Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Sunday, October 22, 2017
2. Been reading!
Think YA meets Talented Mr. Ripley. Twists and turns throughout this novel with a very twisty ending.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
It feels odd to have to mention this, but often it isn't enough to have a book physically available at a convention. Yes, having a cupcake launch party will create interest (and some people did stop down to the Zumaya Publications table in the dealers room afterwards), but often you need to have some means of generating awareness. Just having signs posted around the convention (with pictures of the beautiful cover) before the party had people coming up to me later during the con saying things like "Oh, you're the cupcake lady! Is that the book?" "Sorry I missed the party, where can I check out the book?"
Fortunately, I had already prepared enough ahead of both conventions to have promo pens I could hand out for those times I wasn't at the table. Because I'm still a newbie with my smartphone and get easily frustrated with my fingers not hitting the right keys on the screen (how can people type so quickly on those things?), I decided to have stylus pens, which seemed to be popular. They've got my book title, my name and website on them just in case people decide to check out the book (and if people don't want to, they still have a good black ink pen with a useful stylus).
VistaPrint this time for my paper promos, rather than the company I used in my previous blog post about promotion material. For some reason this year VistaPrint had a better selection of business card designs and an easier setup method for double-sided postcards. The stylus pens are from National Pen, which I've had good luck with over the years.
So now I'm all set for the next month's worth of conventions, library workshops and bookstore events. At some point I should probably add a banner, as a number of my other author friends have done, but that should wait until I see the new covers for the upcoming re-releases from Zumaya Publications. A banner would work for those conventions I drive to, but when I'm flying to a convention the weight limit for suitcases means I'd rather bring books than a banner. Maybe a custom designed tablecloth? Vistaprint immediately showed me what my postcard design would look like on a banner, a tablecloth, and a few other items. They all looked lovely and it was very tempting, but I don't know.
What are your go-to items for promotion? What attracts your attention?
Monday, September 25, 2017
2. Just got the galley of CROSS FIRE!
3. Also working on revisions of CANDLE. Hope to be able to query this out by the end of next month!
4. One sad note: Sunni pulled his one foot and hasn't been walking very well. Took him to the vet and he had an xray. Doctor said the good news is it's not broken or fractured. The not too good news is he's not walking without using his beak to get around. Doctor gave me some inflammatory meds to help with the pain. Please, send some positive, healthy vibes his way.
Teaser: There's lots of topics discussed in frank detail; racial profiling, racism, prejudice, and police brutality. This book would be perfect for high school libraries and for classroom discussions. I seriously feel these topics should be discussed and not avoided.
**Added: After the recent controversy this weekend, I found this which also ties in with this book:
Omg, have any of you had one of those Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha drinks yet?
They are to die for!
|Photo courtesy of Starbucks.com|
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
April Martinez. She really captured my wizard Salanoa.
For those new to the collection, there are fantasy stories about wizards, elves, talking horses, and dwarves as well as humans trying to deal with magic. There are also science fiction stories about psi powers, interplanetary agents, aliens attending college on Earth, and aliens attempting to figure out Terran slang. And, as indicated by the title, there are experts, and there are those trying to learn, with mixed results.
The paper version is planned to appear at FenCon in Dallas. I have a cupcake party (short stories = cupcakes) scheduled to celebrate there. This works out extremely well as Zumaya Publications will be at the convention as well. So I'll be able to hang out with publisher Elizabeth Burton and fellow authors Gloria Oliver and Rie Sheridan Rose.
By that time I should also be calmed down from running around town and showing off the new cover to people (so far the librarians at the local library, the local bookstore owner, people at the post office who hand out my pens, people at my credit union - and one must not forget friends on Facebook). Or do you know authors who don't get excited about new book covers?
Thursday, August 31, 2017
During Worldcon 75 this year in Helsinki, Finland, the question of a YA Award came up again at the business meeting. The previous year's YA Award Committee report was to cover its decisions on the following questions:
Will the award be named for a person? Will the award be called ‘YA’, ‘teen lit’, or some other such thing?
