Monday, March 29, 2010
The Northgate Vikings High School Marching Band (Newnan, Georgia,) is having a spring fundraiser that will include a silent auction. As an electronically published author and band parent, I am putting a book basket together that will go up for auction April 24th. I am earnestly seeking all types of reading promotional material: bookmarks, pens, postcards, books on cd (especially interested in), autographed print books, coupons or gift cards for online bookstores, and more. If it has anything to do with reading and is rated PG-13 and under, I want it!
Please consider donating your materials to this wonderful music program that gives so many kids an opportunity to discover talent, learn, compete, and have a place where they fit in. In order to validate my request for your promotional materials, you can check out the band’s website at: http://www.northgateband.org/
Contact me immediately for a postal address and I will see that your materials are included and announced at this large fundraising event in my local area. My address is: danithorne at yahoo dot com.
Anyone may donate materials--even if you’re not an author. No cash donations, please, but gift cards to bookstores would be a great idea. If I don’t get enough materials, we will give items away as freebies or door prizes. Please be generous.
Don’t put this off-contact me now!
Thank you in advance,
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Ironically, my past weekend consisted of a birth and a death. Last week I was hoping to celebrate the exciting news of my best friend’s baby delivery, but Thursday was a rough day. Saturday looked even gloomier as my teenagers prepared to say good-bye to a church friend who passed away from brain cancer. When my best friend’s little girl was born, she was rushed to another hospital with heart problems, and the day that had started out with so much excitement, ended with worry and concern. My kids, who had made plans to see spend time at the movies with their friends, spent the morning contemplating their own mortality and the special legacy their peer had left to those around him.
In truth, Spring does bring these kinds of events. The cold grip of winter is finally conquered and fades away to be forgotten for a season. Daffodils start poking out of the ground, and suddenly flipflops and shorts are more than appropriate for sixty-five degrees. And all around us, people pass on, leaving family and friends behind as they graduate to a higher sphere. Perhaps the return to warmer weather and greener grass makes it a little easier--more tender and sweet.
I am happy to report my friend’s baby is stable and things are looking up. The child had brought immeasurable joy to her family. My children have made their peace with death this time around. Their friend will always be remembered and missed. Now, ahead, the promise of summer with blue skies and crickets under the moon is just around the corner. And just like that…we carry on.
Wishing you a warm upcoming month with lots of sunshine--
Friday, March 12, 2010
This past weekend was my second time attending the Epicon Conference--a gathering of electronically published authors as well as others in the industry. This year, I took my family with me, as I would be helping with the teen tract. Epic Authors, sponsors of Epicon, also sponsor the writing contest, New Voices, and I was able to help with the judging and coordinating this time.
We pulled into New Orleans late in the afternoon with downtown traffic a tangle of tourists coming in, and folks trying to get out of the French Quarter. While the drive had been solemn as we watched the remnants of Hurricane Katrina gradually peak outside of the city’s abandoned homes, the downtown area seemed revitalized and almost cheerful.
Anyone who’s ever been to a conference can empathize with the drill: parking, unloading, checking in, wandering around looking for schedules. Overall, we had a nice evening and I found where I was to be the next morning for the kids’ tract.
Saturday morning, breakfast was a hurried affair with me cramming down a slice of banana bread and cup of juice. I would have liked to have mingled a bit, but arriving at a conference without any writer friends in tow, often means going through the motions until you have time to become reacquainted with people you have met in the past. During the New Voices tract, I enjoyed the guests who were invited to speak. Though I missed some classes I yearned to sneak into, I still learned a lot from the speakers. Especially enjoyable was Kim McDougall’s lecture on making book trailers.
Kim McDougall is the owner and driving force behind Blazing Trailers. Bringing a site together where authors can post all of their book promo videos with room for excerpts and sales information, she has created a fun place visitors can browse and relax.
I love watching trailers. These two to three minute visual blurbs tell me a lot about how an author writes and can really get me excited about a book. Two of my books have trailers at BlazingTrailers.com. You can see them here and here.
So what about the family? I was able to spend a little bonding time with my boys browsing the French Quarter. Of course, being teenagers they were more interested in signs, advertisements, and street artists than they were the history of the place. We spent more time in the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company gift shop than we did anywhere else. My seventeen-year-old now proudly has a Bubba Gump license plate for his car: Stupid is as Stupid Does. Nobody says it like Forrest.
My husband I attended the Epic Awards Banquet Saturday night. I must say that the banquet room was beautiful and the food delicious. A couple of my favorite reads from last year won in their categories, and it was fun to see some names and faces I know all “dressed up.”
It would have been nice to have attended the whole conference this year--and to have slipped into the adult tract, but all in all I had a nice time visiting New Orleans. It’s the first time I’ve been back since the hurricane, and it’s nice to know that people there are still kind and hopeful. I never had to deal with an unkind local. Everyone was so friendly.
The 2010 New Voices winners have been contacted and I’m super happy for the kids that took the time to expressive themselves and submit their work. I hope reputable contests for young writers continue to grow, and opportunities for encouraging these young authors blossom. They are growing up in an electronic world we never imagined, and it is not only our duty, but also a privilege, to show them the ropes as we fumble along trying to manage them ourselves.
For 2010 Epic winners for best ebooks, check out www.epicauthors.com. Perhaps you may see my name up there some day. For now, you can check out my book cover for Turtle Soup, which won the Dirk A. Wolf Award, for best book cover in the Contemporary Romance category. Congrats to my cover artist, Nikki Browning. And congrats to Debi Sullivan for putting on a great Epic contest this year, spotlighted by a successful conference.