Something About Mary

I met Mary Zisk at a SCBWI NJ conference two years ago where I critiqued her manuscript. She struck me right away as a rare breed: A writer who truly embraced criticism —  a writer who wanted to hear the worst, and learn from it. I liked her right away. After that, Mary started following Nerdy Chicks Rule, and later Sudipta critiqued her work. Sudipta saw that same quality in Mary, so when we looked to expand our blog by adding a contributing author in September of 2013, we agreed that Mary would be the perfect fit. We knew she’d bring something new and different to the table, and she did!

She gave us new perspectives on Motherhood. 

Mary's mother as a baby, passing with her family through Ellis Island

Mary’s mother as a baby, passing with her family through Ellis Island.  From: 99 Years—A Picture of My Mother

Mary's beautiful photography highlighted this post.

Mary’s beautiful photography highlighted this post. From:  Mother Nature: The Ultimate Nerdy Chick?

Mary shares her own motherhood journey, which included a special trip to Russia.

Mary shares her own motherhood journey, which included a special trip to Russia. From: Oprah, Carpe Diem, and Motherhood

Mary’s artistic eyes, brought new sight to our own. 

Mary created the great drawing to prove her point!

Mary created the great drawing to prove her point! From : The His-Story of Art

Mary Cassatt, one of Mary's inspirations.

Mary Cassatt, one of Mary’s inspirations. From: The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Mary Cassatt

 She also shared her writing dreams!

Mary's dream tree.

Mary’s dream tree.  From: A Winter Dream Tree Grows in Jersey

And brought us many great quotables, including Caroline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Diana Nyad.

In fact, to see all of Mary’s contributions, you can just click on her name below the title of any of her posts!

Because she has started some new writing projects, Mary is going to take a break from blogging. She hopes to rejoin Nerdy Chicks Rule when she has seen these through. Mary, we wish you all the best! We celebrate your journey with us today so our readers will know where you’re going, and have another chance to see where you’ve been. We hope you will be back soon!

 

Picture Books, Problems, and the Quotable Yoda

I’m an author, and one who mainly writes picture books. Every day, when I sit down at my computer to work, I try to think of new picture book ideas to work on.

That’s when I realize I have a problem. A real problem. A panic-worthy problem.

I don’t have anything to write about!

(See what I mean about a problem?)

Luckily, my college experience beat something into my brain that has served me well, even now when I do nothing at all with my college (or graduate) degree. It’s a simple rule of life, applicable to anything, apropos to everything. Even writing picture books.

All problems have solutions.

To find a solution as a scientist, I was taught to find the right protocol and to rely only on things that are true. And where I went to school, there was quite a bit of Yoda-quoting as well (well for it – I will tie it in, I promise!). So that’s what we are going to talk about today in this post: how to solve the problem of writing a new story.

Finding the right protocol

When I was a scientist, I dealt with proven techniques and tested procedures. When I became a writer, I quickly realized that I was most effective – and most efficient – when I used proven techniques and tested procedures.

I’m not trying to imply that writing a picture book is like following a recipe. The magic that happens when you write a publishable story is not something anyone can tell you about. What you can learn is how to write a technically correct narrative. The rest is fairy dust and rainbows.

But back to the protocol, I can certainly tell you that secret:

  • orangutangled coverLimit yourself to 500 words. I’m finding in today’s market, even 500 is considered long (the last picture book I sold had 22 words in it).
  • Write stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Young children need to be grounded in the reality of the world of your story before they can understand or appreciate it. So avoid the pitfall of jumping too quickly into the story. Remember, your story doesn’t take place on any old day – it happens on that day that the world became different. If you don’t tell the reader how things normally are (in that good story beginning), how will they understand the significance of the change? Similarly, young readers need to be satisfied at the conclusion of the story – the “happily ever after” moment, if you will – so you have to leave room for that.
  • Use no more than 10% of your word count for the beginning, 10% for the end, and 80% for the middle. As much as your readers need grounding and resolution, you don’t want to bog the story down with these things. Get to it, get it done, move on.
  • DDM coverMake use of the rule of three. Remember the Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff? Those are the classic examples but most literature utilizes the rule of three in determining “how much plot” is necessary to be satisfying. So put your main character through at least three hurdles (more often, three failures and then a final success) over the course of your story.

