Friday, October 25, 2013

Author Judy Reeves - How to be a Writer who Writes

I stumbled upon this video of Author Judy Reeves speaking on YouTube this week. She talks about making time for writing, about not being afraid to share our stories, and about overcoming other barriers that get in the way of our writing lives.  In this first video segment of three Judy gives great suggestions and encouragement to keep us all moving forward.

Enjoy the Video.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Foreshadowing & Flashbacks -- some BIG THINGS ARE COMING!

I recently heard one writer asking another writer: "Why is your book so unusually linear?  Everything happens in order. Why don't you used flashbacks or foreshadowing?  Your book just goes from one day to the next to the next to the next." Hmmm....

Now moving from one day to the next to the next may not be a bad thing in your book.  But using FLASHBACKS  and FORESHADOWING can often strengthen our plots and increase what we know about our characters as our story is progressing! 

Here is a computer animated conversation between a teacher and a student discussing foreshadowing in the book Hatchet - by Gary Paulson.  Perhaps it will help us think about how to use foreshadowing or flashback more effectively in our own novels.

And here's a little scene that gives some not-so subtle foreshadowing about some of the upcoming amazing authors who will be sharing their writing tips on Writermorphosis over the next few months (we're very excited!):


"Batman, you really might want to consider reading a few of the books on this secret underground bookshelf I've just discovered. I think they will make our future more, uh, enlightening. Based on what I'm seeing here big things are coming our way on Writermorphosis. REALLY BIG things."

"Really?" Batman squinted through his new video-com device as the feed from Robin's camera panned over the books that Robin had discovered in a tunnel off the main sewer line 300 feet below Gotham City. The drip, drip, drip of water from the sewer pipes near Robin's head echoed in the deafening darkness and reminded Batman of Chinese water torture. But the books looked like good ones. A food of the titles caught his attention: Fracture.  Immortal Beloved.  And a very shiny new one called United We Spy... 

"But I don't understand what these novels have to do with our future or Writermophosis, Robin."

Robin grabbed the books off the dripping bookshelf and shoved them into his backpack as the sound of running feet and shouts of "stop him," and "He's found them!" resounded in the corridor to his right.

"You gotta trust me on this one, Batman," he said, shining the flashlight into his face so that Batman could see his excited expression for just one second before he ducked into the dark dripping corridor to his left and disappeared into the night. "Just trust me, man. Some big things are coming! And these are the books that we want!"

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Cybils Awards: Nominate Your Favorite book of 2013 today!

October 15th is the last day to nominate your favorite YA/MG books of 2013 for this year's Cybils Award! 

Has your own book, published in 2013, 
already been nominated by someone?
If not, there's still time!
 If you don't know what the Cybils are about, here's info. straight from the award organizers!

Contest FAQs

What's a Cybil?
The Cybils awards are given each year by literary bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles. Nominations open to the public on October 1st. This year's nominations end October 15th!

Can anyone nominate?
Yes, anyone may nominate one book per genre during the public nomination period. We ask authors, publishers and publicists to wait until the public nomination period ends to submit their own books.

The Genre's include:

How do I nominate?
We post an online form for public nominations from Oct. 1-15 every year. The form will be live at at 12:00 a.m. PST on October 1. We’ve tried to make the form mobile-friendly, so you can use your phone to nominate if you prefer. Authors and publishers may use the public form to nominate books other than their own, but should contact for information on submitting their own books.

What's great about the Cybils?
The judges are all bloggers.  They blog about the books as they read them - during the judging process! So authors whose books reach the final judging group in their genre usually get their books written about (and thus advertised and given more press and often reviewed) by the judges!  The Cybils get info on your book out to the masses.

So, if you're not sure if the book you love from 2013 has been nominated, go to the Cybils Website and Nominate it Today!

There are only a few days left to Nominate books and then the judging and blogging will begin!

Here's a link to the list of Last Year's Winners: 

Here's the link to Nominate Books:

Friday, October 4, 2013


 In case you missed the
sold out
SCBWI Carolina's Annual Fall Conference
last weekend,
here are a few of the highlights!

Picture book and YA Author Cynthia Liu walked us through how to create the plots of a picture book and a YA novel, and discussed the various plot twists of her own life, as well, in her
keynote address. 
You know that when the speaker starts out by laying down on the floor 
-- the speech is going to be great! Go, Cynthia!

YA Author Alan Gratz served as MC for the annual 1st pages and 1st Impressions (illustrations) session on Saturday afternoon. 

As usual, everyone learned a lot from "first pages" and "first impressions,"and it was one of the most beloved events of the conference!
The Carolina's Region of SCBWI turned out again this year to be a very active branch of the writer's and illustrators' organization (SCBWI), with many new attenders coming to learn, and many well-published fabulous authors and illustrators present and participating!
Above, YA Author Kate Tiernan reads aloud a great short setting description
penned by YA Author Alan Gratz during the session on "Treating your story's setting as a main character" taught by Agent Stephen Barr of Writer's House.

And I was delighted to add to my book collection a signed copy of this wonderful new  Christmas story written by Author Gretchen Griffith!
For any Children's/YA authors or illustrators who are not a part of the SCBWI and who want to know more about that organization

-- or to find out where the next children's/YA writing & illustrating conference is near YOU
click here: