No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksThis week I was surfing more general writing tips and experiences and below is the result. Enjoy the latest batch of writer’s links here on No Wasted Ink.

7 Easy Steps to a More Pretentious Poem

Secrets of getting your book into bookstores

Kick it up a Notch: Top Tips on Writing a Page-Turning Novel

Worldbuilding Lessons From History

Reflections on a Writing Retreat: A Review of The Porches in Virginia

Creating story flow: the secret power of cause and effect

10 ways to make editors fall in love with your work

The Secret Tool That Will Put Your Writing Over The Top

Twelve Questions You Should Ask Before You Enroll in an MFA Program

How to Create the Habit of Writing

Kidding Around at the OC Children’s Book Festival

People at the Book Festival 1

When I arrived at the Orange Coast College campus, I was not sure what to expect. I had heard of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival for years, but because I did not have children, I had never gone. I decided that this would be the year I changed that. It was a beautiful southern California day of bright sunshine, a cool breeze and temperate temperature. I discovered ample parking in the campus lots with signs clearly stating that I was free to park without a permit or a charge.

It was a short walk between buildings to find the fair, which was free of charge to enter. There were large canopies everywhere, each one filled with authors, exhibitors and educational vendors. There were booths with tutoring services, illustrators, and plenty of authors that specialized in children’s books. A large main stage dominated the open area with a few smaller stages for other child friendly entertainment available. One popular booth had a kitchen and cooking demonstrations. Many of the Moms stopped there to catch a cooking show and relax in one of the shade covered chairs.

Wow. All The Children!

For every adult there were at least two to three kids running about. Most were between the ages of 3 to around 12 years. There was plenty for them to do; from having their faces painted, to making bookmarkers, listening to live storytellers on the stage, or stopping to pose for a photo with various “monsters” in bright costumes. The trackless train that wended its way through the festival seemed to be popular with the little ones. The ride was full every time it passed me while I was there. I did not see many children thumbing through books, they had far too much energy for that, but their mothers did seem to stop and look over the book booths with an eye toward purchasing. I liked that the Children’s fair was enclosed by the college buildings, so even if the little ones were running about, there was no danger of them running off too far.

There were dozens of authors with tables promoting their YA or children’s books and there was no way to review them all. However, a few struck my interest.

Nikki White - Author and BallerinaNikki White’s table was not far from the main stage. For an author, this might prove to be deadly since you are off the walkway, but in Nikki’s case, her booth decor and striking ballerina costume drew people over. Her book is called Prima: The Ballerina and it is a book designed to teach ballerina dancing to children who might not have access to instructors.

The illustrations in her children’s instruction book were created by her husband Ethan White who created a posable doll that the couple later photographed in the various dance positions being discussed in the book. It created a colorful and friendly character for children to relate to.

Dani Dixon - Illustrator and AuthorDani Dixon is an artist connected with Tumble Creek Press. It is a website of comic books, webcomics, trading cards, and more. Dani had several portfolio books of her artwork on display at the children’s book festival which was quite intriguing.

Dani-s artwork

My last highlight is a small press that had booked a double table and featured a full stable of children and YA books. Ink Smith Publishing is a small independent publishing house with big aspirations. Their authors and editors work together to develop books, marketing plans, and sales. They have only been around since 2012, but they are growing steadily. Their books sell internationally, including Canada and the UK.

Ink Smith Publishing

I enjoyed my time at the Orange Country Children’s Book Festival. I found it well attended by several hundred people, the majority of them small children with their mothers or fathers. There was far more there than books and authors, the exhibitors offered a great deal for parents and homeschoolers to learn from. It was a comfortable event with plenty of restrooms available, a food truck court and wholesome entertainment on the various stages. All of the authors had full tables and professional style canopies to protect them from the sun.

If you are a YA or children’s book author, it is an event you should consider attending. Authors of adult books might want to think twice. While there were people of all ages at the event, it did attract children the most.

Main Stage at Book Festival

Storyteller Booth

People at the Book Festival 2

Cooking Pavillion

Author Interview: Matthew Pallamary

I asked Matt to give a short description of himself and he replied: “Author, Editor, Shamanic Explorer.” No Wasted Ink is honored to feature this writing instructor and author for your consideration.

Author Matthew PallamaryMy name is Matt Pallamary, a perspiring writer who has been teaching a Phantastic Fiction Workshop for the past 25 years at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, The Southern California Writer’s Conference and many others.

