Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Katie Hines - Guest Author

I recently had the opportunity to chat with children's author, Katie Hines, about her soon to be released novel, Guardian, published by 4RV Publishing.

Readers, please be sure to leave a comment or question for Katie. She will be checking in periodically to field your comments and questions. Also, as an added bonus if you do leave a comment you will automatically be entered in the drawing for a chance to win a FREE signed book from Katie. Be sure to leave your contact information within your comment.

Q: Katie, you had several poems published in high school and then shelved your writing to raise your family. Did you always know you would go back to writing when time allowed?

Katie: No, I didn’t. At the time, I didn’t realize how hard it is to get a book published the traditional route. When the editor of the anthology approached me about my poems, I was surprised, but not as elated as I would be now!

Q: Your writing career is quite diverse. Please share with us how your articles are planned out for your feature writer and columnist position.

Katie: I have a cushy position with the newspaper. I write the articles of my choice, and he publishes them in the local paper. To be honest, I have pretty much set my article writing aside in order to work on marketing and promotional plans for my middle grade urban fantasy, “Guardian.”

Q: Your novel Guardian is due to be released July/August by 4RV Publishing. Please describe to us the process you went through from the time your manuscript was accepted to publication.

Katie: First of all, there was the huge high I got when I was notified my manuscript was accepted by the publisher. Then I got the contract (which I read carefully, as everyone should), and signed it and returned it to the publisher. Another huge high then! This was October 2008.

Next, I received a copy of the book cover from the illustrator via the publishing company. I have to admit it is a really awesome book cover. Diana did such a great job with it. For Christmas that year, my husband printed out copies of the book cover and copied the signature page of the contract and framed them for me. They now grace my wall in my office!

In December, I began working on marketing and promotional work. I struggled to create a meaningful media kit, but had good writer friends who helped me with that. I also began a blog. I should be creating a website, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

I also joined several social networking sites, but use Twitter and Facebook most often. I belong to some .ning groups that I feel might have any sort of connection to a theme in “Guardian.”

A couple of weeks ago, I got the edit from the publisher, with changes to be made as indicated. That took me a couple of weeks, and I sent it back to them earlier this week.

That brings me to now. Apparently, they’re doing the layout of the book, and will get back to me to work with them about hyphenated nouns and widow and orphan control.

The final step, I believe, is to actually get the book in my hot little hands.

Q: I have heard many times over authors need to be actively involved in marketing their novel. What actions have you set in place to build the momentum of Guardian?

Katie: I pretty much signed up with social networking groups, and created a media kit. That media kit is really important because it can be sent to all sorts of people: local newspapers, libraries, book stores blog tour hosts, etc.

I also wrote to various writer friends who had already been through blog book tours and marketing, picking their brains for good ideas, and what strategies worked and which ones didn’t and why.

Additionally, I have ordered business cards. Plan to order some bookmarks, postcards, some posters of the awesome book cover. I’d also like to get some book bags made with the cover on it, as well as t-shirts for my family to wear advertising the book. Maybe even ball caps.

Q: All writers have different creative processes. Do you work off an outline or do you write straight from your heart and thoughts?

Katie: I’ve done both. I don’t like outlines, because it seems I always deviate from them. That said, I use an outline for my middle grade books because I want to know how I’m going to get to the end of the book (which I always have figured out ahead of time.) I have a young adult novel that I am writing that uses an outline, but a few chapter books that don’t. The young adult novel I write from an outline, but only in the general sense. That book is mostly from the heart.

Q: The publishing industry is ever changing with the advancement of technology. What is your opinion of e-books versus traditional print?

Katie: I personally don’t like ebooks. I’d rather hold a printed book in my hot little hands. I also don’t like reading off the computer. I can hold an ebook, I suppose, were I to print it out, but then that costs me money for paper and ink. There’s just something wonderful about cuddling under the covers, holding a traditionally printed book and getting lost for hours.

Readers, to learn more about Katie and her dynamic writing career, become an opt-in subscriber of the Write What Inspires You Newsletter by sending an email to dmcdine@optonline.net with opt-in in the subject line.

