Friday, February 4, 2011

Inside Elana: This and That

Hey, I warned you that my blog is just a mish-mash of this and that. You thought I was kidding, didn't you? Ha! Never.

A couple of months ago, I opened up the blog for questions. And, uh, well, I never finished answering them. Here we go.

Stina Lindenblatt asked: Are you going to LA SCBWI conference? Uh...maybe? Yeah, maybe. I'm lame like that. I am planning to go to ALA in New Orleans though, and Comic Con in San Diego.

Jill Kemerer and Alex Cavanaugh asked a variation of these two questions: Do you write more than one genre? and/or Besides YA, what other genres do you like? I write under the YA umbrella, but I sort of oscillate all over. Dystopian (obviously). Contemporary. Paranormal. Fantasy. Even a historical thingy. (Yes, that's the technical term.) But all YA.

And hold the phone. There are other genres besides YA? *wink* I suppose if held at knife point and forced to name another genre I enjoy, I would go with...oh, freak, I can't do it. It's YA or nothing. Sorry, I am shallow like that.

Sara B. Larson asked: If you only had one week to live, what would you do and who with? I would travel somewhere exotic, like the White Cliffs of Dover or the beach or something as long as I don't have to clean up after myself or make any meals. And I'd take my family, and we'd spend all our time watching movies and ordering whatever we wanted to eat and just laughing.

Wendy Paine Miller asked: Do you believe all writers are just a wee bit crazy? Definitely.

Marsha Sigman wanted to know about how many submissions I sent out while querying for POSSESSION. Over 50. Then she wanted to know how I kept from getting discouraged from all the rejection. Uh...I didn't. I get discouraged all the time, even now. There are a couple of posts I wrote for other people that I like a lot. One here at Sara's blog, and one at Adventure's in Children's Publishing.

Jodi Henry wanted to read the query letter that got me my agent. It's not a secret. You can read it in many places, but one of the best is on Matt's blog.

There are still a few questions, some of which have spurred entire posts over the next couple of weeks. If I haven't gotten to yours, never fear! And if you have a question for me, lay it out in the comments.

50 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

I just wanted to come over and say thank you for your book 'Query to the Call.' I down loaded it from your website and it has been very helpful. I am still writing and re-writing mine, but at least now I know what I am aiming for. So thanks for all your hard work :)

Misha said...

I love these. It's so interesting to get to know you.

Btw, I think all writers are insane, usually not only a little.

;-)

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's cool that you are going to some big conferences. And yes, there are other genres, like not appreciated enough upper MG, which is great for dystopian and fantasy.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Interesting! While my stories will always involve a love scene, if I write another fiction piece it will definitely NOT be YA.

Theresa Milstein said...

I bought your book From the Query to the Call several months back, and thought you gave excellent advice on querying. You broke it down to make it applicable to my own query. I still struggle to write them but I have a better idea of what to do. Thanks!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Okay, Elana, here's the deal. I'm going to be at the LA conference, so you HAVE to come so you can sign my copy of POSSESSION. It's as simple as that. :D

Plus I want to meet you for real!

I read predominantly YA but also I'm also reading romantic suspenses (the steamy kind). Since I like writing YA with romance and danger, I figured it would be a good genre, if any, to branch out to. I might even try writing one, though I'm not sure if I have the voice in me.

Melissa said...

I'm with you on the YA thing. I just love the experience and age group both to write about and write for. Things are so much faster and more intense in YA - and I love that!!

lbdiamond said...

LOL, oh yeah, writers are crazy...I can say it cuz I am one!

You have a great attitude, Elana--it shows! :D

Kelly Lyman said...

First, I love that your blog is filled with This and That. Second, thanks for linking to your guests post on your journey. Wow. You have totally inspired me by your perseverance and determination. I've been told those two attributes are my greatest strength when it comes to writing, but man- do I feel like I suck and just want to give up ALL the time. Reading these posts have encouraged me SO much. Again, thanks for your honesty!

kellyhashway said...

We are all a bit crazy, aren't we? I think we have to be. Thanks for not being afraid to just be you, Elana. I really admire that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So basically the answer is no?
Funny answer Elaine.

Christine Fonseca said...

San Diego Comic Con is EPIC!! Have a blast

Bish Denham said...

It's nice getting to know more about you. Have fun at the Comic Con!

Liza said...

You are too funny! I read your query letter (again, I think it's the third time.) It's so clear why Possession is going to be published. Fantastic work!

Krista said...

Ooh, I like that White Cliffs of Dover idea. Could you imagine spending an entire season like that? What kind of stories could we come up with, Elana? I'll book our flight. Or at least look at flights. And pictures.

Jen Daiker said...

Who doesn't love a little of this and that when it pertains to you!!!

White Cliffs of Dover, oh yes, that was a good one:)

Melissa Sarno said...

Particularly interested in Marsha's question because I feel crazy discouraged right now and I'm trying not to let it suck the life out of me. Thanks for linking to those two posts. They made me feel better. Looking forward to more answers to questions! :-)

Matthew Rush said...

I love your answer to the end of the world question. Family and laughter, and whatever you want to eat? I think they call that Heaven.

