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1. Erin Bowman, author of FORGED, on writing to music without lyrics

FORGED is the final novel in the Taken trilogy, and we're delighted to have Erin Bowman here to tell us more about it.

Erin, what scene of FORGED was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

There is a scene about halfway through the novel that made me sob uncontrollably as I wrote it. It was a very difficult scene to get on paper, but a necessary one. I'm hoping readers aren't too mad at me for it! ;)

I also very much love the final scene of the book. I think it leaves readers with a very hopeful image after a book of dark twists and untimely character deaths. (Again, sorry readers! I swear I don't enjoy torturing you!)

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I don't have too much of a ritual--I write when I have time, but it does always include coffee and music. I tend to avoid songs with lyrics, though. I find that distracting. Instead I focus on film scores and instrumental music. You can listen to some examples of the stuff I gravitate towards while writing here.

What are you working on now?

I just finished up my work on Vengeance Road, a YA western standalone that comes out from HMH on 9/1/15. I'm now back to staring at the blank page and dreaming up new stories. Here's hoping my muse cooperates soon!


by Erin Bowman
Released 4/14/2015

Gray Weathersby and his group of rebels must make their final stand in the epic conclusion to the Taken trilogy, which New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu called "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end."

The Order is building an unstoppable army, with every generation of Forgeries harder to detect and deadlier than the one before. It’s time for Gray and his fellow rebels to end the Order's world of lies. But when the most familiar faces—and even the girl he loves—can’t be trusted, Gray will have to tread carefully if he wants to succeed. Or survive.

Purchase Forged at Amazon
Purchase Forged at IndieBound
View Forged on Goodreads


Erin Bowman used to tell stories visually as a web designer. Now a full-time writer, she relies solely on words. She lives in New Hampshire with her family and when not writing she can often be found hiking, commenting on good typography, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Erin is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger. She is the author of TAKEN, FROZEN, and FORGED (4/14/15) from HarperTeen. VENGEANCE ROAD is forthcoming from HMH (9/1/15).

What did you think of our interview with Erin Bowman, author of FORGED? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

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2. April 19-25, 2015 Celebrating National Coin Week

When I was a little girl, I loved collecting pennies and putting them in those hard blue folders with the circles for holding each penny. (I still have that collection more than 50 years later!) And I love keeping a coin from each country I visit too. So I was tickled to discover there is a bona fide holiday celebrating COINS! And that holiday starts TODAY! Yes, it is National Coin Week this week, April 19-25, 2015. 

To celebrate, let's pause for a poem about coins. Cynthia H. has gathered a group of four young readers with each girl taking one stanza of the poem, reading with a lot of enthusiasm and in both English and Spanish. Plus, Cynthia has added visuals, music, and sound effects (clinking coins!). Enjoy their reading of "Pocket Change" by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman.

And do you want to know more about such numismatic events? For more information about National Coin Week, click HERE.

For the full text of this poem and 150+ more (all in English AND Spanish), order your own copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations HERE and for more Poetry Celebrations fun, click HERE. Plus for more on National Poetry Month, click HERE.

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3. प्लीज!! राहुल जी


अगर मुझे राहुल गांधी जी से एक बार मिलने का मौका मिले तो मैं यही रिक्वेस्ट करुगी कि प्लीज आप भाषण उसी तरह दीजिए जैसा कि आप अपने मेक ओवर से पहले दिया करते थे.. ज्यादा तेज बोलना’ चिल्लाना आपकी पर्सनेलिटी पर सूट नही करता .जिस परिवार से आप है और जो आपकी सोच है निश्चय तौर पर वही ठहराव, गम्भीरता, मुस्कान और प्यार से बोलना ही आप पर सूट करता है. हर एक के बोलने का अपना अपना स्टाईल होता है और आपका वही स्टाईल बहुत अच्छा था . आप ज्यादा तीखे और आक्रमक होकर लोगो से मजाक उडवाने का कारण न बने प्लीज !!

The post प्लीज!! राहुल जी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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4. Video Sunday: “You fill me with inertia.”

Hallo, folks!

So today is the last day of National Library Week.  In celebration, enjoy this delightful video from Common Craft for your average non-library literate layman.  If you are a librarian, show this video to those members of your family who heard you had to get a Master’s degree and asked you, “What? So they teach you how to put your hair in a bun and go ‘Shh’ all day?”

