Novelist Angela Crook, who most recently authored the thriller Chasing Naveh, held her book launch at Loganberry Books on Sunday, March 10. During the question and answer period in her well-attended event, she shared her wisdom about writing:
- Get support from a writing community. Angela belongs to a writers’ group, named the LLAMAS. They helped her edit her books for content, style, and grammar. They encouraged to keep writing. If you cannot find a physical group, then Angela recommends linking with an online community, such as #writingcommunity on Twitter.
- Attend writing conferences. Angela, a lifelong devotee of the thriller genre, attends Killer Nashville which specializes in crime novels. She believes craft talk with other writers is essential.
- Find your ideal reader and let them read your stuff. Angela recommends reading Stephen King’s writing guidebook, called On Writing. In “On Writing,” King insists that writers must understand their ideal readers, the readers most likely to get attached to your work. Angela effectively created a Dickens-esque serialized version of her first novel, Fat Chance. She gave individual chapters to her friends. After a while, those friends demanded new chapters weekly. Angela says they got perturbed if she delivered new material late. She knew she had a winning novel.
- Whether you self-publish or find an independent publisher, make sure your work is well edited. Angela admonished the writers to curb their enthusiasm about getting their novel into the world before making sure that the novel is error-free. You present yourself to the world through your novel; don’t be shabby.
- Write at least one page every day. Yes, you must.
You can follow Angela Crook on Twitter at @navah74. You can buy her novels at Loganberry Books, the largest supplier of books by local authors in Cuyahoga County.
If you need more guidance on writing, check out local author J. Thorn, a frequent lecturer at the CCPL Skirball Center for Writing. He offers great tips on building an audience, marketing, and making money in self-publishing.
Looking for a conference? Literary Cleveland holds a big writing conference each year in August in connection with Cleveland Public Library. Also, Loganberry Books will host a discussion panel for children’s book (picture books, middle grade, and young adult) writers during Children’s Book Week on Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 AM.
Are you ready to bring your book into the world? Loganberry Books’ Author Alley happens Saturday, July 6. Registration is open. Author Alley offers you a free opportunity to sell your book during Larchmere Festival and meet 50 other local writers.
Miesha Wilson Headen