Dare to Read

October 4, 2012

My Road to Publication: Laurel Garver

Filed under: Author's Interview,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:48 am
Tags: , , ,

 

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

Today my fellow writer Laurel Garver answers my questions about her Road to Publication for her YA novel, Never Gone.

Hello Laurel and welcome to Dare to Read, please tell us first, about your book:

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to explore how loss and grief are handled well–and poorly–in Christianity. People of faith can at times have an unhealthy stoicism about death. By emphasizing heavenly rewards for the departed, they can make the bereaved feel as if they’re spiritually deficient for having emotions like sadness, anger and loneliness. But when someone isn’t given space to fully grieve, the emotions will come out sideways and be far more damaging. Yet the story also has positive counter-examples of folks who comfort and support well because they understand the church as a body: “when one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (I Cor. 12:26). I wanted to encourage teens not to settle for platitudes when it comes to hard questions like “where is God when we suffer?” but to really engage deeply.

Writing this story was also a way to indirectly work through my grief after I lost my dad in 2003, but under very different circumstances.

What genre is it?

Young adult edgy inspirational (in other words, Christian in outlook, but with mature, challenging situations)

Who is the expected audience?

The book is intended for teens ages 14 and up. I’ve described it as The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen) meets Once Was Lost (Sara Zarr) with some of the style of The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson). But the story would resonate with anyone who has grieved a loss, experienced some faith-shaking tragedy, struggled to understand someone who keeps secrets, or wrestled with the question of where is God when we suffer.

I agree that grief has no age and, as I always say just because a book is labeled YA does not mean adults wouldn’t like it too.

Now,  let’s start our next block of questions. Tell us about the cover of your book:

Who designed your cover?

The design concept was mine. My good friend Ruth Hoover, a former book designer for Lipincott helped me turn the idea into reality. She suggested I use custom art rather than stock photos. My husband did the pencil drawing. I hired a photographer to shoot the drawing with a leaf, and purchased all rights to the final photo from the 40+ images she shot. Ruth took that high-resolution digital negative and did some sophisticated photo editing on it. The leaf in the original was green, since the shoot was done in August. She also did some great work on the typography and sizing and formatting for both an e-book and a paperback.

How does the cover reflect your story?

The two things my protagonist loves most are her dad and art (especially pencil drawing). The autumn leaf is a subtle nod toward the subject of grief and loss. I went for lighter and organic colors because I wanted readers to connect with the emotional heart of the story — a teen’s struggle to hang onto her faith and hope in the midst of a devastating loss.

Tell us now about the book as a product, starting by telling us in which formats is it available?

Never Gone is available an an e-book for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, plus some other platforms that Smashwords supports. It’s also available as a paperback.

How did your book get published?

I worked with five different vendors who will handle sales and distribution, and in the case of the paperback, printing as well. I did have to learn e-book formatting for the big guys–Amazon, B&N and Kobo. I did it “the hard way,” using HTML and CSS, then running it through conversion software. I’m glad I did, because the final product looks as good as anything traditional publishers do.

What is your marketing plan?

I sent review copies to a select group, who agreed to do early reviews. I also sought out some published authors to write endorsement blurbs.

I’m doing a three month long “blog ramble,” with 1-2 posts per week on various blogs and some giveaways. I’ve also begun contacting grief-oriented blogs, asking to be added to recommended reading lists.

I created a trailer for the book, which is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0gSZ3-nU4&feature=plcp), and I include it with most guest posts I do for the blog ramble.

I’ll also be doing Goodreads giveaways, and some additional fun things on that site including quizzes and chats.

I have a Twitter contest planned for October. Follow me at the link below for updates.

I’ve been invited to speak at a few book clubs, and hope to do more, likely using Skype. I’m also looking into podcasts.

Finally is there any advice you want to share with our readers who have a manuscript ready?

Take you time. Getting published is not a race. There are advantages and disadvantages of any publishing route you take. Be sure you know what they are before you make a decision. Know how much support and how much control you personally need to feel professionally satisfied with your work. Self-publishing is not “the easy way” by any stretch. You need a dozen other skills besides writing to succeed. But it is an appealing option for stories that aren’t a neat fit in a particular genre or market trend.

 

Great advice.

Thank you so much Laurel for a thoughtful interview and best of luck with your book.

