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1. Michael J. Rosen: ‘Read poets from other countries, in other languages, if possible.’

Michael J RosenHappy National Poetry Month! All throughout April, we will interview poets about working in this digital age. Recently, we spoke with writer Michael J. Rosen.

Throughout his writing career, Rosen (pictured, via) has authored more than a dozen books. Recently, he wrote two installments of a children’s book series that focuses on animal-themed haikus, The Cuckoo’s Haiku and The Hound Dog’s Haiku. Next Spring, Candlewick Press will release book three The Maine Coon’s Haiku. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

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2. Best-Selling Author Terrie Williams: ‘Follow Your Inner Voice and Be True to It’

Terrie-Williams-ArticleTerrie Williams is a woman of many talents. No only is she a licensed therapist, she’s also the founder of her own eponymous public relations firm and a four-time best-selling author. Her books include: The Personal Touch (which is being updated in honor of its 20th anniversary); Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting; A Plentiful Harvest: Creating Balance and Harmony Through the Seven Living Virtues; and Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens. 

In our latest So What Do You Do column, Williams discusses everything from the humble beginnings of her PR firm to her mental health advocacy work. Here, she shares the advice she’d give her younger self:

If you could have a 20-something Terrie Williams as your intern now, what would you tell her to do differently?
Listen to your freakin’ inner voice. You know in your gut what’s right but either fear sets in or something keeps you from listening. There are always other forces crowding the good sense you have. Follow your inner voice and be true to it. I know this is about media, but the underlying core is our shared humanity. It impacts how effective we are in particular roles. If you look at a lot of different media personalities, you wonder what drives them because of certain things that they say or do. Even though you don’t know what that person’s journey is, you know they have one and it colors everything about who they are. Assume there’s something you don’t know that had a profound impact on that person.

For more from Williams, including the greatest professional lesson she’s learned, read: So What Do You Do, Terrie Williams, Author, Activist and Public Relations Strategist? 

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3. J.K. Rowling to Serve as Executive Producer For ‘The Casual Vacancy’ Mini-Series

en_GB-timeline-image-the-casual-vacancy-cover-image-1341414943-cwHBO and BBC have scheduled production on The Casual Vacancy TV adaptation to begin this summer. Altogether, the team plans to create a three-hour long mini-series.

Variety reports that J.K. Rowling herself will serve as an executive producer. EastEnders TV series writer Sarah Phelps penned the script. Filmmaker Jonny Campbell has been hired to direct.

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4. Stamford’s First Little Free Library On Kickstarter

Little Free LibrarySteven Wood hopes to raise $400 to install the first Little Free Library in Stamford, CT.

As is the case with other similar street libraries, this structure encourages people to “take a book, leave a book.” By constructing a Little Free Library, Wood hopes to deepen the sense of community with his neighborhood. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The finished project will look similar to the library that is pictured above. We will need to design and build this library from scratch. The library will hold enough space for approximately 20 or 30 books of various types for children and adults.”

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5. Deborah Bladon’s Obsessed Trilogy Takes Over Self-Published Bestsellers List

obsessedDeborah Bladon‘s Obsessed Trilogy dominates the Self-published Bestsellers List this week — all three titles have made the top 10 list.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups. continued…

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6. NYPL Reveals 2014-2015 Cullman Center Fellows

nypl logoThe New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers has revealed its fellows for this coming fall.

The list includes fifteen writers including novelists, historians and non fiction writers. The novelists include: Keith Gessen, Ayana Mathis, Jordi Puntí, and Justin Torres. The historians include: Deborah Coen, Kim Phillips-Fein, and Steven Pincus.The non-fiction writers include: Jon Lee Anderson and Megan Marshall. The fellows were chosen from a group of 288 applications from 24 countries around the world.

“I am tremendously proud to welcome the Cullman Center’s new class of Fellows to The New York Public Library,” stated Tony Marx, NYPL’s President. “The Cullman Center offers these talented individuals access to our world-renowned collections within an environment that inspires and supports their exciting work. I congratulate the new Fellows and look forward to seeing the unique and creative ways they engage with our collections.”

