Archive | September, 2012

Shy Town Girls and Collaborative Publishing

25 Sep

I want to make sure I introduce the whole team of writers on what we are calling a “collaborative publishing” initiative. We are defining collaborative publishing as an effort that starts with multiple authors who then publish, in our case, a series of books. Following is more detail as to what exactly our process involves. That’s Kate on the far left, Katie in the middle and Jennifer to the far right. That leaves me upfront in the middle.

Overview of the Shy Town Girls’ Novel Series

I met Jennifer Yih about three years ago through her aunt who told me about her “amazing” niece who could assist me with support with the publishing and social media efforts I have been involved with. Through the years as Jen has been finishing up college at The University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, she has brought so much to my process. Later, in the last couple of years, Katie Leimkuehler approached me to learn more about publishing and its connection to social media followed by Kate Clinesmith who also wanted to learn.

As I heard these three, very talented young women share their common passions, I thought, “Gee, it would be even more relevant and beneficial for these three talented women to learn writing and publishing up close and personal.” With this thought I reached out and offered each of them the request to join me in a collaborative writing and publishing process with the focus on a book series. From that moment on, everything just “clicked.”

Within four weeks we have:

  • decided on the title: “Shy Town Girls.”
  • decided on the number of books we would write: four.
  • decided on who would write each book: Jennifer, book 1, Katie, book 2, Kate  book 3 and me, book 4.
  • created detailed descriptions of each of our characters.
  • wrote out the plot to all four books.
  • are now in the process of choosing the cover.
  • set our publication date: December 1st of this year.

What do you think? Any suggestions? We will keep sharing the process as we go along.

Best,

MG Wilson

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The Not-So-Typical Brainstorm

24 Sep

Why do they call it brainstorming? We had our first “brainstorming” session, and unlike any storm I’ve experienced it was calm, productive and enjoyable to watch Shy-Town Girls unfold. Melissa, Jen, Katie and myself have begun what we call collaborative publishing. As the gals and myself sat down to discuss each of our characters- we all developed a character that we wanted to include in the stories- the excitement rose as we shared ideas of funny encounters and dramatic events.

The collaborative publishing process is unique in that instead of passing a story along for review we, from the start, write and publish the story together. We work through our character developments, “how would Ella react in this situation?” or “does the absence of Ivy’s father cause emotional issues and if so, how?” and we do this thorough examination of each of the characters.  This allows each of our characters to have dimension, just as each person is impacted by the people they meet in their life so are these characters. It is truly spectacular to experience the evolution of our characters through events they have had in their life to the people that have hurt them or who they have loved in to the characters they are today. There is an attachment that comes with writing, you find yourself spending time with the characters as if they are your friends- laughing as you write in the bad date, hurting while they hurt and feeling joy when they kiss the crush. To take this intimate writing process and open it up to work with others for collaborative publishing is no short of a challenge, a process that takes cooperation, understanding and the most key- the ability to speak our creative insights with each other.

As we, the four original Shy-Town Girls, draw out our books together we want to share our process. There is bound to be disagreements resulting from passion, and laughter resulting from real-life anecdotes and  pure excitement as we watch four shy girls brave through the twists and triumphs of life in Chicago. We feel that with any experimental process there will be some failures in collaborative writing- how do we keep story developments organized? Who writes what? But when crossing the finish line we are sure the depths of Shy-Town Girls will be worth any of the bumps obtained along with way.

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Introducing Bobbie by Author Jennifer Yih

21 Sep

Me On A Good Day #NotAHipster

Cheers everyone!

My tune of the day: “Hold On” by Alabama Shakes

I’m Jennifer Yih, author of the first book of series “Shy Town Girls”. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to who we are here’s a link to Blog Talk Radio where you can hear from all the authors and insight into our collaborative process of writing the books.

Blog Talk Radio Introducing the Shy Town Girls

Who am I and what am I all about?

