Friday, April 30, 2010

On Self-Promotion

There's been a whole lot of talk the last few years about what authors need to do to promote themselves.

Well, I am now going to weigh in on this topic. I know, you readers have been DYING to hear my opinion on the subject, and you can't believe your luck. Quite honestly I'm surprised that you all have hung around reading my snoozapalooza posts long enough to hear my opinion on the subject. But now you're dearest wish is about to be fulfilled.

You are so welcome. Glad I could oblige.

I've been giving this a lot of thought. You see, I've had a lot of time on my hands as I wait to actually sell a book. So I figured I'd get an early start on the self-promotion thing and see what happens.

Well, obviously, not much. Because one thing I have learned is that it's a whole lot easier to self-promote if you have something you're promoting. You know, like a published book you've written.

But I have learned a few things that I do think are important to know. They are (in no particular order):

1. It's more important to enjoy yourself than it is to promote yourself.

Yes, I do believe this. I will let you in on a little secret: I did start this blog because I wanted to get my name out there into the world. Name recognition can be a good thing. However, I also started this blog because I genuinely like to blog. It's kinda like writing those journals I used to write when I was a teenager. (And I wrote a LOT of those. Seriously, I think I filled at least 7 or 8 in about four or five years.) And I really like the freedom of writing something spontaneously, with only a few minor edits as I go. Sometimes the constant revision process really gets to me, and this blog is a place where I can feel a little more free. (I am well aware that it is probably not a good idea to be so spontaneous on a blog, but I doubt I'll be changing that anytime soon. I'm just not very good at plotting things out beforehand. It's the process of making it up as I go along that excites me the most.)

Anyway, through that last paragraph of ramble-y randomness, I was trying to point out how much I ENJOY doing what I'm doing. I genuinely enjoy my silly tweets about my imaginary twitter empire, which is currently locked in a struggle of monumental proportions against another empire who will remain nameless as to not give that empire any leverage with which to thwart me (just check out my tweets to see this struggle in all its glory). I genuinely love reading comments from the few people who actually comment on my FB or blog. I love Verla's message boards where I hang out waaaaaay too much and lament about the weather. (Do you know it has snowed at my house this week? Seriously, what is up with the weather?)

But I also love to talk on the phone. Or hang out in person and chat with someone for hours. I like knowing things and being involved in projects. I like being in the middle of things.

So if I didn't genuinely enjoy social networking, I could self-promote until I'm blue in the face but it probably wouldn't do me any good. Because people can spot a fake a mile away. And if you aren't enjoying yourself, people will know. And they won't want to hang around someone who is such a drag. I'm just sayin'...

2. If you're going to self-promote, the best thing you can do is be approachable.

What do I mean about being approachable? Well, for one, actually reply to comments from your readers. I try to reply to every comment I get (which, sadly enough, is really easy to do since I usually have less than a dozen comments to worry about). I love it when someone takes the time to reply to my comments. I'm betting my readers feel the same way, so I want to make sure to encourage them. Plus I really really love keeping the conversation going, so it's a no-brainer for me.

But being approachable also means leaving your little blog bubble and visiting others'. I don't do it as much as I should, but it's so sad to find a blog post that I've really enjoyed and notice that there has been ZERO comments on it. Don't you think that blogger would love to know how great his/her blog entry was, or how it made me think in a new way about something, or just made me laugh? So comment widely and spread the wealth. I firmly believe that a single blog commenter can change the world for good. Plus it's a great way to enlarge your circle of "friends" while doing something enjoyable. (Well, I find it enjoyable, anyway.)

3. Whatever you do, it's enough.

I know. You're scratching your head over that one. You usually hear "there's always more you can be doing." Well, I disagree. Kinda. Well, not really. Let me explain.

Sure, there is always something more you can do to promote yourself. ALWAYS. But does that mean you should do it?

Absolutely not.

I know so many authors who have done so much to promote themselves that they've practically collapsed from exhaustion. And not a bit of it made any difference to their books' bottom lines. And I've known other authors who've done nothing and have had runaway success. I've also known some who've done a lot and it's made a huge difference in their success as authors. And I've known some who've done nothing and have had nothing happen in return.

So what do I really mean? What I'm trying to say is that you should do what you think you can. And if you do, it'll be enough. Don't feel guilty that you aren't doing more.

Do what you can. It'll be enough.

Repeat with me.

Do what you can. It'll be enough.

