Sunday, December 30, 2007
I'm used to writing in third person. I like that it suits any age and I'm able to sneak in more information about the characters that way. This book has to be written in first person. Reggie has to tell her story in her own words. She's too strong and independent to have someone else tell it for her.
This means I am using some new writing muscles. I have to write better. I have to be able to have Reggie tell her point of view and do this consistently.
The prologue has been rewritten and checked out by Nick, Amanda and Jim. A thumbs up times three. It's time to move on.
Title pages are drafted and the book cover designer will get some materials this week. With a down payment, of course. Grin.
Life marches on. Take care.
Friday, December 28, 2007
They both said it was sad, so sad. I asked them if they would want to finish
reading the book after reading the prologue and one of them said, "Well, does
it have a happy ending? I might want to if it has a happy ending."
I'm rewriting the prologue. I'm creating more intimate and detailed character
sketches and I am slowing down. I need to learn to stop imposing impossible deadlines on myself which I've created. Sometimes I'm a friggin' bonehead. I do this over and over and over again. Pavlov's dog here. Bark.
But no more Pavlov's dog for me! I'm changing my ways! I've listened to The Secret audiobook and watched the DVD! Over and over and over again...LOL!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Well, writing a prologue is much more difficult than I thought! I needed to introduce the protagonist, Reggie, and give readers a feel for the type of young woman she is.
I also made sure to let the reader know that a significant moment was happening in Reggie's life. It was difficult for me to squeeze in just enough about Reggie so readers would get a sense of how Reggie's feeling about this big change.
Another main character, or two, had to be introduced. Very briefly. As a teaser of sorts.
I'm hoping readers will have questions in their minds after reading the prologue, get their curiosity peaked. Here's part of it:
Reggie was sitting in her purple and pink bedroom, tortured by her family’s upcoming move. She was wearing her favorite sweater, belt, sneakers and hair band. They were all pink, her favorite color. The stylish outfit normally put her in a cheerful mood, but not today. Reggie’s mind was racing from one thought to another as she looked around her beloved room. It was a total mess due to the endless job of packing her precious belongings.
Reggie looked down at a picture of her mom in an almost-full moving box. The funeral for Reggie’s mom was long over. The horrifying feelings of losing her beautiful, fun-loving mother to Cancer were coming back. Reggie was becoming overwhelmed. She needed to sort things out in her head.
It seems like my heart is always going to be broken, Reggie thought as she pulled her pillow to her chest. How could Dad remarry so soon? I just started sixth grade, why do we have to move now?
Middle of prologue here. Then the end:
“Reggie? Reggie, come on down and finish your breakfast,” Mr. Durant yelled up the stairs. “I’ve got work to do and your food is getting cold.”
“Be right there, Dad,” Reggie answered. She got off her bed, put her pillow down, wiped the tears from her face and looked at her mother’s picture in the box. With a heavy sigh, Reggie blew her mother's picture a kiss. With a determined step, she walked out of her bedroom and went downstairs to the kitchen.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I wondered what would be the best way to tackle the situation without offending the manager. So, I faxed a very professional-looking letter to their home office.
This morning I got a phone call from them. They ordered 12 copies directly from me, without going through my distributor! Never give up hope!
Thank you, Borders!
Just for the heck of it, here's Tiki, editing my book.
Okay, here's Tiki again, helping me make photocopies:
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Put in your isbn, and press enter. That's it. You can also put in different zip codes if you'd like.
Adirondack Nightmare is in two libraries: one in California and one in Nebraska. I'm in the Adirondacks in Upstate New York! What the heck? Is it me or is that weird?
Hey, two libraries is better than none, right?
Friday, November 23, 2007
I also hired a professional photographer to take photos of my daughter, Amanda, to use on the cover. She is so much like Reggie (the protagonist). I will also post the photographer's info here once we have an approved and completed photo.
The working title of the sequel is:
Another Adirondack Ghost Story
I left out the word "nightmare" on purpose. I had some negative feedback with using that word from several people.
I'm working on Chapter 7 now. I'd say the book is about 20 - 30% done. The writing part, I mean. Once this NaNoWriMo project is done - I'm at 37550 words - I'll be able to hammer out the sequel. I've had some good feedback on it this far.
Okay, back to work. There's no rest for the weary. Take care.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
...be nice to me or I'll put you in my next novel!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I am at 12,910 words write now (get it? "write"? Oh, no, I'm losing it.) and I should be at 16670 (1667 words a day for 30 days). I am wearing a pedometer which I purchased a few days ago, determined to get to 10,000 steps a day. The most I've reached was 6,000. Why am I doing this to myself? How can I possibly step 10,000 steps a day AND write 1667 words a day AND still join in the rest of the human race AND continue life AND my regular job AND be a mom AND wife AND host Thanksgiving dinner? I don't have a clue.
The pedometer is now in second place. The words come first. My hair is greasy, I will take a shower today, I promise. The kitchen is clean. I am going to catch up on my word count today. No matter what. That AND the laundry.
No more conjunctions. I think I need a character who stutters. I now love adjectives and will use them as much as humanly possible.
