Ha ha - people go on a lot about silly folk whose lives are like train wrecks but this week I am suffering from brain wrecks. I visited the lovely town of Thames on wednesday, reading to children from Thames South School and their parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles in the morning, and then conducting a workshop with adults in the afternoon. Thank you to the kind and welcoming staff of the Thames Library, especially Rachael who made me feel like one of the gang. Gorgeous place.
Friday, I was co-visiting author and official co-library opener with Kyle Mewburn at Owairaka Primary School in Mt Albert. Again I was made to feel so welcomed and staff and children, who had dressed up as favourite characters in some pretty amazing costumes, were wonderful. And to chief organiser Angela, congratulations for organising such a wonderful event. But today I suffer from brain wrecks - the poor little old melon is sucked dry.
Here are some juicy snippets that caught my eye this morning....
1) From today's Weekend Herald - in a review of Cut and Run by Alix Bosco (a pseudonym), reviewer Paul Thomas says, Ego, as revealed by a greater interest in recognition than achievement, often fuels the drive to be a published writer... Wow, thats a bit snippy. There are about a million easier ways to feed one's ego; a million ways over which you have more control, with much better odds of succeeding. Sure, having a publisher say yes or seeing a book with your name on the front cover are ego boosters, but there are many more ego deflating moments than there are ego boosting ones. Your average writer spends most of their time surviving with the aid of something much less fragile. And suggesting recognition rules over achievement - grrr don't get me started...
2) From Graham Beattie's blog posted saturday 24th, Patricia Wood, author of adult novel Lottery, takes a different, and I think very wise view of the relationship authors could be building with booksellers. She suggests it is useful to go past the book signing/launch type deal and the 'do you stock my book and how many copies have you sold' kind of interation, and find ways to help booksellers get more buyers (of any kind) in the shop. If bookshops survive, more authors might survive too, and in the great karmic wheel of life, what goes around, comes around.
3) During my workshop on Wednesday several people asked about how you go about getting an illustrator for your picture book manuscript if you are not an artist. The short answer is, you don't. Check out the latest post at Editorial Anonymous where she discusses this very topic. If you have not submitted a picture book manuscript before I can see how you might believe it essential to have illustrations to accompany your text. I can even, at a pinch, understand how you might wonder that the publisher will see the illustrations as you would like them to be. But folks, this is why they are professionals. They are in the business of producing books that sell (although they aren't always successful at this but it is still their goal) and they know what picture books look like, how they work and 98% of the time they will see the pictures your words suggest. And they know lots of talented and skilled artists/illustrators who will do a fab job. I did not meet the illustrator for The Were-Nana until the book launch but she knew exactly what I was trying to say. So it is best to submit your manuscript by itself. You do not need to attempt your own pictures or find someone to do it for you. If they like your story the publisher will try and find the right illustrator for it.
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications