October 26, 2011

Three Times A Charm with C. Lee McKenzie

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week we are joined by author C Lee McKenzie. Lee, tell us about yourself.

I'm  a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where I live with my family and miscellaneous pets—usually strays that find me rather than the other way around. I write most of the time, garden and hike and do yoga a lot. I taught at San Jose State University and my field was Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication which carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I'm proud to say I know how to ask, “Where’s the toilet?” and scream “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects.

Snort! Lee, that’s funny.

Tell us about your books.

In my books I take on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. My first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which deals with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. It's received 4.5 ratings on the B&N website, GoodReads and Amazon.

My second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives, came out in 2010. Here's what Francisco X. Stork (author of Marcelo in the Real World, NY Times Notable Children's Book, 2009; Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009) had to say about this book: "A beautifully written, meaningful, young adult novel. Carlie Edmund will jump off the page and pull you into a poignant and timely story of loss and ultimate gain."

Here's a great interview with Lee about The Princess:

I'm about to have one of my short stories appear in The First Time, an anthology coming out in late October 2011.

I’ll definitely have to get my hands on Princess, we went through that, so I’ll be able to relate. And I’ve been drooling over the cover of The First Time. Beautiful!

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

If I'd written this when I first started out, my response  would be very different from what I'd write today. I would have said, master your craft, learn to be an excellent editor, and above all learn how to work with a group of writers who will give you honest feedback. I still say these were very important skills, but at the front of all of these I'd now add: learn about social networking. You can write a dynamite book, you can edit it so it's word perfect, you can work well with the best crit group on planet earth, but if you don't know how to network you might as well stand on the street corner and sell your books one at a time. Well, that's a bit drastic, but it's close to true if you're just starting out and you don't have name recognition or a following of readers yet. 

Top 3 locations to work.

Work where you feel comfortable. I read that some writers love to play music and lie on the floor while writing. Others prefer the quiet space with their computer in front of them. I fall in to that latter camp. Quiet. Light and airy in summer, snug and warm in winter. Windows that look onto my forest of redwoods that I often stare at for inspiration. They don't fail me.  When I'm ready to print out, I usually take the pages onto the deck, sit in my glider (I wouldn't part with that for anything.) and sip coffee or something cold while I shred what I thought I'd perfected shortly before. Such fun. But location is important to me when I'm really writing. When I'm jotting notes about ideas, I do that anywhere: grocery lines, ATM machine, trails or at 3AM in bed.

Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

Don't laugh. I wanted to be an archeologist. I thought it was absolutely the most fascinating occupation anyone could have. When that didn't pan out, I decided a career in journalism was the next logical step. You don't see the connection? It took me a while to figure it out, but when I did, it made sense. I love to investigate, to search, to piece together stories from scattered facts. Since neither of those careers happened, I studied linguistics. Are you seeing a pattern here? Bits and pieces, sorting, organizing, figuring out things. Now I write books. Why writing books fits with my other career choices should make perfect sense to any writers.

Lee, where can we get our hands on your books, learn more about you, stay informed of appearances or new releases?


Beautiful website, Lee!

Thank you so much for joining us here on Strands of Thought and for sharing your top three charming thoughts.  It has been a pleasure getting to know you.


October 25, 2011

Old Fashioned Book Fair, With A Twist


Welcome to the Internet Book Fair Blogfest.   

Browse more books by clicking on the button.
Shopping for a child? Let me introduce my middle grade novel, The Weaver.

About The Weaver: In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish.  But instead of weaving a better story, she's weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales.

The Weaver has a little magic and a lot of storytelling. It is written for children 9 – 12 years old.

What are people saying about The Weaver?

Do not pass on this one.  This story is so unique it begs to be read!  Kai Strand masterfully weaves a tale that engages and piques curiosity right down to the last line.”book review by Biblio Reads

"I really enjoyed The Weaver and the lesson that it teaches.  The simple nature of its chapters and easy flow of its story would be one any young person would enjoy..." book review by One Day At A Time
(more reviews, http://www.kaistrand.com/)

But don’t take their word for it. Here’s an excerpt from The Weaver:

The Weaver

Chapter 1
A Mother’s Shadow

Given ample sun and water, a flower grows strong and blooms full
But grown in shade it is spindly, weak, and off color

     Tucked in a lush valley between two snow-capped mountains was the village of The Tales. Those who lived in the village were known as Weavers. Each person in The Tales could tell stories about anything at anytime, and they often did. Prose, poetry, limericks or yarns; they told stories of all types and styles.

