Welcome! Please sit down, make yourself comfortable, and have a brownie or three...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lights Out (for a little break)

  I will be taking a blogging break until the end of December~ the little one and I are traveling to the rolling hills of Kentucky for a long visit with my sister and her two lovely girls.

While gone, I plan to:

Bond with family (others are driving over from Texas and Iowa for Thanksgiving)

Enjoy playing with my nieces

Do a little writing/revising

Enjoy late night ice-cream, television (I haven't watched a sitcom in a loooooong time...we have one TV in our house and it's usually set on a sports program), and the type of serious sisterly chats that can only be had over Moose Tracks ice cream topped with peanut-butter M&Ms.

See you next year!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Author Crush: Why RL LaFevers Does It Right

I first fell in love with the books of RL LaFevers because of the little girl to the left. Her name? Theodosia Throckmorton. Theodosia's parents run the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London, and Theodosia saves the world from dark magic throughout this wonderful historical fantasy series.

RL LaFevers (also known as Robin)
That's where RL LaFevers concentrates much of her writing~ the intersection of history and fantasy~ real-world places with magical and/or supernatural influences.

Why is this author my hero? Because she has a successful series in chapter books/lower middle grade, middle grade, and young adult categories (she writes young adult under the name Robin LaFevers)~ the age groups that I love to  focus my own reading and writing on. 

She's put in her dues in terms of working on her craft, and it's paid off in a big way. She queried agents and publishers before getting her break at a SCBWI conference, where super-agent Erin Murphy critiqued her manuscript for a contest. The rest is fantastic history :)

Why the massive crush? Because this is an author who I adore both for her pure writing ability AND for her career path. For me, Robin/RL is a perfect example of putting in tons of hours/hard work to build a career over time. And it's really great for fans who have been with her for awhile~ the young readers she first hooked with her Nathaniel Fludd series are now ready to devour her new YA series.

Finding your niche and executing it well, then being able to expand your interests/age groups and still sell books...well, that's the dream (by the way, I also love Sharon Creech's ability to write such a variety of single-title books, but that's a post for another day).

Ms. LaFevers is also a founder/contributor of Shrinking Violet Promotions, a blog dedicated to marketing for introverts. As an introvert, I really appreciate any guidance in this area. Since April of this year, the blog has been converted to a monthly column with Writer Unboxed, a blog about the craft and business of fiction.

If you're not following Writer Unboxed, get over there and correct that. The current post (written by Robin LaFevers) is:

Transformational Journeys: Working with Archetypes

Here are her websites: 

RL LaFevers, Children's Author

Robin LaFevers

Some of her books:

Nathaniel Fludd Series~

This series is a must read if you're looking to study an excellent voice in the category of chapter books/lower middle grade.

Even if you write for an older audience, I highly suggest buying one of the books in the series to keep as a reference on how to keep a plot moving with a minimum of words while really making your characters shine. I re-read these books from time to time because I tend to write long drafts that need to be stripped down to essential elements, plot points, and dialogue.

Theodosia Series~
I mentioned the Theodosia series above. She's a great middle grade character, full of curiosity, bravery, intelligence and vulnerability.

His Fair Assassin Series~
Um...this YA series is about assassin nuns in medieval France. If you're not the slightest bit intrigued by that, then I'm not sure what else to tell you.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

I'm a mail-in voter, so I'm all set. 
Will you be hitting the polls today?


Friday, November 2, 2012

What Agents Say About National Novel Writing Month

I have never participated in National Novel Writing Month, but have a HUGE appreciation for those taking on the challenge. Knocking out 50,000 words in one month doesn't fit my writing style or my lifestyle~ I'm not about to adapt my sleep schedule with another infant on the way (got to soak up those Zzzzzs while they're available).

1,000 words a day is about my limit for long-term productivity. I've definitely written more during bursts of creativity and cooperation from the kids in terms of their napping/social calendar/sporting event schedules, but I work better under a little less pressure :) Plus, I'm a weenie and I'd rather cheer for everyone else!

So what do agents say about National Novel Writing Month. Contrary to what some think, agents and editors do not cringe at the concept of writing a novel (or a solid base of one) in a single month. Many a seasoned author rolls up his/her sleeves during November to crank out a load of words and many an agent cheers for writers who attempt to "win" NaNo~ check out these recent tweets from Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary:

My post this month will be about = DO EET! Seriously, I'm a huge fan. Go! Go! Go! *cheerleader*

Day Two of  = remember, for this adventure, just write every day. Forget about self-editing and just write. *cheers*

What agents and editors do seem to mind is the lack of follow-through.

Here are a few recent agent/editor thoughts from Twitter to keep in mind as you set your querying/submission goals for those fabulous NaNo projects:

Sarah LaPolla@sarahlapolla Sarah LaPolla of Curtis Brown, Ltd.
Oh hey, it's November. Happy #NaNoWriMo, participating writers! Write your heart out! (Then REVISE before querying!)

Brooks Sherman@byobrooks Brooks Sherman of FinePrint Literary Management
Writers starting #NaNoWriMo tomorrow: I applaud you. I also urge you not to query agents Dec. 1 with your new novel. It won't be ready yet.

Georgia N. McBride@Georgia_McBride Georgia McBride of Month9Books
Ppl, listen to the agents when they ask you NOT to query your #NaNo novel in December or even January. Revision takes time. #yalitchat

Elana Roth@ElanaRoth Elana Roth of Red Tree Literary
#NaNo is really your Word and Idea Vomit month. #yalitchat

And don't you freaking dare query me in December on a #NaNo project. #yalitchat

Best of luck and happy writing to all of you fabulous NaNo-ers!!