BLOG TOUR!!!!

Hey everyone! I’ve been invited to join the blog tour by my amazing friend, Sterling Martin, who is an awesome graphic novel artist and cartoonist! Check out his blog here: Neo-graphic.tumblr.com

I’m so happy to share my thoughts on writing with you!

1. What am I working on?

As some of you know, my debut picture book MISTER COOL is set to be released to the world Jan. 6, 2015 by POW! Books (distributed by Random House) and I’m super excited! Right now I’m working on a promo campaign to help support Mister Cool, as well as trying to book any signings/school engagements for it. As far as writing goes, I’m working on another PB that deals with self-esteem and identity issues featuring the same amazing artist that illustrated Mister Cool. I’m also tinkering around with a MG novel that I like to say is like Bridget Jones’ Diary, without all the adult stuff. So busy, busy in the land of creativity!

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I think that picture books are super amazing right now. I would have to say the reason my work pops out is because of it’s edginess within the artwork and text. We really try to make the language and art hip and current and we also try to tackle current issues such as bullying in schools. I try to approach these subjects without being “preachy” – instead I like to relate to the reader with someone who would talk like them.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

When I get an idea for a book it just burns inside of me until I get it out. I literally have no relief until it is written down on paper. If I try to ignore it, I’ll start dreaming about it. I write these ideas down because I absolutely MUST and even if nothing comes of it, at least I can get some shut eye! Not to mention I love writing things that make other people laugh or think differently about their world.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

Initially, I just write down the idea (usually with pen and paper) and I try not to judge it too harshly. I know that it will go through several rounds of edits so I try to just get the words down. During this stage, I try playing with the voice in my head. Usually during this very first draft the voice is inconsistent and the story lacks good transitions or maybe has some plot holes.  I will then take a break from it, let it stew in my brain, and come back after a day or so. Then I start structuring out what’s missing. I will start marking what I like and don’t like. Strike out sentences that don’t “feel” right and start to try to establish a flow. This could go on for several versions or days. Once I feel pretty comfortable with the idea and voice I’m trying to create, I’ll send out to some beta readers to get feedback. It’s still far from perfect but I feel like beta input really helps make it exactly what I’m trying to create. After I get their feedback and wonderful ideas, I implement the ones I think work best for the story and then tweak!

For picture books, it’s after this final stage that I will send the text to the illustrator to start pondering. Or sometimes I just pitch the idea to my agent and see if it’s worth pursuing or not. If it is, it’s time to jam out some awesome artwork, make some more edits and get that baby sold!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my writing process! What a cool way to explore what other authors are doing as well!

Up next on the tour is my awesome pal Laura Moss! I’ve had the pleasure to co-author a book with Laura: “The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin in Your Life.” She writes exceptional YA and you need to read about her! (I’ll let her take it from here!)

http://laurajmoss.com/laurablog/

laurajmoss

Bio:

Laura J. Moss is a YA writer and MNN.com editor/writer whose stories are regularly published on CNN, The Huffington Post and Yahoo. She’s also a hiker, Korean-drama addict, butter beer enthusiast, synesthete and aspiring cat lady.

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Where Have I Been? So Much News!

Helllllllooo Everyone!

So, it’s been an ETERNITY since I’ve written a blog post, but so much has been going on! (Horray-sies!) Last we met, Mr. Cool was signed on with the wonderful Kirchoff/Wohlberg and then it was out for submission.

Well, I’m so happy to report that in January we got an offer! And I’m even MORE EXCITED to report that we signed that contract in June with POW! Books! My editor is the super awesome Sharyn Rosart (previously from Quark Books) and she’s gearing up to make Mr. Cool a reality!

