Live in California?

19 06 2010

If you’re anywhere near Turlock, CA, this weekend, be sure to stop by the Borders in Turlock to meet paranormal author Kitty Keswick:





Savvy Authors

17 05 2010

Does everyone know about SavvyAuthors? SavvyAuthors is a one-stop resource for all your writing needs regardless of your stage in your career. They offer everything from workshops to promotion and marketing help.

They have lots of great classes for a low price. It costs $30 to join, which gives you access to free classes and a reduced rate on class prices. Or you can take classes without joining. With classes costing $10-25, most people can easily afford it. And they have some terrific teachers.

Here’s a sampling for the next two months:

May 2010 Events

2

Fairies and Other Magic Folk (Workshop)
Instructor: Sharron Gunn. Walt Disney would have you believe that fairies are sweet little creatures with wings and wands. Helpful entities like Tinkerbell and the Tooth Fairy. Walt was wrong. In Celtic lands people believe it’s not wise to go about your business in…
Duration: 27 days Craft, Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

3

Steamed Up: The Anatomy of Writing Steampunk (Workshop)
Instructor: Beth Daniels aka Nied Darnell. Toss another shovel full of coal on the fire, it’s time to get steamed up with steam punk, one of the newest “societies” around. What qualifies it as a society? Let’s see, there are graphic novels, jewelry, apparel, home accessories, mu…
Duration: 28 days Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

3

Who ARE All These People? The Role of Secondary Characters in Romance (Workshop)
Instructor: Jen Safrey. You have your hero. You are in love with him, and you’re sure your readers will be too. He’s sexy, smart, rugged, shy, daring, protective, whatever. You have your heroine. You have put a little of yourself into her, and you’re sure your rea…
Duration: 28 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

10

Todd Stone Presents – Character(s) and Conflict–More is More and More is Better (Workshop)
Six lessons, four weeks Presenter: Todd Stone, the Novelist’s Boot Camp guy Ever hear an editor say “Sorry, your story has too much conflict?” Didn’t think so. And you probably won’t, either. In this workshop we’ll provide you wit…
Duration: 27 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

10

Edge of your Seat: How to add Suspense to your Writing (Workshop)
Instructor: Fleur Bradley. Do you ever wonder what makes that book such a page-turner? Wish you could keep a reader at the edge of your seat with your writing? This workshop teaches you how to write riveting fiction, and how to write chapters that keep your …
Duration: 27 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

10

Inside the Criminal Mind (Workshop)
Instructor: Lucinda Schroeder. Inside the Criminal Mind gives writers the information they’ll need to characterize their deviate story people. This course covers criminal motivation, mind-set, self-talk and why deviants expect their crimes to go undetected. Devi…
Duration: 27 days Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

16

Creating Your Own Book Trailer **FULL** (Workshop)
Instructor: Kris Tualla. Book Trailers are 60-to-90-second presentations that describe your book in the same way a movie trailer describes a movie. They are teasers, meant to make people want to read your books. Book trailer companies charge fees beginning around $…
Duration: 11 days Promo, Technology Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

17

The Four Point Critique: Making your critiques positive, constructive, specific and honest. **FULL** (Workshop)
Instructor: Teresa Bodwell. The Four Point Critique: Making your critiques positive, constructive, specific and honest. The workshops will help you refine your critiquing skills through lecture, discussion and hands on critiquing. Topics include: Tips for great fee…
Duration: 20 days Craft Members: $25

31

Creating an Effective Book Business Plan (Workshop)
Presented by Deborah Magnus. One of the most productive things an author can do is write a Book Business Plan. It’s a required exercise for non-fiction book proposals and easily as important as actually writing the book, whether non-fiction or fiction. Why? 1) Writ…
Duration: 4 days Publishing, Promo, Industry Members: $10
Non-Members: $15

