July 25, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Jo Linsdell


Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author/illustrator, Jo Linsdell, is visiting with us. Jo, can you please tell us a little about you? 

I'm originally from the UK but moved to Rome Italy in 2001 where I now live with my Italian husband and our two sons. I've been writing pretty much since I could hold a pen but only started taking it seriously in 2006 after having my first article published in a newspaper. Since then I've written for various publications and websites and published several books, winning a few awards along the way. You can find out more about me at my website www.JoLinsdell.com

Tell us about your book, Out And About At The Zoo.

My latest project is a rhyming children's picture book OUT AND ABOUT AT THE ZOO for which I am both the author and illustrator. The book follows a child on a day out with his mum to the zoo discovering all the different animals.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.
I'd love to say how healthy I am and list only fruit and veg but my idea of a balanced diet is a bar of chocolate in each hand. So 1) Chocolate 2) sweets (my favourites are jellies and marshmallows). 3) Crisps for those odd days when my sweet tooth has had enough.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.
1) Enjoy your childhood and don't be in a hurry to grow up. You'll miss it once it's gone.
2) Learn as much as you can. The more you know, the more possibilities you'll have in life.
3) Read books and try expressing yourself in writing. It makes a great escape from the real world and is often more fun than TV, video games, etc...

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
I used to change my mind about twice a day :) The one's that I was most stuck on though were 1) Writer 2) Actress 3) Artist. I've always been the creative type.


Jo, where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your work, besides Italy, of course (which I'd LOVE to do)?


I have 3 blogs:

I'm a social media junky and on a variety of platforms. The main one's I use most are:

Thank you for visiting with us on this week’s Three Times A Charm. Best of luck with your writing, Jo!

THANKS!

****
I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

July 24, 2012

When No Means No - A Guide To Rejections


Maybe you can help me. I received a rejection on a query today that read:

“We reviewed your project and find it to be drivel. There is no chance on this great earth that we would publish it. We won’t even waste our time to request a partial. Perhaps someone once told you that your writing showed promise. We want to assure you that they were simply being polite. You should abandon all efforts toward publication. Cease and desist immediately. We are using your SASE to return this reply because we wouldn’t even invest the cost of postage in this crap.”

I don’t know. What do you think they mean by drivel, exactly? Do you think they might be interested in another manuscript I’ve been shopping around?

Seriously, I’ve never really received a letter like this, I’m just playing up the desperation most of us run into at some point or another when we are clawing our way out of the submissions trench, looking for the first ray of light we’ve seen since being buried alive. How do we get so low that we read between the lines of a form rejection to see if they really wanted to send us more than a form rejection…maybe they wanted to send us a personal rejection. And that kind of rejection is far better than the form. Oh, wait…no matter how you slice it they are saying NO! They may put a little extra time in to craft an eloquent NO. Or they may just say NO in such a round about way that you wonder if they really are saying NO. But if they aren’t saying yes…they are saying N-O.

Move on.


Does this post seem familiar? You've got a good memory. I'm re-posting an old post of mine.

July 20, 2012

When Research is Fun


I am not a camper. I don’t mind going without a shower. If the woods are deserted enough, it doesn’t bother me to do my business out in the open. But I can’t sleep worth snot away from home and when I’m camping, I may as well, not even lay down. The nights are painfully long and either miserably cold or stifling hot. If it weren’t for the nighttime, I’d really enjoy camping.


Hardman - I REALLY wanted to go inside
So you can imagine my husband’s surprise when I said, “You know what I want to do for our family vacation this year? Tour ghost towns. Go in search of the ghostliest town we can find and then just camp out in the middle of it.”


“You want to camp?” he asked. Frowning.

“Well, no, I don’t want to camp. But I can’t see how else I can soak up the ghostliness if I don’t,” I replied.

That was all the prodding he needed. He loves online research and suddenly he had a perfect project; to plan the epic Ghost Town Tour.

