The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

Booklovers, It's Almost Here!

Twelve local authors, including New York Times best-selling fantasy writer Sara Raasch, will greet the public at MidPointe Library’s “ReadLocal Indie Author Fair” Saturday, November 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at its Trenton location, 200 Edgewood Drive. 

 

The free program gives fans and potential readers the opportunity to ask the authors – many of them literary prize winners and/or an award nominee -- about their writing routines, their paths to publishing, literary awards they may have won and their future writing plans. Books will be available for sale so don’t forget to ask for an autographed copy! 

 

Our author/guests include: 

 

Timothy B. Barner

Timothy B. Barner

Timothy B. Barner is a widower with two young boys. His roots are in Upstate New York, but his home is in Trenton. Eyes of God is his current novel. It reveals a day in the life of a community, as seen through God’s eyes.  The Sasquatch Diaries is a Christian humor novel written for young adults. He is currently working on a play called “Tying Up The Tomatoes” about the changing semantics of a family through their visits to their favorite Dayton restaurant. His goal in writing is to reveal a fresh, realistic perspective of the world we live in. 

 

Stacy Dickman

Stacy Dickman

Stacy Dickman is a full-time mom and part-time blogger from Southwest Ohio. Her husband and three children provide her with plenty of inspiration and opportunities to be creative. She earned her bachelor’s degree in health and sport studies from Miami University of Ohio and received her master's in biblical studies from Liberty University. She is the author of Labeled: Redefining the Woman God Made You to Be. Stacy writes to encourage women of all ages to find beauty in the everyday. 

 

Katie Frankey

Katie Frankey

Katie Frankey, originally from Grove City, Ohio, completed her undergrad work at Wilmington (Ohio) College and her master’s degree through the Ohio Writing Project at Miami University. She is currently a teacher at Butler Tech Career Technology Schools in Butler County. Later this month she will be a presenter at the National Conference for Teachers of English. Echo is her first published novel. Katie is also published in the Ohio Journal for English Language Arts. Married with three little girls, she and her husband strive to keep God in the home and work diligently to raise well rounded, loving humans.  

 

Diane Gronas

Diane Gronas

For Diane Gronas, the daughter of an art professorthe study of illustration and search for the perfect Cinderella tale grew into a coming-of-age adventure on another planet far in the future called Starseeker: The Flower of Tamaroon. Diane is a graphic artist and graduate of Miami University School of Fine Arts. She has worked at a graphic design studio in Cincinnati and taught design, photography, drawing and painting at a public high school. Diane completed her first book in 2014. She has a family of four. She and her husband live near Cincinnati, Ohio.  https://dianegronas.com 

  

Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of True Colors, Best Friends...Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2), Dating the It Guy, Can Dreams Come True, and In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety. She received a bachelor of arts degree in English and master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today and many other newspapers as well as “Living Dayton.” Find more about Krysten at https://www.krystenlindsay.com/  

 

Sandra Merville Hart

Sandra Merville Hart

Amazon bestselling author Sandra Merville Hart loves to uncover little-known yet fascinating facts about American history to include in her stories. She is the author of A Musket in My Hands, A Rebel in My House and A Stranger On My Land and the novella, Surprised by Love (featured in “From the Lake to the River”), “Trail’s End” (featured in “Smitten Novella Collection: The Cowboys”) and “Not This Year” (featured in “Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path”). Find her on her blog: https://sandramervillehart.wordpress.com 

 

Lora Logan

Lora Logan

Not unlike many of her characters, Lora Logan, author of “Mystic Desire: A Supernatural Anthology” and “All She Ever Needed,” is attracted to tough, tattooed men, and is lucky enough to be married to one! The mama of three Maltese puppies, she is an animal lover and can be found most days snuggling with them while reading or writing. Her favorite part of writing is the fact that her characters usually steal the show while she follows behind with a pen in her hand, watching them choose their own trajectory. Find Lora at: 
https://www.facebook.com/authorloralogan/ 


 

 