     On a balmy spring morning, Mary Wordsmith and her mother, Abigail, made their weekly visit to the produce market.

     Thumping an acorn squash, Abigail said, “At last, here’s one that isn’t going soft.” She handed the squash to Mary who absently dropped it in the basket on her arm.

     “Mother, must I recite today?” Mary grimaced at the thought.

     Abigail placed a bunch of fresh spring carrots in Mary’s basket and offered a reassuring smile before turning back to the vegetable displays.

     “A child once stood at the side of Main Street watching carts and horses pass her by. On the far side of the street the front window of the candy shop gleamed and beckoned, and her pocket strained with the weight of coins.”

     Mary blinked back tears and shifted behind Abigail, who scooped snap peas into a brown bag as she wove her story. A knot of shoppers stopped to listen.

    “Yet, the child never ventured across the street for fear of the traffic. Her pocket eventually tore, its contents trampled, kicked and snatched away. And her tongue never knew the sweet salty taste of fresh pulled taffy.” Abigail placed the bag of pea pods in the basket and lovingly lifted Mary’s chin. “You can do it, dear.”

    Mary felt sure her mother was oblivious to the appreciative murmurs of the dispersing crowd.

(end of excerpt)

Still not convinced? I’ll share several reasons for buying The Weaver or reasons for buying several copies of The Weaver.

Do you have a 9 – 12 year old in your life? Build a themed gift basket around The Weaver.  Basket, book, journal/diary, yarn, weaving kit and framed picture.

Any teachers in your life? Buy a copy to donate to their classroom library. Author, Beverly McClure says: THE WEAVER would make a perfect addition to grades 3 - 5 classrooms. After reading the book, the students could then weave their own tales and illustrate them as well. What a fun way to develop students’ creative writing skills. I wish I’d had this book when I was teaching 3rd and 5th grades.

A Christmas stocking stuffer

Or filler for an Easter basket.

The Weaver is available in print, both hardcover and paperback and as an ebook. If you are purchasing more books today from our internet book fair, feel free to order through my Amazon link in the right side bar. -->  Or you can order from:

Forward proof of purchase to me at kaistrand at yahoo dot com and I’ll send you a personalized book plate and bookmark for each copy you order. Don’t send more info than I need. Simply prove that you made the purchase and then let me know who you want each book signed to and where you want me to mail your book swag to.

For  more info about my writing, visit my website http://www.kaistrand.com/.

Thanks for browsing!

October 24, 2011

My Love Letter to You

I’m perusing the internet this morning, email, blog posts, Twitter (haven’t even gotten to Facebook yet) and I’m awash with all this love for my fellow kidlitters. Perhaps it’s because I slept an extra two hours this morning, but I’m inspired to share it with you.

Think about writers of yesteryear. They sat in converted attic rooms and pecked away on stiff old keyboards. Their fingers got all inky when they replaced the ribbon. They used that strange eraser paper (before white out). They allowed spiders to spin webs in the eaves, so that when they mumbled or ranted, they weren’t talking to themselves.

Writers of today have it so much better. They can take their laptop or ipad to the beach and only worry about dive-bombing seagulls while they work. Their cursor moves backward as much as, if not more often than, forward. But the most effective tool a writer of today has is social media. They can hop online and ask, “Would a 13 year old still take a stuffed animal on a sleep over?” They can schedule a day’s worth of promotion before they hunker down to write. And they can rant. And bemoan. And lament. And there is someone there who not only listens, but commiserates. They can trumpet good news far and wide and people cheer and help spread the word.

