Tag: RiverPlace Press

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

RiverPlacePress_logo-e1390950182420

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!

 

 

02
Feb

Lunch with The Publishers!

Snl-so-freakin-excited

Phew! After a long, glorious day, I am finally back in Bemidji and ready to blog. Today, I drove down to Brainerd to have lunch with my fabulous publishers and plan the final touches for the book release party. Some topics we discussed:

  • A new cover design
  • Book Release Invitation Postcards (when they are going out and who is getting them)
  • Preorders
  • Agents
  • The Sequel
  • Contacting booksellers
  • Reviews

We met at Prairie Bay–my absolute favorite restaurant AND consequently where Chip, Jean, and I met. *Cue flashback music and dissolve* It all happened three years ago…

Chip and Jean (owners of RiverPlace Press) were speaking at a publishing panel hosted by Prairie Bay. While they were talking about their company and giving aspiring authors tips on how to get published, I just kept thinking, “I have to introduce myself to them.” After the rest of the panel finished speaking, there was a “meet and greet” mingling part of the event. I took a deep breath and marched myself up to them, being as charming and sophisticated as humanly possible while totally freaking out and trying not to hyperventilate.

This is about how cool I felt.

This is about how cool I felt.

I introduced myself, my book idea, and somehow managed to form full sentences. I told them that I loved the sound of their publishing house and wondered if they could give me any tips on how to get my unfinished manuscript published. For reasons I still cannot fully comprehend, they said, “Sure. How ’bout we meet up for coffee sometime?” I almost passed out.

A few weeks later, I met Chip and Jean at Coco Moon coffee shop in Brainerd. I was dressed in heels, a business jacket and matching skirt, and clutched my synopsis in my awkwardly sweaty hands. They came on bikes and wore jeans. We talked about the publishing business, my aspirations as a writer, and my writing background. Then came the question: “What is your book about?” Luckily, I just happened to bring that sweaty synopsis. After reading it and listening to me babble, they asked me to send them the first few chapters. I emailed it to them as soon as I got home.

Over the next few weeks, I worked on my manuscript and obsessively checked my email. Nothing. “Idiot. As if they would actually publish your book.” At this point, there may have been a lot of binge ice cream eating. *Cue 80’s music and montage of empty ice cream cartons and chick flicks* One day, one glorious day, I received an email from RiverPlace: they wanted to see the whole manuscript. I went into hyper speed. I finished writing and the first round of very rough edits and sent the completed manuscript of what would become Seven Stones to RiverPlace Press.

*End of flashback*

Which all lead to today! The location is booked: Prairie Bay, where our story began, is going to be the venue for the party! We will be accepting preorders in the next few weeks (don’t worry, I will announce the SECOND it becomes a reality), and invitations will be sent out toward the end of February! It is all falling into place! SO much more to do, and so much to plan for the book tour after the release, but I am beyond grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve been given. Thank you for supporting me and sharing this epic journey to becoming a published author!

Happy Monday!

21
Jan

My First Post!

On the scene with Catherine Silver!

On the scene with Catherine Silver!

This is my first blog post EVER. Can you feel the excitement? Well, then, get ready for some more: it is officially two months until the release of my debut novel, Seven Stones!!!! If you are reading this, thank you so much for checking out my website. Though you cannot purchase the book quite yet, I will announce as soon as we begin taking preorders! Feel free to look about and contact me–I’d love to hear from you.

This blog will be a place where I post updates about the book, upcoming events, book giveaways, and daily tidbits into my writing life. I’ll also be sharing the occasional recipe and yoga poses. I absolutely LOVE food, and try to find healthy, tasty recipes to make for my husband and I. Yoga is another big passion of mine. It helps center and calm me when I feel like I can’t focus. I find that getting creative in the kitchen and on the mat helps foster creativity in writing. Plus, then I have a tasty snack to eat while writing, so it is a win-win situation.

Other exciting news: I was featured in the news! Lakeland News did an In Focus story about me and my upcoming novel. For those of you living outside northern Minnesota, In Focus is a weekly news segment that features local artists. It was such a thrill and honor to be interviewed by the great Catherine Silver. Here is the link, if you’d like to view the story! Two months and counting!