Melinda McIntosh

Melinda McIntosh

Melinda McIntosh is the author of three books of poetry: A Bit of Tickle for the Mind, Tickling God’s Toes, and In the Spirit of Halloween. Melinda’s poetry is influenced by her Christian faith, her southern beginnings, her love of fairytale and fantasy, and a longing for imagination. Through her sweet poetry, Melinda shares her thoughts and wonderings with both children and adults. Melinda grew up in Middletown and Seven Mile and graduated from Edgewood High School and Miami University. She lives in West Chester, Ohio, with her husband and their two cats, PJ (Pure Joy) and Pumpkin Pi. 

 

Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Snow Like Ashes trilogy and the Stream Raiders duology. None of those feature her hand-drawn pictures. Coming next: Magical gladiators in Set Fire to the Gods with Kristen Simmons, 8/20.  Find Sara at: 

www.sararaaschbooks.com  

 

Mike Sherer

Mike Sherer

Mike Sherer lives in the Greater Cincinnati area. His screenplay 'Hamal 18' was produced in Los Angeles and released direct to DVD. His paranormal suspense novel, A Cold Dish, was published by James Ward Kirk Fiction. Mike has also published four novellas and eighteen short stories. Links to all these are posted on his website: www.mikesherer.wordpress.com The site also includes his ongoing travel blog 'American Locations' and information about his MG novel, Shadytown, scheduled for publication in January by INtense Publications. Find Mike at: www.mikesherer.org.  

 

Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner

Sara Moore Wagner lives in West Chester, Ohio, with her husband and three small children. She is the author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals including Waxwing, The Cincinnati Review, Tar River Poetry, Harpur Palate, Western Humanities Review, and Nimrod among others. She holds a BFA from Bowling Green State University and a MAE from Northern Kentucky University. Find her at www.saramoorewagner.com

 

Rebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters

Rebecca Waters, author of Breathing on Her Own and Libby's Cuppa Joe, has been a writer most of her life (she was first published in second grade!). Rebecca has used her stories as illustrations in school and church settings and to entertain her own three daughters. Her professional writing included educational articles and research. Following her retirement as a professor of education from Cincinnati Christian University, Rebecca turned her pen to the world of fiction. She has also published articles in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Lookout Magazine, and Home Health Aide Digest. Find Rebecca on her http://rebeccaawaters.blogspot.com  

#tbt - Former Middletonian/longtime Cincinnati media reporter John Kiesewetter to share "The History of WPFB (1947-2017)" at MidPointe Library

Please share your background -- current city/town of residence, your current occupation, educational/professional info and of course, memories of growing up in Middletown and your relationship with the Middletown Journal. 

After graduating from Fenwick High School in 1971, I started my journalism career as a summer intern at the Middletown Journal for four summers. All that experience helped me land a job at the Cincinnati Enquirer immediately upon graduating from Ohio University in June 1975.  In my first 10 years at the Enquirer I did a little of everything – news reporter, assistant city editor, regional editor (over our SW Ohio bureaus in Middletown, Hamilton, Lebanon, Batavia and Lawrenceburg, plus the Columbus and Northern Kentucky bureaus) and features editor over the Tempo, Food and Arts & Entertainment sections. In 1985, I asked to become the TV columnist, and covered TV/Radio/Media/Entertainment for 30 years. I traveled twice a year to Los Angeles to preview new shows and visit TV studios, watching tapings of "Friends," "Seinfeld," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The Tonight Show" and many other shows.  

At the end of 2014, I was downsized, and left the paper along with 26 others. Since then I've covered TV/Media/Entertainment for Cincinnati Public Radio's WVXU and wvxu.org. 

I still live in Butler County. My wife Sue and I built a home in Fairfield, near Jungle Jim's, in 1986. We have three grown sons. Sue has covered Butler County communities and schools as a freelance reporter for 30+ years.   

Speaking of Middletown, on November 11 you'll discuss "The History of WPFB (1947-2017)" from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at MidPointe Library, 125 South Broad Street. What prompted your interest in WPFB's history and your desire to share it?  

