Find Three of Us at a Fall Festival Signing and Selling Books this Saturday, October 1, 2016!

If you are a parent, grandparent, kid, or a kid at heart, you will wannabe at the Fall Festival and Health Fair at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, in Conyers, Georgia, October 1, 2016 between the hours of 10:00  A.M. and 5:00 P. M.  There is something for everyone! Especially readers, writers and wannabes! In fact, there will be three of us Writers and Wannabes at the Festival selling and signing books- Connie Fleming, TK Read and Susan Rosson Spain.

The Society of Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is sponsoring a double-booth. Come meet published children’s authors selling and autographing their books.

But that’s just half of the good news. The other half is that we’ll be telling you how the magic happens, from how to get started, finding critique groups, to how to meet editors.

Here is the fabulous lineup: 

TIME         AUTHOR              TOPIC                                                                      

10: 45         Robert Crewe:        How to Use My Books in the Classroom

11: 30         Susan R. Spain:     My Writing Process

12:15          Tanya Valentine:     Writing What you know

1:00            Cathy Hall:             Not All Who Wander Are Lost: The Surprising Places Your Writing Can Take You!

1:45            PJ Shaw:                My Writing Process

2:30            Connie Fleming:     Writing Conference Etiquette

3:15            Susan TenEyck:      My Writing Process

4:00            TK Read:                How to Budget Your Book Marketing

4:45            Sharyn Shields:      My Writing Process

Look for our Banner that says SCBWI. We will be next to the Conyers Library booth.

 

 

 

GA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

My friend and fellow “Writer and Wannabe” Connie Fleming is much too humble to post anything about her latest honor. However, I wanted to let everyone know that Connie was honored last night at the highly esteemed GEORGIA AUTHOR OF THE YEAR banquet. Connie’s fabulous YA “Halley’s Hope” was a finalist in a competition full of rich and exciting books for all ages. Not only did Connie write a magnificent story, she and fellow “Writer and Wannabe” Stephanie Fenton created the book’s cover. If you haven’t seen the cover with Stephanie’s horse, it is gorgeous and worth the cost of the book alone.

Warning: Don’t be surprised if Connie’s story stays in your mind long after you’ve turned the last page! It is that good!

Congratulations, Connie. You aimed for the moon and you certainly landed among the stars!

http://www.amazon.com/Halleys-Hope-C-M-Fleming/dp/1503355306/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465143294&sr=8-1&keywords=Halley%27s+Hope

http://www.authoroftheyear.org/

Written/Submitted by Nancy Craddock

http://www.NancyCadleCraddock.com

 

Another Shout…

Tattoo with Border

Okay, I’m shouting again. Don’t hate, people! I can’t help myself. I am just so darn happy to finally have another manuscript jump out of files cabinets, old spirals, and manila folders and into a book that I can carry in my hand!

I am not in a manic state where I  am writing morning, noon and night. To the contrary, I am dusting off and revising stories that I’ve held onto for some time. The best part is that I have fallen back in love with all things writing.

If you, too, have fallen out of love with writing or if you have struggled to get your work out there, please know that I am a retired teacher (over 3 decades in the classroom), wife, mother and (gulp) grandmother who has for a hundred years (or so it seems) struggled to get my books in print and into the hands of youngsters.

I started pounding out my stories on a typewriter and was overjoyed when “correction tape” hit the market! Up until then, if you absentmindedly left out a word… or sentence… or paragraph, you had to type the entire chapter or book over. There was no internet or click of a mouse to find an editor’s name or publishing house address. That took a trip to the library and the help of a librarian. There was no instant access to an editor or agent’s wish list. You searched library shelves for similar books and made a guess which publisher might like your manuscript.

I didn’t know if an editor sent you a letter with a list of things he/she didn’t like about your manuscript, you should make corrections and send it back for another look. I thought editors were people who told you what they didn’t like. When such information became available on writing websites, it was much too late for me to take advantage of constructive criticism.

All of the things that I didn’t know slowed my progress and my path to publication was excruciating slow and often painful. But as Maya Angelou said “When you know better, you do better”. And so I do.

All of that aside, I believe that God’s timing is perfect. I don’t always understand it at the time, but I know that it is true. Recently, my seven-year-old granddaughter came to spend the night. Tucked in her overnight bag was the book she’s reading in bed every evening. As I reached in her bag to retrieve her book, I met the eyes of Winsley Walker (Winsley Walker & Other Flying Objects) and it was then, that I knew for certain, I’d been given a glimpse of God’s plan for my life. Timing, and all. Divine. Perfect.

www.NancyCadleCraddock.com

Still Shouting

Okay, yes… I’m shamelessly promoting another one of my  books. You see, when you self-publish, without  a bit of marketing, you might as well have skipped the endless hours you stressed over every single word you ever wrote or typed on a page. Since I’ve been a worrier and a writer all of my life, I’m trying to make sure all the stress and anxiety was worth it. Of course, only you, the reader, can be the judge of that.

