Guest post by Catharine Riggs

What She Never Said by Catharine RiggsWhat She Never Said
by Catharine Riggs
on Tour August 19 – September 20, 2019

Genre: Psychological Suspense
Published by: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Number of Pages: 377
ISBN: 1542042135
(ISBN13: 9781542042130) Series: Santa Barbara Suspense #2

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Synopsis
How much would you pay to keep a secret? Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. But the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay. Guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder. Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?
 

Why Readers LOVE What She Never Said

“Riggs keeps the tension high to the dramatic climax.” —Publishers Weekly What She Never Said is a fast-paced, compulsive read—and I speak as a slow-paced, easily distracted reader.” —Ashley Dyer, award-winning author of the Lake & Carver series. “A compelling read that will keep you awake well into the night.” —T.R. Ragan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Beneath the weight of metastasizing secrets, idyllic veneers buckle to reveal shocking truths that will haunt readers long after the final page. —P. J. Vernon, acclaimed author of the debut thriller, When You Find Me

GUEST-POST by the author
My “Overnight” Success

As an avid reader from a young age, I had always dreamed of becoming a writer, but like many, work and family intervened. Then on one of those marker birthdays, I decided to take a stab at writing a novel. The stab turned into an addiction. For years I toiled in obscurity, writing daily in the pre-dawn hours. I attended writing workshops, read articles, accepted criticism, adjusted plots, and wrote two novels for which I received countless rejections.

There was one agent who said she liked my novels but felt I wrote too far from the heart. Was there an event in my life I could mine for emotions to bring my characters to life? Her question led to the writing of my third novel, a near-future thriller. The book opens with my protagonist’s escape from an abusive marriage with her toddler in tow, only to be thwarted by a killer virus.

I again made the rounds of the agents, and this time the declines were kinder but just as disappointing. Then a friend told me about a workshop taught by thriller writers Robert Dugoni and Steven James. The bestselling authors centered their instruction around the first fifty pages of their attendees’ novels. Discouraged yet stubborn as ever, I decided to give my dreams another shot. I forwarded the requested pages and within a few weeks received an e-mail praising my work and requesting the full manuscript. To say I was excited is an understatement.

At the workshop, Robert Dugoni offered to forward my manuscript to his agent, and within weeks I had garnered representation. But my dreams got another drubbing when the near-future manuscript didn’t sell. We were told the interest in dystopia had waned, but several editors admired my writing and asked to see more traditional work. In a relatively quick four months, I wrote the first draft of a suspense novel, What She Gave Away, which I envisioned as part of a loosely linked series entitled Santa Barbara Suspense. Having grown up in a wealthy community, I was interested in using the psychological suspense genre to examine the pitfalls of wealth and privilege and the curse of living a life steeped in denial.

Within the year we closed a two-book deal with Thomas & Mercer. What She Gave Away was published in September of 2018 and its loosely linked sequel, What She Never Said, launches next month. I can’t thank Robert Dugoni enough for giving me my chance. The moral of my story? If you have a dream, fight for it. You just might achieve your goal.
 

Read an excerpt

RUTH MOSBY

ONE

Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.

At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?

Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.

I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.

“Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.

“Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.

I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.

“Morning, Ruth,” he calls.

“Morning, Zach.”

Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.

“No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”

“Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

“Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.

“I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.

“I would, but I have to work.”

“Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”

I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”

I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”

“Construction begins next week.”

“I wish I could, but . . .”

Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.

“I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”

“Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”

“I work in a life-care community.”

“Same thing.”

“No, it’s not.”

His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.

“I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”

“But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”

“At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”

“You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”

“Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.

Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”

I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.

“Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.

Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.

“That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.

***

Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.

 

Author Bio

Catharine Riggs Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive.
What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series.
The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Catch Up With Catharine Riggs On: www.CatharineRiggs.com, Goodreads, & BookBub, Twitter!

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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Catharine Riggs. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each receive one (1) print copy of What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. The giveaway begins on August 18, 2019 and runs through September 22, 2019. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Spotlight and guest-post: David Marlett

American Red by David MarlettAmerican Red,
by David Marlett
on Tour July 1 – August 31, 2019

Book Details

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: July 2nd 2019
Number of Pages: 535
ISBN: 1611881781 (ISBN13: 9781611881783)
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Synopsis:

In American Red, as the Great American Century begins, and the modern world roars to life, Capitalists flaunt greed and seize power, Socialists and labor unions flex their violent will, and an extraordinary true story of love and sacrifice unfolds.

In his critically acclaimed debut novel, Fortunate Son, David Marlett introduced readers to a fresh take on historical fiction-the historical legal thriller-bringing alive the people and events leading to and surrounding some of the most momentous, dramatic legal trials in history. Now he returns with American Red, the story of one of the greatest domestic terrorists in American history, and the detectives, lawyers, spies, and lovers who brought him down.