Katie, thanks for your thought provoking interview, it was a pleasure hosting you today.

Don’t forget to come back on July 2nd to read the synopsis of Guardian.

Thanks for stopping by, we appreciate your time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Katie Hines - Guest Author to Visit: June 30th

Join me on June 30th when Katie Hines, author of Guardian visits Write What Inspires You! for a three part segment spanning the Write What Inspires You blog and newsletter.

Brief bio:

Katie has been writing snippits here and there as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called, "Underworld." Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology...

Want to know more, you'll have to stop back on June 30th, July 2nd, and July 20th and subscribe to the Write What Inspires You newsletter to learn more about this dynamic writer. Opt-in at: http://www.donnamcdine.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Book Review - Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle

Title: Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle

Written by: Nicole Weaver

Illustrated by: Ruben Chavez

Ages: 6-9

Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-4327-2377-4

Published: March 2009

Softcover: 36 pages

Price: $14.95

The wonder and beauty of the ocean draws Marie to the beach each day in the hunt for the perfect seashell. Her adventures bring her to the best location on the island. Delighted to catch a glimmer in the distance, Marie rushes to retrieve what she believes will be the most beautiful seashell ever. To her surprise she finds a stranded sea turtle, who oddly enough communicates his frustration of being stuck on the beach. With love and determination Marie seeks a way to release the sea turtle back to his home in the ocean.

Written in English, French, and Spanish children’s author, Nicole Weaver reaches many cultures and pulls at children’s hearts in their love and wonderment of the world around them. Illustrator, Ruben Chavez further brings the story alive with his colorful illustrations which certainly will make the reader yearn for their own beach adventures.

Nicole Weaver is a children’s author and veteran teacher of French and Spanish at the middle school and high school levels. Visit Nicole at: http://www.authorsden.com/nicoleweaver

Ruben Chavez is an illustrator and fine artist. He enjoys rendering people in various mediums, with the intent of capturing their spirit and soul. Visit Ruben at: http://rubenchavez.com/index.html

Monday, June 22, 2009

Book Review - Penny & Rio the Mysterious Backyward Meeting

Title: Penny & Rio – The Mysterious Backyard Meeting

Written by: Jennifer Swanson

Illustrated by: Rosita Schandy & Neal Wooten

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Mirror Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9822560-15

Published: February 2008

Softcover: 42 pages

Price: $18.99

Not in her nature to have a dog day afternoon, dog Penny finds herself on an adventure in her new backyard attempting to discover the purpose behind the peculiar nighttime meetings between several different animals. Unsuccessful in coaxing her sister dog Rio to assist in uncovering the truth behind the gatherings, Penny remains determined to prove the other animals are up to no good. Unexpected circumstances arise and along the way Penny learns not to judge a book by its cover and not to fall into prejudgment of someone’s actions.

Children’s author, Jennifer Swanson takes the reader on the journey of acceptance of others in an endearing nature without preaching. Coupled with Rosita Schandy and Neal Wooten’s vibrant illustrations and the talented storytelling of Jennifer Swanson it will have the reader cheering out loud time and time again as the adventures of Penny & Rio are read many times over.

There is no wonder Penny & Rio – The Mysterious Backyard Meeting is an award winning children’s book bestowed by 2009 Mom’s Choice Silver Award, 2008 Florida Writer’s Association Royal Palm Literary Awards, and The Dove Foundation’s “Family Approved” Seal.

Visit Ms. Swanson at: http://www.pennyandrio.com

Visit Rosita Schandy at: http://www.jacketflap.com/profile.asp?member=Rosita

Visit Neal Wooten at: http://www.jacketflap.com/persondetail.asp?person=206940

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Reading Blog Talk Radio Show

Summer Reading Blog Talk Radio Show

Tune in every Wednesday, starting June 24, for seven weeks of fun and getting to learn more about children's authors. The Red River Writers will present five authors each week as per the schedule below. This is a facebook event but the link on the title will take you to the blogtalkradio site where you can listen to the shows. All comments will be pulled from the facebook event wall (looking for kids to ask questions of the authors, which will be read on the air).