Pow! is an amazing independent publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. They have two independent bookstores: powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn and powerHouse on 8th. They distribute through Random House so I’m excited to get the best of both worlds: a small publishing house that focuses directly on their clients, as well as the experience of a huge distributor. Triple Coolness! I’ve already learned a TON so far and I didn’t realize that I was so in the dark about a lot of this printing stuff…

Right now we are finishing up the art files and edits- the book is scheduled to be available in January 2015 (insert tears of joy here) and I just can’t wait for you all to get your copy. So far, I would say it’s about having a great team coming together to make the book the best it can be. I feel especially lucky to have these people on my team for my book. Let’s get to work!

Aspiring authors: Keep working, keep working! You’re almost there! (HIGH FIVES!)

It FINALLY happened!

Ok folks- it finally happened!

After years of hard work, several manuscripts, hundreds of rejections and thousands of tears, hard work has finally paid off!

I am now a repped picture book author! I’ve been crying tears of joy for a week! (They are much better than the sad kind that comes in this business…) I’m now with Kirchoff/Wohlberg, an agency that’s represented the children’s genre (baby to YA) for over 28 years. My wonderful agent, Ron Zollshan, believed in my manuscript, Mr. Cool and after a few rewrites and edits, we’ve teamed up to take over the world! I’m super excited to share this news with all my favorite people (that’s YOU). You’ve all been instrumental in helping me in everything I do in this field.

So…know that with hard work and never giving up, someone out there WILL believe in you and your manuscript! It’s right within your grasp! Now let’s hope this baby gets sold!

Whoa! So much is going on and I’m FLIPPING OUT! (In a good way…)

Hello my beautiful peeps! I’ve missed you.

Sorry I’ve not had the chance to write on my blog in a while but things have been BIIIZZZZ-EEEEE.

Here’s a quick run-down:

1. I taught at DFWCon this year and it was super rad! Met many nice folks and pitched an agent which was super fun!

2. Came back inspired and ran a Kickstarter campaign for my newest children’s book, Mr. Cool. We needed to raise $3K and ended up raising $3,700! It was a super-intense process, but the support I was shown and the people who donated to my book really made me feel happily overwhelmed with gratitude. It was really interesting to learn what really goes into running a successful KS campaign and it was a lot harder than I thought! Kudos to all those others out there who have done the same. It’s alotta work!

3. Since then, I’ve been finding a publisher to print 100 copies of Mr. Cool to give back to the people who showed me such support on KS. The last few months have been quoting, pricing and overall FINDING the write (get it?) publisher for this book. We’re doing a completely custom-made design idea, so it’s been a very crazy process of finding those who can meet our needs and weeding out those who can’t. We’ve finally nailed down the publisher and now it’s time to put this baby into action! It’s time for Mr. Cool to be born.

4. In other news, The Harry Potter Insults book has been doing spectacularly well on Amazon and Createspace. Since December of 2012, we’ve sold about 2,000 copies which makes me flip out with joy! Thank you to all who have supported this book and spread the love!

So, all in all, it’s been an intense few months filled with positivity and support. It’s really been amazing. Choose to look at the opportunities in front of you, instead of all the negativity that can be out there, and you will see great things happening!

MUAH! I will update soon with progress on Mr. Cool!cover

I Am A DFWCon 2013 Instructor!!!

Hi all!

This year I was asked to speak about self-publishing and co-authoring at the 2013 Dallas-Fort Worth Writer’s Convention! *Does Pee-Wee Herman Bar Dance* I’m so excited! Last year, I worked very hard with Laura J. Moss to self-publish “The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook” and through diligence and persistence, showed that a agent-rejected book could sell and make money! And now my reward is to share this knowledge with others like me: those who have many ideas, who are self-starters, who are focused and ready to get their boots dirty. Because, believe me, this route isn’t an easy one.

I hope to see all you sparkly writers (not sparkly vampires) at the Con this year. There is a great line-up of wonderful agents, editors, publishers and speakers. And from my experience attending DFWCon last year, I can tell you it’s a great motivator to get your book finished- not to mention all the networking opportunities you will have!

Hope to see you there and take my classes! I would love to meet you and hear your stories!

http://www.dfwcon.org

Love, Birdy

New Year, New Book!

