Monday, November 29, 2010

Interview with Annie Melton, Publisher, Etopia Press.

New web page now located at http://etopiapress.wordpress.com/


 Today, my special guest is Annie Melton, publisher of Etopia Press.

First, please tell me about your publishing house, Etopia Press. For example, how long have you been established? Who are your editors? How did Etopia come into being?

Etopia Press was one of those "someday" kind of dreams, you know, like wanting to travel when you retire or wanting to move to a bungalow on the beach when the kids are grown. The kind of thing that you don't even really think about in too much detail because it's just not part of your day-to-day reality. Until one night when I was talking with an author friend and commiserating about the state of publishing, and e-publishing, and how I had all these great ideas and had done every job description in the book from writing and editing and cover art and marketing and accounting… and it just exploded like a bolt of lightning. As I was talking about it, the idea just burst out of its "someday" container and birthed itself into reality, and there was no way I could put it back. I said to my friend, "Did I just talk myself into doing this?" And she said, "OMG, you're serious…I think you should go for it!" The company started itself right then, and took on a life of its own. The name and logo came to me that night as I was laying in bed wondering what the hell had just happened, and the next day, I registered the URLs. All the rest has just been me running to keep up with it.
Apparently, it wants to launch itself this December. Who am I to tell it no? ;-)

1.    What types of manuscripts are you actively seeking?

Well-written ones. We're actively seeking all categories of genre, general, and literary fiction. I know--that sounds broad, and there are those who say you need a niche, but I disagree. I love all kinds of books, and there are readers out there looking for a wide variety of styles and content. Some say there isn't enough of an audience for anything other than erotic romance, and that may have been true before e-readers began to approach critical mass. Now that there are a growing number of readers with devices who can search by keyword instead of bookstore shelf or newsstand rack, I don't think niche matters.

2.    What types of stories do you feel your readers want?

Stories that offer a little variety from everything else that's out there. I don't feel my audience is one specific demographic, but is made up of lots of kinds of readers. I come from a literary background, but over the years (decades? Am I getting that old?), I've become involved with many different genres and categories of books, and I love lots of them. A romance novel isn't going to be the same as a horror novel or a literary short story, but as long as each individual work is a really good example of what it's trying to be or to achieve, then it's going to work for us, and we’ll do our best to get it in front of the right readers who will also love it.

3.    Are there any genres which you feel are overdone and why?

Not really. Trends come and go like skirt lengths, but I don't think individual genres really do (although, they do sometimes morph into and out of other things, à la urban fantasy). Right now there's talk in NY publishing about Romantic Suspense being a "hard sell." I think that's poppycock. Maybe readers are just tired of what's on the shelf at the moment, rather than the entire genre. My goal is to put a wider variety of books on the shelf in all categories, or in the cracks between categories, where UF and PNR were a decade ago. It's a lot easier with no shelves.

4.    What do you look for in a manuscript?

Good tight writing, strong mechanics. If it's a genre piece, a solid understanding of the genre conventions, and either a well-structured plot if it's a plot story, or a well-shaped character arc for a character story (and of course, enough of those in either  case). I want to be sucked into your world and compelled to remain there until you let me go. If it's a romance, I want to fall in love with your hero. Give me a richly-drawn world, where I can taste the dust in the wind as your cowboy rides off to stop the heroine from getting on that stage, or feel the salt spray on my face as your pirate's schooner races over the waves in pursuit of the heroine’s frigate. If it's a horror novel, I want to jump every time the cat makes a noise in the next room. If it's a suspense or thriller, I want to be unable to put it down at 3:00 a.m., even though I know the next day is going to be rough. I want to be entertained. If it's a more general or literary piece, I want compelling prose, regardless if it's spare or lush or brash or transparent, and a definite thematic progression throughout the story, clear or subtle, depending on what the story is trying to do, that will make me experience what you're so compelled to share with me. Show me who you are and what you think and feel, human to human, in a way only you can. Make me say wow…

5.    What would cause you to reject a manuscript?

I hate saying "reject," it sounds so… personal. There are lots of individual things that'll make me pass on a manuscript. Weak mechanics, clichéd or amateurish prose, meandering events instead of a real plot, flat characters, no conflict, too much telling and not enough showing. No one's perfect, and sometimes we can help guide a writer to improve certain aspects of the story if it's only lacking a little bit of something here and there. But many times, all this stuff is present in the same manuscript, and that just means the author isn't far enough along on their writing path.

6.    What is the relationship between your authors and your editorial staff?

We use a roster system, which mean the editor has a list of authors that belong to him or her, and the author submits to their editor directly. Unless there's just a huge personality conflict, we feel this allows both the editor and author to work together with some kind of continuity. We also think it helps to develop a relationship between author and editor, so the author can trust that the editor knows their style and their personal preferences, and is working in their best interest. Often, the author and editor develop a close working relationship, sometimes, a friendship.

7.    How are your covers created, and do your authors have a say in the cover art?

We have a team of terrific professional cover artists. We have a very detailed cover art and marketing form that the author fills out, with all kinds of details about the story and characters and marketing information, and the artists use this to guide them in the types of things they need to consider to design a beautiful cover that will also be a good sales tool for the book. The authors have a say, based on the information they add to the form, and they're shown a draft of the cover to get their feedback before the cover is finalized. And our art director, who works with both the artist and author to get a good cover for the book, is also an award-winning cover artist. So our authors won't be disappointed.

8.    What type of marketing assistance do you offer your authors?

We help in lots of ways, from aggressive distribution to the most up-and-coming sales channels, help with promotions, reviews, site memberships, advertising, etc. We don't believe it has to all rest on the author, but at the same time, we recognize that it's a partnership, and both author and publisher have a role to play. But we don't just send them out there with an ISBN and put their book on the home page for a week and say, "Good luck!" like some publishers do.

9.    Where can authors find out more about Etopia Press as well as your submission guidelines?

Easy! Just go to http://etopiapress.wordpress.com/. There's information about us, our staff, our authors and upcoming releases, and of course, those all-important submission guidelines! And there's more coming soon!

Thank you for being my guest today and giving me this useful information about Etopia Press.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet the Publisher of Wicked Nights, Stacey Thompson-Geer



Today my special guest is Stacey Thompson-Geer who is the owner of the publishing house, Wicked Nights.

1.     Tell me about your publishing house, Wicked Nights . For example, how long have you been established? Who are your editors?  How did Wicked Nights come into being?

