Monday, August 11, 2014

Pros Part 5, Crystal Collier

If you're a regular, you know that I'm featuring  some writer friends who have some excellent books out this year. I asked them to send me their latest book, their tagline and a short piece of advice they wanted to pass on to writers, especially those still seeking publication. Last week MEDEIA SHARIF visited with her book, SNIP SNIP REVENGE. Today I have girl who knows her cheese, Crystal Collier.  




Tagline: MOONLESS: Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.
               SOULLESS: Everything has its cost.

Best Advice: Writer, know thy audience. Read like your writing depends on it. It does. Gobble up everything you can in the genre. Spend time with teens. Get inside their heads. Find their hangouts and habits.


Unleashing the dream world, one book at a time 

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At one of my high school visits I met a young writer who asked if I'd meet with him to answer some questions he had about writing. So I did. His questions were along the lines of Crystal's advice. He wanted to know what I did to be able to write for teens. 

I said, "I talk to them whenever I can.  Just as I'm talking to you."

"Is that why you go to schools?"

"Yep, but since I also feel my books have crossover appeal, I get to hang out with other age groups and do my 'research.'"

"Crossover?"

"That means, I want my books to appeal to older readers. I have grandmothers and grandfathers who read my books and send me emails."

Then he wanted to know where he should start with his writing. 

My advice was  this: 
  • Decide who your reader's going to be. 
  • Find other books that are written for that group and see if they're the kind of book you're considering writing.  
  • Go to a bookstore and find the shelf where you think your book will fit. 
  • Read the blurbs and the jacket flaps. 
  • Find out who publishes the books that are most similar to yours. 
  • Go home and write. . .a lot.
What did I leave out? 



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My quote for the day: If you don't feel that you [have] read enough, you haven't read enough" Nicholas Taleb, Author.

So does Crystal's advice ring true for YA writers? Was my advice good for a young writer? Read much this summer?

I never post on TUESDAY, but I will tomorrow to celebrate The International Blog Hop. You don't want to miss my lip-licking recipe. Trust me. 





26 comments:

  1. I think your advice for him was perfect. Wish I'd known more about my reader for my first book, but I figured it out by the second.

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  2. The best books appeal to those of all ages.

    I posted my blogfest entry today.

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  3. I always try to read books in my genre, and it usually helps to get the inspiration going. I'm hoping my book will appeal to older readers, as well.

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  4. The advice you provided is wonderful. Just to piggy back on the part about reading who publishes the book, it's a good idea to review the Ackowledgements section as well as that is where authors tend to mention their literary agent and/or editor that gave them a chance. That can be helpful when it comes to personalizing queries.

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  5. It's ALL good advice! Even though I most right for the lower middlegrades, I read all genres, all age levels.

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    1. Oh yes. I can't imagine only reading ya or mg. :-)

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  6. Great advice, Crystal!

    I'm drawn to YA because of my years spent as a high school English teacher. I used YA to lure my students to read. Muhahahahaha!

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  7. Great advice about audience, and this blogfest is going to make all of us hungry.

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    1. Get out the running shoes and burn some calories. That's what I'm doing to get ready.

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  8. Good advice from both of you, Lee. It pays to know your audience well and it's good to know what's current and what's selling.

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  9. Excellent advice! I don't think anything has helped me grow as a writer as much as reading has!!

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  10. Great advice! Luckily I have access to three teen sons every day :)

    Reading is not only necessary as a writer, it's a heck of a lot of fun. Thanks, ladies.

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  11. Great advice. I'm assuming the getting into the teen head is for YA writers. teehee

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  12. Crystal's advice is wonderful! How can you go wrong with a great writer who likes cheese? I mean, seriously. :) Nice to see her here today.

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  13. I have to say, when I was able to go to schools and libraries and meet children in my target reader group, it was very inspiring. I wanted to come straight home and write books just for them! It really does help remind you of the young voices you're trying to capture.

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  14. Yay for Crystal! As for me, I was so trying to post on the Intnl. Potluck fest on time that I posted a day early! So, it's already up. Ack.

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  15. definite gold in advice. has me really thinking...

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  16. Yes, that is EXCELLENT advice, and it's amazing how rarely you hear it. Thank you both for putting it out there today! You do have to read like your life and writing depend on it. How else can you learn, and stay in tune, and figure out what works and what doesn't? And more :)

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  17. Hey, that's me up there giving advice shoulder by shoulder with you. Awesome. Lee, you've got some great points and tips. Way to rock the advice world!

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  18. We should definitely read in our genre to see which age-based category best fits. I eventually realized I'm a regular adult writer, not a YA writer, since most current YA historicals don't match my style at all.

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  19. When I taught my workshop earlier this year, about writing the page-turner, I really emphasized audience. It reigns supreme.

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  20. Great advice for all writers. The audience is essential.

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  21. Your advice is what every aspiring writer should hear, ladies. Wish I'd known more when I started writing instead of stumbling through.

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