I was always fascinated by radio and TV growing up in Middletown. I remember listening to baseball games at night from stations in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Atlanta.  For the Enquirer, I would write about format and staff changes at WPFB.  

When Northern Kentucky University bought WPFB in 2011, I immediately understood the significance. It was the end of an era: No more local newscasts, no more Middies or Falcons football or basketball games, no more Middletown-centric programming.  When NKU dismantled and shed the WNKU network, I broke many stories about the demise of the popular indie rock station and the sale of old WPFB-AM and WPFB-FM. 

Having researched WPFB, did you discover aspects of its history that you did not know previously and/or found particularly interesting? Please share an interesting fact or two about the station and/or its staff from that 70-year period. 

I won't give away my entire speech, but here are a couple of things I didn't know: (1) WPFB was not Middletown's first radio station. (2) I was surprised that so many well-known TV/radio personalities once worked at WPFB, including talk show host Lincoln Ware and two people at WKRC-TV. (Told you I wouldn't give too much away!)  

Now about you! On the WVXU/WMUB website,  you're described as the "source of information about all things in local media..." for "30-plus years."  Please describe "John Kiesewetter : Media Beat" -- its content and format. When is it broadcast?  

Basically I'm doing for wvxu.org what I did for the Enquirer. I write and post stories/blogs about local and national media news. I'm the only person in Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky covering the comings & goings at local TV and radio stations.  Since June I've broken the story that Rob Braun was quitting Channel 12; that Cammy Dierking will be leaving in December; and that John Popovich is retiring from Channel 9. I did the first interview with new Reds radio announcer Tommy Thrall (last February, before the first spring training game). Often my blog posts are the most popular stories at wvxu.org. 

I'm also doing interviews on Cincinnati Public Radio's WVXU-FM (91.7) and the WMUB-FM (88.5) simulcast. We did the first interview with Rob Braun (in October) when he explained why he left WKRC-TV because he didn't fit with the changes made by owner Sinclair Broadcast Group. I participate on interviews during the noon weekday "Cincinnati Edition" call-in show, and do feature interviews on the "Around Cincinnati" arts & entertainment show (7-8 p.m. Sunday). I've talked to TV stars (Rob Lowe, Jason Alexander), authors, historians, filmmakers and musicians. 

Above are images of several hosts and guests who appeared on WPFB throughout the years : WPFB DJ Tommy Sutton reading on-air, autographed portrait of entertainer Moon Mullins, WPFB show host Fern Troutvine (photo from June 9, 1959, Middletown Journal), Middletown Police Chief Russ Dwyer at the microphone, headshot of Middletown Middies Football Coach Jack Gordon and “The Ol’ Country Boy,’ Kash Amburgy (with book).

Any scoops you'd like to divulge? 

This isn't really isn't a scoop, but it's definitely unique:  This weekend (Nov. 8-9), WVXU is taping a one-hour radio show adapted from a 1955 Rod Serling TV play called "O'Toole From Moscow." It's a Cold War comedy in 1955 about confusion between the Russians and the Cincinnati Reds. NBC's "Matinee Theater" broadcast it once – live – on a Monday afternoon! It was not filmed, taped or recorded.  

I've known about the show for 30 years, and finally tracked down the script with the help of Serling historians.  This summer I rewrote the script, adapting it for radio from TV. This weekend eight CCM students will perform the play under the direction of Professor Richard Hess in a studio at Cincinnati Public Radio. Anne Serling, daughter of Rod Serling, is coming in from upstate New York to be our host and narrator. We'll add music and sound effects, and broadcast it before Opening Day next year. This is a 30-year-old dream come true for me! 

If memory is correct, during your long career as a reporter you've interviewed a number of famous people.  Just for the fun of it, please recall one or two (or more, if you like) of your interviews. 

