MMGM: BREADCRUMBS

I’m sure BREADCRUMBS has already been covered by someone for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday, but I’m going to do it anyway. There was so much hype about this book when it came out–and not just from the author’s agent* and publisher, both of whom I follow on Twitter. I had read one other book by…

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Four Writing Devices That Shout, “I’m An Amateur!”

I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age, and I was an English major in college, but neither prepared me to be a publishable writer. When I wrote my first novel, I knew how to put a story together. With my English degree and my job as a writer and editor, my novel…

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Why It’s So Hard to Get Your First Novel Published

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why it’s so hard to get your first novel published, and I think it mostly comes down to inexperience. It takes time to learn how to write a publishable novel, as well as how to present it to agents and publishers. Obviously there are writers who succeed on…

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MMGM: THE DEAD GENTLEMAN

I mentioned last week that I’ve found a few new middle grade authors through my agent search*, and here’s another one – Matthew Cody. I read POWERLESS last summer and loved the way he turned things upside down with a main character who doesn’t have superpowers. When THE DEAD GENTLEMAN came out last fall, I…

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How Querying Is Like Selling Your House

We moved in April. It was a crazy whirlwind of activity that almost didn’t happen, but that’s another story. I absolutely love our new house. It has everything and more than I wanted, and we don’t plan to ever leave it. Just check out this picture of my office. Yes, I get to work here…

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MMGM: THE FOURTH STALL PART II

Twitter doesn’t give me enough characters to gush about the books I’m reading, so I’ve decided to join in Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays, created by author Shannon Messenger. Basically, she put out a call for bloggers to post about middle grade books each Monday. I’ve found several books to read this way, so I’m going…

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How Writing Changed My Reading Habits

I’ve always loved to read. My parents have a picture of me reading a book at age two. I’m sure I wasn’t actually reading at two, but my love of books goes back that far. I was the kid who would stay inside to read instead of going out to play. The outdoors–with weather, bugs…

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The Wonder of Language

When I first started writing middle grade, I wondered if I should use simpler words for a younger audience. My gut reaction was “no” – I want to use all the amazing words in my head. After all, I came from a family in which my parents talked to us like adults even when we…

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Twitter Pitch Party, Anyone?

Now that the agent round of “The Writers Voice” is over, I’m turning my attention to Thursday’s “The Writers Voice” Twitter Pitch Party. Basically, you post your pitch between 12-6 p.m. EDT on Thursday, and agents will request from it. If more than one agent requests, you have to pick one. Click here for more…

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The Writers Voice – Go Team Krista!

I started this blog in order to enter The Writers Voice contest, so it seems appropriate to post about it today. The polished entries, including mine, went up yesterday. Go here to check mine out: Team Krista #7 – DUET WITH THE DEVIL’S VIOLIN. Check out the other entries as well. They’re all fabulous! Click…

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

It’s interesting to hear where writers get their story ideas. My first novel was a conglomeration of a bunch of different things I liked to read. I couldn’t nail down the genre, and that’s a big part of why it ultimately didn’t work. The second one came out of a dream that wouldn’t leave me…

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It’s Not My Cup of Tea

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Missouri Writers Guild Just Write! Conference. During the conference, I had the opportunity to pitch to two agents. I researched them online, scouring the Internet for information about their likes and dislikes. As a bonus, the Missouri Writers Guild conducted interviews with each of them and even…

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