July 29, 2013

Blog Readers - Who uses them?

Who uses blog readers? Since Google got rid of Google Reader, my blog views have slacked off and I admit I haven't been working to hard to pull anyone back again. I think I've finally found the time to concentrate on my blog readership again.

I've decided to give Bloglovin a try. Anyone out there use it? Like it? Or is it meh? Or what do you use and why?

Well, now you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Well, you could before too, but now I'm going to suggest that you do just that.

July 24, 2013

Three Times A Charm with N.W. Harris

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is author, N.W. Harris. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Neil. Tell us a little about you, please.

I was born at the end of the Vietnam War and raised on a horse farm near a small town in North Georgia, my imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding my family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, I read books.
In addition to writing, I traveled the world as a submariner in the Navy, worked as a nurse, and then started a property management company. My studies have included biology and anthropology at U.C. Santa Barbara and medicine at SUNY Buffalo. I live in sunny Southern California with my wife and two children. I write like I reads, constantly.

I’m currently reading your book, Joshua’s Tree. So far I’m really enjoying it. Can you tell us more about it?

Joshua’s Tree by N.W. Harris

When a skateboarding accident hurls 17-year-old Joshua Tyler into a dismal future overrun by flesh-eating mutants, he taps into the strength and courage hidden within him and manages to stay alive, only to discover his horrifying relationship to the scientific genius who brought all life on Earth to the brink of annihilation.

Aided by Nadia, a beautiful warrior student who believes he may be the prophesized savior sent to rescue her people, Josh learns to fight for survival. Terrified by the constant threat of a violent death, Josh wants nothing more than to get back to his own life. But the longer he survives in this strange place, the more he learns about its creation. Charged with the job of assassinating the enemy’s leader, Josh begins to uncover his connection to the army of cannibalistic monsters—a nightmarish truth that could prevent him from ever finding his way home.

I recommend my book to readers who like:

Rick Riordan’s books (Percy Jackson series), The Maze Runner series (James Dashner), and Divergent (Veronica Roth’s books)

Readers, now it’s your turn. Neil wants to know your top 3 responses to:

What motivates you to buy most of your books? Is it the cover, reviews, what your friends recommend?

Can’t wait to hear how readers respond. 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.

1.      A good computer. I love laptops and have burned through many over the years. A good computer with a great battery life makes my work all the more pleasant. I’ve recently converted to Mac (Macbook Air) and am wondering why I didn’t leave the sadist world of the PC much sooner.
2.      A good cup of coffee. People think I’m generally a friendly guy, but I wake up each day as a horned demon from the netherworld. If it weren’t for coffee, instead of writing novels I’d likely wander the streets in my underware drooling and snarling at people.
3.      Spellcheck. I’m a horrible speller, so much so that I always hated writing in the days prior to spellcheck. This little function really liberated me and allowed me to use words I freely use in conversation in my writing.

  • Top 3 skills to hone for people just starting in your business.

1.      Social media skills. A writer needs to create a cool looking blog, facebook site, etc. and needs to gather followers to have a selling platform. Most book marketing is viral, a friend reads it and tells another friend to buy it and so forth. It is critical that a writer has enough friends who get excited about their book to start and nuture that process.
2.      Mulitasking skills. There are a billion things to do as a writer, and if you are a father of two and run a separate business to help pay the bills, well then you have got to be able to juggle. And not tenis balls, I’m talking burning-hatchets juggle.
3.      Social skills. I know this sounds like number one, but I’m talking about networking in the real world. The more real world friends you have, those that you see face-to-face on a regular basis, the better off your are. Join the local SCBWI, cylcing club, reading groups—anything to help you meet more people. This will also give you artilery for creating your characters.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

1.      Reading
2.      Tae kwon do
3.      Running (you can see excersize is important to me. Being physically fit helps your brain be the best it can be, which helps everything else)

Neil, where can our readers find you online and buy your book?

Website/blog:       www.nwharrisbooks.com
Facebook Author Page:            https://www.facebook.com/AuthorN.W.Harris


Thanks for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Neil. Best of luck to you and Joshua’s Tree.

THANKS!

GUESTS WELCOME!  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 17, 2013

Three Times A Charm with Ace Hansen

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is author, Ace Hansen. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Ace. Tell us a little about you, please.

Ace Hansen doesn’t pass green gas. The author grew up in a household of boys and knows all about deadly stinkers, tree houses, and scary neighbors.

