I have the fun privilege of being the guest on author Joyce DiPastena's blog. At JDP News I am the featured guest reviewer. I am usually the one doing the interviewing, so it was strange to have the roles reversed. I would really like it if you would head on over to JDP News and read the interview.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I have the fun privilege of being the guest on author Joyce DiPastena's blog. At JDP News I am the featured guest reviewer. I am usually the one doing the interviewing, so it was strange to have the roles reversed. I would really like it if you would head on over to JDP News and read the interview.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Today's "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" question is being answered by my new friend, a fellow blogger and writer, Marieke Nijkamp. She is answering the question "What do you think about writing?" She posted on her blog recently the perfect answer to this question. I just had to share it with all of my readers whether you write or not. It is one of the most beautiful things I have read recently.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Tuesday's Teaching Moment: Looking for Love, Wealth, and Happiness in 2011? 5 Quick and Easy Feng Shui Tips You Can Do Right Now!
Looking for Love, Wealth, and Happiness in 2011?Attract Love, Wealth, and Happiness into Your Life in 2011
Happiness; where do we find it? As I wandered around the WWW, I found this piece by Matthew Steed concerning Feng Shui and how it can bring happiness into our lives. Whether you believe in Feng Shui or not, the advice given can do no harm, but only bring about good things. The power of positive thinking is something I truly believe in. ~~Sheila
By Matthew Steed
Get a money tree to attract money
in Feng Shui a money tree is a Pachira plant; you can find them for sale online. The money tree is used to attract wealth into your life. Put the tree in your office or wherever you work from. For example, as a writer, I placed my money tree near my computer.
Clean out everything under your bed to attract love
This will clear out any obstacles that may be blocking the flow of Chi, or energy, from moving around your bed and stopping love in your life. And as the bed is a symbol of love so it's important to keep the flow of Chi moving around it.
Repair any leaky faucets or toilets in your home to prevent money from flowing from your life
By repairing the leaks in your home you are preventing money from leaking out of your home and your life.
Put a live plant in your room and remove any plastic or dead flowers and plants to attract love and happiness
Live plants represent growth and life. Having a live plant in your bedroom will encourage growth in your life, including your love life.
Get rid of old magazines to prevent a stagnate life
Getting rid of old magazines not only will help de-clutter your home, it will also remove links to the past that stop new, fresh energy from coming into your life.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Natalie wrinkled her forehead, almost afraid to ask, and said, “What does that mean?”
“You do know you’re pregnant, right?”
Her breath caught in her throat. “Excuse me?”
Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. “I’m what?”
Natalie Drake certainly has her hands full raising a large family, dealing with her difficult mother, and maintaining a relationship with her rebellious teenager. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, she finds out another unexpected surprise—she’s going to have a baby. Faced with so many challenges, Natalie must learn to trust in a plan that isn’t what she imagined and discover that every situation has an upside.
I read a lot during the course of the year. I also read a wide variety of genres of books. Every once in awhile you come across a book that truly touches your heart. This kind of book stays with you for a long time. The Upside of Down by Rebecca Talley is just that kind of book. I read this novel several months ago and I still remember how I felt as I read the story of Natalie and her family.
In this novel you get to know the Drake family who have six children and lead a very busy life. Natalie, a stay at home Mom and with a new calling as a Relief Society President, she thinks she can't take anymore. Mixed in with the crazy everyday things that happen in a family, Rebecca has included a lot humor. I laughed so many times while reading this book. Some of the things that I found humorous were when she came home and walked into her bedroom and it resembled the aftermath of a tornado. Natalie asks herself, Did she live with humans or pigs? I have felt that way myself. Another example, while sitting in Sacrament Meeting waiting to be sustained as the new Relief Society President, her daughter Laura reaches over and jiggles the back of her arm and says, "You do have Relief Society Arms."There are so many other things that I could tell you that happen to Natalie, but I don't want to spoil the fun for you when you read the book. I will say my favorite thing to happen involves Nair. I could not stop laughing!
