Posted on June 27, 2015
OMG. Yesterday was the best day ever because of the SCOTUS decision to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide!! And for me it got just a little better, this time in a professional way. 🙂 My daughter who attends Georgetown University and is doing a summer law internship in Washington, DC took this photo!!
The Red Sheet is a Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB BOOK of the Year AWARD WINNER!!! 🙂 😀 **Announced at American Library Association Annual Conference tonight in San Francisco.
“Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Winners Announced: (Here’s the article)
June 26, 2015—Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards, judged by a select group of librarians and booksellers from around the country, were announced this evening at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Representing hundreds of independent and university presses of all sizes, INDIEFAB winners were selected after months of editorial deliberation with more than 1,500 entries in 63 categories. This year’s list of winners includes the Dalai Lama, Lev Grossman, Jeet Heer, Chuck Palahniuk, Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kent State University Press, Rizzoli, Abingdon Press, Quirk Books, Cleis Press, and Six Sisters Stuff, among others. The winners represent the best work coming from today’s indie authors and publishers.
Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention awards were determined by a panel of librarians and booksellers along with Foreword’s editorial staff. The Editor’s Choice prize for Fiction was awarded to Out There, written by Sarah Stark and published by the Sante Fe publisher Leaf Storm Press. Joggling Board Press, an unconventional publishing house dedicated to books that amplify the spirit of the American southeast, was honored as the Editor’s Choice in Nonfiction for Edisto River, by Larry Price, Rosie Price, and Susan Kammeraad-Campbell.
Foreword presented Lee & Low Books with its Publisher of the Year award for the minority-owned company’s commitment to diverse voices in children’s literature. Lack of diversity in children’s literature has been a recent topic of discussion in the publishing world, but Lee & Low has focused on filling this void for a couple of decades. “For more than 20 years, Jason Low and his talented team have continued an honorable mission of increasing the number of diverse books available for children,” said Foreword Reviews Publisher Victoria Sutherland. “They are being honored by Foreword for more than books, however. We admire their leadership role in the indie publishing community.”
Foreword’s INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards program was created to discover distinctive books from the indie publishing community across a number of genres. What sets the awards apart is that final selections are made by working librarians and booksellers based on their experience with patrons and customers.”
Thank you to my readers, reviewers, friends (and lurkers) for sharing in my profound joy that an LGBTQ YA work of romantic fiction was recognized!!
Posted on June 17, 2015
I thought that today we would try a little experiment. 😉
Are you game? Wonderful!! Now, I am going to have to insist that you ask no questions, and just read the script below. Okay? Great. (And Chance César from Love Spell would love this game as he is not above having this type of fun.)
Make yourself nice and comfortable.That’s good.
Let’s start by taking a deep breath in…
Yes, very nice. Now hold this breath for a second or two.
And now release it nice and slowly, and release, as well, the stress of your day. Excellent…
Let go every last bit of your tension. A warm tingly sensation flows from your head to your neck to your back and belly, to your private areas, to your thighs and calves and feet. Oh, and your arms. And hands. Um… did I mention your shoulders?
You are getting very sleepy.
You may begin to feel as if your eyelids are becoming very heavy, and you may want to go to sleep, but you must keep your eyes open.
As you read each sentence on this script, you drop down deeper into relaxation.
Just focus on the words. Yes, just like that…
Focus on the pictures. You cannot look away….
Clear your mind of all thoughts except what the words and pictures bring forth.
From the hairs on the top of your head to the tip of your baby toe you feel warm, relaxed, and wonderful as you read the words and study the pictures.
The items in the pictures bring on feelings of happiness and pleasure, like rays of sunlight washing over your entire body.
(I had trouble choosing an image)
You will surrender to the desires you are experiencing based on the images you are seeing. You will not fight your urges…
You will allow feelings of unmitigated joy to surface when you hear or see the words, “Love Spell.”
You will experience an unquenchable desire to possess the story of Chance César’s struggle to make Jazz Donahue fall in love with him.
You NEED to purchase LOVE SPELL!! by Mia Kerick…. It’s on Amazon…. Just saying….
It feels so good to relax and know that Love Spell by Mia Kerick will soon be yours.
You feel so happy and peaceful as you envision the light pink, heart-covered book (yes, Love Spell by Mia Kerick) in your extremely relaxed hands.
Thanks to Love Spell by Mia Kerick all stress is gone from your body and your life. And the entire world, for that matter.
Thanks to Love Spell by Mia Kerick you are completely at peace.
