Just FYI, babies, the contest is now closed. Cheetos and limeade for all who entered!
You do know about From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors, right? The snazzy and ultra-informative new blog community for authors of middle-grade fiction, of which I happen to be a member? See, this is the second time I’ve managed to finagle my way into the company of a slew of writers and illustrators who are just miles ahead of me when it comes to professional accomplishment – I managed to snooker the good folks at The Enchanted Inkpot into letting me be a founding member there too, although eventually I was overcome by guilt at the fact that I’m neither published nor an author of traditional fantasy, and took a hiatus from being an Inkie.
But enough with the remorse! For better or for worse I am a Mixed-Up File Clerk, or whatever snappy nickname we finally come up with for ourselves, and next week I’m scheduled to make my first post. Exciting stuff, right? Because I’m gonna blog about…um…I’m gonna…it’ll be…
Okay, I got nothing. Well, okay, that’s not entirely true either – I do have a concept. “Getting in Touch with Your Inner 12-year-old,” or something like that. Finding the middle-grade voice, the late-single-digits early-double-digit years mentality, bringing yourself into that state of being so that you can craft a story that rings like a proverbial bell for those kids transitioning from elfin childhood to hulking young adulthood. The best I’ve come up with yet is to just “remember stuff” – brilliant, neh? Oh, I can rattle on and on about how I access memories for my own writing (and trust me, I’m gonna do exactly that), but I’m thinking I want to try and drag some examples in from outside my own experience. So I’ve done some googling and what-all, and come up with exactly squat. Yes, yes, the lackadaisical nature of my research probably has something to do with my poor results, but I’ve chosen to ignore that part.
You are going to help me! YOU ARE. Stop fussing, it’s undignified. Know why you’re gonna help me? Because if you do, I’ll enter you in this contest to win a stack of I’ve-already-read-’em books that towers so high above the landscape, carnivorous pegasi fly off to its apex with their shrieking victims, only then getting comfortable and dining on fresh eyeballs and still-quivering entrails.
Here’s the deal on the whole number-of-entries procedure, cats and kittens:
1 entry – Leave a comment on this post. Don’t care what it’s about – your cat, the lifespan of the moray eel, the World Cup, whatever. I’m not a soccer fan, so if you comment on the World Cup I’m, uh, not gonna care, but whatever, dude.
1 additional entry – link to this contest on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc. and so on and so forth. Each link (please leave the link in your comment) counts for 1 entry.
1 additional entry – follow the ole bloggy wog. Why not, eh?
2 additional entries – if you’re a writer of middle-grade fiction, comment on what you do to tap that 10 or 12 year old mentality. Do you hang out with middle-grade kids? Do you flip through old diaries and other nostalgic (or maybe not nostalgic) documents? Watch a lot of Hannah Montana?
And here’s the kicker…
10 additional entries – find me an interview, article or some other reputable source of semi-legitimately published information that details what any one published middle-grade author does to create the voice, vision and world of their novel. Put the link in your comment. And yes, if you’re a published middle-grade author yourself, it can be about you. Yes, I am really pressed for time these days, and it may be sacrilegious to my colleagues over at The Mixed-Up Files, but so be it. THIS IS MY BLOG RIGHT HERE AND I’LL DO AS I PLEASE…
Edited to add: It just occurred to me that this may be problematic if you all go a-hunting for stuff and it turns out there’s only 3 things out there in the entire interwebz that fits the bill. So tell you what, I’ll amend this one. All you have to do is link to an interview with a middle-grade author. That’s all. Doesn’t matter what they talk about in the interview – alien abduction? Their nana’s gazpacho recipe? The heartwarming offensive resurgence of Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre, who never should have left the Dodgers? It’s all fair game.
The prize – Now, the irony here is that my stack of used books (they’re not violently used or anything, calm down) is actually higher on YA than it is on MG. *shrugs* You’re gonna complain?? Seriously? I should smack you upside the head! Oh, I wouldn’t smack you upside the head. Hard. If you win, you can take your choice of the following books:
- A CURSE DARK AS GOLD by Elizabeth Bunce;
- FLASH BURNOUT by L.K. Madigan;
- THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO by Patrick Ness;
- THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES by Carrie Ryan;
- ANY WHICH WALL by Laurel Snyder;
- THE DOOM MACHINE by Mark Teague;
- SKIN HUNGER by Kathleen Duey;
- I’D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU BUT THEN I’D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter;
- THEODOSIA & THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS and THEODOSIA & THE STAFF OF OSIRIS by R.L. LaFevers;
- THE MAGNIFICENT TWELVE: THE CALL by Michael Grant (ARC)
- ANDROMEDA KLEIN by Frank Portman
- SLIDING ON THE EDGE by C. Lee McKenzie
- GOOD ENOUGH by Paula Yoo
That’s not a bad heap of books right there, eh? Yes, the winner can have their choice – if you want all of ’em, they’re yours. If you only want some or even just one of ’em, hey, whatever spins your dreidel.
Come on, peeps. Help me out here. I’ve got top-secret high-priority ultra-classified super-cool stuff going on, stuff that hopefully I’ll be able to spill to the world at large relatively soon, but for now it’s chewing up my time and mental energy in a very private way, so just trust me when I tell you that it would be really great if you would just do me a solid and enter the stupid contest, OKAY??
The deadline for entering is Sunday, June 27, midnight Pacific time. Get on it, babies.
Stricken with fever-dreams of glory and exultation,