Monday, May 16, 2016

Mid-Career Monday: Publishing Across Platforms with Elana Johnson

Elana Johnson is a writer, teacher, tech wiz, and publishing pro extraordinaire. Today we celebrate her latest traditionally-published romance, UNTIL SUMMER ENDS, but Elana has written YA fiction (dystopians, verse novels, romances) for publishers large and small in addition to successfully self-publishing romance novels as Liz Isaacson

So, I asked her...

How did you decide to pursue a two-track (self- and traditional-) publishing career and what insights about this decision might you share with other post-debut authors?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

FREE CLASS THIS SATURDAY at KCLS WOODINVILLE: The Writing Business with Martha Brockenbrough

SATURDAY, May 14, 2016
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Woodinville Library
17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville, WA

The next class in this FREE writing workshop
series, taught by the dynamic dynamo 
Martha Brockenbroughis... 
The Writing Business

Grammarian extraordinaire, award-winning author and bookish fashionista, Martha knows the publishing industry inside and out. Bring a pencil and notepad this Saturday and get ready to learn how to plot the next moves for your manuscript. Here's what Martha will cover:

  • When is your manuscript ready to submit? 
  • How do you write a query letter, find an agent or get more involved in the writing community. 
  • A discussion of the writing process, finding our way to our best writing genre, and defining success in a writing career. 

Martha's workshop is open to writers in grades 7 to adult. Registration is not required but, if you're so inclined or want more details, visit Woodinville Library Program Information Page. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 2, 2016


Visit the Children's Book Council website to learn how you can celebrate with your kids, students, and everyone in your kids'-book-loving community!

Monday, April 25, 2016

A thought for your writing week...

As I look toward the end of April, my stomach starts to clench. I realize that the school year will soon be over and my big plan to finish this manuscript draft befor esummer break has come to, if not naught, some fraction of what I'd envisioned. Is it time for excuses like "busy with teaching and volunteering" or "thought I should do more living" (my favorite!)? Or time to panic? I suppose. But I've decided instead to look at the threat of impending June as a grand motivator to get the work done. How? For that answer, I look to Le Roi himself:

Time for a week of butt-in-desk-chair and fingers-on-keyboard. Also, probably, chocolate!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

National Poetry Month & Poem in Your Pocket Day

As a verse novelist, I take special delight in the Academy of American Poets' annual spring celebration of this very special literary art.

If you want to discover ways to brighten your day with poetry, do visit their amazing website.

Coming up this Thursday is a favorite event of mind: AAP's "Poem in Your Pocket Day."

This rather scary election year, I'll be carrying Thomas Hardy's "I Looked Up from My Writing," which begins...

   I looked up from my writing,
   And gave a start to see,
As if rapt in my inditing,
   The moon's full gaze on me. 

You can find the rest of the poem on the Poetry Foundation website.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Painfully lovely...

I don't check my author email enough. Due to my techno-incompetence, I've got it set up in such a way that there are several steps to reviewing new correspondence. But I try. And once in awhile--sometimes just when I'm feeling the most fear and despair about this whole writing thing--I read something like this:
I have an older brother with autism, and Daisy's story greatly resonated with me. I was very touched by your undertaking to write an honest portrayal of one high school girl's struggles caring for her younger brother with autism while maintaining her passion for music, watching her family crumble, and figuring out her future. I especially enjoyed that you chose to write about the topic through verse, as I felt that it really conveyed Daisy's conflicting emotions and her life accurately. Thank you so much for doing your research and not romanticizing the effects of autism on a family, but also sharing the fragile relationship between a sibling and the individual with autism.

This is beyond timely, since April is both Autism Awareness Month and National Poetry Month. Most importantly, though, it is the kind of communication that sends me back to the keyboard determined to reach out through story to help people feel less alone in this world.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Mid-Career Monday: Assassins of April

Here are two very different takes on teen assassins from two amazing writers. Before creating his dark protagonist, BOY NOBODY for the Unknown Assassin series, Allen Zadoff crafted heartbreaking and humorous novels about theater geeks, overweight kids, and the search for love. Yes, all that!  I first discovered Mary E. Pearson when I picked up the amazing ADORATION OF JENNA FOX. But, before she broke out with the JENNA series, Mary sharpened her writing teeth writing easy readers and more.

What's the lesson here? Many of the authors you love have been honing their craft in all kinds of genres, exploring all kinds of topics, before they wrote the book that grabbed your heart. Don't be afraid to write try new shapes and sizes and forms for your work. Even if your latest idea involves something as scary as assassins! Be brave and go there!