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7. Clint Smith Uses Spoken Word Poem ‘Memoir’ For Activism

What are your thoughts on immigration reform?

Clint Smith, a poet and a high school English teacher, decided to express his opinion in a poem. The video embedded above features Smith delivering a performance of “Memoir.”

In a Q&A with Food Politic, Smith talked about his inspiration for this piece: “‘Memoir’ wasn’t something I thought about until I had a student that said, ‘It doesn’t matter if I have a 4.0 and 2400 on my SATs. I don’t have a social security number so I can’t go to school.’ My poetry is me trying to reconcile my own life and opportunities I’ve had with opportunities my students aren’t given and how profoundly unfair that is.” What do you think? (via UpWorthy)

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8. Amazon Chooses ’100 Books to Read in a Lifetime: Mystery & Thriller’

gone girlGone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy and The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet are among Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime – the Mystery & Thriller Edition.

The list was put together by Amazon Books’ editorial team. Follow this link to explore their recommendations. You can also check out Amazon’s list of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list here.

“There are many different kinds of books that fall under the mystery/thriller umbrella – from police procedurals to murder mysteries to spy thrillers,” explained Sara Nelson, editorial director of Amazon.com in a statement.  ”When we were compiling our list of 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, we wanted to be sure to include books from all of those sub-categories. The team had plenty of lively arguments, several passionate filibusters, and a number of voting sessions before we came up with the final list.”

 

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9. Spain’s Awesome Romantic Book Holiday

booksandrosesIn honor of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, today is St. George’s Day (La Diada de Sant Jordi in Catalan), a beautiful holiday celebrated in Barcelona through the exchange of books and roses.

Like Valentine’s Day in the U.S., the holiday is meant to be spent with your special someone. According to Catalan tradition, a man buys a rose for a woman and a woman buys a book for a man. In modern times, the tradition is often broken and men and women give books and roses to their special someone. continued…

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10. ‘Heaven is for Real’ Tops iBooks Bestsellers List

heavenisrealHeaven is for Real by Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent has debuted on the top of Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 4/21. Veronica Roth still has a stronghold on the list, with three books on the list.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. continued…

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11. James Patterson’s Advice on Writing

jamespattersonBestselling author James Patterson doesn’t consider himself the best writer in the world, but he will admit that he’s a very good storyteller.

In an interview with Fast Company Create, the top selling author in the world shared a number of his tips on writing a page turner. One such tip is to write how someone might tell a story. He explains in the interview:

I think what hooks people into my stories is the pace. I try to leave out the parts people skip. I used to live across the street from Alexander Haig, and if I told you a story that I went out to get the paper and Haig was laying in the driveway, and then I went on for 20 minutes describing the architecture on the street and the way the palm trees were, you’d feel like “Stop with the description–what’s going on with Haig?” I tend to write stories the way you’d tell them. I think it’d be tragic if everybody wrote that way.

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12. Alicia Silverstone Pens Parenting Book

aliciasilverstoneActress Alicia Silverstone has written a new parenting book called The Kind Mama, in which she advocates for happiness during pregnancy and postpartum through a vegan diet and lifestyle.

“I knew there was another way and it would be a more enjoyable, lovely way,” she told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “So I started talking to doctors and medical experts, doing tons of research and found that there was so much support for this way. I wanted to make a guide for women so they could have that experience that they deserved to have.”

The Rodale publication is the second book from the actress and author. Her first book, The Kind Diet, a vegetarian lifestyle guide, was a New York Times bestseller. She is also working on another book for Rodale called The Kind Diet Cookbook, which will include healthy recipes. That title is slated for publication later this year.

Rodale Books Publisher Stephen Perrine acquired the world rights to Silverstone’s latest two titles in 2012 in a deal with Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, EVP and Co-Head of William Morris Endeavor Worldwide Literary Department.

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13. Louisiana Lawmaker Pulls Legislation That Would Make The Bible Official State Book

thebibleIt looks like the The King James version of the Bible will not become the official book of the state of Louisiana, at least not yet.

