Handsome man. Killer smile. Graveyard’s full.
Her family and friends know what I’m talking about. Her strength, tempered by a not-so- well- disguised vulnerability was equally matched by a quick wit and warmheart that drew people to her wherever she went.
It was with great sorrow that I learned of her death on August, 4, 2011.
Whenever I walk to the halls of a writer’s conference I will think of her. When I hear a group of people burst into laughter during a writing workshop I will hear her laugh ringing through the room. When an aspiring writer announces a first sale I know she will be celebrating along with him and, more than likely, nudging any nearby angels to join in the celebration.
When one of us hops online to announce a rejection letter or share a moment of doubt hers will be the voice we hear in our mind urging us to keep trying, reminding us that an acceptance letter or book contract can happen at any time, but only if you keep writing and continue to submit.
If we are lucky we are privileged to meet someone who truly inspires us on the road to publication. A mentor who doesn’t pretend it’s easy but does everything that can be done to help us find the tools we need to succeed. Through Pennwriters, I am blessed to know many people like that. Denise was the first and I will never forget her. Rest in Peace my friend.
Driven to Love by Denise Meyers is avaialble in ebook form on Kindle and Nook.
PROMOTIONAL BASICS: GETTING THE WORD OUT, WHEN YOUR WORDS COME OUT:
INSTRUCTOR: Babs Mountjoy
DATE: August 1 – September 2, 2011
LIMITED CLASS SIZE. Enroll now. Go to www.pennwriters.com
Congratulations! Your book or project has just been published. Now comes the real work: making sure your audience can find your book, purchase it, enjoy it and share it with others, bringing you fame and fortune! Most publishers want to hear about your platform, which includes a website, blog, or other publicity method to sell and promote your product or book across the world.
The internet and social media are great methods to share your news and can go a long way toward reaching your potential audience. This online course will teach you the basics of publicity and marketing, some old tricks and some new tricks, to make your new release a real success.
* 4 most important things to include when developing a website
* Discover a variety of ways to get your work noticed online and offline
* Blog tours: how to get one started and why they’re a great way to spread your name
* Freebies and giveaways to attract readers and followers
* Setting up personal appearances and book signings (Have a program in mind, not just a chair behind a table)
FREE BONUS: A list of 50 sites where writers can submit their books for review.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
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- Why Attend a Writers’ Conference? by Deanna R. Adams (pwarea7.wordpress.com)
- What I Learned at the Pennwriters Conference (clarbojahn.wordpress.com)
I am very excited to announce that my book, Storee Wryter Gets a Dog, is named A Best Dog Book for Young Readers in the latest issue of Cesar’s Way Magazine. Cesar being Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, of TV fame.
The idea for the Storee Wryter series had been percolating in my creative mind for several years. In fact, the original version of Storee Wryter was very different from the one now available in print, e-book and audio book form. It was intended as picture book suitable for kids in kindergarten to first grade. The illustrations were clip art and the cover was a self-portrait drawn on card stock. I printed a few copies on my office printer and stapled the pages together. Then I approached local schools for an opportunity to present the story to a classroom full of kids.
Somehow I pulled it off. I remember being incredibly nervous the day I faced nineteen shining young faces. I was dressed in the same outfit Storee Wryter was wearing in the book. In the current book Storee represents me at the age of eight. The age I was when I started writing. In the original version Storee was pictured as an adult. I thought it would be a great hook to have the character in the book come to life when doing a reading or book signing.
Most of the kids seemed to enjoy the simple story and I was very pleased when they realized that I was Storee Wryter. However, there was one little critic in the audience who let me know he felt the story was lame. He rolled his eyes and yawned throughout the reading and when I asked the class if they liked the book he responded with an emphatic, “no.” That one little voice stayed with me long after I left his school that day. Despite the fact that I knew I had a good concept, I had to agree that something wasn’t quite right and so it sat in my files and in the back of my mind waiting for me to figure out what the problem was. Eventually I scrapped the orignal version. Storee Wryter was conceived, in part, to inspire kids to write. I wanted to show them that creativity can be a lifelong passion and that they are natural story tellers now.
