Tag Archives: Ockleberries to the Rescue

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

 

My weekend was certainly not writing related but a reptile bonanza. I accompanied my daughter to the Edmonton Reptile and Amphibian Society’s spring show. She took her own reptiles to show and educate visitors, something she has done for a good number of years.

ERAS-Spring-Show-2017-Flyer

There were many incredible and fascinating reptiles to discover and hold, which I enjoyed a lot. However, as a writer the ‘people watching’ gave me a wealth of inspiration. Reptile owners and hobbyists come from all walks of life and are passionate about their particular interest. I discovered a type of gecko I had not known existed – Rhacodactylus leachianus = large geckos! They are fabulous and you certainly know you are holding one as they are quite heavy. For comparison those are my hands! Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhacodactylus_leachianus

I did take my ‘animal’ related books with me just in case – Clickety Click’s front cover got a few looks and Ockleberries was browsed.

This week I have my writer’s group Board meeting which will include a review of our conference and the start of planning for our annual Words in the Park event which will be held on 30th September as part of Alberta Culture Days.

witp

My second Board meeting will be for the Arts & Culture Council on Wednesday, where we are reviewing the Heritage Day plans. This event will be held on 11th June and has a multitude of artisans and cultural associations attending.

heritage day

Obviously I am on countdown for the writing retreat, which starts on 18th May through to 22nd May. I have decided on completing the revisions to The Twesome Loop and will have a final read through for Life in Slake Patch. Then I feel confident they can go to the publisher. I may have time to write more for my newest children’s book set on another planet.

The lodge is set in acres of woodland with a creek running through it so there is plenty of outdoor space to clear the head, refresh the body and be inspired. To be immersed completely in writing for days on end and have three delicious meals cooked for you is blissful. I never want to leave. (A lottery win would mean I wouldn’t have to of course!)

So what are you up to this week?

Care to share your writing goals, plans or events?

Other events:

book pub

May 11, 2017: U of A Press reception in honour of Linda Cameron

The U of A Press is holding a reception for it’s departing director, Linda Cameron, on May 11 in the Saskatchewan room of the Faculty Club (Saskatchewan Drive and 116 Street) from 3-6 with a program at 4:30. Ms Cameron has been with the U of A Press since 2001, and is retiring on August

abaThe Atlantic Books Festival runs May 11–May 18 with events in all four maritime provinces. http://atlanticbookawards.ca/

forest

The Ontario Library Association’s Festival of Trees takes place throughout May, with events in Toronto, London, and Sault Ste. Marie. http://forestfestivaloftrees.ca/

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

I just have to share a few photos of the Authors for Indies event I attended on Saturday at the Sherwood Park Bookworm. We had a great time sharing our books, sharing experiences of the writing life with a new writer and talking everything books. Fellow authors Eva Blaskovic, Beth Rowe and Marty Chan joined me for the day. I even got to read from Ockleberries to the Rescue, which was fun!

AFI 2017

 

 

 

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On Monday I have an evening hosted by our local library, Books, Bites & Bubbly.  Looking forward to it.

books bites bubbly

Tuesday will be my writers group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County’s monthly sharing meeting. We share our current work for constructive critique, discussions and writing exercises and fellowship.

Writers Foundation Strathcona County

What are you up to this week?

Other locations:

The 1000 Islands Writers Festival runs May 5–7 in Gananoque, ON, featuring Cathy-Marie Buchanan, Iain Reid, Lindy Mechefske, Marni Jackson, and others.

reading by the river

The next-best thing to a new lit fest is a new lit fest that’s coming back for its second year. After an incredible debut in 2016, The Festival of Literary Diversity returns to Brampton, ON, running May 4–7 with another stellar lineup.

fold

Vancouver Island’s Children’s Book Festival is scheduled for May 6 in Nanaimo, BC, featuring (as usual) some of Canada’s best children’s authors.

Bookfest-2017web

Upcoming Writing Events- Add Yours for your Location…


events

This week I have several events to attend, firstly my writers foundation Board meeting on Tuesday evening. Our main discussion will the final details for our writers conference later this month on 22nd. It is our eighth conference and we have made this one Canadian themed in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday!  http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/node/3090

Conference logo 2017

My second meeting of the week is the Arts & Culture Council’s AGM on Wednesday evening. As President I have to chair the meeting and give an annual review. This will be my first AGM as President so wish me luck!

accsc logo

Finally I will be reading on Saturday at a local coffeehouse, I will probably read from Ockleberries to the Rescue if there are children present otherwise from The Rython Kingdom. Just need to decide on the sections I will read. I also wrote several little stories for this event as we are giving out ‘story eggs’ to the audience.

sgc reading 15 April

Please share your local events in the comments. Whether near or far.

