Friday, April 8, 2016

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author/Editor Brian A.Klems

Please welcome Brian A. Klems to my blog. He is here to give our readers a new perspective as an author AND an editor. Please tell our readers about the magazine you represent. 

Brian- I’m the senior online editor of Writer’s Digest. Writer’s Digest is the number one magazine for writers who are looking to write better, get published and get paid for what they write. I’m not just saying it’s great because I work for the magazine, I honestly believe it to be true. I read Writer’s Digest before I ever worked on the magazine and consider myself lucky to be part of its evolution, as well as a member of its awesome team of editors.

Nancy- Who first introduced you to the love of reading?

Brian- My mom. She’s been an avid reader ever since I can remember. I recall her setting annual goals of reading two books a week to reach 104 for each year. And she did that on top of raising me and my sister, getting us to our sports and extra curriculars and going back to college in her 30s to become a Kindergarten teacher. That still blows my mind. Now I’ve been passing on my love of reading to my three little ladies, two of whom are the top readers in their class (and the other is still in preschool and can’t actually read words yet, but she reads by pictures and I love that just as much).

Nancy- What is the biggest no no you see in submissions that makes you reject them?

Brian- Aside from misspelling my name, which happens way more than you’d expect considering how easily it is to find my name online, grammar mistakes will quickly kill a query for me. I’m understanding and know that we all slip time to time, especially because autocorrect often introduces errors, but having several typos or grammar errors in a query is unacceptable. If you can’t be trusted to put in the work to get it right in a query of only a couple of paragraphs, how can I trust you to get it right in a full-length article?
Nancy- Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Brian- My book, Oh Boy, You’re Having a Girl: A Dad’s Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, is a humor parenting book designed to make you laugh and relate to the trails, tribulations and awesomeness of raising girls. I have three daughters, all of whom are smart, sweet and have me wrapped around their fingers. The book isn’t advice-driven in the sense that it tells you how to deal with a rash or save for college, it’s advice-driven in the sense that it encourages you to embrace everything and take it all in, because no matter how macho or tough you think you are, you’ll proudly wear that tiara when you’re little princess asks you to. I’ve learned it’s become an extremely popular gift book, given by friends and family to expecting parents and I’ve also seen it used by parents-to-be to announce that they are having a girl to family and friends. Either way, I appreciate all the kind comments I get about it. It makes me smile knowing it makes others smile.

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?  

Brian- I originally started my blog, TheLifeOfDad as a way to get my creativity out while also updating close family and friends of the progress of our first pregnancy. I had started blogs before, but they were unfocused and unsuccessful. They were valuable, as I honed my voice and learned from mistakes I made along the way, which I think is important that writers realize—even unsuccessful ventures can teach you so much. Anyway, the blog grew and I kept saying, “I’m going to write a book.” Of course, like most writers, I kept putting it off. Then, in 2011, my dad unexpectedly died of a heart attack and it put things in perspective for me. Life is short. If I didn’t try now, I may not have a chance later. So I wrote up a book proposal and sample chapters and, what’d you know—I landed an agent and a book deal.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Brian- The most rewarding part is when people send me a note on social media, or leave a kind review on Amazon, telling me how much they enjoyed the book. It really does make me smile and brighten my life. Putting yourself and your work out there for the entire world to judge is a pretty gutsy thing to do. Not everyone will love your work and not everyone will appreciate the weeks, months and years you’ve put in to making your dream come true. But the people that do—and luckily for me that’s been the vast majority of folks—make all the hard work worth it. I wish I could personally thank each and every one.

Nancy- Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract? 

Brian- Rejection is part of the game—wear it on your sleeve as a bad of honor, but don’t let it drag you down. Persistence is everything in publishing. It’s much like playing professional sports. Baseball players who want to make it to the major leagues work every day at their craft, pushing their limits, and hoping that they will be lucky enough to impress a scout that will give them a chance. Getting published is the same. It’s a matter of working incredibly hard and putting yourself in the best position you can to succeed while also hoping that you’re lucky enough to connect with someone who likes what you’re doing and wants to publish your work. And if you’re really lucky, people will read it.
It's easy to imagine how you'd raise a boy—all the golf outings, lawnmower lessons, and Little League championships you'd attend—but playing dad to a little princess may take some education. In Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl Brian, a father of three girls, shares his tactics for surviving this new and glittery world. From baby dolls and bedtime rituals to potty training and dance recitals, he leads you through all the trials and tribulations you'll face as you're raising your daughter. He'll also show you how to navigate your way through tough situations, like making sure that she doesn't start dating until she's 50. Complete with commandments for restroom trips and properly participating in a tea party, Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl will brace you for all those hours playing house--and psych you up for the awesomeness of raising a daughter who has you lovingly wrapped around her little finger.

More About Brian Klems
Brian A. Klems is a writer, husband, perennial fantasy sports underachiever, and father of three lovely little girls. He's the online editor of Writer's Digest magazine and is also a proud graduate of the E.W. Scripps journalism school at Ohio University.

Brian's first parenting humor book, OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL (Adams Media), was endorsed by Dave Barry and was called "laugh-out-loud funny" by the Chicago Tribune. Brian is a contributor to The Huffington Post, where his most popular piece, "The Letter Every Parent Should Write" was endorsed by the rockstar P!NK. 

Read more from Brian at Writersdigest
and at The Life Of Dad blog
and follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems HERE  

Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl
Buy Links: Amazon   Amazon PRINT

Brian will appear April 30, 2016
in Raleigh, NC as the
Keynote Speaker at the
WRITE NOW 2016 Writer's Conference

Learn more about the conference
and register HERE

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