Please note that I have consolidated blogs at http://franslayton.livejournal.com/
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Okay, I have to blog about Book Blogger appreciation week, which is September 15-19. Since I don't really read anything else on the internet except book blogs, I figure I have a moral and internetinal obligation to participate. I'm supposed to put a button on my blog to participate, but I am technologically cro-magnon, so here is the link:
Go check it out!
And three cheers for all the kidlit bloggers out there! You make my life interesting (and impossible to keep up with!)
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Well, I have some news! The title of my book is changing to WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS (changed from How To Stop a Moving Train). The cover is being re-designed, too (I'll post it as soon as I get my little paws on it!). While I loved the old title and cover, I am VERY excited about the new one because it is the result of much discussion by the wonderful folks at Philomel Books/Penguin and it feels great to have a title and cover that people care so much about!
Apparently, title changes prior to publication aren't all that uncommon. And I guess that's not surprising when you figure how many people can be involved in the process of choosing a title - the author, editor, editorial assistants, sales and marketing folks, all sometimes in consultation with reviewers, librarians, teachers and others in the publishing industry. Lots of room for variation of opinion. But it makes it all the sweeter when a great decision is made!
More exciting news . . . some preliminary feedback is starting to come back on my book - and it's great!
Which leads me to mention another really cool thing about being a debut author: new and interesting and often very cool things can happen on any given day. For me, that translates into living in a constant state of hope. Sometimes, I know what I am hoping for -- good reviews, for example. But sometimes I don't even know some things are even possible. And so when these previously unknown things happen, it just increases the wonderful feeling of hope. And it starts feeling like anything can happen. At least, that's what I'm choosing to believe!
One more thing before I close - a children's lit blogger is trying to raise awareness of the situation in Darfur. Please check out her website and leave a comment -- she's donating money for every comment she receives on her site during the month of September. Check it out here: http://blog.mawbooks.com/2008/08/30/the-big-announcement-is-here-reading-blogging-for-darfur/.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Emily Platz is a Teen Services Librarian at Farmington Library in Farmington, Connecticut. Within the past year she has begun to use Facebook as a method of providing library services to local teens. I thought that was a simply brilliant idea, and asked Emily if she would mind being interviewed about it here on my blog.
Q: How long have you been a Teen Librarian?
Emily: I have been a Teen Librarian for 9 months.
Q: Why did you decide to use Facebook to promote programs at your library?
Emily: I decided to use Facebook to promote programs at the library for several different reasons. I have my own Facebook account and use it to stay in touch with my friends and family. I use my own facebook account to organize parties and trips with my friends as well. It has always been very easy to create an 'event' on facebook and let all of my friends know what is going on and where. I had also read a lot of literature about different libraries using social networking sites to intercept teens and introduce them to library services. I felt that it would be really easy to create a Library Facebook page, befriend the teens that are in the library already and use that medium to tell them about programs, events and special activities at the library.
Q: When did you start your library Facebook account?
Emily: I created my library facebook page about a month after I started working at the Farmington Library. I spent the first month of my job talking with the teens who use the library everyday and observing which sites they preferred to use. I noticed that the teens who used the library were on facebook and not on the other social networking sites so I decided to create a facebook account. I would have created an account with whatever social networking site they used most.
Q: What were your hopes and goals for your Facebook page?
Emily: My hopes in using Facebook to reach teens has expanded as new applications have become available to use. I started by creating my page and befriending the teens who were always in the library. I then expanded my network by befriending their friends and other teens from the local high school. I believe that many of the teens accepted my friendship because I had introduced myself in class visits and had told them to watch out for a friendship request from the Farmington Library.
Q: Can you describe exactly what you use Facebook for at your library?
Emily: Once I had built a large group of friends, I started using Facebook to post events which would inform the teens of different activities going on at the library. I found that this worked well to let them know when programs would take place and what to expect. As I had more programs and used Facebook more I began posting photos from the programs and events on my facebook page. I found that many of the teens loved to check my page and tagged themselves in the photos.
Through programs and personal interactions with the teens at my library I also let them know that they can Facebook email me any questions they have about the library. After spreading the word about 'Facebooking' me library related questions, I started to get all sorts of reference questions via facebook. I get 2-5 reference questions a day ranging from putting holds on items for teens to questions about homework resources. I was getting so many reference questions, that I installed the 'Social I.M.' application to add instant messaging chat to my Facebook account. Now I open my Facebook account when I am on the reference desk and can chat and provide reference services to teens via their Facebook accounts.
