Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

First of all, thank you to everyone who supported the Publishing Hearts for Connecticut. They were able to raise $5,500 for those families and victims of the Sandy Hook incident. It really showed that there is hope and goodness in the hearts of people.

Check out my blog post over at the MiG's on what to ask if you get that agent call.

I will be taking a short break from blogging to enjoy the holidays (and get some writing projects finished too!).

And then it's 2013!!!! I'm super excited about this year because this is my pub year!

This time of year can be extremely busy and hectic but I'm hoping you'll find peace and joy through it all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Publishing Hearts Connecticut

This past week has been a tough time for our nation with those who we lost in Connecticut. As an elementary teacher myself, the incidents that occured really hit home for me.

I am so thankful for the Publishing Hearts Connecticut that has formed this week. This is a fundraiser in the publishing industry to benefit families and victims of the Connecticut Sandy Hook Shooting. All donations will be made directly to the Newtown Connecticut Youth and Family Services
I am honored to be able to donate a query and a 25-page manuscript critique for this event. Follow this link to make a bid.

I strongly urge you to support this need either through promoting the event on Facebook or Twitter, or bid on one of the many items being offered.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Challenges of the Publishing Journey

Today I'm vlogging over at The Lucky 13s. This week we are discussing what the hardest part of the publishing journey has been for us so far. When I sat down to talk about it, I realized there is no "easy" involved. Just lots of hard. But one part isn't necessarily harder than the next. Each step of the journey has it's own challenges.

I hope you'll stop by and say hi.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winner of Sanctum

I am happy to announce the winner of Sanctum by Sarah Fine is Medeia Sharif! Congrats! Email me your address at farley dot christinal at gmail.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Author Skype Visits

Not long ago, I had my first Author Skype Visit. It was so much fun and I would definitely do it again. My previous school that I taught at, Seoul Foreign School in Seoul, Korea, has a program where they take a week off from studies and explore other cultures or areas of expertise.

One of the programs is a writing course where students learn about how to write as well as tour and write around Seoul. My presentation kicked off their week and I hope inspired them in their writing.

How I did it:
1. First I set up a Skype account for me as an author. This was separate from my personal account.
2. I emailed the school my account details as well as an agenda of our visit and handouts for the students to use throughout their week of writing.
3. About 30 minutes before the visit, I set up my area where my computer was. I even had 'props' to show the students an insider's view on how I write and what I do.
4. Once we were connected, I introduced myself and gave them a background of my writing experiences and what my upcoming book was about.
5. Their teacher had the student's prepare questions to ask me. This was really fun because it gave me a chance to go into more details on how I work as a writer.
6. At the end of our time, I promised them bookmarks once they were designed. If I were to already have my book out, I would've emailed the class bookmarks and personalized autographed bookplates for each student.

Things to keep aware of:

1. Skype might blink out and you get disconnected. Don't panic. Just decide ahead of time who is going to call who to get reconnected.
2. I had some time lags on my end. Stay calm and and ask the student's to repeat their question.
3. In my situation, I couldn't see the whole class at one time, only when the students came up to the camera in groups. I felt like I was talking to the wall so I had to 'imagine' a whole class in front of me.
4. Remember to smile and speak clearly.

Great links on Skype you should check out:
Have you ever participated in a skype visit as an author or audience? What was your experience like?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Using a Plot Grid

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned pulling out my plot grid when I was revising a manuscript and promised to talk more about that later. Now that NaNo is finished and many of you have a very rough draft in place, it's key to pull out or create a plot grid.

Why have a plot grid?

1. Plotting- Gives you a bird's eye view of the structure of your plot.

I'm a sucker for a good plot. Especially one that's unpredictable. Of course, creating an unpredictable plot is another whole blog post for another day.

2. Character Appearances- Allows you to see how often and which one of your characters appear throughout the book.

3. Setting- Where is your story taking place? Are you switching up your setting? To me nothing is more boring than bouncing your characters between the school cafeteria and home. Please don't do that. At least for my sake.

So, you're probably wondering what a plot grid looks like and how to put it together. Click here for the word document that I use. If you have a mystery plot, check this plot grid out.

You can also watch my vlog on how to make a bigger version of this. Personally, I need both.

So what do you find is helpful to making sure your plot flows, doesn't lag, and isn't filled with holes?