Before I get to Christina's post, I'm going to post my IWSG post for this month.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of the month is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group Day.
The co-hosts this month are Co-Hosts:Chris @ Madness of a Modern Writer, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!
Today's Question: Have you taken advantage of the A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?
In case you do not know what it is, the A to Z Challenge is a large group of bloggers who commit to posting 28 days in April, using the letters of the alphabet to create a theme for each day. No, I have never done this. My interviews and guest posts do not lend themselves to a daily post based on the letters of the alphabet. And it would take too much energy to create all the posts and read so many blogs. I've always blogged while working full-time and until recently it was as an attorney while being a caregiver to my husband and a mom to my awesome daughter.
I did join this group to network more and make new blogger friends who are committed to blogging. I have really done much with this yet and need to start visiting more blogs on this day of the month.
What about you? Have you participated in the A to Z Challenge?
Now here's Christina!
Become the Versatile Writer
It’s tough to get published in today’s market and even tougher to stay published. One of the best ways to help you stand out in a crowded market is to become a versatile writer. What does that mean and how do you accomplish that?
For me, being versatile means I adjust and hone my craft so I’m prepared when an opportunity presents itself. Which, in fact, it did! A few years ago, I got a call from my agent saying that Andrea Pinkney from Scholastic Press was interested in working with me. Did I have any middle grade book ideas for ages 8-12?
The joke my agent and I have is my answer is always YES. After all, yes opens doors and provides new opportunities. So I pitched an idea to Andrea and she loved it. It was then that I was faced with the task of transitioning from a young adult author to a middle grade author (two totally different types of writing styles).
Here are some things that helped me transition:
1. I read and listened to the audio of around fifty middle grade books to get a feel of the tone and style. I made sure to read a wide variety as well—commercial, best sellers, literary, and award winners.
2. I subscribed to blogs with a focus on middle grade books so I could get a feel of what was currently being released and what others were saying about the books.
3. I networked with other middle grade authors on social media.
4. As I began to write, I relied heavily on my critique partners who were published middle grade authors.
I’m thrilled to have a happy ending for the idea that I pitched to Andrea. She bought the book which only days ago released, THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE.
Signing my book contract- watch the video here
If you are interested in broadening your scope and increasing your chances for publication, here are some tips I would suggest in addition to the ones above:
1. Make a list of genres, age levels and topics that you are interested in.
2. Take that list and find comp titles that would fit into those categories. A great place to start is BookFinder.
3. Purchase or check out those titles from your local library and study them. Look at the word count, writer’s voice, pacing, and characters Make notes of those in a notebook.
4. Stretch yourself by trying something new. Take a class on medieval etiquette, tour a bank, dye your hair, or learn how to play chess or one of these unique games. Need more ideas? Check out this link.
5. Then write about your experience to an audience you haven’t written for. You may fail, but that’s okay because you’re being creative. There’s freedom in that! You’ll be amazed how through this exercise you’ll grow as a writer.
· Be flexible
· It’s not a competition!
· Focus on your growth rather than success
· Stay positive by surrounding yourself with positive people
· The answer is YES!
CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series. Prior to that, she worked as an international teacher and at a top secret job for Disney where she was known to scatter pixie dust before the sun rose. When not traveling the world or creating imaginary ones, she spends time with her family in Clermont, Florida with her husband and two sons where they are busy preparing for the next World Cup, baking cheesecakes, and raising a pet dragon that's in disguise as a cockatiel. You can visit her online at ChristinaFarley.com.
THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE
A mystical adventure about a pulls-no-punches princess and the power of her magical pen.
A dark secret lurks in Keira’s family. She comes from a long line of Word Weavers, who bring their stories to life when they use a magical pen. But for generations Word Weavers have been
“A smart, peppery, action-packed plot teams up with playful, astute characters.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The pace is effective for building a deep sense of mystery. Slowing down works for the overall mystery… particularly since, in Keira’s first-person narrative, readers will discover clues right along with her.” (Booklist)
Christina is generously offering the following contest:
One (1) lucky winner will receive:
An autographed copy of THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE and their choice of one of the Gilded series books.
Giveaway open US and Canada
To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through April 22nd. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, you must leave it in the comments to enter either contest.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 years old or older to enter.
Here's what's coming up:
Monday, April 10th I have a guest post by debut author Lindsey Becker and her agent Natalie Lakosil with an ARC giveaway of Lindsey's MG fantasy THE STAR THIEF and a query critique giveaway by Natalie
Friday, April 14th I'll be participating in the Happy Easter Giveaway Hop
Monday, April 17th I have an agent spotlight interview with Tracy Marchini and a query critique giveaway
Monday, April 24th I have a guest post by debut author Sarah Jean Horwitz and a giveaway of her MG fantasy
Hope to see you on Monday!