Sharing the Love, Writer-Style

ImageIt’s Valentine’s Day and I promised you a heartfelt gift, so how about something classic? Something with romance, intrigue, politics, religion? Something like Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

Vicky’s YA novel was recently released in paperback, and to celebrate, she gave away several copies. But I already have a lovely, inscribed copy of Cleopatra’s Moon, so I’m giving her book to a lucky Valentine commenter.

ImageI’ll be catching up with Vicky at a conference next weekend, so I’ll ask her to pen a lovely inscription for the winner, and then I’ll mail the book off to you. I know you’re going to love Cleopatra’s Moon, so get your comments in and I’ll pick a name next Thursday before I leave.

Actually, you’d love Vicky Alvear Shecter, too, but I’m afraid I can’t afford to mail her to you. (But you can visit her blog whenever you like.)

Happy Valentine’s, y’all! I so appreciate the writer love you share with me each and every day!

Finding Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

I’m so glad that Vicky Alvear Shecter (author of CLEOPATRA’S MOON) guest posted over at Cynsations! Because when she spoke recently about writing historical fiction at our local schmooze, I was so busy doing the schmoozing that I forgot to do the note-taking.

Vicky’ book, as you can guess, is based on ancient Egyptian times, during the reign of Cleopatra and beyond as we follow the Queen’s daughter (Yes, Cleopatra had a daughter. Her name was Selene.) So as you can also probably guess, Vicky had a handful of researching to do.

Of course, she loves ancient history. She’s really kind of geeky about the whole subject, in an infectious way. And though she doesn’t mention this as one of her tips, I think you should keep “loving your subject matter” in mind. Because you’re going to be cozying up with your subject for quite a long time. Not to mention that your readers will sense your passion in your writing.

I’m always impressed with authors who take on historical fiction. Not only do they have to come up with a great story, and a story that’s believable for the time period, but they also have to be on the lookout for people who’ll read their book and say things like, “Pardon me. But you referred to this man’s cape as magenta. Magenta was not even invented for another 37 years. Ha!”

Attention to detail is very important with historical fiction. But don’t take my word for it. Go read Vicky’s post–and the comments, too. (Um, you may want to take a few notes.)

Finding A SCBWI Schmooze (And Why You Should GO!)

Now, I know that as a children’s writer, you’re probably a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. (If you haven’t quite got round to joining, then off you go to pay your dues. We”ll wait.)

Okay, then. As you also know, with SCBWI, you’re getting a huge writing bang for your buck, what with all the online resources available to you. But there’s another resource for you, one that’s a ton of fun to attend, and where you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with children’s writers just like you. Oh! And you’ll learn a ton about children’s writing, too! And did I mention it’s free?

I’m talking about a SCBWI schmooze, or maybe a workshop. They usually last a couple hours, and often, there will be a wonderful speaker (and refreshments!). There’s always time to ask questions, and if you’re lucky, there’s an opportunity for critique. And best of all, you’ll have a chance to meet with other writers that live close by.

You see, these events are brought to members by their Local Liaisons, people just like you who volunteered for the position. If you live in a large, metro area, there may be a dozen LL’s around you. A small, rural area may have only one LL. But whether there are 3 or 4 yearly events within an hour’s drive of you, or only one, I hope you’ll jump on the opportunity to go. Because that’s how you connect with SCBWI members, making friendships, making writing gains. When you finally get to a big conference, you’ll wave across a crowded room and say, “Hey! I know that person!” Or when you finish your manuscript, you may hear from a published friend, “Send this to my agent. Tell her I sent you!”

You may even meet someone at a schmooze who’ll become a mentor, a critique partner, or a lifelong friend. It could happen. So check out what’s happening in your SCBWI neighborhood and get your money’s worth!

(And if you live in the metro Atlanta area, join us Saturday, September 17th at the Collins Hill Library in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Vicky Shecter (CLEOPATRA’S MOON) will be our speaker, and we’ll have a First Pages mini-panel for critique. It’s 10:30 to 12:30 and rumor has it, the treats will be delicious! At least, that’s what my Co-Local Liaison Debra Mayhew reported. I’m just the LL in charge of ice!)