Interview with Award-Winning Author Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Today I’m happy to bring you author Janice Spina, who writes children’s books and thrillers. I had the pleasure of meeting Janice through Chris, The Story Reading Ape’s Blog.

Janice is the award-winning author of five children’s picture books, illustrated by her husband, John Spina. Her most recent book is her first novel and mystery/crime/thriller, “Hunting Mariah.” But let’s talk about one of her picture books that I shared with one of my younger reading pals, J.C.

About “Ricky, the Rambunctious Raccoon” Janice Spina

“Ricky is a rambunctious or very active raccoon who likes to wander around to find something new to eat. One night during his foraging for food, Ricky runs into all kinds of trouble. Will Ricky get home safely? Will he learn his lesson to listen to his mother?”

My review: [Read more…]

Military Writers Society of America Conference – Phoenix

Welcome to Guest Blogger and Author, Michael Wood

I recently met Michael Wood at the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) conference in Phoenix. After seeing how well he captured the essence of the conference in words and photos, I asked if he’d be willing to share with this blog’s readers. So please welcome fellow Navy veteran Mike over from his Travel Photo Escapades blog, and enjoy this virtual visit to the 2014 MWSA conference.

 This is my first year attending one of these MWSA conferences. [Read more…]

Inspirational Young Horse Saver

I reconnected with a childhood friend recently whose daughter, Nicole, volunteers with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue. My friend mentioned Nicole was preparing her end-of-year book report and diorama on my book, “Believing In Horses.” When I saw her diorama and read her report, I found it so touching that I wanted to share them with others. In times when children are often criticized for being self-centered and lazy, I’m happy to highlight one who is not.

So, from my youngest contributor to this blog, I bring you 10-year-old Nicole Cavanaugh, an inspirational young horse saver.

Nicole Cavanaugh's diorama for Believing In Horses

In this scene from “Believing in Horses” Sadie is going to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue for the first time. Sadie is visiting Freedom Hill to sign up as a volunteer and to show them her presentation about the horses that need to be saved. She is hoping they will help her save the horses that are going to be auctioned. This is an important moment for Sadie because this is the first time she asks for help to achieve her goal. (Nicole Cavanaugh)

Summary

The Navarros are moving to Bowie, Maryland, because Sadie’s Dad is in the military and is being reassigned for a few years. One of those years he will be in Afghanistan, which makes Sadie sad. Her reward for being so good about the situation is a horse. Sadie’s grandmother sends Sadie a horse. His name is Color Me Lucky but they call him Lucky. One day Sadie learned about 10 horses that needed to be saved because they were going to auction. Many horses that go to auction are killed for meat. Sadie decided she [Read more…]

Working with a Small Publisher

I thought this was the single best article I’ve seen about working with a small publisher. I’ve published both my books with a small press, J.B. Max Publishing, out of Vancouver, BC. I agree with many of the points in the article by WritersDigest.com editor Brian Klems, but here are my top three:

1. A small press can take on projects that don’t conform to the mainstream commercial market.

2. A small press cares about the success of a book beyond its initial release. To quote: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

3. Small press authors can expect to have a personal relationship with small presses, or as one small press publisher cites it, “Tender, loving care.” [Read more…]

The Synopsis and its Friends

This post sponsored by Grammarly. Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because you want to write right (Has anyone said that before? – No!)

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

© Chasbrutlag | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Image

When I am asked what my books are about, I try to respond with one sentence. That answer is not a synopsis, but what I would consider one of the synopsis’ “friends.” Books descriptions serve specific purposes. And just to make it easier, not everyone agrees on the rules. I’ve pulled together some thoughts and resources on what I consider the three most common forms of synopses.

Three Forms of Synopses [Read more…]

Words of Encouragement

Valerie Ormond Believing In HorsesI opened my LinkedIn messages last week and found a thoughtful, professional recommendation from a colleague about my Navy life, my writing, and Believing in Horses.

I have known this colleague, Joe, for over 20 years. He was one of my senior officers in the Navy. Joe is the kind of guy who asks how you are doing, waits to hear the answer, and truly cares what you have to say. He is a gentleman, a strategic thinker, and a prolific writer. He can be counted on as the guy in a room who will be the first one to stand up and ask a question during that awkward silence while a speaker is waiting for someone to do so. And Joe asks the hard questions everyone else in the audience wants to know the answers to also. I’ve always had great respect for Joe. [Read more…]