New Books for 2008

Snocross, by Linda Aksomitis.
Snocross, by Linda Aksomitis.

Snowmobile season sure cuts into everything else! However, I’m rolling ahead with the new books that I have coming out in the fall of 2008.

Two of the books are ones I put together as an editor for an educational press. They’re in the Issues That Concern You series from Greenhaven Press. My title for 2007 was Downloading Music, and my two new titles for 2008 will be: Choosing a Career and Teen Driving.

What I enjoy about putting together these titles is the research of the topic–which of course, is also one of the reasons I enjoy writing historical fiction. With the Issues series I, as the editor, provide the overview to a topic, then find viewpoints (often opposing) that give different perspectives. I also round up a lot of statistical information, which can create visual images to illustrate the issues.

Once I’ve chosen the articles I’d like to include in the book, I go through them and insert headings that clarify the different sections, since the books are for readers in junior high school. As soon as I get my package of materials all done, it all goes on to the next level of editors and permissions people at the publisher, so the books are really a joint effort.

Nonfiction work also gives me a break in creative writing, which is something I personally need as a writer. Since stories have to live with me for quite a while before I write them, I’ve found it best to work on other projects while I’m thinking through a fiction idea.

Of course, I’m also getting ready to begin final edits with an editor for the new historical fiction novel I have coming out with Coteau in the fall of 2008. I always look forward to working with an editor as a chance to get some feed-back on what worked with the novel, and some additional ideas on ways that the story can be stronger. Good editors seem to have an ability to ask just the right questions to make everything come together!

So that’s a little of my writer’s process.

I’d like to recommend an awesome new series of articles I found while looking for some resources to recommend to a writing friend whose work I was critiquing. Psychic distance is one of the most challenging things for a writer to master, and yet very few writing books address psychic distance. David Isaak does a great job here.

There’s always more to learn, whether it’s through direct feed-back from an editor, or by studying some of the great material that appears every day on the Internet.

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