Monday, November 16, 2009

 

B. Lynn Goodwin, author of Journaling for Caregivers, Launches her Blog Tour!


& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

During the six years she spent caring for her mother, B. Lynn Goodwin found comfort in the journaling she did. She eventually began teaching journaling workshops and writing a book to guide other caregivers through journaling.

Lynn is also a teacher, editor, and writer. Her work has been published in Hip Mama; the Oakland Tribune; the Contra Costa Times; the Danville Weekly; Staying Sane When You're Dieting; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; Career, Caregiving, and Self-Care NCDA Monograph; 24/7--a caregiving anthology; We Care; Families of Loved Ones Magazine (forthcoming); Kaleidoscope (forthcoming), and numerous e-zines and blogs.

Find out more about B. Lynn Goodwin by visiting her websites:
Book Website: http://www.writeradvice.com/ywmtdw.html
Writer Advice: http://www.writeradvice.com/

You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Care Givers

By B. Lynn Goodwin

You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers offers encouragement, instructions, and over 200 sentence prompts to help anyone start putting their thoughts on paper.

It is for current, former, and long distance caregivers. These are the people who take care of spouses, parents, children, special needs children, and themselves. It is also for professional caregivers including nurses, social workers, teachers, and anyone in the helping professions.

Published by Tate Publishing
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN: 1606962973

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Lynn's book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW:
Your book,
You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, is a book encouraging caregivers (everyone really) to journal. Can you tell us when you first started journaling?

Lynn:
I have been a sporadic journaler since I got my first five-year diary when I was in third grade. I have a journal from college, but stopped journaling once I began teaching English and directing high school and college theatre. Now, of course, I wish I had recorded what we did and how I felt about it. I slid back into journaling in 1997. I was turning Haven's List into a newsletter that would become Writer Advice, tutoring, teaching A is for Acting, and had begun caregiving. I'm glad I have my journals from that time.

WOW: How did you discover that journaling was helping you when you were caring for your mother? Did it make you a better caregiver?

Lynn:
I loved my mother but sometimes her needs seemed unreasonable. Sometimes I resented her refusal to accept outside help. I had a love/hate relationship with her line, "My Person will take care of that." I was Person and she was Missus. These private nicknames helped us remember that we loved each other, even though we sometimes grated on each other's nerves.

Sometimes it angered me that she preferred Lean Cuisine to my cooking, that she wouldn't let me put away the groceries without wiping off every single package, that she made me sit in her house and watch her struggle because she said, "I have to do some things for myself." Journaling helped me get past my anger and fear that drove it. It helped me analyze, process, explore, evaluate, and strategize. It allowed me to take my stress out on my journal instead of my mother, so absolutely it made me a better caregiver.

WOW: Not all of us are caring for an elderly parent. Can your book help those readers who aren't caregivers? Or are we all caregivers?

Lynn: Let me answer the last question first. All human beings are caregivers for someone. You might care for a spouse, parent, child, special needs child, or yourself--especially in the current economic climate. If you are a nurse, teacher, social worker, EMT, physical therapist, psychologist, or Hospice Volunteer, you are a professional caregiver.

Have you ever blown off steam at someone who did not deserve it? Have you ever wished someone would listen to you without interrupting? Have you ever needed a non-judgmental sympathetic ear? Who hasn't?

I can't promise that you'll never get angry or irrational if you journal. I can promise that you'll have a safe place to look beyond your immediate reactions. Journals are a place to record your history. Whether you make lists, write letters, write poems, blurt, or tell your story in traditional prose, your journal is the perfect vessel to receive your story.

WOW: Journaling (or lack of) is my guilty secret. As a writer, everyone tells me I should have a journal. I've started and abandoned more journals than I can count. So, tell me your secrets. How do you find the time to journal?

Lynn: Julia Cameron (www.theartistsway.com) says that you should start your day with Morning Pages. I say it's always morning somewhere. Write whenever you want. I have been known to journal in my car, in front of the TV, and in the bathroom. I also journal in coffee shops, shopping malls, and occasionally at my father's old desk.

Do it anywhere, anytime. Try to write for 10 minutes if you are starting out. If your journaling runs on endlessly, try setting a timer.

There are no rules unless you make some up. Start over any time, day or night. Your stories are eager to come out, and as you release them you will find a wave of material rushing in to fill the space. Who but you can tell your story?

WOW: Are lives are so full of...well, everything and anything. Why do you make journaling a priority?

Lynn: I always feel better after I journal. I feel cleansed. I feel my creative channels opening up. I usually stop spinning my wheels and start moving forward. Since 1997, I have journaled pretty steadily. It keeps me sane. It opens ideas. Since I know it works and I get immediate satisfaction from doing it, why wouldn't I make it a priority?

WOW: You make a great case for journaling. I may have to pull out one of those half-filled journals of mine! But before I do, what about blogs? Are they this generation's journals?

Lynn: Many blogs are the equivalent of interactive journals. Instead of having my own blog, I've spent the last year responding to other people's blogs. That way, I'm putting my voice out to a wider audience and still identifying myself with my signature line.

When I reread old journals, I get to see how I've grown and how my concerns have changed. I get to see what issues I have let go of and what subjects continue to be obsessions. I wouldn't have that with a blog. I wouldn't have a record. If my journals survive me, if they wind up in a Thrift Station or garage sale or in a great niece's backpack, they could ultimately become one woman's view of life in the decades before and after the turn of the millennium. That's less likely to happen with a blog.

WOW: Tell us about your other writing experiences.

Lynn: I've been the owner of Writer Advice, and its predecessor, Haven's List, since 1997. I've had lots of experience with author interviews, book and website reviews, and other non-fiction found on the site. I've developed Writer Advice's Annual Flash Prose Contest. I've written numerous articles, stories, and personal essays and have been published in magazines, newspapers, e-zines, and blogs. I've also put in some time creating a young adult novel, which is on the back burner at the moment.

WOW: Did journaling help your other writing?

Lynn: Absolutely. My writing has gotten more specific and more sophisticated over the years. As I retell stories or reply facts, I hone in on what I really want to say. Journaling has also helped me clarify what I do and don't want to write about and provided the raw writing out of which many published pieces have grown.

WOW: You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers isn't a traditional book in many senses. First, it isn't a "read these words" book, it's more of a workbook with writing prompts and advice. When did you decide to write this book?

