Saturday, October 14, 2017

Con Preparation

After the release of Agents, Adepts, & Apprentices in time for FenCon and Archon the following weekend, I finally had time enough to get organized on the other things I feel I need for conventions: promotion material!

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).

Unfortunately, I forgot to update my business cards with the new book title. And I didn't have time after approving the book cover to design and order cards for the new release. But I had time enough after Archon to fix that, and my new promo supplies have arrived. I'm trying 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

Friday Five

1. I'll be at here on October 14th:

I'll also do a book signing afterwards. I plan on bringing copies of GODDESSES CAN WAIT and a couple of NO MORE GODDESSES. Plus, some swag!

2. Just got the galley of CROSS FIRE!

Need to go over it and write up an acknowledgement and dedication. Can't wait to see the cover of this one!


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.

5. I was beyond excited when Penguin teen sent me DEAR MARTIN:

Link to YA Books Central review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/21791-dear-martin

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:

https://twitter.com/TheUndefeated/status/911682699819208704/video/1

**Guilty Pleasure:

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

Agents, Adepts, and Apprentices

I am excited to announce that Zumaya Thresholds has released my short story collection, Agents, Adepts, & Apprentices. This is an expanded version of the collection previously published by Amber Quill Press, with a few more stories about my interplanetary agents, as well as additional fantasy and science fiction stories (some of which appeared in anthologies by other publishers).

I am especially pleased with the new cover by the wonderful 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.

Agents, Adepts & Apprentices is currently available through Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, with other formats available soon.

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

Young Adult Award (not a Hugo) Ratified!

Those who have followed this blog over the years know that I’ve been pushing for a YA Award to be a part of the Hugo Awards for a few years. Previous reports about it can be found via the links at the bottom of this post.

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

Virtual Tourist - Secret World Legends 8/27/17

Morning!

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


View at the top of the central tree. A lot of energy and light float around it.


Too weird not to take a picture of. Man of gold? Behind him is a portal leading to another location on Earth.


Other locations on Earth and their portals.

 

The other side of one of the portals. Hello, New England!


We've arrived at Kingsmouth Town. The glowing area is a spawn point.


This fellow fills you on what is going on around here. It isn't good. Major paranormal stuff is going down!

 

The Sheriff - one of the few survivors in town after the fog rolled in. They've fortified the police station until more substantial help comes.


View of Kingsmouth Bay. Zombies and worse roaming everywhere.

 

The view when looking to the left of the bay. 

Hope your Sunday is productive and restful!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Brenda Cooper - The Silver Ship and The Sea

Guest blog post by Brenda Cooper

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.

My book, The Silver Ship and the Sea, is being re-released by WordFire Press in a brand new 10th anniversary edition. In 2007, when it first came out, it was selected by the ALA as one of the top adult books for teens 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.

Brenda currently has a Kickstarter for a short story collection based on the same universe as The Silver Ship and the Sea.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

GODDESSES CAN WAIT book blog tour-Review


Originally posted at https://the-bibliophagist.blogspot.com/ 


Review of No More Goddesses

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

PRINCESS BREEZE VIRTUAL TOUR

Welcome to Wednesday. I'm excited to share my latest news with you awesome readers. My YA novel, PRINCESS BREEZE, is on tour. In case you're interested, I've listed the links below where you can visit the fabulous hosts of the tour and learn more about me and my story. Scary thought, huh?







For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school and who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye. On the night, she graduates from middle school, however, he contacts her and invites her to visit Isla del Fuego, his home. Who could refuse such an invitation?          Breeze along with her whole family and best friends, Amy and Allison, soon sail to the island, where she and Cam renew their friendship. But danger lurks; a legend comes to life, and Breeze finds herself in the middle of a battle that can have one winner.
PRINCESS BREEZE is available at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and 4RV Publishing.
Here is the schedule. Hope to see you there.

July 10 – Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit – Guest Post
Mythical Books – Guest Post
Writers & Authors – Guest Post
Alex J. Cavanaugh – Guest Post
July 11 –
July 12 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review & Interview
July 13 – Stephanie Faris, Author – Guest Post
July 14- Mellow & June, It’s A Book Thang – Feature
July 17 – The Bookworm Chronicles – Excerpt & Feature
Celtic Connexions – Excerpt & Feature
July 18 –
July 19 – The Children’s & Teen Book Connection – Guest Post
Bound 2 Escape – Excerpt
Strand of Thought – Guest Post
July 20 –
July 21 – A Bluestocking’s Place – Excerpt
Reviews by Crystal – Excerpt
Deal Sharing Aunt – Review & Interview
August 1 – Writers & Authors – Interview
Happy Reading!





Monday, July 3, 2017

YA Books Central Giveaway of GODDESSES CAN WAIT



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.

 About the author: 


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.

Giveaway Details:
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?

