Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Writerly Wednesday ~~ Good Scoop, Author Interview & Contest!

Oh boy! Lots of goodies for you writers to enjoy today. Grab a comfy chair, a beverage and a plate of southern finger foods, and join us in my cyber living room. [The contest announcement's down yonder at the bottom. LOL]

First, please meet Louisiana author Toni McGee Causey whose Bobbie Faye books are getting rave reviews. I finally made it to Barnes & Noble for one of her signings, and have good reading material awaiting me.

One reviewer says, ""Readers who like the humor of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series will be thrilled to meet Bobbie Faye." —Library Journal (starred review)

Check out Toni's blog, newsletter, more reviews, book excerpts, and more at her site. If you're a Twit, her handle is @ToniMcGeeCausey. If you don't already know her and her whacky MC, you should. You can get a taste by watching her trailer. Geaux Toni!
A sprinkling of writing nuggets for your enjoyment~~
Don't know what Genre Wars is? Hit the link and find out!
Self-Editing tips at Harvey Stanbrough's blog today. Good stuff as always. 
Poetry -- There's an app for that! Get in the Poem Flow and get poetry literally at your fingertips.
Analyze this! Did you know you can get free couch time for your characters? Check out Jeannie Campbell's The Character Therapist blog. Highly fascinating!

A nice blog post on the use of personification in prose by Nannette Croce.
I asked to be a whistle stop on Kathryn Magendie's blog book tour, so help me welcome Kat into the Gumbo Writer station! Her new book SECRET GRACES is poised for release, and it's every bit as fabulous as TENDER GRACES. (Yeah, ain't I lucky? I got to read the manuscript.) You'll love the trailer!
Thanks to Kat for doing an author interview for us to relish AND for doing a reading from SECRET GRACES: 
1.) For the sequel to TENDER GRACES, how'd you come up with the title SECRET GRACES, and will there be a third GRACES book for a trilogy? The publishers came up with Tender Graces for the first book, so we knew the next book or books in the Virginia Kate sagas would have either Tender or Graces. Since I ain’t Tender (no I am not, quit saying I am! Stop it!) I wanted to use Graces, which turned out lovely since now people call the books “The Graces.” Secrets was a good choice; secrets are such a part of our lives, and especially when it comes to relationships between men and women, and within families. And there are some of my own secrets embedded in the novel(s).

There is a planned third book in The Graces (or Virginia Kate Sagas)—VK still needs to tell the story of Adin, her adopted daughter. I’m considering more VK or Graces books, but I don’t know yet. It’s funny, because I only meant to write that short story until you, Angie, prodded me, and then I only meant to write one VK book—who knew?

2.) Might we hear you reading from SG? Sure! Now, um, I ain’t purdy, and I have a gravely voice, and I’m kind of a dweeb, and, no one knows I’m wearing my jammie bottoms while doing the reading (haw!), and, well, I could go on, but I probably shouldn’t *laugh* I read a couple of excerpts and put it in a YouTube vid. Hope you enjoy.

3.) Do the characters from TG/SG "speak" to you even when you're not writing or editing? Virginia Kate has been very quiet and only speaking when I open up the manuscript(s), unlike some characters from other works who can poke me and prod me. I think about them a lot, though, who they are, and what they’re doing, and where they will go. Some characters do seem to whisper into my ear, but then again, we all know that can’t really happen, now can it? *grin*

Although, I actually “saw” my Sweetie character (another novel waiting in the wings) while walking in the cove—she wavered there, and I still wonder if she was a ghost here in these mountains, a girl who had something to say, a story to tell—I’ve never had an experience like that before or since. She’s the only character I’ve ever seen “whole,” as my characters are never “wholes” but pieces, or as if seen from afar or though a mist. I saw Sweetie’s dress, hair, feet, all of her, except her face is harder to see, but still, more clear than any other, and she spoke to me: “I got something to say and you got to listen.” It was magical.

4.) If you could let readers know one thing, what would it be? That I love them. That every time I finish writing for the day, I think about who will read those words and how will it affect them and if they will love what I have written. That if it were not for readers, I’d be whispering right into a big black hole in the sky. My words are nothing without them.

5.) What is the best & worst thing about being a published author? The best thing is knowing your words and the characters you love so much are being read by people—strangers even, people you never will meet. It makes me smile to think somewhere, someone may have my book open and reading it.