 

Bio: Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, Celtic music, and mentoring teens at her church. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Blog: http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurelGarver

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurelGarver

Buy links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Gone-ebook/dp/B0096DWVSG

Also available from Amazon’s EU sites in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-gone-laurel-garver/1112775142

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Never-Gone/book-IBAo3rxFwkyRKKs0EXPzdw/page1.html?s=wAAubaT6VkyWdmKFA2Ob6A&r=1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/229715

 

 

Advertisements

February 13, 2012

Where Ideas Come From – 2

Filed under: On Writing,Photograph,Pictures,Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:53 am
Tags: , , , ,

From TWO MOON PRINCESS

When finally I reached the sand, my heart was beating so furiously against my chest I had to lean against the cliffs and rest for a moment. Then, followed by the piercing cries of the seagulls, I dashed toward the arch along the stretch of land covered by dead algae and broken shells the tide had just started to reclaim.

It was cold under the arch, cold and damp, and the air was filled with strange groans and whispers. It took me a moment—a long frightening moment—to understand that the noises did not come from living beings, but from the water dripping between hidden cracks in the rock.

February 3, 2012

The Fairy Tale Trap Giveaway Winner

Filed under: Self-Publishing,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:22 pm
Tags: , ,

And the winner of The Fairy Tale Trap giveaway is:

Katey!

Congratulations Katey.

I know you’ll like this imaginative and fun retake of my favorite fairy tale as much as I did!

February 2, 2012

My Road to Publication: Sabrina Benulis

Interviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, the talented Sabrina Benulis, author of Archon (Harper Voyager, December 2011) has joined us at Dare to Read to talk about her book and her road to publication.

Please make Sabrina feel welcome by leaving your comments below.

Hi Sabrina, welcome to Dare to Read. First of all could you tell us where the story started. In other words:

Q. Why did you write Archon?

A. Initially, I wrote ARCHON and what would be the framework for its sequels for the sheer enjoyment of it.  The novel had been simmering in the back of my mind, slowly building itself up on its own for quite a while during my latter college years.  At that time, there were hardly any novels that had angels in them to be found–especially in fantasy–and I had a rich reading background in mythology and world religions.  That, combined with my desire to create a very original story, something that hadn’t been done before, spurred me to write and revise, and revise and write, until the trilogy was (at that time anyway) finished.

Q. What genre is it?

A. THE BOOKS OF RAZIEL trilogy is gothic fantasy.  However, the plot is written in the style of a thriller as there are many mysteries important to the story.

Q. Who is the expected audience?

A. Older teens and adults would be the appropriate readers, especially people who like paranormal thrillers and unique fiction.  I’ve been told Anne Rice’s work is similar to mine in tone and atmosphere.  Perhaps I could also compare it to dark fantasy like Holly Black’s.  I’ve also heard mention of Anne Bishop’s The Black Jewels series.  The marketing has thus far tried to wedge me in with other paranormal romance authors with novels about fallen angels, but that is ultimately a skewed comparison.  There is romance in my story, but it develops slowly and does not put the novel solidly in that category.  In essence, I’m what you want to read if you’re tired of the same old thing.

Q. Who designed your cover which, BTW, is outstanding?

A. A graphic artist who goes by the name of Nekro was contracted for the cover.  He does great gothic-style illustrations and is apparently becoming quite popular lately.

Q. How does the cover reflect your story?

A. The two characters on the cover are the protagonist of ARCHON, a red-haired girl named Angela Mathers, and a great angel named Israfel who would be her love interest if not for the fact that he comes off as a villain.  Whether or not this is true is revealed in later books.  Overall, the colors of the cover are perfect for the book, as coincidentally black, white, and red are quite prominent in the story for different reasons.  Also, the gothic sensibility with the cathedral and Angela’s tattered dress fit the atmosphere of the novel almost perfectly.  As she stands in front of the church doors, you get the sense that both she and the reader are being invited to experience something special.

Q. In which formats is your book available?

A. ARCHON is available as a hardcover and most e-book formats.  The paperback should be coming out around fall of 2012.  From what I understand, the international version is also a paperback.