Louisiana representative Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport has pulled his proposal to make the Holy Bible the official state book before the bill was voted on in the state House of Representatives.

Carmody pulled the legislation despite the fact that earlier this month, the legislation passed the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs. The Times-Picayune has the latest:

In introducing the legislation, Carmody always maintained he was not taking steps to establish a state religion, but rather to educate people. Critics have accused him of foisting faith inappropriately into the government sphere. Others thought such a designation would trivialize the Bible and its importance.

Initially, Carmody had just been intending to designate a specific, historic copy of the Bible, which he thought could be found in the Louisiana State Museum, as the official state book. But lawmakers amended Carmody’s legislation two weeks ago to propose making any copy of the “Holy Bible” the official state book.

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14. Darwyn Cooke Creates a New ‘Batman Beyond’ Short

Artist Darwyn Cooke has created a new short from the Batman Beyond animated series. According to The Huffington Post, it first premiered during the Warner Bros. panel at WonderCon.

The video embedded above features a fight between Bruce Wayne’s successor Terry McGinnis and what looks to be a red-eyed version of the original Caped Crusader. Longtime Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy plays the elderly Wayne and Will Friedle reprises his role as McGinnis.

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15. Julie Andrews Reads Her Poem ‘Missing’

In honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve dug up a video of actress Julie Andrews performing a recitation of her poem, “Missing.” Andrews has collaborated with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, on several books including Dumpy the Dumptruck, Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother and Child, and Very Fairy Princess.

The mother-daughter writing duo both served as narrators for the audiobook version of the Julie Andrews’ Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies. They won the 2011 Grammy Award in the “Best Spoken Word Album for Children” category. What’s your favorite poem?

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16. Slice Literary & Gillian Flynn Get Booked

gone-girl-book-cover-med-198x300Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Slice Literary is hosting “An Evening of Fun & Such” pitting agents, editors, and writers against one another in games of trivia and Pictionary. Check it out on Wednesday, April 23rd at Housing Words Bookstore Café starting 6 p.m. (New York, NY)

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17. UTA to Represent Film & TV Rights to Wattpad Sensation ‘After’

wattpadmobile304Digital writing community Wattpad has partners with UTA to represent the film and TV rights to After, a story by by Wattpad writer Anna Todd.

The three-part story has garnered more than 500 million reads and regularly trends on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Here is more about the project from the press release: “Written serially with daily updates to meet reader demand, After became Wattpad’s most shared story of 2013.  Readers have also created thousands of pieces of fan art including images, videos, and music to extend their After experience, helping fuel the viral success of After around the world.”

“After has millions of fans around the world who want to see the story on the big screen,” stated Candice Faktor, General Manager of Wattpad. “Reader demand for After creates a massive built-in audience as the story migrates to film, television and elsewhere.  We’re excited to work with UTA to bring After to life on the big screen.”

 

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18. ’90s Book Titles’ Hashtag Sweeps Twitter

buzzfeedOn April 11th, BuzzFeed launched the hashtag “#90sBookTitles” with the tweet: “The Little Prince of Bel-Air.” Twitter users responded with tweets that paid homage to everything from popular boy bands to trendy movies of the time such as What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

BuzzFeed collected 21 hilarious examples and created jacket art inspired by those tweets. We’ve embedded five funny tweets below. Do you have any favorites?

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19. Jot Down Writing Ideas With Six Word’s New iPhone App

allsixwordsYou are walking down the street and have a great idea, but as soon as you get back to your computer it’s gone. All writers have experienced it.

Lawrence Smith, the founder of the storytelling community SMITH Magazine, has created an iPhone app to help solve this challenge. Six Words is designed to help you quickly write down ideas in six words. Users can write six words on any topic and include a photo to help keep track of their ideas on-the-go.

There is a social component as well, for users that want to engage their ideas with the community. Writers can share their six words to get comments from the group and comment on others’ ideas. There is even “The Daily Six” and “Editor’s Note,” both of which highlight popular ideas.

