Monday, May 21, 2012

I ♥ the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

Okie-diddly-dokie, one more week entranced by George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords, book three of the Song of Ice and Fire, means one less week reading for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday. But I know you'll all forgive me. Instead, I'd like to fill you in on the pre-conference session I attended last Thursday with the head honchos from the SCBWI: Lin Oliver (Executive Director), Stephen Mooser (President), and Chelsea Mooser (Director of Outreach).

Chelsea Mooser is back row second from left
Front row, first from right is Stephen Mooser; second is Lin Oliver

They were in Portland because there's a changing of the leadership guard. Our long-time Regional Advisor is stepping down after many years of service.

As always happens at a change of leadership, there is new blood and new ideas. There will be four people coordinating our chapter's activities. The folks from head office shared some new ideas, and were open to hearing from the membership.

First, the SCBWI is always ready to change with the times. Lin Oliver spoke about a new focus being on how best to promote SCBWI members. Getting one's book read is perhaps an author's hardest task in this day and age (beyond the writing of the book, of course). The public has so many other diversions, breaking into the public consciousness is difficult. (Trust me, the readers of this blog and all others versed in childrens' books have heard of all manner of books, but when one mentions to a member of the "general public" what one considers to be a well-known title--DIVERGENT, let's say--you'll see a lot of headscratching. The books that everyone knows, the Harry Potters and Hunger Games and Twilight and, sorry to say, 50 Shades of Grey, are few and far between.)

The SCBWI plans on using its website to feature books and bloggers and to even have a bookstore, with links to IndieBound, Barnes and Noble, and that old Trex, Amazon. (But please go to IndieBound and keep the indie bookstores alive!)

They plan to do more for their "PAL" members (which means published and listed), but are also talking about how to support well-written self-published works.

I was impressed with Lin Oliver, who was the moutpiece for the leadership. She's smart and funny and thoughtful. One thing that shone through was how much the SCBWI leadership wants all of its members to succeed. If you are a children's writer and illustrator, belonging to the SCBWI is a must!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Amazon Winner

I confess I haven't been keeping up with my middle grade reading, as I have been captivated first by A Game of Thrones, then by The Book Thief, and finally by a selection of chapter books (my favorite so far is Dan Greenburg's Great-Grandpa's in the Litter Box). But I'll be back...

Isn't Doug Savage great?!

While we wait for the singing chickens to finish, let me reveal the winner of The Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure Novels: Amazon, the book for reluctant readers I reviewed a couple of weeks ago:

B4L, I'll be e-mailing you soon!

Looking forward to reading everyone's MMGMs this week. Ciao!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Behind the Scene at Middle Grade Mafioso

If you've ever wanted to know what goes on in Middle Grade Mafioso HQ, watch this video. (The person who most closely resembles me is the "editor." I've laughed like that many, many times. I also have a very natty selection of neckties.)

Disclaimer: I first saw this video on Galleycat. It's a book trailer for The Family Corleone, by Ed Falco. The book is a prequel to The Godfather, based on a screenplay by Mario Puzo. It's published by Grand Central Publishing, and its release date is May 8th.

Check it out: “New York, 1933. The city and the nation are in the depths of the Great Depression. The crime families of New York have prospered in this time, but with the coming end of Prohibition, a battle is looming that will determine which organizations will rise and which will face a violent end. For Vito Corleone, nothing is more important that his family’s future.”