Why #BLTBF

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WHY #BLTBF

Well, here it is. The eve of the 4th Annual Books Love & Taters Book Festival. The tents are up. The tables are set. I’ll be getting up early tomorrow and finishing up the little details before the other authors get here
I’m excited and nervous. Excited, because I get to see some of my really good writing friends. Nervous, because I want everyone to have a great day and feel like the super stars I see them as.

WHY did I start the #BLTBF?
I saw a need to promote literacy. The closest used book store from my town is 30 minutes away. The closest regular book store is an hour and a half. Book festivals? Three hours away any way you travel.
The literacy level in my area is worse than the state’s average, which isn’t good either. I look around and see people who struggle with reading. I wanted them to feel comfortable with words. I wanted to get people excited about literacy.
In 2012, I decided to put together a small festival and hold it within a larger festival. My town, Ocilla, Georgia, hosts the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival every year on the last Saturday of October. A group of authors came. We had a blast! Sold books. Answered questions. Had selfies taken with the public. I decided to do it again and again and this year is Year Four!

I think it makes a difference. People are beginning to notice the festival. The local newspaper, The Ocilla Star, gives #BLTBF a great shout out too.

If you are in Ocilla tomorrow, look for the yellow MEET THE AUTHORS banner. Step in and say hello. I’d love to meet you!

Until next time,

Happy Writing
~t

Writing Wednesday Blog Party

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At this year’s SCBWI Southern Breeze’s #WIK15 conference, Lisa Lewis Tyre came up with a great idea…
To have a blog party talking about writing in general, tips, and other ideas we could combine.

I decided to reblog my post about an ideas jar. This is something I do myself. With #PiBoIdMo right around the corner, I’m sure I’ll be adding a lot more ideas to my jar in November. I have found having an ideas jar, where my ideas stare at me, is a great thing when I need to get out of a rut.

Click over to my post…

http://wp.me/pab6o-nr

…Then go check out Lisa Lewis Tyre’s post and join the party!

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

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#PB challenge – #PiBoIdMo

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#PB challenge – #PiBoIdMo

It’s almost November and that means it is almost Picture Book Idea Month!!!!!

Tara Lazar is the brianiac behind PiBoIdMo, and it has been going for several years.  It’s a great way to add to (or begin) your idea jar/folder. All that is required is for you to come up with 30 ideas (a title, a character, a setting, a plot) in 30 days.

Register now to qualify for prizes and goodies. Even if you don’t register, you can still participate. After all, 30 ideas is a pretty good win-win situation to me! Everything is on the honor system. You keep your ideas to yourself and you take a pledge that you completed the challenge.

So go over to TARA’S BLOG HERE and register! Grab a participant badge (like mine above). And get ready to be inspired!

Until next time!

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
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#BLTBF – Meet Tracey M. Cox

BLT-logo#BLTBF – Meet Tracey M. Cox

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Last up is me – Tracey M. Cox.

Q:   What genres do you enjoy writing in?
Tracey: I love to write picture books. I like to think of myself as a 4 1/2 year old that refuses to grow up.

Q:   Can you tell us a little about your books?
Tracey:  I have eight picture books out now.

  1. Shaping Up the Year – teaches shapes and holidays found on the American calendar.
  2. Ribbert’s Way Home – Allows readers to see the main character to overcome his fear of moving and other fears.
  3. Liddil Gets Her Light – Allows readers to see the main character take on a problem, create short term goals and build on them to reach her long term goal.
  4. Just the Thing to Be – Allows readers to see our two main characters see how embracing yourself and what you are good at is the best thing you can do. 
  5. Angels Do That – Encourages readers to see the little miracles that occur in our every day life.
  6. Arachnabet – An alphabet book on spiders and some of their common traits.
  7. The Children at the Playground – Encourages readers to get out and play, exercise, and eat healthy.
  8. Clare’s Christmas Wish – Allows readers to see the point of view of two children, one better off than the other, and how both learn that to give of themselves is the best present one can receive. 

Q:   What made you decide to pursue writing professionally?

Tracey:   I have always enjoyed writing and creating stories. My papa use to tell me some of his own when I was little. In school, I always had great grades when it came to creative writing. But I never thought of taking it further, until one January night in 2000. My older two wanted me to tell them a story before they went to bed. Son#2 was asleep before the story ended. But Son#1 stayed awake til the very end. When it was over, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mom, THAT would make a cool book.”. He went to sleep. Me? I thought, “Why not?” and went to my computer and typed in how to become a children’s writer. I haven’t looked back. 

Q:   What others genre(s) or subject(s) would you like to write?
Tracey:   I would like to try my hand a mg or ya. I have a few mss that are collecting dust. Maybe I will get back to them.

