Today, Barbara Turner drops by to share her seven answers to seven questions.
1. Tell us a little about your publication credits. If you have none, tell us about the genres you prefer to write, and your current projects.
My latest book is a middle grade NF biography called Women of Granite: 25 New Hampshire Women You Should Know, written with the 6 other members of my face to face critique group. The book contains 25 biographies of NH women from the 1600’s to the present. There’s a short bio, a timeline, interesting tidbits about each woman, a read more section and a glossary. We did 3 or 4 bios each.
The book has received very good reviews and was just chosen by the NH Center for the Book to represent the state of New Hampshire at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. (Just got back. It was this past weekend.)
We are also just finishing up Women of the Bay State (Massachusetts) and there are several more in the works (Texas, California and New York) The publisher hopes to do all 50 states.
I’ve also published two other books, A Little Bit of Rob, (Albert Whitman Company) and Out and About at the Orchestra (Picture Window Books) as well as short stories and poetry.
2. How long have you been writing for children?
I’ve been writing all my life, but 1991 was when I actually started to get serious and submit.
3. How much time do you spend each week writing and/or revising? And how much time on other writing-related tasks such as promotion, researching markets and so on?
I probably write about four hours each day, maybe 6-8 on the weekends. I don’t spend a lot of time researching markets. My biggest failing as a writer is that I don’t submit as often as I should. I generally don’t do much promotion either, but for my latest book, I’ve been doing a lot, only because the other women involved are into marketing. We’ve spoken at libraries, done tv, radio and newspaper interviews, attended the National Book Festival, spoke at the New England SCBWI conference, and done book signings. I never would have done any of these things if I had written the book myself, so being involved in the group has helped me considerably. (thewritesisters.com.)
4. How much time do you spend reading children’s books? And what are you reading right now?
I probably read one new book a month, although I read at least one book a week. I read books I’ve already read just to analyze them. I’ve just finished Madapple by Christina Meldrum, a YA kinda paranormal/mystery. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.
5. What advice would you give other would-be children’s writers, or share with other professional children’s writers?
Find a good critique group. It’ll take years off your journey. And if you can find a group where you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, that’s even better, because if everyone in the group knows more than you, you’re going to get tons of good help/info. And read as much as you write. You’ll learn writing techniques without even realizing you’re learning them.
6. What is your favourite online resource for children’s writers? Why?
I don’t really have one. I’ve reached the point where I spend more time writing than reading about writing. I do use the web though on the rare occasions when I do submit to check out publishers’ web sites and guidelines.
7. Do you have a website or blog? What else do you do to promote your published works and/or your writing skills?
I have a website and blog with the other members of my group. Again, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have either. Which is another good reason to have a good critique group. Marketing is a big weak spot for me, but my work is getting out there because it’s not a weak spot for the other members of my group. The URLs are:
thewritesisters.com and thewritesisters.blogspot.com
Thanks so much for dropping in, Barbara.
If YOU would like to answer these seven questions and be featured on this blog, drop me a line.