Wicked Nights has been online for almost a year. We started as a free read website and expanded to a royalty paying publisher. The free reads are still active on the website and can be found through Amazon blogs. Right now we have a small staff of editors, Lori Titus is our main editor at the moment. I also will jump in and edit when there is a need. :)

2.    What types of manuscripts are you actively seeking?

We are looking for Historical Romance as well as Contemporary Romance and Erotica in all sizes. We also are looking for ongoing serial works of 4000 words or less for our Wicked Bites line. Horror, SciFi and Young Adult are also open for submissions.

3.    What types of stories do you feel your readers want?

We believe readers want a fun engaging story. Whether the story has erotic elements or just a fun and adventurous side, it should keep the reader wanting more. :)

4.    Are there any genres which you feel are overdone and why?

I think Vampires have been overdone, but they are still going strong. Frankly, I'd like to see vampires that are different than what we are seeing or thrown into a different kind of world than what we are used too.

5.    What do you look for in a manuscript?

Something that is engaging and keeps my attention. If you can't keep my attention, you probably are not going to keep a readers. :)

6.    What would cause you to reject a manuscript?

Lots of grammar and formatting errors will cause me to reject a manuscript. I also want to see that the author took enough care to use spell check. Also, it's important to follow directions. If an author uses a crazy font, it will probably be rejected without being read. Our instructions are easy to follow, just take the time to read them.

7.    What is the relationship between your authors and your editorial staff?

We are a pretty tight group. We have group projects from time to time and everyone seems to get along well.  We like to give our authors some freedom with their work. After all, this is their book. We just help to make it happen. :)

8.    How are your covers created, and do your authors have a say in the cover art?

We have a cover artist that does most of the cover work. Tara Drew-Bates takes on a lot of the covers we have. I also will do the art from time to time and authors always have the option to do their own with our approval.

9.    What type of marketing assistance do you offer your authors?

 We have a marketing plan in place that allows us to advertise on 20- 50  blogs and websites at any given time. We also send out all work to reviewers on a weekly basis. We are looking at the idea of an author buy in for advertising to help increase this number in the near future.

10.    Where can authors find out more about Wicked Nights as well as your submission guidelines?

Authors can visit our website at www.wickednight.info to learn about what we have in our catalog and to review the guidelines. They may also email us at wickednightspub@gmail.com with any questions. Thank you for having us today. :)

Thank you for being my guest today and giving me this useful information about Uncial Press.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Time Management with Terri Main


I'd like to share some useful information about time management which Terri Main, author and writing instructor, has put together.

Here are some basics of time management in short:

1. Start with your priorities. When you make the list of things to do
during the day/week/month prioritize them by their importance to you. No
one can tell you what your priorities are or what they should be. But
don't make it a high priority simply because it is urgent. Just because
it must be done soon or it won't get done, doesn't mean it HAS to get done.

2. Use the minutes. I wrote the first draft of a novel during Nanowrimo
using just fifteen minute segments I found during the day. If I had to
sit for an hour or two straight through, I couldn't have done it.
Multitask. For instance, I write while waiting on people in the car
using my netbook, or I c heck email which means I don't have to do it at
home.

3. Email magic: Don't read everything in every list you subscribe to.
Scan the titles and only read what looks interesting or useful. Use
filters/rules to sort it automatically. I have a folder for Muse
Authors, MuseBusiness, Fellowship of Christian Writers, Lost Genre
Guild, School, Students and others.

4. Delegate whenever possible. I'm fortunate to have the resources to
pay someone to do the gardening. That saves me time. I take my car to
the car wash. Five minutes through the car wash saves me a half hour to
an hour doing it myself. Also when I cook, I make extra and freeze it
(freeze it while hot, that keeps in the flavor). Then during the busy
times, I just pull it out of the freezer and pop it in the microwave.
During the five minutes it's cooking I can write or check email or grade
a couple of papers. I'm also getting anything delivered that I can. I am
buying meat and other food from Schwanns and Omaha Steaks. When I do
shop I get enough to go on the shelves so if I'm busy on a project, I
don't have to rush out to get food. If you are not that tech savvy why
spend a lot of time building a web site when you can probably get a
college kid to do it for you. Find templates of press releases and adapt
them for your own use.

5. Work during commercials. If you have a TV show you actually want to
watch, you can hit mute during the commercials and write. There's about
20 minutes of commercial per hour of network TV more on cable.

6. What can you cut out of your schedule. No you can't do it all. But do
you need to. Track your time in 15 minute increments throughout the day
for a week. Mark the things that are absolutely necessary: Work, School,
eating, bathing, etc. Then mark the highly important tings, but not
necessary like family activities, club, career advancement, etc. Then
those things that are important, but you could reduce involvement in.
then those things that are just so-so and could be eliminated easily.

7. Focus, Focus, Focus. Too many people try to do too many things while
they write. When you sit down to write- write. Don't have snacks or
drinks handy. Don't smoke. Don't watch TV. Just write. Let's just take
something simple like having a soda by the chair. If you sip that soda,
you will lose about 5-7 minutes of writing time. Over a month that could
be 2-3 hours or 25-30 hours during a year. If you add a bowl of chips
and a smoke (which is a nasty habit anyway) you can be killing 1/3 of
your writing/editing/ promotion time.

Finally, don't beat yourself up that you don't do it all. No one can.
You will have to cut one thing for another. And be sure that what you do
is based on your own assessment of your own situation and not on some
assumption you make from what others say. And rest. You know working in
three 20 minute segments is more productive than working an hour
straight through. Why? Because after about 20 minutes or so, you start
to tire and your productivity wanes. If you work for short periods and
then rest, you will do better. Whenever possible, this is the best way
to do just about anything. But even if you can't do that, get enough
rest so that you will work at peak performance.

Great tips.  Thanks, Terri!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Interview with author James Hartley




Today, my guest is MuseItUp author, James Hartley, who is talking about his book, Magic Is Faster than Light, scheduled for release in May, 2011.

1) Tell me a little about your book.
Once upon a time there was a spaceship full of witches ... Actually, it's set in a slightly future world where limited space travel takes place, and some attempts at interstellar travel with a "generation ship" are being worked on. A religious crusade discovers a way to round up witches and place them in a concentration camp, then sends them off on the experimental ship. But problems arise, and they must use magic to achieve faster-than-light-travel if they are to survive, hence the title "Magic Is Faster Than Light." The book is scheduled for May 2011.