All references are to the facebook event page. To leave comments on the event's wall, you must have a facebook account. The call-in number and the blogtalkradio site are not part of facebook.


Host: Red River Writers - Works of Writers & Artists Worldwide
Type: Music/Arts - Exhibit
Network: Global
Start Time: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 10:00am
End Time: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 10:00am
Location: Central Time at Online link or by phone number provided in event


The Wall (on the event page on facebook) is reserved for comments from kids ages 2 to 18. All comments left on The Wall will be read over the air at one of the shows. These comments should be either a statement or question. If possible, it needs to be directed to a particular guest. We need only the following information: first name (this can be a nickname), age, and State. Example of a comment: April Robins, is the deer a girl or a boy? (OR) April Robins, I like the picture on your book cover. My name is Austin. I am eight years old. I live in Texas.

Any adult with a question or comment that they would like to ask, can do so at:
Robin Falls Kids Story Time Questions

WIN 20+ free Children's or Young Adult book! Go find the following book covers in the “Photo” section and leave a comment:

I'LL TUCK YOU IN, DEER by April Robins
THE MOONQUEST by Mark David Gerson
REBEL IN BLUE JEANS by Beverly Stowe McClure
SILLY KITTY by Irene Brodsky
THE GREAT DOG WASH by Shellie Braeuner
GONE FROM THESE WOODS by Donny Bailey Seagraves
DOGGIE DAY CAMP: Verb and Adverb Adventures by Cynthia Gagnon Reeg
SUMMER LOVIN' by Laurie J. Edwards
MYTHIKAS ISLAND by Diana Hurwitz
ROAR OF A SNORE by Marsha Diane Arnold
DAY'S END LULLABY by Karen Cioffi-Ventrice

Margot Finke intends to give all who call in a FREE Audio of her reading one of her stories + illustrations.

April Robins will give away 3 copies of "Keeper of Happy Faces" in a drawing taken from comments on "The Wall."



I want to welcome you into our Summer Reading Program for school age kids. We have a wonderful line up of Children’s and Young Adult Authors who will read from their books to you. Many will even tell you how their story came to life. Some will read a story to you that has not been published. We will call those are “Unread” stories. This means that you are one of the first to hear them. The book covers of their books they are reading from are posted under“Photos.” You can learn more about each author at their website or blog list under “Links.”

Robin Falls Kids Story Time Host are April Robins, Barbara M. Hodges, Dellani Oakes, J.D. Holiday, and Laurie Zieber.

June 24 - Children's Book Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Elysabeth Eldering - "Train of Clues" (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series
Barbara Ehrentreu - "The Trouble with Follow the Leader"
Ginger DeVine - "Hooray for the Circus"
Dawn Stephens - "The Little Pot"
Margot Finke - "Rattlesnake Jam"
Jay A. Miller - "Bingo the Banjo Picking Bear"

July 8 - Children's Book & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Edna Cabcabin Moran - "THE SLEEPING GIANT: A Tale From Kaua'i"
Karen Cioffi-Ventrice - "Day's End Lullaby"
Jan D. Holiday - "Janoose the Goose"
Sue Dent - "Forever Richard"
Mj Gillot - "Zola Yearned for an eXcellent Waffle: A Backwards Alphabet Story"
Laurie J. Edwards - “Summer Lovin”

July 15 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from, at 10 am Central
Linda Bryan - "The Sound Snatcher, How the vacuum got its Noise."
Candy O'Donnell - "Where is God, Grandfather?"
Laurie Zieber - "Do You Know what I Know?"
Cynthia Gagnon Reeg - "Doggie Day Camp: Verb and Adverb Adventures"
Scott Heydt - Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken (Due out Spring 2010)
Judy Cox - "Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!"

