February's Inspirational Quote

"One Hour at a Time"
~ Laurie Wallmark.

Dear Laurie,
You might not recall saying this and perhaps I won't remember the specifics but you are our inspiration for the rest of February and maybe even March.

You and I were on the phone and talking about how hard it is to write a novel and as usual I was whining and feeling sorry for my long-a$$ journey. And you told me about how you were working and how busy you were so you wrote your novel one hour at a time. Astounded I said, "You wrote your novel one hour at a time?" And you said, "Yup." And I thought, "Wow... ... ..."

Often times we think we need - or I think I need - huge chunks of time set aside so I can write. Do you do that too? What if we gave ourselves one hour of each day? If it turns into two, well then fine, but if not, at least you still had your One Hour at a Time. So that is the motto of the month, thanks to ours truly, Laurie Wallmark.

We love you, Laurie!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Alan Gratz on MG novels vs YA

So, a lot of us have wondered from time to time if our novels should target an MG or YA audience. We wonder, how can we really know? What are the differences? Where is the line drawn in the sand?

We hear a lot of conflicting info that makes us ponder, and question, and agonize over this... am I writing for a 9 - 12 year old or a 13 - 17 year old? And what really is the difference? What can I write about for a 13 year old, that I can't for a 12 year old? And what about this "new" age range, the 'tweens????

Sometimes the lines are very blurry and it's hard to truly know. If you attended the June conference for NJ SCBWI, then you might have heard the editors discuss this new age range, the 'tweens, which is really the grey area, bridging MG and YA, and more specifically, meant for the later end of the MG spectrum - kids who want to be a teen, but aren't ready 100% to let go of childhood.

Well, Beth Revis, over at Writing it Out, has recently sat down with YA author Alan Gratz to ask him these burning questions on behalf of novelists everywhere. She attended one of his workshops and then interviewed him on his career and the YA industry. Alan did a superb job answering all her questions (and one of mine too).

To follow her 4 part discussion of the workshop, the interview and the answer to the 'tween market, follow the below links...
Part 1; What's the Difference
Part 2; Challenges in YA vs MG
Part 3; Know Your Audience
Part 4; Sell Your Book
The Interview...
and literally, My question answered... I wonder what Alan would say about this "new" age range they are calling the 'tweens, the official grey zone bridging MG and YA?

Beth did a great job capturing the workshop and Alan helped define the line between these two (now three) age ranges. I hope you enjoy this info as much as I did! Thanks Beth!

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