The wonderful Critter group I am a part of had a wonderful idea for this new year:

To make goals for a new novel for the new year (hence the name New Year, New Book) and then to keep track of your goals by way of a PROGRESS BAR! Every one in the group has a progress bar and everyone in the group can easily see one another’s progress. Throughout the month, we will be held accountable for these writing goals we have set for ourselves. Also, our peers can gently encourage us to get these goals accomplished by supplying prizes, support, or critiques!

Gearing up for the new year is important. As a writer you want your arsenal to be chock full of ideas or sometimes you just need a break from your current WIP. New Year, New Book is an excellent way to journey down this path with wonderful friends to help you along the way.

Check out how we have ours set up here and feel free to make one for your own group!

http://newyearnewbook.wordpress.com/

Happy writing!

The Harry Potter Insults book is now available in PAPERBACK!

For all of you who still like to actually hold a book (pick me! pick me!) we feel you! The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin in Your Life is now available in paperback!

Thank you for your patience as we got this book up and running on the e-book platform for Nook and Kindle.

Here is the link for the paperback version:

https://www.createspace.com/3955249
It will debut this week on Amazon.com in paperback as well, but is available immediately on Createspace’s e-store.

A side note about Createspace: I must say, they were exceptionally great to work with. I’ve never seen such an easy platform to self-pub physical books. They are fast, efficient and thorough. They even send you proofs of your paperback for a very small fee. I’m talking like, a few bucks. That’s crazy! And fabulous! As a writer who has self-pubbed “the old fashioned way,” I was seriously amazed at how simple this process has become. If you have any questions at all about the process, please let me know and I’ll try to help you as much as I can. (I’ve learned quite a lot) and sharing the love is what I live for.

So, if you’ve been rejected by an agent, DO NOT DESPAIR! Createspace is waiting patiently for your precious words!

Keep on keepin’ on!

Birdy

THE UNOFFICIAL HARRY POTTER INSULTS BOOK IS HERE!

Hello everyone!

Laura J. Moss and I have been on a very exciting venture these last few months bringing our little creation into the world!

It is now for sale on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook!
And here are the links:

Our home site: http://www.harrypotterinsults.com

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Unofficial-Potter-Insults-Handbook-ebook/dp/B008WAD59S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351736376&sr=8-2&keywords=harry+potter+insults

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/harry-potter-insults?keyword=harry+potter+insults&store=nookstore

If you are a Harry Potter nerd like we are, you gotta check it out! Don’t have a Nook or Kindle? Don’t fret! You can still buy the book through Amazon and Amazon will allow you to read it directly off of their site for FREE. Gotta love the times we are living in. The Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin in Your Life is all about learning valuable social skills using Harry Potter language. (NERD ALERT!) Harry Potter always helps with life skills. If you don’t believe me, go away now!

Here is a little description of our book:

Are you tormented in Transfiguration? Are you mocked for your muggle mum? Do you long for a Time-Turner so you can always deliver a killer comeback?

Whether you’re a N.E.W.T.-level wizard or a wide-eyed witch still awaiting your Hogwarts acceptance letter, you’ve probably encountered a merciless Malfoy or despicable Dursley who makes your magical blood boil. If you’ve ever stood speechless as someone called you a talentless squib, a worthless git or a filthy mudblood, this is the book for you!

Study these magical pages closely, and with a little Hufflepuff hard work you’ll soon brave any bully with the courage of a Gryffindor and be able to outwit even the smartest Ravenclaw or the most-cunning Slytherin!

If you would like to join our social media pages, we’d ABSOLUTELY love to have you!

Twitter (@HPcomebacks), Pinterest (pinterest.com/hpinsults/) and Tumblr (hpinsults.tumblr.com/)

Your support in this endeavor means so much to us and we appreciate you spreading the word to all those in your life who love Harry Potter!

Never stop writing and creating!