Wish me luck. I need it. Take care.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This past week I was in a fog, trying hard to keep up with my regular job. My housework wasn't so great, well, it never usually is, but it was even worse than usual. I don't remember what I made for dinners. I know one night I used the crock pot, what a great cooking tool that is. Friday we ordered pizza. The kids are still doing well which is what matters most to me anyway.
Another thing that begain on November 1st was/is my involvement with NaNoWriMo. I joined earlier in the year when things weren't quite so hectic. NaNoWriMo is the abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. Here, I'm going to take this directly from Wikipedia:
"NaNoWriMo is a creative writing project originating in the United States in which each participant attempts to write a 50,000 word novel in a single month. Despite the name, the project is now international in scope. Nearly 80,000 participants registered in 2006, with almost 13,000 winners verifying their novels as meeting the goal. The cumulative word total for all participants in 2006 was 982,564,701."
It boils down to 1667 words per day. I'm okay up to now as I've got 5018 words in. No plot, some characters, and it's my first attempt at writing a teen chick lit book. Piece of cake. Yeah, write. I'll keep typing away and see what comes up. It helps to avoid contractions as that adds to the word count, LOL.
I'd like to finish Chapter 7 and 8 of the Adirondack Nightmare sequel. Then I think I need to devote a day to a bulleted outline to kind of keep myself on track. We'll see how the day goes. I was going to try to put some pics in this blog but I guess I'm not up to it.
It's sunny and beautiful out, a perfect Adirondack autumn day. Take care.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This book is vital to any author contemplating writing a children's book. It speaks the blunt truth...the writing part is only a tiny piece of the pie. It's also a business and a very difficult one, to put it mildly.
When you buy it, read it from beginning to end. It's an easy read, about 100 pages, and a nice, large font.
Aaron Shepard also has a fantastic web site for authors, please take time to visit it here. I've been reading a lot lately, trying to develop my writing style, and I know a great book when I read one. This is a great book.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I will write a very nice prologue in this second book to get readers up to speed as time has moved very quickly for William Durant. Here's his daughter, Reggie, the protagonist in my second book.
Well, Reggie has a step-brother who likes to read the "Goosebumps" series of books. I'd like to put this in the book but a question has come up. Do I need to get permission to use that word? If so, it might take forever and a day so, instead, should I use "Grossbumps" with the implication of, well, you know.
I kind of like the idea of Grossbumps because it cracks me up. We'll see what happens when I call the R.L. Stine folks. I'll let ya know.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
My husband's been wonderfully supportive and I'm now back on the meds. In a few days I'll be my old self, catch up on some work and have fun writing again. I'll probably even smile, be goofy and such.
Take care. I know I will :-)
Thursday, October 11, 2007
They boast "Visit Authors Access podcasts: www.authorsaccess.com where authors get published and published authors get successful."
I've listened to many of the podcasts and they are so helpful and interesting.
I just listened to one about the importance of book covers featuring Patrick Snow who has "spent over ten years of his life developing this unique system that is designed to save you both time in money in your quest to achieve your publishing and book promotion goals". His web site is here and I strongly urge any author or author-wanna be to check it out.
Come early for "coffee with the authors". Their restaurant will be open and they'll also have a "grab and go" self-serve soup and sandwich vendor on site.
I hope to meet you there! Take care. PS I'm nervous!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Court TV is looking for the next big crime writer. If anyone is interested
here's the link:
Good luck! By the way, the second book is coming along great. If anyone would like a peak at the first chapter, let me know. I'd love your comments/suggestions.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
It's a great FREE marketing tool and I just love it! Here's
a link to
my entry. The site boasts "Home to 50,000+ authors. Visited by
1,000,000 people monthly." I don't know if that's true or not but
did I mention that it's free?
You can upload photos, have url links and more.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Sally Sears-Mack! Congratulations, Sally, and thanks to everyone who purchased a book and sent in a ticket.
We've now sold over 500 copies of our book on its first-run. We're so thankful to everyone who has supported us. It's been quite a ride, that's fer sure!
Friday, September 28, 2007
My name is Chuck Bombard. I was born and brought up in Plattsburgh. I lived on "Fox Hill" (Johnson Ave.) and went to Our Lady of Victory High School (class of 1962). I am currently in Tampa, FL. A friend of mine recently returned from a vacation in the Adirondacks and brought me back an autographed copy of "Adirondack Nightmare." As I scanned through the book, my friend watched as my eyes lit up when I saw that the author was from Plattsburgh and on one of the pages was a picture of a michigan hot dog! I told him that the picture of the michigan brought back so many wonderful memories for me. I was in the Army for 29 years and would always return to Plattsburgh to visit family whenever we could. One of our first stops whenever we were back in town was Clare and Carl's michigan red hot stand. My mouth waters just thinking about it. My wife has a great michigan recipe, but we're going to try yours. Thanks for bringing back some memories of great times. Chuck Bombard
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Here's a fun book marketing tip, I learned it from someone on a Yahoo group. You know all of the annoying mail you get with postage paid envelopes included? From credit card companies and such? Well, here's how to have some fun with it. I used to just throw the envelopes away, that is, until I ordered 3000 bookmarks. Hey, the price was great. The bookmarks didn't turn out all that well but I DID approve the proof online so it was "my bad". What I do now is I send a bookmark back in every prepaid envelope. Hey, they might as well get something for their money, right? I have no idea if I've made any sales or not.
