Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- Humor With Purpose

This week's YA Highway Road Trip Topic: Good for a laugh: who is your favorite comedian or funny book and/or movie?

I have an immense amount of respect for humor. I grew up on Alan Alda, George Carlin and Robin Williams. Comedians who, yes, did their share of wacky stuff, but mostly used humor to make a point...or, more precisely, many points.

This goes back way farther than those comedians though. Like nursery rhymes as political satire.

I feel like humor can get away with more than straight talk. It can make people listen and think of issues in new ways. It can open eyes and change people's perspectives on things. It can galvanize people who already have that opinion to go out and do something about it.

That's why my favorite funny book is:

Beauty Queens, first off, has the best and funniest cover ever. The book made me LOL for real many, many times. And, most important, it reminded me of why I'm a feminist and that we still have a long way to go...But at least there's a clear-headed woman out there willing to write the truth in the guise of an outrageous and funny story.

What about you? What's your humorous favorite?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Road Trip Wednesday- My Retirement Bookstore

This Week's YA Highway Road Trip: Imagine you get to open your own bookstore. What would it look like? What kinds of books would you sell?

This answer is easy, as I've been dreaming about this for longer than I've been writing novels.

My husband has a comic book collection and I have tons of books. So, long ago, I came up with the idea of having a used bookstore/comic book store in a small coast/beach town. We'd sell used paperbacks and comic books along with new magazines and comic books. We'd have a two for one trade in deal for the paperbacks to keep the stock moving. I also have a huge children's collection so we could keep the younger set busy reading on their vacation too.

I imagine an old victorian house remodeled with the bottom floor as the store...lots of cozy nooks and crannies for those rainy beach days or when you just need to get out of the sun for a bit.

The top floors would be our living space. We'd shut down in the winter to go visit grandkids in our RV...well, that last part really is a dream since my husband is not the RVing type.

What about you? What would your bookstore look like?

Friday, January 11, 2013

How an Agent Hunt is like selling on eBay

I've become a seller on eBay these last few weeks (which is also why I haven't done much blogging lately).

My mom and grandma were into Hallmark ornaments...way into them...which has left my sister and me with enough  ornaments to fill five Christmas trees (no exaggeration).

I finally got around to going through all of them this holiday season to see which ones might sell on eBay. Then, after the holiday, I put some of them up for sale.

How This Turned out Like Agent Hunting:

First off (like querying), it's least it was for me...plunging into an unknown process...hoping I don't do something stupid and screw things up. And it also takes time, more than you'd think.

Once knee deep in the system, it became easier. Then checking my bids became like checking my email during querying time, hoping for good news, sometimes getting bad news, sometimes getting surprises.

Before I started on eBay or querying, I thought there'd be nothing more embarrassing than getting zero bids on an item or a form rejection letter, but once you've had a few nibbles, the rejections are easier to take.

Then you sell (or get a request/offer from an agent), and this brings on a whole new set of things you hope not to screw up on.

With eBay or querying, you can do your research, check out the market ahead of time, make sure you're putting the right item/book out there and sending it to the right customers/agents. This works in general, but there are exceptions...times when the seemingly perfect item/manuscript gets no nibbles from the seemingly perfect customers/agents. And other times when an item/manuscript will surprise you and get lots of attention from unexpected sources.

The overall advice is the same, do your research but also cast a wide net... when that doesn't work, write another book and keep casting...because you never know when/where you'll start getting nibbles, and soon you could have a bidding war on your hands.

What about you? Ever sold on eBay? Did you find it similar to querying?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Holiday Hangover/Best of 2012

First off, I don't have an alcohol-induced holiday hangover...The holiday rush is quickly being replaced by an equally long if different to-do list, but I'm still feeling the pangs of that lost holiday feeling.

And, speaking of the holiday rush, I had every intention of being around in the Blogosphere the last few weeks...such fun end-of-year topics and debut author books to write about...I even have two draft posts that never made it to the publish button. So, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

And now, a little late, I'm going to share my YA favorite listens of 2012:

Best Second Books in a Series: Pandemonium- Lauren Oliver
                                                 The Red Glove- Holly Black

Best Historicals: Grave Mercy- Robin Lafevers
                          Gilt- Katherine Longshore
                          Wrapped- Jennifer Bradbury

Best Unique Premises: Starters- Lissa Price
                                       What's Left of Me- Kat Zhang
                                        Forgotten- Cat Patrick

Best New Series: Under The Never Sky- Veronica Rossi
                            Cinder- Marissa Meyer
                            The Selection- Kiera Cass

Best Unexpected Favorite: Au Revoir Crazy European Chick- Joe Schreiber

Best Contemporaries: Grafitti Moon- Cath Crowley
                                       The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

Best Ongoing or Ends of Series: The Gray Wolf Throne- Cinda Williams Chima
                                                        Mastiff- Tamora Pierce
                                                        Goliath- Scott Westerfeld

Best Unique POV: Blink and Caution- Tim Wynne Jones

Best Settings: Scorpio Races- Maggie Steifvater
                      Dreamland Social Club- Tara Altebrando

Best of Show: Every Day- David Levithan

What about you? Read any of these? What were your 2012 favorites?

And stay tuned for an End-of-the-ARCs New Year Blow Out contest next week!