Category Archives: teatime tuesday

Teatime Tuesday with KL Going

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Welcome back to Teatime Tuesday where I interview authors about their journeys to publication. These interviews are similar to my Coffee Break Tuesday interviews of last year except for a few new questions and I’ve since given up coffee.  Today I’m excited to share with you my interview with the awesome KL Going. She’s the author of some incredible YA novels as well as a craft book, Writing and Selling the YA Novel.  In addition to being a gifted writer, she is super nice!

What was your first published title and what was it about?

My first published title was Fat Kid Rules the World, a YA about a three hundred pound teenager who is drawn into a punk rock group by a semi-homeless genius guitar player. (Incidentally, this book is now an independent film. Help us find a distributor by clicking the “like” button on the film’s Facebook page!)

How long did your journey to publication take and what were the significant events along the way?

My journey to publication with this novel was incredibly quick. But, to set the stage, I must tell you about the novel I submitted BEFORE that one. Although this previous novel did not get published, it got great feedback from editors and one editor said she was interested in reading it again. I waited on pins and needles for over a year with no response, despite multiple follow-ups. So, when submitting Fat Kid, I prepared myself for a long haul. We submitted it on Friday and it sold the following Tuesday! Just goes to show that publishing experiences can be really different.

Who/what were your sources of inspiration and how did they help you the most?

I had a co-worker who was in a band and he was invaluable when I was writing Fat Kid. These days, my inspiration comes from my two year old, which is why I’ve been writing more picture books. I love reading to him, seeing what works and what doesn’t, what he enjoys and when he gets bored.

Do you have any rituals that you use when you’re writing?

Yes. I check my e-mail first, and that’s a HUGE mistake, but it’s sort of an addiction. Then I get tea and procrastinate. Ha.

Describe your writing space. What makes it perfect for you?

My writing space is definitely not perfect for me. I write wherever I can – bed, couch, local library… I dream of a beautiful, organized office with a gorgeous view out a giant window, but so far I haven’t gotten there. Still, writing can be done anywhere and if you wait for perfection it will never happen.

What is your most recently published book or upcoming release? What is it about?

I have a picture book called Dog in Charge out this summer. It’s illustrated by Dan Santat and it’s about a dog who gets left in charge of five wily cats. This will be my first published picture book, so I’m very excited about it. Plus, the art is amazing. I have never seen such an expressive dog. The pictures are bright, fun, and creative. I can’t wait to share it with kids!

For more about KL Going, check out her site and read her blog!

For previous Teatime Tuesday interviews, click here!

Teatime Tuesday with Joseph Bruchac

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Welcome back to Teatime Tuesday where I interview authors about their journeys to publication!  Today I am thrilled to share my interview with Joseph Bruchac, author, poet, and storyteller. He’s written over seventy books for children and adults! I had the pleasure of meeting him many years ago, and remember him as being warm and kind. I’m excited to read his newest book! Keep reading for a fabulous description of his awesome writing space.
What was your first published book and what was it about?

My first published title, in 1971, was entitled Indian Mountain. It was a collection of my own original poems and a few translations I’d done of Ewe oral poetry while I was a volunteer teacher in Ghana.

How long did your journey to publication take and what were the significant events along the way?

I began trying to place my manuscript in 1969. It was rejected about 20 times before it was finally accepted by Ithaca House. Along the way I developed the habit of reading my rejected work each time it was returned to me as if it was written by someone else and I was an editor seeing it for the first time. That helped me greatly as I revised the manuscript and made it much better than it had originally been.

Who/what were your sources of inspiration and how did they help you the most?

My major sources of inspiration for that book and many of the others that followed–collections of traditional American Indian folk tales, novels, more books of poetry–were Native elders who shared their stories with me. I’ve been extremely fortunate throughout my life to have had the chance to listen to many people much older and wiser than me. I also drew then and continue to draw inspiration from the natural world–the animals and plants, the earth itself beneath my feet. The experience of spending time alone, quietly, with nature is revitalizing and always brings me new insights.

Do you have any rituals that you use when you’re writing?

