April 27, 2012

My #1 Editing Tip - Say Again?

Editing is a tedious process for me. I complain about it more than I should, I’m sure. I apologize if I sound like a whiner. But there is one editing tool that I couldn’t live without.

Reading aloud. When I feel my story is fit for human consumption, I read it out loud to my children. I watch for reactions; laughs, furrowing brows, wandering attention. Sometimes I stop at certain points and ask what is going on in the story to see if they’ve picked up on a subtle story line. Or I ask what they think will happen next to see if the plot is too predictable. I offer as little information as possible (extremely hard for me, might I add!) Based on any comments they offer, questions they ask, or when I lost their attention, I go back to the editing process and tweak and tuck and cut and boost.

Then I read it out loud again, but this time I record myself. I plug a microphone into my computer and record an audio file (or several if it is a novel.) I attempt to read in different character voices with emphasis and verve. I try NOT to edit or to even really think about the story beyond the reading process, because a few days later I listen to it. Ideally, it would be fabulous if I had some crazy friend willing to sit in front of my computer for hours on end and read into a microphone, but I haven’t found that selfless being yet, so I’m the next best option.

Can I just tell you how much you catch LISTENING to your story! I don’t read along in my manuscript while I’m playing the audio, because then I stop really listening. When I hear an awkward phrase or out of character dialogue, I pause the recording and find the place in the manuscript to mark for future editing. Then I continue LISTENING.

Huge help!

What’s your best editing tip?

April 25, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Chris Cloud

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

This week author, Chris Cloud, joins us as part of his virtual book tour.

Welcome, Chris. Can you tell us a little about yourself.

            I began writing fiction full time at the age of 66 after a long career in journalism and public relations. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 1967 with a degree in journalism. I worked as a reporter, editor, and columnist at newspapers in Texas, California, and Missouri. I was employed by a major oil company as a public relations executive, and later operated my own public relations agency. I created the board game Sixth Sense in 2003. I live in Joplin, Missouri, and enjoy golf and hiking.

Fascinating career you’ve had. You just keep reinventing yourself. Tell us about your book, A Boy Called Duct Tape.

`My groundbreaking novel A Boy Called Duct Tape is available at all online bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Paperback copies are available through CreateSpace. Told through the eyes of 12-year-old Pablo Perez, a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks, A Boy Called Duct Tape brings to life a Missouri legend that has endured for more than 130 years.
The long-lived folklore claims that outlaws Jesse and Frank James stashed millions of dollars in gold and silver coins in a remote cave in the Ozark hills of southwest Missouri. A middle-grade story, A Boy Called Duct Tape is the first novel to scrutinize this legend, thus earning it the title of “groundbreaking.”

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.

1.)    Delirium by Lauren Oliver. This novel was written in the first-person, present tense, and I found that refreshing. Ms. Oliver has a wonderful ability to capture a character’s emotion in both dialogue and action.
2.)    Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. Full Dark is four separate stories via novellas. What can I say about King that hasn’t already been said? He is my favorite author because of his attention to detail in narrative, action, and dialogue. He paints wonderful pictures.
3.)    Blink and Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones. This is what I would call unconventional literature. It moves from first-person present to third-person present on a couple of occasions, but that doesn’t spoil the magic. Jones has been around the block a time or two, and it’s reflected in his storytelling. 

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
1.)    PC. If I had to go back to a typewriter I’m not so sure I’d write.
2.)    Thesaurus. I’ll get stuck on a clichéd word every chapter or so, and turn to it.
3.)    Internet. I do a great deal of research for every novel I write. For my latest novel, for example, A Boy Called Duct Tape. I did research on antique coins, caves, and the legend of the “lost treasure” of Jesse James. I spend dozens of hours of research online. That would translate into hundreds of hours in a library. (Vive la Internet.)

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.
1) Discipline. You can’t write when you feel like it. You establish a schedule, perhaps daily, and stick to it. You write on those days when nothing in your story seems to work.
2.) Read. A. Great. Deal. I’m always reading a book. There was a time, before I started writing, when I might be reading three or four books at once.
3.)Pay attention to your surroundings. Try to memorize physical images that might serve you well in your novel. Same goes for dialogue. Especially, dialogue. Listen to how people talk (or kids or teenagers) and try to emulate that tone.