Relying only on things that are true

Obviously, there is much, much more we could discuss, but that’s a lot for one blog post. So I’d like to shift gears and talk about truth.

The purpose of science is to expose the truth about the universe, to take something mysterious and make it less so. The purpose of literature is basically the same. So in all these scientific steps to writing that I take, my goal is to expose and convey a universal truth through character and through theme.

Truth in character is harder than you’d think. That’s because the picture book main character has to be true to the reader’s experience and to the author’s experience.

The temptation when creating a main character is to focus on the charismatic, the character’s talents, skills, and gifts. But a trick to keeping your character true is to balance the flair by imbuing him with flaws. Remember who your reader is: a child who probably feels on the wrong side of right most of the time. That child wants to be able to identify with the main character – and it is the flaws that make that possible.

Truth in theme is often what separates a good, publishable picture book manuscript from a fun romp. A lot of writers – even experienced ones – focus so much on creating compelling characters and crafting a gripping plot that they forget that the primary role of literature is to expose universal truths. Now, the scope of a picture book is obviously not the same as WAR AND PEACE, but we still need to deal with universal themes. Is your book about friendship? Family? Is it about finding your place in the world? About learning patience and perseverance? Whatever it is, make sure there is something more to the story than a bunch of punch lines. Experiencing the theme, seeing the truth – that’s what makes a book re-readable.

Putting it all together

Writing a good book can be a problem. But all problems have solutions. For me, the solution involves the steps I’ve outlined above.

Except…I left off a step. And it’s kind of an important one.

You have to find a way to put all the things above together in a logical way. And that’s where some of the art of what we do as authors comes into play.

Snoring Beauty, Sudipta Bardhan-QuallenAs much as I am a believer in following tried and true protocols, each of us has to find the formula that works for our story – one that allows the character to go on meaningful quest in a way that makes sense. To make it even more complex, it will likely be a different set of steps for each story. In essence, we reinvent the wheel every time.

So what do I hope you take from this post? Please know I’m not saying at all that a story can’t work with four failures before the main character solves the problem, or can’t be published at 700 words. You find what works for you, just as I’ve found what works for me. While all problems have solutions, your solution may be different from mine.

But at least you know now that there is a solution. And that’s what I hope you take away. Every day you sit down to write, no matter how problematic it is, there is a solution.

Which means it is not impossible.

And if it’s possible, it can be doable.

And if it is doable, well – remember the immortal words of Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”

I hope you all choose “do.”

Speeches, School Visits, and Special People….plus cupcakes

Last week was a whirlwind in the best of ways. I gave a speech, visited three schools, attended two book signing parties, and wound up the weekend with the South Carolina Book Festival.  The best part of it all was that I ran into so many friends along the way!

Fi2014-05-13 09.02.52rst stop: Speaking at the Georgia Young Authors Awards in Clarkesville Georgia!  Georgia Young Authors is a wonderful program that recognizes young authors from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  I was able to stay with my University of Georgia college roommate, Joy Purcell, while visiting — a fabulous perk.

2014-05-13 11.43.02Next stop: Level Grove Elementary where I talked about the ideas behind my books and answered questions for a select group of girls who had read and enjoyed THE BOY PROJECT. One of those girls recommended that we visit her mom’s cupcake shop, Sugartopia, since THE BOY PROBLEM has a cupcake theme. (We couldn’t resist, and I’m glad! We had the best key lime cupcakes ever there.)

An hour later I was speaking to kindergarten through fifth graders at Hazel Grove Elementary. With the younger students, we discussed how authors use details to create character. Luckily, I had some willing models for my discussion. (Could this little girl be any cuter? I let her keep the clown nose, not thinking it a good idea to have different kids putting something on their noses. Then noticed immediately after the 2014-05-13 13.21.55presentation that kids were lining up to try on the nose from her. Oh well!)

The next morning it was off to Greenville, SC, where my family and I lived for four happy years, and to Stone Academy where my own children used to go to school! It isn’t uncommon for students to ask about author pay. I usually answer with an example using tens, without, of course, speaking to the actual dollar amount I have earned with my books. So I said something like “If an a book costs ten dollars, and the author gets ten percent of that amount, how much money does he or she earn after 10,000 books are sold?” To which someone shouted “A hundred thousand dollars!” All I could think to say was, “How I wish your calculations were correct.”  🙂 This entrepreneurial group also wanted to know how big my house was, if I am famous enough to be recognized in stores by strangers (no!),  and if, since I wouldn’t tell them the actual amount I have earned, if I could at least share the amount of my BIGGEST check.

