There are so many amazing authors in the world. I read them. I study them. I admire them. I aspire. But over the years, I’ve learned that there are people, who are not authors, that move me in just as powerful ways.
Here are some of my inspirations that have nothing to do with writing.
I want to write the way Mia Michaels choreographs.
I want to write the way Adele sings.
I want to write the way the 1980 Men’s Olympic Hockey team worked together to win gold.
I want to write the way Malala Yousafzai lives her life–bravely.
I want to write the way Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world.
This is just a few of many. And I consider myself lucky to have such a long list of inspiration. What about you? I’d love to hear what make you want to write a better book…
Are you familiar with Young Adult Books Central?
Taken straight from the YABC Facebook Page…
Since 1998, YABooksCentral.com has been one of the leading teen book review communities on the Web. We feature book giveaways, author interviews, cover reveals, and much more! Join the community atwww.yabookscentral.com
To promote reading and literacy and also children’s and adolescent literature and authors. Basically, to spread the love of reading and help create a new generation of readers!
YABC is one of the leading YA and Kid lit sites on the Internet featuring monthly book giveaways, reviews, author bios & interviews, and much more. Visitors can submit reviews for a chance to win a box of books every month and learn about your favorite authors. And Authors — it’s always free to post your bio & book information! Paid advertising is also available (it goes directly to operating costs and is greatly appreciated).
YABC was founded by Kimberly Pauley, author of Sucks to Be Me, in 1998. In 2010, MG Buehrlen came on board to continue the mission. The site features the reviews of a number of writers, librarians, and also teens. Be sure to check the About this Site page for the current bios of all reviewers!
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Recently YABC asked a bunch or authors and readers to help make a video for Fiesta Movement. They are trying to win a Ford Fiesta to use as a Book Mobile. The video came out great. Can you spot me? I had so much fun making my section LOL!
I hope we win and get a Book Mobile. *taps foot and waits impatiently* And in the mean time, while we’re waiting, you can check out the TOUCHING THE SURFACE reviews at YA Books Central.
What’s your favorite thing about YABC? How cool would it be to have a Book Mobile? Haven’t heard of YABC before? Get on over there!!!!
My friend Kai Strand has a cover reveal today! You can check it out HERE!!!!! Congrats on BEWARE OF THE WHITE!!!!
My friend Judy Dulberg and I got together because our dead fathers were conspiring with each other in the afterlife. We don’t have proof of this–but we’re pretty darn certain that’s how it went down. I doubt you could convince us otherwise–so you should just go with it. Judy and I have only known each other a couple months, but we’ve quickly learned that good things happen when we talk to each other and share our unfiltered thoughts. So, that’s what we’ve been doing. Even though, some of what happens between us seems sort of ridiculous sometimes, we’ve just decided to go with it because it seems to be working. In fact, one of the most recent and biggest surprises, that’s come out of our hanging out together at our local SCBWI Shop Talk meetings, has been that Judy got inspired by all the amazing people around her and started Center Rock Publishing, LLC an Independent Publishing Company. Very exciting! And most recently, Judy wrote me and said–I wrote this yesterday and I’m not really sure why….
Keep the Book Avoid the Booze
Written by Judy Dulberg
Storytelling is an art. Support of the arts in the United States has dwindled over the last several years. Everyone wants to purchase a good story as a gift or as a keepsake or to read while on vacation. However, few realize the emotion, agony, excitement, frustration, elation and millions of other nouns that an author goes through to make that story happen. If we don’t support artists, we won’t get great stories.
Relationships are draining and take a lot of work. Storytellers need to be in a relationship with characters. We have to flirt with them and love them. We have to hate them sometimes and even change some of what we love about them so that they can fit in socially. We have to wake up in the morning and say “How you doin’?” (Like Joey from “Friends”). Sometimes they’re not doing too well… they are limp and lifeless. Like a good partner we have to help them thrive. Maybe we need to shake up their lives, take them off the page and send them on an adventure… or send them away completely, like the saying says – “If you love something set it free. If it comes back to you then it’s yours.” If it doesn’t come back, it did not fit the story.
Writing a story is like holding a new life. You are excited. It is endearing. Then it shits on you. What?! I know, it sucks and it is something that your friends without a book in draft form can’t understand. It keeps you up at night, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes just because you think it “needs” you. You fuss over it when sometimes it just needs to be left alone.
Oh and the advice. “Why don’t you just give the character wings and he can fly away from the problem,” or “why don’t you just send him to France where he can see her again and reunite after 50 years?” You want to tell them “Well clearly if you understood ‘Johnny Goombatz’ you would know mafia dons don’t fly and he can’t just get out. He would have to disappear!” You might get the all too recognizable eye roll. What they are likely thinking is “Relax. He isn’t real.” If he isn’t real to you then let him go, because no one else will believe him either. This is when belonging to a writer’s group is important. It’s group therapy.