The Bosun Chair.jpeg

Audrey’s Books, Jasper Avenue, Edmonton

https://www.facebook.com/events/279415175825554/

Register for our conference if you are in the Edmonton area.

Conference logo 2017

My TV interview on Arts Talk…


Talking about my newest YA book, Clickety Click but also my other books too.

So now I’ve actually watched myself on this TV interview (cringe but I don’t think I was too awful!!!) I can share it – go to 11.04 on the time line. I wanted to thank my gracious hosts for inviting me onto the show. It was a lot of fun.

 

Faerie World – Writing Prompt Contest…


Some of you may know I published a chapter book called Ockleberries to the Rescue. Two woodland sprites helps their forest animal friends. It combines my love of the natural world with that of the faerie realm. After the book cover was created a friend told me about a local woodworker who made faerie doors. So using the door as your inspiration, write a poem or story about what magical beings live behind this door.

OckleberriesToTheRescueSprite door 4

Enjoy this prompt and leave your response in the comments. 1000 words maximum for a short story. Poems can be any length.

A quarterly prize will be given for the most voted for response.

Words in the Park 2016 – An Author Event…


mandy

Once again I attended this fantastic event. Part of Alberta Culture days, organized by my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and with co-hosts, Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona County. With over thirty authors and a dozen artisans filling the venue as well as an aboriginal fancy dancer, hoop workshop, memoir presentation, African drumming tutorial, live music, children’s activities and author readings, the event offered fun activities for all the family.

I planned my table to display my children’s books at the front with Rumble’s First Scare and soft toy Rumble of course, with hats, T-shirts, bookmarks and pins. Ockleberries to the Rescue had the animal ornaments and the ‘door’ display. Then there was Clickety Click – the day of the launch! I made the exploding planet to attract readers and had special scaly toques made in two shades of purple. The purple table covering also focused the eye as did my purple inspired outfit. To the side I displayed The Rython Kingdom, my fantasy romance, as it is an adult book, with its glowing orb and handmade bookmarks.

This year I created an activity table, which you can see behind me in the photo, with ‘monster’ and Rumble pictures and also animal quizzes. A couple of kids won prizes for their entries, unfortunately I only got a photo of one! She loved her monster slippers.

monster-slippers

It was a successful day and I sold many books and a few toques too. See this lad with his Rumble toque.

rumble-hat-boy

I find the themed displays and merchandise attracts the children’s attention and then I have a chance to explain the books to the children and their parents. I was fortunate to have one Clickety Click book bought by our Mayor who will donate it to a local school.

Another lady purchased two copies of Ockleberries solely on the review she had read in our local paper. She even cut it out and brought it with her.

book-review-2

I enjoyed participating in the author readings and shared part of Ockleberries to the Rescue – Stump the Woodpecker to be exact.

mandy-reading

To be part of such an event, sharing my words with readers and forging new friendships with other authors further confirms my love for the written word and this select membership that is ‘writer’.

How do you attract people to your author table?

 

My Interview at Joseph D Drumheller – The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book…


Link here: https://josephdrumheller.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/five-steps-to-create-a-childrens-book/

The Five Steps to Create a Children’s’ Book  

Rumble's First Scare

  1. The Idea

This may seem like the easiest part of creating a children’s book – right? Not as easy as first appears as it turns out. Your idea has to convert onto the page in a language that your target audience can understand word usage is vital so take note.

  1. What age group are you writing for?
  2. Will you target pre-schoolers or an older age group?
  3. Will the story contain a moral or lesson?

My children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare began life as a prompt for Halloween. I did not want to write the usual monster narrative but something more unusual and fun. So I wrote the story from the young monster’s point of view. Younger children love Rumble and monsters are not so scary.

  1. Finding a Publisher

There are numerous avenues to research when it comes to finding a publisher.

  1. You can follow children’s book agents.
  2. Submit your story to contests with a book contract attached.
  3. Attend conferences and find an interested agent/publisher.
  4. Research local or regional publishing houses and submit your story.

I was fortunate to find a publisher locally and this made my publishing experience a more personally tailored one. Dream Write Publishing did an amazing job and I was part of the process all the way through.

  1. Illustrations

The amount of illustrations is dependent on the age of your target group, the younger the age group the more pictures are required and less text.

  1. If you are a talented artist you can illustrate yourself.
  2. Do you know an artist that will collaborate with you on the project?
  3. Does your publisher offer this service?
  4. There are many artists on social media you can approach.

My Rumble character was the culmination of my imagination and crude drawings and a wonderful artist friend, Matthew McClatchie, who made my idea of what Rumble would look like into reality.

  1. Text

Again the amount of text needs to be balanced for the target age group. For example, if the books are for very young children the text needs to be simple and sparse with great pictures, but for independent readers, illustrations can be on the chapter headers only.

