Meet the Author: Marion Crook

If you’re an aspiring author and you’d like to write for the younger audience, make sure you are on the lookout for this title in September! Writing for Children and Young Adults (3rd edition) will be published in September 2016, and today you’ll get a chance to get to know its author, Marion Crook.

©Imaging by Marlis 2012 Permission granted to Marion Crook for personal and promotional use

Tell us about yourself. What is your background?

The first edition of Writing for Children and Young Adults came at the end of a blitz of publishing ten novels for middle school and young adult readers. Writing so many books so quickly made my efforts more efficient. I developed shortcuts and even a philosophy of writing that I wanted to share. After the publication of the first edition I continued to write, this time non-fiction for teens and updated the book in the second edition. The writing and publishing world changed with more and more digital publishing, self-marketing, and social contact with other writers. This new edition reflects the maturing of the genre. There are now many competent and exciting writers who plunge into this world of children and young adults, providing more and more beautiful books. This book is my conversation with others who feel the same focus and drive I have to produce books that intrigue and captivate young readers. Through the years I wrote and learned more about children’s need for books. I took a PhD in Education, adding academic understanding to my creative knowledge.

What is your book about?

My book sets out a path to the successful completion and marketing of a published book. The dynamic world of reading and writing has changed greatly over the past few years. Writers pitch their ideas online, exchange works in progress with critique partners and form street teams to promote their work. The online community of writers is a fast-paced and often confusing place. In the publishing world today, writers need to direct online traffic to their book and stimulate sales. The new edition of Writing for Children and Young Adults explains the choices around online publicity that can overwhelm writers. The book explains the fundamentals of writing: establishing character, creating lively dialogue and developing plot with stories from my own writing and with updated worksheets and examples. This edition of the book shows the writer how to begin a story, plan plot, develop and hone it for an agent or publisher. It explains how to make the crucial submission for a book that agents want to represent and publishers want to buy. Writing for Children and Young Adults helps a writer create the book that succeeds.

Why did you write this book?

I wrote the book to provide guidance for beginning writers, experienced writers and for myself. I find I check back in the book whenever I want to remind myself how to create a certain effect in my novel, how to organize a proposal, or how to set up a virtual tour. It’s useful.

Who should read it?

Anyone who wants to understand the bones of a novel or the way to develop a nonfiction book. Teachers of writing both in elementary, high school and university can use it to create lesson plans. Certainly, writers can use it as a guide and consult it as a resource.

You’re an experienced writer. What have you written?

I have twenty-seven published books, both fiction and on-fiction, most of them for children and young adults—published, that is. I have six books in various stages of production, four of them with my agent. Writing and publishing is my ongoing passion.

How did you find the writing process?

The writing process for this edition of the book was fast and exciting. I followed the outline of the second edition of the book, but the world of writing and publishing had changed so much that I muttered a kind of schizophrenic conversation with myself discussing every paragraph. Was this still true? What else contributed to this aspect of writing in this modern world? I was, at the time of writing, on a private Facebook page with about fifty other writers, most of them living in the US, who discussed writing and contracts and were willing to give advice. I volunteered to participate in their virtual tours, street trams, contests and promotional schemes in order to find experience in this new digital marketing. It was strange and fascinating.

Many writers are also readers. What are you top three reads of all times?

My top three reads? Only three? For inspiration when I was young I pick Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. I hear that book inspired many writers. For enjoyment I love Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood, an adult novel, and The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony. But the list will be different next week.

Are you thinking of writing another book? On what topic?

I have both fiction and non-fiction in process. My next book, assuming I find a publisher is an adult mystery with a semi-retired veterinarian called Cathy MacNab who reluctantly solves a murder. My non-fiction will be on Love and Fostering Children. I will no doubt consult Writing for Children and Young Adults to ensure I write efficiently, and with style.

You can preorder Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Crook on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters Indigo.

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