Connie B. Dowell wrote her first book when she was younger. She had time to think and plan and even get writers block. As a mom of two young kids, she no longer has the luxury of time. Yet she has still managed to publish two novels with more on the way. Learn her secrets for writing in the small spaces of time, tips for young writers, and what she wishes all writers knew.
Connie's Website: http://conniebdowell.com
Connie's Podcast: Book Echoes
Connie B. Dowell is an author of fiction and nonfiction for teens and
young adults. Her fiction includes YA historical mystery, The Poison
in All of Us, and YA heist comedy, The Orchid Caper. A former
university writing center coordinator, she also authored You Can Love
Writing: A Guide to Get through Your College Papers and Like It.
Connie hosts a children's and YA literature podcast, Book Echoes. She
lives in Houston with her husband and children, where both adults
drink far more coffee than is probably wise.
Started writing as soon as she could pick up a pen.
Her parents would help her make books with old matrix paper.
She published her first book in 2014.
As soon as Connie realized that author was a career that was what she wanted to be.
She wanted to write everything when she was young.
She knew that she wanted to write for young people. Harry Potter was formative for her; she realized she wanted to write and she didn’t want to totally grow up in her writing.
The young adult time of life is a time when people are trying to figure out life. When we get older, we can follow this same pattern: we are always coming of age.
A day in the Life
Connie has two young kids, one in preschool and one who is with her full time. She does her work in the spaces during naptime and in the times when he is playing. She used to struggle with writers block.
Writers block is usually not one thing. It could be one of many things. It could be the motivation or manuscript.
She doesn’t have that problem anymore because she has a limited time and she uses that time to write.
You have time to write, even if it’s not as much as you would like.
There is a gift in not having a lot of time.
"If you want something done, give it to a busy person. A busy person knows how to organize their time and take advantage of every bit of time."
Find those few minutes, even if you don’t have a lot of time.
It can be hard to work and get interrupted but with practice it’s something you can do.
Tips for Aspiring Writers
Write and read as much as you possibly can.
Learn by doing and see how it’s done well and how it’s done poorly.
You get that by writing and reading.
Join a critique group. You get feedback on what’s working and what’s not working. It can be harrowing, but it will make you that much better, it will get you to the next level.
Find critique books online, on social media like Facebook and twitter. Community centers and local libraries also have local groups. Look for an organization that does the kind of writing that you want to do.
The Poison in All of Us (a YA historical mystery)
“They found a body.
Not just any body. The body of their town’s most prominent suffragist.
In December 1918, Emmie and her least favorite classmate, Dessa, were supposed to be enjoying the holidays, but their small town Georgia world is rocked when they find Miss Letty’s murdered body. But that’s not all…
Somebody’s prowling around at midnight. Following Dessa.
And antisuffrage activists are getting louder. And more aggressive.
Emmie and Dessa can’t stand each other, but can they learn to work together and catch the killer before more women die?
You’ll love this historical tale of friendship and murder, because everyone’s intrigued by a puzzling mystery.
Connie was inspired by the idea of women’s rights. It helped her put more heart into what she was writing.
The Orchid Caper
“A down-on-her luck burglar, a trust fund college kid with something to prove. Will they outfox a master thief?
All eighteen-year-old Darlene wants is to rob the joint. College guy Ian comes home too soon. And some ill-timed flatulence brings them together. Darlene thinks she’s toast. Instead Ian gives her a job offer, leading a heist team to steal a rare species of vanilla orchid. Only catch, she’s swiping from one of the best thieves in the biz.
With her dad’s store on its last legs, Darlene needs the cash she’ll get when the job is done. Ian's in it to win a bet. Can their rag-tag team pinch the flower right under their mark’s nose? And can they remember not to eat beans for breakfast?
The Orchid Caper is the first in a humorous YA action/adventure series. If you love action with a sense of humor, this is the book for you.”
Connie refers to this book as a “candy book.” It’s a fun book.
Surprise in fiction
Connie was surprised by how organized she had to be. She knew writing was a creative process.
Connie chooses to outline ahead of time so she can use her writing time wisely.
Connie says, Never give up! Keep writing!