Friday, July 11, 2008

Want to write your book proposal?

Then head to Valerie Boyd's book proposal boot camp.

Book Proposal Boot Camp: How to Write a Proposal
That Sells Without Selling Out

Let Valerie Boyd—award-winning author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of
Zora Neale Hurston—show you how to transform your dream of writing a nonfiction
book into a reality.

The best-kept secret of the publishing world is the book proposal. Did you
know you can write a 15- to 100-page book proposal, submit it to literary
agents and publishers, and actually get paid to write the book of your dreams? With
a few months of effort, any writer who has a strong nonfiction idea and some
writing talent—even without a lot of experience—can research and write a
robust book proposal that will turn publishers’ heads. This Book Proposal Boot
Camp will teach you how.

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 2 and 3, 2008
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Agnes Scott College
Alston Hall, Room 206
Decatur, GA 30030

For more information and to register,
www.valerieboyd. com

[I attended a shorter session that Valerie did on the book proposal at one of Tina McElroy Ansa's workshops. It was illuminating. If I didn't already have a trip planned, I'd make the drive to go to this workshop.]

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Do you have a platform?

I stopped at MJ Rose's Buzz, Balls, Hype site - a bookmark authors and publicists should have, and saw her link to a NY Observer article about the importance of having a "platform" for authors. Apparently publishing houses (some anyway) are looking not just at the work, but at what the author brings to the table in terms of audience and publicity power. No big surprise, but it's good to hear the term and see an exploration of it.

I think Ta-Nahesi Coates is an example of an author with a platform. I used to read his column, so when I heard about his new book, it definitely made me want to read it. He's profiled in the LA Times. The book, The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, is a memoir.

Lots of other links I will share, but I think I hear a little work calling me away ...

But I will say that I'm nervous about whatever Jesse Jackson said. I expect that's going to be a little mess.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pearl Cleage's new site

I love to visit my favorite authors' web sites - and even sites of authors I haven't read yet. It amazes me sometimes when I see a site for a big name author and it is really out of date or just doesn't seem to match in quality the author's reputation, writing or popularity.

Pearl Cleage's web site used to be one of those.

Now do not start sending me daggers or evil comments. I love Pearl Cleage. There are no two ways about that.

But it made it hard to understand why she didn't have a better site.

All that is over, now. She has new site design (I'm just seeing it now, so it may be a couple of months old). It looks fabulous! See it here.

And, as a fan, I looked at all the pictures and, as usual, the appearances to see if she would be anywhere near my town.

Anyway - it's a great site and, I think, a much better fit for the wonder and wisdom of Ms. Cleage.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A movie deal and other notes

Carleen Brice's Orange Mint and Honey has been optioned by Lifetime TV. She has a brief note about that on her web site. I'm glad to hear it - and need to go and get the book :).

She's also taking a hiatus (on hiatus?) this summer. And she's holding a contest for her readers to send in ways they're taking care of themselves. The contest is detailed on her blog.

More on Movies
I'm really excited about the movie version of PUSH, so I've been reading about that and the "unknown" actress who'll play Precious in the movie. What an amazing story - and I can't wait to see how she does and where this leads her.

This week, I saw the trailer for The Longshots, which stars Keke Palmer and Ice Cube. Will definitely have to see that. I am eating up stories with strong, smart, beautiful young African American girls. Hopefully I'll be able to have a good collection of those on DVD by the time my own daughter hits her tweens.

Kids books
I stumbled upon this beautiful book in the library on Thursday. It's called Hair for Mama and is by Kelly Tinkham and illustrated by Amy Bates.

The boy in the book wants to get/give hair to his mother, who has lost hers due to treatments for cancer. It's beautiful - I loved the imagine of the two of them together with bald heads. So, if you know anyone that could use that story (which might really be anyone of us - who hasn't been touched by cancer?), pass it on.

A few weeks ago, I found several Mildred D. Taylor novels in a bookstore. It was very exciting for me. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry was one of my favorite books as a child. It is also, unfortunately, frequently banned or protested. I never read (or even knew of) her other books. So I bought three of her other titles to hold until my children are old enough to read them. They are:
The Gold Cadillac
The Well: David's Story
The Road to Memphis