I had such a blast teaching nonfiction picture book structures at The Writing Barn. Now I’ve created an entire six-week course focused on rethinking your nonfiction picture book from voice and hook to structure, illustration potential, and page turns. Learn more and register here. I hope you’ll join me.
Join me at the Writing Barn (online) this Saturday at 10 a.m. Central. We’ll talk about 9 nonfiction text structures and apply them to our works in progress. Only $25. Replays available. Register here.
I read as many new nonfiction/STEM books as I possibly can, thanks to the library. And I miss reviewing them. But I don’t have the time to craft lengthy blog posts or create lots of pretty Instagram graphics. So, I’m trying something new.
Whenever I get a new library stack, I will:
- Read the books.
- Change out of my gym clothes, fix my hair, and MAYBE put on a little lip gloss.
- Record some 2-minute video book reviews in a single take.
- I’ll post the videos to YouTube as well as my IGTV channel. I’ll also share the links on my Facebook page.
So, here’s an initial batch of reviews:
- The Big Bang Book
- Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
- We Are Water Protectors
- Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit
- And, coming tomorrow, Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist
Enjoy! And if you have 2020 NF/STEM book recommendations, let me know.
|Despite my serious look in the above photo, I adored playing Wonder Woman as a little girl with my sister Stephanie (left). I mean, just look at our ultra-hip Underoos plus homemade tiaras, bracelets, and lassos. We meant business.
When I read historian Jill Lepore’s SECRET HISTORY WONDER WOMAN a couple of years ago, I was intrigued to learn the origin story of my favorite childhood superhero. First, Wonder Woman was developed as an antidote to parental and teacher complaints about comic books (something we still hear today). For a time, Joye Hummel, a woman!, co-wrote scripts with Wonder Woman’s creator (and I got to speak with her on the phone). Plus the character was a powerful influence on Gloria Steinem and appeared on the cover of Ms. Magazine. And there’s so much more!
Though I typically write biographies of people, I knew I could write a biography of a superhero and the evolution of what she’s meant to people over eight decades.
I am so delighted my editor, Jennifer Greene (a true fan!), has paired me with illustrator Katy Wu, who will be illustrating in comic book style. Stay tuned for more early next year.
(And shout out to my mom for this awesome photo circa 1981, which will appear in my author’s note.)
Here’s the book announcement:
Today I’m kicking off a new series on the ins and outs of nonfiction book proposals. Join me on the Sub It Club blog to learn more.
Check out my recent blog post on the Sub It Club blog about the Audience/Market Overview section of your nonfiction book proposal. Fiction writers also could benefit from thinking about their market/audience when crafting marketing strategy. Enjoy!
I’m joining the Sub It Club blog as a regular contributor. I hope you’ll hop on over and check it out.
This year I participated in Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas for Writers. As part of the process, Julie challenged us to reflect on our 2016 successes so we could build on them for 2017. This is a more positive path than creating New Year’s resolutions, which are often built on negativity and efforts to fix things that went “wrong” in 2016.
I enjoyed the time spent combing through my 2016 journals and reviewing all I was able to accomplish. Julie challenged us to share our lists, so here is mine in no particular order:
- Signing with my wonderful agent, Lara Perkins of Andrea Brown Literary. I couldn’t ask for a bigger cheerleader, better brainstorming partner, or tougher editor.
- Having Lara submit my first picture book to publishers. Though it hasn’t sold yet, we have been close a couple of times, and many editors offered encouraging words about my work.
- Finally holding nine of my books written in 2015 in my hands. They include the six-book Protecting Our People series (Amicus), my first book with Capstone (Special Ops), and my two latest from Rourke.
- Receiving a good review from School Library Journal on the Protecting Our People series.
- Writing six new books for the school and library market, including four for Amicus, one for Capstone, and one for Rourke.
- Researching and/or drafting five new picture books.
- Revising four existing picture books.
- Finishing a young adult novel I started as part of 2015’s NaNoWriMo and partially revising it.
- Reaching thousands of young readers and writers during visits to seven schools and one public library.
- Taking two courses that stretched my writing: Novel Writing through UC San Diego and Renee La Tulippe’s Lyrical Language Lab.
- Reading many books on writing and creativity, including Big Magic, Creativity Inc., Story Genius, The Originals, Year of Yes, Writing Poetry from the Inside Out, On Writing, In the Palm of Your Hand, The Artist’s Way.
Putting together this list has me excited to start work in 2017. What did you accomplish in 2016?