The men and women of American Red are among the most fascinating in American history. When, at the dawn of the 20th century, the Idaho governor is assassinated, blame falls on “Big Bill” Haywood, the all-powerful, one-eyed boss of the Western Federation of Miners in Denver. Close by, his polio-crippled wife, Neva, struggles with her wavering faith, her love for another man, and her sister’s affair with her husband. New technologies accelerate American life, but justice lags behind. Private detectives, battling socialists and unions on behalf of wealthy capitalists, will do whatever it takes to see Haywood hanged. The scene is set for bloodshed, from Denver to Boise to San Francisco. America’s most famous attorney, Clarence Darrow, leads the defense-a philandering U.S. senator leads the prosecution-while the press, gunhands, and spies pour in. Among them are two idealists, Jack Garrett and Carla Capone-he a spy for the prosecution, she for the defense. Risking all, they discover truths about their employers, about themselves and each other, and what they’ll sacrifice for justice and honor-and for love.

Book Details

Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: July 2nd 2019
Number of Pages: 535
ISBN: 1611881781 (ISBN13: 9781611881783)
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

The lawyer lobbed a verbal spear across the courtroom, piercing the young man, pinning him to the creaky witness chair and tilting the twelve jurymen forward. Their brows rose in anticipation of a gore-laden response from the witness as he clutched his bowler, his face vacant toward the wood floor beyond his shoddy boots. When the judge cleared his throat, the plaintiff’s attorney, Clarence Darrow, repeated the question. “Mr. Bullock, I know this is a strain upon you to recount that tragic day when fifteen of your brothers perished at the hands of the Stratton-”

“Your Honor! Point in question,” barked the flint-faced defense attorney representing the Stratton Independence Mine, a non-union gold operation near Cripple Creek, Colorado. On this warm summer afternoon in Denver, he and Darrow were the best dressed there, each wearing a three-button, vested suit over a white shirt and dull tie.

The robed judge gave a long blink, then peered at Darrow. With a chin waggle, his ruling on the objection was clear.

“Yes, certainly. My apologies, Your Honor,” feigned Darrow, glancing toward the plaintiff’s table where two widows sat in somber regard. Though his wheat-blonde hair and sharp, pale eyes defied his age of forty-nine, his reputation for cunning brilliance and oratory sorcery mitigated the power of his youthful appearance: it was no longer the disarming weapon it had once been. No attorney in the United States would ever presume nascence upon Clarence Darrow. Certainly not in this, his twenty-sixth trial. He continued at the witness. “Though as just a mere man, one among all …” He turned to the jury. “The emotion of this event strains even the most resolute of procedural decorum. I am, as are we all, hard-pressed to-”

“Whole strides, shall we, Mr. Darrow?” grumbled the judge.

“Yes,” Darrow said, turning once again to James Bullock who seemed locked in the block ice of tragedy, having not moved a fraction since first taking the witness seat. “Mr. Bullock, we must rally ourselves, muster our strength, and for the memory of your brothers, share with these jurymen the events of that dark day. You said the ride up from the stope, the mine floor, was a swift one, and there were the sixteen of you in the cage made to hold no more than nine-is that correct?”

“Yes, Sir,” Bullock replied, his voice a faint warble.

“Please continue,” Darrow urged.

Bullock looked up. “We kept going, right along, but it kept slipping. We’d go a ways and slip again.”

“Slipping? It was dropping?”

“Yes, Sir. Dropping down sudden like, then stopping. Cappy was yelling at us to get to the center, but there was no room. We was in tight.”

“By Cappy you mean Mr. Capone, the foreman?”

“Yes, Sir. Our shift boss that day.” The witness sucked his bottom lip. “He was in the cage ‘long with us.” He sniffed in a breath then added, “And his boy, Tony. Friend of mine. No better fella.”

“My condolences,” said Darrow. “What do you think was the aid in getting the men to the middle of the cage?”

“Keep it centered in the shaft, I reckon. We was all yelling.” Bullock took a slow breath before continuing, “Cappy was trying to keep the men quiet, but it wasn’t making much a difference. Had his arms around Tony.”

A muscle in Darrow’s cheek shuddered. “Please continue.”

“So we was slipping, going up. Then the operator, he took us up about six feet above the collar of the shaft, then back down again.”

“Which is not the usual-”

“Not rightly. No, Sir. We should’ve stopped at the collar and no more. But later they said the brakes failed on the control wheel.”

“Mr. Bullock, let’s return to what you experienced. You were near the top of the shaft, the vertical shaft that we’ve established was 1,631 feet deep, containing, at that time, about twenty feet of water in its base, below the lowest stope, correct?”

“Yes, Sir. Before they pumped that water to get to em.”