Lynn: About 36 hours after a friend told me she was going to write a book of prompts for writers, I heard a voice, right outside my head, that said, "Journaling for Caregivers." Those three words articulated a cloudy idea that had been swimming in my head for some time. I realized that everybody could benefit from journaling, but most caregivers didn't know they could write. They didn't realize that everyone who writes is a writer. I made it my mission to introduce caregivers to the idea. I knew how to encourage writers and I had been writing sentence starts for my free writing group in Berkeley and before that for my high school students. Once I got this idea, the book started falling into place. Once I began marketing it, I realized that everyone is a caregiver for someone.

WOW: What portion of the book is taken up with writing prompts?

Lynn: Four of the nine chapters are filled with sentence starts. There are over 50 in each chapter. People should have choices. What appeals on one day might not on another. What speaks to one caregiver, parent, teacher, nurse, or professional might not to another. In my workshops I sometimes ask people to pick a sentence start that we all could write from. Giving them that choice empowers them.

WOW: Tell us about your road to publication.

Lynn: I found two agents who were very interested. One had moved from her New York agency to be closer to her ailing mother and was telecommuting. The other had a sister who was caring for aging parents in Florida. They knew what caregivers went through. They recognized this as a niche book that met a need, just as Sharon Bray, the author of When Words Heal: Writing Your Way Through Cancer did when she said, "As someone steeped in the therapeutic value of writing during pain and loss, I think B. Lynn Goodwin's book meets a need that has yet to be addressed."

Both of the agents' bosses said, "We have no way to market to caregivers." The agents validated that I had a book that would meet a need. They also made me realize that I would have to find a less traditional method to get it on the market. I began looking for smaller publishers and found one that believed the book was marketable. The concept came to me in 2006 and the book was published by the end of 2008.

WOW: As we can see from the reactions of those first two publishers, your book is not the traditional type someone walks into a bookstore and picks up on a whim--it's written for a very specific audience with a very specific need. Have you done many traditional bookstore signings and appearances or have you been thinking outside the box?

Lynn: It's safe to say that I think out of the box. Sometimes I'm so far outside the box that I am not sure whether to cal this a book or a service project. It depends, perhaps, on who I am sharing it with. I'm impressed by how much more outreach I have been able to do than I ever imagined. Nurses come up to me at bookstore signings. Even if they don't buy a book, they take a card for the office.

I've shared the book with all kinds of caregivers, volunteers, and organizations. I offer e-mail workshops called Journaling: Gateway to Self Discovery that give people a chance to try the process without leaving home. Day by day, I continue to reach out as many places as I can.

WOW: How about interviews, etc.--any outside the norm of book pages in newspapers, book review sites?

Lynn: I've done lots of interviews for blogs and special interest groups I've found through LinkedIn. One day I found a bill in my mailbox for the head of a Hospice support organization in Southern California. I have an article that will be coming out in their next newsletter. It will go all over the state. I took an ad in a publication that was given out at the AARP Convention in Las Vegas this October.

I've done radio interviews for all kinds of shows. I've made presentations in libraries. I've teamed up with someone helping teens and people marketing to seniors and I've developed an extra niche that I love, working with writers who want to find a way through writer's block and into the uniqueness of their own voice. I am putting together a continuing education class for nurses that will be done through e-mail, and that may lead to CEU classes for social workers and teachers. My existing e-mail workshops make it possible for anyone with a computer to try journaling without ever leaving the house.

WOW: For a book that publishers worried wouldn't be marketable you've found plenty of marketing options! And now the question everyone's dying to know the answer to--what does the "B" stand for?

Lynn: Ahhh--B stands for my first name, which is also my mother's first name. My mother didn't need a caregiver. She was fine to live alone as long as I was there every day to take out her garbage, get her mail, bring her her groceries, transport her... She was protecting her independence, and I wanted to help her do it. You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers is dedicated to my mother, but I do not mention her name. I do that to honor her because she was a private person. Writing as B. Lynn Goodwin is one way I can include her in this project while keeping her identity anonymous.

WOW: She sounds like a very determined woman. Hearing about her reminds me of my grandmother. For many years, she had the same type of independent living arrangement with the help of my mother and aunts. So, in between interviews and workshops for Journaling for Caregivers what are you up to with your writing?

Lynn: I continue to interview authors, write reviews, facilitate the Writer Advice Flash Prose Contest, and run the e-zine, which you can read right now at www.writeradvice.com. In fact, I'm putting out a call for submissions of 50-500 words on the subject of dreams. I'll pick the best pieces and run them in the winter issue. E-mail me at Lgood67334[at]comcast[dot]net if you would like details.

I am also at work on a couple of other projects that are still in the formative stages. I enjoy carving my own path in the writing world.

----

Want to join Lynn on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

November 16, 2009 Monday
Lynn will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Lynn's book!
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

November 18, 2009 Wednesday
Lynn Goodwin, author of You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers, stops by Spirituality and Self Help to share how journaling can save your sanity and save your life! Not to miss.
http://www.superenlightme.com/

November 19, 2009 Thursday
Don't miss B. Lynn Goodwin's post about how journaling can help you become a better mom and a better you! Don't forget to enter to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.
http://www.momecentric.com/

November 20, 2009 Friday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by The Mental Fitness Center to share how journaling helped her as she cared for a family member with Alzheimer's.
http://www.thementalfitnesscenter.com/blog/

November 23, 2009 Monday
Today B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Midlife With a Vengeance to tell us that balancing acts aren't just for the circus! Chime in and tell us how you manage to balance your needs with those of the person you're caring for. You also have a chance to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.
http://midlifewithavengeance.com/

December 2, 2009 Wednesday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Jan Lundy's blog, Awakened Living, to share how she manages to take care of herself while caring for others, and why we all need to take time out for ourselves. Don't forget to enter to win her book, You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers.
http://www.awakened-living.blogspot.com/

December 7, 2009 Monday
Today, author and journal keeper B. Lynn Goodwin stops by Whole Latte Life to tell us how journaling can help you explore your life's passion--no matter what it may be.
http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/

December 11, 2009 Friday
B. Lynn Goodwin stops by The Feisty Side of Fifty to write about being a caregiver for that person we so often overlook--ourselves.
http://feistysideoffifty.com/

December 15, 2009 Tuesday
Today, Nessa and Lynn chat about why journaling can be so helpful for caregivers at Ramblings of a Texas Housewife.
http://www.texashousewife.com/

We have more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to host one of our touring authors, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Lynn's book You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers. And check back in a couple of days in the comments section to see if you won!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

 

Chynna Laird, author of I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, launches her blog tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Chynna Laird credits her adventures as mom of four children under the age of six as the source for much of her writing. When she's not spending Mom-time reading, playing piano and violin, and crafting with her children, she divides her time between being a student and a writer.

