Istituto Italiano di Cultura- Young writers event

At 6.30p.m. on Monday 9 February we will host a special event focusing on the best of Italian youth: two new writers in the panorama of Italian literature. But why call it fiction if they are stories born from the reality of everyday life...?
Let's cut to the chase. This evening we will present two new books that have received welcome praise from critics and readers who brought them to our attention.
Raffaella Santulli will open the evening with her polemical Mezzo Pieno (winning novel in the international competition "Narrando") which was published by Albus.
We will then hear from Mauro Fiorio Pla', author of Low Cost. Torino-Dublino Solo Andata which was published by Rebus and blends the gentle with the corrosive at the same time.

Copies of both books will be available to buy. We assure you that they are worth it.

Here's a little inside information on the writers ...

MAURO FIORIO PLA'... born in 1979. University graduate. In Ireland since 2005, as soon as he arrives the boom implodes... though it did produce this book. He works in the tradition of the old media. He writes when the mood hits him, he drinks Guinness when he's thirsty. It could have been worse for him.

RAFFAELLA SANTULLI ... born in 1976 in Naples. University graduate. She moves to Turin. She lives between Italy and Ireland. She is angry with everybody. With those who told her that life was this or that. This yes, that no. Don't eat the apple or you will die and work hard and study hard and you will suffer giving child birth.



Date: Monday, February 09, 2009 - Saturday, February 28, 2009

Time: 6.30p.m.

Venue: Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Organized by: Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Free admission

Visit website for more information:
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Interview with Victor Volkman of Loving Healing Press

How long has Loving Healing Press been in business?

We started in 2003 out of an inspiration I had while attending Self-Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)at Landmark Education in Detroit, Michigan. I had a vision of producing books that would empower authors to redefine what is possible in healing mind and spirit. It started with a book I edited, entitled Beyond Trauma:
Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction ( No sooner than I had declared my intent to publish this book I began meeting authors with wonderful book ideas who had been turned down by dozens of publishers. And so begins a publishing odyssey that has produced 80 titles as of the end of 2008!

What genres do you accept?

Our raison d'etre is to publish books on self-help, psychology, personal growth, and persons with disabilities. Among these, our biggest specialty is in Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) books for counselors. We have expanded the bounds recently in a couple of new directions. Our "Growing With Love" Series highlights therapy books for helping children with difficult problems such as sexual abuse, bandonment, and surgery.
Modern History Press (, our first imprint, specializes in telling empowering stories of conflict and the search for identity in modern times. Its "Reflections of History" series has told the stories of the war in Vietnam and Iraq. The "Reflections of America" series highlights biography of the American experience and includes everything from NFL football stars to Muslim immigrants to struggling with biracial and multi-ethnic identities.

What do you look for when reading submissions?

For our therapy books, we are looking for works that express the person-centered approach (as pioneered by Carl Rogers) to solving problems. Our books do not have a simple "Do this and you'll feel better" approach. They involve engaging the client (reader) in their world and having them think through and discover what will make a difference in their lives. For Modern History Press, we are looking for viewpoints that are not expressed in contemporary media. For example, "Iraq Through a Bullet Hole: A Civilian Returns Home" follows Iraqi ex-patriate Issam Jameel as he attempts to rejoin Iraqi society after a decade in exile. The aftermath is both disturbing and informative. A viewpoint you won't get on CNN, FOX, or anywhere.

What do you offer authors who publish with you?

We offer industry standard royalty rates in our traditional publishing model. Authors never pay even one dollar to have their books published and there are no required purchases although we offer the most generous author discount in the industry (45% off List Price). Our books are not cheap, they start at $16.95 and up.

How many books do you publish each year?

Our goal is 15 titles per year, although the output varies depending on the quality and quantity of submissions in any given year. Generally, we are running a 60 to 90 day backlog between submission and the start of development on a book. Four months is about average from contract acceptance to bookstore sales.

Do you accept international submissions or only US?

Our authors hail from around the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and Africa. Anyone who is able to accept a payment by PayPal can sign a contract with us. Of course we mail check to authors in the USA but we have found PayPal to be more efficient and workable for our international authors. We give a special consideration to Michigan authors in an attempt to help bolster the flagging economy in this queen of rust-belt states.

