Tag: kat’s book nook

07
Aug

Friday Favorites: Bemidji Favorites

See ya later, Paul & Babe!

See ya later, Paul & Babe!

This Friday, I want to focus on all my favorite parts of our time in Bemidji. Though we were only here for ten months, it really has been a wonderful experience–mostly because of all the truly AMAZING people we’ve come to know and love. So, here is a look back at our days in the North Woods!

The Little Red Duplex

We were incredibly lucky to find such a great place to live. After living in apartments since we got out of college, Shane and I were ready for more space and a yard of our own. It is cozy, inviting, and really became our home in just a short period of time. Here’s a (terrible) video that I shot during our first weeks in Bemidji. Shane has since critiqued my camera work (which is pretty hilariously bad), but it gives you an idea of what our house looked like between all the blurred images. Hey, I never said I was a photographer. I do words, people. 🙂

Region 2 Arts Council

I couldn’t have done any of my marketing or publicity without the generous folks at the Region 2 Arts Council. They awarded me the Individual Artist Grant back in March so I could hire my wonderful publicist, Krista, to plan my book tour, and Christy of Brown Design to create the Seven Stones Book Trailer. Without the financial and professional support of the Council, I definitely wouldn’t be able to reach as many readers!

Check out the original post about the Artist Grant!

My First Book Signing

The table!

Thanks, Kat’s Book Nook!

My very first book tour stop was at Kat’s Book Nook in Bemidji. I was SO nervous and excited to actually be doing my first ever book signing! So many people showed up to support me, and I ended up having a wonderful time. I can’t thank Kat enough, or the community for their amazing support. Bemidji gave me a great start to my book tour, and helped boost my confidence as an author!

Check out the original post from May 16th!

Evening Horse Rides

We're BFFs

We’re BFFs

Imagine riding through a lush, forested state park at sunset on a gorgeous chestnut mare with a great friend by your side. Afterwards, a group of tiny, fuzzy kittens literally romp all over you in the stable. Yup, I got to live a 12 year old girl’s dream thanks to my friend and fellow Packer fan, Kori. I had SUCH great times with her, the horses (my best friend, Firefly, is pictured above), and the barn cats. It was beyond amazing to be able to hit the trails anytime we wanted.

I got to take my very last ride (*sob*) Wednesday night while the sun was setting in brilliant oranges and reds. It was cool, windless, and quiet–a perfect night for a ride, and one that I badly needed. I was super stressing about the move and packing, but once I was in the saddle, everything was okay. I’m sure going to miss our rides, but I’ve got great memories to take with me to Mankato!

Bemidji Community

Northern Lights Farm

For a little town, this place provided us with AWESOME amenities. My favorites were the beautiful Harmony Co-Op, the local board game store (Accidentally Cool Games), the Bemidji Public Library, and our fresh from the farm CSA. I hope Mankato treats us as well as Bemidji!

The PEOPLE!

We love you, Bemidji Friends!

We love you, Bemidji Friends!

Last, and most importantly, we are going to miss all of our friends! We have met amazing people during our time here, and have had some great times! Some of the highlights of our months here:

Jane Austen Tea Party

Outdoor Movie & Video Games

Thank you to everyone who made us feel loved and welcome. We will miss you from the bottom of our hearts! Friends will ALWAYS be welcome in Mankato! Stop by anytime. I’m sure I’ll have something delicious cooking, a board game to play, and a pot of tea to share.

Happy Friday!

 

18
May

Book Signing at Kat’s Book Nook!

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My first book signing

On Saturday, I got to spend a lovely afternoon at Kat’s Book Nook in Bemidji surrounded by good books, good friends, and a couple of cats. How was the signing, you ask? FANTASTIC! Gosh, I can’t tell you how much I just LOVE meeting people and talking about my book. Love, love, love. It is a dream come true and I soak up every second of it.

The table!

The table!

I set up my table at Kat’s around 12:40 (because when I’m nervous, I show up early and prep). Since I was early, I got to chat with Kat and play with her adorable kitties…one of whom thought the dreamcatcher I brought to decorate the table was the BEST TOY EVER. Convincing her not to eat it was a feat, but she managed to control herself for the most part.

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Ready for my adoring public!

Then, the people started arriving–thank goodness, I thought. Thank you to everyone who came out to support me, talk about my book, get a copy signed, and check out a fabulous local bookstore. I’d been nervous beforehand because this was my first official signing, but it was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again!

Lakeland News crew!

Lakeland News crew!

What’s even better is the crew from Lakeland arrived to film the book signing for another In Focus segment and to get footage for my upcoming Common Ground segment! I had a blast doing the interview with Lakeland reporter Kathleen Cohen. In Focus airs as the last piece on the 10 o’clock news this Friday on PBS. If you aren’t in the viewing area, I’ll be posting it to my Facebook wall and on my website. 🙂

The people are arriving! Time to sign books!

The people are arriving! I had to put my camera away and sign books!

After the book signing, I got to celebrate with friends at Udom’s in Hackensack. Since moving up to Northern Minnesota, I thought I was destined to never eat Thai food unless I made it myself. Luckily, Udom’s is only an hour away from Bemidji and totally, 100% worth the drive. It’s also half-way between Brainerd and Bemidji, so Shane and I met a group of friends from Brainerd and had an amazing night. Cheers!

