Workshop Transcript

Writing Biographies

with Pat McCarthy


berries Close Window to Return


*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writing Biographies (for children) Workshop Tonight!

Verla: there she is! We were just TALKING about you, Pat

_Lyra: (Hi, Pat!)

patmc: I'll bet you thought I was going to forget!

Verla: Nope. I knew you'd be here, pat

patmc: I thought I'd better get here early so I could get in! Although, there probably won't be that many people interested in biographies. I think most people write fiction.

Verla: you might be surprised, pat. A lot of people are interested in finding out more about it. They are just scared to WRITE them

NOTE: There were about 20 people in attendance at this workshop

patmc: I think it's easier than writing fiction. You don't have to make it up.

patmc: Hey, I'm green and I have a plus sign!

Verla: That's because you are the speaker and I gave you "voice"

patmc: What do I do with "voice?"

Verla: It just means you can talk. If I have to take voice away from the room suddenly because of an intruder or something...YOU will still be able to talk, Pat

Verla: and so will people who are ops, like lyra and I

patmc: So I can talk to the intruder!

_Lyra: yup, Pat -- be tough

patmc: I thought anybody was allowed in. How do you get to be an intruder?

_Lyra: intruders are hackers who can freeze our rooms and kick people out -- it's happened

patmc: Something strange was going on in here last night. Nobody but Rochelle and I seemed to be talking, but a bunch of other people kept coming in and out.

_Lyra: we had ghost rooms last night and splits

patmc: Well, we'll see....never did this before.

_Lyra: When I first came it was to a ghost room (meaning when you look above for a topic, there is none)

_Lyra: I had to come in three times to get the right room

patmc: I didn't notice if there was a topic, but nobody seemed to be able to hear Rochelle and me, and nobody talked.

_Lyra: that usually means a split room or a ghost room -- best to just leave and come back

patmc: We just talked to each other. She's new in here.

_Lyra: that's always fun to talk one-on-one

_Lyra: brb

NOTE: brb = Be Right Back (or sometimes, BathRoom Break)

Verla: Actually, you were both in the chat room, and we could see you, but you were on a different "time lag" so we weren't able to talk to you!

patmc: Maybe I'm gonna be talking to myself...

Verla: naw. If that happens, just leave and come back in again.

patmc: We could see you, but couldn't hear you. Could you see what we were saying?

Verla: this server has LOTS of splits.

Verla: nope.

Verla: We were all talking about you, though. GRIN

Verla: and to you

patmc: I meant if nobody comes, and you and Lyra left!

Verla: naw

patmc: Well, we were talking to and about you guys, too!

Verla: people will come

Verla: uh oh...anything good?

Verla: anything "juicy?" GRIN

patmc: I don't know if I want them to come!

Verla: LOL sure you do

patmc: Nah, just trying to get your attention.

Verla: it means you are in a "ghost" room when you can't talk to us. Either that, or you have a very long "lag" time between posting and seeing messages.

Verla: oh...five minutes to "show time"

Verla: Do you want me to post your bio at the beginning of the workshop? I usually do

patmc: Sure, that's fine.

Verla: Would someone dust off the podium for Pat?

Verla: And what do you want to drink, Pat?

SRW: Blows dust through the air...cough...cough..

Verla calls up the caterer and orders in pizza

patmc: Oh, oh...better run to the rest room! Diet Coke will do.

Verla: and a big diet coke

Verla sends Pat a box of Depends...just in case she gets nervous. GRIN

Verla: Rochelle...would you set up the chairs please? (save two near the front for lyra and I...we like the 3rd or 4th row back and in the middle)

Rochell: Ok, but I won't clean the pizza off the carpet.

patmc: It's okay, Verla. I'm not THAT old!

patmc: See, there's plenty of room for you, dianne.

mugsy: well good I'm glad I'm not squeezing anyone

SRW: Mugsy puts the squeeze on someone.

Verla: Okay everyone...if you are new to these workshops, here's the "rules"

Verla: Welcome to our weekly Kidlit Workshop. We ask that you hold all personal chit-chat until the hour is up, but Please! Free free to join in the topic currently under discussion.

Verla: Okay, folks...personal chatter needs to cease for the next hour.