More info here.

There is a saying in my family: A music video isn’t viral until soldiers perform a version of it.  Admittedly it’s a relatively new saying.  The same might also be said for librarian parody videos, though.  When they’re doing a song you haven’t heard of, you best be looking that puppy up.  Case in point . . .

The moment he’s reading Beloved sort of stands out.  Otherwise, perfectly fine.  The ending is pitch perfect.  Thanks to Melanie for the link.

One more.  This time with a Taylor Swift-centric vibe.  Author Patricia Hubbell ought to be well pleased:

In other news I was so pleased to see James Kennedy and his 90-Second Newbery shenanigans appear on this recent episode of Kidlit TV.  You should watch it if, for no other reason, the fact that you get to see Ame Dyckman briefly prance.  And prance she does!!

Next up, the Mazza Museum!  I love that place, but the smiling blonde is way way way perky.

Speaking of perky, Scholastic ups the ante with a professional announcer talking up their summer reading challenge.  Not a bad idea.  Offer kids the chance to be in a world record and watch your participation numbers skyrocket.

And for our off-topic video, this week this post alerted me to the existence of this movie scene from the film Bedazzled.  This constitutes my new favorite thing.


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5. growing into happiness: the Guardian, Little Flower, the Penn community, Hodgman

The annual Little Flower Teen Writers Festival is a school-wide celebration of writing and reading—a marvel of an invention in which a school, on a sunny Saturday, opens its doors to story weavers and student hearts. The dynamic, unstoppable Sister Kimberly Miller leads the way. Her girls wouldn't be anywhere else. And yesterday all of us who were in attendance were given keynote words from A.S. King that leapt us to our feet (yes, that's a deliberate inversion of language logic, but that's so what happened). King is one of those writers who has earned her status as a star. Her stories are essential. Her sentences are prime. And when she gets up there behind a microphone she has something actual to say—words that belong to her, ideas unborrowed.

I left Little Flower, rushed home, put on a skirt, swapped out my graffiti boots for a pair of four-inch heels, picked up the cake I'd made the day before, and headed out again to celebrate the career of Greg Djanikian, the exquisite Armenian poet whose life and work I profiled in the Pennsylvania Gazette last year. Greg is stepping down from full-time administrative duties at Penn so that he might write more and live less bounded-ly. Saddened as we are by the thought of seeing him less, last night was anything but a sad event. It brought together (in true Greg fashion) the teachers, writers, and student advocates who give Penn's creative writing program and Kelly Writers House their aura. Oysters, sherbet-colored shirts, an undaunted cat. Talk about food carts, the meaning of words, 1960, serial memoirists (the third Fuller), astonishing turns in storied careers, the art of the frittata, and the costs and high rewards of loving students. Sun when we arrived and stars when we left.

In between the two events, Kit Hain Grindstaff sent word of something wholly unforeseen—a Guardian review of Going Over. It begins like this below and can be read in full here.
Lyrical prose, beautiful and sensual imagery, a dark setting; yet, hope: there is always hope – because for the stars to shine, there needs to be darkness. Going Over just shot to my 'favourites' of 2015 list and I regret nothing. This book is graffiti, and colour and play dough and bikes. It is love, it is death, it is life; it is astronomy, maps, escapes and archery. It is a wall, splitting the earth with dark and hateful ideologies, and it is a spring in your step on one side: pink hair and coloured moles with a quiet and thoughtful being on the other; scope in hand, love clenched in heart and freedom circling though mind. Going Over is Ada and Stefan, Savas and Meryem, Turks and Germans and kids and adults. It is a story of humans and their plight in this world, and it is a story of love.

As is perhaps clear in this recent Huffington interview, I've been thinking a lot of late about what happiness is. I wrote toward that in today's Philadelphia Inquirer story, which has Frenchtown, NJ, as its backdrop. (Thank you Kevin Ferris and your team for another beautiful presentation of my photographs and words.) I've been also thinking a lot about kindness (never simple, often rare), thanks in part to George Hodgman's glorious memoir Bettyville, which I reviewed for the Chicago Tribune, here.

Today there is sun out there, flowering trees, wet-headed daffodils. I'm going to celebrate by finishing the fabulous Between You and Me (Mary Norris) and later checking into Chanticleer garden for the first time this year. I'm way overdue for a visit.

