Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow Fest



This is something new for me. I'm participating in Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest. It's a way for readers on my blog to connect with other writers (whether you're a writer or not). The idea is for you to read my blog with my personal info, and then follow the above link (either click on the "follow fest" board or where it says "Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest" in the text) and it will take you to Melissa's page. You can read her info there, and then scroll down to where it says "To return to the Linky, click here." You will find the other lists of participants at the bottom of that page. (You can also sign up for the Follow Fest, if you want to.)

Here's my info:

Name: Christine M. Irvin

Fiction or nonfiction? I write both fiction and nonfiction.

What genres do you write?  Picture books, chapter books

Are you published? Yes. I started writing professionally nearly 20 years ago. At that time, I had my heart set on being a picture book writer. I found out it was very tough to get published as such, so I turned to other forms of writing in order to create a portfolio of published work. I wrote a couple of poems that were published in a local newspaper. I became the Publicity Chair for my daughter's Girl Scout Troupe as well as for her elementary PTA and then her high school marching band (and later at my son's elementary school and high school). As such, I wrote lots and lots of press releases about the various groups' activities. These were published in local newspapers as well. I wasn't making much money, but I was compiling a long list of publishing credits. During this time, I sold a children's story to Highlights for Children and another one to Our Little Friend.

And, I somehow managed to convince the editor a Franklin Watts to take a look at a proposal I had for a series of children's craft books. He liked the idea and wanted to see more. To make a very, very long story very, very short, I am now the author of eight craft books, known as the "Mania Craft" series because each title in the series has the word mania in it, i.e., MILK CARTON MANIA, CRAFT STICK MANIA, CARDBOARD TUBE MANIA, etc. After Children's Press (which bought out Franklin Watts) published them in 2002, Gramercy Press (a division of Random House) bought the rights to publish a "bind-up" of three of the volumes and called it CRAFT MANIA. I am also the author of a fictional picture book, ISAAC THE FROG, published by Sprite Press, a very small press owned by a friend of mine, as well as a book that I self-published along with two of my friends called THE LITTLE LIGHTHOUSE. 

I thought I had it made when it came to writing stuff for kids. I mean, I had a whole series of books under my belt. Every editor would want to publish my material. Right? Wrong! I hit a dry spell where I didn't sell anything and I didn't have much published. I was getting very discouraged. So I looked around for more ways to get exposure as a writer.

That's when I came across an opportunity to start writing book reviews of an online website, called Christian Children's Book Review. I started writing book reviews for them several years ago, and still write for them today. I now write reviews for other sites, as well: Book Reporter, Teens Reads and Kids Reads. And, I branched out into writing articles, recipes and blurbs for websites on a freelance basis.

In the past few months, although I continue to write book reviews and articles for websites, I have turned my attention back to writing for children, specifically in the form of picture books. I joined Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 group, and was so inspired by all the wonderful posts from fellow members, I am now a member of Kristen McGill Fulton's WOW nonfiction FB page, as well as the 12x12 Member's Forum, the 12x12 FB page, and the Children's Book Creative FB page. I also belong to two picture book critique groups, one for fiction and one for nonfiction.

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I do editing and proofreading on a freelance basis. I also do something this is unrelated to writing, and that is crafts.

Where can people connect with you?
You can connect with me in a number of ways:

1) Through this blog. Just post a comment and I will get it. Or email me at: alamarr@sbcglobal.net.
2) Follow me on Twitter. The "Twitter" button is on the right-hand side of this blog.
3) Make me your friend on Facebook.
4) Link with me on LinkedIn.
5) Pin with me on Pinterest.
6) Read my book reviews on the Christian Children's Book Review website.
7) Read my book reviews on the Book Reporter website.
8) Read my book reviews on the Teen Reads website.
9) Read my book reviews on the Kids Reads website.
10) Read my book reviews on Amazon.com.
11) Visit my author page on Amazon.com.
12) Like my Stitches 'n Pearls Facebook page. This page is set up for my crafts as well as for my daughter's jewelry-making.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I think I've covered everything. If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you! 

41 comments:

Donna L Martin said...

Hi Christine! *waves hand in air*

I know you...;~)...my followfest post drops tomorrow. Good luck and I hope you get a ton of followers!

Take care,

Donna L Martin
www.donnalmartin.com

Donna L Martin said...

Hi Christine!

Good luck with the followfest!

Take care,

Donna L Martin
www.donnalmartin.com

Christine M. Irvin said...

Thanks, Donna, you're the bestest!!! Good luck on your Follow Fest also. I will check your post out tomorrow!!!

T. Drecker said...

Hi Christine! Glad to meet you. It's always fun to find someone else who loves writing and crafts on the side :)

Melanie Schulz said...

Nice to meet you!

Crystal Collier said...

Whew! That's quite the history. There's nothing better than writing though, right? I had a 6 year hiatus at one point, and I seriously think I chopped a piece of my soul away. It's back, and no longer tender, but I'm not anxious to EVER do that again.