Alex Acks reported on the Hugo Awards rules changes at the Business Meeting – nominations, Best Series, and, most importantly, the Young Adult Award.
The committee report given last year at Sasquan had a good breakdown on how various other awards determined what was YA, what was middle grade, and the pros and cons of using marketing categories. The YA Committee decided that the Award should be treated like the Campbell Award (not a Hugo), so that a strict definition of what constitutes YA wouldn't be needed, nor would a word limit (which is what determines several of the categories of the Hugos).
However, the Committee couldn't decide on a name for the award. They created a committee to collect and evaluate name ideas.
The report from the YA Award Study Committee listed the names they collected via several surveys. It went into their naming considerations: should the award be named for a person or an idea, were there other awards already using the proposed name, and several other points. One point that a few people missed at the Business Meeting was that, if a personal name of an author was suggested, the committee also looked at whether the author's other works would somehow reflect negatively on the award. They eventually decided against personal names for the award.
The Committee came up with ten names on their shortlist. Those ten names were run past a group of people knowlegeable in cultural diversity and cross-cultural sensitivity. Those ten names were then put on a Public Shortlist Voting Survey which people could vote on from January 15 through March 15, 2017. They had both a Facebook and a Twittter page from which they promoted the survey, and those of us following the whole award debate also passed on the news about the survey. The final name chosen by the Committee after all that was Lodestar.
I recommend that anyone interested check out the Committee's report. There were quite a few names suggested by people and the Committee did a fantastic job checking and evaluating each one.
The name will be ratified at the 2018 Business Meeting in San Jose. The Business Meeting in Helsinki (after a lot of procedural backs and forths*) voted to ratify the Young Adult Award (Not A Hugo) 65-27. And there was much cheering. The Young Adult Award will be on the Hugo nomination form for the 2018 Hugos. Yayy!
Hopefully the Business Meeting in 2018 in San Jose will ratify the name as the Lodestar Award. Which will work out nicely for the 2019 Worldcon, which will be held in Dublin, Ireland. The Guest of Honor for that Worldcon has already been announced, and the GOH will be Diane Duane! (I highly recommend her YA Young Wizards series)
What do you think of the YA Award (not a Hugo)?
* Seriously, a lot of back and forths. If you really want all the details, Alex Acks detailed it in a liveblog starting at 1116. And running until 1245 (whew).
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Things eased up a little this week at the day job, but I felt crappy on Friday, so no movie review... Again. So here's a quick one.
The Hitman's Bodyguard - (Rated R - mostly for language and graphic violence - so definitely NOT for younger kids). Excellent stunt work and they even had some really fun and fresh ideas in several spots. When the two guys meet for the 1st time face to face - awesome! Then when AAA complains to the bartender at the outside bar, more super awesomeness appears! The movie was a ton of fun, and the soundtrack totally rocked! Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's rating: Pay Full Price to See Again!)
Secret World Legends
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Silver Ship and the Sea: 9-90’s Fiction and YA
I believe you can write fiction for all age groups that will appeal to a YA audience. By the time I was thirteen, I often went to the adult shelves to find books to read.
I think there are two reasons for this:
This book is “otherness.” It’s about six genetically enhanced children left behind on a planet that detests genetic modification. While the theme of “otherness” is appropriate to people of all ages (and currently a major point of our national conversation), it is perhaps most germane to teens. For many, one of the most import tasks is to find their chosen tribe and then find a way to belong there. I know that I tried on many personalities and social circles, and also tried to join some I just couldn’t quite reach for. At that age, every social rejection mattered, every time I was referenced as a “geek” or a “smart kid” or a “mentally gifted monkey.” Yes—that was a thing in my life—being called a “Mentally Gifted Monkey.” I’m pretty sure teens are called worse things now.
The Silver Ship and the Sea is narrated by a teenager. Chelo Lee is the oldest of the teens, and the one who feels like she has to get her little tribe through its dangerous existence. This is also a very teen thing—a chance to explore taking responsibility as a leader and to feel what that might be like.
