Monday, February 9, 2015

Special Guest: How I (Accidentally) Learned How Cool it is to Write About Things You Love

I belong to a lovely critique group in North Texas. We operate like the ocean. Most of the time, we're like the waters at Galveston beach, a manuscript chapter gently flowing in here, a critique ebbing out there. Sometimes we're more like Hawaii, with enormous waves of work drowning our database, our productivity taking us all by surprise.

I had the pleasure of meeting children's book author Murray Richter through SCBWI, and when he joined our critique group, his manuscript delighted me. To our great joy, Lucky Rocks was recently published by Ten Story Books. I enjoyed the book so much, I blurbed it! Murray's book reminded me of the ones I'd curl up with in elementary school, forget time, live someone else's adventure, and then run outside to recreate one just like it.

And because I think it's a fun read-aloud for parents and kids, I'm sharing the book jacket information with you:

Led by a one-legged World War II vet, Kevin, Preech and Rudy face a summer they'll never forget. From fishing to endless pranks that would make the most seasoned trickster jealous, they think they have the answer to all of life's mysteries. But as the steamy Texas days of summer roll by, Kevin and Preech discover Rudy's secret - a secret that could change their lives forever.

(Now, go buy a copy.) I asked Murray to write a guest post about his experience as a debut author. Enjoy~

How I (Accidentally) Learned How Cool it is to Write About Things You Love
Do you recall the super-smart things you were told as a kid? Things you said “sure, whatever" about at the time? And later in life, they turned out to be the best advice ever? For years, those tidbits came back to me one by one. I wrote them on shreds of paper, bar napkins, and matchbooks, then threw them in a file. I wanted to write a book for my kids so they could learn “the smart stuff” through a story. When I realized the story could also help give hospitalized kids an escape from their challenges for a bit, I found my "need" to write.

So I did.

LUCKY ROCKS was published late last year, and an entirely new, unexpected universe has opened up in front me. Fishing is something I've loved ever since I could hold a pole, and as such, it became the glue that holds LUCKY ROCKS together. Since publication, I've had the immense pleasure of connecting with people I never knew existed: organized groups that take inner-city kids out to teach them to fish and appreciate nature, and groups that find kids passionate about fishing and help them create fishing teams for their high schools. And now I get to be a part of awesome is that?

Figure out why you need to write, and your book will get written. Write about what you know and love, and to quote Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you'll go!”
Keep writing and have fun,

Congrats to Murray! Lucky Rocks can be purchased at independent bookstores and other fine booksellers online.