Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Karen Cane

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check her out.

Name: Karen Cane

Lives in: Watsonville, CA (officially, but actually in a place
called Freedom, CA, not far from that Beach and Boardwalk town, Santa Cruz! (I
miss the East, though, all you easterners!)

Family: husband, Bill; son usually called Cricket and daughter Midori, though these 2 have been adults for a fair while; grandchildren Walt, 14, Dexter, 7, and Greta, 6. I couldn't be more fortunate with all of them!

Writes: Children's stories and haiku

Day job: You could call it retired, though I help out as I can with the
nonprofit that my husband started 35 years ago and is now retired executive
director of. Given my particular talents, which don't include organization. I
have written articles for his quarterly publication, and I usually act as art
editor for the publication, Integrities.

Titles of books you've written: MISS MARKLE'S HORRIBLE HAIR, JOHN ANDREW AND THE BLACK MONSTER OF DOOM, ANYARA'S WHEEL ... The only one I've sold is THE CHRISTMAS GIFT THAT WOULDN'T BE, but it was to a rather unknown magazine. Others are in anthologies.

Website: Coming soon, I hope!

Favorite book: How could I possibly have a favorite book from all the fantastic books out there? I will say, however, that my daughter and I have both waited with great anticipation for every book written by Barbara Kingsolver, fiction and nonfiction alike, starting with THE BEAN TREES. We both also love all the nonfiction by ANNE LAMOTT. Not too long ago I read THE WOLF AT TWILIGHT by Kent
Nerburn and loved it. I have LITTLE BEE in my hands, have read five pages, and
just know I'm going to love her.

Favorite book character: We might have a 4-way tie here between Zorba, Enzo in THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, the title character in LITTLE BEE, and all the
Native people in THE WOLF AT TWILIGHT, though Dan, the elder, would be my
favorite there.

Book you've learned the most from: How about author I've learned the most from? Right now I'd choose Kazantzakis.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask
him/her?
I think I'd choose Barbara Kingsolver, and I'd be happy to just let her talk.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: Writing is 90%
rewriting. Because of that, don't overthink the first draft. Just keep going.

Finish these sentences:

I wish I could see at least a couple of my stories in book form, with great
illustrations and see kids reading them.

If I knew by birth how great Indian and Thai food were (and Vietnamese and
Burmese, Afghan, Turkish, you name it), maybe I should have arranged to born in
South or West or Southeast Asia.

Other AKA profiles:

Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz
Penny Fletcher
Matthew Porter Dyer
Carrie Filetti
Jessica Robinson
Krista Krueger

'Harry Potter' trailer

OMG! Totally can't wait for this epic conclusion.  Here's the trailer for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," which opens in theaters July 15. 



Are you planning to see this opening weekend?

Other Harry Potter posts
Harry Potter travel tips
Harry Potter A to Z
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote of the day

"Practice, practice, practice writing. Writing is a craft that requires both talent and acquired skills. You learn by doing, by making mistakes and then seeing where you went wrong." --Jeffrey A. Carver

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

QR codes: Those funky boxes


So, what's that funny looking box  above and at the right of this page below my bio box? It's called a QR Code and it's simply a two-dimensional bar code that contains my contact information (Name, email, address, website, phone number, etc.)

Generating a QR Code is super easy. There are several websites out there. Just search online for "QR Code generator." I used this one. 

Here's how to use a QR code. First, in order to read a QR Code, you must download a Barcode Scanner on your smartphone. Just search for "Barcode Scanner" in the Marketplace and you'll find it.

After the app is installed, launch it. You will see a red line across the screen. Zoom in on the QR Code. When the code is read, you'll hear a beep and the information contained in the QR Code will appear on your screen.

Here's a QR Code I generated. I'm not going to tell what information it contains. You'll have to read it to find out.

There are endless ways writers can use QR Codes. Are you using these? If so, how?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

10 things I've learned from social media

I'm not an expert in social media.

Yes, I juggle numerous Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Yes, I maintain two blogs.

And, yes, social media is as much a part of my life as getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.

But I'm no more of an expert in social media than I am in automotive technology. And, for the record, the only thing I know about cars is how to start them!