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writing Biographies (for children) Workshop IN PROGRESS

Verla: Tonight we are very lucky to have a great new author of biographies leading our workshop, Writing Biographies

Verla: Pat McCarthy!

patmc: Hi, everybody!

Dani257: YAY, PAT!!

mugsy: Hi pat

Verla: Here's what Pat says about herself:

Verla: "I've been writing for publication for about 12 years. In 1987, three years before I was due to retire from teaching elementary school, I decided I wanted to sell my writing and photography after I retired. So I began taking classes and workshops in both.

Verla: I retired in June of 1990 and have been writing, among other things, ever since. I have sold stories, articles, puzzles, quizzes, and photos to a variety of magazines, many of them for children. My work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Children's Digest, On the Line, R-A-D-A-R, Pockets, and other magazines.

Verla: A couple of years ago, I decided to write a biography of Annie Oakley for kids. She grew up in the county where I live, and there is a great deal of information available. I know her grand-niece, and she was upset that there were no good factual biographies of Annie written for children. Most are very inaccurate. So I decided to write one.

Verla: I did all the research, then wrote a few chapters. I wasted almost a year waiting for Dutton to reply, after they had asked to see the first three chapters. Then I decided I was not sending out one query at a time. I sent out five queries, and received an answer from Enslow Publishers. The editor said they already had someone working on an Annie book, but I should call her if I was interested in other topics. I finally got up nerve enough to call, and the rest is history.

Verla: My first book, Daniel Boone:Pioneer Legend, will be out on November 1. The second, Thomas Paine, will probably be out about a year later.

Verla: I'm a regular writer for a local monthly magazine, The Darke County Profile, and I still write for both children's and adult magazines. In my spare time, I volunteer at the Darke County Parks Nature Education Center. I work as receptionist several days a month, and also co-manage the gift shop there.

Verla: I belong to two photo clubs, a writers' club, a birders club, and the parks' volunteer organization. I love traveling, camping, birding, wildlife, puzzles, reading, crafts, doing photo albums, and playing on the Internet."

^RB: All that without winning the lottery?

patmc: No, I never won the lottery! Unfortunately.

Verla: All right, Pat! We are very happy to have you here with us tonight...

Verla: And we are eager to "pick your brain" about biographies, Pat

patmc: Thank you, Verla.

*** MelLane has joined channel #Kidlit

patmc: We were just waiting for Mel to come!

Verla: (Actually, that was not true, pat. We don't hold up workshops for anyone. We start them on time)

patmc: (Just kidding, Verla)

patmc: Okay, the first thing to do when writing a biography is to choose your subject.

patmc: There are several things to consider when you do that.

patmc: Jean Fritz says she doesn't choose her subjects for her biographies...they come up and tap her on the shoulder.

Verla: did you pick YOUR subjects, Pat? There are so many "famous" people...but it seems like so many of them are "overdone" with biographies, stories about them

patmc: Verla, I picked mine from the list Enslow read to me over the phone!

patmc: They come up with a list of topics in January, then they assign them to different authors. So I got to choose within their list.

Verla: Wow..but first you had to catch Enslow's eye, Pat.

patmc: I still don't know why they assigned me the first one, Verla. I had sent a query letter for my Annie Oakley book, and a resume. I don't know if they looked up something I wrote, or just thought it looked like I'd sold a lot.

Verla: Hmmm. Must have been a powerful query letter, pat!

patmc: When you're thinking about writing about a person, it's a good idea to check in the Subject Guide to Children's Books in Print and see what's already out there.

MelLane: If picking from the Subject Guide, Pat, how do you suggest one choose?

Verla: I looked at the subjects guide of children's books in print at the library, mel...and found that there was a lack of books printed on many history subjects for children under third grade.

Verla: hmmm. In my case, I knew about a stagecoach driver that facinated me, and when I went to find out more about this driver, I couldn't find much of anything at all about Charley.

patmc: That's another thing to consider, Verla, whether or not you will be able to find enough material about the person.

Dani257: That brings up one of my questions. What if you can't find a lot of info on the person you want to write about?

patmc: Dani, I'd say it would be very hard to write a whole book about someone you couldn't find much info on. It would be easier if the book were a short one for younger kids. <Mine have to be 19,000 words, so I need to know a lot.

