Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What kids want to know from a real live author

I'm going back to the wonderful and incredibly picturesque CH Booth library in Newtown, CT to teach writing workshops for young people this summer. It's a five week creative writing course, starting this Thursday.

Before the course begins, librarian extraordinaire, Margaret Brown, who organizes a series of writing workshops for kids throughout the year, including mystery and poetry,
sent out a letter from me to all the course participants, in which I shared three of the books that I'd read recently that I was really excited about (SEE YOU AT HARRY'S by Jo Knowles, ONE FOR THE MURPHYS by Lynda Mullaly Hunt and CODE NAME VERITY by ELIZABETH WEIN)and asked them to send me three questions that they wanted me to be sure to answer by the end of the course. Bear in mind that the kids range from 11-14.

The questions are so awesome I just have to share:

When do you end a paragraph?
I would like to learn more about punctuation.
A personal question, when did you start to write books?

How do you connect your ideas?
How do you make the suspense last?*
How do you come up with the characters?

What is being an author like?
How do they get their ideas for writing?
How do they publish their books?

How do you get your first book published without knowing who to go to?
Did anyone reccomend a publisher or did you ask some one about it?
Has any of your books ever been rejected? If so, how did you feel?

When did you start writing?
Did you have trouble getting published?
Do you ever get "writers block"? If so, how do you get through it?
What's your bestt advice for kids my age who are hoping to become a writer in their future?


How do you get a book published?
How does your book become a nutmeg? (CT State Award)
How do you get to be an author?
What kinds of writing are we working on this summer?
How are we developing our ideas?
Are you working on any books/projects as of now?

And this, my absolute favorite:

If you were seen in public, do you get surrounded by fans, asking for your autograph?

Answer: Yes, in my dreams...but then I wake up!

I'll add more as they come in.

Authors, please feel free to chime in with your advice to these enthusiastic creative minds. I told them that if I didn't know the answers, I would definitely know someone who did!

* Funnily enough, I try to read a book on craft before I start each big revision, one related to what I think I need to focus on in that revision. For the MS I am currently tearing apart like an 80's suit with shoulder pads, it was this book:

So hopefully I'll have some good tips that I'm actually trying to use myself!

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