I've truly been blessed. This kid from Middletown Fenwick spent a day at "ER" with George Clooney, and a day at "Cheers" with Lebanon High alum Woody Harrelson. I went shopping with Red Skelton. I ate dinner (with 100 TV critics) at Bob Hope's house, and he told me about his freezers filled with Montgomery Inn ribs.  I spent 1-1/2 days in Pittsburgh with Fred Rogers watching him tape "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." My favorite trips were to the ballpark to spend a game in the Reds radio booth watching Marty & Joe. (I'm now writing a book about Joe Nuxhall.) 

Some of my favorite interviews were with big stars before they were world famous:  Jennifer Garner, Mark Harmon, Cris Collinsworth, George Clooney, Roseanne, Edie Magnus, Kevin Frazier.   

Anything else you would like to add? Please do so!  

I'm looking forward to seeing some old friends at MidPointe Library Monday. It's always great fun coming home.  

See you at MidPointe Library-Middletown for "The History of WPFB (1947-2017)" on Monday, November 11, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.! 

Meet MidPointe's Local Author for October: "In the Spirit of Halloween" Author Melinda McIntosh

MEET MELINDA AND OTHER LOCAL AUTHORS AT MIDPOINTE LIBRARY'S 3rd ReadLOCAL INDIE AUTHOR FAIR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, FROM 10 AM TO NOON AT ITS TRENTON, OHIO, LOCATION : 200 EDGEWOOD DRIVE!

Please give a brief bio including city/town of residence.

MELINDA MCINTOSH PHOTO copy.jpg

I live in West Chester, Ohio, with my husband and our two cats PJ (Pure Joy) and Pumpkin Pi (yes, as in 3.1415). I am a member of the West Chester MidPointe Library Writer’s Group. I have self-published three books of poetry: A Bit of Tickle for the Mind, In the Spirit of Halloween, and Tickling God’s Toes.

It's apparent you really love poetry! Did your fondness for it begin as a child? Did you compose poems as a child or perhaps as a teen?  If so, do you remember a few lines (or complete poem) that you could share?  

I have always loved poetry. As a child, it was the rhythm and the rhyme that appealed to me, the imagery and the emotion. Now, I also love how it tells a story that the reader’s mind completes, how it connects with each reader differently like a special message written just for that person’s heart, how it can capture a moment or a lifetime in just a few short lines, and how it plays with words and sounds to create emotion. Not every poem will connect with every person, but when it does connect, in whatever way it connects, it’s magical.

I didn’t start writing poetry seriously or regularly until I was 50. I did write a few poems when I was younger--- and I’m sure they are tucked away somewhere in a box waiting patiently for me to discover their magnificence again someday…or not---but for now, my oldest poem at hand is “Angel,” which I wrote when I was 40, as a college assignment. I originally created it as a picture book, which I intend to publish someday. Meanwhile, I included “Angel” in my first book, A Bit of Tickle for the Mind, which I published at age 57. (It’s never too late to follow your dreams.)

I don’t have a poem from my youth to share, but I can share a poem from my third book, “Tickling God’s Toes.” I put this poem on my bookmark, and when people when they tell me they don’t like poetry, I give them a bookmark:


Smile

My smile is something I can give
To everyone I see
It doesn’t cost me anything
It’s absolutely free

And when I give my smile away
I find amazingly
Most everyone I give it to
Will give one back to me

They almost always say, “I like that kind of poetry,” and they often purchase my books. There are a lot of wonderful poems out there, but I find that many people have given up on poetry being for them. I love to open that door back up for them. I want them to be able to enjoy poetry and to be able to share it with their children so their children will grow up loving poetry too. 

Who are your favorite poets and which of their works do you enjoy?  

Some of my old favorites are:

Edgar Allan Poe…there’s something intriguingly twisted about his poetry…The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart. 
William Shakespeare…In ninth grade, I memorized every line of Romeo and Juliet.
Ogden Nash…light, humor, and irony. My kind of poetry. 

My newer favorites (although some have been around awhile):
Shel Silverstein…I like his quirky take on the everyday world.
Billy Collins…I like to listen to him recite his poetry. There are several YouTube videos available.