  • Top 3 personal and/or professional goals.
1.)    I want to write two novels a year for the next five years. A Boy Called Duct Tape is my first for 2012. A teenage love story set in post-war Japan is scheduled for release later this year. (I attended high school in Japan, and the story is based loosely on my experiences.
2.)    I believe reading is the foundation to learning, and learning is a foundation to a better life…so I try to involve kids in the reading experience. I’ll be donating 100 paperback copies of my novel A Boy Called Duct Tape to the R-8  Joplin School District later this month.
3.)    I’ve been single now for five years. My personal goal is to stay single for another five. Heck, maybe 10.

My computer is my lifeline as an author as well. I have so much respect for authors who had to compose on a typewriter or on paper.

Where can our readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

Ron Hutchison – mowriter.hutchison@yahoo.com
Christopher Cloud – chris@christophercloud.com

Thank you for joining us on Three Times A Charm, this week. I wish you the best of luck to A Boy Called Duct Tape and your upcoming projects.

I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

April 24, 2012

When Spring Cleaning Reveals Your Anal Character

Geek alert:  the following is an admission of geek guilt! Proceed with an open mind. We’ve all got geek tendencies in some aspect of our personalities.



to systematize: to organize the files of an office.

This is what I love about Windows7. The filing system that it has fits so well with my way of organizing. 

My photos folder is like a mecca of organization and I feel a flutter of pleasure each and every time I have to go into it. Which can be several times a day. Constant flutters may explain my effervescent personality or perhaps the bubbly persona is the reason for the giddy pleasure over photo folders. It’s a chicken and the egg thing, I think.

Anyway, My Photos is so well categorized, it’s SCARY. I have a folder titled ME. In the Me folder are pictures of … yes, me! There are also other folders inside ME with names like “Headshots” “Weaver” and “Wedding.” I have a folder named FAMILY with subfolders titled “Veteran’s Parade” “Wyoming” and “Pets.” There are sub-subfolders inside the “Pets” folder named “Bunn Bunn” and “Blanco” There are a few things I’ve hedged on. For example, I have a folder titled AUTHORS, this is where I store all the headshots for the people featured on my blog or on the GAP Family Blog. But not all the people featured are authors. Some are bloggers, some are illustrators, editors, etc. I considered renaming the main folder HEADSHOTS, but the folders are listed alphabetically and I access this folder so frequently, that is it most convenient for it to start with the letter A. So I’ve left it.

It is unusual that I can’t remember where I’ve stored a picture, but it does happen. Most of the time it is if the picture could be categorized in different spots, because it has several family members (I have a separate folder for my husband and each of my children) and it is a specific event or trip. But even then it generally doesn’t take me long to find it.

My documents are filed the same way as well. I have an INTERVIEWS folder with subfolders named “With” “For” and “3x’s A Charm” In the For folder, the documents are saved under the name of the blog or host I’m completing the interview for. In the 3x’s A Charm folder the documents are saved under the date the interview is scheduled to run and then the interviewee’s name. It’s really beautiful. I wish you could see (but not touch). However, Word it isn’t as visually pleasing as Windows7. Windows 7 has the cascade of pop outs that entice you to open the folder and explore its contents.

I’m doing a bit of spring cleaning in my folders. Making sure things are categorized efficiently. If I didn’t know how anal it was, I’d pull out a ruler to make sure each folder is the same distance apart on the screen.

Why isn’t my real life as organized as my virtual life? Do you have any organization tips you’d like to share either in real life or your virtual life? Is there a certain aspect in your life that is organized in a way that makes your heart smile each time you see it?

Your turn.

April 18, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Kathy Stemke

Three Times a Charm is back!!! It is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.

This week we are celebrating Earth Day with author, Kathy Stemke. Welcome, Kathy. Can you tell us about yourself?  
I have always had a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. My teaching degree is from Southern Connecticut State University. I also have a B S from Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University. Hanging my hat in Mount Airy, Georgia I have been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years.