At my last writer’s meeting one of the writers, Michelle Mead, told me she sometimes feels like she is there for an addiction meeting. When we go around the table to introduce ourselves and what we are working on she has a compulsion to say “Hi, I’m Michelle, and I’m a writer.” It’s true; we need a support group for this. No matter what you are writing, sometimes you have excuses that no one wants to hear. No one wants you to tell them that you were late for soccer practice because Ollie Octopus plays soccer and you could not figure out if tentacles are legs or arms and he might be in violation… So you made him a monkey, but the name Ollie doesn’t sound right anymore, and the only name you like “George” is taken. Queue eye roll.
Writers always keep a healthy dose of anxiety about “the book,” or “the article.” This leads people to say, “Take a break. Maybe you should stop doing this.” Suffice it to say, as Michelle pointed out, it’s an addiction. As with any addiction, we crave it and love it, so be patient with us, because something good will come of this addiction. Trust me when I tell you, if we give it up, we might replace it with a more extreme addiction. Nobody wants that.
I read Judy’s piece and I said…this is a blog post! Do you have a blog yet? Because I’d love to use it as a guest post on my blog. Well, she was more than happy to let me share it with you AND she started a blog DIARY OF AN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER. Head over there to read more about Center Rock Publishing and follow Judy’s journey.
Center Rock Publishing, LLC
You can also connect with Judy on Facebook.
Anyone else have experience with an Independent Publisher? Do you have a favorite and why have they impressed you so much? Any advice for Judy? Do you think of writing as an addiction? Isn’t the Center Rock Publishing logo adorable?
A recap of the NYC Teen Author Festival!!!!
Thursday March 21st was the NYC Big Read Event. And I was with this fabulous group at the High School of Fashion Industries.
Alexandra Monir, Aaron Hartzler, Kimberly Sabatini, Amy Spalding, Kody Keplinger, Jessica Spotswood,Tiffany Schmidt and Sarah Mlynowski
Besides loving the students at the High School of Fashion Industries, I loved their library and the special Charles Nolan room…
And everything is always better with a little lunch!!!!
Saturday March 23, Symposium at the NY Public Library!!!!!
A FABULOUS Panel!!!!
Defying Description: Tacking the Many Facets of Identity in YA
A.S. King, Aaron Hartzler, Marissa Calin, Jacqueline Woodson and David Levithan
AND I DID A READING AT THE NY PUBLIC LIBRARY!!!!! UGH–I DON’T HAVE A PICTURE OF ME READING, BUT THIS IS ME AT THE LIBRARY!!!!! SQUEE!!!!!
And this panel was so big I couldn’t get them all in one shot LOL!
Under Many Influences: Shaping Identity When You’re a Teen Girl
Katie Sise, Kathryn Williams, Jen Calonita, Hilary Weisman Graham, Deborah Heiligman, Amy Spalding, Kody Keplinger and Moderated by Terra Elan McVoy
And…Born This Way: Nature, Nurture, and Paranormalcy
But unfortunately, I had to leave and meet my hubby and kids before the end of the event. Although perhaps it wasn’t so bad because after a yummy dinner, we took the boys to see…
Although, not my favorite Broadway show, the boys loved it and I really got a kick out of the sets and the stunts.
Breakfast in a room with a view, then off to Books of Wonder!!!! Which was WONDERFUL!!!! And spotted….K.M. Walton in Books of Wonder with a reader absorbed in EMPTY. I had to take this photo LOL!
And Aaron Hartzler signing my copy of his memoir, RAPTURE PRACTICE. (Available April 9, 2013)
OMG!!!!! And me, Fan-girling all over A. S. King!!!!!
DID YOU HEAR ME???? I GOT TO CHAT WITH A.S. KING!!!! *Does a little dance of fan-girlishness*
As you can see…NYC Teen Author Festival…made of AWESOME! To celebrate, I’m giving away my original copy of EMPTY by K.M. Walton because I couldn’t resist picking up a signed copy. *grin*
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Hope you enjoyed the recap and I really hope to be a part of the NYC Teen Author Festival in the future.
Yesterday was my birthday and coincidentally the first day in March that all of my boys were in school at the same time. We have the pleasure of spring breaks that NEVER fall at the same time in our house. *head thunk* Yup–I’ll have a grand total of FOUR days in March that are kid free. And while I love my kids and really enjoy all the fun things we do while their home. And while I enjoy NOT getting up at the crack of dawn for the 12yo–me and 5:30 am have a hate/hate relationship. And even though I have managed to find ways to get a decent amount of writing work done around them–the truth is I also love my alone time.
