In light of the events of this past Friday, we at Thinking to Inking want to express our sincerest condolences to those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy. As children's writers, whose goal and joy it is to see kids grow, imagine and explore through words, it's inconceivable to think that someone would want to take not just that experience but any experience away from ones so innocent. Not only did the families and community of Newton lose on Friday, we all lost.
I'd drafted this post prior to Friday and entitled it Triumph & Perseverance. The news is celebratory and focused on hard work and determination. I think that as writers, that's what we're about. We embrace the challenge of story and express ourselves through words. Wouldn't it be grand if everyone did the same?
If ever there was a writer whose manuscript flowed like a sweet song, it would be Kim Liggett-Peplowski. But I should correct myself by saying manuscript no more as Arianne Lewin at Putnam just announced she has acquired Kim's debut YA romantic thriller "Blood and Salt", in a two-book deal at auction. I had the pleasure of meeting Kim in October at Your Best Books. As a member of my critique group at the week long workshop (shout outs to fellow members Halli and Carol), we'd meet every afternoon with faculty (including her soon to be agent Josh Adams) and read pages from each others manuscripts. Both lyrical in words and beautiful in story, Kim's manuscript stood out even then.
So why is this so exciting? To me, it's not because Kim is a wonderful human being (she is) or that she got a two book deal (amazing), it's because I got the opportunity to witness if just for a few days, the Kim before the storm (of success). I got to see the effort that she put into everything that was her manuscript, the sacrifices she made, the anxieties and the uncertainty but most importantly the determination not to give up. That is what I think is inspiring to writers. The knowledge that it's not an overnight success but a cumulation of time, energy and love of the project.
So for all you hard working aspiring writers, here are a few good news stories for the month of December to help us triumph and persevere.
The New York Times creates separate middle grade and YA bestsellers lists - now you have more opportunities to be a part of this esteemed group.
Writer L.B. Schulman blogs about writing for the long haul - inspiration for those cold winter days when you just want to throw your manuscript in the fireplace.
Author Lee Child gives us the answer to the question "How Do You Create Suspense?" - which has a lot to do with patience and perseverance because as writers we have a penchant to want to give our readers a lot of information all at once. But by slowly unravelling the story, revealing small answers before big ones we create the suspense our readers thrive on.