I am so happy that Janet Fox has come over for a visit. Why? Because when Janet walks into a room, it just gets brighter by her being in it. I also feel fortunate that Janet and I are classmates at Vermont College of Fine Arts because, well, that brightening thing she does has the same effect when I am stressing out about my writing, packets and deadlines.
Janet is the author of the award-winning middle-grade nonfiction guide Get Organized Without Losing It (Free Spirit Publishing, 2006), which is now in its second printing. In spring, 2010, her debut fiction novel, Faithful (Puffin/Penguin Group), comes out followed by its sequel (tentatively titled Indigo Spring) in spring, 2011. Writers of long works blow me away.
Networking is the main reason Janet blogs. “It’s a great way to keep in touch with other writers and let them know what I’m up to. And I like to promote writers and good children’s literature.” When Janet began blogging she focused mainly on personal writing experiences. Lately, though, she’s shifted her focus to friends who are launching books and posting interviews with them. She also includes some information about children’s writing related news about book sales and awards. “Blogs evolve. It’s okay to evolve and change your focus. You have to find your own niche and your own voice.”
Janet does try to respond to comments on her blog. And when she’s hiking out around the cyber world, she comments on blogs she reads in the children’s book world. It’s her way of building community. (Ahhh the cyber brightening effect)
As for what makes a good blog post, Janet says, “I like information about writers and good books. I like to hear what’s new and what people are buzzing about and why. I try to connect with the most prominent children’s blog sites at least once every few days.” She avoids ranting, dissing and gossiping. “As my mother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“Oh, and it’s important (not a no-no, but important) to blog on a reasonably consistent basis. Once a month is okay as long as it’s every month.”