Internet Roadtrip #1: From The Plot Whisperer to Kathleen Duey

Every day I spend up to an hour hitch-hiking from website to website.

It’s good for my soul and it keeps my brain buzzing. My starting point might be a link that turns up in my morning Feedly. Or it might be a link someone posts on Twitter or Facebook. Or an article in my StumbleUpon feed.

One blog post or website always leads to another. Sometimes I jump via a link within the post, sometimes via a popular post in the sidebar or a category, even from a tweet displayed in the site Twitter steam. It reminds me of the two weeks the Love of my Life and I spent motorhoming around Canada. Before we could recover from one sign-posted Scenic Viewing Spot, another signpost appear. There’s always somewhere interesting to go on the net.

I thought I’d share some of my journeys and the things I find on the way

Image credit: libertyandvigilance

Today I was looking at picture book courses. My first picture book, Sad The Dog, will be published by Walker Books Australia next year and I feel rather spoilt. It’s a format that’s alien to me. The idea came to me reasonably fully-formed and with some pushing and poking by my excellent editor, it easily fell into shape. I was lucky.

But I need more than luck to write a second one and to learn more about the craft of picture writing is on my To Do List.

This afternoon, I opened the Saved For Later folder in my Feedly. I follow the Plot Whisperer blog and its host, Martha Alderson, has a “Write and Sell a Picture Book” series of vimeos with Jill Corcoran.[Viewing Spot 1:The Plot Whisperer]. I heard Jill speak at the Australia New Zealand SCBWI Conference and she gave me more good advice at a subsequent manuscript assessment session. That was for a YA but I was impressed with her considered feedback. I was keen to have the advice of both Jill Martha on writing and selling picture books.

Off I went to the website. [Viewing Spot 2: How to Write and Sell a Picture Book ] Unfortunately I missed the half price weekend by a few days and the full price of $125, although excellent value, is a stretch for my budget at the moment. So that’s still on the To Do List. I’ll be hinting in the appropriate direction for a Christmas present.

I headed to Jill’s website [Viewing Spot 3: Jill Corcoran Books] and under How to Sell a Picture Book found  a number of recommendations including one from my author friend, Dee White. That reminded to detour and call in to her blog and see what was happening [Viewing Spot 4: DeeScribe Writing Blog].

Back on Jill’s website now, I was still gathering information [Viewing Spot 5: What makes a book sell?], I found this excellent analogy:

almost no one expects musicians to get good on an instrument without years of lessons, books, years of practice. There is a similar learning curve for writing. (read full post here)

So I read the full post on Kathleen Duey’s blog [Viewing Spot 6: Publishing Old, New, Self, Indie]. But even more interesting was the current post I found on Kathleen’s blog. The post was titled Limori: Book 3 post #17. [Viewing Spot 7: Limori: Book 3 post #17] It was 418 words that hooked me right in.

Limori: People are hiding. The City is changing hands again. The old families, the boys in the cliffs, the people in South End and all the Eridians …all of them are in danger now. I am afraid for all of them.

I had this wonderful sense of place, history and exoticism. I might be wrong but I’m going to find out. I tracked back through Kathleen’s books to find the series I was looking for: The Resurrection of Magic. Book 1 is Skin Hunger and book 2, Sacred Scars.

One title was familiar. I almost read Skin Hunger, seven years ago. In 2007 it came into The Reading Stack where I review books. It landed in my In Tray but another reviewer was seduced by the cover and asked if she could take it. I handed it over without even reading the Press Release.

And now, the internet has brought me back to that place.

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