<![CDATA[Yvonne Ventresca - Blog]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 20:14:19 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Author Spotlight on Renee Cheung, Contributor to the Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 10:30:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/author-spotlight-on-renee-cheung-contributor-to-the-mysteries-of-death-and-life-anthologyThe Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology will be released on May 2nd. If you'd like to help get the word out, you can sign up to participate in the blog tour here.

In honor of the anthology, I'll be spotlighting different contributors between now and its release in May. Today's blog post features fellow author Renee Cheung, who contributed the story "Memoirs of a Forgotten Knight" to the anthology.

Interview with Renee Cheung

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Do you have any tips for getting work done around other obligations? Do you have a writing routine you’d like to share? Any fun/useful writing habits? Any advice for other writers?

I used to write on my laptop balancing my napping baby but he has gotten a little too big for that now. So out of necessity, I have started writing on my phone and it has completely changed the way I write. I was pretty skeptical at first when a friend told me he wrote on his phone but now I live by it. I have a One Plus Three (yes, why not just call it Four, haha, joke’s been done by my husband more times than I can count) and I have been writing my latest novel using the Google Docs app on it. Although I went into it thinking it would slow me down since I’m a fairly fast typer, I found writing on the phone surprisingly quick. The autocorrect has even learned my character’s names and does autocomplete on them!

Writing on the phone has freed me up to write pretty much anywhere, from waiting for my appointment at the doctor’s office, to on the go as a passenger in the car. It has also made me focus on writing. I haven’t gotten to editing yet but what little I’ve done seems to be much more difficult. This has forced me to forge ahead with the story, rather than going back to endlessly edit what’s already been written. On a good day, I can get about 2000 words in now and I definitely urge you to give it a shot.

Of course, using Google Drive and Google Docs means I can switch seamlessly between machines, whether it be computer, laptop or phone. I urge anyone to give it a shot.

What do you like to write about or what drew you to this anthology? Is there anything interesting about your background as a writer you’d like to share?

I’m a recovering workholic. So working full-time left little time for creative outlets like writing. I had promised myself that when I go on maternity leave, I would write a book, get something published for the joy of it. (Oh how innocent I was, imagining all the spare time I would have as a new parent. I can only laugh at my past self right now.) So around August last year, I started writing short stories, building a world through them piece by piece. When this contest came around, a story set in the world just popped into my head and the whole thing got away from me from there on.
What’s your favorite recent book and/or one from your teen years or something from your to-read pile?

I can rave on and on about Charles de Lint who is my idol and my inspiration. His stories, set in Newford, got me through some pretty tough times and kept the wonder and magic alive in my adult head. But I don’t think I can talk about my favourite book without talking about The Singing Stone by Orla Melling. It was my first brush with Celtic mythology as a kid and I absolutely fell in love with all of it. Growing up, I began devouring any Celtic mythology text and to this day, it is still one of my passions. I must have read that book hundreds of times as by high school, it became my party trick that anyone can read one short quote from the book and I can tell exactly who said it. In fact, I wrote a fan letter and got a gorgeous card back from Orla Melling in return. I still have it and it makes me smile every time I read it.
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More about Renee Cheung:
Renee uses her years of experience as a developer to write about the what-ifs of magic and technology. When she is not suspiciously peering at her computer in between her writing, she can be found roaming the streets with her family or gaming (whether it’s video games, board games or table-top RPGs) with her similar-minded friends.

You can connect with Renee on Web | Blog | Twitter | Facebook.
Learn more about the anthology on the 
Lost Hero website.
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<![CDATA[IWSG April Blog Hop: Blogging from A to Z]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 10:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/iwsg-april-blog-hop-blogging-from-a-to-zPicture
If you are taking part in the YA Scavenger Hunt, go here for Team Red and the opportunity to win some awesome giveaways! (If you've never tried this hunt to win book prizes, you might like to check it out.)


IWSG Monthly Blog Hop

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It's the first of the month, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group's blog hop. IWSG was founded by author Alex J Cavanaugh, and this month's co-hosts are  ​​Chris @ Madness of a Modern Writer, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Fundy Blue, and Chrys Fey!

