Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Love Indies Day - with giveaway!

Organized by the dynamic duo of Lisa & Laura Roecker today writers, readers, bloggers and book people across cyberspace are celebrating their favorite independent bookstore. Here's mine:

In honor of its name, here are 3 reasons I love this place:

Me @ 3rd Place Books w/ a copy
of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON

1. My critique group meets there--it's an ideal place to hang out with bookish folks--and you often run into other amazing local writers who love spending time there, too.

2. Fantastic kids section with a Reading with Rover (kids read to dogs) program; awesome used books; best gifties -- there is no person, no occasion for which this place doesn't have the perfect book AND gift.

3. The Honey Bear Bakery.  Best thumbprint cookies in the world.  Yum.  Just yum.

So...last week after critique group, I bought a nice new copy of one of my favorite books, WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON to give away to YOU.  Just fill in your name and email below.

Share the indie love at your blog or, if you want to tweet about your favorite indie, use this hashtag: #IheartIndies).  Or, for even more indie adoration, swing by Lisa & Laura Roecker; Sarah Frances Hardy; Shana Silver; Elana Johnson; Shannon Messenger; Carolina Valdez Miller; Mundie Moms; Myra McEntire; Sara Bennett Wealer; Janet Gurtler; Joy Preble; Ty Drago; Kate Walton; Julia Karr; Randy Russell; Adele Griffin; Helen Landalf; Beth Revis; Tess Hilmo; Sheela Chari; Gayle Handler; Christine Fonseca.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring in Seattle

Yesterday, I saw a delightful production of Guys & Dolls with my husband and our four sons.  We're raising 'em right, with plenty of theatre mixed in with the lacrosse and track.  Spring weather in the Pacific NW makes Memorial Day Weekend barbecuing a questionable endeavor.  So a live orchestra, fantastic costumes, and a snappy production enjoyed while sitting on velvet seats beneath a gorgeously decorated theater ceiling was a perfect way to spend the day.  Now if I could only get those tunes to stop playing in my head! 

"I got a horse right here...!" (If you're a theater geek like me, you'll know what I'm talking about!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Amazing Christine Fonseca

Is sharing a great modeling story over at A Year of Auditions. Yes, the author of 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids, the amazing writer-blogger, THAT Christine, has an audition story (and some amazing headshots) about her former life as A MODEL. GO NOW.  READ.  LEARN.  ENJOY :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bookanistas: BITTER MELON by Cara Chow

Plot without spoilers…Frances is supposed to ride the back of her Chinese immigrant mother’s sacrifices to great SAT scores and a pre-med degree from Berkeley. Instead, an administrative mix-up lands her in a speech and debate class where she discovers a voice of her own—and a dream she never knew she had.


Of literary interest…Cara Chow does wonderful things playing with English-Chinese translations and using them as metaphors for the clash of two cultures in Frances, or Fei Ting’s life. I also really like the speeches the author writes for Frances—especially the last one because it says so much about her character’s struggle to understand both her mother’s love and her mother’s abuse. (Oh, read the book and you’ll get what I mean.)

Finally, just gotta say…I really connected with the way Frances is simultaneously portrayed as sheltered and socially na├»ve, but also searching for independence and questioning her world. A fascinating teen character. Bitter Melon would be interesting to read alongside Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, a non-fiction book that recently caused quite a stir.

What are the other Bookanistas sampling this week?

Elana Johnson sings praises for SEAN GRISWOLD’S HEAD


Shannon Messenger is wild about WILDFIRE + an ARC giveaway

Carolina Valdez Miller adores A NORTHERN LIGHT

LiLa Roecker dotes on DIVERGENT

Megan Miranda thinks MOONGLASS is marvelous

Jessi Kirby praises POSSESSION

Carrie Harris reveals the BAD TASTE IN BOYS Book Trailer

Sarah Frances Hardy delves into DIVERGENT

Christine Fonseca relishes in the RED GLOVE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Penguin Page!

It's a busy day but I thought I'd take a moment to share this screen shot of my page at Penguin.com.  Things like this make one very surreal year feel a bit more real!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Book Expo America Week!

