Friday, January 26, 2007

Making a Literary Life Friday: Behind the Scenes

Whether you spent time putting words on the page, or turning a page, or talking to someone who's published their pages, everything counts when you're taking steps toward living a literary life. Here's this week's round up on what the members of The Writers' Group tackled.

Congratulations to Kirby Larson, author of Hattie Big Sky which was named a Newbery Honor Book. Hattie Big Sky is the beautifully written story of sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks who must prove up her late uncle's homestead claim in Montana. It's an inspiration that Kirby's engaging story received this formal recognition. You HAVE to read this!
So...on to continue to work on my own craft...Thirteen. That's how many days until the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators) conference in NYC. Yes, you could say I'm looking forward to it. Plus, I've arranged to meet my literary agent on the Thursday afternoon before the conference. Can't wait! And...the list of speakers at the conference. Wow! Surely I will get smarter - fingers crossed anyways.

This week I spoke with Lissa Warren, author of The Savvy Author's Guide to Book Publicity about, you guessed it, book publicity. If you don't own this book already, run to your local independent bookstore and buy it. It's a must have. I also received my galley of Kristy Kiernan's Catching Genius and, oh my goodness, you must buy this book! I won't ruin it for you, but Sara Gruen (yes, that Sara Gruen) was spot on when she blurbed it: "Kiernan proves she's a writer to be reckoned with -- find a comfortable spot, turn off the phone, and lose yourself in this gorgeous debut."

In addition to the fact that I'm signed up for a Grub Street lunchtime revision course with the wonderful Hallie Ephron, I made it to the middle of my New Favorite Book, Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd. What took me so long to discover Boyd? Couldn't say. Hurrah that the local library network has about a dozen more! An Ice-Cream War, anyone?

I finished my edits on Negotiation Generation; this was round two, and I'm feeling good about my editor's suggestions. I drafted a query plan for connecting with the major parenting publications for features; Penguin will be taking care of obtaining first serial rights. As far as fiction goes, I am reading a beautiful novel by Margot Livesay, Banishing Verona. Livesay's writing is lovely, truly inspirational. Her novel, Eva Moves the Furniture is on my top ten list.

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