Yes, I’ve caught the interest of an editor or two, but for whatever reason, this Little Red Hen was destined to do it all herself. So, I bought the grain, took out my rolling pin and turned on the oven. The bread is now starting to rise. Yeah!

I didn’t think I could top Beneath the Paint but when I pulled my Liars manuscript out of the vault (aka: Nan’s stash of manuscripts – finished and unfinished),  I fell in love with main character Bayou Brown all over again. If there was ever a kid with the odds stacked against him, it was this one.

Recently, I believe I’ve been given a glimpse of why I write, why I couldn’t give it up, and why I have the undeniable need to continue writing. I’ve always know this in my heart but now I see it in my stories: I am, perhaps, “The World’s Greatest Champion for Underdogs”! At least, on paper. In my stories, I can make the most unlikely of kids do extraordinary things. This, I like! I can make the entire community rally around the kid that otherwise, would be forgotten or left alone. Basically, I can change the world with the stroke of keys on my keyboard.

Who wouldn’t want to write… or change the world! Well… okay… maybe just the life of some ordinary kid who happens to fall inside the pages of Liars… or Beneath the Paint or… Winsley Walker or…

From the Rooftop

I always said if I ever had a book published, I’d shout it from the rooftop. This is my second book and second shout out. My book Beneath the Paint has been in the works for years. Although I have other books in various stages, if you are only going to read one of my books, make it this one. It is perhaps my best because I’m not sure I could ever top it. Ever.

Beneath the Paint

In the midst of his own legal woes, young and poor Harley Hamilton has stumbled upon a secret of national importance. Will he tell it? If he does, will anyone believe him?

authorgal-72dpi-1500x2000 (1) (Beneath Paint Ebook)

 

Beneath the Paint: available on Amazon or contact me for a signed copy through my website:

http://www.nancycadlecraddock.com

Thanks everybody!

 

FREE WORKSHOP FOR WRITERS THIS SAT BY WRITERSANDWANNABES!

Hi Folks!

Come listen to me, and three other great writersandwannabes, Connie Fleming, Nancy Craddock, and Lynn Coulter, speak at the Stonecrest Library this Saturday afternoon. Find below the Who, What, Where, Why and When.

Don’t worry, attending the workshop is definitely in your budget, not matter what its size as… it’s FREE!

So take a two hour break from shopping and join us there!

TK

BTW, if you haven’t heard, the Second Edition of 100 Small Fires is out in paperback, and is a perfect Christmas gift for all the writers on your list. At $7.99 it won’t set your budget back either.

Find it here:

100 Small Fires at Amazon

To read more about 100 Small Fires, go to www.100smallfires.com.

WRITERS, READERS, AND EVERYONE ELSE!

WHAT: *The Ups and Downs of Writing Children’s Books
A Workshop For Childrens Book Authors (And Everyone Else)*
WHEN: DECEMBER 12/12/2015, BETWEEN 1pm and 3:00
WHERE: Stonecrest Library, 3123 Klondike Rd, Lithonia, GA 30038
Phone:(770) 482-3828
WHO: WORKSHOP SPEAKERS: Connie Fleming, Nancy Craddock, Lynn Coulter and TK Read

SPEAKER/TOPIC: Connie Fleming: Walking on the Edge: Conflict in Children’s Writing
ABOUT CONNIE:
A former UCR Crime Analyst with Georgia Bureau of Investigation, she now spends her days, and nights writing, illustrating, and speaking at schools, libraries and churches. Into every life must come some conflict. And no story is complete without it. Learn how to insert the right amount of tension to move your story forward.
As a very health-conscious senior adult she also writes about wiping out obesity, with a healthy dose of her own brand of humor and Christian wisdom.
Her website is http://cmfleming.com/ and her weight-loss blog can be found at http://theacceptablesin.blogspot.com/

SPEAKER/TOPIC: Nancy Craddock: Warnings from a Self-Pubbed Author
If you’re thinking about self-publishing, you can save yourself a lot of angst (and money) from someone who did it all wrong!

What color on a book’s cover sells the most books?

What do self-pubbed authors almost always forget to do?

What font turns readers away?

