Newest stop on the Fall Blog Tour is Jenn’s Book Review Blog and her thoughts on “Why Kimba Saved The World.” I love that her son was in on the reviewing process. It can be hard for adults to judge a book designed for kids. I’ve gotten some really odd reviews from some who have. So I always get extra excited when the reviewer is a teacher used to reading kid lit or an actual child — and super-duper excited when they enjoy it. Yay! Here’s the link to Jenn’s review, but my favorite part of the review was this:
“The characters of Kimba and Hiro were adorable and we fell in love with them quickly. We give Kimba a 5/5!”
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Unless someone I’m not expecting jumps into the schedule, and that may well happen, the next stop on the blog tour will be the very first review of “Vacation Hiro” from the Arkansas Book Reviewer. On pins and needles!
As a part of my blog tour and my wonderful relationship with the Arkansas Authors web site, a two-part interview with me is currently being featured at their site. Click here to read the whole thing. You can also find “Why Kimba Saved The World” in their Book Spotlight section and available for sale. They are even featuring my book on the home page today!
This site is a fantastic resource for authors from Arkansas, but also for readers who just want to find great books. The site will be offering a holiday buying guide as well. Stop by, read the interview, and check out their other authors and books as well.
I did send the manuscript for “Kimba” out to a few publishing houses and agents over a couple of years. Sometimes you have to wait months, and they want it to be exclusive. It’s an arduous process. Many big publishing houses are closed, and agents are hesitant to take on an unknown writer. You never hear back from most of them. They want you to get your platform set and have a fan base first. It’s rather like needing to be in the union to get a job, but you can’t get a job unless you are in the union. The nature of self-publishing has changed so much in the last few years that I started to explore that. As I met some agents/publishers through conferences and got real feedback, they all liked the story but didn’t feel it was right for them. I just wanted to go forward and get the book out there. It is a ton of work to be your own publisher, but it gets the job done instead of just sitting on manuscripts and waiting for answers.
Today’s blog tour stop is with the Heart of a Philanthropist web site for a book review and giveaway for “Why Kimba Saved The World.” Click here to visit her site and read the full review. Also take a moment to look through her information about the Village of Hope orphanage in the Philippines that is struggling to recover from a devastating earthquake in the region. I’m joining Kim in her letter writing campaign to offer support and prayers as they work to rebuild. Good work is going on around the world! Thanks, Kim, for taking time to review and share my book.
I suddenly realized that it’s going to happen today. When part one of my interview with the Arkansas Authors web site goes live this morning, it will include the book cover reveal for “Vacation Hiro,” so I guess I should officially reveal it here as well! The ebook and paperback are in the final stages of production, and we have set a date of November 15th for the official book launch. I’m so excited to share more of Hiro and Kimba’s adventures with you. So…here’s what the front cover looks like!
Things are bubbling along with the production of “Vacation Hiro,” and we are almost ready for the final round of book proofing! Still on target for early-November. In the meantime, I thought I’d share two recent features on my writing.
The first is through author Kim Scott and her facebook page. She shared book buy links for “Why Kimba Saved The World” and bio information from this website and really talked me up for a day, so head on over to her Facebook page and share the love. You can also follow her on twitter @KimScottAuthor. I do! She has a great indie book giveaway going on through Facebook right now. Everyone loves free books!
The second feature was through the website 1 Book Lover’s Opinion. Michelle shared some basic info about “Kimba” with her followers too.
There should be lots of reviews for “Kimba” coming up, and then we can move into reviews and features for “Vacation Hiro!” I hope to be able to share the cover art with you in a couple of weeks. So exciting!
I’m so grateful for this great new review of “Why Kimba Saved The World” at the blog Found Between The Covers. Click on the link to read it on her site. Blogs like this are nothing short of a lifeline for indie authors. It costs thousands of dollars to get a review from any major publications and even most indie web sites (don’t kid yourself that they review those books just because they like them), so those blogs who are willing to read and share the self-published books they love mean everything. I’d rather have you read the whole review at her link and give Sherrey the internet traffic, but here’s part of what she had to say:
“Well thought out plot and characterizations, and the personifications of Kimba, Hilo, Slinky, and the other animals were delightfully creative. And there’s a lesson to be learned in the end. Kimba has a surprise waiting for all of you soon-to-be readers.”
Thank you, Sherrey, for sharing the love!!