But I do love social media, and I do love learning new things (except car stuff). So, if passion and attitude and tenacity count for anything, I guess I'm doing OK navigating this ever-changing digital landscape.

With that in mind, here are 10 things I've learned so far in my role as social media coordinator for the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

1. Those who succeed in using social media, whether it's maintaining a blog or Twitter or Facebook account, are those passionate about it. Your enthusiasm will come through in your tweets and posts and your interaction with others.

2. Be yourself. So I'm a bit, er, a lot, of a word nerd, a little obsessive-compulsive and totally into Rolos. Chances are if you follow me on Twitter or read my blogs or my Facebook posts you know this. And, guess what? I'm cool with that. It's who I am. I think that people want to interact with others who keep it real. They can tell if someone is faking it just to get page hits.

3. Social media is a great way to meet people with whom you share a common interest. Take me, for example. I write books for kids and teens and, through various social media platforms, I've connected with other authors around the world. While I would love to meet my cyber friends face to face, that's rarely possible. Still, we're building a network, creating a sense of community and supporting one another despite being thousands of miles apart.

I also have friends who do not work outside the home, and they rely on this virtual support system as their water cooler talk. When your work is by nature personal and isolated, social media and networking can be a lifesaver. Or, at least a sanity saver.

4. Managing social media is a lot of work. Let me say that again: It's a lot of work. It reminds me of building a campfire. (Not that I do this, but that's beside the point. It's a good analogy. And, besides, I enjoy a campfire when somebody else builds one.) You start with the tinder and kindling and gradually grow the fire using larger pieces of wood until it is a glowing masterpiece. But if you think you can just sit back and toast your marshmallows, think again. In order for the fire to keep burning, it has to be fed. Constantly.

Social media is no different. You can design a great blog or create a Twitter or Facebook account, but if you do nothing with these social media platforms, your digital footprint won't grow. People might come once. Maybe twice. But they won't keep returning unless there is new material to see and read.

5. Interaction and knowing your audience are key. If all I do is post stuff - like "I went shopping." - I'm not going to be very successful. I need to ask questions and respond to readers' answers. Social media is about engagement. It's about building relationships, and one of the ways you do this is through conversations. So instead of saying I went shopping, I said:

"I've decided that I need to stay away from Kohl's for awhile. They suck me in with their coupons and then I get the Kohl's cash so I go back and buy even more. I think I've had four huge shopping trips to Kohl's in the past month! Gotta hide those bills from Hubs. So sorry, Kohl's. I'm breaking up for awhile. Oh, I mean after I go back on Wednesday to spend the $30 in Kohl's cash I just earned. (Smiles) Am I alone here peeps?"

Now, which post do you think others would respond to?

6. Social media sites have become landing pages for news. People use them to post news and go to them to get news. Last Saturday during that crazy storm, people were on Twitter and Facebook talking weather for hours. I learned from @Stauchistory on Twitter that his daughter was celebrating her sweet 16th birthday at the West Manchester Mall with her friends, and he was worried (and that made me worry). I saw pictures on Facebook that my friend Paula Gettys Little posted of her flooded home. I read Melanie Crisamore's post (West Manchester Mall + Ripped Roof = Scary Situation) on the Teen Takeover blog of her "great date night."

The way we consume news and share news has changed. It's become more conversational and social and instant and personalized.

7. I've learned to take chances. Not everything's going to work. That's life. Sometimes I post content that I'm sure will draw responses, and it gets none. And sometimes I post something just because ("OK. So, what 40-something wakes up with a zit on her nose? Seriously. Didn't I pay my price like 30 years ago? Not fair. Well, guess there could be worse things. But still. Makes me feel like I'm in high school again.") and it gets lots of hits. I'm not even going to try to figure this one out.

8. I've learned that I love Twitter. There's something about this microblogging platform that appeals to me. Having to condense a thought or, heck, an entire story, into 140 characters is challenging and fun. I love its symbiotic nature, and that it's in real time. I've learned that if I keep my tweets to no more than 120 characters they are more easily retweetable. And, the more retweets I get, the more people I'm reaching.