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, I have published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. I’m a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and a former editor for The National Writing for Children Center. As a retired teacher, I have several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing. I’m also part of the team at DKV Writing 4 U, a writing services company that includes ghostwriting, copywriting, editing, proofreading, critiquing, and resumes.  http://www.dkvwriting4u.com
Congratulations on so many published articles and reviews. Are you busy with any other projects, as well?

My first children’s picture book, Moving Through All Seven Days, was published on Lulu. My next two picture books, Sh, Sh, Sh Let the Baby Sleep, and Trouble on Earth Day were released in 2011. Both of these books have been awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval. 

My blog offers great teaching tips and children’s book reviews as well as a Free monthly newsletter titled, MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM, on her blog. http://educationtipster.blogspot.com

With Earth Day approaching, can you tell us more about your book, Trouble on Earth Day?

Trouble on Earth Day is a charming story of friendship and cooperation. Shelby wins an Earth Day poster contest and learns to rethink, reuse and recycle Earth’s precious resources. When she meets a homeless bluebird, she uses her new knowledge to rescue him and bring singing back to the forest. The twenty-three pages of activities include comprehension and discussion questions, action songs and games, worksheets, recycling crafts, and the history of Earth Day.

Now for the three’s. Share with us your top 3’s so we can get to know you better.

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

I recently won over 50 books as a door prize at a SCBWI conference in Atlanta. I’m trying to read as many as possible before I donate them to my local library. Three I enjoyed are “Possess” by Gretchen McNeil, “Cleopatra Rules” by Vicky Shecter and “The House on Dirty-Third Street” by Jo S. Kittinger.

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

Social media has become an important tool for authors. Building your number of followers on facebook, twitter, and your blog will give writers an edge. The key to this is to be interested in other people and write blog posts that will help others. My education tips blog helps parents, teachers and writers alike. I have over 500 subscribers to my newsletter. In other words, PAY IT FORWARD.

Join at least two critique groups. Not only will you get advice and support from other professionals, but you will experience different writing styles as you read and critique your partners.

Thoroughly research a publisher or agent before you submit your work to them. If you’re a picture book author, make sure they know the picture book market and have had experience in that genre.

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

I wanted to be a dancer, photographer and of course, a writer. Early on I put together a photography/poetry book titled, “Visual Dance Poetry.”

Kathy, where can our readers learn more about you and your work?

Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep is available through the publisher, http://guardianangelpublishing.com/shshsh.htm and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.

Trouble on Earth Day is available at a discounted price on my blog: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com and through Amazon, B & N, and other online stores.

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/kathystemke

Thank you for visiting with us for this week’s Three Times A Charm. It has been a pleasure getting to know about you and your work. Come back and visit us again!

I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

April 16, 2012

Winging It! by Shel Delisle

Recently I was soliciting hosts for the promotion of my upcoming release, SAVE THE LEMMINGS! Author, Shel DeLisle said to me, “My main character, Grace, is about the same age as your main character, Natalie. They should meet.” Turns out the girls are as opposite as it gets and what a fun interview they came up with. So without further ado, here is Natalie from SAVE THE LEMMINGS! interviewing Grace from the recently released, Winging It!


Welcome Grace! My name is Natalie. I’m twelve, but I’m in 8th grade! When I heard that Winging It was going to visit my author’s blog I asked if I could be the one to interview you. I mean, we’re practically the same age. I’m sure we have so much in common. I’m an inventor, you’re an angel-in-training. I’m super smart and you at least were passing your classes, right?

Grace: Um…yes.  Most of them. Most of the time.

Natalie: Like I always say, “Weeds won’t grow if your friendship garden is full of healthy, thriving friendships.” So why don’t we get to know you better, okay?

Grace: *mumbles to self* Is she for real? 

Natalie:  I have three very dear friends. I swear, the four of us fit together like a complicated jigsaw puzzle that, when assembled, makes a beautiful picture. Who were your friends…you know…before?

Grace:  Before? Do you mean in Heaven?  Well, Mercy has been my roommate, and practically family, since the beginning. During my Mission I became friends with two full angels, y’know the ones who already have their wings.  And then there’s Faith, my new roommate…and come to think of it, she actually reminds me of you a little bit.

Natalie: What are your favorite foods? (Do you have to eat in heaven?)