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6. James Ransome's Watercolor Method

I recently stumbled across this video by James Ransome creating the cover illustration for his book LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS. I shared it with a student, but I think the world should see!

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7. ‘Alfonso Muskedunder’ by Bendik Kaltenborn and Espen Friberg

A music video for Norwegian musician Todd Terje.

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8. Selecting the best places to draw

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9. Courtney Summers, author of ALL THE RAGE, on a book belonging to the readers

We're honored to have Courtney Summers here to tell us more about her powerful new novel ALL THE RAGE.

Courtney, what is your favorite thing about ALL THE RAGE?

I’ve been working on this book in some form or other since around 2009 or 2010, and after it sold, it took a little over two years and somewhere around six drafts to complete. So just seeing it finished, to know that it’s finally ready for readers, is my favorite thing about All the Rage. I’m very proud of it.

What was your inspiration for writing ALL THE RAGE?

All the Rage is a response to rape culture and an examination of its consequences. The way we fail victims and survivors of sexual violence, the constant victim-blaming, is heartbreaking and infuriating. It’s important that we talk about these things so that we can do better, and that was something I wanted to explore in my work.

What do you hope readers will take away from ALL THE RAGE?

Once a book is out, it doesn’t belong to me anymore—it belongs to the readers. But I do hope that it gets people angry about rape culture. I hope they channel that anger into keeping the conversation about rape culture going.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I do all my best writing at night, with music playing in the background. And I always have to have a cup of coffee and a bottle of water nearby!


All the Rage
by Courtney Summers
St. Martin's Griffin
Released 4/14/2015

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 

With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

Purchase All the Rage at Amazon
Purchase All the Rage at IndieBound
View All the Rage on Goodreads


COURTNEY SUMMERS was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. At age 14, she dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently and spent those years figuring out what she wanted to do with her life. At 18, she knew she was meant to write.

To date, she has authored five novels. Her first novel, Cracked Up to Be, was published when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published four more books–2011 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book, Some Girls Are, 2012 YALSA Quick Pick, Fall for Anything, and 2013 YALSA Top 10 Quick Pick and White Pine Honour book This is Not a Test and All the Rage as well as an e-novella, Please Remain Calm (a sequel to This is Not a Test).

When she is not writing, Courtney loves playing video games, watching horror movies and obsessing over the zombie apocalypse. Her favourite colour is green and she’s a total feminist.

Note from the formatter: ALL THE RAGE is seriously one of my favourite books of 2015. It's an important and powerful book, please make sure to check it out!

What did you think of our interview with Courtney Summers, author of ALL THE RAGE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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10. Crazy Horse and Custer

Fifteen years ago, not long after publishing Anthology of Modern American Poetry with Oxford, I began to receive the typical mix of complimentary and complaining letters. In the latter category, faculty members wanted to know why a favorite poem or poet was left out and some poets who were not included wrote pointed letters to let me know they weren’t happy with the fact. But one poet, William Heyen, took a different approach.

The post Crazy Horse and Custer appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. A Week of Oldies But Goodies: Throwback Week!

This week on Two Writing Teachers, we each chose another co-author’s previously published post to feature as part of our very own Throwback Week.

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12. Shadow Moths

<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Butterfly_Green-underside_Blue_-_Glaucopsyche_alexis_01.jpg#/media/File:Butterfly_Green-underside_Blue_-_Glaucopsyche_alexis_01.jpg">Butterfly Green-underside Blue - Glaucopsyche alexis 01</a>" by <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Zcebeci" title="User:Zcebeci">Zeynel Cebeci</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a> via <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/">Wikimedia Commons</a>.

I'm delighted to announce that Caroline Callaghan of Frightful Horrors has excepted two of my short stories - Blood Moth Kiss and We make our own Monsters here.  They will be published as a mini-bite on Kindle in June/July this year. The title of the mini-collection is Shadow Moths. Both stories are previously unpublished.

In almost as exciting news, I've finally rearranged my study. This means, SKY allowing, that I will have proper internet access again and will be able to blog (hello, world) and keep up with submitting stories. If I actually have any to send out that is. I have one out in the Land of Please, one in my inbox in the Doom of No, and three in scrap form that need to be typed up, edited etc etc etc.

Image courtesy of wikicommons.

