Friday, August 12, 2011

A coward no more! (I hope.)

I had a marvelous time at the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles last week. I was able to hang out with friends from Chautauqua, the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, and my too-cool-for-school mentor Harold Underdown.

I had no trouble repeatedly walking through the lobby of a swanky LA hotel dressed as a monkey. (---->)

And yet, I have been an abject coward, because I really don't like to talk about my book.

When asked, I said that I wrote YA. (Which is only a little more specific than saying I write for children.) When pressed, I said it was a fairy tale adaptation. (Which is kind of true, but not really.) The truth is, I don't like to tell folks what my book is about because I am afraid.

I'm afraid I won't explain it clearly and concisely.

I'm afraid someone won't like it if I do manage to be clear and concise.

I'm afraid.

That fear is one reason why I gave the worst elevator non-pitch to an agent, ever.*

So I have resolved that by Sunday I will have written out my story in four sentences or less. Doesn't matter whether I call the description a pitch, a hook, a log line, or give it a Dickensian name like Estoria Quattlebush. From Sunday on, whenever someone asks what my story is about...

I. Will. Tell. Them.

How about you? Is it easy for you to talk about your story? Hard? I'd love tips for making it easier or stories that make me feel better about myself.

* He made small talk about staying on the floor right under the penthouses. I said the first thing that came to mind: "But you'd be the first to die if we had a fire." He had a funny expression on his face the next time he saw me. I don't blame him.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And .... GO!
Time to apply for the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program

If you have talked to me about writing for more than a few minutes, you would have heard me go on ...
and on ....
and on about how wonderful it was to be part of the:

Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program
(There should be Star Wars style music right now.)

The Mentor Program matches writers and illustrators with mentors who work with them for six full months. Amazing mentors who are authors, illustrators, and (this time) agents.

A few things you should know:

It's all about the revising.
If you don't want someone to tell you how to make your work better, or if you don't like revising, this isn't the program for you.

It's your chance to be fearless.
Your mentor will help you think about your project in new ways. Be prepared for the ride.

It makes you part of an amazing community.
Each mentor picks about three mentees, so there were over twenty of us in the Mentor Program. Those people and their mentors have become awesome friends.

So go to the Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program page. If you have any questions for me, let me know. I'd be happy to tell you more about my experience in the program.