31

The Power of the Right Question (Workshop)
Instructor: Susan Meier. Ever wonder why some authors books seem to be head and shoulders above the rest? In The Power of the Right Question, Susan Meier discusses Story Question, Chapter Question and development of Questions for Lists of Twenty and shows you how t…
Duration: 28 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

June 2010 Events

3

Ignite Your Fiction (Workshop)
Instructor: Sally Walker. Learn how to examine and WRITE succinct, vivid examples of Exposition, Description, Narration/Summary, and Action-Dialogue. Experienced writers will learn to “think” in revision and New writers will work on the habit of purpose from the ver…
Duration: 25 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

7

Make a Scene (Workshop)
Instructor: June Diehl. Make a Scene explores the elements that go into structuring a scene, how to decide how to begin and end a scene, and the types of scenes and when to use them. We will also touch on setting, point of view, and character and plot development …
Duration: 14 days Craft Members: $10
Non-Members: $15

7

Weapons, Violence and Reality (Workshop)
Instructor: Rory Miller. Conflict is the essence of story-telling. Violence is the rawest and most visceral form of conflict. Rory Miller, former Corrections Officer, Tactical Team leader and Contractor/Advisor in Iraq will help you get the details right. The cla…
Duration: 27 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

7

Completing Your Mystery (Workshop)
Instructor: Jacqueline Corcoran. Like many writers, you may have a library of books on writing craft, but have you used them? Learn my step-by-step method for applying exercises to develop your craft and complete your mystery. In this hands-on class with lots of “homewo…
Duration: 14 days Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

13

Creating Your Own Book Trailer **FULL** (Workshop)
Instructor: Kris Tualla. Book Trailers are 60-to-90-second presentations that describe your book in the same way a movie trailer describes a movie. They are teasers, meant to make people want to read your books. Book trailer companies charge fees beginning around $…
Duration: 11 days Promo, Technology Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

14

Show Don’t Tell (Workshop)
Instructor: Flo Fitzpatrick. Are your characters spending too much time explaining, telling, thinking, feeling, musing, wondering or debating? Let’s turn those “tell” sentences into “showstoppers!” Join Flo Fitzpatrick for a fun workshop that will rev up your writin…
Duration: 19 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

15

Romantic Suspense 19 SPOTS LEFT (Workshop)
Instructor: Dee Lloyd. To keep the reader eagerly turning pages from the first word to the last, a Romantic Suspense novel needs engaging characters, a believable and complicated plot and fast-moving pace. This workshop will give you some of the tools necessar…
Duration: 20 days Craft, Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

20

Flash Fiction: What is it? How do I write it? Why should I bother? 19 SPOTS LEFT (Workshop)
Instructor: Jim Harrington. This workshop is aimed at writers who are new to flash fiction. The topics covered include: Session 1 – 6/21 – What is flash fiction? Session 2 – 6/23 – Choosing a story to write Session 3 – 6/25 – That’s a story? Session 4 – 6/28 – T…
Duration: 13 days Craft, Genre Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

20

Everyone Needs a Name, a guide to character naming (Workshop)
Instructor: Kathy Frost. Finding the perfect name for your main character can be difficult enough, but most stories need a supporting cast. You’ll need names for all your characters, from the lead and their love interest to the neighborhood grocer. For many write…
Duration: 6 days Craft Members: FREE
Non-Members: $5

20

The Dirty Little Secrets of Character Development (Workshop)
Instructor: Keena Kincaid. Do you know the secret to character development? We all keep secrets from each other—and sometimes from ourselves. Three-dimensional characters are no different, and it’s the author’s job to reveal those deep, dark secrets and desires t…
Duration: 27 days Craft Members: $10
Non-Members: $20

21

Silencing Your Inner Saboteur (Workshop)
Instructor: Sherry Peters. In this workshop, writers will identify the voice of your saboteur, recognize the tricks it uses to keep you from achieving your goals, and how to win the battle against it. The lessons will cover: Introduction of the class and the In…
Duration: 20 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $20

