Posts Tagged ‘ authors ’

KIdLit Cares

My director at work brought this initiative to my attention a couple days ago. Created to help those affected by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, the goal of this program is to auction of things that writers and readers might be interested in with the proceeds going directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund. I’ve perused the auction and it’s really amazing what people from all over have donated to help this cause. Anything from Skype visits to editorial critiques to autographed books to school visits. Agents, editors, authors and the like have banded together to give of their time and services in order to help those in need.

I checked out some of the auction items and was blown away both by the generosity of what was being auctioned off as well as how many people are bidding! It’s definitely worth checking out at Joanne Levy’s blog/website. As of today, there are 64 Auction items up for grabs. Stop by and see what cool stuff you can win while you help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 

It’s Fun to Meet New People

 

On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of meeting a lot of new people through a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators night of networking. Leeza Hernandez, illustrator and new Regional Adviser, did a wonderful job of talking about SCBWI and the benefits of joining, several other members met their agents/editors through various SCBWI events, and ways to effectively network.

Networking is an integral part not only in meeting agents and editors, but building a platform to increase your visibility as a writer. I was able to talk to picture book author Ame Dyckman and debut middle grade author Kit Grindstaff about the benefits of Twitter as a social media site. They both gave me great tips on how to follow librarians, bloggers and other kid lit lovers to both gain followers and find out about trends in children’s literature. Sweet!

Events such as this always make me excited to write. They’re invigorating and inspirational. I’m already looking forward to continuing to connect with all the new great people I met. Can’t wait to meet more friends! 🙂

Getting Geared Up for NaNoWriMo

For the past two years I’ve worked with my library to host a variety of National Novel Writing Month events. For those of you who aren’t familiar, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) writers are invited to sign up on nanowrimo.org (if you want to keep track of your progress and/or get some great support from fellow writers) and pledge to write 50,000 (a short novel) during the month of November. It’s crazy, but very rewarding!

This year we’re featuring a number of local NJ authors like Alissa Grosso, Charlotte Bennardo, Natalie Zaman, and Corey Rosen Schwartz, among other talented writers. They will talking about great topics that are pertinent to budding writers like publishing options, how to write successful query letters, and how to go from your first draft to getting an agent.

It’s a great time of year for me not only because I get to meet great authors and writers but it’s a great way to get inspired in my own writings and learn from the wisdom of others.

Good luck on all your writing goals this November! 🙂

Why BEA Rocks

  I had the best, best time at BEA this year. For those of you who have gone you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say it’s like a kid in a candy store. Plentiful exhibitors with their shiny ARCs just waiting to be plucked by the likes of bibliophiles like moi. It’s glorious. If you’ve never been you need to make plans to attend when you can.

To entice you a little more, here are my favorite things from the expo this year:

1. Listening to debut YA authors including the highly buzzed about Gennifer Albin and her novel Crewel. Which brings me to…

2. Getting a signed copy of Crewel! Woohoo! (It’s being released this October)

3. Talking to people from all over the U.S. You meet the most interesting people and it’s a great place to network too.

4. Having a Libba Bray moment. I stood in line that stretched across the floor of the Javits Center of people eager to get a signed copy of Bray’s newest book Diviners. Fortunately, I got there way early so I was towards the front of the line and there was a great group of women around me that I chatted with the whole time. When I got to Libba I said, “Thanks for deciding to become a writer.” She stopped signing and took my hand and said, “Thank you.” She probably won’t remember in her whirlwind of fandom, but it was a perfect moment for me. 🙂

5. Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated by the great energy of being surrounded by books and writers and publishers and others who are passionate about all things books.

Only thing I was really disappointed about: In chatting with another attendee she mentioned she really loves the books that Bloomsbury puts out. Excited I hurried over to their exhibit and inquired about the getting one of the ARCs they had. The woman at the booth looked at me and said, “Sorry, we only have a few copies of those books left.” Period. No, how about a different book or explanation or anything. In other words, you, our readers, aren’t worthy of these books in my eyes. I am saving them for someone I deem more important. No matter what her reasons for refusing to pass out her remaining ARCs, I didn’t enjoy my interaction with Bloomsbury. Disappointing.

Overall, I had a fabulous time with the good far outweighing that one experience. Hope to see you there next year! 😀

BEA Here I Come!

  It’s still a couple weeks away, but already I’m nerding it up with planning my trip to BEA (BookExpo America). Even though I work at a library, I registered as a book blogger. I hope to use this to meet other bloggers and make some great connections. I’m also planning on bringing some networking (aka business) cards. Would it be wrong to leave them surreptitiously around the expo for people to stumble upon? Hmmm…

When I was younger I wanted to be Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece, and walk around solving mysteries with her computer book. Finally my lifelong dream is coming true. I downloaded the BEA app onto my iPad and have already researched and plotted my plan of attack. Right now I have my handy, dandy agenda mapped out so I already know what I want to see when. That way I won’t miss any vital authors or books during my time there. One thing they don’t have that would totally rock is a virtual map of the floor at the Javits Center that tracked me as I walked. Maybe that’s a little creepy but how much fun would it be to see little bubbles of my favorite vendors and authors with me walking around so I know when I reach them? I can’t even begin to tell you how confusing that labyrinth of booths at the Javits Center is having been to several expos there before.

