First Friday Event @ Beyond Barcodes Bookstore

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This evening, I’ll be hosting a booth at Beyond Barcodes Bookstore as part of First Friday’s in beautiful Downtown Kokomo. This will be my first local author event in like . . . six months. I’m waaaay overdue.

This month’s theme is local artists. Fitting, considering I’m a local author.

From roughly 6:30 pm to 9 pm, I’ll be meeting with potential new readers and selling copies of The Quest for the Holy Something or Other and The Wizard’s GambitI’ll also be sponsoring my local group, The Writer’s Cafe. In hopes of attracting new members, I’ll provide a notebook for a “shared write” activity. It should be a lot of fun.

If you’re in or around Downtown Kokomo tonight, come say hi. If not, chat with me on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Happy Friday!

Voice Talent Jay W. Eccent Brings Characters from “The Wizard’s Gambit” to Life During Open Mic Night

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Every author secretly dreams of the day when their book becomes, not only a bestseller, but a movie as well. Some of those authors are only interested in the money, but most of us just want to see our story come to life in a whole new media. My book has not yet been adapted to the big screen but on Friday, I did have the pleasure of hearing my story read aloud for a live audience . . . well part of the story anyway.

For First Friday’s, Beyond Barcodes Bookstore hosted an Open Mic Night, inviting local artists, musicians, and poets to showcase their talents. The store owner suggested I might be interested in reading a segment from my newest novel. So I did her one better. I invited local voice talent Jay W. Eccent to read a segment from The Wizard’s Gambit, knowing he would bring life to the narrative and characters as he did with the first chapter of my debut novel.

I was not disappointed. Not only did the audience have a laugh or two at some of my puns, but they were impressed by Jay’s vocal talents as well, especially his impression of Wizard White Beard. His representation of Margo wasn’t half-bad either. She didn’t sound as I imagine her, but it was interesting to hear his impression of her.

To be honest, I’ve always wondered what my characters sound like in other peoples’ heads. I’ve had several people attempt to describe to me what they see or hear when they read my stories, but it’s not the same as actually hearing it. So imagine my enjoyment when Jay’s vision of Wizard White Beard matched my own.

Unfortunately, the recording I captured on my phone was really low quality so I don’t really want to share that on my blog, but if you’re interested in hearing Jay’s higher quality recordings, follow the link here to listen to his reading of The Quest for the Holy Something or other. I know you’ll enjoy it!

Have a great week, everyone!

You Should Know This is the Strangest Thing I’ve Ever Done! A Recap on Friday’s … Unusual Author Event

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As a new author, I’ve only attended several actual book signings, including a local author book fair and a book signing at Cook McDoogals. For the most part, these events were pretty standard. Friday’s venue  was probably the most … unusual.

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It’s jolly good!

Every first Friday of the month, downtown Kokomo sponsors a community event geared towards promoting local businesses, artists, etc. The goal is to build a stronger sense of community and promote the growing downtown area. Last Friday, I hosted a booth outside of Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe. Meanwhile a historical group reenacted medieval swordplay in the restaurant’s parking lot–ironic, considering my book centers around knights, sword fights, and quests. LOL. More ironic was that this was not planned; it just sort of happened that we scheduled on the same day.

So was the event successful? I’d say so. I only sold like five books, and one of them was to someone I already knew, but fifty bucks is fifty bucks, and I got my face out there, which is important. I also handed out a good number of business cards and bookmarks containing my information so there’s always the possibility of making a future sale. **Crosses fingers** as I log onto the Kindle Direct Publishing page.

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Huzzah!

More importantly, the event was a lot of fun. Being next to a medieval acting group made the event worthwhile. I got to learn some new information about weapons and armor and witness some fabulous swordplay. The pictures turned out great! And they invited me to their upcoming Renaissance fair right here in Kokomo Indiana! I know my nephew will want to go … he was trying to get free sword lessons during their demonstration. Might have to enroll him in their school one day … but for now, I think we’ll just stick with dance class;)

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Book signings are a great way to gain exposure and meet potential readers!

For those of you who have not hosted a book signing, I strongly encourage you to, despite the meager sales. Nothing beats the feeling of being an author or the thrill of meeting potential new readers. It definitely was a satisfying experience.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m off to Judith Barrow‘s blog to share my experience along with some hilarious pictures!

Happy Monday!

Where’s the Most Unusual Place You’ve Had a Book-Signing?

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Author Judith Barrow

Earlier this week author and fellow blogger Judith Barrow posed the question “Where’s the most unusual place you’ve had a book signing?” Hers was at Kilgetty Pharmacy in Wales.

I know I’ve never thought to host a book signing at a pharmacy or retail store before, but now I’m thinking outside the box.

So far, I’ve attended a local library book fair and have signed up to host a booth at this year’s Kokomo Comic Convention. I figured a fantasy series would do well in a room full of fantasy and science fiction fans.

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It’s jolly good!

Today’s venue is probably the most unusual. During the First Friday event in downtown Kokomo, I’ll be doing a book-signing outside of Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe. Meanwhile a historical group will be reenacting a medieval jousting match in the restaurant’s parking lot. I have a feeling this is going to be a fun and crazy event. I can’t wait! I’ll be sharing pictures Monday morning on both my blog and Judith’s.

So, tell me, where is the most unusual place you’ve had a book-signing? Or better yet, go to Judith’s blog (where the conversation started) and share your experience (with pictures) in the comments section!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Upcoming Author Event – First Friday in Kokomo

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On the 7th of August, which is this Friday, I’ll be hosting a booth at Pepperwhistle Bakery and Cafe in beautiful downtown Kokomo during the First Friday event.