9. I've learned that social media can be a time hog and that I need to pace myself. I could spend hours commenting on others' blogs and responding to their tweets and pictures and videos. You have to find a balance, one that allows you to have a normal life like most of your neighbors. Don't let the virtual world become your world. Life is for living.

10. I've learned that for better or for worse, social media has changed the world. We're more connected than we've ever been, despite spending less time together physically. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Maybe it's a little of both. I know things about people that I never would have known if it had not been for social media (BTW, kudos to Sarah Rentzel Jones who announced via Facebook she is expecting her third child. YAY, Sarah!).

There's power in social media. It can bring people together for a common cause, or tear them apart. It can help mobilize and energize an effort and lead to change.

But, like most things in life, there are negatives. I'm not blind to them. Neither should you be. By allowing conversation, you do lose some control. But don't be afraid of this. Debate and disagreement can be healthy.

In the end, I think the positives of social media outweigh the negatives.

I started this column by stressing that I'm not an expert, and I'd end it the same way. I'm just someone who's learning as she goes and trying to help you learn, too.

Catch me here

Twitter: @Buffyandrews

Facebook:
Smartmamapa: http://www.facebook.com/smartmamapa
Flipsidepa" http://www.facebook.com/flipsidepa
York Daily Record/Sunday News: http://www.facebook.com/YorkDailyRecord

Blogs:
Buffy's World: http://www.yorkblog.com/buffy
Buffy's Write Zone: http://buffyswritezone.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 22, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Krista Krueger

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check her out.



Name:
Krista Krueger

Lives in: Baltimore, MD

Family: Husband Joe, 2 sons, 2 daughters (12, 7, 6, 3)

Writes: paranormal YA, horror

Day job: child wrangler, maid, bookkeeper aka housewife :)

Website: www.spanglefish.com/darkstories

Favorite book: THE WITCHING HOUR by Anne Rice

Favorite book character: The Mad Hatter

Book you've learned the most from: CEMETERY STORIES by Katherine Ramsland

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? It would be Stephen King. I would want to know how he dealt with all of the book rejections. He was going to quit until his wife sent CARRIE out one more time and that was his golden ticket. How did he keep moving forward until then?

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: You are a good writer. This will be your year. Just be patient and see.

Finish these sentences:

I wish I knew... the secret to my success

If I knew how ... hard and how long the waiting process was to get a book deal, I would have tried to get published sooner instead of writing for myself.

Other AKA profiles:

Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz
Penny Fletcher
Matthew Porter Dyer
Carrie Filetti
Jessica Robinson

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Jessica Robinson

Another one of my rockin' AKA Literary teammates.

Name: Jessica Robinson

Lives in: Collinsville, Connecticut

Family: Husband, Scott; sons, Camden, 7 and Mason, 4

Writes: non-fiction

Day job: wedding and event designer

Titles of books you've written/sold: ENCHANTED WEDDINGS and THE NEW ENGLAND KITCHEN

Website: http://www.jesscountryflowers.com/

Blog: www.jesscountryflowers.blogspot.com

Twitter: @JCFevents

Facebook: Jessica Robinson

Favorite book: JULIA CHILD: MY LIFE IN FRANCE

Book you've learned the most from: THE MARTHA RULES by Martha Stewart

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? Julia Child. I think I'd ask her, how she kept herself so composed while trying to publish her first cookbook. What made her push forward and take on the huge task of getting it done?

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received? Keep going and be prepared for lots of rejections from literary agents. Someone will eventually see something special in your writing and sign you as one of their clients.

Finish these sentences:

I wish I... knew it would be such an emotional roller coaster of sorts with trying to publish my first book. I also wish I could stop noticing how many other people have recently published books.

If I knew...more about the process of becoming published, or how long it may take, I would possibly relax a bit.

Other AKA profiles:

Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz
Penny Fletcher
Matthew Porter Dyer
Carrie Filetti

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A minute list: Easter theme

Hey gang. We haven't done one of these in some time. So, here goes. You know how this works. We'll do an Easter theme. Copy and paste the list in comments and choose a word to describe the one given. Mine is in ()'s.