I’m probably not too much different than any of you quirky, interesting, and ambitious young women out there. I think we can all agree that our days are typically filled with overwhelming responsibilities, emotions, dramas, and by the end of the day we want to kick back in our sweats with our best friends with a glass of good wine in hand.

But in case I haven’t sold myself and you’re oh so curious about who I am. I typically go by Jen, sometimes Jennifer, never Jenny, and a few call me Chi-Chi (long story there that may or may not have something to do with a karaoke bar in Texas). My personality can best be described like a dog most days, I am extremely energetic, overly excited about a lot of things, active, and most importantly loyal. I studied Political Science at Loyola University for my first year and a half of college and later transferred to University of Wisconsin Madison to finish my degree. I fell in love with Political Science when I first took a Political Theory course taught by some stoic militant Professor from Turkey who talked about Plato and Socrates like they were Gods. It was cool, so I declared the major about a year later.

As far as family life, I’m a daddy’s girl but my mom is my best friend, not a super unique situation there. My dad is a first generation immigrant to the United States, born in Shanghai China and grew up in Sao Paolo, Brazil. The man speaks 7 languages fluently and is a borderline genius. He swept my mom off her feet in college; she’ll kill me for saying this but she was a bit of a beauty queen, absolutely dominating in pageants and being Miss Perfect for nearly all her life. She hated doing them, but her mom made her. Her real passion was music, she actually went to college on a piano scholarship and is a wizard on the keyboard. I don’t hear her play much anymore, unless I ask. My parents were good to me and my brother in that they exposed us to the world at quite a young age. I am proud to say I’m a small town girl but have seen the beaches of Dominican Republic and Mexico, the mountains of Austria, cleanliness of the Germans, food and smells of Italy, and much much more. I was successfully able to scale around 15+ countries in counting, three continents, and 2.5 languages, lived months on end in Brazil and Italy, and backpack Europe by the time I was 21.

I guess you could say Bobbie Bertucci, the main character of my book, is parts of me throughout time. You can really only write what you know and I know that Bobbie is a conglomerate of personalities and emotions. Like many other women, she tends to be moody to nearly emotionally unstable at times, defending her independence, ambitious, beautiful, intelligent, insecure, and confused as to what or how to identify true love and the overall meaning of life. I know it’s sounding deep, but what’s life without depth?

Stay tuned!

xoxo

Jennifer

@jenyihs
@shytowngirls

 

 

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Shy-Town Girls

20 Sep

 

Join us as we work together to collaborate on a new romance novel series called Shy Town Girls. I call this a “collaborative publishing” process. In upcoming articles we will share our creative process as much as possible to help you really understand what it takes to create a great book.

I’ve been writing books for almost two decades now. It’s now turned into a passion to help others write books. And when I heard from three, separate, amazing young women that they would love to write a novel, I decided to bring them together, let them connect, and then . . . co-author a book with me.

As I said to Jen, Kate and Katie, “The best way to tell you how to write a book is to show you how. So, a couple of months ago I offered these three young women the opportunity to write a book series with me.

Now, we are busy working on a four-part novel series that will come out with the first book at the beginning of December this year. Also take a moment to listen to our radio show if you would like even more detail. No matter what, we welcome you to offer your thoughts and questions on this exciting journey!

What did you do today?

