Monday, August 31, 2009

Writing a Book for Kids Part 1

With a tip of my hat at Dandi Daley Mackall, a wonderful and prolific writer whom I met at the Northern Ohio SCBWI conference last year, I've decided to blog about the process of writing a nonfiction book for kids. I'm just starting work on my third title for Chicago Review Press. Its working title is Queen Elizabeth for Kids....part of CRP's "For Kids" Series. I just got my contract signed and "sealed" in the mail, but I've already started the research. So -- this will be a "start to finish" description of how I'm researching and writing the story of the world's most famous queen (in my book, anyway!).

That's one thing -- researching and writing. However, for those of you who are curious about the next step, I can describe that too. I delivered the manuscript for
Theodore Roosevelt for Kids early in June, so I'll blog about the process of working with my editor and everyone else at CRP to get the product out by next summer. To see examples of CRP titles, visit their website at These books feature content, lots of cool images, AND very well done activities that tie in with the titles. These are very good reads -- and adults can learn from them as well.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Books and Friends

My friends got together and threw me a party to celebrate Isaac Newton & Physics for Kids. I felt totally honored. We had cake, wine, champagne, the whole thing.....and most of all, lots of laughs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Social Networking

When it comes to marketing your newly published book, everyone in conferences, on blogs, and in writers' groups tells me to get into social networking. Obviously, I am.

However, I'm looking forward to the ultimate in social networking tonight -- my friends are giving me a book signing party! All I have to do is show up with copies of Isaac Newton & Physics for Kids and a good pen. Good times!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Julie and Julia

I took some time off this afternoon to go to Julie & Julia with a friend who's a terrific cook. There are so many excellent reasons to see this film --- and it's not just a chick flick. Meryl Streep is yet again wonderful, and Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci are engaging as well. I came out of the theater resolving to at least steam some artichokes and drown them in butter, one bite at a time.

That said, there's a lot in in the movie about writing and getting published. The film really runs two stories at once -- one is Julie's and the other is Julia -- and the stark contrasts between technologies that are 50 years apart are entertaining but oh so true.

When Julia states that she has a lot to learn about publishing, I can hear every unpublished writer saying "Amen, sister!" When Julie starts her blog, I shake my head and ask along with her, "How is anyone going to find me out in that big void?"

(That's me running around in the kitchen last Thanksgiving.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Getting Ready for the Kentucky Reading Association

Four of us -- all from Cincinnati - are looking forward to presenting “Writing for Children: Let's Do Business!” at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Reading Association on Saturday, September 19 in Louisville. (LOO-a-vul) for those of you who don’t live anywhere near Kentucky. Here’s what we’ve planned:

Have you always wanted to write for children? It's not for the faint of heart. Published authors Mary Kay Carson, Diana Jenkins, Brandon Marie Miller, and Kerrie Logan Hollihan will offer a roundtable discussion about breaking into the business of writing for kids. They will cover topics such as: manuscript preparation, the process of querying editors and agents for both fiction and nonfiction work, research techniques, "work made for hire" vs. royalty work, and networking. Bring your questions!

This will be the first time I’ve “presented” as a published author. Mary Kay, Brandon, and Diana are veterans at the process. I’m looking forward to sharing lunch with a tableful of librarians and teachers. Our presentation takes place as a break-out session at 1:35.