If It’s Wednesday, It Must Be Time To Post…

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The snake on my deck, which has NOTHING to do with this post. Except that on top of all this writing I had to do this week, I also had to take care of a snake on my deck.

I don’t have a regular day to post here at Cathy C. Hall. I just post when I’ve got something to say that may or may not be interesting. So I was kinda surprised when this day came along and I was just posting all over the place…

If you’re looking for how I can take one of my favorite sports and connect it to writing, then you’ll want to check out The Muffin and “If You Want To Succeed in Writing, You’ve Got To Play Ball!” I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty impressed with my ability to take something that I have frittered away hours and hours upon and make something instructional out of it. Although, it wasn’t really me so much as the quote from…well, just give it a read and then you can let me know whether I struck out or hit a home run. (See what I did there? Lots more where that came from!)

And then writer and author Kathryn Schleich is celebrating National Volunteer Week and asked if she could use one of my Muffin posts on the subject and I was pleased to say yes! So if you want to see which post (hint: it’s about volunteering), head over here and take a look. And tour her site for some wonderful writing resources!

And speaking of volunteering, I manage the SCBWI Southern Breeze blog, sometimes writing posts and sometimes forcing asking very politely for volunteers to write up something. So if you’re in the Southern Breeze region (Georgia, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle), go see what’s happening in our region. We’d love for you to join us anywhere in SCBWI but if you’re around here, then we can be new BFs!

Whew! I think that’s enough posting for the day, don’t you?

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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!