This month's (optional) question: Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book?
While I have enjoyed networking with other A to Z Challenge bloggers, I haven't used the challenge much to promote my books (other than to have people arrive at my blog). For the 2014 A to Z Challenge, I blogged about Writing Inspiration. For the 2015 and 2016 challenges, I blogged about productivity.
Blogging to market a book can be a tricky combination. It depends on whether the blog audience is the same as the target book audience, for one thing. Do you read blogs to find new books, or to read the actual blog content, or both?
Since this blog hop is for the Insecure Writers Support Group, I thought I'd share one of my favorite morale-boosting quotes about writing.
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As a writer, how do you feel about the gap between what you are reading and what you are writing?

If you're interested in reading other answers to the IWSG monthly question, follow the blog hop links below.  (If they don't show up due to tech issues, please visit the IWSG website to access the links.)
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<![CDATA[YA Scavenger Hunt #YASH]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/ya-scavenger-hunt-yash3536322
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Welcome to the YA Scavenger Hunt for Team Red!

Welcome to Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors . . . and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for the team prize--books from Team Red! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for a few days. If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Scavenger Hunt Directions

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Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've hidden my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the RED team, and then add them up.

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 9th at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Black Flowers, White Lies

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If this is your first time to my blog, I'm Yvonne Ventresca, author of PANDEMIC and the psychological thriller, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES. In BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES, strange events make Ella question what’s real. Is it a haunting or a breakdown? She desperately needs answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

In addition to the Team Red prize, I'm offering an Amazon gift card giveaway. Look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

Random fun fact: Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of number 13.


Scavenger Hunt Guest Post Featuring E. Katherine Kottaras

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E. Katherine Kottaras holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. Katherine is interested in the stories we tell, the stories we are given, and the ways we can redefine our worlds by discovering which stories are true.

More about The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

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Tell us a little about Viviana!
Many writers talk about books that are the “stories of their hearts.” My first book, HOW TO BE BRAVE, was most definitely that since it is told through the eyes of Georgia, a Greek-American teenager whose mother passes away. I am half-Greek, and my father died when I was seventeen, so much of the story, in terms of its exploration of grief and loss, identity and love, came directly from my heart and my life.
 
My second book, THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER, is equally the story of my heart. Viviana is a driven honors student and the daughter of a Russian-Jewish immigrant mom and an American engineer dad who have extremely high academic expectations for her. As a result of both these expectations and an exposing mistake Viviana made in sharing a nude photo with her boyfriend (who proceeded to send it to the entire school), Viviana suffers from severe anxiety and panic attacks. She knows that she didn’t do anything wrong in sending the photo to him – she trusted and loved him at the time – but world still blames and shames her for it.
 
Set at her summer job in the middle of Chicago, Viviana is finally able to escape the judgmental eyes of her school, but she soon becomes the odd vertex of a love triangle; her childhood best friend, Sammie, has a crush on the outgoing, college-aged lifeguard, Evan, but he seems to be more interested in Viviana. Against her better judgment, Viviana falls for him, thereby damaging yet another important relationship in her life and disappointing herself. Soon after, when her father finally returns from his mysterious six-month long business trip, Viviana discovers some deep, dark truths about him that force her to question all of her ideas about love and trust and the control she has over her life.

Readers have told me it’s a page-turner, so that’s exciting! Part of Viviana’s journey is that she begins to discover some deep, dark secrets about her father that make her question everything about him, everything she’s ever known about her family, period.

It’s also a story about friendship, as Viviana treasures her life-long best friend and braiding buddy, Sammie, and must find ways to make sure that she remains true to her despite the fact that she’s falling for Evan.
And speaking of Evan, there’s also a really freaking good kissing scene towards the middle of the book that involves a swimming pool and tomato bombs falling from the sky. I mean, I do love romantic kissing scenes. The tomato bomb scene really did happen when I was a teenager, but unfortunately, I wasn’t kissing anyone that day. That’s the best part of writing: you can steal stuff from real life, but you can also make it even better than you remembered.