2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
This one was kind of funny. I was doing a flash story about a witch who wanted to be a writer, and I threw in some titles, including "Cauldron to the Stars" about using a magic potion to get an FTL drive. Then I said,"That title is too good to waste" so I wrote it as a short story and sold it. Then I said, "Well, that's still too good to waste on just a short story," so I did a much longer version, which is what is scheduled to be published as "Magic Is Faster Than Light."

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I'm sort of an almost-full-time writer, I do some other part time work. As far as organization goes, I'm on the near side of chaos.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I've tried writing off and on, along with other creative impulses, since I was maybe 11 years old. But for a long time, typing was a major obstacle, only overcome when computers became common.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Most of my writing is intended primarily to provide enjoyment to my readers. No deep philosophy, no major enlightenment, just a good read that I hope will please my readers.

6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write almost all Fantasy and Science Fiction. A large part of it is because that's what I read, that's the majority of what I have been reading all my life. I have been thinking about branching out, though. My wife likes mysteries, so we get her some out of the library, and since they are lying around, I sometimes pick one up and read it. Usually I go for the "cozies." But now I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I should try writing some of those myself.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Sometimes I get hung up, usually between projects when I'm not sure what to write next, or occasionally at a rough spot in the middle of a story. I don't let it worry me, I just go off and read, or watch TV, or something, and sooner or laterI'll get back to thewriting.

8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event?
If so, tell me about it. Not in this one.

9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
My protagonists are usually distinct individuals, and seldom very much like me. Oh, there are little things, like having a protagonist drive a Mazda Miata because that's what I drive, but no major similarities.

10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
The nice thing about writing Fantasy is that little research is involved. SF calls for a bit more, and since this story is in an SF setting, I had to do one major piece of research ... I had to plow through astronomical data to find a star of the proper type at a suitable distance from earth. I also had to do some calculations of speeds and distances and juggle the spaceship's operation to get things to come out the way I wanted.

11) Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Writing such scenes doesn't bother me too much, but I try to avoid it ... it might bother my readers! I try to keep my writing to a level which will be acceptable to most adults, and probably older teens.

12) What about your book makes it special?
It's special because I wrote it, of course! Isn't that obvious?

13) What is your marketing plan?
I'm still learning this marketing stuff, and I am trying to go along with the publisher's marketing plans while I learn. I am looking for opportunities for things like conferences and book-signings, but haven't gotten too far yet.

14) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
I have a website at http://teenangel.netfirms.com with writeups of my published and forthcoming books, and a short bio. It also has some links to short stories which are available online and which can be read for free. I have a blog page at http://jameshartleyauthor.blogspot.com/, but I'm forced to admit that I'm not a very active blogger.  MuseItUp has an author's page for me at http://museituppublishing.com/musepub/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61&Itemid=82

15) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
If you want to write Fantasy and SF you better have an active imagination, much more so that if you write more mainstream material. And I would say you should enjoy what you are writing. I guess that holds true for most any genre, but I think it is especially true in Speculative fiction.



Jim thank you for stopping by and sharing a bit of your writing life.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How to Bring Your Book to Life This Year





My blog post today comes to you from Andrea Costantine and Lisa Shultz, co-authors of Bring Your Book to Life this year.

The Top 5 Reasons Why Today’s Author Chooses to Self-Publish
The publishing industry has changed greatly in recent years, opening more options for today’s author. While being accepted by a publisher may still come with increased credibility for your work, the public is widely embracing self-published authors more than any other time in history.
But why are so many authors choosing the self-publishing route instead of waiting for a publisher to come along? The answer lies in these top five reasons.
1. Saves time! One of the biggest reason self-publishing is such a hit is because of its ease of use. Traditional publishing could take years to get your book on the shelf, whereas a self-publishing author can finish the process in just months. If you are building a business or a brand around your book, this gives you faster access to potential clients and ability to earn money back sooner.
2. You’ve got to market yourself anyways. I’m always a bit concerned when I hear an aspiring author believing that a publisher will do all of the marketing for their book. In reality, the success and marketing of your book is really up to you. A publisher will start marketing your work ONCE you’ve proven that you can get the sales. I say, if you’ve got to market your book anyways, why not take the credit for it and self-publish.
3. You get final say in just about everything. Want to choose your cover artist? Know an exceptional layout designer or editor? When you self-publish you retain 100% control over your work. If you choose professionals to support you, you can create a stellar book on your own. If you decide to update and print a new-edition or simply change a few things, it’s a relatively easy process as well.
4. The royalties are higher. When you self-publish you will typically earn a few extra dollars in royalties per book. Those extra few dollars can add up to a lot of extra cash over the lifetime of your book.
5. You can get picked up by a publisher later on in your career. One of the greatest things new authors forget is that you can always get picked up by a publisher later. I love the story of the author who wrote The Shack, who sold millions of copies on his own and then signed on with a publisher for a very delicious price.
Self-publishing is a rewarding option for today’s entrepreneurial minded authors. With faster publishing options, increased exposure through the internet, and a little elbow grease, your self-publishing efforts can take you a long way in the book world.
And if you are ready to take the leap and write your book this year, then check out Andrea Costantine and Lisa Shultz’s latest book… www.bringyourbooktolifethisyear.com – Grab your copy today and receive two months accountability and writing support in their monthly mentoring group and other bonuses valued at $150.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interview with author Linda Ballou


Today my guest is travel writer, Linda Ballou. Linda has agreed to talk about her experiences.


1. Tell me a little about your book and give a short synopsis.

This is how my editor. Barbara Milbourn, summed things up:

In roughly twenty short stories, travel writer Linda Ballou takes us with her up active volcanoes in Costa Rica, down hundred-mile rivers in the Yukon Territory, over combination jumps and oxers in Ireland, beneath the Sea of Cortez, and along unforgettable jaunts through deserts, woods, peaks, and valleys in both hemispheres. Her tales span years of traveling—sometimes alone, occasionally with her mother or life partner, and often with others in search of soft adventure. Brimming with action, intelligence, regional history, funny mishaps or tight squeezes, each story is set against a backdrop of nature’s jaw-dropping beauty. Ballou aims to share her world view, and through her Eco-alerts make the reader care more deeply about our vanishing resources and places of wild beauty.


2) What gave you the idea for this particular book?

