BEHIND THE BOOK: How to write for a children’s or teen book series (Part I)

Are you curious about how authors get in on multi-author series books like S.A.S.S. Students Across the Seas?

Do you want to understand what skill set and experience is required to write for any established series?

Would you like to know how to approach a publisher to get your idea sold?

Then this is the article series for you. In the coming days, I’ll talk about how to get started writing for a series based upon my own experience with S.A.S.

Don’t ask, and I shall receive? And a new article series for my launch …

My book S.A.S.S. The Great Call of China is coming out in 10 days … And recently, a fellow writer friend of mine decided to celebrate! Her name is Tara Lazar and she posted this on The Blue Boards.

I cried.

That post has led to many great things, including a wonderful free critique opportunity offered by Roxanne Werner.

Also to celebrate, I’m giving back again with a new article series called BEHIND THE BOOK: WRITING FOR AN ESTABLISHED SERIES …

anyone hungry? photo of the feast

Hey everyone (pardon for the interruption again. I’m learning how to use FLICKR. Neat!),

Anyhow, here’s a photo of the “I need an emergency dessert” feast I held a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and recipes. Just wait until the next party. Oh-la-la!

(Click it to make it big). Anyone hungry?

Now I must get back to work. For reals.


Enh. Paper tastes better.

scbwi-la: part deux and a word about firedrill

Ah yes! I just finished another round of free-tiques. People, you're making my brain hurt with all this fabuloso writing. AGH.

Which brings me to talk about SCBWI-LA again. Since I can't blog about tiquees without exposing their identities, I will do a shout-out for SCBWI-LA'ers I haven't blogged about yet.

(in no particular order)

  • Michelle Lin – You are so freaking smart I could see the neurons firing in your brain as you spoke.

top ten from scbwi-la and a chance to win a full-tique


  • Saw my first taping EVER. (Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, featuring guest Carlos Mencia). And apparently I was cool enough to sit in the front row. Woohoo!  AND there's more. I won a whole six-disc DVD set of the hit show 24!  
  • Met up with Tammi Sauer and Flora Doone for dinner where I missed the entire meal (I was late–too busy whooping it up with famous people and winning free DVDs, yanno).
  • I dared to write a talking animal book

    My first novel was about a talking dog. GASP. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? The classic newbie mistake?

    Read on.

    When I showed up to my first conference, I was petrified. I had brought the first five pages with me for open mike and peer critique. I had already heard a zillion times I should avoid writing anything with talking animals in it. But I, like many other newbies, didn’t get what the big deal was.

    My First Query Letter

    When I attended my first SCBWI conference, I heard many editors speak. Including the guy who…um…edited Harry Potter. He described how he preferred to be contacted: query letter only – if he liked the pitch, he’d request the manuscript.

    I returned home and wrote my first query letter. It was the first piece of mail I had sent to anyone in the publishing industry. I thought my letter was decent (I had listened to what the editor was asking for.

    How I Found My Critique Partners

    Fate was on my side the day I attended my first SCBWI conference. I decided I’d go to an open critique session and bear my writing soul to complete strangers. My only hope was not to make a fool of myself. When I got to the room, a lady at the door directed me to the middle-grade fiction table. I sat and eyed the spunky looking girl across from me, her own manuscript in hand. She looked comfortable, even relaxed. I wondered if I looked that way, too, but I doubted it.

    The Grinch lives at the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE

    So today I had the courage to go to the USPS. I made sure my packages were sealed, addressed and so on, before I got there. But did that matter? NOOOOOOOOOO! You want to know why? Because the BLEEP! at the counter was kicking everyone out of line to exert her power over us Underlings who, God Forbid, want to MAIL something.

    “YOU!” She pointed. “You can’t use tape on a priority mail package.”
    “YOU!” She pointed at someone else.