Where can people find out more about Loving Healing Press and your services? has public answers to almost every question anyone has ever asked about our company.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I'd like to draw attention to our latest collaborative book "Authors Access: 30 Success Secrets for Authors and Publishers" which was just released. This work, edited by myself, Irene Watson, and Tyler Tichleaar is based on guests to the Authors Access weekly podcast show ( )which features a different expert on writing, marketing, and publishing each week. The book came about
after we looked back at the first two years (75 episodes) of our show and our desire to find a way to repackage all of this valuable experience and advice on best practices and pitfalls to avoid.
Readers of your blog can get a FREE CD-ROM with all 75 podcasts (MP3 files) when they purchase the book at this special site:
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Interview with Sharon Poppen

- You've travelled a lot over the years, how has this effected your writing?

Greatly. There isn't a place I've visited that hasn't somehow made it into my novels or short stories. Walking through historical buildings, standing on the edge of an ocean, driving across The Top of the World Highway, gazing across the vast prairies or dipping my toes in the Arctic Ocean never fails to make me think about who and how many people did these things before me. Often, one of these folks 'talk' to me. I love it when that happens.

- You have published two novels and have six more waiting to go into print. You have also written over three hundred short stories that are widely published in both print anthologies and online ezines. Describe your writing schedule. Do you write at fixed times or give yourself a word count per day?

I get up in the morning and go to the community 30 minute exercise session. Come home, read my paper, drink my coffee and put the dog through her tricks for treats. Then, I sit down at the computer. I read and edit the words written yesterday, then write for 30 minutes. I get up after 30 minutes and take care of household chores. Somedays I have meetings that take me away for most of the day and I never get back to my writing. But, I love the days that after the household duties, I can go back and write. My weakness is sending out my work for publication. I hate the administration work that is necessary to get your work out to the public.

You have presented workshops on journaling, self-publishing, character development, fiction writing and blogging at your local college and at various community centers for citizen enrichment classes. You now offer a class in flash fiction at Long Story Short Writing School at Colorado Free University. How did you start getting involved in these projects and has your own writing improved as a result of teaching?
I got started with classes when I joined a local writer's group and found myself discussing the fine points of writing. Our local community college has an adult enrichment program. They try to present a variety of items to the community. I was asked to moderate classes on any aspect of writing. I met many folks who were involved in various organizations around the city. Then, when I published my book, I found local clubs and groups that were receptive to a free speaker who would share the intricacies of the writing world for just the opportunity to sell my books. The classes went over so well, that I now get many requests for my classes. I've found many fans for my books through these classes.

Tell us about your latest book, After the War, Before the Peace.
This book took years to write. The four brothers started 'speaking' to me years ago. I would sit at my typewriter from time to time and write a few words. But, when the communications industry offered an early retirement at age 50, I jumped on it and went back to college. A professor made the comment that he thought I had talent and encouraged me. I started to seriously write about these four young South Carolina men. They had lost everything, but their pride in their family names and values. It was almost as if they talked to me about how they felt and what they felt they needed to do to reach peace within their hearts. I focused on the state's right aspect of the Civil War. It's a problem that wasn't solved with the war that destroyed a way of life for many folks. After the War, Before the Peace is the story of how one family came to terms with their new future.

How did you research for this book?
Because it's character driven, I didn't have to worry too much about details of history. I used maps, encyclopedias, websites and even some movies to be sure I used appropriate dress, technology and distances. Right before I sent the final edit to the publisher, I realized that one of the characters whistles 'The Yellow Rose of Texas'. Was it around in the last half of the nineteenth century? It was eleven o'clock at night. I went on-line and found many reference to it and that it was written around the time of the battle at the Alamo in 1836.

Who is your favourite character from the book? Why?
My favorite character? That's hard. I do love Michael, the third brother. He's a rock, but almost makes the worst decision of his life. I love Lita. She loves her man completely, but manages to hold onto the inner value system that defines her. I loved working with Deborah. She was a challenge and I've found that she is the favorite of many of my readers. And, Joe, the second oldest brother. He was a great second banana that allowed me to do a lot of showing versus telling when moving the characters around.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have a blog ( ) and a website ( ) that I hope lets my readers have a peek at how and why I write and what I'm working on currently.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I'd like to thank you for this opportunity to get my work out into the public. I want to share with the readers that I have won awards from Arizona Authors Assoc. and National League of American Pen Women. My novel After the War, Before the Peace is available at and a Western, Hannah, is on-line at Some of my print anthologies, include: A Flasher’s Dozen, Desert Treasures, Skive Magazine and Offerings from the Oasis and my onn-line publications include: A Long Story Short, Apollo Lyre and Laughter Loaf. I'm a member of Lake Havasu City Writer’s Group and Society of Southwestern Authors. My goals are to write everyday, publish, as often as possible, and enjoy life every moment.
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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA)

Recently, and Penguin Group (USA) announced the second annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), an international competition seeking fresh new writing voices. One Grand Prize winner will receive a full publishing contract with Penguin including a $25,000 advance. As a popular website for writers, we thought you might be interested in sharing details about this competition with your site visitors. Contest details are listed below, and further information and official rules can be found at

What is the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award?