“Vacation Hiro” goes into production on Tuesday, so there’s even more alien cat fun on the horizon.
Summer has been crazy around here! Not only do we run a tourist-focused guest house that has been hopping all season, but I’ve been enjoying going to local fairs and being in touch with book review bloggers all over the world. I’ve lost track of how many reviews and interviews are coming up between September and October, but there will be a lot of them — and I’ll do blog posts to share them all as they come up.
I’m beyond excited that the edited manuscript of “Vacation Hiro,” Book 2 in the Cats in the Mirror Series, is on the way back to me, and my fantastic book guide is ready to start putting it all together right after Labor Day! There are a lot of variables on how long it will take to get through the production and ebook process, but we are all hoping to have copies ready to go out by early November. So excited! I must admit that I’m mostly aflutter about seeing what cover art Lesley will come up with this time. She blew me away with the cover for “Why Kimba Saved The World,” and it should be even easier this time since we already have a format to follow.
I’m still trying to get some actual writing done. There are entries ready for a few of the contests offered by the Ozark Creative Writer’s Conference I’m attending in October, and there’s two packets I need to turn in for manuscript evaluations through the SCBWI Missouri conference in November. Then, of course, there’s always “At The Corner of Magnetic and Main” (YA paranormal-lite) for me to spend some time with and hopefully publish in the spring. And “Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge” (Book 3 of the Cats in the Mirror Series) is beginning to take form in my head and require my attention as well. Being a writer is definitely a full-time job!
For those of you who tweet, you can also find me now @megwelchdendler. Kimba has been tweeting for quite a while @kimbababy. There is also a new Facebook page just for “Why Kimba Saved The World” that you can follow for funny photos and stories. Our crazy cats provide those on a daily basis.
My editor’s cat guiding her through the process. www.askjanis.com.
We have known this for many years: If you want to find Hiro, just open a bag of cheese crackers or potato chips. She will come running and climb on you until you break off some little pieces for her munching pleasure. None of the other cats are impressed by fish shaped cheese crackers. Frankly, we don’t share “people food” with them, and they are rarely interested. Kimba, of course, must smell everything, but she rarely wants a taste.
Scott has just finished a read-through of the first draft of “Vacation Hiro.” As we were talking about it and sharing bits of Cheez-Its with Hiro, we agreed that I needed to work that in somehow. This will require a photo, which was not hard to get. Leave an open box available, and her head is inside the box in a flash. I’d love to hear from my readers as well. Which photo should I use for the book? Click here for the link to the Facebook album. Leave a comment on this post or on the Facebook page to let me know which one you like better: head in the box or arm in the box. While you are there, “like” my page and follow along with fun photos and book updates!
For those of you who don’t use Facebook, the photos are posted below as well. They are both so cute, I can’t decide. Help!
For the month of April, all other writing work is being set aside so I can give my full attention to Book 2 in the Cats in the Mirror series,“Vacation Hiro.” This time Hiro takes the lead and gets mixed up with the alien cats in the mirror. Those rascals have found just the right way to play on her emotions and sway her to their side of things — at least for a while.
I must admit, for me personally as a writer, the first draft is the most painful and wrenching process. I have read over and over that many authors feel this way. Once I get that first draft done and start elaborating and adding on and editing, I am in heaven, but putting it all down for the first time is laborious. It doesn’t matter how detailed my notes are. I can know exactly where I want the next chapter to go, but I still have to set a timer when I sit down at the computer to make sure I stay on task for a set amount of time and get it done. An expert at this type of stalling might even say that taking the time to write this blog post is a perfect example of doing something else very important-seeming instead of writing another chapter. I am generally not a procrastinator, except about the laundry, but I can get very busy doing all kinds of work other than the next chapter with very little problem at all.
But I promise to be diligent. My husband, Scott, will keep me on track. This is his baby’s book, after all. And I have a stack of notes for Book 3 that can only be tackled once I know exactly where Book 2 will end up. So I push onward. My hope is that next spring when I hit the festivals and art fairs in town I will have both Kimba and Hiro’s books to sell. That is the joy of self-publishing. Once you have the text ready to go, the rest of the process can be completed in a couple of months. No one can put that text together but me, so I’ll get back to it. You’ll never guess who is waiting in the mirror for Hiro in the next chapter. So excited!!
But wait. Is that the dryer I hear buzzing…?
Hiro is dreaming of a book about her on the computer.