Janet Ruth Young – The Opposite of Music
Why she chose to write a book and how…some advice to potential writers
- Woke up one day in May 2001 and she did not want to go to work…
- She felt that she had not lived up to her original dreams of becoming an author
- She had a story running through her head because her family had a history of mental illness.
- She had a little voice telling her to revisit this idea.
- She made a plan to quit her job and work on her novel
- She created a small manuscript and submitted for evaluation –
- She won the Penn NE Award for new writers
- She worked in “micro-chapters” and assigned herself one of these a day
- The titles began as "The Scientists" and ended up as "The Opposite of Music"
- She submitted her book as an independent writer but used many books to help her along the way.
- She polled the publishers to get a feel for her ideas
- While the publisher was interested, she need to work on revisions
- The tone had to be tweaked and the voice must be true to her characters
- She had tried to not preach but the publisher believed that half the book was missing
- She made revisions…and then time went by…and she was eventually rejected
- She made a new plan…to submit to more editors and more publishing companies
- But this time she placed time constraints on the publishers
- Finally she received an offer and negotiated for the best possible contract
- But more revisions were asked for…more than she was willing to concede
- Ultimately, she learned that she had to compromise…but her book was published!
Susan Lubner – Noises at Night & Ruthie Bon Bair: Do not go to bed with wringing wet hair
- She writes children’s picture books
- She loves to write in rhyme
- She published 2 short stories in college
- But got a “real job” after school
- She took a course or workshop on writing children’s stories
- Sold her first short story to a magazine
- She showed the manuscript of her first book, only 350 words on 2 pieces of paper
- Then she held up the large stack of papers involved in the revisions
- Words are kept to a minimum in writing picture books
- The only descriptions are one necessary for the storyline
- Her first book was sent out 30-40 times
- Ideas- everyday occurrences, watching nature, her reading or watching of the news, visuals, personal experiences with embellishment,
- Even though these stories are short…sometimes they take years to write…
- Suggest being part of a writers group to help develop their stories
Then the group was treated to a reading of Ms. Lubner’s book Ruthie Bon Bair… complete with her Ruthie “head of hair” on her head. It was enjoyable to hear her wonderful rhymes out loud.