Along with the humor there are incidences that make you angry and sad. It starts with chapter one when Natalie is with her two youngest at a fast food restaurant. A young family in front of her has a daughter that she notices has Down Syndrome. The father, in front of all the patrons, verbally abuses his daughter calling her a retard. That just made my skin crawl. I also had little patience with Natalie's mother who continually criticizes her and her choices. Here is one example, "You have more than your fair share to handle here. I'm certainly not going to add to it. One of these days, I hope you wise up."
To wrap it up, I feel personally that this is the best book that Rebecca Talley has written. She writes Natalie so real and so beautiful. She has one of the hardest challenges of her life when she finds out she is pregnant again. Then she finds out how truly special this child is that is coming into her life. She has to lean on her Heavenly Father, with much prayer, to help her through. Her family also grows closer together as they get ready to welcome this new little angel into their lives. The cover of the book shows so beautifully the heart of this story. I smile every time I look at it. I highly recommend this book to all of the readers that come to this blog; LDS or other denominations.
I interviewed Rebecca Talley, and she so brilliantly answered the questions posed to her.
1. What prompted you to write this book?
I thought it would be fun to write an LDS version of "Cheaper by the Dozen." Since my 10 kids are constantly doing things like clogging the toilet, calling 911, or giving each other haircuts, I thought I could write what I know. :) Of course, the book is fictionalized but much of it is based on actual experiences in my family.
2. Was this book easier or harder to write than your others?
This book was a bit harder than my other books because it has so much of my heart in it. I recalled some painful real-life experiences to help give the story realism and it was difficult at times to relive them. In fact, I had to stop a few times and step away from it because my memories were too intense.
3. Did you have any input on the cover of your book? It is so beautiful!
I love the cover--makes me want to have a snuggly newborn every time I look at it. I can't take any credit for the cover. The designers at Cedar Fort are amazing and create incredible covers. I'm very pleased with this cover and hope it piques the interest of potential readers.
4. What book are you working on now?
I'm currently working on a YA paranormal about a young girl who derives her strength and power from her virtue and must use that power to fight demons. I just published an ebookSmashwords. I'm also working on a few more ebooks and outlining a possible series.
5. What is the best advice to give aspiring writers?
The best advice for aspiring authors is to never give up. Also, read, read, read. Write, write, write. Attend conferences, network with other writers, join a critique group, hone your craft. Persistence pays off--I know because I am very persistent.
Thank you so much!! If you would like to learn more about Rebecca and her books go here.
I received a review copy from Cedar Fort. In no way did this influence the review given.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Today's "What Do You Think About... Wednesday" question is answered by my 2nd grade class. I was struggling with what question I wanted answered this week. As I stood there in my classroom thinking about this, it came to me that I was going to ask my class the question. I in no way coerced them or told them what to write on their papers. But here is the question I wrote on the board for them to answer...
Friday, February 11, 2011
The Peasant Queen is a book for lovers of romance, and strong women. The main character, Krystal, will not accept someone else deciding her own fate. She takes charge of her life and changes many other lives at the same time. I am getting tired of reading about women that are victims and need a man to rescue them. Yes, I really liked the main character if you couldn't tell. Author Cheri Chesley also does a fine job developing all of the characters, even the bad guy, King Gregory. The King is very evil, but he also is so intriguing that you have to keep reading to see what he will do next. He is somewhat of a slimy character that makes your skin crawl. It is very easy to like the white knight in shining armor Prince Jareth. The romance is good, though somewhat fast on the part of Krystal . You will understand how Jareth fell in love with Krystal. I think Cheri writes the kissing scenes perfectly; the good and bad ones.
This novel will be well liked by romance lovers, those that love to see women with great inner strength and those who just enjoy a well written book.
I did a short interview with Cheri Chesley. I told her if she didn't want to answer the questions, then I would just make up something about her. It was funny, but the answers came back rather quickly.
1.Where did the idea of The Peasant Queen come from?
