30 January 2012

Blogging Mentor Mondays: One Smart Cookie


Peggy Eddleman of Will Write for Cookies is our newest Mentor! Peggy's blog is one of my favorites. Her posts are uplifting, helpful, and insightful. Plus, every Friday I snarf down on the calorie-free cookies she so generously shares with her followers. Welcome, Peggy!
Let's get right down to it. When and why did you start your blog?
I started in June of last year, because I knew that’s what agents wanted. I’d like to say I had loftier reasons than that, but I didn’t. It’s something I had put off for a really long time, fearing it would cut into writing time too much. I’d had a personal blog for years, so I KNEW how much time it took. (Well, okay, a blog takes more time than I guessed, but I still guessed pretty high.)
Blogging is time consuming, but the rewards outweigh the loss of writing time, right? One time saver is having a reliable, regimented blogging schedule. What is your process for writing posts?
If I followed my goals, I’d be able to say that I write them all a week in advance, but the truth is, I don’t. I keep a file of ideas of things to blog about, and many times I decide what I’m going to blog about for several days that week. But the blogging itself usually happens the night before. (Shh. I’ll share a secret. If any of my posts have a time stamp of close to 7:00 am or after, it means I had to wake up extra early, shake of that slacker feeling, and do it then.) As far as more process than that, I find the image I’m going to use first, write my title last, and get down the point of my post as I write and rewrite.
I'm impressed! You've got your schedule down pat. So what is your most memorable blogging experience? 
Definitely announcing my book deal. This community we’re a part of is AMAZING. People will come out in hordes to congratulate and support you. Seriously, anyone thinking about becoming a writer definitely should, if for no other reason than to be a part of this community! Writers are incredible people, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to rub shoulders with them.
Announcing your book deal is one of the highlights of blogging for me. I love to celebrate other writer's successes! Now, what are the top three reasons you continue to blog today? 
  1. Because of the people! I became a writer 3 ½ years before I started my blog. During that time, I read tons and tons of blogs and learned mass amounts about the business and the craft. But it wasn’t until I started my own blog that I really felt immersed in this world. It was the first time I really go to know this fabulous group of people. I started blogging to find an agent, but I ended up finding MY PEOPLE. 
  2. Because it helps me to become a better writer. There are a million blogs out there (kind of like how there are a million books out there). If you want people to read yours, you have to write well. Use economy of phrasing. Have a point. Get to the point. Write clear, concise sentences. The exact same things that help you to be a good writer of blog posts help you to be a good writer of novels.
  3. Comments! (Oh, come on. That’s why everyone blogs, isn’t it?) Seriously, though. When I read comments, I get a glimpse into you, then I go to your blog and get to know you even better, and then this blogging world feels more like a blogging town where everyone lives next to each other and you can walk down the street waving to all the people you know just like in old movies. And who doesn’t love that?
Great imagery! Okay, random question: as a middle grade writer (and soon to be author), what is your favorite MG book? 
I read to my kids every night, and have done so for a whole lot of years. So I’ve read a lot of MG. My favorites are the ones that we ALL loved so much that it made bedtime not such a bad thing. Our #1 favorite is the GREGOR THE OVERLANDER series by Suzanne Collins. I mean of course it’s great! It’s Suzanne Collins! It’s kind of like The Hunger Games for kids. (Also: Warning. It’s kind of like The Hunger Games for kids. Just sayin’.) 
Other favorites have been THE DELTORA QUEST by Emily Rodda, THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY by Victoria Forester, RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE by Shannon Hale, and THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan. My boys and I loved ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS by Brandon Sanderson (but my daughter hated it). Also, I finally talked my kids into letting me read them HARRY POTTER. I can’t believe that was so hard! (I mean, come on, kids! It’s Harry Potter!) We’re on book 5 now.
You had to talk your kids into reading Harry Potter to them? Wow! I remember when kids were clamoring for those books. I was working at a summer camp when the fourth book came out. The older kids spent their recesses and lunch breaks reading. It was a glorious sight to behold!
Thank you for your exemplary blogging example, Peggy. I know I'm not alone when I say I appreciate your contribution to the writer-blogging community. You're an excellent Mentor!

104 comments:

  1. Great interview, as usual! Peggy is a doll :)

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  2. Excellent reasons for continuing to blog. This community is just so awesome.

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    1. It's really an amazing community, isn't it? I love it.

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  3. Lovely interview. Another great subject :-)

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  4. Ohhhh... great interview, Emily. Peggy rocks. I'm a recent blogger myself, and I've been so impressed with how warm and welcoming everyone is :D

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    1. Congrats on starting a blog! It's the best way, I think, to really get to know how awesome this community really is.