I’ve got the answers and I’m spilling the secrets this Saturday!
ABOUT NANCY:
Author Nancy Cadle Craddock always wanted to write laugh-out-loud books about

spunky kids & smart ones

unlikely kids doing extraordinary things, and

kids who make a difference.

So she did!

Winsley Walker & Other Flying Objects – 5 Stars on Amazon

Comes with a “Laughter Guarantee”

 

SPEAKER/TOPIC: Lynn Coulter: Make Money By Writing Nonfiction
Even if your goal is to publish a novel, you can earn money writing nonfiction books and articles while you work on it. The Web, for example, consumes enormous amounts of information, and someone has to write that content. Why shouldn’t it be you? Learn how to break into print and digital publications for children and adults with freelancer and author Lynn Coulter.
ABOUT LYNN:
Lynn Coulter writes for HGTVGardens.com.

She’s also a freelancer with a B.A. in Journalism and the author of 3 books: Gardening with Heirloom Seeds; Mustard Seeds: Thoughts on the Nature of God and Faith (Publisher’s Weekly starred review); and Little Mercies: Celebrating God’s Everyday Grace and Goodness. Lynn has served as a contributing editor for Delta Sky and U.S. Airways Magazine, and she’s written for Ranger Rick, Southern Living, Jack and Jill, Delta’s Sky 4 Kids, Pockets, The Home Depot Garden Club, Southern Living, AAA Traveler and other publications. Currently she’s writing a novel for middle-grade readers with the help of her loyal office assistants/rescue dogs, Miss Paws and Molly. Her website is www.LynnCoulter.com.

SPEAKER/TOPIC:
TK Read: Light Fires Beneath Your Book Sales
Whether you’re self-pubbed, indie-pubbed, or traditionally pubbed, you need to market your book to make sure your sales soar! Learn promotion tips and tricks, and the best place to put your marketing efforts and dollars from TK. We’ll go over promotion ideas for small, medium, and large budgets!
ABOUT TK:
TK is an attorney by day and a writes in the wee hours of the morning. She downs coffee and chocolate, and pens young adult thrillers and middle grade fantasies. A life-long student, she also signs up for every class she can fit in her schedule – that way when her teens are going on-and-on about their tough courses, she can match them moan-for-moan. TK co-authored the book, 100 Small Fires to Make Your Book Sales Blaze! with her marketing whiz sister, Kathleen Vrona. You can check the book out at www.100smallfires.com and TK out at www.tkread.com.

** This event is free to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
**THIS EVENT IS SPONSORED BY THE SOCIETY OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS (SCBWI.ORG)

A Conversation with Author C. M. Fleming

I recently caught-up with author and fellow “Writers and Wannabes” friend C. M. Fleming and I’m delighted to be able to share her insight on several topics with our readers.

NC: If you were entering the world of writing and publication today, what would you tell your younger self?

CMF: Start early, perhaps in kindergarten. Just kidding. It’s important to work on improving your craft, no matter what it is. This is especially true of writing. I wrote my first story when I was in 4th grade. It was a fantasy, or a fable about how the Great Lakes came into existence. My teacher LOVED it, but my mom said it was ridiculous. I guess she wasn’t a fan of fantasy. So I didn’t show her my writing again. But I think the most important thing I would tell me is not to give up. If it were easy everyone would have a published book.

 NC: Each week I make it a point to check out your blog. You inspire me and sometimes more importantly, make me laugh. I know how to find your blog but how do others find you?

CMF: With great difficulty, I put a link on facebook (http://theacceptablesin.blogspot.com) when I publish a new post. I’d like to learn how to optimize traffic to my blog. SEO Scariest acronym on the internet. Search Engine Optimization. I’m open to suggestions.

 NC: For those who haven’t found your blog yet, what’s your purpose?

CMF: I want to help others get healthy. I’ve struggled with my weight all of my life. I’ve written a book about the struggle with eating disorders leading to obesity, and how to overcome it. The working title is “The Real Reason You’re Fat: The Acceptable Sin and Biblical Guidelines for Overcoming Obesity”.

 NC: What does it take to build a writing platform today?

CMF: I’m not really sure how to answer this, but I think hard work and being consistent. You have to have a PRESENCE in public and on social media. I actually had to “google” this. Here is what I found: (About.com) “Your writer’s platform is basically the group of activities you engage in that gets your name and work noticed by the public, It’s marketing, not of a specific work, but of you as the author. It’s everything you do to build your brand.”

 NC: What is your writing platform and how have you achieved it?

