Doling out advice can be a lot like handing out Halloween candy. I came to this conclusion this past weekend, at a killer Halloween party. There, an ex-president zombie discovered that I was not just a black cat, but also an author of middle-grade novels. He asked me how he could best transform his ideas for children’s stories into best-selling books. Good question, right? Still, that zombie sort of caught me off guard. Maybebecause I was having tail issues (it’s not easy impersonating a cat), or maybe because I didn’t expect the undead to be into kid lit. Foolish.
As I wrestled with my wayward tail, I offered advice the way I hand out Halloween Candy. I suggested that Mr. Zombie President check out The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, I pointed out that going to conferences is an excellent way to break into the business of writing books for children, and I recommended Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic as well as Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, by Deborah Halverson. Since my zombie friend gobbled these suggestions (What else would a zombie do?), I rambled on about novels and picture books he might read. By the time he ambled off, he seemed grateful (as grateful as a zombie and ex-president can be).
The next morning, while downing a couple mini Milky Way bars with candy corn chasers for breakfast (which do not fall under the dairy and veggie sections of the food pyramid... please don't judge), I wondered if I gave out the best advice.
What do you think? What would you have said or suggested to our ex-president zombie friend?
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?