Monday, March 17, 2008

So You Want to Write a Book 3 & 4 + Bonus Brownies

I've lost track of myself in the past few weeks. We had a couple of nice days so I went out and rejuvenated . Last Friday I strolled through Family Tree Nursery on Farley, just north of 87th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. Tables and tables of pansies. I came home with a couple of purple and yellow to have on the kitchen table where I can see them. And today is so bleak, they are needed.

Where were we on ten things you need to know to write a book? Below are points 3 and 4. I'm including point 3 again. You'll see why.

3. What’s the point of your book? Write a one-sentence answer to this question. Practice saying it aloud. If, when asked this question, you find yourself drawing a deep breath and saying, “Well, see, . . . .,” then you need to refine your answer. The answer is often referred to as an “elevator speech.” Imagine yourself at a writers’ conference. You are in an elevator with just the editor you want to meet. The door closes, and she asks, “What is your book about?” You have until the elevator door re-opens to answer the question. Knowing the answer to this question will help you maintain focus as you write your book, and it will help you when you pitch your book to an agent or editor. As you write, you may discover your answer changes. That’s okay. Just keep a clear answer and clear focus in mind.

4. What is the purpose of the book? This sounds like the previous question, but isn’t exactly. Think about the reader. (Always be thinking about the reader.) What will the reader get from spending her time and money on your book? What do you propose to give the reader? Information, inspiration, motivation, entertainment, historical perspective, understanding, or something else? Do you watch American Idol? Have you noticed the judges repeatedly say, Pick a song that suits your voice. Do the contestants do that? No. They choose a song they love to sing for their grandmother. They choose a song they love to sing at church. They choose a song they love because it makes their dog howl. (Okay, maybe not that last one.) Anyway, you get the point. Writing is the same. It doesn't matter what you love. Think about what the reader will love.

Below (in pink) is an e-mail from Mary Anne Demeritt, author of The Twilight Ride of the Pink Fairy. You can find more information about the book by going to and clicking on Fun Stuff and scrolling down to Books.

I am going to be at Border's Bookstore at Metcalf on Saturday April 5th for a storytime at 10 am and at the Booksigning Event for Educators in the afternoon from 12-2 p.m. It should be a lot of fun. I will wear my fairy godmother costume and little girls can come dressed as fairies. FYI. Mary Anne

And speaking of love -- here's the chocolate.

The "recipe" is from The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn. I renamed it Bonus Brownie.

Bonus Brownies

Make brownies from a mix.

Cut brownies into rounds with a biscuit cutter. (Anything involving a biscuit cutter means we are really baking.)

Sandwich two rounds together with raspberry jam.

Dust top with confectioners' sugar.

Now here's the bonus part I figured out all by myself. You have to do something with all the pieces left after you cut out the rounds. Bonus! Eat them immediately.

See more stuff you will like at Updated monthly -- or so -- depending on if I am on a quest for sunshine & flowers.