That’s when I realized that Storee should be their age. I wrote at eight-years-old. I used the things I knew in everyday life as inspiration. In this new version she would too. Excited by this new inspiration I crafted a completely new story including Crtitique, Storee’s cat, and Addie, a therapy dog in training, providing both Storee and the young readers with inspiration for their writing at the end of each chapter. I also included writing prompts in the back of the book to encourage the kids to write about their own pets, real or imagined, and send them to Storee on her website or blog. I was very pleased and thought I was done. I wasn’t. It took many months and another complete rewrite suggested by my editor, involving writing for an audience the same age as Storee and expanding the book into a sixty page chapter book,before it was ready to go into production.
Holding the first printed copy in my hands was a moment I will never forget. Receiving a glowing comment in Cesar’s Way Magazine not only has me dancing in my kitchen, it reconfirmed my belief that the concept is a good one. There will be more Storee Wryter books with Critique as a continuing character. It was also and excellent reminder that good writing is, in reality, re-writing. I’m thankful that I listened to my young critic and my wise editor and didn’t stop writing until the book was truly finished.
My question of the week: Have you worked and reworked an idea to finally rewrite it into exactly what you hoped it would be? If so, please tell us what you did and how the story changed through the process.
Now for a short commercial break: Please help me inspire young writers by purchasing a signed copy of Storee Wryter Gets a Dog for a young reader in your family or donate a copy to a library or charity promoting literacy in your community. To place and order go to: www.storeewryter.com
- A new book to start! (girlsheartbooks.com)
I hope you’ve missed me. I haven’t written a blog since I left to go to the Pennwriters Conference. I didn’t expect to be gone so long and I apologize for that. I was not feeling well when I left. When I tried to speak my voice sounded more like a bull frog than me. I probably should have stayed home but I was scheduled to present a two-day workshop and be a panelist at a read and critique session and I didn’t want to leave the wonderful organizers in the lurch.
Each day I that passed I felt worse and as soon as the sessions were over for the day I want to room, took my medicine and went to bed. I missed socializing with all the people I look forward to seeing each year, including Jonathan Maberry. I spent each night coughing and getting very little sleep and I want to thank those who attended my workshop for being so understanding and moving as close to the front of the room as possible in order to hear me. Not only wa my voice nearly inaudible but I know the presentation itself was not as good as it should have been. Please give me another chance next year. I promise a more energetic event.
When I arrived home my wonderful husband greeted me with a big hug and told me to get into bed (he had already turned down the covers for me). Soon after I settled in he brought up a tray with another dose of medicine, a bowl of soup, a cup of tea, and just in case tea wasn’t what I wanted, a glass of wonderfully soothing ice water. Is it any wonder I love that man so much?
A simple throat infection doesn’t usually hit me so hard but I had been working almost nonstop for months and the combination of the bug and exhaustion did me in. It took me two weeks to begin to feel good again. During that time I sat on the couch completely unmotivated and letting everything go. When I finally looked at my email again there were over 1,400 messages waiting for me. Most of them writing contest entries from kids across the country that had to be read and sorted in time to announce the winners and launch the next contest. It made me tired again just looking at my in-box.
I’m trying hard to learn from that experience and not take on so much, but I have to tell you so far, it’s not working. In about fifteen minutes I’ll head out to Bull Run Elementary School in Centreville, VA for an author visit to two fourth grade classes. I will do the same thing tomorrow and Friday for a total of six classes in three days. There is no way I’ll ever pass up a chance to talk to 180 kids and share the magic of story telling.
I have given up on the goal of writing a blog day for the rest of the year. I’m going to try a weekly blog and see how that goes. See, I’m taking on less work after all.
I’ll be teaching part two of my workshop:
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (Part II) With Bobbi CarducciParticipants in Part I (Fri @ 1:30) can share what they wrote and receive feedback.
Then taking this one. I need all the help I can get with marketing and publicity.
No-Nonsense Publicity with Bill Peschel
Intimated by self-promotion? Blanch at writing a marketing plan? Unaware of the options? Bill had to spend as much time promoting his book as he did in writing it and developed a new approach to publicity. Learn where to begin with web sites, social networks, advertising and local coverage.
After that will be the silent auction and closing ceremony before heading home to Michael. I can hardly wait to walk in to his arms and get a big hug and sniff his neck.