Archive | Beginner Resources

A Few Gift Ideas for Your Readers

You forgot, didn’t you? In the adrenaline rush that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you actually forgot to get a very special person a present. Sure, you found your brother in-law that vacuum he wanted at a discount. Mom’s getting that gorgeous plant holder she keeps hinting at. You even remembered the nephews and their strange new obsession with dinosaurs. But you forgot to get a present for us—your readers. (Live footage of your […]

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Adding to Your Writer’s Arsenal: School Visits

I am a firm believer in a diverse portfolio. One way to thrive in the writing industry is to be more than just a writer. As my debut novel made its way onto bookshelves, I asked myself two important questions. What other tools did I have in my arsenal? And how could I use that unique skill set to carve out a space for myself in a competitive industry? One expertise came to mind. I […]

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Plot, PoV and Agenda. Or: Is This Your Story to Tell?

I think this week was the tipping point. At least for me. Last week, fellow PubCrawl contributor Patrice Caldwell and I were at the amazing Highlights Foundation, teaching (with agent Linda Camacho and author Linda Sue Park) a workshop on representing responsibly. It’s something I talk about frequently — as member of We Need Diverse Books and the co-founder of CAKE Literary, but especially as a brown writer with brown children who still struggle to […]

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My Cut Material File and How it Frees Me

Sometimes when an actor is being interviewed, they will say they were in a particular film, “but my scene was left on the cutting room floor,” meaning they were cut out of the movie. This used to strike me as pretty depressing. Just the thought of all that work—work by the actors, the director, and the cinematographer— all tossed out because the film editor thought it wasn’t needed. That was before I learned the hard […]

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Preparing for public speaking

When I was a debut author, I was scared of a lot of things. (Okay, I’m still scared of a lot of things.) But one thought that really rattled me was public speaking, which, for a lot of us, is part of the job of being an author. Answering questions on panels. Saying anything with any level of authority. At least with written interviews and blog posts, I had the opportunity to revise my answers […]

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