The worst thing is worrying I’ll disappoint someone: my readers, my publishers, myself.

6.) If someone didn't read TG, will they still be able to understand SG? Yes, I sure hope so! I mean for The Graces/VK Sagas to each stand on their own. So, you can read TG or SG and stop there. Of course, reading SG may prompt one to read TG, and vice versa, but I want readers to be satisfied at the end, heave a sigh, and say, “Oh, lovely…” then it’d be nice if they’d say, “I can’t wait to read the next book.”

7.) I love the way you put little hidden messages and symbols into your books. Can you expose one for us? Well, I hope people will read along and suddenly think, “Oh! Did she do that on purpose?” or “Oh, I wonder if this means . . .” and maybe I did and maybe it does. But, a really simple one is there are some titles of books hidden here and there—maybe a book I just read, maybe one from my shelf, or maybe one I saw in the bookstore and want to pick up. There aren’t many titles, but they are there.

There are many symbols though—like earth wind fire and to a lesser degree, water, or the dark horse, the moon, the locket, trees and nature, storms, and others.

8.) Are you tired of people asking you if your books are autobiographical? No, I’m really not. It’s flattering, actually. If I created a world that was so real and so True that people think it was my life, then that’s pretty cool. I did use that big event in my life, of my bio mom giving up her children, but Virginia Kate and the rest are made up people.

My mother says people ask her, “I didn’t know about so and so!” and she has to remind them this is fiction, this was not our family and life. I don’t think they believe her, because they’ll then usually ask, “Is that Uncle Arville real? If so, I want to kick his butt!” *laughing* She has to explain again, “No, he’s not real; this is fiction . . .”

9.) How has your experience as Co-Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal impacted you as a writer, or has it? I think it impacted me more as an editor, which in turn affected my writing—I learned how to be a better editor and that in return helped me to edit my own work with a “finer eye.”

10.) Tell us something funny or strange that happened to you after TG came out. I dreamed about Miss Darla or maybe it was Grandma Faith—and she had some message for me, but I couldn’t figure it out. It was so real and affected me in such a strong way. All the next day I couldn’t shake the thought I was supposed to learn something, or find out something, or something was going to happen. Then I wondered if it, the happening or the thoughts, belonged in the book or in real life, and for a moment, the two worlds were confused and I felt most surreal and strange. I have a book I put on the backburner that is both fiction and nonfiction, real and not real—where I am actually a character in the book, and how the lines of reality and fiction are sometimes blurred, how a writer can feel more connected to his/her characters and fiction world than to the real world, and what damage that can do to the people in their real lives—I can’t wait to get started on that book again.

Also, I was surprised at how many people emailed me to say they dreamed about certain characters in Tender Graces, or the women who had a crush on the enigmatic and troubled Micah.

Thank you Angie! This was fun!

The fun was definitely mine. Thank you for going above and beyond on this Writerly Wednesday. Everything you ever wanted to know about Kat is at her blog!

Now, the contest! Come up with the coolest way you can think of for Kat to promote her new book SECRET GRACES, and leave the idea in a comment. Think way off the beaten promotion path (aren't ya glad I didn't say "out of the box?") and see what you come up with.
And if your email address isn't connected to your blogging ID, please include your addy at the bottom of your comment so I can reach you if you're the winner.
What's the prize, you ask? You, lucky winner, will receive a hot-off-the-press personalized signed copy of SECRET GRACES sent directly to your mailbox! Wheeee!


Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you so much, Angie! what fun!

Robyn Campbell said...

Wow, nice contest. On the fly stuff, I ain't good at. I need time to think. I bet you'll get some good stuff though. I shall mosey on back to read them all.

Cool interview. I love the hidden symbols that Kathryn inserts into her books. Really cool idea. I gotta get these books, Angie. They sound awesome. And the Bobbie Faye books too. I had not heard of them. It is very nice to become acquainted with both Kathryn and Toni. Thanks for introducing them to us, Angie. Love that Rose and Thorn. Keep up the fantastic work ladies. =)

Deb@RGRamblings said...

Thanks for the great interview and info Angie! And Kat, the words you read from Secret Graces were absolutely beautiful. Your voice conveys the heart of Virginia Kate perfectly for me. Wow! I'm off for another listen. Can't wait to read SG!!!

