Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Some Stories Are Not Seen Release Day

Can Lucy save the sea stars before it’s too late?

Some Stories Are Not Seen is now available at your favorite bookstore! If you have a favorite local independent bookstore the book is available for them to order for you. It is also available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo as both an ebook and print book.

Twelve-year-old budding scientist Lucy Lavender loves exploring. After Dad dies, Mom pieces jobs together and struggles to provide a home for Lucy. When Mom is offered a job managing a set of vacation cottages in Sea Rock Cove, the small coastal town where Dad grew up, Lucy hopes this is her chance to have a home and pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist. On Lucy’s first day at her new school, she is excited to take a field trip to Sea Rock and see Dad’s beloved sea stars. When Lucy learns the sea stars have a wasting disease and are dying, she is devastated and becomes determined to save them. But as Lucy gets involved with the people of Sea Rock Cove, she learns there is a lot more beneath the surface of the town than just the sea stars at low tide.

Some Stories Are Not Seen Facebook Page

This story is inspired by the Haystack Rock Awareness Program in Cannon Beach. To learn more about the program please visit their website here. or the Haystack Rock Awareness Program Facebook Page

The Haystack Rock Awareness Program offers field trips to Haystack Rock–both in person and virtual. To learn more and find curriculum study guides about Haystack Rock visit the website here.

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome (SSWS) is the largest marine disease outbreak ever documented in a non-commercial species. It occurred from 2013-2014 and stretched from Alaska to Baja, California. SSWS affected over twenty species. The ochre sea stars, found in the Oregon Coast intertidal zones, have not recovered, although there are some areas which are showing an improvement. The sunflower sea stars have become non-existent. Marine biologists are working to find answers, but the cause of sea star wasting syndrome and the outbreak are still unknown. For more information visit the Sea Star Wasting MARINe site here

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Markets Seeking Submissions–Young Adult and Sweet Romance

A couple new markets looking for young adult and/or sweet romance.

Scarlet Voyage

Scarlet Voyage is currently seeking YA Fiction manuscripts and queries. We are looking for content intended for young adult readers, grades 6–up. We will accept manuscripts from all subgenres, but we are specifically interested in fantasy/sci-fi, thriller/mystery, contemporary/teen issues, dystopia, and paranormal romance.

Find out how to submit here 

Scarlet Voyage uses an on-line submission form.

Melange Books Seeking YA Horse Stories

The YA imprint of Melange Books, is seeking horse stories. Fire and Ice, Melange Book, YA imprint, is seeking stories from 10,000-20,000 words long to be released in individual e-book format.

Fire and Ice is also seeking Horse novellas and novels, from 40,000 words – 60,000 words in length to be released in ebook and in print in trade paperback format.

Find out how to submit here.

Astraea Press Seeking Young Adult and Sweet Romance

Astraea Press is seeking:

  • Any genre of romance or sub-genre of romance
  • Young Adult
  • Fiction of all shapes and sizes
  • Clean manuscripts with no language and no graphic sex

Submission guidelines can be found here

Astraea Press will also be taking pitches at the RWA Georgia Moonlight and Magnolia Conference in October. Conference details here.

 

 

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Audio Book–STAINED GLASS SUMMER

It’s here! The audio book of STAINED GLASS SUMMER is available for purchase and download at:

Itunes,

Audible,

Amazon.

The audio book can be listened to on ipods, ipads, tablets, computers, and Mp3 players.

You can listen to a sample here. This is an amazing retelling of Jasmine’s story on the island and I’m so pleased with the narration by, Sarah Newswanger.

stained_glass_summer audio cover

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STAINED GLASS SUMMER is a Finalist in the EPIC Awards

I’m very happy to announce that STAINED GLASS SUMMER is an Epic Ebook Award Finalist in the Children’s Category!

The EPIC ebook awards are sponsored by the EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition  which was established in 1998 to provide a strong voice for electronic publishing. EPIC includes hundreds of professionals from all facets of the electronic publishing industry: authors, publishers, editors, artists, and others. Our members work together in a unique collaboration to further the industry. EPIC exists to help industry professionals network and share information about industry trends, promotion, and the boundless opportunities ePublishing offers.

One of the things I love about EPIC is they also sponsor a New Voices Young Writers Competition.

Other finalists for the EPIC Book Awards include: Hope Clark (Funds for Writers) for her mystery, LOW COUNTRY BRIDE,   and Musa Author, Liese Sherwood Fabre for her Suspense/Thriller entitled, SAVING HOPE.

The Final Awards will be presented at the annual EPIC Conference on March- 14-16-which lucky for me is in Vancouver, Washington this year!

You can see a list of all the finalists here.

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E-Book Publishers for YA and MG

My young adult novel, “Weaving Magic” is published by MuseItUp, a Canadian e-book publisher. (April 2012) and my upper middle grade, Stained Glass Summer is published by Musa Publishing. (December 2011)

Both publishers are e-book publishers.

