Sunday, September 1, 2013

Twitter, Facebook and Social Media, Oh My!

I'm on Twitter. Yes, I am. I probably shouldn't be, I'm the worst at tweeting. But I do follow some amazing authors, editors and agents, and find I get lots of great tips.

I blog. Well, I attempt to. I could do so much better if I remembered my password more often.

But Facebook, that's an addiction! The amount of time I'm on Facebook more then makes up for the time I'm not on Twitter, blogging, linkedn and all that other stuff I keep getting invites for.

Facebook can be great! I'm part of a few amazing submission group, some great author tip groups, some literacy groups, a few swap groups, some Usborne Books groups. The best part is reading my friend's feeds and finding out what great (and sometimes sad) things are happening in their lives. I have to remind myself, though, that commenting on FB is not the same as picking up the phone.

I used to be addicted to Candy Crush, but finally stopped, cold turkey. That game sucked so many hours from my writing, reading and editing.  That is an example of bad Facebook. Bad, bad, bad.

My favorite part about Facebook is when someone Likes my post, or even better, they comment! Someone noticed me! ;-)

I've gotten a lot of great things from Facebook... I've met new and amazing people, and can even say I'm "friends" with some very important people, have been able to help other start their own Usborne Books business because they don't think it's fair I'm having fun without them, booked author visits, gotten motivation, found out about great events and opportunities like PiBoMo and 12 x 12. 

What is your favorite form of social media and why? Have you made any magical connections that changed your life?

And for anyone who wants to know how to find me on Social Media, here you go:

Twitter, author: @Littledebbiel
Twitter, Usborne: @usbornebooks
Facebook, Author:
Facebook, Usborne:

Have a great long weekend!


Monday, July 29, 2013





Thank you for coming to visit me on the Blog Hop Tour. The other day, Christine Irvin, invited me to join her on a hop across the web.

It's now my turn to answer 3 simple (or are they really simple) questions.

1.) What am I working on:

What a great question! Thank you so much for asking. I'm happy to answer. I've had some great and fun picture books babbling out of my mind onto paper in coherent fashion! This doesn't happen often. One is about a boy who would rather be an animal. Very funny, if you don't mind my saying. The other is about a Hug... but not too quiet of a book, with some humor and a nice "ahhh" twist at the end.

I'm also taking a class with Anastasia Suen on writing Chapter Books. So I will start delving into that area again soon. I'm thinking of regurgitating my Eugene into a Chapter Book. He stars in a picture book, but seems to transition well to a little more complex plot.

And of course, I'm always going back and editing my works that need to polish. I tend to bake them, then pull them out after a few months to see if anything new pops out that can be better.

 2) How does your writing process work?
I'm not a good one to schedule. I'll mope that I'm not writing, then remember Jane Yolen's BIC (But in Chair). So I'll sit down and stare at the screen, then try to write. Sometimes something comes out, sometimes not. If I can't get the whole story out in one sitting, it often will sit or be deleted to try again. My best stories flow from start to finish. This doesn't mean they are great, but the arc and storyline are in place, and I can edit from there.

But usually what happens is I have a great idea, and it marinates for a bit, then I have to get it out! I'll sit down and type it on my computer or Ipad. For example, I was at my son's swim lessons and was bit by the bug and started writing (nope, not about swimming). But I was able to get the whole picture book out, and it's getting amazing feedback.

Sometimes I write an outline on my phone if I'm not at a place to write.

Often if I can't focus, I pick up my computer and move to a different location. I like windows. It feels like the story can float to me from the sky.

Once a story is written, I put it away for a few days, then pull it out. If I still like it, I edit it. Then put it away. I work on it about a week, then lock it up in a tower for a few months. If I'm really excited about it, I send it to my critique group. But I do like to put my stories away, then pull them back out.

 3) Who are the authors you most admire?
I have so many that I admire! I admire different authors for different things.

My favorite story of all times to read to my kids is still "I Stink" by Kate McKullan.  It's just got this incredible voice to it. I also have a thing for "Big Hungry Bear"  by Don and Audrey Wood.

Jez Alborough is the king of rhythm and rhyme. And he can illustrate. That is one area I lack in.

And Lucy Maud Montgomery stole my heart with "Anne of Green Gables".

Jill Esbaum and Linda Skeers are also close to my heart, since I got to hang out with them for a picture book retreat last year, and they are always so positive.

Alice McGinty is another amazing author who writes from the heart. I loved listening to her, and still need to blog about how amazing this person is.

I guess when it comes down to it, I admire all authors. In fact, I admire anyone who takes their passion and shares it with others.

Keep Hopping!!!

Hop on over to these amazing authors sites:

Sue Frye:
Taressa Caldwell:
Autumn Purdy:

Friday, July 26, 2013

So happy! Writing has been is flowing. Still need to get rid of all those little passives. :-)

I am participating in a Blog Hop! If you came over from Christine's blog, WELCOME!!!
Here is the link to her site:  She is a really inspiring person, and very helpful. Thanks Christine! :-)

I am working on finding my authors to tag, and then will post soon. So keep checking back.