“By ‘them’ you mean the bodies of your dead companions?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Ok, you were being hoisted at over 900 feet per minute by an operator working alone on the surface-near the top of the shaft, when the platform began to slip and jump. Is that your testimony?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“That must have been terrifying.”

“Yes, Sir, it was. We’d come off a tenner too.”

“A ten-hour shift?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Darrow rounded on the jury, throwing the next question over his shoulder. “Oh, but Sir, how could it have been a ten-hour work day when the eight-hour day is now the law of this state?”

The defense lawyer’s chair squeaked as he stood. “Objection, Your Honor.”

“I’ll allow it,” barked the judge, adding, “But gentlemen …”

The witness shook his head. “The Stratton is a non-union, gold ore mine. Supposed to be non-union anyway. Superintendent said owners weren’t obliged to that socialist law.”

“Hearsay, Your-”

“Keep your seat, Counsel. You’re going to wear this jury thin.” Darrow stepped closer to the witness.

“Mr. Bullock, as I said, let’s steer clear from what you heard others say. The facts speak for themselves: you and your friends were compelled to work an illegal ten-hour shift. Let’s continue. You were near the top, but unable to get off the contraption, and it began to-”

“Yes. We’d gone shooting up, then he stopped it for a second.”

“”By ‘he,’ you mean the lift operator?”

“Yes, Sir. He stopped it but then it must have gotten beyond his control, cause we dropped sixty, seventy feet all the sudden. We were going quick. We said to each other we’re all gone. Then he raised us about ten feet and stopped us. But then, it started again, and this time it was going fast up and we went into the sheave wheel as fast as we could go.”

“To be sure we all follow, Mr. Bullock, the lift is the sole apparatus that hoisted you from the Stratton Mine, where you work?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“And the sheave wheel is the giant wheel above the surface, driven by a large, thirty-year-old steam engine, run by an operator. That sheave wheel coils in the cable”he pantomimed the motion-“pulling up the 1,500-pound-load platform, or lift, carrying its limit of nine men. And it coils out the cable when the lift is lowered. But that day the lift carried sixteen men-you and fifteen others. Probably over 3,000 pounds. Twice its load limit. Correct?”

“Yes, Sir. But, to be clear, I ain’t at the Stratton no more.”

“No?” asked Darrow, pleased the man had bit the lure.

“No. Seeing how I was one of Cappy’s men. Federation. And, now ’cause this.” His voice faded.

Darrow frowned, walked a few paces toward the jury, clapped once and rubbed his hands together. “The mine owners, a thousand miles away, won’t let you work because you’re here-a member of the Western Federation of Miners, a union man giving his honest testimony. Is that right?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Again, the defense counsel came to his feet. “Your Honor, Mr. Darrow knows Mr. Bullock’s discharge wasn’t-”

The judge raised a hand, took a deep breath and cocked his head toward the seasoned attorney before him. “Swift to your point, Mr. Darrow.”

“Yes, Your Honor.” Darrow’s blue eyes returned to the witness. “Mr. Bullock, you were telling us about the sheave wheel.”

“Yes. It’s a big thing up there, out over the top of the shaft. You see it on your way up. We all think on it-if we was to not stop and slam right up into it-which we did that day. We all knew it’d happen. I crouched to save myself from the hard blow I knew was coming. I seen a piece of timber about one foot wide there underside the sheave, and soon as we rammed, I grabbed hold and held myself up there, and pretty soon the cage dropped from below me, and I began to holler for a ladder to get down.”

“Must have been distressing, up there, holding fast to a timber, dangling 1,631 feet over an open shaft, watching your fifteen brothers fall.”

Bullock choked back tears. “Yes, Sir. That’s what I saw.” He paused. When he resumed, his tone was empty, as if the voice of his shadow. “I heard em. Heard em go. They was screaming. They knew their end had come. I heard em till I heard em no more.”

Excerpt from American Red by David Marlett. Copyright 2019 by David Marlett. Reproduced with permission from The Story Plant. All rights reserved.

GUEST-POST

I see historical fiction (the way I write it) as impressionism: hugging close to realism—but interpretive just beyond novelized non-fiction. It is in the looseness of the impressionistic brush stroke that I take license to invent characters, to imagine dialogue, to fill in blanks in the historical record—to have a perspective. And that serves my interest in illumining the duplicity of humanity—that cohabitation of good and evil,  empathy and selfishness, that inhabits us all. I enjoy exploring the forces that lead people into dark places, and those that conversely lead them to do great acts of heroism. And I have a fascination with friendship, the bonds that pull us together, and how those bonds can become stretched, frayed, broken and reformed. And on top of it all, I am exploring love…in its many hues and manifestations.

