Saturday, December 26, 2009

I'm moving my blog!

After years of faithful and problem-free blogging here at Blogger, I have decided to switch to Wordpress for my blogging needs. I have several reasons for the switch, the main one being that the amount of spam I have been receiving as comments to this blog has gotten out of control. I thought it was time to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new, better blog in 2010. My current blog will stay up, of course, but I will eventually be disabling comments so that I will not have to moderate the excessive amount of spam that I get every day.

I hope that everyone will join me at my new blog Update your bookmarks!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I dislike revising. I always did. I think I picked up the bad habit of not revising in college when I was still naive enough to believe that a poem was perfect the first time I put it on the page. I had this crazy notion that, since poems were my thoughts and emotions, they didn't need revised. This bad habit even lasted until grad school, where I often despised my poems because I was under so much pressure to write poems that were "publishable" and "accepted" instead of poems that were true to my style. As a result, if I didn't have to revise a poem for class, I didn't. I hid it away and didn't look at it again.

Now that I'm writing for children and teens and seriously pursuing publishing novels for the first time, revision has become part of my daily writing life. The hard truth is, you cannot get a novel published without hours of revisions. There are the pre-submission revisions, then the post-acceptance revisions, and even last minute before it goes to the publisher revisions! It seems to never end. For me, revising is still my least favorite part of the writing process. I will enjoy every moment of writing a novel in anywhere from one month to nine months, but revisions seem to drag out forever.

Right now, I'm revising Comfort Zone (which has a new title), the young adult novel that I finished in August. Just six more chapters to go, and my writing group will have read all of it! Even though I've been revising diligently, I still don't know if it's good enough to find a home for, and that scares me. I don't want to have gone through all of this revising for nothing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Funniest Reasons Customers Reject Books

This article from Publishers Weekly mostly concerns children's books, which makes it even more sad and funny. Workers in bookstores and librarians must really hear everything! The Funniest Reasons Customers Reject Books

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All About Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Today, it is my honor to be hosting Carolyn Howard-Johnson! Carolyn is such a prolific and talented writer that it will be a challenge to only host her on one day. 

Carolyn's writing history: 

As a college freshman she was the youngest person ever hired as a staff writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, where she wrote features for the society page and a column under the name of Debra Paige.

Later, she was an editorial assistant at Good Housekeeping Magazine. She also handled accounts for fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert who instituted the first Ten Best Dressed List, where she wrote releases for celebrity designers of the time including Pauline Trigere, Rudy Gernreich and Christian Dior. She was also a consultant for the Oak Park Press in the Chicago area.

Her nonfiction and humor have been seen in national magazines and her fiction and poetry appear regularly in anthologies and review journals. She has been a columnist for The Pasadena Star News and is now a columnist for Home D├ęcor Buyer, a trade magazine, and and others. She writes movie and theatre reviews for The Glendale News-Press.

She studied at the University of Utah, graduated from USC and has done postgraduate work in writing at UCLA. She also studied writing at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Herzen University in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Charles University in Prague. 

The author’s first novel, This Is The Place, and her book of creative nonfiction are award-winners. She also wrote a screenplay, The Killing Ground. Her book The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won't was named USA Book News' Best Professional Book of 2004 and won Book Publicists of southern California's Irwin award.

The second book in the HowToDoItFrugally series is The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success which also won a USA Book News Best Book nod. It is also the winner of Reader Views Literary Award and a finalist in the New Generation Indie Best Book Awards. Her marketing campaign for that book took top honors for marketing.
Howard-Johnson’s stories have appeared in anthologies like: Pass/Fail, edited by Rose A. O. Kleidon, PhD; Calliope’s Mousepad  in review journals like California State University at Stanislaus's Penumbra and the Mochila Review.

She was honored as Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award by California Legislature members, Carol Liu, Dario Frommer and Jack Scott. She is the recipient of her community's Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance. She was honored by her city's Character and Ethics committee for promoting tolerance with her writing and was named to Pasadena Weekly's list of 14 women of "San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen"

Whew! What a list of accomplishments! I'm exhausted just reading about them. 
Carolyne truly is someone who can teach writers a lot about their craft and marketing. 
To learn more about Carolyne Howard-Johnson:

or see her blog