Verla: In my case, I lived in the town where the stagecoach driver died, I had access to many primary sources that the ordinary person might find hard to locate and access.

Verla: I'd have not been able to write a totally factual book about my stagecoach driver if I had to write that many words, Pat. The total book I wrote ended up 4000 words long

SRW: So, does that mean the least you find...the best or is that just in libraries, not necessarily researching it on the internet?

patmc: SRW, it depends. For instance, there are a lot of books on Annie Oakley, but many are for younger children, and none of the children's books are really very factual.

SRW: But try selling publishers on that if they think the market is saturated.

patmc: Well, I haven't sold that book yet. Still trying.

mugsy: When my son had to read a biography he chose Daniel Boone because there were so many books to choose from how did you get a new slant on him Pat?

patmc: mugsy, tell him to read another Daniel Boone book after November!

mugsy: Pat my son and I both look forward to reading your book in November

patmc: Well, mugsy, I'm not sure how new a slant I got, but I used the Draper Manuscripts a lot. They are interviews with over 100 people who knew Daniel Boone. That gave me a lot better insight into his life than just reading other books would have done.

mugsy: pat, that sounds like an excellent approach to me!

Dani257: How do you go about finding info on a person?

Dani257: I'd like to write one on Ann Putnam, who I don't think has one just about her.

SRW: Dani, do a search on the internet and look at the library.

Verla: I start finding information, Dani, by checking out every book in the library about that person

Verla: and I read them, then I go over the bibliographies in each book with a magnifying glass

Verla: I asked my librarian to get me the books that sounded interesting from the bibliographies of the books I'd checked out

patmc: Me too, Verla. And look in the bibliographies of those books to see what sources those authors used. That's how I found out about the Draper Manuscripts.

SRW: What are the Draper Manuscripts?

Verla: (thanks, SRW..I wanted to know what those Draper Manuscripts are, too)

patmc: SRW, they are unpublished, but are available on microfilm in large libraries. Lyman Draper planned to write a book on Daniel, so he interviewed all these people in the 1840's, but never wrote the book.

Verla: Oh, how super, pat!

Verla: what a great source!

patmc: There were friends, neighbors, relatives, and descendants of Daniel.

SRW: Wow, but this information was made available. That's great.

patmc: That was wonderful! For Thomas Paine, there wasn't anything like that that I could find. But his own writings contained a lot of interesting quotes, etc.

SRW: Good thing he didn't wad it up or shelf it. Think of it, one day this could happen to one of us. (probably not me)...but someone.

patmc: As far as Annie Oakley, I have all kinds of stuff available, since she is from here. Our museum has a whole room devoted to her, the local library has microfilm of her scrapbooks, and I have her grand-niece as a source.

Windy2u: how many sources do you use to verify facts? two, three or more?

Verla: I try to always find three sources, Windy

patmc: Windy, my publisher said I had to footnote every fact I used that I didn't find in at least three sources. And usually if I just found it in one source and wanted to use it, I'd say, "XXX says.....whatever.

Verla: Ah....good plan, pat! (the XXX Says, business)

mugsy: There is an author I am interested in writing about who started an autobiography and it is among her papers at a library in her hometown--but unfortunately it is very far away from me--

patmc: Mugsy, are they on microfilm? Maybe interlibrary loan?

mugsy: pat I found this source on the internet and seemed as though it was not filmed actual papers

patmc: Okay, we're halfway through my next section! Researching. You people are moving me right through my outline!

mugsy: LOL

NOTE: LOL = Laughing Out Loud

patmc: Besides biographies of the people, I used other books about history at the time, or other people related to them in some way. Like Buffalo Bill for Annie Oakley.

patmc: It's also a good idea to visit places the person lived if you can. Although my advances aren't big enough to pay for much travel.

Verla: Mine either, pat!

patmc: Jean Fritz always visits the homes of her subjects. I was lucky enough to take an intensive workshop with her at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH, a couple of years ago.

LadyPen: If you haven't already addressed this question: Patricia Holt, interviewed by Booknotes this past weekend, said, "Forget approaching an editor with a regional biography. Do you know why? Must they always be about extremely well-known people?

