CHAINS extras and genre-bending questions

My author copies of CHAINS arrived! Opening that box is sort of like being handed your new baby in the hospital. All you can do is gasp and coo and babble.

Of course, now I have to keep my very ill Chapter 15, she of the dripping nose and viral motivation infection, from infecting the new baby…

Theo the WebGod has been hard at work getting the website ready for the new arrival. Check out his handiwork by clicking on CHAINS. What do you think of the Teacher’s Guide and Bibliography?

A few more questions about genre-bending trickled in.

What’s your take on writers using different names for different genres?

I think it makes sense sometimes, especially if the author can develop a strong following under each name. I have a book idea that is very much removed from what I’ve done before, and there’s a chance I’d publish it under a different name, but I listen closely to what my agent and publishers had to say first.

Do you go through an agent for both publishers? The same agent? When pitching differently genred stories to an agent, will they facilitate dealing with two different publishers for one client?

I published my first seven books without an agent (including SPEAK and FEVER 1793). My agent is very happy to represent all of my work; she’s in it to help me build my career and she does a great job.

How does one decide which direction to go (especially if there are many interests)?

Write down all of your stories ideas on little slips of paper (one sentence per idea per slip of paper). Put all of the strips of paper in a bowl and mix them up. Do not look at them for a week. Then sit down with a piece of paper and pencil. As you pull out the story ideas, rate them 1 – 10 on a scale of how excited you feel when you consider the idea. Write the idea that excites you the most. And it should excite you because the writing sounds fun, not because you think it will be the next Harry Potter. You can’t control the market’s reaction, you can only control the writing.

Other questions?

8 Replies to “CHAINS extras and genre-bending questions”

  1. genre bending

    Thank you for the advice. I enjoy reading about your approach to the business, so common sense and astute.
    Lori Van Hoesen

  2. I love your answer to the last question. I have so many book ideas that it’s difficult sometimes to pinpoint which one I’m actually the most excited for. I’ll definitely have to try that rating thing out.

  3. teacher guide

    I know the reading level is ages 10-12 or thereabouts, but I thought a lot of the teacher’s guide discussion questions were low-level questions; they felt more like pop quiz/reading-check questions than discussion questions. Though they do force readers/students to draw comparisons between themselves & the characters, they don’t feel like they’d encourage free-flowing discussion, even in small groups. That said, I am at a loss for suggesting how to make improvements. (Sorry!)

  4. Just wanted to share a good day: I ran (well, jogged) for 20 minutes without stopping, for the first time. I started running again about a month and a half ago. I thought you, the awesome runner, would understand my joy! 😀

  5. Hi!

    Thanks for the info, that’s really interesting!
    I just finished rereading Speak, and loved it even more than I did the first time. You are an amazing author, and I huge inspiration to me. I can really relate to Melinda’s struggles of surviving high school (I’m a freshman, huff said)

  6. How One Writes: Different Kinds of Writers

    Dear Laurie,

    It was a pleasure becoming acquainted with you through the Web. Your down-to-earth, vivacious personality and information-packed blog have provided me with amusement, validation, and reference points as I seek to build my writing career.

    I do have a question, though: On the subject of how one writes, could you offer me some feedback? For instance, though I have a reasonably rich vocabulary, articulate writing style, and adequate ideation, if you will, I have a difficult time writing under pressure. My best work has come about as a result of spontaneous inspiration or relaxed venue.

    As a result, I have historically shied away from classrooms where writing is taught, as I cannot seem to produce anything of considerable merit. I have also been unnecessarily judged by teachers and others who translated my struggles and quiet contemplation as being indicative of lack of talent.

    Because of this, I have often felt that I was not truly a writer. But I’ve come to realize that maybe pressure is something of a hindrance to people like myself, where it actually foils the creative process.

    Do you have any thoughts on this?

    Patricia Lloyd Benson

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