Blog Tour: One Good Thing About America

Welcome to Day #4 of the One Good Thing About America Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman (3/14/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Ruth and 10 chances to win a copy of One Good Thing About America, as well as a chance to win a Skype visit with Ruth in the Grand Prize Giveaway!

For a chance to win an ARC copy here at Kristi's Book Nook please be sure to share and leave your name and email address. This offer expires 4/21/17. Scroll down to the Raffelcopter for a chance to win the Grand Prize Giveaway!

Writing Tips by Ruth Freeman
Here are some writing tips that work for me. But, right now, there should be a yellow “CAUTION” sign blinking on and off, because I think everyone needs to find the writing methods that work for them. The first part of a writing project for me is the “jelly stage.” It’s a lovely, free and fluid period when my idea is floating around in my head. Nothing is tied down yet. It can expand and grow. Daydreaming, time in the shower, long car rides, lying in bed on weekend mornings are all necessary ingredients for letting it take shape. I let characters loose in my head and watch what they do and say. Like watching mini movies.
At some point, however, my beautiful idea needs to get out onto paper otherwise it will just stay in the clouds and probably evaporate over time. But this next stage can be fun, too. Fun and messy, I should say, because beautiful ideas are never as perfect as you think they are when they hit the ground. A first draft is messy. Like this mudpuddle below. The fun part is that it doesn’t have to be perfect at all! You can get in there and play around, throwing out stuff, adding other stuff. Sometimes you discover treasure you never expected.
Getting a messy first draft down on paper (or computer screen) is a huge step! Now you have something concrete to work with. I never expected to like these different stages of the process. For a long time, I thought the first draft was perfect and shouldn’t be touched. However, I have come to really enjoy the next part, the polishing and revising. I think of it kind of like a snowman. You know how you add a ball of snow in one place and if it’s too much you scrape some of it away? Well, that’s what I feel like I’m doing. I’ve gotten the important ideas on paper, and now I’m pushing and nudging bits and pieces into place. I’m beginning to see the story more from the reader’s point of view. Would I want to read this bit here? What do I want to know next? Am I excited or bored?
Final writing tips:
  • Learn about the publishing business (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is a great place to start).
  • Show your manuscript to people who have some knowledge and experience with writing but still take their opinions with a grain of salt.
  • Get used to editors rejecting your work. Your manuscript may have gotten lost (happened to me twice) or landed on their desk when they were having a bad day!
  • Always thank people for reading your work.
  • Don’t wait to hear from editors. Start on your next project!
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Stop by Life Naturally tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!
Blog Tour Schedule:
April 10th – Geo Librarian April 11thLate Bloomer's Book Blog April 12th Mrs. Mommy BookNerd April 13thKristi's Book Nook April 14thLife Naturally April 17th – Books My Kids Read April 18th – Chat with Vera April 19th Word Spelunking April 20th – Middle Grade Mafioso April 21st – The Hiding Spot
Follow Ruth: Website | Facebook Publisher: Holiday House
ONE GOOD THING ABOUT AMERICA is a sweet, often funny middle-grade novel that explores differences and common ground across cultures. It's hard to start at a new school . . . especially if you're in a new country. Back home, Anaïs was the best English student in her class. Here in Crazy America she feels like she doesn't know English at all. Nothing makes sense (chicken FINGERS?), and the kids at school have some very strange ideas about Africa. Anaïs misses her family . . . so she writes lots of letters to Oma, her grandmother. She tells her she misses her and hopes the war is over soon. She tells her about Halloween, snow, mac 'n' cheese dinners, and princess sleepovers. She tells her about the weird things Crazy Americans do, and how she just might be turning into a Crazy American herself.
About the Author: Ruth Freeman grew up in rural Pennsylvania but now lives in Maine where she teaches students who are English language learners, including many newly arrived immigrants. She is the author of several acclaimed nonfiction picture books. One Good Thing About America is her first novel..
  • One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of One Good Thing About America for their personal collection, as well as a 30 minute Skype visit with Ruth Freeman to the school of their choice and a signed copy for the school's library.
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
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  • Ends 4/23 at midnight ET
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