I got other great questions from them too, but they aren’t as entertaining to share!

IMG_20140514_181100_711From there I headed to my former neighbor and Nerdy Chick Nancy Kennedy’s house to ice red velvet cupcakes for the book signing parties. I must be getting pretty good at icing cupcakes because someone at the first event, held at the best-titled bookstore around (Fiction Addiction) asked me if the cupcakes were real.

He blends in, but yes, there is a dog there.

He blends in, but yes, there is a dog there.

I remember once hearing New York Times Best Selling author Bret Lott say that he didn’t like book signings. He told a story about a time his publisher flew him around the country, and even then sometimes no one came to the signings, and once he was even asked to hold someone’s dog. So when our former pediatrician came in with her dog, I had to pose with it in the hopes that holding a dog in a bookstore at a book signing event might bring me one step closer to Bret Lott’s success.

At this point both my camera and phone batteries were dead, so I go NO pics of the wine and cheese party hosted by Nancy later that night that many of my good friends from my Greenville days attended. But it was so much fun! Nancy even found Red Velvet (Cupcake brand) wine to go with the red velvet cupcakes.

When I woke up the next morning it was Thursday. Where had the time gone? So I packed up, stopped to visit a few more friends, and headed to Camden SC where, after dinner with my brother and his family, I prepared for The South Carolina Book Festival. But it looks like that will have to be a separate blog post! Too much information to share at once.

Takeaway from last week: Visiting schools always introduces me to new perspectives that make me happy! Visiting with long-time friends makes me happy! So being an author makes me happy! Great week!

 

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Barbara Walters

Barbara_Walters_512Television journalist Barbara Walters is retiring today. When we hear her name, we may first think of her interviews with “fascinating” celebrities and of her reign at The View. But before that, Barbara played a major role in trailblazing opportunities for woman. In the early 1960s, before the Women’s Movement, it was believed that women wouldn’t be taken seriously reporting “hard news.” Barbara fought that stereotype by first appearing on The Today Show as the regular “Today Girl”, handling light assignments and the weather—the only place for a woman on television news. She says that back then “there was no glass ceiling—it was steel.” Within a year she had become a reporter-at-large—developing, writing, and editing her own reports and interviews. walterstodayAlthough an important contributor at Today, she wasn’t made the first female co-host until 1974. Two years later, at ABC, Barbara became the first female co-anchor of any network evening news (to the open dismay of the male anchor). In 1977, she achieved a joint interview with Egypt’s President, Anwar Al Sadat, and Israel’s Prime Minister, Menachem Begin that started her on the path as a prime interviewer of powerful and controversial world leaders.

Even though Barbara is retiring today, I have a feeling it’s not the last we’ll be seeing of this pushy cookie.

 

Barbara Walters Quotes:

• I was the kind nobody thought could make it. I had a funny Boston accent. I couldn’t pronounce my R’s. I wasn’t a beauty.

If it’s a woman it’s caustic, if it’s a man it’s authoritative. If it’s a woman it’s too pushy, if it’s a man it’s aggressive in the best sense of the word.

• Most of us have trouble juggling. The woman who says she doesn’t is someone whom I admire but have never met.

• I got the reputation of being a good journalist, but also of being a pushy cookie.

• Success can make you go one of two ways. It can make you a prima donna, or it can smooth the edges, take away the insecurities, let the nice things come out.

• To feel valued, to know, even if only once in a while, that you can do a job well is an absolutely marvelous feeling.

If you’d like to hear from Barbara Walters about her struggles against discrimination  and her true feelings about “Baba Wawa,” go here for interview videos.

 

What Flowers Remember

flowersToday we welcome back author Shannon Wiersbitzsky, who we previously interviewed about financial literacy as well as writing. Shannon is returning today as a guest blogger to discus writing, gardening, and how writing is like gardening! Shannon’s latest book, What Flowers Remember, launched this month. In celebration of this, there is a giveaway at the end of the post! Thank you Shannon for being our guest. Shannon’s post follows:

You know those beautiful home gardens? The ones featured on Pinterest or Facebook that are bursting with color, not a weed in sight, picture perfect wicker baskets loaded with cut flowers or fresh vegetables of the season. Yeah. That. Is. Not. My. Garden.