CMF: Right now my platform is more of a raft. Picture Huck Finn and the runaway Slave Jim. Sometimes it floats gently down the lazy publication river, and other times I’m tossed about by the rapids.

 NC: What is the best advice you’ve been given about becoming a writer?

CMF: Don’t quit your day job. Actually that was about my illustrating. In all seriousness, writing doesn’t pay a lot unless you are Stephen King, or J. K. Rowling. Speaking engagements help supplement a writer’s income, but that takes away from writing time, so it’s a double-edged sword.

 NC: What is the best advice you’d like to pass on to aspiring writers?

CMF: Read, read, read. I’m not talking about how-to books on writing. Read in the genre you want to write. Soak up everything. Take the stories apart. See what works and what doesn’t. Then write your own. Know when to follow the rules and know when to break them.

 NC: If you were not a writer, what would you wannabe?

CMF: An actor. Last year, just before my 70th birthday, I was hired along with my fellow-wannabe, Susan Spain and my husband as an extra in the movie “Prisoners”. I actually got about three seconds of screen time. Unfortunately, my big scene with one of the main stars (Terrence Howard) ended up on the cutting room floor.

 NC: What a fun interview! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with me and our readers. I learned a lot and know our readers did, too.

Plagerism Or Creative License?

I stayed up late to finish Jann Martel’s, Life of Pi so I would be ready to see the movie version the next day. How could such a complex, beautifully crafted allegory be adapted to the silver screen?  After seeing the movie (which I thought was very good) I HAD to know more about the author and where he got the brilliant idea for his novel. I searched cyberspace only to find that Jann Martel was accused of plagiarizing Life Of Pi. By his own admission, Martel had read a review of a novel with a strikingly similar premise, written by a Brazilian author.  Martel also claims he was never able to find, let alone read, Moacyr Scliar’s book.  Nevertheless, accusations were hurled.

As a writer wannabee I am always searching for new characters, new plot lines, new ways to string words together. But just when I think I have created a story that no one could even imagine, let alone put on paper, I find that MY STORY was stolen and is now a New York Times Best Seller. What psychic ability did J.K. Rowling use to span the Atlantic Ocean and pluck Harry Potter out of my head?

How many of my writer friends have had similar experiences?

All of them.

That is because there is nothing new under the sun.

I can craft a story involving a vacuum cleaner, a Chihuahua, an alien life form, and an elderly widower. Place them in Atlanta, Jamaica or Hong Kong. Write it first person or third person, from the vacuum cleaner’s, dog’s or widower’s prospective and somewhere, somehow, some else has had a similar idea. Maybe it is already published or still just the seed of a story in another writer wannabee’s head.  But writer friends, do not despair.  Short of photocopying another author’s published work, I believe it is virtually impossible for two people to create the exact same story.  It is time to stop using this as an excuse to throw your manuscript in the trash. There are only so many things to draw from in the universe, but there are also unlimited ways to put these things together.

So, sharpen your pencils, boot up your laptop, and dust off those ideas that you discarded years ago. What you write is uniquely yours. Get back to work!

August 30 Blog Tour Stop: Interview with Donna Jo Napoli!

WIK’s2012 Keynote Speaker! Donna Jo Napoli!

What a privilege it is for me (Susan Rosson Spain– hereafter SRS), to wrap up Southern Breeze’s blog tour with our WIK keynote speaker, Donna Jo Napoli! <Polite but excited applause!> Donna is an incredibly accomplished Professor of Linguistics and a prolific author of children’s literature, and has agreed to tell us a little about herself, her books, and her writing process. So, without further ado:

SRS: I hear you were in Dublin this summer. Was that business or pleasure?

DJN: I was a Long Room Hub fellow at Trinity College Dublin. Part of what I worked on was linguistics. But the other part was a novel, about a little Irish girl in the 900’s who winds up in Jutland alone and has some pretty disturbing experiences. It’s a companion book to my novel HUSH: AN IRISH PRINCESS TALE. It’s the story of the younger sister, Brigid, who gets separated from the whole family. I love to write on site as much as possible, and if it’s not possible, I love to visit the site.

When you walk around the place your story is set, or the place your character loves and will be missing, you notice things that books may not tell you—sounds and smells—the feel of things. I’m going to be working on this sort of thing in one of my workshops (the senses). [DJN is referring to WIK]

SRS: Oh, I hope it’s one of the workshops I’ll be attending! Tell me, as productive a writer as you are, with more than 70 books to your name–everything from picture books through early reader, middle grade and young adult—do you have a favorite genre?

