Guide EPublishing: Enhancing Writing for Teens

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Authors get to share stories that might otherwise have sat in a drawer or on a hard drive somewhere and know that those stories are being read and discussed by their most devoted fans. Publishers get to keep the attention of readers between books in a series and rachet up the excitement and anticipation for a new title. Are there any disadvantages to this trend? Many libraries also seem unsure about whether to purchase these exclusively e-published short stories.

In my own region, where there are several large city and country library systems, some have purchased them and some have not. What do you think? It seems like my library system is purchasing these more and more. I do hope that they become part of standard collection development, because that will get them in the hands of more eager readers!

Neruda wrote warmly and expansively about everyday items. Dust of the sea, in you the tongue receives a kiss from ocean night: taste imparts to every seasoned dish your ocean essence; the smallest, miniature wave from the saltcellar.

In an ode, anything may become extraordinary, which is one of the charms of the form. What better challenge, as a writer, than to make a pedestrian subject new again? You might notice that many odes use the term itself in the title. As shorthand, it works marvelously to cue readers from the get-go that this poem will be positive in tone. Lest you think lyric poetry must be upbeat, I introduce another form of lyric verse: the elegy.

If an ode is the mountaintop of lyric-poetry passion and enthusiasm, then an elegy is the introspective, mournful valley. While many elegies are written for a deceased family member or friend, elegies may also take for their subject loss in general—whether that be loss of a love, loss of a time or era in life, loss of a job or dream, loss of a pet, or any number of other human losses that highlight our vulnerabilities and regrets.

It may sound a bit sad-sack, but elegies are tribute poems and paradoxically, contain great strength in their candid, laid-bare depictions. Yes, grief is often a large part of the elegy; but so, too, is a connection, a bond, which remains despite distance or time or death. As such, elegies are often poignant and beautiful expressions of a range of human sentiments and memories. O what shall I hang on the chamber walls? And what shall the pictures be that I hang on the walls, To adorn the burial-house of him I love? Pictures of growing spring and farms and homes, With the Fourth-month eve at sundown, and the gray smoke lucid and bright, With floods of the yellow gold of the gorgeous, indolent, sinking sun, burning, expanding the air, With the fresh sweet herbage under foot, and the pale green leaves of the trees prolific, In the distance the flowing glaze, the breast of the river, with a wind-dapple here and there, With ranging hills on the banks, with many a line against the sky, and shadows, And the city at hand with dwellings so dense, and stacks of chimneys, And all the scenes of life and the workshops, and the workmen homeward returning.

This sixteen-part elegy offers insight into the grief of a nation after the fall of their leader.

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The Civil War also both began and ended in April—clearly, an event-packed and emotion-packed symbolic month! The year was a time of ends, but also a time when the question of how to rebuild a nation weighed heavily in the media and in the minds of millions; it is fitting that this elegy should explore all of these calamities while zeroing in on the loss of leadership.

Persona poems, our third genre of lyric poetry, are like their ode and elegy cousins in that they have a definitive point of view, and they have a tightly-knit theme and purpose. What makes persona poems unique, however, is they are spoken from the POV of a speaker who is not the poet. One of the most famous persona poems is T. Alfred Prufrock. In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. How has your work in TV affected your writing, or vice versa?

I always read my manuscripts out loud over and over again, until they sound right in my ears. That man is even MORE personable in real life. I could barely form sentences while interviewing him. I always love when actors are as enthusiastic about the characters they play as the fans are. Do you have any advice for other writers about productivity?

Let everyone in your household know this is your writing time and that they need to respect that. If you need to, put a sticker board next to your computer and give yourself a star every time you meet your daily word count. There will be highs and there will be lows but in the end the only thing you can do is hang on tight and enjoy the ride.

Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small—so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys. When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, snowboarding, watching cheesy and scary horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing videogames. How did you find out? After running an errand, I checked my home phone. No messages.

By then the same 6 names remained in the Historical Romance category. I got ready to leave, but the phone rang. I was too shaky and shocked to scream. Jodi repeated that I really did final. At least I made her laugh. I called chapter mate Chris Campillo about the final.

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She screamed and the rest of the GH breakfast group at the restaurant screamed. When I arrived, they applauded. Lots of congratulations and hugs ensued. What a supportive group! Thanks for the special memories, ladies! TA : This manuscript has also placed second in three previous contests. What did you do to prepare it for the Golden Heart? I used the ones that felt right and fit my vision. I decided not to enter the GH and planned a 7 part blog series on the contest.


I signed up to judge the Historical Romance category and hoped the blog research and contest entries would help me figure out what I had done wrong in Thanks, ladies! I just wanted to see if my scores and hearing would improve. TA : You have said that you write humorous historical romance with a modern twist. What does this mean? JL : My stories have a light tone and witty, flawed characters who circumvent the laws and rules of Society by thinking outside the box. JL : I live in the present every day, so I want to escape to a different century where no one cares if my to-do list is finished.

My love for historical settings began when I was a child living in a Victorian house near London.

I read every historical novel I could find and wrote plays and stories in which my friends and I had heroes, servants, balls, gowns, and all the other trappings of historical romances. What can you tell us about it and the forthcoming books? One of them has to die——a faux death. The second book in the series is Inventing Lord Remington.