The final thing that I enjoy doing via Facebook is sharing book reviews with other teens. During the school year, I have several teens who enjoy sharing their opinions with others by making 3-5 minute videos about books, movies or cd's. We use Mac computers with built in video cameras to take the videos, we edit them using the Apple iMovie software and upload them to YouTube.com. From there I can embed the videos on our teen blog, http://farmingtonlibctteen.blogspot.com/, on my facebook page and on our website. This has been a really popular way to spread news about great books!
Q: How have the students responded to your Facebook efforts? How have other teachers responded? Has it made your life as a librarian easier?
Emily: It has made my job as a teen librarian much easier! I find that I get the best attendance for events when I post them on Facebook. It has definitely saved me lots of time and effort when trying to let teens know about what is going on in the library. The teens have really responded to my Facebook account. Every time I log on to Facebook and read my notifications, emails, notes, see that I have been tagged in pictures or answer an I.M. I know that I am reaching a segment of the population of Farmington that might not be receiving library services otherwise.
Q: What’s been the best thing so far about using Facebook at your school?
Emily: The best thing about using Facebook at my library is that I am reaching new teens everyday that have never even set foot in the library. I have made many teen friends through facebook that had not ever used the library before I befriended them and after they started receiving news about library programs and other services they started using the library! That is what makes me most excited about using Facebook and other social networking sites, it allows me to reach many people who might not have known about my services otherwise.
Thanks, Emily, and thanks for sharing your innovative way of reaching teen readers!
If you’re interested in seeing Emily’s work firsthand, pop over to Facebook and send Librarian Emily a friend request:
Happy Reading (and Writing!)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Okay, here is PART I of my report on what it was like to attend my very first ALA conference. This post answers (or starts to answer) the following question:
Q: For a debut author, is it worth it to attend ALA a whole year before your book even comes out?
A: Absolutely, positively, and without hesitation: OH YEAH!
First off, I was able to spend more time with my editor than I ever expected. (Note: I had contacted her ahead of time to see if coming would be okay, which was an important thing to do. It gave her a heads up that I’d be there and allowed her to find time in her schedule for us to meet. Plus, I was able to ask her opinion on whether going would be a worthwhile thing to do before I made the decision to spend the money to attend.)
Anyway, my editor – Patti Gauch -- was so wonderful. She scheduled time to show me around the Penguin booth, and introduced me to Eve Bunting and several editors, authors and amazing Penguin marketing gurus, all of whose names I immediately forgot because I couldn’t believe that I had just met Eve Bunting! It was quite the out of body experience – looking at myself from the outside, seeing myself meet Eve Bunting, and thinking “wait, is this really happening to ME?”
In my defense, let me say two things about my being a bit star struck: first, I am normally horrible with names, even on a non-EveBunting kind of day. And second, I am normally not a star struck person at all. We see famous folks in my hometown all of the time and they don’t usually make me look twice. They’re just people, right?
So what made this so different for me at ALA? Well, for starters, I don’t really watch TV all that often, so regular “celebrities” just don’t usually push that “wow” button for me. But at ALA, these people were all authors and publishers of BOOKS, and let’s face it, THAT is exciting!
But the real reason (if I’m brave enough to admit it to you) is this: my dear editor said a couple lovely things about my writing. Out loud. To other people. Truly, I was not prepared for the possibility of this. Much less its emotional impact. (I guess I should mention that at times I am still a little star struck by my editor!) It was exciting. It was terrifying. I felt like jumping up on one of the tables and just screaming at the top of my lungs – WoohooWoohooWoohoo! And then I just plain forgot the appropriate way to receive a compliment. I suddenly didn’t know what to do with my hands. Or where I should point my eyes. I feel sure I blushed. Heck, I was lucky I didn’t pass out! It was a little like being in seventh grade again.
So here’s what I learned from that: there is some emotional territory that comes with being a new author that I haven’t really anticipated until now. When my book comes out, it will be reviewed. People will talk about it. People whose opinions I respect. And I’ll read and hear what they are saying. And it may be that they are saying “this is the best thing since sliced organic baguettes.” Or they may say “this is worse than reading the ingredients on the Wonder Bread wrapper.” The emotional and psychological landscape surrounding either response to my writing is fraught with danger as far as I’m concerned. Relying on praise from others is dangerous: besides making a person forget what to do with her hands, it can cause a swelled head, writer’s block, fear of failing, or an unhealthy reliance on the opinions of others. On the other hand, internalizing too much harsh criticism potentially brings on other issues: feelings of defeat, desperation, dejection; anger; depression; angst.