Verla: hmm. I don't think they ALWAYS have to be extremely well-known people, Lady...I sold my biography to MillBrook Press about an obscure, little-known stagecoach driver.

SRW: Verla, and yours sounds VERY interesting!!!

Verla: Well, Charley *was* an interesting person!

LadyPen: Then, what do you think she meant by her statement? It confused me a little.

SRW: Lady, maybe she meant well-known people are OVER done?

mugsy: I am working on historical fiction based on my great grandmother she is very Obscure LOL

Verla: giggle...yes, that IS obscure, Mugsy

patmc: mugsy, I think since it's fiction, it won't matter that she's not well-known.

LadyPen: I thought she meant little-known folks when she said "forget regional bios".

--> zbell yep. :-)

mugsy: yep I get to take license with my ggrandma and turn it to fiction LOL

Verla: I think most "regional" bios would be those that would appeal ONLY to people from that region, Lady.

patmc: When I am doing my research, I take notes right on the computer. (Unless I'm at the library and I can't afford a lap-top)

patmc: That's what it sounds like, Lady.

LadyPen: Thanks, V. You're probably right. Must have a nat'l appeal.

Estar: Very interesting idea, using ones great grandparent on which to base "historical" fiction. Thanks!

Verla: If you have a person whose life would be of general interest to everyone...then I think it doesn't necessarily matter if they are famous or not

LadyPen: I agree!

patmc: Probably not, Verla.

mugsy: estar sure share and share alike

Dani257: But how do you know if they would be interesting to everyone?

LadyPen: Then, your pitch must convey that appeal.

Verla: (I can see it now...we are all going to go digging skeletons out of our closets to write about tomorrow)

mugsy: Dani I ran my idea by the list--they liked it

Estar: You bet! I already have it rolling in my mind.

SRW: Patmc, do you know anything about biographies and the Christian market?

patmc: Not a lot, SRW. I would assume that their faith would have to be an important part of their life. And denominational presses might be good. I know Brethren Press does books on people belonging to the Church of the Brethren.

^BigJohN: Well if you can find information on a carpenter who lived in a local town and made spars for whaling ships. That might be real appealing to a publisher.

Rochell: You can make any person's life interesting if you pick the right details.

Dani257: It would take a lot of imagination to find interesting details on my life:-)

NOTE: :-) = a sideways happy face

patmc: Your life isn't over yet, Dani. Maybe it will get more interesting! (:^)

Verla: That would depend on the person's life. Don't you think so, Pat?

Verla: For instance, in my book about Charley...I felt that this would make an interesting book...because when Charley died, he was discovered to be a female. Which meant she voted for a president in this country 50 years before women had the vote. And the voter records of the county verified that she DID vote in that election

mugsy: Verla--that sounds like a very interesting guy/gal

patmc: I tried to find little anecdotes about the people's lives that hadn't been done to death. And I especially tried to use the little stories that I thought would appeal to children.

SRW: Like?

mugsy: pat that sounds like a good way to get inspired --the little anecdotes , I mean

Verla: yes, and also about using the stories that would appeal to kids

patmc: When researching, it's VERY important to note the source and the page number on all your notes. Especially if your publisher uses footnotes or chapter notes in the book.

SRW: Kids are always needing non-fiction for book reports.

Estar: Speaking of appealing to children, how about giving special importance to any animals the featured person had?

patmc: Estar, I have several anecdotes about animals in the Annie Oakley book. She loved animals. I wrote an article about her and animals for a local magazine.

Dani257: What if the person you want to write about might still be living? Any special things you need to do, then?

SRW: Dani, I don't recommend killing them..that's for sure! <g>

NOTE: <g> = grin

mugsy: LOL

cherpa: Hi lol

Verla: LOL SRW!

Dani257: Aw! And I had my hatchet all ready:-)

patmc: I don't think I'd want to write one about someone who is still living. You have to be very careful when you do.

Verla: Yes, you certainly would have to be careful, pat.

Verla: I think you have to get the person to verify all your facts and approve the biography then, too. (If they are still alive)

mugsy: Verla or you can write the "unauthorized biography" LOL

Verla: True, mugsy

SRW: Verla gets first crack at writing my biography. I figure she needs the sleep.