First Friday is a monthly event filled with food, family fun, shopping, arts, music, and more in beautiful downtown Kokomo! It’s an event designed to promote local artists as well as a positive sense of community.

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It’s jolly good!

From 5 pm to 9 pm, I’ll be hosting a booth whereat I will be available to discuss my writing, meet and greet potential readers, and sell copies of my published works. There will also be a reenactment group dressed as knights jousting in the parking lot. (Ironic, considering my current title features knights and such). It’s going to be a fun event!

The event is open to anyone and everyone who’d like to join. Please visit this link to learn more about the restaurant. Hope to see you there!

For those of you who can’t attend the event due to proximity, don’t worry, you won’t be excluded. I’ll be sharing photos and thoughts on the event in Monday’s blog!

5 Reasons to Read Local

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Today’s the big day! My first local authors event, and I’m so excited! I’ve got everything ready from the tablecloth to the decorations, from the books to the bookmarks. If nothing else, the booth will look amazing. Haha! But mostly, I’m looking forward to meeting local readers and having a chance to share my book with them.

I’m aware that most of my followers on WordPress are not from Indiana, so I don’t expect to see you there. And I don’t expect you to get a plane ticket and fly all the way out here either. Haha! But here’s a list of reasons to read local that apply to any local community:


1. You’re supporting your local community.
Local authors are also your neighbors. They live, work, and shop in your community. By purchasing their books, you’re keeping money in the community, which benefits everyone.

2. You’re encouraging others to read.
Writers are artists. Like musicians and painters, they spend years learning and mastering their craft. And like musicians and painters, their craft contributes to the local arts. Art helps communities thrive and attracts tourism, so support your local author.

3. You’ll broaden your horizons.
The bestsellers lists only make up a small portion of the talent that’s out there. If you only read books from that list, you’re missing out on many great authors–maybe even your next favorite author! So give local authors a chance!

4. You’re supporting local literacy.
This might seem a far stretch, but think about it. When we celebrate local authors, we are promoting literacy in our community. Meeting a local author or seeing a work published by one might encourage someone to read or to improve their own reading and writing skills.

5. You’ll encourage future authors.
Nothing motivates young people to take a stab at their dreams like seeing someone else succeed first. If they see local authors being celebrated in their community, they will be more apt to try their own hand at publishing. Won’t somebody think of the children!


Well, that’s 5 reasons, at least, why you should read local. I’m sure there’s 10 or more, but I’m out of time. I’ve got a lot to do before the event. So anyway, wish me luck, and if you do happen to be in Kokomo IN this evening, please stop by and say hello!

Doing the Dream with LeVar Burton and How Self-publishing Helped Me Realize My Dream

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech in which he shared his vision of America. Last Friday, as part of the 11th annual Doing the Dream celebration, famous actor LeVar Burton came to Kokomo Indiana to advise students how they, too, can achieve their dreams. As an accomplished actor and a man who says he’s living his dream, LeVar Burton stood before students “as living and breathing truth that our dreams do indeed come true.”

Over one hundred middle school, high school, and college grade students were in attendance, including students from my program–hence why I could justify going on a Friday. LOL. Yours truly had a front row seat for this inspiring speech.

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LeVar Burton is “living the dream”

For those of you who don’t know him, Burton is well-known for his roles as Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and as host on the popular TV series “Reading Rainbow.” He is best known for his role as Kunte Kinte in the groundbreaking TV series “ROOTS” which united audiences from all walks of life in 1977 when it first aired.

Burton spoke in detail how Martin Luther King Jr., as well as three others, inspired him to achieve his own dreams. He also shared with audiences some words of encouragement as well as advice on how to make their dreams become a reality.

“That which we focus our attention on [while] either sleeping or wide awake … is how we make our dreams come true.”

This quote resonated with me as an author because it validates my opinion that a dream is both a conscious and unconscious nagging which will only come to fruition with hard work, attention, and focus. I did not achieve published author status by sipping coffee and wanting to be an author; I made it happen with hard work, sacrifice, and diligence. While others were out partying, watching television, or hanging out with their boyfriends/girlfriends, I was tapping away at the keyboard.

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Author photo courtesy of The Kokomo Tribune

I actually got the chance to discuss in detail how I achieved my own dream in Sunday’s edition of The Kokomo Tribune. In a candid interview, I shared with readers how I, being discouraged by the cumbersome process of traditional publishing, realized my dream of becoming a published author through e-publishing. I explained to readers how this nontraditional route was the best opportunity for me to reach a wide audience while maintaining creative control over the novel. I also shared how, after three years of tinkering with edits, my debut novel, The Quest for the Holy Something or Other finally came to fruition thanks to this alternative route and my own increased efforts following my mother’s cancer diagnosis in August. For the entire interview, please click here. For more information about the novel, including prices, click here to proceed to the Amazon sales page.

Being a published author, being interviewed by the paper, and hearing LeVar Burton speak in-person–I truly feel like I am “living the dream!” What inspired me most was hearing LeVar Burton validate my views on dreams . . . though his words were far more eloquent than mine. LOL. Still, I think the message is the same and can be summed up in one phrase: “Every person has a purpose, and that purpose is to discover his or her gift and then share it with the world.” -LeVar Burton “Doing the Dream 2015”

Thank you everyone for stopping by on this beautiful, cloudy Monday Morning. Hopefully, the excitement from last week will fuel me through another work week. If not, that’s what coffee’s for;) See you all again soon!