The story came from Krystal. She actually started as a regular girl from our world who got transported magically to another sphere. This is originally--when I was in high school 20 yrs ago. She's changed a lot since then.
2.Is this your favorite genre to read? Is there another genre that you would like to write?
This was my favorite genre when I was young. And let me tell you, there were precious few books back then in this genre! Since becoming an adult, I have expanded my reading preferences. A while back, I tried writing a kind of romantic suspense. That was fun. I may work on that a bit.
3.Are there any books or authors that influenced you in your writing?
Growing up, I read Tamora Pierce so much I could quote large sections of the books. I also read Guinevere by Sharan Newman. And a lot of Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe.
4.Will The Peasant Queen be a trilogy?
There are definitely three books--no more, no less.
5. Who is your favorite character to write in your book and why?
This may sound bad, but I love writing Gregory and it was really hard to stop. He's a rich character. It's kind of like when an actor is asked their favorite roles to play. They nearly always say the villain. There's something to stepping outside yourself that's appealing.
6.Do you have some words of wisdom to share with unpublished writers?
I don't know how wise they are, but I'll go with what works for me. Read a lot. Write a lot, even if you think it's terrible. Talk to other authors--network. And never, never give up!
Thanks Cheri for answering my questions. I look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.
BIO: I am a mom of 5 and a stepmom of 1 and of course all of them are amazing. My first novel, The Peasant Queen, is currently available for sale. And I'm working on The Tyrant King.
I was given a free copy of The Peasant Queen. In no way did this
influence the review given.
Remember, the contest that is going on here at my blog. You still have a chance to enter to win a copy of "The Squeaky Gourmet". You can read more about the details of the contest down below. You have until Monday, Feb.14th, midnight MST to enter the contest. Please share with your family and friends about the contest.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
With Valentines Day approaching quickly, I thought that this would be the perfect time to ask some questions about the genre of Romance. I went to one of my favorite romance authors, Joyce DiPastena. She has written some of the best medieval romances I have read. She knows her genre very well. Thanks Joyce for being my guest today and for your wonderful answers.
What do you think about Romance books that are written today?
You know what disappoints me personally about too many romances that are written today? This is purely my personal opinion and I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority because so many romances have come to this so there must be a lot of readers for them…but for me, modern day romances have too much romance and too little plot. What I mean by that is, in too many romances (not all, but a LOT), it seems like all the hero and heroine do for the entire length of the book are think about each other. I mean, of course it’s a romance so of course they’re going to think a lot about each other…but really, is that ALL they have to do with their time for 300 pages or so? Don’t these people have families? Jobs? Hobbies? But really, it’s more than that. It simply comes down to plot. Nothing much seems to actually happen in a lot of romances today. It’s all about the “relationship”, which is great and I know a lot of readers love. But I just get personally frustrated when not much seems to actually “happen” in a book.
Compare today’s romances to Jane Austen or (one of my personal favorite romance authors of yore) . Their books are LOADED with plot as well as romance. And they’re lauded to the heavens by romance readers and publishers today. And you know what I think? I think if either of these authors were alive today and submitted a manuscript to the national market, they’d get at best a nice little rejection letter telling them they had a wonderful writing style, but their books have too much plot and don’t spend enough time on the “relationship”, good luck somewhere else.
That being said, I do think it’s somewhat different with LDS published books. I don’t think there’s as much focus by LDS publishers on what’s become the traditional romance “formula”. I think to a large extent it’s still more about telling a good story, so you’ll find both kinds of romances in this market—relationship oriented romances and plot driven romances. (Yay!)
How would you compare them to Romance books written say 75-100 years ago?
Aside from what I just noted above—i.e., that older romances have much more plot—the writing styles are very different. What I do enjoy about today’s romances is the more “up close and personal” writing style. Older romances tended to use a more omniscient POV, where the reader is observing the story more from the “outside”. You’re never quite completely inside a character’s head or heart. That’s changed today. Today’s preferred 3rd person limited (or 1st person) keeps you tightly in one character’s head at a time, experiencing everything that character is experiencing just as if it were happening to you. (Assuming the scene is written well.) I’m an emotional person, so I enjoy this more emotional style of writing that is popular today.