July 22 - Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Donny Bailey Seagraves - "Gone From These Woods"
Barry Eva - "Across the Pond"
Mark David Gerson - "The MoonQuest"
L. Diane Wolfe - "Circle of Friends, Book III...James"
Dellani Oakes - "Indian Summer"
Vonda Skinner Skelton - "Bitsy & The Mystery" series for kids

July 29 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Shellie Braeuner - "The Great Dog Wash"
Beverly Stowe McClure - "Rebel in Blue Jeans"
Fran Lewis - "Bertha Speaks Out"
Irene Brodsky - "Silly Kitty"
Diana Hurwitz - "Mythikas Island"
Katie Davis - "The Curse of Addy McMahon"
Barbara M. Hodges - Wynd Stallion (Work in Progress)

Aug 5 - Children's Books & Young Adult Authors, and their books they are reading from at 10 am Central
Lisa Cottrell-Bentley - "Wright on Time"
Marsha Diane Arnold - “Roar of a Snore” & “Prancing, Dancing Lily”
Crystalee Calderwood - "Angeline Jellybean"
Deb Lund - "Monsters on Machines"
Virginia S Grenier - "Babysitting SugarPaw"
April Robins - "I'll Tuck You in, Deer"
Michelle Buckman - "My Beautiful Disaster"

To attend and participate in the shows dial the
Call-in Number: (646) 649-1005
To view or hear the shows online, go here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Children's Writers' Coaching Club

If you'd like to become a published children's book author yourself, join the Children's Writers' Coaching Club like I did, at the National Writing for Children Center and get the help you need to succeed ~ http://www.cwcoachingclub.com

As a member of this club, you'll work with both published and aspiring children's writers and illustrators to create the children's writing or illustrating career of your dreams.

And the best part is, you won't ever have to leave your home to do it - so you can enjoy your coaching club sessions in your pjs or bathrobe, if you like.

What could be better than that?

Don't wait visit today at: http://www.cwcoachingclub.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Monster on Top of the Bed

“The Monster on Top of the Bed,” by Alan H. Jordan, illustrated by Manuela Pentangelo and accompanied with a CD performed by Virginia Castleman, is sure to become a new bedtime classic. All the components are perfectly intertwined to make the story jump off its pages and come to life. Purchasing details can be found at:


Monday, June 15, 2009

Joseph "Silly" Sottile

Take a journey and discover where Joseph "Silly" Sottile has been. His travels are filled with unexpected twists and turns in the wonderful world of writing for children.

When I last caught up with Joe he had the following to share:

"When I came back from Oak Island to Rochterter's Hess Express on Chili Avenue, I got a standing ovation from the clerks and manager. I kid you not. That's because almost every day I eat an egg cheese bluffin there and make small talk with the employees and the manager. For two months I wasn't helping to keep their bluffin sales up. They have tables that you can sit at and solve the problems of the world. If I ever get desperate for photos, I am going to photograph Hess as the last place Silly was seen."

I'm sure you'll enjoy following Joseph "Silly" Sottile and learning more about him and his adventures. Hey, you never know...his next stop may be in your area.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fairy Tale Usage by Lea Schizas

For all writer's - an article worth reading by Lea Schizas:

Fairy Tale Usage

How to use fairy tales as inspiration for plotlines.

Founder of Stories for Children Magazine Guest Author at TheAuthorsShow.com

Stories for Children Magazine

a trademark of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

A monthly Ezine for Children (3 to 12)

Web site: http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org


CONTACT: Donna M. McDine

Marketing Manager, Stories for Children Magazine

Email: DonnaMcDine@storiesforchildrenmagazine.org

Phone: 800-670-4416

For Immediate Release

Founder of Stories for Children Magazine Guest Author at TheAuthorsShow.com

VS Grenier, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Stories for Children Magazine to appear June 16, 2009 at “The Authors Show” http://theauthorsshow.com/. Hear how this dynamic woman developed and continues to grow Stories for Children Magazine and learn more about the Best of Stories for Children Volume 1 Anthology.

VS Grenier is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Stories for Children Magazine and SFC Newsletter for Writers. She also freelances as a children’s author and editor for Halo Publishing along with running her own editorial/critique service.

