Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Interview with Author Linh Nguyen-Ng!

I'm happy to introduce my friend Linh Nguyen-Ng, author of the adorable picture book, MOMMY'S LITTLE WORDLINGS! I bought a copy of her book, and her illustrations are SO cute, and the message is really sweet. Go ahead and check it out on Amazon!

MOMMY'S LITTLE WORDLINGS was published by Anaiah Press on April 7, 2015. Here's what it's all about:

Little words hold big meanings. The Little Wordlings are children who use their simple words to express their feelings for loved ones. No one is more adored than the first person who made them smile. No one is more cherished than the person who gave them life. There is no one like Mommy. Join the Little Wordlings as they show Mommy how much she is appreciated and loved.

So. Cute.

You can buy the book here, or add it to Goodreads here.

And that's not all! Today, Linh is answering some questions on my blog. Welcome, Linh!

Thank you Shelley for hosting me! ^_^

Linh, how do you come up with your ideas?

I have several sketch books where I store my ideas. In those books is a collage of things—simple words, a leaf I found while walking at the park, a tear sheet from a magazine or a color that resonated with me. The important thing is to keep an open mind, let ideas flow into it.
The idea for MOMMY’S LITTLE WORDLINGS came to me as I was creating some greeting cards that featured these children called “Little Wordlings”. In my mind I saw them acting out scenes, so I decided to write a story.

What do you find easy and challenging writing for children?

I’m not sure there is an “easy” part about writing for children. Children’s minds are full of wonder, so in that sense, there are so many things you can write about. However, because there are so many ideas, how do you know which one is the right one? There are certain trends you can follow, but I think if you write from your heart, it will always end up where it’s supposed to go.

In longer children’s novels, I find it hard to balance out character, plot and world building in the beginning stages. So when editing, I try to do it in chunks; character review, plot review, and world building. I’m not sure if that is the most effective way. But it is one way that is working for me. Hopefully, I’ll find a faster method one of these days.

Did you go to school for writing?

No. I studied fashion design in college. It was a creative outlet for me. I learned form, function and creative ways to transform a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional object. I’ve applied that knowledge into my writing-- perspective, discipline and hard work. Did I wish that I went to school for writing. I think I would have wanted to take more writing classes. I think we all have passions that take us down different paths that somehow magically lead us to where we’re supposed to be. At that time, I wanted to be a designer. That passion guided me to be an author today.

Do you write every day?

I try to write every day. Try is the magic word. Sometimes it’s only ten minutes, other times it’s longer. I discipline myself to at least write something every day so that I don’t lose the momentum. However, things often occur that alter my plans. When that happens, I say “plot twist!” and move on.

Thanks so much for visiting today, Linh! It's a pleasure to have you here.

More about the fabulous author:

I live with my family in Massachusetts where I get to enjoy the four seasons. I love unique and interesting things—things that make a lasting impression. I am constantly looking for inspiration that I can use in my writing. Everything has a story to tell.

Twitter: @linhnguyenng

And if you live in the U.S., feel free to enter the Rafflecopter here:

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Wait, Let Me Write That Down!

A question for my fellow creative types:

Have you ever been in conversation with someone, or listened to someone else's conversation, and heard the person say something that gives you an idea for whatever you're working on? Maybe it's a line that a character would say, or maybe it's a perfect description of something you could incorporate into the story. But whatever it is, it lines up perfectly with what's in your head.

And you don't want to be rude or creepy and write it down right away. Especially not in front of them.

So you make a mental note to make a physical note about it later.

And you forget it completely. (Okay, maybe that's just me. But if I'm not alone, please let me know!)

That's where I am right now. I was in a conversation with someone, and she described something so perfectly that I just had to write it down. Except I didn't, and I lost it. Now I'm desperately trying to jog my memory. Hmm... maybe something having to do with shoes? Or clothes? I can't remember.

Can anyone else relate? Anyone have any tips for forgetful people? What was something interesting you've heard lately?
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Monday, April 6, 2015

A Change In Seasons

Boy, it was an icy cold winter on the east coast this year. But as I write this (I write posts in advance, so I wrote this weeks ago), I'm hearing birds chirping outside, and the snow has finally melted. Soon, I'll be living out west, in 100+ degree summer heat. ("But it's a dry heat," they say. And it is. But still...)

The weather sometimes makes it hard for me to focus on whatever season it is in the book I'm writing. My current WIP takes place in the fall and early winter, so I'm not in that mindset at all. School starting? Halloween? Leaves falling? Yup, I definitely have to use my imagination.

I'm glad, though, that I'm not writing yet another book that takes place during the summer. Since I write for kids and don't always want to incorporate school scenes in my stories, I tend to choose summer and use the two-month vacation as an excuse. (Although I did recently write a winter story and a spring story, so I've branched out a bit this year.)

What seasons do you enjoy writing about the most? Do you center your stories around certain holidays? What kind of seasonal imagery (snow falling, birds chirping, the warmth of sunshine) do you enjoy the most?
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