PLA Event

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I’m back! And I have exciting news for you.

I’ve just returned from Nashville, Tennessee where I attended a book signing that wasput on by the PLA (Public Library Association). This event was full of librarians looking for books, etc. to fill their libraries.

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There were so many booths there…too many to visit. The conference went from Wednesday to Friday, and a person could not possibly see everything there was to see in that amount of time. Of course, there were a lot of authors signing their books, but more than that, there were oodles of things that were associated with libraries and learning.

 

There even was karaoke in the lobby.IMG_0456

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people I met were awesome, too. Below is a picture of the representatives for Ingram (the distributors that my publisher uses).

IMG_0425  Ingram Ladies

 

 

 

 

 

I received a pleasant surprise when I arrived at the Ingram booth. One of the ladies informed me that some people were excited to see me and get a signed copy of Harry’s second book, The Jamaican Mission, (which is on Amazon for preorder now). Imagine how I felt! All of the books that my publisher sent for me to sign were gone before my allotted time was up. Yippee! It seems that a lot of librarians love cats. One even stopped to tell me that their library had a cat for a mascot!

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After my first session was done, my friend and I had the pleasure of meeting with another author for lunch. Some of you might know her. Carla Vergot is the creator of Lily Barlow. Carla has written two smashing books starring her lovable character. You can visit with Carla on her FB group, “Carla Vergot’s Back Porch”.

Carla Vergot
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Below is a picture of my friend and I at Barlines where we had lunch with Carla. (I’m the one in the red sweater.) Even though it was first time we had met Carla, we felt as if we had known her for years.

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All in all, it was a great trip. I met some wonderful people and I’m looking forward to the next signing.

The 12 Days of Christmas

 

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The 12 Days of Christmas begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. The earliest version of song appeared in 1780 in a children’s book and it is thought to be French in origin. Some say it was a game in which players’ would test their memories by singing the song. If they couldn’t remember the words, they would have to give up something, like a piece of candy, etc.

Here is Harry’s version of The 12 Days of Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me an ornament in a Christmas tree

1st day

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

2nd Day

On the third day of Christmas my true gave to me three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

3rd Day

On the fourth day of Christmas my true gave to me four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 4

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 5

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 6

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 7

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 8

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 9

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 10

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me eleven jingle balls, ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 11

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve running wheels, eleven jingle balls, ten tunnel toys, nine bowls of cream, eight mice a-running, seven birds a-flying, six feather toys, five kitty treats, four laser pointers, three balls of twine, two catnip toys and an ornament in a Christmas tree

Day 12

Thanks to our friends at:

 

www.vox.com

What Was the Inspiration for Harry You Ask?

Monkeyface

 

When I decided to create the character for Harry the Wonder Cat, I had to look no further than my Monkeyface, the first cat I ever had.  Twenty years ago, Monkey and I met and it was love at first sight. The big Maine Coon was the gentlest creature that I’ve ever known.  He was fiercely loyal to me and protected me from the people that he considered bad. (Cats are like that…they can smell trouble a mile off.) I, in turn, protected him from everything from the rustling of a paper bag (he hated paper bags) to the loud claps of thunder in the mountain sky.

Now, I know you’ll think that Harry doesn’t sound at all like Monkeyface, and you would be right when it comes down to fears.  After all, Harry isn’t afraid of anything. You must remember, however, Monkeyface didn’t have the powers that Harry has.

Other than being fiercely protective of their person, Maine Coons are the largest domestic cat, (the biggest was a cat named Stewie,  who grew to be a whopping 48.5 inches. Harry’s 38 inches seem small next to Stewie.

While Harry grew to weigh over 30 pounds, Monkeyface weighed a mere 25 pounds. Maine Coon are known as the Gentle Giants of the cat world, but sometimes Harry uses his size to intimidate enemies.