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is an opportunity for emerging fiction writers to join a community of authors on, showcase their work and compete for a chance to get published. Sponsored in partnership with Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace, the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award first launched in October 2007 and received more than 5,000 initial entries. In the inaugural contest, Amazon customers voted and named Bill Loehfelm the winner with his novel, “Fresh Kills.” Several of the other Top 10 finalists also received publishing deals with Penguin.

What is the grand prize?

A full publishing contract with Penguin to market and distribute the Grand Prize winner's winning manuscript as a published book, including promotion for the book on and a $25,000 advance.

How do interested authors enter?
Contest submission period begins February 2nd, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time) and ends February 8th, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Eastern Standard Time), or when the first 10,000 entries have been received, whichever is earlier.

How do interested authors get more information about the contest?

Visit to sign up to receive contest updates, get tips on how to enter, participate on the ABNA message boards as well as find full contest rules.
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Review: The Fallen by John Evans

Review written by Able Greenspan of Midwest Book Review.

"Reality is what our mind makes of it - and our minds can lie to us. "The Fallen" is a science fiction thriller following Striker Carleson as he faces off against an alien intelligence only known as "The Fallen". He must overcome the strange mind tricks and falsehoods in front of him to find the truth - and only then will he be able to stand up to the alien invasion. "The Fallen" is a philosophical yet entertaining and humorous science fiction novel, sure to please any Sci-Fi reader and a few who wouldn't traditionally read the genre."
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Interview with Elizabeth Burton of Zumaya Publications

How long has Zumaya Publications been in business?
Zumaya Publications was established in 1999 in Canada. In 2006, we moved business operations to Austin TX and incorporated.

What genres do you accept?
Zumaya, by way of its imprints, publishes all genres except erotica. At the present time, we're closed to submissions in everything except GLBT for Boundless and middle grade/YA for our newest addition, Thresholds.

What formats do you publish?

We publish in trade paperback and ebook.

How many titles do you publish each year?

Between 20 and 30, although closer to 20 if it can be managed. At the moment, we're doing new editions of some of our back list titles as new series books are released, so that tends to make the actual number slightly higher.

Why should authors pick Zumaya Publications?
We endeavor to be as author-friendly as possible without jeopardizing our ability to stay in business. We treat our people like professionals, but we also expect the same in return. Those who aren't prepared to be the major contributor to the marketing and promotion of their book need not apply.

Where can people find out more about Zumaya Publications and your services?
We have no "services." We publish books, the same way any other publisher does. And the best way to find out what we do is to read some of what we've published, then do as one would for any other prospective publisher: research.

Anything else you'd like to add?

First, that there are sometimes those who seem to think that because we are an inventory-free publisher, that we are like or some of the other companies that offer publishing services. We aren't.

Second, our submission guidelines are available on our website, as is the proper email address to which queries are to be sent. Those sent to any other address will be ignored, which I know sounds harsh. However, I have to have some way of keeping things organized or nothing would get done. Unlike my cats, I don't have staff.
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Rosemary Chaulk Interview

Your latest book is Nissitissit Witch. How did your past as a land survey help you in writing this book?
There is a place in town that is haunted and feared by the locals. I have known about it for many years. I have done some land surveys in the spot and always had trouble with the area. Three years ago I did a land survey there and got Lyme disease. Yet after all this last year I was consumed with a story that once started I could not stop. I was possessed and compelled to research and write about the Nissitissit Witch.

How did you go about researching for it?

My research came from decades of newspaper articles written about the area. Almost all my characters were based on actual occurrences reported in the newspaper. Many other details came from historical accounts written in the early nineteen hundreds. Heavy metal poisoning and other details came from on line research

I read on your website that the Nissitissit Witch has been a challenge on many levels, please tell us more.
I experience what seemed to be a struggle between opposing forces. My head was filled with a story dying to be told but at every step there were complications that stalled progress and even put the book in jeopardy as to whether it would be finishes. One force was feeding me the story and wanted it told. The other force was trying to stop the book.

What made you choose Author House to publish your book?
I chose Authorhouse as I had experience with them and wanted the book available before Halloween.