Verla: hahha. Very cute, srw

Rochell: No one's life is that boring.

Dani257: Wanna bet? I could put sleeping pills out of business:-0

patmc: I was upset when I got the galley proofs of Daniel, though, to find they had cut the part of Chapter One which told about his daughter's kidnapping by the Indians from the girls' point of view...Thought that would help kids relate.

SRW: Pat, sounds like they cut out a very interesting part. Bummer!!! I would have found that interesting!!!

mugsy: pat hope yu saved that chapter <kidnapping > for a short story --sounds great to me!!

patmc: I talked to my editor about it, SRW, and she said maybe they would put it back in. I wrote a note on it when I sent it back.

SRW: I hope she does put it back. I'm sure its one of those little known facts.

patmc: mugsy, the kidnapping is still in the book, but it follows Daniel and the men who were tracking the Indians to rescue the girls. In the original, I switched to what was happening to them along the trail for part of it.

mugsy: Pat oh I see gotcha

Verla: Ah...interesting, pat

patmc: BTW, before I got that first contract, I had to write an outline of the complete book on Daniel, plus the first chapter. For the second book, I didn't have to do a chapter, just the outline.

SRW: Then I guess with biographies, its best to query before you write it instead of wasting your time on something that you might have a hard time selling?

NOTE: This question was not answered at this time, but the answer was YES. It is always best to query before writing non-fiction, since each house will have a different way they want the subject handled.

Estar: Pat, was the reason for differences in what you had to write for the first vs the second book that they had already done one of yours?

patmc: Yes, Estar, they already knew what my writing style was like.

mugsy: pat --groan I am terrible at outlining

patmc: Part of the research in writing a biography is photo research. That was my biggest problem in the Daniel Boone book. I had to find and pay for 21 photos.

LadyPen: And was that cost covered in your advance?

patmc: Lady, I had to pay it out of my advance. I got half the advance when I signed the contract, and the other half when everything, including the pictures, was in.

SRW: You had to provide your own pictures?

patmc: I think it cost me about $370 for the photos for that book.

mugsy: pat yeeks!!!

Verla: Did you up the amount of the advance during contract negotiations to cover the cost of the photos, pat?

LadyPen: Pat, did you predict the costs that would be involved before settling on the advance?

patmc: The author is usually responsible for finding and paying for photos. Some places charge up to $150 to reprint one photo! Obviously I didn't use them!

Verla: obviously, pat!

patmc: Lady, I didn't settle on the advance. I took what they offered! It was my first book.

SRW: YIKES. Couldn't they use an illustrator?

patmc: SRW, in this particular series, they are using historic photos. True, I get the royalty and don't have to split it with an illustrator.

SRW: Guess you made more if they didn't have an illustrator.

Verla: Some publishers want photos, SRW Others will use illustrators

Verla: Ah...I hope you planned better on your second book pat.

Verla: I met a nonfiction author once who said he requested a photo budget in his contracts for books that would need photos secured. He got up to $1500 for photos

patmc: Second book the same, Verla. Except that the editor told me going into it that I would only have to find a few photos, because they had many photos from Revolutionary times inhouse.

Verla: Well, ask for a photo budget in the next one, pat.

patmc: Verla, I'd have used some different photos if that had been the case. If I do another biography for them, I will ask for a photo allowance, or a bigger advance.

Verla: there are NO known photos of Charley anywhere

mugsy: Verla then the kids can use their imaginations combined with the illustrations think this can be a good thing

LadyPen: Verla, have you tapped into the genealogy community for photo possibilities at

Verla: no, I never heard of it, lady!

Verla: But I will....thank you!

patmc: Well, there are no photos of Daniel, either, but there are photos of portraits and drawings and etchings of him, his family, places where he lived, etc.

LadyPen: Verla, you just never know who's tree Charley might be in the middle of...and the genealogy community is EXTREMELY resourceful AND loves to share!

SRW: Verla, I assume Charley is illustrated?

Verla: yes, it will be, srw

SRW: That's good!!!

Dani257: Ugh. I still can't get in the habit of writing after getting an assignment

patmc: mugsy, I did my outline in paragraph form--one paragraph describing each chapter. No I's and numbers and letters.!