Chynna is busy finishing up her BA in Psychology, specializing in Early Childhood Development as well as continuing her career as a writer through her business Lily Wolf Words. She's written for many magazines: Amaze, Mindful Mama, Parenting Special Needs and Unique. She also has several bigger projects, including a thriller making the rounds. Her memoir, Not Just Spirited: Living With Sensory Processing Disorder, will be released this August.

Find out more about Chynna by visiting her websites:
Lily Wolf Words: http://www.lilywolfwords.ca/
Blog: http://lilywolfwords.blogspot.com/

About her book:

I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD

By Chynna T. Laird

Four year old Alexandra describes, in her own words, how it feels to have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) readers get a peek at how she hears things, smells things, even how things feel on her skin. She tells readers how frustrating it was for her to try to explain to other people she wasn't trying to be difficult or naughty, she was trying to communicate. Alexandra shows us all the things she does to cope in a world she finds so terrifying and how she helps others understand her better.

The book can be used as resource/reference tool for parents of children with SPD; to help children with SPD learn to express how they feel in words; and to educate counselors, teachers, friends and family.

Genre: Children's picture book
Paperback: 24 pages
ISBN: 1432714724
Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are
holding a contest to win a copy of Chynna's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Chynna's beautiful children (photo right): Xander (two), Jaimie (six), Sophie (ten months), Jordhan (four).

WOW: Welcome to The Muffin, Chynna. We're delighted to launch your blog tour for your book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD. [editor’s note: the original title of the book was I'm Not Weird, I Have SID] You've written a variety of non-fiction articles and essays about Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD for various magazines. What made you decide to also write a children's book about SPD?

Chynna: Initially, I wrote the story just for my daughter Jaimie who lives with SPD--to validate her feelings. When she was about three, she had an unfortunate experience with a small group of children who made fun of her reactions to them and her behaviour. The book was to help her feel better about herself and also help her see that there were other kids in the world who felt things the same way she did.

WOW: Tell us how your book got from idea to publication and how long it took.

Chynna: Jaimie loved being read to so I thought the perfect way to reach her and teach her how to talk about her SPD was to write a children's picture book that she'd love and be proud of. I honestly never had any intention of having the entire world read the children's book.

I researched a few POD places and chose Outskirts. I got lucky with the people I worked with on my project. They were wonderful and so supportive. I was never pressured to spend more money than I had to. Sadly, a lot of first-time and eager writers are "advised" to spend way more than they have to with some places. My project only took a few weeks from submitting my manuscript to approving illustrations, cover and interior setup to production and printing of my book. I cried the first time I read it to Jaimie and she loved it.

WOW: A little birdie told me you're making some changes to your book. What are the changes and why are they being made?

Chynna: Yes, I'm currently in the process of revising the book to reflect important changes that have occurred in the SPD community, mostly having to do with important research.

When Jaimie was diagnosed with SID/SPD about four years ago, it was known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID), Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (DSI) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). All these acronyms refer to the same condition but there was no universal way to refer to it. It was very confusing. Then shortly after my book came out in October 2007, it was finally decided to universally refer to it as Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD.

There were several reasons for this decision. The first, and most important, being that a "dysfunction" can give the impression that something simply isn’t working quite right and a few simple “tweaks” can make things run smoothly again. Believe me, with this line of thought, seeking the right help for a child with this condition can be very difficult.

The other point is that SID, as an acronym, was often confused with the tragic Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

Finally, there’s a phenomenal SPD research team attempting to finally have SPD included in the next revision of the DSM in 2010 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). To put it simply, everyone involved with SPD research, diagnosis and treatment had to agree on what to call this disorder in order for it to be taken seriously in the medical field.

WOW: You're also adding an activity page. Why did you decide to add that?

Chynna: All year long, her classmates knew Jaimie struggled with something because she was often very aloof or avoiding activities requiring closeness, touching or that were too loud/smelly/etc. During the first few months of school, Jaimie had many meltdowns and her classmates were genuinely concerned but didn’t understand what was wrong or how to help Jamie. For example, when upset most children will accept a hug from a friend. But Jaimie yelled, "DON'T TOUCH ME!" or would become even more upset.

It was after I'd taken the book to read at Jaimie's Kindergarten class and given a free copy to each of her classmates that I thought of adding the activity page. Almost all of the parents came up to me the next day--some of them tearing up--to thank us for a book talking about SPD from a child's perspective. You see, there are so many reference books out there written for adults who care for or work with these children. None of them really talk about SPD from the child's eyes…in the child's voice.

Then it dawned on me that it could help children reading the book with adults to have activities that may help to further their understanding. Children are amazing people and are genuinely curious about things, especially when it’s different. Giving them fun ways to explore SPD and how it "feels" to children who have it may help readers understand it better. And that's so important.

Kids like to ask questions and explore…this just helps with that idea. Parents and teachers are always looking for fun ways to explore the subject matter in books they read with children in a deeper way. Activity suggestions already offered in the book helps give the book more "saleability" because the caregiver doesn’t have to either research or come up with ideas on their own. It’s already there!

WOW: What's up next for you?

Chynna: Well, I have a memoir called, Not Just Spirited: Living With Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) coming out at the end of August. It's about our journey finding help for Jaimie. It starts with what we went through from when we saw signs that something was wrong (pretty soon after we'd brought her home from the hospital) to begging her pediatrician to listen to us, her diagnosis, therapy, getting into Kindergarten. My story is just to help other parents who have that aching gut feeling that something is wrong never to give up. Knock on those doors until someone listens.

Another exciting thing that's just happened is that I've signed on with Sunrise River Press to write a book tentatively called, The Sensory Diet: Setting A Sensational Child Up For Success. Essentially the book talks about the natural, holistic approaches we can take to treating children with SPD using combinations of occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition and exercises specific to the needs of a child. I'll also have a great section on childhood anxiety and how it can help this too. (Children with SPD can often have high anxiety. We've had to help Jaimie with both.)

WOW: Did I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD pave the way for these new projects?

