Beginning March 1 and running through May, I will be the Writer in Residence for the Glendale Library. This means I’ll be doing a portion of my writing work at the library (main branch), be available to anyone with questions about writing, and be giving workshops on writing and publishing.
How cool is that?
Other authors, including Bill Konigsberg, Tom Leveen, Janni Lee Simner, Betty Webb, and Susan Pohlman, will also be writers in residence at other libraries around the state of Arizona. Be sure to check their websites and social media for info.
The Glendale Main Library is located at 5959 W. Brown St., Glendale, AZ 85302.
Have questions about writing? Want to chat about writing and publishing? Come see me at the library!
For a while now, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can use my skills as both a writer and designer to help authors.
You see, long before I began taking writing seriously, I worked as a graphic and web designer. (You can read more about my journey as a designer here.) Until now I’ve always seen the two skill sets as separate. I write. I do graphic and web design.
But then I started watching the publishing industry change and saw authors trying to create their own covers, marketing materials and websites; and I started thinking, I can help them.
I know what it’s like to be an author, and I know good design.
I have the skills and experience to create great book covers, websites, advertisements, bookmarks, posters, you name it.
And so, I’m excited to announce to you: Quirky Girl Media.
I am so excited at the possibilities, and have many things planned. Right now, the site offers my basic services. But over time, I plan to add some really fun ways for authors to branch out.
So stay tuned. And if you have any questions about book covers or websites or editing or anything at all, please send me an email.
This week over at The Parking Lot Confessional, we’re talking about the authors who influence us. Due to my being a doofus, I double-booked our guest authors this week, and rather than try to reschedule either (especially since they both worked so hard writing awesome guests posts), we decided to go ahead and run both of them.
Did I mention I’m a doofus?
Anyway, my mistake ended up having kind of a cool twist. See, today is the day I normally blog at The PLC, but instead, today Tom Leveen’s guest post is up. And it’s awesome. So go read it if you haven’t. The cool-ironic-twisty part is, Tom’s novel, PARTY, has influenced the stuff I’m working on right now.
You need to go read it, too, if you haven’t.
Most authors tackle one narrative voice in their novels. Some tackle two or three. Tom took on eleven. Let’s say that again together: eleven.
Eleven chapters written from eleven different points of view. I know, you’re dubious. But you have to trust me when I say: it works.
Not only that, but Tom’s characters are so real that when I finished the book, I thought, “Man, I wish I could just hang out with them.” (Beckett, especially.)
He nailed the voice of each and every character in that book.
Now, if you’re like me, you know that getting character voice right can be a bit like trying to hold onto a wet cat. Or an octopus. Or a slippery fish. Anyway, it’s hard. Character voices sometimes wiggle and wobble and squirm when you try to pin them down.
Well, Tom makes it look easy. Which goes to show just how important the revision work he discusses in his guest post is. And how much it pays off.
The other thing that really blew me away with Party was how Tom took on all of the “issues” in the book. You know, the issues: peer pressure, underage drinking, sex, swearing, death, racial tension, relationships, annoying parents, God. Tom doesn’t back away from any of those hot potatoes. Which I think, both as a writer and a reader, is pretty brave. He created real characters dealing with real problems. It’s all of those issues that carry the plot of the book, marching each of the characters to their pivotal moment where they face the consequences of their actions. It’s kind of brilliant how all of the stories come together and then disperse. Like…people at a party… (Whoa.)
As a writer, I want to create characters that my readers want to hang with after the book is done. And I want to write stories that don’t shy away from the uglier parts of life. Party has helped me see how it’s possible to do both of those things, and do them well.
This morning while brushing my teeth, a quote popped into my head.
“Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or an antelope – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – African Proverb
A former co-worker of mine had this taped to his cubicle wall. He ran marathons. The quote made sense for him. In terms of running.
This morning, I thought about the quote in terms of writing. And I paraphrased it thus:
Every morning, an aspiring author wakes up. She knows she must out-write her last story, or it will be rejected. Every morning, a bestselling author wakes up. She knows she must out-write her last bestseller or she could get passed over for the debut author. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the aspiring author or the bestseller, when the sun comes up, you’d better be writing.
It kind of works, doesn’t it?
The sun’s up. Are you writing?