I'll have to put my thinking cap on and to try to come up with an idea for the contest. At the moment all I can think is that everyone MUST hear you reading SG!!

Stacy Post said...

Good questions asked, Angie. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment of Virginia Kate's journey. YAY!

I'm off to listen to Kat's reading now...

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Robyn! Thank you for reading *smiling*

Deb - you made me smile - thank you! :)

Thankyou, too, Stacy! yay! :-) *smiling*

Karen said...

Good interview, Kathryn and Angie. Hummm. How about donating a few to a pregnancy center or a club and try to get a bit of publicity? Whoo Hoo, number 2!

Suldog said...

First - Thank you, Angie. That was all swell fun!

Second - Kathryn! You have a lovely voice (and an even lovelier smile, I might add!) Thanks for the good reading!

Finally - A way to promote the book? Hmmmmmmmm. Any way you could get a promotional tie-in with the manufacturers of 'Secret' deodorant for women? A discount on the book when you buy the deodorant, or vice-versa? Or maybe 'Pop Secret' microwaveable popcorn? Save your boxtops and get a wonderful book to read!

Titus said...

Really enjoyed the interview - thanks to the both of you.

Every novel way of promoting the novel involves getting naked (should that be "butt-naked") in my pea-brain at the moment, so I won't be entering the draw!

Deb@RGRamblings said...

I’m still stuck on the idea that hearing passages of SG in Kat’s voice would be an excellent way to promote and sell the book. I’m guessing that a suggestion of doing a ton of radio interviews would be considered too much along “the beaten promotion path” to qualify for this contest..

Sooo, I’m going to have to suggest that Kat pick up a bullhorn, a vehicle with a sunroof, and set out on a road tour. I can picture it now - Kat leaning out through the sunroof, wind in her hair, gripping SG in one hand and the bullhorn in the other, and reading passages from SG. The driver of the vehicle, (GMR?), steering with one hand, and selling copious copies of SG through the window…

Apart from a couple of small safety issues... it could work :D

Angie Ledbetter said...

Kat - Really enjoyed it, and the reading was soooo nice! Thanks girlie.

Robyn - You are very welcome. (You'd love the fascinating characters in these books.) ;)

Deb - I agree. Kat's voice is like musical notes beside a stream.

Thanks a bunch Stacy!

Good idea Karen. Both books have AWESOME Reader Questions in the back, so they're perfect for book clubs, schools, reading groups, etc. (Written by my very own beloved sister-in-law too!) :D

Suldog - Genius idea! A corporate sponsor! How hard can it be to insert a coupon into the books.

Thanks Titus. (I think.) LOL

Deb - I pictured your scenario so clearly. Thanks. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Awesome interview! It's like I was sitting right there chatting with you! You are so real:)
Anyhow, I'm not sure how I would promote it since you are doing the basic online stuff--and probably stuff in your community. Have you thought about events in libraries where they bring in writers for a week to do conferences? (ours does) or maybe sign up to teach some writing course at a small conference?

Lynnette Labelle said...

Wow! Lots of great stuff today. Can't think of a marketing trick, but if I do, I'll let ya know.

Lynnette Labelle

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thanks for the input Terri. Hope everything's all "write" with you. :)

Glad you enjoyed Lynnette!

Jessica said...

Awesome interview! Grrr, I'm so ready to read TG and then SG. A marketing trick... I wish I knew.
Maybe something to do with secrets? Or with Grace?
Good luck!
Thanks ladies. :-) I enjoyed reading this.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thanks for the shout out, angie! i appreciate that so much. :)

as for the marketing about a blog contest where you write the nicest thing you ever did for someone (showing grace) IN PRIVATE (secrecy). secret grace. get it? i dunno....

<a href=">The Character Therapist</a>

Janna Qualman said...

You weren't kidding, Angie, this is a treasure-filled post!

I'm going to brainstorm on a promo idea. It's an awesome contest.

Marguerite said...

This fabulous interview is the "Kat's meow! Very impressive duo! Cheers sha, amis!!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Thank you Jessica. :)

Jeannie - Great suggestion! I've got your name in the hat.

Have I ever told you I love ya Janna? LOL. Thanks for entering, and for the kind words.

Backatcha Marguerite!

Carrie said...

Have people tweet the promo tweet for a chance to win a spot in the R&T newsletter, or an ARC if you have any, or a copy of the actual production book.