This is a collection of the most meaningful outdoor adventures I’ve taken over and how they affected me. As an adventure travel writer, I write at least two articles that are designed to satisfy my hosts and one personal essay for myself for each trip I take. These are often two vastly different perspectives of the same experience. Essays take advantage of literary technique and generally try to convey a lesson learned or a reason why the experience mattered. While, articles are informative, fun and designed to inspire the reader to duplicate the adventure. This is an eclectic mix of essays filled with chills, spill, giggles and squeaks.

3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?

I have been writing all my adult life and consider myself a professional. However, I have kept a roof over my head for the last thirty year by selling real estate in Los Angeles. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a screenplay, two novels, and numerous articles and short stories under my belt. Getting Lost Angel Walkabout out of my drawer and into the hearts and minds of readers frees me up for more adventures.

4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

Writing sort of grew on me. My parents migrated to Alaska from Southern California when I was thirteen. This was a shock to my system and psyche. Even though I was accepted in the miniscule town of Haines, Alaska, I was essentially different from my peers. I remember taking long solitary walks along the misty shores of the Lynn Canal as a teen. I started reading more and questioning my role as a woman. Books became my best friends. Even though I am gregarious, I am also introspective. Journaling became a part of my daily life. Writing gives continuity to my existence. It gives me a voice in the” long conversation” that is our culture. The writer’s path is a solitary, arduous affair that is not for everyone, but it is right for me.

5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?

Some of my stories are written to make readers smile. No Exit from Auckland makes me laugh every time I read it. I thought I had outsmarted the system by renting a car off terminal and saving a few bucks. I didn’t realize that I was to pick up my car in downtown Auckland, where people drive on “the wrong side of the street.” Several near deaths later, I made it out of town alive. Others are more serious reflections like the opening tale about Raven’s River. The float through the largest roadless wilderness area crossing international borders in the world was nothing short of life-changing for me. It was a very important journey and one I felt compelled to share. There are about five stories set in Hawai’i, a very special place in my heart that became the impetus for my historical novel Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii. So, there are many different reasons that I wrote the stories and each story has a different message for the reader.

(6) What types of writing do you prefer, and why?

Short is better now. I don’t want to take on a novel again for a while. Travel essays and articles are easily incorporated into a busy life filled with much more travel in the near future. I am aching to get to Australia, Tasmania, Africa, the Lake District in Chile, well the list goes on! Right now I want to travel while I am still fit enough to do it in an “active” way.

7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

I find the placement process is quite tedious. Especially, now that print magazines are in such trouble. No budget for freelance is a common reply to queries these days. The Internet is changing the landscape with lots of opportunities for placement, but e-zines seldom pay for content. I have often let my work go out for free to satisfy my travel hosts. This allows me up to move forward to the next travel opportunity. Time is of the essence for me.

8) What draws you to non-fiction writing?

I actually like creative non-fiction the best. Critics view the genre as an oxy-moron—a contradiction in terms and therefore not viable. But, my travel writing her, Tim Cahill, has successfully melded dramatic writing techniques into his journalism with satisfying results for readers. I don’t change the truth, but I may dramatize an incident with descriptive language, or add a piece of dialogue to pull the reader in.

9) What kind of research did you do for this type of book?

Before I take a trip I do extensive research about where I’m headed. I love to read other travel narratives written by the best. That might include Mark Twain one of our countries earliest travel writers or Paul Theroux our most snide and many more great writers. It makes the journey much more meaningful for me. When I arrive at my destination I want to be free to experience it while I am there not reading about it. I don’t want to miss a significant aspect of the journey because I was not informed before arriving. I am always looking for the hook or angle that will make my story different from those that have already been written. This arm chair travel is fun for me and makes my stories unique and better than average.

10) What about your book makes it special?

It is outdoor adventure for starters. Most travel books are about more conventional ways of traveling. I put people in my back pack and take them to places they couldn’t get to any other way. Riding in the High Sierra’s of California, river rafting on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica, back packing in New Zealand are not things everyone can do. I hope to inspire those that can to get up off the couch to start packing and let those who can’t come along for the ride. Some of my stories like “Not Enough Said for Solitude" are more reflective and talk about the concept that re-connecting with the beauty in nature can be our salvation.

11) What are your views on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

Traditional publishing has long been crushing to real creativity. Big houses are only interested in the bottom line and how your book is going to pay their bills. I am interested in writing about what is important to me not fulfilling fickle mainstream media demands. That is why I chose to support myself in another fashion all these years. Getting my historical novel Wai-nani published was huge. As Maya Angelou says, ”There is no greater anguish than harboring an untold a story that needs to be told.” I did try to get a traditional publisher, but it became clear to me that my story crossed genre boundaries that were not readily acceptable to mainstream publishers and/or agents. I had to get that story out before I could move forward in my writing life. I had invested too much of myself into it to let it go by the wayside. Thank goodness for the option of Star Publish LLC, a boutique publisher that took great pains to get the job done right. I was able to maintain the integrity of my story and consider Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii to be my proudest achievement. This act empowered me to complete and publish Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales.

12) What is your marketing plan?

Whether you are traditional or self-published you must be committed to marketing your work. Non-fiction is supposedly easier than fiction to market, but I think that only is true for ‘How To” books. For Lost Angel, I took a “one good deed deserves another” approach. At the back of the book I have a list of the outfitters that hosted me. I sent them each a book and suggested that they cross-promote with me. You put me on your blog, and I will put you on mine sort of approach. They all have lists of people who love the outdoors. Surely, those people would love my book and would want to learn about each of the outfitters I have named. The responses from the outfitters are not all in yet. Some wanted to participate and some did not. They all liked my book and are pleased to be mentioned.

I have hired a virtual assistant to help me with the blogging and social networking required. This is fun, but time consuming. My helper gives me time for interviews and speaking engagements. I am using the internet as much as I can. I am posting excerpts like the one below on various sites to pull readers in.

"The world has been spinning for about twenty minutes now. It is the top of the fourth day of my horse-pack trip into the High Sierras. When I stepped over a rill meandering through the grass, I sank into the moss and lost my balance. My fall was shortstopped by a jagged branch, jutting upward from a slumbering log that lodged in my rib cage. Fired by John Muir’s rapturous account, “My First Summer in the Sierra,” I had never asked myself the question: What would happen to John if he tripped while scrambling up14, 000-foot granite peaks, thrilling to animals, plants and rocks alike? I simply decided I had to experience for myself chattering creeks and celestial light on the mountains.