Quanie Miller said...

Hi Christine, great to meet you through Follow Fest! I'll go and connect with you other places online as well. Best of luck to you!

Liz Blocker said...

It's great to meet you!! Sounds like a long, rich, complicated path to writing. Thanks for sharing it :)

Christine M. Irvin said...

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by so far. I haven't had a chance to visit everyone else's blogs yet, but I will do so soon. Thanks, again!!!

Melissa said...

It's nice to meet you, Christine. Thanks for participating in Follow Fest. :)

Loni Townsend said...

Great to meet you! It takes a lot of creativity to make picture books and I admire your hard work.

Christine M. Irvin said...

Melissa and Loni, thanks for stopping by!!

Milo James Fowler said...

Breaking into Highlights is no small achievement -- well done! Following you on Twitter, FB, and "liked" your Amazon page.

Romelle Broas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Romelle Broas said...

Hi Christine! Fancy meeting you at Follow Fest. It's always great running into a fellow 12x12er. I dub you the Craft Queen!

joss said...

It's really nice to meet you :)

Sherry Ellis said...

It's great to meet another children's writer! I'll go check out your other links.

Elise Fallson said...

Hi Christine, crafting is so much fun and when I can get my kids involved it's even more special. Nice to meet you! (:

M.L. Swift said...

Hey Christine,

It's nice to meet you. You've done a lot of stuff! Thanks for participating in this...it's a pleasure getting to know everyone.

M.L. Swift, Writer

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

Hi there. Great to meet you on this fun blog fest!

Christine M. Irvin said...

Romelle, I humbly accept the title of "Crafting Queen". Thank you so much! Milo, thanks for the kind words. Everybody, thanks for stopping by my blog!!

Sara Fowler said...

So glad to find your blog! I look forward to checking out your links as well. Especially the Christian Children's Book Review. Inspiring to read that you sold a story to Highlights when you were starting out. That is one of my goals right now.

Sara Fowler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Misha Gericke said...

Sounds like you have an exciting publishing career.

Good luck with the rest of your publishing journey. :-)

MeganPearl said...

Hi Christine!

Nice to meet a children's author on this fest! Good luck on your endeavors!

Christine M. Irvin said...

Thanks, Misha and Megan!

Julie Flanders said...

Hi, Christine! It's so nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to following your blog. Heading over now to connect on your other sites.

Christine M. Irvin said...

Julie, thanks for stopping by!

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

It's really great to meet you during this blog fest. I've followed and liked you where I could. Thanks so much for coming by! Writer’s Mark

Cathrina Constantine said...

It's nice to meet so many wonderful people. Hello, Christine!!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Nice to meet you Christine!

Jennifer J. Chow said...

Hi, Christine! Wow, you sound really accomplished. I'll have to take a look at some of those craft books for my own kids. It's really interesting how you ventured into book reviews, too. Good luck with all your writing!

Ashley Nixon said...

Nice to meet you Christine!!

Christine M. Irvin said...

Nancy, Cathrina, Jennifer and Ashley, thanks so much for stopping by!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Liked and Followed (minus LinkedIn) you. Hi Christine.

Judith Victoria Douglas said...

Glad to meet you, Christine. I have bookmarked your review sites, made a friend request on FB and like your page. i really like the Rate your Story and plan to check it out. I have a You Write Like Who badge on my blog. It seems fairly accurate, to my surprise. Check it out.
I'll be back in touch with review requests. Will review any rules you may have posted first, so just email you. The Follow Fest has been very informative and I've made a lot of new friends.

Judith Victoria Douglas said...

Glad to meet you, Christine. I have bookmarked your review sites, made a friend request on FB and like your page. i really like the Rate your Story and plan to check it out. I have a You Write Like Who badge on my blog. It seems fairly accurate, to my surprise. Check it out.
I'll be back in touch with review requests. Will review any rules you may have posted first, so just email you. The Follow Fest has been very informative and I've made a lot of new friends.

Judith Victoria Douglas said...

Glad to meet you, Christine. I have bookmarked your review sites, made a friend request on FB and like your page. i really like the Rate your Story and plan to check it out. I have a You Write Like Who badge on my blog. It seems fairly accurate, to my surprise. Check it out.
I'll be back in touch with review requests. Will review any rules you may have posted first, so just email you. The Follow Fest has been very informative and I've made a lot of new friends.

Judith Victoria Douglas said...

Glad to meet you, Christine. I have bookmarked your review sites, made a friend request on FB and like your page. i really like the Rate your Story and plan to check it out. I have a You Write Like Who badge on my blog. It seems fairly accurate, to my surprise. Check it out.
I'll be back in touch with review requests. Will review any rules you may have posted first, so just email you. The Follow Fest has been very informative and I've made a lot of new friends.

Judith Victoria Douglas said...

Can't tell if it was okay. Delete the extras if they all went through. Judith

Trisha F said...

You seem like a bit of a writing go-getter to me. Well done on what you've accomplished! :D