I was tagged in “The Next Big Thing”

Last week, I was tagged by Margo Dill to play a game going around the interwebs called “The Next Big Thing.”

Here’s her original post. Per the rules, I must answer ten questions about my current novel because it is the next big thing and then tag five other writers/authors. I was supposed to post this on Wednesday, but its late because I was busy attending my critique group that night and then Thursday was my birthday. So, here it is, now Friday.

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My Interview with Jane Friedman, former Writer’s Digest publisher

The interview I’ve looked forward to the most at the Missouri Writers’ Guild conference blog is finally posted! My interview with Jane Friedman, who has an assortment of publishing industry credits including former Writer’s Digest publisher, is posted!

Just while researching my questions, I learned so much. That caused me to worry, though. How was she going to add anything more to the interviews already out there. How was I going to think of questions that allowed her to add new thoughts to the conversation?

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Behind the Books with Literary Agent Ann Behar

I recently did a Q&A with YA literary Agent Ann Behar with Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, Inc. She receives mostly fantasy and scifi queries because she said of her agency’s track record of success with authors like Terry Goodkind, Arthur C. Clarke and Mercedes Lackey. However, she is interested in all good writing:

“…if a book is extraordinary, I don’t care if it’s about faeries, dragons or stamp collecting. A great writer can make any subject gripping.  So, a fantasy or science fiction novel would have to have three-dimensional characters that I come to care about immediately, a detailed, fascinating world that makes me feel as if I am a part of, and a tightly structured plot that holds my attention from the start to finish.”

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Having fun with words by making a word cloud

I had fun making a wordle yesterday. No, that’s not a typo. 🙂 A wordle is a picture of a group of words – most often called a word cloud. Making a word cloud is good activity to do when you need to take a break from writing, but still want to get something accomplished on your story.

It can be used as a marketing tool. You can design one in photoshop or illustrator like the logo for the Meso Foundation’s 2011 conference:

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One Writer’s Common Clutter Problems & Their Solutions

My life – as a writer – has been overtaken by clutter, research and mail. When you live in one space for a long time, it’s easy for misc items that spark your interest to build up. Then when it comes time to clean the paper mountains on your desk, or that random end table or even the bookshelf, it can feel overwhelming.

Instead of cleaning up that clutter, I used to cheat. Once I’d reached a point of critical mass, I’d push everything into a box – throw out a teeny bit – and then shove the box in a walk in closet.

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The power of playing a game

So I came across a fascinating post this morning by marketing blogger Jason Skol. He wrote about how business can affect people’s behaviors through games. Re: McDonalds Monopoly, Farmville, and Foursquare. Check out his post here, but if you are short on time. Watch how Volkswagen applied this theory and got people to take the stairs over the escalator.

NYT: parents exchange picture books for middle grade

Parents have begun pressing their kindergartners and first graders stop reading picture books in favor of more text-heavy chapter books, according to an article in today’s New York Times.

“They (children) are 4 years old, and their parents are getting them ‘Stuart Little,’” One bookstore owner told the reporter. “I see children pick up picture books, and then the parents say, ‘You can do better than this, you can do more than this.’”

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