Now, flat on my back yards away from the Pacific Crest Trail in the John Muir Wilderness, the reality of my isolation has set in. It is a five-hour horseback ride from our camp in Cascade Valley to the nearest telephone. A hardy backpacker might come this way, or the occasional horse tour company, but they have all settled into their respective camps for the night. Cell phone transmissions don’t travel through the granite walls that John loved so well, and something inside my body is terribly wrong.

Will the Lost Angel survive? Find out in “Falling in the Footsteps of John Muir” included in her collection Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales.


13) Do you have an agent and do you feel an agent is necessary for non-fiction?

I’ve had two agents in this lifetime and neither of them worked as hard for me as I work for myself. I really don’t know if I want one anymore. If I believed they would move me forward on my journey, I suppose we could talk.

14) Any tips for new writers hoping to write non-fiction?

Find your niche then become an expert in your field. Make yourself standout when you query with your specific knowledge. Read the magazines you are trying to break into and come up with a story idea they have not done. If you are trying to break into travel writing go to my site www.lindaballouauthor.com and get my free download “How to Make Travel Writing Work for You.”

15) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Go to my website www.lindaballouauthor.com Check out my articles page, photo essays and media pages for each of my books. My blog is filled with fun travel tips and all things Hawaiian. You can follow me there or sign in to be on my ‘Hot Contacts” list to receive bulletins as the break!

Linda, thank you for taking the time to visit with me and talk about your work.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review of Lost Angel Walkabout

REVIEW

LOST ANGEL WALKABOUT
By: Linda Ballou
ISBN: 1449971520
ISBN:-13: 9781449971526

This review is based on a review copy provided by Linda Ballou in exchange for review, all reviews being my own opinion without guarantee or assumption of liking or disliking.

Linda Ballou is a travel writer and this is evident in her collection of travel stories, Lost Angel Walkabout.  Linda travels as a single woman and encounters a world of cultures from Hawaii to Alaska to the mists of Ireland.

Linda speaks candidly of her fears, her frustrations, and her triumphs.  Her gift of descriptive language takes her readers on journeys to far off places while sitting comfortably in the comfort of their own homes.  Linda has taken these adventures for us, her readers.

As I read the stories, I was particularly taken by Linda’s commitment to the ecology of our planet.  She informs her audience with tidbits of “eco-alerts,” wherein she gives information about ecological problems we are facing.

I found Linda’s collection of thirty stories to be entertaining and informative.  She has a knack for drawing the reader into her adventure, so I felt like I rode next to her as she attempted to jump her horse in Ireland and struggled with her up a mountainside in New Zealand.  She has an affinity with nature and strives to leave no footprint as she travels.  She doesn’t stay in five star hotels or fancy resorts.  She sleeps in tents, bed and breakfasts, and small out of the way home situations.  She enjoys the local food as well as the local scenery.  She doesn’t shy away from trying to drive a car on the ”wrong side of the street” or ride a horse into a snow storm.  She embraces life and the adventures it holds.  All this is evident in her writing and her presentation.

I enjoyed reading Linda’s stories and hope, if you are an “armchair traveler,” you will as well.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview with author Kay Dee Royal




Today, my guest is MuseItHot author, KayDee Royal.  Ms. Royal's book, Big Girls Don't Cry, is due for release January, 2011.

1. Tell me a little about your book Big Girls Don’t Cry Wolf.

It’s a paranormal erotica romance about twins, werewolves, rustic resorts, danger, abduction, surviving, and, of course, there’s love.

Brea survives a tragic rushing river accident, but her twin sister is never found. She’s a hard worker, an intelligent, plus-sized woman, comfortable in her body. That is until twin wolves in human-form come to stay at her resort. Danger ensues when a rogue shifter abducts Brea…and her life, as she knew it, changes forever.


2. What gave you the idea for this particular story?

My love for the paranormal gave me the shifter aspect, but Brea originated from an online contest calling for a strong, intelligent, and confident heroine in her plus-size body. I loved that concept.

I also read something about a nurse swiping a twin from the hospital, leaving one for the mother. It gave me a twin twist for the story.

The rustic resort part comes from my vacations, always staying at Ma & Pa type wilderness resorts (which we absolutely love).

  
3. Are you a full-time writer or part time, and how do you organize your time?

I’m now a full-time writer, although I continuously organize my time. I’m still tweaking. Some days I write for long hours and other days I’m lucky to get my e-mail checked. I’m work in progress.


4. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I never had an AH-HA moment happen. I’ve simply been writing in different ways most of my life (newsletters for organizations, letters, journals, short stories, poetry, etc.).

Ten years ago I left the corporate world and decided, with the Blessing of my husband, to take some writing classes and a correspondence course. I’ve never looked back.


5. What do you hope readers will take from this story?

A fun escape that’s also entertaining for them. Maybe resonate with Brea’s self-confidence. My hope is to engage a reader’s focus and emotions enough for them to smile at the end, sated.


6. Which genres do you write, which do you prefer and why?

My favorite is fantasy combined with romance. I loved reading Sci-Fi as a kid and grew to love the fantasy side blended with romance even more.

Special effects in movies sold me on the Fantasy genre – putting in motion the written words. Seeing these stories (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Scorpion King, Conan, Indiana Jones, The Mummy) come to life on the big screen amped my creativity. There are no limits on imagination, as long as it’s made in a believable, realistic way. That challenges me to write fantasy and I love writing it, any kind; fairies, dragons, paranormal, mythical, wizardly…any and all of it.

    
7. What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?

It has to be finding my personal best schedule for writing, my best time during the day, during the week.
I have been caring for my mother the past few years and she passed away in August. I’ve now got all of this time to write, but adjusting to it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been pre-programmed for home-care.
I’m getting closer every day.

    
8. Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so tell me about it.

None of it is based on any one incident. All of it is a product of my imagination, pulling tiny bits and pieces from my life or the lives of people I know and blending it all together to create a fantastical story.


9. How much is your protagonist like you? How different?

Sometimes I think a protagonist is actually a product of the author’s alter-ego. I can dress her any way I want, but in the end she dresses herself and pushes me out of the way.

Brea cares about her family. She’s a voluptuous woman, who dresses casually and is confident in herself.
I’m close to a plus-size body and never accepting of it. Probably the only things Brea and I have in common are interest in our family and rustic resorts.