Despite my suburban existence, I like to think of myself as a gardener. The idea of planting seeds, nurturing them, and then reaping the harvest pomegranate floweris immensely appealing to me.  Its all the actual work that gets a bit dull. Starting out is the easy part. I’m full of ideas and inspiration. Then as the weeks and months drag on, I lose a bit of steam. Ok, I lose a lot of steam. The poor bean plants sag as they wait for me to come pick. If they could give me a holler, I ‘m sure I’d get an earful.

As writers, if we’re not careful, the same thing can happen to our manuscripts. We start out loaded for bear. Ideas to spare. Eager to outline plots and characters, and to get writing. We have energy to burn.

As the first sprigs of green come to life, in the form of pages and chapters, we pat ourselves on the back, our energy high, our spirits soaring. We’re sure this will carry on forever.

Then it rains. We struggle with the next plot twist. A heat wave makes being outside unbearable. We begin to dislike our own character and doubt this story idea had any merit in the first place. Then when we finally get to the garden, we find its almost taken over by weeds. We scrap a thousand words in an effort to find the good stuff.

spanish moss trail flowersAnd of course we must battle the temptation of the next energizing idea. When one story is a struggle, it is so easy to get wooed by one of the many thoughts that constantly whiz back and forth in our minds. Those ideas can be so shiny! They look terrific. They feel new and glossy and full of promise. And of course we are completely capable of convincing ourselves that if only we set aside our current work and switched gears, then oh the words would flow!

Of course weeds will grow in any garden. Rain will fall. Heat waves will sap our energy. And we’ll be tempted to throw in the towel. Don’t give in!

Writing takes extreme patience. It takes the diligence to write day after day, week after week, whether that writing yields a single paragraph or several chapters, we must keep going. Every word is progress. I have a mantra I like to tell myself when writing doesn’t flow. It’s this. Word by word, page by page, a story grows. Jot  that on a sticky note and put it where you write.

Like my garden, a work in progress doesn’t always look picture perfect. Know that you will get muddy. There will be annoying bugs. And know that this is perfectly normal! morning glory

Writing involves tremendous work. Sometimes it means sacrificing bits we adore so that the rest can grow. But it will grow. Maybe not as fast as we’d like. But the shoots will rise. The leaves will unfold. And before you know it, you’ll be reaping the rewards.

Thank you Shannon for that great analogy. I agree 100 percent. Writing is work…. but the rewards are beautiful! Readers, take a moment to find out about What Flowers Remember, then enter the super-easy to enter giveaway!

Most folks probably think gardens only get tended when they’re blooming. But most folks would be wrong. According to the almanac, a proper gardener does something every single month. Old Red Clancy was definitely a proper gardener. That’s why I enrolled myself in the Clancy School of Gardening. If I was going to learn about flowers, I wanted to learn from the best. 

Delia and Old Red Clancy make quite a pair. He has the know-how and she has the get-up-and-go. When they dream up a seed- and flower-selling business, well, look out, Tucker’s Ferry, because here they come. But something is happening to Old Red. And the doctors say he
can’t be cured. He’s forgetting places and names and getting cranky for
no reason. As his condition worsens, Delia takes it upon herself to save
as many memories as she can. Her mission is to gather Old Red’s stories so that no one will forget, and she corrals everybody in town to help her. What Flowers Remember is a story of love and loss, of a young girl coming to understand that even when people die, they live on in our minds, our hearts, and our stories.

“[Delia’s] frustration, fear and sense of loss will be readily recognizable to others who have experienced dementia in a loved one, and her story may provide some guidance on how to move down that rocky path toward acceptance and letting go. …What do flowers remember? The stories of the people who cared for them, of course, as Wiersbitzky’s sensitive novel compassionately conveys.” — Kirkus Reviews

*Note: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Shannon_Wiersbitzky_Author_Photo_2012 Shannon Wiersbitzky is a middle-grade author, a hopeless optimist, and a lover of nature. Her first novel, The Summer of Hammers and Angels, was nominated for the William Allen White award. Born in North Dakota, Shannon has called West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Michigan “home” at some point in her life. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, one rather dull fish and her never dull mutt Benson.