28

The Heroine’s Journey: Adapting Four-Act Structure to the Character-Driven Story (Workshop)
Instructor: Wendy Lyn Watson. Christopher Vogler’s Hero’s Journey is a basic “four act” mythic story structure that can be used to describe everything from the legend of King Arthur to Alien. There’s something about this narrative structure that resonates with us on an…
Duration: 27 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

28

Using Writer’s Block As A Building Block For Ideas (Workshop)
Instructor: Raquel Rodriguez. Using Writer’s Block As A Building Block For Ideas Want to just write? Stop fighting your Muse! Dry spells can indicate the dreaded writer’s block, a rough wall to hurtle. Teacher and writer, Raquel Rodriguez, can help you understand t…
Duration: 27 days Craft, Writing Life Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

28

The ‘W’ Plot…Or the Other White Meat for Plotters (Workshop)
Instructor: Karen Docter. One of the staples of any writers group conversations is the plot. It’s integral to every novel, holds everything together. It’s the vehicle that carries readers from page one to “The End”. It’s one of the scariest things an author faces …
Duration: 25 days Craft Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

Check them out. You’ll be glad you did.
savvyauthors.com – Writers Helping Writers

http://www.savvyauthors.com/workshops.cfm





Writing a Bestseller

23 04 2010

by Darvin Atkeson

All speeches need an inspirational takeaway. So I asked my Muse for something eternal, unique, and beautiful. In what way could my life or my words be inspiring?

One of the greatest inspirations is hearing how others overcame the odds to reach success. That’s why author talks are so successful (and why people clap even if you mess up–most attendees have always dreamed of being a famous author). But that success is ordinary, although it may not seem so.

Anyone can become an author if they study hard, learn the craft, put hours of sitting in a chair and spilling their guts, keeping submitting in the face of rejection, and never, ever give up. But that’s so NOT what people want to hear. They already know that. And many of them have given it a shot. They want a magic pill they can take that transforms their idea into a runaway bestseller.

And so what do I, an author who has written for 20 some years have to share that will inspire the audience eager for pearls of wisdom? Persistence and perseverance are the keys? Never giving up? OK, let’s be honest: maybe published authors are more stubborn or perhaps more thickheaded?

So that won’t make my speech inspiring. What will? I decided to talk about how I overcame obstacles in my path and went on to conquer them. Some seemed insurmountable at the time, but I have a secret that keeps me on track. I’ll share that secret and the source of my inspiration in Friday’s post.





Tony DiTerlizzi

27 10 2009

Check out this fabulous interview by one of my fav illustrators:

http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings/?p=1821

The art is to die for…





Ready for some spooky fun??

14 10 2009

Here’s a sprout about some free EXCLUSIVES from Leap Books:

http://seed.sproutbuilder.com/twDX2N-XGekTuQGX

Be sure to click on all the tabs to see the exciting developments.

Blood-flavored ice cream anyone?





Ready to Leap?

1 10 2009
Leap Books Badge 1

Leap Books Badge 1

Leap Books has some great tween and teen titles lined up for the January 2010 grand opening. In addition to the titles listed on the website, many more are waiting in the wings. Look for some exciting new chick lit, mystery, fantasy, and sci fi titles that will leap off library and bookstore shelves in 2010.

To celebrate, Leap Books is giving away swag. If you snag and post any Leap badge on your social networking site, you get one contest entry. For additional entries, post each badge at multiple sites. You get one entry for every new post. Check out the contest rules for more information. But aren’t these badges cool?

I love this latest one. leapbadge2
Go ahead. Snag one (or two) today.

AND GET READY TO LEAP!





Why Do I Fear Rejection?

28 09 2009

Lauren Barnholdt just posted a great link to a blog about rejections. It got me thinking. If I hung my rejection letters side by side, I wonder how much footage they’d take up. But that led me to a different thought. How long would my string of acceptances be?