She’s strong, assertive. I might be strong in some ways, but I’m definitely not assertive. In fact, I’m more like an introvert.


10. What kind of research did you do for this type of story?

This one really didn’t take a lot of research. Mostly, I needed to check out the area of Northern Michigan for ‘my’ rural location. Then I researched some of the area lakes with wooded properties. I needed to visualize the setting, its layout. To be consistent throughout the story – I listed the shifters abilities before beginning.


11. Does writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

I’m not good with gore-type violence, reading it or writing it, but highly sexual scenes I can handle. I enjoy reading erotica. Those scenes of intimacy pour right out of my fingertips onto the paper, carried by my passion of writing them. I have too much fun writing it for me to be bothered by it.


12. What about your book makes it special?

Maybe Brea’s strength and hope, holding on to the possibility her twin sister survived, even though Bella’s body is never recovered. Brea’s life turns out totally different than what she’s always lived. Not that this is what makes the story special because in all stories the protagonist goes through a change in someway, but Brea changes in all ways.


13. What is your marketing plan?

I have been learning as I go, still developing my plan. I’ve been asked to guest on a few blogs, I’ve created my own blog, I joined a number of groups where I can network and promote, and I continue researching ways to put my book out there.

Marketing comes in as a tight second, as far as what’s the toughest part of writing for me.


14. Where can people learn more about you and your work?

At Muse It Hot Publishing you’ll find my author page:
http://tinyurl.com/25se29l

My blog: www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com


15. Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?

Read, read, read, write, and then read some more. The more you read, the more you’ll get it right. It takes practice. Write as much as you read, especially in the beginning.


Thank you for having me, Penny. I enjoyed my time here. Blessings to you and everyone visiting today,
Kay Dee


Kay Dee, it's been my pleasure learning more about you and your work.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Krista D. Ball, MuseItUp author



Krista D. Ball's paranormal fantasy story, Harvest Moon, is now available from MuseItUp Publishing for $2.50. It is available in PDF, epub, and prc.  Krista was my guest a few months back and talked about her writing process.  Today, I'm pleased to share additional information about Harvest Moon.

You can check out her book trailer at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f8AeNY1khY

Now, let's meet Krista's main character, Dancing Cat, from Harvest Moon.

As I sat on the bank of the swallow river, the drums pounding in the distance, I asked myself why the ancestors abandoned me. I had always behaved the way my elders taught me. I worked hard, shared with those around me, and never took more from the Earth than what I needed. I listened to my chief and my elders and respected the wisdom that the Spirits offered them. Why, then, would I be called “Cursed One”, never to be a person again?

The crowd in the distance sang and whooped in excitement, rhythmic drums echoing back to my isolated patch of ground. My job during the Gathering consisted of fetching water from the cold stream. Fearful of my presence polluting the festivities and angering the ancestors, several small children were designated to collect the bladders of water from me and run them back to the celebrating people. I could not even bring the water itself.

I was no longer Dancing Cat, messenger of my people. I was Cursed One. I would not experience the opening of the Sacred Bundle and receive guidance.

I looked out and over the endless field of grass opposite of the river and sighed. Someday, I will find a way to deliver myself. Even if I have to call upon death to rescue me.

Krista has agreed to talk a little more about her writing process.

I’m a partial outliner. I like to write a quick blurb about the main purpose of the book and the outcome. Then, I ask, “What is the risk?” That answer allows for the overall direction of the story. For Harvest Moon, I wrote “discovery” as the risk. In reading Harvest Moon, you’ll find several instances of Dancing Cat’s fear of discovery.
 
As I knew some basic information about First Nations people in Alberta, Canada, I did my research after writing my first draft. If I do it before hand, I find that I include way too much back story and historical information that distracts from the main character’s path. I tweaked their wardrobe, their diet, and the passing months to better match the moon phases.
 
After that stage, it went to a few of my beta readers in my critique group. I made some changes based on the feedback. The largest feedback was the assumption of this being set in the United States and the confusion over a six month winter! Inserting geographical references was the hardest part of writing the story, since Dancing Cat’s world is pre-contact.
 
After it was all tidied up, Harvest Moon entered the world of submissions and, happily, found a home at MuseItUp Publishing.


 

Now, here's an exciting EXCERPT from Harvest Moon:


Cross-legged, Dancing Cat sat pounding the sun-dried Saskatoon berries between two hand-sized rocks. The stone, her hands, and her buckskin dress all bore the tell-tale signs of berry duty. Streaks of red dye, impossible to clean, striped her clothing and tanned skin. She tried pushing her hair off her cheeks, only to have the sticky residue coating her fingers glue the dark strands in place. The black flies swarmed and buzzed, ready to feast.
 
She worked in silence as part of the greater circle of twenty women, who chatted as they worked. Dancing Cat had no reason to join in. They only spoke to her to criticize or belittle, never for companionship. The band no longer even called her by name.
 
Her attention faded away from her work. She stared past the women to catch a glimpse of Eagle Eyes, her brother, mounting his horse. He was only six years older than her and already leading hunting parties, while she sat, docile and obedient, making powdered berries. His gaze caught hers, full of warning. She looked away with the heaviness of her situation pressing against her chest. Dancing Cat pounded her berries harder, trying to crush her own aching loneliness.
 
“I wish I could ride again,” she mumbled.
 
Her mother, Crow, glared at her. “I have no patience for you today. We have berries to crush. Shall I remind you why we need them?”
 
“No,” Dancing Cat said, sullen. They couldn’t start the pemmican cakes without the berries. Without them, they would starve when winter fell. She’d heard the lecture many times before and did not want to hear it again.
 
“Good. Put aside your childishness and work in silence, Cursed One.”
 
Dancing Cat swallowed down the slight. She remained silent against the grunts and nods of the other women. She dropped her gaze, making snide, internal comments about how her mother’s black hair no longer resembled a crow’s blue-black feathers. It made her feel better, petty though it was.
 
Some days, she saw herself as Cursed One instead of her name. But today was not one of those days. Today, she was still the girl who wriggled out of the womb twenty years before and was joyously named Dancing Cat. Today, she hated her duty and silence. But she would do both and would not complain. One day, she would escape into death and be free.
 
Using a sharp stone, she scraped the mound of berry powder off the buckskin in front of her into the main pile. She dumped several handfuls of the tiny Saskatoon berries back on her ragged buckskin to resume pounding. But not before licking her fingers clean of the tart, feathery residue. No one noticed.
 
