Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Secret to Getting Published

When I first started to write for children (about twenty years ago, gasp!), I was sure there must be some secret to getting published. Whenever I talked to published writers I listened carefully, hoping to uncover the secret they were obviously privy to that I had yet to discover. If these other writers--these published writers--sensed the desperation and yearning behind the questions I put to them, they were gracious enough to pretend not to notice. Ultimately, I did get published, but not because of any one thing I learned from other writers. In fact, if there is any secret to getting published, I think it is this: You must want to enough.

What do I mean by enough? Enough to:
  1. learn as much about the craft of writing as you can (classes, conferences, books, blogs, etc.)
  2. learn as much about the business side of writing as you can (same resources as above)
  3. keep writing and submitting even in the face of numerous "rejection" letters

That's it. It's the only secret to getting published that I know really works.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Connecting with Readers, Making New Friends

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen. ~Rod McKuen

This morning I spent a pleasurable couple of hours at my local Starbucks chatting with Terri, a woman I met while flying back from a conference in Wisconsin a year ago, and Terri's neighbor Kirstie. Terri had emailed me two weeks before. She was buying my Princess Power series for her niece's 8th birthday but hadn't been able to find a copy of Book #2. I had written her back that I had copies and would be happy to sell her one and mail it. "It would be so much more fun to meet," she emailed back, "if you're not too busy, that is."

Too busy to meet with someone who loves to read as much as I do? Someone who wants to share my books with her young niece? No way! Now, if I was as popular as someone like...say... J.K. Rowling, I might have to be more protective of my time. But that's not the case, and is never likely to be. So we made arrangements to meet. Terri treated me to a chai tea latte (I'm one of those rare Land of Starbucks residents who doesn't like coffee), and she and I and Kirstie had a lovely conversation that ranged from writing and books to daughters abroad (Kirstie's daughter is traveling in Thailand right now, mine is living in Norway), to concerns about aging parents, to the technological wonders we've seen in the last 10-20 years. By the time Terri and Kirstie left, I felt like I'd not just connected with readers, but made two new friends.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Catching Up

I only did ONE post last month. Pathetic! Must do better than that, though I don't think I'll ever be able to manage the nearly daily entries that some writers do. (Confession: I still keep a daily hand-written journal. However, trust me, you wouldn't want to read it. It's mostly boring, everyday stuff.) At any rate, I'll try to aim for one new blog entry per week in future.

Since my last post--over a month ago--I've been steadily logging in the writing hours on the contemporary middle grade novel I'm setting on the Oregon Coast. I'm maybe half to two-thirds of the way through a first draft. I gave myself a deadline to finish that first draft by Thanksgiving, but I've moved that out a bit because of revisions on the last book in Joan Holub's and my "Goddess Girl" series. (The first two books debut in April.) Still hope to finish a first draft of (tentatively-titled) "Just Olive" before Christmas though. We'll see.

In addition to my usual writing, my husband and I also spent a lovely week in the Palm Springs area house and pet sitting for my brother-in-law and his wife.

All for now!

P.S. Picture on this post is the book cover for Goddess Girls #3. Title of the book was "Aphrodite the Beautiful" originally, but that was too long to fit, so we shortened to "Aphrodite the Beauty." I like the new title better, anyway.