I'm registered and have my calendar. National Novel Writing Month is upon us and I'll admit, I'm a little nervous. This is the first time I've participated in this challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and I don't quite know what to expect. I'm not even sure how to begin. I will be working on a middle grade fantasy that doesn't even have a title yet. I've read lots of Andrew Lang's fairy tale collections in preparation and I've jotted down some ideas in an outline. I've even thrown around a few ideas with my critique group. I guess I will jump in feet first as soon as the bell rings to get a good jump start and hope to run a straight course. I plan to attend a few write-ins to switch things up during the 30 days and be in contact with others trying to complete the challenge.
I've been working on a fairly new picture book and used a lot of illustrator notes in it. By a lot I mean that for each line of text (which probably would be one page each) I had an illustrator note to explain what was going on in the background. They are brief and to-the-point, and explain a sub-plot that is not obvious from the text. But, I've had this on-going question, how many illustrator notes are appropriate to put in your manuscript? I've asked that question at conferences, and my critique group has talked about it a great deal. In fact, one example was brought to the group of an author who wrote her entire book in illustrator notes because there were only twelve words in the text.
I am a writer of Children's and Young Adult books. I received my MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and am an active member of SCBWI. I also have my MLS in Library Science with an emphasis on children and happily worked as a Children's Librarian for nearly 20 years. One of my favorite activities was reading books aloud to kids, especially to school-aged kids. Like the kids, I enjoy having stories read to me, so I listen to many of my books on audio and serve on audio judging committees.
Another favorite activity is creating fun snacks for library programs, friends, and family. I do that a lot and continually search for more ideas.
I have a tiny brown tabby cat named Gypsy, who originally belonged to my brother and sister-in-law, a very large Russian Blue mix named Bosley from the shelter who has quickly made himself at home, and a new puppy named Prince Albert. He's a Cavapoo, which means he's part Cavalier King Charles and part poodle, and adorable. I am married and live in Dayton, Ohio with my husband Rod.
You can find more detailed information about me by clicking the link below: