Tag Archives: author

Writer’s Conference Revelations

Yesterday, I attended the 2018 Arizona SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference.

I learned a ton of information about writing everything from picture books to YA, both fiction and non-fiction, and I came away with so many fresh ideas that I think my brain is going to explode very soon. But wait — that just gave me an idea for a picture book called, “My Brain Feels Like It’s Exploding.”

The book sample that I had submitted to the conference was not one of the few chosen for a face-to-face critique by an agent, but I did receive a constructive and thoughtfully-written critique from a knowledgeable and experienced children’s book editor. For that I am forever grateful. So maybe I should write the definitive YA self-help book on “How to Handle Criticism.”

My First Page submission was not one of the 15 or so selected to be discussed by the faculty panel, but I gleaned important insights from the panel’s comments about others’ writing. Now that I have those insights, I’m actually glad mine wasn’t chosen to be showcased. I probably would have jumped up, knocked over my coffee, and tipped everyone off that the anonymous, flawed first draft up on the two gigantic screens was mine. How embarrassing that would have been! And now I have an idea for a Middle Grade science book: “Why People Blush.”

I was not sought out by agents wanting to sell my books, as I had secretly dreamed. One agent did ask me for my “elevator pitch” (after I’d delicately broached the subject), but I stumbled through it, and I don’t think I impressed her. Besides, she specializes in a totally different genre.

I didn’t even win a door prize.

But I LOVED the conference. It was stimulating, informative, inspiring, and friendly. I met some really nice writers, agents, editors, and illustrators, and I’m eagerly looking forward to being in touch with them and seeing them at the next writing conferences and events.

Within hours of the conference closing, I was back at it, revising not one but two books that I’m currently working on. And I plan to keep writing and revising and attending writer’s conferences forever. And thinking up goofy book ideas.

 

Standing in the Surf

For those of you who stayed tuned from my previous post (Trials and Tribulations of an E-book Author), I’m here to tell you that I was finally successful in formatting my photo book (Standing in the Surf) and uploading it to Amazon as an e-book. It went up on their website two days ago as a pre-order option, and went “live” today. So far I have sold 3 copies, one of which I bought myself just to see if the system was working, and one was purchased by my husband. Whoever buyer number 3 is, I wish I could hug you and buy you dinner, but I don’t know who you are.

I’ll get this out of the way right now:

If you want to buy the book, click here!

The “Look Inside This Book” feature also went live today, but wasn’t formatted correctly for an iPad or iPhone. It did look okay on my desktop computer, though. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to disable that feature or fix it once it’s been added. I decided to just be thankful for the little progress I’ve made and move on.

Being the masochist that I am, though, moving on meant trying to make my e-book into a paperback. I’ll spare you the nightmarish details of what I’ve gone through today to make that happen. Fingers crossed, the paperback will be available soon!