Monday, October 27, 2014

HALLOWEEN HOT SPOT GIVEAWAY!!


My wonderful Grand-daughter Brittany
has just reminded me of what I once told her:
NEVER GIVE UP!

THE LAST DAY

So what if Sunday, the first day of my Halloween giveaway, was a BUST--
I guess Facebook was not the right venue.

So I am forging ahead with my
Halloween HOT SPOT Giveaway RIGHT HERE!

One FREE Kindle download to each day's WINNER
Oct 27th through Oct 30th



THE REVENGE of THELMA HILL
A young teen ghost mystery - chills and thrills galore!


  HEAR ME READ FROM "Thelma Hill"


  The FIRST PERSON to give the correct answer to
FRIDAY'S  QUESTION
WINS!




Question

AFTER THE GHOST ARRIVED, WHAT COVERED
EVERY SURFACE IN FRANNIE'S ROOM

 LISTEN to my video reading for CLUES - LINK ABOVE.



Answers go in the COMMENTS








Come Back Here
for A NEW QUESTION 
every day.



WINNER'S CIRCLE
**Monday's winner was  -  Susan Hornbach
** Tuesday's winner is - Susan Berg
** No winner for Wednesday - BUMMER!
** NO TAKERS for Thursday, either!


What's with this disinterest in my great
FREE Kindle ghost mystery?


 ****************************

Books for Kids - FREE Skype Author Visits
http://www.margotfinke.com 

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

BOOK a FREE "AUTHOR" SCHOOL VISIT"


THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR IS
JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

Time to plan a surprise
MAGIC CARPET RIDE
for your class.

FUN - ADVENTURE - LEARNING


And HEY. . .  I am up for
CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS and BOOK CLUBS also


My BLOG, "Skype Makes it Happen"
is a good place to start.


NOW
Take a trip to my PINTEREST Teacher-Classroom board for help 
and imaginative class suggestions.  Pinterest PINS make teaching more fun.


Then, BOOK my FREE
"Skype Author Visit"
 
*EMAIL ME YOUR CLASS DETAILS

*CHAT WITH ME ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED,

(AND WHAT I CAN OFFER YOUR CLASS)
*CHOOSE a time and a date

Before my visit I will send you the following:

*A FREE "Sneak Peek" inside my current books (pdf download)
*Information about the book I plan to read to your class
*Coloring sheets for younger classes
*Word glossary for Aussie books

PLUS 
WHERE TO PURCHASE
An Order Form  + a brief Introductory Letter for parents -
so they can email me, and reassure themselves
about my books, or ask me questions.


IT'S FREE
SO BOOK EARLY.

Magic Carpet Rides 
are a rare treat! 


*****************

Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits
http://www.margotfinke.com

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

LOGO MAGIC







TRYING
TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK?

ANY LUCK?
NO!


Then, allow me lend you my
Magic Wand.
 

 PS:
You'll need to supply the imagination yourself. 

I see so many of the same writers flashing the same book covers on Facebook,
Google+ and elsewhere. My DELETE button works overtime - I'll bet yours does too.

Then there are those that think reams of words are better.
Their covers are followed by mountains of text.

DELETE!


Wanna learn some MAGIC?
Wanna get attention for that book and cover?
Wanna halt that reflex delete?


The MAGIC WORD 
is 
"Snipping Tool"from Microsoft


Now you are ready to  
LINE UP, COPY, PASTE, RESIZE, JUGGLE AROUND, ADD
BACKGROUND, TEXT BOX, PAGE COLOR AND BORDERS.


All this magic gives you a JPEG that is awesome.
You can SNIP anything from anywhere on the web - the whole page,
a picture, or only the exact part you want to use.


Snipping Tool Magic
lets you present your books in different ways on different days.
TOGETHER - SEPARATELY - WITH TEXT or WITHOUT.

REMEMBER
One memorable LOGO is worth 10,000 chunks of text!






TRY "SNIPIT"

IT'S AWESOME!


