Archive for April, 2011

Writing Tips from Children’s Author, Dacia Moore

 

Welcome to day four of Dacia Moore’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and learn valuable writing tips.

The best tip I have for anyone who tells me that they want to write a book is to get a writing coach.  I believe in coaching.  The best athletes have a coach.  A coach is someone who is outside of your circle and brings value to you in their perspective.  You want your book to be as marketable as possible and you’re writing a book from your area of expertise.  A writing coach can provide valuable insight in case you make assumptions about what the reader might know, or in the event that you miss vital details that are important to the general reader.    

Another benefit of having a writing coach is that your coach will help you stay on track.  They are your accountability buddy.  Your coach will have various assignments for you which will serve to help you complete your book. I don’t know how many people I’ve spoken with who have a great idea but are procrastinating in taking the first step.  A good writing coach will hold your feet to the fire and encourage you to get it done!  After all a finished book is ten times better than a perfect book! 

Another tip I have is to just start writing and to not worry about your writing style, grammar or your vocabulary.  You can adjust all of those things in the editing process.  But the creative process of writing is to just sit down and begin to write whatever comes into your mind, regardless of whether it is in a logical order or makes sense.  I’ve met so many people who have great ideas for a book that others I’m sure would enjoy, but they procrastinate because they look at the writing process in the wrong way and it becomes intimidating.  Don’t let that happen to you!  If you have an idea, start writing!  Get your thoughts down on paper.  You can always edit later.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. Moore’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.

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BOOK REVIEW: SEAMUS THE SHELTIE TO THE RESCUE BY JAMES BEVERLY

I love reading well written books for children. Seamus the Sheltie to the Rescue is a well written and unique book. I am hugely impressed with the author’s ability to showcase in a fun and informative way lessons about friendship, bullying, compassion and teamwork.

This collection of fictional stories will warm your heart. I knew very little about breeds of dogs or other animal traits. Through this book I learned that the real Seamus Sheltie understands 95 human words. How incredible is that?

I absolutely loved the way each story is designed to teach morals and how to resolve issues. My two favorites are: Chapter 4, “Seamus Tricks the City Possum”. This delightful tale showcases a family of birds and how Seamus helps the family with an egg-eating-possum problem.

My second favorite is Chapter 3, “The Puppy who wanted to be Grown Up”. Seamus shows a darling little puppy why it is not a good idea to run away from home.

What resonates quite well with me is the challenges presented in this book are similar to those young children from all walks of life encounter and must find a way to resolve.

The fine illustrations by Anita Miles add an extra special element to each story. The vivid images will help the reader appreciate the story that much more. I was able to fully envision the predicament of the mouse on chapter 6 by looking at the marvelous illustrations on page 111.

I also thought it was an excellent idea for the author to include a discussion guide for parents. As a parent and educator, books are of little value unless an adult is willing to discuss and provoke thought by asking questions so a child can reflect on what he or she read

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-seamus-the-sheltie-to/#ixzz1KaJye4PX

Writing Tips from Children’s Author Alison Kartevold

 

Welcome to day four of Alison Kartevold’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and discover your audience.

To ensure that your writing is well received you must first and foremost, know your audience. When I first started writing KenKarta: Battle of the Onoxmon, I was writing for an audience of two, my daughters. They named characters, helped develop plot lines, and kept me true to the goal of creating a story they wanted hear and not necessarily one that I wanted to tell. It only became one I wanted to tell after I experienced the joy it brought to them. As the story matured and it became clear that the audience could be larger I had to change my approach, broaden it a bit, to ensure that the story held something for all the members of my new audience. It was only then that I started to think about the story in terms of a book, and by then the adventures that princesses Veronica and Sophia were to have in the Land of KenKarta were well developed.

The next thing necessary for you to write well received material is to honestly answer this question: Am I willing to put in the time and effort to work on the mechanics necessary to make this book a success? For me, the answer turned out to be yes because I wanted my daughters to be able to hold a copy of a story they helped create in their hands. Writing a book is not a quick undertaking. If you don’t have the energy and strength to persevere, it can be highly dissatisfying. Thinking up a good story and polishing it to a point where it is fit for public consumption are two very different things. So even though you must write for someone else in order to have an audience, you should write about something you care about if you want to find fulfillment.

Even more than adults, kids only read what they like. If it’s not a school assignment, they read things that engage their imaginations and interests. That’s it, that’s all they need. If it has a deeper meaning, great! That’s a bonus, but it’s not what brings them to the story to begin with. It is we adults who always feel the need of inserting a lesson and we are often far too heavy handed in how we go about it. They may be kids, but never make the mistake of writing down to them or lecturing them. They’ll bust you on it every time.

Also never try to write for kids in a vacuum. If you don’t have access to your audience, it’s very hard to connect with and write for them. While we adults may remember what it was like to be a kid ourselves, those memories are tainted by a lifetime of experience after the fact. Kids don’t have that same depth of knowledge to draw from; therefore, their emotions and reactions are more based in the present. So when I say, know your audience, I don’t just mean define them. When it comes to writing for kids, you should really know them if you ever hope to connect with them.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. Kartevold’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.

Writing Tips from Children’s Author Diane Kredensor

 

Welcome to day four of Diane Kredensor’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and immerse yourself in the writing fun.