Egg (rotten)
Bonnet (floppy)
Bunny (soft)
Basket (woven)
Cross (heavy)
Nails (rusty)
Crown (prickly)
Feet (tired)
Cake (coconut)
Ham (fatty)

Now, your turn.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Carrie Filetti

Another one of my great AKA Literary teammates.

Name: Carrie Filetti (last name rhymes with spaghetti)

Lives in: I live in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of East TN. I love the trees, rivers and peace that comes with small town living.

Family: I’m married to the love of my life, Mike, and we have seven beautiful children that keep us on our toes. Without them I’d hate to know where I’d be. Their constant support of my dreams has gotten me where I am today. They are my life and I write for them.

Day job: Along with my constant creation of Middle Grade and Young Adult stories, I am a mother, wife and a home-school teacher.

Titles of books you’ve written/sold: MARYANNE AND THE BENJAMIN BOHNS FACTORY is being represented by Terrie Wolf from the AKA Literary Agency. Along with my family, Terrie and I have high hopes for this quirky tale that teaches important life lessons.

Website: http://www.authorcarriefiletti.com/

Blog:  http://awrenslife.blogspot.com/

Facebook: I am there and love to connect with family and friends from all over the world.

Favorite book: This is hard as there are many wonderful stories but the one that pulls at my heartstrings the most is the one that first struck me as a child. WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS by Wilson Rawls will always be special to me.

Favorite book character: This is another hard one so I’m going to name a few that I wished to be like as I read.

Will, from John Flanagan’s RANGERS APPRENTICE’S series.

Liesel, from Markus Zusak’s THE BOOK THIEF.

Shane, from Jack Schaefer’s SHANE.

I know there are many more and this list will forever be growing.

Book you’ve learned the most from: My own. I learn more about myself every day as I write.

If you could have dinner with any author who would it be and what would you ask them: I would love to have dinner with J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. I would ask if I could join their club.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: “Only those that quit don’t make it.” My husband.

Finish these sentences:

I wish I…believed I could write a long time ago.

If I knew…what I know now, I would have been a better daughter.

Other AKA profiles:

Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz
Penny Fletcher
Matthew Porter Dyer

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Matthew Porter Dyer

Another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates.

Name: Matthew Porter Dyer


Lives in: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Family: Married to Tara McGowan (I decided to keep my last name); daughter, Karen, 8 years old; son, Cash, 6 years old

Writes: YA, Thriller, and Educational nonfiction

Day job: Director of Communications for Writers Fusion, LLC, High School English Teacher, Department Head

Titles of books you've written/sold: SHADOW PEAK, THE TOYMAKER, THE MESSENGER AT PARADISE HIGH, THE WRITERS FUSION TEACHER GUIDE

Website: http://www.writersfusion.com/

Twitter: @writersfusion

Facebook: Writers Fusion group page

Favorite book: KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL

Favorite book character: Henry Chinaski

Book you've learned the most from: THE RAZOR'S EDGE

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? Charles Bukowski -- Can I buy you a drink?

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: The road to hell is paved with adverbs...

Finish these sentences:

I wish I ... had started writing much younger.

If I knew ... you were coming I'd a baked a cake...

Other AKA profiles:

Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz
Penny Fletcher

Sunday, April 17, 2011

WOW! The power of words

Love this video. Shows how powerful words can be. What do you think?

 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

35th anniversary of Pops Rocks


I loved Pop Rocks as a kid. Remember the urban legend that if you drank soda and ate Pop Rocks your stomach would explode? Guess what? Not true. (Smiles) Did you know that the crackling sound comes from the release of tiny pockets of carbon dioxide. Who knew, right?

So, why all the talk about Pop Rocks. Well, I recently ran across a company press release stating that it is re-releasing its original retro grape flavor in celebration of the candy's 35th anniversary. Apparently the company rediscovered the lost recipe and decided to bring it back after a nearly three-decade absence. 

In celebration of the candy's place in kids' lives everywhere (and in pop culture, too), I found this video busting the urban myth. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And today's Peeps contest entry

Titled: Let My Peeple Go

Your fave book family is...


What book family would you choose to be a member of? Me? Maybe The Weasley Family. I always wanted to have red hair. How about you?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meet Peepbook

Another entry in our Peeps contest.