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Time to celebrate!

What a wonderful weekend, and it is only the beginning of the book tour! More signings, talks, and author events are on their way! If I’m not stopping by your hometown, shoot me an email and I can also make appearances at book clubs and other organizations. I’d love to talk about Seven Stones with you.

Happy Monday! 🙂

03
Apr

Friday Favorites: Local Edition!

If the past few weeks have taught me anything–and boy have they taught me a lot–it is the awesome power of local. Being an independent artist (and YES, I feel pretty cool writing that. Though to be clear, my visual artistic talents are basically limited to stick figures), it is gratifying, humbling, and inspiring to realize the incredible local support that exists for aspiring writers. It was not something I expected to find when we moved to the Northwoods. So, that got me thinking: how many resources and artistic organizations exist in our communities that we don’t know about? There are probably resources at your finger tips that you aren’t aware of that could help make your passion a reality.

So, for this Friday Favorites post, I thought I’d share a little more about some of my favorite local organizations, booksellers, and people that have made my writing career (SQUEEEEE! I get to say career now 🙂 ) possible. My hope is that perhaps after seeing so many great resources available in my local area, maybe you’ll be inspired to seek out opportunities in your own town!

RiverPlace Press

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My publishers are definitely at the top of this list. Big shock, I know. I love the fact that RiverPlace is right in Minnesota, and is run by two of the best people in the world. Because RiverPlace is a local press, I was able to really form relationships with Chip and Jean, and had a lot of say in the design elements of the novel as well as the editing process (something that does not often happen in the publishing world). Seven Stones was truly a team effort, and the support I continue to get from RiverPlace is unheard of.

Smaller, independent publishing houses and presses produce quality books and promote local artists. If you search for publishing options in your area, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Blue Cottage Agency

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of Krista and her team! She is helping me promote myself better and reach a wider audience. Usually when you think of “agents” or “publicists” you may imagine they all work in swanky skyscrapers in New York City and are far too busy and important to see you. Krista does have a pretty swanky office, but she represents Minnesota authors right from downtown Brainerd. And she is completely 100% fabulous.

Local Booksellers

I could spend hours in a book store–just ask my husband. Local book stores have always been favorites because they each have their own feel and often carry books you can’t find anywhere else. I am proud to say that MY book is on the shelves of several local book stores in Bemidji, with more to come thanks to Krista! Since early March, I started contacting the independent booksellers in town and they have been awesome! If you want to support your local economy, independently owned businesses are the way to do it. Thanks to Big River Scoop, Kat’s Book Nook, Harmony Co-Op, Accidentally Cool Games, and Book World for supporting Seven Stones!

Region 2 Arts Council

I think I made it pretty clear with the last few posts how much I appreciate the Region 2 Arts Council. 🙂 The fact that they offer grants that open doors for local artists is huge. The crazy thing is that I never really knew about any sort of art grants before moving to the area. I was applying for school scholarships at the time and thought maybe there were similar funds for writing. I asked the reference librarian at my local library about art grants, and she directed me to the Arts Council. If you have a project that is on hold due to lack of funds, check out what grants or artistic groups are available in your area.

YOU!

YES! YOU ARE MY FAVORITE! None of this would be happening without you. By reading my blog, spending your hard earned money on my book, liking my posts on Facebook, you are supporting my dream of being an author. You seriously have no idea the power you have as a consumer, and by buying local you are using your powers for good. Thank you. I love you. 🙂

Book of the Week:

book-review-writing-tools

It has been a while since I’ve encountered a good writing guide, and I’ve heard some really great things about this one. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer seems like it offers tips for writers of all levels. I’m personally looking for strategies on making and keeping writing schedules and always in search of inspiration. I plan on curling up on Saturday with this book, my big fluffy blanket, and a pot of Irish Breakfast tea.

Happy Friday!

 

 

25
Mar

Author Events!

Taking these bad boys on the road...

Taking these bad boys on the road…

Now that the book is officially released, it’s time to really spread the word! I have been amazed at how many people have been sharing Facebook posts, Tweeting, and telling friends about Seven Stones. THANK YOU! I am very eager to hear what you think about my book. Please feel free to post reviews on the Seven Stones Amazon page and on GoodReads. Word of mouth and personal reviews are an awesome way to get the word out on a good book. 🙂

And in other exciting news: it is time to begin planning THE BOOK TOUR!!!!! We’ve been putting together a schedule of author events and appearances, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve decided to truly kick-off the book tour in May because I’ll be done with grad classes for the semester and able to focus on all things literary (including finishing the sequel by September). I can’t WAIT!!! Here is the list of author events and appearances that I am scheduled for so far. There are some events that are still being worked out (more details to follow), and I’m hoping to add more events as the summer draws nearer! Stay tuned for updates!

Seven Stones Book Tour

Also, I’ve had several people ask me about book clubs. My answer is YES! I would be honored to come to your book club and discuss my book. Just give me enough heads up and I will be there (or Skype)!

And for any of my Minnesota friends who may have missed the book release in Brainerd: my first official book signing will be in BEMIDJI! Even if you did happen to make it to the book release, please feel free to stop by and say hi!

That’s all for now!

Happy Wednesday!