Posts Tagged ‘Mike Jung’
I always like to start of the recap with some of Lin Oliver‘s Conference stats. I’ll be honest, it’s soooo much funnier when she lays them out, but I do still think they are interesting even when she’s not delivering.
The 41st Annual SCBWI Summer Conference had…
46 States (Yes, the Dakotas and a few more were missing again!)
411 Published and the remainder Pre-published
171 Males (Yes–we stole their bathroom again.)
122 Undeclared (They had more bathroom options than anyone LOL!)
This year’s opening ceremonies included an Olympic theme and we even had a
torch match to help kick things off. And kicking things off meant we got to hear about TIMELESS books from the great Arthur Levine.
The question was asked…Should we look at a book with timelessness in mind? Do you have an answer? Opinion?
For this Keynote, we looked at the books that spanned Arthur’s career–the ones he felt were timeless.
*MIRETTE ON THE HIGHWIRE
*THE ROUGH-FACED GIRL
*THE GOLDEN COMPASS
*WHEN SHE WAS GOOD
*HOW ARE YOU PEELING?
*THE SNOW DAY
Throughout the whole conference, this theme was revisited in many other keynotes and sessions, all with differing opinions on what makes something timeless, but almost everyone seemed to agree that it couldn’t and shouldn’t be predicted.
*PREPARE FOR SHAMELESS PLUG*
On that note, I will not be so bold as to say that my friend Mike Jung‘s up and coming Arthur Levine book will be timeless–but I’m pretty sure that GEEKS, GIRLS AND SECRET IDENTITIES is going to be made of awesome!!!!!
*BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING*
The second keynote of the morning was NEVER ABANDON IMAGINATION by the very funny Tony Diterlizzi.
Tony started out with an amazing quote…
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
― Albert Einstein
Ummm how did I live my life not knowing that one?
But here are some of Tony’s best lines too…
*Imagination has to be instilled at a very young age. In my opinion–when they pop out!
*Each year, as I get better at my craft, I’m another year further away from the kid in me.
*All that Dorothy, Wendy and Alice ever wanted was to go home. There is a longing to be in a place that makes us feel safe and loved.
*I’m a Jedi. (On Star Wars love…all the best ones are *wink*)
It’s Apocalypsie Time!!!!!
One of my buds from the debut group of authors called the APOCALYPSIES is the lovely Lissa Price, author of STARTERS. And she had a wonderful breakout session called HOW TO APPLY SCREENWRITING TECHNIQUES TO MAKE ANY BOOK BETTER.
Lissa helped explain high concept movies and books.
*High concept is to be thought of as an internal phrase, not something we should be using in queries or throwing around with editors. It’s how we need to visualize our own work to make it very competitive.
*High concept creates an “ah-ha” moment in one or two sentences–often with a touch of emotion and/or irony.
Lissa then became hands on with the crowd, helping them to tweak pitches and first lines to their best advantage. She was also very clear that not all books are high concept and literary works can be equally as successful, but how they capture the attention of agents, editors and readers is very different.
And there may have been some Apocalypsie goofing around that Lissa had to deal with also LOL!
Next up was Sara Shepard talking about SCANDALS, LIES AND MURDERS: HOW TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM IN A SERIES.
Sara is the author of the PRETTY LITTLE LIARS and LYING GAMES series. Here are some of her best bits…
*Know who your murder is before you set out.
*Always incorporate a red herring into the series.
*Leave a bit to chance. The narrator has to be a little bit unreliable, especially is suspicion is cast upon them.
*You have to be willing to change.
The next Keynote of the day was Patricia MacLachlan–REVISING MY LIFE.
I really didn’t take many notes, I sort of just soaked her up and enjoyed every minute of her speech. Aside from writing HILARIOUS!!!!! and putting hearts all over the page, I captured this one to keep…
Childhood is powerful–children experience life along side us. We are all children. The child knows all…
My next break out session was with Ruta Sepetys. I’m going to warn you. You are going to be hearing a lot about Ruta from me. I am going to refrain from gushing like a fool right off the bat, but consider yourself warned. You may want to come to the blog prepared for full-on-hero worship because it is inevitable.
Ruta–don’t hate me. I have many flattering pics of you and I fully plan to use them, but this one just captured how funny and accessible you were and it made me smile. This breakout session, MEDIA PREP: AUTHOR TIPS FOR RADIO, TV AND PRINT COVERAGE was part of the PRO Track–classes designed for the student who has different needs now that they are published.
I now have an endless amount of information to contemplate. Here are some of the broad strokes…
*Develop message points
*Distill them down to sound bytes
*Bridges allow you to communicate your message with a less than perfect question
*Pivots allow you to take something negative and turn it positive
*Never wing it…EVER!
