Poetry, Prose, and Purpose: an Interview

A few months ago I was interviewed not only by March Twisdale of Poetry, Prose, and Purpose (aired on Voice of Vashon) I was also interviewed by her 12 year old son, who had just read the first three books in my White Forest series. The interview is now officially posted online for listening!   It’s lovely. March is a fantastic interviewer and adds much to the discussion. But it’s long interview, over an hour, and we’re all so busy these days. So, I created a handy-dandy Table of Contents for the Interview so as you’re listening, you can just click to the part that piques your interest. ** TEACHERS, LIBRARIANS, and other EDUCATORS:  there’s a portion about what I do in the schools that begins around 45 minutes in. ** If...

How do authors make a living? (or, approaching the middle class of writerdom)

It surprises many people to learn (people not in the industry, anyway), that the majority of authors do not make a living off of their writing. Not exclusively, at least. I’m not saying it’s impossible, or that it doesn’t happen, or that it won’t happen for you. I honestly hope it does! Between advances, royalties, and options I’m sure Stephen King doesn’t have to consider whether to take that editing job or not. I think it’s good to be aware, though, that most authors are in what Cory Doctorow refers to as “the middle class of writerdom.” i.e. they have day jobs. Same goes for every kind of artist: dancer, actor, musician, painter, etc. Below, in an interview with Bill Kenower, Doctorow speaks of having been...

Middle Grade Mondays: ALA Con Books for Boys (2013 Preview Part Two)

Last weekend I attended the ALA Midwinter Confence and returned with a suitcase full of books, an iPhone full of cover shots, and an earful about the fabulous books being released in 2013. It was really difficult to limit it to just a few, so I decided to focus specifically on books for boys. Prisoner 88 by Leah Pileggi Charlesbridge, July 2013 Since Ms. Ying Ling mentioned it in her comment last time, I thought I would talk about Prisoner 88, which was recommended to me when I said the middle school group I’m working with was predominantly boys. This debut novel is “inspired” by the true story of a 10 year old boy (James Oscar Baker), the youngest prisoner in the history of the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary. From the back cover of the ARC:...

The Magic Appreciation Tour: Guest William English

Everyone knows there’s been a rise in small presses and self-published authors. With today’s technology, the publishing process is easier. But getting the book noticed is another story. There are myriad online campaigns, collaborations, and social networks that cater to authors looking to connect with an audience. The Magic Appreciation Tour is one of them. Focusing on fantasy with magical elements (rather than, say vampiric), the Magic Appreciation Tour’s goal is to “help you find new books to read and learn about the authors who wrote them.” This week I spoke with writer William English, who writes fantasy short stories (with a splash of horror). Even though some of his characters are young, he considers the material fiction for...

Middle Grade Mondays: Oldies but Goodies – Wise Child

Wise Child by Monica Furlong was released in 1989, so it wasn’t around when I was a kid. It was recommended to me by one of my young fans. She said it was one of her favourites. I think if I had read it when I was 12, I would have put it at the top of my list too. I probably would have dreamed of having a life like Wise Child. Summary: When Wise Child’s grandmother dies, there is no one in her small Celtic village who will take her in. Her father is away on a long sea voyage and her mother abandoned her.  She is taken in by Juniper, who lives outside the village because she is a doran (a healer / sorceress) and the conservative religious villagers don’t accept her. Many fear her, but there are those who rely on her healing services, so the villagers...

Middle Grade Mondays: I Laughed, I Cried – The Magician’s Elephant

Before I tell you about this lovely book, I just want to say that as an author, I can’t wait until the day my work gets so precious that I get a website as beautiful as this:  THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT Second, this book is being MADE INTO A MOVIE. The announcement is two years old, but there are no details yet. It’s not even in “pre-production” on IMDB, so it won’t be out for a few years, sorry to tease you like that. “What attracted me to the project was that Fox wanted to make a fable which could both be a classic but not take itself too seriously,” [Director Martin Hynes] told Variety.“The film we’ve referenced in terms of tone is ‘The Princess Bride’ — something that kids will enjoy,...