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13. A woman’s journey in Kashmiri politics

Nyla Ali Khan’s recent book The Life of a Kashmiri Woman: Dialectic of Resistance and Accommodation, though primarily a biography of her grandmother Akbar Jehan, promises to be much more than that. It is also a narration of the story of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the charismatic political leader who is still recognized as the greatest political leader that Kashmir ever produced.

The post A woman’s journey in Kashmiri politics appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. C2E2 2015: Exhibitor Listings! Maps! Panels! Look!See!NOW!

C2E2-Logo-Square-Low-ResWell, we’ve recovered from the East Coast Comic Con and MoCCA Fest. Did our taxes. Watched the trailers. And this weekend, instead of relaxing and ruminating…I’m getting my act together to fly to Chicago on Thursday, for ReedPOP’s C2E2 show! (And if you think my schedule is crazy, the ReedPOP crew is in Anaheim right now, running Star Wars Celebration!)

Here’s the show planner. (PDF available!) Panels are accessible here. Exhibitors, along with show specials and exclusives, can be found here!

So… how does this show differ from last year’s?

Not much, really. Panels are upstairs, just like last year. (Make use of the water stations. Seriously…it’s a long walk to the Main Stage.) Family and fans are once again in the ballroom on the First Floor. The sales floor… is still in Halls A1 and A2 (McCormick South).

C2E2 2015 map 3Like last year, they use 3/4 of the hall.  Last year, the last third (or the front half of A2) was the food court area.  What’s changed?  Autographing and Food have switched places.  Artist Alley has been pushed back a little.  With no stage and a better layout, hopefully it doesn’t feel as slapdashed as last year.  350 tables are planned this year, down from 353 last year, but still ahead of the 207 from the first show).  Looking at the map, they can expand that area as well.  (Personally, the first C2E2 in Lakeside set the bar.  Lots of natural light, wide aisles, lots of space behind the tables, far from the rest of the show yet still accessible.)

The Block seems to be a new addition this year, or maybe the memory’s tumbled in with all of the other stuff from last year.  The Tattoo Pavilion is in the same space as last year.

Only three booths remain unsold:  two small booths right next to Marvel, and a quad near the Food Court.  (Some of the Artist Alley tables are on hold, but all are sold.)

mccormick south-level-3As I said here, C2E2 already is larger than New York Comic Con in regards to exhibition floor space. In this hall, there is 20% not utilized. (It’s the bottom quarter in the map to the right, with the stair-step edge.)  840,000 sq.ft. of space exists in Hall A, 670,000 is currently used. That back quadrant is 170,000 sq.ft. in area. If you’re familiar with Javitz’ North Pavilion, site of Artist Alley at NYCC, this back space is TWICE the area (80K).  Just think of the twenty studio booths you could place back there!

As for panels, there’s a FIFTH floor above the fourth, with five rooms, which can be divided into fourteen spaces (just like the rooms on the fourth).  Not to mention the six meeting rooms on the first floor, south of the ballroom, which can subdivide into 15 spaces.  Plus ReedPOP uses the North Hall (B1/B2) for registration, and the meeting rooms beneath for back of house purposes.

So, what’s the estimated attendance this year?c2e2 attendance

2010 27,500
2011 34,000 6500
2012 41,000 7000
2013 53,000 12000
2014 63,000 10000

The average (slope) is 7,100 a year.  If we take the recent increases into account, the math suggests 70 – 75,000 attendees. NYCC in its sixth year did 105,000.  C2E2 is growing at half the rate of NYCC, which is not a bad thing.  Of course, McCormick has a lot of space available, so with my estimated 1.235 MILLION capacity, with a growth of 10K/year, it would take C2E2 120 years to fill the entire convention center!  Me, I’m thinking 2030.  Once shows hit a certain threshold, they reach critical mass quickly.  (I’ll share my mad dreams later.  In the meantime, read this!)

But until then, other parts of McCormick Place will be used by other shows.  What else is happening that weekend?  Automechanika Chicago.  400 exhibitors, 8500 attendees, and it’s all about the auto aftermarket. (Oh man… a month later is the Sweets & Snacks Expo!) Last year, some company held their sales meeting in Lakeside, meaning most attendees trekked by the show floor on Thursday.  I even spotted one professional lady stop to take a selfie with a Batman75 standee!  There was also a national high school chorus competition… yeah…theatre geeks! Another year, there was standardized testing for educators.  And the first C2E2 had a bath show where the current con is located…

I’ll have more later, but I do recommend the show.  It’s a large regional show, with myriad guests of all sorts, great programming, not as crazy as CCI or NYCC, and I think most of the snow will have melted by now.  Until then, peruse our posts from previous years.  It’s a good sample of what the show offers.