I’ve written more than 850 articles for magazines, educational publishers, and websites, plus I’ve sold several books. So I’ve had quite a few acceptance letters. Obviously, some letters (or emails) asked me to write more than one article, but still, let’s say I had 400 acceptances. If I multiply that by 8.5″, I have at least 3400″ of acceptances–or about 283′. Hmmm… And I’m guessing I have about 100-150 rejections, which gives me 1275″ of rejections or about 106′.

So why am I scared to send things out? Odds are, I’m much more likely to get an acceptance. But I still dread it.

I spent this past weekend at the SCBWI Carolinas conference, where several people urged me to send out my picture book dummy. I hate to say how long I’ve had that dummy worked up. I’d been dreaming of doing it for years. Back in the early 2000s an editor at a large publishing house expressed an interest in the text. She said she had the perfect illustrator in mind for it. I was thrilled. But before it was contracted, she left publishing. And there went my dream.

I turned back to magazine and educational writing, which blossomed into my career. But that picture book kept nagging at me. I took a picture book illustration class with Robert Quackenbush, and he liked that text and urged me to illustrate it. I was too scared and sure I couldn’t do it justice, so I illustrated a humorous easy reader with cartoons.

Several years later I took another illustration class with Matt Novak. Once again, I was encouraged to illustrate this text. I took the plunge. I spent hours on detailed pastels that my classmates praised. I even received an “A” in the class for my work. So why almost 5 years later is that picture book dummy still sitting in my art cupboard?

I dusted it off this summer and took it to an SCBWI critique group organized by Lauren Patton. Again, I was encouraged to send it off. But this fall it was still sitting in my cupboard. It went with me to the SCBWI Carolinas conference, where once again I heard I needed to send it off. So now I’m trying hard to talk myself into it.

OK, I followed the suggestion in the blog and hung up all my rejection letters. Then I hung up all the acceptances. So now I have to ask myself: if people who have only received rejection letters so far can keep on submitting, why can’t I??

Ooh, better go send it out quickly, before my internal critic can think of any negative replies. Anyone else have this problem?? Or these fears of rejection??





Wow! In the News…

24 09 2009

Leap logo

Leap Books has been getting lots of notice. How cool is that?? The most recent was an interview in the Examiner.

Freaksville by Kitty Keswick

Freaksville by Kitty Keswick

Author Kitty Keswick talks about her upcoming book, Freaksville. Plenty of teens and adults are eagerly awaiting this exciting debut novel. Watch for it on January 8, 2010.

For a fun sneak peek, you can check it out on YouTube or TeacherTube.

And for more about Kitty, you can read her blog, Wolfy Chicks, with author Judith Graves, whose book Under My Skin will be out in March 2010.

Freaksvillle is Book One of an exciting new series featuring werewolves, ghosts, Valkyries, and otherworldly creatures. In this book four teens trapped in a haunted theater on the night of the full moon battle ghosts and werewolves to survive.

If you love werewolves, vamps, and ghosts, you’ll love this series by Kitty Keswick.





A Surprise

26 06 2009

Just saw I’m featured as Five Star Publishing’s Newest Star: http://lnk.ms/0f02T How cool is that?





Is Your Shadow Brand Holding You Back?

12 05 2009

Just read a great article by Jenn Stark (Branding Expert/Know Your Brand) on “You and Your Brand.” Everyone says authors need to establish a brand—a short, pithy statement that identifies them and their books. But Jenn’s advice went further. She identifies three types of branding—your core brand, your functional brand, and your shadow brand. The functional brand is the one you advertise to the public, but the other two are internal. The way Jenn describes them, they’re tied to your self-concept. What words do you think about when you label yourself internally? Those words make a difference in how successful you’ll be in reaching your goals. The core brand is more of your positive assessment, whereas the shadow is your darker side. Ouch! When I read her description of the shadow brand, I saw myself–fear of rejection. You may have a different shadow brand. Is your shadow brand holding you back from achieving your goals? Not sure? Check out Jenn’s article.