Friday, July 30, 2010
Coleen Paratore--Writing for the Tween Market: Turning Inspiration into Income
To Coleen Paratore, “this is all about inspiration.” Writing is about catching that spark of inspiration, and you never know when it’s going to come. Inspiration is like a firefly in your backyard, and you have a mayonnaise jar to catch it.
Before she began writing she worked in advertising for years, but she never thought she would be a writer. She was first hit with inspiration for a story as she was on a morning jog. She ran home and started typing. Then she began to research, using CWIM and joining SCBWI. She kept sending stories, and she kept getting “royally rejected.” And then rejections began to get better.
But she really wanted to make a living, and was encouraged by an editor to write a novel. At an SCBWI PA conference, her editor through a title out at her: THE WEDDING PLANNER’S DAUGHTER. As she was driving home, she thought: the wedding planner’s daughter…what does she want? She wanted to have a father. When she tapped into that, she pulled over and started writing. WEDDING PLANNER’S DAUGHTER came out in 2003. It sold out in hardcover, was picked up by Scholastic Book Clubs, etc. The book changed things for her and made her realize she could make an income from writing.
The main takeaway from her session: Sieze the opportunity for inspiration when it hits.