Love Spell by Mia Kerick fulfills your every reading desire.
Yes, that’s good. Breathe in… hold it… now release your breath.
In a moment I will count down from five to one. With each number I count you will become more committed to your need to purchase Love Spell by Mia Kerick. When I get to one you will wake up feeling refreshed and in the mood to shop online.
5 – Let yourself go completely, give yourself up to your urge to shop and then read a “whimsical love story that will make you laugh and cry”
4- Every number is an opportunity to further accept your need for Love Spell by Mia Kerick.
3- You feel better (and more sure of what you want to do with your $4.99) than you have ever felt in your life.
2- You will respond “I obey” when you hear me say number one
You will go to www.Amazon.com and conduct a search in the Kindle Store for Love Spell by Mia Kerick….
1- “I obey”
(You know what to do now.)
I’m in the mood for a contest… an old-fashioned throw the names in a hat and pick a winner contest!!
Prize will be Mia Kerick-related, depending upon your location- in the US I can mail you stuff, out of the US it will have to be something I can email you.
SO COMMENT and leave email address and I will enter your name!!
I’ll give it a few days before I draw a name… no set date so DO IT NOW!! (say “I obey, Momma Mia”)
It was lovely spending time with you today. Hehehehe…..
Posted on June 12, 2015
Here is my Lit Pick Interview “Six Minutes With an Author.”
Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—most named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her YA stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people, their relationships, and relevant issues in the lives of teens. When Mia was a teen, she filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes and YoungDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.
Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
SIX MINUTES WITH MIA KERICK:
Today Mia Kerick joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Mia is the author of both Young Adult and Adult fiction books. Some of her YA books are Intervention, Not Broken, Just Bent, Us Three, Come to My Window, and the just released Love Spell. Mia’s four children are named after saints, her five cats are named after Boston Red Sox players, and she has been married over twenty-two years. Mia’s major regret in life is that she never took typing or computer class in school, and is therefore a two-fingered typist. The American Library Association (ALA) has designated June 2015 as GLBT Book Month™, which makes this the perfect time for Mia’s interview.
How did you get started writing?
I have always been a dreamer, easily absorbed by all things make pretend. As a grade school kid, I could express my creativity and whimsy through play-acting. For example, my sister, her best friend, and I were members of an indigenous society when we played outside by the stream in our woodsy backyard. We made tiny pots out of the claylike sand we found on the banks of the stream, and we created complex shelters out of sticks that would put contestants on Naked and Afraid to shame. I also frequently played with dolls—large (baby dolls) and small (Barbie Dolls). Sometimes I was a young mother on the run (can’t remember what exactly I was running from) living in a dingy motel room (my bedroom) with a cranky newborn baby (Mattel’s Baby Tender Love) to care for. Other times my Barbie and Skipper were Olympic gymnasts who specialized in floor exercises (my summer Olympics obsession). If worse came to worse and no dolls were available, I could create a soap opera saga for a leaf family—the Maples adopt an Oak baby when a harsh and hazardous autumn breeze blows away Oak baby’s parents. I even played with rocks—and I’m not talking about those cute painted ones with little faces that look like frogs. I’m referring to your basic sidewalk stone, dirt-covered and lacking all traces of glamour. Inducing some of my less imaginative neighbors to play rock family was, at times, tricky.
The amount of time I spent making pretend with the neighborhood kids diminished as we entered the teen years, and although I will confess to breaking out my Barbie dolls sporadically until the age of seventeen, I shifted my expressive outlet mainly to writing. An interesting fact: at about age fifteen I wrote the basis of the story that at age forty-five became my first published novel, Beggars and Choosers. All of my characters resembled 1980’s rock and roll singers (think REALLY BIG hair), and I was one of the romantic leads.
So, in short, which this answer was not, I have a powerful imagination, which maturing did nothing to lessen. And so my play-acting shifted from acting things out with my body, to acting them out with toys and dolls and yes, sometimes leaves, to acting them out in my head through my writing.
Who influenced you?
My primary influence has long been my older sister, the one I’d been trying to keep up with ever since we belonged to the same indigenous family in my backyard as children. After experiencing a mutual admiration—no, not obsession, we just liked him a lot—for the Edward Cullen character from Twilight, my sister was moved to write. And yes, her little sister was hot on her heels. Part of our relationship is now “book talk”, where we discuss what we are working on, ask questions of each other, and offer honest opinions.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I will again own up to my strong appreciation of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. And in particular, I adore the character of Edward Cullen. I will also admit that I when I first read Twilight, I wasn’t quite certain why Edward affected me so much. I asked myself, “Why on earth do you spend so much time wondering ‘what would Edward do’ in this situation?” Could it be that I was merely influenced by the multitudes of beautiful images in the media of the actor, Robert Pattinson, who played Edward? Was I so shallow that a near-perfect physical representative of a character in a book could influence me to such a degree?
