Have a wonderful weekend! Miss you guys!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
But more on that later ...
Today I'm super excited to have the fun and sweet LIZ FICHERA here in celebration of her women's novel CRAVING PERFECT, which debuts today! This book sounds so so fun. Here's a blurb:
Is that a great cover or what? I love it!
I was lucky enough to snag Liz for a few questions. Plus, to help celebrate the day, I'm giving away a copy of Craving Perfect to someone who leaves a comment here. Just make sure you leave your email with your comment.
Without further ado ...
*** Thanks for being here today, Liz! Tell us about what inspired CRAVING PERFECT.
(PK note here) Always makes me feel better when I know how hard other authors have worked.
You can find CRAVING PERFECT for sale here.
Thank you so much for stopping by here on your special day, Liz! And thanks to all of you who have joined us! Liz is an awesome blogging friend, so don't hesitate to stop by her blog and say hello there too. I know I'm excited to read CRAVING PERFECT. How about you?
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I can cover that much, no problem. But what is it about peeps that make them unique? I mean, we're all likeable in common ways (mostly). But we're far from carbon copies of each other. It made me start thinking of myself and how I am unique. I've come to the conclusion that it's my alter ego. You know, that little entity all its own that lives inside your brain and tries to take over and make you do stuff from time to time?
Okay, now I sound like a mental patient. lol
But if you know anything about alter egos, you know what I mean. I was able to identify mine long ago, and I even have a name for it. I call it Indy Morrison. One half Indiana Jones; One half Jim Morrison. It's a mischievous combination, and I can pinpoint when its's giving me an itch to do something. Especially, now that I'm a mom, I have to keep that alter ego in a straight jacket. No more traipsing around the world writing poetry and socializing with the locals for this lady. Not til the kids are grown, anyway. :p
But the reason I bring this up, is because it got me thinking that maybe the key to a strong, unique character is defining what their alter ego is. Knowing what makes them do the things they do, or even just why they WANT to do the things they do. The alter ego isn't something you'd ever even mention in the story. I certainly don't go around talking about Indy Morrison like it's a second personality. lol. That's a good thing.
But knowing it's there helps me associate why I get these urges to do crazy things. Perhaps, giving our characters silent alter egos that emerge only at times in the story when it seems appropriate, we can make them unique. Or if it be a villain, maybe their alter ego of Mother Teresa will be their flaw. lol
We could really get creative with this.
What about you? Ever tried something like this? Do you have an alter ego? Have you gone so far as to name them? Or am I the only basket case out here? lol
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This week we've posted queries and given and received feedback and, wow! So much awesome support is pouring in. If you're in the query phase and want to see some prime examples of great queries that have been tweaked, primped, and plumed, check out the list of bloggers on Deana's site and hop through all the talent.
I think I've actually got mine to the point I'm satisfied with it. You can see it right here. Or click to the link under My Pages on the right. I'm still open to suggestions so feel free to comment on that post.
I've posted on queries plenty of times and there are guidelines EVERYWHERE on dos and don'ts. But when it comes down to the actual query, we really need other eyes to point out areas for improvements. You can still participate with the other Gearin' Up events this month. Just hop on over to Deana's blog and see what's going on. It's a great group of bleeps there, all passionate about their stories and about finding the right agent.
How about you? Are you in the query phase?
Monday, July 18, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
I am no different than so many others who have been inspired to take up the keyboard and write after reading the HP series. I've been writing stories since I was a child, but it was after reading the HP series that I realized I really could pursue it. JK Rowling's imagination and creation opened doors and windows for peeps all over the world, inspiring us to tap into our own creative storehouses.
I love the fact this series has been a companion to so may readers around the world. I also love the fact it was written by a penniless woman--a single mother who had a vision. It gives me chills and it gives me courage. And it proves that children and adults alike can spot quality, regardless of how many pages it is.
So, in honor of Harry Potter, I leave you with a contest going on right now, through the end of this month over at Lisa Galek's blog. Enter to win some great prizes! But first, you'll need to know what house the sorting hat would put you in. I, myself, was placed in Hufflepuff.
First go here to answer some questions and be placed into a house. Then, click on the pic below to enter the contest for some HP swag.
Best of luck! Thanks so much for stopping by. Tell me how the Harry Potter series has influenced or inspired you! Please share ....
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I've asked Karen to share with us her path to publication for her memoir, Following the Whispers. Thanks for being here today, Karen. Take it away ....
Please leave a comment for Karen, and one lucky winner will win a copy of this inspiring story!