Q:   If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?
Tracey:   Hands down — EVE BUNTING! She a wonderful writer and a complete inspiration to me. She is one of those writers that can write any thing and write it well. She can write cross genre from picture book to mid grade to young adult. She has written across topics too, from butterflies to homelessness to racism. I hope to accomplish at least half as much as her. 

For those of you who may not know, The Books Love & Taters Book Festival takes place during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla, Georgia. This is my little town and it’s a big to-do around here. 😀 Every year, we take on a different theme. This year “There’s No Place Like Home” (The Wizard of OZ) was chosen.
Q:   Who is your favorite Wizard of OZ character and why?
Tracey:   The witch.  She is a complex character. She is suffering, because of the loss of her sister. She feels as if she is being wronged. After all her sister’s killer is rewarded with shoes. And she doesn’t even have the respect of her people. Still she carries on.

Q:   Whose qualities do you like the most and why:

Tinman – Heart
Lion – Bravery
Scarecrow – Brains
Dorothy – Dreamer
Tracey:   I like Dorothy. She shows people to look beyond what lies in front of them. To dream and to never give up.

Thanks bunches!

ABOUT   TRACEY M. COX:

Tracey2

 

Tracey M. Cox lives in Ocilla, Georgia. She is an author and loves to be involved in the KidLit community. After looking around her community, she realized the need to get people excited about reading. That was when the idea of starting a book festival came to her. Tracey is the founder/director of the Books Love & Taters Book Festival. She is also in the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). Within that organization she is the Local Liaison for South Georgia and webmaster for the Southern Breeze region. She is also a KidLit.TV team member and enjoys promoting literacy whenever she can.

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SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
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ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHomecoverart LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 A8x150 The Children At the Playground

#BLTBF – Meet Janie Hopwood

BLT-logo#BLTBF – Meet Janie Hopwood

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Fifth up is Janie Hopwood.

Me:   Hi Janie. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Me:   What genres do you enjoy writing in?
Janie: I like to write poetry, Historical fiction, fiction, and children’s stories.

Me:   Can you tell us a little about your books?
Janie:  First book, Beck House, began as a non-fiction group of stories concerning my Grandmother’s boarding house.  At the time, I had three relatives that had either lived in the house or eaten there on a regular basis.  As I questioned them, I realized I was getting three versions of the same story so I decided to make the book fiction and add stories, include stories that did not occur in the Beck House. Beck House is a collection of short stories.  One of the stories concerned a young boy abandoned by his parents.  The first part of this story is true according to tapes in which my Aunt Sybil talks about the boy; how he came to live with them and why he left.  She mentions that he had visited Rena as a man but nothing more.  I fell in love with this courageous lad and decided to invent him a life history.  The Forever Child is about surviving in spite of and sometimes because of what life throws at you.

Me:   What made you decide to pursue writing professionally?
Janie:   I have no idea.  Someone told me that I needed to get Beck House published and I did.

Me:   What others genre(s) or subject(s) would you like to write?
Janie:   I want to write a mystery novel, I have one started but have bogged down, and have an idea for another more contemporary story.

Me:   If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?
Janie:   Pat Conroy, my two favorite books are Beach Music and To Kill  a Mockingbird.  Love Conroy”s ability to tell seven stories in one book and to keep it all together.

Me:   For those of you who may not know, The Books Love & Taters Book Festival takes place during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla, Georgia. This is my little town and it’s a big to-do around here. 😀 Every year, we take on a different theme. This year “There’s No Place Like Home” (The Wizard of OZ) was chosen.
My question to you is, who is your favorite Wizard of OZ character and why?
Janie:   The wizard.  He took an awful situation, turned it into a great situation and still knew when to leave.

Me:   Whose qualities do you like the most and why:

Tinman – Heart
Lion – Bravery
Scarecrow – Brains
Dorothy – Dreamer
Janie:   I like Dorothy for not only her dreaming but her courage, brains, and heart.

Me: Thanks bunches, Janie!

ABOUT JANIE HOPWOOD:

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Janie Hopwood was born in Americus Georgia in 1943.  The family moved to Macon Georgia shortly thereafter and Mrs. Hopwood attended the public schools of Macon, graduating with honors in 1961.  She attended Georgia Southern College majoring in physical education and health.  Upon graduation from college, Mrs. Hopwood was offered a graduate assistants position while she worked on her MST degree.  Once the degree was finished, she accepted a teaching and coaching position in the Dekalb County School system where she taught physical education and coached girls basketball and tennis.  After one year, she was offered a teaching position with Georgia Southern and taught there for two years after which, she married and moved to Monroe Georgia.  She also taught in Waycross Georgia where both of her daughters were born, and Lawrenceville Georgia.  After a divorce she moved her family to Tifton Georgia.  Here she met and married Jerry Hopwood.  She retired from teaching in 1997 and currently spends her time writing, working in the community and spending time with husband, children, and grandchildren. Mrs. Hopwood published her first novel Beck House in 2009.  Followed by an offshoot novel The Forever Child in 2014.

SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST.
Easy, peasy buttons found below.
* Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my
Newsletter sign up page.
ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHomecoverart LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 A8x150 The Children At the Playground

#BLTBF – Meet Rick A. Register

BLT-logo #BLTBF – Meet Rick A. Register

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Fourth up is Rick A. Register.

Me: Hi Rick. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Me: What genres do you enjoy writing in?

Rick: I enjoy writing quirky fiction, mixed with realism.

Me: Can you tell us a little about your books?

Rick: My first book is titled “A Turkey Loves my Wife” It’s an offbeat love story, filled with adventure and romance. My style of writing is a little left of the norm.

Me: What made you decide to pursue writing professionally?

Rick: I was originally an art major in college and always assumed I would pursue that field. I started writing seriously, although scarcely, when I was in my teens. I had a lot of crazy ideas, but nothing gelled. The voice I needed seemed to gain greater clarity as got older. The desire to write a book stuck with me and it has been one of the most enjoyable and challenging things I have ever completed. Hopefully, I’ll have my second offering ready next year.

Me: What others genre(s) or subject(s) would you like to write?

Rick: I love short stories and even my own brand of odd poetry. The ultimate goal is to move beyond novella status and crank out a novel.

Me: If you could meet one author, who would you choose and why?

Rick: This is a tough question. My wife will tell you that I don’t have a favorite anything, so it’s always hard for me to narrow it down to one. I will give you a few examples of what I consider masterful-
John Steinbeck- All of his work. I love his phasing and imagery.
Clement C. Moore- ‘Twas the night before Christmas, an incredible piece of writing.
Ezra Jack Keats- The Snowy Day, A kids book that book stuck with me in 60’s and is still with me.
James Hearst- The Scarlet Ibus. I pay a slight homage to this, my favorite short story, in my own book. The first story that really moved me.
Stan Lee- He fueled my imagination, the reason I loved to read as a kid.
I’ll take a meeting with any of these guys

Me: For those of you who may not know, The Books Love & Taters Book Festival takes place during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla, Georgia. This is my little town and it’s a big to-do around here. 😀 Every year, we take on a different theme. This year “There’s No Place Like Home” (The Wizard of OZ) was chosen.
My question to you is, who is your favorite Wizard of OZ character and why?

Rick: All I can say about the Wizard of Oz, is that I am intrigued by the lore of Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the Moon album lining up in perfect sync with the movie.

Me: Whose qualities do you like the most and why:

Tinman – Heart
Lion – Bravery
Scarecrow – Brains
Dorothy – Dreamer

Rick: Gonna have to go with Dorothy, as writers, we’re all dreamers.

Me: Thanks bunches, Rick!

ABOUT RICK A. REGISTER:

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As far back as I can remember, I have always had an interest in art, photography and all things visual. I discovered a flair for writing while in high school, and eventually recognized it to be my real passion. My first offering shares an imaginary world, built on ideas created for my wife and two sons. In my down time, I’m an avid runner and enjoy other athletic pursuits.

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SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

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Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

 

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
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* Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other
tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my
Newsletter sign up page.
ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHomecoverart LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 A8x150 The Children At the Playground

#BLTBF – Meet E.M. Knowles

BLT-logo #BLTBF – Meet E. M. Knowles

Hello everyone. I wanted to introduce the authors who will be at Book Love & Taters Book Festival on October 31st.

Third up is E.M. Knowles, who sent in a video.

Thanks bunches, E.M.! LOVE the video!!!

ABOUT E.M. KNOWLES:

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As a graduate of Columbia College with a B.A. in psychology and sociology, and as enraptured by current events as she is history, E.M. Knowles’ fiction leans to the cerebral and macabre. Her novels have been consecutive award winners with Diary of Mimosa Creek (NaNoWriMo 2012) Iona (2013), The Yawning Veil (2014).

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SHOW SOME LINKY LOVE:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Thanks for stopping by everyone. Please visit the Books Love & Taters Book Festival website. AND if you are in the Ocilla, Georgia area, stop by October 31st. You’ll find all of us at the “MEET THE AUTHORS” booth.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!
~t

* Don’t miss one post! Email sign ups are over here —>
* Did you enjoy this post? Feel free to LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT ON THIS POST. Easy, peasy buttons found below.
* Sign up for my N E W S L E T T E R ! I will be sharing writing challenges and other tidbits related to the kidlit industry. Click ~HERE~ to be directed to my
Newsletter sign up page.
ShapingUptheYearcoverart RibbertsWayHomecoverart LGHL-small justthethingtobe8x300 ADT-8x150 A8x150 The Children At the Playground