What exactly is an e-book publisher and how is an e-book publisher different than self-publishing an e-book? E-book publishers are publishers who focus on the publishing format for an e-book–formatted and ready to be sold for Kindle, Ipads, Nooks, and available to buy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and at the e-book publishing house themselves. (And by the way–authors usually get the best rate on royalties if you buy directly from the e-publisher. This is because when your book is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc, those places also take a cut of the book sale and so as the author, your percentage is going to be less on your sale)

Do e-book publishers release print books? Some e-book publishers, such as MuseItUp, also release print books. Some print books follow sales and reviews of e-books, and some are released about the same time.

Unlike self-publishing with an e-publisher, I did not pay for my books to be published with either e-book publishing house. At both MuseItUp and Musa Publishing, I have a content editor, a copy editor, and a cover artist. There is a publicist who sends the books out for reviews. And an ISBN number is assigned to the book. I have a royalty paying contract, and both publishers are very upfront about the amount of royalties on their websites before you even submit. Musa Publishing even posts their contract so you can see what exactly you will be asked before you even submit your manuscript.

Many e-book publishers accept manuscripts directly from authors. (Although if you don’t understand the contract, you might want a literary lawyer to look over it before you sign).

At both publishers, there is a lot of participation and author involvement. We participate in on-line Yahoo groups and interact with our readers and other MuseItUp and Musa authors. At MuseItUp, we also participate in the yearly on-line conference, Muse Conference, where MuseItUp is one of the sponsors. Both publishers allowed a lot of input into cover art, and at Musa Publishing, we have a data base where we upload all our information.

E-book publishers are fun for writers because  E-book publishers offer some great niche market opportunities. E-book publishers offer authors a way to build a readership. As a new author, I’d like to believe that I have a best seller right out of the gate, but it takes time to build my readers, and being published by an e-book publisher gives me that time I need.

I also had the good fortune of selling Weaving Magic and Stained Glass Summer at the time that both MuseItUp and Musa Publishing were building their lists, so my release date was much faster than the usual two years or longer which is more typical in the bigger traditional publishing houses. And this quick time span was also a benefit to me because both books will be released within months of each other, giving my readers a chance to read another book by me sooner rather than later! (Although it does make my writing life a little busy right now!)

I love books. But, I did receive a Kindle for my birthday this summer, which I love, and my friend’s tween and teen kids all seem to be attached to their Ipads. So, I can’t help but think that e-books are moving quickly forward!  I’m really glad I went with an e-book publisher for my first two books.

If you want more information about E-Publishing Houses, be sure to check out this blog and their listing. The e-publishers they review range from self-published to full e-publishing houses such as MuseItUp.

They have recently reviewed Muse-It-Up and it’s very promising! Read the review.

If you’d like to submit to an e-book publisher, here are some markets for MG and YA books:

MuseItUp Publishing

CBAY Books

Musa Books (I love the transparency on their website. Check out their contract. I love how it’s all right there for you to read before you submit!)

Noble Young Adult


Entangled Publishing

Jupiter Gardens

ETreasures

If you are submitting to e-publishers, be sure to pay attention to the submission guidelines. Formatting for e-book publishers has some things which are slightly different. For example, no tabs. .5 indents on all first lines.

Review this post for  e-book formatting guideline.

Good luck!

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Stained Glass Summer Book Sold

It is my great pleasure to announce that my upper middle grade novel, Stained Glass Summer, has sold to Musa Publishing.

Stained Glass Summer is the story of twelve-year-old Jasmine who adores her photographer Father and wants to be an artist just like him. But when Dad abandons the family, Jasmine is sent to spend the summer with her Uncle on a Pacific Northwest Island.  Soon, Jasmine is learning stained glass from island glass artist, Opal, and thinking she might just be developing a crush on  Island boy, Cole. But, it’s not until Jasmine finds herself mentoring another young artist that she can truly let go of her Father and call herself an artist by her own terms. The story will appeal to young readers between the ages of 8-12.

Please visit the FaceBook Fan Page for Stained Glass Summer!  I’ll be posting more news as the book moves along towards publication!

I began Stained Glass Summer ten years ago this Fall.

An artist friend of mine gave me a broken piece of glass which she had found in a glass art dumpster.

That night, a tough teen age girl character. wearing all black, showed up in my room. She sat down, tossed her black boots over my blue and white striped chair and said, “Hello, my name is Jasmine, and it is time to write my story.”

At the time, I was teaching eighth grade writing. I’d taken one class in writing for children and was attending SCBWI Seattle. One of my goals was that I would share some of my own writing with my students. At the post office, I saw a sign that a writer’s group was beginning in my town and looking for writers to join. I called the number listed and began meeting with a group of five women who, each week, asked that I bring a new chapter for them to read. This group of women gave me a safe, warm place to begin Jasmine’s story.

That following summer, I attended the National Book Foundation Summer Writing Camp. The Camp was for teen writers from NYC, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Each year, a couple adults who worked with kids and wrote themselves were invited to attend. At Camp, I met Ann Angel who read an early chapter and Norma Fox Mazer who listened to me cry after my first workshop. Norma and Ann both encouraged me to apply to the Vermont College MFA in Writing For Children Program.

