06 May, 2011

Blog Tour Stop: Guest Post by Christine Fonseca!

First, let's have a round of applause for Christine Fonseca and her second book, 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids! CONGRATULATIONS, Christine!

When I heard she wanted people to host her during a blog tour, I volunteered my blog: therefore, today I have a guest post on what she took away from writing her recently released 101 Success Secrets:


Five Lessons Learned From the Journey

I love it when I get to stop by different blogs for tours! Today, I want to thank Golden Eagle hosting this leg of the tour. My topic for today – my big take-aways from writing this book.

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids started off with a different title, one that did NOT include literally 101 tips. In that version of the book, my audience was school age kids (grades 3-12). In the process of selling the book, the age range narrowed to middle childhood (grades 3-7), the title changed (it was undetermined at the point of sale) and the format was different. Over the next few months, a title was determined and poof – I had to also include 101 success secrets.

The process wasn’t much different than most writers experience. And it taught me a few things:

1.      Flexibility: The books we see on the self are seldom the same as the original stories. Sometimes the titles are different. Or the covers lend a different feel to the book. Or the endings have changed. Or maybe even the intended audience.
   The key to surviving the process – flexibility. Don’t become so married to your original ideas for the project that you are unwilling to consider something new. I can honestly say that both of my books, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, are better BECAUSE of the editor-suggested changes.

2.      Be Willing to Start Over: With the title change for 101 Success Secrets, and the addition of the actual secrets, the format for the book drastically changed. With nonfiction, the book is not completely written at the time of purchase. I had three chapters done as part of the proposal, but that was it. Everything else was one big outline. The format changes meant much of the previous material needed to change.
   At first I thought this would be easy – just a matter of adding tips here and there. Boy was I wrong. I spent months trying to make the changes work, formatting and reformatting my existing work.

   Nothing I attempted was right.

   And finally I accepted what I already knew inside – I had to start over.
   Reluctantly, I opened a blank document and started over. You know what? It worked. I pounded out the book in a couple of weeks, editing and turned in the manuscript ahead of schedule and within a month of opening that blank document. My lesson in this - sometimes, you just have to be willing to start over!

3.      Some Things are Just Out of Your Control: I’m convinced that this business is one part talent and three parts timing/luck. So many people make decisions about your work based on things you don’t know. Things like if a book will get picked up, when to release, marketing plans, etc – many of these are based not only on the quality of the work you produced, but on things unknown to you, the author. Of course, if you self-publish this is not completely true. But for most of us – yep, there is a TON of things not in your control on this journey.
   So, what can you do? Let go of that stuff. Focus your efforts on the things you can control, including the quality of your work, how well you collaborate with your publishing team, how you market yourself and your product. Beyond that…Let. It. Go!

4.      Perspective: It is very easy to lose yourself in the land of comparisons, believing that you should earn a certain amount on your books, receive a certain advance or print run, land a particular agent, etc. The list of potential comparisons is endless – and none of them mean anything. Growing in this business developing a healthy perspective that does NOT constantly live in the land of comparing. Instead, focus on yourself and developing your talents as a writer. If you are published, don’t compare your sales to others – instead, focus on connecting with readers in your niche and bringing them value in content (both in terms of books and supplemental content). If you are a newbie, don’t stress over who signed with whom – instead, focus on honing your craft and developing your own unique career.
   This doesn’t mean don’t learn from others. But it does mean don’t compare.

5.      When in Doubt, Write: As I already said, there is a lot of stuff outside of your control in this business. And with that, there is also a lot of waiting time. I don’t know about you, but wait time usually ends in angst for me. So, instead of angsting, comparing and otherwise freaking out, get to your next project. Writing something – anything – and focus your creative energies on that. You won’t regret it, trust me!

Overall, this has been an amazing journey. Writing both books, seeing them on the shelves and marketing them have taught me more than I thought possible. I only hope all of this results in a career I can be proud.

For more information about my books, check out my blog or website.



School psychologist by day, YA and nonfiction author by night, Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Her books include EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS (2010) and 101 SUCCESS SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS (2011). In addition to books about giftedness, Christine writes contemporary and fantasy fiction for teens. When she’s not writing, she can be found playing around on Facebook and Twitter. Catch her daily thoughts about writing and life on her blog.

List of links to Christine Fonseca:

Visit her Website
Read her Blog
Find her on Facebook
Stop by Twitter
Order the book.
Order the e-reader version.
Read the first chapter here.


Readers, what do you think? Would you agree with the points made? Disagree? Would you add anything to what she said?

-----The Golden Eagle
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Nisa said...