No rituals. I just sit down and start to write–either at my desk on my computer or in one of the notebooks I carry with me (not a notebook computer, a notebook with paper pages that I write on with a pencil). It could be early in the morning or late at night. I just try to write whenever I can find the time, though while I’m working on a big project I try to write every day during the morning for at least an hour.

Describe your writing space. What makes it perfect for you?

I have a small place, a 4 room cabin, that I retreat to each night. I’m away from e-mail (my computer there is not connected to the internet), phones, roads, and visitors. The walls of my study where I write are lined with bookshelves and I keep all the books there that relate to whatever I’m writing at the time.

It’s at the end of a dead end road, next to a seven acre pond with hundreds of acres of wilderness beyond the 12 acres I own there. I can hear the wind in the trees and the sound of leaves falling to the earth and I’m visited often by deer, wild turkeys, and can find the tracks of bears and moose nearby, though they’re seldom seen. I think you can guess what makes it perfect for me.

What is your most recently published book? What is it about?

My newest book is a young adult novel called Wolf Mark, just published by Tu Books, a new imprint of Lee& Low. Here’s a description from my publisher:

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?

Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants.

But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

Check out this video interview of the author at Tu Books.  Thanks, Joe, for stopping by!

Teatime Tuesday with Liz Braswell

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Welcome to a new series I’m calling Teatime Tuesday where I’ll post my interviews with authors about their journeys to publication. Some of you might remember a similar series I did last year called Coffee Break Tuesdays.  Because I’ve recently stopped drinking coffee (very shocking) and switched to tea, I’ve changed the title of this series and also changed some of the questions. I hope you enjoy this new series!

Today I’d like to welcome author Liz Braswell. I’ve been a long-time fan of her books, reader of her blog, and though I’ve yet to meet her face-to-face (we hope to remedy that someday) , we’ve kept in touch via blogs and emails and I can assure you, she is one of the nicest and funniest people around!

What was your first published book and what was it about?

Snow (published under the name Tracy Lynn).  It was a retelling of Snow White set in the 19th century with some steampunk (booya, before it was cool!) twists…  The dwarves aren’t exactly dwarves, and Snow isn’t a dummy.

How long did your journey to publication take and what were the significant events along the way?
That’s a hard one to date.  From fourth grade or 1994, depending how you look at it.  I was producing video games for Simon and Schuster’s interactive division and petitioned an editor there from day one to buy a book from me.  It was more like day 2001, but still!  Along the way I had my first short story published, in Amazing Stories magazine, and many more rejected.

Who/what were your sources of inspiration and how did they help you the most?
There was a teacher in my elementary school who took a group of us and had us make books, from start to finish.  That was the first real feeling I had that I could WRITE.  All of my other mentors were quasi imaginary:  Lloyd Alexander, Deborah and James Howe, Roald Dahl, Rudyard Kipling…  I read them, and wanted to be them.
Do you have any rituals that you use when you’re writing?
Coffee?  Uh, no real ritual.  I just write when I get a chance to write.  With two small kids, I grab every chance I can, no time for rituals.
Describe your writing space. What about it makes it perfect for you?
Kitchen table.  Balcony table.  Upstairs on Alex’s homework table, hunched over.  Bed.  I think my ‘perfect’ space right now is a two-person table at Cafe Grumpy (Greenpoint!).  I seem to write best when there is white noise–humming talk, nothing distracting–and absolutely nothing else I can do but work.  Sometimes I even  turn off my internets.  Constant coffee (or genmaicha) also a bonus.  When I need to sit and stare, the people walking by outside provide good visual white noise, although sometimes the hats that hipsters wear can be a little distracting.  I have this near overwhelming urge to rush over and knock them off.

What is your most recently published book or upcoming release? What is it about?

It’s not my most recently written, but the re-release of The Nine Lives of Chloe King 1-3 in conjunction with the TV show were the most recently published.  It’s about a girl who turns 16 and develops cat powers.  I’m working on a bunch of different stuff right now, coming soon to a publisher near you.

Thanks, Liz, for stopping by!