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15. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.

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16. Lance Rubin, author of DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE, on making writing a regular habit

DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE is the debut novel from Lance Rubin, and we're excited to have him with us to share more about it.

Lance, what is your favorite thing about DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE?

This may be a strange answer, but honestly, my favorite thing about DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE is that it exists. Over the years, I've had so many ideas for creative projects that never went beyond the four walls of my brain or the notes section of my iPhone. In fact, before I wrote a single page of this book, it sat in my mind as an idea for around two to three years. Back then, I thought it was going to be a screenplay starring characters in their twenties, and it was only when my acting career totally stalled out at the same time as I read and loved The Hunger Games that I thought "Maybe I should take that idea I had, make the characters teenagers, and try writing it as a young adult novel."

So now, to sit here almost exactly four years later and answer this question, the book not only finished but about to be published, is surreal and magical. I can't believe people I don't know are reading this story.

What do you hope readers will take away from DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE?

For starters, I hope they laugh a lot while reading it. I hope they recognize themselves or people they know in the characters. I hope that the book surprises them, that it takes them on an enjoyable, unpredictable journey.

But I would also love for this book to make readers think about their life in new ways. Their death, too. In my ideal scenario, a reader would put this down and feel newly inspired to--at the risk of sounding painfully cliched--live life to the fullest, to make bold choices, to honestly connect to the people around them, to be fully present and appreciative for each day of being alive.

And, if that doesn't happen, I just hope they've laughed a lot.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don't wait for someone to ask you to write something. Start TODAY. Right now. And then make sitting down to write a regular habit, whenever you can squeeze it into your life, even on the days when inspiration doesn't strike. It will be challenging and painful and not always fun, but you will learn so much about yourself--from the failures especially--and be fulfilled in many ways you never could have predicted.

What are you working on now?

There is a second DENTON book that I'm in the final stages of rewriting, and I'm in the super-early stages of a new book that has nothing to do with DENTON. I'm not really sure what it is yet, but I do know it has a female protagonist.


Denton Little's Deathdate
by Lance Rubin
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 4/14/2015

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day they will die. For 17-year-old Denton Little, that's tomorrow, the day of his senior prom.

Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. Though he's not totally sure. See: first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters…. Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Purchase Denton Little's Deathdate at Amazon
Purchase Denton Little's Deathdate at IndieBound
View Denton Little's Deathdate on Goodreads


Lance Rubin
Lance Rubin spent his twenties working as an actor and writing sketch comedy, with several successful runs of The Lance and Ray Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. He has now turned his comedic talents to fiction, and Denton Little’s Deathdate is his first novel. You can find him on the Web at LanceRubin.tumblr.com and on Twitter at @LanceRubinParty.

What did you think of our interview with Lance Rubin, author of DEONTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,
Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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17. Time To Sell Myself....In The Nicest Possible Way!

 Okay, folks, it is that time of the year when I need to promo myself so if you start dozing off remember: Avengers 2 -The Age Of Ultron is released this week!

Black Tower Comics & Books is THE UKs LARGEST INDEPENDENT COMICS PUBLISHER (possibly largest European Independents publisher, too!).  It is run by myself as Publishing Editor.

Between 1984-1994 I worked freelance as a writer/artist/editor/agent in comics as well as comics journalism for MU Press,Blue Comet Press, Fantagraphic Books, Eros Comics, Dorne, Fleetway, IPC and others in the United States, UK and Europe.  During this period I also produced large numbers of single panel gag cartoons for agencies in Germany such as Boiselle-Lohmann and Baaske Agency –these going to magazines and publications around Europe.

I have also worked as a freelance editor in comics and publications ranging from wildlife, astronomy and science fiction magazines.

From 1984 to present I've been self publishing comics as well as publications on a wide variety of subjects under the Black Tower banner.

During this time I have also produced packages of work for companies in India, Hong Kong and China. I have also been working as an industry advisor for smaller companies in countries such as India, Canada, Singapore, China, Europe and the US.