Old lodge (maybe) in Cornucopia
It really was fantastic. We had all four kids for the first couple of days. We found a beautiful open meadow near Cornucopia, OR to set up camp. I channeled my inner Katniss. We went on hikes. Played dominos. READ (grins) and walked around the silent, empty buildings of Cornucopia. After we dropped our daughter back at home we hopped from ghost town to ghost town, setting up camp wherever we could find a fire ring on national forest land.
Katniss ain't got nothing on me

Susanville - only ghost town we found
that is unoccupied
I was surprised to find people lived in the towns. There was actually only one (very remote) ghost town that still had standing buildings and no current population. What that meant was the old ghostly buildings were all owned by someone and had “No Trespassing” signs all over them. Major boo. However, I got some cool pictures and we were able to at least wander close enough for my mind to start whirring on all those questions, “Who lived here? What were they like? Did they work in the mill/mine? Did children play on this sloped front yard? What kind of animals did they keep in this barn?” On and on.

Mom & daughters all died the same day
We also took the time to visit some very remote graveyards. One was literally in the middle of nowhere and oh the stories it told! Mostly heartbreaking, some loving, some heroic.

I don’t know how this research will manifest itself into a story or stories in the future, but I’m sure it provided all sorts of food for thought on setting, character, and mood.

What is the furthest length you’ve gone for research?


July 18, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Elaine Westley


Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author, Elaine Westley, joins us. Elaine, tell us about you.

Even as a kid I loved to make up stories, but knowing it wouldn’t be easy to earn a living as an author (and eat!), I trained as a journalist instead. Jobs in papers, radio and PR followed and then, after a move from the UK to Australia, various roles on various magazines took me from sub-editing, to deputy editing.

And all the time I was writing – fiction, fiction and more fiction – anything from love stories to crime to teen romances, and a mix of all three! It’s true as well, the more you write the better you get. Whilst my pile of rejection letters grew (some of them really quite nice), the acceptances started to come too, and soon I had a steady stream of stories in magazines in Australia and the UK.

My first foray into books came with stories in Devils, Demons and Werewolves and Going Places, through Bridge House Publishing, before Holly at Wyvern Publications picked up Samuel’s Way.

And of course I’m still writing – currently working on the third book in a trilogy set in Scotland and a murder/mystery set in my hometown of Sydney.

I’ve received some of those nice rejection letters too. They really help to keep a writer inspired.

Tell us more about Samuel’s Way.

Set deep in the heart of Pennsylvania, in a town surrounded by Amish communities, Samuel’s Way is the story of an all-consuming first love and a past impossible to escape.

Annie’s life has been fraught with trouble and she deals with it by wearing some very thick armour… and attitude.  Her mother’s been jailed for murdering Annie’s stepfather and she’s been sent away to live in rural Pennsylvania with an aunt she never knew existed. Angry and unhappy, Annie is ready to take on anything that comes her way. However, when she meets sweet, gorgeous and Amish Samuel, the first chinks begin to appear in her armour.

Annie and Samuel fall completely and helplessly in love, but it’s not just different lifestyles they have to deal with – there’s Annie’s past, too, and the dark secret that could free her mother. As she begins to change, she’s faced with a choice: should she do things the only way she knows, or should she take Samuel’s way?

I wanted to write a love story set in the real world, but with a twist and you couldn’t get two people more different than Londoner Annie and Amish Samuel. Then there’s the baggage that Annie brings with her, the secrets she has.

I became so involved with Annie, more so I think because the story is told from her perspective. There’s one chapter that still makes me cry every time I read it. I hope readers will feel as conflicted as Annie when she has to make her choice…

Just talking about your book you tell a compelling story. I’m sure you’ve convinced many readers to add Samuel’s Way to their to-be-read list.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without: laptop/computer/pen/pencil/paper – anything that lets me write anytime, anyplace, family/friends/people – it’s where I get my inspiration and an endless supply of tea – it helps with writer’s block!

  • Top 3 leisure activities. Writing (it’s my down time), running (very slowly) – I work on plots while I’m doing it, and I’ve just taken up jazz and tap dance again.

Where can our readers go to keep up with you and your writing?

Find more on Samuel’s Way at www.samuelsway.com
Or follow on Twitter: Samuel’s Way@ElaineWestley

It has been lovely hosting you this week. Thank you for joining us on Three Times A Charm. Best of luck with your writing.

