Monday, June 20, 2016

Mid-Career Mondays: JESSI KIRBY writes about beaches

Summer's on the wing and there's no better YA author I know for summer reads than the delightful Jessi Kirby. Jessi is a full-time school librarian, mom and bookworm extraordinaire who has been steadily writing fantastic fiction for half a decade--and her passion for the sea and the outdoors finds its way to the pages of her books. Jessi's most recent title, THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART, with its wonderful beach town setting, is out in paperback tomorrow! And she's busily at work on her next book. So, I asked her...

In the midst of your busy life, how do you come up with ideas for your next project--and how do you carve out time to write?

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Love Affair with Audible

Okay. I'll admit it: I've been a closet audio book fan for years. I haven't mentioned this because, as a writer of verse novels, I felt as though I should be embarrassed to admit that I love to both immerse myself in novels bound between covers and be flown through a story on the vocal wings of a talented narrator.
Narrator Carol Boyd made revisiting this
classic Josephine Tey mystery a
wonderful new experience.

Now, as summer approaches along with the prospect of hours on airplanes and even more hours driving, I have decided to come clean. Here are just a few of the reasons Audible has become a part of my book life:

  • As a writer who spends a great deal of working time reading (and writing) on-paper manuscripts, it is great to have an alternative way to enjoy novels for pleasure.
  • As the mother two dyslexics, Audible has given my kids a a simple way to enjoy many titles that might have been tough to muscle through in fine print.
  • As a person who spends an unpleasant amount of time in cars--driving to play rehearsals, sports practices and games, author appearances, and endless carpools--my behind-the-wheel hours are infinitely improved by the company of a well-read audio book.

Author Donna Tartt reads this audiobook
epic herself. It's like attending an author
appearance IN YOUR CAR for 22 hours!
Audible has created many opportunities for voice-over actors. Audiophiles can now enjoy an inside look at the writer-performer journey of spoken word art on the Audible Range literary blog. Now Audible is moving into original content territory (a la Netflix) with offerings ranging from meditations to "adulting" to literary classic snippets and TedTalk insights on its free Audible Channels.

I recognize and respect that listening-to and reading a story is not the same. But both have great merits. Both are ways to connect people with story. And both can be positive elements of a book-loving life.

This excellent audio version
of Herbach's young adult novel
is unstoppable in the hands of artful
reader Fred Berman. 
There. I've come clean. While I'll be packing plenty of paperbacks for the beach this summer, I'll also be loading up my iPhone Audible App with stories I might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience. As I see it, it's a win-win for me. Maybe for you, too!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Airplane rides, lakeside hours, WiFi-free cottages...summer offers myriad settings and opportunities for reading. I'm still mired in end-of-school-year commitments, bandaging my heels from the paper cut nips of freelance deadlines. But a girl can dream, right? A girl can build a library, right?

Here's what I've got so far...

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!