In the meantime, I'm busy working fair season. Besides writing, I sell kids books ( In fact, I'm a total book addict! I love to write, read, touch, smell anything books. :-) So of course my career choices will all reflect this.

If anyone is interested in learning more, let me know. There is a really good deal for July. $300+ in books for $69, plus a business. :-) It's all about passion!

Anyway, I look forward to participating in the blog roll! 

See, now you have to come visit me again so you can find out:

 1) What am I working on?
2) How does your writing process work?
3) Who are the authors you most admire?

Smile and Carry On,


Sunday, July 14, 2013

What's New?

What's new? I am working on improving my writing skills! How? I'm taking a class with Anastasia Suen. She's awesome, and very knowledgeable.  She has me doing a lot of reading. :-)

My blog has fallen off a bit. But I wanted to stop in and say HI! :-D

Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What to Expect at an Author Visit with Debbie!

If you've never hosted an author, it may seem a little overwhelming. Today's Blog is about what you can expect if you bring me to your school.

For starters, my book contains a ton of Onomatopoeia. So be prepared to watch the students turn from children into 20 -500 ticking clocks. But don't worry, the change is only temporary, though it may last for a few weeks.

When I come visit, I customize my presentation for your school and class. The teachers have the opportunity to give input on what they would like to see. I have included many topics from research to editing to coming up with ideas, to writing with description. I also have a list of suggested workshops I offer.  I work with children as young as 4 and up to high school.

For preschoolers, they get to learn about what an author does and how a book goes from an idea to words on a page into the bound hard copy they see before them. We end with an interactive reading of the book, and if we have time, I let the kids ask questions (which often involves them telling me about the clocks in their home.) It's OK, I understand. :-) These presentations are shorter then my regular presentation and last 20 minutes

For the older kids, we get into more detail! I share with them more information on the process, what it's like to work with (and trust) and illustrator to make your vision come alive, editing and how important it is. I have found that all ages love a reading of the book, and that some of the best clocks are my 5th graders. I always end with questions.

I like to spend 45 minutes with my older students.  For the Kindergartners, I find that 30 minutes is a good time. (Please help them prepare questions before).

If you prefer an all school assembly, I can spend the rest of the day visiting with smaller groups and doing writing workshops.

Visiting with students is one of my favorite parts about being an author! You can learn more at:

Let me know if you have any questions,


Monday, February 25, 2013

To Minnesota!

Sorry! I've been so busy with author visits I haven't had time to blog. When I have had time, I've been polishing manuscripts to submit. :-)  Today I head to Minnesota! Busy Busy!!!

Have a fabulous week all!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Goal setting lessons with Candy Crush

The truth: Candy Crush is EVIL! It is a time sucker. It draws you in with these cute little candies and easy levels, and quickly progresses into what is a very hard game. Some of these levels are downright impossible, right? And then, when you finally pass it and think you see the end, you find more levels. Over 300 to be exact! And some you will spend days on. Yes, days!

That said, Candy Crush has a great life lesson in it.

When you start a level, you are given a goal. If you are like me, you start the level without reading the goal, and start clicking, wasting your turns. You are experimenting to see what will happen. It's that whole whole cause and effect thing you learn in elementary school science. However, it leads to total failure.

FAILED? You failed!  

It even has a broken heart to show you the
pain and agony of not reaching your goal.


You may be clicking with a goal to remove all the jelly when instead you should be working on bringing down the ingredients. After a few failures, you actually read the goal and begin to focus. (Some of you may actually read the instructions first and skip that part. But for those of you who would rather jump right in, don't feel too bad, just know you may need to back peddle.)

Once you are aware of your goal, you work harder. Look above, it says "Try Again!" not "You suck, better quit." It cheers you on! 

During the journey, you also have the opportunity to get help. You can buy boosters (which are not unlike going to conferences or getting training). And at some levels, you are forced to ask your friends for help (not unlike real life where you get stuck and need someone to assist or mentor you).

You learn from your mistakes and begin to see what works, and what doesn't. Then right when you are about to give up and say, "It's not worth it,"

Congrats! You did it! Mission accomplished! Maybe it's a finished manuscript. Or your first sub to an editor. Or your request for a full. Whatever it is, instead of turning off the game and being done (hey you hit your goal) --

               --it gives you a new level with a new goal! A new goal? Yes, there is more work to be done!

So in review, how Candy Crush is like real life:

  • You have a goal, though you may not really know what your goal is.
  • You start to work towards that goal and fail.
  • You identify that goal, and learn from your mistakes, causing you to work harder.
  • You share that goal, so someone can cheer you on when you fail and remind you "you don't totally suck."
  • It is OK to ask for you help.
  • You reach that goal.
  • Once the goal is reached, it is time to set a new goal and start the whole cycle again.

You will succeed and get your candy star! But don't quit there, remember to keep moving up the levels!

And if you need a break, play at your own risk.