Author of LOYALTY'S WEB and ILLUMINATIONS OF THE HEART. Joyce DiPastena fell in love with the Middle Ages when she first read Thomas B. Costain’s THE CONQUERING FAMILY in high school. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree specializing in medieval history, Joyce lives in Arizona with her two cats, Clio and Glinka Rimsky-Korsokov.
You can learn more about Joyce by visiting her at...
Monday, February 7, 2011
Are you trying to change to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family? Are you not sure how to make this happen? Does choosing the right foods seem scary and confusing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are going to want to read this cookbook.
Product DescriptionSqueaky Gourmet is a colorful and well written cookbook intended to educate and encourage the reader towards a healthy diet. Food knowledge coupled with exciting recipes makes this book a must have for anyone on any fitness level. There is no need for boredom in the kitchen or dead taste buds in order to eat healthy. Squeaky Gourmet offers delicious recipes for every meal, snack or even office party. Author Maureen Jeanson holds certifications in fitness from ACSM, ISSA and the US Navy. Jamie Wilson offers her experience in the struggle with being healthy and NOT sacrificing flavor and comfort at the same time. Together they offer you over 140 pages of wellness education, tasty food ideas and the exact steps you can take to achieve your own fitness goals.
I have known Maureen (I call her Moe) for 12 years. We both went through the horrendous trial of losing a baby. We met on a chat board for Moms dealing with grief. Moe is an amazing lady! This is why I wanted you to learn about her and how she has conquered many trials in her life. Part of healing and dealing with her struggles was to take control of her health. At the beginning of the book she tells her story; that alone is worth the amount of money you would pay for the cookbook. The main things I loved about Squeaky Gourmet are the easy to follow recipes and the nutrition facts that are listed for each recipe.
I am happy to tell you that you have a chance to win a copy of Squeaky Gourmet. There are a few easy things to do in order to increase your chances of winning a copy of this book. Here is what you need to do.
1. If you are a follower of my blog you already have one entry.
2.If you direct a new follower to my blog and they "Follow" me, you will get two entries. If you are a new follower of my blog, you will also get two entries.
3. Share about this contest on Facebook, or twitter and leave the link here for me to see. You will receive an entry for each time you tweet about the contest or post about on facebook.
4. Go to facebook to Squeaky Gourmet's page and like it. This will get you one more entry.
5. Go visit the Squeaky Gourmet website and subscribe to receive e-mails or make a comment on the site. There is the potential for two entries here. Let me know that you did this.
6.Finally, comment on this post and receive two entries in the contest.
SO.... altogether you could have up to 10 or more entries in this contest. This contest is only open to residents of the USA...sorry. But, if you would like to purchase your own copy of Squeaky Gourmet head on over to Amazon.com.
I hope to see many entries in the contest. You will have one week to do all of this. The contest will close on Monday, Feb. 14th, 2011 at midnight MST.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
After a fluke lottery win, Karen Donaldson - the ward charity case - is determined to use her millions to pay back all the kindness she's received. But the future holds a few more surprises for Karen, her neighbors, and someone she thought was gone forever. Sweet, funny, and full of heart, this off-beat comedy is perfect for anyone who's ever dreamed of making it big.
I really loved Lucky Change. This was a unique story of a down on your luck, divorced women, who strikes it rich. Karen, the main character, is a lively and good hearted woman. She is not like the other women in her ward, who at times have not been too kind to her. This does not stop Karen from wanting to help others and shower them with kindness and money. You can not help but love Karen and her humor. Her outlook on life can't help but bring a smile to your face.