Create a blog badge/facebook badge that fans can use.

Have a good day.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Y'all! I am just grinnin' and grinnin' ! *GRIN!* see? teehee

Karen - thankyou! Wonderful idea!

Suldog - awwww *kicking my foot in the sand like aw shucks*

Titus - LAUGHING! Hmm, getting nekkid - hmmmm..hmmmmmm....

Deb I'm laughing at the bullhorn and my boopmobile - haw!

Terri - I love libraries!

Thanks Lynette!

Jessica & Jeannie - like the idea of "Secrets....." :)

Janna and Marguerite - T'ankee Goils! :)

Wonderful ideas Carrie!

Debbie said...

What a lucky day for me. Two of my favorite women together in one place! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. It sure will look pretty on my shelf next to the first one:)
I wish I had a great marketing idea. Heck, I wish I was a rich marketing genius. Maybe I'll come up with something and pop back over.

The Unbreakable Child said...

Loves the interview, great and awesome Katand Angie!!!


Kathryn Magendie said...

Deb - There's new incentive to do that *teehee*

Hi Kimmi! htank you!

Folks, I put up something on my blog where I am challenging myself to do any (reasonable) suggestion that is listed here....with the top three successful getting a signed copy of SG, and the top one also receiving a gift basket from my mountain - "Rules" and ect are listed on my blog
or at the link below:


I am INSANE!!!!!

Teresa said...

Hey, Kat! I really loved TG so I'm looking foward to Secret Graces. I've been thinking hard all morning on marketing ploys!

Can you donate some copies of Secret Graces to a real place (like a resturant) you featured in Secret Graces? Would it be possible to visit and read a few paragraphs from a resturant or library featured in Secret Graces? Then you'll be giving them exposure too and they'll probably return the favor.

You could also give a brief press release that you'll be donating X copies of Secret Graces to whatever establishment you choose and why. Maybe between your efforts and the establishment you choose, you can squeeze a little TV time.

That's my contribution to the war effort! You keep going - you're going to be wonderful!


Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Teresa! what a good idea - Angie - up for a trip to Galatoire's in New Orleans!!!

Kathryn Magendie said...

I created a "badge" ! Yay! I completed one .... a simple "badge" attached to my blog with a copy of the book cover... :)

Teresa said...

Yes! Galatoire's! I remembered you researched a resturant for the novel, but I couldn't recall the name! Oh, but wouldn't that be fun, and you might could write it off as a business trip. Check with your accountant before proceeding with any hairbrained tax advice from me, but you might could . . . maybe . . .

Kathryn Magendie said...

T- Yes! Galatoire's was so friendly and kind to help me with some questions about the restaurant in the 70's and about cafe brulet - :-)

L.T. Elliot said...

Excellent interview, info., and fun new items for my reading list!! Woot!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Cutting and pasting these so I can start planning on them . . .

I'll keep everyone updated as I complete, or can't complete, or whatever! :)

and will check back for new ones every so often....

Angie Ledbetter said...




Jessie Carty said...

enjoyed the interview! and now i can watch you on YouTube :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

OMG ANGIE!!! Laughing....

Thank you, Jessie!

Angie Ledbetter said...

LOL...look what you done unleashed Kat! (And thanks Jessie.) :D

t i m said...

A promotional tour in Europe obviously, well the UK to precise.

You have a growing fanbase on these shores, plus I know the Queen... kinda :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

Tim! that would be SO cool....*wish wish wish*

I'll practice my courtsy or is that courtsey or ...dang

Anonymous said...

Guess you know which title is my favorite. Gotta go with the firearms.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Hi Oren! :)

Small Footprints said...

What a wonderful interview ... loved every word of it! :)

Hm ... promotion. How about doing a reading that is more like a mini-play? A scene from the book could be acted out. Perhaps you could have several people help with the roles ... and maybe the "play" could be held somewhere special ... a theater, a park (if it ever warms up in WNC ... lol), a restaurant, etc. There could be a door prize drawing for the audience and a Q&A period after the performance.

Gosh ... if you do this, I hope you do it in WNC so that I can attend. :)

Small Footprints said...

Oh ... I have another one (lol). In the first book, there were recipes. If there are recipes in SG, perhaps you could do a reading and then cook one of the recipes ... perhaps with the help of GMR ... and, of course, the audience would get a taste.

This is fun!

Small Footprints

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