Tootin’ My Horn Tuesday: Sasee Magazine!

2014-07-22 07.50.53Look what came in the mail for me! (You can’t hear me so I’ll just let you know that I’m singing…sort of a “Look what came in the mail for me! Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!)

I received a copy of Sasee Magazine because my essay, “Road Trippin’ with Grandma,” is in this month’s issue! Wheeee!

Now, I realize that some of you may have already read this essay when I slapped it up on Facebook (and thank you SO much for all those lovely comments!). But some of you may have seen my horn-tootin’ title above–those of you, for instance, who don’t mess with Facebook–and thought, “Hey. I didn’t know Cathy had an essay in Sasee Magazine.”

This post’s for you. (And if you’d like to leave a comment at Sasee Magazine, that would be lovely and also much appreciated!)

 

All-Star Fun With Margo Dill and her Newest YA Release!

1655060_10202352586313888_1471055173_oI grew up with three brothers; I learned to play baseball so I wouldn’t be left out of the fun. And I’ve been having fun with baseball ever since! When friend and author, Margo Dill’s book came out, Caught Between Two Curses, I jumped on the chance to read a teen novel with baseball in the mix.

Even if it was the Cubs. (Come on, I’m kidding. Mostly.)

Margo’s having a fun promotion this week because it’s the All-Star break and all of the true baseball fans are missing our sport. (And do not try to tell me that the All-Star game counts. Everybody knows we only watch to see if the players picked from our favorite teams get in the game.)

Anyway, as part of the All-Star celebration, she’s hopping around to a couple of blogs, and I’m thrilled she landed here today! Take it away, Margo!

When I came up with the idea for Caught Between Two Curses, it didn’t occur to me that baseball in a book would not be a big draw. I mean, I grew up in a world of baseball—thanks to my dad and grandpa, and my mom, too, who likes sports. My daughter’s one-year-old birthday party turned into a World Series party because the Cardinals were playing (and winning!) game 7 that night. But I have read review after review, which I am very grateful for, with a line, such as: “I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book because I don’t like baseball much, but luckily, it’s not really about baseball.”

This is true—my plot is much more about a 17-year-old girl who is having boy trouble and being pressured to have sex, who is living with her aunt’s family after her parents’ death, and who is trying to figure out how to break a curse on her family. She doesn’t like baseball herself, but her uncle is crazy about it. The curse grabs ahold of him for the first time while he’s at a Chicago Cubs baseball game while he’s eating a bratwurst, and eventually, he falls into a coma.

But my point is do we really pick books or not pick them because of a subplot? Am I marketing my book wrong? Do people just see the cover with Wrigley Field on it and assume it’s a baseball book? This whole issue has me thinking. I read books with things I’m not interested in all the time, like one of Claire Cook’s books, Time Flies, has a main character, who is a successful metal sculptor. I don’t like or dislike metal sculptors, but I have no interest in this art form. I did enjoy the book because it’s not actually about metal sculpting—it’s about a middle-aged woman trying to find her way and having an adventure!

Take this a step further. . .I love to read murder mystery books—like the ones James Patterson wrote about Alex Cross, but I’m not interested in murder—as a matter of fact, I don’t like it at all. I loved Hunger Games, but I’m not interested in watching teenagers fight to their death. I don’t usually read reviews about these books, such as, “I knew this book was about a game where teenagers fought to their death so their families wouldn’t starve, and I’m not usually interested in this, but the book turned out to be more than just murder.”

meAm I making my point here?

I love baseball. I put baseball in my book. I have discovered that perhaps I am not in the majority with my love of baseball, and that’s okay. But before we judge a book by its cover (BIG CLICHÉ THERE, HUH?), maybe read what it’s actually about? I’m thankful many readers who don’t like baseball have given my book a chance and liked it, and I’m hopeful many more will, too.

Have you ever put something in a short story or a book and had a reaction like this? OR have you had a reaction like this to a book you’ve read?