Bishop Parley doesn't always know what to say, in guiding Karen in using her new wealth. Bishop Parley tells Karen to be careful about who she tells about her winning the lottery. Karen let's him know that she already gave her notice at Smiths that she won't be working there anymore. This is what she told her co-workers, "I told them I struck it rich and was gonna sit around the rest of my life eatin' cookie dough. Everybody just laughed. Nobody believed me, even though I had a whole shopping cart full." You can see just a little of her humor from that, but you have to read the whole story to really get to know her. When you finish the book, you wish that you really did have a good friend like Karen; and not because of the money that she could give you.
I wanted you to know more about how this fantastic book was written. I had the pleasure of interviewing author Susan Law Corpany. She is such a delightful person! Enjoy reading the fun answers that she gave me.
1-When did you get the idea to write "Lucky Change"?
I got the idea for Lucky Change (which I originally called Heaven Help Us!) back in the late nineties when I had a cheap boss in Florida. I was in the sales department, and whenever we had a good month, he would go across the street and buy ten lottery tickets and give one to each member of the team. I would just toss them into my purse and never even check to see if I had won anything. One day I was sitting in church and was looking for a pen and saw all these lottery tickets in the bottom of my purse and I thought about how embarrassing it would be if I actually won big. Then I said to myself, "Lots of 'poor person with a heart of gold wins the lottery' stories have been done, but I haven't ever read a story of an LDS person winning big, someone who isn't supposed to be buying lottery tickets in the first place." So there I was, sitting in church, mentally writing that first chapter. Also not good, but that's how it happened.
Then I remembered Karen, a rather minor character I had created for Unfinished Business, mostly as an example of a poor housekeeper. I remember how I had thought she was an interesting character and that someday she should have her own book. A match was made!
2-I love the main character Karen. She is so humble, funny kind, caring and without guile. Is she based on a real-life person? Was she your favorite character to write?
Karen started out very loosely based on a woman who was a challenge for me as a RS president twenty years ago, but she soon emerged as her own character. I share her dislike of housework. I have had the unique experience of having been on both ends of the financial teeter-totter, although not quite in the extremes that Karen has, so I knew how to write for Karen as well as for Toni.
When I was growing up, my father was a country boy transplanted to the city, so when he got a chance to manage a dairy herd for the stake welfare farm, that was as close as he could come to being a farmer in Salt Lake City. Because he worked for the Church, part of his pay came in the form of "commodities," so we did our grocery shopping at the church storehouse. As a teen-ager, it always bothered me that my mother would not keep those Deseret Brand cans out of sight of my friends, making us appear as if we were long-term recipients of Church welfare. After we could drive, sometimes she would send my me and my older brother to Welfare Square to pick up the groceries. I absolutely hated doing that! One time one of the cool girls from my high school was there doing a service project and saw me shopping. Another time an employee lectured me and my brother on the failure rates of teen-age marriage and told us how abhorrentt it was for us to be on Church welfare at such an early age.
There are lots of bits and pieces of myself in Karen, but there are bits and pieces of other people, too. On the rare occasion that we fly First Class, my husband always tells me that I get too excited about the hot towels and that I need to act like I belong in First Class. So I would joke that when I was in coach, I was a fledgling author of several self-published novels and everything from the booking agent to the cleaning lady of our vacation rental house on the Big Island. In first class I was the best-selling author of Hilo's largest publishing house and the owner/manager of an exclusive resort on Kealakekua Bay.
I wanted to make Karen guileless but believable. That humility is often found in those without means, so I gave her a humble job and lifestyle. Still, I didn't want to portray things in black and white, as in poor = humble, rich = haughty. I tried not to paint either those struggling financially or those well-off with a broad brush.
