Today, I’m excited to post my first official Baby Author Me interview with the amazing Lisa Schmid. Welcome to the blog, Lisa!
Lisa Schmid is an author, a stay-at-home mom, and a pug wrangler. When she is not scaring up ghostly adventures, she is most likely scaring up fun with her husband and son. She lives in Folsom, California, home of the 1849 Gold Rush and is the author of the new middle grade novel, OLLIE OXLEY AND THE GHOST: THE SEARCH FOR LOST GOLD. In addition to being an active SCBWI member, she has also recently joined the team over at spookymiddlegrade.com.
Now, Lisa, it’s time to take a deep breath and put on your traveling pants, because we’re about to activate the Baby Author Me Time Machine. We’re going to travel to the day after you sold your first book. What would you have done differently? What do you wish you would have known? This is the moment when you can talk directly to your Baby Author Self and offer her the words of wisdom she so sorely needed.
Lisa Scmid, take it away!
In the beginning . . .
I was a hot mess. When I first started writing OLLIE OXLEY AND THE GHOST, I knew nothing about writing or the publishing industry. I made a lot of mistakes. A. Lot. Some mistakes were trivial, some were setbacks, and some were downright cringe-worthy. I wish I would have known about the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I could have avoided several blunders and numerous boo-boos. Ouch!
If you are serious about a writing career, find an organization that fits your genre, and join. Immediately! I learned so much about writing and the publishing industry by attending SCBWI conferences and workshops. I have also met some of my favorite people and best friends. I not only stumbled upon a fantastic resource, but I found my tribe. I would not be where I am today without SCBWI.
This leads to my next bit of advice. If I could turn back time, I would have found critique partners (C.P.s) before writing a single word. So go forth and find your people. They are essential to your growth as a writer. Their comments, suggestions, and edits will make your stories better.
Your C.P.s want your story to shine. So listen with an open heart. But at the end of the day, it’s your story to tell. Remain true to your voice. Follow your instincts. Use what feels right, and discard what doesn’t.
While you’re working on your manuscript, start building your social media platform. It provides agents and publishers with a snapshot of who you are and what you represent. Basically, it’s a window into your soul (Too dramatic?). But trust me, it’s important. The bottom line: be kind, stay positive, and you will never go wrong.
And yes, there will come a time when you want to give up. Don’t. It happens to all of us. A couple of years ago, I wanted to throw in the towel. I was querying with zero success. It felt like everyone around me was getting an agent or a book deal. Just when I thought all was lost, something incredible happened. An editor from Jolly Fish Press liked my Twitter #kidpit pitch. Six months later, I had a book deal. It took approximately eight years to get there, but it was worth the wait. Have faith. It will happen.
The truth is, I am still a wee Baby Author. I am continually learning or experiencing something new. Just this week, I signed with an agent. This accomplishment felt just as exciting and surreal as getting a book deal. Most writers get their agents first, followed by a book deal. This goes to show that everybody’s journey to publication is different.
Just remember . . . Never give up! Never surrender!
Would you like to win a signed copy of Lisa’s book? Enter now on Twitter!