Find out more about her here:

Website: www.shannonwiersbitzky.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Twitter: @SWiersbitzky

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ShannonWiersbitzky

Super-Easy to enter Giveaway:flowers

Enter to win a copy of What Flowers Remember. All we need is your name and an email address, so we can notify the winner. The contest runs until Midnight May 20, 2014. For Double Entries, leave a comment about writing, gardening, or this post!

 

 

 

 

 

Three Questions with Dr. Mira Reisberg

Smiling-MiraI met Mira Reisberg earlier this year when she invited me to teach at the writing school she founded, the Children’s Book Academy. It’s been my privilege since then to have already co-taught one course with her and I’m about to launch another course on May 19. Her official bio is below, but don’t let all the titles and accomplishments fool you — Mira is wonderfully warm, down to earth, and fun to be around. I’m happy to be welcoming her to Nerdy Chicks Rule today.

1. You call yourself a “creative adventurer” (which I love!). Where did you get your creativity and your sense of adventure?

As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I was taught fairly early on that the things of greatest value are the things that can’t be taken away – creativity, heart and intelligence. My family was poor and we never had a vacation, but, we did have books and art supplies. We also had a mighty Oxford Dictionary, which I loved. In the anthology Just Like Me I wrote about my mum giving me art supplies and saying, “I can’t give you a beautiful world, but you can make one for yourself.” I am so grateful that we were empowered in this way. I learned early on that if I framed things in terms of creativity, I could pretty much do anything. So when I started playing around with computers in 1985, I looked at it as an art tool or a sophisticated etch-a-sketch and that took the fear away. I have drawn, painted, and written my way through some pretty tough times but now my personal art is pretty much all joy. This is such a touchstone question for me – creativity as a tool for transformation. I think creativity comes in so many different forms including things like decorating, cooking, gardening, etc. that are transferrable if you have the confidence or courage to try. I’ve taught tons of people to do thing they never thought they could do and to me that too is a form of creativity. Being a creative teacher is about demystifying things and putting them in a systematic sequential order that is also accessible, personally meaningful, and fun. Some of this I learned getting my PhD in education and cultural studies (focus on kid lit of course).

In terms of being an adventurer, to me that means keeping an open mind and being willing to walk through fear and the unknown. And while doing that in the creative world is natural to me, doing it in the physical world, apart from traveling, is a whole other ball game. Climbing things, riding horses, crossing logs etc. is terrifying. Fortunately as I get older and a bit more confident in my body, things like that are getting easier.

2. You’re a wearer of many (and I mean MANY) hats — artist, educator, professor, literary agent, literature advocate, founder of the Children’s Book Academy — an indubitable Renaissance Nerdy Chick, if you will! Can you give our readers some advice on balancing so many interests and roles?

Ha!! You are asking the wrong honorary nerdy chick about balance. Being a super creative and fairly driven head, heart, and hands person, my body has taken a bit of a beating from overwork. I suspect I’m hooked on serotonin from challenging myself so much. Recently I joined a gym and am working with a trainer. It’s a really culturally diverse gym with all ages and body types, which I love. I used to love Oscar Wildes quote, “Moderation in all things, especially moderation.” But now I’m looking for that elusive thing called balance. Let me know if anyone finds it.

3. What should Nerdy Chicks who want to become published authors do to find success? 

Success comes to people who work hard and study their craft, who are patient, passionate about what they do, willing to take risks, and persistent in revising and submitting their work. There are two skills that most writers need to be successful – one is storytelling- being able to write a good story with a great beginning, middle, and end and the other is being an exquisite writer who tells their story with perfectly fabulous writing. I’ve seen lots of great storytellers who have passages of exquisite writing but it’s overall choppy. The best writers are those who really know the craft of writing so that every word is pitch perfect. This is why Sudipta and I created From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Technique – to answer that need. While we will be covering the storytelling elements as we walk students through writing their manuscript, the heart of the course is exquisite writing, whether that be humorous writing, heartfelt writing, rhyming, non-rhyming, fiction, or non-fiction. I don’t know about Sudipta, but I’ve had tons of serotonin happening while developing this course. Perhaps because I’m so proud of it as a work of art in itself, and excited by the good that it’s going to do for those who take it.

Dr. Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, as well as a published writer, art director, editor, former professor and children’s book mentor with over 25 years of experience in the industry. Following the success of many of her Children’s Book Academy students, she founded Hummingbird Literary. You can find her at the Children’s Book Academy website or at the Hummingbird site (although she is not currently accepting unsolicited submissions). 