Submitters said: Peeper Cottontail has finally decided to join all his peeps on Peepbook.

Meet AKA teammate: Penny Fletcher

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check her out.

Name: Penny Fletcher
 
Lives in: Riverview, Fla., 10 miles south of Tampa. I grew up on the Jersey Shore and it is not like the television series.
 
Family: My husband, Bobby, died in 2003 of bone cancer. I have four grown children; stepchildren; "many" grandchildren and raised (adopted) a granddaughter for a disabled son from the time she was 7 months old until March of this year (1999-2011). She is now 13 and has just moved in with an aunt and cousins nearby. There is always some family living in my little house!
 
Writes: I started writing as "the high school reporter for the Asbury Park Press in N.J." Next I wrote for magazines while traveling with my first husband who was in the military, and have been writing for newspapers since 1980. I was a Bureau Editor for the Tampa Tribune's special sections division, Sunbelt Newspapers; edited for Amazon Books self-publishing division and now edit for private authors. I currently freelance news, features and columns for local papers but want to write books full time. Terrie is my agent for TRIAL BY FIRE, which I completed in January, and I have another in the works, CONFIDENTIAL CLIENTELE. Both are romantic suspense.
 
Titles of books you've written/sold: I wrote a press release guide while employed by Media General Communications Inc., and had to speak to groups about how to submit press releases properly. (Too boring!)

I am on Twitter, Linked-In and FaceBook and have a Web site (with references) for my editing service.

Favorite book: PEYTON PLACE (It changed mainstream fiction forever)

Favorite book character: Robin Hood

Book you've learned the most from: ROOTS (Keeps it real)

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? Robin Cook. "How did your life change when you became a best-selling author?"

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: "Make everything so real readers feel like they're inside the character; touching, tasting, smelling, and most especially, feeling their emotions."

(Editors at McFadden Enterprises when I was writing for True Romance, True Story & True Confessions.)

Finish these sentences:

I wish I... could afford to stop chasing news and write books full time.

If I knew... what actions were mistakes beforehand I wouldn't take them!

Other AKA profiles:
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans
Luis Cruz

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Angry Peeps' Easter Candy App

Yet another awesome entry in this year's Peeps diorama contest. This one titled:  "Angry Peeps" Easter Candy App

Submitter says: The birds v. pigs conflict that defines the popular Angry Birds game is raised to a new (sugar) level in this seasonal app called "Angry Peeps." The finches fling themselves to conquer pigs (and bunnies!), while the green adversaries taunt from their candy fortress.



Another fun Peeps contest entry

Submitter said this: Who says PEEPS are just for Easter. In celebration of the "Holiday Season" these PEEPS are seated at the table for a traditional (Jewish) Passover Seder complete with candle, Matzo and Haggadah (story/prayerbooks).


Autographing books

I sometimes picture myself autographing one of my books. I visualize my hand sweeping across the page, maybe even drawing a smiley face. God willing, my dream will one day come true.

If you're published, how do you sign your books? Is there a saying you always write? Do you include the recipient's name?

And if you're an unpublished writer like me, how will you sign your book when your dream becomes a reality. Notice I said "when" not "if." (Smiles)

I see that sometimes people sign the cover rather than an inside page. I suppose by signing the cover other people can see that you have an autographed copy more easily, if that sort of thing matters to you. And I guess for the author, signing the cover saves time because her or she doesn't have to open the book.What are your thoughts on signing the cover versus signing an inside page?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't miss these three contests

Hey gang, here's a link to my social media blog where I talk about  three contests to win really cool stuff. Check the contests out when you have time. Some really cool prizes, including a Miche handbag, circus tickets and more.

Some more Peeps contest entries:

The Peep Swan


Rest in Peeps

Meet AKA teammate: Luis Cruz

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check him out.


Name: Luis M. Cruz.

Lives in: Bronx, New York.

Writes: YA.

Titles of books you've written/sold: THE DAY THEY MADE CONTACT (Yet to be published.)


Favorite book: STAR WARS: DARKSABER by Kevin J. Anderson.

Favorite book character: Commander Data from the Star Trek: TNG series.