The last Keynote of the day was HOW A DUMBASS LIKE ME GOT 100 BOOKS PUBLISHED by Dan Gutman. As you might imagine, this speech was funny, irreverent and very smart. Dan started off by giving us a list of advice starting with…
#13 Ignore all advice
#12 Join SCBWI (which negates number 13)
#11 Be persistent
#10 Try everything
#9 Don’t get stuck in a rut
#8 Become famous (like Madonna and then you can write anything and someone will print it LOL!)
#7 Find something really popular and then write something better
#6 Never write on an empty stomach (use paper)
#5 Break the rules
#4 Promote the hell out of yourself
#3 Take the Bull by the horns
#2 Use your strengths
#1 There is NO SECRET…when you do what you love, you love what you do.
Time for the Pizza Party and Book Sale honoring SCBWI Published Attendees. *yum and squee* Next year I’ll have pizza AND a book!!!!
Jodi Moore holding down the fort while Verla Kay had to step away. Seriously, doesn’t every one want to be Verla, mom of the Blue Boards?
Woo hoo!!! Got to meet fellow Apocalypsie Robin Mellom (Author of DITCHED) with her new MG novel THE CLASSROOM. Already loved DITCHED so had to get a copy of this one for me and the boys!!!!
I didn’t list the event times like I sometimes do, but in case you’re wondering…Jodi and I, registration and the Starbucks line were in full swing by 7:30 am and the Book Sale finished at 7:30pm. Somewhere after that hunted down dinner before I stayed up too late talking. For clarity, there was a quick break for lunch and I got to share a meal with my lovely RA for SCBWI Eastern Upstate New York–Nancy Castaldo. (Fun pics coming in future installments LOL!)
Don’t forget that I have an on going contest to win a pre-order of TOUCHING THE SURFACE right HERE! The contest will be open the whole time I’m recapping the conference. Stop over to win!!!
Are you tired yet? Any presenters that I’ve convinced you that you must see? Oh, my friend, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Be back on Friday with more.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about how to market your book before you get a publishing deal or possibly before you even finish writing it. It’s a little like preparing for the birth of an unborn child but without the shower. There are a ton of great similarities but not everything is sugar and spice or puppy dog tails. You are going to get the same funny looks from people when you start marketing yourself as a “pre-published” author, as you will when you announce that your top baby name choices are Petunia and Atlas.
But, if you’re serious about being a professional writer, you have to develop your platform at the same rate that you are developing your writing. This is not you being vain. It’s a vital component to being a successful writer in today’s day and age. You work to improve your writing without a guarantee of publication–you must also grow your knowledge and presence in social media the same way.
A lot of people cringe at the thought. I know, it seems pretentious. But I promise, it’s only awkward if you’re attempting to act like you’re JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer. Yes, this will be a turn off to–everyone. What I’m asking you to do is to build a
platform a group of friends, peers and resources. You are working to become a vital part of a community of your peers, your future employers, your friends and your potential readers. The way that you go about this is actually by being a genuine friend to people. Here is a real life example of what I mean.
Several years ago I attended a SCBWI Conference and met the uber amazing Molly O’Neill from Harper Collins
. I really wanted to submit TOUCHING THE SURFACE
to her, so I came home and immediately started to
follow her on FB. In the process of watching and listening to the information that Molly provided to her followers, I noticed that a colleague of hers was a debut MG novelist. Molly raved about this author and her book. So I bought it. I loved the book and became a fan. Then this author had a second book come out. Just a tiny little book called…
I was already a fan and a cyber friend. I talked to Nova across multiple forms of on-line media. I was excited for her next book and shared my excitement with my friends and family. I loved the book when I read it and continued to support Nova. Then I got a chance to attend my very first LA SCBWI Conference. Guess who I got to meet in person…
That’s Mike Dangerpants Jung, Nova and myself. Mike is another one of my amazing cyber friendships, but I’ll save that story for another day. And by the way–it was awesome to meet them both. I now consider them “real” friends, not just cyber friends.
Right after I got home from the conference, Nova was scheduled to have an IMAGINARY GIRLS book signing at one of my local indie bookstores–Oblong Books. I packed up the hubby and the kids and we went up for the book signing. I was so excited to let my family meet Nova. It was such a wonderful experience. One giant love fest–books, author, friends, family, indie and mini-cupcakes.
I continue to support Nova because I’m a fan and because I’m a friend. I can’t say if or how Nova will support me and my book in the future. And I can honestly say it doesn’t matter. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time with her. I learned a ton, enjoyed myself and felt great along the way. I didn’t do it to get something out of it. I did it to get someone out of it. And she was worth the time and effort it took to build the friendship.
What I will tell you is that when my editor at Simon Pulse, Anica Rissi, officially announced my book in her Fall 2012 line-up, Nova tweeted to Anica and myself that she was so excited to read it. And that felt like winning a million bucks.