Continue the Hunt

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Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, E. Katherine Kottaras, and more! Find my favorite number (in RED) earlier in this post. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

To keep going on the YA Scavenger Hunt, you need to check out the next author on Team Red: Cat Winters.

Bonus Giveaway

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In addition to contributing to the YASH giveaway, I'm offering my own personal giveaway as well. One winner will receive a set of eight custom designed Black Flower Notecards (inspired by BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES) and a $10 Amazon Gift Card. (This prize is open internationally, but please note: Any winner outside of the US will receive a $15 Amazon Gift Card and will not receive the notecards.) Good luck!

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<![CDATA[Author Spotlight on Tyrean Martinson, Contributor to the Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 10:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/author-spotlight-on-tyrean-martinson-contributor-to-the-mysteries-of-death-and-life-anthologyThe Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology will be released on May 2nd. If you'd like to help get the word out, you can sign up to participate in the blog tour here.

In honor of the anthology, I'll be spotlighting different contributors between now and its release in May. Today's blog post features fellow author Tyrean Martinson, who contributed the story "Of Words and Swords" to the anthology.

Interview with Tyrean Martinson

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Do you have any tips for getting work done around other obligations? Do you have a writing routine you’d like to share? Any fun/useful writing habits? Any advice for other writers?

When I'm feeling overwhelmed by the blinking cursor or my current WIP is mired in muddy plot-issues, I write in my journal or I write with writing prompts. After I do that for 10-15 minutes, it seems like something finally lets go and my creativity and ability to write comes back. To work around other obligations, I take my writing with me wherever I go. When my daughters needed me to drive them to activities, I would write while they were engaged in those activities. When I've had to, I get up earlier and write or I write while the dinner dishes are getting done by someone else. If I cook, my daughters and husband usually clean up - this grants me a 15-20 minute window to write. 15-20 minutes may not seem like much, but I can get some writing done and that helps keep my WIP fresh for a lengthier session later. Creative daydreaming time is always useful, too. If I'm taking a walk, I try to imagine my story world. This helps when I sit down to write.​

What do you like to write about or what drew you to this anthology? Is there anything interesting about your background as a writer you’d like to share?

I love reading and writing fantasy so this anthology seemed like the right fit and then the prompt about lost heroes gripped me. The more that I've thought about it (even beyond writing my story), the more I'm convinced that most fictional heroes are lost when we first meet them in their story world. I don't know many fictional heroes that don't have some sense of reluctance at the beginning of their adventures. It might be that I'm just drawn to reluctant or lost heroes because I feel they represent the kinds of doubts we all have about ourselves. When I think of real world heroes, I often think of firefighters, EMTs, and missionaries who run orphanages, schools, and human trafficking counseling centers. Real heroes never seem reluctant or lost on the outside. However, a semi-retired 80+ missionary lady I know has mentioned that she harbored some doubts at different times in her 60+ years of missionary work - she's taught classes in schoolrooms in Pakistan, India, China, Brazil, Kenya, and Peru. My family has a firefighting friend who has shared the heaviness of his work - it isn't something he just leaves behind him. He is troubled by the pain and suffering he sees. In my personal background, I have struggled with bullies both as a kid and as an adult teaching in a classroom that included both victims and bullies. As a kid, I always wanted some kind of righteous vengeance on my bullies until one day one of them asked me to forgive him. I realized that I had been becoming a bully on the inside, letting my anger and hurt change me. I had to rely on forgiveness to change my path toward something better.  I think that the concept of a lost hero is part of how we deal with those moments when we struggle to find something good or heroic in the world around us.​
What’s your favorite recent book and/or one from your teen years or something from your to-read pile?

So far in 2017, my three favorite reads have been Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (it's a Star Wars book that runs parallel to the original movies), Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (a superhero urban scifi fantasy novel), and Red Rising by Pierce Brown (science fiction/dystopian). My favorite book as a teen was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. On the surface, Ender's Game is a sci-fi novel, but I really think it's more about bullying on an individual level and a societal level. Each of these novels includes a redemptive arc for the main character that requires the character to forgive others or themselves.

