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Tag Archives: becoming an author

A New Look along with the New Book

A new year is the perfect time to announce an exciting new development initiated by Spectacle Publishing Media Group for these two authors: we’re getting a new face for the entire Fate Series at the same time our latest book is launched.VioletFate1st edition_coverfront

As Violet Fate, the third in the Sam Osborne series comes out later this month, our publisher is re-launching Twist of Fate and Wretched Fate. The first two books received additional copy edits and have been redesigned so that the three books can be marketed together.

Mom and I love our new look for its vibrancy. Spectacle’s design team maintained the important elements of the stories: for Twist of Fate that was Casey’s wheelchair and the rose that hints at romance; for Wretched Fate it’s Jacob’s beloved Quan Yin (goddess of mercy and compassion) statue and the nail that brings our surprise character into the picture. However, the design team added a rich red that pulses with danger and passion. The look works wonderfully to tease readers into opening the new book―Violet Fate―where a set of eyes is a focal point of the plot and where our characters are drawn into the Amish country. Since that’s the goal of any book’s cover—to create a yearning to see what’s inside—we think The Fate Series redesign is a huge success.

Twist of Fate2nd edition_frontcoverThe new books will be available online later this month along with Violet Fate, and we will be launching the new book locally in February.

Mom and I are in awe that we now have three books in print and are working hard on getting the next two into place. It’s only been four years since we began this process inspired by the success of my sibling, children’s book author Allyn Stotz (www.allynstotz.blogspot.com), who is also about to have a banner year. It hasn’t been an easy ride, but it’s been an exciting one, and none of us could have predicted things would go so well. Like I told a young woman who called me for advice on publishing her children’s book early this week: the key to becoming an author is to want it bad enough to pursue all angles, be patient, and not give up the quest.WretchedFate2nd edition_coverfront

We hope that 2015 will be the best year ever for all our readers and supporters.

—Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Swope Clan in Edgerton

I don’t think I’ve ever received as many hugs in as short a time as I did during a 48-hour period last weekend. I went to Edgerton, my home town, for a book tour with mom and my sister Allyn. Mom and I weren’t the stars of that show; Allyn has kept in touch with many people and has some really close friends who are her cheerleaders. They became our cheerleaders too. But all of us, including those of us not there as pen-wielding celebrities, but rather as supporters, got a huge dose of Home Town Pride, and it was nice to be a small part of that pride.

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Our hostest Susan Herman of Susan’s Hair Flair and president of the Edgerton Chamber of Commerce

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Verna and mom

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Allyn & Sondra

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Mr. Smith (center)

A few highlights:

We were sitting at breakfast the first morning, already happy to be together and sharing laughs when my nieces walked into the restaurant. They flew in from Texas to surprise grandma and grandpa—arriving at 3 a.m. the previous night after a grueling flight on a cheaper airline. Once I saw them, I knew that—no matter the results of our book events—the weekend had just become something I’d never forget.

Our high school English teacher Richard Smith came to the Edgerton Public Library signing. I am quite certain I never hugged Mr. Smith in high school. Hugs were not so plentiful in those days. But neither Al nor I could help ourselves when we saw him. He is the teacher that got us interested in words. He laughingly explained he doesn’t read fiction (though he read our first book) anymore because his life was so consumed by it when he was a teacher. But he still has that delicious acerbic wit that delighted us as teenagers so much that we paid attention to him in class.

Verna Wortkoetter, the friend mom has remained closest to, not only had the clan and some old neighbors over for lunch, she invited some of mom’s old sorority sisters. The gesture was especially thoughtful because Verna was not part of that club. But she knew how important it was to mom, and she knew they’d all soon be trading memories of the parties they had and what had happened to the rest of the crew. I believe my nieces got a taste of grandma’s (and grandpa’s) wilder days by listening to the stories.

My husband saw his first parade, and (as I expected) instantly transformed into a kid. He kept himself from scrambling into the street after candy, but it couldn’t have been easy.

All of us choked up when grandpa struggled up out of his chair to sing the star spangled banner word for word. Alzheimers has nothing over patriotism!

God seemed to be smiling down on the whole weekend as the weather, which is usually hot and humid and miserable this time of year in Ohio, was gorgeous and sunny and cool.

The number of people who told us they were proud of what we’d done was incredible. It just kept coming and coming from old classmates and neighbors and friends of friends.

One of the signings we had was at Susan’s Hair flair right downtown Edgerton in the building that used to house the Edgerton Public Library. As I looked around at that building, I realized that it all really began there with mom pushing us all to learn to love books. Here it was, 50 plus years later, and we were back, signing books we had written ourselves. Thanks Mom, for getting us started on this path.

 

–Genilee Swope Parente

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Stepping it Up

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One reality prospective authors need to face is that getting published is not winning a sweepstakes. No one is going to show up at your door with a giant check, flash you a brilliant smile, shake your hand and shout: Congratulations, you’re a winner!

Getting published is a series of steps. If you can keep your momentum, the steps go upward—working towards bigger and better goals and often getting easier as you climb. Some of those steps are major ones: my sister, children’s book author Allyn Stotz (http://allynstotz.blogspot.com/), took a giant hop up this week: she saw her second book, Kailee Finds Magic IN Words, in final form—ready for press. I know that seeing the heroin of her first book, The Pea in Peanut Butter, come to life again on the pages and knowing people will soon hold her creation in their admiring hands has to be a wonderful feeling: in this case, it’s enough of a leap up to carry her past some challenges to come.

