Monday, February 4, 2013

YA Author Spotlight: Martha Ramirez

GRAFFITI PROMOTIONS is a regular feature on Writer's Alley, where authors and aspiring writers, editors, publishers, and anyone from the publishing world, to share their journeys, valuable wisdom, and to promote their work along a road of humor, encouragement, and inspiration. Features include Author Interviews, Book Promos, and Character Introductions.

Our next spotlight is Children's Author Martha Ramirez. She has written stories, poetry, and drawn since childhood. Her first children's book entitled The Fabulous Adventures of Fred the Frog was created and inspired by the curiosity and fascination her toddler had with books.

In addition to writing, Martha is a 2012 Genesis Semi-Finalist, a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), YALITCHAT.ORG, the Muse Conference Board, CataNetwork Writers, and American Author's Association. She looks forward to expanding her career and is hard at work on her next young adult novel. She currently resides in Northern California where she enjoys gardening and kickboxing (not simultaneously). Visit her Website, Blog, Facebook Author Page, & Twitter.

Martha, were you a reader as a child? Did you have a favorite book or story?
Growing up I was more of a writer than a reader but I did greatly enjoy reading as well. I always loved fairy tales. Cinderella and Snow White has always been of one my favorites.

In your opinion, what are the three most important elements of writing a novel?
Structure- Without it, you'll be all over the place like a bad road trip gone bad. Tension- A must. Gotta raise those questions and stakes. Make them want to turn the pages to find out more. Voice- A hooky voice always wins the heart of readers. The way a story is told is everything.

What are your thoughts about self-promotion, author platforms, and the ever-changing publishing world?

Thoughts? Good question! Hmmm, let's see.

Self-promo-the best kind of promo is word of mouth. I think when authors overdo it and tweet every second of the day of how their book is available on Amazon it kind of turns people off. Self-promo minus excessive self shout outs is by all means the best. But don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with sharing. Just in moderation as a good diet calls for :-)

Platforms-I very much believe in trying to set your own platform. Platform takes work. It shows that a writer is serious about his/her writing career. It creates a following. I think it is essential to try. All a person can do is try their very best. There's nothing to lose as long as you try your best.

Ever-changing publishing world- It sure is, isn't it? Authors today have so many more options than they had several decades ago. Self-publishing, e-pubs, etc. I am curious to see how the book industry will be ten years from now.

What is the biggest challenge in writing YA, MG, or PBs today?
The biggest challenge IMHO in writing YA is finding that perfect balance between fresh and unique yet with a hint of familiarity where teens can relate to either the characters or the story itself.

The most biggest challenge of all though is breaking in. Convincing agents and editors (even when they find your story idea intriguing) your story is different enough especially in the over saturated paranormal market.

One valuable piece of writerly advice you want to offer to aspiring writers.
DO NOT GIVE UP!
"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination."
-Tommy Lasorda

Fabulous quote!

Interested in being featured? Just click on one of the three links under Graffiti Promotions Submissions in my left sidebar.

49 comments:

  1. Awesome spotlight. I follow Martha's blog, but it's great learning more about her and her writing. She really nailed the important elements of good writing.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie and thank you for your lovely comments you leave at my blog. XO

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  2. Martha is one of my friends. And after reading her comment on self-promotion, I now remember why we get on so well. We agree on everything. :)

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    1. That's awesome! She is such a nice person. I met her through a Muse Online Conference. Been friendly ever since!!!

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    2. @Stina LOL we do agree about almost everything don't we? :-)

      @SA L aww THANK YOU!!!!! Is that how we met?? How funny. I think maybe we took a YA workshop together as well. So glad we all connected!

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  3. Nice spotlight! Heading over to check out Martha's blog - thanks :)

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    1. I appreciate you heading on over. Thank you mshatch!

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  4. Do not give up--yes! That is the best advice! And best of luck to Martha! Sounds like she's already doing great, winning awards and all! Here's to continued success~ <3

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  5. Great interview! Martha sounds amazing. Can't wait to check out her stuff. =)

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    1. So sweet of you, RaShelle! Thank you for connecting!

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  6. Thank you so much for having me, Sheri! And thank you everyone for all the kind comments!!

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  7. EXCELLENT quote. So nice getting to know you, Martha. Best of luck!

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  8. Funny... I have a friend named Martha Ramirez... But I digress...

    I agree that breaking in is TOUGH. I'm trying to break in to YA myself. I'm IN the mystery market, but YA is a pickier animal... or something...

    Good luck with your work!

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  9. Thanks for this. I needed it today. Especially the 'don't give up.'

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    1. That makes me happy. Hope it helped! Hugs to you Barbara!Hang in there. We are all in this together.

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  10. Great interview, Mart! And wow, I had no idea you were involved in so many different organizations! That's great--I am not surprised as you are a very giving person. :)

    You know something funny? The very first book I wrote was a picture book about frogs, too! It was called A Frog Named Flamingo. Haha, I guess we were both pulled in the froggy direction starting off! :)

    Angela

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    1. OMG that's crazy!!! Love the title ;-) That's something else how we both started out the same way. Thank you, Ange!

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    2. Dang! I'm all fangirl over frogs!!! Favorite stuffed animal was a frog I named Froggy-doggy-doggy. Yeah, original. But I was like four years old. LOL

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  11. Couldn't agree more with the 3 main elements for writing. So so true!

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  12. Yes, moderation in self-promotion.
    Congratulations, Martha!

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  13. Terrific info with some great tips. Thanks for sharing!!

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  14. Fantastic interview.
    I agree with you 100% about self promotion. There is a fine line to promoting ones work. Too much and it may turn people off. Too little and your work may never get in front of readers.

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  15. I'll attest to the fact that Mart never gives up! It's the reason I call her "Bulldog". You have such great insight and an upbeat attitude. Thank you for sharing your warmth and light -- and great tips!

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    1. Aww thank you, Sheri!! That was beautiful!

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  16. Fantastic interview Mart. You are such an amazing person. I tweeted.

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    1. Thank you, Ella! I appreciate that mucho!

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  17. Awesome interview, Mart! So glad to read about you here. You are a wonderful, supportive lady. :)

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    1. Thank you, Melissa, for stopping by and supporting Martha! She's just made of awesomeness!!

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  18. What do you mean you can't garden and kickbox at the same time? I do! LOL. Wonderful interview and great advice from one of my very favorite ladies on the planet. Wise...that one is! <3

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    1. LOL I'd like to see you videotape that! Thank you S!

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  19. Great advice, Martha! Thanks for sharing her with us, Sheri!

    -Vicki

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  20. I love this interview. I don't really write YA but I can appreciate finding the right balance between fresh and unique. That's awesome advice. I love the background on this blog. It's so pretty.

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Michael. I just redesigned my blog to match my website. It was fun.

      I loved Martha's insights, too. That balance of fresh and unique simply comes down to the tiny details. Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. I always love your interviews Sheri!

    Love the advice Martha! Especially the don't' give up.;)

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  22. Interesting interview! Cinderella was my favorite fairy tale too. And I especially agree that structure is an important part of a novel. It's always interesting to me to see how authors structure and organize their stories, because often the structure is actually part of the story's theme.

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  23. Here's to Martha's success. Loved the interview and her advice!

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  24. Super advice Mart. Learning structure in writing can be so difficult. That switch from total pantser to realizing you need some sort of scaffolding is a revelation. :)

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