And what wonderful lessons those are! I'm still struggling with #2. I have to do what?? *gasp* ;)

Emily Rose said...

Having to start over is tough. I admire your ability to do so!

Old Kitty said...

I absolutely love her writing philosophy and journey. Starting over is indeed tough but tougher and amazingly braver to admit to needing to do so!! So yay!!! Thank you Eagle and Ms Fonseca for a vey thought provoking blog post! Take care

Margo Benson said...

Many thanks for hosting and introducing Christine Fonseca. More food for thought on the whole process and always encouraging to hear about success!

Charles Gramlich said...

I wish her much success with her book. It sounds like an important one.

Heather said...

An excellent interview! I just bought a copy of Christine's book for my teenage sister and I have to admit, I read it first! She has such wisdom to share, loved it!

Grammy said...

hello, Golden Eagle...I am just now getting to people who stopped by my blog during the A to Z challenge. I am so pleased to meet you, and I will be back. I have some dear friends who are Chinese from Taiwan. One of the children, Jennifer, lived with my husband and I for a year and went to high school during that year. It has been about twelve years since then. I am enjoying going over your posts for the past several days. Thank you for coming to see me. Ruby

Monti said...

I agree with you, Christine, about timing in the world of writing and publication.

Am glad you're writing about gifted children who often today do not receive the time they deserve in school simply because instructional time has to go in so many different directions.

Thank you, Golden Eagle, for hosting Christine!


Brian said...

Sounds like she is really on to some things! I sure wish her the best with such a wonderful book.

Carol Kilgore said...

Excellent advice for all writers. Good luck with your new book.

Elaine AM Smith said...

I really enjoyed what I read about Christine's book and the ideas it contains. I wish her every success.

Paul C said...

What an interesting overview of your perspective and accomplishments. I like "Focus on yourself and developing your talents as a writer." Good advice. Writing and publishing takes a lot of focus, often after a long work day.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Wonderful lessons! I loved the point she made about perspective :)

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you for hosting Christine, Golden.

Christine, I agree with your points. I'm working on a book now that has taken a 190 degree turn.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Janet Johnson said...

Christine is so awesome. I love hearing about the process and what she learned. Thanks for letting her stop by!

Trisha said...

Starting over from scratch is something I've seen some talk about lately - it scares me. But obviously it works, so I will definitely keep it in mind!

Jayne said...

Thank you for sharing those lessons, Christine, great words of wisdom. They are definitely valuable lessons to know.

And thank you, Eagle!

Rachel Morgan said...

Those are some very good points. Especially the first one about flexibility. I need to remember to not become too attached to any specific idea - in case I have to change it one day!

laughingwolf said...

well done, christine!

Su said...

"When in doubt, Write"-- that's brilliant. Thanks for the guest post!

Sun Singer said...

Great guest post.

The Words Crafter said...

I think these are fantastic tips. I'm essentially rewriting my nano novel and, when I'm stuck, I work on my first wip.

Great advice, thanks for sharing it!

Christine Fonseca said...

Thanks all of you! Your comments mean the world to me!

Pk Hrezo said...

Awesome advice! I love what you say about 1 part talent and 3 parts luck/timing. It's so true.

Best of luck with this book!

The Golden Eagle said...

Nisa: It's a real step, isn't it?

Emily: I do, too!

Old Kitty: You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the blog post. :)

Margo: You're very welcome.

It is! :D

Charles: I haven't read it, but it does cover an interesting topic, doesn't it?

Heather: Awesome! :)

Glad you enjoyed this guest post!

Ruby: You're welcome--thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Monti: You're welcome!

Brian: Me, too. :)

Carol: My thoughts exactly. :D

Elaine: It sounds like a great book!

Paul: Hi, Paul!

Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Samantha: It's a good one. :)

Nancy: You're welcome!

The Golden Eagle said...

Janet: Awesome is right. ;)


Trisha: I hope it helps!

Jayne: You're very welcome! :)

Rachel: I get attached to ideas easily, too. And hate giving them up. :P

Laughingwolf: She's done an awful lot, hasn't she? :D

Su: You're welcome.

I love that part, too. :)

Malcolm: Christine did a great job on this post!

The Words Crafter: I'm in the process of rewriting, too.

Christine: Hi there! :D

Pk: Luck seems to have an awful lot to do with writing. And some people have really gotten lucky!

M Pax said...

Ah yes, don't be afraid to start over.

All success to Christine.

The Golden Eagle said...

It's a great point!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I definitely could have used a title like this for my journey with my Not-So-Bebe Girl Autumn. I also loved reading about Ms. Fonseca's thoughts and writing philosophies (even though I'm not a writer)!