I can be contacted for a much more indepth Cv  at hoopercomicsuk@yahoo.com

To see the number of books and variety of genres -including prose- you can check out the Black Tower Online store:


I do not  work for free or "on spec" and having worked in comics since the 1970s I know all the cons so do not even try them.

I work by payment and deadline.  An A4 design for an event (that will be reduced to A5 as in the example below) will normally cost £25.00 (black and white).
I do not translate comics into other languages but items produced under licence are provided fully lettered in English.

I prefer working with smaller publishers who are attempting to establish themselves and a company "universe" or simply producing specially designed comics for new publishers.

You can all wake up now.

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18. Learning country music in the digital age

Recently reading through the Notes and Discographies section of Greil Marcus’s book Mystery Train (first published in 1975), I was struck by Marcus’s meticulousness when it came to recommending records.

The post Learning country music in the digital age appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–April 19th Edition

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

The weather has finally improved, and we have enjoyed temps in the 70s!  The grass is turning green, the flowers are coming back to life, and the trees are slowly starting to bud.  We’ve been warned of another Polar Vortex though, which is expected to hit just in time for the first horse show of the season – next week!  Oh, well, I’ll have to pack a box of hand warmers for the trip.


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Prince of Fools – I have waited and waited for this to go on sale, and it finally did!  1.99 at Amazon!

The Great Bazaar & Brayan’s Gold – I really need to catch up on the Demon Cycle books, because I LOVE the concept of the series

Stay the Distance  – Horses, YO!

Powerless – Superheroes!

Aquarion Evol Volume 01 – Cute cover!

Cosplay Basics

Dragon’s Lair

Last Year’s Mistake



After Hours

To Win Her Favor

The Wrath and the Dawn

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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20. Some Great Reads In Various Genres

"Know yourself.  Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
~Ann Landers

Congrats to our MEMBER OF THE MONTH: Rebecca Reilly, author of HAUNTING MEGAN and DIARY OF A CHRISTIAN WOMAN!!
Rebecca Reilly

 Please check out our website to learn more about this talented RRBC Member!

Congrats to this week's MEMBER OF THE WEEK: Renee Hand, author of some awesome Children's books, like THE MYSTERY OF THE CIRCUS FOR HIRERenee is a very supportive member of other authors and she is appreciated for that support! 
Renee Hand
As Member Of The Week, Renee will get to choose a free book from the Kathryn C. Treat Book Giveaway Treasure Chest!!

Congrats to this week's #PUSHTUESDAY Winner: John Fioravanti!!
John Fioravanti
A huge THANK YOU to all those that supported him on his special day!!

Congrats to our BOOKS OF THE MONTH!!


Please show your support to these deserving members. You can do so by helping us promote them on social media, and also by purchasing/reviewing their books. Remember, those that give support will receive support!!

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21. Wittgenstein and natural religion

In the philosophy of religion ‘Wittgensteinianism’ is a distinctive position whose outlines are more or less unanimously agreed by both its defenders and detractors. By invoking a variety of concepts to which Wittgenstein gave currency – language games, forms of life, groundless believing, depth grammar, world pictures – the defenders aim to defuse rationalistic criticisms of religion by showing them to be, in the strict sense, impertinent.

The post Wittgenstein and natural religion appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 

An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

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23. Katie Sise, author of THE PRETTY APP, on throwing challenges at your characters

We're excited to have Katie Sise here to tell us more about THE PRETTY APP, her companion novel to THE BOYFRIEND APP.

Katie, what was your inspiration for writing THE PRETTY APP?

When writing THE BOYFRIEND APP, I always felt like there was more to Blake's story. I wanted to know more about why she acted the way she did. And I was intrigued by the idea of writing about a teenager who thinks the only thing of value about her is being beautiful.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

My favorite scene in the book is between Blake and her sister, Nic. It occurs at Notre Dame, (my alma mater), and the college where Nic is enrolled and where Blake and Audrey will attend in the fall. As I was writing THE PRETTY APP, the way the relationship between the two sisters develops was as (or more!) important as the romantic relationship between Blake and Leo.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
Elizabeth Eulberg's books! 

She's also a friend of mine, so I'm partial, but I always hear readers say that there's a similar tone and style.

How long did you work on THE PRETTY APP?

