Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some Words of Wisdom from Maryrose Wood + A Giveaway!

"I never expected an author to be so...real."

Those were the words of another attendee last Thursday when Maryrose Wood graced our library with a special one-on-one session for our Teen Writing Club. (Really, I am still getting excited thinking about it.) And what he said was definitely true. Ms. Wood is one of those special authors with a heart of gold and a creative mind that is willing to be shared - and with the quirky, humorous way she talks, you wouldn't really think that she's a full-time children's author under contract with one of the country's most prestigious publishers, HarperCollins.

Really. If I ever got published, I'd like to have that kind of down-to-earth personality.

I received permission to relay some of the information that she shared with us - which, especially if you're an aspiring author like I am, will hopefully be helpful. After that, scroll down in order to see the rest of my exciting news...

A little background on the author -

Maryrose Wood is the author of several acclaimed books for children and young adults, most notably The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and the Poison Diaries trilogy from a concept suggested by the Duchess of Northumberland. She also has a background in screenplay and playwriting, and currently lives in New York.

1. What advice do you have for a writer when they hit one of those blocks in creativity?  

It happens to everybody. It’s not cause for alarm. The image [Ms. Wood]  likes to use is a person in a coal mine with a lighted hard hat, who can  only see what’s in front of them. The only way to see what’s ten feet  in front of you is to keep going. You have to walk towards the light.  Writing is that type of journey of discovery. You don’t have to keep  every word that you write. That’s how it works. Writing doesn’t come out  perfect. You read from left to right, but that’s not how a book comes  out in its first stages. Just remember: even if you are writing bad  stuff, eventually you will see the light. 

2. You have a character and a storyline, but don’t know where to start. What do you do? 
 The  character has to have a burning passion – a mission in life, something  important on the line. Look at that, and you’ll probably not lose  interest. The important thing to remember is that writing is not easy. It’s  a job just like any other job. 95% of it is showing up. Put yourself in  the chair, and write. It’s better to sit there and write something,  then think “I’m not in the mood today.”

3. What are your favorite books?  
A Wrinkle in Time and Jane Eyre, and Charlotte’s Web (sad but beautiful). For young adult readers, she also recommends The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

4. How do you write about something you don’t know about? 
She wrote two series about England, where she has been, but in different  centuries. As a result, she has to look up everything about them. Thank  Goodness for the Internet.

5. What tips do you have for writing a historical fiction?  
First  of all, you need to read a lot of historical fiction. You really have  to read a lot of history – strongly recommends looking for primary  documents. Reading a history textbook will not tell you what you need to  know for a historical book. Look in university libraries and online.
You can find Maryrose Wood on the Internet here. Don't worry - she doesn't bite.


A signed hardcover copy of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels. 

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies. 

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

This book is an adorable, charming, age-universal read. And if you can't believe that, try the most daunting of accolades: My mother read it. And loved it. Not to mention, the author left a cute little note for you in the front cover of the book. Don't you want to see what it says?


SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom and the giveaway! I haven't heard much about The Incorrigible Children, but it sounds like a very fun book.

I love to see authors who recommend using primary sources!

Dani @ Refracted Light said...

This is so awesome!

Totally kidding ;) Thank you for introducing me to Maryrose Wood and her Incorrigible Children! I love the premise and it sounds like a book I must read :) I love her advice about just plugging away with your writing even if you feel blocked or uninspired. Who knows, you could find a hidden gem amongst the rubble that will send your story in brilliant directions you never considered :)

Speaking of writing, when do we get to read some of your current project?

jimmy said...

My 8 year old and I (and maybe the 5 year too) truly enjoyed the read. Both of us acted out the character parts, make constant references (still), recite the squirrel and cake poem for the laugh and more. While we checked out from the library it left a lasting impression. Been on the hunt for Part 2 and can hardly wait. Only things we'd ask - more, more, more Incorrigibles :)

Kristen said...

I absolutely loved reading this book. Or rather listening to. I nabbed it from the library because the wonderful Kathryn Kellgren narrates it and does a fabulous job.

Would love to put this one in my school library! :) Thanks for the chance and loved all the advice from Maryrose!

Rachel said...

I've nominated youuuuuuu! :)

Liebster Blog Award

-Rachel @ Paper Cuts

LindsayWrites said...

awesome! thanks for the giveaway! americangirlie1991 at yahoo dot com

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