Showing posts from November, 2010

A Reader's Guide to Book Signings

Over the years, I've had a gajillion book signings, give or take. Lately, that number has been growing.
And in the last bit, some people, knowing that signings aren't totally awesome unless your last name is something like Rowling, have asked how they should act when they see a writer at a book signing. What's the etiquette?
If I hadn't been on the other side of the fence, I wouldn't have the answer. But alas, I have been there. Many times.
And some days, I wish I had a sign with tips for people to read as they pass.
So today, a list of DOs and DON'Ts for the reader who happens upon a book signing:
1) DO Make Eye Contact and Smile. In other words, don't panic, pretending the writer doesn't exist, then veer the other direction as if we have leprosy. Yes, we know you're avoiding us. And no, a simple acknowledgment of our existence doesn't obligate you to buy our book. A simple "hello" can go a long way in making the writer feel at least human…

A Turkey Story

For your Thanksgiving reading enjoyment, and with permission from my second grader, here is a story she wrote for class.
Spelling and punctuation hers, although I've clarified a couple of words in brackets. (She got help spelling "unconscious" from a student teacher. I was stunned to see it spelled right at first.)

Turkey Trouble
Once apon a time there was a tacky turkey named Jill. Jill lived on a farm. Her Grandma told her all about Thanksgiving. Jill didn't believe her, because fore ten years the farmer had not eatan turkey. Sence she was a tacky turkey she made the farmer laugh. Until one year when the farmer got annoyed. He got so annoyd that he wanted to eat her!
So she ran and while she was runing she hit her head on a rock and lost her memory and for a fyow [few] minutes she was unconscious. When she woke up she found herself on the counter and the farmer was rite next to her. The farmer was holding a very sharp and shiny thing.
It was very close to her neck so…

What One Book . . .

At a book signing not long ago, a store employee posed the following question:
If you could pick one book to read over and over again for the rest of your life, what would it be?
She said it was her tricky way of finding out people's favorite books.
I disagreed. For me, at least, the answer to that question didn't necessarily point to my favorite book. Because of the way it's phrased, the question alone eliminates several contenders.
Here's why:
Some of my all-time favorite books aren't quick, fun, happy reads. They aren't something I'd necessarily want to have at my fingertips, every day for the rest of my life even though they blew me away or I love them dearly for whatever reason.
Some of them are hard reads. Or slow reads. Some are filled with musical language or voice or character as big as plot. Some make me weep. Others make me think. Hard.
So if I could have just one book to read every day for the rest of my life, it almost certainly wouldn't be one…

Briefly out of Hiding

Checking in really quickly in the middle of my month of insanity. (So weird to not be blogging regularly. I feel rather cut off from part of the world . . .)
Just had to drop a note to say thanks to the great English 195 class I got to speak to today at BYU. You guys were awesome. Your enthusiasm was contagious, and you made me feel welcome.
(One of the student aides graduated from my high school. Yay for T-bird English majors!)
I felt like a college student again and had to remind myself constantly that it's been awhile, that I'm more than twice the age of incoming freshman, and that my son could be here in three years.
THREE. (I hesitate to ponder too long on that freaky fact.)
One story I shared with the class is something I posted here awhile back about the myth of English being a fluffy major and of Dr. Cracroft's awesomeness about it. (Read that post HERE.)
Eng 195 students: Feel free to contact me if you have questions. I'd love to help!
(And Dana, follow your dreams…

For Mom, Who Is Not on Facebook

Taking a tiny break from my chaotic editing/proofing/NaNoWriMo schedule to post the television segment that aired like a week ago.
I put it on my Facebook page. Mom's not on Facebook, so for her sake, here it is again (especially because I mention her in the clip . . .).
The two main segments are on the Channel 2 site, but my husband compiled every teaser and clip that I was on.
Another note: Thursday is Veteran's Day! In honor of the holiday, Channel 2's Fresh Living morning show is having me on to talk about Band of Sisters and the Flat Daddy program.
(I know; when it rains, it pours! Never thought I'd do 2 TV segments for the same station in the same month but for different books!)
Fresh Living KUTV Channel 2 Thursday, November 11 10:00 AM
And now the kitchen segment with Chef Bryan Woolley:

New Author Interview: Tamara Hart Heiner

Recently I interviewed debut novelist Tamara Hart Heiner, whose novel, Perilous, will be out with WiDo on November 16.
Good news for e-book readers: the electronic version is already out. (You can buy Perilous on Amazon HERE.)

I haven't read Perilous (although I must say the title rocks), but since I always find talking with new writers fascinating, I thought it would be fun to talk to her about publishing and writing.
Here's our interview.
AL: How long have you been writing and how did you get started? (When did the bug bite you?)
THH: This is a really difficult question for me, so I'll give you the simple answer. I wrote the first draft of Perilous when I was 12. My muse then took 10+ year sabbatical, returning to bug me again in 2007. I've been writing religiously ever since.
AL: Where did the idea for Perilous come from?
THH: I really have no idea. I was bored in study hall and started writing. Why on earth I chose to write about four girls that got kidnapped is totally…

Why I Am (and Will Be) Crazy

I have decided to dip my toes into uncharted waters. (And possibly mix metaphors in the process . . .)
Novembers past used to be the most insane time of the year for me. And that didn't count preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The whirlwind used to be because of my work as assistant director of the Utah Chocolate Show. Even after I pulled away from that (something had to give, and it wasn't going to be family or my writing), the fall was almost always loaded with book promotions (when I had a fall release) PLUS trying to get my latest book polished up and ready for submission.
This year, I have none of those excuses. (Okay, I do have the promotional excuse with THIS beauty, but not the "get that book turned in" one, nor do I have the chocolate show one. Oh, and yeah, I guess I did promise to get a rewrite back to my editor ASAP. I'll do both. I swear.)
As one writer on the Kindle boards put it, if you're a writer and don't have a good reason to not to…