With relief, though, I realized that I had some real reasons for buying into this character. First, you must know that I am a romance reader and writer.
I believe in love…
I believe that love is love…
I believe that love can save…
To sum it up, love is, in my opinion, a many splendid thing.
And what I love about Edward is the way he loves Bella. Not only is his love for her all-consuming, and completely self-sacrificial, in nature, but it is also dangerous. He is dangerous. He is the very bad good guy, or maybe the very good bad guy, that so many of us can’t get enough of in our romance reading.
Prior to reading Twilight, I almost strictly read historical romance. So, for setting and time period, it had never been contemporary backdrops for me. In fact, another character I favor (all-consuming and self-sacrificial and dangerous love: check, check, and check) is Mr. Rochester of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. I enjoy reading about the propriety of life in historical fiction.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
My most successful YA novels have been the ones in which I totally cut loose and broke the rules, writing what was in my heart, such as The Red Sheet. There are a lot of rules, you know, for a piece of fiction to be acceptable to publishers. Don’t be too wordy, never use a passive voice, avoid clichés like the plague, don’t refer to popular culture too specifically or it will date your book, by all means don’t be cute as readers might feel left out of an inside joke, and always avoid alliteration (hehehe). And there are plenty more rules where these came from. But my advice cannot be found in a list. My words of wisdom for new authors: Be true to yourself. Readers can spot a fake a mile away.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I have four (wonderful, in case they read this) children who, over the past years, I have carted around to all kinds of extracurricular activities. So, I have often written in my black Volvo wagon, parked outside a dance studio, or a gymnasium, or an SAT class. I can get the job done, pretty much anywhere. But my favorite place to write is in THE RED SOX ROOM, on my big comfy couch, surrounded by my baseball heroes.
What else would you like to tell us?
*I am a connoisseur of fine cats. Right now we have five.
*I adore a mocha latte with extra espresso. But I’ve lately been getting into a nice hot cup of tea. (Not literally getting into the cup of tea… I just like to drink it.)
*Sometimes chocolate is an absolute necessity to maintaining my sanity. My preference is for Lindt hollow chocolate Easter bunnies, which unfortunately become scarce in online shops by late summer.
*I have a standard go-to outfit, which I know I will feel confident in: white oxford shirt (worn untucked), button-down collar mandatory, ripped button fly light blue jeans, brown Frye harness boots, and pearl earrings. This is my go-to outfit—I reach for it when I have to run out to my daughter’s tennis match, the grocery store, an AAU basketball game, college tours… well, you name it. You will find me dressed like a slightly preppy ranch hand.
I guess I told you enough about me.
I’d like to introduce my assistant Kari Higa’s who created the promo images. As a mother of three wonderful children, Kari splits her time between taxiing her kids around town and doing what she loves. Music and art are her passion and reading is her escape. She loves to listen to Chopin but wants to play Bach. From art journals to visual note taking, Kari loves to try different art media that express her thoughts and emotions. As a former educator, she loves spending time with kids, whether she is volunteering for a youth program or at her kids’ schools.
Mia, thank you so much for spending six minutes with LitPick! This has been a very fun interview!
Posted on June 2, 2015
At the end of release day, Love Spell is at #4 on Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Gay & Lesbian Fiction. I’m excited… but is it wrong that I want to move higher on this list? It isn’t about sales and money… it is about something else entirely. Maybe it is about proving to myself that I can do this, and do it well. So, I set a goal for #1, #2, or #3!! Fingers crossed.
I set another goal for a different list. In Kindle, Teen and Young Adult Romance is in a category that is not isolated by orientation, and I am glad. All of the teen romance should be together. At bedtime, Love Spell is at #33.
My goal is to hit the top 20 in this category. This might be hard to do. Very. But goals keep me on my toes… they keep me promoting and writing and thinking of what is going on NOW as well as what is coming NEXT.
So, I will have my goals and my hopes… maybe they are really nothing more than dreams. But they move me forward.
Thanks for reading Love Spell!! Thanks for helping to make my dreams come true.