Historical Fiction Cover Competition March 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to a new year of ‘Pam’s Picks’. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition March 2019”

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A Conversation with Author Linda Covella

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Linda Covella, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome, Linda, please introduce yourself:

Author Photo 2Hello Pam and visitors! My varied background and education have led me down many paths, but one thing I never strayed from is my love of writing.

In writing for kids and teens, I hope to bring to them the feelings books gave me when I was a child: the worlds they opened, the things they taught, the feelings they expressed.

I have four published novels for middle grade and young adult, and a recently released narrative nonfiction picture book. I’ve been a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since 2002. I live in Santa Cruz, CA with my husband, Charlie, and dog, Ginger.

Did you read much as a child?

I’ve been an avid reader from an early age thanks to my mother who was a school librarian. Also an artist and choral singer, she taught and encouraged me to embrace all the arts.

Are you an avid reader now?

Yes. I must always have a book to read!

Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I read a wide variety of genres and books for both adults and children. I enjoy reading middle grade and young adult books, but I also read them for the education, i.e., learning technique and craft from other children’s writers.

I read most genres, but not a lot of romance or thrillers. I’ve always loved historical fiction and still am drawn to those stories. I get more into character than plot (though of course the plot has to be engaging), so if a story includes deeply realized characters, I’ll enjoy it.

Are you self-published or traditionally published?

Yakimali's Gift Front Cover_400x618Both. My first books (Yakimali’s Gift and The Ghost Whisperer series books) were originally traditionally published with small presses. One went out of business, and I ended up self-publishing these books as well as Cryptogram Chaos.Ghosts Cover with Gold Medal_400x616

My latest book, The Power of a Dream: Maria Feliciana Arballo, Latina Pioneer, a narrative nonfiction picture book, is traditionally published.

Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. With self-publishing, you have more control over the publication, the content, the layout and presentation, and how quickly it’s published. But more costs and time are required for covers, publication, editing, etc.

With traditional, you have support of the publisher who pays for the cover, editing, initial publication, etc. The Power of a Dream has beautiful illustrations by an artist hired by the publisher.

Either method requires the author to do marketing!

Which genre do you write in and why?

I’m a children’s author, and I love writing for children, having them as my audience. Kids and teens have such unique perspectives on life. I absolutely love hearing what’s on a kid’s mind—at any age.

The youngsters are always fun to watch as they show their amazement and delight with each new discovery—discoveries that we have long since taken for granted.

During the middle-school years, kids are starting to come into their own, learning who they are and flexing their maturity muscles. Their independence is beginning to flourish as they start to question things and form their own ideas and opinions.

I have a great respect for teens. By that age, they’ve developed their own one-of-a-kind personalities and strong viewpoints on all sorts of topics. They rightfully question things and begin to test and stretch the limits that are attempting to rein them in. Believe it or not, I can still remember those feelings from my own teen years, and it’s an exhilarating time of life.

I think writing for kids keeps me in touch with the feelings from my childhood. It also encourages me to keep an open mind when I’m with kids, to remind me they are unique individuals, and to give them that respect.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

I’d have to say my mother. First of all, she taught me to love reading, and reading is so important if you want to be a writer. When I started pursuing writing professionally, she was my biggest fan, always encouraging me to keep at it, to never give up.

Of course, other authors and the books I’ve read my entire life have influenced me as well. But it’s difficult to pinpoint any one author who’s had the biggest influence.

What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?

I love being creative, and writing is one outlet for that. But the best thing is when I get a positive reaction to one of my books, especially from the targeted audience—kids and teens. The worst thing? That would have to be the marketing, especially personal appearances. I’m not a practiced public speaker, so those are difficult for me. But it’s getting easier each time!

Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?

I like the aspect of social media that allows me to reach out to so many people. I’m most active on Facebook and Twitter. I recently joined Instagram, so I’m working on building up my following there. I also have accounts on Goodreads, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and book trailers on YouTube.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

I never thought of writing as a career. Instead, I ended up with a few degrees—art, business, mechanical drafting, manufacturing management—while I decided what I wanted to do with my life. Now, besides writing, I run my and my husband’s small tech business (we have a product my husband, an electronics engineer, designed). I also volunteer with the local Young Writers Program where I mentor kids and teens in the classroom.

Please tell us about your latest published work.

My latest book, released February 26, 2019, is a narrative nonfiction picture book: The Power of a Dream: Maria Feliciana Arballo, Latina Pioneer.

Power of a Dream cover_Page_01The story tells of a little-known part of U.S. history when, in 1775, some of the first Spanish settlers embarked on a colonization expedition from Mexico to California. THE POWER OF A DREAM focuses on Feliciana Arballo, an inspiring, brave, and remarkable woman, especially for the time in which she lived. Her husband died before the expedition began, and, as a young widow, Feliciana made the arduous four-month journey with her daughters: the infant Estaquia and four-year-old Tomása. Her husband, and thus her daughters, were looked down upon as mestizos, those of mixed Spanish and Indian heritage. As many immigrants do today, she followed her dream to have a better life in California for herself and her children, including eight more children she had with her second husband. Feliciana is referenced in the diaries of Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, who led the expedition, and Father Pedro Font, who also went on the journey. The book includes my two author notes: one discusses Feliciana’s background and her descendants, many of whom played important roles in the history of California; the other author note provides a background of the expedition itself.

The primary audience are children ages 5 – 10 (grades 1-4), as well as parents and teachers who can use the book to teach children about this important part of U.S. history and how it relates to today’s issues of race, immigration, heritage, and the value of diversity.

Thanks so much for the interview, Pam. I really enjoyed answering these questions.

If you would like to know more about Linda and her work, check out her links below:

Website

Facebook

Twitter @lindacovella

Instagram

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Pinterest

YouTube

 

Women in Horror Month: Featured Author: Pam Lecky

Thanks to Jo and Fiona

WordyNerdBird

Pam Lecky was featured earlier this month on the Unusual Fiction blog. I have read some of Pam’s stories, and they are very good, so I thought I would share her interview here, too.

A special thank you to Fiona Cooke for also featuring some amazing women of horror on her blog this month.

https://unusualfiction.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/welcome-to-women-in-horror-month-2019-introducing-historical-fiction-and-ghost-story-author-pam-lecky/

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A Conversation with Author Angelina Jameson

Today in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Angelina Jameson, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into her life as an author.

You are very welcome to the Library, Angelina, please introduce yourself:

AJThank you for having me here, Pam. I’m Angelina and I live in Alaska. I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and lived in several of the states here in the USA and in Suffolk, England. I love to travel and spend time with my husband and two grown sons.

Which genre do you write in and what draws you to it?

I currently write in the long Regency. I love the elegance and the manners of the era.

Are you an avid reader? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?

I love to read. My tastes change often although I mostly read mysteries and romance.

Are you a self-published/traditional or hybrid author?

I’m a hybrid author.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?

That’s a hard one but I would have to say Julia Quinn. Her Bridgerton books are why I try to have a little bit of lightheartedness in my work.

Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?

Although I grew up in America my mom was fascinated with England, so I grew up learning about castles, kings and queens. I joined the military, made it to England and knew I wanted to write about the history of the country in some fashion.

What was the best piece of writing advice you received when starting out?

To read a lot. By reading you learn how to write dialogue, how to weave in backstory.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

The evening when everyone in the house is in bed and I have quiet time. I have a bad habit of needing near silence to really get into writing.

If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?

I would want to be an Archaeologist. One of my sons is currently in school for archaeology and I am a bit jealous.

If you could live the life of an historical figure for one day, who would you choose and what would you get up to?

Jane Austen. I would love to visit her sister Cassandra and perhaps peep at some of the letters from Jane that Cassandra destroyed. Simply to see what Jane saw every day and mingle with her family.

If you could travel back in time, what era would you go to? What draws you to this particular time?

The Regency era. I like the idea of civility and more elegant dress. It is my favourite time period to write and it would be nice to go back and see if the social customs and habits of the gentry are what we believe them to be.

Please tell us about your latest published work. 

CoverMy latest work is Lord Albany’s Bride. It is a Regency historical novella with a couple in their 40’s.

Nearly twenty-five years ago John Winge let Emma slip through his fingers. Emma is now a widow, her two sons all grown up. Now a viscount, Lord John Albany needs to know if he used his handicapped sister as an excuse to never marry or because he couldn’t imagine a life with anyone other than Emma.

Lady Emma Upton’s loveless first marriage was merely a way to secure the children she desperately wanted. Now a widow, she can’t imagine a reason she would need a husband, let alone one in the form of Lord Albany, a notorious fortune-hunter.

 

Buy Links: Amazon US

Or Click below for Amazon UK

 

If you would like to know more about Angelina and her books, please explore her social media links below:

Twitter

BookBub

Facebook

 

Welcome to Women in Horror Month 2019 – Introducing Historical Fiction and Ghost Story Author, Pam Lecky

‘Horror-filled’ fun today on Fiona Hogan’s blog. It’s nice to talk about the spooky tales.

Unusual Fiction

It’s a miserable day – the wind whistles down the chimney, rain pelts the window pane; it’s a day for the fireside. A typical Irish, February day. In fact, it’s the perfect weather for curling up with one of my next author’s eerie ghost stories. It gives me great pleasure to introduce my good friend and fellow Irish author, Pam Lecky.

Pam Lecky is an Irish historical fiction author, writing crime, mystery, romance and the supernatural. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Society of Authors and has a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century. Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion; shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award. Her short stories are available in an anthology, entitled Past Imperfect, whichwas published in April 2018. She…

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Historical Fiction Cover Competition February 2019

What draws you to a historical fiction book cover? 

Welcome to a new year of ‘Pam’s Picks’. I hope you find some new books and authors for your ‘must read’ list. If a cover interests you, just click on the link to learn more about the book. Continue reading “Historical Fiction Cover Competition February 2019”

A Conversation with Author John Anthony Miller

This evening in the Library we have ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­John Anthony Miller, who has dropped in to say hello and to share some insights into his life as an author. You are very welcome, John. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, Pam – and thanks for having me.

photoI live in the U.S., in southern New Jersey, and my writing is motivated by a life-long love of travel and history. My fifth book, Honour the Dead, a historical murder mystery set in Italy in the 1920’s, has just been published. Continue reading “A Conversation with Author John Anthony Miller”