Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome guest author Marianne Stephens

Talking to Students About Writing Careers

I spent part of April 30th at a local high school giving Career Day speeches. My job was to inform them what it’s like to be a writer and finally a published author.

These teenagers are our future readers and writers. They’ve embraced technology, and eagerly checked out my Sony and Kindle ebook readers. We also discussed iPads. I figure that in 20 years, ebook readers will be as popular as cell phones and can visualize text books in ebook form…no more excuses like “I left my book in school so couldn’t do my homework”.

They appeared interested in my two paranormal romance books…maybe more because they had paranormal elements. I went into detail about the time travel (Street of Dreams) book I wrote, and fielded questions about using your imagination while weaving some true elements into that particular story.

Of particular interest to them: how long it took to get published, how covers are done, and how an author gets paid. I discussed the years it took me to figure out how to improve my writing by writing book after book, joining writing groups, joining critique groups, and networking. Knowing the industry ins and outs is a necessity, too.

Covers. I showed the ones for my mainstream books (couldn’t discuss my second pen name or books since talking about erotic romance books is a “no-no” in high school (although I figure some of them could probably give me pointers for my sex scenes!). They were fascinated by the whole cover art process, and I even showed a cover flat for one book that’s still only available in ebook format.

MONEY. Yep. They wanted to know how much I made. I explained that all contracts are different, but that I made more money per ebook than print book. And, because of a confidentiality clause, I couldn’t disclose what I make…but gave some “ballpark” estimates.

I also gave them URLs for teen writing sites that could be helpful. Mentioned Preditors and Editors as a source to check before joining any site/entering any contest.

My second speech was right after lunch, so I had some very tired/sleepy students staring at me! I tried to hold their interest by sharing some of my promo items for them to look at and passed around my Sony and Kindle ebook readers. That woke them up very quickly!

If you’re an author and get a chance to talk to students, do it. I found it fun and enjoyed their questions!

Thanks for having me here today, Cerise!

Newest Book: “Anything You Can Do”, available: http://www.breathlesspress.com
5 STAR Review, REVIEWER TOP PICK, by Diana Coyle, NOR
Top 18% Best Selling Romantic Comedy: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/category150_8.html


Katalina Leon said...

Great job Marianne! You just know there was a talented writer and many future avid readers in that group. It's so wonderful for an accomplished woman to show younger women the tools and path...

Julia Barrett said...

Wow! Really interesting! What a great avocation for you - encouraging budding writers! I bet they were interested in anything paranormal!

Fran Lee said...

Yeah...after Twilight, most kids get really into vamps and wolves. YA authors are really getting into that now.

Sandy said...

That's a great idea. After all the kids are our future readers.

Molly Daniels said...

I love it when I'm doing a signing and teens walk up to me with 'I love to read' smiles:) I also like those who are tell me they areinterested in writing fiction, and how long does it take, how many rejections I've received, etc.

And yes, the majority are the 'I don't read' types, so it's a huge thrill when the readers show up!

April Ash said...

I explained something about all my mainstream books (not the erotic ones!) and they were really interested in the two paranormals I've written.
At least no one fell asleep...although the group after lunch were kinda bleary-eyed!
thanks, everyone!

April Ash said...

Thanks for having me here today!

Delicious Romance From Cerise DeLand said...

Terrific to have you. And what a great topic. EVERYONE wants to know how to succeed in this business!