Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Beautiful Blogger Award

The Beautiful Blogger Award
Congratulations, Sandra for receiving the Beautiful Blogger award. Your blogs are not only helpful, but inspiring. I especially loved the one about Emily Dickinson. She didn't let others and their comments stop her from following her dreams. We shouldn't either.
Check out Sandra's blog at  http://www.kidscandoit/.

You'l be glad you did.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Reading and Writing

The Anson County Writers' Club in Wadesboro, NC sponsored their fourth annual writers' conference April 13th-14th with storytellers, authors, and writers as presenters throughout the two days. Authors Marjorie Hudson, Hope Clark, and Gary Carden were just three of the many who presented. I felt honored I too was a speaker. More info about the conference is available on the website http://www.ansoncountywritersclub.org/.

The topic I chose for my presentation was "A Writer's Journey." My writer's journey began in 2006 after the death of my dad, at which time I began writing poetry as a way of dealing with grief. That eventually led to writing a human interest column for a local newspaper, the Salisbury Post. Writing workshops, critique groups, networking on sites such as Linkedin.com., Twitter, and Facebook have helped me grow as a writer and develop my craft.

In 2010 I published my first book, Tired of My Bath. It didn't take long for me to realize publishing a book was not the end of the process, but only the beginning. Marketing must go hand in hand with publishing in order to be successful.

I have shared my books at schools, churches, organizations, book signings, and festivals. It's really fun to visit schools because you never know what children are going to say. I generally end my presentations with a motivational message, although I find I'm often the one motivated because of the energy I get from the audience.

Although marketing can be scary, it's well worth the effort. You never know who you might meet or what life you may have touched by sharing a little of yourself with others.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Christian Children's Book Authors Facebook Page

It's amazing how friendships develop. Since I started writing a few years ago, I've made some wonderful friends who also share my love of the written word. My genre is children's books and I'm finding there are many others who share that love.

Two of my friends who write for children are Aileen Stewart and Bryan Miles. I met Bryan about a year ago through a website called Fanstory.com. Fanstory is a site where writers can improve their skills through reviews when they share their poems, short stories, and novels.

I met Aileen a couple of months ago through Linkedin.com. Both Bryan and Aileen have each published a children's book that teaches a moral lesson. Bryan's book is titled, Faithful the Fire Truck. It is a delightful story about a fire truck that through its experiences teaches Christian concepts in a way children can understand.

Aileen's book is titled, Fern Valley. It was recently chosen out of over a thousand books as one of only thirty to be on the Kart Foundation Kids' List. http://www.kartfoundation.org/. Fern Valley is a book that teaches moral lessons like getting along with others. Congratulations Aileen and hopefully many more awards will be coming your way.

Bryan saw a need for Christian authors on Facebook to have a group page and so he did something about it. He formed a group called Christian Children's Book Authors. Both Aileen and I have joined this group. Bryan's vision was for a place where members could share information about books and upcoming events as well as share uplifting and inspiring testimonies. Bryan is a gifted poet and I can't wait for him to post some of these for everyone to read.

Even though we can't sit down face-to-face, the feelings of friendship transcend miles. Membership is growing on this Facebook page, so I hope you will check it out and come make new friends.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My New Friend: Martha Steward

I met Martha Steward on Linkedin.com about two months ago. We began following each other and sending messages back and forth through Linkedin. One day Martha said we should get together for a chat. I thought she meant an email chat but actually she meant a phone chat. So, we exchanged numbers and then found a time convenient for both of us to sit down and have time to talk. I discovered Martha lives in California while I live in rural North Carolina. Even so, as we talked it was like she lived next door.

Martha and I have a lot more in common than we realized at first because Martha lives on a farm in California. Even though I don't live on a farm, I am surrounded by farms. Martha has chickens and other critters that she takes care of and she also has a garden. Although it was neat to know we lived in the same kind of environment what drew us together to begin with was the fact that we both are children's authors. My third book, Tired of Being Different, includes a theme of animal resure and that theme also runs through Martha's books. Martha's first two books are Darby's Story and Bangle Bear. These two books are MCA Silver Award winners for best books about pet adoption and animal care. Martha's third book, Finding Your Way Home, is a story about two stray kittens.All of these stories are warm and funny with a reading level of about fourth grade and up.