I applied to the Vermont College program and Jasmine and I started a new journey in the summer of 2003. In my first workshop, Ron Koertge told me, “Alcoholic mothers are a dime a dozen. Change it.” I was devastated, but dutifully took my story back home to Seattle to work on. During my first semester, I worked a lot on Jasmine’s character with adviser Lisa Jahn Clough. During that semester, I realized that the story could focus on Jasmine’s art journey and show her with a father who was a self-absorbed artist rather than an alcoholic mother.

I worked on Jasmine’s story over the next two years in Vermont with advisers Sharon Darrow, Liza Ketchum, and Kathi Appelt. In the spring of 2004, I attended a Seattle SCBWI Conference and submitted the early pages to Alvina Ling at Little Brown. She requested the full manuscript. However, I felt like I couldn’t send it yet as I was still working my way through the Vermont Program, and the story wasn’t quite ready yet.

I continued to work and revise Jasmine’ story, which at the time, was called, Girl on a Thin Wire. After I graduated, I submitted the manuscript to Alvina Ling.

Alvina rejected the manuscript.

I was devastated. But something in Jasmine’s story made me hold on and keep revising. I took more classes, revised and reworked for another year.

And then, I sent the book out on submission. And it got rejected–a lot! I also kept writing and selling during this submission process including articles and short stories. I think having the sales of the articles and short stories kept me going during the many, many rejections on the novel.

A couple times, the story came close to being accepted. At one point, Persea Books asked for revisions. I did the revisions and resubmitted. Unfortunately, by that point we were headed into the 2008 recession and Persea Books had stopped accepting YA books.

A year in a half ago, I sent the manuscript to Ooligan Press which is Portland State’s University Press. They liked the story and took it to their acquisitions meeting. I had high, high hopes. I got an e-mail. It was between me and another book. I kept my fingers crossed. The time dragged. One week. Two weeks. Three weeks.

And then, the e-mail.

Jasmine had not been accepted.

This was the hardest rejection of this story. I had come so close. So close, and yet, still the story was rejected.

It took me a month to pull myself out of my writing funk. I didn’t write anything. Not one thing. I was miserable. Miserable.

And then, somehow, Jasmine came back to me. Her story of survival and artistic triumph, and I remembered the journey we had been on together all these years, and I knew I had to try one more time.

I sent the story out to Sarah Cloots, freelance editor, to do a full manuscript critique for me. She came back with this piece of advice, “You know, I think this story is much more middle grade than young adult.” The light bulb went on! Somehow, over the years, and years of revision, Jasmine’s edginess was gone. Her anger had been peeled back to reveal a smart, funny girl character who was above all else–a survivor.

I revised the manuscript using Sarah’s editorial guidance, and then I sent it back out to a couple agents. “Beautifully written. But it’s too quiet in this market.”

But I didn’t give up. I knew that I just had to find the right doorway. The right editor. The right publishing house.

One thing that bothered me was I’d always had premonitions with this story. From the day Jasmine’s character arrived in my bedroom, to every night at Vermont College before adviser selection day, I’d always dream who my next adviser would be that would work on the story with me.

It bothered me that I’d never had that premonition about selling the story.

And then, this summer, while in Sante Fe, volunteering at the International Folk Artist Market, I had a dream the last night of my visit. In the dream, I was in a crowd of people, and my name was called. “We’d like to publish Stained Glass Summer,” I woke up and it was the same feeling I’d always had when I knew who my next adviser would be.

That morning in Sante Fe, I got into the van to take the hour in a half drive to the Albuquerque airport and a girl was sitting in the front seat. She turned around and looked at me. I gasped. She looked just like Jasmine had in my room all those years ago. The girl in the van was an artist. A glass artist and she’d been in Sante Fe showing her work–a show which had done very well. As the van carried us to the airport, I learned she was from Portland and on the same flight as my sister and I. She also had attended the Art Institute of Chicago–the same place where Jasmine’s Dad works. As I checked into the airport, I felt like I’d just walked into a very surreal experience.

And, when I got home, I read on Hope Clarks’ Funds for Writers Newsletter that: Musa Publishing. A new e-publisher is looking for YA and MG books.

I am already becoming familiar with e-publishing as my young adult romance novel, Weaving Magic is coming out with Muse-It-Up in April 2012. (A Canadian e-publisher). I like the e-publishing model. It’s not pay to publish. My books are acquired, and I have editors, cover art, and promotions. My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, and through the publishers. The difference is my books come out as e-books first with print to follow. And with Kindles, IPads, Nooks, and everything else, I think this is a good thing!

I went to the website, and I liked what I saw at Musa Publishing. The contract was on-line. Everything was very transparent about the publishing house. The payment terms were favorable. So, I did what I’d done so many times before–I submitted Jasmine’s first chapter.

Immediately, as in twenty minutes later, I got an e-mail from the editor requesting the full.

A week later to the day, I received the contract from Musa Publishing for Stained Glass Summer.

After chatting with the editor about how I live in an area with glass art, the editor said this in her e-mail, “I live in Lancaster Ohio, right in the middle of all that great art glass and depression glass companies that were so big in the early 20th century. I have a huge collection of glassware, which is one of the reasons I liked SGS.”

And sometimes, you just know that a story has finally found the right home!

Welcome Home Jasmine. We did it!

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