In just a few short days (March 6 to be precise) a wonderful middle-grade novel hits the shelves with the release of The Stupendous Adventures of Mighty Marty Hayes. It was a treat to read this book in advance. It’s a fast-paced adventure about kids who have a love for science, a fascination for all things spy related, and are just realizing that they have inherited some special talents. Smartly written, not only with the inclusion of science, the book also delights with a diverse cast of characters and well-placed references to civil rights’ history and more. This could be an excellent jumping off point for some nonfiction reading about Harriet Tubman, the Tuskegee Airmen, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ruby Bridges. I highly recommend this read not only for its... Continue Reading
Reading, wRiting, and Roaming with Author Valerie Biel
The second year of the Writers' Forum continues! Each month there is no shortage of important publishing news and helpful writing information to share with other authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. This is a compilation of the news you need to know along with a preview of the upcoming book events in southern Wisconsin. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and publishing professionals and am happy pay that forward. On a professional level, I also use my publicity and editorial skills to aid other authors through my company Lost Lake Press. I'd love to use my skills to guide you through the steps of independent publishing.March Book Events
NEW... Continue Reading
In the era of social media and emojis, writing instructors are battling for relevance. Many of my students have asked why they need to know how to write. They argue that a particular career — computer science, software design, nursing — aren’t considered creative nor fall within the liberal arts program of study. While our discussion is good-natured, I make it clear that writing is not just about assignments and proper APA citation. It’s a process that’s actually good for one’s soul. It mines one’s subconscious, helping solve problems and heal emotional wounds. In addition, writing opens the door to critical thinking, an evaluation... Continue Reading
Today I welcome author Sara Dahmen. Besides being the creator of excellently-written women’s historical fiction novels, she is an event planner, an artisan, business owner, wife, and mother of three. Her research for her new novel Widow, formerly titled Dr. Kinney’s Housekeeper, and an appreciation for vintage cookware led her to found her businesses House Copper & Cookware —which features the most amazing copper cookware. Did I mention she’s an apprentice coppersmith?
Today is also the release date for Widow, so we're celebrating that fun event with her. With such a busy week, I am grateful she has taken time out of her crazy schedule to visit us and let me pepper her with questions.
Sara, I’ve given a... Continue Reading
I treated myself to a number of reading days over the holidays (and beyond). Bookstore gift cards helped me assuage the guilt of spending too much money! (Although, I likely should have been working on other projects!)
I always love a good holiday romance and Nora Roberts didn’t disappoint with A Will and A Way. This is a fun story with some excellent twists and turns . . . and it all begins with a will that lays down some interesting terms. This is one Roberts' older titles that has been revived for re-release.
... Continue Reading
Welcome to the second year of the Writers' Forum! Each month there is no shortage of important publishing news and helpful writing information to share with other authors, particularly those independently publishing their books. Once a month in 2018, I'll continue to bring you "the best of" the news you need to know along with a preview of the upcoming book events in southern Wisconsin. I am incredibly thankful for the assistance and advice given to me from writing and publishing professionals and am happy pay that forward. On a professional level, I also use my publicity and editorial skills to aid other authors through my company Lost Lake Press. I'd love to use my skills to guide you through the steps of... Continue Reading
One of the best parts of writing fiction is the ability to name your cast of characters. I know when I wrote my first stories I didn’t approach this in a scientific or logical way. I just picked names I liked that fit the idea of the character in my head. It was only much later that I learned that there truly is a method to the madness of naming these fictional souls, and when done right, you can add another layer of magic to your story.
J.K. Rowling provides us with what I consider to be the most epic example of naming skill. What did she do? Her moniker methodology includes an unsurpassed attention to detail that includes Latin and historical roots that fit her characters details.
For example, Harry is a Middle... Continue Reading
I met Bonniejean Alford at one of my favorite writing conferences, the University of Wisconsin Writers' Institute. She's a creative communication strategist, word artist, and speaker, and yet, like so many of us, she's experienced something that is a stumbling block in any profession. In a piece written in the style of her memoir, she boldly takes you on a journey to overcome one of the greatest threats to productivity – the fear of success.
The Death of Productivity - Success... I mean Fear
by Bonniejean Alford
I am a famous author.
Don’t believe me? That’s okay, the world doesn’t know it yet, for my own fear has kept me from the... Continue Reading
Today I welcome author Larry Scheckel. Larry is an award-winning science teacher who turned his love for science into books that teach us how things work. The recently released, I Always Wondered About That: 101 Questions and Answers About Science and Other Stuff and Ask a Science Teacher address our quirky, hypothetical, and somtimes irreverent questions that we never asked in class. In addition, he has written a memoir of growing up in the hill country of southwestern Wisconsin, Seneca Seasons: A Farm Boy Remembers.
Larry, thank you so much for visiting today. I’ve enjoyed your books so much and know that you never stop writing. I Always Wondered About That: 101 Questions and Answers About Science and Other Stuff released just... Continue Reading
We all crave connections--real, meaningful person-to-person connections. It doesn't matter if we work in a solitary profession like writing or if we're in an occupation that just feels solitary. So when I saw Amanda Zieba's year-end post about her Word of the Year, CONNECTIONS, I immediately set aside time to read.
I loved her post so much, I am sharing the whole thing below with you (with Amanda's permission). But first, let me tell you a story (because that's what I do). Before I met Amanda, before I knew her word of the year was Connections, she reached out to me in May. She had heard about the Columbus Books & Beer book club (which I moderate) from... Continue Reading