Even though it has always been shelved in the adult science fiction section, teen readers have found it and commented on it to me at conventions. So there are other teens now who are like I was—looking to the adult sections to find works that might appeal to them.
Brenda Cooper writes science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories, and sometimes, poetry. Her most recent novel is Spear of Darkness, from Pyr and her most recent story collection is Cracking the Sky from Fairwood Press. Brenda is a technology professional and a futurist, and publishes non-fiction on the environment and the future. Her non-fiction has appeared on Slate and Crosscut and her short fiction has appeared in Nature Magazine, among other venues. See her website at www.brenda-cooper.com.
Brenda lives in the Pacific Northwest in a household with three people, three dogs, far more than three computers, and only one TV in it.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Jordan has a romantic heart and a deep love of everything Audrey Hepburn. One day, Jordan discovers that her grandmother is keeper of a gorgeous bracelet and a secret: that one of Audrey’s roles, the main in Tessa’s Treasure, was based on reality, and this reality featured none other than a great aunt Jordan never knew. What appears to be a lovely vintage bracelet, reminiscent of all the romantic happenings of Audrey’s cinematic life, soon turns out to be very un-fortuitous for Jordan. The bracelet has the power to give love, which Jordan is at first fascinated by because she has her heart set on a certain boy she previously thought was out of her league. High school girls always love a good romantic story. But this was before Jordan knew there was a vengeful Goddess, Hathor, eager to play around with the mortals in possession of her bracelet. By the time Jordan realizes that the bracelet is not all fun and games, it was too late. The bracelet was locked onto her wrist and Hathor’s games were underway… bugs, glitter, even a grand transformation of high school into Egyptian temple. Jordan has to find a way to rescue her friends and give Hathor her bracelet back so that normalcy can once more be restored, even if that means not getting her high school romance.
I really love a good mythological story. The old stories of Greek/Roman and Egyptian Gods never get old, and there are so many interesting characters that authors can have a lot of fun incorporating. So, it was really nice to read a story that found a way to fuse some old tales with new, and even to weave in some classic cinema. What I also want to praise about No More Goddesses are the unexpected turns the story took. You think you know a bit how the story is going to end up, but the author throws a few twists in at the end to give you just a bit of delighted surprise. I really like that it wasn’t an entirely predictable ending. Definitely a charming read, and worth a read. I am going to be reading book 2 next, and I look forward to seeing what clever takes the author has in store.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Monday, July 3, 2017
YA Books Central is hosting a giveaway of my latest book GODDESSES CAN WAIT!
Goddesses Can Wait (US Only)
About the book:
Jordan Lake, a fifteen-year-old Audrey Hepburn-olic who's a magnet for goddesses, has a chance to go to Paris with her grandmother and BFF Selena Garza. Even though she senses something is off, she decides to make the trip.
But when she kisses a cute Parisian boy a la Roman Holiday, she switches bodies with Aphrodite and is sent to the Greek netherworld. She must enlist the help of the Greek god (in more ways than one) Ares then complete seven trials set by his sister Artemis in order to return home.
Except time is running out, and if she can't get Aphrodite back to the Eiffel Tower by midnight, she'll be stuck in Greek mythology forever.
When writing Goddesses Can Wait, Kim Baccellia watched almost all of Audrey Hepburn's movies and learned to love this famous icon after watching and reading all she could about her. Two of her all-time favorite movies, Roman Holiday and Funny Face, are the inspiration for Jordan's trip to Paris. What teen girl wouldn't love to have a romantic moment on the Eiffel Tower?
A member of RWA, Kim is currently putting the finishing touches on a YA multicultural thriller. She lives in Southern California with her husband and son.
1 winner will receive the first book in the series and some swag.
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they’ll be answering in the comments below for extra entries: What do you think of the cover & synopsis?
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017
1. So the plague has hit. I've been sick since Tuesday, plus son's still under the weather.
2. So I haven't done much writing but plan to get back to it soon!
3. Been reading though. Latest:
4. 16 WAYS TO BREAK A HEART by Lauren Strasnick
Friday, May 12, 2017
2. Check out my GoodReads giveaway!
I'll giving away one signed print book!