To find out about Mira and Sudipta’s ground-breaking course starting May 19th visit this site. This is the only time that Mira will be co-teaching this course with Sudipta and it should be outrageously fabulous and fun! And, please join Mira and Sudipta for a free webinar on poetic techniques in your writing!

Learning from Launches

Last week I celebrated the book birthday of THE BOY PROBLEM: NOTES AND PREDICTIONS OF TABITHA REDDY with a Virtual Launch Party. You can still check out the links which include an interview, a trailer, an essay written by me, and a podcast! Then the launch parties hit the road as I took those instant images I talked about in THIS POST to several SC bookstores. So today I thought I’d share a little of my travels with you and tell you how it went, and what I learned about book launch parties.

cupcakes

First, have a cupcake! My friend Lisa made these to go along with the cupcake theme in the book!

chocolate mustache cookiesSo, with the cupcake theme in place, the refreshment decision was easy! But still… I just couldn’t resist buying mustache shaped cookie cutters, so of course we had to stay up late the night before the first party making chocolate mustache cookies. ‘Cause who needs sleep the night before a book launch? (Hint:You!)

fortune telling statSince Tabbi, the main character of THE BOY PROBLEM tries to predict who the right guy for her will be, I had a great time stocking up on kid-friendly prediction objects for party attenders to play around with. Of course there were fortune cookies, those red fortune telling fish, and even fortune telling bacon!

Kids make their own paper fortune tellers and check out a variety of 8 balls Including the one from Glee that occasionally sings, "You cant t always get what you want."

Kids make their own paper fortune tellers and check out a variety of Magic 8 balls Including the one from Glee that occasionally sings, “You cant t always get what you want.”

My daughter sports her Johnny Cupcake shirt like the ones from the book.

My daughter sports her Johnny Cupcake shirt like the ones from the book.

The first party was at Artworks in Beaufort. It was great to see friends, meet people, and sign books! And I haven’t even gotten to the fake mustaches, finger mustache tattoos, and the book bling…. tattoos, bookmarks, and bracelets. But I was so exhausted after the happy event, and we had so much going on, that I decided to streamline the next event, a book signing party at Books on Broad in Camden SC: I decided not to make another batch of mustache cookies. Luckily, we didn’t need them. My first grade teacher made brownies and brought peanuts, a dear family friend, my sister-in-law and my mother made a fresh batch of cupcakes, and Books on Broad set up the cutest lemonade stand. Love the mustache cups!

Love the mustache cups and the cute table cloth.

Love the mustache cups and the cute table cloth.

If you ever want to visit a GORGEOUS independent bookstore, you need to check out Books on Broad.

If you ever want to visit a GORGEOUS independent bookstore, you need to check out Books on Broad.

 

signing lineThis event was made even more special when my friend of ten years, author Kathryn Erskine arrived about half-way through. When I planned the party, I didn’t know Kathy would be in town, but vacation brought her to SC, and I was so excited to be able to sign books with her! I put Kathy’s National Book Award winning skills to work, by making her haul all of that junk I’ve been talking about out to the car while I joked around taking pictures with the giant mustaches Books on Broad used to decorate.

Kathy Erskine and my mom make trips back and forth to the car with my book party junk.

Kathy Erskine and my mom make trips back and forth to the car with my book party junk.

 

 

Clearly there were better things to do than to pack up.

Clearly there were better things to do than to pack up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop, Hartsville SC and Burry Bookstore where Kathy and I signed books together for an hour and a half. I consolidated even more this time. Kathy appreciated having to make fewer trips to the car while I was setting up.

Signing at Burry Bookstore

Signing at Burry Bookstore

Last week was a whirlwind! But in the best ways. So what I learned about book launch parties…

1.It doesn’t matter how many great, creative, ideas you have to help celebrate the arrival of a new book… just act on a few. You only want to make so many trips back and forth hauling all those good ideas from the car. My next book launch party will be a little more simple, but just as much fun!

2. Friends and family make hosting the parties easier, and better in every way!

3. Independent bookstore owners are the best.

4. I loved signing every book. But the absolute best ones to sign were those of students who read my first book and were excited about getting the second one!

 

The best of the best. Signing for Megan who read The Boy Project.

The best of the best. Signing for Megan who read The Boy Project.

THE BOY PROBLEM is officially launched! Hooray!