Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Resources for Young Aspiring Authors

I'm getting ready to do some speaking engagements for teens and wanted to share tips on how this generation of aspiring authors can hone their skills and, perhaps, catch the eye of the publishing industry. I'm amazed at how quickly things have evolved online - even within the past year. Now there are places where teens can share their work, get feedback, and even make a name for themselves that could, in some cases, be parlayed into traditional publishing success (whatever "traditional" means anymore - even that has been evolving at light speed).

Because things move so fast, I'm positive I don't know about all of the great writing sites out there for teens. I do know about Figment, obviously. I also have been following InkPop, which just became part of Figment. Smashwords seems to be another place where writers can share their stuff. So what else is out there? I'm asking the question here on my blog so I can compile the answers in comments for future reference.

Help me out, friends and readers: What are some good online resources for teens who dream of becoming authors?

Edited to add: Aha! I just remembered I'd pinned something on Pinterest the other day about another writing site for teens: Movellas! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Get Advice from (Formerly) Debut Authors

I still have a hard time believing my debut year is over. 2011 was filled with big highs and lows, plus a ton of blessings--the biggest of which was the opportunity to get to know other debut authors through groups like The Elevensies. One of our group, the amazing Beth Revis, asked several of us to share three lessons we learned from our debut year. I love what my fellow authors had to say--especially about not stressing over things you can't control and always, always, always continuing to write, no matter what.

Whether you're an upcoming debut author or you aspire to be one one day, check out Beth's blog post. I hope you'll find it educational and inspirational.

Coming soon: Why I'm obsessing over a certain ballet success story.

Monday, March 12, 2012


By now I think most people have heard about Pinterest - it's sort of like Tumblr meets Facebook meets your personal bookmarks on steroids. It's THE thing right now among people I know.  (Not so sure if it's big among my target audience of teens, but that's another post altogether.)

The cool thing about Pinterest, besides the chance to collect lots of recipes and wardrobe/decor ideas, is that it lets authors gather and share photos and videos that inspire them.

A lot of us create playlists of songs that inspire certain projects. And a lot of us share those playlists so readers who desire it can have a soundtrack to accompany their novel-reading. I can see authors sharing their Pinterest boards in much the same way.

Take, for example, the board I created for a book that's currently on submission - called RUSH. You might be able to guess from looking at it what the book's about. The board is a work in progress; I'm still adding videos and images and links, hoping to capture the tone and the message of the project, and someday I hope to share it with readers and fellow writers so they can get an idea of what inspired me.

I know other authors are using Pinterest in much the same way--as a research aid and a springboard for the imagination. I don't know if any are reading this blog in its infancy, but if you're a "pinner" and an author, would you care to share your boards?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hi, Everybody!

I'm so excited to unveil this new blog - it's been a long time coming! I started blogging when blogging was just getting started--almost 10 years ago--which makes me either hip or just old. Over the years, platforms like Twitter and Facebook emerged to pull my focus from my humble little Live Journal. Plus I had kids, and my dayjob continued to be demanding, and... well, my blog suffered. It also looked ugly.

But now I have this gorgeous new blog, designed by the lovely and talented book blogger and aspiring author Gabrielle Carolina (you can check out her blog, Mod Podge Bookshelf, right here). And I have a new commitment to sharing my journey as an author and career writer. So I'll be posting regularly about writing novels, writing in general, the publishing industry and anything else that seems interesting. I'll even do giveaways and bring in guests every now and then to provide a different perspective. I hope you'll enjoy; I think it's going to be fun!

So, watch this space--and, please, give some props to Gabrielle for her amazing design work. Thank you so much!!