October 17, 2011

Straight From The Editor! #2 And Then Some

I hope you're all revved up and rarin' to go this morning, because we're going to have all kinds of fun.  If you're not revved up yet, you will be after this! :)

First:  today my blog is being critiqued by the awesome and wonderful Laura Barnes over at Laura B Writer.  She's running a series of blog critiques to help us all learn how to do things better, and I'm the second to go.  Her blog, in general, is a font of valuable information about marketing and how we, as writers, can make the most of our presence on the web.  Please check out her blog if you haven't - you'll be glad you did!

Second:  my friend, Catherine Johnson over at Catherine Johnson, Writer, was kind enough to send me her copy of The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund because she knew I wanted to read it.  (It's historical romance.)  I thought it would be fun to make it into a Book's Journey.  Catherine made a page that goes in the front and put her name, where she's from, and the date she read the book, and then she sent it to me.  Now I have done the same and would like to send it on.  Eventually, we'll send it back to Jody and she'll have a copy of her book that's gone (hopefully!) all over the world!  So - first come, first served!  Whoever is first to say in the comments that they'd like to read The Preacher's Bride will get it.  The only requirement is that you play along with the game and when you're done, pass it on to someone else :)

In addition, since I thought up this idea, I thought it would be fun to do with one of my own books, so first I'll take a vote as to which book to send (poll open for a week, from now until midnight October 24th) and then I will circulate one of my books for the same fun!  Only I want mine signed directly in the book so I can eventually bring it on school visits and show the kids where it has been!  So, please vote below for which book I should send on a journey :)


Third:  this week's theme for Fun Friday Foto Fextravaganza (which I hope you are REALLY impressed that I'm remembering to post today instead of forgetting until Wednesday :)) is PUMPKINS/JACK O'LANTERNS!

Fourth:  I hope you're all getting excited for the Choose Your Own Adventure Bloghop next Monday, October 24th!!!

Fifth:  (I told you there was all kinds of stuff going on today!)  I spent the weekend at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.  Really, if you've never been to such a thing, you owe it to yourself to go.  Sheep, llamas, alpacas, gorgeous wool, knitting and crochet meetings and books and patterns and products - WOW.  It's a whole world I knew nothing about and it makes for a lot of fun!

Anyway, there I was, signing copies of Can't Sleep Without Sheep, when a woman came up to me and asked me to sign one for her daughter.  "How old is she?" I asked, pulling a book from the pile and uncapping my pen.  "Well," said the woman, "she was just born a couple days ago.  She was premature, so she's in the NICU, but she's going to be fine."  But here's the kicker.  The woman went on to say, "This will be her very first book."

Can you believe it?  I was so honored!  To think something I wrote was going to be the very first book in this child's library; that one of these days, that mother will sit with her little daughter and read Can't Sleep Without Sheep to her.  How special is that?!  I am tucking this one away for those moments when I'm afraid my career is over and I'll never sell another story (well, that would be right about now!) so I can pull it out and look at it and remember something good.

And finally, the moment you've been waiting for! STRAIGHT FROM THE EDITOR!

To remind you, our September winner was Aimee.  Her pitch was as follows:


TITLE: Listen to Me
GENRE: YA Contemporary with a dash of Magical Realism (target age 13-17, but I hope for crossover appeal)
PITCH: Stacy can talk to herself-in-twelve-years - but will the impossible relationship with Older Me help her navigate the high school rites of bullying and unrequited love, or just fuel her destructive self-loathing?


Here are Erin's comments:


Here are my thoughts about your pitch: It is a little confusing. “Talking to herself-in-twelve-years” doesn’t quite get across the idea that she’s talking to herself in the future. I had to read it a few times to get that. You might want to just say her future self. Also, is the relationship impossible because nobody can talk to themselves in the future or because she doesn’t get along with herself? I don’t think you want to use that word impossible. Perhaps just go with relationship. Keeps it simple and to the point.  Also, “fueling her destructive self-loathing” leads to more questions and could possibly turn an editor off. It might be better to give the resolution so that the editor might be intrigued as to how it happens. See what I’ve done. Do you think it gets the main point of the story across? If not, then you need to rework it so that it does. Perhaps be more specific than bullying or unrequited love.