Well, my best advice would be to immerse yourself in children’s books. Spend time at your local library or bookstore and read the classics, the new releases, and the award winners. Get a sense of what works and why. Get inspired! Also look for books, seminars, and classes on writing for children’s books. There are plenty of good ones out there, ask around and make sure if you sign up for something it’s reputable. It’s also important to understand what’s needed when submitting a manuscript, so whether that’s through an agent or by researching publishers yourself, I highly recommend that you know what editors are looking for before sending anything out.

But most important—just start writing as much as possible! Don’t edit yourself right away. Just get it out, let it flow. I always have to remind myself that creative writing is not about the end result, it’s the journey. That reminder helps me from trying to write a “perfect” story right out of the gate. I also have to remind myself to “show” not “tell.”

And learn to embrace failure! That’s probably one of the most important lessons I’ve gotten in life. It’s okay to put something out there and have agents, publishers, or whoever, turn you down. Look at the feedback they give you and see if there’s anything useful to apply to your next idea. But don’t make it mean you shouldn’t be writing! Here’s one of my favorite quotes about failure that I agree with 100%, and I remind myself of often:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all. In which case, you fail by default.

                                               —JK Rowling

And finally, have fun! If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

Follow Day 5 of Ms. Kredensor’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.

Writing Tips from Children’s Author Vikki Ford

As an author I am very familiar with what it takes to get inspired to write a manuscript.  I am always intrigued with how other authors get their inspiration.  I impressed with children’s author, Vikki Ford’s unique way in which she came up with the idea for her book.   I warmly welcome all to day four of Vikki Ford’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and explore what touches your heart.

Angel Anya’s Adventures: Angel Anya’s Magic Heart was inspired by observing children sharing their love through their heartfelt actions, including her own daughter.  As a writer, I just simply wrote from my heart.  I shared it with my daughter and watched how she responded and went from there. I did read about how to structure sentences but honestly, I just wrote from how I felt and the story that Spirit shared with me to write.  It was that simple.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. Ford’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.

Writing Tips from Children’s Author Donna McDine

 

It is always a true honor to learn from a master.  In 2009, I had the privilege to meet for the first time award winning author, Donna McDine.   I have grown to revere Donna’s abilities as a very gifted writer. I will forever remain grateful to Donna not only because of her friendship but more importantly she has been an outstanding inspiration to me.  Today, I am hugely honored to host Donna on my blog.  Please join me in welcoming day four of Donna McDine’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour as she discusses practicing your writing as if it’s an instrument or sport.

Nicole, it’s an honor to be here with you today. We met several years ago and I’ve been enjoying watching your own writing career blossom.

Just like taking up an instrument or sport – practice, practice and practice some more practice is essential in honing your writing skills. Participate in writer’s workshops in the genre you are interested in is a key component in developing your unique voice. Many times people think writing for children is a snap, when it is the complete opposite. Children are quite intuitive and know when you are preaching or speaking down to them.

Studying the market and what publishers want is imperative. If your goal is to write for children’s magazines, taking the time out to read back issues will provide you with insights on the direction of a particular magazine. For children’s book publishers, review their catalogues for what they are currently publishing. You may just find a niche that needs to be filled. And whether you are submitting to children’s magazines or children’s book publishers reading their submission guidelines is imperative. I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the specific guidelines to the “letter.” Even if you go over the word count by a few words it can mean instant rejection.

Never be afraid to ask questions. We all have something to learn each and every day and you’ll be surprised how many people have the same question as you.

Happy writing to you all and let your voice soar.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. McDine’s tour tomorrow at www.rothsinspiringbooksandproducts.wordpress.com.

NANCY STEWART’S WEEK THREE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR

 I am very thrilled to host Nancy Stewart on her virtual book tour.  Her book is a must read.  Please join me in welcoming Nancy.

About Nancy Stewart

Nancy Stewart photo

After having been an elementary school teacher, a management consultant with New Options, Inc. in New York City and a university professor of education, Nancy Stewart now writes children’s books full time.  She, her husband and three sons, lived in London for eight years, where she was a consultant to several universities, including Cambridge.

Nancy travels extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa.  She is the US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.

Nancy is the author of One Pelican at a Time and two other Bella books:  Bella Saves the Beach and Sea Turtle Summer.  All three will be published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

She and her family live in St. Louis and Clearwater Beach, Florida.

You can visit Nancy online at www.nancystewartbooks.com or at her blog www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com.

One Pelican at a Time is a much needed book that explores the Gulf Oil Spill. The story showcases Bella and her best friend Britt. The girls are very concerned about the slick oil that came to shore. Bella’s and Britt’s concern grew to a peak when their favorite pelican plunged into a patch of blackened sea. They feared for the Pelican’s safety. The girls took action and with their help a bird sanctuary expert helped save the pelican’s life.

Reading One Pelican at a Time left me with a warm fuzzy feeling deep in my heart because of the following reasons:

1) The story chronicles two very responsible teens taking action to help remedy a very serious situation caused by adults.

2) Teachers and parents can read the story to teach children about respecting the earth and how to care for our planet.

3) Most importantly, parents and teachers can use the book to instill in young children that we all, young and old must do our part to keep our planet safe.

Samantha Bell’s illustrations brought this exceptional story to full life. If you are a concerned parent or teacher in search of a good book that will help children learn about caring for the planet, I highly recommend One Pelican at a Time.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-one-pelican-at-a/#ixzz1Jw466HnU