Hi dear readers!
I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of life in Fort Collins... it took a while! When I got back from France, I had to work non-stop on the revision for my editor for The Indigo Notebook, putting on hold everything else in my life (including emailing... sorry if I STILL haven't written you back-- I should be up to speed by the end of this week!)
As soon as I get caught up with everything, I'll start revising my next book, Star in the Forest, and start preparing for a bunch of conferences and author visits i have coming up soon (El Paso, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Carbondale)... it'll be a busy autumn.
I went to my friend Victoria Hanley's book release party on Saturday. She has two great books out-- Seize the Story!: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write and Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults. She's included interviews with me and other authors in both books (but that's not the only reason I'm pitching her books-- I swear!)
I get lots of requests for advice and recommendations for books on how to write for teens and for books for teens who like creative writing.... and I'm thrilled that I finally have two books on those topics that I can whole-heartedly recommend!
Seize the Story! talks about how to write great fiction-- it covers dialogue, descriptions, voice, beginnings, middles, and ends, setting, plotting, point of view... and it does so in an incredibly readable, friendly, personal way. Hanley's insights are based on her own fiction-writing experiences (award-winning fantasy) and years of doing workshops with teens. Hanley uses plenty of vivid examples to illustrate her points, and gives fun writing exercises at the end of each chapter. This book isn't just for teens-- it's for people of all ages starting their own fiction-writing journey.
Wild Ink definitely fills a gap, and fills it beautifully! This book contains all the hard-earned wisdom and practical advice that I wish I knew before I got my first book published. What I love most about Wild Ink is the compassionate, funny voice, and the abundance of personal examples. Hanley covers a range of topics on writing for teens, from overcoming self-doubt (which was a HUGE obstacle for me) to finding an authentic teen voice to submitting your manuscript. She gives a great overview of the sub-genres of young adult literature, and addresses all the common questions, such as the pluses and minuses of self-publishing, whether to include profanity or sex, and how to find your writing self. Hanley also includes interviews with agents, editors, and authors, which bring in a variety of fascinating perspectives. One thing that really sets Wild Ink apart from others of its kind is that it's obviously written from the heart, acknowledging the mysterious role of the spirit/unconscious self in writing... and as a writer who delves into this realm every day, I appreciate the way Hanley weaves it into her book.
Thanks for reading!