Tuesday, October 21, 2014


LOVE. REJECTION. AND ALL THINGS WRITERLY or Author Amy Spaulding shares her writing adventures

By Cindy Marcus

This month's Schmooze featured the rockingly quotable, published author, Amy Spaulding - had who lots to say about the business of writing - and the event was hosted by Sarah Skilton.  They were an awesome team, who "grew up" together as writers.  They started together and now they are both published together.   

I walked away from the meeting feeling so empowered with uber smart take-aways that I will use in building my author life.  For example, I now know that the whole scary rejection statistics -where we're told that it's like 99 out of 100 queries that won't pass muster - is untrue.  

Amy said, she's spoken to agents and they say nay nay; in fact, the reason there are so many rejection is cause writers don't do their research.  She said that writers need to go to the agent's blogs and find out what the agents are looking for.  They need to go to the agent's websites and only submit to agents who are interested in what the author is writing.  Authors need to understand the criteria for submitting and...DO WHAT THE AGENT SAYS!  Amy said, "Don't send out in masse.  Don't try to be cute or clever.  Let the writing in your book be smart.  They want to know that you are a professional.  SO DO AS THEY SAY." 

 In other words, write a professional, one page query, as the agent has requested it, and that might eliminate unnecessary rejections.  She actually kept a spread sheet of all the agents she researched, prior to submitting, and then just checked them off as she sent her work to them.  "Writing is a business so we need to approach it as a business," says Amy.  

As for her journey from submissions to publication - it took about three years and it wasn't easy.  Nor was it without rejection.  But she just kept writing.  She ignored the trends.  Wrote what she loved - contemporary realism - and eventually she got picked up by a small house; Entangled was looking to expand their list to all kinds of writers; so they picked up Amy and she said life at Entangled had it's ups and downs.  She loved that she had input, but she didn't like the fluidity to their deadlines.  

She's now with a big house.  It was her choice to grow, cause she said, "I like making money."  "It's fun. And it gives the writer room to do those additional promos and such that you can't do cause there's no advance when you're working with a smaller press."  However, she said she is still really glad for her time at Entangled cause it taught her a lot.  

As for now, she's working away on her fourth book, due out in 2016. Amy's other titles include: THE REECE MALCOLM LIST, INK IS THICKER THAN WATER and KISSING TED CALLAHAN...AND OTHER GUYS.  Amy loves to infuse her work with humor, something she developed taking Improv classes - which she highly recommends to all authors.  Amy wrapped up her chat with a Q&A with the audience.  

Check out Santa Clarita Schmooze next month where we'll be discussing "Diversity - What is it?  And how does it infuse our writing?" 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Schmoozing on the Westside!

The Westside Illustrators
& Writers Schmooze...
is getting
down to business!

WHEN: Monday evening, October 20, 2014
                        7:00pm to 9:00pm
WHERE: 445 15th Street, Santa Monica CA 90402

  TOPIC:   "Self Promotion!"
  • Postcards, Mailings, Facebook,
  • Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr,
  • Pinterest, Websites, Blogs and more!   
  • BRING your ideas and expertise!
"Doodle a Day " continues!   
"Dream Big... Start Small!" with baby steps

 Come prepared to participate, ask questions!
                        Next meeting .. November 17, 2014

RSVP???  YES...if you can...    SuzyBlock@gmail.com
WHERE??? 445 Fifteenth Street, Santa Monica Ca 90402
    5 blocks north of Wilshire,  between Montana & San Vicente. 
    A two story Spanish-style private home.    
Let's enjoy a fun creative evening together
& move forward in our common pursuit

of making a contribution to the world of
children's illustration and literature!
cell 818 389 1950


Sunday, October 5, 2014


Santa Clarita Valley Schmooze

When:  Thursday, 7:30 pm, October 9th

Where:  Valencia, Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Come One, Come All--Everyone Welcome!!!

Author Amy Spalding will be our special guest speaker for this evening.  Amy will share her insights for navigating the publishing world, especially her experiences with a small indie publisher (Entangled) and her new Big-5 publisher (Poppy, an imprint of Little, Brown).  Sarah Skilton will lead us off with questions and we’ll conclude with an audience Q&A. 

Amy Spalding’s books, Ink Is Thicker Than Water (Entangled Teen) and The Reece Malcolm List, will be available for purchase and to be signed.  Her snappy, contemporary young adult books focus on family dynamics with a bit of romance.  Ink is about a family-run tattoo parlor and the relationship between two sisters (one adopted).  The Reece Malcolm List is about a recently reunited mother/daughter and musical theatre.

As always, donations to defer Amy's travel expenses cheerfully accepted.

Hope to see you there!