She has placed in the Preditors & Editors Reader’s Poll in several categories for the past two years:

  • One of the Top Ten Editors of 2007.
  • Won 2nd place in Best Nonfiction of 2007 for her article, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus.”
  • Won 7th place in Best Nonfiction of 2008 for her article, “Dinosaur Tracks in My Backyard.”
  • Won 15th place in Best Mainstream Fiction for her story, “SugarPaw and the Babysitter.”

To learn more about VS Grenier visit http://vsgrenier.com

Learn more about Stories for Children Magazine at: http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org


Full Media Kit, Magazine Cover Art, and more are available electronically upon request.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Creating Live Links in Blogger Comments

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've always wondered how to make my links live when commenting on blogs. I've admired the few individuals who seem to have this down pat. After a bit of research today, I came across this wonderful blog:

And they share the following tips to achieve this at:


You too can have live links when leaving blog comments.

Good luck!

Friday, June 5, 2009

VS Grenier, Guest Author at Blog Talk Radio - Book Bites for Kids - June 5th

Stories for Children Magazine

a trademark of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC

A monthly Ezine for Children (3 to 12)

Website: http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org


CONTACT: Donna M. McDine

Marketing Manager, Stories for Children Magazine

Email: DonnaMcDine@storiesforchildrenmagazine.org

Phone: 800-670-4416

For Immediate Release

VS Grenier, Guest Author at Blog Talk Radio - Book Bites for Kids - June 5th

Join Suzanne Lieurance at Blog Talk Radio – Book Bites for Kids on Friday, June 5th at 2 pm CDT when VS Grenier, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Stories for Children Magazine will be the guest author.

Take a few moments and listen-in to learn about Grenier’s success in publishing her first picture book, Babysitting Sugarpaw. Visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bookbitesforkids for call-in details prior to the interview.

Be sure to check out the June 2009 issue of SFC Magazine for the magnificent articles and stories; and Bill Trombello’s Featured Guest Author interview.

Learn more about Stories for Children Magazine at: http://storiesforchildrenmagazine.org


Full Media Kit, Magazine Cover Art, and more are available upon request electronically.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Renee Hand - Author of The Crypto-Capers

As promised yesterday, Renee Hand recently gave me the opportunity to interview her and I'm delighted to share with you the Q&A. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did. Take this opportunity to ask Renee your questions or to leave her a comment. She will be checking in throughout the day.

DMc: Renee, you are an award-winning Romance Novelist and Children’s Author. What techniques do you use to shift between the genres?

RH: It isn’t difficult for me at all to switch gears from one genre to the next. I actually have more fun writing for my children’s series then I do for my romance so I do more with it. The major difference in writing for adults and writing for children is the audience, so I have to make sure that my topics and verbiage are appropriate for the right audience. I still do the same amount of research for both. My romance novels of course are much thicker than my children’s books so they do take me longer to write. But whenever I write a story, no matter if it is a romance novel for adults or for my children’s series, I put a lot of heart in it. When a reader gets done with reading one of my books, they are not just going to set it down and say, “That was a good book!” and walk away. They’re going to say that my stories meant something to them in some way and they will remember them. I love to have that connection with my readers. I have had children come up to me and say they love the series and want more. I have had adults come up to me and say that my romance novels have touched their lives in some way and that is what my writing is about.

DMc: On your website www.reneeahand.com you encourage children to submit suggestions for future characters. Have you ever developed a suggestion further?

RH: Yes, and my readers are going to see this in book 3 which comes out in the fall. I can’t give too much away now unfortunately, but I do choose the character descriptions sent to me based on my need for them at the time. When I wrote book 3, two boys sent to me their descriptions which fit in with my story line perfectly. I am doing something special for the children who take the time to send me their descriptions. Again, what I do for those special children can be seen in book 3. Every description I receive I also keep, so I may not use a particular description now, but I might use it in a future case. Right now I am currently working on book 4 so I am looking through my character descriptions to see who I can use. Now would be a good time for readers to send more character descriptions to me.