 

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20. Samsung & Amazon Team on New eBook Club

samsungkindleSamsung has partnered with Amazon on a new Kindle app for its line of Galaxy devices. Like other Kindle apps, Kindle for Samsung, allows users to purchase and read eBooks and periodicals from Amazon.

In addition, the two companies have launched a free book service called Samsung Book Deals, which is only accessible through the app.

Samsung customers that download the app can choose one free eBook a month from Amazon for a year with their Samsung account.

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21. Photo Book Recreates Classic Meals From Literature

ficticiousdishesHave you ever found yourself salivating while reading about meals in a book? Graphic designer Dinah Fried will take your hunger to the next level.

She has created a photo book of meals featured in classic literature called Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals which just came out on Harper Collins. The book includes fifty photos of meals photographs from books ranging from The Secret Garden to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Check it out:

Showcasing famous meals including the madcap tea party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the watery gruel from Oliver Twist, the lavish chicken breakfast from To Kill a Mockingbird, the stomach-turning avocado-and-crabmeat salad from The Bell Jar, and the seductive cupcakes from The Corrections, this unique volume pairs each place setting with the text from the book that inspired its creation. Interesting food facts and entertaining anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections complete this charming book, which is sure to whet the appetites of lovers of great literature and delicious dishes.

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22. Dominique Ansel Celebrates Cookbook With Cronut Giveaways

dominique-ansel-9781476764191_lgWho doesn’t love free treats?

Famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel is celebrating his forthcoming book, Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, by giving away free cronuts and cookie shots in New York City. Simon & Schuster has scheduled an official release date for the book on October 28, 2014.

According to Time Out New York, the giveaways will end at 5:30 p.m. today. Ansel has been revealing the locations of these giveaways via instagram and Twitter. So far, he and his team has been sighted at Washington Square Park, Union Square, Chinatown, and the Flatiron district.

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23. Bluewater Productions Founder on Celebrity Biography Comics

hillaryclintonBluewater Productions, the publisher behind dozens of comic book biographies of famous people, got into celebrity biographies back in 2008 as an attempt to do something new with comics.

After seeing a comic of Barack Obama and John McCain during the 2008 elections, the founders of the company decided to do Hillary Clinton.

“So I thought, let’s do this, but let’s do it differently,” Darren Davis, founder of Bluewater Comics explained in an interview with Oregon Live. “Let’s not do it like everyone else, with a boring biography. We did it with a female empowerment angle. We released Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin at the same time, and whether you like Sarah Palin or hate Hillary Clinton, you have to respect both of them for where they came from and who they are.”

 

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24. J.K. Rowling Adds New Content to Pottermore Site

pottermore.comPottermore.com, the digital platform dedicated to Harry Potter, has a new series of ‘live’ reports from the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. J.K. Rowling penned the news reports from the fictional sporting event, which is set in the Patagonian desert.

The reports have been published as headlines from the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondentin the Patagonian desert, a fictional character named Ginny Potter.  Rowling quotes Rolf Scamander, the magical creatures expert, in the piece.

Here is more from the press release: “The posts begin with a report on the opening ceremony of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. With characteristic humour, Rowling describes how the international teams’ mascots, magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter, took part in the ceremony and caused havoc for their handlers. We find out why more than 300 crowd members are suffering from shock, broken bones and bites following the ceremony, and why failure to bring their usual mascots, a troupe of performing trolls, caused a great deal of trouble for the Norwegian delegation.  A ‘live’ match report details the thrilling action between Norway and Ivory Coast in the first match of the tournament.”

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25. Disney to Publish Four New Star Wars Books

Disney Publishing Worldwide has four new books coming out based on the original Star Wars film trilogy to support the upcoming movie release of Star Wars: Episode VII in December 2015.

The new series will kick off with The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight written by Tony DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie. This title is slated for publication in October.

This book will be followed up with Star Wars: A New Hope by R.J. Palacio, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by Adam Gidwitz and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by Tom Angleberger, all of which Star Wars concept artist Iain McCaig will illustrate. The collection will be published in the United States under Disney-Lucasfilm Press, an imprint of the Disney Book Group.

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