Writing Fun Friday, and the County Fair

Weird Al created the perfect song for word geeks…and I love it!!!

 

Book Signing News

Look for me at the Lane County Fair this Sunday, July 27th. I’ll be signing my book, Along the Way Home, from 11-1 at the “Oregon Authors” table between the two exhibit halls.

I’ve got candy to give away and fun quizzes about the Oregon Trail, so stop on by! (Extra bonus if you bring me my favorite fair food, a corn dog )

What about you? What’s your favorite “fair food”?

Click on the link for a full list of all attending authors (I’m about 1/3 down the list) http://www.atthefair.com/Oregon-Authors/

Violet Ingram’s Path to Publication Story

Today’s Path to Publication Post is by Violet Ingram.

Without further ado, here’s Violet…

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I think the beginning of my Path to Publication really started when I was a kid. My mom and I would spend Saturday mornings in the library. We would walk in the front door and she would head off towards adult fiction while I headed off to the kid’s section.

Mysteries were my first love. I fell for the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown. I always imagined myself off solving the mysteries with them. I would come up with new cases and act them out.

Fast forward a lot of years and a ton of books read later to 2001. I had just given birth to my fourth child and I decided that the stories in my head needed to be put down on paper. My mom believed in me when I dared say it out loud. She brought me pages and pages of websites for research.

It took years for me to finish that first book – a book that shall remain tucked away. After finishing the next book my husband encouraged me to join a critique group at one of our local bookstores. It was the best decision I could have made. Next up, I started reading and researching agents, publishers, and submission processes. I also entered lots of contests and got lots of helpful input. The most important thing I did was keep writing.

Fast forward again, this time to 2014. I got my first publishing contract. I admit I squealed and jumped around the living room.

Death by High Heels will be available July 28, 2014 from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

DeathbyHighHeels_Draft.

Book Blurb:

Spending time with a dead guy, being interrogated by the cops and getting stitched up by a cute ER doc aren’t exactly the evening plans private investigator Kimberly Murphy envisioned. Especially the getting caught standing over a dead body, again, part. Only this time it wasn’t her fault. Just once she’d like it if homicide detective Grant Tompkins didn’t assume she was guilty.

To clear her slightly tarnished name, Kim goes after the clever killer while avoiding a certain hot homicide detective determined to put her in handcuffs – and not the pink, fuzzy kind – not that she’d mind. Too bad Kim’s efforts lead to dead ends and even more dead bodies. Kim will need all her skills and a bit of luck to outwit a killer who’d like to put an end to Kim’s meddling permanently.

About Violet:

Violet Ingram is a wife, mother, and author. She and her husband have been married for over 24 years and they have 5 children.

Violet’s love of books was the direct result of having spent Saturday mornings going to libraries with her mom. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Encyclopedia Brown were the first books she fell in love with.

Death by High Heels releases with Secret Cravings Publishing on July 28, 2014.

Violet is busy at work on her next book.

Contact Violet:  http://violetingram.blogspot.com/

 

Krysten Lindsay Hager’s Path to Publication Story

Today fellow Astraea Press author, Krysten Lindsay Hager, is sharing her Path to Publication Story.

Without further ado, here’s Krysten…

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twiI’m really excited that Christi Corbett is having me here to discuss my “Path to Publication.”

I started making up stories as a little kid and my mom always brings up how I “won” my first writing contest in the first grade. It was a “Name the Teddy Bear” contest that was open from kindergarten through the eighth grade and somehow my essay won. I still remember I started the piece with, “We should name the bear Taffy because he’s sweet like candy.” I know, take a moment to bask in that brilliance, right? But I won a little stuffed clown for that and my love of writing grew.

I wrote stories all through grade school, but it was my fifth grade teacher who told my parents that she thought I’d become an author. Mrs. Bostwick continued to tell me about writing contests even after I finished the fifth grade. My character in True Colors, Landry, has her teacher, Mrs. Kharazzi, enter one of her stories into a writing contest and I was thinking about my experience when I wrote that.