Personally, I’m convinced I would have given up writing ages ago if I’d been forced to do it in a box. If the only outside communication I ever got was one “I like your work” in every twenty “no thanks” responses, I’d have lost the will. It is really huge to me that I share this journey, its ups and its downs, with so many other people. I may still have a 1 to 20 ratio, but I see how many other writers do also and it’s comforting (okay, I don’t really know my ratio, I just pulled that out of the air). Then I see one of those writers break out and find success and I’m encouraged that it could happen to me also.

I know I’m not alone in this feeling. I’ve seen many of you draw strength from your virtual friends and be buoyed by their successes. I just felt it was time to say thanks.  Thank you to every single one of you people who are brave enough to share your woes and joyful enough to share your victories and compassionate enough to understand when we do it too. Thank you for all your humorous quips, for poking fun at your writing habits, for giving shout outs to those who support you.

Thank you for being a community. I’m proud to be a part of it.

October 20, 2011

Why I Write

Happy National Day On Writing!

Celebrating writing sounds like a fantastic idea to me, but then again I’m a writer.  So I asked non-writers what writing means to them. For the record, this is a non-scientific study.

Daughter (12, 7th grade, loves to write): I like how you can think of anything and make it fun to write about. I like how you can imagine stuff and put it in your story. Can be anything, a big tower or cavern, and you can make it into a story.

Son (13, 8th grade, actually doesn’t like to write – really hard for me to understand): I like that other people are creative and write stories that I like to read.

Husband (my age, out of school, not a writer): I like the plethora of emotion and thoughts that are called into being (to which I rolled my eyes) while reading different genres by creative writers. Like, when Lew Wetzel is running through the forest with the Indians on his tail, you feel excitement and fear. Or when Marvin the robot sings his little goodnight ditty, you understand his utter contempt for human life.

Son (17, Senior in high school, doesn’t care for writing): Still asleep, can’t ask him.

Anyway, my point being that even those who don’t like to write themselves can find reason to celebrate writing. I don’t think they’d want to throw writing a party or anything, like I do, but they will at least tip their hat to it and appreciate its value in their lives.

Why I write? 1. I’ve always felt more eloquent speaking through my fingers. 2. I like that by capturing my thoughts on paper, I can revisit them later, or share them with more people than are present when I form them. 3. The ultimate writing reward is sharing writing I’ve specifically created for a person. I really love being able to do that.

To celebrate the National Day on Writing I’m going to write this blog post which is packed full of word confetti and virtual balloons, plus I’m going to WRITE! Novel concept. (Bwahaha, see how I did that?)

What does writing do for you in your life? Why do you write? What are you doing to celebrate? Your turn.

Don’t miss my short story, Blast Off. The adorable online magazine, Knowonder published it. They award a People’s Choice award each month to the story with the most comments and links. Blast Off, only has until Monday to collect the most activity. I’d greatly appreciate your vote of confidence by commenting and linking to your Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for your support. Happy NDW!

October 19, 2011

Three Times A Charm With Melissa Ann Goodwin

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week we are joined by author, Melissa Ann Goodwin, and her newly released book, The Christmas Village. Melissa, tells us about you.

I treasure wonderful memories of a happy and carefree childhood growing up in the beautiful New England town of Andover, Massachusetts. I am especially grateful to the teachers there, who encouraged me to read the books that inspired me to become a writer. I now live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with my husband, artist J. Richard Secor. I have written many stories, poems and articles for children's magazines, and my non-fiction work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers. The Christmas Village is my first novel for children.

Melissa, you have a new release out in the world. Tell us all about it.

My book, The Christmas Village, is a middle-grade fantasy adventure. It is available in print from Amazon.com, Createspace.com and select independent bookstores. It will also soon be available as an e-book through Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

Here’s a bit about it:

When 12-year-old Jamie Reynolds comes to his grandparents' Vermont home for Christmas, he just wants things to go back to the way they were before his dad disappeared. Time and again he is drawn to Grandma's miniature Christmas Village, where he imagines that life is perfect. Late one night, the village comes to life before Jamie's eyes, and his fantasy of escaping into it becomes very real indeed. He discovers that the village is called Canterbury, where the year is 1932. Jamie becomes fast friends with Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, and is taken in by Ida, who runs the local boarding house. But he also makes a dangerous enemy of the mysterious and menacing Jim Gordon, whose return to town is nothing but trouble. As Jamie desperately races against time to find his way back home, he is suddenly faced with a terrifying choice: to go ahead with his plan to leave, or to stay and help his friends, at the risk of never going home again.