Writing about the human experience, I am most interested in what I call the “historical legal thriller”—stories set in and around extraordinary trials that have become lost to history (for the most part). My first novel, Fortunate Son, is set in Ireland, England, Scotland and the American Colonies in the early 1700s, leading to the largest and most expensive (relatively) civil trial in UK history, Annesley v Anglesea, in Dublin, 1743. But that is not the core of it, but rather it is the characters that fascinated me, what they endured… the challenges…the loves and the losses. American Red certainly follows that genre, with its gravitational plot-center being the 1907 murder trial of William “Big Bill” Haywood. But it is about so much more than that, which I’ll expound upon. (My next novel…currently in the works…Angeles Los, also centers on a trial, while it tells the true story at the intersection of the first movies made in Los Angeles, the murderous bombing of the Los Angeles Times, and eccentric Abbot Kinney’s “Venice of America” kingdom.)

All novelists hope their readers (steadfast ones and new ones alike) enjoy their latest novel—and I certainly hope the same for American Red. That is first and foremost. In addition, I hope many will consider the undertones within the story of American Red. Its theme about conflicts of the soul begins on the cover: a cardinal in battle with itself. A stand-in for the swirling conflict between two factions of Americans, the polarization at the time between Capitalism and Socialism, the worker and the owner, between the Wild West and the march of civilianization, and perhaps most importantly the war between the good and evil in us all. All the while, perhaps the most vexing characteristic is that those polarities appear to be housed in an identical body, wingtips locked in battle with itself. The entanglements within American Red are not just between right and wrong, but in our perceptions of ourselves and our place and purpose in the world—and our willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of others. Sure, most will read American Red simply for the story that it is—and that is terrific. But perhaps a few will dig deeper, beginning with the Overture, joining an expedition into the complex tapestry of humanity—and maybe therein discover themselves.

Author Bio:

David Marlett

David Marlett is an award-winning storyteller and writer of historical fiction, primarily historical legal thrillers bringing alive the fascinating people and events leading to major historical trials. His first such novel, Fortunate Son, became a national bestseller in 2014, rising to #2 in all historical fiction and #3 in all literature and fiction on Amazon. The late Vincent Bugliosi — #1 New York Times bestselling author of Helter Skelter — said David is “a masterful writer of historical fact and detail, of adventure, peril and courtroom drama.” Just released is American Red which follows the extraordinary true story of a set of radical lovers, lawyers, killers, and spies who launched the Great American Century. Visit www.AmericanRedBook.com. He is currently writing his next historical legal thriller, Angeles Los, which continues some of the lead characters from American Red. Angeles Los is based on the true story at the 1910 intersection of the first movies made in Los Angeles, the murderous bombing of the Los Angeles Times, and eccentric Abbot Kinney’s “Venice of America” kingdom. In addition, David is a professor at Pepperdine Law School, was the managing editor of OMNI Magazine, and guest-lectures on story design. He is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, the father of four, and lives in Manhattan Beach, California. For more, visit www.DavidMarlett.com.

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davidmarlett.com | Goodreads | BookBub | Twitter | Facebook

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Spotlight: Alysson Foti Bourque guest-post and giveaway

Book Details:

Book Title: Alycat and the Friendship Friday by Alysson Foti Bourque
Illustrated by: Chiara Civati
Category: Children’s Fiction, 32 pages
Genre: Picture Book, Friendship
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: Oct 23, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 1 to 27, 2018
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

It’s finally Friday, and Alycat is excited to go on a field trip with her friends. But when she doesn’t have anyone to sit with on the bus, Alycat feels left out. Can she use her creativity and imagination to help everyone feel included?

Alycat and the Friendship Friday will teach readers that making new friends isn’t as scary as you might think.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository
 
Watch the book trailer:
Meet the Author:

Alysson Foti Bourque earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center. After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. She enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. Currently, she resides in Sunset, Louisiana with her husband and two children.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

GUEST-POST

The Process of Writing a Children’s Book Series

by Alysson Foti Bourque

For this series, I plan on releasing a new book each year. This requires me to follow a strict timeline to make sure I accomplish that.

December/January/February— I am writing the script of the subsequent book of the Alycat series. I usually have an idea of what the next book will be about based on current events, past memories, and paying close attention to the conversations of my own children for ideas.

March/April—During these two months, I work closely with my publisher’s project manager on edits, storyboard placement, dedication and title page, back cover blurb, and character and illustration descriptions.

May/June—During this final publishing stage, I finalize the illustrations and storyboard placement and approve the final PDF. Then it’s sent off to the printer.

July/August—The marketing and preparation stage begins during these months as I prepare for the official release. This involves creating signage, book swag, and securing details for the book launch party.  Luckily, my publisher handles distribution and sales through bookstores and I handle author visit sales.

September/October/November—The forthcoming book will be released during this time and I begin author visits and book signings.

From start to finish, it is exciting, nerve-wracking, and sometimes tiresome. I am so grateful to my publisher, Mascot Books, for helping me stay organized.

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Ends Nov 3, 2018

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