Wednesday, May 26, 2010

15 WOW Wednesday: Barrie Summy with Three Things It Takes to Get Published

Another WOW Wednesday and another wonderful author.... We're lucky to have Barrie Summy guest blogging today, so give her a huge round of cyber applause. For those who don't write for the teen or tween market, Barrie's the author of the fun I So Don't Do mystery series starring thirteen-year-old Sherry Holmes Baldwin and her ghostly mother. And no--that's not a typo. Ghostly. Not ghastly. Her latest book, I So Don't Do Makeup was just released on May 11th with five-star kid reviews.

Read on for her take on what it takes to get published. And don't forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Hello All! It's very fun to be away from my corner of cyberspace and over here blogging about getting published! I'm just going to jump right in. I know you're busy and have other sites to visit, meals to cook, jobs to do and, most importantly, stories to write.

Okay. I have three kinda hokey sayings, but these are the three sayings that keep me going. So, I figured I'd share them with you.

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Apparently, a South African golfer, Gary Player, came up with this sentence. I had no idea until I googled a couple of minutes ago. Anyway, I love the thought that we have some control over our luck. Especially given that there's a huge element of luck in publishing.

Assume you'll beat the odds.

Agent Kristin Nelson publishes her stats most years. Last year, she received (are you sitting down?) 38,000 queries. Of these, she requested a mere 55 manuscripts. And took on only 6 new clients. Are those numbers disheartening? Uh, definitely. But...assume you'll beat the odds and your full will be requested and you'll wind up one of those six new clients. (Here's the link to Krisin's stats post.)

Leave no stone unturned. (I actually set up this shot in my backyard!)

The following is a true story. One night I'm up late with insomnia. I messing around on the computer, answering email, blog hopping, etc. I stumble across an interestiing bit of info on Kristin Nelson's blog. (Seriously, I read a ton of blogs, so it's weird that I've referenced her twice in this post.) Anyway, Kristin had lunched that noon with Wendy Loggia, Executive Editor at Delacorte Press, Random House. Kristin blogged, "Wendy mentioned that she would love to see a MG or YA mystery (think a modern Joan Lowery Nixon-type author who can reinvent something fresh)." Ack, I thought. That could be my little 13-year-old detective Sherry (short for Sherlock) Baldwin! I immediately cut and pasted and emailed the info to my agent. Guess who bought my tween middle grade mystery series? Now, would my very savvy agent have put Wendy on our submission list? Yes, most likely. But, still, it didn't hurt to turn over the stone. (Here's the link to the actual post I read that late night.)

So, as you sit down at your computer and pull up your current work in progress, repeat after me:

*The harder your work, the luckier you get.*
*Assume you'll beat the odds.*
*Leave no stone unturned.*

Happy Writing to you all!



One Grand Prize winner will receive autographed copies of the three books in the series, I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP, I SO DON'T DO SPOOKY, and I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, plus a tote bag and t-shirt! Three lucky runners up will win an autographed copy of I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP and a t-shirt!

To enter, send an email to (note: no apostrophe!) with the subject line "Pick Me!" In the body of the email, include your name and email address (if you're under 13, submit a parent's name and email address). One entry per person and prizes will only be shipped to US or Canadian addresses. Entries must be received by midnight (PDT) on June 30. Winners will be selected in a random drawing on July 1 and notified via email. Check Barrie's website after July 6 for the list of winners!


  1. what a great interview and fabulous words of wisdom! I love reading success stories.

  2. Great inspiring interview. I'm off now to work hard at turning over some rocks. :)

  3. Great story. Attitude is amazing, yes it is. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks!

  4. Wonderful interview, thanks Barrie and kidlit!!

  5. Great advice. Thanks Barrie. I love Kristen Nelson's blog and would so love her or Sarah as an agent.

  6. Yay! Excellent advice and how awesome for you BARRIE!!! Inspiring post.

  7. Thanx Barrie that was uplifting after all! It does take hard work and dedication and a lot of luck on the side.

  8. I love "The harder you work, the luckier you get." Here's hoping!

  9. Love the inspiring message. Barrie is great. Thanks for posting.

  10. Thank you, Barrie, for your inspiring post. The odds are daunting, but you're right; we must assume we'll beat them.

    I so don't want to miss a chance to win your contest. I entered this morning.

  11. To the point advice, I love it! Thanks!

  12. fabulous interview! thanks to all of you!!

  13. Love the advice! May have to print that out and post it somewhere! :)

  14. Thanks for a dose of inspiration! I love this :)


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