Have I spent years marketing my unborn book? Absolutely. But, I’d like to think I’ve gone about it in a way that has been not only painless for everyone involved, but beneficial and even fun. You don’t have to be a spam bot to market your book. You have to be the same kind of emotionally connected person that it took to write the book in the first place.
I’m going to take back my earlier statement about an unborn book not getting a shower. If you are the kind of person who is a good friend to those around you, I have a feeling you will get showered with love, attention and support. And really, there is no better way to bring your new “baby” into the world.
I’d also like to draw your attention to two books by Kristen Lamb. They are WE ARE NOT ALONE THE WRITERS GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA EBOOK and ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, WRITER. They give you an amazing step-by step break down on how to go about marketing yourself in this very effective fashion. Plus a ton of other information. I highly recommend both books and subscribing to Kristen’s blog.
If you have any specific questions I’d be more than happy to try and answer them. And if you have any great tips on marketing your book that you’d love to share I would love to hear them. Success stories and marketing bloopers welcome. :o)
This is it! I’m ready to finish this up and move on. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for your final SCBWI LA Conference installment!
This is not John Green. Not a single one.
I wasnt the only Nova fan! Every crowd should have an enthusiastic Mike Jung
in the back LOL! (If you’re lucky)
Some highlights from their discussion…
*Nova-When something really scares you, its probably the right thing to explore. I picked Michael as an agent because he pushed me to grow as a writer.
*Michael-I know that I’ve lost out on clients because I’ve been honest about what my expectations were.
From my own experience, I can’t agree more. A great fit with your agent is the foundation you need and it will increase the chances that you’ll find an editor who is also an amazing match.
Time for the 2011 Golden Kite Awards Luncheon
We had a wonderful slide show, looking back over 40 years. It was amazing. Wish it was posted some place so that I could share it with you
This was dessert. Everything about this made me smile.
Listening to the speeches of the Golden Kite
recipients. They were fantastic–so proud of them.
A special keynote from the impeccable Richard Peck
. I adore this man.
This is when that big lunch and dessert became a problem. Navigating the halls in a chocolate coma, I didn’t get to Bruce Coville’s workshop in time to get a seat or a piece of rug. This picture was taken from the door with my hands up over my head. The good news was that I could hear him just fine.
-AT THE INTERSECTION OF PLOT AND CHARACTER: THE PLACE WHERE STORIES HAPPEN.
GAHHH!!!! Every word out of this man’s mouth is genius. I’ll try to pick the best ones to share with you…
*Stories happen when a character is forced to make a difficult choice. NEED DRIVES THE ACTION.
*Use yourself, steal from everyone around you. Cast the book as if you are writing a play.
*Characters should have…
-an agenda (theirs, not yours)
-some inconsistencies (do you know anyone who doesn’t?)
*Plot is what happens when desire meets obstacle.
*If there is no chance to crash if you have not jumped.
Because the universe is fair, and wanted to make up for my inability to even cross the threshold of Bruce’s workshop, I was able to snag front row seats for the final keynote of the conference. *squee* While we waited for…drum roll…Laurie Halse Anderson. We decided to take some pictures. Guess who joined us? Linda Sue Park
Jodi, Laura, Edna, Amy N., Linda Sue Park, Kim and Amy S.
Then Linda switched out with our buddy Jeff so he could get in the picture too!
Laurie, means so much to me. I can’t put into words the effect that she has had on my life, the impact she has made. The places I’ve dared to go because I knew I had a friend along for the journey. Yes, because of her I have become someone who dares to disturb the universe. I love that, I love her and I want a T-shirt that says it!
Here is what you just can’t miss…
DO YOU DARE DISTURB THE UNIVERSE?
*Art disturbs the universe. When we create it we make our neighbors nervous and our politicians fret.
*We gather here to collect our courage.
*Revolutions of the soul are a scary thing.
*If you don’t jump, the wings never come.
*To write is to terrorize yourself.
*When things get bad, just remember, BABY…YOU’RE GOING TO DIE. Puts it in perspective. Ha!
*It is your obligation to disturb the universe the best that you can.
*THIS IS OUR WORK.
*In 20 years, you will be more disappointed in the things you didn’t do than the ones you did.
*In children’s literature, we are not competitors, we are co-conspirators.
And here are the best co-conspirators that any of us could possibly have. *sniff*
Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser taking a bow after 40 years of love, dedication and brilliance. <3
Kim and Dan giving K.L. Going
the thumbs up. (Dan is illustrating her new picture book)
The amazing author/illustrator Marla Frazee
. I adore her picture books. *heart squish*
No one can blame me for sneaking Jon Scieszka
the bunny ears. He’s just mad because he didn’t think of it first. LOL!