Ace enjoys all kinds of creepy things and has been known to devour entire bags of worms* while writing outrageous fiction.
*Gummy, of course. What were you thinking?

You sound like quite the expert on all things boy. We’d love to hear about your book.

When a mysterious green gas crisis breaks wind, the Global Air Group (GAG) offers a million-dollar prize to the first person to discover the cause. Julius Caesar Brown dreams of winning the cash so he can pay off Jake the Snake, the blackmailing bully who threatens to ruin his chances with the cutest girl in fifth grade. But Julius can barely pass a math test, let alone solve an international scientific mystery. What he needs is money. Fast. His mom volunteers him to help the Zombie Lady. Yeah. The crazy woman down the street who every kid knows eats boys’ brains. But Miss Crabtree’s no zombie. And winning the million-dollar prize may not be as far-fetched as Julius once thought.

I recommend my book to readers who like:

Diary of A Wimpy  Kid by Jeff Kinney
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
The BFG or anything by Roald Dahl 

Readers, your turn, share your top 3 responses to Ace's question:

I wish there were more books about. . .?

Great question! 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.
Gummy worms, gummy pterodactyls, and gummy tyrannosaurus rex (depending on my appetite. What? You’ve never had gummy pterodactyls or tyrannosaurus rex?

  
  • Top 3 leisure activities.
star bathing, moon hopping, asteroid smashing

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
hover craft pilot, galaxy explorer, candy tester

Candy tester, now why didn’t I think of that? Ace, where can our readers find you online and buy your book?


Thanks for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Ace. Best of luck to you and your fun new book.

THANKS!

GUESTS WELCOME!  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 10, 2013

Emblazon: New Blog For Tween Readers

A wise person once said, “Write your name on the heart of a child.” We hope to emblazon our stories there.



Introducing Emblazon. A blog by seventeen middle grade authors designed specifically for middle grade readers. This unique concept blog caters directly to the tween crowd. They offer book recommendations, blog posts and much more to keep your tween engaged in reading.

Visit EMBLAZON to explore and learn more about them.



July 3, 2013

Three Times A Charm with Antje Hergt

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love meeting new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry and sharing their careers with my readers.

Today’s guest is author, Antje Hergt. Welcome to Strands of Thought, Antje. Tell us a little about you, please.

Born and raised in Germany, I came to explore the Canadian Rockies in Canmore, Alberta in 2003. Taking part in the Writing-with-Style Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2007 encouraged me to follow my passion: writing for children. Darinel Dragonhunter is my first novel, which was inspired by my deep love for classic children literature and fairy tales. My thrill for science fiction/fantasy movies and television shows had an outlet in various genre short stories. I am a member of the Alberta Writer’s Guild and graduated from the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen with a degree in Modern Languages.

Currently, I live in Germany with my snoring cat, Sally, but I miss the magic of the Rocky Mountains. When I am not in Canmore, you can find me in Germany.

We’d love to hear about your book.

Friendship or love? To marry his love Princess Tuskja, Prince Darinel has to kill his best friend, Idunal, the dragon.

I have just launched my first middle grade fantasy adventure, Darinel Dragonhunter with MuseItUp Publishing and I am super excited about it. You can check it out on my webpage www.antjehergt.com or on the MuseItUp page. I hope will be as excited about it when you read it, as I was when I wrote it. Drop by and let me know.

I recommend my book to readers who like:

Dragonrider from Corrnelia Funke
Eragon from Christopher Paolini
The adventure books from Enid Blyton

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.

Patience. Publishing is a very long process and it takes a lot of time and endurance to commit to finishing the book. A lot of people have great ideas and stories, but they never write them down, because writing is hard work. It is a craft that has to be practiced and constantly improved.

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

I love to munch on sweets in all kinds while I write. Most of the time they contain some sort of dark chocolate, but I also have lots of nuts on my desk to dig into.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

I love Cross-Country Skiing and hiking. One a beautiful day, I find it hard to be inside and tied to a desk. That’s why I bought a laptop, so I can take it everywhere with me. I love to write outside beside a lake or river.

Readers, now it is your turn. Antje would like to know your top 3 responses to this question:

Which character is more important to you in a modern fairy tale: the prince or the dragon or the princess?

Antje, where can our readers find you online?

My webpage is www.antjehergt.com. You can also find me on facebook: Antje Hergt or follow me on Twitter: @antjehergt

Thanks for charming us on this week’s Three Times A Charm, Antje. Best of luck to you and your beautiful new book.

THANKS!

GUESTS WELCOME!  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.