DJN: Truly, I don’t have a favorite genre. I get stories in my head that I need to tell—and sometimes they are for one audience and sometimes for another—and sometimes they are of one type and sometimes another. Probably the type that is most fun to write for me is animal novels—because I do a lot of reading about natural history and a lot of observing the animals—and then I just write without worrying that some warthog or swan or frog will be offended that I didn’t represent them in the way they wanted. It’s almost relaxing—which is so unusual, since writing really is a terrifying act in a way.

SRS: Well it’s good to know I’m not the only one that feels that way. <grin> You’ve mentioned that your work in progress is a companion to HUSH. Do you write more than one book at a time? Perhaps more to the point, what does your writing schedule look like on a “normal” writing day?

DJN: I never go back and forth between books in the middle of drafts. But when I finish a draft of one book, I always complete a draft of another before I return to doing the next draft of the first book. It helps me to get distance and perspective so that I can cut what doesn’t work without crying.

But I try not to have more than one book for a given age audience on my plate too close together in time. I try to keep my voices distinct, and I worry about one teen voice, for example, influencing another. Right now, for example, I’m working on a teen book, a middle grade book, and a picture book—finishing a draft of one, then moving to the next. I like this mix. It’s like eating a meal of varied vegetables.

I don’t really have a writing schedule because I have a full time job. I used to wish I didn’t—I used to envy full-time writers. But I have hermit tendencies, and I think being forced to get out of the house and interact with people (which my job does for me) helps me to have more things I want to write about. So, really, a job helps me as a writer.

I begin a first draft of something only when I know I can have uninterrupted time—so that means between my teaching semesters or in the summer. Then I’ll get up early and write as long as my body will allow me (I find I need to get up from my desk more frequently as I get older—my hands hurt, my legs need to move). Day after day. Until I finish.

But on later drafts, I just steal the time here and there while I’m doing my regular job. So maybe I’ll get to work all weekend on a book. But maybe I won’t get to work at all for three weeks. It always makes me a little scared and sick not to write for too long—and to me, a week feels too long. But sometimes I have no choice.

SRS: Are you into any new types of writing?

DJN: Yes, and I’m terrified. A couple of years ago David Wiesner handed me a pile of illustrations he’d been working on which somehow just didn’t get in his head. He asked me if I’d like to try to come up with a story. I wrote a novel—he liked it—and so now we are doing a graphic novel together.

It is a very different experience from writing a picture book—where I do the words and then the illustrator does whatever appeals. And it’s very different from writing a novel—where I see through my mind’s eye, and therefore I can see inside and outside. In a graphic novel, you cannot go on and on about feelings—I mean, come on, what illustrations can fit that? You have to constantly think about what kind of visual scene might go with your words. We are both new to this, so we are feeling our way. Slowly.

SRS: Wow. That really is different from your previous body of work! Tell me, how do you manage teaching and having a personal life, and still get so much writing done?

DJN: Badly.

But I believe in that. Perfection is not something I believe in—so I don’t strive for it. I strive to understand my stories my characters, and to help my reader understand them. I enjoy what I do—in fact, I’m totally passionate about it. And I know anyting I write will never be “finished” in the perfection sense. Anything can be made better—that’s fact (except perhaps in mathematics and religion)—and I don’t want to spend my whole life trying to improve a single sentence. So I do the best I can in a sensible amount of time and I move on. (“Sensible,” of course, is relative. Once I spent seven years writing a first draft. That’s not sensible. But I only did it once.)

SRS: As a linguist, do you consciously try to educate your reader?

DJN: Last spring I heard Eileen Spinelli tell a group of young writers that she “loved words.” I really don’t think I had ever thought about it before like that—but once she said it, I realized that I do, too. Words are such amazing things. And when a writer uses exactly the right word for the scene, I want to kiss the earth in joy. Many times a very ordinary word is the right word. But sometimes you have to shake yourself free of thought and let your instincts about your own language have rein. You are aware of the nuances just by being a native speaker of a language—use the nuances. I try not to intellectualize about it. I write my stories out loud (speaking as I type), and I let myself feel the words in my mouth as I see them on the page and hear them in the air. I trust my instincts to choose them.

SRS: Donna Jo, thank you so much for speaking with us. What you’ve shared is fascinating, and I’m sure our readers would love to know more about you and your books. Are there other ways to read further? A website, blog, Twitter, or Facebook page, perhaps?

DJN: I gave up on a blog and never figured out Facebook (though I have a Facebook page that I hope people will visit and “like”—because I put announcements there sometimes). So my website is my best source: http://www.donnajonapoli.com.