You’ve done several radio interviews to promote your book, how do you prepare for them?
I make sure I am rested a relaxed. I keep a copy of the book handy. The most important thing I do is to try and immediately read the host and match my output to them. If the host is laid back then I match the mood. If the host is high energy then I knick it up a notch. The important thing is to mesh smoothly with the host. Once synced with the host the information will flow.

There are some powerful images used in your video trailer for Nissitissit Witch, did you design the video yourself or have it made for you?
• Ginger Simpson did the trailer
She is also an author and did the trailer based on the images I had in mind.

Where can people find out more about you and your book?

They can check out my website They can also google the book and read some sample pages. The book can be ordered at Amazon and other on line bookstores

Anything else you’d like to add?
The book is more than a story about a witch and is like an onion with may layers. Some of the layers are bigotry, backwards locals, evil ministers, environmental pollution, greed and insanity, just to mention a few. It is a must read
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How to subscribe to this blog

I've received several emails recently asking how to subscribe to Writers and Authors. This made me think that maybe the link wasn't clear and so have moved it to the top of the column on the left.

I hope this makes it easier for you all the follow the posts. Happy reading!
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Free calls. It’s what Skype is made for.

Using Skype to call another person who also has Skype is totally free. Yep, absolutely nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Free Skype-to-Skype calls.

To anywhere in the world.
And at any time, day or night, morning or weekends.

Free calling

You’ve downloaded Skype, and so has your friend. Now you can get started on the really cool stuff – such as making completely free and great quality calls from your computer. That’s the great thing about Skype, you can use your internet connection and turn your computer into an internet phone and make free Skype-to-Skype calls.

You and your friend will need to have a headset (or use your computer’s built-in microphone and speakers) to talk to each other. You can really improve the sound quality of your calls with a headset, or take your calls to the next level with free video calls.

You can also use Skype to make pretty cheap calls to phones and mobiles.

This is a great service to use for calling in to internet radio shows and on some shows, allowing skype to skype you can even call in as a guest on the show for free meaning yet another FREE promotional tool for authors.
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Blog talk radio: Authors Read

There is nothing like hearing a story told the way the author intended it to be read… straight from the author’s lips is even better! Drop by and listen to Authors Reads radio where authors, storytellers and poets read their published work.

**Find updates to archive listings at:

- Jan 16: CL Talmadge returns to read from the 3rd book in her Green Stone of Healing series: The Scorpions Strike
- Jan 17: Carl David reading from Bader Field
- Jan 19: Ty Schwamberger shares an excerpt from his horror novel - Night School
- Jan 24: Darcie Mae reads her children's book series latest installment: Sammy & Robert's Animal Adventures
- Jan 26: Tommy Bachelor sharing an excerpt from Sunday's with Papa T: A River Adventure
- Jan 30: Ali Marsman reads an excerpt from the first book of her trilogy - Sporadic Memories
- Jan 31: Ali Marsman returns to share an excerpt from book 2 of her trilogy - Because of Grandfather
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Review: Getting your Book Published for Dummies

Title: Getting your book Published for Dummies
Authors: Sarah Parsons Zackheim with Adrian Zackheim
Publisher: Wiley Publising Inc.
ISBN– 0-7645-5257-0
Cost: £14.95

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell. See The Weekly Book Review for more reviews.

Getting your Book Published for Dummies is an easy to use reference that will guide you through the publishing industry, introducing you to the key roles and breaking down the various stages of a books development from idea to published product.

Sarah Parsons Zackheim worked in book publishing for nearly a decade before becoming a widely published freelance writer. Adrian Zackheim is Associate Publisher of the General Books Group at HarperCollins Publishers and has also worked as an editor of fiction and non fiction. Their combined experience makes them more than qualified to write this comprehensive guide.

The book is broken down into easy to digest chapters covering; getting started, knocking on the publishers door, preparing the package: Book proposals and query letters that sell, taking it public: A strategic approach to placing your book, Home at last! Negotiation and contract, After the deal is done and the part of tens.

Each section has a humorous cartoon illustrated by Rich Tennant.