No need to get teary about the end of the conference–yet. It’s off to KidLit Night at the Pink Taco
What you don’t know is that we’re hungry enough to eat the table! (Can you see me leaning in?)
!!!! Gretchen, Kim, Emily and Debra. I love these gals!!!!
We ate. We hung out. A few of us even did the Pitch Slam with Mary Kole.
It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone. The conference was amazing, but it was time to go home to the other people we love, to return to our writing, to once again sleep more than 4 consecutive hours and to begin to dream about going again next year. Ummm and to do laundry. *head thunk*
I know that these recaps have been endless. I hope I was able to capture a little bit of the magic of the experience and share it with you. Because honestly, I wish you’d been there too. If you have any recommendations for things you’d like to see in future conference blogs–let me know and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Hope to see you at a conference soon. :o)
I don’t mean to scare you, but we are now HALFWAY through the conference. And that’s only because I didn’t attend the Intensive Sessions on Monday. I’ve never been to anything like this before. It’s amazing and exhausting. At this point, I’m sucking down ice tea, caffeine riddle soda and full-on regular coffee as needed. ( Read as–with an IV drip) I’m breaking off glacier size hunks of dark chocolate from the stash in my bag. So far, I haven’t missed a single keynote or workshop, but I’m openly weeping at the drop of a hat and running to the SCBWI store every break to hoard more books. I may have even high-fived Jay Asher in the lobby. He was totally cool with it though. Ah…so where were we?
Norton Juster-AN ACCIDENTAL AUTHOR TELLS ALL
Legen…wait for it…dary!
Here are your nuggets…
*The great puzzle for kids is what their parents are made of.
*Boredom is an undervalued commodity. It is a mistake to banish boredom.
*My books were motivated by “trying to avoid doing other things.” Ha!
*The hardest thing to make kids understand is how to listen to their own voices.
*Being out of context is the one great, liberating thing in our lives. Spend a lot of time out of context and help kids stay out of it as long as possible.
*Playing with words is my great disease.
I always like to watch for the little messages that the universe sends to me. *heart squish*
Next up, I had a workshop session with Gary Paulsen. I am going to save my notes for his keynote since there was a bit of overlap. I’ll combine the best of the two for you later.
And then there was shame. My shame. *sticks out hand to be slapped* I have no excuse, except the hideous crash of all that unfamiliar caffeine in my system. Oh, Mary Pope Osborne of MAGIC TREE HOUSE fame…I have done you wrong. *sobs*
Mary Pope Osbourne-A BRIDGE OF CHILDREN’S BOOKS
My brain has turned to mush. I could see Mary up at the podium…talking…but it sounded like the teacher from the Charlie Brown specials. The words would not go in. I took no notes. I fiddled with my camera…
I climbed over a row of people and went to the SCBWI store and fed the book habit–again. Came back and ate some more chocolate. It wasn’t her. It was me. *hangs head in shame*
How will I ever feel good about myself again?
I GOT TO HOLD PEEPY!!!!! And meet Lisa Yee
. *heart squish*
(My boys laughed so hard, when I squealed about holding Peepy. *snicker*)
She signed my copy of IDENTICAL
…”A banned author to be!”
I hope I don’t let her down. She is such a hero of mine.
Cynthea is a major resource and support to the Children’s Book Writing community.
I’ve learned sooo much from her. Thank you!!!!
She’s the best and loves this book!!!!!
Eastern NY SCBWI
in the house!
Brought my own copy of HARRIS AND ME, a personal favorite, for Gary Paulsen to sign.
The wonderful Mary Pope Osbourne who DOES NOT sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown and is super sweet.
What time is it? It’s almost time for the 40 Winks Anniversary Poolside Gala!!!!!
Everyone hanging out and getting on line for some food.
(Kim and Jodi) Got my bunny slippers!!!!
Surprisingly is was pretty cool out.
Jodi, Kim and Laura
Can you see my PJ’s? Fiction that Rocks–The Class of 2k12
Captain Stupendous aka Mike Jung in his
cape blanket with sleeves. :o)
Jeff, rocking the dance floor in his
night gown night shirt. *grin* Not my fault guys are so easy to tease.
It was at this point that I ran up to the room and dumped my sweat shirt and everything that did not fit into my name tag holder. Take my word for it, dancing in bunny slippers just gives you really hot feet and a desire to throw your hands in the air and wave them all around! What a great night!!
Phew, we made it through Saturday. Now we’re almost done with the LA Conference blogs. Are you clapping? Seriously, that’s not nice. *gives you the stink-eye* I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled blather soon enough–then you’ll be sorry.
Friday’s post will kick off (Sunday at the conference) with an Agent Panel and Gary Paulsen.