What’s a new author to do?
Here’s the deal, I think: I’ve gotta learn to detach myself from both praise and criticism before the time comes for either. I need to center myself before the emotional storm is upon me when my book is released and reviewed. I need to make a quiet place for myself to be recollected to something greater than both praise and criticism. A place of shelter. A place of reason. A place of peace with my own abilities, weaknesses, hopes, and dreams with regard to my writing.
And here’s the real deal: I can only find that place inside myself.
I’ve found this place before in other areas of my life – when I was a prosecutor and then as a legal publisher. I’ve also done it regarding my personal value system and my own spirituality. But I haven’t done it yet with my writing. I guess the time has come – I need to.
I don’t think I would have ever thought about all this right now, this early, if I had not gone to ALA this year. We go through a lot as authors. ALA helped me see some of the things I’ll be facing in the future. One very good reason to go a year early.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This month’s Carnival of Children’s literature is all about fathers. Lately it’s been a subject near and dear to my heart, so I thought I’d chime in.
Sounder, by William H. Armstrong, is one of my top five favorite books of all time. It impacted me deeply as a child by bringing me to a time and a circumstance I’d never known before. And once I entered in, it never let me go.
It’s about a boy and his father who is in prison, their dog, injustice, and education. It is also about love and loss and loyalty and time. On one level it is a very simple story – father goes away, father is loved and missed, father comes home.
But it is much deeper than that – it is about the passage of time; the permanence of the bond between a father and his child; and the ache – and even the painful growth - that can happen when they are separated. Ultimately, fatherhood creates a relationship that can never be broken, no matter the time that goes by, no matter the lost years, no matter the pain.
Another of my all-time top five books is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Strangely enough, here too the father is missing and his daughter desperately longs for him to return.
Hmmm, two out of five of my all-time favorite books are about absent fathers. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why my own first book is about the grandfather that I never knew. My grandfather died when my dad was only 16 years old, and the fact of his death early in my father’s life has always been a tender spot for me. My father has been so important in my own life, it is hard for me to imagine how hard it must have been for my dad to lose his father so early.
It’s also been a source of sadness to me that I never got the chance to meet my grandfather. All my life, I’ve seen the love in my father’s eyes whenever he mentions his dad. I think my grandfather must have been quite a person. Maybe he’s where I got my nose, or my hair, or some of my, um, more mischievous qualities!
But in writing How To Stop a Moving Train, I think I was able to bridge the sadness of not knowing my grandfather by “meeting” him, in a sense, as I created the character – W.P. -- that bears so many of the qualities I imagine he had. And in getting to know him, I’ve found that I not only miss him – I love him, too.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Well, school is out and vacation time is upon us. Last weekend I broke out of Virginia with mi familia to attend the FL SCBWI Conference in sunny (and HOT!) Orlando. It was fantastic! I got to meet Nancy Springer (a fella Philomel Books author) and Michael Stearns (Firebrand Literary) who both sat with me at the writers intensive: a day-long opportunity for critiquing fun.
I have to admit that on the long drive down to FL I began to wonder if it could be possible that I'm "outgrowing" writers intensives. After all, I have two great critique groups and a wonderful agent - what more do I need? But when I arrived in Florida my wonderings ceased. I got so much out of hearing fresh critiques - different viewpoints are so, well . . . different! And hearing those different views helped reenforce how very subjective this whole publishing business is. This is good, encouraging news, methinks. Subjectivity means that even though 20 editors passed on that piece you love, the 21st just might snatch from your dreams and make it real. All you need is one, baby! Sorta like true love.
Plus, at the writers intensive I was able to try out a rhyming picture book of mine that I have a soft spot in my heart for, and I am happy to be able to report that there really IS something of a poet in me! I got rhythm! I got music! (Who could ask for anything. . . well, it might need a little more plot. Or heart. Or something. But hey, I got plot and heart and all kinds of different somethings coming out of several of the various holes in my head . . . it'll get there.)
But even more than getting feedback for my own work, what was really great for me about the writers intensive was hearing other people read their work. There are some really, really awesome authors out there in SCBWI, who just haven't been discovered yet. But they will be one day, and it's fun for me to think that I might have been there "at the beginning," as they say.