Chynna: It's funny you should ask that. It wasn't my intention but it seemed to have done just that. I honestly never planned for the entire world read the children's book. But one day when Jaimie was in her preschool class, I got to talking with one of the other mothers about Jamie's SPD.

Anyway, the mom actually said, "Wow! My son was just diagnosed with that. We always thought he'd had Autism. Do you have any information on it?" I gave her a few resources, including the book I wrote. She came up to me the next day and said, "We read your book as a family and it actually made my husband cry." She asked to buy four more copies of the book. It sort of went from there. Now it's included in several local libraries, SPD therapy centers, Early Intervention resource centers and other places.

I'd been working on the memoir for quite some time and had several agents/publishers interested in it. But because the subject matter was so specified (or "niched"), it didn't fit into their editorial line-up.

The Sensory Diet project is a compilation of all the research, interviews and stuff I've done over the years in finding what worked best for Jaimie. I thought if I could offer a resource to parents that were in the same position we were in, a book that had all of that information in one place, they wouldn’t have to research as much on their own. This book isn’t going to be a signs/symptoms book but more for parents past the diagnostic stage and into the, "What do we do now? What therapies are there out there?" stage.

I still don’t consider myself an "expert" on the subject of SPD. I'm just one parent with one child who has a form of SPD who’s willing to share our experiences, especially if it helps others. I'm a strong believer that we go through things for a reason. I also believe that reaching out to others can be therapeutic in a way. Most importantly, if telling our story inspires other parents to tell their stories, we won't be islands in the middle of nowhere wondering if others are going through what we are. We'll build bridges among us to share our stories, experiences and knowledge and maybe, one day, this disorder won't seem so foreign.

WOW: Do you have a piece of advice for hopeful children's authors? Something you wish you had known starting out or something you wished you had done differently.

Chynna: The first piece of advice I can give hopeful children's authors is to try your hardest to find an agent or traditional publisher.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with doing it all on your own or with POD places (as long as you do your research and find the "right" one.) But you are entirely responsible for the marketing part, including finding buyers. It's not a big deal for me now since I'm not going to school full-time any more but it is A LOT of work and takes A LOT of time and effort.

If you don't have that time, hang in there and do it the traditional way. You'll still have to do a lot of your own marketing but it's better to have the additional support and backing. I wished I'd waited for a traditional publishing route but, as I'd said, my initial goal wasn't to SELL my book to the world; it was to help my daughter understand her disorder and to give her the words to make others understand.

The best advice I can think of is to understand your intended audience and stay in that perspective. For example, writing for a 5-year old is much different than writing for, say, a tween or teen. Listen to how they talk, watch their mannerisms, watch how they interact with people. I'm lucky because I'm surrounded by my intended audience and they inspire me every day. Children are amazing little people and I love writing for them. In fact, I've decided to focus most of my fiction writing on the children's and YA audiences. Who knows…maybe you'll see me out on the bookshelves in that area one day.

WOW: Thanks for giving us so much to think about, especially how a writing project that was essentially a gift of love could make its way from a bookshelf in your daughter's bedroom to a bookshelf in your neighborhood bookstore.

Want to join Chynna on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

JULY 13, 2009 Monday
Chynna chats with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. One lucky commenter will win copy of Chynna's book!
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

JULY 14, 2009 Tuesday
Chynna stops by Joyce Anthony's blog, Books and Authors, for an author interview and book review! Stop by today and learn more about I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD.
http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/

JULY 16, 2009 Thursday
Chynna visits Raising Socially Anxious Children to talk about encouraging loving sibling relationships when one child has special needs. There is also a book giveaway comments contest! Stop by for a chance to win a copy of Chynna's book.
http://www.raisingsociallyanxiouschildrenblog.com/

JULY 17, 2009 Friday
Chynna visits Cathy C. Hall's blog, Finders and Keepers, to chat about children's book writing. If you haven't visited Cathy's blog, be sure to stop by--it's bound to spark a lively discussion!
http://cathychall.wordpress.com

JULY 20, 2009 Monday
Chynna visits Shai Coggins' blog for an author interview! Stop by today and learn more about Chynna's thoughts on writing her first picture book.
http://www.shaicoggins.com/

JULY 24, 2009 Friday
Have questions about writing children's books? Stop by Samantha Clark's blog, Day by Day Writer, to visit with children's book author Chynna Laird.
http://daybydaywriter.wordpress.com/

JULY 27, 2009 Monday
Stop by Margo L. Dill's blog, Read These Books and Use Them, to find out what Margo thinks about Chynna's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD, as well as some activities adults can use when reading with their child.
http://www.margodill.com/blog/

AUGUST 11, 2009 Tuesday
Chynna stops by Allyn Evans' blog, Happily Ever After Today, to talk about the challenges of understanding SPD and raising a child with SPD. Not to miss!
http://www.allynevans.blogspot.com/

We may have more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE to keep up with the latest.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you would like to host one of our authors, or are an author looking to schedule a tour of your own, please email Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a signed copy of Chynna Laird's children's book, I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

 

Elizabeth Fournier, author of All Men are Cremated Equal, Launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

After she got over her dream of being a Solid Gold Dancer, Fournier promptly headed into the local funeral home and asked for a job, any job. She became the live-in night keeper which meant she resided in a trailer in the far rea
ches of a large, hilly cemetery and slept with a shotgun near her bed. It was the scariest summer of her life.

She is currently the voice of the autopsy exhibit in the forensic wing at the United States National Museum of Medicine and a full-time mortician. She is also a ballroom dance instructor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. But she couldn't resist writing the story of her unusual method of dating that led her to the love of her life.

You can find out more about Elizabeth by visiting her website: www.elizabethfournier.com

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Elizabeth's book, All Men are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

All Men Are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates
By Elizabeth Fournier

Elizabeth chronicles her true life dating spree as a marriage-minded mortician in her mid-30's. Set off by her broken engagement, she enlists everyone in sight to set her up on blind dates in a passionate quest to meet just one really great guy. Armed with a 10-point list of dating criteria, skintight jeans, and flash cards on Nascar, football, and micro-breweries, she spends one full year doing the blind meet and greet. Names are changed to protect the rejected as she humorously dishes dot-com hotties, compulsive bloggers, and tattooed graduates of the Gene Simmons School of Dating. Bridget Jones would be proud of her American cousin.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jill Earl

WOW: Elizabeth, thank you so much for launching your blog tour with WOW! I know that our readers are interested in getting to know you, so let’s get right to it.