Much longer than THE BOYFRIEND APP! THE BOYFRIEND APP took about four months to write. THE PRETTY APP took much longer-- maybe about eight months--because there were so many stops and starts. It was just a harder book for me to figure out. Sometimes that happens! But I'm happy with how it turned out, so all of those rewrites were worth it :)

What do you hope readers will take away from THE PRETTY APP?

That everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and that you don't know someone's reasons for being the way that they are until you walk in their shoes. (Not that it excuses Blake's behavior in The Boyfriend App, but remembering that helped me to understand her as a character.)

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

Someone once told me to continually make things hard on your characters, no matter how much you love them. That helped! Throwing challenges at my characters in every chapter helps move the book along and creates suspense.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I always write in quiet. I get too distracted with music. I do love writing in a coffee shop, but for now, I write at home while my son naps, and on weekends, too. So that means I write a little less than twenty hours a week. When my children are in school, I'll go back to a full-time writing schedule. But for now, this works!

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Just keep writing. Every day. I think the only reason I got published was because I'd written for so many years and had practice at it, so when the more salable idea came along, I was ready!

What are you working on now?

I'm so excited to be working on another romantic comedy for Balzer + Bray! This one has an entire new casts of characters, and it's been so much fun to write so far!


The Pretty App
by Katie Sise
Balzer + Bray
Released 4/14/2015

Poor Blake Dawkins! She's rich, she's gorgeous, and she's the queen bee of Harrison High. The girls want to be her; the boys want to—okay, enough said. But it turns out Blake’s life is not so perfect—just talk to her dad, who constantly reminds her that she's not up to par, or to her ex-bff, Audrey, who doesn't even look her in the eye.

Then Harrison—and every other high school in America—becomes obsessed with posting selfies on the ubiquitous Pretty App. Next: Leo, an adorable transfer student, arrives at Harrison and begins to show Blake that maybe being a queen bee doesn't mean being a queen bitch. And though Audrey suspects somebody’s playing foul, Blake finds herself catapulted to internet fame after being voted one of the prettiest girls in the country. She's whisked away to star in a reality show—in Hollywood, on live TV. But she doesn’t know who to trust. Because everybody on the show wants to win.

And nobody is there to make friends.

The Boyfriend App author Katie Sise spins another irresistible tale of technology, secrets, and big-time romance in this story of what it takes to be #trulybeautiful.

Purchase The Pretty App at Amazon
Purchase The Pretty App at IndieBound
View The Pretty App on Goodreads


Katharine “Katie” Sise is a New York City based author, jewelry designer and television host. Years ago, at age twenty-four— after dropping a rare and very expensive bottle of champagne on her way to deliver it to Robert De Niro’s table—she realized she needed a way to fund her acting and writing career that didn’t involve balancing a tray full of cocktails. That fall, she taught herself to make jewelry and launched Katharine Sise Jewelry. Within a few months, Lucky Magazine called her a “Designer to Watch” and her company appeared in every major fashion magazine—including Vogue, W, Elle, Self, Lucky, InStyle, Bazaar, Allure, Us Weekly, People, In Touch, Page Six Magazine, Real Simple, FN, Life and Style, Teen Vogue, Seventeen, Women’s Wear Daily, Marie Claire and Glamour. Before she knew it, her celebrity clientele included Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Kelly Ripa, Ellen Pompeo, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway and Drew Barrymore.

Katharine has been profiled on dozens of online fashion and lifestyle outlets including Forbes.com, Elle.com, InStyle.com, People.com, Sweet, The Huffington Post and The New York Post. Her jewelry has appeared on television shows such as The View, Live with Regis and Kelly, E! News, Good Day New York, Full Frontal Fashion, Movie and a Makeover, The O.C., Brothers and Sisters and Gossip Girl. While Katharine was chatting with the ladies from The View, one of her necklaces broke on air and fell from her neck to her lap because she didn’t spend enough time getting the clasp right. That moment is preserved, forever, on a DVD at her parents’ house.

Katharine has designed jewelry for national campaigns like Vera Wang, Gap and Keds. In 2009, Target launched Katharine Sise for Target.

Katharine has worked as a fashion and lifestyle consultant, appearing on-air for networks like HSN, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, CNBC and ABC’s Good Morning America. For eighteen months, Katharine co-hosted a live monthly television show for The Home Shopping Network. She also appeared as The Daily Special’s resident style expert.

