Q & A with author Laura Roettiger plus GIVEAWAY!!
An interview and an opportunity to win a signed copy of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON 💜🌙📚
I truly enjoyed the month of April as Author-of-the-Month at all four Timbuk Toys stores in Denver. It was lovely meeting people and sharing Aliana Reaches for the Moon. Toy stores are such a happy place.
I received a warm welcome each time I visited a store from both the employees and shoppers. I enjoyed interesting conversations about books, children, science, encouraging curiosity in children, and the importance of boys reading about strong, intelligent girls. In other words, a book with a female main character is NOT a ‘girl book.’ We have to empower our daughters and also teach our sons that girls are their equals. As a reading specialist, this is an important subject on which I have done considerable research and therefore have some strong opinions regarding how literature impacts the way gender roles are portrayed.
There are so many ways and reasons why it’s important to support local businesses. Independent book stores are my favorite places to visit no matter where I travel.
It’s been a while since I shopped for toys, but for the month of April I’ll be spending a lot of time at a Denver toy store, or should I say four wonderful stores? Timbuk Toys has four locations and I am the April Author-of-the-Month at all of them. This is a great example of a local store supporting a local author; something that takes ‘Shop Local’ to another level.
It’s fun to spend time in such a happy place as I’ve been able to share ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON with people shopping for birthday gifts, a few teachers, a dad looking for a gift for his daughter, and of course children. Sharing my book with children makes my teacher 💜 so happy! I was even surprised by a friend who came after seeing my event posted on Facebook.
I’ll be visiting all four stores during the month so if you’re in the Denver area, check out TimbukToys and buy a signed copy or two of ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON!
I spent a fantastic Saturday morning at The Book Stall in Winnetka, a wonderful independent book store with 75 years in the community. Author events and book clubs fill their calendar.
It was a dream-come-true feeling, reading ALIANA REACHES FOR THE MOON and answering questions from the crowd which included babes in arms, engaged children sitting on the floor, longtime friends in the area, and a lovely elderly woman from the neighborhood who attended with her caretaker. While signing books, I was able to have some wonderful moments with the attendees. The perfectly dressed older woman asked if I’d come home with her and read again later.
The title is COLORADO COAL FIELD WAR: MASSACRE AT LUDLOW.
My publisher, Apprentice Shop Books wanted to put together a series for middle school and older to highlight events in American history that changed hearts and minds. The Ludlow Massacre was part of a larger conflict in the mines of Colorado that pitted immigrant miners against wealthy mine owners. I’m a transplant to Colorado. The first time I heard about this bit of history was in a newspaper article. It caught my mind. When I was invited to submit book proposal, it didn’t take me long to decide to retell this story.
Yes, this is my first book length nonfiction. I have written shorter biographical pieces for Apprentice Shop Books’ 25 Women You Should Know series. I have two picture books out. For adults I’ve had six novels, three novellas, and a short story published as well as a number of magazine pieces and poetry.
It’s been suggested that I do so. At this time it is a work in progress. I’ll post it on my website when I’ve got it finished.
The massacre at Ludlow was well documented in the newspapers at the time as well as by the Colorado Militia in regards to movements of troops and the legal actions following the events. There are many photos available. It was a pleasant bit of history hunting to do the research. Ludlow is a ghost town now, but I drove down there and took some time taking pictures and getting a feel for the place.
As I was doing my research and writing it was clear to me that there are many corollaries to be drawn from those events over a hundred years ago. In some ways the plight of immigrants and the challenges they faced haven’t changed. The desire to improve our lot in life is a very human desire, and does not fade with time. The struggles to organize the mines and miners helped create the labor organizations we have today. Lastly, the fact that men still go into the earth all over the world to dig for coal and other materials and die in the attempt hasn’t changed. It remains a dangerous job.