That sort of happened with me and Ellen Hopkins (author of Crank, Burned, Glass and the upcoming Identical, which is going to just rock the book world when it's released!). Ellen was there in early 2005 when I ventured up to NYC to my very first SCBWI conference ever. She heard me read my work out loud at a critique table for the very first time. I mean to ANYONE. I was pretty sure I was going to faint! Anyway . . . fast forward three years and last weekend, she was in Orlando with me at the FL SCBWI Conference, rooting for me (as always - thank you, Ellen) with the knowledge that my first book (the one she heard me read in 2005) is coming out next year with Philomel. Things have a way of coming full circle, sometimes. Pretty dang cool.
And all that was just the writers intensive day! Saturday was the actual conference. If you ever have the chance to go to the FL Orlando conference - do it! They break down into separate tracks for picture book, middle grade, YA, mystery and humor. I chose the middle grade track, which had an author (Bruce Hale), an editor (Andrea Tompa, Candlewick), and an agent (Michael Stearns, Firebrand Literary). The other tracks were equally star-studded. Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld, Florida's RA, and her wonderful crew of volunteers really outdid themselves.
And finally, I had the great opportunity to meet two writers I'd only previously known online: Mindy Alyse Weiss and my fella Class of 2k9 debut author, Danielle Joseph. Mindy is a friend from Verla Kay, and a really nice person to boot! The first page of her novel got some seriously great feedback at the conference! Danielle's novel, Shrinking Violet, is coming out in 2009 and after meeting her I can't wait to read it! Mindy and Danielle and their SCBWI friends were so warm and welcoming to me while I was in Florida, it was almost like coming home.
Actually "coming home" is a phrase I might use to describe my whole writing journey thus far. It is warm and wonderful, like falling into the embrace of someone I love. It feels like it's where I'm meant to be.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Well, I have my 15 minutes of fame! I spoke on a panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book last month, and the discussion was captured on audiotape and is now available on the Virginia Festival of the Book's website: http://www.vabook.org/index.html/ ! (It's under the "Listen To Events" section of the website).
The topic of the panel was "Opening the Vein: Pouring Life into Writing," and I am the first speaker after the initial introduction.
I think I have a little practicing to do for any Oscar acceptance speeches that might be in my future, but overall I'm pretty happy with how things went. Although I do have to say that having my words memorialized online for anyone to hear is, well . . . weird.
Anyway, if anyone wants to take the time to listen, I'd love to hear what you think!!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I had the fantastic opportunity to meet our new Ambassador for Children’s Literature, Jon Scieszka, at my friend Joan Kindig’s house yesterday. What a fun time! Joan was kind enough to tell him that I had a book coming out, so we talked shop a bit and I got his opinion on my current burning question: should I go to ALA this year when my book doesn’t even come out until 2009? He said GO!
Now, I’ve been asking a lot of people this question lately, and I’ve heard a wide variety of answers. Some say go for sure. Some say nah, probably not worth it. And some fall somewhere in between. The huge bonus for me about Jon Scieszka saying “go” without qualification is that now I have a HUGE tool to rationalize going in my back pocket. No matter the benefit, no matter the cost – an AMBASSADOR has said that going is worth it. And how, my friends, can I argue with that?
Besides getting all chatty with Jon, I was able to get The Stinky Cheese Man (no, I didn’t already have it, and yes I am embarrassed about that fact) and his new Trucktown book. Both signed, My daughter was THRILLED with Trucktown. She was even able to read the words “smash” and “crash” throughout the book, which was huge fun for both of us.
By the way, can you say “Trucktown” 50 times fast? Jon is going to be doing 50 books in this series over the next 3 years! WOW! And there’s also going to be a Webkinz-like product for at least some of the characters in the book.
I tried to imagine some of the characters in my MG novel as Webkinz, but stopped when I got to the corpse in my first chapter. Maybe not such a good idea.
I think the biggest thrill of meeting our new Ambassador was this: he’s truly got a great sense of humor (hey, he laughed at some of my jokes so IMHO the guy’s a freaking laugh riot – or was he just being polite?), and we need humor to reach kids in the literacy arena. Kids will want to read when they connect reading with fun. And I sure had fun yesterday, which reminded me that not only should kids have fun reading, but authors should have fun writing, too. And that was a fun thing to remember.
So thank you, Mr. Ambassador – I salute you! [Insert raspberry here]
Sunday, April 13, 2008
So, I promised to tell you how I moved through my recent “freaked out” feelings about book marketing.