Despite all the seriousness of my answers here, my story "Of Words and Swords" is fairly light-hearted. Sometimes, I think we need a little light-heartedness when we read and when we write. ​
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More about Tyrean Martinson:
Daydreamer, writer, teacher, believer–Tyrean Martinson lives near the Puget Sound with her husband and daughters. With her B.A. in Ed. and English, she teaches writing classes to home-school teens and she writes speculative, contemporary, poetry, experimental hint fiction, and writing books.

You can connect with Tyrean on Blog | Twitter | Facebook.
Learn more about the anthology on the Lost Hero website.
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<![CDATA[Dreaded Tasks and Productivity]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 20:57:14 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/dreaded-tasks-and-productivityBy Yvonne Ventresca
​Sometimes there are tasks we dread doing. It might be making an unpleasant phone call, answering an email, or writing a difficult chapter. As Rita Emmett, the author of The Procrastinator’s Handbook, says, “The dread of doing a task uses up more time and energy than doing the task itself.”
Here are some ways to combat the dread:

1. Group the tasks together. For example, I don’t like calling strangers and asking for information, so if I have to make five of those phone calls (say, for writing research), I do them all in one sitting. This way, I figure, I’ve only had one unpleasant afternoon instead of many. The technique works for writing/sending query letters, too.

2. Set a timer. If writing feels hard, I find that setting a timer and making an agreement with myself (I’ll spend fifteen minutes and stop if I'm still miserable) can often get me over the hurdle of getting started. Then I continue past the set amount of time. (For more on timers, you can also checkout the Pomodoro technique.)

3. Journal. Sometimes it helps to explore why the tasks are difficult. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Journaling about it helps to get to the root of the problem and makes it seem like less of a big deal.

4. Do the most difficult things first (during the day or even during the week), so that the chore isn’t looming. (As Laura Vanderkam says, "Climb your mountains on Monday mornings.")

5. For possibly un-dreaded, but “low return” tasks, Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project, suggests scheduling a “maintenance day.” He does chores like cleaning, shopping, and laundry at one designated time (such as a Sunday), so that his other days are more productive.

How about you? What tasks do you dread?
​Do you have any techniques for accomplishing them?
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<![CDATA[Author Spotlight on Erika Beebe, Contributor to the Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/author-spotlight-on-erika-beebe-contributor-to-the-mysteries-of-death-and-life-anthologyThe Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology will be released on May 2nd. If you'd like to help get the word out, you can sign up to participate in the blog tour here.

In honor of the anthology, I'll be spotlighting different contributors between now and its release in May. Today's blog post features fellow author Erika Beebe, who contributed the story "The Wheat Witch" to the anthology. Read on for an interview with Erika.

Interview with Erika Beebe

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Do you have any tips for getting work done around other obligations? Do you have a writing routine you’d like to share? Any fun/useful writing habits? Any advice for other writers?

Hemingway summed it up in the quote: “Imagination? It is the one thing besides honesty that a good writer must have. The more he learns from experience the more he can imagine.”

​Writing is imagining problems and solutions, breaking and rebreaking until your character’s story is told in a satisfactory manner from your own perspective. The more life you cram into your own personal world, the more human your characters and the worlds you write become.  Not that I wish tragedy on anyone. It happens regardless to all of us. But don’t be afraid to live. And those around you should fear you’ll use their stories at any given moment (politely of course).


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My one personal writing tip? Don’t let self-doubt rule your head. The dream will never have a chance to blossom. Rejection does happen. Keep going. Eventually your hard world will pay off when you least expect it.

What do you like to write about or what drew you to this anthology? Is there anything interesting about your background as a writer you’d like to share?

I’d like to stay the course in Young Adult Contemporary or Urban Fantasy. Teens need all the magic and hope they can get. They’ll be in charge of the future and I like working with them, and writing for them. Hope is my motto. I write to bring hope when the world feels desperate and dark. I’ve been down plenty of deep rabbit holes and had to dig my own way out. The fallen hero theme of the anthology seemed perfect, envisioning a hero at the bottom and then writing the way back up to the top. Ethan, the main character in my own short story “The Wheat Witch,” doesn’t allow himself to succeed. His fall caused a lifetime of failures due to his own lack of diving deep and listening to his heart.

