One of the biggest changes in my writing life for 2010 was feeling God nudge me back to the audience I originally began writing fiction for – middle grade girls (sorry, guys — I’m not trying to exclude you, but that’s just the way it is right now). Why? I have no idea! But it feels like I’ve come full circle with a lot more knowledge and experience to apply to my stories. Not that I know everything – I’ll never reach that point! – but I know a lot more than I did a few years ago.
For people who might not have known who I write for, here are a few clues in my cluttered office (assuming you can find them in the middle of everything else):
- Two of the top three books in my writing craft stack are aimed at the children’s market – How to Write a Children’s Book and Get It Published by Barbara Seuling and Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career by Nancy I. Sanders. In case you’re wondering, the third is Christian Market Writer’s Guide – a must for any of us writing for Christian publishers.
- My stack of kids books is growing, while my stack of adult novels is shrinking. Yes, I spent all my Amazon and B&N Christmas gift cards on kids’ books and can hardly wait for the first box to arrive next week!
- No, those aren’t just miscellaneous papers scattered beside my desk chair. They’re printouts of Children’s Book Insider newsletter and info on a children’s writers conference that will be in Atlanta in February. Always looking at conferences, always dreaming …
- My copy of Children’s Writers Word Book lives on the floor near my chair more often these days than on the shelf where it’s been tucked away for ages.
- The “history” tab on my Internet browser shows lots of visits to www.kidlit.com. I took a webinar from the KidLit blogger, literary agent Mary Kole, a few months ago and really enjoyed what she taught. Now I’m a pretty regular visitor to her site, where she blogs about all sorts of things related to reading or writing for kids. Hence, the ever-growing list of kid books I need to read. I learned about most of the ones I just ordered from Mary’s blog!
So what does all of this mean? For my family, it means I’ll be reading a lot of stuff our daughter might enjoy now or in the next couple of years. Please don’t laugh too much. 🙂 For my daughter, it means we’ll have lots of good books to read through and talk about together. For myself, it means that there’s a whole big world of characters, stories, authors, agents, and publishing houses to keep exploring. Here’s to keeping it fun in 2011!