I found a web site I just LOVE. It's called Bookmooch. I've been using it a while and it's great. You put in an inventory of books you want to get rid of, then request books you're looking for. There's no fees, you just need to pay shipping for the books you send out (not for the ones you request). I just love it.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Pete's radio program is every Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. Feel free to call in and talk with Pete. He's awful easy to deal with, believe me, a very nice guy. I can't wait to meet him. You can call in any Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m. Here's the phone number: 1-646-716-8094. Call in, I'd love to talk with you!
I look forward to meeting you, Pete, and to the upcoming book signing!
Friday, August 31, 2007
Click here to order it. I just ordered mine. It's been seen in "Us Weekly, Autograph Collector, Entrepreneur, Book Marketing Update, & More". I highly recommend it.
It's a great resource for authors to get endorsements for their books. Currently, I'm working on Rachael Ray and am getting nowhere. But, I'll never give up!
Maybe I'll try Stephen King, what do you think? It can't hurt. He seems like a nice guy.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wow, I'm a pretty horrible photographer. The above is a picture of the 98 tickets from book buyers for the promotion. It's in my office now and why did I take the photo in front of a window? Duh.
Good luck to everyone who's participated and thanks so much for the support!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Nick and I sold six books, John did MUCH better. He has quite a following and it was interesting and informative to watch how he interacted with people. He's such a "people person". I wish I had more of that skill.
I've also just finished a fantastic online writers workshop titled: "School Visits 101" by Anastasia Suen. I learned so much from this independent study workshop. It was worth every penny of the $75 fee plus more. I simply can't recommend it enough. Anastasia has "sold 100 book manuscripts: board books, picture books, easy readers, and chapter books (including a book for adults about how to write children's books)". She's also written articles for textbooks and magazines. What an inspiraton she is! Thanks, Anastasia!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Here's the new form. I think it's pretty straightforward and a bit neater. I haven't had any orders from my web site yet so I'm curious to see if this helps.
I also added a button to direct folks to this blog on each web site page. A blog button used to be on just my home page and I think that made things look inconsistent. I'd been putting it off, to be honest, as it's pretty monotonous!
Tomorrow, Nick and I will go to The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid for a signing with John Briant of the Adirondack Detective book series. It might be cool but I'd rather have that than heat any day. Here's to hoping the rain holds off!
Monday, August 13, 2007
First, on August 8th, the Tupper Lake Free Press put our book news release, verbatim, in their popular regional newspaper. Our release was originally written by Shel Horowitz and I strongly recommend his services. I can't speak highly enough about his work. I've tweaked the release a bit but it's basically his skilled writing which got us in print.
Second, on August 9th, Geoff Hayward, Features Editor of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, gave us a WONDERFUL review of the book. He really understood that it's for "reluctant readers" without my pointing it out. He even put the front cover of the book in his review. I think I'll start marketing it that way more often. Hey, I used to be a "reluctant reader" and now I've turned into a reading machine! Well, almost.
Third, on August 10th, Lisa Bramen of the Glens Falls Post Star put this blurb about our book in her paper! (I'm not sure how long the link will last but what the heck.) Notice how she lists where she thinks people should be able to buy the book. Now I can follow-up with those places to be sure they have it in stock
How did I do it? I mailed a copy of the book with the inside cover stamped in red, "NOT FOR RESALE". I encluded a print copy of our news release and a CD-ROM which contained separate files of:
The News Release
Front Cover of the Book
Where To Buy The Book
I've sent this to five papers, follwed up with two so far, and got in print three times in one week! In three days!
We've got a big book signing in Long Lake tomorrow at Hoss's Country Corner. It's called the Adirondack Author's Fair and I'm hoping this exposure will help. There's going to be 75 authors there and Nick and I will be attending.
Wish us luck?
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Now, back to Rachael Ray. I haven't heard from her regarding an endorsement for the michigan sauce recipe in the book. Hmmm, I'm quite surprised. I just called John Rosen's office at the William Morris Agency. He's Rachael Ray's contact person. When I tried her office at the Food Network, the mail room guy said he sent it to her New York office. Anyway, I still haven't spoken to John (or is it Jon?) but John's assistant took down the information again.
The Devil Wears Prada, anyone?
Ok, time to do my running around and get my act together. Take care.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Ok, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise hasn't interviewed Stephen King, at least not that I know of, but I did find a great online interview with the "King of Horror", Stephen King, On The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. I found it to be very candid and interesting.
Hey, cool. I just opened my mail and there was an entry for our $100 cash sweepstakes. SOMEONE JUST BOUGHT A BOOK! Time to update the number on the web site!
Friday, August 3, 2007
About the book...we're in a very large author's fair in October. I'm so excited! It's The Chronicle Book Fair at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls. Cathy DeDe has been wonderful to work with. It will be held on Sunday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Great, just got a room booked for us for only $89.