“Creator wills it, the men will bring home a buffalo from the hunt,” Crow said to the other women, who nodded in agreement.
 
Dancing Cat let her mind wander as the women chatted about the tribe’s need for a buffalo. The herd would move southeast in another moon cycle and so the entire tribe would move with them before the final move into their winter camp. Faded memories of riding ahead of the hunt flashed across her mind; images so foreign that she wondered if they were true anymore.
 
A chill crept up her spine. The late summer wind had turned cold. She flicked her gaze back to the hunting party. The rest of the men mounted their horses and galloped off to the nearby buffalo herd. She sighed, remembering the freedom of riding. She had been their tribe’s first female messenger. She missed it.
 
“Cursed One! Pay attention. You are chipping your rock. If I find stone in my cakes this winter, I will take yours and let you go without.” Her grandmother glared at her, her thin lips pursed. “Stop daydreaming.”
 
Dancing Cat stared at her grandmother, trying to control her tone. “Sorry, Nohkom. I was just…”
 
“Daydreaming,” Hawk Sight snapped. “We expect you to do your share of work. If you do not, you will be the first to starve this winter.”
 
Dancing Cat hung her head, fingers trembling from the nauseating mix of anger and fear. She bit back the disrespectful words that boiled inside her. Hawk Sight was not just her maternal grandmother, but also the band healer and an elder. No one would dare speak back to her, let alone the band exile.
She looked up at the several generations of women around her. The nodding heads and smug looks told her that the threat of starvation was real. She pushed her grandmother’s words out of her mind by grinding the berries perfectly between the two flat rocks.
 
“Remember Stoney?”
 
Dancing Cat slumped. Hawk Sight never could let things go.
 
“She thought she could laze around while we women worked. But when we ran out of food that winter, she was the one left to starve. We don’t need lazy women.”
 
“Yes, Nohkom.”
 
And on it went for the afternoon, story after miserable story about women who starved to death. It would have been bad enough for just her grandmother to have told the stories. Instead, the others joined in, telling of captured Red Valley, Cree or Inuit wives who had been left to starve when food stores ran low. All at her grandmother’s say. Hawk Sight might have been a great healer, but she was also cold and merciless in Dancing Cat’s opinion.
 
They told the stories to make her work harder, but it had the opposite effect. Her work slowed. She could not stand up for herself against an entire band, but she could refuse to obey the people who threatened to kill her. If they wanted her to die, then they could starve, too.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review and Interview Lori Calabrese



Today, my guest is children's author, Lori Calabrese.  Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a free copy of The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade. (U.S. and Canadian residents only, please.)  I will need an email address so Lori can mail your book if you're the winner.

Lori, please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer. 
I dived into the world of freelance writing in 2007 after the birth of my second son and haven’t turned back since. Not only do my boys provide me endless entertainment and headaches, it was because of them that I discovered my renewed passion for children’s books. We make endless trips to the library and read stacks of books. And that’s how I’ve discovered I can’t get enough of them.

I decided to become a writer because reading books to my children inspired me to write my own. I felt like I had so many stories that I wanted to share and ideas kept popping in my head, so there was nothing left to do but jot them down on the computer (and do revision after revision after revision while banging my head on the keyboard, but that’s the less glamorous part, so let’s just skip over that!).

Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?
Organize? You mean other writers are organized? (shaking head in disbelief)

I’m a full-time writer whose fully dysfunctional schedule works great for her. With two boys, it’s difficult to have a typical 9-5 workday, which is why writing works for me, frankly.

I tend to do most of my writing in the morning and at night when everyone else is sleeping. But there are also the marketing aspects, so my computer is usually powered up day and night.

What influences your writing?
Everything and everything influences my writing! Each person sees the world differently and everyone has had different experiences, so every action, relationship, job, etc…shapes a writer, in my opinion.

All of my writing inspiration comes from my two boys. In fact, the idea for The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade came to me when one of my sons had the stomach flu. When everyone asked how he was doing, I would say, “He caught the bug.” It made me stop and wonder why we say that when we’re sick. Something clicked and “The Bug” was born.

Between them and their friends, my idea pile is just overflowing!

Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?
The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade is my first published picture book, although I’ve also had the fortunate opportunity to complete a work-for-hire picture book, and have also been published in various children’s magazines, including Boys’ Life, Odyssey, Appleseeds, Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. and Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids.

I also enjoy writing about the world of children’s literature as the National Children’s Books Examiner at Examiner.com. (http://www.examiner.com/childrens-books-in-national/lori-calabrese)

Why did you choose to write a children's story?
I like to think I’m a kid at heart. It’s amazing how your mind plays tricks on ya’ and makes you think you’re younger than you really are!

I’ve always loved picture books and remember having a bunch growing up. One of my favorites was and still is The Fly Went By by Mike McClintock.

But only after reading tons of children’s books to my sons, did I find out I’m obsessed with them. After trips to the library, we used to (and still do!) come home with stacks of books and night after night we’d read story after story. Reading these books has been inspiring, so I set off to write my own. I realized along the way that writing is hard work, so I took a writing class with the Institute of Children’s Literature, joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and constantly try to soak up as much as I can when it comes to writing and the ins and outs of publishing. There’s so much to learn and just not enough time in the day!

What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
It’s funny because I was digging through my old files the other day and stumbled upon the folder for The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade. I got a good chuckle seeing the manuscript in some of its initial stages.

The idea came to me because of the dreaded stomach bug as I said before. My son caught it and when everyone asked me how he was doing, I would say, “He caught the bug.” Isn’t it weird how we call having an illness as having a bug? I knew there was something there!

The idea of incorporating the Hines Emerald Dragonfly came later into the revisions after I read an article about a kid catching a rare insect. I had to narrow down what the bug in the book was going to be, so I researched rare bugs and learned that the Hines Emerald Dragonfly is the only dragonfly listed on the endangered list.

Like many new writers, I was anxious to get my manuscript out when it wasn’t quite ready. After receiving a few rejections from the larger publishers, I revised and revised and when it was ready, I decided to submit it to Dragonfly Publishing Inc.’s Picture Book contest which is held annually. It was a delight to hear that my manuscript won 1st place in the 2009 contest and is now a book.