You can find K.D. Huxman at:
Her book is available now on Amazon.com and Apprenticeshopbooks.com
Two months ago, I brought home a wonderfully sweet Goldendoodle puppy and named him Charlie. The three questions I am most often asked:
What kind of dog is he? What’s his name? (Followed by)
Why did you name him Charlie?
I had decided on the name Charlie earlier in the week, knowing we were going to meet him that Saturday. I thought about other names, tried saying them softly and calling them loudly. I never wavered. Charlie felt right. I didn’t have any specific connection to the name, no it’s not the name of an old boyfriend, I just liked the way it sounded. I had a few other names suggested to me but nothing came close. I waited until the following day, having said “Charlie” to my new bundle of joy many times in the first 36 hours and watching him respond. It’s a happy name that fits the expert criteria of naming a dog: 2 syllables and ending in an E sound so they can distinguish their name from other commands.
It wasn’t until this week, when I reread my favorite book from childhood, All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, that I realized where my affinity for the name began. This charming story published in 1951 and set in 1912, centers around a Jewish immigrant family living on the lower east side of New York with five daughters. Their family friend, one of only two nonJewish characters in the book is named Charlie. I don’t want to give anything away, because I highly recommend this book, but I now understand why I loved the name from all those years ago.
I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at a writers conference this weekend with an amazing faculty of agents, editors, and authors. In addition to the outstanding experts, I was surrounded by inspiring writers in my critique groups, workshops, and I also had a fantastic roommate to share writing with.
After the conference, I met up with a friend and came across this quote from Louis L’Amour and it made me think of writing, or more accurately, revising. I’m sure other writers and artists will be able to relate.
Recently I’ve seen several discussions about the value or harm of book reviews. Authors need them to help with sales and even negative reviews aren’t necessarily going to hurt sales.
Negative reviews Evidently, some people write negative reviews and go so far as to tag the author in them. I’m not sure why anyone thinks that’s acceptable. Bad manners are never okay.There are also many reviews I’ve seen (I only read them after reading a book) that go out of their way to be mean.
The value of reviews Feelings about reviews range from “they are important and I depend on them before I make a purchase,” to “I never read them and I don’t write them.” I weighed in on a Twitter discussion saying I only write reviews if I like a book. I read 50 books in 2017 and liked the vast majority. I don’t think that’s because I’m an “easy grader.” I believe it’s because I choose well. I ask people whose opinions I trust for recommendations and make an educated decision of what to read. Of the 50 books, I didn’t finish one because I just couldn’t get through it. I know it is a beloved book by most people who’ve read it, including people I know well. I didn’t review it because my opinion wouldn’t be helpful to someone considering reading it. I didn’t choose well when I tried reading it.
Writing community on Twitter weighs in Back to the Twitter discussion: One response argued that it’s not helpful if I only write positive feedback. Another went so far as to say, if they read something they don’t like, they feel a negative review might be helpful to the author as a way to improve in the future.
Opinions My opinion, and that’s what a review is – OPINION – is that when you are weighing in on someone’s art, your voice is only helpful to those who share your frame of reference. I occasionally read genres I don’t really care for to expand my horizons as a writer, but I wouldn’t write a negative review. Obviously I’m not the target audience and my opinion isn’t going to be meaningful to a person who likes the genre.
What are your thoughts on reviews? Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.
I don’t typically write about my own writing in my blog so indulge me, if you will.
Today a friend who is a very accomplished author with wonderful habits and rituals came for a writing date. She explained how she infuses fun in her daily life and writing process. We visited for a while and she met my new puppy, Charlie. 💗🐶💓
Then we agreed to silent, dedicated writing time sitting side-by-side. We’ve talked about how writing alone shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes the focus isn’t there.
It was a lovely morning for so many reasons. I wrote the final draft of the back matter for a picture book and revised another book based on feedback I received over the weekend. Thinking about the ritual of writing and what makes it both gratifying and successful is now something I will consider as I write. I know this will impact my productivity and my enjoyment.