4. The best promotion is word of mouth.

So give those mouths something to talk about. Write the BEST BOOK you can, and then get to work on the next BEST BOOK you can write. Writing good books over and over again is the best way to promote yourself.

And if you happen to mention my blog to a friend, I won't mind. Because word of mouth really is the best way to spread the word.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How Much Is Too Much?

As you all probably know by now (especially if you actually read my posts), I have been hard at work with about 25 other middle grade writers creating a group blog about MG books.

We are in the final stages and we are getting things ready for our official launch (I'm still not certain of the date, but I'll announce here as soon as I know), and one of the jobs I'm doing is getting our posting schedule figured out.

So, I was wondering what people thought about how often a blog is updated. Do you like to see new content every day? Every other day? Once a week? Once a month?

How many posts per week or month do you think is too much?

Or can there ever be too much of a good thing?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Writing Life: Homeschool-Style

I don't usually write much about my personal life, because...well, it's personal. But I encounter many people who, when hearing how many kids I have ("Five? That's a lot!") and that I homeschool them ("Wow! You must be really busy!"), wonder how I get any writing done ("Do you ever sleep?").

So I wanted to put a few myths to rest.

MYTH #1--Having five kids is a lot of children.

Baloney. Sure, it makes for a hectic house, but it's an average-size family if you ask me. Of course, both my parents came from larger families (7 kids in my mom's family and 8 in my dad's), and I had a friend in high school who was the oldest of 12. Now THAT is a lot of children in one house. Five is peanuts compared to twelve.

MYTH #2--Homeschooling that many kids is impossible.

Baloney. Sure, it's hard work and I don't always succeed (in fact, I hold the self-imposed title of Worst Homeschooling Parent Ever), but my kids manage to learn things even when I drop the ball. And, to my utter delight, every adult that meets them comments on how refreshing it is to see polite but focused kids. My kids speak with respect, answer questions thoughtfully, and don't see the point in "following the crowd." They are different, but in a good way.

MYTH #3--You can't homeschool your kids and write, too.

Double baloney. Sure, I don't get a lot done with my kids at home 24/7, but I can still get some writing done. I may not be in a position to write all day, and it may take me longer than most to finish a book, but it's no different than a writer who works full-time out of the home. And the added bonus is that when I'm not writing, I'm learning alongside my kids. I'm soaking in knowledge that I can turn around and use in my manuscripts.

(The down side: I have to fake it when I write about school settings. But luckily I do remember my own PS [pubic school] days and I am surrounded by friends and family who can fill me in on the details about today's PS system. And it must be working, since the book my agent has on submission is set in an elementary school. It was the manuscript I used to get his attention, in fact.)

The hardest thing about writing and homeschooling is learning to balance the two worlds. I'll admit that some days I wish I could ship the kids off to school so I could have six hours to myself. And other days I'm ready to set aside the writing so I can focus on being a better homeschooling mom. But I've learned that I'm not happy if I can't be doing both. The writing helps refill my creative well, and gives me the energy to keep going in our homeschool. And the homeschool gives me satisfaction I couldn't get any other way (plus I feel less guilty about spending so much time writing when I know most of my day is spent in the service of someone[s] other than myself). (That Mom Guilt is something else, isn't it?)

I can't say whether or not my life will always be this way. My oldest is creeping ever closer to the junior high years, and the thought of high school at home is a little terrifying at this point. But I'm also really grateful for the opportunity to raise my kids the way I want to raise them, teach them the way I want them to be taught, and to watch them grow into the amazing adults I know they will become someday.

And I get to write about it, too. What more could you want in life? (Besides a book contract, that is.) (Hint, hint, editor people.) My books might not be edgy and dark, but they are how I want the world to be; happy and fun, full of life and good. A good life is what I have, and a good life is what I want to share with the world. What's wrong with that?

Nothing, I say. Absolutely nothing.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lucky Me

I just found out that I have won one another book contest. How awesome is that?! It's the third one in about a month, so I'm feeling lucky. And our MG group blog is coming together so well that I think my lucky streak extends to that as well. I lead a charmed life.

Happy sigh.

I'm so grateful for all the good luck that I'm working on giving some of it back. So be watching for a special something from me soon. You know, like a book contest kind of something special.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Groom 'Em Early (Just Don't Tell Them), That's the Way to Take 'Em Down

Alternate Title: How to Laugh at Yourself and Embarrass Your Family at the Same Time

Not too long ago, I had a writing-related conversation with one of my sisters. The conversation somehow turned to things I had written when I was younger, and I learned something I had never ever known:

As a child, I was being groomed for the life of a superstar author.

Yes, it's true. Apparently everyone knew it. My parents, my siblings, my teachers, and my friends knew it. Some adults at church knew it. I'd be willing to bet that some random guy pulled off the street might have even known it. Unfortunately, all their hard work was for naught, because they forgot to let one very important person in on the secret.


You see, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was a dang good writer according to all these people. I had no idea that anything I wrote was beyond ordinary. How was I supposed to know that my sixth grade creative writing assignment was head and shoulders above the rest, for example? I just remember thinking I was doing the same thing as everyone else.

So I skipped through elementary school, cruised through junior high school, and sailed through high school without doing much with my enormous talent. I squandered those years on journalism (the most uncreative of all writing out there, imo) (no offense, journalism people of the world) and went on to do so in college as well. So much for superstar author status.

Anyway, back to the conversation with my sister. She informed me--20 years later (okay, 24 years later--geesh, you're so particular about the exact dates)--about this failed grooming. The story she used to illustrate this was that sixth grade creative writing assignment I talked about earlier. Apparently, it was so good that my teacher passed it around the teacher's lounge.

No lie. True story.

How do we know this? Well, apparently someone in my family *cough cough* forgot about her own writing assignment and panicked, so she therefore plagiarized my paper, turned it into her teacher and got caught. "How did you know?" she cried when her teacher sent her to the principal's office and called my mother in.

"Because I've already read the original that your sister wrote," the teacher replied.* "It's made the rounds in the teacher's lounge."

Sigh. All that talent. Wasted! If I'd only known, I would be up there, right now, on the NYT Bestseller's list. I might have even supplanted J.K Rowling. To misquote a character in one of my favorite classics, "If I had ever learnt the truth, I should have been a great proficient."

Anyway, hearing this story made me think of that sixth-grade assignment. So I did some digging, and found the actual text, in its dot matrix glory. Here's an image of this greatness:

The first paragraph reads:

Once, on a misty morning, some boys were hiking on a main trail. They spotted a hidden side trail. They dicided [sic] to see what lay ahead on that trail.

Amazed, aren't you?! I knew you would be. If you could only read the rest of it, you would see the talent I had at such a young age.

The moral of this story is:

The best way to keep a great writer down is to never tell them how good they really are. Especially when they're young. It'll work every time. Promise. Try it for yourself, if you are the "let's ruin the hopes and dreams of the next generation" type of person, that is.

The other moral of the story is:

Don't steal your sister's paper and turn it in as your own. It'll come back to bite you, more than once most likely. Especially if that sister later becomes a writer who likes to blog and who will post this embarrassing story for the world to see, because she finds the entire tale incredibly funny. Love you, sis!

The real moral of the story is:

It's fun to laugh at yourself. And it's even more fun to laugh at yourself with others. So share your stories with me in the comments, or blog about them and send me a link. Let's all laugh together!

*No one remembers, verbatim, what the teacher actually said. I certainly don't, since I wasn't there or ever told about this story until last month, some twenty years later (okay, twenty-four years later). But I'm a writer, so I imagine this is something the teacher could have said. The point is, she told my sister that my teacher had passed my work around the school, so most of the teachers had read it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Back End of Things

I have to admit that I would rather watch the special features on a new DVD (or an old DVD, for that matter) than the actual movie. I've always loved documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and bloopers or outtakes. And I've always been more interested in the off-camera people than the on-camera people. I think about the writers, the directors, the best boys and foley artists (what are best boys and foley artists, anyway?) and hardly ever care what the actors are doing (except maybe those extras--they fascinate me more than the leading men or ladies do).

So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that I really enjoy reading the comments on blog posts. Some are really interesting--some not so much--but I especially love replying to other comments, especially for comments left on my blog(s). And I like to check and see if the blog poster has replied to my comment. It makes me feel special when they do.

But I'm wondering if others feel the same way, or if I'm just weird. (Yes, I already know I'm weird, but I mean weird in this respect only.) I know most of my LJ commenters know when I reply, since LJ usually sends the comment in an email (if you have that feature turned on, that is). But I have no idea if my blogspot/blogger readers ever know I usually always reply to their comments.

So, do you check the comments on a blog after you've commented? Do you like it when the blog poster replies to your comment? Do you like the back end of things as much as I do?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Agent Interview: Josh Getzler of Russell & Volkening

I thought my readers might like to learn a little bit more about my agent, Josh Getzler. He was kind enough to accept the invitation, and he didn't laugh too hard when I sent him a list of questions a mile long.

split this interview into three parts: 1) Getting to Know Josh Getzler; 2) Nuts and Bolts (query information); and 3) Mr. Getzler's Quick Picks, just for fun.

