So when people ask me questions about writing, I will blether away happily about how I write, why I write, where my ideas come from, what my writing process is, and how I edit. Whether I’m talking to 500 pupils in a theatre, or 15 kids at a workshop, or 1 child in a signing queue I also ask about how they write, how they feel about writing, what they enjoy about writing …
KelpiesTeen, writes at the other end of the pantsters / plotter spectrum from me, so we are able to chat to kids together about our different methods and how we wrote Mind Blind (my one) and Werewolf Parallel (his one), which is a lovely way to show that there really is no one way to write.
But I don’t know a THING about publishing!
Yesterday an aspiring writer (an adult, not a child) came up to me after an author event to ask for advice about getting published. This is a question I am fielding more and more often. Yet it’s not something I know anything about at all! I am published, yes, but I still don’t entirely know how it happened. Unlike my close personal relationship with my own writing process, every time I get a book published it seems like a bit of a miracle which I only had a small hand in, and the elements of success and failure seem to be completely different with every book. So I only know how I got published and even then, I’m not really sure how it works! (That’s why I have an agent, so I don’t have to know more about publishing…)
Therefore I don’t feel even remotely qualified to give advice on getting published! I tend to witter on about writing the best book you can, and persevering, and the market changing all the time, and finding an agent being the best thing I ever did. But I feel like a complete fraud.
So, apologies to the chap I waffled at yesterday.
And what do other writers do when asked for publishing advice? Do you waffle, or do you have any really useful to say (and if so, can I borrow it?)
Lari Don is the award-winning author of 21 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers.
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