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    2. Thanks, Morgan! It was a treat having Peggy here.

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  5. Excellent interview. Connecting with other writers is really energizing and the reason I blog as well. You people are just so cool!

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  6. Great interview. Love your reasons for blogging. I feel the same. Also, I do agree that you have to make sacrifices for blogging. I get up earlier now to get all my writing commitments done.

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    1. Yep, you definitely have to make sacrifices. Good thing it is soooo worth it! :)

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  7. Those are the best reasons for blogging! Other bloggers can be so amazingly supportive. Wonderful interview! And now I have to read the Gregor the Overlander series. :)

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    1. They're amazingly supportive!

      I hope you read Gregor and love it! It's full of lots of great conflict that really pulls you through the series.

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  8. Peggy is awesome! So glad I followed her not too long after she started her blog. She and her writing are going places.

    Excellent interview, Em! :)

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    1. I'm glad you started following my blog early on, too, and I'm glad I found yours early!

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  9. Fabulous interview. I needed some bloggy inspiration today.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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    1. I know how it is! Sometimes it seems like bloggy inspiration is everywhere you look, and other times it feels more like wandering in the desert. I hope you found some. ;)

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  10. Oh I already follow her. Excellent interview and yes I too love the cookies.

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    1. Thanks! And of course you love cookies! What's not to love about cookies?! ;)

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  11. Peggy has the best posts. I love her "I have a theory" segments. I'm so excited she landed and agent and sold her book. Gives us all hope :)

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    1. Haha! Those are definitely some of my favorites to write! Some days, though, I think, Am I really all out of theories? I can't be ALL out. Then I have to search really hard in the dusty parts of my brain.

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  12. Awesome interview! Peggy always makes me laugh.

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  13. Great interview and some great book picks. Thanks,

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  14. Hey, Emily and Peggy.

    I believe many of us continue blogging simply because of the people we've met on the way.

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  15. I love your interview questions! And I just became a new follower of Peggy's, she does have an awesome blog :)

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    1. Awww! Thank you, Hope! You're so sweet!

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    2. You won't be sorry, Hope. You'll enjoy Peggy's blog!

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  16. "this blogging world feels more like a blogging town"--I love that!
    Great interview :)

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    1. I think it totally feels like everyone lives right next to each other! It always surprises me how together it can feel when we live all across the globe.

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  17. peggy is definitely a sweet, positive blogger! so happy she got her deal & can tell us about how that part works!
    nice interview ladies!

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  18. Well Peggy is amazing. Her inspiring, funny posts and her pictures of cookies could put a smile to my face anytime :D
    And this: this blogging world feels more like a blogging town where everyone lives next to each other and you can walk down the street waving to all the people you know" is so true! Waves to everybody :-)

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    1. *Waves back* See? I can wave at you in Germany from clear over here! Amazing thing, this community. :D

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  19. Great interview. Finding things to blog about regularly can be challenging at times. Other times it flows right out.

    Kids who don't want to read Harry Potter? That's insanity right there. My parents started reading them to me when I was five. :c I love them.

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    1. So true. It ebbs and flows. :)

      And I know it's insanity! That's what I kept telling them! I couldn't believe it took so long to talk them into it. I think it's mostly because they didn't love the movies. The books just have so much greatness that a movie could never encompass. So glad I finally talked them into it!

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  20. Ha! Don't tell anyone, but I write all my blog posts the night before too. I'm not nearly organized enough to plan a week in advance.

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    1. Someday, though, L.G., SOMEDAY, I will be that organized. Until then, I'll just be very happy when it's the night before and not the morning of. ;)

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  21. I love Peggy. She is so cute and funny and inspirational! Great interview.

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  22. Just so everyone knows...Peggy is MY #1 Blogging BFF! Not yours. So back up. (I am a little possessive).

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    1. Hahahahaha! *gasp for breath* Hahahahahaha! You slay me, Jessie. Love your guts, BBFF.

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  23. Peggy, you are amazing! Seriously one of those bloggers I totally stalk online, lol. And your book deal announcement was full of awesomeness! :)

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    1. Awww! Thanks, Cassie! I totally love being able to stalk you online, too! ---er, I mean Wave at you in town. ;)

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  24. Love the honesty Peggy! I started blogging because that's what agents want as well but it's turned into so much more than that. I'm so glad to be part of te blogging community now. Great interview!

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    1. Isn't it awesome how that works? It's the prospective agent that gets you started, the people that keep you going.

