: Meet the Special Guests!, last added: 4/2/2012
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5. Gnomes in the Garden


One week ago Saturday, I stepped into a Story Garden. Immediately, like magic, roots grew down into the ground, connecting me to a rich substrata of writers, editors, agents, all with amazing stories to tell. As I wandered the Story Garden (known to some as the SCBWI Western Washington Writing and Illustrating for Children Conference) flowers of every sort shot up out of the ground at my very feet. I watched with amazement as one particularly bright colored blossom (Genus Lainius taylorus, fuschia petals, quite lovely) began to speak. Wondrous tales of a circus troupe within her very being, struggling to emerge, wove a spell around all of us in the Story Garden, prompting great excitement at the possibilities for each of us, ready to bring forth our own fruit.

As the day wore on, and we were watered, fertilized and shone upon by Master Gardeners Jay Asher, Peter Brown, Edward Necalsulmer IV, Jordan Brown, Lisa Graff, Paul Rodeen, Michael Bourret, Sara Crowe, and so many others--voila! We bore fruit. Many of us scurried to secret corners, to quickly capture those first buds of a new story, the tentative tendrils of a plot twist.

No garden is quite complete without a Garden Gnome, and by early afternoon, our very own gnome appeared (see above), cheering us on, giving bits of writing advice to each of us who captured him before he disappeared back into his own hidden garden, once again to write.

And now each of us have returned to our own secret gardens, treasuring all we brought back from that magical weekend, seeding our own stories to bloom in due time.

Watch our gardens grow!

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6. One Illustration Reverie; Two Real Deals


What does this short animated clip have to do with John Singer Sargent  or children’s book illustration?

A quoi ca sert l’amour,  a short animation by Louis Clichy, with thanks to illustrator  and animation/game artist Amanda Williams for finding this.  She called  it “brutal and adorable.”

If a child-friendly story had illustrations with these lines — and visual characters as memorable as these,  and color the way John Singer Sargent used it in his painted scenes, it would be some picture book, right?

I’m assembling my fantasy football — I mean  illustration project  — team here.

So, starting with the cartoon: What makes these stick figures tug at your emotions as they do?

The honesty? That we know these people? And been these people?

The “simple” (but oh-so-sophisticated) graphics with their varied perspectives and 360 degree “camera revolutions”?

All the fast cutting and surprise transitions?

The song? Edith Piaf’s and Theo Sarapo’s singing?

The subject?

Could some of this aplomb be translated into picture book illustrations?

Are these enough questions for now?

OK,  so let’s add some color and texture.  John Singer Sargent had a knack  for these.


Thanks to Chicago based painter Raymond Thornton for finding this.

I know.  Sargent is the painter who gives all other painters inferiority complexes.  We don’t now a lot about how he made his palette choices. (We know that he looked carefully.)

So enough with dream teaming. We’ve got some housecleaning items today.

Two powerhouse chapters of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) have announced their 2010 pow-wows — both set for early next year.

It’s Time to Mingle in Texas

Awesome Austin

Austin SCBWI comes first with Destination Publication featuring  a Caldeecott Honor Illustrator and Newberry Honor Author, along with agents, editors, more authors, another fab illustrator, critiques, portfolio reviews and parties.

Mark the date – Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  Get the full lowdown and the registration form here. Send in your form pronto if you’re interested — more than 100 people have already signed up. Manuscript crtiques are already sold out. But a few portfolio reviews are still open at this writing!

Destination Publication features Kirby Larson, author of the 2007 Newbery Honor Book, Hattie Big Sky and Marla Frazee, author-illustrator of A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, which received a Caldecott Honor Award, and more recently All the World penned (all 200 words of it) by Austin’s own children’s author/poet Liz Garton Scanlon.

Frazee teaches children’s book illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.  She and Scanlon plan to talk about their collaboration. You can read wonderful essays by them on this very topic here.

All the World" by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

"All the World" by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Frazee

The  faculty also includes: Cheryl Klein, senior editor at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, Lisa Graff, Associate Editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, Stacy Cantor, Editor, Bloomsbury USA/Walker  Books For Young Readers, Andrea Cascardi agent with Transatlantic Literary Agency (and a former editor), another former editor, Mark McVeigh who represents writers, illustrators, photographers and graphic novelists for both the adult and children’s markets,  and agent Nathan Bransford.

The conference also features authors  Sara Lewis Holmes, Shana Burg, P. J. Hoover, Jessica Lee Anderson, Chris Barton, Jacqueline Kelly, Jennifer Ziegler, Philip Yates,  and illustrator Patrice Barton.
Read more about everyone here.

Happenin’ Houston

Houston SCBWI has announced the (still developing)  lineup for its conference just three weeks after Austin’s:   Saturday, February 20, 2010.  Registration is NOW OPEN.

It headlines Cynthia Leitich Smith, acclaimed author of short stories, funny picture books, Native American fiction, and YA Gothic fantasies,   Ruta Rimas, assistant editor Balzer & Bray/HarperCollin, and Patrick Collins, creative director at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Collins art directs and designs picture books, young adult novels and middle grade fiction.

Among the recent picture books he has worked on:  Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?, Old Penn Station and Rosa, which was a Caldecott Honor book.

The conference also features Alexandra Cooper,  senior editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Lisa Ann Sandell,  senior editor at Scholastic Inc., and Sara Crowe, an agent with Harvey Klinger, Inc. in New York.

You can download Houston conference info and registration sheets from this page.

No, you don’t have to be Texan to register for either of these big events. You just have to be willing to get here for them.

Remember that just about any SCBWI conference or workshop is a great education for a very modest investment.

* * * * *
Speaking of  great educations for a very modest investment,  Mark Mitchell, author of this post and host of this blog  teaches classes in children’s book illustration at the Austin Museum of Art Art School and online. Learn more about the online course here — or sample some color lessons from the course here.

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