Well, a big chunk of it was going to my friends on Verla Kay’s website. The writers there are extremely generous, and they shared lots of wonderful insights about how they keep it all balanced. At least sometimes!
The three biggies that helped me were these:
1) Have a schedule.
2) Do the book marketing tasks that you enjoy. (And don’t do what you don’t!)
3) Realize that some books get lots of publicity and tank anyway, and some books get no publicity and go on to greatness. And often it doesn’t have much – if anything – to do with the author’s marketing efforts.
That last one really got to me, in a good way. It made me realize that while I want to do my best – to give my first book my very best shot – in the long run it really isn’t all about me. In some ways, it’s just about my book – it’s written, and it’s going out in the world and hopefully some kid will love it the same way that I loved Sounder or Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, or A Wrinkle in Time. It’s the fact that I wrote it that is the most important thing. And in other ways, it’s not even about that much – it’s just gonna be what it’s gonna be. And that’s okay.
This new attitude of mine doesn’t mean that I’m going to let up on publicizing my book
– I do feel my efforts are important on some level. But realizing again that it’s not “all about me” lets me take myself less seriously. It will be okay. No matter what happens.
So I’m pleased to report to you that I’ve re-gained my sense of humor on the other side of all the angst.
(Now, will someone please remind me about all this the next time I get all freaked out?!)
Friday, April 11, 2008
Well, I told you I learned my lesson that I should post a blog entry on a regular basis – remember? But I guess I really didn’t learn my lesson, because it’s been a couple of weeks since my last entry. So what have I been doing?
Doing Edits. And Freaking Out.
Let’s start with the fun stuff – the edits. I really, really enjoyed doing them. They were what I call “substantive edits,” although I’m not sure that’s exactly the term the publishing industry might use. I was doing some cutting, working on the pacing, fixing the language here and there, and reading the whole thing out loud, which to me is a joy! I love reading out loud – not just my own work, but anything. There are things about language and pacing that you can only understand when you read the words out loud. I have to admit I especially like doing it with my own work, because the rewards are instantaneous. It’s like fixing wrong notes in a piece of music – you can hear the difference.
A Word on Cutting When Editing.
I feel like this go around, I finally was able to cut some slow parts – some of my “little darlings” – and finally get rid of them. It’s a hard thing to do, to lay the ax to that turn of phrase that’s just so fun but really irrelevant to moving the plot forward, and in fact slows it down. I don’t think I’m perfect at it, but I felt like this time around something clicked in me that allowed me to do it better than I have before. At least, I hope so!
The Freaking Out Part.
Okay, now the freaking out part. I was freaking out about marketing my book. I’ve been doing a good bit of talking to other authors lately, and at some point the whole marketing thang just overwhelmed me.
There Are So Many Things You Can Do To Promote Your Book:
blog, have a newsletter, have a website, join a co-marketing group, do MySpace, do Facebook, join Twitter, read other people’s blogs, join innumerable listserves (those for writers in general, for your genre, and for your niche markets), join Jacketflap, join Shelfari, figure out all the social websites like Diggs, Technorati, etc., make postcards, figure out who to send them to, make bookmarks, figure out where to store them, make business cards, and hope someone will want one someday, do school visits, learn more about literacy, read Hornbook, read Publisher’s Weekly, go to ALA, go to BEA, figure out all of the other librarian, teacher, bookseller and writer conventions you can possibly go to, wonder how to contact booksellers, figure out your blog tour, wonder how to approach online kidlit reviewers without making a fool of yourself, consider bribing all your friends for fantastic Amazon reviews, realizing said bribes don’t work but not understanding quite why, not to mention learning about search engine optimization, book trailers, and how to use online videos in a way that flatters (ha!). . . oh, and try to remember people’s names as you do all this.
Are you crazy with me yet? I can go on. But I won’t bore you. (Or at least I won’t continue to bore you!]
I’ll just tell you I’ve found a little peace in the storm. And I promise to tell you about it . . . next time! (Hmmm, let’s see – does it have to do with drawing boundaries? Setting limits on, say, how much time I spend on all my marketing efforts?! As Bugs Bunny would say, "Could be, Wabbit!")
Monday, March 24, 2008
Well, I’m signing my first book contract today! Hooray!
One thing I was surprised to find out about the publishing business is that contracts don’t always come in the mail the day after the BIG phone call. It can take weeks or even months for them to come. Who would’ve thunk?
Friday, March 21, 2008
Okay, as promised, here is installment 1 from the Highlights Foundation’s "Life in the Spotlight" workshop led by Indiana Professor of Journalism Peter Jacobi.
