Dare to Dream Honored

Somehow, having one’s book honored in an awards contest is a bigger deal than you would think. I was surprised to find myself walking with a lighter step, smiling a little more, and wanting to share the news with everyone: Dare to Dream is a Finalist in the International Book Awards in the Fiction: Young Adult category!International Book Awardsw

The whole writing and publishing experience is akin to a birthing experience. Writing is not an easy process. Some days we sit and struggle with a few words, then after critique partners go through it, maybe we toss those hard-won words aside and start again.

Do we have a good enough opening to “hook” the reader? Does the story continue to flow throughout or does it lose momentum and sag in the middle? Are our characters “real” and people the reader can cheer on to achieve their goals? Is the ending satisfying?

Once you spend weeks, months, even years getting every word “just right,” then, with held breath and jittery anticipation, you send your baby out into the agent/publisher world, only to receive those “Thank you, but this is not right for us at this time” form rejections.

Rejection = dejection.

But, after you collect enough of those letters to wallpaper your office, maybe, just maybe one will be “Yes! We love your story and would like to publish your book.”

Cloud 99, here we come!Dare Cover .5x1

But the next step of the journey has just begun. Once you hold that “baby” in your hands–the first paper copy–then you have to get out there and “sell” it! Marketing is a whole ‘nother game, wearing a different hat. “Please buy my book. It’s great!” We creative types are not always good at putting ourselves out there and tooting our own horns. What to do? Social media, mail campaigns, Facebook events, speaking engagements, arts and crafts fairs, book signings.

All phases of this writing/publishing/marketing journey are hard work.

And so, if you receive some small recognition, like being a finalist in a contest, it is validation. And it gives that small push to keep on doing it!

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Published in: on May 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Cowgirl Up! A Colorful Legend

Cowgirl Up .5x1

Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

Cowgirl Up! A History of Rodeo Women by Heidi M. Thomas captures a small piece of American history that might otherwise be forgotten. I’m talking about the contribution of women to the world of rodeo. Cowgirl Up! specifically concentrates on the contribution of women from Montana during the golden age of rodeo in America. Montana became one of the states holding commercial rodeos in 1896, but rodeo derived from the working world of ranching. Long before the commercial rodeos sprang into being, there were informal local contests to see who was best at roping, riding, and bronco busting. Conditions were terrible sometimes and the pay was not good by today’s standards, but that didn’t stop women from wanting to compete.
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Cowgirl Up! takes this early history and weaves it into colorful legend. There are many famous names from American history here. Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers, Dale Evans, and Annie Oakley are the ones I knew. If you are a real rodeo fan, you will probably recognize names like Lucille Mulhall, Prairie Rose Henderson, and Fanny Sperry. The characters, both men and women, are colorful. The history is rich, and the anecdotes, facts, and biography are very well written. It is obvious that Heidi M. Thomas loves her subject and, if you are a fan of the American West and American history, you do not want to miss Cowgirl Up! It should be on the bookshelf in every school library across America, but especially in states where rodeo played an important part in their history. These women and this sport should not be forgotten.

 

Published in: on May 19, 2016 at 11:47 pm  Comments (2)  
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