One of our next signings is in Lake Placid. It's at The Bookstore Plus on Main St. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.and we're signing with John Briant, the author of the Adirondack Detective book series. What a wonderful guy! We met him and his wife, Margaret, at the Old Forge Author's Fair. Margaret cracks me up, she's hilarious. John and I swapped autographed books and I can't wait to see them again.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Raquette Lake. It killed me to take the gas-loving vehicle but we couldn't fit in the hybrid with all the books, etc. We were heading down to the First Annual Festival of Life. This event was a benefit for North Country Life Flight, a non-profit air medical rescue program with headquarters at Adirondack Airport in Lake Clear. My friend, Jan Washburn, invited me and she organized the whole event. I was honored to be invited. We all loved watching the Life Flight helicopter land outside the school where the event took place.
We set our table up along with the other crafters. The event was from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and we did quite well. We sold 24 books to individuals and 10 to the Raquette Lake Navigation Company. They have daily and nightly cruises on the W. W. Durant (our protagonist is William Durant) and we could see their ship docked outside of our hotel room.
We were too tired to take a cruise but it looked like so much fun! Next time, we promised ourselves.
The next day we were off to Inlet for our next signing. We had a fantastic breakfast at the Tamarack Cafe & Movie House. Woof, we ate too much. Jim had the Lumberjack special and it was a plate FULL of heart-stopping goodies, like buscuits and gravy and sausage and toast and eggs and woof! I had an egg sandwich and we had to take a walk after that before the signing. Our signing in Inlet was at the Adirondack Reader, right on the main road. It was scheduled from 1 p.m until 3 p.m. We set up our groovy display a bit early. The father of the owner of Adirondack Reader, Reggie, took our picture. They were so nice and funny and easy to be with.
Yup, that's my little baby. Sigh. We only sold 7 books but we have been invited to Reggie's Author's fair in September so it's cool. We also gave out a lot of bookmarks so all's well that end's well. We were pretty tired on the drive back home and the kids fell asleep in the back. I fell asleep on the couch that night, exhausted. It was a good weekend!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
*** THIS IS NOT AN ORDER ***.
Thanks, I need that? What the heck is "NYP Status"? Anyway, they are a library fulfillment service so I guess it's good they're checking on things. Does this mean libraries are trying to order the book? I don't know but that would be pretty cool.
I also received a letter from my distributor, North Country Books which says that Eric Burger, Barnes and Noble's regional buyer for the northeast, has requested I send him sample copies of my new publications as they become available. Okey dokey, but what the heck happened to the two copies I already sent in to Barnes and Noble? So I sent my newest buddy, Eric, two more copies. At least the book now shows as in stock. Where did those other two copies go? Did they just fly away? Hmmm.
Now for the biggest, best news of all! Midwest Book Review has given our book a 5 out of 5 star review! Here it is:
"Written by mother of two Rebecca Leonard and featuring numerous black-and-white computer-generated illustrations by her son Nick Leonard, Adirondack Nightmare: A Spooky Tale in the North Country is a Halloween adventure novel for young people new to chapter books. Enhanced with tasty original Adirondack recipes like "John and Mary's Best Michigan Sauce Recipe Ever" and "Caramel and Chocolate Covered Candied Apple Recipe", Adirondack Nightmare is goosebump-inducing treat from cover to cover. A great holiday mood-setting story for reading aloud chapter by chapter or allowing novice readers to immerse themselves in the spine-chilling joy of words."
Can you believe it? I was so happy I didn't know what to do. They posted it on Amazon, too, which really helps.
Well, time to get ready for our two signings this weekend. We need to prep a lot of books! Take care, thanks for reading.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
See, what happened on the same day was a ceremony for a fallen soldier. Hundreds of people attended and I would have, too, if it weren't for the commitment we made. It was a very sobering and sad day for Plattsburgh.
We did sell seven books, five of them were to a postal employee who bought three initially then came back for two more! So, it was worth it. Colleen and I also talked about hosting a winter "Read Around The Campfire" book reading. Our book is a perfect readaloud around the campfire so I think it'll work out well.
Back to the beginning of the blog and my work on our "$100 cash to one of the first 100 people who buy our book". I decided to fax or mail a flier announcing the promotion to each store which carries our book. Haven't heard anything from one of them. Are they in the trash or being displayed? Hmmm. Becoming discouraged. Time to take action.
I played my favorite song, Everybody is Free aka The Sunscreen Song, by Baz Luhrmann. I played it over and over again. I cried. Then I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper which I've been meaning to write. Then I went to camp. My haven. I'm ok. I'll never quit. I'm simply not a quitter. I'm just human.
Monday, July 2, 2007
I went into Indian Lake and saw a store called Gramma's Things on Big Brook Road. The owner, Jean Turner, was a bit hesitant to bring in the book so we made a deal. I promised to not hit any other stores in Indian Lake if she took a few copies. It makes sense as it's a fairly small town. Sure enough, she took in four copies. She is so talented with quilting. It was hard to leave without buying something.
Time to move on to Raquette Lake, which is where the book takes place. I had some great tips from my friend, Jan, so I started with the Raquette Lake Supply Co. right on Main Street. Her sister, Theresa, works there. I went into the office and she greeted me as if I were family! She also brought in twelve copies of the book. Her store is amazing as there is a little bit, no a lot of, everything. I mean everything and then some.