If I look around, I fear I may see more signs of Karen in my surroundings, including the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream I bought to celebrate being a Whitney finalist. My once-nice green leather sofas, which at least one of my stepsons has asked for in the will because they are so comfortable, are now patched with green duct tape, because we might as well just wear them the rest of the way out because we are planning to move back to the mainland when my husband retires in the next few years. (The nice furniture is all at the vacation house.) I would rather have a handprint from a kindergartner hanging on the wall than an expensive oil painting. When I got a job as a legal secretary at 22, I worked for two attorneys and the semi-retired senior partner, S.J. Quinney. There are buildings at universities all over Utah named after Mr. Quinney. One of the words he used that I wasn't sure how to write in shorthand was "erudite," so I sent Karen on a quest to become erudite.
The more I think about it, Karen is probably me with exaggerated faults and a few virtues I don't quite possess. I weigh less. I vacuum more often. Our cats don't come in the house. I don't forgive as easily, but if I write enough characters who are good at that, maybe I'll become better at it myself. I am in charge of the meetings-formerly-known-as-Enrichment, so I don't have a Karen to contend with, but I've thought of doing how-to-avoid-housework tips for the ladies. While I doubt I would be quite as selfless as Karen--I would probably have bought Toni's house because I wanted it--this book did give me a fun opportunity to explore things I might do if I struck it rich. There were a lot of parts I had to cut, in the interest of getting the book to the desired length for the publisher, lots of other fun service projects Karen did.
I think a lot of people relate to Karen, because at some time or another, we've almost all been in that "don't quite fit" situation. I have always loved the line in "Away in a Manger" where it says "fit us for heaven to live with Thee there." We all, whoever we are, whatever our circumstances, need the help of the Master Tailor for that perfect fit.
3-When I finished "Lucky Change" I was left with that wonderful feel- good inside feeling. Was this your hope while writing this book? What other messages did you want to leave with your readers?
Thank you for saying it left you with a good feeling. My first novel was loosely based on my experience of losing my first husband, and since I was dealing with such a serious topic, and also because it is my nature, it is also laced with humor. I would find that it was the humor that people would comment on most often, even though I thought the book was more sad than funny. Sometimes because of the humor I wonder if my more serious messages get through. I don't start a book with a goal of sharing a specific message, because for me books with a heavy-handed didactic message are annoying. I remember my stake president asking me what was the message of one of my books, that it needed to have a message. I told him the message was whatever anyone took away from it. What I hope people will take away from Lucky Change is a desire to better love their fellow man, to be less envious and/or prideful, to be more accepting and inclusive and forgiving. That and not to take themselves so seriously, to eat more cookie dough and not to worry about cleaning the oven.
Another message I want to leave with my readers is that if they buy lots of copies of this book, I too, will be able to be generous and benevolent like Karen.
Seriously, the older I get, the more I try to let go of old hurts and embrace the joys of the here and now. I love when Karen told Dee to shoo her bad feelings away instead of carrying around a bag of bird seed and feeding them. My husband is a family therapist, as well as a professor at the university, and he has helped me to realize when I talk of an old hurt that the moment I can feel or hear emotion creep into my heart or voice, I am reliving it in an unhealthy way. I have learned to be able to speak of difficulties from the past without the anger or hurt feelings surfacing. For me, that is huge, because it is something I can measure. It is a way I can gauge my progress.
4-Congratulations on "Lucky Change" being a finalist for a Whitney Award in the General category. How did you feel when you heard that you were a finalist?
When I found out I was a Whitney finalist, it was kind of like Karen and her lottery winning ticket. "Let's make sure I wrote these numbers down right." I had already picked two books that I thought for sure would be finalists. I began scrolling through the list, and the first one I saw was Annette's book, which I had pegged as sure to be one of the finalists. I scrolled through three more and figured the last one would be the other author I had expected as a finalist. But then I saw the orange cover and the flying money. I was surprised and excited, but I was home alone, so I didn't do the game show dance or anything. At first I couldn't get my husband or any of our kids on the phone, so I just went out and bought some celebratory chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and told the cashier at Safeway.
5.Will you write a sequel to "Lucky Change"?