Martha is also a supporter of Read Across America through her volunteer efforts and donations of her books to local programs. If you would like to learn more about Martha and her books you can find her at http://marthasteward64.wordpress.com/about/

Friday, March 2, 2012

Melissa Ivey Staehli: Author of Children's Books

Melissa Staehli lives in Ohio and writes for a fairly new website http://www.christianchildrensauthors.com/. Twelve writers take turns writing material each week for families based on Christian values using Bible based principals that are set in everyday experiences. These posts are intended to encourage and uplift the reader. This website was the vision of Janice Green and although fairly new is well worth checking out.
Melissa not only writes for the website, but also recently released her first children's book, I Love You to the Moon. Her book expresses the love a mother has for her child through rhyming words and colorful illustrations. Melissa says, "My first book really encompasses the magnitude of a mother's love for her child. It helps the child understand exactly how high, how deep, how wide and how far a mother's love reaches." I Love You to the Moon is available on Melissa's website, Amazon.com., Barnes and Noble, Halo Publishing, and other online sites.
Melissa was featured recently on an online radio broadcast explaining about her book and how she came to write the story. The radio broadcast was on the website http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShowChildren.html. The name of the radio show is The Children Authors Show. Melissa was interviewed by the host Don McCauley and told listeners she's been writing since the age of four. Encouraged by her mother who enjoys writing poetry, Melissa plans to publish another children's book to be released in the fall of 2012. This time it's a Christmas story about a little mouse titled Charlie's Gingerbread House. If you would like to know more about Melissa and her books you can find the information at: http://www.iloveyoutothemoon.com/.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sylvia L. Ramsey, Author and Cancer Survivor Shares Her Latest Book

Hello, my name is Sylvia L. Ramsey. I live in Georgia, but I grew up in a very rural area in Southeast Missouri. When I am writing or blogging, I work full-time at a two-year liberal arts college. I am a communications professor and the coordinator for the Academic Resource Center/Library. I am the advisor for our campuses newspaper, the GMC Journal. I am the vice president of the American Bladder Cancer Society, and a seventeen year survivor myself. I was a mother of two before I married my husband Tom, and now I have gained five more. Therefore, I am a mother of seven, grandmother of twenty-seven, and a great-grandmother of six. I love to paint and sculpt. I have some example of my work on my current book's webpage, that is the same name as my new book. My poetry has been published in over one-hundred literary magazines, and my short stories in several more. I have been published in academic journals as well. I am currently working on marketing my new book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts. I interact with my peers on LinkedIn in various author and publishing groups, Facebook and Twitter.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book to be published was a collection of my poetry. I was participating in an open mike event at our college. One of the guests was a small publisher. After the event, the publisher asked me if I had more poetry, and if so, could she read some. I gave her about fifteen of my poems to read, later she asked me if I had enough to publish a collection of the poems. That is the genesis of my first book, Pulse Points of a Woman's World.

If you have other published books, could you tell us about them? An Underground Jewell is set in a possible near-future, and is about a female sleuth who must clear herself after being accused of espionage by hacking into the national computer system. What if all the western world's information is eventually located in a central computer center, and a terrorist faction has infiltrated several of our government agencies? How much worse could it be? Just recently in the news, an illegal was discovered working at a nuclear power plant. This is a possible scenario, and I think you may find we have reason for concern. This espionage attempt goes much farther and deeper than the stealing of information. As Elizabeth tries to clear her name, many other mysteries are uncovered along the way.
A children's book, Merchild Land, was inspired by my first granddaughter who insisted that I tell her numerous stories about mermaids. Merchild Land is a delightful children's story that will keep both child and adult captivated with its lovely lyrical verse. This is a perfect bedtime story that will send you little one off to the land of mermaids, merchildren and all the wonders under the sea until evening. As the shadows fall, and it is time for bed the children dream of flying high above the mermaids' ocean home, sailing the sky's misty sea above the waves' highest dome on a boat of golden sails, and silvery wings. They visit strange lands as they ride the waves of the Milky Way , talk to the man in the moon, and dine with kings sailing the whole night through

Is there a message in your latest book that you want readers to grasp? My current book, Traveling a Rocky Road with Love, Faith and Guts, is about survival, faith and perseverance. It is my personal memoir, and it was inspired by a young man that has some very serious heart problems, and all the people I have met over the years as a teacher, mentor and a bladder cancer survivor. I have tried my best to encourage them, and to give them hope. To not give up on themselves or life. As I have traveled along life’s highway, I keep running into people who have let the rocks that have been thrown in their life’s road giving up on themselves, or life in general. The truth is that life is harsh, and it is not like the movies that give a false impression that it is smooth sailing. Being the hero that toughs it out and keeps on regardless of the situation is difficult, but with faith, it can be accomplished. It often takes a backbone, humor and a wishbone to survive it all. It is now available on Amazon.com.