Well written and easy to use, Getting your Book Published for Dummies is a reference guide all aspiring authors should have.
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Interview with Barb Techel

When did you start writing?
I started writing seriously about 3 years ago. In 2004 I was feeling a void in my life, but was not sure what that void was all about. In December 2004 my nine year old chocolate lab was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Her diagnoses made me face my own mortality. Realizing how short life truly is made me find the courage to look deep within myself. I wanted to do something with my life that mattered and leave a legacy behind. I hired a life coach to help me with my journey. My love of animals kept coming up in our discussions and after many different avenues I explored I decided I’d love to write about animals. I started writing a monthly column called, “For the Love of Animals” for our local paper and I did that for two years. I also joined a local Women’s Writing Circle and began exploring other areas I liked to write about. Though most of the time my writing always brings me back to my love of animals.

"Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog" isn't just a usual children’s book. Tell us a bit about it and how you got the idea.
My book is a bit unusual in the fact it is a non-fiction children’s book. It is also told in Frankie’s voice, as if she is telling you the story herself. I had been thinking about writing an adult non-fiction story based on life lessons I learned from my dogs. After attending a writing conference in 2007 and learning about self-publishing I was very excited about the possibility of writing and publishing my own book. I really had no intention of writing a children’s book. But I believe God gave me a message to write Frankie’s story. I woke up the Monday after the conference, sat straight up in bed and said out loud, “I’m going to write a children’s book and it is going to be about Frankie.” That is the honest truth. That same week I began working on the book.

"Frankie, the Walk 'N Roll Dog" was chosen as a 2008 finalist for the Indie Excellence Awards. When writing the book did you think it would be such a success? Why do you think it's been so well received?
All I knew was I had to write this story. My drive to do this was quite intense, but intense in a good way. I knew if I didn’t write Frankie’s story I would regret it at the end of my life. It was that important to me. I have a strong faith and I just believed (and still do) that if I followed my heart and wrote the story, God would take care of the rest. And He has. Of course, I do my due diligence in making sure I am doing what I can to market it. But I really believe if I do something each day to get my name out there and continue to follow my heart, my story will reach those it is supposed to touch. And it has and continues to do so.
I think the reason it is well received is because for one, writing about dogs right now seems to be a huge market. People want feel good stories. People love true stories and a story with a happy ending. And it’s pretty hard to resist a cute little dog in a wheelchair. At my book launch in Feb. 2008 I had over 200 people attend and sold 160 books! I often joke, “Put a dog in a wheelchair and people will come.” I mean that in the kindest way. It was very tough in the beginning of Frankie’s injury and paralysis, but I realized I had to look for a blessing in her situation. The blessing was writing her story and sharing her message that disabled animals can live a quality life.
You are a proud member of several writing associations. How do you feel they affect your writing career?
They are very helpful in marketing and learning ways to effectively market my book. They are also helpful in learning everything about writing and publishing. Writing can be a lonely endeavour, but having a connection to associations helps you to not feel so alone and you always have somewhere to turn to for answers.

You do a lot of author visits. How does this affect the sales of your book?
My main goal is to visit local schools. I do very well selling books to schools and usually sell anywhere from 40-60 per visit. I offer a discount to schools for my books. I really believe in my story and believe it can help children face challenges with a positive attitude. I want my book to be affordable to as many children as possible, so that is why I offer a discount price through schools. One important thing about author visits is to be sure the person hosting you gets the word out about your visit as that will help greatly in people attending and your book sales.

Any tips on how to be organized for author visits? What to take with you etc....?
I have a suitcase on wheels ready to go at all times. I have all my props, paperwork, books, etc. in that suitcase. I also keep a box of books in my car at all times. I’ve sold many books just from my car as I am out and about! Every school that books a visit with me receives a letter of agreement outlining the date I will be there, my needs and my fees. They also receive a bio and photos of Frankie and I to use as they wish. They also receive a copy of Frankie bookmarker’s that they can make copies of and hand out to the children. Sending the letter of agreement outlining everything you need and what you will be doing helps elevate any questions. I also try to make sure to follow up the week before with the organizer in case there are any questions. I also usually pack my suitcase the night before, so in the event I think of something I forgot, I can add it in the morning. Usually the last thing I have to pack is my laptop and off I go!

Where can people find out more about Frankie and your books?

They can visit my website where they will see a video about Frankie and learn about my book and it is

Anything else you'd like to add?

I’m really passionate about bringing a positive face and voice to animals with disabilities. Writing Frankie’s story has enabled me to show others that disabled animals deserve a chance. Frankie is no different than before. The only difference is that she can’t use her back legs. Her spirit and mind is fully intact.
I also self-published my book and am so excited the direction self-publishing is heading. It used to have such a stigma attached to it. But if you are a professional about all the steps of writing, publishing and marketing your book, I believe you can be a success. To me success is in the faces of the children I meet. It is also in the smiles of the elderly and the ill that Frankie and I meet with our therapy work. If you have a passion to write your story, I would encourage you to go out and do it and don’t let anything get in your way. I followed my heart and did it and am so glad I did. I have been blessed in so many ways.
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At manic readers you will find more information on the books and authors you love to read. The Manic Readers website is designed with the reader in mind, so you can easily locate books, read excerpts, leave comments on reviews, visit your favorite author’s page, and much more.