Q. Could you share with us how did you get your agent and publisher interested on Archon.

A. I got my agent the old-fashioned way, by query.  After she read my query, she immediately wanted to read the entire novel (as it was back then), and after a preliminary revision, I was taken on as a client.  I then had to go through another revision before the book could be sent out to publishers, and when Harper Collins took me on as an author, I had to do an entire rewrite of the book! (And in a month and a half!)  They  initially took a keen interest in my novel series mostly because of the unique way I protrayed angels and demons, which fascinated them.  It was they who also emphasized that they wanted me to make the book more gothic, bringing out a very supernatural atmosphere.
ARCHON was not the easiest book to get published, mostly because it is so very different.  It crosses a lot of genres, takes a lot of chances, and does things with the plot that just haven’t been attempted before, especially in its sub-genre.  But at the same time, that uniqueness was what got it published in the end, and if anything, it should be a lesson for authors to write what they love.

Q. Any final advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

A. For any reader who wishes to be an author, remember that as long as you believe in your story, others will too.  In this industry, it’s all about perseverance.

Thank you so much Sabrina for being with us today and answer our questions so honestly.

Let’s hope your audience embrace Archon for its uniqueness and loves it as much as I did.
For my review of Archon please go to http://www.myshelf.com/teen/fiction/12/archon.htm

Sabrina Benulis lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and a short-tempered cockatiel.  When she isn’t hard at work revising and writing that next novel, she can be found watching anime, reading, or anxiously awaiting her next beach vacation.  Sabrina has a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and ARCHON is her first novel.  When asked how real her angels might be, she often shrugs and smiles mysteriously.

January 26, 2012

My Road to Publication and Giveaway

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, we have with us Emily Casey the author of the YA fantasy The Fairy Tale Trap, a delightful and imaginative retale of my favorite Fairy Tale, Beauty and the Beast I highly recommend.

Emily has generously agreed to give a free copy of The Fairy Tale Trap to one lucky commenter. So, don’t be shy and leave your comments below.

Hello, Carmen! Thanks for letting me visit your blog. And hello to all the book lovers out there! I’m really excited to announce the release of my book The Fairy Tale Trap

Hello Emily! You’re very welcome. And talking about your book, why don’t you tell us

Q. Why did you write this book?

A. I wrote it because… well… you’ll think I’m crazy, but the honest truth is that my main character (Ivy Thorn) made me do it. Ivy is a fictional character that I created to fill some creative space. I was between books and wasn’t ready to start my next one, so I created this character that hopped from fairy tale to fairy tale, wreaking havoc wherever she went. Ivy became such a strong character, that I felt like she needed at least a whole book, maybe even a series.

Q. Who is the expected audience? (List 3 books similar to yours)

A. She’s around fifteen years old and even though she’s running around with princesses and fairies, she has a voice similar to Rachel Hawkins’ character Sophie from the Hex Hall series (spunky and smart). Gail Carson Levine also comes to mind, since she likes to put strong heroines into fairy tales with a twist. And of course, anyone who ever enjoyed a fairy tale would be a match for The Fairy Tale Trap.

Q. In which formats is it available?

A. At the moment, The Fairy Tale Trap is only in ebook format. Since I’m self-published, all the costs come out of my own pocket, so a print version hasn’t been a possibility. I’m currently trying to make that happen, though.

Q. Why did you choose to self-publish?

A. I chose to self-publish for two reasons: 1) I couldn’t put Ivy in a drawer. I realize she’s a fictional character, but whenever I tried to move on and write something new, the stories always fell flat because I was thinking about Ivy’s next adventure. 2) I couldn’t stop reading about self-publishing. Eventually, I realized I was putting a lot of time into researching it, so I prayed about it. I felt strongly that I should at least move in this direction. I was never promised success if I self-published, but I feel that I’m meant to be on this path.

Q. One of the perks of self-publishing your book is that you get to choose your own cover. This is also a challenge for those of us not artistically oriented. How did it work for you? Did you design your own cover or hire somebody to do it.

A. The cover for The Fairy Tale Trap was a collaborative effort. A friend of mine (Ryan) is really good at Photoshop. He chose the photo of the girl running and put it into the woods and worked on blending and lighting. I added the text, extra color, and sparkles. I love the cover. I’ve already made the cover for the second book in the series, based on its design. I did this one all on my own, but I credit Ryan’s creative mind for laying the groundwork.

So you have already finished the second book in this series. Congratulations. I hope you publish it soon so we can have you again at Dare to Read to talk about it.