For many people, turning their dating experiences into a book for all to see would be intimidating, to say the least. Not only did you do that, but you wrote your book while you were a newlywed. Can you tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it?

ELIZABETH:
All Men are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates is the memoir of a lovelorn mortician that captures the experience of being single, female and fast approaching 40, still longing to find “The One.”

I was freshly broken up with my fiancé, and wasn’t in the market for yet another dead-end relationship. I made a list of the ten qualities I was looking for in a man and forwarded the list to my vast social network. I then ventured on 77 blind dates, letting friends act as matchmakers in the Portland and San Francisco Bay Area dating scene.

I take my readers along on the good dates (the sexy local candidate), the bad (the concert promoter who ended up bloodied), the utterly bizarre (the man who speaks in quotations), and the educational (the contractor who invites her along on a last-minute concrete pour). I chronicle the giddy anticipation of a first meeting, the sense of adventure as the night lingers on, and the challenge to remain optimistic when there were 55 dates down, and 22 more to go.

Throughout, I discuss my life in the funeral industry, from the workaday tasks, to the more unusual aspects of the business. My memoir describes how I balanced my social life (with the living) with my professional responsibilities (to the dead).

WOW: Looks like your life offers a new spin and perspective on the work-life balance issue! It’s not always easy, but you’ve figured out a way to make it work for you.

Now, with your completed book in hand, you made the decision to go the self-publishing route, as opposed to traditional publishing. Why?

ELIZABETH: Unfortunately the route was chose for me. I banged out my memoir and was gung-ho to have it picked up, published and purchased. The proposals sent out by my agent did receive decent feedback, but ultimately an offer was not to be. I thought that publishers would read the synopsis and opening chapters to see if I had a feel for idiom and a talent for crafting my story. To that scope, I did achieve something. Although every submission came back with a dismissal, it was apparent they had enjoyed reading my work.

But I knew that I was in fine company and that all would eventually work itself out. Robert Persig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected 121 times; Louis L'Amour - 200 rejections. Deepak Chopra and Zane Grey were self-publishers. Life went on for them, didn’t it?

WOW: I had no idea that Persig and L’Amour had the number of rejections they did or that Chopra and Grey were self-published. That’s great inspiration for the rest of us to keep plugging along. Duly noted!

Can I just say that I LOVE your book’s title? All Men Are Cremated Equal is a delightful play on words, but alludes to one of your other occupations—mortician. How did you get into that field?

ELIZABETH: Comfort level, I guess. I spent a lot of time in funeral homes as a kid. Not because of my family in the business, but my family in caskets. Fourniers don’t exactly have the best longevity record.

At my tiny Catholic school (where most students lived with both parents), I stood out. Everyone knew my mother had died, and they all knew that when they suffered the loss of a family member, or even a pet, I was the person to talk with. I was the only death resource in the community of students. When I got into junior high, and when someone’s parent or sibling would die—anyone, really—I’d be the person they’d seek out. Everybody looked at me as their go-to girl for death.

The funeral industry seemed like such a natural life path, and I truly feel that it is my calling and my ministry.

WOW: It definitely appears that this industry found you! I think the best part is that you discerned what your natural gifts are, and went for the occupations that fulfilled your passion. Speaking of which, another occupation of yours is ballroom dance instructor. How long have you been at it and what got you into it?

ELIZABETH: I became an Arthur Murray dancer right out of college. There was an apprenticeship open at a funeral home in Portland that I had my eye on, but they didn’t hire me. The newspaper was the main job hunting source in the early 90’s and finding another mortuary position listed was bleak at best. I spied the dance instructor job and something clicked. I stared at my closet for quite a long time, figuring out what a ballroom dancer would wear. I finally dressed, made my way to the studio, and was hired after an hour of practicing the waltz and foxtrot. That was 16 years ago.

My dance partner, Scott, has been the Instructor of Ballroom Dance at Reed College since 1995, and I am presently his lovely assistant. Teaching students of this caliber of smarts is really riveting. They actually get into it. Not only do they catch on super fast, they want to know the expression and the origin of the dances.

Most dance steps are taught in segments, repeatedly walked through and then danced with music, and maybe three dances are taught to the group for the duration of their lessons. Not so with Reedies. We can teach more than basic box steps. They crave rhythm, style, and advanced techniques. It is a test for our teaching ability to answer all the questions their hungry minds need for nourishment. No more “the man is the frame; the lady is the window.” These kids are too cool for school.

WOW: Hearing about your ballroom background takes me back to the semester I took ballroom lessons when I was in college. I was far from being ‘Reedie cool’, but it was fun--eventually.

Now, do you have any writing advice to offer us?

ELIZABETH: Read aloud what you have written. Generally your ear is better than your eyes, and if you read it out loud you are much more likely to find dreadful sentences, terrible tenses, and other errors.

WOW: Great advice which I’ve found very effective in my own writing. Are there other genres you’d like to pursue in your writing? Or do you want to stick with nonfiction for now?

ELIZABETH: I love telling a true story. I love connected with people through something I’ve written, and being able to possibly make a difference in someone’s life through something I’ve personally experienced. When you read non-fiction, you're being exposed to the imagination of reality.

WOW: You’ve certainly connected with me and I think that’ll be the case with our readers, too. So, what’s next with you, Elizabeth? Can you share a bit of what you’re working on now?

ELIZABETH: I have been asked to start compiling my notes for another book. There is interest in my life as a small-town female mortician who lives where she works and brings her baby to work at the funeral home. I have years of funeral and cemetery experience that has been rather fascinating, and I am flattered and equally thrilled to move forward with my first draft.

I’m also doing book promotion. It’s a full-time job. And trying to get some sleep. Some weeks I hardly sleep. This week was like that, but I guess I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

WOW: (Laughs) Well, we hope you’ll get that much-needed sleep well before then! Elizabeth, again, it was a delight getting to know you! I can’t wait to get my own copy of your book! Good luck on the tour!