Grace:  In Heaven we’re not allowed to kill anything, so for food that leaves dairy, fruits and nuts.  I’m partial to pineapple yogurt.  But we can’t even eat veggies. Like carrots, they’re off-limits, because you eat it, you kill eat. 

Now, on Earth, I’m allowed to eat whatever as long as I fit in.  Two favorites from my Mission were Chinese food and strawberry shakes, but not together because that sounds kinda’ gross. 

Natalie: What were/is (I really don’t how this works w/you being up there and all!) the top 3 songs on your play list?

Grace: Well, *sighs* Archangel Gabriel mostly just had us sing Hallelujahs and I was not into that at all. The Choir was part of what I was trying to avoid.  Anyway…

Humans on the other hand get to go to all kinds of concerts over in Quadrant Three as a part of their personal Paradise, so, IDK, is that the playlist thing you’re talking about?  Some Angels get to go, *sighs again* but I never did. Unless…well, I probably shouldn’t mention this, but Victor, one of the full angels I met, has promised we’ll go sometime. 

Natalie: Can you tell us how you came to be in the position you’re in? You know the…um…angel business.

Grace: You an inventor, right?  So you create things.  Well, The Big Kahuna invented Angels (it’s spelled with a capital “A” – just so you know.) We all have different jobs. Some, like my roomie, protect planets. Some are paper pushers in administrative positions. And, I want to help humans, even if being a Guardian means all the other Angels will turn up their halos at me.   

Natalie: Well, I’m really sorry about you becoming an Angel so early, but us earth kids need really good Angels, too. I hear you are hoping to fast track it to guardian angel. I love an overachiever! How do you plan to make this happen?

Grace: You better believe you guys need help! It’s all I used to say to Mercy when we watched Angelic Aid on HVEN TV.  Anyway, my plan is by going directly to a Mission, I’ll prove I’m ready for my wings.  Besides, I’ve never been a top student, like you, so… 

Natalie:  Grace, is there anything else you’d like to say before we say goodbye?

Grace:  Next time I see you Nat, I bet I have my wings.  I’ll soar around and maybe even take you for a spin.  

Natalie: Before you can soar, you must first leap. Bestest of luck to you, Grace! My friends and I will be engrossed in your story, which, dear readers, you can find at Amazon: 

About the book:

She Just Wants to Fly.

Ever decided to do something that seemed like a good idea and in the second before there’s no turning back think, I musta been totally mental when I came up with this? And, then, Oh, well, here goes.

That’s how Angel-in-Training Grace Lightbourne felt right before she asked the Big Kahuna to go straight to Earth on a mission as a Guardian Angel. The problem? She never was a great student and now she won’t even finish her last three years of school. To make matters worse, Archangel Michael isn’t happy about her special assignment, but Grace is convinced she’s on a fast track to her wings. Besides, how hard can it be? She’s working with humans, after all.

Winging It! is the first book in the Angel-In-Training series, an irreverent and light-hearted take on Angels, Heaven and everything else that's divine.

Author’s bio:  Shel Delisle is author of the bestselling teen novel Dolphin Girl.  While she’s no angel, she tries hard to be good and enjoy every minute of her Earthly existence, living in Florida with her hubby, three boys and a very hairy, very sweet dog.

You can visit her at: http://sheldelisle.wordpress.com/

April 14, 2012

At-risk kids and THE TRAZ - Guest Post from Eileen Schuh

Eileen Schuh is here today to talk about at-risk kids and how her book, The Traz, addresses the subject. This is important information for any parent or caregiver to know about, so please share this post with your friends and family.

Eileen's publisher is offering The Traz for free, please be sure to read to the end to learn more about that and the Kindle giveaway you can be a part of. Now, let's hear from Eileen.


I’d always imagined THE TRAZ would be seen as an exciting story—drugs, gangs, cops, kids, murder...  It wasn’t until I was preparing THE TRAZ for publication that I realized the novel could also be a valuable teaching tool.
Around the time I was doing my final edits, the RCMP and several social service agencies hit the headlines with pleas for community help in combating the trend toward criminal gangs recruiting youngsters, some as young as 9 or 10.