Go to YABC site to sign up for the newsletter and a chance at winning this swag!






Originally posted at http://www.yabookscentral.com/blog/giveway-goddesses-can-wait

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

COVER REVEAL PRINCESS BREEZE

Hi, dear loyal readers. I hope you enjoy my post today. It's been awhile, but you know how life gets in the way and time passes. Anyway, I'm excited to share my good news with you. My YA novel PRINCESS BREEZE now has a cover. The awesome Aidana WillowRaven has created another great one.


Yep, the red head is back. Perhaps you met her in JUST BREEZE. I never planned to write a series or even a sequel. Remember, never say never. So, once again, Breeze is telling us her story.


Back cover blurb for PRINCESS BREEZE


For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye. On the night she graduates from middle school, however, he contacts her and invites her to visit Isla del Fuego, his home. Who could refuse such an invitation?


Breeze along with her whole family and best friends, Amy and Allison, soon sail to the island, where she and Cam renew their friendship. But danger lurks; a legend comes to life; and Breeze finds herself in the middle of a battle that can have one winner.

PRINCESS BREEZE will be out any day now. I have no links, but soon, I hope.


This is the story that started it all.
Tween/teen contemporary novel

AMAZON and other places where novels are sold.

Beverly Stowe McClure bio

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears.  When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.
Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.


Visit Beverly at:

Twitter @beverlymcclure


Thank you for stopping by.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Friday Five

**This is from my weekly Friday Five blog post.

1. So the plague has hit. I've been sick since Tuesday, plus son's still under the weather.

Oh, joy.

Lou Nelson, my writing mentor, suggested taking zinc.  So I'm doing that plus resting while teen is at school.

2. So I haven't done much writing but plan to get back to it soon!

3. Been reading though.  Latest:

I've been a fan of THE CAGE series since I was lucky enough to score a galley from YABC. This is the third and final book in the series and it's FRICKIN' AMAZING! I got to host Megan for a YABC Author Twitter chat a while back. Her books are so good! I totally recommend this TWILIGHT ZONE meets MAZE RUNNER.

4. 16 WAYS TO BREAK A HEART by Lauren Strasnick


My YA Books Central review: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yafiction/21364-16-ways-to-break-a-heart

Teaser: What I do like is how neither of these characters is the 'saint'. Each one has faults, insecurities, and selfishness. Natalie is high strung and very insecure with her border-line paranoia of Dan cheating on her. **Readers find out she might be right on this but the ways she goes about it, shows me a girl who has Fatal Attraction tendencies. One of Dan's BFFs, Ruby, calls Natalie a 'emotional vampire'. I tend to agree.

5. Just watched this and really loved the sharp dialogue and teen angsty:  Totally recommend. It's available on NetFlix.



**Also I still have my GoodReads giveaway going on until June 12th!  



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28046701-goddesses-can-wait?from_search=true

**Guilty Pleasure:

Well, son's 16th birthday is tomorrow! So he wants to go to Denny's tonight for their Grand Slam breakfast. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Friday Five

1. Finally updated my website! Check it out: www.kim-baccellia.com  And thanks to Little Willow for doing that for me!

2. Check out my GoodReads giveaway!


I'll giving away one signed print book!

Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28046701-goddesses-can-wait


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.

5.

** 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

My Big News!

1. I have BIG NEWS!

**

**

READY?

GODDESSES CAN WAIT, the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES is OUT. NOW!




Here it is!!!! **Isn't the cover pretty?




Here's the blurb:

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.…

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

Worldbuilding

When it comes to creating the worlds used in my stories, my favorite go-to webpage to remind me about the details is Patricia Wrede's Fantasy Worldbuilding Questions. It makes me think about the economy, religion, geography, swear words, and a whole host of background details needed to make a world believable - but also don't have to be spelled out in numbing detail to bore the reader.

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'?

Does your world depend on magic or technology? Are there any limits on your magic? What is the level of technology? Does it fit with your transportation and communication systems?

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

MEME AND SPOTLIGHT

Welcome Wednesday. I hope good things are happening in your life. Today, I'd like to share some thoughts with you. We'll start with this lovely quote.

 
You may  like this too, or not, but most everyone that knows me is aware of how much I love butterflies.  The Children's Literary Classics Awards designed a meme for me using my quote. See it below. Isn't it neat.
 
 
If you've read my YA novel Under a Purple Moon, you'll recognize the meme. The CLC also spotlighted me. If you need a laugh today, this ought to do it.



WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
 
When I was teaching fifth-grade, we read Newbery honor books. Seeing how much my students enjoyed the stories, what great reports they did, sometimes even dressing like the main character, I started wondering what it would be like to write stories young people loved. So, I took a writing course and discovered that writing a novel was even better than reading one. That was almost 20 years ago, and I'm still writing.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
 
A ballerina or an opera singer.
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
 
One day, a girl (I hear voices a lot) whispered in my ear that her mother criticized everything she did and all she wanted was her mother and father to love her. So, Eden's story was born, the story of a broken family and their struggles to find that elusive word: love.
 