Verla: ah..that's my kind of outline, pat

mugsy: pat, oh that's a much more friendly way to outline--I'm writing that down thanks

Verla: excellent plan, pat

mugsy: pat oh great

patmc: It was interesting to see that when I sent them the outline for my ANnie Oakley book, I followed the exact format, without knowing it, that they have their authors follow for biographies.

patmc: Chapter one is about an exciting incident in the life of the person. Chapter two is about their childhood. Chapter three about young adult year., college, or whatever. And the last chapter is about their legacy.

Verla: Had you read any of their biographies, pat?

patmc: No, Verla, I hadn't, which was what made it so eerie!

Verla: (It sounds to me like that would be a good point for researching a publishing house to submit to. To follow the outline of the pattern of their previously published books)

patmc: They sent me a biography freom the series to look at, and it has been very helpful in doing things like the index, chronology, glossary, etc.

Verla: yes! Good idea, pat

Estar: Is it common to write only one paragraph per chapter for outlines, or is it just this particular publisher that found that to their liking? Does anyone know?

SRW: Estar, I think its common to write a paragraph for each chapter.

mugsy: are photos usually in books for older children?

patmc: mugsy, I think they might lean toward photos for the older kids.

mugsy: pat what ages is your Daniel book aimed at?

Verla: yes, what ages, pat?

patmc: It's a YA, for ages 12 and up.

Verla: I think you would have a much better chance of getting picked to do a book for a publisher, if you followed the established pattern they have for their books

patmc: Right, Verla, I think so, too. But I had never seen any of their biographies.

Verla: Then you were very, very lucky, pat

Verla: Most people don't get that lucky...if they don't research the publishing houses first, they don't get the sales

Windy2u: pat, can you use copyrighted photos? for a price?

Verla: You can IF you get permission to use them, Windy. This author I mentioned before told me he paid over $1000 for ONE photo to use as a cover of one of his books

Rochell: Whew!

Windy2u: must have been a wonderful photo!

LadyPen: Can you repeat the name of the biography series you're writing under?

patmc: Lady, it's Enslow Publishers and the series is "Historical American Biographies.

SRW: I think I just read about that in the SCBWI newsletter.

NOTE: SCBWI = Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators

patmc: I still hope I can sell the Annie Oakley book. I've had several rejections. Thought maybe saying that I have sold two biographies might help. And I can't sell it to Enslow, because they have one.

mugsy: pat Annie was a big hero of mine as a child hope you get it published --best of luck and let me know <g>

SRW: Isn't there another series for girls? Something about tragedies, homelessness, etc.?

patmc: SRW, you mean by Enslow? They have a number of series.

SRW: Pat, yes, I think it was another fairly new series. Have you tried submitting Annie to Scholastic?

SRW: What about Scholastic?

Verla: Try Millbrook Press. They love non-fiction

patmc: Right now I've queried 5 publishers that take Simultaneous queries. Came back yesterday from Facts on File.

Verla: AWK! We only have ten minutes left for our workshop!

patmc: No, I haven't tried Millbrook or Scholastic.

Estar: Has a historical biography ever been done on a famous animal? Horse, or such?

Verla: a biography of a horse? Wow...what an interesting thought! could outline a whole series of biographies on famous animals....

Verla: and become a zillionaire!

mugsy: yep Morris the Cat

Estar: I was thinking of famous race horses.

patmc: That sounds like a great idea, Estar!

mugsy: Several on race horses

patmc: One thing I wanted to say was that most publishers now want the biographies to be factual. No made-up conversation or incidents like were in those orange biographies that we older people read when we were kids. Enslow is very particular about documenting everything.

SRW: All I could think of was Mr. Ed and that was only a TV show. <g>

mugsy: my daughter read ones on famous race horses

SRW: Pat, it's something to write a book, 19,000 words, on all facts...

Verla: Yep, I could only come up with 4000 words for my biography of Charley

SRW: Verla, and for me...that'd be still stretching it.

SRW: Verla, it's a good thing they're the story does stop.

patmc: Then if they die young, the book is short???

mugsy: Verla what age group is the Charley book for?

