I’m so excited you found me!
And I’m so excited that I’ll soon be publishing my first middle grade novel, The Tzohar Legacy, on all ebook platforms. I’m just waiting for a final editing pass and the cover.
I’ll update with a pre-order announcement and a cover reveal as soon as I can.
It’s been a long time since I published a post here. It’s because of that secret project I mentioned in an earlier post – I was busy writing and publishing books for adults under a pen name.
And now I’ve made a big decision.
I’m going to take all the knowledge I learned about indie publishing and use it to make sure my young adult novels see the light of day. I’m going to make sure my young adult novels get into the hands of readers.
It won’t happen right away. Those novels have been neglected for the past two years, and they need some love and attention before they’ll be worthy of the hands of readers. So, sit tight and join me on the journey.
I’ll have a short story for you soon…well, soon-ish.
Until then, thanks for finding your way here!
One reason I’ve been too busy to update my blog in the past six months is that I’m working on a kinda secret project. I’ve been writing in a category and genre completely different than I have for the past ten…um, twelve years.
It’s been fun to explore a new genre and to write for a new age category. Really fun. And I plan to work towards publication of this new project.
Hence the big question: to use a pen name or not?
Using my real name will make promotion so much easier. I can build on the base I’ve already created and I won’t have to fear someone finding out who I really am. I won’t have to duplicate social media efforts and have multiple web sites.
But, using a pen name means I can protect my real identity and my reputation as a children’s writer. And just because I’m experimenting with something new doesn’t mean I’m turning my back on my MG and YA projects, so I do need to protect my reputation. Someday, my novels for tweens and teens will be published and I wouldn’t want to confuse my readers.
If you’ve used a pen name, why? How have you handled the marketing and promotion piece? Would you do it differently if you could start over?
If you’ve chosen not to use a pen name, why not?
I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment with your answer to the above questions or just some support. I wouldn’t have survived this long on the journey without my friends, so thanks to all of you!
Another year has come and gone. Another year filled with reading and writing (and work and family).
2015 saw more freelance work, and a friend and I chose to concentrate on characterization. We read books about character and studied new and old characters to see if we could figure some things out that would help us in our own writing.
My not-so-little-anymore readers have continued to be great readers. Sprite has been devouring anything written by Stuart Gibbs. A-Read finished The Hunger Games trilogy and is now obsessed with Rick Yancey’s new series which started with The Fifth Wave (and he and RocketMan saw the movie last night).
I’m looking forward to some changes in 2016. More writing opportunities. Maybe a change at work (shh). And, of course, lots more reading.
What’s on your plate for this new year?
While I wasn’t very busy writing blog posts this summer, I was very busy writing. And some of that writing was actually pre-writing.
Now, my definition of pre-writing may be different from any other definition. I’m okay with this. For me, it’s not about whatever writing or thinking I do before I start drafting. (I usually think of that as plotting and planning and researching.) No. It’s more about the specific writing I do to help me get into a character’s head. (If this has a different name, please enlighten me.)
Recently I had a male character who was too good to be true. He was whatever the main character needed him to be, so he wasn’t very interesting. He needed his own goals, motivations, conflicts. His own personality. Somehow I’d forgotten to give him a personality. As a result, his relationship with the main character wasn’t very interesting either. And it needed to be. Their relationship was important.
So I had him write the main character some letters at different points in their relationship, starting with the first time he saw her. At first mostly backstory came out of it, but that backstory was important to figuring out who he was. Then I had him write letters to people in his life from before the story, and journal entries about the major turning points in his relationship with the main character. And voilà. I had a character.
I have found this method useful in the past, so really should make it part of my normal routine. Instead, it’s like a wonderful surprise every time I think to try it.
What are some of your favorite ways to get to the guts of a character?
Well, gosh, I sure didn’t mean to let almost 2 months go by without a post. But here’s how that happened:
- A bunch of my freelance nonfiction projects for kids published.
- I tried my hand at ghostwriting. (Yuck. No more.)
- Experimentally queried a middle grade project with too narrow an audience.
- Personal and family health issues.
- Work has been overwhelming. Staff move or go to grad school and I fill in.
So, here’s what I’m up to now:
- Revising a young adult project.
- Shuttling kids to and from camps.
- Shuttling kids to and from library to borrow books, be a book buddy, and give reports in the summer reading program.
- A-Read is enjoying Jasper Fforde and Stuart Gibbs.
- Sprite is enjoying his first Stuart Gibbs.
- Work continues to overwhelm.
- Not all health issues are resolved.
What’s keeping you busy this summer?