Sunday, May 20, 2012

Books With Heart

I recently finished a book that was not my cup of tea, but I resisted the impulse to write a bad review. Now that I know firsthand how much work goes into writing and finding a publisher, I feel a kinship with anyone who has embarked on the journey. After all, it's only my opinion. This novel may be exactly what another reader is looking for.

 While plodding through the pages, I wished for some cream and sugar to add to the plot. With a a little more umph, this book could have been great. Here's where it fell short:

 1. The heroine has lost her mother, but I never really felt her pain. I'd be willing to bet the author has never lost her own mother, or conducted in-depth research about that kind of devastating loss.

 2. The plot was predictable. I knew very early on that the teenager would grow to love the father she never knew, and get the attention of the cute boy in the end. Because the stakes were never high enough, or a happy ending really in question, there was no compelling reason to keep reading.

 I think writing a book full of heart is painful. You have to open up a vein and bleed all over the page, but those are the kinds of books that a reader will never forget.

 My favorite book with heart is THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson. What's yours?

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Bio And Headshot

When my publisher asked for a bio and a headshot, I had my husband snap some pictures. I wasn't so pleased with the results and decided to splurge on a professional photographer. Here's the result of my "Christie Brinkley" session.

I'm sure my publisher will edit my bio, but here's what I've written so far: Shannon Hitchcock grew up in rural North Carolina on a 100-acre farm. Her extended family and love of the south are integral to her stories. Shannon’s picture book biography, Overgrown Jack was nominated for the Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award. Her writing has been published in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Children’s Writer, and other magazines. Shannon currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her husband and teenaged son. Her first novel, The Ballad of Jessie Pearl, was inspired by a family story. For more information, visit Shannon on the web.

 Having a novel with my name on the cover is a dream come true for me. I plan to revel in every step of the process!