As a book-not-on-the-shelf-yet author, events such as these are very tempting but the return on going is something I have not been able to quantify.  That said, as luck would have it, I had to be in NYC for a baby shower this past weekend and it seemed like a no-brainer to stay for a few extra days. So, today I'm headed for the School Library Journal Day of Dialog and the third annual Teen Author Carnival.  Then I'll spend tomorrow fangirling authors at the BEA Exhibit Hall.

Even if you can't be in NYC this week, you can follow along with all the fun

On Twitter: @BookExpoAmerica; @ArmchairBEA

Online: http://www.armchairbea.com/ (awesome!)

And extra-special for book bloggers:  http://bookbloggerconvention.com/

So, for the next two days I'll be foisting my bookmarks upon people, meeting up with my fellow bookanistas, my editor, and other writer friends, and taking LOTS of notes.  As soon as I get back, I'll post a full report on the ups and downs of going to BEA as a soon-to-be-published author.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apocalypsie Author K. M. Walton...

...is sharing her story over at A Year of Auditions

Her debut novel, CRACKED, will be published by Simon Pulse in Spring 2012.   Here's more from Goodreads.  This one sounds amazing!

K.M. Walton's Young Adult debut CRACKED, about two boys, a bully and his victim, whose very different circumstances at home have led them to become roommates in the same psych ward.

Victor knows he’s weak. He’s got the most self-absorbed parents alive. His life sucks.

Bull knows he’s angry. He’s sick of taking the drunken beatings from his grandfather. His life sucks too. And he likes to take out his anger on Victor.

Buried underneath their weakness and bravado are two sixteen-year-old boys. If they don’t realize how broken the other is and how similar their pain is, they may not survive.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bookanistas: The Rendering by Joel Naftali

Today, my fourth-grade son offers a "guestanisto" review. Thanks, Sam!

Plot without spoilers...The Rendering is about Doug Solomon, a sixth grade gamer, his best friend Jamie, and three digitally enhanced skunks (yes skunks), trying to stop a evil genius, an army of mercenaries, and a digital empire, from scanning the world into the digital empire where everyone lives for one purpose and nothing else. Utopia? hardly!


Of literary interest...One very interesting literary form was that the book is written in blog form, modern diary form if you will, a risky choice but it works so well for The Rendering.

Finally, just gotta say...Although the storyline is thrilling, I have to say (and this for all the Xbox geeks such as me) I sometimes wish Doug would go into detail about his high score on "Arsenal Five"!

What's on target for the other Bookanistas this week?

Elana Johnson marvels at Moonglass


Christine Fonseca raves about It’s Raining Cupcakes

Shelli Johannes-Wells chats with Pure and The Summer of Firsts & Lasts author Terra McEvaoy

LiLa Roecker and Carrie Harris have a passion for Possession

Beth Revis admires the audiobook of Anansi Boys

Carolina Valdez Miller is giddy over Moonglass – with giveaway

Megan Miranda swoons over Strings Attached

Shana Silver delves into Divergent

Sarah Frances Hardy gabs about Gossip from the Girls Room

Matt Blackstone is tantalized by Bad Taste in Boys

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: A Fantastic Font

The amazing Ballet Font Project captures dancers moving in the shapes of letters to create actual type.  Beautiful, wild, word-tastic!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Cool Techno-Trick

Just showing off
the "Tweeterina" I
made in Pixlr
Despite all the chaos last week, I still really like Blogger.  For me, it is by far the most user-friendly platform for blog-building.  And, I didn't find it all that hard to recover my posts--they were still in the draft cue and just needed to be republished.

That said (and mybe most of the rest of you already knew this) as I was upgrading, updating and adding stuff to my online presence this weekend, I learned something cool.  If you use Blogger and don't like that "Blogger" bar that shows at the top of your site, all you have to do to remove it is to go to the "Design" tab, select "edit html" from the submenu, scroll through the html to the body of the "body" section and, after the last }, add this:

#Navbar1 {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

display: none;
visibility: hidden;

}

The Blogger bar will disappear from the top of your blogsite.  Easy as pie!  And pretty :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marketing & Publicity Mayhem!