THANKS!

I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have a book, a blog or a business related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

July 16, 2012

World of Ink Tour with Sands Hetherington



Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare by Sands Hetherington is an after lights-out adventure story that will delight young readers and middle graders who relish roller coaster fantasy and fun, filled with unforgettable characters and an astonishing and inventive collection of magical whatchamacallits.

The book is all about the nighttime adventures of a young boy named John, who is not ready to go to sleep, and his friend, a bright red crocodile named Crosley who turns up under John’s bed.

They sneak out of John’s house using Crosley’s “I-ain’t-here-doodad” which makes them invisible to John’s parents. They then embark on an adventure chasing down enemies and cleaning up one mess after another as they solve the earthshaking mystery: who stole all the pineapple cheesecakes from the only factory in the world that makes them!

I recently talked with Sands about some of his life experiences that might have acted as inspiration for his new book.

Kai: What age range is your book for?

Sands: Thanks for having me, Kai.  The book is probably best suited for readers seven to nine years old, maybe ten.  For listening, two years is not too young.

Kai: Can you share a memory of yours or a story of you from when you were within the age range of your target readers?

Sands: In third grade we had show-and-tell on Mondays.  It was mostly tell and usually involved weekend experiences.  I and a couple of other boys were outrageous liars, and if we had whoppers to tell, we would declare it amongst ourselves beforehand; otherwise we might call each other out in front of the class.  I was probably the worst of us.  I remember telling about gunfights I'd had (last Saturday, with real guns), and I had some sort of contraption that I flew around town on.  The teacher Miss Huffman was very indulgent.  I have no idea what the rest of the class thought.

Kai: How has life changed for children today than when you were that age?

Sands: First understand that I'm coming from the forties!  Kids' lives seem so different now, so much more structured, for one thing.  We had no planned activities.  (Oh, maybe the Cub Scouts, but nobody cool belonged.)  I would go home after school and amuse myself building model planes or reading comic books or hitting fungoes with kids in the neighborhood.  Maybe even a movie during the week if there was a really good one like Tarzan.  Fascinating adventures on the radio.  There was no TV, and there was certainly never any homework!   

Kai: How is life still the same?

Sands: Having said that, everything essentially IS the same.  Structured and 24/7 or not, the activities are similar, the kids go to school five days a week and hang out with their buddies, they crave and receive entertainment, and quite a number of them have dogs.  It's the gadgets that are so different, but this is a superficial thing.  Watching King Lear in the 17th Century or on a wide-screen is still watching a play, and it's still 90' from home plate to first base.

Kai: What was your favorite toy or activity when you were that age?

Sands: We would go to this small lake all day on Saturdays and Sundays and swim or mess about in rowboats and canoes.  It was outside of town and I got to shoot my .22 rifle at tin cans.  I took the rifle to show-and-tell a couple of times and nobody raised an eyebrow.

Kai: What inspired this book and how did you decide on this age range for your book?

Sands: My six-year-old son John invented Crosley as an after-lights-out companion, red color, funky name and all.  John and I started kicking Crosley ideas around after that and making up episodes.  Crosley got to be a real family member.  A year or so later I decided to do an adventure after lights-out book featuring John and Crosley.  Once I figured out why in the world Crosley was red, things just fell into place.  I didn't decide on an age range for readers; the story just came out that way.

Kai: Finally, I have four kids. Over the years, they’ve attended a lot of birthday parties. I love the idea of building a theme gift around a book. If you were to give a gift basket to a child based on your book, what else would be in the basket besides Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare?

Sands: Great: Start with the book.  Add a slice of pineapple cheesecake in a sealed plastic container.  (Not a whole million-calorie cheesecake!)  Throw in an I.D. gimcrack (page 22) and maybe an I-ain't-here doodad (page 15).  A small magnifying glass might do for this.

Thanks for having me,

Sands Hetherington

About the author:

Sands Hetherington credits his son John for being his principal motivator. Sands raised his son as a single parent from the time John was six. He read to him every night during those formative years. He and young John developed the Crosley crocodile character in the series during months of bedtime story give-and-take. Sands majored in history at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and has an M.F.A. in creative writing and an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro. He lives in Greensboro.

Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare is available wherever books are sold and online. For more information visit www.nightbuddiesadventures.com

July 11, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Linda Derkez


Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author, Linda Derkez is visiting with us. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Linda. Can you please tell us a little about you? 

I’ve always enjoyed writing, especially journaling. The mother of three, I began writing children's stories that would reinforce lessons or values I wanted my children to learn. I’m the author of one previously published children’s book, Caleb's Missing Whisper & Other Stories (currently unavailable). I also co-authored Cody Knows with award-winning author (and sister) Karen Wiesner. I enjoy writing children's stories with my husband and my brother-in-law, David Fielding, who illustrated One Large Peanut Butter Sandwich To Go (just released from Guardian Angel Publishing).

We’d love to hear about your recently released picture books.

Chip’s Sharing Day:
Cousin Dorcas is visiting today and Chip's mother tells him he must share his toys because it's kind and nice and fair to share. Shy Dorcas picks up one toy after the other, only to have that rascal Chip remind her that they have to share and take turns playing with his toys. Finally, Dorcas decides to be kind and nice and fair by sharing something with Chip that he might not actually want! Chip finds himself reluctantly admiring his cousin for beating him at his own game.

The inspiration for this book were real teddy bears that I gave voices and personalities to. Chip was a cute stuffed bear, but I could tell he was quite naughty. J

One Large Peanut Butter Sandwich to Go:
Scotty is in the habit of walking around with his food, leaving crumbs all over, rather than sitting at the table to eat. Mom is in the habit of letting him. One day Mom decides to use her imagination to fix this growing problem. When Scotty asks to walk to the clinic where his father works a few blocks away with his peanut butter and jelly sandwich, Mom says sure--but has he considered all the people who might ask for a bite of his delicious lunch? When Scotty's sandwich grows impossibly bigger and bigger in his mind to account for all the people who'll ask for a bite, he must make a decision about whether it's wiser to keep his sandwich for himself by sitting at the table to eat it.

When I was pregnant, I vowed I would be the kind of mother who would insist that my children eat only at the table. Somehow the opposite happened! They ate all over the house! I wrote this story to give a light-hearted reason why it's important to eat meals at the table.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
Coffee, a good pen that can keep up, and my iPad.
  • Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.
Read, read, read. Read books that interest you but try books that fall outside that line, too. Write even if it's not good. Take a favorite book or movie character and write your own story based on them. You’ll learn the joy and process of writing without the pressure of coming up with your own character.

  • Top 3 authors.
For illustrated books: Kevin Henkes, Rosemary Wells, Anthony Browne

Linda, where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your work?


Thank you for visiting with us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Linda. Best of luck with your writing!

THANKS!
****
I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


July 4, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Kevin J. Doyle


Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week author, Kevin Doyle, is visiting with us. Kevin, can you please tell us a little about you? 

I live in Kansas and I’m a stay home dad to two awesome kids - a big sis and a lil’ bro. We spend our days reading, playing pretend and dancing to music. As often as I can, I leap into my imagination and look around for stories to write. I like to collect records and jam out to the warm sounds put out by those amazing little vinyl circles. I wish I could play guitar or drums but I can't so instead, I rock with Guitar Hero on the Wii. My fingers have yet to master that tricky orange button. I have always loved video games. And movies too! “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs”, “Up”, every “Toy Story” and “The Princess Bride” are some of my favorite films which many of you kids may have seen.

Please read more here... http://www.doylekevinj.com/me/

All great movies. And I understand today is your daughter’s birthday! Happy birthday to her. Tell us more about your writing.

Right now, I am thrilled to announce the publication of my first children’s book!  The summit is in sight.  It’s... I can’t... I... (Hang on a moment; I’m supposed to be a writer, aren’t I?  Who gets tongue-tied writing text?)

I don’t think I could explain what we are doing any better than simply showing you what we’ve already composed.  Please check out the below excerpt and visit our full Rockethub project page for all the details.

knowonder! is publishing its first fully-illustrated book ever, and you can help make it happen in a BIG way.

The book is called "CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP!"  



It's a super-fun story that kids LOVE (as proven by dozens of screenings and readings and LOTS of kid-drawn crocodragonosaur pictures being sent to us, which you can see further below)
In fact, you can read the whole story here:
You want to know what's really cool about this book? This was submitted to knowonder! as one of our daily stories by an aspiring children's writer named Kevin Doyle. And now his dream of having a published book is coming true!
knowonder's unique crowdsourcing for stories and content gives anyone the opportunity to become a published author!

(end of excerpt, back to me :)

and read more about our crowd-funding campaign on rockethub.com.  Thank you so much!!

Best of luck to Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.
1 - Learn to enjoy editing your work.  When you are writing, you are eating a luxurious meal with plenty of everything and it is all scrumptious.  Editing is paying the bill.  Tightening up my writing is a strength of mine because I love doing it and I’m constantly working at it.  To me, every single word matters.  Never use the same word in two back to back sentences.  Well, almost never.  You are a writer, so make writing well an absolutely top priority!  And enjoy it, don’t begrudge the editing process.  I have a Google doc to which I add editing tips I’ve found on the web - how to make dialogue better, proper comma usage, what weedy words to look for, etc.  I read the entire doc before each editing session in order to commit the info to memory.  The more I learn it, the better my writing is in the first place and the less I have to fix when editing.  I’m not quite ready to share this magic document just yet, but maybe someday.  The bottom line is; eat, drink, write and (when the bill comes) - be merry and edit!

2 - Learn to enjoy talking about your work with others.  Oddly enough, I STRUGGLE AT THIS!  In my head, I want to be humbly proud of my work and be confident when I share it with people.  In reality... it happens like this:

(Kevin is at a dinner party.   He knows he will be asked the question.  He wants his answer to be “I’m a stay home dad and a writer”.  Let’s see what happens when the big moment arrives.)

Dinner guest: “Hi, Kevin - what are you up to these days?”
Kevin: “Oh, I’m loving being a stay home dad!  Chasing these kids around. (nervous chuckle)  That’s pretty much it!”

I justify this shyness by convincing myself I’m a background type of a guy, a classic creative type, not a mover or shaker.  I assure myself the work will sell itself and it’s OK for me to never bring it up.  I’ve also been known to ask my wife to bring up my latest writing news with people and then throw to me.  How lame!  Own your stuff!  Be excited about what you do and let it show.  Otherwise - why would anyone else be enticed by your stories?

3 - Learn to efficiently capture your ideas.  This is a no-brainer.  I have plenty of pieces of technology at my disposal which would help me have an organized “story starters” list.  Yet my workspace and my pockets are still generally filled with post-its and scraps of paper.  Or I email myself or even text myself ideas.  I need to hone this skill and so do you!  My goal is to center my efforts on an app called Evernote.  It’s been around forever and you probably know it.  If not, check it out.  My hope is that since the app will be on my laptop, iPhone and iPad - I’ll always have a good place to save ideas.  Now I need to remember to use it!

Top 3 pieces of advice for kids these days.

1 - Do a somersault every day.  Do them even when you are my age, thirty-ghehsh.  Somersaults help in a number of ways.  They allow you to look at the world upside down, flip it over, and finally lay on your back to rest a moment and contemplate how much fun you had!

2 - Listen to music every day.  All kinds of music!  And try to hear the differences between songs played on real instruments with actual people singing... and songs played and sung mostly by machines.  Find out what your parents like and listen to those tunes.  Don’t settle for only hearing “kids’” favorites.  Unless your parents like country music.  You never have to feel obligated to listen to that :).  When you are finished reading this, listen to the song “Ventura Highway” by America and let your mood rise like the morning sun!

3 - Practice mindfulness every day.  Go outside and sit silently with your eyes closed.  Or lie in the grass with your arms and legs stretched out in a big “X” and just... be.  You’ll be absolutely AMAZED at how planet earth sounds when you let her speak!

Top 3 authors.

1 - Kurt Vonnegut.  He’s the pinnacle, the apex, the creative king, untouchable.  Oh to have an imagination such as his which shakes readers up and forces deep thoughts, thorough introspection and furious reactions.  Yep, he makes me want to strive to be amazing.  However, I first need to go buy some more grey flannel.