Although The Christmas Village is a children’s book, it’s a holiday story the whole family can enjoy, filled with suspense, secrets and surprises to the end. It’s also a story that adults can feel good about giving to the children in their lives, because of its positive themes about enduring friendships, family and forgiveness.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.
1. When I was a younger writer, I put a lot of pressure on myself to have my first draft be perfect, or near-perfect. It was a ridiculous, arrogant goal, and it reflected the fact that I really didn’t understand yet that most of writing is actually “revision.” The piece of advice that totally freed me as a writer came from Anne Lamott, who says that writers should allow themselves to write a truly awful, dreadful, pathetic first draft, just to get started. (She has a more colorful way of expressing it, but that’s the gist of it). And then to whack away at it, again and again and again. So, the skill to hone is revision, and lots of it. 

2. Be true to yourself. That doesn’t sound like a writing skill, but it really is. Sometimes writers get so focused on the idea of “success,” that they veer away from what they really want to write about, because they think they have to write about whatever is popular now. I think that if you write what YOU want to write, your writing will be better, and your readers will find you.

3. Learn to study the publications where you want your work to appear. You not only have to look at what types of stories or articles they take, but you have to analyze those pieces. How many words are they? How are they formatted? Is there a typical flow to the way information is presented?  It can seem formulaic, and in fact, it often is. The creativity will come from your idea for the article and from your unique perspective on it. But you have to learn to present that to the publisher in a way that makes it easy for them to say “Yes, please.”

Wow, great advice, Melissa!

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Be kind to others.
  • Do yoga. It builds strength, flexibility and balance, and tends to make you feel good about yourself.

  • Top 3 authors
  • Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird. To me, it’s still the most perfect book I’ve ever read.
  • JK Rowling, author of, well, you know. I think that the way she carried her story through seven books, with all the threads and details that had to link up and sync up throughout, was mind-boggling and absolutely brilliant.
  • Mary Stewart, author of Madam Will You Talk, The Rose Cottage and many other wonderful old-fashioned stories. In Stewart’s books, there is always a capable young female protagonist, a mystery, a bit of danger and a nice romance. They just make me feel good.

Melissa, where can our readers find information about you and The Christmas Village online?

Sales links:

http://thechristmasvillagebook.blogspot.com The website for The Christmas Village
http://writeryogini.blogspot.com My blog, where I write about writing and life and whatever floats to the surface. It’s not all about the book.

Twitter: @GoodwinMelissa

Kai, thank you so much for hosting me here on your blog. I'm very excited about my book coming out, of course, but one of the best parts has been meeting generous and supportive bloggers like you. I really appreciate this chance to visit with you and to chat with your followers. It's always fun when book lovers and writers get the chance to share their thoughts and their "favorites." That's why I really like your blog, with the "top three" questions - it gets everyone thinking and wanting to share.

Melissa, thank you for visiting with us today. I love getting to know fellow authors and you’ve been a lovely guest. Best of luck with, The Christmas Village!

If you’re an author, editor, illustrator, blogger, agent, publicist or in anyway involved in children’s publishing, I’d love to feature you in an upcoming Three Times A Charm. Just email me; kaistrand at yahoo dot com.

October 12, 2011

Three Times A Charm With Kimberley Griffiths Little

What is that smell? {sniff sniff } Is that the sweet scent of GIVEAWAY?

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week we are joined by the lovely Kimberley Griffiths Little. Kimberley visited SoT last year when, The Healing Spell, released. Her fantastic and informative interview can be read here. But it has been 15 months since her blogview and she is celebrating a new book release. Let’s catch up on all things Kimberley:

Kimberley Griffiths Little is the author of five novels for Middle-Grade and Young Adults, including the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell, which was named a Bank Street College Best Books of 2011 and received the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010. She has also been the recipient of the Southwest Book Award. Two more novels with Scholastic Press will be forthcoming in 2012 and 2013. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande. Please visit www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides, and view the book trailers.