This amazed me—I’d fought with more than one editor about the tender age of my young heroine.  (Katrina is 12 at the start of the story.) Many critics thought it was unrealistic that someone so young could be leading such a dangerous life. Although I secretly agreed, for the sake of the story she had to be that age.

I couldn’t believe that I’d spent so many hours powering up my writing to make her age seem believable…only to hear news clips of cops saying kids as young as 9 were getting involved in criminal gangs.  Wow… How devastating to the child and to society to have kids that age sacrificing their future for…

For what?  For money? Hmmm, maybe. Katrina’s boyfriend gets into drugs to help his alcoholic mother buy booze and pay the rent. However, Katrina is wealthy. Why is she plying the streets after midnight?

For excitement? Yeah, partly. Many teens have a strong need for that adrenaline rush. However, this need for a thrill can be sated by participating in things such as sports. I kept my kids busy with soccer, football…fishing, hunting… water skiing...tubing wildly behind a speed boat.  Parents and communities must ensure that there are exciting things for their youngsters to do.

What else was behind Katrina’s decision to join a gang? She wanted to belong… that’s a very strong need for youngsters. Those who don’t fit into the social cliques at school are often the ones befriended by adults or older kids with nefarious motives.  I always made sure my kids belonged…we did lots of family events. We took the time to honour their individual accomplishments…their birthdays. They were on sports teams…in bands. I fostered their friendships with kids of like-minded parents.  They may not have belonged to what they called the “in-crowd” in school—but they belonged.  Churches, schools, clubs, scouts…all great things in which to involve students.

But what else put Katrina at risk? Depression? That’s a big part of what’s driving Karina.  She’s grieving—very unhappy. She rejects all offers of help.  Hormonal imbalances during adolescent often contribute to severe depression. It is easily treatable, though, with counseling and/or medication.  We must watch our youngsters for signs of depression and ensure they get the help they need.  Depression often causes kids to get involved in risky behavior.  Even if parents/guardians/teachers don’t recognize depression in youngsters, you can bet gangsters will spot it blocks away—and jump at the chance to prey on this vulnerability.
Was Katrina ignorant of the danger she was getting into? Sometimes kids just don’t know what gang life involves..and those recruiting them paint them a rosy picture of money and belonging and excitement and love…brotherhood.  However, Katrina’s dad was a cop and she knew full well about the dangers of gangs and drugs and street life.  But, like many her age, she was unable to foresee the results of her actions. She thought she was too clever to end up a victim. She thought she was invincible.  Studies show the part of the brain that gives us insight and foresight doesn’t physically develop until we are 25. Until that happens, youngsters depend on strong input from adults to guide them and keep them safe.

Yup…that was Katrina’s main risk factor—she had no positive adult influence in her life.  Her mother was absent in an alcoholic daze. Her grandparents are dead. Her father is caught up in his failing marriage…and then along comes Shrug.

An adult. Strong. He wants her. He needs her. He belongs to the most powerful gang on Alberta’s prairies.

“Wanna ride?” he asks, motioning to his Harley.

One bad decision that will haunt her forever…
THE TRAZ includes a list of resources for both children at adults such as Help lines, websites for information on gangs, drugs, depression, and more.  The School Editions also include a Teaching Guide to steer children and adults in discussions on many of the issues touched on in THE TRAZ.
THE TRAZ eBook is free on Amazon Kindle for THREE DAYS ONLY-- April 14, 15 and 16. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem—you can easily download Amazon’s free KINDLE FOR PCs software to read eBooks on your computer.

THE TRAZ is available in paperback and ebook formats and in a special School Edition that includes a Teaching Guide. Click on the following links to purchase or sample THE TRAZ

Also available from other fine online bookstores.
If THE TRAZ is not on your local bookstore or library shelves, ask for it to be ordered in for you.

“LEAVE A COMMENT, WIN A KINDLE” Virtual Book Tour. Follow me through cyberspace as I promote THE TRAZ on blogs around the world. Each time you leave a comment beneath my guest blogs, I’ll enter your name in my draw for a Kindle.  For more details visit my  Facebook Fan Appreciation Page or follow me on Twitter.

