Sunday, November 18, 2012

Number One Rule for New Authors...

I read a sad tale this morning of a prospective author scammed by an unscrupulous person posing as an illustrator. I am appalled that predatory scum-bags like this are out there preying on decent people. Shame on you. All we can do is arm ourselves with information, be vigilant and look out for each other. Trouble is when you are first starting out you don't know what you don't know. And you don't know who to ask or what, exactly, you should be asking about. One of my favourite bits of advise for aspiring writers is to join organisations like the NZSA, Storylines and Kiwiwrite4kidz, and make friends with other authors and illustrators. Because they are the people collectively who know. One of the first things I did when I made the decision to follow through on my crazy dream of being an author was join Storylines. And since those early days I have joined other groups and met a lot of authors and illustrators. If I have questions or uncertainties I ask these people. If they don't know they suggest people who might. I also spend a lot of time searching out information on the internet but I know where to look because I have spent a lot of time looking. There are ways to determine reputations. Ask around. Look after yourselves people. Of course the other problem now is that I may have experience and information at my fingertips but I don't always know what I know. I mean 'I know it' but I don't realise that it's information other people might not have. This is one of the key benefits of belonging to a community of authors and illustrators: you pick up a lot just by hanging out. We are communicative, word people. You cannot find a better source of information. Please, PLEASE don't let shyness stop you. Children's writers and illustrators in particular are the most down to earth, lovely, generous people you might ever meet. None of them (as far as I am aware) bite. We like helping each other. Come and join us :)


  • I recently had a lovely review of my YA thriller The Half Life of Ryan Davis from a very talented young teen which you can see here
  • I have solved my title dilemma and am now working on my intermediate mystery cover. I will hopefully be able to reveal more soon. 
  • Here is a great run-down on the importance and definition of what the premise of your book is, from blogger Stroppy Author. If you have this clear in your mind when you are writing your task will be easier. Go read it. Go on. 

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