As a quick intro, Josh Getzler worked on the editorial side of the book world until 1993, when he left Harcourt to earn an MBA. Then he spent eleven years owning and operating a minor league baseball team. He rejoined the book world in 2006, this time on the agent side. He worked at Writers House until November 2009 and is now with Russell & Volkening. He can be reached at


You recently moved to Russell & Volkening, Inc., where you work as both an agent and as the Director of TV/Film Rights. Tell us a bit about the agency and your work there.

Russell & Volkening is one of the oldest independent literary agencies in America. It was established in 1940 by Diarmuid Russell and Henry Volkening, and bought by Tim Seldes 38 years ago. In addition to Tim, who is still active in running the company, and me, there are two other agents: Carrie Hannigan, who represents mainly children’s book authors; and Jesseca Salky, who does our foreign and subsidiary rights and represents some adult authors. Joy Amitizia, who assists Tim, also takes on a variety of authors.

I’m responsible both for growing the frontlist stable of authors and for working on film, television, and electronic rights for the full list. I’m responsible for a lot of frontlist because many of the authors—Bernard Malamud, Eudora Welty, George Plimpton…are dead and we represent their estates—while others, like Nadine Gordimer and Annie Dillard, write less frequently. Anne Tyler and Ntozake Shange are very strong current authors, and we are in the process of incorporating my list of authors into the firm.

I represent a wide variety of authors. I have literary novelists like Joshua Gaylord (HUMMINGBIRDS), mystery writers like Gerald Elias (DEVIL’S TRILL), Young adult writers like Tania Roxborogh (BANQUO’S SON), and middle grade authors like…you [Elissa Cruz]! I also work with nonfiction authors—I’m really across the board with the exception of romance, Christian, and hardcore science fiction.

What are some misconceptions about your job that you wish writers, particularly those who query you, knew?

I think most writers currently querying have a sense that most agents are overworked, so I don’t think that’s really a misconception. But it could be useful to know how busy we really are. First of all, I currently have 28 clients. They come first. If I get a draft of a new novel from one of my clients, or a contract comes in, or I am submitting a project to editors, that gets priority over reading queries. Once or twice a week I bring home a stack of queries and read it early in the morning (typically 5-7 am, while my kids and wife are asleep and the house is quiet). It’s not possible for me to read them as they come in, since that by itself would be a full-time job! Then what we do is for the queries that seem interesting (1 in around 8 or 9) I ask for 50 pages. Then every so often (1 in around 20) I ask for a full manuscript. The 50’s and manuscripts are the real bottlenecks. I can go several months before I read even a partial—and that’s something I really WANT to read!!!! So I guess the biggest misconception potential clients have is that no news is bad news. In fact, no news is exactly that…no news. It’s just as possible that I will ask for a full, and then offer representation, after 4 months. I would LOVE to be more efficient, and work like crazy to get better, but the fact is that in order to grow my list I need to evaluate an awful lot of queries, and it simply takes forever. Oh, but by the way—you should NOT send an agent a manuscript exclusively for longer than a couple of months. You can tell them you’re going to do so, but I don’t expect you to wait for me to get to your ms before you try to get representation elsewhere. My overextension/inefficiency is not your fault!

You spent a few years as the owner of the Staten Island Yankees, a minor league baseball team. How was that world different from the publishing world you work in now?

Oh my god, it’s totally different, with the exception that in both cases I was working to sell a product—a baseball game or a book—that I hoped would be popular to the masses. But there I was working both direct-to-consumer (selling tickets to the public) and business-to-business (selling advertising to sponsors). I controlled what the event was, but not the quality of the product on the field (I could make sure that fans had a good time, with attractive merchandise and good food, but I couldn’t guarantee a win!). Here, I am working directly with authors (which I love, as you know), trying to make their books the best—and most salable—that they can be. Then I go to the editors and try to make a match. One of the big differences is that in publishing more than baseball, connections and time are really what makes me valuable. I have to match authors with the RIGHT editors, and that takes lots of conversations.

I realize that went far afield from the real question, but hopefully it was at least interesting. :)

Does your previous work with the minor leagues mean you have a soft spot for baseball stories?

Actually I’m MUCH pickier, because I have 13 years of background and really know how the people—players, managers, fans, owners-think. You can slip inaccuracies about police procedure or zombies by me, but not much in baseball. The best pure baseball novel EVER was Bull Durham, because Ron Shelton got it completely right.

