Blog Me MAYbe

Blog Me MAYbe: My Favorite Writing Resources

Since today is Monday - that means the topic in our lovely Blog Me MAYbe blogfest, is all about sharing something that has to do with writing!

And what better way to start off the week, than to share some of my most favorite writing resources, be them books or websites?

First up: Favorite craft books on writing:

1. I've already mentioned this one before, but I love Stephen King's ON WRITING.

Goodreads Summary:

"Long live the King" hailed "Entertainment Weekly" upon the publication of Stephen King's "On Writing." Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, "On Writing" will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

This is one of my absolute favorite books on the craft of writing for a number of reasons. Not only does Stephen King open the door on how his writing career began (or actually, almost didn't), but he also lays down the honest truth, if writing is what you really want to do. 


Goodreads Summary:

From a top young adult literary agent, the only guide on how to write for young adults 

With an 87 percent increase in the number of titles published in the last two years, the young adult market is one of the healthiest segments in the industry. Despite this, little has been written to help authors hone their craft to truly connect with this audience. Writing Great Books for Young Adults gives writers the advice they need to tap this incredible market.

Topics covered include:

Listening to the voices of youth
Meeting your young protagonist
Developing a writing style
Constructing plots
Trying on points of view

Agent Regina Brooks has developed award-winning authors across the YA genre, including a Coretta Scott King winner. She attends more than 20 conferences each year, meeting with authors and teaching.

Another great resource for writers, specifically those interested in the Young Adult genre. 


Goodreads Summary:

Get schooled in the art of writing fiction for teens

"Writing & Selling the YA Novel" offers a complete lesson plan for writing and publishing fiction for teens. Structured like a day of high school, award-winning young adult novelist K.L. Going takes her students through every stage of YA writing.

Learn how the YA genre has developed in History class. Toss around ideas during Gym. Create authentic teen characters in "English class." Craft convincing plots during Lunch. Add it all up in Math as you learn about agents and contracts. Along the way you'll find plenty of "homework" exercises to help you hone your skills - as well as input from actual teen readers.

At the end of your school day, you'll have all the knowledge a young adult author needs to write a book that speaks to teen readers - and get it published.

I haven't read this one yet, but I've heard many great things - it's definitely on my TBR list. 

And of course, my Favorite Websites:

1. Mary Kole and

About Me and is an ongoing project for the passionate community of people who read and write children’s literature. My name is Mary Kole. I live in Brooklyn, am an associate agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and write young adult and middle grade of my own. My favorite things about kidlit change almost every day.

Agency Bio

If you want to find out more about me as an agent, please check out my bio on the Andrea Brown Literary Agency website by clicking here.

Not only is this site a fabulous resource for all things Kid Lit - but Mary does an amazing job allowing followers to interact with one another. In fact, thanks to Mary, I met one of my uber critique partners - Heidi S. - through one of Mary's Critique Connection posts a few years ago!  


Straight from QueryTracker:

QueryTracker is not just another list of agents. In fact, our agent list is secondary to the real purpose and power of QueryTracker. is a model for what I like to call "Social Data Gathering." Which means each QT user contributes data about their query and agent experiences. Alone, this data does not reveal much, but when combined with the data from our ever-growing membership, we can see trends and identify important aspects of an individual agent's actions.

I've said it a few hundred times before, and I'll keep saying it a million times more...for those in the query letter stage, this site is an invaluable resource.

3. The Write-Brained Network

Welcome to the Write-Brained Network, a writing community dedicated to connecting writers of all genres, stages, and levels.

There are so many talented writers that are a part of this group - not to mention, I head up their YA subgroup - the YAwesome Writers!
Within this subgroup, we've managed to pull together some pretty amazing critique groups, based on if you're at all interested in finding a great CP, head on over - the more the merrier! 
And I's been awhile since I've been active on this site - and I so need to get on back over there and get with it! If anyone is interested, I'm thinking about starting a query letter workshop of sorts...maybe get a few folks to post their query, for feedback? Help others get started in the process? If this sounds like something that people would be interested in, I'm more than happy to get the ball rolling. 
So pop on over to the WB, sign up if you haven't already, join the YAwesome Writer's subgroup - and let me know!

There you have it - a few of my favorite writing resources! I'm sure I've missed that of course leads me to ask:

What are your favorite writing resources?

Blog Me MAYbe: A Little Something About Me!

Today is the first day of the Blog me MAYbe blogfest, hosted by the fabulous Sara McClung - a little something she pulled together, to keep all of us participating, motivated to blog on a weekly schedule.

And since it's Tuesday, that means the topic is: May I tell you something about myself?

I snagged the cool alphabet survey Katy Upperman posted on her blog last week, as I thought this would be a great way to share a few things about me. 

Day one in the Blog Me MAYbe blogfest - and here goes:

A is for age: Today is my birthday - I am now...36.

B is for breakfast today: Haven't had anything yet - but I'm hoping for some pancakes!

C is for currently craving: Not gonna lie, would love a ball park hot dog and garlic fries right now...we may catch an Angels game this week, so I might just get my wish!

D is for dinner tonight: Since my husband I are in LA right now, we're having dinner at one of my favorite sushi restaurants: Yamashiro's. Love, love, love, this place!

E is for favorite type of exercise: Running, for sure. It's been awhile, but I also love CrossFit. Skiing and golf are favorites, as well!

F is for an irrational fear: Needles. *shudder*

G is for gross food: Not a huge fan of liver or any other entrails. 

H is for hometown: I was born and raised in Renton, Wa. (about 20 minutes SE from Seattle). 

I is for something important: My family. And my writing.

J is for current favorite jam: Yikes, not a huge jam fan - but if I had to pick, it would be my Aunt's homemade Guava jam from Hawaii!

K is for kids: Sadly, we only have the 4-legged kind, but not for lack of wanting the human kind. Never thought it would be this hard...but hopefully someday!

L is for current location: LA, California, in my hotel room!

M is for the most recent way you spent money: We went to Disneyland yesterday - it's been 28 years since I've been, and it was absolutely one of the best days I've ever had!

N is for something you need: A way to bring money in without having to go back to my day job!

O is for occupation: Creative development manager in the marketing department at T-Mobile. Aspiring author.

P is for pet peeve: Angry drivers. People who cut in line. Unruly children.

Q is for a quote: “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

R is for random fact about you: I constantly leave various lights on around the house for no real apparent reason, which drives my husband batty - he's always following behind me, and turning them off. 

S is for favorite healthy snack: My morning smoothies made of: Kale, mango, banana, almonds, protein powder, coconut oil, and coconut water = YUM!!

T is for favorite treat:  Haagen Dazs Chocolate Chocolate-Chip ice cream, and Haribo gummi bears (but only the red and the green ones).

U is for something that makes you unique: I am a handful of scuba dives short of my Dive Masters certification. I played the violin for 12 years. And was a gymnast for 14. 

V is for favorite vegetable: Squash, peppers, and broccoli.

W is for today’s workout: Walking the infinite expanse of Disneyland!

X is for X-rays you’ve had: My heel (nasty heel spur from running!) and my teeth.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Amazing dinner with my husband at Osteria Mozza, in LA!

Z is for your time zone: Pacific.

That's me in a nut shell - so tell me, what is one random fact about you?