When I enrolled in the University of Michigan-Flint, I was lucky to have great professors that were very encouraging of my writing. I took extra literature classes even after I had fulfilled my English degree requirements because I learned so much about writing from studying the authors. I was nervous to take my first creative writing class and be critiqued each week in front of the class, but it helped me so much. One of my creative writing buddies, David, passed away a few years ago. He was a great supporter to me. He would always share my columns with people and encourage me when I was stuck on a story we were working on in class. Being around people who were as passionate about writing helped me a lot.

I started writing for the university’s newspaper and the editor, Keith, let us write a test column and I almost passed out when mine was published. After that, I started writing columns regularly for the paper and I enjoyed that. It also prepared me for public response to my writing as well.

I had always started novels, but had issues finishing them. Taking writing courses in college helped, but it was when I went on to do an independent writing course that I finally finished a book. That is the hurdle a lot of writers have trouble with—finishing. After that I began working on a YA/MG book idea that eventually became True Colors.

I took the first chapter to a conference and had a professional critique of it. Then, I got a request to see the whole story, so I began working on the book. I ended up rewriting it and changed a few major parts of it over time. It was a challenge balancing writing and submitting with everyday life and I learned my experience in journalism was key in helping me deal with rejection. You have to have a very thick skin to be in this business and it’s hard to get so close time after time and still be waiting.

I actually stopped submitting the story  for a long time because I was doing more journalism work and then I moved twice—once overseas. When I finally moved back to the U.S. I was working on another project and I happened to go to a book signing in town with a football player, Tim Green. I was just there as a football fan, but I mentioned I wrote and he asked if I wrote middle grade/YA, too. I thought, you know it has been a long time since I sent True Colors out, so I submitted it to three places and it got picked up.

I really don’t think the book would have come to be had it not been for all the experience I got from college (and grad school) lit courses and the many critique groups I’ve been in over the years. You can never learn enough about literature or this business.

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TrueColors453X680Book Blurb:

Every day I walked down the sidewalk to school and wished I were one of the interesting popular girls who ran up with exciting news. Just once I’d like to be one of those girls instead of the being the one who didn’t get invited to things because people “forgot” about me.

Landry Albright gets pushed into trying out for the American Ingénue reality show modeling competition with her two best friends. She doesn’t think she stands a chance, but she advances to the next level in the competition and her friends ignore her when they get cut.

Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut and includes Landry in her clique. Devon becomes the perfect best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition?

Landry hopes her big break could come at any moment, but soon sees there’s much more to modeling than getting your hair done and looking pretty. She begins missing out on being with new friends like Ashanti, a girl who truly has Landry’s back. Landry also has the chance to have a boyfriend when she meets a boy named Vladi from another school.

Part of Landry wants to be famous (and have her hair look good for once), but part of her just wants to be accepted. She learns about friendships, being true to yourself, and that a good hair conditioner doesn’t hurt.

Buy Links:

Amazon                  Barnesandnoble                 Amazon UK

Smashwords          Itunes                                 Kobo

About Krysten:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. TRUE COLORS is her bestselling debut novel from Astraea Press. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows.

Connect with Krysten:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22444090-true-colors

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96jxcUH54hU

Amazon author profile: http://www.amazon.com/Krysten-Lindsay-Hager/e/B00L2JC9P2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

I’m a RONE Award Winner!!

I’m honored to announce that my debut novel, Along the Way Home, is a 2014 RONE Award winner, American Historical category.

(Click here for a list of all the winners)

Budget issues meant I couldn’t attend the ceremony in Las Vegas, but fellow Astraea Press author, Frank Borne, who was there for his nominated book, Fame and Misfortune, was kind enough to accept in my absence and give my speech (which I wrote the morning of the awards ceremony and then went out to create sidewalk chalk art in the driveway with my 9yo daughter)

Here’s my speech :)

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First, I’d like to thank everyone at InD’Tale Magazine for all the time and effort in putting together this event, and for all you’ve done to bring recognition to independent and small press authors. 

I would like to dedicate this award to Stephanie Taylor, the owner of Astraea Press. She took a risk and said “Yes!” to me, and my first novel, Along the Way Home, when over sixty people had already rejected it. She believed in me when no one else did, and for that I am forever grateful. 

Thank you, Stephanie!