You've mentioned that you (and probably only ten other people) love cozy mysteries. Are you seeing an upward trend in this type of mystery? If not, what are the current industry trends for mysteries, both for the adult and children/YA market?

Ah, you may have misunderstood. There are millions of readers of cozy mysteries—it’s a huge and ever-popular market. There are very few editors who concentrate on them, however, and there are so many little mysteries floating about that it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s good and what isn’t. It’s actually why the online world is pretty great for mysteries (as well as other genres like it—romance, science fiction, fantasy, etc). My frustration is that there are a limited number of houses—St. Martin’s, some imprints at Penguin and HC, Kensington, some smaller places (though that’s NOT exhaustive), where they really, you know, LOVE those kinds of books. As a result, I sometimes get backlogged with clients’ manuscripts, because I don’t want to send an editor two manuscripts simultaneously.

In terms of trends, I’ve seen the two extremes become popular—very soft-boiled (knitting, cupcakes, kittens) and also very extreme (Palahniuk, my own client Angela S. Choi’s Hello Kitty Must Die). The Key West comedic mystery is a little less popular. Editor after editor tells me they’re looking for strong female cops/lawyers/doctors like Patricia Cornwell or Linda Fairstein’s heroines.

What other types of books, mysteries or otherwise, do you love?

I’m very partial to historical novels—I’m finishing Wolf Hall right now, and next on my list is Robert Harris’s latest Ancient Rome thriller. But my favorite author is Faulkner, and I’ve been reading lots of really creepy gothic novels, sometimes with zombies, sometimes not…

Is there a bestselling/award winning author you wished you represented? What do you like about his/her book(s)?

JK Rowling. :) OK, OK, not to go too far astray, I would love to have “found” Donna Leon, whose Venice mysteries I adore, or Umberto Eco, who I find to be both brilliant and at times hilarious. I’m a huge fan of TC Boyle. I briefly had a chance to work with Steve Berry when I was at Writers House, when my boss started to work with him, and he’s a gentleman and a terrific writer, and very generous. But the author I would have loved to work with was Ellen Raskin, who wrote The Westing Game and (and in my mind even better) The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues. Her books helped make me a reader and a mystery lover when I was a kid, and I think her books influence my current taste—knowing, smart mysteries—more than any others. The other author I would have loved to work with was E.B. White.

Social networking is getting a lot of attention as the best way for writers to market themselves. Do you encourage your clients to network this way, and if so, how much time should they invest?

Absolutely. The world has changed and the expectation by publishers is that their authors will come with built-in platforms (a word I never even heard in Business School in the early 90’s!). It’s a way to get word out about the kind of books you write to the specific people you think would be most interested in it. My main advice about it, however, is this: if you are going to blog or have an active Facebook page, then you need to commit to it. You don’t necessarily need a huge essay every day, but if you want your site/blog/Facebook page to get traffic, you need to keep it refreshed. Four of my favorites (not my authors’) are the following:

1) Pub Rants by the agent Kristen Nelson—she gives great information and does so regularly

2) Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind by Sarah Weinman

3) by Charlie Huston

4) The Elegant Variation by Mark Sarvas

Obviously there are many, many more, but these are among the best.

Lately there is a lot of talk about e-books and their impact on the publishing industry. What is your opinion on this subject? Where do you see the industry heading in the next few years?

Do you have several days? I think we are in an unbelievably exciting watershed moment in the world of publishing, and the landscape of the industry is about to change dramatically. The short answer is that in my opinion electronic publishing has the potential to be the most radical fundamental change in the publishing world since the printing press allowed us to mass-produce pamphlets. Whether it’s on Kindle, iPad, cell phone (as they do in Japan) or another, not-yet-developed device, more and more people are going to be reading on electronic devices in the coming year. More still as children, who have grown up with computers, begin to grow up with these devices as normal (as my kids, who received first generation Kindles when my wife and I upgraded, can attest). As with the social media comments above, electronic publishing ought to allow books to find their market. Of course, this is not perfect—browsing the pages in Amazon—no matter how good the algorithms—won’t replicate the thrill of trolling the aisles in a bookstore. And children’s books (particularly picture books) ought to take a long time to catch up electronically, since it’s pretty cold to read Guess How Much I Love You on an iPad to a one year old. And the payout for electronic editions to authors hasn’t hit equilibrium (that’s another whole entry!). But it’ll be hard to imagine a world without electronic books in a much shorter time than we could have imagined. And that—HONESTLY!—isn’t a bad thing.