Congratulations on the awards for, The Healing Spell. Well deserved, such a beautiful book. And two more books with Scholastic Press? That’s fantastic!

Kimberley, please tell us more about your new book, Circle of Secrets.

A mysterious charm bracelet, secret notes in a blue bottle tree, and a ghost are the elements of my novel, Circle of Secrets, which was just published October 1, 2011. My lovely publisher said: “Kimberley Griffiths Little's haunting and powerful tale brings one girl's attempt to grapple with family, friendship, and forgiveness to beautiful, vivid life.”

Did you say mysterious charm bracelet? I’m partial to all things charming on this blog. Do I sense a GIVEAWAY?!

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.

I am a very eclectic reader, actually, and read across all genres; paranormal, magical realism, humorous, mystery, contemporary, literary, historical, etc. so choosing favorites is difficult because it’s impossible to compare, but I’ll list a few very different books from each other that I found to be unique and beautifully written.

1.      STOLEN by Lucy Christopher, YA contemporary written as a letter from a girl to the man who kidnapped her and took her to the outback of Australia.
2.      CLEOPATRA CONFESSES by Carolyn Meyer, fascinating historical fiction written beautifully.
3.      INCARCERON by Catherine Fisher, a very unusual futuristic/dystopian novel, and yet has an interesting “medieval” setting.
4.      BONUS TITLE: Because I’m currently in the midst of a multi-book middle-grade deal – so I can’t leave that genre out: THE GRAND PLAN TO FIX EVERYTHING by Uma Krishnaswami, a humorous and yet literary novel written in an unusual and compelling style and voice about a girl who’s fascinated with Bollywood and travels to India to meet her favorite Bollywood actress.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for people just starting in your business.

1.      Never give up.
2.      Never give up.
3.      Never give up.

The above was a mantra I said to myself every single day during the decades of writing and working without knowing any other writers, before I ever went to my first writer’s conference, and before I got published. The online world of blogging and networking and sharing and critiquing is fantastic – I’m not the solitary, lonely writer I used to be. Here’s a one sentence piece of advice: Write like crazy, get feedback, edit like crazy, strive to improve your craft, study the best writers, network – and never give up, of course!

  • Top 3 leisure activities:

Reading, Reading, Reading . . . okay, I’ll come up with something else a bit more interesting since reading lots of books is a given if you’re a writer!

 I love to go to the movies, bake cookies, and belly dance! And snuggle babies. Oops, that’s four! Sorry I’m not following directions very well!

I always thought you’d be better at following directions than that, Kimberley *wink*.

So much exciting news and it seems to keep pouring in. How and where can our readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

Kimberley has generously offered to give one lucky reader a signed copy of her new book, Circle of Secrets, and a replica of the charm bracelet from the book (replica charm bracelets are also available to purchase from her website). Can I tell you how excited I am about this giveaway? Do you see the tie in here? Three Times A Charm. Charm bracelet. Isn’t Kimberley generous?!

Okay, so here are the rules.
  • Must ship within the U.S.
  • Must follow either of my blogs (livejournal or blogger).
  • Leave a comment.
  • Make sure it displays your user name so we can verify you follow (entries under anonymous will not count, sorry.)
  • Leave an email address in the comment. Okay to speak ecode: kaistrand at yahoo dot com.
  • Tell us if you’ve ever had a charm bracelet. (I still have mine. Love mine)
Contest ends 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) Sunday, October 16th. We’ll randomly choose a winner on Monday the 17th. One drawing from the valid comments from both blogs. Please only enter on one blog.

Kimberley, it has been a pleasure having you back to Strands of Thought. Thanks for participating in Three Times A Charm and for offering the super exciting giveaway! Cheers to lots of success for Circle of Secrets.