What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?
I think it all depends on your dream for publishing, your goals for literary success, and your goals for financial success. Unfortunately, self-publishing in the past has gotten a bad rap, but now, at a time when the big publishing companies have been merging, the number of self-publishers has been increasing and people are seeing it as a great alternative to the big publishers.

It’s great that various alternatives exist because they do give a new writer the opportunity to break into publishing. If you have a passion for writing and don’t mind growing your career as most of us have to do anyway—slowly and methodically—well, self-publishing might be for you!

I think it’s most important to believe in your writing and stand up for yourself. I chose to publish with a small press and because of it, I’m able to see my story come to life, and I’m a member of an incredible group of first time authors whose books are being published by small presses from all over the country called Indie-Debut 2010. (http://indiedebut2010.blogspot.com) It’s been an experience I would definitely do again, so be sure to do whatever is going to make you happy.

What is your marketing strategy?
In order to promote The Bug, I have a fun virtual book launch party all lined up for October 18th—it’s a week-long event, so if you can’t make it one day, don’t worry! You still have time to pop in and mingle. I hope all of your readers will fly by because this Bug Party will be buzzing!

I hope everyone stops by my website because I’ve created a bunch of extras for The Bug such as teaching guides, activities, and a book trailer. Keep an eye out for an upcoming virtual book tour and I also look forward to sharing The Bug at festivals, schools and events.

What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?
I think writers have to do what's going to work for them to reach their ultimate goal: To get published! In my opinion, if writers are looking to get published with a larger publisher then an agent is probably the right way to go. But if alternatives such as small presses haven’t been ruled out, then an agent might not be necessary.

I think also involved in the decision is what type of person a writer is. Many writers are capable of handling all the business aspects that come along with writing on their own (researching publishers, mailing and marketing manuscripts, negotiating a contract, etc...). But there are also writers who can't stand being bogged down with the business aspect and would rather spend their time on their writing.

Unfortunately, when you're trying to break in as a new writer, it's just as hard to find an agent to take a chance on you as it is to find a publisher, but whatever you decide, don’t give up!

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I invite everyone to my newly revamped website – http://www.loricalabrese.com (which has a new RSS feed, so I hope everyone updates their readers and becomes a follower). In addition to some amazing giveaways this month, I share my recent news and updates, and you’ll also find children’s book reviews and recommendations, author interviews, and the latest news in the world of children’s publishing.

Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?
If you’re an aspiring writer, you’ve probably heard the tips I’m about to give you a million times—Read a lot and write every day. When I first started writing and read those tips, I’d say, “That’s it? Really? What else? C’mon. There has to be more!” I was certain these authors were holding back on the secret to success. But now that I look back at what’s helped me the most, it really is reading everything you can get your hands on, keeping up with practice and perseverance. You really have to keep at it and don’t get discouraged with rejections.

Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.
As I mentioned earlier, The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade is a picture book about the play on words when we say, “I’ve caught a bug.” It can mean catching an insect, or catching a cold! This amusing picture book celebrates the ambitious spirit of a third-grader as he tries to study, and uncover a distinct insect on the brink of extinction. Young readers will be buzzing as they follow Matt’s quest to win his school’s Bug-A-Fair. But as he ignores his runny nose and worsening cold, will he create a third-grade epidemic?

The Bug was just released a few weeks ago and is currently available at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1936381052/dragonflyzone-20
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3475012
DFP Bookstore: http://www.dragonflypubs.com/dfp/thebug.html

And hardcovers are available at:
Qoop.com: http://my.qoop.com/store/Dragonfly-Publishing--Inc--6003328660800106/The-Bug-That-Plagued-the-Entire-Third-Grade-by-Lori-Calabrese-2113869318255/

It’s soon to be available at Barnes&Noble.com.

Thanks so much, Penny for having me at here at One Writers Journey. It’s been a blast!

And now let's take a look at The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade:

Review

The Bug That Plagued the Entire Third Grade
By Lori Calabrese
Illustrated by Chet Taylor
Published by Kittycat Books label of Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 1-936381-05-2


Award-winning author, Lori Calabrese, along with illustrator, Chet Taylor, brings to life the delightful story of Matt, a third grader who wants to participate in the Bug-a-Fair.  Told in rhyme and accompanied by full-color illustrations, this clever tale is sure to delight young school age children.  Boys and girls will be able to relate to Matt’s predicament.

Kids will delight in Matt’s adventures as he tries to win the Bug-A-Fair. Matt finds a bug to bring in for the school fair, but on the way to school, the lid on his jar pops off.  As Matt tries to retrieve his science project, he sneezes on his teacher.  Matt has caught another bug. His teacher sends him home, much to his dismay.  Will his bug win the Bug-A-Fair?  Or, will his other “bug” keep him from his goal?

This is a wonderful story which should find a home in every grade one through three classroom. In addition to the fun story, which children will relate to, there are issues which teachers can discuss with their students.  Although my own children are well past elementary school age, I’m looking forward to sharing The But That Plagued the Entire Third Grade with my granddaughter.

Lori Calabrese is an award-winning children’s author. Her first picture book, The Bug That Plagued the Entire 
Third Grade, was namedDragonfly Publishing Inc.’s 2009 Best Children’s Book. She writes for
various children’s magazines, is the National Children’s BooksExaminer at Examiner.com, and enjoys sharing 
her passion forchildren’s books at festivals, schools and events. Visit her website
to learn more, www.loricalabrese.com
 
Follow Lori's blog tour on the following blogs:
November 5 
Book Dads
http://bookdads.com/
November 8 
Brimful Curiosities
http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com/

The Children's Book Review
http://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/

November 9]
Mrs.Hill's Book Blog
http://hillbookblog.blogspot.com/

November 10 
Miss O's Library Land
http://missolibrary.blogspot.com/

November 11]
Tara Lazar's Writing for Children (While Raising Them)/ PiBoIdMo
http://taralazar.wordpress.com/

November 12 
N.A. Sharpe's Realms of Thought
http://nasharpe.blogspot.com/

November 15 
Beverly S. McClure's The Story of a Writer
http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com/

November 16
Elysabeth's Stories
http://elysabethsstories.blogspot.com/

November 17 
Raising Itty Bitty Bookworms
http://ittybittybookworms.blogspot.com/

November 18 
There's a Book
http://www.theresabook.com/

November 19 
The Iron Bodkin
http://lux-st-clare.blogspot.com/

November 30 
Into the Wardrobe
http://peteredmundlucy7.blogspot.com/







-