“Surround yourself with people who know more than you and soak up knowledge like a sponge!” P.K. Witte
Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Crashing the Gate!
Greetings Gate Crashers! Come on in. You know how it works. Every month I invite authors to stop on by, crash the gate and leave a little something behind. Usually, it’s a bit of wonderful writerly advice to share with other folks learning how to thrive in the kidlit industry. This month is a little bit different.
Because it’s Thanksgiving, I’ve invited authors to share what they’re thankful for. And Wow, lots of fantastic writers stopped by full of writerly thoughts!
Fun, funny, poignant, perfect!
Spend some time learning what these authors are thankful for. You’ll have a cornucopia (okay I couldn’t help being a little bit corny) full of fun learning more about them. Keep on scrolling, leave no author unvisited There’s only one Thanksgiving and we’re celebrating it together. One BIG happy family!
Click on the pics for excellent writerly links.
November 1st was the official release day of my debut novel ROOTLESS (Scholastic Press). I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share this story with the world, and am thankful beyond words to the beautiful people who’ve inspired and supported me along the way… family, friends, artists and teachers… THANK YOU for joining me on this adventure, and for all your help and love along the way!
(To Gate Crashers) I LOVE that you are helping spread some GRATITUDE around, because too often it’s all too lacking! (Thank you very much, Chris!)
Kimberley Griffiths Little
THE HEALING SPELL, CIRCLE OF SECRETS,
WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME
“Right now I’m especially thankful for my wonderful editors at both Scholastic and Harpercollins. My family has been in a heart-wrenching crisis as my baby brother is dying from brain cancer and my editors as well as my agent have sent me many loving and supportive emails and phone calls and have rearranged deadlines and book schedules for me. It’s easy to think of the publishing world as a “hurry-up” business and mostly worried about the bottom line and their bestsellers, but both my editors have been incredibly generous and told me that family is the most important thing right now and that I need to take care of myself. They’ve told me that the books can wait and all will be well. That’s given me such peace of mind and room to breathe and do my best work.”
BRIANNA ON THE BRINK
During this season of giving thanks, I am incredibly grateful for all the people who have supported my writing over the years. The list includes my parents, my editor and publishing team, teachers from grade school through graduate school, my students over the years, the writing community at large and authors of the amazing books that first made me start dreaming of writing my own novels some day.
I heart your Gate Crashers features, Pam! (Thanks bunches, Nicole!)
Book bloggers. Which totally sounds like I’m butt-kissery, I know. But the enthusiasm and energy and commitment of those guys is totally mind-blowing. They’re absolutely awesome, and I’m not sure we (authors) say thank you enough. (Not butt-kissery at all!)
I’m thankful for veteran authors who share their time and experience with new and debut authors. I am continually amazed, and made grateful by, the openness and generosity within the YA community. My special thanks go out to Ellen Hopkins and Holly Black for the gift of their mentorship and guidance this year. To the Apocalypsies who reach back and offer advice and support to the Lucky 13s. And most of all, to my brilliant and talented crit partner, Megan Miranda, for taking me underwing (and occasionally absorbing my crazy). I am so, so lucky.
Coffee…endless supplies of coffee…it’s what keeps me writing!
Okay, okay, in actuality, while coffee is great, I’m especially thankful that I’m surrounded by such a supportive group of people who encourage me to write and understand my love of writing. My husband and family always make sure I have time to write, the school where I work at allows me to participate in opportunities that will improve my writing, and my students are excited about my book. I’m also thankful for such a great online community of bloggers, writers, and readers. When you have so many people cheering you on, you can’t help but feel inspired!
What I’m thankful for: my bigass dry erase board. I bought it while working on my third book this summer, in order to help out with plotting and brainstorming, and it has been a godsend. Doodles, arrows, flow charts – this puppy does it all. And when you invariably write something absolutely ridiculous that might get you committed to a mental institution under any other circumstance, you can just wipe it away! Evidence destroyed!
And Pam, thanks for all your promoting prowess! (Any time, Gina!)
Cynthia Leitich Smith
TANTALIZE, BLESSED, DIABOLICAL, ETERNAL
I’m most thankful that I get to belong in this magical, inspiring, stressful, changing, intellectual, fun world of books for young readers, that I get to skip among its stars and learn on bended knee from both its newest voices and living legends.
Thanks for this opportunity! (You bet, Cynthia!)
BEHOLD THE DAWN, DREAMLANDER,A MAN CALLED OUTLAW, OUTLINING YOUR NOVEL
This year, I have found myself thinking over and over again how blessed I have been by the kindness, generosity, and enthusiasm of fellow authors. The online writing community, in particular, overwhelms me with their general wonderfulness. I am extraordinarily thankful for those among my writer acquaintances who selflessly make time to help me (and others) with critiquing, proofreading, networking, and just general opiniating and supporting.
THE NEPTUNE PROJECT
I’m so grateful to be under contract to two fabulous publishers for the Neptune series. These books are SO much fun to write because they contain plenty of action and I get to do cool research every day on all kinds of fascinating sea topics. I had a real dry spell before the sale to Hyperion, so first and foremost I appreciate being employed! The basic premise of these books contains a strong environment message. I’m also grateful that I may have a chance to reach kids around the world and let them know that they should care about our climate and our seas before it’s too late.
