Will Write for Cookies – Children’s Author and Advocate Susanne Gervay

DSCN7064

WILL WRITE FOR COOKIES

INSIGHT – INFORMATION – INSPIRATION

TODAY’S GUEST

SUSANNE GERVAY

 Susanne1

I first met Susanne Gervay in the lobby of the Hotel Grand Pacific in Singapore. I attended several of her presentations at the 2013 AFCC/SCBWI conference and sat next to her for many of the functions.

Susanne is kind and generous and funny and smart…I was thrilled when she agreed to step into the spotlight today. I know you will find her answers enlightening. I’m going to be printing out her writing tips to keep posted on my wall – I need to remember them – especially #4. And she is sharing a really special recipe that I am sure you will want to try!

Susanne…I know you are extremely busy with your own writing, your speaking engagements all over the world, your hotel in Sydney, your family and the many children’s causes you advocate for. It was kind of you to agree to be interviewed and I know everyone is anxious to hear from you.

Who were your favorite authors/illustrators when you were a child?

Johanna Spyri – Heidi.

 

Elizabeth George Speare – The Witch of Blackbird Pond

 

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables .

 

Eleanor H. Porter – Pollyanna

 

May Gibbs illustrator of the gumnut babies

 

Beatrix Potter illustrator of Peter Rabbit

 

 

What do you know now that you wish you had known when you first started writing for children?

 

I wish I knew I should have worked on my manuscripts, edited them, let them sit for a while, until I looked at them again, before I sent them to publishers.  It would have reduced the heart aches of rejection.

scbwi

I also wish Continue reading

Are You Taking Santa’s Advice? Time Management Tip #1

Jeremy with santa

It’s the end of the year. So much to do and so little time to do it.

In the oft-heard jingle, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, Santa is MAKING A LIST and CHECKING IT TWICE.

One of the most important time-management tools is a list. Every day. Of what you need to accomplish.

Without the list, you will probably waste a lot of TIME, trying to remember what needs to be done.

Without the list, you will surely get distracted by other tasks.

There are several types of lists you can use:

  1. Daily to-do
  2. Long-term projects
  3. Yearly or life-time goals

On my daily to-do list, I put an asterisk next to the items that are MOST IMPORTANT and I try to do these first. I also have a small section of the daily to-do list that itemizes what I need at the store…this part of the list can carry over to the next day. I try to go shopping only once or twice a week. That saves time and money!

jeremy in front of tree

What’s on my to-do list today?

  • Finish reading the entries to Susanna Leonard’s Holiday Writing Contest (over 100 submissions (you can read my entry here) – don’t forget to come back on Monday for the link to VOTE for the winner!crashing sleigh
  • Read Marcie Atkins post, We’re All In This Together (WAITT) – I’ve been participating in her blog feature this year and today’s post is a wrap-up of our 2013 accomplishments.
  • Send out Christmas cards and mail out a couple of copies of Show Me How…ON SALE for $24.99 on AMAZON.
  • Work on revising the manuscript I just got back from author and life coach Alayne Christian. I won a professional in-depth critique from her because of my participation in Sub Six and I know that with the suggestions she has made, this will be a powerful story to resubmit to a publishing house that was interested in it. I also gave it to both of my critique groups and will incorporate their feedback as well.
  • Straighten up the house – we had company yesterday – our son from Chicago had to be in Boston for business and come to spend the day – he got to play with his nephew, 5-year old Jeremy.Jeremy and Uncle Peter -bedtime story

What’s on your list today?

Monday Writing Magic – 3rd Annual Holiday Writing Contest and ReviMo Info

Entering contests is a great exercise in creative writing. It hones your writing skills, brings you into fellowship with other writers and helps you gain courage to put your work out there. For the past three years, I’ve been participating in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Writing Contests – today begins;

The 3rd Annual Holiday Contest!!!
 crashing sleigh


The Contest:  Write a children’s story about a Holiday Mishap, mix-up, miscommunication, mistake, or potential disaster (a la Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer :)).  Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words.

For more information about rules, judging, voting and prizes, please go here.
I thought about what I should write. My trash can is filled with discarded ideas. I hope you will enjoy the story I decided to go with.
SANTA’S NEWEST ELF (157 WORDS)

A letter came for me today.

 Dear Jack O’Lantern, don’t delay.

 Please come to Santa right away

And help make balls and bikes and clay.

A strong wind blows – I rock, I roll.

I barely miss a huge mole hole.

No hole will stop me from my goal

Of elfing at the cold North Pole.

 I cross the street – the light is red.

A tire almost hits my head.

I fear the car will squash me dead.

It pushes me along instead.

And in a muffin shop nearby,

The baker gives a battle cry.

She wants to put me in a pie.

I quickly tumble past – “Bye-bye!”

I see the lights of Santa’s shop.

I slip and slide and belly flop.

I’m turning like a spinning top.

What if I never ever stop?

I hear a jolly Ho-Ho-Ho.

It’s Santa standing in the snow.

He says, ‘The workshop’s down below.”

Elf Jack O’Lantern, come, let’s go!

I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas story – I’ll be linking up on Susanna’s website and you can go and read ALL of the amazing entries here. For the Halloweensie Contest, there were 79 stories!

A couple of important items to mention:

1. The Authors for the Philippines auction is over – they raised over 55,000 British pounds (not sure how many US dollars that is…but it is a lot!). I’ve just packed up a copy of my book that I donated – it is going to a mother of two in Staffordshire, England.

2. Please don’t forget the Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop Holiday Extravaganza that is still happening here and on 48 other blogs around the blogsphere. There are so many books and gift cards being given away.

KLGH-Holiday-Button

3. I guest posted on the PreK and K Sharing Blog – one of the most incredible blog resources I have ever seen…please go and check them out.

4. Pull out those old manuscripts and dust them off – Meg Miller is hosting a challenge for the New Year – REVIMO will encourage you to REVISE – REVISE – REVISE. There will be prizes, inspiration and information.

5. And, one more reminder about the limited time only Holiday Sale of my book on Amazon – only $10!

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

Clown of God – A Kid Lit Giveaway of a Perfect Picture Book

Hurray…I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contribute, please go here.

The temperature here in New Hampshire has turned colder…so I’m stoking up the fire for you…pull up a chair and get cozy because I have A SURPRISE FOR YOU!

DSCN7177

I’m participating in the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza, sponsored by Youth Literature Reviews: and

Mother Daughter Book Reviews

There are dozens of book-loving bloggers who are offering giveaways of books, gift cards and other neat prizes.

KLGH-Holiday-Button

Please viiit them for a chance to WIN! The Giveaway runs from Monday, December 6 through December 13.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to view this Linky Tools list…so you can visit some of the blogs.

I’m giving away Continue reading

Monday Writing Magic – PiBoIdMo Success!

I’m happy to say I completed Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).

I now have more than 30 ideas for new picture books – some good, some bad and some downright ugly!

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700The challenge: write 30 picture book ideas in 30 days

The inspiration: read 30+ posts by authors, illustrators and others who are successful in the field of kid lit.

Some days it was hard to make the time to read the post and comment…but I didn’t miss a day.

My family thought it was hysterical every time I jumped up from the dinner table and ran willy-nilly to grab my PiBoIdMo notebook and jot down a phrase or catchy book title.

True story: We moved to New Hampshire at the end of September. I’ve been reading AND telling my 5-year old grandson LOTS of stories. This morning, Jeremy could not find Continue reading