* Simple website navigation
* Books page
o Thousands of books
o Excerpts
o Easy sorting by Author, Title, Publisher, Genre, Current release, Upcoming releases
o All with book covers!
* Hundreds of Author Pages
* Book reviews
* Book trailers
* Interviews
* And Much More


* Free Author Pages to promote your books, which include:
o Bios
o Photos
o Current and Upcoming book releases
o Book trailers
o Podcasts
o Favorite links
o Blurbs
o Excerpts and purchase links for all of your books
* Interviews
* Book Reviews
* And Much More

If you’re a manic reader, you’ll love Manic Readers! For more information visit
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International Book Fairs this month- January 2009

Cairo Book Fair
22 January - 5 February. The British Council in Cairo accepted an invitation from the General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO) for the UK to be guest of honour at the 2009 Cairo International Book Fair. Working with the London Book Fair, The Publishers Association, Independent Publishers Guild and other organisations a wide range of activities will take place during the two-week event. These will fall into three categories: Reader Development, Professional Development for Publishers and Writers and their work. The British Council has invited 10 authors from the UK to deliver a programme of lectures, book signings and so forth at the fair and other venues around Egypt. Visit for full details.

Kolkata International Book Fair, Kolkata, India

28 January - 8 February 2009 Visit for full details

2009 American Library Association Midwinter

Denver, CO-January 23-January 26, 2009 Visit for full details

Hong Kong International Antiquarian Book Fair
Saturday January 17th, 2009 - Monday January 19th, 2009
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Wan Chai North, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Contact >
Internet >
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Review: Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges

Reviewed by Jo Linsdell for The Weekly Book Review

Title: Faith Awakened
Author: Grace Bridges
Pages: 168
Price: €7.56
ISBN: 978-1-4303-1111-9

With her first novel, Faith Awakened, Grace Bridges takes us on a journey into a scary future where hope is lost and into the virtual world of faith. She cleverly mixes Christian and Science Fiction into a thought provoking tale.

Faith Awakened tells the story of two women, Mariah and Faith.
One lives in a world where an authoritarian Government rules and the Earths population has been all but killed off by a plague. Nobody can be of higher power than the government and The Awakened (believers in God) must practice in secret.
The other lives in a very different world where she enjoys the privileges of freedom. We are first introduced to her as a child and from here she starts her search for a special connection with God.
As the story unfolds we find that the two, although seemingly separate, are tied deeply with one another.

Although I don’t normally read this genre of book, I found it an interesting tale that left me wanting to know more about the characters. The plot twists along the way will keep you turning the pages. Although the biblical messages are a little heavy in some places the clever storyline and surprises along the way will keep any reader interested. Faith Awakened is a nice change from the ordinary. Grace Bridges shows she has what it takes with this great first novel.
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Internet problems

Apologises for the delay in posts over the past week but due to internet problems I was unable to access the blog. Missed posts will be posted today.

Thank you for following Writers and Authors.
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Interview with Joni Snowden from A Novel Place

What is a Novel Place ?

It’s an opportunity to work with companies/people and projects of my choosing. With A Novel Space, I provide author assistance to writers, as well as, administrative assistance to small businesses & entrepreneurs.

What made you start the company? And how long have you been in business?

After 16 years as a HR Administrative Assistant and 2nd executive assistant to the company president, I realized I’d gone as far as I could with the job. I needed a change, so I took matters into my own hands and now I am in charge. I’ve been in business since August 2007.

What problems have you encountered?

I would say the main problem has been marketing author services of A Novel Space to writers. New writers do not realize the complexities of publishing their manuscript. If they are self-publishing, the main hurtle is getting them past the costs of self-publishing. Once done, things go much smoother. A writer who previously has published, understands the process, and is open to working with an author’s assistant.

What services do you offer to writers?

A few of the services I can provide include:

Manuscript Creation

Self Publishing

Book Marketing

Fact Checking

Coordinate Testimonials

Virtual Book Launch/Tour

Publisher Research

Review Final/Printer Proofs

Promotional Activities

Prepare manuscript to publishers requirements

Register Copyright

Get listed on Amazo

Why do you think a Virtual Assistant is useful for writers to have?

