Thursday, March 31, 2011

A to Z Challenge starts for me in a few hours...

Okay so my month-long commitment to blog starts in just a few hours. I checked to see how many bloggers had signed up and was amazed to see the count at 939! Holy Smokes, that's a lot of blogs.

Have you signed up yet? Need some motivation to blog? Just want to see what it's all about? Check out Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog and see what all the fuss is about.

I double dog dare ya to join in the fun.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge

I was perusing Laura Pauling's blog and noticed a cute button that said A to Z Blogging Challenge. I clicked on it and was taken to Alex J. Cavanaugh's blog. I looked over the criteria - blog each day of April, except Sunday, on a topic from the letter of the alphabet. It sounded like fun, and a way for me to get into the habit of blogging each day. I signed up and am number 745 on the list. You may want to check out his blog only to see the other 740+ blogs that are listed! Holy smokes!

So starting on Friday, April 1st I'm going to blog each day about some aspect of writing, editing, publishing, or something from a to z.

I think it will be fun.

What are your new habits?

Friday, March 18, 2011


When people ask me what genre I write, I immediately answer middle-grade. The response is usually something like a smile, followed by a nod, and then a "what?"

I'm always baffled that many adults do not know what constitutes a middle-grade (MG) book. "You mean, young adult fiction, right?"

I then explain that it's for readers 9-12, sometimes up to 14, but that I really stick with the 9-12 age range. That I write boy-based stories that revolve around, or involve, hockey. My audience is that reluctant reader who may or may not play hockey, but has an interest in the sport.

There's still more nodding and then I usually just give them a spiel about my stories.

Why is there such a discrepancy between MG and YA? Do parents just not understand what their kids are reading? Or, do they just classify them all as "young adult" or "kids books"?

Do they not know about The Book Thief or the Percy Jackson series? How about Diary of a Wimpy Kid or The Graveyard Book? Maybe they know about The Name of this Book is Secret or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Surely they've heard of a certain character named Harry Potter.

What do you say when someone asks you what you write? Or if you're a parent, do you know what your kids are reading?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The decision to self-publish

I am constantly amazed at my forward-thinking agent. She knows this business inside and out, and yet she thinks it's a good idea - while we wait for the publishers to get back to us on the stories that are on submission - that I go forward and seriously consider publishing an e-book.

I have to admit that the idea both excites and frightens me.

Publish it myself? No publisher? No nothing?

Well, there would be SOMETHING. I have contacts that are editors/proofers as well as cover designers. So, I feel confident that the product that I put out there would be in very good shape.

But still the idea is daunting. Will anyone buy what I write without having a publisher? There have been many stories lately of self-pubbed authors who are living their dreams, making money. A pretty well-known SP author is J. Konrath. If you're a writer, you know all about this guy. He's made a success of writing without a publisher. And, interestingly enough, he's been showcasing SP authors on his blog all month to show that he's not the only one out there living the dream, making some money.

I think there are many things that one needs to consider before stepping into this new publishing age. Luckily, my agent still believes that I can become a print author someday. I pray that she's correct and I'll continue to produce stories that I think people would like to read. But there it is... I need people to read them.

I told her that I was 10 years too late in the industry. I'm not getting any younger, and I feel that something needs to happen SOON. But since the publishing industry doesn't work on Kris Yankee Time, I guess I have to take GDC's advice and go for it. What will it hurt? The money I spend to produce the best product can be written off on next year's taxes at the very least.

So...the decision has been made. I'm going to do it! I will keep you posted on all the details. The first step is to get the file proofed. It's been edited and edited and edited to death. I think a great round of proofing with someone I trust will show me any weak spots. Then we're off to cover design and back cover blurb.

Any authors (or parents) out there want to do an endorsement for me? I'd love to include it on the Kindle page, as well as the other e-retailers I use. I'll post when I'm ready for that as well.

Well, wish me luck as I dive into this unknown aspect of publishing. Thanks to Jenyfer Matthews for talking me through this - you're a lifesaver CP!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's your favorite social media outlet?

Online forums and email loops

The internet, and specifically social media has brought the world together. Literally. We can watch the Superbowl in our home, yet share Tweets and FB status updates with any one who is connected. At home alone watching The Oscars? You're not alone if you've got your smartphone (iPod, iPad, etc.) on  your lap and you're logged into Twitter.

With published (and unpublished) authors now more accessible than ever, I'm curious to know which social media site people flock to.

I love Twitter. I can follow anyone I want and am able to read what's on their mind. From pubbed authors, agents, unpubbed authors, illustrators, screenwriters, and editors, I can learn so much about the publishing industry just by reading the timeline. It doesn't hurt to have a few celebs, columnists, artsy, and regular people in the timeline as well. Sometimes I'll tweet someone and they'll respond. That's always a plus.

Blogs are also a great tool. I can visit, leave a comment, and check back to see what's going on with the discussion.

 Facebook, for me right now, is good for connecting with friends and family. I'm "friends" with many authors who I don't personally know. FB is easy to use and I like the run down of status updates. Many post the same thing on Twitter, but if you aren't watching the Twitter timeline feed constantly, you may miss important announcements.

I think the best thing about social media is that it opens up discussion. We writers can be solitary individuals. We spend so much time in our heads that it's good to be able to "talk" with other writers, even if it's just online.

What's your favorite social media outlet?