Monday, February 17, 2014

Dinner and Perseverance

The Richmond Children's Writers and friends had dinner with a visiting author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of One for the Murphys. She was in Richmond doing some author visits, and we had the good fortune of spending an evening with her.

First of all, have you read One for the Murphys? If not, put it on your to-be-read pile right away. And make sure you have tissues handy. One for the Murphys is an honest look at a girl who finds herself living with a foster family for the first time while her mother is hospitalized. Good stuff!

Lynda told us an interesting story. She had been working on her manuscript (the original title was "Clip") for many months and was beginning to feel discouraged. She had escaped to a Dunkin Donuts shop to write, and it wasn't a good writing day. She had to struggle to get the words out, and what did come out wasn't that great. She was seriously considering scrapping the whole project.

As she walked out to the parking lot on her way out, she passed a car with the a customized license plate. It read, simply, "CLIP." She took it as a sign that she needed to persevere, which is exactly what she did. Her book was published by Penguin in 2012, and it has done very well.

Every writer I know has felt like giving up. I was about two-thirds of the way through Freakling when seriously questioned the worth of going on. I had convinced myself that the story was too strange, that no one would ever "get" this story, and that it wasn't marketable. I was ready to forget about the whole thing. Then I read Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go--the strangest book I'd ever read, but I loved it. If that book is marketable, then maybe my story has a chance, I thought. It was a slim chance, but enough to keep me going. I finished writing the book and by the following year, an agent found the book not strange but original, and signed me as a client. Soon, I had a book contract for Freakling, and--interestingly enough--it was with the same publisher and the same editor as The Knife of Never Letting Go. Crazy!

Our message to you is to keep writing! Keep trying new things. If one thing doesn't work, try it a different way.  If one project stalls, put it on the back burner and start something else. Must. Keep. Writing!

To show how serious we are about this, we're hosting a giveaway. The prize is two books, both signed by the authors. The winner will receive One for the Murphys and Freakling (newly available in paperback!).  Login below to Rafflecopter and enter by following us on Twitter/Facebook and/or sharing the giveaway with your friends! (NOTE: Login information is used to verify valid entries and to contact winners. Your personal email WILL NOT be shared or stored).

Good luck and don't give up! a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 comments:

  1. Hey! LOVED meeting you all. Thanks so much for the invitation--and for doing this giveaway! :-) Hope to see you all again. :-)

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  2. Super fun to get to know you, Lynda!

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  3. It was great meeting you, Lynda!

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