Margo’s book, Caught Between Two Curses, is on sale this week thanks to baseball’s All-Star Game! You can find out all the details about the sale here, but basically, the e-book for KINDLE is on sale for 99 cents today (July 15), $1.99 (July 16-17), and $2.99 (July 18-19). An autographed copy of the print book is available for $5.00 off the cover price–$6.95. Thanks to All-Star week, she is also having a contest with a prize of one $25 gift card to one of 5 restaurants (Olive Garden, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s) (U.S. mailing addresses only please) and a 3000-word free edit (anywhere in the world, English-language only). Enter to win those prizes on the Rafflecopter form below—no purchase necessary! Check out more about Margo and her books here!

RAFFLECOPTER LINK: a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I have NO idea why I can’t get Rafflecopter to actually show up on my blog! But if you click on that link, it will take you to the giveaway and you can sign up for all the goodies! And perhaps, before the end of the promotion, I’ll get Margo to show me how to fix it. In the meantime, I hope you’ll get Margo’s book, Caught Between Two Curses.)

Now hurry, y’all, you don’t want to miss the fun! Because when the All-Star break is over, she’s OUT of here!

Winners and Writing Retreats

2014-07-11 07.04.06I didn’t get back from the Week of Writing Retreat till yesterday and though I learned a ton and had an AMAZING time with a bunch of new, wonderful writer friends, I did spend a week up in the North Georgia mountains where the dragonflies were the size of a Buick and the towels remained damp all day and the phone service and internet were sketchy. So I walked in my house, took a deep breath and clicked my heels:

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home…

And now, I have a TON of work to do and a bunch of amazing ideas and a whole bunch of thank you’s to write to wonderful agents and editors (who feel like my new best friends, too). But first, I thought you might enjoy a little insight into the pitching process, which culminated on our last day at the retreat. I shared that information over at The Muffin today.

Um…I should probably mention that you might not learn a ton about pitching. I mean, it was ten o’clock last night when I wrote The Muffin blog post and though my brain was going for AMAZING, I think what my fingers typed was more…well, a little less than wonderful. But it was witty. Sort of. Maybe.

Well…whatever. I hope you enjoy it. (I’m pretty sure the moth on my mirror–yes, he or she stayed with me all week long–would’ve laughed its teensy little butt off. And speaking of laughing one’s butt off, PATRICIA CRUZAN, you won Not Your Mother’s Book…on Family! Wheee! I’ll be in touch!)

 

A Horn Tootin’ And Then I’m Off!

2014-07-06 13.58.12It occurs to me that I’m always a bit off.

And you know what? I’m okay with that. In fact, it’s probably a good thing when it comes to Not Your Mother’s Book…On Family. My copies came in the mail this weekend and though I haven’t had time to read all the stories, I laughed out loud at every word I did read. What’s more, the Beneficent Mr. Hall laughed out loud at my story, “The Bathroom Mystery.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Mister Man has to laugh. What’s the big deal, Cathy?

The big deal is that Mr. Hall may be supportive and all that but he’s not one to actually read my stuff. (His beneficence only stretches so far.) So for him to open the book–and read the story–and laugh out loud? I don’t even know what to say.

Wait. I do know what to say. Read this book.

You know what else? I’m in such a swell mood from the Beneficent Mr. Hall’s uncharacteristically HUGE support, I’m gonna give away a copy of Not Your Mother’s Book…on Family. So if you live in the US or Canada, leave a comment about your funny family. And if you share this post on Twitter or Facebook or on your blog, let me know and I’ll give you a couple extra entries.

Unless you’re Sioux or Lisa or Linda. Y’all can read your own books.

(And P.S. I’m off to the Week of Writing Retreat up in North Georgia and frankly, you never know quite what you’re gonna get up in North Georgia, interwebs-wise. So don’t panic if I don’t respond to your lovely comments. Just keep tweeting and adding up those entries! You could win Not Your Mother’s Book…on Family and laugh your butt off. Though to be honest, I’ve tried to do that for years, and my butt’s still there.)