20 Sep

September 20th was a Thursday a Long-day

Today (Thursday) was s a big day towards the progression of  “Shy Town Girls”. I’m not sure how I did it but yesterday may or may not have been one of the most chaotic yet orchestrated days I’ve had. It’s currently Friday September 21, 2012 approximately 9:43AM. Two days ago, Wednesday I went to class, drove home to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, had a quick bite and stroll with my mother, I prepped for Thursday, laid out my outfit, set the alarm, and hit the sheets. My obnoxious alarm clock fired off at 5:45AM, I only pressed the snooze once. I crawled out of bed to the shower, got ready, made some terrible coffee, and was on the road towards Chicago by 6:55AM. Before I know it, it’s 8:30AM and I’m passing through Edens Expressway, here comes the moment of truth. TRAFFIC! Oh no, I’m going to be late. I have to meet Melissa Giovagnoli, President of Networlding Publishing, and two other authors who I barely know, Kate Clinesmith and Katie Leimkuehler. I text Melissa while at a dead stop in traffic, “Hitting some traffic on the way in, be there soon.” 45 dreary minutes go by and I am officially late. Park on the 7th floor in some random parking garage that was going to rip me off. I run down the street to 101 N. Wacker Drive, smack the elevator doors to bring me up to the 6th floor, swing open the door that says “Networlding” and there sits Melissa, Kate, and Katie laptops open and already working.

 

Kate, Katie, Jennifer, Melissa

We meeted and greeted for a few minutes, I had to apologize for the unprofessional act of being late a few times, but then decided to drop it. Let’s move forward. We dove into the marketing strategy of who, what, and how we were going to reach out to our target audience and most importantly how we wanted “Shy Town Girls” to be portrayed to the world. We worked out the equities like color, images, size, etc. How fun! I loved the way Melissa, Kate, Katie and I worked together, it was communicative and fluid. Coffee break! We quickly used the bathroom, made a cup of joe, and chit chatted in the break-room about our personal lives. Kate is moving to San Francisco! I am struggling to juggle 17 credits AND write a book. Kate just launched her new website (conquertheedge.com). Now I understand why we all get along.

Break time is over, it’s back to work. The sounds of slapping away at the keyboard rang through the office, I’m surprised we weren’t making the windows vibrate. Let’s start with Book 1 Scene 1 and work our way through it. This is my book and all about the main character, beautiful Bobbie Bertucci. We discuss and analyze the psychological working of Bobbie, introduce characters dear to her, family background, educational accomplishments, and where she stands emotionally at the start of the book. I won’t give it away now because you’ll just have to read!

After a quick 20 minute interview on Blog Talk Radio about the upcoming romance novel “Shy Town Girls” it was time for me to run. I said my goodbyes and before I knew it I was crossing the Wisconsin border. My dad was worried I was going to fall asleep behind the wheel or something along those lines, so he drove me back to University of Wisconin departing Lake Geneva at exactly 3:45PM, making it to campus at exactly 5:00. Perfect! I got slipped on my black business dress, a pair of stilettos I had just gotten in Italy, washed my face, re-applied make-up, curled the ends of my hair, sprayed, perfumed, and grabbed my folder of resumes and off to the career fair I go! I was successfully able to chat with two international consulting firms, Macy’s management recruiters, AISEC Global Exchange, General Mills, and my highest priority Procter and Gamble. I was lucky enough to introduce myself to one of the recruiters at P&G, Drew, who encouraged me to apply due to my diverse background and variety experience. I had to end it on that note, so I walked out of the career fair, down the street, and up to the 3rd floor of the Student Activity Center where I was supposed to meet a group of 5 other students to discuss our marketing project for the semester. Feeling slightly light headed, fatigued, hungry, the florescent lighting made me feel like I was in an episode of the Twilight Zone, I was surprisingly high on life!

I came home and was greeted by my wonderful roommate Kyla who had a glass of wine waiting on the counter for me.

What a day, I have to say… What did you do today?

Hear more about “Shy Town Girls” series here at Blog Talk Radio to get the inside scoop from the authors themselves!

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Books By Women for Women

16 Sep

Portrait of a lady holding a book, 1801

We are really excited to share the new focus of this blog–on books by women for women.  We would love your insights and selections as we move forward.

With every selection we choose we are sure you have choices yourself. Feel free to share them here or to tweet them to me at either my business Twitter account or my personal Twitter account.

Melissa Giovagnoli Wilson, MG Wilson, pen name for my upcoming book, “Shy-Town Girls” set in Chicago about 4 amazingly brave but shy girls and their adventures at work and with men