In Monroe's own words:
Being impulsive, I act first, think later. I don’t recommend it. Now I’m on probation for something stupid I did at school. If I get arrested again, the judge will give me jail time. To keep out of trouble, I work as a waitress at my dad’s Roaring '20s restaurant, dressed like a flapper. Didn’t take long for me to screw up again. Here’s what happened: Dad showed me the spent bullets that they pulled out of famous criminal lovebirds, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s dead bodies––items he bought at a gangster memorabilia show. Who would have known that Bonnie and Clyde’s spirits were locked inside that container, waiting to be freed? Not me certainly, or I wouldn’t have done it. Opening the container wasn’t enough to make Bonnie’s spirit search for a new body to inhabit, but given my lousy luck, I cut my finger on the stupid thing, opening the door for the whiny, love-starved Bonnie Parker to enter my body.
Course, at first I didn’t really believe that she was inside of me (who would, right?) so later that night, after I met this cute but dull guy named Jack, I showed him the slugs. Bad move. Turns out Clyde hadn’t lost an ounce of his slyness, easily infecting poor Jack and quickly committing a crime. Luckily, Jack finds a way to get back in charge, but after doing some investigation, we find out we have only 36 hours to ditch these outlaws or we’ll share our bodies with them indefinitely. See what I mean about bad luck?
Take it from me––spontaneity’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
Monroe Baker/Bonnie Parker (aka Kym Brunner) :)
September 21, 2013, Saturday 10 AM - 12 noon
Location is right off LSD, 920 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL 60640
Plenty of great street parking
There are many twists and turns in the rollercoaster ride to finding an
agent. Come on out Saturday morning to hear 5 great Chicago authors with
new or upcoming books talk about how they landed their agent and tips on
helping you find yours.
There will be time for networking and for Q & A. Come prepared to be
inspired and kick off the summer doldrums!
*Michele Weber Hurwitz’s debut middle grade novel, CALLI BE GOLD (Wendy
Lamb Books/Random House 2011), was named a Best Book of 2012 by the Bank
Street College of Education. Her second novel, THE SUMMER I SAVED THE
WORLD. . . IN 65 DAYS, will be published in April of 2014 by Wendy Lamb
Books. Michele is with Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media. http://micheleweberhurwitz.com
*Carol Brendler is the author of RADIO GIRL, a historical novel for
upper-MG; WINNIE FINN, WORM FARMER (FSG, 2009), a picture book illustrated
by Ard Hoyt; and there's another picture book on the way from FSG called
NOT VERY SCARY, (Summer 2014). Carol works with Ammi-Joan Pacquette of the
Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Carol’s website is http://www.carolbrendler.com
*Allan Woodrow is the writer behind the middle grade books THE PET WAR
(Scholastic, Fall 2013),THE ROTTEN ADVENTURES OF ZACHARY RUTHLESS
(HarperCollins), and under the alias Fowler DeWitt, THE CONTAGIOUS COLORS
OF MUMPLEY MIDDLE SCHOOL (Simon & Schuster, Fall 2013) and its upcoming
sequel, the AMAZING WILMER DOOLEY (2014). His agent is Joanna Volpe of New
Leaf Literary & Media. Visit him at http://www.allanwoodrow.com
*Kym Brunner is the author of the debut YA novel WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE
from Merit Press (July, 2014). She's repped by Eric Myers of the Spieler
Agency. Be sure and visit Kym’s website for more info: http://www.kymbrunner.com
HEY LOOKIE - IT'S ME!!!
*Sarah Aronson is the author of three books for kids and teens: HEAD CASE,
BEYOND LUCKY, and her newest novel, BELIEVE (Sept 1 2013, Carolrhoda
Books). She is represented by Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary Agency.
out more at her website: http://www.saraharonson.com.
Books will be for sale!
We will cap this event at 40, so please RSVP to reserve a spot at this
WHEN: September 21, 2013, Saturday 10 AM - 12 noon
WHERE: 920 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL 60640 (Garden Room)
PARKING: plenty of street parking, pay at box, also available for a minimal
charge Weiss Hospital parking garage
- Current Mood: thankful
So when you ask what’s controversial about my novel, “Wanted: Dead or In Love,” my immediate answer is EVERYTHING. Starting with the main character, Monroe. She swears a lot, has been arrested three times in the past year, she makes snap decisions, and inadvertently starts falling for a guy who would make any parent scream, “He’s no good for you!” But my response is, “Hey, busybody. Monroe represents real girls who are confused about who to love and who make decisions without consulting their parents first.” And who’s to say Monroe’s decisions are wrong? They’re just different than ones her parents would make. (Okay, some decisions of hers might be wrong, but she’s under a lot of pressure.)