OK, Patty's store isn't quite that big but it felt like it at the time. I also stopped at the Raquette Lake Free Library and Carolynn, the director, brought in two copies. I walked over to the Raquette Lake Navigation Company and that place is so cool! They have a caboose gift shop and urge people to "Climb Aboard the W.W. Durant", a wonderful ship which tours Raquette Lake. The protagonist in my book is William Durant. No one was there so I had to move on. I'd love to do that tour someday.
Next stop was Blue Mountain Lake and I was more than happy to see they already had the book in stock at the Adirondack Museum. I'm not much of a museum fan but this place is more than a museum. It's an entire day of fun and exploration. I love it.
On to Inlet and the Inlet Department Store. They were so psyched when they saw the book it made me blush! The owner said that the day before a tourist was in looking for a book just like it to read around a campfire. That's exactly what this book is good for. Twelve more copies sold!
I was getting pretty tired and hot at this point but I was determined to make it to Old Forge. I stopped at the Adirondack Reader bookstore on Main Street in the center of Inlet. The owner was so excited I couldn't believe it. She bought fifty (yes, 50) copies on the spot, signed us up for a book signing and invited me to her upcoming author's fair! I hit the big time!!
OK, OK, I stopped at the local wine store and bought a bottle of wine to celebrate. Sheesh, can't get away with anything on this blog. On to Old Forge. I should have stopped when the going was good but I was determined. And exhausted. I went to the Old Forge Hardware Bookstore and they reluctantly brought in ten copies. I won't go into it. I'm grateful to them for bringing the book in and I was simply too tired to sell any more books.
Not a bad day.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Well, I guess I haven't learned yet. I tend to get lost easily. I took I87 (The Adirondack Northway part) and got off at Exit 29. My husband assured me that was the right exit. Then I was to take a right then a left. Or was it a left then a right? OK, I got lost. I also got stuck in some pretty heavy duty construction which took a good 45 minutes off my time. The radio kept broadcasting severe thunderstorm warnings with winds up to 60 mph and hail and to get to a safe shelter, preferably one with few windows. Sigh.
When I made it to "undisclosed location", it was 4:00 p.m. I was bummed out and tired. I stopped at the first store I could find to ask for directions for a hotel or a cabin as I was going to stay the night and start over fresh in the morning. I went in, the place was empty, and was "greeted" by a man I assume was the owner. The place will remain anonymous because this turns out a bit creepy.
I asked for directions to a hotel/cabin and he said there were none in the area. He was very talkative, asking me a lot of questions. He kept talking. And asking. Finally, I got a bit abrupt and walked out, explaining I had to leave. He followed me out of the store and into the parking lot. Then I heard him say, "You fertile?" I heard it loud and clear but couldn't believe it so I turned to him and said, "What?!"
He was shaking all over, hadn't been before, and he had a big bugger coming out of his left nostril. I won't go into more detail but I became very scared. I closed the trunk of my car and he came toward me. I went to the driver's side, got in and locked the door. There he was, still shaking and his nose...eeewww.
I left (ok, I "peeled out") and found a place with a public phone. My cell phone had no service for quite some time. I was very upset and told Jim I was going to find a place to stay the night, get up early and start over. I told him what happened and that I'd call him when I found a place.
I did! After driving a bit I found the Squaw Brook Motel in Indian Lake. Indian Lake is such a wonderful place! Patty Eicher, the owner, greeted me warmly, gave me a room and let me use her phone to call Jim. I went in my room, it was so quaint and warm, and called Jim again. I started to cry. I was so tired and creeped out and hadn't sold one single book. He asked me if I wanted him to drive down. I said no, I'd be fine, I just needed to veg for a bit. I told him I'd call again in the morning.
I brought the phone back to Patty and she told me about her free continental breakfast and, after we talked a bit, she said she'd buy a book in the morning! I went back to my room, wrote for a bit, then drove down the road about a half a mile and had dinner and a glass of wine. I felt much better. I went back to my room and slept like a brick.
Patty's coffee and continental breakfast were perfect. She bought a book and told me to go up the street a ways to check out a store where her sister worked. I was on my way again, ready to tear up the road.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
In today's mail was an invitation to the Old Forge Library Author's Fair! How exciting! It's being held on Tuesday, July 24th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Isabella Worthen, the Director of the library, was kind enough to send us the invitation. Boy did I respond to THAT quickly!
There's a writer's workshop beforehand entitled Writing What You Know from author M.E. Kemp. I can't wait for that. I've never been to a writer's workshop before. I hope I can take lots of notes. The workshop is made possible with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, The Literature Program.
After the Author's Fair, there's a concert titled All Around The Mountain by musicians Tom Akstens & Neil Rossi. I've never heard them and am really looking forward to it. I hope Nick wants to go, it'll be too long a day for Amanda. The concert is made possible with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, The Presentation Program.
Now I'm all happy again! All of this book promoting/marketing does pay off. I just had absolutely no idea how much work it was/is. I'll have to read The Little Engine That Could over and over and over again, I guess.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Are you out there, Rachael Ray?
We missed the deadline for the North Country Cultural Center For The Arts (NCCCA) newsletter. They send out to 21,000 people. Ouch. So, our "Dream Picnic Book Event" isn't in the newsletter. It's on Saturday, June 30th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. I've been able to get fliers in most of the 3rd-5th grades in the area, about 1100 of them. I also visited the Plattsburgh Public Library and they put up a flier and said they'd order the book. Put some fliers in a few other places. I'm running out of ideas...anyone have ideas for me? I'll look at some books I have for marketing to kids. I sent notices to every single local calendar of events media I could think of.
