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Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet Michele Robbins Acquisitions Editor at Familius

See that gorgeous woman on the right? She's my sister (and mother of 9! children). I'll let you guess who's older. I convinced her to be my first interview. So, let's get started.

If you could create your own ice cream flavor what would it be? 
I would mimic my favorite chocolate bar: Lindt dark chocolate with Black currant and almond slivers.

What's harder, mother of nine or Mater Familius?
Mother of nine. I can shut off the computer, but there is no shut down button on any of my children.

How do you, as the Acquisitions Editor work, with your writers? 
Once we have a writer contracted we get an outline and we start working through the chapters. There is a lot of collaboration and it is wonderful to learn new things all the time. We have authors around the world and across the country, so I love to use technology. Google chat is a great tool. I can work with an author in a far off city and make sure we have the concept just right; we share computer screens and and see each other's edits as we go. One author even sat on her bed in PJ's as we ironed out a few points. Technology really helps me as a working, stay at home Mom.

Can you tell us briefly about a project they're asking for submissions on called Lessons From My Parents
I wanted to combine the wisdom of parents into a book that could be used as a reference for ideas on how to parent as well as a feel good read for anyone. I know there are tons of research driven books on parenting out there (some published by Familius), but when children share things their parents taught them through word or example, that is real life evidence.
It has been so fun to read submissions from many states and, so far, 4 countries. Something magical happens when people take time to reflect on family, write about it, and share it with others. Family connections are stregthened and love grows. I am really excited to see this book come together and to share it with you. Here's the link to submit or to share with your friends.

If we have a brilliant nonfiction idea how do we submit to Familius and what is your response time?
You can send send it through snail mail to PO Box 204 Huntsville, Ut 84317 or submit via email to Please know we are looking at fiction too. Families who read fun books together are happy! We have two children's picture books coming out.
Our response time is about 1 week. It obviously takes more time to explore the idea and contract books that fit our mission.

Stranded on an island and could only bring one book, what would it be?
Such a hard one, perhaps it should be a long one, a really long one, something that has it all: humor, love, friendship, tragedy. Would my complete works of Shakespeare count? If not I'll go with The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society that pretty much has it all too.

Thank you, Michele! To learn more about Michele Robbins or Familius your can find their website at or follow her on twitter @materfamilius. They just published their first two books: Muddling Through: Perspectives on Parenting by national storyteller Bil Lepp and Glad to be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood by Tim Meyers

Questions about digital publishing companies? Leave them in the comments and I'll see if I can get Michele to answer them. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

WriteOnCon is here

Are you attending the awesome, two day, FREE WriteOnCon? I am.

Register here if you haven't already.

 This is my first year participating and I think my CP's are all breathing a sigh of relief that I'm bothering somebody else with all my new query versions and reworking my 1st page for the 4,364th time. I even entered Gennifer Albin's 1st 100 words crit. contest. I only have a 1 in 10 chance of being picked but still I'm all giddy with excitement.  My first 5 pages-they're way better (if I do say so myself) and I've read so many queries for books I WANT to read.

Tomorrow and Wednesday all the big stuff happens. Here's is rundown of where I'll be tomorrow. I'm trying to suck it up and deal with the times being EDT. But sorry guys, I'm not getting up at 3am for the Keynote Address.

(9am-Interview with agent Daniel Lazar -if I can wake up)

10 am (my 7): Live pitching event with agent Peter Knapp. I'm submitting my query for it. Random org is picking all the 30, so I'm not that hopeful.

12:30 pm Middle Grade Rules

1:00 pm Hooks and Killer First Lines with Lissa Price

2:00 pm Author/Agent Relationship  Denise Jaden and Michelle Humphrey

3:00 pm MARISSA MEYER!!!!

3:30 Voice with Jennifer Nielsen

9:00 pm Live Panel of Professionals-Mollie Glick, Cheryl Pientka, Emily Keyes, and Sarah Barley

After typing this up I realized I'm planning on attending everything MG and YA that isn't crazy early, so I won't do this write up for Wednesday. But here's the link to the full schedule.

Let me know if you're attending and I'll read your stuff.

WriteOnCon has been incredible and the "Events" haven't even started yet.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What Was Your Childhood Monster? Bloghop

During this month's IWSG I discovered Christine Rains and instantly wanted to be her best friend. I mean the subheading for her blog reads, My toddler has too much energy. So does my protagonist. I need more sleep.  I SO get that.
So I couldn't resist joining her bloghop this week in honor of her book Fearless coming out today.

My biggest childhood fear comes from a repeated dream. I'm kidnapped by this giant Big Bad Wolf. He throws me in a bag, dumps me in a boat on a lake, rows us across, makes a Robin sandwich (yup, that would be me between two enormous slices of white bread), and eats me. The moment his huge jaws lean in to take that first bite I always woke up.

A little too much of The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Gingerbread Boy at my house perhaps?

 I really hope it's not the way I go, as some giant wolf's meal. After watching City of Ember this week with all their giant moths and that giant star mole (eww) I really hope it's not a possibility. Animals aren't getting bigger, are they???

At least I've never seen an oven large enough to make bread my size, though I did see boats made out of bread in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs...

Did you join the bloghop? What's your biggest childhood fear? Does it still haunt you?

And thanks to David P. King for his links to safe public domain pictures. I found this one on wikimedia (click picture for link)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reaching for the GOLD-IWSG

It's the First Wednesday again. Hello IWSG:)

As Olympians reach for the Gold
Hit their targets,
Nail their routines,
And in general look really hot doing it.
I'm getting ready to enter the world of writer competitions and querying. That's right, soon Lovesense will be out there showing the (agenting) world what I can do.

I'm still afraid of the lions (see this post here), but I'm inspired by all these great people and their wonderful news:
Newly Agented Cassie Mae
Liesl Shurtliff's Cover Reveal Guys, there's something about the first book you read pre-published and seeing it (albeit through the internet) as a real live book that makes me feel like I could do anything.
Super Wonderful Newly Agented Ilima Todd. My CP is so inspiring guys. Great cheerleader, great feedback, and her writing, sucks me in every time. I'm so, so happy for her.
Although that means I won't be joining her in the world of online competitions and querying blahs. She's already gotten her medal. But that's okay. She remembers what it was like to be there in the trenches.

While I'm expecting plenty of form rejections and no responses at all, the next step is here. I can't help but dream and work towards one day having my gold medal dream realized.

All those contests (MSFV and Cupid's Literary Connection) that remind us "you shouldn't be entering this contest, much less reading these guidelines unless you have a finished manuscript ready to query" well guys, I do.