Stacy can talk to her 26 year-old future self. But will her relationship with Older Stacy help her successfully navigate the high school rites of bullying and unrequited love, or just make things worse?

Lastly, fyi, there is a young adult novel coming out in November by Jay Asher and Printz Honor-winning author Carolyn Mackler -- THE FUTURE OF US, in which two best friends log onto AOL in 1996 and discover a window to their future Facebook selves. Razorbill is publishing it. It sounds very similar to yours and I just wanted you to know it was out there.


I hope you all find Erin's comments as interesting and insightful as I do.  Not only does she bring her experience as a career editor, but she knows what else is out there.

So, are you feeling revved up and rarin' to go for your week now?

What?

You're in donut withdrawal?

OK.  But just one!  These are pumpkin, BTW, in keeping with this week's FFFF theme :)
courtesy google images





Reactions:

25 comments:

  1. You're chock full o' information today!

    A blog critique? What an interesting idea. I'm going to check it out.

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  2. It is awesome to get her advice AND yes, I am all revved up for the week! Thanks for the donut. You've got so much awesome stuff going on - I love it!

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  3. First of all: donuts get me every time. *sigh* I'm on a diet. A donut diet! Ha!

    Oh man. I'll go read your critique. Sounds interesting. Then I'll go and change my blog not wanting to make the same mistake as you. *wink*

    I voted. That idea sounds super fantastic. How'd you get so smart.

    The very first book. Oh Sus. I am typing Sus, from now on. Shorter. I need shorter. Anyway, you have to be beaming form the inside out that this child's first book is yours. (((hugs)))

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  4. What a great critique! Makes me want to send a pitch, but don't have one quite ready. :)

    And I'm in line for the blog critique, too. I'd forgotten about it until now. Guess I'd better mosy on over to see how I might fare.

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  5. Wow so much going on where to start? Ok, first off how awesome to be the first book in a child's collection. Very cool! Thanks for the marketing link, I could use that right now. Yay for the bloghop!And I love the book idea. Phew, I think I got it all :)

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  6. Gosh, quite a bit going on.

    I really enjoyed Erin's comments, but most of all, I felt touched by the mother who brought the book for you to sign. I mean, seriously, I probably would have hugged the lady and cried like I was the newborn :-)

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  7. I love Laura's critique ideas. Now I'm roaming around your site.
    Any takers on The Preacher's Bride. It could visit Colorado?
    I appreciate Erin's comments. This series is very helpful.

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  8. Just popped up on over from Rosalind's blog. I like your idea about sending one of your books around the world! Good luck with everything and I look forward to seeing more of you! Julie

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  9. Theresa - yes I am! And she was very nice and didn't say anything was wrong :)

    Abby - glad you're enjoying it, and it is always a pleasure to share my donuts :)

    Robyn - thanks for voting. I think this could be so fun! I hope someone will speak up to be the first to receive the book, whichever it turns out to be!

    Janet - I'm patient :) You can send your pitch whenever it's ready! And Laura is terrific - I'm sure she'll be nothing but helpful and your blog will fare VERY well because it's fantastic!

    Kerri - yes, it truly was awesome! Hope you enjoy Laura's blog. Yes, YAY for your bloghop! And thanks for your enthusiasm for the book idea :)

    Angela - I know, right? It was amazing. And when she read what I wrote, she got all teary, so it went both ways :)

    Stacy - I love Laura's ideas too! I had been thinking of something along those lines - not quite the same - but now I've got some more ideas! And no one else has spoken up for The Preacher's Bride yet, so it's yours! If you want to email me your address, I'll send it along!

    Julie - thanks so much for stopping by! I'm so glad you visited from Rosalind's. I'll have to pop over and check out your blog :)

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  10. Boy what a great critique you got! I just put my name in the hat too.

    Also - her FIRST BOOK??? My heart melted when I read that. I can't even imagine how elated you must have been.

    P.S. I SO want a pumpkin donut now!!

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  11. Wow, that was an amazing rewrite to the pitch.

    I saw the blog crit this morning. Laura had some amazing suggestions.

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  12. Julie - it's a great thing Laura is doing - so helpful! And yes, I was so touched to be the writer of her very first book!