Eileen Schuh is also the author of the adult Sci-Fi novella SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT

For more information on Schuh and her books visit her at:
Follow Katrina on Twitter: KatrinaBuckhold

April 11, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Jolene Perry

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

This week Jolene Perry visits us. She is in the middle of her virtual book tour! Jolene, tell us a little about you.

I’m a chaser of children, writer of books, lover of the outdoors, shoes and chocolate. I’m a used to be high school and middle school teacher turned author. I’ve built two houses, and taught myself to play the guitar. I haven’t yet figured out how to stay on top of laundry, but would rather be writing and hanging with my kids than making my house perfect. Also – every date my husband and I go on, includes a trip to the bookstore. Always.

A bookstore, that’s awesome! Jolene, can you tell us about your work?

I have a serious love of young adult novels, and once I started reading them, I ditched my women’s fiction in favor of writing for teens. The Next Door Boys was my first book, and I wasn’t sure if it would go to the YA market or the adult market because the MC was in college, but it went to YA, and I’m thrilled for that. I think there’s a serious lack of college age main characters.

Night Sky is my second published book, and my first shot at writing from a guy’s POV. It was a blast to write. I spent my whole youth in Alaska hanging with the guys – riding four-wheelers, target shooting, fishing, climbing, boating . . . my cousins are all guys, my brother and I are close, so hopefully Jameson comes across as authentically “guy” to people who read the book, as he does to me.

Knee Deep is my next project, and that’ll be released May 1st – though I’m doing FINAL edits now, so it might squeak out a bit earlier. Knee Deep is probably as close of a telling as anyone will get about my high school – my junior and senior year were a slightly less dramatic version of my main character, Ronnie’s last year.

I’ve always heard that a college aged m.c. categorizes a book into adult. Good for you!  Can we hear a little more about Night Sky, the book you are touring?

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honest become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums – she’s way more than distraction. Jameson’s falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

Oooo! I love that there are Native American characters. How intriguing.

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.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin because it is not often that I have NO idea what’s going to happen next.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins because I love quirky characters, and that Cricket just GOT me – also the first kiss scene in that book is my favorite ever.
If I Stay and Where She Went (I cheated) [that’s okay J] by Gayle Foreman. Her language is beautiful, the scenes flow perfectly. She makes writing seem easy, and sometimes I love to sit down to a novel that’s completely character driven rather than completely plot driven.

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

This one’s easy. Pellegrino out of the bottle and cold almost to freezing (I keep them in the back of the fridge). Salty Dog Chocolate bar – sea salt, dark chocolate, and butter toffee. Also, Kettle Chips Baked Salt and Pepper potato chips. I can down a bag in less than ten minutes – and with that comes more calories than a grown person needs in a whole day, lol.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

My leisure activities aren’t really “leisure.” I live in Alaska, so the winters are long and we snowmachine all winter long. Those things are FAST. I love it. We do a lot of white-water rafting in the summer – my husband’s a great rower – with that comes camping with the kids and some hiking and fishing. Okay, this one is leisure – I sew. A lot. Bags, clothes, blankets, whatever. Like writing, sewing combines that creative side of my brain with the anal/orderly one.

My husband and I are going on an Alaskan cruise next month. We should grab a cup of coffee. And apparently something salty, you seem to like salt.

 Jolene, where can our readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

You can find me at my BLOG www.jolenesbeenwriting.blogspot.com
And my publisher set up an awesome site for Night Sky HERE http://night-sky-book.blogspot.com/

After leaving a greeting or message here, please visit the other stops on Jolene’s tour.

Thank you Jolene for visiting with us on Three Times A Charm. It has been wonderful getting to know you and hearing about your work.

Thanks so much!!

~ Jolene

I am always booking future guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor, if you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

April 3, 2012


My author self is feeling maudlin today.


tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental: a maudlin story of a little orphan and her lost dog.
foolishly or mawkishly sentimental because of drunkenness.

Okay, admittedly, it is not the second definition. It is only nine o’clock in the morning after all. Not noon.

I love writing. I hope I’m not forced to retire from it until I’m 90. There are a million different stories I want to tell. I’m not sure I’m talented enough to tell them as well as they should be told, but I’m a firm believer in ‘practice makes perfect’ and I plan to keep practicing.