Do you have any advice for other writers? I think the theme of my latest book says it all, keep trying, keep writing. Find your voice and tell your stories.
What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
I have a several websites (one is at Authors' Den), two blogs, an Amazon Author Central page, a Facebook page, I do book signings, I get interviews when I can, and I am a public speaker. I speak on a variety of topics other than my books. Recently, one of these friends is Julie Weishaar and she has volunteered to help me with marketing. We discovered that we have a lot in common. Her mother is a bladder cancer survivor. She created a beautiful book trailer for me, and it is on YouTube, my blog, and will soon be on all my various pages, and I can use it in a video email that she created.

Why should we buy your book? That may be better said by the person who helped me throughout the process of writing this book. He is an internationally published author, and is a college professor.
“Taking the rocky road with Sylvia is a joyful challenge. It takes the reader through the most common and uncommon hardships, but at the conclusion of this delightful journey, the reader feels more joy and satisfaction: Love, faith, and incredible guts turn the rocky road into an assuring path that all of us so humanly desire. This book is so uniquely universal in every essential aspect that I enthusiastically recommend it to all readers regardless of their age, gender, and race.” ~ Dr. Aman B. Kay

Is there a special place that you prefer when you write? I write in my home office at the computer. However, there have been times when I have had an idea, I have written things down on anything I could find. When I was working on my second book, An Underground Jewell, I drove about forty-five minutes to and from work. I would use my small tape recorder to plot out the scenes, the characters and ideas of where I wanted to take the story next. Once I had time to write, I would listen back to the recording and take it from there.

What projects are you currently working on? In relation to my writing, I am currently working on launching my latest book. However, I have two books in mind. One book is on my father who was a WWI veteran, and a pioneer in many ways. The second is a fantasy novel that I started sometime ago, and decided to put it away for a while. The title of it is, Dark Crystal. In between all this, I am a patient advocate for bladder cancer, and I give presentation on it from a survivors point of view anywhere I can speak.
Why do you give all the proceeds from the book sales to the American Bladder Cancer Society?
That is a long story, but I will try to keep it as brief as possible. A little over seventeen-years-ago, when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer I was scared. I tried to find information and support online. None. I found a cancer forum and joined. I met a man who had lung cancer. He kept everyone's spirits up when they were down. I wanted to have a place online where bladder cancer survivors could find information and interact as well as finding the support they needed. I began with a message board on Yahoo. There I met Cynthia and Karen. They had the same dream. I will share what Cynthia said,
" The first time I ever talked to Sylvia, then just Ramsey, I cried. It wasn’t what she said; it was what she represented to me. You see, it was the first time I had ever talked to a woman with my same diagnosis and years later she was not only surviving but thriving. We were sisters of the heart in minutes and the years have not changed that fact.
When I called Sylvia with the idea of forming a national organization to help the millions of people in the United States that have had their lives impacted by bladder cancer and to spread awareness, she did not hesitate. She had from the time of her diagnosis been reaching out and trying to help other survivors of bladder cancer through her writing, website, and public speaking. We both realized that the job was bigger than any one person could fill and that it would take all of our voices combined to be heard and to help those in need.
The American Bladder Cancer Society became a reality in 2008. We became a 501(c) (3) and our original website was launched. The heart of our organization is support of people that have had their lives impacted by bladder cancer and its life’s blood is awareness and advocacy."You can find Sylvia at: http://love-faith-and-guts.blogspot.com/ http://wwwthouhtfulreflections.blogspot.com/ and http://www.authorsden.com/sylvialramsey1

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bubble Wrap and More

I recently read several posts on Aileen Stewart's blog. Reading her blog was like sitting down with a friend having a conversation over a cup of coffee. One of the first posts I read was one that reminded writers to take pride in their work. Sometimes writers work hard on their manuscript but often forget to take extra care on the packaging. In other words, if necessary, use bubble wrap to protect the investment.
Another post I read of Aileen's was one in which she had written reviews of a few children's books. One of those books was by a Christian author, Melissa Ivey Staehli. I recently met Melissa on Linkedin. The book Aileen recommended by Melissa was I Love You to the Moon. According to Aileen's review, I Love You to the Moon is a delightful book for children with extra large print perfect for beginning readers.
If you want to stop by Aileen's blog to read more, you can find her at
http://aileenwstewart.blogspot.com/2012/02/package-with-care.html. As I said before, it's like visiting with a friend over a cup of coffee. I know Aileen will be glad you stopped by, and when you do go for a visit have her tell you about her children's book, Fern Valley.