I've got to get pounding the pavement again this week. The kids will be out of school and can fend for themselves for a day. I really want to get to Tupper Lake and the surrounding area. Something always seems to come up. Like life. Or death. My neighbor and friend, Dot Scott, passed away and I'm brokenhearted about it. The wake is today and her family will be here all weekend. Time to go pay respects. Take care.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
When we got to the event, it was from 1 - 3 p.m., there were people milling about, chatting and eating the wonderful appetizers they had. Lemonade, wine, it was great. The books up for awards were all beautifully displayed in the center and it was interesting to see all of them. I believe there were a total of 17 books. Here's the winners:
BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK
Adirondack Mouse and the Perilous Journey by Irene Uttendorfsky
Judges: Danielle Hoepfl and Nancy Beattie
BEST FICTION BOOK
Lucy's Eggs by Rick Henry
Judges: Ellen Rocco and Joe Bruchac
BEST POETRY BOOK
Glacial Erratica: Three Poets on the Adirondacks, Part 2 by Elaine Handley, Marilyn McCabe, Mary Sanders Shartle
Judges: Maurice Kenny and Paul Pines
Schroon Lake by Lueza Thirkield Gelb
Judges: Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern
BEST NONFICTION BOOK & PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
Welcome to the Homeland by Brian Mann
Judges: Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern
BEST EDITED COLLECTION (TIE)
Oswegatchie: A North Country River by Christopher Angus
No Place I'd Rather Be: Wit and Wisdom from Adirondack Lean-To Journals by Stuart Mesinger
Judges: Bibi Wein and Jerry McGovern
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK
Adirondack Waters: Spirit of the Mountains by Mark Bowie
Judges: Nancie Battaglia and John Radigan
Congratulations to all of them! It was quite a learning and humbling experience for me. Jim just loved the food. He must have had 5 or 6 (or more?) plates full. Our book will be up next year!
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Here's what happened, according to shiotv.com: "There were some tense moments at the Dayton International Airport after reports of a suspicious package had been found Thursday night. Officials said the front part of the airport was evacuated as a precaution and flights were allowed to land, but not take off. The package was found shortly before 7 p.m. and was later determined to be discarded phone books. Things returned to normal around 9 p.m. There were no injuries."
While sitting in the bar, sipping a glass of wine, I started writing about the incident. I mean, what if we were in the middle of a big story? That's how I think. Well, it looks like this is the story. End of story.
Now for the big news! Nick and I are giving out $100 in cash to someone who buys our book. Details are on our web site at www.rebeccaleonard.com. Good luck to all who enter!
Monday, June 4, 2007
As a "thank you" to Foxy, I'm going to set up an account for him at my video store, Under One Roof Video in Plattsburgh. You see, he doesn't already have an account there. Hmmmm. I'll also send a few free rentals so he's inticed to come in. I don't believe he's been in yet. Of course, he's forgiven because he's always so damn busy.
I'm still searching for ways to market my book. Right now I'm checking out book fairs. I'm going to have to do some more peddling but today I had to do ordering for the stores and tomorrow I'm helping Jimmy out with some problems we're having at our camp in Champlain. Thursday and Friday are booked already. Gee, looks like that leaves Wednesday to get out there. I'll write it on the calendar before I forget.
Speaking of busy, the kids are home from school and I have no idea what we're having for dinner. I really don't feel like cooking. I'm rambling, time to go.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I miss my drives into the Adirondacks. I'll get there eventually. I love my hybrid. I'm rambling.
Instead of peddling books I wrote a few letters, shamelessly promoting the book. Sent a free copy out to someone who might be interested. Got caught up on my emails from the self-publishing yahoo group I belong to. No one in the group is answering a question I posted so the heck with them for a while. A lot of them are going to the BEA in NYC so I can understand how they're a bit busy. I hope to be going next year, with another published book under my belt.
I see the book is now "in stock" on Amazon. Finally. I won't even go into what that took to do. Ok, if you want to know just email me. I'll tell you my secret. My printer rep is also supposed to make sure the book is listed with Ingram THIS WEEK. Gee, it's only been months.
As you can probably tell, I'm still working on the patience thing. It just takes too long.
Maybe I'll make a few follow-up phone calls. Take a nap with my daughter?
Now THAT'S the ticket.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
It was so wonderful for the kids to share their dreams with us. Nick couldn't attend because he had to go to school to get help with his English journals. He's got a lot going on at school right now and we've all agreed that school comes first for him.
There were about 60 kids and more than a handful of adults. Jim and I made a CD-rom of some of Nick's illustrations and we showed them as a part of the presentation. One of the highlights for me was when we started up the DVD portion (made by John Mitchell of Silver Lining Photography and Video (www.silverliningphotovideo.com). It was near the end of the presentation and before the Q&A part. Jim queued up the Excerpt From The Book, read by John, and I heard a young man say, "This is so cool!". My heart melted.