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  25. This is awesome. You two ladies are like a power duo of blog and writerly things! I loved this!

    I remember starting my blog around the same time Peggy did. She's much better than I am at it and that's because of the care she puts into her blog. It's awesome. I can't wait to see what Peggy's book is like. That's gotta be awesome too!

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    1. Hey, bloggy buddy! We've grown up together! I love that. Your blog totally and completely rocks!

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  26. Oh my gosh - you've got Peggy! *squee!* She's like blogger/writer royalty! She is always so helpful and insightful. Love this girl. Thanks for sharing Peggy, and thanks for having her Em!

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    1. Did you come here to make me blush, Leigh? Because it totally worked. Love you, too.

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  27. I love your distinctive voice in the answers you give Peggy. Fabulous and i can relate to lots of what you say. I shall have to check out Gregor too. I missed these books.

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    1. Thanks, Madeline! And definitely check out Gregor. We loved the series!

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  28. Such a wonderful interview. It's fun getitng to experience your cookie-fun-joy at your blog. This is cool.

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    1. Thanks, Angela! There's always fun and joy when cookies are around. :D

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  29. Great post! I love Peggy’s site. It’s always full of the most amazing posts.

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  30. Totally agree about blogging. It's a great community! Nice to meet you, Peggy.

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    1. It really is an incredible community! Nice to meet you, too, Carol!

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  31. I love that you do this E.R. Thanks so much. Great interview, Peggy.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Ladonna!

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    2. I'm glad that she does, too! (Thanks again, Emily!) And thank you, Ladonna!

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  32. Gotta love Pegasus (and Emily, too)! :) The thought of our little community being a town is perfect!

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    1. Pegasus? GREAT nickname for The Pegster. I want one!

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    2. Hmm...

      Do you cook? You could be Emeril (like the chef). Or Emmers (like the wheat). Oh! Or The Empress! ;)

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    3. Empress King. It has a certain ring to it, don't you think? :D

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  33. Peggy truly is a wonderful blogger. She is true to all of her answers. Way to go Emily for such a great interview!

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    1. Thanks! And I'm here to tell it how it is. ;) Emily is an awesome interviewer. I loved this!

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  34. Awesome interview!

    I totally agree with your reasons to blog. :)

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    1. Thanks! The reasons can keep you going like nothing else, can't they? :D

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  35. Great questions, Emily.

    Peggy nailed it about how I feel as far as the blogging community, too. I can't believe how much I love my fellow bloggers and getting to know more and more about them the longer I blog.

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    1. I can't take any credit. It's all Peggy!

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    2. I know! I had no idea how much I'd fall in love with everyone before I started blogging.

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  36. Wonderful interview, ladies! This is my favorite part: "I started blogging to find an agent, but I ended up finding MY PEOPLE."

    Kudos to this, and I completely agree. You guys ARE my people! ;)

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  37. Yay! I finally found you Emily! I've noticed you around blog-world and now I'm a new follower of yours - or stalker - however you want to look at it :) lol. Awesome interview Peggy. I love your blog too. A huge congrats for the book, and I totally agree - writers are the best!

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    1. Writers really are the best! I love hanging out with you guys!

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  38. Blogging schedule? Yeah, no. I write most of mine on the spot. ;)

    Nice interview Peggy and Emily!!

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    1. I say whatever works is what you should definitely do! :) And thanks!

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  39. Great tips and advice! Thanks Peggy and Emily!

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  40. An inspirational interview. Thanks for sharing Peggy and Emily.

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  41. Great interview Emily and Peggy! Thanks so much. I'm trying to get more organized about my blogging schedule (key word trying!) :) And my kids and I loved a lot of the books you mentioned Peggy!

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    1. Blogging regularly definitely takes organization. I am trying to get more organized, too! If we keep trying, one day we'll get it down pat, right? Right?! ;) And yay! I'm glad we've read a lot of the same books!

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  42. Fun interview! I started blogging because I just thought that's what authors did. I love the community feel to it! I've learned so much and have met so many wonderful people!

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    1. It IS what authors do! Somebody should really clue people into the fact that authors not only blog, they build amazing friendships in an amazing community. :)

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  43. I am always looking for really cool MG books to read to my little girl. These are awesome! Thanks Peggy! I loved the day you announced your book deal too:)
    Emily, yet again, a terrific interview!

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    1. Awww, thanks, Deana! And yes, I agree. Emily has some mad interviewing skills!

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  44. Great interview both of you.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! It was nice to "meet" you!

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  45. Love this interview! And love your blog Peggy!

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