Friday, April 17, 2009

Planning a Writers' Retreat

Around a month ago, I received an email from a cruise line company with fares so low, my mouth dropped. I happened to be talking to my friend online at the time, and mentioned the price in passing for the 4-day weekend cruise. I joked with her that we should go on a writing cruise, and she jumped at the idea. Spending four days on a boat stuck in the middle of the ocean, eating and drinking all day with our laptops on our laps sounded like heaven.

Unfortunately, the dates of the cruise didn't work with our schedules, but the seed was planted for a writers' retreat. Yesterday we booked a beautiful Bed and Breakfast, with an amazing garden, in Solvang, CA for three days. Solvang is a sleepy Danish town tucked away in the San Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County about two and a half hours outside of Los Angeles. Rolling hills surround the town that is known for great food, bakeries and candle making.

This will be my first experience traveling to write. I can't explain to you how excited I am, yet also leery. Leery? Scared? It's not the travel, or staying in a Bed and Breakfast for the first time, it's the fear of having writer's block. The trepidation of sitting the whole weekend starting at a blank screen, wasting away in a chair and having nothing to show for the weekend.

I plan to start my new story, Parlor, while there. In the next two weeks (the trip is May 1-3), I hope to have the lore and basic plot down so that I have no excuses.

For those of you who have planned a trip around writing, how did you make sure you were fully prepared when you got there?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Interview with A.S. King, Author of The Dust of 100 Dogs

Today over at YAedge Book Club we have an interview with April's book club author, A.S. King! Stop by and see what she has to say about writing, the research that went into The Dust of 100 Dogs and her favorite breed of dog!

Thanks again to A.S. King for being awesome this month!

Also, don't forget to vote for the May book club selection in the poll on the sidebar of the book club page. There are three great books to vote for: Need by Carrie Jones, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and Undone by Brooke Taylor.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fresh YA Fiction: Class of 2k9

The life of a debut YA novelist is never dull. There are edits, more edits, galleys to proof, cover art to squeal about, release dates that get changed, and on top of it all….the overwhelming task of marketing.

Authors, whether published with a large house or a small press, are responsible for creating their own buzz. This means hours devoted to developing online followings through social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, IndieBound, etc – not to mention the live/face-to-face events – book signings, author talks, etc.

Whew – how does a first timer do it?

Well, there are easier ways to break ground than going it alone – I’m talking about author collectives. In particular, the highly successful "Class of 2k..." program. (Class of 2k7, Class of 2k8 ).

The program was created in 2006 by author Greg Fishbone. It has been featured in Publishers Weekly, the School Library Journal and networked extensively to booksellers, librarians and the YA audience. Each year a new class is born and another 20-40 authors untie to promote each other’s work.

Previous Class grads include big hitters such as: Rosemary Clement-Moore, Cassandra Clare, Tiffany Trent, Regina Scott, Ellen Booraem, and a host of other fabulous authors.

Support this wonderful resource and get exposed to fresh new fiction. Check out the current Class of 2k9!