A trained author’s assistant handles various aspects of the book publishing process, from the actual publishing (i.e. coordinating the printing and distribution process) to the marketing of the book (i.e. arranging a virtual book launch, tracking book sales). This leaves the writer free to concentrate on writing and talking about their book once the marketing begins.

How does you past working experience help you offer better service to your clients?

My background in the entertainment industry as an executive & administrative assistant gives me the experience needed to handle the typical assistant duties (i.e. travel arrangements, phone calls, writing correspondence regarding book promotions). The additional author’s assistant training enhances this knowledge.

How can people find out more about you and the services you offer?

They can check out my website: They can find out more about me and the author services provided. They can also send an email to and I’ll be glad to answer any additional questions.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Just for writers to realize they don’t have to go it alone in the publishing business. An author assistant VA has the knowledge and is willing to help ease the way. Just give it a try.

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Interview with Lillian Cauldwell

You were formerly an instructor at Long Story Short School of Writing teaching several courses: Interviewing, Pre-Marketing Plan for Books, Internet Talk Radio, and Podcasting as well as a consultant for authors who require help marketing and promoting their book(s) and selves. What effects has this experience had on your own writing career?
It has done nothing for my writing career. As an author, I'm not as well known as the owner of an Internet talk radio station. My reputation in the media field is due to my owning and running a station based on three criteria. My writing is separate from the station. I found out that I'm better at marketing and promoting other authors, individuals, and other companies that I can for myself. My writing improves because I keep writing articles, newsletters and blogs.

Do you think it's important for writers to take courses like these? why?
I believe that self-educating is one way of staying current and keeping abreast of what's offered in the writing field. Most authors write in a vacumn, that is their writing is solitary except for the times they go out and do research for their book(s) fiction or non-fiction. Taking writing courses enables an author to keep improving their skills, techniques, and networking with other authors, agents, publishers, publicisits so that they don't lose sight of their writing objectives and goals.

You have your own radio station, Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio, Inc. Tell us a bit about the show.
I started Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio for three major reasons: to help market and promote published mid-list and unknown authors to the media and the world; to provide a conduit for voices not otherwise heard in this noisy celebrity, sports, and political driven world; and to provide educational and quality content to the listeners so they can turn around and use this information immediately in their spiritual, personal, and business lives. I realized that the majority of voices in this country and in the world weren't being heard. I wanted to provide an environment where these voices could be heard so that it could help them and the listeners find each other.

Your book Sacred Honor sees Benjamin Thompson, a Loyalist spy in 1776, time travel to 2776, to steal the Declaration of Independence. What kind of research did you do for this book?
I went to several different libraries in the Cleveland, OH and Ann Arbor, MI. I visited historical museums, did genealogical searches for some of the historical characters, studied a lot of history books, and used the Internet quite a bit. It took me five years of research before I started writing an outline draft for the book.

Was it easier writing about the past or the future? why?
It's not easy writing about the past or the future. For the past, you must keep in mind that the political, social, cultural, and economical climate is different than it is in the 21st century. At all times, the author must write knowing this information and keeping their historical and made-up characters true-to-life. The author must be accurate in retelling the story no matter how they might rearrange history to suit their story line. In writing about the future, the author must make the characters believable in their actions and behavior. There are certain understoods when writing about the future: science, technology, culture, and society. However, human nature itself doesn't change. Behavior remains the same. Motives, jealousies, emotions, they all exact the same type of humaness that doesn't change. People in the 22nd century will still act and react the same as if they are in the 14th century. I found for myself that it wasn't any easier writing in the past or in the future.

Your latest book Anna Mae Mysteries -The Golden Treasure sees Three 'tween sneaker sleuths face the unsolved mystery of Jefferson Davis'lost gold treasure with a little bit of help from a ghostly black fist and divining rods. Quite different from your other book. How did your writing process change?
For young adults, I found that imagery and logic dictated how I set up the book. I took advice my son, a well-known graphic artist and set up the book the way screenwriters set up their scripts for film. What is called "Storybook" format. Each picture tells a distinct story. The plot is laid out and the author sticks to that main plot. Subplots are written around that one central storyline. As your writing progresses, each scene is independent of the other until you piece the different stories together. That's how I wrote Anne Mae. First, I wanted a title that said it all. Anne Mae Mysteries. Then, I wanted to identify what particular mystery that Anna Mae, her brother and best friend would solve, The Golden Treasure. My next move was to identify the two storylines and connect them together. "Pit Bull" the school bully and the Black Fist, dropping paper clues to Anna Mae, her brother and best friend. Each frame of the story came to life as I pieced the different clues or puzzle pieces together.
For Sacred Honor, I wrote the book based on historical research and a what if question. I did not do that with The Anna Mae Mysteries: The Golden Treasure.

