Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Amazon Buys .book for 10 Million

Just found out that Amazon bought the rights to the .book domain name for 10,000,000. 

I have been waiting, and hoping, for those domains to be released so I could secure rebeccataylor.book (since rebeccataylor.com is owned by the highly famous, and expensive, fashion designer, Rebecca Taylor--no relation. (Or discounts on her beautiful clothes!)

Who knows what Amazon will do with the domain. Keep it for their own exclusive use? Sell it to individuals like me? They haven't yet said and my guesses would be mere speculation.

But I have a feeling, if they do release it for the public to buy, it's going to cost me more than Network Solutions was going to charge me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Is Maintaining Your Publishing Virginity Important?

Reading the YA review section of last weeks Publishers Weekly (11/3/2014) I was struck by how many times I read "debut author" or the equivalent. So I went back and counted and 6 of the 11 reviews are for debut authors (1 additional was listed as a "YA debut" since the author has written adult novels. Side note: this sounds like marketing fishery to me--something along the lines of me trying to reclaim my virginity on Match.com despite having already delivered two kids)

Anyway, It has me now thinking about if there is some marketing advantage of being a publishing virgin. Also, I'm now curious about the statistics and staying power of all these "debut" authors. Like:

  • What percentage of debut YA authors go on to publish a second book?
  • And then a 3-25 more books?
  • What percentage of newly published YA books are by these debuts? 
  • What is the marketing/psychological importance of being a "debut author" as opposed to say a "not debut" author?    
  • What, in general, do the publisher acquisition table conversations sound like for these debuts?  Is everyone more excited about a "new author" as opposed to a "used" author?
  • Is there some secret advantage? 
Why are we so enamored with firsts?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why Write YA?

At the end of September, I had the pleasure of selling and signing copies of ASCENDANT at the Orange County Childrens' Book Fair. It's a wonderful event put on by some truly amazing people that clearly love kids' lit and kid lit authors.

During my time on the YA stage, a gentleman asked me a question that got me thinking, but first...PICTURES!

Here are some pictures of me with my now short, short hair, a rock musician, and Captain Tall Tale!
Rebecca Taylor and David Alpizar
My Table

Captain Tall Tale

Pic of me by Captain Tall Tale

Dangerous Selfie with Captain Tall Tale
While there, I did a little time on the YA speaking stage where I tried to not talk overly much about myself and attempted to divert the attentions of the audience to their own pressing questions about writing, YA, and the Universe in general.

There were some good questions!

But one in particular stands out in my memory. Partially because it was asked by a dad-looking fellow who appeared to have possibly been dragged to my event by his three daughters and partially because I think it's a good question for many YA writers to consider.

He raised his hand and tried to not look overtly smug as he asked, "Why YA?"

Now before we all start our collective moaning about YA not getting the appropriate amount of literary street cred (because there was that hint of disdain in his tone) I don't think this is a bad question for YA writers to actually answer for themselves (minus the staring down the nose, of course.)

After several seconds of ponder, here is what I came up with.

Hands down, I just love the love. The emotion. The rush. The first everything.

Secondarily, that whole phase of human development is just ripe for explosive story telling (sorry, my psychologist is showing.) The whole push pull of becoming an adult and leaving childhood. The confusion. The mistakes. The joy of new freedoms. The fear of new freedoms. Really, there are just sooooo many emotionally heady avenues to explore.

I love it, truly.

And finally, I love to write dialogue, body language, internal processing--all big ticket YA musts that are about the relationships between characters and the relationship we have with ourselves. I actually like that the YA character can be pretty centered on their own experiences and that doesn't make them completely self-centered because it's still developmentally expected (to a point, of course) for the 13 to 18 year-old.  

Maybe it's because I work with kids, maybe it's because I have them, or maybe it's because I'm a bit arrested development, but whatever the reason, It's a age range that comes naturally to me.

I don't write YA because it's easy (because it's not!) I write it because those teen experiences are so visceral for many of us--especially as adults looking back, adults that may still be trying to figure out exactly what happened to us during those years and why the hell we still care so much.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Success--Henry David Thoreau

I have been thinking lately about success. What it means. How it is measured. Where it can be found. I imagine the answers to these questions are as individual as the individual people who ask them.

"I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dream and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
 – Henry David Thoreau

What does "success" mean to you?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Entering the Classroom--Teaching at Regis University

Psychologist, Author, Mother, Wife...but starting in 2016, I'll be adding a new personal identifier--Professor.

Regis University is starting a new low-residency MFA in creative writing program, Mile High MFA, and I have been asked to teach the Young Adult Fiction writing class. It goes without saying, I am extremely excited for this opportunity!

More information about the program and the content focus can be found here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How to Stop Worrying and Start Writing

My list with my fuel and my work
Lists are usually thought of as some of the least creative writing a person can do. They have even been used as the low end comparison for terrible writing. For example, "My grocery lists have more narrative voice!"

But, like all simple things of utility, lists can have their place in a writer's life. Especially when that life is not simply a "writer's life."

I work full time (as a school psychologist--a position prone to high stress and bouts of crisis.) I am the mother of two kids. And I, like many women I know, am the acting ring leader of our household circus.

And as if that were not enough, I write books that have nothing to do with any of the above.

On any given day, I can wake up and immediately feel completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of actions items that need to be performed across the multiple domains of my life. These "must dos" spin, and crash, and fight for space in my brain. They make my heart race and my anxiety levels shoot through the roof, every one of them begging me to "Start with me! I'm the most important thing here!" So much drama--and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet!

Sound familiar?

Left unorganized, it has been my experience that all the THINGS can leave me in a complete state of paralysis in which NOTHING gets done. As an aside, this personal paralysis does not, I repeat, DOES NOT serve to reduce anxiety.

Ever wonder how impossible it is to write fiction when your brain is busy worrying about: day-job responsibilities; doctor appointments; scheduling flights; laundry; dishes; being out of milk, and eggs, and peanut butter; tooth fairy money; your office is a mess; your son's science project; there is something growing in the upstairs bathroom; paying bill; refinancing your mortgage; blah, blah, blah.

Enter, THE LIST.

Lists, for me, are the non-medicated solution to this anxiety because, the second I write the "must do" down, my brain stops worrying about remembering to do it. Lists have the power of a personal promise to yourself--This is what I will do today. Lists help your brain see, in a very concrete way, exactly what needs to happen in your life. They provide the structure to prioritize those things.

And when my brain stops worrying about ALL THE THINGS, it is able to think creatively about my characters, settings, and plot. My lists help to shut off all the noise so that my brain can tune into writing books.

So, while lists are hardly the most creative writing I do in a day, they are often the most powerful tool that helps me get to my writing.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...