Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WW Featured Writer: L.K. Gardner - Griffie

"I write YA because I have to."
L.K. Gardner-Griffie

She is everyone's favorite cheerleader.  Captain of the Varsity Squad at Twitter High, L.K. Gardner-Griffie never passes an opportunity to support her fellow writers.  Without fail, she is consistently among the first to crank out her #WW and #FF mentions, and she never excludes a soul.  She RT's posts, helps her colleagues, and visits blogs regularly.  It's a wonder she has time left to get any writing done.

I discovered L.K. on Twitter earlier this fall through a RT posted by a mutual follower.  In her message, L.K. announced she just completed the first draft of yet another MG novel, and for a brief second, I wanted to jump inside my computer screen and joke that nobody likes a bragger.  Of course I didn't mean that; it wasn't like that at all.  I was just angry at myself for feeling like the only soul on the universe who couldn't crank out a completed first draft of anything.  I got over it.

In typical stalker fashion, I clicked on her profile and began investigating the mystery woman sporting the pink hoodie.  After learning she is the award winning YA novelist of Misfit McCabe and Nowhere Feels Like Home, a series many of my former seventh graders were familiar with, I decided I was too beneath her to send a message.  So instead, I simply returned to stalking.

I checked out her web site, read more about her, and discovered her first novel attempt was completed at age nine.  And the more I read, the more I realized L.K. was not one of "those" authors - you know the type.  So I figured, what the heck?  We have plenty of mutual followers; she must be friendly.  I'll send a congratulatory message on the new manuscript. 

Twenty seconds later, I had a response.  Another second passed and I had a new friend.

Despite having experienced the success many of us dream of, L.K. is a dedicated mentor and friend within the writing community.  She is filled with advice, support, and encouragement; she believes in the potential of everyone and is the first to respond to anyone plagued with doubt or seeking motivation.  L.K. assures everyone they can (and will) succeed.

My west coast companion and I have shared many conversations since "meeting."  Recently, she passed a link to an interview she completed with Blog Talk Radio.  The information she shared was beyond helpful.  I always enjoy listening to other writers discuss their process; I enjoy it more when I identify similarities between our approaches.  It helps me feel on the track.

Much like myself, L.K. acknowledges her characters are in fact real people; she is simply the only person able to speak with them directly.  "It's like we share a brain," she explained when questioned about her relationship with Kate, the protagonist in the Misfit McCabe series.  And although she commented that might sound weird to some, I knew exactly what she meant.

Throughout the past few months, I have greatly appreciated the support L.K. sends my way.  But, more importantly, I appreciate her friendship.  As writers, we spend many hours sitting in solitude, removed from socialization, and even fresh air.  Knowing good people are out there comforts me during times of loneliness.  Whenever I'm irritated, anxious, or flat out disgusted with the writing process, L.K. is always a tweet away. 

I encourage my readers to take a moment and tweet something in L.K.'s direction.  She's a great contact to have and knows what it's like to wear the shoes of an aspiring writer dreaming for a break.  Get to know this amazing person.  You will not be sorry.

L.K.'s books are available in both paper and electronic format and can be purchased here.  Be sure to check out the trailer for Misfit McCabe below.

7 comments:

  1. I now have a perma-grin on my face. I love your description of me & may (with your permission) use it sometime. :)

    And as far as tweeting completions... shouting out your successes - even if it is that you managed to write a page, is important. By celebrating your successes with your twitter friends, you gain the confidence to keep going, through the bad writing days as well as the good ones. And if you string enough of those successes together, you wind up with a completed work. (And by the way - the completion was one phase... there's creation, 1st revision, 1st edit pass, evil spreadsheet edit pass, verbal read through, etc. and I celebrate completion of each and every phase!!)

    And I truly believe that if you continue to pursue your dream you will succeed. I would love to say that attaining your dreams should be easy, but without the uphill climb, we don't appreciate what we have & the view we have when we reach the peak.

    I'll be there when you send your tweet about completing the novel, and I'll probably throw sparkly confetti & streamers, & there may be a happy dance involved somewhere along the way.

    Thanks for such a sweet post - you are very thoughtful.

    LK

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  2. This feature is going to make you a very popular guy, Paul. The best part is, that's not why you're doing it.

    Ms. Gardner-Griffie, you have a new Twitter follower. I know a guy and he vouches for you. From this guy, it's good enough for me.

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  3. Ms. Gardner-Griffie is so formal... call me LK. I saw Paul's glowing write up on you too. He is an absolute sweetheart - and yes, this will make him a very popular guy... and it's from the heart which makes it the best.

    Tweet me sometime.

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  4. Thanks for the heads up! Author stalkeration is fun! Added her to my "writeright" Twitter list.

    Alex
    Breakfast Every Hour

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! It's so nice when published authors are friendly and approachable, and are willing to talk to us plebes who wallow in unpubbed-land. :)

    Don't swat me, but I've passed on an award to you today; you get to choose one out of two. I know you JUST got one, but then hey, so did I--I will share the joy of having to be creative and coming up with MORE things to reveal about yourself. Heehee. Come by to fetch the image to post on your blog:
    Artzicarol Ramblings

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  6. L.K. - It was a pleasure to feature such a kind-hearted person. As I mentioned on Twitter, it was not easy doing you justice. I completely agree with tweeting accomplishments, and you best believe I plan on celebrating every isolated stage in this novel process. And one day, I am convinced, many of us will be celebrating together.

    Michael - Thank you. You're right, it isn't why, and the fact you get that just gave me a huge sense of satisfaction. When I taught, the last day of school I would dim the lights and go around the room sharing positive affirmations about every student. It was one of my favorite moments, and I miss it. That is, in a sense, where thie entire idea came from. (Oh, and don't think you are off the hook. WHEN you publish that novel, I'll have a lot of work to do....)

    To both of you, I'm glad you have been introduced. It seems appropriate that two of my favorite people should know each other. One of my main goals for this feature is to bring people together.

    Alex - You, especially, will enjoy getting to know L.K. Be sure to tweet her sometime.

    Carol - As always, thanks for stopping by. And THANK YOU for the award. Looks like my next post is taken care of!

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  7. Awwww, man!!! That would be "this" and not "thie." It's not entirely my fault. My hands are shaking - no coffee yet today. I better go take care of that.

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