I just finished reading Libba Bray‘s Going Bovine. What a ride! It’s about a teen who gets mad cow disease and goes on the road trip of his life in search of a cure. If you’re up for physics mixed with myth mixed with music and don’t mind a bit of head-spinning along the way, give this one a read.
But this isn’t a book review post. It’s a post about those who help you along your writing journey. Going Bovine begins with the longest author note I think I’ve ever read; fortunately, Bray’s voice is snarky and fun as she thanks everybody and his maiden aunt for help in bringing this book to life. It’s a who’s-who of children’s literature folks from her agent/husband Barry Goldblatt to Cynthia Leitich-Smith (of Cynsations fame). I recognized many names from different iterations of my children’s literature life and it got me thinking about what a (relatively) small world we have in our chosen field and how wonderful it is that in this field, folks mentor and aid and “thank” instead of competing. How cool is that?
It also made me think about how many of us write in solitude and forget to connect, because there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years: connections matter. So don’t just sit there with your laptop. Go to conferences. Take workshops. Meet local children’s writers for coffee. Chat up your local children’s librarians. Form a critique group. Join some online groups or hook up with NaNoWriMo. The more you connect, the more likely you’ll make connections that will lead to future publication, and the more folks you’ll have to thank in the author’s notes for your book. (And, yes, I’ll be looking for my name, peeps!)