I think I may have to start ratcheting up my strength training and running regimes in order to be in prime physical condition for BEA. I can’t wait! 🙂 Hope to see you there!

How to Start Your Story

  Last week at work a woman began talking to me about a book she wants to write, but wasn’t sure how to start. My brother has told me about an idea he has for a novel, but there always seem to be something blocking his path. In talking with other writers I hear of people who have great writing aspirations, but never quite move forward with their goals.

One of the problems that many of these writers seem to face is actually sitting down and starting to write. Between life’s obligations and forming the words, it can be a daunting task! Before I wrote my first novel, I had a hard time moving past the first paragraph.

Here are a few tips that helped me move past my road blocks and hopefully will help you with yours too!

1. Make the time – get up before work/kids/daily obligations or stay up later or make every Saturday morning your writing time then make it a habit!

2. Prioritize – How important is writing your novel? If you want to write it, turn off Being Human and write instead.

3. Figure out who your audience is and what makes your story important to tell

4. Outline your main ideas, then write to fill in the blanks. Don’t worry about having all the answers before you start writing, you’re bound to change some things during your rewrites anyway. 🙂

5. And most importantly – just write!!! If there’s one piece of advice that I’ve read over and over and one that I try to adhere to above all it’s write. The more you write, the better you will get and the more it will become a habit and allow you to reach your goals.

Happy writing! 🙂

The Magic of BEA

  My first time to Book Expo America was amazing! Wall-to-wall books, authors, publishers, bloggers and fans of all kinds packed into the Javits Center in NYC last week for the annual event. Since it was my first time, I was happy to accept tips from anyone who offered them and learned a lot for my future trips.

1. Bring a wheeling suitcase. Since I took the train, it would have been perfect to store all my books into the suitcase and easy to transport my goodies back to my home. Apparently, the people of BEA are wise and well-seasoned and know bibliophiles well as they provide a luggage area for people to check their bags while they browse the wonders of the expo.

2. No need for bags. A lot of the vendors were more than happy to pass out bags with logos of their publishing houses or new releases or authors for people to throw their swag in. When you’re bags got too full you could either dump your loot into your suitcase in the baggage check area or into a box with your name on it that you could then ship to your home if you were flying in from farther away.

3. Make a plan of attack beforehand. With the plethora of info found on the BEA website, the BEA app, or the free schedules provided at the expo, you can easily map your day out to the minute. I saw many people with single-minded expressions plowing their way through the dense crowds in order to get in an autograph line an hour early so they wouldn’t have to wait in line (no, it doesn’t make sense, but don’t tell them that!). In addition to the autograph stations, there were various speakers, signings, and events happening throughout the expo. I mostly just wandered around with a dazed look of awe on my face until I would stumble into something that caught my attention. 🙂

4. Sign up as a book blogger. Apparently, (and I only know this thanks to the well-planned Sheila @ Book Journey who also went to BEA – sadly we missed each other…) you can sign up for BEA as a book blogger and go to special book blogger events. So cool!!! I fully intend on taking advantage of that next year as I totally missed the boat this year and thus didn’t network as I would have liked to.

5. If you see an ARC you want, throw all niceties to the wind and dive for it lest it get snatched from you. Okay, I’m being a bit melodramatic here – but not much! Anyone who has a huge passion for something (such as book lovers at a book convention or Augustus Gloop at the Wonka Factory), is willing to go to pretty great lengths to get something they want. Now I’m not saying people were downright mean or rude, but they definitely didn’t wait for an invitation or follow any polite conventions if it meant they wouldn’t get an ARC or item of swag they had their eye on. One of the talks I sat in featured Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, (writer and illustrator for the upcoming MG novel Wildwood and also husband and wife) and Lauren Oliver (who was talking about her new MG novel, Liesl and Po). I got there early and noticed a rep set down two piles of each book on the stage. I really, really wanted a copy of both but didn’t feel okay just going up and taking one because someone else had and I heard the rep complain. But then a lot more people just kept taking them and the rep didn’t say anything and then they were all gone and I was left empty-handed. Some people even got them signed! Double sadness. Ah well, next time I’ll ask or simply tackle someone and take their copies. 😉

Overall, though, I had a wonderful experience and am definitely going to attend for years to come! Here are some pictures I took to share with you:

  Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis and Lauren Oliver talk about Magic and Myth in Middle Grade novels

 

Ellen Hopkins, Lisa McMann, Megan Kelley Hall, and Maryrose Wood talk about Dear Bully

 

 

Ally Carter signs an MP3 of her latest book for me

 

Harlen Coban is happy to pose for a picture with me

 

  Jan Brett signs copies of her latest picture book

 

  My loot 😀 Even better than candy at Halloween!

 

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