Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting from "Thinking About" to "Doing"

Recently I spent two lovely days at the Oregon coast. My mom came with me. We stayed with a friend of hers whom I've know all my life. I'd asked Lois if Mom and I could come visit because for several years I've been wanting to write a middle grade novel set in a small coastal town. Though vague ideas about the novel have been at the back of my mind for a long time, I couldn't seem to act on them.

To be fair, I've been plenty busy with series writing these last several years. But now that the writing for my current series is winding down, I decided a trip to the beach might be just the catalyst I needed to move forward. And I think it will be. During those two days, I interviewed Lois about "life in a small coastal town," and walked around town recording descriptions of sights and sounds into a small digital audio recorder. Lois also set up an interview for me with the daughter and twelve-year-old grand-daughter of a local friend of hers one evening. It was wonderful how eager everyone was to help. The information I collected during the interviews is sure to prove helpful, and I now have another motivation for getting to work on this book: the other people who know about it!

What helps you to bridge the gap between "thinking about" to "doing"?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Promoting New Books--Ideas anyone?

Okay, I admit it. Promotion is something I need to get better at. I love speaking at schools and conferences, and speaking engagements do help get the word out about new books. I sign on for a few (usually local) book store signings. On occasion I've sent copies of my new books to local reviewers. But I'm never really sure how effective these various efforts are. On the one hand, I worry that I should be doing more. On the other hand, I wonder if my time would be better spent on that next writing project instead.

Many of you are far more savvy and creative when it comes to promoting your books. What do you think are the best things you do to call attention to your newly-published books?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Falling into Fall

How can it possibly be September already? Yet today's rain and the cooler evenings confirm that we're moving into fall. Though I no longer work as an elementary librarian--haven't in nearly ten years now--I still feel a bit unsettled when August rolls into September, like I'm not quite prepared for the new school year ahead. Time to sluff off that feeling, I think. But for those of you returning to teaching jobs, and for those of you who have children in school, or are in school yourselves, I want to wish you the very best in the year ahead.