DMc: Are your characters based on yourself or anyone you know?

RH: The only character based on myself is Mia Holmes. She is very much like me in certain aspects. I developed Nellie Holmes (aka Granny) to resemble my grandmother who was a spunky and energetic woman. Max and Mia Holmes are the great-great-great-grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes. They have is observation and reasoning, especially Max. Morris is the computer genius of the group and he was created based on how I saw him to be. Granny and Morris are unique characters because they are the ones that change the most. Max and Mia are exactly what they are, there is no different side to them. But Granny and Morris are not what they appear to be and they do things that are unexpected.

DMc: Are the writer’s you showcase on your website strictly students or can anyone submit to you?

RH: I only showcase students and the reason for that is because I want to help and inspire the youth of our country. There are a lot of budding writers out there and if I can help them in some way with their dreams of becoming an author when they get older, then I will do it. I was the same way that some of these children are today. I was an avid writer who spent most of my time writing.

DMc: When you conduct school visits, do you develop your visit by the requirements of the school or do you have a specific visit planned out to present to the school for approval?

RH: When I go to schools they are contacting me because I have a set program that I run. I do have a list of topics that I discuss and there are many things that I can do or change based on the schools needs. I am a versatile speaker.

DMc: On your blog, www.reneeahand.com/apps/blog you provide a Cryptogram a week, has a child ever stumped you? [Love the idea of winning a free signed copy if you are stumped!]

RH: No, not yet. I am a cryptogram junky, I love to do them and do them everyday. Children are pretty clever so I do have a set of rules they must follow in order to create a cryptogram for me. If I didn’t have rules I would have children come up with some pretty strange things. What I want children to benefit from while doing this activity, is I want them to get familiar with the cipher that I use in my books, how to create them and how to solve them. If my readers know how to do that then they will understand how and why they are used in the book. It gives them a better understanding. Everything I do is for a reason. Children are always learning something.

DMc: Please share with us the idea behind your series, The Crypto-Capers Series.

RH: There were two reasons why I wrote this book. One, I love reading mysteries. I also love to figure out cryptograms, I am a cryptogram junky. So I thought what a great idea it would be to combine the two things I love to do and make it into a story where kids could interact with it. Two, I wanted children to be involved with what they were reading. This series is fun and entertaining, always keeping the reader’s attention. Not only does the series challenge the avid reader, but also keeps the reluctant readers attention. As soon as the reader picks up the book, they have instantly joined the team as a detective. The reader will be asked to look up different things and to participate in the story on different occasions. My goal was to have kids remember what they were reading because they are learning information with value, yet having fun at the same time. I am all about having fun in my stories and the activities I create for it.

DMc: Are you a disciplined writer?

RH: Yes and no! I usually try to write every morning, but I do like to take breaks to recharge my creativity. I need to have breaks in my writing and when I do my writing always turns out better.

DMc: Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If yes, what works for you to break through the block?

RH: Every once in awhile I get stuck on an idea, not that often. When that happens there are two things that I do. One, I look through the list of information that I keep from my research on that particular book to help pump my creativity. Two, I refer back to my idea wall. In my workspace I have what I call an idea wall. Whenever there are things for me to remember I write them on this wall. I currently have sticky notes all over it. Whenever I get stuck on an idea, I write the problem on my wall and put it at eye level. Since I pass my workspace several times a day, I constantly think about the problem I am having. The wall has never failed me yet!

DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc..., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Renee, can you please share one with us?

RH: I am not quite sure which story to tell you. The biggest thing that surprises people about me is that I love to have a diversity of things going on in my life to keep me challenged, otherwise I get bored. I like to know about a lot of things. I am not the kind of person who focuses their knowledge on a few things and that’s it, then can’t function anywhere else. I like to know about a lot of things to keep me diversified. I don’t like to carry all my eggs in one basket, if you know what I mean.