So, back to the birthday. I had a zillion good wishes yesterday. Thank you everyone. And one of the things that many people said to me was…Do something special on your birthday! And because I was revising (I AM ALMOST DONE!!!!) Other people suggested…Don’t forget to take a break from revisions and do something special! Now I’ll be the first one to tell you, there are points in the writing process where I’ve seen way too much of whatever it is I am working on and a break from it would be a little slice of heaven. But yesterday, after nineteen days of having other people in my writing space, spending the day with just my manuscript was the special thing I got to do. And realizing it made me smile because I was reminded of what a gift I’ve been given–the knowledge to do what I love and to love what I do.
When do you love writing the most? What makes writing special for you?
I’m busy juggling boys and revisions, but I found an expert to give you advice on being a writer…
What’s your favorite genre to read outside of children’s literature? Favorite author? Favorite book? What are you reading that expands your book pallet?
Back in the revision fort!
Yesterday I spent most of my time working on my newly returned notes on THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY from my critique partners. Woo hoo! And here are some random thoughts that have popped into my head now that I’m delving back into the story…
* I love critique partners who not only tell me that I spelled something wrong or that I abused a semi-colon, but also give me a running commentary of what they’re thinking. It is so much fun and so helpful to see how their thought process unfolds as they interact with my words. This is true when you hear an OMG! I didn’t see that coming but it was awesome! It’s also just as valuable when I get an Ummmm I have no idea what’s going on here???? Both of these are helpful and needed.
*After a couple weeks with my MS on the back burner, I love it again. Phew! Honestly, by the time I’d passed it off to my friends, I was pretty sick of it and convinced, that while it was vastly better than it was before, it was still poo.
No, I don’t mean that kind of Pooh.
Writers, when you look at something for too long–it begins to look like poo. And then you have to learn to walk away from the poo, because when you’re knee deep in the poo, you can not get perspective. Don’t be afraid to pass the poo to a friend. That’s what friends are for (In the writing world or if you’re a mom with a new infant) And usually, what you get back (book or baby) is never quite as bad as what you thought you gave away. Your brain needed a break and now it’s working again.
*Speaking of the brain, it’s incredible how it will not see your mistakes no matter how many times you look at your own words. Your brain can do weird and wonderful things. To prove my point…
Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen’t mttaer, the olny thnig thta’s iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy.
It blows me away and sort of scares me how easy it was for me to read that.
*I still growl or moan when I’m made aware of a plot hole or an inconstancy, even if I know it’s absolutely true. I tackle it, but it comes with sound effects. *head thunk*
*I really dig writing metaphors. I need to make this a component in the conference proposal I’m working on. One of my favorite parts of the writing process.
*I can get so engrossed in the revisions that I forget to write my blog post until almost midnight. *yawn* But because I want to get back to working on it (with a fresh mind) I’d better stop having random thoughts and get my butt to bed.
Any words or wisdom or bits of insight from your revision fort?
And don’t forget, there is still a chance to win a signed copy of TOUCHING THE SURFACE for your local or school library. Enter HERE!
On March 23rd, I’ll be participating in a NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL event at the New York Public Library!!!! In my humble opinion, this is too stinkin’ cool. But I LOVE all libraries, no matter how big or small. I love them with or without lions. I love school libraries or public libraries. In my opinion, they are all very special places and to celebrate my library love–I’m running a Library Giveaway. *fist pump*
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If you were a winner in the last library giveaway I conducted, you may enter again as long as the book goes to a DIFFERENT school or public library. Looking for more information about the NYC TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL? Click the link above–events involving 80 different authors will be happening all week.
Since we’re hugging libraries, I was wondering if you had a special book that you took out over and over when you were a kid? One of my favorites was The Borrowers!!!! I KNEW they were living in my house too. Or at least I was hoping LOL!
Tomorrow (March 12, 2013) is the book birthday for POISON by Bridget Zinn.
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.
Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?
Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
Unfortunately, POISON will be making its way into the world without its author, who passed away from cancer in May 2011 at the age of 33.
I never knew Bridget personally, but I’ve kept her in the forefront of my mind as a reminder to enjoy every minute of my own publishing journey. I can’t thank her enough for helping me to keep my life in perspective. Bridget never got a chance to join The Lucky 13s, but they have declared Bridget an honorary Lucky.
Please help everyone to spread the word about her humorous and fantastical 2013 debut.
About Bridget Zinn
Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the “summer of love” and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was “Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect.”
Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers’ copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.
I’ll be purchasing my copy of POISON tomorrow, I hope you consider buying your own copy and helping to spread the word.
Purchase your copy of Poison:
To learn how you can help spread the word about Poison, please visit