I am most thankful for my parents.
As a Native American writer, I am most thankful for being alive at a time when my work can be published by mainstream publishers. Books written and/or illustrated by Native people diminish the hurtful stereotypes of Native Americans that still lurk in many places. Our books give non-Indian children a true picture of our country’s Native people; they empower Indian children of all tribal nations, but most of all they help all children realize how similar they are.
THE FLAME IN THE MIST
For one, people like you who make our road to publication so much more fun and easy! Thank you so much. (It’s always a pleasure!)
So many people have helped shape my book, and me as writer. Having a pool of mutually supportive author Peeps that I can dip into and give back to, and the social media that makes so much of it possible, is invaluable in navigating the hurdles, pitfalls and joys leading up to that ever-closer Publication Date. I’m grateful for them all, and don’t know what I’d do without them. But there is one, overriding person without whom all of it would still be a seemingly out-of-reach dream, and that’s the Delacorte editor who believed in my book. Her thorough insights and questions have made it sooo much better, plus she’s given me the opportunity of a lifetime. I am So. Very. Grateful.
THE KEY & THE FLAME
This year I’m incredibly thankful that I was able to complete the sequel to THE KEY& THE FLAME (working title: THE WAND & THE SEA). I had no idea how much stress I would feel trying to write the second book in about a third of the time I took to write the first book. In the spring I broke out in stress hives; in the summer I sweated through every page; in the fall I cut my behemoth down to size. And it’s finally just about ready to go to my editor, for publication in summer 2014!
I LAY MY STITCHES DOWN
I am eternally thankful for my writing buddies who give time, support, tissues, and car rides at a moment’s notice.
DELROY AND THE MAROG PRINCESS
I have so many things to be thankful for. I have a loving and supportive husband and family, and enjoy good health. I live in the beautiful, inspirational country of Jamaica with a tropical climate, white sand beaches and warm seas. I have the glorious freedom of retirement in which to follow my passion of writing for children. Modern technology allows me to make new friends and keep up with old ones; research the world without leaving my house; and write and rewrite with ease, unlike the days when I wrote by hand and typed on a manual typewriter. I give thanks for my online critique group, Pam and Melanie, without whose help I would not have been published. Their remarkable insights and creative suggestions have helped me to grow as a writer. Right now I’m thankful for having been spared the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
Tiffany T. Schmidt
SEND ME A SIGN
I am so thankful for the support of the book blogger community. I’ve been so thrilled and frequently moved to tears of gratitude by the way book bloggers have embraced Send Me a Sign and reached out to tell other readers about the book. I’ve also been so touched by the number of readers who have shared their own cancer experiences with me and told me that they felt comfort or a connection when reading Send Me a Sign. I cannot even begin to express how much this has meant to me, how much I appreciate them, and how they’ve all become a part of my dream-come-true.
I am most thankful for the internet. I know, it’s a horrible time suck, yada yada yada. But without the internet, I would have never met the amazing bloggers and forums that taught me so much about fiction writing. I would have never met my crit partners, or some of the friends who have my back, in good times and bad.
As a writer, I am most thankful for the opportunities I get to connect with readers in schools and the enthusiastic feedback I get from them in person and in writing. Seeing that so many students love to read and write and love learning about science is encouraging, gratifying, and humbling.
I am most thankful for the unending love and support of my family and friends. When those who you love and respect, love and respect you back, it kind of gives you superpowers and makes you believe that anything is possible.
CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS
I think this year I’m most thankful for other people’s stories. It’s very tempting as a debut author to get so focused on your book, your edits, your promotion, that you lose sight of what you loved about storytelling in the first place. Anytime I can read a great book by someone else, or listen to someone tell me a funny story, that grounds me. It widens my world back up and helps keep me sane.
K.A. (Kelly) Barson
45 POUNDS (MORE OR LESS)
What I’m most thankful for: Spanx. Seriously, though, I know it sounds trite, but I’m thankful for my family and friends. Through all the ups and downs–triumphs and rejections–that writing brings, they support me. Come to think of it, Spanx does, too, only in a different way. Family, friends, and Spanx–I need all three to keep it together.
NOT A DROP TO DRINK
As a writer I want to say that I’m super thankful for my CP’s (critique partners). They are professional, thorough, inspiring – and not afraid to tell me when I fail at something… (RC Lewis can tell you all about my comma issues).
Pamela K. Witte
And for me, I’m thankful for the opportunity to promote writers, for the friendships I have made, and the lessons I’ve learned from each and every Gate Crasher over the past year. I’m thankful for the gift of storytelling, my love of writing, the joy of reading, my passion for adventure and life. Most of all I’m thankful for my family and my critique partners, who never, ever give up on me or allow me to give up on my dreams!
And there you have it. Pretty wonderful, isn’t it?
Almost as good as sitting down at the same giant table and sharing Thanksgiving wishes all around.