Ummmm yea…Halloween Tree Chapter 15

This is about as “experimental” as it gets.

Let me set the scene. I decided despite the weather (roughly 48 degrees), that I would put on my wig and go fully clothed into the Puget Sound (my backyard) and read Chapter 15 mermaid style.

Halloween Tree Reading FAIL.

So you get the bathtub instead. And by the time I had roughed the freezing perilous waters of the Sound, I was so delirious, that this reading is really quite boring. If you watch my hair sway in the water, it might even hypnotize you to sleep. Happy ZZZzzzzz’s!

What I’ve learned so far…

Although it is technically more pleasant to read blogs in prose, I’m (1) a trained journalist, facts facts facts! No flowery writing!, and (2) tired out of my MIND. So bullet points it is.

1. Dystopian and post-apocalyptic are the new trends. Although, in post-apocalyptic try to avoid zombies. As with everything else I will say in the rest of these bullet points…editors want NEW and FRESH twists.

2. Steampunk may or may not work as a genre in general. It is too early to tell. We are still waiting… So be cautious.

3. While there are definitely still (a select few) editors who will do vampires and werewolves, there are a lot of editors who want fun, quirky, real life, average girl, “she doesn’t know her potential” type of books.

4. Editors want writing that does not talk down to the reader. They want intelligent writing that will challenge the reader. And just to make it clear: 7-10 is considered “middle grade”…10-12 is considered “tween”…12 and up is “teen/YA.” 14 and up is for naughty material (cursing, steamier scenes, suicide, drug use, etc).

5. Just about every editor I have spoken to is looking for that perfect middle grade (7-10) boy book that steps away from high fantasy. Fun, quirky, scary, humorous. They want it. But it can’t talk down to the reader, which is the main problem they find.

6. The picture book market is incredibly soft. If you want to have success with your picture book it needs to be very unique and fun with an attitude. Verse is not too big right now. Think Tori Spelling’s new book Tallulah or Fancy Nancy.

7. I had one editor tell me she would love a teen Veronica Mars type book… Another editor said she would love a book set in New Orleans. One Editor said she is craving a book about a big, fun, crazy latino family. She said like a “Latino Cheaper By The Dozen.”

8. Historical fiction is not huge right now, but there are definitely editors that are interested in it. But it needs to be character driven, not time period driven.

9. One editor said to me, “A book needs to be so well written that you forget what genre you are reading.” Which I thought was a perfect way to sum it up.

Okay. Tomorrow…we talk my passion. Graphic Novels. They deserve their own post.

**Please note that I have pages and pages and pages of notes. Very specific notes. If you have any questions, never hesitate to email me (right hand corner of my blog) and ask me any specific questions.

e-reader apocalypse

Something about e-readers makes me think of that scene in Apocalypse Now… “I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.”

I don’t want my soul cut up by e-readers. (No one said I wasn’t melodramatic).

You know what’s really cool?

Remember when that famous mantra was uttered Give Peace a Chance…well I say Give Books a Chance.”

Also, I wouldn’t mind some more weighing in. You know how to email me —>

Give me your thoughts.

UPDATE:

Thoughts from author Kelsey Ketch:

“My heaven would be a room filled from floor to ceiling with bookshelves.  Each book bound in beautiful leather, the pages still crisp to the touch.  Classics to modern literature, Fiction to Nonfiction.  In the corner rests a leather, winged chair with a reading lamp over its shoulder.  As I open the cover, the words begin to dance within my mind.  The room melts away and I am transported into the world printed on the pages.

Seeing a book printed is a wondrous sight, especially to me as an author.  It’s like you had brought new life into the world.  I wouldn’t mind seeing one of my books on e-readers, but it would be the same as reading my manuscript on my computer.  The feel of the paper, the smell of the ink.  There is just something about a printed book that makes me feel one with the literary world.”

Well said, Kelsey.

Think outside the human (or animal) brain

I’m talking about personification of inanimate objects. I recently got a query letter with such an interesting story. Only problem was, it lacked the children appeal. I suggested to the author of this awesome query that she perhaps personify the main object in the story…the house.

Remember the epic film The Brave Little Toaster? Very few humans in that film. It personified everything from the toaster to the blankey, to the creepy metal machine that obliterated old junk cars (even the old junk cars if memory serves me correctly).

I’m going to be painfully honest: something does not sit right with me when it comes to anthropomorphic animals. Talking animals are as common as talking humans now a days—only there is something covertly sly about them. Anthropomorphic animals have gigantic potential to give me the heebie-jeebies. Not always…just the potential. But give me a house with an attitude? I’m all over that. Especially if it’s perhaps…a haunted house with an attitude? A sassy tea infuser that is picky about the tea leaves placed within her metal perforated belly?

I encourage you to think outside the human and animal brain. I encourage you to look around yourself and assign emotions to the objects in your house. Make homework out of it. You never know what you’ll come up with. And when you do come up with it: Query me!