2 - Dr. Seuss.  Of course, I have to show love for the good doctor!  To write kid’s stories which are a sheer joy to listen to AND pure fun to read?!  Simple, right?  No problem!  Anyone can do it!  Dr. Seuss’s work is an inspiration to us all - a reminder that it’s all about enjoyment and smiles.  And sneetches.  Don’t forget the sneetches.

3 - Piers Anthony.  It’s so hard to choose only three well-loved authors.  But I simply cannot NOT mention Mr. Anthony.  In junior high, I checked out “The Source of Magic” (part of his Xanth series) from my school’s library.  I blazed through the book before discovering the last hundred pages or so - were missing!  Tragedy!  Inexplicable!  I forced my parents to rush me to the bookstore to buy the book so I could finish it.  Upon doing so, I discovered a whole series of Xanth books.  And Mr. Anthony was STILL writing new ones!  Delightful!  Joyous!  And a clever trick, Piers.  A clever trick indeed.  I suppose that’s how you hooked all your readers?  A writer with your level of imagination, ability, and phenomenal wordsmanship could have grabbed me with only your stories.  Instead, you sent me on a quest.  And I thank you!  So now - when I think of junior high - I recall playing soccer, dancing poorly and reading Piers Anthony books!

Such great advice, Kevin. All of it.

Where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your work?





Thank you for visiting with us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Kevin. Best of luck with your writing!

THANKS!

****
I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.

July 2, 2012

INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest


Happy INDIEpendence Day!

I am joining the Indelibles to celebrate indie authors (self-published and small-press) by holding up an example of an outstanding indie work. Like the 25 Indelible authors, I believe amazing works of fiction can be found in indie novels and I want to help you, the reader, make informed choices on your indie purchases.

When I read about the INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest, I had to sign up because I had a specific indie book in mind that I wanted to read, but hadn’t had the time yet to do. What better reason than an INDIE shout out to get my to-be-read list in order and read what’s important (I know, they ALL are, really)

So I bought the Kindle version of Winging It! by Shel Deslisle and took it on vacation with me. First of all, I read Shel’s first book, Dolphin Girl and loved it. The main character had a great voice. Second, I’ve met, Grace, the main character of Winging It! She’s been on my blog and I fell in love with her when she gave the most fun interview I’ve hosted on my site yet (And I’ve hosted some great interviews)! When you are done with this entry, you can read that awesome interview here.

About the book:

She Just Wants to Fly.
Ever decided to do something that seemed like a good idea and in the second before there’s no turning back think, I musta been totally mental when I came up with this? And, then, Oh, well, here goes.

That’s how Angel-In-Training Grace Lightbourne felt right before she asked the Big Kahuna to go straight to Earth on a mission as a Guardian Angel. The problem? She never was a great student and now she won’t even finish her last three years of school. The make matters worse, Archangel Michael isn’t happy about her special assignment, but Grace is convinced she’s on a fast track to her wings. How hard can it be? She’s working with humans, after all.

Winging It!, the first book in the Angel-In-Training series, is an irreverent, light hearted take on Angels, Heaven and everthing else that’s divine.

My take:

Loved it! Really loved it. It has a tween feel with elements of young adult, so I feel it will appeal to a wide age group. Grace is just as much fun as you might expect from the interview she gave on my blog. Though her disregard for her studies was a stressor for me (that’s my rule follower personality coming out), she learned lessons in her own way and occasionally came to it the old fashioned way – by cracking open a textbook.

The supporting characters were fun and complex, too. I often found myself wondering about their motives and second-guessing their sincerity one minute and then routing for them and wanting to hug them the next.

I’m very glad the INDIEpendence Day Blog Fest gave me the impetus to read this fun book. I look forward to the next in the series and am a bona fide fan of Shel Delisle’s. Brava, Ms. Delisle! Brava!

Buy the book on Amazon. Now! 

Love Indies? Be sure to visit the other bloggers who promise to highlight an indie published book. There are a lot of quality books out there from self published and small press published authors. Keep them writing by buying their books, liking them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, posting a review and telling all of your friends!