October 5, 2011

Three Times A Charm with Annie Fox

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week, Annie Fox, joins us to talk about her many projects. Let’s learn a little about Annie:

I am an educator who teaches through my writing. I’ve been fortunate enough to build a successful career doing a combination of things I love to do: helping kids, making up stories, and performing (my brand of public speaking). I’ve written and designed many award-winning computer games for kids, but my transformational career opportunity came in 1996 when I dreamed up the idea for a teen website featuring a relationship advisor Hey Terra! (aka, me). For the past 14 years I’ve been answering email from tweens/teens around the world. All of it highlights the social/emotional challenges of growing up with heart and self-esteem in tact. The kids’ email informs all of my writing and teaching.

You’re a multi-published author and I understand you’re on the cutting edge of book technology with a book app. Please, tell us more.

My award-winning books include:

 The Teen Survival Guide to Dating and Relating,  Too Stressed to Think? and the Middle School Confidential™ series. In April (2011) my writing career went digital when Electric Eggplant (in partnership with Free Spirit Publishing) released our first iPad app,  Be Confident in Who You Are: A Middle School Confidential Graphic Novel (also now available on NOOK Color).We just (August 2011) released our new iBook Are You My Friend? More kids’ apps and iBooks to come!

In between times, I blog about 21st Century challenges for kids and parents. I also manage an anti-bullying Facebook forum, Cruel’s Not Cool!

You sound very kid focused. It’s great to learn about sites we can steer kids toward who may need support in their lives.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, The Influence of Teachers by John Merrow, How to Be Good by Nick Hornby.

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

Know what you’re talking and/or writing about and learn how to present it in a way that’s accessible, heart-felt and entertaining. Become adept at using Twitter to make connections by always being useful to the community and responsive to your followers (that’s where Annie and I met!). Be confident in your abilities so that you’ve got no problem doing outreach and letting people know exactly why and how you can be of service.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.

1. Figure out what you most love to do that helps you express your uniqueness and do it no matter what other people say. 2. Find an accessible, supportive mentor. 3. Be your own best friend first, always treat yourself with respect and don’t waste energy on people who try to bring you down.

I added the bold highlights above. GREAT advice for anyone, but especially kids.

Annie, where can our readers learn more about you and your writing?

It has been terrific getting to know you better, Annie. Thanks for joining us this week on Strands of Thought. Best of luck with all your projects.


October 3, 2011

Your Solution is Staring You in Your Face(book)



to move, pass, or extend from one side to the other side

as in cross promote.

Having a hard time coming up with content for your blog? Think before you say ‘yes’ because really it is a bit silly if you are.

I’m going to assume that you are somehow involved in children’s publishing or writing whether it be as a writer, an editor, illustrator, or a book blogger. You do something that makes you care that people come to your blog and learn about you. So you struggle time and time again trying to think up a new topic to blog about. Or you take a topic that has been covered over and over in the blogosphere and desperately try to make it interesting. You invest a lot of time in your blog and yet you are still having trouble bringing people to your sight.

Two words. Cross promote. You have a ton of people out there who are more than happy to spend a day on your blog. Invite them in. Get to know them. Find out what they do that is similar to you and what is different. Ask their favorite breakfast cereal and after school cartoon. Ask writers why they write in the genre they do or illustrators what their favorite medium is. Ask editors if they have a pet peeve they see too often in submissions, ask fellow bloggers where they carve time out of their day to create a daily post.

See, the beauty of inviting guests over is they bring their friends. Your guest meets your friends. Their friends meet you and some people like your bloggy digs enough to hang around for the next post or check out your profile. It’s okay, you aren’t stealing friends. People are capable of following more than one blog at a time.

In a perfect cross-promoting world, your guests will then invite you back to be on their blog. After all, you’ll bring your friends to their party to get to know them better right there where all their info is set up nice and pretty and shiny.

Stop beating yourself up to come up with new content when you have a plethora of content staring you in your face(book). People have stuff to promote, you will be doing good giving them an opportunity to promote it. You aren’t necessarily endorsing it just by having them on your site, so don’t worry about having to read everything they do. Just allow THEM to talk about it. Your readers will love the variety and your guests might consider you hero for a day. Complete with cape.

So sally forth and cross promote! Huzzah!!