Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catch All

Because sometimes there’s just a bunch of little things...

Interesting tidbit #1:
In last Friday’s NYT, there was an article called Shy on Drugs, and it discussed the blurry line between shyness, a normal trait, and social anxiety disorder, something that requires medical attention. But what really caught my eye was the fact that :

“By the time they reach college, up to 51 percent of men and 43 percent of women describe themselves as shy or introverted. Among graduate students, half of men and 48 percent of women do.”

I thought this was a fascinating statistic, especially since the prevailing wisdom claims that only 25% of the population are introverts. Of course, including the word shy in there skews things a bit, but I still thought it was interesting.

Interesting bit #2:
Kate diCamillo has always been an amazing author, but now she’s my hero for another reason. Posted on her website under “Speaking.”

In case you can’t read it, it says:

Regrettably, It is difficult for Kate to balance the amount of time she spends writing with the amount of time she spends on the road, talking with her readers, whom she adores.

Because Kate is overwhelmed, we are not currently booking new speaking engagements.

And lastly, as an addendum to Ms Viola’s post Monday about School Visits, in this month’s SCBWI Bulletin, there is a terrific article by Alexis O’Neill on the very thing we were talking about: Increasing Invitations for Middle Grade and YA Writers.

Alexis makes a couple of excellent points that I thought were worth mentioning here. She warns against glamour or my journey school visits, claiming that stories of our road to publication aren’t enough anymore in today’s highly pressured school visit environment. Schools need material that tie into their curriculum or standards. If MG and YA authors want to increase their school visit potential, they need to look to their state’s educational standards and see how they can tie their books into those guidelines.

This does two things. It can generate more school visits, which is good if you’re wanting that, and it does something that my introverted self loves: it takes the focus off of me and puts it on the material. That’s always a much more comfortable place for me.

So if you haven’t read your SCBWI Bulletin, check it out. If you’re not a member of SCBWI, and you write or illustrate for children, consider joining!

Until next week!


liquidambar said...

Good for Kate, for knowing her limits! I get the feeling promotion is an endless job that can swallow your life if you don't know when to say No.

I guess every author learns what mix of promotional activities works for him/her.

Mary Hershey said...

Oh, thanks for the heads up re: Alexis's article. Good to know that "my journey" presentations aren't appropriate any longer. As an SV I wouldn't have gone there anyway, but good to know! :-)

Thanks for all the great 4-1-1 here!


Robin LaFevers said...

I don't tend to go there either, Mary, but sometimes the schools ask you to, so you're stuck. The horror!

Although I have to say, the couple of times I have spoken to high schools, my talk has been about why writing is important, but their interest was very much in hearing about my path to publication. I think they liked knowing that I was doing something that I had dreamed of doing back when I was in high school, even if it had been a long, hard journey.