Saturday, June 30, 2012

The e-books are coming! The e-books are coming!

Get ready for the e-book invasion.

It's happening faster than we know. Personally, I've been contacted by at least four people I know or have dealt with in critique groups, or from my blog that have now been published in ebook format. Some have worked with e-book publishers. Others have self-published. Either way, the e-books are coming so if you haven't gotten an e-reader yet, do it now. Those of you who say you want to hold a book in your hand may find yourselves going to library sales or garage sales just to find a paper book.

Not, really, we're not there yet, but that day is coming, and so are the e-books!

Definition - An electronic book (variously, e-bookebookdigital book, or even e-editions) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the e-book as "an electronic version of a printed book," but e-books can and do exist without any printed equivalent. E-books are usually read on dedicated e-book readers, personal computers and some mobile phones. 

We're a two e-reader household. My husband owns an iPad and I have a Kindle Fire. We're ready! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kreativ Blogger Award

My good friend from The Poets’ Garage, Laura Sassi has bestowed the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD upon me. Laura is a celebrated poet and writes wonderful rhyming picture books. Her blog is called Laura Sassi Tales 

Thanks for thinking of me, Laura. It’s great to feel appreciated by a fellow author, especially who knows how hard we all work.  This is a fun way to cheer each other on and I am happy to receive and pass along the award.

The rules for the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD are simple.  First, thank the person who nominated you. Second, write 7 things about yourself that no one knows. Third, nominate several creative bloggers for this award. So here goes:
My seven fun facts:

1.    I hold writers’ retreats at my home and several novels, poems and picture books of writer friends that have found their way to publication have started in my great room before a blazing fire.
2.    I was an Early Childhood Education teacher who trained prospective teachers at the high school and college level. In conjunction with that program I also directed a laboratory nursery school. Therefore, my writing tends to be rhyming picture books for the younger set and dark novels for the YA crowd.
3.    I write poetry to refresh my brain after completing a long novel.
4.    I find editing other writer's work easier than editing my own.
5.    I have so many ideas in my head for stories I think I’m a bit insane. J
6.    My favorite fairy tale, as a child, was The Twelve Dancing Princesses and someday I hope to adapt it into my own retelling.
7.    I’m was an avid Nancy Drew reader and still have all of my books (about 40). They kept writing after my tastes grew. I now like fantasy, historical fantasy or historical fiction and that’s what I tend to write.
TERRIFIC WRITING BLOGS  I wholeheartedly nominate for the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD: (Please check them out.) Elliah Terry, children’s writer of picture books and awesome MG novels Clara Gillow Clark, MG historical fiction novelist Roxanne Werner, assistant fiction editor at Stories for Children

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do Your Characters Dictate Their Story?

Have you ever experienced a character who insinuates themselves into your story or takes the story in another direction than what you had planned?

I certainly have. And I think it’s a cool phenomenon.

In one of my earlier fantasies I had a villain cornered in a cave. Soldiers, with weapons, were advancing on him from one side and wizards, armed with magic, had him covered on the other. He had no escape (as far as I knew). Then lo and behold he moved a rock in the cave, flipped a lever and a rocket type machine rose from the cave floor. He climbed aboard, flicked a switch and roared out of the cave above the good guys’ heads and escaped through the sky.

Nope, that wasn’t planned. It just happened. He wasn’t ready to be captured because he had more mischief to cause and more scenes to be in, only I didn’t know it at the time.

In a contemporary novel my MC had no best friend. But a voice kept insisting she be in the story. She started off texting her, then calling her, then visiting her, until she wormed her way into the story as a full-fledged character. She was her best friend from her old hometown and her powerful voice made an awesome addition to the story. That wasn’t planned either.

Another thing that characters do behind your back is change their behavior. Do you ever find that the characters you have drawn up don’t like the voice or personality that you have assigned to them?

Twice, I have had characters change on me and wasn’t even aware the change was coming. In one instance, the MC’s best friend’s brother went from being a secondary character to being the villain.

And in another, an insignificant secondary character became an undercover agent for a secret organization and his role was all an act. He went from being a total jerk to being one of the good guys.

So tell me, do you have characters, who dictate their roles in your stories? I’d love to know some of your experiences with your characters.

Please leave your comments below. J

Oh, and here are some books I’d recommend for developing those outspoken characters.

45 Master Characters, Mythic Models for Creating Original Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood

Breathing Life Into Your Characters by Rachel Ballon

And my favorite….

Bullies, Bastards and Bitches; How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell

Energized to Write for the New Year

 So happy to be attending the SCBWI National Conference this week. My peer critiques went well two nights ago, and energized me to see the p...