I took a big step this week, too, though it wasn’t that golden glow event of seeing my name on a printed page. My step was that I submitted our first draft of Fate of the Violet Eyes, book three of the Sam Osborne series, to our publisher. That means for just a moment, I can sit back, take a deep breath, and realize I’ve done all I could to make this book better than the last two. Having been through this twice already, it also means that I can finally let the experts at Spectacle Publishing Media Group, tell me how to make it even greater.

While it’s vital to our sanity as authors for us to acknowledge and feel our accomplishments—pat ourselves on the back for the steps we overcome, Allyn, as well as Mom and I, will not rest long in this heaven. That’s because as authors of more than one book, we know there are many steps ahead, even after the book is in print. The hardest part about becoming an author is the reality that getting to the point where your book populates the crowded lists on Amazon and Barnes & Noble is much easier than what comes next: getting someone to notice it. And having tracked the blogs of several major writers, I know that, unless you’re James Patterson, you have to direct and participate in how well your book goes over. You have to force yourself to become what you may not be: a marketer. And I bet even Mr. Patterson sometimes dreads putting on a suit or combing his hair to give a speech, an interview or to make a video to post on his official website. We are writers―our art is creation of stories and the alignment of words in such a way that we lead readers down a path we want them to travel. The reality is that, even if you’re shy, you have to believe in your own work enough to want others to feel what you felt when you were creating it.

My intention in saying this is not to throw water in prospective author’s face. While Allyn, Mom and I have been learning how tough it is, we’ve also seen the rewards. Every time you lift a foot and climb up another step, you gain a little strength; you make the next stage of the climb a little easier because you have one thing going for you that you didn’t have before. Whenever you need it, you can turn and gaze back down the staircase and see yourself on that first little stair. You can remember that you are climbing towards your dream—which is a brave step not many people do in their lives. You can feel what it’s like to have recognized what you want enough to have built the staircase in the first place.

Genilee Swope Parente

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Great Beginnings!!

best mom meMom and I want to personally thank Victoria Park and its residents for the support shown at our first book signing. We had many viaitors and buyers for our book and the first book by published children’s author Allyn Stotz. Many of the residents then sat in the recreation room with us and kept us company and read our book while they shared the homemade cookies my brother Mark and my daughter Christina made for the event.other action resident

We appreciate not only your financial support but the time you took to encourage us, tell us how proud you are of your fellow resident and the effort to keep these first-time authors entertained! It was well worth a few cookies!!good action residents

F. Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope Parente

And mom adds:

Our first book signing is over, and we deem it a great success – we sold 18 books of “Twist of Fate” and 5 books written by the youngest Swope daughter (Allyn Stotz – The Pea in Peanut Butter). We learned a few things while doing this first book signing. First, don’t get in a stew if the books haven’t arrived as soon as you expected them. Because of the holidays, ours finally arrived the Friday before our book signing on Monday morning. Our thanks go to Spectacle, our publisher for pushing to get them here in time. We had decided to go ahead with the signing even if the books didn’t arrive – just take orders. But the books came, and our worry was all for naught.
Second, put a piece of cardboard between receipt slips. This we didn’t do, and the receipts are almost impossible to read as the pen went through to the next row of receipts. It’s a mess, to say the least. Still, two minor hiccups in a major success don’t mean much!
We want to thank all who came and shared our big day with us, as well as our wonderful publisher and the marketing team, and Victoria Park for hosting the signing. We’re ready to go at it again!

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Round and Round We Go

Lately I’ve realized that writing a book is actually the easiest part of producing one. Making additions, improvements and corrections goes fairly quickly also. Even finding a publisher was not the most difficult part for us … though I think we were lucky.

The hard part is waiting. I know I’ve complained about this waiting to family and friends and in this blog spot. And I attribute a bit of the impatience to age. When you get to be 85, you are inclined to think differently about time passing. It hits you that your time on earth is getting short, and you may not live long enough to accomplish what you want. My children hate for me to talk this way, but it’s a reality most people my age live with daily.

But if you’re lucky enough to get published, the wait is over suddenly. This can be a glorious feeling, especially as you hit milestones such as seeing your book’s print version posted on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Here is it before you – your dreams turning into reality. Soon, you’ll be able to hold your own book in your hands, and you know that makes everything and all the waiting worthwhile. You have become an “author,” and your book is no longer a secret place within you where your stories reside, but rather a place for those stories to live and grow. The book is published, and you find yourself in a whirlwind of things to do to promote your endeavor. Your thoughts go round and round, trying to come up with creative new ways to get the word out, and suddenly it seems there isn’t enough time to get everything done.

I welcome this round and round whirlwind feeling, so I thought I’d celebrate it by giving out one of my favorite holiday recipes: Rye Rounds. I said I wouldn’t be using this blog as a place to post recipes, but readers, you’ve responded that you like them! And recipes like this one become part of your life when your family so adores them. On Christmas Eve, my family spends the holiday by having hors d’euvres for our meal.  I love this recipe because you can make it two or three weeks in advance and keep it in the freezer until you are ready to pop it in the oven. Men are especially fond of these tidbits.

Rye Rounds

1 loaf rye rounds

1 lb. hamburger

1 lb. sage-seasoned sausage

1 lb. Velvetta cheese, cut into small squares

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

l/2 teaspoon oregano

Brown meats in skillet until no longer pink; drain excess fat, add cheese and cover.  Lower heat on burner.  Stir often until cheese is completely melted; add spices and stir again.

Put rye rounds on two cookie sheets lined with wax paper. Spoon meat mixture onto the rounds.  Put in freezer.  When frozen, take out and put in a bag until ready to use.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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