First, let me say that if you have a chance to go to a Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop – GO! Do not pass go, do not collect $200 – just get yourself there. Set in the Pocono Mountains, Honesdale, PA is an oasis of children’s book and magazine publishing just about 2 ½ hours from the hustle bustle of New York City. It’s a place to get away from it all in your own little cottage – a lovely place to read, write, learn and make friends. Simply top notch in every way.
And the FOOD! My goodness, the food is unbelievably wonderful. Don’t even get me started! Suffice it to say that meals are prepared by Marcia, who won the highest award at the Culinary Institute of America at the time she was graduated. WOW. I’ve really been missing Marcia since I came back home . . .
Anyway, the workshop, oh yes. It was great! We started with a tour of Boyds Mills Press and Front Street. There we met a number of the editors on the Highlights magazine staff as well – a sort of "nice to get to know you" kind of tour. The next morning SCBWI NJ Regional Advisor Kathy Temean presented just about everything you’d ever want to know about websites and web marketing. Kathy has her own web consulting business – Temean Consulting, http://www.temeanconsulting.com - for those of you looking for a web designer. I took about a jillion notes and came away with my head spinning as to the number of things I can do to promote my book on the internet.
First and foremost – have a website! You should register your domain name and possibly other sub-domains to help people more easily find you. You’ll also need to determine your web host. I looked around a lot before I committed. If you google "best web hosts" you’ll find lists where several organizations have rated web hosts based upon various criteria. I use IX Web Hosting because they have 24/7 help and because if it doesn’t work out I could get my money back. (But hey, it’s working out!) Another thing you might want to consider when deciding on a web host is whether you’ll be using their template to design your site, whether you’ll be using a web designer, or whether you’ll be using third-party software to create your site. If you are planning to your web host’s template, be sure you check it out first and feel comfortable that it will give you what you want. Many web hosts allow you to test drive their templates before you sign up.
One bit of important information Kathy Temean passed on to us is to develop a signature for your emails that helps promote your book and your website. Sign your name, but also add your book title and website link so that every email you send helps people find you (and your book). I developed a new signature as soon as I got home. It’s taking a little getting used to, I have to admit – makes me feel like a bit of a "self-promoter." I’m not sure that it’s perceived that way, though. And I’m certain it’s helpful, because I always love being able to link to another person’s site when I’m interested. I’d love to hear what others think about it.
One benefit of using a web designer is that a good one also understands how to market your website once it is online. They know mystical things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), meta tags, meta robots, meta keywords, and how and where to submit your site to search engines. Of course, you can always do a little reading and learn something about these things on your own!
Another thing Kathy had us consider is print promotional materials. Once my final artwork is done for my book cover, I plan to talk to Kathy about designing a school visit brochure. This kind of brochure can be invaluable when you go to conferences where lots of teachers may be gathering.
And of course, new authors (and gee, old ones too!) should have a business card to pass out, containing at the very least your name and website information. I also plan to have the cover art and title of my book as well.
A lot to do? Sure seems that way! But it’s kind of fun, too. And definitely a learning experience!
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008
You might remember from Monday that my answer to "What do you do when you're sick, but your edits are due?" was this:
Monday, March 17, 2008
Okay, I know I promised the lowdown on the Highlights Foundation workshop I attended two weeks ago - and I will do it, I promise!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I am VERY excited to tell you that I will be a member of the Class of 2k9!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I have been at a Highlights Foundation workshop (yes, it's put on by the Highlights Magazine folks) for the past week. Almost phoneless. Almost email-less. I've realized how addicted I am to the internet!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Website Ballet. As promised, here's a little information on website design. Folks in the business (a big thanks to SCBWI member Seth Wood!) say that readers viewing websites unconsciously prioritize what they see on a website in a Z pattern. That is, they see top left first, then top right, then bottom left, then bottom right. As so:
Monday, February 18, 2008
I can't believe it, but I finally have a website! I've only been working on it since, oh, the beginning of November so it's pretty exciting to finally have something out there actually breathing in the cyber world!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
They always say you have to start somewhere, so I guess I'll start at the beginning. July, 2006. I was unrepresented by an agent; I was about 70 pages into my book; I'd never finished writing a novel before; and I was enrolled in the Sierra Nevada SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) mentorship program with the amazing Ellen Hopkins as my mentor and the wonderful Suzy Williams as Regional Advisor.