I'm so grateful to Momot Elementary School for allowing us to share our dreams with them and to hear their dreams. The opportunity is just beyond words.
Take care, time to post some photos from the presentation on my site. www.rebeccaleonard.com
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Next I went into Lake Placid, what a mess with all their road construction! The whole center is torn up. It doesn't seem to bother the merchants too much. They were as friendly as can be. I met up with Marc Galvin of The Bookstore Plus and he and his wife, Sarah, are going to be bringing our book in through our distributor, Norch Country Books, Inc. Very cool! Nice store, well organized and the staff is helpful.
I decided to skip the rest of Placid, too much construction right now, and headed to Saranac Lake. Oh yeah, I stopped to see my brother-in-law, John, at the Price Chopper in Lake Placid first. Boy was he surprised! So, I signed a book for his daughter, Haley, and headed to Saranac Lake.
Carrie, of Fact & Fiction Bookshop was more than happy to bring in a bunch of books. This has got to be the cutest bookstore I've ever been in. Right on Broadway.
Time to head home, it was getting late and I wanted to eat dinner with my family. Plus, my ankle was acting up and I needed some ice. My ice pack had melted back in Wilmington!
Overall, a good day. Great scenery, wonderful townsfolk. What more could I ask for?
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I couldn't sit around and do nothing. So, I've learned about Squidoo (and their lenses) and del.icio.us. Oh yeah, and Stumbleupon.com. These are fabulous tools to use to help get the word out about a book, web site, just about anything. They're fun, too. Here's the links:
Stumbleupon could be a bit addictive, I think. Maybe too much so but it also "lets you 'channelsurf' the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for finding and sharing great sites". I added my site and blog, of course.
Ok, so Squidoo's also a bit addictive. And an awful lot of fun. It "is home to tens of thousands of everyday enthusiasts. Spread your ideas, make yourself known, meet new traffic. (You could even earn a royalty)." Try it out and be sure to invite me to your lens.
On to del.icio.us. I don't really know enough about it yet to say much. I'm pretty sure I posted my web site, though.
So, all-in-all, another productive day. Just not in the way I had expected, is all.
Never give up, never say die.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Borders in Plattsburgh was nice enough to let us film the shoot at the front of their store. They were also generous to bring in 12 copies as the order they placed with my distributor hadn't come in yet.
The show is scheduled to air on June 1, 2, 3, 2007 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 7 p.m. and midnight. Nick and Becky were interviewed with Foxy Gagnon on his Fox on the Run cable show. It's on North Country Cable Network and will be televised on Charter Communications cable system public-access channel (Channel 15).
Be sure to tune in! Thanks Foxy, thanks, Borders!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
If you've never been to Hoss's Country Corner you should. They have the greatest collection of Adirondack memorabilia there is. The last time I was in there, well, let's say I didn't leave empty-handed! Tons of books, t-shirts, knick-knacks, decorations, jewelry, on and on and on.
Another really cool thing about the store is the tree which is growing up in the center of the showroom. Seriously, a real tree. It's amazing, I can't explain it well enough to give it justice. You'll have to check it out for yourself!
The Adirondack Author's Night is always the second Tuesday in August. Plan on going, it'll be a fun event. Guaranteed! Hoss's is located at 247 Lake St (it takes up a whole block) in Long Lake and their phone number is 1-800-952-4677.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The presentation lasted about half-an-hour, then we had fun! We brought out some props and I did a Q&A session. The kids hands flew up in the air! I was able to reach out to every single one of them. I believe I've met an up-and-coming future President of the United States. I was honored to be with them. Their hopes and dreams keep me going.
Oh yeah, we sold some books, too :-)
Monday, May 7, 2007
My mom, Beth Brush, is one of the pen pal mentors there. What a wonderful program it is. Lake Forest is such a great facility and we're lucky to have it in the area.
We haven't practiced together for the presentation yet. We're all to busy! My husband, Jim, will be working the DVD player as we have a short, trailer type of DVD. I just hope we get everything set up in time. Nick will be there for "illustrator" questions and Amanda will be there to help hand things out and to put stickers on any books which will (hopefully) be sold.
Time to update the web site and rehearse for tomorrow! Take care!
Friday, May 4, 2007
Nick and I are being interviewed by the infamous Foxy Gagnon for his "On the Sly" TV program. The filming will be held at the Borders store in Plattsburgh. We're so grateful to him for this opportunity and there's a link to his very popular blog on this blog. Foxy was my middle school teacher and I'll always remember him as being one of the cool teachers. He is still cool!
Last night I put my daughter, Amanda, to bed as usual. I had our dog, Tiki, tucked under one arm and a pile of laundry in the other arm. Walking down the stairs, I felt myself begin to slip. I put my left foot out and managed to skip 3 or 4 stairs and toss the poor dog in the air.
Both of my ankles are sprained. The doctor said 7 to 10 days to heal. I don't think so.
We have our first book signing and presentation on Tuesday, May 8th and it's been promoted in all the local papers. This should be quite a challenge. My presentation is a very upbeat, "don't ever quit on your dream" presentation for kids. I guess I'll have to practice what I preach!