What are you currently looking for?

1) The female cop/lawyer/doctor a la Patricia Cornwell or Linda Fairstein, both American and set abroad.

2) Historical mysteries and thrillers, both adult and YA

3) Well-written women’s fiction, preferably with some suspense

4) Asian literary fiction.

What is your current turn-around time?

Longer than I’d like (see above). For first response, I’m trying to be within 2 weeks (frequently shorter); for 50’s and manuscripts, I’m often at 2 months or more. I really wish it were less, but it isn’t.

You say you don’t take on any picture book authors. Should a writer who writes both MG/YA and PBs not query you? What happens if one of your MG/YA clients decides to write a PB?

They should definitely query me. I would refer picture books to Carrie, but if I represent you, then you get the whole firm behind you—I might sell the MG novel, Carrie could sell the PB, and Jesseca could sell audio and foreign rights.

Do you mainly work with writers who don't need much editorial input, or do you like to dive in and get your hands dirty?

I think you know the answer to this! While I will gladly take a clean novel in a heartbeat, I typically am a VERY hands-on editor before submitting. I’ve worked on projects for YEARS before submitting them, and I’ve sent a couple out with very few tweaks.

How do you like to communicate with your clients?

I typically communicate more than 75% of the time via email—I am a Blackberry junkie so I try to respond to clients quickly. But I will always set up phone calls at the client’s pleasure. What I—and most agents—try to avoid is unscheduled calls. My day is always packed, so if I want to talk to a client—or vice-versa—I typically set it up via email first, to ensure that I will have the time set aside that the client deserves, rather than having to cut off an unanticipated phone call before it’s run its course.

Anything else you'd like those that query you to know?

The single most important word in publishing is not talent or luck, but patience. Most of the time it takes FOREVER to write a book, then twice-forever to get a representative, and then it’s just the start! As you know, Elissa, editors can take their time to evaluate even a short manuscript. If you look at my comments about workload and magnify them, you get the load of an editor (and he or she is only getting full manuscripts, and all have been picked over by agents!). But while the system is slow and inefficient and, most of the time, unfair, it’s the one we’ve got, and we have to work within it.


Outfield or infield?


Kermit or Fozzie?


Movie Premiere or DVD New Release?


iPad or Kindle?

I’ll get back to you!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Five

1. Is it really Friday already?

2. I had a nice email chat with Agent Man last week. I am feeling much better about the status of my submission, since he had some info to share with me that I didn't know. And I am always pleased with how hard he works for me. Go Agent Man!

3. Speaking of Agent Man, he has agreed to do an interview for me, and I will be posting that interview on Monday. It's good stuff, so I'm glad I asked him if he'd be willing.

4. Our MG group blog is coming together nicely. I am so happy about how it is turning out, and how well everyone is getting along. And there are so many people working with me that I have admired for quite some time, so I am grateful that they humor me and let me pretend to run the show. I can't wait to announce our launch date...but it will have to wait a little longer. But hopefully soon! Be watching for the big announcement!

5. Really? It's Friday? What happened to this week? I swear it was just Monday about 20 minutes ago.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let's Play Six Degrees of Separation: E. L. Konigsburg-style!

As many of you know, I put out the call for other MG authors to help with a blog about MG books. We have now formed (there are nearly 30 of us), and have been hard at work discussing, planning, and dreaming.

And one of our dreams is to get in touch with E. L. Konigsburg.

So we are hoping someone might know someone who knows someone who can send Ms. Konigsburg a message for us. We are hoping she would be willing to give us a quote about what Middle Grade means to her. It would mean a lot to us if she would be willing to send us a short 1-2 sentence quote.

Please put out the word, everyone! If you think you might know someone who might know her, please pass the message on. It will mean the world to us and our readers if we could hear from her.

Please leave a comment below if you think you can help us contact Ms. Konigsburg. It's a long shot, I know, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Update on Revision Freakout #1

Remember Revision Freakout #1?

Well, I just thought you'd all like to know that The Breakthrough came waltzing in today.

(It's about time.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This Just In...

...Mother Nature decides to play trickster on April Fools' Day.

It seems that she has ignored the "It's Spring" memo and has dumped a bucket-load of SNOW in every yard in my neighborhood. I had to clean about three inches off the car this morning.

Ha ha. Very funny, Mother Nature. You got me good.

Okay, you can get rid of it now.