Posts Tagged ‘CBI Clubhouse’

Where do YA authors get their ideas?

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Today I’m taking you on a field trip. We’re going to visit the Children’s Book Insider Clubhouse website, where you can read my post on where YA authors get their ideas.

Find out what inspired Beth Revis, Kathy McCullough, Angie Smibert, and Sonia Gensler to write their latest books!

Panic Management

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

My life is about to go into overdrive. In the month of March alone, I have four high school visits, two bookstore events, and a library event – each of which requires preparation and promotion. This, of course, is on top of my regular teaching jobs, my push to finish the first draft of my novel, my duties as YA Expert Guide for the CBI Clubhouse website, and preparation for the big SCBWI WA conference in April. All I can say is…yikes!

Every time I look ahead in my calendar, I go into stress mode. My heart rate revs, and I break out in a sweat. I’ve always been a good time manager, so that isn’t really the issue. What I need right now is a plan for panic management.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far: First, I will avoid thinking too far ahead. I’m aware of all the things I need to get done, and I know the dates I need to complete them by. So I can let go of anxiety about things that are set to happen in April and instead focus on preparing for the first event in my queue, which in this case is a presentation at my stepson’s high school. I seem to breathe easier if I can work on one thing at a time instead of trying to have my fingers in every pie.

Second, I will streamline. Much as I’d like to create a custom presentation for each high school I visit, I simply don’t have the time. So I’ll come up with a general presentation that I can use multiple times. Along the same lines, if a speaking engagement doesn’t absolutely require handouts, I’ll do without them. Under normal circumstances, I’d give every gig my all. But right now, that’s just not possible.

Third, I’ll give myself breaks. Tempting as it is to try to work twelve hour days, seven days a week, I know my constitution can’t handle it. So in spite of the craziness, I’ll make time for exercise, dinner with my husband, and the occasional trash-TV binge.

Last of all, I’ll borrow Steven’s motto: “Sometimes I can do my best. Other times, my best will have to do.”

What do you do to fend off panic when life gets overwhelming?

The whirlwind begins!

Friday, January 27th, 2012

After the excitement of FLYAWAY‘s release in December, January has been a pretty quiet month. A big snowstorm here in Seattle, had me housebound for a week, so I was able to put in some solid chunks of time on my WIP.



But the period of relative calm ends here. This weekend, I kick off a flurry of activity by traveling to Bellingham, in northern Washington, for a reading and signing at Village Books on Saturday at 2 p.m.. Then February starts with a bang with school author visits at Edmonds-Woodway High School and a signing at Moonraker Books in Langley, on beautiful Whidbey Island, on February 12th at 1 p.m.

Then comes March! This is the month I’m really looking forward to, because I get to do a series of author events with my Elevensies pals Megan Bostic, Kiki Hamilton, Kathy McCullough, Carole Estby Dagg, and Kendare Blake. We’ll be doing panels at Third Place Books Lake Forest Park on Wednesday, March 14th, at 7 p.m., at the Timberland Library in Olympia on Thursday, March 15th at 7:30 p.m., and at Garfield Book Company in Tacoma on Friday, March 16th at 7 p.m. Add in a couple of school visits, one in Olympia, and one in Seattle in conjunction with Parkplace Books‘s Read Across America Program, and March looks to be a packed month.

And then there’s April. Lovely April, when I’ll be presenting a breakout session on Authenticity in Fiction, as well as a joint session with my agent, Chris Richman, at the annual SCBWI WA Conference in Redmond. ¬†You’d think the excitement might end there, but no. In May, I’ll be traveling to Los Angeles to give a talk at the downtown L.A. library on the evening of May 24th.

And of course, on top of all this, I’ll be teaching dance and Pilates and acting as YA Expert Guide for the fabulous new CBI Clubhouse website. Oh, and did I mention that I’m writing a novel?

Got any exciting events you’re looking forward to this winter and spring? Tell me about them!

Exciting news: CBI Clubhouse

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I have two pieces of exciting news for writers…and for me! The first news item is that Children’s Book Insider, the outstanding magazine for writers of children’s literature, has just launched its revamped website, the CBI Clubhouse!


According to CBI publisher Laura Backes and Managing Editor Jon Bard, CBI Clubhouse is ” a groundbreaking new community for children’s writers” which “brings together writers from across the globe to learn, share and support one another’s journey toward a publishing contract.”

Sound fabulous? Believe me, it is. On the Clubhouse website, not only can you download the latest edition of Children’s Book Insider, but you can take classes, post on message boards and forums, and get advice on the craft of writing and the arts of publication and promotion from a team of “Expert Guides,” one for each genre from picture books to YA, all of whom are published authors.

Which brings me to the second piece of good news: The Expert Guide for YA is…me! I’m honored to be a member of the illustrious team of authors who will be posting monthly on the website, answering questions on the message boards and forums, and offering webinars and critiques. And I’m in fantastic company. I’ll be surrounded by such luminaries as mulit-published Natasha Wing, Picture Book Expert Guide; the intrepid Anastasia Suen, Easy Reader Expert Guide; and my friend and Newberry-Award-winning author Kirby Larson, who holds the title of Middle Grade Expert Guide.

Together, we’ll be leading all levels of writers through CBI’s 1-2-3 System. Step 1: Create a bulletproof manuscript; Step 2: Choose your path to publication; Step 3: Get out there and market like a pro. You can expect informative posts, fascinating interviews, and special features such as audio, video, and free e-books. And of course you can count on friendly, helpful answers to your questions on the message boards and forums.

I’m so thrilled to be part of this new venture. Go, Fightin’ Bookworms!