Hi Everyone!

Pamela S. Meyers here with another post on promoting your book. I’m currently in the midst of marketing my latest release, so that’s what I’m writing about this month.
Pam Signing at Museum 4-27 

My historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin’s original release date was in April, and months ago I scheduled a launch event at the Geneva Lake Museum in Lake Geneva for Saturday, April 27th. That’s me in the picture signing books at the event.

Early on I made out my to-do list.

  •  Prepare a slideshow (PowerPoint) presentation on my personal history with the town and the book’s research.
  •  Contact editor of the local weekly paper and arrange for interview.
  •  Invite special guests.
  •  Send out eblast to my mailing list announcing the dates of both events.
  •  Plan refreshments.
  •  Gather items for gift bag to be raffled off.
  •  Appoint someone to take care of the raffle tickets (no money exchanged, of course!)
  •  Prepare an ad for the museum director to use for promotion. Here it is!

Museum Ad

  •  Plan my attire for the day
  •  Arrange for backup projector in case the one on site fails.
  •  Gather my assortment of vintage items to decorate the space along with a framed collection of vintage postcards of the area that I’ve been collecting

So  I began working on some of these items several months in advance, such as contacting the newspaper editor and inviting him to say a few words at the event because my heroine and hero work for the current paper’s predecessor. We also set up an appointment for him to interview me for a feature article.

Presentation Slideshow

I also began shopping early for items for the gift bag I planned to raffle off. Since the story is set in Lake Geneva, I wanted some items that were clearly from the area. Therefore, whenever I was in town I shopped for the bag. For the bag itself, I custom ordered a canvas bag with a picture of a vintage Lake Geneva postcard imprinted on one side. IA mug from Lake Geneva, a can cooler with a Lake Geneva imprint on it, a reading book light, copies of my three published books, and chocolate, among other things, went into the bag.

For refreshments I decided on cookies and apple juice which I purchased from Costco.

With everything in place, all that was left was to practice my slideshow presentation, over and over and over again!

The day of the event, I packed my car to the brim with the refreshments, a huge tub of books, and everything else I would need. A friend met me at the museum and helped me set everything up. Before I knew it, it was time to change into my new dress and greet my guests.

Everything went without a hitch…well except for when I asked my cousin to draw the winning ticket for the gift bag and she drew her own ticket!!!!

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

Author, Janet Perez Eckles

By Janet Perez Eckles

Last Wednesday, my dear friend and I stepped into a nice hotel nestled in the busy part of Miami, near the airport. She put a large gift basket in my hands. “I think they left this for you.”

What a lovely surprise! And on the night table was a stand with a copy of my new release, Simplemente Salsa, to be launched at EXPOLIT (an annual event for publishers, bookstores, music artists and distributors—an event to0 huge for my brain to take in).

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Maureen Pratt Author PicHello!  Maureen Pratt here with another blog post about the writing art and craft. This time, some thoughts about the English language and how we might mix it up a little to yield fresh "color," insight, and depth to our work.

Two real life events have inspired me to blog about this. One was a conversation I overheard in the post office. It went like this:

Postal Clerk (handing Customer a pane of stamps): Here you go.

Customer: Where? Here I go where?

Postal Clerk: Your stamps, sir. Here you go.

Customer: Where do I go?

Postal Clerk (pointing at pane of stamps): I don't know, sir, but here are your stamps.

Customer: Oh. Thank you.

 

The other event was a conversation I had with an employee at my local grocery store. It went like this:

Employee: Did you find everything you wanted, ma'am?

Me: Yes, except you didn't have blueberries.

Employee: If you're really craving blueberries, we have frozen.

Me: I know, but they don't go well on cereal.

Employee: Got it. How about strawberries?

Me: I like them, but not on cereal.

Employee: Too bad. Because the strawberries are really transcendent today.

If you smiled at both of these illustrations, I'm right there with you. The first exchange involved someone whose native language was not English and who clearly had trouble with the idiom, "here you go." The second one invovled someone whose native language was English, but who clearly went beyond the norm in word association. (What would it have been like, I wonder, if I had purchased and eaten those "transcendent" strawberries?!)

Although different in context and character, both of these are examples of how creative we can get with English, depending not just on who is speaking, but to whom one is speaking. I don't have to go into a detailed description, for example, to convey the quirky character of someone who would describe strawberries as "transcendent." I also don't have to go into much detail at all to demonstrate how the English language, particularly slang and idioms, can be confusing for the non-native speaker – all it takes is those few lines of dialogue.

When I interview people for my non-fiction work, I keep my ears tuned to those sometimes-subtle, but always telling turns of phrase that can give away someone's background, expertise, or spiritual context. Often, my intervewees are unaware of how they sound, how they put words together, and what phrases they use. But if I can pick up on these, my work can be much tighter and telling than any labored description I might come up with.

In fiction, I use much the same technique. A character who is an engineer, for example, might describe something completely differently from someone who is a musician. The engineer might be more apt to talk in terms of form, fit, and building blocks, whereas the musician might use his or her sense of rhythm, tone, and feeling. The engineer might be a very linear communicator (A + B = C), whereas someone who is more artistically inclined might be non-linear (A + (A-B) – E = ?)

Simple words can be powerful descriptors. For example, growing up in Illinois, I always called the strip of grass between the street and the sidewalk the "boulevard." In Ohio, it was the "treelawn." In Boston, a drinking fountain was a "bubbler."  Add to these little differences the challenge of regional pronunciations, and it's no wonder that many find English to be an extremely difficult language to master!

As children, we read of pink elephants, flying monkeys, talking bears, and mad hatters. As adults, and as writers, we can call upon that play on reality and language to craft English work that has creative depth and, dare I say it, transcendent description – even when writing of the most mundane of subjects.

Blessings of joy and peace,

Maureen

www.maureenpratt.com

http://blog.beliefnet.com/gooddaysbaddays/


Sundin #D70 ©2008 Linda Johnson Photography web (2)Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California. Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Kathy Harris, who has a fascinating writing history, starting with writing biographies of entertainers. Kathy’s debut novel, The Road to Mercy, highlights her background in the Christian music industry. With her background in marketing, she has some great insight for us today!


CAN Kathy HarrisKathy, how did you
get into writing? How many books do you have published?

I’ve wanted to write since I was a child and kept that dream through high school and college, graduating with a communications degree from Southern Illinois University. I was offered a position in the Nashville music industry, and it turned into a career that has spanned more than three decades.

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