That’s the thing with Monroe––sometimes she’s in too far to heed her own advice.
- Current Mood: thoughtful
Let me explain....
I decided I was tired of letting comedians have all the fun. I wanted my 4 minutes of (literary) fame WITHOUT having to wait for the Micheal L. Printz award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature Committee to notice me (cough, cough). So I chatted with a couple of my besties, Cherie Colyer and Katie Sparks, and we came up with a plan.
HERE ARE THE DEETS:
1) We picked a cool pub that'll let us have a private backroom. (Kidlit + alcohol = Happy Crowd)
2) You sign up in advance to obtain your very own “4 Minutes of Fame” in one of the following ways:
- reading pages from your book
- sharing your book trailer
- showing illustrations you've drawn
- revealing your book cover
- some other creative expression of your children’s lit book.
4) Viola! You've gotten your 4 Minutes of Literary Fame, made some new connections, and received some free exposure for you and/or your books!
(NOTE: The Green Brothers will NOT be attending this event...although they are welcome to participate. John? Hank?)
WHAT: A good time (Seriously, that’s all this is – FUN!)
HOW: REGISTER IN ADVANCE to be one of the stand-up authors. SIGN UP HERE. We’re limiting this first stand-up literary event to the first 15 authors who sign up – but we are planning more of these events to come in the future! If you're not sure you're ready to present THIS time, come on out and cheer on your fellow authors!
WHEN: MONDAY, OCTOBER 21ST at 7:00 PM (til approx. 9:00, but you can stay as late as you like….)
WHERE: TOKIO PUB (http://tokiopub.com/) 1900 W. Higgins, Schaumburg, IL
COST: FREE (although we hope you buy a cocktail or three to thank Tokio Pub for allowing us heathens in…)
*We will have a table set up for the stand-up authors to display bookmarks or other giveaways, but so that others can attend without feeling pressured to buy, we ask that you do not bring your books to sell. HOWEVER, we will be giving all attendees a list of the stand up authors' names, book titles, and/or website addresses so they may contact you after the event. Thanks! :)
Now all we need is….YOU!
SIGN UP HERE
Hope to see you there!
'Til next time,
- Current Mood:energetic
My first round editorial letter arrived about 9 weeks after my agent sold the book. My editor, Jacquelyn Mitchard (I know! She's famous and fabulous!), gave me lots of lovely compliments to start off the letter. Things like: "It's exciting...and it's dark and it's just almost feasible in a magical realism way." AND..."When she talks in her head to the outlaws, it's bewitching."
Words to warm my heart. I beamed, my eyelashes fluttered with pride, I couldn't stop smiling....
....Until I read the rest of the letter. Yeah, not so heartwarming. Fix this, make that clearer, eliminate the info dump...you get the idea.
The thing is, after I was done (took me a little over two weeks working on it non-stop), I felt better. The things she spotted did need pruning and now my manuscript reads better, feels more authentic, and doesn't have a large SPLAT! of information somewhere in the center (something that my intelligent readers would NOT have needed anyway!).
In other words, she cleaned out my novel's attic and got rid of my junk––the feeble bits of unneeded garbage I'd shoved into the manuscript and had hoped no one would notice was there. Luckily, Jackie noticed and demanded (I imagine her pointing to the recycle bin with one hand, while pinching her nose closed with the other) that I get rid of the old useless junk I'd been holding onto. So I hoisted the dull, dusty verbiage over my shoulder and dumped it in my laptop trash bin. (Crinkle, crinkle...love the sound of emptying the trash).
Now that the attic has been cleaned, I sit and wait for round two, wondering what she'll find in my closet. Eeek...
'Til next time,
- Current Mood: accomplished
- You overhear daughter's boyfriend say something rude to her - ignore or comment privately to daughter?
- Someone you don't know well has lipstick on her teeth - say something or feign oblivion?
- Acquaintance says something against your beliefs - engage in discussion or let it slide?
When it comes to author-agent and author-editor relationships, I've found the same is true. I wrestle with my questions for a bit, check with my close writing buddies to get their opinions, and if we're all still in a quandary, THEN I shoot off an email and ask. Don't misunderstand me - I will definitely get clarification on what was asked of me if I'm unsure - but I refrain from abusing the privilege. I'm succinct, polite, and direct - ask what I need to, thank them for their time, and move on. Because of this, I seem to get responses very quickly. Could be my wonderful agent's style (thank you, Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency!) and my talented editor's business acumen (Hello, Jacquelyn Mitchard of Merit Press), but I like to think it's also because I don't bother them too much.