Katharine’s first book, Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career (Perseus/Running Press) hit shelves in September of 2010. Creative Girl is written for every woman who wants to make her living in the creative world, whether in an office job or at the helm of her own business. The book is an encouraging and practical take on how to make a living doing what you love.

Katharine’s first novel, The Boyfriend App, was published by HarperCollins Balzer + Bray on April 30, 2013. The Boyfriend App tells the story of a girl who, in order to win a scholarship offered by a secretly-evil global computing corporation, invents an app that makes any boy fall madly in love with her, with chaotic results. The Boyfriend App has received rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, and VOYA.

Katharine has a BA in Film, Television and Theater from The University of Notre Dame. She lives in New York City with her family.

What did you think of our interview with Katie Sise, author of THE PRETTY APP? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Jocelyn, Martina, Jan, Shelly, Susan, Lisa, and Erin

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24. Weekend Links Earth Day, Garden and Other Assorted Book Fun

Welcome to Weekend Links!

weekend links

So far this month has been jam-packed with insightful education, booklists, outdoor activities and cool nature resources for kids and parents interested in raising global citizens.  I would like to share them this weekend as my Weekend Links Round-up. Enjoy!

Check out my guest post at Kid Lit Celebrates Women’s History Month; The Mother of Trees Wangari Maathai -so honored to be included!

Mama Miti

This was shared by one of our dedicated readers Donna Marie and the it’s from the author of the Secret Garden’s house. Bookish Illuminations; Entering The Secret Garden at Great Maytham Hall. It’s fantastic!!

The Secret Garden1 Great_Maytham_Hall_-_geograph.org.uk_-_228926

How to Find Children’s Books in Spanish in One Easy Step from Spanish Playground


5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog  via PragmaticMom

multicultural novels

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Celebrate Earth Day-via Multicultural Kids Blogs

Earth Day books

We Need Diverse Books Tells AWP 2015: Write Diverse Books That Sell  via Publishers Weekly

Reading: It’s good for their health.  Harper Collins Children’s Books

Grab it before it’s GONE! My Free Curious George Gets a Medal Rocketship Craft and Activity!

Family Book Festival

Get Out in to the Garden! Have you missed the last few Secret Garden Wednesdays? These are too much fun not to read!

If you are in the mood for another and inactive story, check out the enhanced digital eBook for kids, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

The Ultimate Guide To Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a step by step roadmap to this magical world.   Just some of the fun includes:

  • A story filled with beautiful graphic illustrations including tantalizing Treasure Maps and vibrant tutorials.


  • Over 20 Crafts and activities that not only entertain, but educate.
  • You get to jump inside the book and enjoy creating the adventures yourself (Templates, maps, and more are included.)
  • Ever wonder where chocolate comes from? Or how gum is made?  Wonder no more. Now you get to make your own.
  • Conduct activities in the areas of crafting, cooking, and game-playing as well as exploring many facets of candy production.
  • The option to take Charlie’s journey over the course of several days or take shorter journeys if you wish.
  • The creation of a new ritual of reading time with your family and the opportunity to experience the reading of this imaginative tale as a group activity, not a solitary event.

Go HERE to learn more and grab your copy from iBooks!

The Ultimate Guide to Charlie


The post Weekend Links Earth Day, Garden and Other Assorted Book Fun appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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25. PO-EMotion -- Interest


At the bank
it's what you get
without trying.
You just have to be there.

At the (river)bank
it's what you get
without trying.
You just have to be there.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

Carol, at Carol's Corner, will join me again this year as often as possible.

Kimberly, at iWrite in Maine, is joining me this month. 

Kay, at A Journey Through the Pages, is joining, too!
"Invisible Trails"

Steve, at inside the dog, is sharing his poems 
in the comments at Poetrepository.

Heidi, at my juicy little universe, will join us when she can.

Linda, at TeacherDance, will join as often as she can.
Check the comments at A Year of Reading or Poetrepository for her poems.

Kevin (Kevin's Meandering Mind) is back this year,
leaving poetry trax in the comments.

Carol, at Beyond Literacy Link, is writing alongside us when she can.

Jone, at DeoWriter, is doing a "double L" challenge. 
She and I are cross-poLLinating our challenges whenever possible.
Her word today is SHALLOWS.

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