Anything interesting about me? I volunteered and worked in a zoo for a good 8 years. I shoveled hippopotamus dung, and welded the lion exhibit. I cleaned the gardens, hoisted away the trash, drove the train, boats and survived many hot days in the blazing Kansas summer heat. All of these experiences helped sharpen my awareness of the senses. Imagine what I smelled like after a morning cleaning the dung in the African Veldt, or the fear I felt climbing a small metal pathway from under the lion exhibit nearly peeing my pants when the lion lunged at me, way too close? Turkey vultures stalked me and one attacked me, trying to grab my hair in his feet. I think I picture the senses and I paint them well because I’ve been there.

What’s your favorite recent book and/or one from your teen years or something from your to-read pile?

My all time favorite series was Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush-Hush Series. The second series? L.A. Weatherly’s Angel books. I like the balance of character and the creativity in both worlds. The series held strong through every book, something that dies in others I’ve read. 

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More about Erika Beebe:
Writer, author, dreamer, she envisions the possibilities in life and writes to bring hope when sometimes the moment doesn’t always feel that way. Working in the field of public relations and communications for more than fifteen years, she has always been involved with writing, editing, and engaging others in public speaking. In 2013, her first short story “Stage Fright” published in One More Day anthology. Her two young children help keep her creativity alive and the feeling of play in the forefront of her mind.

You can connect with Erika on Facebook | Blog | Twitter
Learn more about the anthology on the Lost Hero website.
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<![CDATA[Author Spotlight on L. Nahay, Contributor to the Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/author-spotlight-on-l-nahay-contributor-to-the-mysteries-of-death-and-life-anthologyThe Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology will be released on May 2nd. If you'd like to help get the word out, you can sign up to participate in our blog tour here.

In honor of the anthology, I'll be spotlighting different contributors between now and its release in May. Today's blog post features fellow author L. Nahay, who contributed the story "Breath Between Seconds" to the anthology.

Interview with L. Nahay

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Do you have any tips for getting work done around other obligations? Do you have a writing routine you’d like to share? Any fun/useful writing habits? Any advice for other writers?

Don't stress about how other people are writing, or how much they manage to write. You can only write according to the time you are given and within the circumstances you are in. It's incomparable to anyone else.

What do you like to write about or what drew you to this anthology? Is there anything interesting about your background as a writer you’d like to share?

I seem to write about women- typically mothers--finding their way through traumatic situations. Since I was way too young to be a mother! I wasn't sure at first how I would relate that into this topic, but I knew she had to be a she, and she had to bend preconceived notions and be a soldier. With my female characters, I love writing a complimentary male figure--not specifically for romantic interests. I love the differences in how things are approached and handled by each, and how we compliment and challenge each other when respect is there. That came out very strongly, yet in a heartbreaking way, in 'Breath Between Seconds'.
What’s your favorite recent book and/or one from your teen years or something from your to-read pile?

Recently, I'd say the On The Bones of Gods series by K. Eason (especially when listened to). It's a great mix of fantasy, old Nordic life and mythology, and a smart addition of unbalanced matriarchal government (any unbalanced government is bad, but this was a first glimpse into this opposing spectrum).
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More about L. Nahay:
L. Nahay is an author of fantasy and an independent publisher through Midnight Tomorrow Books. She has always ever written. She is a mom to two monsters, and while she’d love to live the more wild way most of her characters do, she currently resides in 
Indiana. For reminders of life outside her stories, she enjoys reading, creating, camping, hiking, exploring, and time with those monsters of hers. To date, she has published the first book of her fantasy series entitled Red Moonglow on Snow, and an urban fantasy short story called The Dryad.  She has also recently stepped into the world of Steampunk and bought the monsters a telescope. Be forewarned.

You can connect with L Nahay on Web | Blog | Twitter | Instagram.
Learn more about the anthology on our Lost Hero website.
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<![CDATA[Library Love]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:30:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/library-lovePicture
It's time to Celebrate the Small Things! This is a blog hop hosted by Lexa CainL.G. Keltner, and Tonja Drecker

Today I want to celebrate public libraries. According to my reading history, I've taken out about 125 books from my local library in the past 3 1/2 years. Some I've loved enough to buy my own copy. For many of them, I'm happy to have a free book to borrow. And some I returned unfinished, or even unopened if I changed my mind (or ran out of time). That's the beauty of it, right? You can take out a book with a no-risk return policy!

