SCBWI Winter Conference – Notes and Reflections on the Writing, Creating and Marketing Books for Kids
It's taken a little while for me to get around to this, but I spent the weekend before last in New York at the SCBWI (Society of Book Writers and Illustrators) Winter Conference. This is a conference for children's book creators, both writers and illustrators. It is...read more
If there were an award for the most unusual opening for a middle school novel, my vote would go to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Then again, he doesn't need an award for that, as he has already won boat loads of awards, including the Newberry for that particular...read more
The best middle school novels, like any great fiction, transports readers to a totally new reality. This new reality can take many forms. It might be a world very close to theirs, with characters like people they know, but dealing with a new situation, where they can...read more
This is a question that every writer gets- Where do your ideas come from? The truth is, ideas come from everywhere. Ideas can come from your own experiences, random overheard conversations, brainstorming or jottings in a notebook, and of course, like Neil Gaiman, from...read more
My upcoming middle grade novel, Summer on Earth, now has book cover art. For now, at least. This is a preliminary cover and the concept may still be changed going forward, but this is what will be used as a placeholder for the marketing. I like the silhouette, the...read more
My book, Summer on Earth, which will be released later this year, is a middle school novel. The funny thing is, I didn't realize that when I wrote it. I had never even heard of the category at the time, and was just writing what I considered a great, moving story, and...read more
Here we are at the start of a new year, and I have a new book, Summer on Earth, being traditionally published later this year. This is obviously a big deal to me. A new book isn't the same as it used to be, though. Looking forward, our whole society is changing so...read more
It is now official, I have joined the great ranks of authors who are trying to help find their audiences by putting up a website, and starting a blog. This being my first post, I know that no one is listening so it really doesn’t matter what I say. Hopefully this won’t be the case a few months from now. The act of writing is in a sense narcissistic, and putting it out there on the internet is even more so. There are over 7 billion souls on this planet. There are now, or soon will be, just as many internet sites. What makes me think that my words are so important that others should read them, and seek them out when there are so many other choices for directing their eyeballs? I think I have something to say, and an interesting way of saying it. I know I’m not the first person with that sentiment. We all have something to say, but not everyone is going to be listened to. The good news is that with this many souls on the planet, a fair number of them are readers, and those readers are always looking for something new to entertain them, excite them, make them laugh and generally feel like their lives are a little bigger then they were before from what they read. My goal is to find those readers who resonate with what I write.
A few notes on who I am, and what I will be writing about on this website. The stated purpose of this is to promote my books, so I will of course talk about what I have written, what will be published in one form or another, and what I am writing now. I am more of a storyteller than a commercial writer. I write when a story tells me it has to get out and I feel compelled to wr
ite it. I have written thrillers, I am writing a comic detective story, and later this year will put out a book that is aimed at middle school readers (I didn’t know that was who it was for at first, because the story works for older readers too). I will write about all of this.
My book Summer on Earth is coming out in hardcover and as an e-book in the Fall of 2017. One of my goals with this blog is to get people to find out about this book, and maybe they will be curious enough to pick it up. The story is more complicated of course, but the elevator speech for the book would say: Eleven-year-old Grady is dealing with the pain and grief of his father’s death the summer that extraterrestrial Ralwil comes into his life. When disaster strikes, Grady must find the courage to help his family, and save the life of his new friend. This book co-stars an extraterrestrial, a being from another planet, so I will probably have some posts about UFOs, the possibility of alien life on other planets and maybe the possibility that they are here already, living among us. I’ll also talk about other things relating to other books I will be putting out in the near future, writing in general, some other book reviews, and maybe some things relating to my experiences while bringing these fictions out in the world. I might also put out some short stories for readers amusement. We’ll see.
But that is enough for now. As of now, this blank slate has its first chisel mark, and there will be many more to come. If you are reading this, you either got a lucky hit from google in some way, or you’ve read something you like and have now traced your way back to the beginning. Either way, Thank You, and stick around. We’re only getting started.read more