  1. Do you want the story in rhyme form?
  2. Choose simple pronounceable names for your characters.
  3. Wrap the text around the pictures or along the bottom of the page.
  4. Keep exposition to a minimum
  1. Extra Pages
  2. The publisher will require your author bio and a photo
  3. You will create a ‘blurb’ – a brief description of the story – for the back of the book.
  4. If you wish you can have a dedication page.
  5. The publisher will allocate an ISBN and the legal disclaimers and permissions for duplication.

Sharing my little book with friends and family was stupendous. The moment any author is handed their first book is overwhelming emotional. It is the closest an adult comes to childish delight. The reality that your words are now published, that many people will read it and your words will outlive you delighting generations to come is a heady feeling.

After your book is published your work is not done. Promotion becomes your master. Be creative and say ‘Yes’ to any and all opportunities that come your way. The more your book is noticed the more sales.

Mandy and Rumble at SC Summerwood

To promote Rumble I created a soft toy of Rumble, which was so much fun. Once I showed my writing group they all announced I should make miniatures for each book, I declined!  Rumble accompanies me to readings and events and is always popular. As I had a good deal of promotion to manage without sewing into the wee hours, I did commissioned Rumble hats, and ordered T-shirts, which are a lot easier to handle.

Bio:

Mandy@

Always creative, I came to writing later in life. A chance visit to a writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, propelled me into the written word in a way I could never have imagined. I delve into all genres expanding my writing muscles and with several books published; I am certainly making up for ‘lost’ time. As a free flow writer, my stories lead me rather than the other way round, delighting me with plot twists and turns. Writing is my passion, the source of new found fellowship and most of all fun.

shelf

Contact:

I can be reached through my blog at www.mandyevebarnett.com, on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Mandyevebarnettcom/ and through Twitter @mandyevebarnett

Annual Colouring Contest:

I arrange an annual colouring competition prior to Halloween for Rumble fans. The picture is in .pdf format and downloaded from my publisher’s website – http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca. Once all entries are in I choose the winners. Prizes include Rumble hats, T-shirts, monster orientated toys and games.

My newest book will be launched this fall – Clickety Click   is a YA monster story. Why do I have a propensity for monsters, I have no idea!

Click crop cover

 

Double Duty at Local Event – Books & Food…


Savor Strathcona

Yesterday I helped out at an event called Savor Strathcona, this incorporates local restaurants and artisans. There are numerous foods from across the globe to try and arts of all sorts, including pottery, painting, books and jewelry. The event also included live music and food demonstrations throughout the afternoon and evening, it was extremely popular, which seems to always be the case when food is offered.

I helped out at two tables – one with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing (where we also incorporated information on my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County) and also with the Arts and Culture Council of Strathcona Council.

We saw friends, family and interested attendees and gave out postcards for our next big event Words in the Park – 1st October. Books were browsed and bought, connections made.

I feel that the more exposure to the public an organization or company gets the better. Many local people did not know about their local publisher, writing foundation or indeed their Arts and Culture Council.

My books are on the front edge of the table – Rumble’s First Scare, Ockleberries to the Rescue and The Rython Kingdom.

Savor Strathcona 2016books at Savor Strathcona 2016

I am often asked why go to so many events, when they are not always a huge success in terms of book sales. My answer is that if I am not there, how will anyone know about me or the books I write? It is more about making connections and exploiting the event to showcase my work. On subsequent events people will approach me saying they met me before, bought a book before or they buy a book because last time they did not have a special occasion to buy it for. Being recognized helps as well as always being friendly and forthcoming and informative.

Do you attend events regularly?

What is your impression of them?

Is there a reason you limit or do not attend events?

A Paid Advertising Opportunity Taken…2nd July


Book cover

As we juggle writing time, home and social life and book events, it is not just our personal commitment that requires organization but deciding on how effective we can make each aspect. With social media we can blast our books onto the internet but a single post soon disappears into the abyss. Book signings, author readings and book fairs are usually a more effective mode of advertising ourselves and our books. A chance to converse with our readers gives them a real insight into the backstory of the narrative and a sense of the author too. A website is a great way to keep readers informed on upcoming events and publication dates but also gives us an opportunity to reveal how we write, why we write and how the story was created. Character interviews, excerpts and sneak peeks of current projects tempt our readership.

All these options are positive venues for advertising but we also have the opportunity to use selected publications too. I recently decided to spend a nominal fee on an advert in a children’s magazine. It is issued monthly and has a great readership. With download or print options available my advert has the potential to be seen repeatedly and this was a good part of my decision to pay for the advert.I will certainly be repeating this exercise later in the year.

Take a look and see if Five Star Publications can help you. My advert is on page 33 – The Spring Reading Guide.

http://www.fivestarpublications.net/storymonsters

storymonsters_ink

What paid advertising do you use?

How was your experience?

Would you repeat it?

Do you have any tips on where to advertise?