And thanks so much for the linkage! It's funny to look at the url and remember the old title for Possession.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Fifty submissions...I've got you beat there...and that's proof you have to be crazy to be a writer :)

VR Barkowski said...

A wee bit crazy? I'm with Misha, I think we have to be stark raving mad to put ourselves through this, and dare I say, actually enjoy large parts of it!

Patti said...

Yes, we're all a little bit crazy.

Kelly said...

A wee bit crazy is good. Stark raving mad, maybe not.
I so want to go to the LA SCBWI conference one day. But it's expensive and going to LA by myself is a bit frightening. I'm a bit of a homebody.
Question: What are your kids' favorite books right now?

thereadingdate said...

Looking forward to seeing you at Comic-Con. That will be a blast!

Melissa Gill said...

Great to know all those things. I would have to say I'm a WEE bit crazy in all caps. I'm so jealous that you're going to New Orleans for ALA! My favorite place in the world. Have fun!

Jen Chandler said...

I love getting to know other writers. We are all a bit crazy, aren't we :D

By the way, I wanted to echo what Tabitha said. Thank you THANK YOU for "Query to the Call". I downloaded it last week. I've only had time to skim over it, but I'm looking forward to diving into it. You're the best!

Have a great weekend,
Jen

Nicole Zoltack said...

Awesome post! I love learning more about you. And yes, all writers are crazy.

Sara B. Larson said...

Q&A's are so fun! Glad to get to know you better, and thanks for answering my question. :)

Stasia said...

Agreed. All writers are definitely a little bit crazy. And you know what? Even though sometimes it's hard to live in our heads and we long for a day of escape into the mind of someone who can sleep through the night and doesn't worry about much beyond sports team scores, we pity the "normals"?

Shari said...

I love reading your responses.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love your one week to live answer! :-)

Lisa_Gibson said...

I'm stuck in reading YA too, and I love it. It's just where I love to hang out. :) Great one week to live answer.

Corey Schwartz said...

Oh, awesome Q & A. I sometimes ask myself, what would I do if I only had a limited time left to live (though I give myself more than a week!) and my answer is always "go scuba diving"

Elizabeth Briggs said...

Yay Comic Con! I will be there too (my 4th year), assuming I can get tickets tomorrow...

Marsha Sigman said...

Thank you for the honest and often times hilarious answers!!

Read your query again on Matt's blog, it really was awesome! Not that I am a bit surprised after following you for a while. I can't wait for Possession!

Heather said...

The cliffs of Dover, how awesome, I love that! And I'd have to agree, we writers are all a little bit crazy. ;) Thanks for sharing these questions with us, how fun!

Lisa and Laura said...

First of all, I can never know enough about you. Love the answers.

Second of all...

Oh. My. God. You are amazing. And pink looks awesome on you. And I might have cried a little when I saw your hair and then when I clicked on your picture? Elana, you do way too much for us. We can't thank you enough.

Kara said...

Great questions and great answers! It might sound a little "stalker-ish", but I love learning about my blogging friends:)

Susan R. Mills said...

50 huh? Well that makes me feel better. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Only a wee bit crazy??? Phew! That's a relief! :)

Abby Minard said...

I can't remember the last time I read anything that wasn't a YA. It's been years ;p

Lydia K said...

I'm all over YA too. Can't pin me down!

Rebecca T. said...

Writers Crazy? No way. What's that Sarah? No, stop poking your nose in other people's business. Thomas, quit arguing with Darren. Honestly guys, I'm never going to be able to finish this comment if you won't shut up in my head!

Where was I? Oh, yes. Writers are definitely not crazy.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I know how you feel about YA--for me, it's a safe place to be. I can write all I want and not feel pressured about having language, sex or violence in it. I can make it dark enough to be edgy, and yet, still be clean!

♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

Donea Lee said...

Oh, the ALA conference in New Orleans sounds awesome! I'm dying to go down south (mostly for the food, but...). Hope it's a great trip for you ~ :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

Discouragement is something I don't think anyone will ever outgrow. You rock, E!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I love learning more about you. And while it might've been discouraging for you to have received so many rejections, it's inspirational to the rest of us. You got through it and succeeded despite how tough it was. I'm gonna have to borrow some of your courage.

Also, I'm so excited you'll be at ALA! (I already knew you were going, but thought I don't think I'd commented on it) I'll finally get to meet you in person! :D

Heather Zundel said...

YA is so cool for so many reasons. I can understand your reluctance to name another genre.


And the most important question of all time - Pirates or Ninjas? ;)

Karen Lange said...

It is interesting to get to know you better. So what color will your hair be after the pink phase?

Carol Riggs said...

Ha, okay, is that your real hair or a Photoshop 'do? ;o) Were you just seeing if anyone would notice? LOL

Hmm, you know, I read on an agent's blog one time that YA is not a genre. The other things you mentioned--dystopian, contemp, paranormal, fantasy, etc--those are genres. Ya is just an age group. Although maybe some people use the word more like a synonym for "category." I agree though--I'm stuck on YA; love it!

Jennie Englund said...

So good of you to share your joys, success, frustration.

It's great having a friend who's been through it all-- who's living
--and laughing-- to tell about it!

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