I have envisioned a sequel called "Going for Broke" where Karen and Ray go all over the world doing service in order to spend all the money and just get back to being regular folks. People seem to want to know if anything unfolds between Austin and Camille, and I'm sure they would like to see Dee have a better future than she has had a past, so I will follow their stories as well. I am imagining how much fun I could have taking Karen to foreign countries where she can mangle the language and yet somehow transcend the communication barriers with love. I have friends willing to share some of their global travel service experiences with me and we've done quite a bit of travel ourselves, so I am sure I can take Karen and Ray on some interesting adventures. I'll just do like I did with this book and follow Karen around and write about what she does.
Right now, however, I am working on "Packing for Heaven," which is a parallel novel about Toni and her family and her daughter's battle with cancer and Toni's battle with her pride. There will be some overlapping scenes from Lucky Change, told from a little different vantage point. I'm trying to get that done in the next few months. Anyone who wants to sign on as a nagger, let me know.
Thanks for the interview!
If you want to read something fun after reading the book, you need to go to Susan's blog. Here is where she interviews the characters from her book. I read the interviews and they are a lot of fun to read. It was like a continuation of the book. Here is the link...
Susan also wanted me to share this with my readers...
On this one, I am hopeful that eventually people who have my good deed pass along cards will post. In the meantime, I post my own experiences, which is good, because it makes me mindful of acts of service done for me, and it makes me look for opportunities to be of service to others.
About the Author
- Susan Law Corpany
- Susan is an LDS writer of fiction that is touching without being sappy, uplifting without being preachy, humorous without being contrived and true to life without being too depressing. She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii and is married to Thom Curtis, a Sociology professor at the University of Hawaii. Thom and Susan have a blended family of six, a daughter and five sons. They are adding new adorable grandchildren regularly. She loves to travel and see the world, and loves to stay home and enjoy the paradise in which she lives.
FYC- I received a free copy of this book, which in no way influenced my review.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
My guest today for "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" is award winning author Josi Kilpack. Josi is the author of thirteen books. This year she has been serving as the President of the Whitney Academy which sponsors and conducts the Whitney Awards. The Whitney Awards are given yearly to outstanding LDS authors. I wanted to ask Josi some questions having to do with the Whitney Awards.
What do you think about the positive impact of the Whitney awards on LDS writers? Have the Whitneys changed the books being written by LDS authors?
I think the positive impact of the Whitney awards on LDS writers is huge. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, and having goals as a writer makes all the difference. There are certainly personal goals that have to do with learning your craft, getting published, and procuring good reviews, but the Whitney Awards offers another arena in which to shoot for--that of public recognition. I'm thrilled that the Whitney Awards seem to have reached the point where becoming a finalist is, in and of itself, an accomplishment in it's own right. I'm equally thrilled that more and more writers and readers are becoming aware of the program and therefore spreading the word. I have seen very positive changes in overall quality of writing which is the mission of the Whitney Awards would accomplish. I have been involved in one way or another with the Whitney Awards since the start and it's been an exciting process to watch unfold. Hats off to all the writers who are working hard to write their best work. Hats off to the readers who are recognizing great fiction and taking the time to nominate their books. Hats off to the judges and committee members that do all the behind the scenes work to make the award program happen. I could not be happier with the way The Whitey Awards have grown and developed and I look forward to many more years of growth and awareness that will continue to bless the market, the readers, and the writers who make it possible.
The Finalists for the Whitney awards are posted on the Whitney Awards website. Please go there and see if some of your favorite books from 2010 are finalists. Thank you Josi for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be my guest today.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Today's Teaching Moment comes from Author Annette Lyon. Her blog post today will educate everyone who wants to know about The Whitney Awards. Annette goes into great detail about how the whole process works.
Annette Lyon explains:
-How the Whitney Awards Work
-What a Book Goes Through to Win a Whitney
-How the Academy Votes
-The Whitney Gala
So I encourage you to go to Annette's blog, The Lyon's Tale, and educate yourself on The Whitney Awards. I also want to congratulate Annette on her book, Band of Sisters, that is one of the five finalists in the General Category for a Whitney Award.