You can read the rest of the spotlight here.
 
 
 
 
Watch for more news about UNDER A PURPLE MOON soon.
 
 
 
Happy Reading.
 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Amazing Animals and Where to Find Out About Them

The Earth has many amazing animals. I usually mention this during my "Human, Alien or Monster" sessions at young writer conferences when the 'Where do you come up with that?" question surfaces. Among the many books I bring to show as a resource is Prehistoric Life so I can display examples (via doc cam) of what lived on Earth billions of years ago.

When you know what once existed (or still exists), you have a point to start from when designing your own fantasy creature or alien lifeform.

In the days before computers I used to rely heavily on books to learn about various birds and animals. Magazines and journals like National Geographic, Science and Discover were also useful for information and photographs. I used to be able to count on nature programs on PBS and the Science Channel for additional inspiration, but now there's only the few shows like Nature and Earth (BBC).

The internet has provided quite a few new resources, ranging from formerly book-based guides like online encyclopedias and identification guides like The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds to general science websites like IFL Science. But usually all those are good if you already know what you are looking for. Sometimes you are instead looking for that flash of inspiration, that moment of serendipity when you see something new and can say, "Oh! I can use that! Well, maybe not that, but something like that...."

I have several friends on Facebook who share marvelous videos such as Marching Dinosaurs (which, at five minutes long might be too long to share at a young writers session, but I really want to!) and the latest scientific discovery or dinosaur dig. (I love #13 of the "Top Thirteen Fossil Stories of 2016".)

There are Facebook pages as well, such as Earth Archives, The Raptor Center, and News From Science.

I'm not on Twitter, so I just discovered two Twitter sources that I wanted to share. I'll definitely be looking more at them for inspiration. Bird per Hour and Strange Animals.

What are some resources you use, either for inspiration or to learn more?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

GIVEAWAY AND BIRDS

I'm posting this from my other blog, https://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com because I'm so excited I want to tell everyone my good news.

It's here. The audio book for UNDER A PURPLE MOON. Thank you, L. Diane Wolfe, my publisher, for the audio edition of the novel. This is my first audio book, and I want to share my happiness with you, dear friends, so I'm giving away two audio copies.

Silver Award Winner in the 2016 Children's Literary Classics, teen category
 
Under a Purple Moon is a book about friendship, and in particular, about one young girl who comes to accept her own self-worth. Author Beverly Stowe McClure has done a splendid job depicting the wide and varied range of emotions experienced by Eden and her friends. Under a Purple Moon is a book which young readers will find to be very relatable.
CLC Reviews
Here's how the giveaway will work

 1.  Leave a comment on this blog saying whether you like audio books or not.

2.  Follow me on twitter.

3.  Follow me on my Amazon Page.

You earn one point for each thing you do. You can do one or two or three or none. Tell me in your comment how many points you've earned, and that's it. I'm giving away two audio copies. The giveaway will run through Jan. 31. Winners will be announced a few days later.

I'll write everyone's name that enters on strips of paper, one strip for each entry, put them in a basket, and my cat Patches will draw the winners. Don't laugh she's done it before.  If she's too tired, I'll use a random drawing.
Good luck.


It's winter where I live! Cold wind! Snow! Ice! Wait a second!
Right now, as I'm typing this, the temperature is 70 degrees.
A few rays of sunlight are breaking through the clouds.
Also a few drops of rain are falling from time to time.
This is winter? I'm not complaining, I love it.
The birds do too. Here are some recent visitors to my yard.
 
Cardinal
 
 
One afternoon, I looked outside and saw four cardinals in the yard. Knowing me, you can guess what I did. Yep, I got my camera and slipped quietly out the door. Three of the birds flew away. This little guy stayed so I could take his picture. Some people say that seeing a cardinal at a particular time in their life is a comforting signal from a deceased loved one. Whether this is factual or not, there is no doubt of the blessing received with a glimpse of a creature's beauty. Seven states have named the Cardinal their official bird.
 
Cardinals do not migrate. If you provide them cover and food, they will remain permanent residents. Their favorite food is black oil sunflower seeds.
 
Woodpecker
 
 
I'm not sure what kind of woodpecker this is, but he was outside my writing room window one day. A second bird was in the tree too, but they were moving so fast, eating insects in the tree, that I couldn't keep up with them. Was lucky to get this shot. It's dark because the day was cloudy, and if the flash comes on through the window, there's just a blur.

Have any birds visited  you lately?

Don't forget to leave a comment for the giveaway.
 
Have a great week. Hope your weather is nice.
 
Happy Reading!