Monday, August 13, 2018

Rejection or Blessing?

Rejection or Blessing?

Imagine you have been waiting for over six months to hear about a short story submission you sent to a children’s magazine. The market listing states they reply within four to six weeks. As the months pass, your hopes rise thinking your story has passed the first reader and has made it to the top editor. 

One day you check your email.

“RE: Your Story.”

Excitement builds as you open the mail and read.

Dear Author,

We appreciate the opportunity to…. Rejected. Rejection. Rejection….

Oh well. It’s not your first, nor will it be your last, unless you stop writing.

It’s not my first or last either. I was bummed out for a couple of days. I knew it would take time to find another magazine to submit to, and because of other projects I have going, (a novel and a chapter book series idea), I thought about shelving it for a while. Then it hit me. The characters and premise could be a chapter book series.

If the story had been accepted, I would not have the chance to bring these characters to life in their own series! Now it’s time to brainstorm, outline, plot, and give new life to my story.

This latest rejection was a blessing.

How do you handle rejection?

Saturday, August 4, 2018


 I do take time to look at nature.

Time. Who has enough? Work, family, friends, pets, meals, medical appointments, relaxing, writing, reading, and sleep. Where does time go?

I find that when I am pressed for writing time, I don’t always update my blog, my Facebook page, my Twitter posts, and my website. That’s okay. At least that’s what I tell myself.

I just wanted to take time to say hi and to let you know I’m still around. I am waiting to hear news from three submissions I have out, and I’m working on a new novel.

Where does your time go?  

Friday, February 23, 2018

Newstalk 98.7 WOKI FM Radio Interview! Rose Glen Fest.
Audio clips use with permission.

Had a blast on The Phil Show at News Talk 98.7 WOKI FM!

Had fun talking about the Rose Glen Literary Festival with Phil Williams and Carroll McMahan. The event takes place each year in Sevierville, TN. It's free and has something for just about everyone who likes books, reading, and writing.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Rose Glen Literary Festival

A couple of local SCBWI members have teamed up to represent the art of children’s writing and the SCBWI at the event. Hope to see you there.

Midsouth SCBWI members Debbie Dadey and Rick Starkey will present the ABC's of Writing for Children at the 2018 Rose Glen Literary Festival from 9:30 am until 11:00 am.

The ABCs:  Debbie, an industry pro, will take you through the alphabet of traditionally publishing a children’s book and offer in-sights to success.

Working with a small press: Rick will share the journey of traditionally publishing with a small press.

First book Stories: Learn how two first books came to be! One published with Scholastic and one with a small press. Debbie and Rick will discuss their first book sales.

Debbie Dadey is the author/co-author of 166 traditionally published books. Her newest is Ready, Set, Goal! with Simon and Schuster. Rick Starkey is the author of Blues Bones, with Leap Books, and the author of five magazine pieces he sold to Highlights for Children.

The festival is from 9:00 am until 4:00pm, February 24, 2018 at the Sevierville Convention Center, 202 Gists Creek Road Sevierville, Tennessee 37876.

This is a free event to meet the authors, buy books, attend free workshops or just browse.
The 12:30 Luncheon will feature keynote speaker Wiley Cash. Luncheon tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased by emailing or by calling Emily at (865) 453-6411. Rose Glen Literary Festival

Saturday, January 20, 2018

What, me rant?

What, me rant? Well, I never. Until now.

The other day I got an email for a free webinar training to write books for kids. The subject line made me wonder who thinks kid’s books are dumb. The email was going to tell me,"why writing a "dumb" kids book is a smart move." Wow! I am not a famous children’s author, (I have had only one middle grade novel published and I have sold work to Highlights for Children.) but I was somewhat offended by this choice of words. Yes, it got my attention and I looked inside.

I’ve spent years learning the craft of writing children’s books. I took a course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’ve driven four hours (one way), and paid to attend children’s conferences. I buy books on the craft of writing, and I buy books written for children to study. Had I missed something? Do I just have to write a “dumb” book? I personally do not think that is a smart move.

The body of the email had a couple of things to say about writing books for kids. I didn’t know that, according to the author, “Kids book are easy to write. Since most children's books are for kids who are just learning to read, the writing is actually very simple and easy to do. Children's books tend to be more about the illustration and art than anything else.”


He goes on to say, “In other words as a writer a kids book means you can let your "hair down" as a writer and just explore the fun and silly side of being an author.”

Okay, I know I didn’t have to open the email, and I didn’t even have to sign up to receive them in the first place. I will admit that I did sign in and listen for a bit, but I got sidetracked with my own writing while the presenter rambled in the background. I didn’t hear much of interest to me.

I’m not opposed to self publishing, as long as it is done well and as professionally as a traditionally publisher would, but I will never be convinced that to make it as a children’s author  all I have to do is write a dumb book. And no, writing for kids who are learning to read is not simple and easy to do. It can take years to write five hundred words.

Where’s that unsubscribe link?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Interview on Reading With Your Kids.

Check out Jed Doherty's podcast today! Reading With Your Kids. Guess who his guest is. We talk about Blues Bones, Magic Tricks, and a lot more.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Rocking Writers performing You Can Go in a Story. Recorded live!

Rocking Writers performing at the SCBWI MidSouth KidLit Dinner 2017

Debbie Dadey and Rick Starkey are the Rocking Writers.

I had a blast singing our original reading song with the fabulous Debbie Dadey at the SCBWI Midsouth 2017 Conference!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Party Time Again!

September, 29 2017

Come join us at the SCBWI Autograph Party Friday, September 29 at 7:30 pm. It’s free and open to the public. Meet some great authors and pick up some great books. Embassy Suites Nashville South, Cool Springs 820 Crescent Centre Dr – Franklin, TN 37067

Monday, August 7, 2017

Back to School Bash at B&N Chattanooga

It's a party at B&N Chattanooga! I'm excited to have been invited. You are too, so come on out August 26!
There will be a Mermaid Party with live mermaids.

The authors include:

George Bove (The Little Orange t)
Debbie Dadey (Mermaid Tales and Bailey School Kids series) AND Guest of Honor at our Mermaid Party starting at 1pm!
Stephanie Faris (Piper Morgan series and Best.Night.Ever.)
J Elliott Kay (The King's Elite series)
Angelique Monet (The Bravest Worrier)
Rick Starkey (Blues Bones)

Click here for more information!

Friday, May 19, 2017

You Can Go In A Story! Summer Reading Song Video!

What better way to celebrate summer reading than with song and dance! It's here, the new summer reading song video from writer friend, Debbie Dadey, (author of The Mermaid Tales and The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, and others) and me. So, we supply the song, and you supply the dance. Don’t worry, no one will see you. Is your web cam turned off?

Be sure to check out Debbie Dadey's website for some great summer reads and other fun stuff!

Click here and enjoy! Feel free to pass the link on to your friends.

Happy Summer!

Oh, it’s still spring. That’s okay, but summer is on its way. The time of year children are out of school. Time to swim, time to fish, time to hang out, time to be bored! One of the best parts of summer is the Summer Reading Program. Schools have lists available. Local libraries have programs. Some bookstores even have special deals for summer readers. For A List of Summer Reading Programs for Kids That Give Free Books, Money and More, check out this site:

Hey, writers get paid to do what they love, what’s wrong with children getting paid or getting free stuff for doing what they love doing.
By the way, If anyone asks you how to get to Carnegie Hall, just tell them, "You Can Go In A Story!"  See Cassandra Live at Carnegie Hall!