******************
Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits
Manuscript Critiques
http://www.margotfinke.com 
*******************



Sunday, July 6, 2014

The HOW TO of a MIDDLE-GRADE MASTERPIECE!



Writing a Middle-grade Masterpiece
Ain't Easy!
Originally posted in The Purple Crayon – on "Musings"
by Margot Finke




Libraries, bookstores, and online shops offer middle-grade novels of all types: inspiring, good, bad, and that iffy area in-between. I am sure every writer starts out with the intention of writing a story that inspires as well as entertains young readers. However, it soon dawns on them that hard work, imagination, and dedication are just small parts of what it takes to write a middle-grade book that inspires and entertains.
Like any other job or career, a potential writer must spend time learning the craft of writing for children — an apprenticeship, if you will. The rules are available for those who take the time to learn them. And once you learn the rules, you can take an occasional deep breath. . . and break them with impunity.
.
Secret Ingredients for a Middle-grade Masterpiece:
Trying to write for the older half of the middle-grade range? To appeal to kids on the cusp of adolescence: with raging hormones and today’s fast pace your main competition? From 10 to 13 years of age is the range I mean. However, kids find their own reading comfort level, so some 10/11 year olds might read YA books, while older teens might still be into middle-grades. It all depends on their maturity and individual reading level.



Here’s a preview of the ingredients you’ll need to dig out of your imagination, and your well-honed craft box, if you plan to whip up a great middle-grade book for those fickle 10-13 year-olds:
  • Tight writing.
  • Active and powerful verbs.
  • A plot that’s cool and fast paced.
  • Characters who are alive with authenticity.
  • Dialogue that is true to the characters.
  • A background rich with possibilities or mystery.
  • Your own unique writing voice.
  • Hints and clues that are woven into the fabric of the plot, and tell of past history and things yet to come.
  • End of chapter HOOKS that keep readers turning the page.
When completed, your middle-grade masterpiece needs to be somewhere between 20,000 and 60,000 words. Yes, I know Jo Rowlings upped the ante with her succession of Harry Potter books, and if your plot and characters have the same appeal as Harry, you too might get away with a larger word count. However, first-time authors might be wise to err on the side of fewer words.

Ingredients — How and Where to Find Them:
  • If it’s been a long time since you sat in Mrs. Learnit’s English class, take a basic English/Writing course. You can do this online, through a nearby night class, or your local college. Writers must have confidence in their basic grammar and punctuation skills.
  • Haunt your local bookstores and library. Read every middle-grade book you can get your hands on. Dissect the plots in these books, and the way authors create their characters. Look at the sentence structure, the way they describe events and places. Make notes. If a book grabs your interest, find out what it is the author does that has that effect on you. Is it their richly crafted characters, their sharp and fast moving plot, or their attention to all those small yet vital details?
  • Write as often as you can. Becoming a published author is not for wimps or hobbyists. Sacrifices are mandatory. If it means getting up before dawn, because that is the only time you have to write — so be it. If it means being bleary-eyed at 2 am so you can finish a chapter — suck it up! If it means living with dust bunnies that make your mother-in-law cluck, and teaching your kids to do their own laundry and room clean up — go for it! Most important is a partner who is sympathetic toward your (weird to his mind) need to write, and his willingness to help out around the house when you are suffering from one of your many writing frenzies. Perfect wife, mother and housekeeper, OR great writer? Both demand masses of time — your choice, mate.
  • If you have no middle-grade children in your family, volunteer at your local middle school. Observe these half-baked creatures in their natural habitat. Body language, peer groups, misfits and lunch room behavior: all this is grist for your writing mill. Moreover, you’ll probably have fun doing it. Make a note of what these kids read for pleasure.
  • Network with others who write for the same age. This means joining online lists where writing and publishing information flows back and forth, and you can have your many beginner questions answered. Join a critique group that has some advanced or published members. Their support and encouragement will often save your sanity. Critiquing the work of others is surprisingly informative, and you will benefit from the feedback you receive on your own writing. Below are three of many great online lists for children’s writers, and links to join.
Whenever possible, go to SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) writing conferences. SCBWI is well worth joining. They offer many advantages to newcomers, and their branches pop up in every state. This is where you meet editors and agents, and hear them speak about today’s world of writing and publishing. Meeting them often leads to you being able to send your manuscript to a specific editor: and with so many publishers today closed to submissions, this is a real plus. Other writers will also be there, keen to network with you, and share their writing experiences.  

