Archive | April, 2014

Are Your Characters Fighting Obstacles or Each Other?

I love conflict in stories, but not all conflict is created equal. There’s one type that really annoys me as a reader or a viewer. Infighting. Maybe I’m just a team player at heart, but I prefer a group of characters who work together to overcome problems. That “us against the world” attitude that makes me want to cheer for them and I can’t wait to see how they deal with the next obstacle thrown […]


Digital Marketing – An interview with Anna Jarzab

It probably won’t surprise you all to hear that, over the past seven or so years, digital marketing has become a critical component to how publishers approach putting their books in the hands of readers–especially YA fiction. I’m very pleased that my good pal Anna Jarzab who, in addition to be a published author, is a Digital and Social Marketing Manager for Penguin Young Readers Group, has agreed to stop by today and give us […]


Diversity and Fantasy and the “Other”

It’s no secret that I love fantasy. It’s a genre of different worlds and different people, of things both familiar and wondrously strange. And also, magic. But it also tends to heavily feature white, male characters in a setting that often resembles Medieval England (Lord of the Rings, anyone?).  Despite that, fantasy still speaks to me. And perhaps I’m so drawn to fantasy  because it often allows for protagonists who are “other” – be it through […]


Reasons NOT to Sign with a Publisher

I hope this isn’t too bubble bursting, but let’s go ahead and burst some bubbles about what shouldn’t be your deciding factor when signing with a publisher. Those writing towards publication tend to get caught up in the fantasy of dream agents, dream editors, dream co-authors, dream cover designers, and yes, dream publishers. (I sure did!) There are already hundreds of posts written up about how you shouldn’t have a Dream Anyone because you won’t know […]


Pay It Forward Day

Today we are breaking our usual no Thursday post rule to mark a special event. Today is the 5th annual “Pay It Forward Day”, with the aim of inspiring 3 million acts of kindness around the world. The concept of Pay it Forward is simple. Instead of paying back a good deed to the original benefactor, you do a good deed for someone else. If everybody in the world followed this principle, imagine what could […]