Leonard Nimoy…I didn’t know he wrote poetry until a friend gave me a copy of his book. I enjoyed it.

Kristin Helms…Her poetry is light and speaks to my soul. Her first collection, Grace + Oak, is coming out in March.

Songs are really poems set to music.  Have you composed any songs? 

I have created tunes for several of my poems, and sometimes poems come to me as a song. On my YouTube channel I post my poems and songs (A cappella) as Melinda’s Sweet Poetry. With each one, I learn a little more about the process---of writing and of creating a video. Posting my poetry also helps me conquer some of my fears. 

What prompted you to write poetry with Halloween as the theme?  

SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN #2 copy.jpg

I like the fun side of Halloween---scarecrows, hayrides, trick-or-treating. I wanted to capture some of that fun in my poetry.

I try to be considerate of other people’s feelings and beliefs, and I know that while many people like Halloween, many others do not. For many, it goes against their faith to celebrate Halloween. Out of respect, I didn’t want to put my faith poems in the same book as my Halloween poems. Some of my children’s poetry expresses my Christian faith. Rather than creating a book of children’s poems that had both, I chose to publish the Halloween poems on their own.

You describe "In The Spirit of Halloween..." as a "chapbook of poetry." Please define "chapbook."  

A chapbook is a collection of 30 poems or less, each pertaining to a specific theme and starting on a separate page, and written by the same author. 

A chapbook can be handmade or printed (like my book). It can be elaborate, with artwork and a decorative cover, it can be the standard printed and bound (like my book), or it can simple, with its pages sewn or stapled together. It can be a one-of-a-kind treasure or a mass-produced pamphlet-style giveaway.

The poems in "In the Spirit of Halloween..." are fun for kids and evoke memories for older readers and adults.  Do they reflect your memories of Halloween as a child?  What are some of your memories of Halloween? 

The first Halloween I remember is when I was 7 or 8 years old. We lived in Middletown at the time. As soon as I got home from school that day, my sister shoved something into my hands and said, “Put this on. It’s Halloween, and mom said I had to make costumes and take you guys trick-or-treating.” I didn’t even know it was trick-or-treat night, but I did as I was told. My sister, who was 10 or 11 at the time, had taken stuff from around the house and quickly turned us into trick-or-treaters. My brother was a hobo. I think she turned me into an old lady, using our mom’s coat and a hat. I don’t remember what she wore, but I’m sure it was something clever.

 I remember the spooky feel of a dark, cold, windy night, going door-to-door, getting candy in a pillowcase, the leaves rustling in that scary way they do when you’re on a dark street with shadows lurking around every corner. When we got home, our pillowcases full, we dumped them out onto the floor and marveled at all the candy. (We didn’t get candy often, so Halloween really was a big treat for us. And candy bars really were a lot bigger then than they are now.)

“Monster Under My Bed” was definitely inspired by my childhood. My sister and I shared a bedroom, and one night she said we had to start taking turns turning out the light and that it was my turn. She jumped into her bed, and just as I was ready to hit the switch, she let me know that there was a monster under my bed and I had to get into the bed before the light went out or it would get me. Of course, my bed was on the other side of the room, so there was a real risk of me not making it. That monster never got me, and I never saw him, but I was scared of him nonetheless. I still sleep with my covers pulled up to my chin…just in case.

As you can probably tell, my sister literally and figuratively made Halloween for me when I was a kid. 

How do you observe Halloween now? 

We keep it simple. We hang our Walmart scarecrows on the porch and put out a couple of small autumn decorations inside the house. A lot of our neighbors put Halloween decorations in their yards, so my husband and I walk or drive around our neighborhood and admire their creativity. Sometimes we seek out a hayride or a haunted house.

On Halloween, I dress up and hand out candy to the kids when they come knocking and tell them how cute their costumes are. Then my husband and I watch Charlie Brown on TV.

This year, I’ll be reading my Halloween poems to students in a Pennsylvania school via live chat. I’m excited about that. It will be a new experience for me and an opportunity to share my poems with kids.