Time to ice the feet. Sheesh.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
It turned out to be a good day for the book, though. My distributor called with an order for 30 copies and I got a big book signing/presentation at a local elementary school. And, get this, I'm being paid for it! The only other signing I have now I'm doing for free so I've learned that it doesn't hurt to ask.
Today I read the book to a class and really enjoyed myself. I thought I'd be nervous but it went so well I'm a little stunned at the success of it! The kids were wonderful and the teacher had michigans made up for the kids while I read to them. The book was definitely well received, more than I could ever have hoped for.
Now I need to get my projector fixed for the presentation on the 6th, haven't even rehearsed for that yet. Yikes. And my laptop fixed. Then I'll feel fixed.
Have a good one.
Monday, April 30, 2007
Rachael Ray was born in Glens Falls and grew up in Lake George. Her first job was at the candy counter at Macy's in NYC. (Hey, I worked there when I was in college!) Anyway, she also worked at Mister Brown's Pub at The Sagamore, a very famous hotel on Lake George. Then, she became a buyer at Cowan & Lobel, a gourmet market in suburban Albany. My husband, daughter and I watch her 30 Minute Meals show and love it. My daughter, Amanda, has her book, Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals For Kids, and loves it. Amanda's 10-going-on-11 (as she puts it) and has made meals for us using this book.
I've heard her talk about her working in Upstate NY on her show. She says very clearly that they've helped shape her into the popular TV personality she is today. What an Adirondack success story!
I think the michigan sauce recipe in our book would catch her attention. It's so simple and fast and perfectly delicious. It just might be the type of thing she'd dig. I hope so. I've sent a copy of our book to her office in NYC with a letter and some promotional material. My fingers are crossed.
Ok, now on to try to solicit more endorsements. Have a good one.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I need to learn how to connect with other bloggers in the region. Any suggestions out there? I'll take all the help I can get. I learned a lot by looking at other blogs and paying attention to what caught my eye. I think I need to learn to have some patience with blogging and not rush things.
I'm learning that labels are pretty important and when I rush, I miss labels.
I have a problem with patience. I'm working on it as fast as I can. Ha ha ha.
My husband, Jim, wants to know where the word "blog" came from. He thinks it's a weird name. He called me a "blog" and I told him I'm a "blogger" not a "blog". According to Peter from peterme.com, it began in 1999. He writes, "'Blog' would have likely died a forgotten death had it not been for one thing: In August of 1999, Pyra Labs released Blogger. And with that, the use of blog grew with the tool's success."
So, I googled "Pyra Labs blogger" and came up with this link, http://www2.blogger.com/about. It's an interesting article, you should check it out if you're a noob like I am. My son, Nick, told me recently that the new word for "newbie" is "noob". Feelin' groovy now, I am.
Ok, since I'm getting off topic, it's time to end my second post.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
"Adirondack Nightmare: A Spooky Tale in the North Country". The book is published and it's time to get it into stores!
I have a distributor but, well, a little legwork doesn't hurt. I could use the exercise and fresh air. I've gained some weight (ok quite a bit of weight) this winter and really need to do something about it!
So, on Friday, April 22nd I grabbed a bunch of books and fliers (for our upcoming book signing/presentation-our first, gulp) and hit the road on Friday. It was sunny and beautiful out. Sold books to 2 bookstores, 2 museums, a beauty salon, and 1 to my kids' orthodontist. The only retailer who said "no" took a flier to display. So did all the other retailers. One museum is going to let us do a presentation at the end of June! A good day.
On Tuesday, April 24th I went to a school book presentation. The authors are Gary and Justin VanRiper, a father and son writing team residing in Camden, New York of the Tug Hill region. They write the "Adirondack Kids" series of books and are very friendly and supportive. They've been doing presentations for a long time and since we have our first one coming up I thought I'd go to get some ideas, meet the authors, etc. I showed up at the wrong time and the presentation was just finishing. I asked when the next one was and found I had 2 hours to kill. I hit the pavement. I went to 6 locations. Two local pharmacies (I've learned that small towns have pharmacies which carry local books) and sold to both of them. They're in two different towns. I sold to two apple orchard giftshops (the book has an apple recipe in it) and will return on Thursday to two other places when the owners are in. Got back just in time for the presentation, learned a lot and hooked up with another local author team. Good day #2.
Wednesday, April 25th, I made 2 follow-up phone calls to 2 important retailers. It looks like a big NO from both of them. Drat. Not such a good book selling day.
Thursday, April 26th I hit the road again and traveled deeper into the Adirondacks. I was able to get our book into 4 giftshops and 1 bookstore in 5 different towns. After 3 weeks of trying, I decided my book WAS going to get in our local Borders store in Plattsburgh. I had faxed book info to the manager, sent him some info in the mail and followed up with an email. The employees would tell me to stop back in each time I went, as he was always on a conference call. Today, the manager was in the store after being on the road for a bit. When I went in, he was on a conference call. So, this time when the sales clerk asked, "May I give him your name?" I said, "Halle Barry" with a straight face. He eventually got off his conference call and when I met him he said he'd already ordered the book through my distributor. When I asked how many copies, he said, "Dozens". The most I've ever sold at once is 10 copies so I'll find this interesting when I see them in the store.
Well, I've caught things up to speed here. I'll keep learning how to live in blogosphere and plugging away at getting our book in regional stores.