Q. Before we end this interview, is there any advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

A. Self-publishing is a hot topic and a lot of people are considering it. My advice is to take a step. Don’t sink a lot of money into it, but go ahead and act on it. You may find that the stress of marketing and coordinating release dates isn’t for you. If that’s the case, what have you lost? A little time. But if you turn back to traditional publishing, you’ll understand a lot more about the process and you may be a bigger asset to your future publisher.

Emily Casey is a writer from Tallahassee who chases two crazy kids around the house all day before collapsing in front of her computer. Her debut young adult fantasy, THE FAIRY TALE TRAP is on Amazon and Smashwords. If you want a taste of the book first, you can watch the book trailer.

You’ll find Emily on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Thank you so much Emily for being with us and best of luck with your book.

November 1, 2011

Two positive Reviews of Two Moon Princess

Filed under: Books, Reviews,Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 2:50 pm
Tags: , , ,

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, my YA novel Two Moon Princess received not one, but two positive reviews.

Hannah at http://hannahmariska.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-two-moon-princess.html, says:

“Seamlessly blending historical and contemporary fiction, Two Moon Princess creates a superb and fast paced tale of a young girl trying to find her place in one world, only that discover that she might be destined for another.”

Namine at http://clutterboxread.blogspot.com/2011/10/two-mood-princess-by-carmen-ferreiro.html, writes a very personal and disconnected review that ends as follows: “I love the travel and it seems the more I like a book the worse sort of review I do… so read it, enjoy it and write a better review for me to link up to! 🙂 ”

Thank you so much Hannah and Namine. You made my day.

October 3, 2011

What Are You Reading?

Filed under: Books, Reviews,On Reading,The Enchanted Inkpot,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 8:16 am
Tags: , ,

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

Come share your current reading list as several members of the Enchanted Inkpot, including me, discuss their own picks at Enchanted Inkpot today: http://tinyurl.com/3vu7xxw

September 21, 2011

Rae Carson Interview by Leah Cypess

Filed under: Author's Interview,The Enchanted Inkpot — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:13 am
Tags: , , , ,

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

For an inspiring interview with Rae Carson, author of Girl of Fire and Thorns, please, go to http://enchantedinkpot.livejournal.com/102704.html

July 27, 2011

Festival of Children’s Books at the Doylestown Bookshop

Filed under: Event,Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:11 am
Tags: , , ,

Please join us tomorrow Thursday Jul 28 at 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

I will be reading from Two Moon Princess along with 15 other local authors at the Doylestown Bookshop

A Festival of Children’s Books

 Meet the area’s best children’s authors and illustrators at the Doylestown Bookshop for an afternoon of readings, greetings, stories and book signings!  This event is free and open to all!