The MAGIC of learning MORE will see you through! 


If you don’t have a college degree, or even a high school diploma, don’t worry. Talent, perseverance, and a slice of luck can make up for these so-called deficits. A dedicated and talented writer, determined to learn the craft of writing, and stick with it until they become published, will succeed. Boost your writing confidence with an advanced writing class. This will take you beyond grammar and punctuation, and into the meaty realm of plots, character enrichment, voice and pace. Perfect these skills, and acceptances rates multiply like rabbits. Below are three links — two links for great writing classes, and the other to terrific books on how to write for children.
  • Recommended Writing Class
  • Anastasia Suen — A wonderful writer. If you want to write for children, visit her Intensive
     
Other Websites That Will Boost Your Writing Knowledge:
  A must browse for beginners and experts alike. A veritable treasure
trove of writing information.

  • CBC  (Children's Book Council)
Information about writing, authors, books and publishing.
  • Writer's Market Research publishers. They update information regularly. They have a program where you can track submissions, but it cost to join. Writer's Market also has a free update site. You don't have to subscribe to the magazine to get the updates.
  • Jan Field's Website
     Chock full of writing help, and kidmagwriters.com is a terrific resource for
    those who want to write for magazines. 
  • CWIM (Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market). This hard copy book is the information Bible for publishers, editors, agents, and what they want from
    YOU in the current year
  • LINKEDIN is a place for serious writers.  Lots of writing lists for every genre`. 
Final Note to Prospective Authors:
Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep researching to find the right publisher. Keep sending out those finished manuscripts. Editors do not make house calls!

HAPPY WRITING MATES!





**********************************

Books for Kids - FREE Skype AuthorVisits
Manuscript Critiques


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Saturday, June 14, 2014

HOOK "Your Kids" on SUMMER READING


Make
SUMMER READING
at your house
ROCK!

But can you HOOK your kids on reading this summer?

Or will sleeping late, mindless music,
or compulsive computer games

beat you - AGAIN?


There's a secret to this dear parents.
Find books that fit your child's interests.

*If they love sports. . . get 'em books that feature sports.
*If they like computers. . . get 'em books where the main character is a computer whiz.
*If your kid has been bullied - find them a book where the hero gets even and triumphs!

*If your kid finds it hard to make friends - or any friends. . .
find books that show the main character discovering
cool ways to make new friends.

GET THE IDEA?

Here are 2 awesome adventures that will keep your reluctant reader. . . READING.


TACONI and CLAUDE - DOUBLE TROUBLE



And the follow-up book:

TRIAL BY WALKABOUT



Both these fast paced adventures are set in the dangerous Aussie Outback
territory - if the heat and starvation don't get them,
the wild dingoes or the crazy
medicine man might.

You can read excerpts and synopses from both these books in my  
FREE "Sneak Peek."
An easy pdf download that offers a quick look inside my latest books.


BUY DIRECT

from my WEBSITE for autographed books,
and a FREE copy of my
"Fairdinkum Aussie Recipe Book."

 Instructions on my BOOKS page -
Or eMail me personally - 
mfinke at frontier.com








(Tucker I loved eating Down Under when I was a kid.)

Postage $2.50 per book - the cost of postage stamps only!
(Add 50 cents for each extra book.)

**************************


Take a "Sneak Peek" inside ALL my latest books, and choose
 a book your child will love reading.

CLICK HERE 
for a FREE pdf  Download of the "Sneak Peek"



BOOKS also available on AMAZON, B and N, etc
(Soft cover and Kindle)

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BOOKS
A Magic Carpet Ride
to fun, learning and adventure!


Margot's
Books for Kids - Manuscript Critiques
SKYPE Author Visits  (FREE)
http://www.margotfinke.com