Read Local: Focus on Alanea Alder

Leading up to Read Local, which will be held at Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, I will be spotlighting different authors who will be attending the event. Take a peek at my question and answer session with Alanea…

1) Do you write your first draft by hand or type? I outline by hand, but I type my first draft.

2) Pantser or Plotter? I plot to give myself guide posts to ‘pants’ between.

3) Research- before or during? Both. I usually forget to look up something.

4) Favorite genre to write? Paranormal.

5) What inspired you to write? I have always been an avid reader, so the multitude of books I’ve read.

6) Is there a genre that you haven’t written in yet, but is something that interests you? Paranormal mystery. I love cozy mysteries.

7) Who is the author who has influence you the most? Tamora Pierce and Anne McCaffrey because they write/wrote such strong females.

8) Best piece of advice someone has given you? Write the book you want to read.

9) Who is your favorite author? Tamora Pierce.

10) What is your favorite book on writing/reference source? BehindTheName.com. It helps me choose character names.

Bonus Question: if you could go anywhere for a writer’s retreat, where would it be? A log cabin in the North Carolina mountains.

Thank you, Alanea! If you’d like to hear more, come to our Read Local 3 breakout session at 11:30 am where she will share her perspective on self-publishing. See you there!

Read Local: Focus on Laura Kitchell

Leading up to Read Local, which will be held at Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, I will be spotlighting different authors who will be attending the event. The first is my good friend and fellow Chesapeake Romance Writers’ Member, Laura Kitchell. Take a peek at my question and answer session with Laura…

1) Do you write your first draft by hand or type? I handwrite my first draft.

2) Pantser or Plotter? I’m a plotser. I plot the main points of conflict my character will need to overcome and the story’s ending. Each scene, however, is driven by character and can surprise and delight me as much as the reader.

3) Research- before or during? For my historical romance, I spend nearly a full year in research before beginning the writing, and I will research aspects of lifestyle and/or placement of key historical figures during the writing. For my contemporary romance, research takes place during the writing.

4) Favorite genre to write? My first love in genre is historical. I also adore fantasy but haven’t done more than dabble. I have a major fantasy project planned, though I may not be able to write it until 2019 as I face a year of research before I can put pen to paper.

5) What inspired you to write? I have been writing since high school. I wrote my first novel in 1993 but didn’t begin earnest effort and growth toward publishing until 2004.

6) Is there a genre that you haven’t written in yet, but is something that interests you? I enjoy sci-fi. I haven’t written in this genre, but it interests me.

7) Who is the author who has influence you the most? I don’t know that I necessarily have an author I’ve read who has influenced me in my writing, but I’ve had a mentor in Judi McCoy (may she rest in peace). Judi taught me about the business of writing and dealing with industry professionals in a way that’s both effective and respectful.

8) Best piece of advice someone has given you? The best advice I have received is to view my books as products. As authors, we pour a piece of ourselves into our work, which makes our books personal to us. Many of us view our work as our children. From a professional standpoint, this can be detrimental. We’re more open to suggested improvements from editors and critique partners if we consider our writing a product that’s intended to be marketed and sold.

9) Who is your favorite author? I have a number of authors I enjoy reading. Cheryl Brooks, Madeline Hunter, and Olivia Cunning are only a few.

10) What is your favorite book on writing/reference source? Although many authors find them useful, books that offer tips on writing aren’t part of my library. I do, however, use a number of reference sources. I have a growing library of historical books and books on mythology/legend. My most used sources, though, are Roget’s Thesaurus and Merriam Webster’s Dictionary.

Thank you, Laura!

Read Local 3: Readers Wanted

Looking for new books and new to you authors? Come to Read Local 3 at the Chesapeake Central Library on Saturday, November 4th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We will have authors galore just waiting to talk to you about reading, writing, and publishing. The following authors will be attending: Alanea Alder, Allie Marie, Amy Marie, E. Ayers, E.W. Kirk, James Boyd, Jessica Ruddick, Kristine Overbrook, Laura Kitchell, Milton Jones, Nikolas Larum, Tanya Deloach, and Theresa Mackiewicz.

We will have two break-out sessions: the first at 11:30- Alanea Alder will talk about the pros and cons of self-publishing, and the second at 2:30- several of our authors will present a panel on how to get published.

Throwback Children’s Books (Part Two)

Recently I gave a list of children’s books I read repeatedly as a child, and still like to give as suggestions to children looking for something new to read. Here is a continuation of that list. Like last time, feel free to share your own favorite childhood books in the comments!

Eleven by Lauren Myracle
I got my copy of Eleven in a Barnes & Noble summer reading challenge. Each chapter of Eleven focuses on a distinct event from each month of the year. The stories were funny and frequently reminded me of my own experiences. Myracle puts in a lot of effort to ensure even the smallest details are vivid and memorable. The series in general (especially follow-up books Twelve and Thirteen) is a great, relatable example of tween fiction. Continue reading “Throwback Children’s Books (Part Two)”

War of the Worlds Listening Party

On Halloween Eve, 1938 Orson Welles and his radio troupe “The Mercury Theatre on the Air” were putting the finishing touches on a play to air that night. They had struggled with adapting the book by H.G. Wells, “The War of the Worlds.” Their radio version just wasn’t keeping anyone’s interest. So they spiced it up by including some real names of towns and local institutions.  CBS radio executives quickly squashed those plans and demanded that Welles substitute fake names for those of real places. For instance, “Langley Field” became “Langham Field.” Welles was convinced this would doom the production to be received as a laughable mess. He could not have been more wrong.  Although reports of mass hysteria were exaggerated, the broadcast managed to convince some listeners that an alien invasion of Earth was in progress and that humans all over the world were in peril!

How could this happen? The Mercury Theatre on the Air was not the most popular radio program on Sunday nights. That distinction went to NBC’s Chase and Sanborn show which featured Edgar Bergen and his puppet Charley McCarthy.  So there was speculation that perhaps listeners tuned in late to the War of the Worlds and did not hear the disclaimer at the beginning. Also, it’s important to remember the political events of the time. The U.S. was in a general state of unease and concern over the goings on in Europe in the preceding months and radio was their trusted lifeline to know what Hitler was up to now. When radio presented the public with “information” they believed it. (Fake News was not yet a thing.)

The twenty-three-year-old Welles faced a firestorm of criticism the day after the broadcast when it became clear that some people panicked, especially those in areas near the reported epicenter of the alien landing in New Jersey.  Reports of people committing suicide and dying from heart attacks were never substantiated though, and a single lawsuit that was later filed against CBS was dismissed. The lesson learned for broadcasting was that radio was a powerful medium with tremendous responsibility to the public that should not be taken lightly.

On October 29th from 1:30- 2:30 Russell Memorial Library will host a War of the Worlds Listening Party to hear what all the fuss was about! Participants will take a mini alien home to remember the event and to remind themselves to carefully evaluate the information they receive from media sources in our present time.