This is a guest post by B. K. Bostick.B.K., author of Huber Hill and the Dead Man’s Treasure, grew up in Roosevelt, Utah and now resides among the magnificent Rocky Mountains by an amusement park. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Utah and his Masters in Psychology from Utah State University. He has worked as a teacher, after school program coordinator, junior high school counselor, and most recently as a teacher mentor for Western Governors University. In his spare time, he enjoys eating cheetos and watching old episodes of the Twilight Zone.
I was teaching 4th grade five years ago and Brandon Mull came to visit our school to do an assembly. The kids ate up his presentation and so did I. At the time, about half of the kids in the class were reading Fablehaven. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to inspire kids (especially boys) to read. I think all of us have a story growing in our minds at one time or another. At that time, Huber Hill and the Dead Man’s Treasure was just sprouting.
Soon thereafter, I was inspired to outline and begin writing the story. The first ten pages were the hardest! I spent about a year on the first draft, dabbling here and there at night and on the weekends. I attended writing classes and groups to help me polish the narrative. I learned a couple of very important things about writing through this process:
1) Eliminate the word “feel” or “felt” whenever possible;
2) Try to use colorful verbs in place of adjective and adverbs;
3) Show your readers instead of telling.
To help me wade through the submissions process, I purchased the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market Guide and joined SCBWI. I attended conferences and made connections with other new and established authors. These connections ended up being vital to my survival as a writer. Not only does having a network boost morale, you can receive guidance and encouragement from people who have been in your shoes before.
The ride has been wonderful and I’m so happy I didn’t give up on the story. The feeling that my story will be read by thousands of kids is one I wouldn’t trade for anything. Plus it’s allowed me to help a neighbor of mine which I couldn’t have helped otherwise. Please visit:www.treasureforalyssa.comto learn more.
For those who have finished their manuscript and are stuck in the limbo of the submissions process, I say don’t give up. Continue to hone your craft and knock on doors. Eventually, one will open.