When and why did you begin writing?

As far as dramatic writing and storytelling goes, I had a good friend killed on his motorcycle around 1982 or 1983, which prompted me to write a novel about a guy who gets killed on his motorcycle and wakes up outside his body caught up with dark forces in the spirit world.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have always loved words and language. I won first place in the school spelling Bee in the 6th grade and went on to a citywide spelling Bee. English was my favorite subject in high school and my writing caught the attention of my college creative writing teachers.

Can you share a little about your current book with us?

DreamLand was written with legendary DJ Ken Reeth, who left the planet on May 9th 2005.

Fueled by breakthroughs in technology and neuroscience, the terminally ill, while in an induced slumber, in a pain-free, medically supervised environment, can literally dream their lives away in pre-programmed situations of their choosing, controlled by a super computer.

The well-meaning creators of computer generated dreaming plan to conquer the stigma of death by making its wonders available to all, so people can die in vivid, pre-programmed dream surroundings, reliving blissful moments from their past. All goes according to plan until the dream of DreamLand is shattered by the profit-seeking backer of the project.

What inspired you to write this book?

Ken and I were in writing workshops together and we became friends and fans of each other’s writing. He kept coming up with these short dream sequences that were vignettes more than stories and was wondering what to do with them. We got to talking and the next thing you know we were writing a book together.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My style is specifically my own that I consciously developed. As I tell my writing students. The brain is the canvas and the words are the strokes of the brush from a giant palette, and it must be dynamic, moving, and full of energy, making every word count. The act of reading is an act of co-creation between the writer and the reader. It is the writer’s job to paint the significant details of their story that the reader can hook into and fill in the blanks that come from their own subjective experiences and interpretations.

How did you come up with the title of this book?

It is the world where the story takes place.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Technology may seem to perform certain tasks flawlessly, but human motives and their skewed cross-purposes can bring dire consequences.

Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

In a nutshell, I realized that my life was stranger than anything I could make up, so I wrote about it and the response has been gratifying. I have done extensive dream work and dream studies, so I know this territory well.

What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?

I was blessed to have Ray Bradbury as a mentor. Ray kicked off the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference for 35 years and through Sid Stebel I got to know Ray and learned much from him. Ray was not one to give out blurbs, but he blurbed my first book, a short story collection titled The Small Dark Room of the Soul saying “Bravo! More!”

My recent long overdue follow up to The Small Dark Room of the Soul, titled A Short Walk to the Other Side is dedicated to him. Ray always said, “Write for the love of it!” His opening speeches at the SBWC were epic!

Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?

I am proud to say that I designed the cover of my book and I had a lot of fun doing it.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

As a wise writer once told me: Writing = Ass in chair.

Believe in yourself and what you have to say and do it because you love it. Writing workshops and conferences are awesome proving grounds and wonderfully supportive environments to thrive in.

Dreamland Book CoverKen Reeth & Matthew J. Pallamary
San Diego, CA

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Cover Artist: Matthew J. Pallamary

Publisher: Mystic Ink Publishing

AMAZON

No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links

writers-linksThere were a few rather unusual articles this week. The one about not having a smartphone hit home to me. I own a smartphone, but I go days without using it, much to the chagrin of my husband! I hope you enjoy this latest batch of writer’s links, here on No Wasted Ink.

365 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself This Year

How to explain your story without using backstory

How To Tell When A Robot Sends You A Letter

The Making of an Angry, White Man

Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses: 18 Rants by Mark Twain

Location, Location, Location

How I Got Magazine Writing Gigs From All 3 of My Dream Markets

10 Ways to Annoy the Hell out of your Writers’ Group

Why I Don’t Have a Smartphone

How To Write More, Faster

Writing Spaces: Mountain Cabin Home Office

Mountain Cabin Home Office

Image is from This Old House Magazine, Desk Set, April 2006.

Having a view to inspire you as a writer is one of the more sought after aspects of a home office. This cozy writing space is in the middle of a Portland forest. The office is sparse with a pine desk and alder floors just waiting to hold your laptop or tablet as you create your masterpiece. The large casement window draws you to the forest outside while the rich red walls and wooden built-in shelves surround you like a warm blanket. It is the perfect place to relax and let your words flow.

Author Interviews * Book Reviews * Essays on Writing * Writer's Links

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