The third and fourth books have place holder titles. Stealing Beauty is about a spy who loves a suspected enemy agent, the proprietress of an exclusive beauty treatment salon in Mayfair. JL : Test your entry with different writing instructors, readers, and contest judges.

Use only the advice, which feels right. Improve your craft and entry. Keep writing! JL : I wish I knew. So far my only plan is to have a wonderful wardrobe mistress, Ana Farrish. Jillian Lark has lived in England, Germany, and eleven U. Traci Andrighetti: You left a corporate career as a brand manager to become a romance writer. What prompted this change? Sloane Calder: I actually left my corporate career when I had my first child, but I had ventured back into finance my first career once I began staying home with the kids.

Part-time brand management work was impossible to find in Austin, so I spent seven years at home doing finance work on the side. I had no idea what the heck I was doing, and thankfully, a friend directed me to RWA. TA: On your blog, you discuss the frustrations of being a writer. What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of the writing process? SC: The most difficult aspect of the writing process for me was finding my process. How have these degrees helped your writing career? My marketing career was in consumer-packaged goods, so I did a lot of packaging work and advertising along with product development—in essence, the entire process of getting a product on the shelf.

Books are products too. I look at writing a bit differently than some in that I see it as a business, and I write from both a creative and a business perspective. Can you tell us about your agent search process? It was difficult to jump back and forth between the two genres mentally, and small town contemporary was selling.

To make a long story short, I suspended querying BBF to finish the contemporary. TA: Apparently, Stephany informed you that you write urban fantasy romance rather than paranormal. Did this come as a surprise to you? SC: Initially, I laughed. Urban fantasy romance sounds cool. TA: Will knowing that you write urban fantasy change your approach to your craft in any way?

I had no problem with the change, as I have mixed emotions about my real first name anyway. TA: What advice would you give to other writers who have been searching unsuccessfully for an agent? SC: Keep trying. Romance readers want to know. SC: What I appreciate more than anything is how supportive my husband has been with my writing. Sloane Calder grew up in Georgia, spending many of her early adult years seeking adventure in corporate America.

Switching gears, she moved into brand management, marketing desserts, soft drinks and lawn care products. Thankfully, her stockpile of suppressed creativity finally won out and she released the story that wanted out of her head. Alexa almost caused an international incident on a trip to Turkey, and she somehow manages to juggle four different series at one time.

How does she do it? Traci Andrighetti: You were born in Rhode Island, but you have a decidedly Scottish theme to your website. What is your connection to Scotland? Alexa Bourne: I first fell in love with the scenery when I watched the movie Highlander. Then I started reading Scottish historical romance novels, which only made me love the country more.

What was it about the show that inspired you so? AB: I was definitely drawn to the good guys winning and the villains getting caught. I also loved the way the members of the team each had their own strengths and they complemented each other. In the end, justice prevailed. All of these aspects of the show were strong messages to my middle school mind when I was trying to understand the world around me and find out who I was.

How did that play into your writing career? AB: The single most important part of my time with the Patriots was finding my best friend, Nancy. As for that time in my life playing into my writing career, Nancy has always been my biggest cheerleader. How would you describe your writing overall? Carry Me Home was a rush job. I wrote it, revised it and submitted it within 3 weeks. The topic, a married couple who have suffered a loss but eventually find each other again, could easily be too much for a romance, but I think I handled it well and the reviews also tell me that.

Dance Away, Danger was the first of my manuscripts that I truly thought was good enough to get published. AB: Ask questions. You can save yourself so much grief. TA: You recently returned from a trip to Turkey. Can your readers expect to see a Turkish-themed romantic suspense novel in the future? AB: Oh yes! I took notes about the country and the culture. Plus, during our travels to various parts of Turkey, I even started plotting the book! Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays.

She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year.

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She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites.

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Find out more about her and her books on her website, www. But then I started writing screenplays and discovered that I enjoyed working with one or more partners. It makes a very solitary work environment into a constant brainstorming session. Bob Wernly: Kathy still writes her romantic suspense novels alone, but we co-write the young adult series CUL8R and the new adult series Scandals together.

KC: Bob and I have several plotting sessions and make lots of notes about specific plot points and characters. Then he researches any actual historical events and writes a rough draft. He usually gives me about 75 to pages to which I add characterization, romance and color until we reach about pages single-spaced, 70, — 85, words. BW: My value-add is to lay the groundwork, sort of like setting stepping stones in the path. She can wander off the path and explore, fill in the details and add the emotion and subplots, but she always has the path to lead her forward to a satisfactory conclusion.

TA: You write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, young adult and new adult. Which is your favorite, and why? KC: Each series is very different, and I enjoy them for different reasons. The new adult series is a lot of fun to write because it is first person, and I can burrow deep inside each character in his or her book and experience their feelings up close and personal. BW: The new adult series is definitely my favorite because they are grown-up stories with lots of action and interesting characters. Writing in first person makes the characters more real and multi-dimensional.

TA: After gaining the rights to your backlist from your traditional publisher, you republished twenty-one of your novels. What has that done for your writing career? KC: The disadvantage to writing romance novels is that they are on the shelf for only 30 days. It felt good to give them a second chance at life.

TA: You also teach classes on indie publishing.