I love to write children’s books because it is challenging for me and I can do so much with it. I designed my series so I could think out of the box and be unique and fun. I love to write and being an author. I enjoy traveling to different schools, libraries and various other events doing presentations. I love coaching and playing tennis, which I do a lot come spring, summer and fall. I also love to teach. Even though my life at times seems to be constantly on a roller coaster that takes me in and out of crazy town, the one thing that I must have is stability in my home. So I am also a devoted wife and dedicated mother. My life is constantly full of responsibilities, but my family always comes first and is of the highest priority to me. I am not perfect in any way, I am flawed and can always use improvement. I try constantly to improve myself to become a better person, trying to learn more, but I am also proud and confident of who I am. That is the one thing I know, and it took me awhile to figure it out, but I believe in myself and what I can do, and when there is something that I am determined to do, there is no stopping me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Renee Hand - Guest Author - June 3rd

Join me on Wednesday, June 3rd when Renee Hand author of the Crypto-Capers Series will be my guest author.

A bit about Renee:

My love for reading and writing started when I was a child. I always had a passion for it. I remember frequently wearing out the stone steps to the local library. When in a bookstore I would sit in the middle of an aisle perusing a novel that I was eagerly going to purchase but couldn’t wait to read. Often, when I had extra time, I would write stories that would pop into my head locking myself in my room for hours. Now that I am older my love for reading and writing has not diminished. In fact, it has only become a bigger part of me. It is because of this that I chose to share my interests with other readers who love books as much as I do.

My goal in writing is to entertain, but more importantly it is to build a connection with my readers. If I make another person feel some kind of emotion while they read my books, whether it be love, anger, or compassion, then I did my job as a writer and that makes me feel good about what I write about. Romance is something in all of us. It is something that brings passion to our lives and happiness to our hearts. It is the strength, courage and determination of when two souls find each other and their journey, that inspires me to write in this genre. It shows that love, of any kind, is not an easy path to take. You must fight everyday to keep it for it is never easily attained and can so easily be lost or forgotten.

Since my first novel has been published I have done over 50 events. I have been on radio, TV, and have been in over 30 newspapers. I have experience talking in classrooms about writing. I have presented at various libraries, have done several book signings and many other venues with more going on in the future. My family has encouraged my talents and creativity and I couldn’t have gotten this far without their support and love. Having Magic Hearts published really was a dream come true and I am thankful to God for all of the blessings in my life. I have also received an award for Magic Hearts for Best 2006 Fantasy Romance. I am thrilled. My second novel Seduction of the Lonely Heart has won a National Literary Award for Best Romance of 2007. I am thankful for these two awards.

I have also ventured in writing other genres. I have a new children's detective series that will be coming out. The first book of the series, The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, is currently released. This story is filled with adventure and heart. With relatable characters and you, as the reader, are a part of the story, helping the detectives solve the case. I love being an author! Thank you for all of your support.

Be sure to stop by on Wednesday, June 1st to learn more about Renee.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Balancing Your Writing Career with Summer Time

Karin Larson - http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com joined in the lively discussion last week about completing your first draft and critiques and mentioned in her post:

"My mission, for the summer at least with the kids home, is to just write, write, write and worry about the perfecting and editing later."

Karin's mission has provided me with another "Duh Moment," one I think may work for me.

I chatted with my girls after school today about their day and I mentioned to them my goals for this summer with my writing. Which included my plans to keep up with writing first thing in the morning and all other writing relating work and my Marketing Manager position at SFCMagazine after my writing session is complete.

My oldest, Nicole (14) looked at me strangely and said,"Uh duh, isn't that what you always do? Isn't that why Daddy got a door put on your writing room?" (for many of you that know me...my writing space was the original playroom/family room and once I started taking my writing more seriously my hubby had a pocket door installed).
Leave it to a child to point out the obvious and give me that slap upside the head. Now if I only head my own advice and write, write, write first and then edit later, I just may finally reach the finish line of my first draft.

Now on to you, what are your plans for your writing for the summer time when most of us have either children or grandchildren under foot? Will your routine change somewhat or dramatically so you can accomplish your writing?

Looking forward to your input.