Want to join Elizabeth on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

MAY 11, 2009 Monday
Elizabeth will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Jan's book!
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

MAY 12, 2009 Tuesday
Elizabeth will be stopping by Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog, The New Book Review. Stop by and hear what readers are saying about All Men Are Cremated Equal!
http://thenewbookreview.blogspot.com/

MAY 13, 2009 Wednesday
Elizabeth will be stopping by Cheryl Phillips' blog, The Daily Blonde, to share a few bits of advice she learned while on her blind date marathon! This will be a fun stop!
http://thedailyblonde.com/

MAY 14, 2009 Thursday
Elizabeth will be stopping by Mom-e-Centric to give readers an insider's view on self-publishing. Mom-e-Centric will also be holding a book giveaway contest to those that comment!
http://www.momecentric.com/

MAY 15, 2009 Friday
Elizabeth will be stopping by Day-by-Day Writer for an exclusive interview on how she managed to write her memoir while working full time, and her journey through self-publishing and marketing. If you're an author, aspiring or established, this is not to miss!
http://daybydaywriter.wordpress.com/

MAY 18, 2009 Monday
Elizabeth will be stopping by TV Boyfriends to share some online dating stories! Stop by for the fun and enjoy a laugh!
http://www.tvboyfriends.com/

MAY 20, 2009 Wednesday
Elizabeth stops by Mary Jo Campbell's blog, Writers Inspired, for a fun interview about writing, her job as a mortician, and being a newlywed. Not to miss!
http://writerinspired.wordpress.com/

MAY 21, 2009 Thursday
Elizabeth stops by Annette Fix' blog to talk about what it's like to capture an uncomfortable experience (like the worst blind date in history) with your writing. Elizabeth tells all today!
http://www.annettefix.com/

MAY 26, 2009 Tuesday
Elizabeth stops by a fascinating blog, Wedding Skulls, to chat about romance and death. This should be an interesting post!
http://weddingskulls.com/

MAY 27, 2009 Wednesday
Elizabeth stops by Stacie Connerty's blog, The Divine Miss Mommy, for a fun interview and review of All Men Are Cremated Equal.
http://thedivinemissmommy.com/

June 8, 2009 Monday
Elizabeth stops by Sybil Baker's blog to chat about promoting a book without a publisher. This should be an interesting post! Sybil also reviews All Men Are Cremated Equal.
http://sybilbaker.blogspot.com/

June 15, 2009 Monday
Elizabeth stops by Modern Single Momma's blog to chat about dating!
http://www.modernmarriedmomma.com/blog/

We also have several more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Elizabeth Fournier's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Elizabeth's book All Men are Cremated Equal: My 77 Blind Dates.




















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Monday, March 23, 2009

 

Sybil Baker, Author of The Life Plan, Launches her Blog Tour!

& Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

Sybil Baker spent twelve years teaching in South Korea prior to accepting a position as an assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after earning her MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. During her extensive travels throughout Asia, she became increasingly interested in the allure and alienation of American travelers and expatriates, and this has heavily influenced her writing. Her fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including Upstreet, The Bitter Oleander, Paper Street, and Alehouse. Her essay on American expatriate literature appeared in AWP's The Writer's Chronicle in September 2005.

Learn more about Sybil by visiting her website: www.sybilbaker.com and her blog, An Ex-patriate's Musings on Writing, Teaching, and Travel.

Sybil has such a great trailer for her book, The Life Plan, that we had to share it with you here! Enjoy the trailer and the interview below, and be sure to comment to be entered in the book giveaway contest!



What would you do if your carefully planned life was falling apart?

Like many women, Kat Miller dreams of having a satisfying career, a loving family, and a house of her own. But Kat has taken things further than most, documenting her dreams in a "Life Plan," so that nothing will go wrong. Yet something has: Dan, her husband of five years. Kat suspects that Dan, recently unemployed, is spending more time in yoga class with his beautiful classmate than he is looking for a job. When Dan announces that he has enrolled in a massage course in Thailand, Kat is convinced she has to go with him to save her marriage.

From the offices of Washington, DC, to the gritty streets of Bangkok to the mountain region of Chiang Mai, from the serenity of ancient Buddhist ruins to the passion of the jungle to all-night beach parties, Kat narrates her quest to have it all, only to wonder if having it all is all there is.

Click here to read the first chapter of The Life Plan.

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a copy of Sybil's book, The Life Plan, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end.

We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

---------------- Interview by Joanne Stacey

WOW: Hi Sybil! We are so excited to have you join us for a blog tour for you new book The Life Plan. It is such a great book in all senses: it is funny, sad, and soul searching. How long did it take you to write The Life Plan?

Sybil: I wrote this novel when I was still living in South Korea. I started it in late 2004 and had a rough draft finished by October 2005. I worked on it off and on based on friends’ feedback and in between other projects until I submitted it to Casperian in September 2007.

WOW: I am always so interested in the writing process for successful authors. I've tried writing with an outline and writing without an outline and found that with an outline, my muse never wants to stay on track, and without one, I can't stay focused. Do you outline before you write?

Sybil: I did use a basic outline for this novel, as I'm "plot challenged." I wrote scenes and ideas on index cards. The book often deviated from the outline, especially the final third, which I rewrote after I got feedback from the editors at Casperian. I expect to deviate from outlines--they're a starting point rather than a final template.

WOW: I love the term "plot challenged!" But after reading your book, I would have never guessed that. Especially since you created such colorful characters. Do you complete full character sketches so you know what each one is like?

Sybil: Thanks! For this novel I did do character sketches of the main characters in the book. I've also met a lot of colorful people in my life and used composites of them to create my characters.

WOW: I'm sure that through your many travels you've met very interesting people to draw from! I love your main character, Kat Miller. She is someone I definitely can relate to on so many levels. How did you decide to write The Life Plan in first person as opposed to third person?

Sybil: My short stories are often darker than this novel, and I really wanted to write something with more humor in it. I thought a first person approach would allow me to create a stronger voice and use my character's sense of humor more authentically.

WOW: There definitely are some great laugh out loud moments in your book! What really drew me in though, are the rich descriptions. They are so well written, it seems it was really effortless for you to write them. Since you lived and traveled around Asia, did you have to do much research?

Sybil: I wish it had been effortless! If you read my blog from August to October you'll know how much I complained about the rewrites and edits I had to do for this novel. I rewrote this novel on many levels many times.

I've been to Thailand five or six times and used my own experience for some of the settings, but I also did a lot of research to fill in the hazy parts of my memory. I also wrote about a few places I hadn't visited, and had to do more research on those areas. I also interviewed friends who had also been to Thailand about their experiences. Research is much easier with the Internet though.