Book you've learned the most from: HOW TO GET A LITERARY AGENT by Michael Larsen.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? Kevin J. Anderson. Can please pass the salt.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: Miles Davis once wrote, "Write what you know or write what you don't know like everybody else."

Finish these sentences:

I wish I...could talk sense to all the world leaders.

If I knew...the secrets of the universe, my life would most likely be boring.



Other AKA profiles:
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter
Gilda Evans

Friday, April 8, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Gilda Evans

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check her out.


Name: Gilda Evans

Lives in: Los Angeles, CA

Family: Single, with 3 kids, 1 grown, 1 almost grown, 1 on the way there -- who happen to be three of the best people on the planet.

Writes: Just about anything. Won my first essay contest at the age of 10. Wrote for the entertainment biz for many years. Currently working on the GIRL TALK book series - self-help/inspirational non-fiction. Also working on a YA novel series.

Day job: Bon vivant extraordinaire

Titles of books you've written/sold: GIRL TALK: Dating...what your friends don't tell you and your boyfriends need to know. GIRL TALK - Sisters...secrets, pinky promises and unconditional love.

Website: http://www.gildaevans.com/

Blog: http://www.gildaevans.com/, http://www.gildaevans.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @gildaevans

Facebook: Girl Talk by Gilda Evans

Favorite book: EXCUSE ME, YOUR LIFE IS WAITING

Favorite book character: Sherlock Holmes

Book you've learned the most from: My own - they are a voyage in self-discovery

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? God. What is the secret to ultimate peace of mind?

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: Write your passion.

Finish these sentences:

I wish I...had three wishes! Or maybe twenty...

If I knew...20 years ago what I know now, things would be different.

Other AKA profiles:
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli
Tasha Cotter

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peeps diorama contest entries

Had to share some of these. Each year, my staff holds a Peeps diorama contest. I love seeing the entries when they come in. For more about the contest, see this post. 

1. "Boy or Girl? Impeepsible to Tell" 



2. The Legend of Peepy Hollow


3.  Peeps Wonderland


 4. Peeps R Winning




 5. Justin Peeper



6. BPeep Oil Spill


 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Tasha Cotter

Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check her out.


Name: Tasha Cotter

Lives in:  Glasgow, KY

Family: married to Daniel Cotter

Writes: YA, contemporary women’s fiction and poetry

Day job: Professor and educator

Titles of books you've written/sold:
Women’s Fiction: I wrote a contemporary women’s fiction series. The three books in this series include: THE PROBLEM WITH MR. RIGHT, EVERYTHING YOU WANT, and DAPPLED THINGS. I also co-wrote a book titled US IN PIECES, with Chris Green.

YA: THE SERIOUSLY MESSED UP (BUT TRUE!) STORY OF A WITCH (The first book in a three-part series)

Website: http://www.tashacotter.com/

Favorite book: This changes by the week, but there are a some clear favorites: Nick Hornby, Julianna Baggott, Steve Almond, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Suzanne Collins.

Favorite book character: Jo March of LITTLE WOMEN or Katniss Everdeen of THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy.

Book you've learned the most from: Craft-wise I’d say BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott, WILL WRITE FOR SHOES Cathy Yardley, and HOW FICTION WORKS by James Wood.

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? I think it would be Aimee Bender, author of THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE and WILLFUL CREATURES. I love where her books take me — literally and figuratively. I’d pick her brain about her use of surrealism in her works and find out what’s on the horizon for her.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: I think it was from Julianna Baggott. Her advice was obvious, but something I so often lose track of when I’m trying to schedule time to write: in order to be a writer, you have to sit your ass in a chair in write. Simple, but surprisingly easy to lose sight of. Too often when I’m at my desk I find myself getting up to go do anything else but write and I have to remind myself to get back to the book, get back in that chair…

Other AKA profiles
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond
Robert Spiller
Edward A. Iannuccilli, M.D.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Civil War book hits stores


I just gotta give my boss, Jim McClure, a plug as well as a loud round of applause. He and co-writer Scott Mingus just released their book, CIVIL WAR VOICES FROM YORK COUNTY, PA: REMEMBERING THE REBELLION AND THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN  in time for the kickoff of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War on April 12, 2011.