I currently have about eight books out--a mix of nonfiction, novels, and short story collections. 

Do you have a favorite feature of the library? (Mine is requesting books and receiving an email when they are ready for pick up.) ​Do you ever return books without reading them?
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<![CDATA[Author Spotlight on Ellen Jacobson, Contributor to the Mysteries of Death and Life Anthology]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:30:00 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/author-spotlight-on-ellen-jacobson-contributor-to-the-mysteries-of-death-and-life-anthologyThe Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life anthology will be released on May 2nd. If you'd like to help get the word out, you can sign up to participate in our blog tour here.

In honor of the anthology, I'll be spotlighting different contributors between now and its release in May. Today's blog post features fellow author Ellen Jacobson, who contributed the story "The Silvering" to the anthology. Read on for an interview with Ellen.

Interview with Ellen Jacobson

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Do you have any tips for getting work done around other obligations? Do you have a writing routine you’d like to share? Any fun/useful writing habits? Any advice for other writers?

I really wish I had tips for getting work done around my other obligations. This is actually an area I've been struggling with recently. We're currently getting our sailboat ready to go cruising in the Bahamas and boat projects have overtaken my life. After long days trying to fix engine problems and contorting myself in small spaces trying to remove bolts, my creative energy is sapped and writing is the last thing on my mind. I am hoping that once we're out there on our boat, anchored off of a lovely deserted island basking in the sunlight, I'll be motivated to get into a daily writing routine.

What do you like to write about or what drew you to this anthology? Is there anything interesting about your background as a writer you’d like to share?

I'm new to this whole writing thing, so I don't have too much of a background to share. I started off blogging about our sailing and travel adventures a few years ago and discovered that I really enjoyed the creative process. That led to me trying to write my first novel, a cozy mystery about a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth.

Somewhere around draft #2,314 of my cozy mystery, I was starting to get just a wee bit frustrated about my lack of progress. To take a break from it all, I decided to take a stab at writing a short story inspired by a dream I had had about a strange world where people don gloves at the age of ten never to take them off again. When the ISWG anthology contest was announced, I thought that my story might just fit the theme and, in a fit of madness, I entered. 
What’s your favorite recent book and/or one from your teen years or something from your to-read pile?

I love to read. Normally, I read between 8-10 books a month and I always have a large to-read pile waiting for me. I tend to gravitate towards sci-fi/fantasy and mysteries, but as I've started to focus more on the craft of writing, I find I'm reading a wider range of genres. Not only have I learned tons from reading with a critical writer's eye, I've also been surprised by some of the genres I thought I would have hated but ended up enjoying. Amish romance, who knew?

While I haven't read a lot over the past couple of months (sadly, boat projects even deplete my reading energy), one of the ones I really enjoyed recently was The Remnant by William Michael Davidson (a fellow Dancing Lemur author). I'm also looking forward to reading the next book in Patty Jansen's Ambassador series
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More about Ellen Jacobson:
Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is currently working on the first in a cozy mystery series about a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth, as well as tales set on imaginary worlds. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn’t working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures.

You can connect with Ellen on Facebook | Blog | Google+
Learn more about the anthology at the Lost Hero website.
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<![CDATA[Teen Tuesday: Scholastic News Kids Press Corps]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:56:34 GMThttp://yvonneventresca.com/blog/teen-tuesday-scholastic-news-kids-press-corpsPicture
Scholastic News Kids Press Corps opened its call for applications for the 2017–2018 school year! Students ages 10–14 from across the country and around the world with a “nose for news,” a passion for writing, and a strong interest in journalism are encouraged to apply.
 
Students can download the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps application online at www.scholastic.com/kidreporters. Applications must be received by May 31, 2017.

For other writing resources specifically for Teens and Tweens, visit my Resources for Teen Writers page. Happy Writing!
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