    Stina - Yes about the pitch - very interesting and puts Aimee in a good position, I would think, to know if she's really saying what she wants to say. And yes - Laura's suggestions were awesome. Now it's on me to follow through :)

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  13. Your blog critique was ace, well done you. I was surprised about the teachers resources, I don't think it would be as much of a stretch as I previously thought. I want one!

    Thanks for the mention :)I hope you get some takers.

    Great feedback for that pitch too, aren't you full of awesome today. Have a great week.

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  14. Catherine - thanks! I have resources, but obviously not obvious enough! I've got one taker (which is all I need :)) until we get a winner for which of my books should go out on a journey 'round the world :)

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  15. please, please, please vote "Can't sleep Without Sheep" people!!!!!!!! :D

    I'm am ready for the Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop!! :) And I LOVE the idea of the Book Journey!!! I want to do one too of one of my favorite books :D (hope you don't mind me swiping your idea :D don't worry, I will credit the brilliance to you;)

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  16. Wow, what an awesome post. So many cool topics in the one post. It touched my heart when I read about your 'first book' experience. That would've been amazing.

    And I love Erin's suggestions for Aimee's pitch. For me, it gets the key points across, is very easy to read, and grabs my interest.

    I'm so sad I'm too late to get The Preacher's Bride for the book hop. I'm an avid follower of Jody's blog and would have loved to be involved. And my location (Australia) is much more interesting to tell children. Sigh. That's what I get for being slow. :-)

    HOWEVER, I would like to put my hand up (and jump up and down) and say I would LOVE to start the book hop for YOUR book. That would thrill me no end. Please please please... :-D

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  17. I just love the idea of a journey book. What a terrific idea, and how fun it will be to share your book's journey with kids.

    Great post,Susanna. Enjoy the pumpkin donuts! I'm off to make a pumpkin pie. You're welcome to drop by.

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  18. Ms. Saba - thanks so much for your enthusiasm, and swipe away :)

    Cally - I'll ask Stacy if she'll send you the book when she's done!

    Clara - I love pumpkin pie! I'll be right over :)

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  19. Those donuts look awesome! There was another book a bit similar to Aimee's - I think it was called Gimme a Call by Sarah Mlynowski - where a girl finds a cell phone that can only call her 13 year old self (or something like that, maybe I have it backwards).

    Your book is that child's first book - that is amazing! Definitely, cherish that.

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  20. That is so cool, about your signing the baby's first book! I'm sure it will be very special to her.

    Oh, shame on you for making me drool over those pumpkin donuts. :) I'm seriously gonna have to take a munchie break now.

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  21. Susanna your blog is a fun place! I especially like the book journey idea, and that's such a sweet compliment that your book will be the first in that child's library--congrats!
    Oh and thanks for the virtual pat on the back regarding this week's angst over my teenager!

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  22. Brooke - thanks for the heads up for Aimee - I'm sure she'll appreciate it. And it is so wonderful and special to have the honor of having written little Sophia's first book!

    Tina - as above to Brooke, and as to the donuts, they are calorie free :)

    Coleen - I'm so glad you enjoy my blog - I love yours too! And you are most welcome for the pat - like writers, parents of teenagers have to stick together :)

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  23. I loved the post Laura did about your blog, Susanna. And speaking of things I like, Jody Hedlund's book THE DOCTOR'S LADY was a very enjoyable read. I can't wait to hear your thoughts about the book.

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  24. Where to start at such a late point on a great day of posts??? Can't wait to experience the blog hop- that is such a cool idea. Remind us next Monday please- I know I'll need it :).
    I would have cried if a brand new mother had asked for a signed copy of my book to be her child's first book. What an honor!
    I need to see the blog critique- maybe it will motivate me to spend more time on my own blog.
    Excellent edit on the pitch. What a great resource. Thank you for sharing with all of us. There is so much to learn here.
    I think I need a pumpkin donut tomorrow for breakfast! I LOVE them.

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  25. Michelle - well now that I've read The Preacher's Bride I'm looking forward to The Doctor's Lady!

    A2Z Mommy - well, I guess I can call you Tracy now :) - I'm glad you're looking forward to the bloghop - just try to stop me from reminding you :) And it was such an honor to sign that child's very first book. Definitely check out Laura's blog - it's fantastic - chock full of really insightful, helpful info!

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