Jim talks about how the book came about in this post on his York Town Square blog.

Most of the stories and photos in the book came from the scrapbooks and oral traditions of York County families, and they cover the home front and war front.

Please pop over to Jim's blog and read about his newest book and about his journey to publication. Jim has written many history books and is not only a great person but a great journalist.

Meet AKA teammate: Edward Iannuccilli

 Here’s another one of my awesome AKA Literary teammates. Hope you check him out.

Name: Edward A. Iannuccilli, M.D.

Lives in:  Bristol, RI

Family:  Wife, Diane. % children, 9 grandchildren

Writes: Memoirs of his youth

Day job:  Consultant in a Patient Safety Organization

Titles of books you've written/sold: "GROWING UP ITALIAN; GRANDFATHER'S FIG TREE AND OTHER STORIES




Favorite book: THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY

Favorite book character: Kavalier

Book you've learned the most from: GREAT EXPECTATIONS

If you could have dinner with any author, who would it be and what would you ask him/her? Hemingway. How do you develop your characters and how do they relate to your life?

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: Keep Writing!

Finish these sentences:

I wish I...started earlier with my writing career

If I knew...what would be my passion in later years, I would have been a language or a writing major in college.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Meet AKA teammate: Robert Spiller

Name: Robert Spiller

Lives in: Colorado Springs, CO

Family: Wife, Barbara; daughters, Nikki, Laura, Jennifer (all grown), grandchildren, Liam,1; Cameron, 11; Quentin, 13; Jackie, 16


Writes: Mystery (Amateur Sleuth), YA historical mystery, Horror

Day Job (for two more months): Middle school math teacher

Titles of books sold: THE WITCH OF AGNESI, A CALCULATED DEMISE, IRRATIONAL NUMBERS: Medallion Press

Website: www.rspiller.com

Favorite book: THE LORD OF THE RINGS (all three books)

Favorite character: Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly detective)

Books I've learned the most from: THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, A NEW EARTH, and THE PROPHET For direct teaching. Most important lesson learned from fiction; A true hero often doesn't get to enjoy the world he saves. He strives for the benefit of those he loves.

Best piece of writing advice: Let Writing be your Zen Practice. Everything else will fall into place. Adopted from Writing Down the Bones.

Writer I'd like to have dinner with: Eckart Tolle, author of A New Earth. I would ask him for advice about how to live more successfully in the present.

I wish I were more like my wife: Generous, funny, observant, positive

If I knew exactly what the readers of the world wanted to read, I'd probably write what I want to write anyway.

Other AKA profiles
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee
Lee Richmond





Saturday, April 2, 2011

I have sneaky sisters (and sons)



So my sisters really surprised us with a 25th anniversary party today. We thought we were going to a party for my brother-in-law Daryl. Turned out, it was a party for us. We were totally surprised. What made the party extra special was that one of my BFFs, Robin, and her husband, J.P., performed an impromtu vow rewewal ceremony. J.P. did an awesome job with the ceremony and Robin read the same passage she read at our wedding 25 years ago. It was incredibly special and great that could share it with all of our friends. Love you all bunches and bunches!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why book trailers are now essential

I came across this article on book trailers and wanted to share it.

Have you produced book trailers? How did it go and what do you think of finished product?

Meet AKA teammate: Lee Richmond


Name: Lee Richmond

Lives in: Dunbarton, NH

Family: Wife Pam, Sons Hondo and Nick (grown and living in other cities)

Writes: Adult literary fiction: novels and short stories

Day job: Marketing writer; writer/producer of video

Titles of books you've written/sold: HIGH ON GOLD (Charterhouse, 1972; Avon, 1974); THEY WERE FIRE currently represented by AKA; THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN,work in progress

Website: http://www.leerichmond.com/

Facebook: Lee Richmond

Books you've learned the most from: WAR AND PEACE, AS I LAY DYING

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received: Sit down in the morning and just start writing, and do it first thing every morning, and don't quit until you've put in at least four hours


Other AKA profiles
Aaron Tate
Louise Caiola
Katie Lee