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Though I couldn’t attend, I was able to get updates via my laptop from insiders who attended, so I was able to follow along “live” during the awards, and celebrate with my family when I got the news.

Three other Astraea Press authors also had reason to celebrate that evening…

Calico Daniels, RONE Award winner, Novella category, for her novel, Fried Pickles and the Fuzz.

Wendy Knight, RONE Award winner, Young Adult Paranormal category, for her novel, Feudlings.

Jill Urbach won an Honorable Mention, Contemporary: Artists and Writer category, for her book, Two-Room Flat.

Thank you everyone who has supported and encouraged me and my writing over these past years!!!

 

Finalist News and Weekend Plans

Once again, I want to send a big thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me and my writing career these past years.

I’ve got some exciting news to share…My debut novel, Along the Way Home, is a finalist for a 2013 RONE Award in the American Historical category. Though I’m unable to make the trip to Las Vegas for the awards ceremony this Friday, I have made arrangements to get updates via fellow Astraea Press (my publisher) authors who are attending.

I’ll keep you all posted!

CLICK HERE to see the list of all the nominees in all the categories.

And, they gave me this FANTASTIC finalist emblem to use, so here I go :D

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What about you? Are you doing anything fun and exciting this weekend?

Rachel Jones’ Path to Publication Story

Today I’m excited to feature fellow Astraea Press author, Rachel Jones.

Without further ado, here’s Rachel…

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IMG_0625_(1)My Journey 

I have always sought out new challenges, especially creative endeavors. I’ve had a decades-long love affair with music as a musician. I love to sew and to create counted cross stitch works. I have always loved to read, so in March 2012 it was no surprise to my family when I announced that I had decided to write a novel.

Five months into my writing, I realized this would take some education if I was going to do it correctly. Have I mentioned that I strive for perfection? I joined Romance Writers of America hoping to figure out the proper way to get the stories in my head onto paper. In January of 2013 I joined Georgia Romance Writers and my education took off full speed. I had found the place I needed to be. Surrounded by others working toward the same goal, I found the encouragement to persevere and finish my novel. Opportunities for growth as a writer kept coming my way as well as frustration when I couldn’t take advantage of some of those opportunities. My hours at work made it impossible to commit to a critique group, which I felt would have been very beneficial, so I looked for other avenues to provide that service. I entered three contests which allowed my work to be critiqued. It was not as ideal as belonging to a group, but it was definitely helpful.

In October 2013 I attended my first writer’s conference. I pitched my novel to an agent and an editor. The agent requested a partial submission and I later received my first rejection. The editor asked for my full manuscript and two months later offered a contract. My education continues through reading blogs or books on craft or spending time with other authors. It has taken two years and three months to see the fruit of my labor staring back at me from my Kindle, but so worth the struggle.

For those of you seeking publication I encourage you to persevere, set goals, and seek out new opportunities that might very well hold that last piece of the puzzle to make your journey complete.

In 2012 when I started this new creative endeavor, I was looking for something that would fill my time after I retire from healthcare in a few years. I have actually found my next career.

ToDanceOneMoreDay-RachelJones_(2)Book Blurb

At age thirty-two, Jillian Russell has endured a life time of heartache. Alone in the world, she has also suffered the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company. Intent on making it the go-to company for serious performers, she shuts down her personal life while she struggles to build her company into the success she envisions.

As far back as he can remember, trauma surgeon, Alan Armstrong has had a penchant for fixing things. Since his father’s death, the ambition to open a community clinic in a rural area on the eastern coast has directed his actions. Hopeful to prevent future deaths due to lack of medical care, he has made the clinic his top priority.

When Alan’s life intersects with Jillian’s, the connection they both feel is undeniable. As a new board member to her ballet company, Alan is eager to help solve the financial damage of lost federal funding. But he doesn’t stop there. He wants to help her build new relationships to chase the loneliness from her life. As they grow closer, secrets from their pasts cause them to be pulled apart. Will they be able to overcome their pasts to have a future together?

Buy Links:

Amazon         Barnes and Noble         Smashwords            Kobo

About the Author:

In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.

Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.

Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers, Southeastern Writers Association and is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Rachel:

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