Thanks for being here today, Karen! We all wish you mucho success with your story! :) And thank you, readers! You make everything worthwhile.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Needless to say, there's a whole lot happening right now. But finding retreat in the blogosphere is a welcome relief.
Congrats to SHARI BIRD who is the random.org winner of the Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading from my last blog post. Yay for Shari!!
I mentioned a few posts ago about the SCBWI regional workshop I went to, and wanted to leave you with a few notes I took while I was there. I sat in on the MG track with author Gordon Korman and kid lit agent Joanna Volpe.
** Gordon, who's been writing since age 12, made a comment that resonated. He mentioned how most writers think they have to write from experience, but how really, writers should be writing from observation as well. Makes a lot of sense, and I think most of us probably do that anyway.
** Gordon had us do an exercise where we wrote an action scene that involved these three things: a situation, something that goes wrong in that situation, and how the character (s) get out of it. Pretty basic stuff. But you should have heard some of the scenes writers whipped up in ten minutes time spontaneously.
** Joanna talked about pacing and how every scene must move the story right to the next. If you can remove a scene without cutting any pertinent info to the plot, do it.
** Joanna also discussed plot and how all story lines must tie together. She broke it down like this:
E = emotional plot P = action plot S1 = subplot one S2 = subplot two
They must intertwine to create the story as a whole.
The start of the story should deal with feelings of the character's current situation.
The first change in the story, or Gateway 1, must bring about a point of no return.
She also mentioned how:
* we should NEVER write to the trends
* pay attention to chapter books and YA
* know what types of voices kids are responding to
* writing for kids means your story has to heave HEART. It should be tried and true. MG is different from YA in that younger tweens believe they can change the world.
* in every MG story, there must be something the MC has learned
* coincidence in a story weakens the plot. Every occurrence and MUST feel authentic to the story.
* looking for how to market your book? Try BalkinBuddies.com
* kids get involved in stories when the stakes are high
* editors need a BIG story with high stakes and lots of suspense
Something else Gordon mentioned was how, as writers, it's important to step out of our comfort zones in order to push ourselves to our optimum performance. I couldn't agree more. Every time I try a new genre, I amaze myself at what I can do, even though I was certain I couldn't make it happen before writing the first draft.
Gordon also said he likes to imagine the toughest, most self-proclaimed non-reading kid out there with piercings and green hair and scowling face, and write the story for him. LOL! What a great way to taunt our muses into creating something spectacular!
Have a wonderful weekend!
What about you? Have anything to add? Is there something you've learned about writing over the last few weeks that you really liked? Please share ....
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
"If my book inspires just one kid to become a reader ... that's one too many." Charlie Joe Jackson.
Okay I LOVED this book! Seriously, I breezed through it in a day and had to read parts of it aloud to my husband. Let me just tell you a little about Charlie Joe: he's a middle grade student who's smart and has a lot of spunk ... and he's this HUGE Beatles fan (which I think is so super cool), BUT ..... he hates to read. Matter of fact, people consider him the most reluctant reader ever born. Sound familiar?? Yep, I've got one of those at home too ...
This book is a MUST READ for any non-reader. Told in first person in Charlie Joe's clever voice, this story has everything a fun contemporary kid book should. And for the non-readers, the chapters are especially short ... sometimes half a page, just because Charlie Joe understands how annoying really long chapters are. Really, this book is super cute and witty and I can't recommend it enough. But don't just take it from me.... read on for my interview with author Tommy Greenwald, and you'll see what I mean.
Thanks for being here today, Tommy!
** Your MG book, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, is about a boy who hates reading. He tries everything possible to avoid books. What gave you the idea for this story?
*PK's thought*(How about that, eh? Having an agent ask you to write a book for them to sell???)
*PK thought* LOVE Archie comics! Used to read them ALL the time as a kid.
*PK cheers for more CJJ books*
Saturday, July 2, 2011
We have to pack the rest of our things and find an apartment until we can find the right house to upgrade to within the next 30 days. So if you don't see me around the blogosphere, it's not because I don't wanna be here... it's because I'm packing!!! lol
I'll be posting sporadically and have some great interviews lined up this month. I hope you'll return for those. The first one starts off on Tuesday July 5 with funny guy Tommy Greenwald talking about his adorable new MG book Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading.
This is turning into a super busy month for me and I promise to be back on track once I'm more stable. In the meantime, I'm wishing all my fellow Americans a wonderful holiday weekend!
See you back here on Tuesday... You want wanna miss it! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)