WOW: (laughs) Yes, the Internet. What would we do without it? Can you imagine going back to the system of library card catalogs and sitting in front of those huge microfiche machines, trying to find information? And, how much more difficult it would have been to find a publisher? How did you go about getting published?

Sybil: I'd just moved back to the States and had sent the manuscript out to a few agents with some nibbles and interest but no takers. I decided that instead of querying a new batch of agents I'd try a small press. I was lucky in that Casperian was one of the first small presses I queried, and they wrote back right away.

WOW: I've heard such good things about small presses. When you were looking at them, how did you decide to query Casperian Books?

Sybil: I loved Casperian's eclectic book list--they're open to a wide variety of fiction, and I liked that about them. Also, from their website they seemed well-organized and up front about their contract and what they could/could not do regarding publicity.

I've not been disappointed. It's been a joy working with Casperian and I'd recommend the press to anyone who thinks their work might mesh with their catalogue.

WOW: What a great endorsement for Casperian! Since every publisher is different, can you tell me what Casperian's publishing process is like?

Sybil: As I mentioned earlier, I talk about the different steps of the publishing process in more detail on my blog. Basically though, there is lots and lots of editing and proofreading. With Casperian the actual publishing of the book (cover design, etc.) was a collaborative effort, which I appreciated. Since then it's been marketing--setting up readings, giving out advanced review copies, blogging, etc.

WOW: I do love the cover of your book! I know some authors have no say in any of the artistic process, so I think it's wonderful that it was a collaborative effort. And speaking of marketing, how else will you promote your book?

Sybil: First, I have a great book trailer on YouTube that I'm hoping will help get the word out (see above).

Second, I'll be reading at any place that will take me! For March and April I'll be reading a lot in the Atlanta-Chattanooga-Knoxville area. I'll be in South Africa in May, but am planning on creating my own book tour for parts of June and all of July.

In addition to this blog tour, I hope to continue to host authors on my blog (sybilbaker.blogspot.com), be a guest author on other blogs, and be active in the online community.

And finally, I've been very lucky to have a team helping me at little or no cost. My assistant, Katie Christie, has been a workhorse helping me plan and coordinate readings and other events. My husband, who happens to be an excellent web designer, maintains my website (www.sybilbaker.com). My friend Todd Bradley has his own production company and made my book trailer for free. A photographer Katie who took the author photos.

WOW: You are so together! I love the book trailer, and your blog. Best of luck to you with all your promotions! I know I enjoyed reading The Life Plan and really hope you have something new in the works so I have something to look forward to reading next.

Sybil: I'm in the final edits of a novel tentatively titled "Replay." Readers who enjoy The Life Plan will be interested in this new novel, which takes place in Washington, DC, Williamsburg, Virginia, and Los Angeles. Like The Life Plan, "Replay" has a female protagonist who is having relationship and career conflicts.

WOW: Sounds fantastic, Sybil! Maybe we'll get to see yet another book set in South Africa? Thanks a bunch for taking the time to share some insight with us as your blog tour begins. Do you have any parting gems for our WOW! readers?

Sybil: Thanks for your support of women writers by being such great readers. The best way to sell a book is by word of mouth--readers have the most power to help a book along. And if you're an aspiring writer, find your voice and keep writing.

Thanks so much for hosting me!

Want to join Sybil on her blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

MARCH 23, 2009 Monday
Sybil will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of Sybil's book!
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

MARCH 25, 2009 Wednesday
Sybil will be stopping by Modern Single Momma to chat about developing a life plan. Not to miss!
http://modernsinglemomma.wordpress.com/

MARCH 30, 2009 Monday
Sybil will be stopping by Bleeding Espresso to share her experiences about being an ex-pat--a subject both Sybil and blog owner Michelle Fabio have in common!
http://bleedingespresso.com/

MARCH 31, 2009 Tuesday
Sybil will be stopping by Susan Johnston's blog The Urban Muse to share her best tips for organizing your writing time. I need to read this one!
http://www.urbanmusewriter.com

APRIL 2, 2009 Thursday
Sybil will be stopping by Liz Lewis' blog Write To Travel to share her tips about travel writing--a subject both are passionate about.
http://writetotravel.blogspot.com

APRIL 3, 2009 Friday
Sybil will be stopping by Mary Jo Campbell's blog, Writer Inspired, for an exclusive interview on novel writing!
http://writerinspired.wordpress.com/

APRIL 6, 2009 Monday
Sybil will be stopping by Joanne DeMaio's blog, Whole Latte Life, to share her thoughts on developing a life plan and fitting passion into your busy life. An inspiring and important topic!
http://joannedemaio.blogspot.com/

APRIL 8, 2009 Wednesday
Sybil will be stopping by Cheryl Phillips' blog, The Daily Blonde, for a surprise post and book giveaway! Be sure to stop by and comment for a chance to win a copy of Sybil's book.
http://dailyblonde.blogspot.com

APRIL 9, 2009 Thursday
Sybil will be stopping by Anne-Marie Nichols' blog, A Mama's Rant, to share her expert writing advice on travel writing and how to get press rates!
http://www.amamasrant.com/

APRIL 14, 2009 Tuesday
Sybil will be stopping by Allena Tapia's blog, GardenWall Publications, to share her expert writing advice on crafting a novel from your travels. Not to miss!
http://www.gardenwallpublications.com/blog

We also have several more dates to come, so be sure to check out our Events Calendar HERE.

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in Sybil Baker's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of Sybil Baker's book, The Life Plan. Learn more about Sybil by visiting her website: www.sybilbaker.com and her blog, An Ex-patriate's Musings on Writing, Teaching, and Travel.






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Monday, March 02, 2009

 

George Singleton, author of Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, launches his blog tour!

In Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers acclaimed Southern story writer and novelist George Singleton serves up everything you ever need to know to become a real writer (meaning one who actually writes), in bite-sized aphorisms. It's Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil meets Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird. It's cough syrup that tastes like chocolate cake. In other words, don't expect to get better unless you get a good dose of it, maybe two.

Accompanied by more than fifty original full-color illustrations by novelist Daniel Wallace, these laugh-out-loud funny, candid, and surprisingly useful lessons will help you find your own writerly balance so you can continue to move forward.

