Friday, March 25, 2011

Finding Your Writing/Speaking Niche with the Presidents' Wives

Finding a niche for your writing and speaking venue helps writers further their careers. Feather Schwartz Foster has done this with the earlier First Ladies of our country. As a presidential historian, with particular interest in the presidents' wives, Ms. Foster writes about them, teaches at adult education classes and gives talks.

Her new book, The First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Mamie Eisenhower, An Itimate Portrait of the Women Who Shaped America, you'll discover interesting facts about the nation's presidential wives you may not have known before. Often you don't hear about the wives who helped their husbands shape this nation's history. But many played an important role, whether behind the scenes or in the public eye.

Ms. Foster devotes a chapter to each of these ladies, from Martha Washington to Mamie Eisenhower, and gives us insight into their lives and tells about their unique accomplishments. There is a picture of each lady with her chapter.

This book is a fascinating read. I'd also recommend it as a supplement to any U.S. history class.

As a writer, you can learn from Ms. Foster on finding a niche to write about and to capitalize upon as you branch out into teaching and speaking events.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Banker's Greed - Successfully Launching a Book with Advance PR

Patricia Terrell (p. m. terrell) appears to be very successfully launching her new mystery novel, The Bankers' Greed, co-authored with T. Randy Stevens, due out March 31.  Positive reviews, blogging, book trailers, web site updates and a schedule of author appearances have helped the authors and publisher, Drake Valley Press,  get word out about this book.

Even two months ago, advance book sales were going well and book tour appearances had been scheduled. 

Even before the book has become widely available to the public, the heroine, Jessica Palmer will become part of a series!  According to Ms. Terrell's latest newsletter, "The initial reviews and critiques have been so favorable that a series is guaranteed, featuring Jessica Palmer, the daughter of a powerful and influential banker in Middle Tennessee."

Jessica's initial adventure and mystery solution is so captivating that reviewers and critics want to see more of her!

It bodes well for authors to study what Patricia and Randy have done to launch their book.  Learn from their techniques and begin promoting your book NOW.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Compile a "Seven Wonders in Your Home Town" Booklet

When substitute teaching the other day, I read a chapter in the book, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, to the fifth graders. (Their teacher is reading the entire book to them.) The young boy in the story wanted to see the Seven Wonders of the World. This wasn't possible, so his father suggested he look for seven wonders around his home town of Sassafras Springs.

Discover Your Own Wonders

I discussed with the youngsters the possibility of discovering seven wonders in their town. Several of the students began naming sites and events they considered wonders.

This got me thinking about listing seven wonders in the town where I live. As a writer, the idea of making a booklet of the wonders, with activities for youngsters, seemed a possibility.

Look around your own town for wonders to see and do. Bring your children into the activity. Perhaps read the book by Betty G. Birney to get them involved. They will be amazed at what they can find. As in the book, these wonders may involve people.

Make a List of Wonders

Start by making a list of the wonders. Research the stories behind them. Interview people. Then visit the wonders and take photos. Make a booklet of your own.

For instance, wonders in my town of Plymouth, NH might involve:

•The Boy Scout fountain in the town square

•The former Draper Maynard factory building where baseballs and gloves once were made...and Babe Ruth visited.

•The old Railroad Station

•A possible Underground Railroad site

•A World War II fighter pilot...interview him and look through his pictures. He even flew with Charles Lindbergh on training missions.

Then go further afield in the region. Discover wonders in nearby towns. While in these areas, take hikes, go geocaching, collect rocks and study geology, go swimming, and find that your adventures for 2011 can be inexpensive but great yourself, as a family, or in a group.

(c)2010 Mary Emma Allen

(Mary Emma Allen has been a travel editor for a hometown magazine, writes travel articles, as well as books for children and adults. E-mail her about the wonders you find in your hometown at )