One could detect a poignancy about "Altered -- Lamentations of a Jack-O-Lantern," "The Ghost of a Snowman" and "Monster Sleepover."  What prompted you to write them and what did you want your readers to take away from them?  

 “Altered” is written from the perspective of a jack-o-lantern. Younger children might not understand that poem, but older children might experience some empathy as they read it. They might find it darkly humorous to see from the perspective of a jack-o-lantern. They might get inspired to write a poem that looks like something other than what it is about.

“The Ghost of a Snowman” falls into the category of quirky. Kids like quirky poems and quirky jokes. Instead of using the phrase “lost his head” metaphorically, as would be the norm in poetry, I used it literally. It’s always a bit sad to see the snowmen melt when the sun comes out and the temperature rises, but who knows, maybe on Halloween, the ghost of last winter’s snowman will drop by for a visit…

“Monster Sleepover” isn’t just for Halloween, but I included it because monsters play a part in Halloween and some kids might get scared, seeing scary costumes and being out in the dark. Whether it’s Halloween or not, kids have monsters in common. Monsters keep us up at night. They follow us into adulthood. We have to look those monsters in the face and let them know who’s boss.

“Monster Sleepover” started out as a very spooky poem, not a poem for children. It was more about our fears. My fears. The irrational ones. As I wrote, the poem evolved into a bedtime story and a story of empowerment. At least, that’s how I read it. I hope children will get that out of it too. I want it to help take that fear away. Monsters are bullies. If you understand your bully’s weaknesses, you can take your power back.

The back cover of "In The Spirit Of Halloween" states you "never outgrew" your "love of children's books."  What were your favorite children's books as a child and what about them appealed to you?  Who were your favorite children's authors? Did any of them influence your writing? 

There were always books in our house. Mother Goose nursery rhymes were my introduction to poetry, and like most little girls, I liked books about puppies, kittens, fairies, and princesses. I still do. I have a tendency to fall into the sweet innocence of fairy tales and animals when I write.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore stands out in my memory. The whole idea of catching a glimpse of Santa Claus was magical to me. I have several copies in my collection of Christmas books. Not only did the story captivate me as a child, but I appreciate it as a writer, as well. The verses are well-written. The story is tight. The action and the imagery contained in the words bring it all to life. The poem lends itself easily to being illustrated. I would love to write something that magical, something that can touch so many and can stand the test of time.

Another book that stands out in my memory is Tom Sawyer. I read it when was in middle school and I identified with that book on a soul level. I don’t know why, but it felt like home and love to me. I can’t swim and I’m afraid of water, but I went rafting in the safety of that book. I was with them on that river. When we moved from Kentucky to Ohio, I was 7. The rest of my family dropped their accents off at the bridge, but I kept mine. The characters in the book had a southern accent, like I did. My accent has evolved over the years, but I still have it. Like Mark Twain, I throw a little southern dialect and some of that down home culture into my poetry sometimes.  

Please describe your other works:  "A Bit of Tickle For the Mind -- Poetry" and "Tickling God's Toes : Poetry."  Who is your audience for each one? 

Both collections include poetry in a variety of topics, styles, and lengths, and most of the poems are positive and easy to understand on the first read, but neither collection has a theme per se. Some poems are serious; others have humor or irony. Some are realistic; some are fanciful. There isn’t one poem I can give as an example of the whole collection, for either book. Varied. Positive. Pondering. Encouraging. Those are some of the words I would use to describe the poems.

The audience for both A Bit of Tickle for the Mind and Tickling God’s Toes would be around age 9 – adult. Of course, not every poem will appeal to every person; that’s the nature of poetry. The nice thing about a poetry book is you can skip around until you find a poem you like.

The audience for In the Spirit of Halloween would be elementary and middle-grade children.  

About the nuts-and-bolts of writing.....

Do you have a writing routine? A special place, time to write? A certain method -- longhand or laptop?  