Verla: I wrote it for midgraders, mugsy...and they are going to publish it as a picture book biography.

mugsy: Oh Verla that sounds neat a PB biography--nice

patmc: I've seen other PB biographies. Marie Bradby did one on Booker T. Washington, and Marianne Weidt did one on Dr. Seuss.. Those are just people I know who have written them

Verla: MillBrook sent me Diary of a Drummer Boy so I could see what they plan to do with my book. If it comes out half as good as that book, I'm going to be thrilled with it

patmc: SRW, the big problem with Thomas Paine was not coming up with 19,000 was cutting thousands of words.

SRW: Wow, Pat. Gee, wish I had your problems. I'm short on words, usually.

patmc: Both the ones I've sold have been between 19,000 and 20,000, because that's what they want. I think Annie will be a similar length.

Estar: Pat what's the average word count on the books you've done?

Verla: I think biographies don't have specified word lengths, do they, Pat? I just write the story until the story is done. Then you stop.

patmc: No, Verla, not for Enslow. Or I wouldn't have had to cut 9000 words!

Verla: ah...okay, pat. I see. It depends entirely on the publisher, then

SRW: The difference, Verla, is probably whether or not its for a series. If it's not a series, it probably wouldn't matter so much.

Verla: Ah...of course, SRW! I should have thought of that myself

Verla: 9000 words is a lot of words to cut, pat!

patmc: Tell me about it, Verla! Luckily I have a good friend who is a writer, and he helped me a lot on the cutting.

Verla: Yikes...we are almost done!

Estar: Thanks for the good ideas and your time Pat.

Rochell: bye, I learned a lot.

patmc: Hey, guys, you made this really easy! I hope you got something out of it.

SRW: Thanks, Pat.

mugsy: Thank you very much Pat

SRW: I appreciate you taking your time to come and help us.

patmc: Thanks to all of you for coming.

Verla: Any last words, pat?

Windy2u: thanks pat and verla.

Dani257: Thanks, Pat

DonaV: Pat, great workshop!

mugsy: I really enjoyed it it was my first workshop

LadyPen: Great, Pat!

SRW: Yes, thanks Verla for hosting these wonderful workshops!!!

patmc: Duh.... If you hear of a publisher looking for a book on Annie Oakley, let me know!

^RB: This has been a perfect example of how educational a chat can be. Thanks!

LadyPen: I agree, RB!

SRW: We'll keep our ears listening, Pat.

patmc: Well, this was my first try at doing an online workshop.

SRW: You did great.

Verla: I was sent a great list of websites for biographers...and I will try to post it on my website and put a link to that section of my website so everyone can use them.

patmc: That sounds neat, Verla.

mugsy: Verla that's great!

patmc: Thanks.

mugsy: Great job, pat

Verla: GREAT job, pat! thank you very much!

patmc: Thanks, dianne.

SRW: Thanks, Verla

Verla: Next week's workshop, by the way....

Verla: will be...

Verla: FAQs for Beginning Writers

SRW: Who's giving it Verla?

Verla: Linda Joy Singleton, Linda Smith, and Karma Wilson are the panelists

^RB: That's a great panel! I'll be baaaaack!

SRW: I've got to go put the kids to bed. Thanks for letting me sit in on the chat.

patmc: You're welcome, Verla. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be!

DonaV: That sounds good, Verla

^BigJohN: Very nice patmc It was very helpful and real interesting as well. The books are something I am looking forward to reading.

mugsy: Silly question --but how do you exit the room LOL??? Ohhhh thats a workshop I need!!

Verla: lol. close the chat window, mugsy

Verla: or click on exit

Verla: or stop chatting

Verla: or leave button

mugsy: okie dokie was looking for an exit button LOL

patmc: Or type /Quit

mugsy: thanks all bye

Verla: (you are too smart, pat!)

Verla: grin

patmc: Whew! I was afraid I'd be gone after I wrote that! Guess it has to be at the beginning of the line!

Verla: yes, it does, pat. The slash / has to be the first character or it doesn't work. If there's even a space in front of the doesn't work

*** Verla has set the topic on channel #Kidlit to Writers of Children's Literature Meet Here Nightly - Welcome!





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