Tag: Region 2 Arts Council


Seven Stones Book Trailer!


Seven Stones has an official book trailer!

I have been waiting for this day ever since I learned that I had been awarded the Region 2 Arts Council Individual Artist Grant back in March. I knew what kind of trailer I wanted, and I knew exactly who I wanted to work with. For the past month, I’ve had the great fortune to have the wonderful and talented Christy Brown of Brown Design in Brainerd, Minnesota craft an absolutely stunning book trailer. From the first rough proof to the finished product, being a part of the design process has been incredible! Christy not only understood the heart and essence of Seven Stones, she also makes me look and feel all swanky and important every time I view her creation (which is about once every five minutes).

I am very proud to share this trailer with you, and hope you share it with others! 🙂

What do you think?!

Happy Monday!


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


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.


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:


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!




Friday Favorites!

Happy Dance!

Can EVERYTHING about this past week be considered my favorite things? Well, almost everything (homework is not making the list). Seriously, between the book release, online sales, and signing orders, I’ve been dancing through this week. I’d be lying though, if I said there weren’t two things that top my list this week. Two pieces of news I received this week absolutely blew my mind and are possible because of the wonderful people at the Region 2 Arts Council.

I am very excited to announce that I am the recipient of the 2015 McKnight Foundation Individual Artist Grant!

I applied for the grant back in February to help boost my publicity budget. I asked for $2,000 to hire a publicist to organize a book tour, cover gas expenses, and hire a graphic designer to make an online book trailer. On Wednesday, I got a letter from the Arts Council telling me that I was awarded the full amount!!! Thanks to the generous support of the arts in Northern Minnesota, I’m going to be able to expose my novel to a wider audience and take my writing career to the next level.

I am happy to say that I will be working with the lovely and fabulous Krista Soukup from Blue Cottage Agency and Christy Tobin from Brown Design to help bring Seven Stones to as many readers as possible. I can’t wait to begin working with these wonderful ladies!

Writing Mentor

In addition to the grant (I know, what could top that?!), I was asked by the Arts Council to be a mentor for aspiring writers in the Bemidji area. I’ve already been paired with my mentee, and will be meeting with her for the first time this weekend. I can’t wait to dust off my teaching skills and share my experiences with a fellow writer. It is such an honor to be offered this position!

As you can see, I’ve had a pretty awesome week. I cannot believe that I not only was chosen to receive the Individual Artist Grant, but was asked to be a mentor as well! The level of support for the arts that exists in such a rural area of the state is just astounding. I am incredibly grateful for both opportunities–I actually feel like a real professional. 🙂 If you are an aspiring artist, I highly recommend checking out the local art grants available in your area. You might be surprised by what you find!

That’s my week! Do you have any fabulous news to share?

Happy Friday!