So, here's what I did this weekend:

1. Overhauled my author website, http://www.stasiawardkehoe.com/.  Why? The primary reason you may find strange: The site just didn't feel like me.  The colors matched my bookcover and my two blogs fed into it, which was cool.  But I kind of felt like I didn't own it style-wise and I couldn't manage the arrangement and update of the content in the Weebly site as easily as I wanted to.  So, I changed it up, added more embarassing cute pictures, and lots of warm colors--reds and pinks, which I love!

2. Started plans for a grassroots author tour and began reaching out to author friends.  Began developing a tour website (getting better at these!) and making plans for some cool (and special) opportunities for U.S. followers of Writer on the Side.  More to come soon.

3. Exchanged emails with my AUSTRALIAN EDITOR!  Yes, Audition sold to Penguin Australia/New Zealand so all you awesome folks down under will get to read it soon, too!

Oh, and plus I baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesome Author Allen Zadoff

For his hilarious audition story GO HERE. 
Go now! You can thank me later :)

   

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Bookanistas: Dramarama by E. Lockhart

Plot without spoilers…Sadye (formerly known as Sarah) and her half-closeted best friend, Demi, leave the boring confines of their dull midwestern town for a summer at Wildwood theater camp. Sadye vows to live large, find romance, and own the stage. Instead, she is surrounded by intimidatingly talented, equally ambitious fellow campers, cast in unimpressive roles, and frustrated by a domineering celebrity director. Is Sadye just too much to be confined behind a velvet curtain?

Of literary interest…Lockhart intersperses the narrative with transcripts of micro-recorded dialogues Sadye makes to document her amazing summer. This juxtaposition of present-tense conversations with traditional past-tense storytelling gives the novel an engrossing, theatrical-scripty feel.

Finally, just gotta say...This book checked all the boxes for me: interesting structure, contemporary fiction, performing arts and a protagonist who is as loveable as she is off-putting.  Sadye is big, outspoken, inquisitive--a desperate dreamer longing to find the dream she wants to make come true. Set Dramarama beside Will Grayson, Will Grayson (one of my all-time faves) on your top gleek-tastic library shelf.
 
What are the other Bookanistas applauding this week?

Elana Johnson turns you on to Divergent


LiLa Roecker is ensnared by Tighter

Christine Fonseca gets giddy about Moonglass – with giveaway

Shannon Messenger is mesmerized by Imaginary Girls – with giveaway

Kirsten Hubbard has double the love for Rival and Moonglass

Carolina Valdez Miller vaunts Divergent – with giveaway

Megan Miranda devours Bad Taste in Boys

Bethany Wiggins and Shana Silver share their passion for Possession

Gretchen McNeil rocks out with The Anti-Prom

Carrie Harris reads along Blood Red Road

Myra McEntire anounces the Bookanistas Give Back/Run for Your Life prize winners

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Label Fail

Sadly, my resolution to label all posts for easy referencing has fallen by the wayside? I'm doing it about as well as I do the South Beach diet. (Don't ask!)

Regardless, what label would I put on this post? Lame? Easily distracted? Well-at-least-I-posted?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Win a signed copy of DRAMARAMA by E. Lockhart

So, a few weeks ago at the SCBW Western Washington annual conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing E. Lockhart (a.k.a. Emily Jenkins).  Here's a photo of Emily looking artsy-awesome and me looking like I forgot I owned a hairbrush or makeup of any kind (brave pic to post, huh?).


I had the pleasure of hearing Emily speak about writing and picked up a SIGNED COPY of her gleek-tastic ya novel, DRAMARAMA, which I'll be reviewing here on Thursday.

WANT MY SIGNED COPY FOR YOUR OWN? Enter below. (Note: Contest ends MAY 27 and is open to US/Canada mailing addresses only.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back-to-Business: BOOKMARKS

So, it's May! How did that happen? (And when will the rain stop?) I have passed the point when I can say to myself, "okay, next week I've got to get serious about my marketing plan for Audition." Next week is NOW. Or maybe it was yesterday.

For those of you on (or writing/submitting/planning to go on) this journey, I am going to share with you some of the steps of my super-uncertain-debut-author marketing efforts.

