Brain Burps About Books Podcast #173
Thank you to the MFA program at Hamline for sponsoring the podcast. Hamline is the only university in the U.S. with three fine arts programs in creative writing: BFA, MFA (writing for adults), and MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. The deadline for application to July residency is May 15. Click here to check it out!
In this week’s episode you’ll hear
- Julie Falatko take over the podcast and interviews me for the debut of Dancing With the Devil
- a reminder to grab your copy of How To Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks & Secrets to Create a Bestseller at the early adopter price of $9.99 before it goes up to $14.99.
Where to come see me
- April 19th – Children’s Literary Salons, hosted by the esteemed New York Public Librarian, toast of the town, and Fuse #8 creator Betsy Bird. Get more information here.
- April 24th – American Society of Journalists and Authors – Find out more here.
- May 2-4 – Eastern PA SCBWI Chapter Spring writer’s retreat at the Highlights Foundation with Patti Gauch, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Matt Phelan, Suzie Townsend and Viana Siniscalchi.
- May 14th. 6-8pm The panel is co-presensted by Barrington Books and the Barrington Public Library. With these writers, too: Bianca Turetsky, Annie Cardi, Katie Cotungo, Tara Sullivan
In the interview you’ll hear Julie’s questions for me about writing my new YA book, Dancing with the Devil, like…
- This story is such a departure from the other fiction you’ve written. Can you talk about the seed, what got this idea rolling for you?
- Do you feel like, as a kidlit author with kids, you write to their level as they grow?
- This book was so scary. Were you scared while you were writing it?
- You do use a lot of imagery, but your writing is deceptively straightforward. What was that like in the writing process for you? Did you end up ramping up the tension in revisions at all, or is that something that was there from the beginning?
- The process of writing this particular book was a long one. I think writers are often unsure when and why to stick with a story and when they should move on. I’m glad for our sakes that you believed in this story. Can you talk a bit about that for us? What was the timeline?
- You’re the queen of marketing, and of video. Tell us what you have planned for promoting Dancing with the Devil, so we can learn from you!
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Taurean WatkinsApril 13, 2014 - 7:13 pm ·
Another great episode, as always I learned a lot.
That said, Katie, You HAVE been interviewed on your own podcast before, I’m thinking of an early episode (Pre-2012) two kids interviewed you, I forget what number it was, anyway Julie F. did a great job interviewing you.
The audio wasn’t that distracting, at least Julie F. was a lot less stiff than I was during our Google Hangout, but I’m new at this and I’ll get better when Julie comes to T.A.A. when her picture book comes out, 2+ years of practice will pay off by then (After your exclusive, of course)
I did want to comment a couple things. I can understand why you felt your YA didn’t fit with how your readers have come to know you, and while Julie F. makes a fair point that it’s all you, from a branding perspective it can be tricky, and the right solution for me or you will be different for anyone else.
Even JKR faced this problem in the first books she’s done since wrapping up HP, so different writers at different stages in their careers will face different things regarding the same issue. That helps me stay sane myself!
You’ve even said on the podcast at times that you were considering publishing “Dancing with The Devil” under a pseudonym in part because of that possible branding issue. Since you have most
I mostly write middle grade fiction, so I’d have similar branding issue if I later start writing YA or picture books (unlike most writers I know who write kidlit, I didn’t start with YA or picture books, but middle grade novels, before I even knew what middle grade was, I just knew it wasn’t a teen story or a picture books)
An author friend of mine, Kelly Hashway, went through a similar thing herself. Her first published books were picture books, but she also writes paranormal YA, and recently started releasing New Adult books under the pen name “Ashelyn Drake” and also has her first middle grade novel coming out soon. Here’s how she dealt with her branding/rebranding journey-
As writers we often talk about being as versatile as possible, but we don’t talk enough about how to juggle it, and better discern if we need to brand ourselves differently for one type of book we write over another. Maybe you could do a future podcast on that topic, how author branding evolves, and have a roundtable discussion with authors at varying stages. If you do, I highly recommend you contact Kelly, she’s one of the most (enviably) versatile writers I know, and I know from reading some of her early work in progress how through she is, and she was a great help and support for my debut novel, GABRIEL, before it sold. Anyway, thanks for another episode.
Taurean J. Watkins (Taury)