I chose the Maine Coon breed for Harry the Wonder Cat in memory of my lovable Monkeyface who, in my mind, will always be my Wonder Cat.

 

Next week I will share with you my experiences at my first writer’s convention.  Until then, have a purrfect week, from Harry and the Gang!

The Afterglow: What Happens After the Editing Process Is Finished?

Last time I talked about my experiences up to and including the editing of my first book. My best advise is:

1) Don’t be too quick to send your first draft in to your editor. I did and drove my editor nuts.  It ends up being more frustrating and a lot more work than if you went over the first couple of drafts yourself then send it in.

2) Get an editor that you can work with.  It makes for an easier process.

Now, after the editing process…

Woo hoo! You have your edited manuscript in your hands (well maybe not in your hands, but on your computer). What’s the next step? You need a launch team.  A launch team is a team of individuals who read the Advance Readers Copy, or the ARC and give feedback on the story. After that, it’s all the publisher’s baby.  He gets his team to work on the layout, etc.

At the same time, you gear up on marketing.  I went online and asked  blogs to review Harry on their blogs…first, the cat blogs that I already knew from doing a cat blog for years.  Then I hit the fiction and mystery blogs.  We mustn’t forget the podcasts (although I haven’t had much luck with those). You notice that I use the present tense because it is a never ending process.

Sometime during this process, you will get the hardcopies in your hot little hands.  Congratulations!

Then the cold calls come.  I am starting to call bookstores, etc. to do book signings.  Now I’m finding that not all stores are open to them, especially the small, local ones.

Yesterday I put 10 signed copies of Harry up for a giveaway on Goodreads.  In 18 hours I had almost 500 entrants.

Finally, I am booked to go to Washington DC for my first conference. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

So, now you are up to speed with all that I’ve been through.  It has been a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride that, at times has made me ecstatic and at times has made me want to pull my hair out.  It’s never dull and I love it!

BTW, I’m working on the next book in Harry the Wonder Cat Series. In this one, Harry goes to Jamaica and falls in love with a beautiful beach cat named Luna. Follow along Harry’s trip with Nikki, Heather and the gang.

If you missed the first book, Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond, you can still get it here.

What to Expect When Publishing Your First Novel

I’m Denise, the creator of Harry the Wonder Cat, and the author of The Legend of the Pink Diamond.  For the next couple of weeks I thought I’d just talk about the steps leading up to that all important publication date and what it feels like when you actually hold that first book in your hand.

One thing that not a lot of my readers know is that all of the cats, with the exception of Harry, are based on the real cats that take care of some of the readers of my Facebook page. As soon as I realized that Harry needed a gang, I opened up auditions on Kitty Tales and a slew of cats came running for the curtain call.  I, being the ultimate cat lady, gave the parts to all of the cats that applied.  So each cat will be named or featured in at least one of the books in the series.

Casting taken care of, you need to write the story.  You should write at least two drafts before sending the manuscript to your editor. I sent the first draft and was sorry I did as, by the time we got to the final draft, the book had changed into a totally different story, which drove my publisher crazy.

I believe you need to have a bond, call it chemestry, with your editor because, after all, you are going to be joined at the hip (figuratively speaking of course, otherwise you wouldn’t get much writing done) for the next few months. I was lucky in that my publisher made sure to “fit” me with another cat lady.  Suze loves Harry almost as much as I did, therefore she handled him with kit gloves.  The result was a book that showcased Harry’s purrsonality, quirks and all.

During the editing phase, which involves a lot of time sending the manuscript back and forth for rewrites, etc., my publisher’s design team was working on that all important cover, again a lot of changing until we all agreed that it was purrfect.  You can judge a book by it’s cover, and Harry’s cover is great!

Meanwhile, I looked for a professional photographer for the picture on the back of the book.  I ended up using it on my profiles for my social media.  Get your face out there!!

Next time I’ll be going over what happens after the editing.  No…the process isn’t not over yet.  It’s only just begun!