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young adult book reviews & more

Who's RAD? Allison van Diepen!

Please welcome the lovely Ms. Allison van Diepen, who has been so patient with me through my laziness and procrastination. This RAD was supposed to be posted back in February (eek!), but unfortunately, by the time I remembered and had time to format all this, who knew, but it was two whole months later.

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Random Q&A:

If you were stranded on an island, what 3 things would you take with you? (Assume you have the bare necessities).
A notebook to keep a record of my experiences. A flare gun so I can call for rescue. My husband for company.

Complete the sentence: “This is a disaster!” I exclaimed, “I can’t believe___”
…I have to wake up early on a Saturday!”

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Loving. Compassionate. Determined.

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the guest blog:

One of the best parts of my job is hearing from my readers. Many of them are aspiring writers themselves, and they often ask me for advice on how to kickstart their own writing careers.

I don’t claim to be an expert on writing/publishing, but there are a few things I know for sure. So I’ve decided to use this blogging opportunity (thanks Book Muncher!) to make a statement on the matter.

The Top Eight Things I Know About Writing

8. DON’T BE IN A HURRY TO GET PUBLISHED.
Okay, so maybe you don’t want to hear that. When I was a teen, I’d hoped to see my novels on the shelves by the time I was twenty. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t been in such a rush. You see, once you’re published and you’re writing under deadlines, it can be stressful, which can hinder your creativity. So what’s the hurry? Statistics show that the main reason for writer’s block is the stress of the publishing industry. Enjoy this time in your life when you can be creative without pressure!

7. MAKE USE OF WRITING ADVICE/CRITICISM.
All writers work with editors. All writers need editors. An effective editor can help shape a good book into a great book. At some point, you’re going to have to work with someone who’s knowledgeable about writing in order to bring your work to the next level. Remember that every writer has weaknesses, and you should attack those weaknesses head on! Don’t be offended when someone points them out to you.

6. BEWARE WRITING ADVICE/CRITICISM.
Yes, I know I just contradicted myself. I meant to do that. J It’s important to be able to take criticism from people who know what they’re talking about, but you have to be true to yourself and your story. Be open-minded, accept a lot of criticism, but recognize that what you’re doing may be different, and may break some conventions of writing. This quotation sums it up: “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” - Flannery O’Connor

5. READ A LOT – BUT DON’T LET IT SCARE YOU OFF!
This is the most common writing advice out there, and it makes sense. Reading helps you recognize what good writing is, and what good storytelling is. But don’t let the fact that your writing isn’t on a par with that of your favorite author intimidate you. You may have your own appeal for readers.

4. SHAKE THINGS UP – WRITE THE UNEXPECTED!
The old adage “write what you know” is absolutely true. You can undoubtedly write realistically about someone growing up where and how you grew up, so go for it. And once you’ve done that, why not exercise those writing muscles and write about someone totally different from yourself? Why not write what no one expects?

3. FIND YOUR OWN VOICE.
If you read a lot, you may find yourself writing in a similar style to your favorite authors, and that’s fine. But don’t feel you have to fit any particular mold; go your own way. Remember that your unique writing voice is what will make your writing stand out.

2. TO WRITE, YOU MUST LIVE.
Enjoy your life! Accept challenges and adventures. The best research for writing is living and loving. It’s being a part of the world, not just observing it. All of this will feed into your writing.

1. PLANT YOUR BUTT IN THAT CHAIR AND WRITE!
You can have all the talent in the world, but to be a writer, you need to write on a regular basis. If you love writing enough, this won’t be hard because it’s what you’ll want to do in your spare time. Maybe that’s the true test of a writer. With all kinds of distractions around you, with all kinds of options to do something else, you’ll choose to write!

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I know for one that I’m taking this fabulous advice to heart, and so should all you. Seriously, even thought I’m not exactly a bestselling published YA author (yet, hopefully), I can recognize that these rules are certainly the real deal. I think I’ll print them out and post them on my wall as my ten writing commandments.

Once again, I must thank Ms. Allison van Diepen for being so generous regarding my laziness and urge you to visit her online: http://www.allisonvandiepen.com/. I have yet to read her novels, but I hope to soon!

4 munch(es) :

Steph Su said...

That really is great advice. Thanks to both of you for this wonderful interview and guest post!!

Insert Book Title Here said...

Love the interview and the cover of this novel.

Janssen said...

Lovely post. Thanks for sharing!

katayoun said...

great interview!

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