Author Olivia Boler

writing is fun
November 2nd, 2014

Sugar Candy Skulls

OK, I fell off the blogging train (think a slow-moving chuck wagon). I was waiting…waiting for something interesting to happen. Here’s what actually did:

I’ve been in touch with a children’s literary agent, with whom I agreed to work exclusively on my chapter book series. This is huge—I don’t think I can do justice to how huge. I’ve worked so hard for this bit of validation: a respected agent, a professional in the field seeing potential in my work. It’s like my own mini-fireworks show—for about one minute.

Then it’s back to work. On to the next goal. The agent gave me these amazingly helpful writing exercises to do. They seriously opened my eyes to some important aspects about my main characters I hadn’t thought of before. Breakthrough Time led to…

A new project! Yes, I started drafting a second book in the series. Excitement! I’m about halfway done.

I joined SCBWI, and have been attending monthly goal-setting teas. It’s not a crit group. Instead, we each set personal goals for our individual projects and meet up to report back to the other members about our progress. The idea is to be accountable to others and not just yourself, so you won’t fall behind (like I did with this blog, ahem).

In January, two of my pieces will be published in the anthology Sisters Born, Sisters Found (ed. Laura McHale Holland, Wordforest), one poem and one personal essay. I’ll send more information after it launches, but you can preorder the book now by emailinginfo@wordforest.com. And thanks to all who contributed to the Pubslush event for the book.

Sisters Born, Sister Found Cover

 

That’s about it for now. I won’t take part in Nanowrimo this year since a children’s book is about 8,500 words. Unless I draft five other books in the series. Hey, it could happen, right?

Have a great Dia de los Muertos, folks.

 

October 26th, 2012

Been There Done That: The Agent Search Revisited

I’m starting the quest for an agent again. Why would I do this to myself? Why would I endure this agony? This time, I’m looking for representation for a children’s chapter book I drafted over the summer. I won’t say too much about it (no jinxies, please), except that I think it has a shot, yet I can’t really say why. And that’s why—it’s been said, but I’ll say it again!—authors should not be relied upon to promote their own work!

Someone I know and respect in the biz read my query letter and said I need to point out what makes my book special. What makes it different from all the other children’s chapter books out there? At the same time, how is it similar? Why would kids want to read it, and why would a publisher want to buy it? What’s commercial about it?

This is the stuff that drives me crazy and makes me want to call it quits. I went for a walk/errand-run this afternoon, which is often how I work things out that are bugging me. But my brain is tired. I imagine what it would look like if I got an MRI. There would be this dark, dead zone where creativity and problem solving happen. I’m pretty sure of it.

I should try to end this post on a positive note, so I’ll put this out there: Maybe all I need is a nap.

Go, Giants!

July 1st, 2012

Upcoming Bewitching Book Tour

Crazy times, folks, but guess what? I’ve actually been writing. Remember all that gushing I did over the Book Passage Children’s Writers & Illustrators Conference? Well, it actually paid off, creatively.

On the third day of the conference, as I was driving across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin, the idea for a children’s book came to me. I won’t write too much about it, since I’m not quite finished with the first draft, but I’ll say this: It’s a chapter book for a young middle reader, and I actually have an ending.

*Fireworks!!!*

You might ask, what’s the big deal? Ho ho ho! Writing endings, at least among the writers I know, is notoriously difficult. Sure, a great idea and an even better beginning—that’s a cake walk! The middle part, the journey, the getting there—totally fun. Full steam ahead. But the ending…How to tie up the bow on these literary gifts? Ah…Well, why would we want our journey to end? I could wax philosophical about novel endings and how they perhaps are symbols for dying and death (right…), but never mind all that. Let’s just say, writing endings sucks. But lo and behold, this current project already has an ending (in my head!), and I’m already making a list of possible adventures for my protagonists (a series! a series!).

So, that’s why I haven’t been so good with the blog. Apologies. BUT…

TheFlowerBowlSpell

 

My second book blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours begins July 9 and runs through July 23, for two weeks. I’m ramping up for it (giveaways! interviews! guest blogs! reviews!) so there will be many Tweets and Posts on FB soon. Get ready to be inundated with promo mojo.

Oh, and a Happy 4th of July. Eat a hot dog or two—it’s bad for you in a good way.