Yes, I know authors who say "they're working for YOU," but in reality, it's a partnership. And just like every other relationship in my life, I try to follow the golden rule: Treat others the way you'd like to be treated. I don't want a slew of extraordinarily long emails filled with rambling questions, and I'm pretty sure they don't either. I'm happy to answer questions or clarify information, but I believe in the "less is more" philosophy.
How about you? Do you send off a quick email whenever you have a question, or do you wrestle with it for a bit first?
'Til next time,
- Current Mood: contemplative
You know how, the minute you sign that book contract, your editor says, "Now get out there and promote your book!" That OHMIGOD elation of signing the contract, the feeling you get knowing that the book you wrote is going to be out in the world someday soon, is somewhat deflated by the feeling that you're not quite sure how, when, and where to get the word out.
Will people think I'm conceited? A braggart? A traveling salesman? Eeek! No one wants that.
But the truth is, there are a LOT (did I say a lot, I mean gadzillions) of books out there screaming for you to read them. So how does a person get their one book to stand out among the others, hoping that they think it sounds like a book they want to read? You need a dash of research, a healthy dose of prayers and hope, and a deluge of some good, old-fashioned luck.
And I found that luck, hidden in the team of authors that also sold their books to the F & W Media imprint called Merit Press.
The 13 of us––there will be more as the imprint grows––spearheaded by author Beth Feldbaum's tremendous efforts, have created a YA of Merit blog, newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter to get the word out. I was delighted to find instant camaraderie and fellowship of other authors, much like myself, who want readers to find and connect with our books.
So come on over and test the Merit Press waters. Here's what the publisher had to say about this new imprint and our editor-in-chief, Jacquelyn Mitchard:
“The mission of the line is to provide an abundance of intensely readable, highly suspenseful and unforgettable fiction for readers aged thirteen and up, with a particular emphasis on strong, savvy, female heroes rising to conquer sometimes stunning challenges thrown at them by a very real contemporary world,” said Karen Cooper, Publisher. “We knew we needed expert guidance for the creation and growth of the line. Jacquelyn is the ideal partner for this new initiative, and we are thrilled to work with her.”
So grab a torch and check us out....we have the kind of books perfect for reading in the dark.
- Current Mood: pleased
NOT SO FAST...
First we are going to show you a bonus reveal––Embrace, Cherie's first book in the series, has a new cover to match Hold Tight.
This is the new cover for Embrace, book #1, to match Hold Tight.
Title: Embrace (Embrace, #1)
Released: December 2012
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It's responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he's a guy harboring a secret, but she's willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren't there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can't find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. Dangerous, intoxicating, and darkly romantic, Embrace is a thriller that will leave you spellbound.
And now...the moment you've all been waiting for....
Here it comes...
WOW! I'M DYING OVER HERE. GREEN WITH ENVY AT THIS GORGEOUS COVER! Can't wait to read this! I saw several sneak peeks during our critique groups and absolutely LOVED it! *flops over from heart palpitations.
Title: Hold Tight (Embrace, #2)
Author: Cherie Colyer
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Expected release date: August 20, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Madison Riley and her friends discover they aren’t the only supernatural beings in Gloucester, Massachusetts. These new creatures are more dangerous than ever, and this time Madison risks losing more than just her friends.
About the Author
Cherie Colyer writes young adult and middle grade novels. She loves finding new stories that keep her up late reading. While her favorite genre is realistic paranormal/fantasy, if the book is beautifully written with characters that come alive she’s all over it.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherieColyer ; @CherieColyer
- Current Mood: envious
I love to revise, too. Taking the words and tweaking them, squishing them into submission, and making the sentences convey what's in my head when I'm looking at them a second or seventh time is awesome. But coming up with the original stinky wording and dialogue is hard for me. It kind of reminds of me of how I tell my 7th grade students, "Write in your journal. About anything. Here's a starter if you need one." But to me, it feels like I'm faking it. The same way NANOWRIMO can feel. It's like I can't make myself write junk just to get it down, but I know I need to push myself to get it down faster because so much of it gets cut anyway.
Maybe that's just the way it works for some of us. It's like I have to grapple with the characters and the setting and the plot––especially in the first few chapters––then share it with my trusted critique group members (Thanks, guys! waving...) who set me straight on a lot of things, and THEN and only then, can I see the light. Slow start, lots of internal plotting as I walk around or when I'm in the sleepy nap stage but not quite asleep yet, and then the characters walk up and have a seat in my writing area, and we bang out the story.
How does it work for you? Rush through and go back when your first draft is complete....
....have a slow start but then finish fast like me?
...or something in between?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
'Til next time,
- Current Mood: busy