Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Writing Wisdom: Brandon Mull

New York Times list children’s author Brandon Mull says he has wanted to write fantasy and adventure novels since he was a kid. “My favorite books growing up were The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia,” he says. “Harry Potter helped me find an audience I thought I could write for.”

Part of his wish is to help expand what Mull calls: Family Friendly Fantasy. He describes the cell of superfans that surrounds each of the most popular of these kinds of books. “I have to consider ‘Is it cool enough that someone will tell others about it?’” he adds.

“Create what you think is cool, but make sure it fits a particular audience,” Mull advises. “The fatal flaw for many authors is that they don’t stay in one market or category, so no publisher knows how to market the book.” He says, “Target somebody, or you target nobody.”

Mull also advises that you only become a writer if you are passionate about it. “I didn’t leave my day job under after I hit the New York Times list and book #3 was released.”

“It’s important to leverage every success to gain a little more success,” he says. “Take an interest in your own marketing. Writing the book is only 50% of the work. They other half is marketing it to potential buyers.”

But that’s not the end of the work cycle. Brandon says, “Always get better as a writer with each book.” He describes his own default mode as constantly brainstorming books, but his number one goal is to write a book that readers get.”Put out good stuff and good stuff comes back to you.”

Brandon Mull is the author of the New York Times Bestselling Fablehaven series, The Candy Shop War, and Pingo. His new series, Beyonders, begins in March 2011 with A World Without Heroes.

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