Singleton graduated from Furman University in 1980 with a degree in philosophy, and from UNC-Greensboro with an MFA in creative writing. Singleton has taught English and fiction writing at Francis Marion College, the Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. He has been a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina and UNC-Wilmington, and has given readings and taught classes at a number of universities and secondary schools. He has published four collections of stories: These People Are Us, The Half-Mammals of Dixie, Why Dogs Chase Cars, Drowning in Gruel; and two novels: Novel and Work Shirts for Madmen.

He lives in Pickens County, South Carolina with the clay artist Glenda Guion their eleven dogs and one cat.

Visit his website at www.georgesingleton.com

Published by Writers Digest Books., $17.99
Publication Date: October 22, 2008
Non-Fiction, Writer’s Advice, Hardcover
ISBN# 9781582975658

Book Giveaway Comments Contest!

If you received our Events Newsletter, remember, we are holding a contest to win a signed copy of George’s book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds, to those that comment. So, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and enjoy the chat, and share your thoughts, and comments, at the end. We will randomly choose a winner from those who comment. Enjoy!

Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: Welcome to WOW!, George. We're delighted to launch your blog tour for your book, Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers (Writers Digest Books, 2008).

George: Well, I've visited The Muffin and I definitely win Most Curmudgeonly, Ugliest Person to ever be on the blog. Sorry about that.

WOW: Why don't we change that to the Trailblazer Award? After all, you're our first male author on a WOW Blog Tour. And writers, of all people, know not to judge a book by its cover. George, up until now your cover has been stamped "fiction" with four short story collections and two novels. How did you switch from fiction to writing advice?

George: I started writing these little aphorisms and anecdotes in September of 2007. I told my friend Will Allison (a fellow novelist) about it, and he said, "You should contact Lauren Mosko at Writers Digest Books." I did, and sent her 40 of the little sections.

WOW: How did you decide to include illustrations with the book?

George: Actually, while Lauren was consulting with her boss about accepting my book I was on a book tour in Nashville where I told Daniel Wallace (a writer and illustrator) about it. He said, "I want to do illustrations for that book." It was as simple as that.

WOW: It seems like this book led a charmed life. Everything just fit into place.

George: Lauren was a great editor--taking out some of the aphorisms she rightly didn't think made sense. But then, about a week after the book came out Lauren let me know about her decision to leave Writers Digest Books. When Lauren left I felt as though the book no longer had a cheerleader. Wait--I don’t think of Lauren as a cheerleader. I know longer had anyone in my corner. Wait--I don’t think of Lauren as a boxer's cut person. (Laughs) Then I learned that because of layoffs there wasn't exactly a PR department either. My book was an orphan.

WOW: So what does the author of an orphaned book do? Did you have your own marketing plan set up?

George: I never did any publicity for myself. The publishing houses would assign a publicist and I would go off to book signings, interviews…or the people somehow found me. I had some book conferences and festivals lined up, so that was about it.

WOW: Sounds like you aren't a big fan of drumming up publicity for your writing George.

George: I think of it as a necessary evil. I would much rather sit at home and write. It's not that I'm a total misanthrope--I've been known to have a good time--but I get way too nervous at book signings and readings.

WOW: So I suppose a Blog Tour is perfect for you. What's up next, maybe a rant against unreliable publicity plans? And what type of publicity plan for your next book?

George: I'm working on a novel and have a collection of stories pretty much ready. But I'm waiting out the storm. I hope that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt gets going again, or someone buys it out. [HMH published George's fiction books but recently stopped acquiring new manuscripts--another victim of the economy]. I worry, again, more about the writing than on publicity plans.

WOW: Well, we're looking forward to those books and are glad to see that you haven't lost that sense of humor that makes Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds such a fun read. Want to join George on his blog tour? Check out these dates and mark your calendar! You can also snag a copy of WOW's Events Calendar HERE.

Blog Tour Dates: Come and join the fun!

March 2, 2009 Monday
George will be chatting with WOW! Women On Writing at The Muffin. Stop by and share your comments! One lucky commenter will win copy of George's book!
http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/blog.html

March 3, 2009 Tuesday
George will be stopping by Writer's Round-About and sharing his advice on how to make a living as a writer! And, there's a book giveaway contest! Not to miss.
http://www.writersroundabout.com/

March 4, 2009 Wednesday
George will be stopping by Joyce Anthony's new blog for an exclusive author interview and book review.
http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/

March 5, 2009 Thursday
George will be stopping by Jo Ann Hernandez' BronzeWord's Blog to share his writing advice!
http://bronzeword.wordpress.com/

March 7, 2009 Saturday
George will be stopping by Mike's Writing Workshop for an author interview and guest post. Not to miss!
http://mikeswritingworkshop.blogspot.com/

March 9, 2009 Monday
George will be visiting Annette Fix's Paper Trail blog to talk about the craft of writing. Be sure to stop by!
http://www.annettefix.com

March 10, 2009 Tuesday
George will be visiting Writer Unboxed to share his tips on the five things every writer should know. I can't wait for that one!
http://writerunboxed.com/

March 13, 2009 Friday
George will be visiting Beth Morrissey's blog Hell Or High Water to talk about making a living as a short story writer. Another must read!
http://hellorhighwaterwriter.blogspot.com/

March 16, 2009 Monday
Thursday Bram will be reviewing George's book Pep Talks, Warnings and Screeds at her fantastic blog!
http://www.thursdaybram.com/

March 17, 2009 Tuesday
George will be stopping by Mary Jo Campbell's blog Writer Inspired for an exclusive interview and book giveaway contest! Comment for a chance to win a copy of George's book!
http://writerinspired.wordpress.com

March 19, 2009 Thursday
George will be stopping by C. Hope Clark's blog for an exclusive interview!
http://www.hopeclark.blogspot.com/

March 23, 2009 Monday
George will be stopping by Susan Johnston's blog The Urban Muse for a surprise guest post!
http://www.urbanmusewriter.com

March 27, 2009 Friday
George will be stopping by Day by Day Writer for an exclusive interview!
http://daybydaywriter.wordpress.com/

Get involved!

We hope you are as excited about the tour as we are! Mark your calendar, save these dates, and join us for this truly unique and fascinating author blog tour.

If you have a blog or website and would like to participate in George Singleton's blog tour, or schedule a tour of your own, please email Angela and Jodi at: blogtour@wow-womenonwriting.com

** Please feel free to copy any portion of this post.

Oh, be sure to comment on this post to enter in a drawing for a copy of George's latest book Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers. Visit his website at www.georgesingleton.com

George will be stopping by to answer your questions, so ask away! ;)

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