Two Weekends of Awesome! (And Writing Advice from Maureen Johnson & Stephanie Perkins)

Since I don’t yet have a smart phone, which makes it really hard to live tweet, I need to play a lot of catch up with the cool things that have happened lately! And since I myself have a hard time reading long blogs, I’m going to try to make it short.

If you don’t care and want to skip to the writing advice, there ya go.

This past weekend I worked MomoCon! A yearly tradition now, but this year I got to do social media for the entire con, posting to Facebook and more often Twitter about all the cool events. This allowed me to go where regular con-goers and staff aren’t often allowed to go. This privilege paid off the most when I got a chance to hang out a little with Steve Blum, voice of Spike from “Cowboy Bebop” and TOM from “Toonami,” among many others!

Me & Steve Blum

Squee!

Me & Little Kuriboh

Little Kuriboh was there again! His panels are always great.

Me & That Sci-Fi Guy!

Also ran into That Sci-Fi Guy!

 Also had a chance to meet Sifu Kisu and Sifu Manuel Rodriguez, the two martial arts masters who were fighting consultants for the amazing series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “The Legend of Korra.” They’re such cool guys, but I somehow didn’t get pictures of myself with them 🙁 But I just finished the first season of “Avatar” today, so maybe that makes up for it? Maybe?

The con was great, and I had lots of fun doing many things, including learning about Japanese bunraku puppets…

 …and how to make my own bento box lunch!

 MomoCon is always fun, though I don’t think I got enough sleep in the ensuing week, because one weekend later I’m trying as hard as I can NOT to get a cold @.@

But two weekends ago I saw Maureen Johnson and Stephanie Perkins at Little Shop of Stories, which is one of my favorite kid’s bookstores ever (I have a vlog about it, which is coming, I promise)!

She’s adorable, funny AND talented!

I follow Maureen on twitter (she’s hysterical) and I’ve been meaning to read some of her stuff, as soon as I get out to a library. Never heard of Stephanie’s work, but I’m intrigued! It sounds like she and I might have similar ideas about character-driven stuff where you want to be nice to them sometimes. Someone else has actually written a REALLY thorough and fun synopsis of their visit here, which helped refresh my memory, so addled with my busy life! Besides, I said this was going to be short…ish.

Both lovely ladies had great banter and told us hotel horror stories and other funny anecdotes. I asked them for tips on getting a book published, and I shall leave you with what they said, fellow writers. Some of it was familiar, but good to hear all the same.

Here is their advice:

  1. Rejection is part of the process.
  2. Getting an agent is hard, but they really help the process, and once you get one, they get in touch with publishers.
  3. You can’t be discouraged because there is no failure in writing, you can’t fail. Every author thinks they are failures.
  4. Rejections don’t mean your writing is bad, necessarily.
  5. Revise your book a billion times, and read agent blogs to get an idea of what they don’t like in a submitter.
  6. Keep one step ahead of your getting-published process, and this will help you stay on top of what you’re doing.
  7. Read acknowledgements in books you like, and you’ll find lots of credits to agents, which is a good place to start when hunting for one.
  8. Read agent websites, and when you’re sending in submissions ADHERE TO THEIR RULES! Or they won’t even look at it.
  9. Also note, if they don’t like the first page, they won’t read any farther. They don’t have time.
  10. For ideas of some cliches that really turn editors off, Google “what not to do on a first page,” i.e., your character waking up from a dream.

When I got Maureen’s autograph, she thanked me for waiting in line, and I thanked her for the writing advice, to which she wished me good luck! ^_^ I also said I loved to read her on Twitter, and this made her happy, because “Twitter is the best thing.” Her words, but I do love me some Twitter!

Well, now you’re all caught up on the highlights!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, everybody!

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Christina {PuellaDocta}

Christina is an artist and graphic designer, fantasy writer, and a huge geek. She chronicles her creative process--as well as her love for storytelling, the arts, tea, and more--in blogs, portfolio posts, vlogs and on social media. Read more about her here >>

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