3. Son passed the written portion of his driver's test! Next Monday, he'll be starting driver's training.
4. Reading: SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND:
I really enjoyed THE ACCIDENT SEASON and Doyle's latest doesn't disappoint. Set in Ireland, three friends find pieces of a lost journal and a 'spellbook'. Events in their lives lead them to do a spell that sets off a string of events.
** Guilty pleasure:
Need to finish this one educational project. Tomorrow I plan on going to my monthly OCCRWA meeting. I love my local RWA chapter as it always motivates me with my writing. For now though, I plan to grab a mocha swirl from Dunkin' Donuts to help me with scoring these essays.
Sunday, May 7, 2017
GODDESSES CAN WAIT, the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES is OUT. NOW!
Here it is!!!! **Isn't the cover pretty?
Here's the blurb:
It's available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Goddesses-Can-Wait-Myths-Mayhem/dp/1612712975/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1493955333&sr=8-1&keywords=goddesses+can+wait
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/goddesses-can-wait-kim-baccellia/1126271005?ean=9781612712970
2. And check out the new cover to NO MORE GODDESSES:
I'm so happy with both covers! I think this deserves an Audrey dance of approval, don't you?
**Check back as there will be giveaways, swag(who doesn't love Parisian goodies?), and more!
Friday, March 24, 2017
Recently I came across another useful list "Five Worldbuilding Mistakes Even Enthusiasts Make" and a new blog that I can delve into (the related Mythcreants - check out the links there!) for even more ideas.
Some of those mistakes listed were definitely part of lazy thinking and general assumption-making. Why should traditions in current culture and society turn up in another time and location? Even as a kid I was bothered by the Flintstones celebrating Christmas when they were supposedly in the Stone Age (B.C. does mean Before Christ). How many times is the Santa Claus story transposed into cartoon universes? Even though Santa Claus may be considered "secular" nowadays (enough so that penguins and lions and hippos can help him), there is still a religious beginning to the myth.
Traditions change when they are transplanted out of the area where they first began. Palm trees originally decorated during the Christmas season look festive enough that some leave the lights up year-round, thus losing the meaning behind the decoration (if it wasn't already lost by changing trees - there was a symbolism behind chosing evergreens as a tree that stayed green when all others 'died' during the winter). Halloween in the U.S. would look a lot different if people had stuck with the Irish tradition of carving turnips rather than switching to the larger and more visible pumpkins.
Traditions can also be lost the further away a generation is from leaving the land of their ancestors. My born-in-England-of-Irish-immigrants grandfather didn't pass along any traditions to my father that he passed along to his children, other than wearing green on St. Patrick's Day and eating corned beef and cabbage, both of which are Irish-American developments and not pure Irish (and the corned beef and cabbage custom died quickly when my siblings and I all hated it). My older siblings don't remember any customs my American-born-of-German-immigrants grandmother might have passed along to my father. So assuming customs and traditions will be carried on the same in the far future are they are in the present is not a sure thing. Each family will be different, of course.
Mythcreants has a very useful "Creating Realistic Cultures" blog that covers similar elements as Patricia Wrede's Questions site. History, weather, communications, and health are all useful factors to think about when creating your world. Manners and fashion are trendy lately, and I've enjoyed stories like K.B. Wagers' The Indranan War series, CJ Cherryh's Foreigner series and Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden Universe series where you can really see the differences in how those are depicted in those science fiction societies.
Wildlife vs domesticated animals, crops versus plants city folk might have in their dwellings versus wild plant life - is a planet hostile to an alien colony? Has a culture evolved in sync with the rest of its world or does a society exist in danger of killing off all life that it doesn't find 'useful'?
Every writer has their own way of worldbuilding. Some plot out their world before they start writing; others dive in and add details later. There's no one right or wrong way. I have found Patricia Wrede's list great both for helping me think out details and for inspiring a story in the first place.
What are some resources you use for worldbuilding?
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?