Who are you published with? Why did you choose them for your books?
The book is published by Star Publish. I choose Star Publish because it was an Independent publisher. It has a good reputation in the publishing field, and most important their marketing director, Janet E. Smith, is the only marketing person that I know who gets print-on-demand books into the major bookchain stores that don't normally stock print-on-demand books.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Anything else you'd like to add?
You can find my radio station, Passionate Internet Voices Talk Radio at
Please check it out especially if you're an author and want your voice heard.
Writing is a gradual process. Like all processes, it sometimes take a long time to build a solid foundation and get recognized by the world. To be a successful author doesn't necessarily mean rich and famous. To be a successful author means that you've finished what you've written, written from the heart, and be satisfied that you've done a good job. Fame and money are nice, but not all authors will ever attain that goal. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and luck. My husband calls writing a crap shoot. He's right. It just depends on who picks up your book, likes it, and then decides to push it.
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Writing Competitions this month- January 2009

The Arts Centre and Myer Presents Bowl Memories Competition

"February 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

To celebrate this milestone, the Arts Centre is now seeking stories, photos, videos, posters and other memorabilia you might have about the bowl.

Did you have your first kiss at the Bowl? Do you remember being there when it first opened in 1959? Did one of the bands in the 1970’s inspire you to do something special? Have you got a rare signed poster that no one else has ever seen?

We’re going to use the stories and images during the festivities in February to support the celebration. If we get enough we might do a book about it.

We’re looking for stories, photos and video footage, artwork and memorabilia items.

The Bowl Memories Competition is open from now to close of business (EST) 28 January. All submissions must be received via website, phone or post by this time to be eligible for the competition.

The entries will be judged by curators of the Arts Centre Performing Arts Collection, a representative of the Myer Foundation during the week commencing 2 February".

See for full details

Times Are Tough

Droubble/Drabble Writing Competition

Deadline: January 15, 2009:

Take a look at the picture on site.

It is of a homeless man leaning against a storefront during the Great Depression. Write about this man and the picture. What is he doing there? Where is he? Who is he? Why is he there? Why is he homeless? These are some of the questions open to exploration.

We'll be awarding two $100 prizes. One for the best Droubble and the other for the best Drabble.

Per Wikipedia: "A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction exactly one hundred words in length, although the term is often misused to indicate a short story of less than 1000 words. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space. Richard N. Hill recently coined the phrase "dribble" to describe a story that is only 50 words. Michael Kent of The Next Big Writer added "droubble" for a double drabble, a story in exactly 200 words."

To enter: Posting your writing story anytime during the Contest period. The Drabble submission must include the tags Tough Drabble (entered as tough_drabble) while the Droubble must include the tags Tough Droubble (entered as tough_droubble)..

Deadline: 11:59 PM ET on January 15, 2009


  • $100 to the best Droubble.
  • $100 to the best Drabble.
See for full details

BrevityThing: fiction in 250 words or less.

The January 2009 competition topic is: TOWN AND COUNTRY - feel free to interpret that as widely as you like.

The winner and runners-up will have their work featured on the site. There's a first prize of £50. Entries are £2.50 (via PayPal below).

We're not bandits, so all work will remain copyright of the author, though competition entry will be taken as granting BrevityThing first electronic publication rights, and we may ask if the work be made available for future BrevityThing anthologies.

Submit your entries: to competitions AT by the end of the month (31st Jan 2009).

Make sure you include:

a) The entry itself - either in the email body (this is preferable) OR as an attachment in .doc, .rtf or .pdf format.
b) The name you'd like to be known by.
c) Your preferred contact details.
d) Entries fees are £2.50 per piece of flash fiction (up to a maximum of five stories per month). Use the PayPal button below to send your entry fee.

See for full details
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Welcome back!

Welcome back to Writers and Authors. I have lots of great posts lined up for 2009 including information on useful sites for networking and marketing, interviews with publishing companies, virtual assistants and video trailer makers to name a few. Of course there will also be some fantastic author interviews giving insight into new books and writing procedures along with writing competitions, upcoming events and more...

Happy New Year and happy reading to you all!
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