My absolute go-to (and not just mine--you can't believe how many authors I know who LOVE this) is Lisa Schroeder's go-to post "Checklist & Timeline for MG or YA Book Release"  Because Lisa "told me so," I knew that it was time to make bookmarks!  Here's how I did it in three easy steps.
  1. I looked through my collection of bookmarks made by other authors.  I was also lucky enough to have my arc and jpegs of both the front and AWESOME back cover of my book. 
  2. With these resources, I drafted the content I wanted, including cover, description, website, blog & pub date.
  3. The incredible Shelli Johannes-Wells of Market My Words recommended PrintRunner, an online printing service. They were great--very reasonably priced with good email and telephone support! 
And, here it is: My bookmark (it's really very nice--I'm just a lousy cell phone photographer):

Friday, May 6, 2011

Author Angela Cerrito shares her audition story

In my twenties I decided to moonlight as a model/actress, without any experience. I started this adventure at the library –reading up on the business, learning how to avoid scams and gobbling up inspiring biographies. I found legitimate agencies (TIP: call the local businesses that advertise in your media –TV commercials, print, or fashion shows— and ask them which agencies they use.)


When I met with agents they offered advice. Those snapshots I took at home? Unprofessional. I must learn make-up, understand the camera and study fashion. Insert steep learning curve here! In time, I was represented by two agencies, one for commercial work (advertising products, not fashion) and the other was strictly fashion. Each agency offered a mix of work but for most of that work I had to audition.

I quickly learned that an audition could mean ANYTHING. No two were the same...

Read the rest HERE

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bookanistas: MOONGLASS by Jessi Kirby

Plot without spoilers...The summer after Anna’s junior year, she and her father move back to the beach where her parents met and fell in love—a place rife with memories that threaten to force them both to face difficult truths about her mother’s death.

Of literary interest...Mermaid mythology and imagery float throughout the novel like bits of poetry. It’s very cool to see mermaids, often used as a fantasy element, worked so seamlessly into a very contemporary YA novel. Jessi Kirby’s descriptions of the ocean, collecting sea glass, surfing and scuba diving are fantastic—I feel like I’m right beside Anna in the water even though I’m personally a shark-phobic mediocre swimmer in reality. Now I’m a surfer in my mind!

Finally, just gotta say…I love the way friendships are built in this novel—between Dad and Andy, Anna and Ashley, Anna and Jillian—each based on a different sort of connection, a different need. Also, Tyler is H.O.T. I think this would be a gorgeous read alongside Gayle Forman’s Where She Went, which is another study of the long tendrils of grief and the way they make us who we are.

Want more Bookanista book love?  Visit us at THE READING ROOM or click along...

Shelli Johannes-Wells gives us THE ROYAL TREATMENT


Elana Johnson hosts a blog tour stop for 101 SUCCESS
SECRETS FOR GIFTED KIDS with a giveaway

Shannon Messenger adores THE DAY BEFORE plus a giveaway

Carolina Valdez Miller is passionate about POSSESSION and gives away an ARC

Beth Revis shares some SOLSTICE cover love

Lisa & Laura Roecker marvel over MOONGLASS

Megan Miranda and Veronica Rossi delve into DIVERGENT

Shana Silver shows her desire for DEMONGLASS

Carrie Harris is PUTTING MAKEUP ON DEAD PEOPLE

Sarah Frances Hardy wants to be just LIKE MANDARIN

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: Non-Fiction Kitchen Floor

This is my kitchen floor.  For realz.


Okay, before you gasp or vomit or anything, please note that:

A) It's the part right underneath Batman's chair where there are lots of spills which my secretary (er, dog) subsequently covers with a layer of dog-licking-up-mess-spit.

B) After taking this picture, I did actually break out the mop.  Still, I consider myself brave for posting this horror here.

In sum, the non-fiction reality learned by this fiction writer is that you can't have it all (or at least, not all of it will be clean).  I may not be a domestic goddess, but I'm great at quoting cliches!

STOP MOPPING AND YOU COULD BE A WRITER, TOO!

Monday, May 2, 2011

National Poetry Month AUDITION arc Winner!

Drum roll please...

JESSICA

Check out her blog ChickLitTeens!
Congratulations!  Hope you enjoy the read!