Authors appearing at the Festival
Ellen Jensen Abbott • Becky Birtha • Linda Brewster • Debbie Dadey• Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban• Lindsay Barrett George • Ponder Goembels • Lee Harper • Pamela Jane• Joe Kulka • Janet Lord • Andy Myer• Susan Shaw• Shannon Wiersbitzky• Eric Wight • Kay Winters
DOWNLOAD A READING SCHEDULE TO FIND OUT WHEN YOU’RE FAVORITE AUTHOR OR ILLUSTRATOR WILL BE READING.
Ellen Jensen Abbott lives in West Chester, PA and teaches at the Westtown School. Her debut novel, Watersmeet was an IRA Young Adult Award Notable Book, and was nominated for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten. The sequel to Watersmeet, The Centaur’s Daughter, will be released on September 1, 2011.
Becky Birtha’s picture books feature African-American families in U.S. history. Lucky Beans, in which Marshall Loman uses math to help his family through the Great Depression, is a classroom favorite. Grandmama’s Pride, set in the Civil Rights era, received a Golden Kite Honor for picture book text.
Linda Brewster, the author of the multi-award winning book “Rose O’Neill: The Girl Who Loved To Draw”. Linda was born in Dallas, Texas and has traveled and lived in many states and countries. Now living in Chester County, PA. she writes and illustrates for children.
Debbie Dadey, a former teacher and librarian, now battles creatures from mythical lands full time as a Bucks County author. With titles like Zombies Don’t Play Soccer, Mermaids Don’t Run Track, and the Wrong Side of Magic Debbie writes to delight every reader, even the most reluctant. Find out more about this Publishers Weekly best-selling author at http://www.debbiedadey.com.
Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban wrote the YA novel Two Moon Princess (Tanglewood Press) and its forthcoming sequel The King in the Stone. Two Moon Princess is the story of an independent Medieval princess whose desire to live in modern California has disastrous consequences for her kingdom. You can follow her at https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/
Lindsay Barrett George is widely recognized for her striking illustrations of animals, birds, and fish in their habitats. She is the author-illustrator of numerous books, including Alfred Digs, Maggie’s Ball, Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse, In the Garden: Who’s Been Here? and four other Who’s Been Here? titles. Lindsay Barrett George lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her dog, two cats, and a very handsome duck. www.lindsaybarrettgeorge.com
Ponder Goembels is an award-winning children’s book illustrator whose work includes, Give Me Wings, Animal Fair and Sailor Moo. Reading to her daughter was only one of the many experiences that convinced her to create more art for children. Ponder now creates illustrations almost exclusively for children’s publications. She is a frequent visitor to schools, libraries and book stores where she loves to talk and show how she creates children’s illustrations. She resides with her husband and two cats in Bucks county Pennsylvania.
Children’s book author and illustrator Lee Harper lives with his family in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Lee’s latest book is The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, which he both wrote and illustrated. Mr. Harper’s other books include Woolbur, by Leslie Helakoski; Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano; Snow! Snow! Snow!, and Looking For The Easy Life, by Walter Dean Myers.
Pamela Jane has published twenty-six children’s books with Houghton Mifflin, Atheneum, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Harper, and others. Her books include Noelle of the Nutcracker, illustrated by Jan Brett, and A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! which Publisher’s Weekly called “a ghoulishly good time.” Her new book, Little Goblins Ten is illustrated by NY Times best-selling illustrator, Jane Manning (Harper, 2011.) http://www.pamelajane.com
Joe Kulka has illustrated over 20 children’s books including his award winning picture book “Wolf’s Coming!”. Joe illustrated the USDA Forest Service’s new book on Smokey Bear which is being used nationwide to introduce a new generation of children to Smokey’s fire prevention message.
Janet Lord earned her BA in graphic arts and advertising from Concord University and now works as a graphic designer. She also wrote Here Comes Grandma! and Albert the Fix-It Man, both illustrated by her sister, Julie Paschkis. She lives in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Over his 35 years career, Andy Myer has been a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, corporate publications consultant, editorial writer, patent illustrator, substitute teacher, and a few other things even he forgets. “Pickles, Please!” is his first published children’s book.
Susan Shaw, a life-long Pennsylvanian, graduated from Radnor High School and earned her B. S. in music education from Temple University. She and her husband live in Wayne, where they raised three children. She is the author of Black-eyed Suzie, The Boy From The Basement, Safe (Dutton Books, 2007), and One Of The Survivors. Her books have been chosen for many awards and appear on many reading lists.
  Shannon Wiersbitzky currently lives in Pennsylvania, but has called North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Michigan “home” at some point in her life. She is married and has two young sons who are always coming up with new story ideas. The Summer of Hammer and Angels is her first novel.
Eric Wight is the author and illustrator of the popular Frankie Pickle series. He spent his childhood wishing for superpowers. When that didn’t pan out, he decided to learn how to write and draw. And while he may never fly or shoot lasers from his fingertips, getting to tell stories and make people laugh is pretty cool too. Maybe his wish came true after all. Visit him on the web at http://www.ewight.blogspot.com.
Kay Winters was a teacher before becoming a full time writer of 16 published books. She writes fiction, poetry, non fiction and early chapter books. Her newest book This School Year will be THE BEST is widely used in elementary schools. It even inspired a principal in Ohio to kiss a pig! Kay is a frequent speaker at elementary schools, colleges, regional and national conferences for teachers, writers and librarians.

July 19, 2011

Little Known Fantasy Books We Love

Filed under: Books, Reviews,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:08 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

If you like Fantasy, and are looking for something new to read, you may want to check these less well-known fantasy stories the bloggers at  The Enchanted Inkpot recommend.

http://enchantedinkpot.livejournal.com/96447.html

My recommendation is The Shamer’s Chronicles. You can read my review of the last volume on the series here: https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/book-reviews/

Next Page »