Sometimes I write on my laptop, but I often write in an artist’s sketchpad.

I don’t have a set time to write. When an idea pops into my head, I try to jot it down right away so I won’t forget it. If I can work on the poem then, I will.

Some writers can write on command or they can select a topic and write about it. I don’t write like that. I have to wait for inspiration to come to me. Sometimes I get almost the whole poem, but usually it’s just a thought, a line, or a word. God gives me the seeds to work with. When I try to go it on my own, I get weeds. When I wait for the seeds, I get a garden of fragrant flowers.

You self-published "In The Spirit of Halloween."  Did you do the same for your books listed above? In general what does self-publishing entail? 

I self-published all three of my books. I used Create Space for my first book. Create Space is now part of Amazon KDP, which is who I used for the other two.

For novels and chapter books, there are templates you can use, which makes setup and consistency easier. Poetry, however, doesn’t follow a set format, so it has presented obstacles for creating a template. You have to do the formatting and layout yourself. Regardless of which company you choose, you should become familiar with the specific book formatting requirements of that company.

 I would advise anyone who is interested in self-publishing to also research how to properly format a Word document for the purpose of publishing a book or an e-book before they start writing. There are many pesky habits that can make a mess of your book, for example double-spacing between sentences. That’s a big no-no.

You can create your own cover and purchase an ISBN, if you like. I chose to use the free options offered by the company.

Order a copy of your book before you go live. Your book may look good on the computer, but not in print. You’ll want to fix any problems before customers purchase your book.

Once you go live, it takes a couple of days for your book to show up on Amazon. You can opt for a future date and get pre-orders. I didn’t do that.

KDP is a print on demand publisher. With print on demand, you don’t have to order any books. When a customer orders a book, the customer pays for the book and the book is printed and mailed to the customer. If you choose to purchase copies, you can. Author copies are the same quality as customer copies, but you get them at cost. 

Finally, as a published author, what overall advice would you give to prospective writers? 

Write. That book isn’t going to write itself.

Start where you are. With practice, your skills will improve.

Study the craft. Know when to follow the rules. Know when to break the rules. Make some rules of your own.

Stop comparing yourself to others.

Write without censoring yourself. You don’t have to show your writing to anyone.

You don’t have to be published to be a writer. If you write, you are a writer.

Be brutal with your revisions. Be willing to let go of the phrases you love. Don’t let those jewels ruin your story.

Consider getting an editor. Seriously.

Don’t quit your day job. Most writers DO NOT make a living at writing.

Some writers do make a living at writing. I hope you get to be one of them.

If you’ve already written your book, and you want to publish, what are you waiting for? Here’s your invitation.

If you choose to try the traditional publishing houses, do your research. Find the best fit for your book and follow their submission requirements. And then you wait.

If you’re going to self-publish, you are the publisher…send yourself an acceptance letter and get to publishing!

Attention Book Lovers of All Ages!

Meet local fiction and non-fiction writers representing numerous genres at MidPointe Library’s 3rd annual “ReadLOCAL Indie Author Fair” Saturday, November 16, at its Trenton, Ohio branch, 200 Edgewood Drive.  

This free, popular event for all ages will take place from 10 a.m. to noon in the Library community room.  

ReadLOCAL’s the go-to place for:  

Readers, who get to know the face, talent and stories behind those inspiring novels, biographies, fun reads, serious works and more they’ve been enjoying, as well as …  

Authors, who get to meet current fans, inspire even more and sell their books all in one convenient venue!  

ReadLOCAL’S a win-win for everyone! 

Mark your calendars for MidPointe Library’s ReadLOCAL!  

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(Although we won’t see famous mystery writer and super-sleuth Jessica Fletcher at ReadLOCAL, we can at least celebrate the birthday today (October 16) of Angela Lansbury, the renowned actress who brought her to life on the hit TV series, “Murder, She Wrote.” London-native Lansbury turns 94 today! * 

*From the “2019 Chase’s Calendar of Events” available for check-out at MidPointe Library.