Showing posts from April, 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…

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, …

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.
tosystematize: 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…

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 wi…

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…

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 st…

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 g…


My author self is feeling maudlin today.
maud·linadjective 1. tearfully or weakly emotional; foolishly sentimental: a maudlin story of a little orphan and her lost dog. 2. 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.