League of VT Writers Meeting Recap and Barnes & Noble Prep

I really enjoyed the League of VT Writers “Into the Words” Retreat and Member Showcase I attended last Saturday. The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was just lovely, and the rain held off until right after the close of the meeting.

VT poet Jerry Johnson's restored schoolhouse home in Albany, VT Photo Credit: Jerry Johnson

VT poet Jerry Johnson’s restored schoolhouse home in Albany, VT
Photo Credit: Jerry Johnson

By the time I arrived and got my table set up with my book display, the meeting was already in full swing. Unfortunately, I missed the first round of seminars/workshops, but I still had three more sessions with four or five workshops each from which to choose. I brought my teen son with me, and he did a great job manning the table, so I could lose myself in a wonderful literary summer camp.

In “Blogging Boot Camp,” VT author J.P. (Joy) Choquette went over the basics of blogging, the various platforms, and how important social media is to a good marketing strategy. I learned there is a tool called a Website grader that will analyze your site and tell you what’s up to snuff and what needs work. Here are a couple of links that list several graders: https://blog.bufferapp.com/website-graders-content-scores and http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29274/HubSpot-Launches-Free-Marketing-Grader-Tool-to-Replace-Website-Grader.aspx. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I plan to at some point.

“Performance Techniques for Writers” with retired theater arts and public speaking teacher J.S. Grant was chock full of tips and tricks on how to prepare yourself for a public reading of your work. J.S. showed us muscle relaxation techniques, such as shoulder rolls and gentle neck stretches, and deep breathing techniques to help with nervousness and projecting your voice. Saying “me mo me mo…” and “fa-da-da-da” repeatedly is an old actors’ trick that helps loosen your lips and tongue.

J.S. was engaging and funny as she led us through these preparations and then had us practicing our articulation with tongue-twisters. I discovered that I am incapable of saying, “The sea ceaseth us and sufficeth us.” And spitting is good. It means you’re enunciating your “t’s” and “p’s” properly. One other great tip — if you are doing your reading in front of a microphone, always inhale through your mouth. If you inhale through your nose, everyone in the audience will hear it.

In the last workshop I attended, author M. Larose read from her YA fantasy novel, The Flower Eater. Keeping in mind what I had just learned, I thought she did a great job. Later, she and I swapped books with promises to read and review. I sold four books, in addition to the swap, and I also picked up a copy of Stella Rose, by Tammy Flanders Hetrick. She was the author I had observed at her Barnes & Noble book signing in May and later blogged about it HERE. It was fun meeting her (she had found my blog and commented on it), and we shared a laugh over it.

And speaking of Barnes & Noble, I’ve been contacting area newspapers and other media outlets and submitting press release info for my book signing event Friday evening. I wrote the release info with the who/what/where/etc. in three formats: bullet form, paragraph form, and as an ad, to fit each media’s requirements. I put up fliers around town. Don’t be afraid to ask about putting up fliers. You never know who will say yes. Besides the library, the local Hannaford grocery store put one up on their bulletin board right where everyone leaving the store can see it. Even the dentist I’ve been going to for years said they’d put one up for me.

I’ve also been getting my swag together. I have book cards, personalized pens (with book title and author name) from PenFactory.com, and I’m in the process of making cord necklaces with gold and silver sword charms, which I love. What’s really neat is that the swords fit into the hands of my Lego book characters. (I made Lego people that look like my three main characters.) Now if I could just figure out what I’m going to wear, I’ll be all set. 🙂

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Guest Interview on Celine Jeanjean’s Blog

Today I’m being interviewed by the fabulous Celine Jeanjean on her blog, Down the Rabbit Hole. The interview is part of her “What interesting things did you find while researching your book?” series. Hop on over to read about spooky swamps and having fun with swords. 🙂

Here’s the link:

https://celinejeanjean.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/an-interview-with-lori-maclaughlin/

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Celebrate the Small Things! And Blog Tour! With Tyrean Martinson and Juneta Key!

Celebrate the Small Things is a weekly celebration created by VikLit and now hosted by Lexa Cain to celebrate the happenings of the week, however small or large. You can learn all about it and sign up for it here. CelebrateSmallThings_Badge

Today, I’m celebrating that my new fantasy adventure novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, is now available in print! Click here for details.

I’m also celebrating the wrap-up of my two-week-long blog tour with Tyrean Martinson and Juneta Key! Hop on over to Tyrean’s and see what Bilbo Baggins and I have in common, and to Juneta’s to learn more about my characters and their stories in a book-related interview.

Here’s a huge THANK YOU!!! to everyone who hosted me on their blogs and to all who visited along the way! I truly appreciate it!!

Blog Tour Stops:

3/5:      Eclectic Alli & Jo @ My Inner Geek          Reviews

3/6       Doreen McGettigan & Unicorn Bell          Interviews

3/9       Caffe Maggieato                                            Behind the Scenes

3/10     Marie Andreas                                               Reason #57 Why I Chose To Self-Publish

3/11     Elizabeth Hein                                                Lessons Learned

3/12     Sue Archer                                                      Conversation Corner

3/14     Diane Burton                                                  Saturday Sampler

3/16     Loni Townsend                                               Typos: Say What??

3/17     Kari Jo Spear                                                   The Magic of Names

3/18     Kristin Smith                                                   My Writing Space

3/20    Juneta Key                                                       Book-related Interview

3/20    Tyrean Martinson                                          What Bilbo Baggins and I Have in Common

What other celebrations are going on out there?

 

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

Blog Tour! With Kristin Smith!

Come join me today at Kristin Smith’s, where I share the secrets of my writing space, as my blog tour celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, continues. Hope to see you there!

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Blog Tour! With Kari Jo Spear!

Today, my blog tour celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, visits From the Heart of Kari Jo Spear. Kari Jo and I have been friends for more years than I can count, and I’m happy to be a guest on her blog with a St. Patrick’s Day-themed post about the magic of character naming. Please stop by and say Hi!

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

 

Blog Tour! With Loni Townsend of Squirrel Talk

My blog tour celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, continues this week on This World Bites! author Loni Townsend’s blog, Squirrel Talk. Stop by for a humorous post about typos and the unfortunate consequences of not proofreading your work!

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

Blog Tour! Weekend Edition on Diane Burton’s Saturday Sampler

My blog tour celebrating the release of my new fantasy adventure novel, Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble, hits the weekend today as part of Diane Burton’s Saturday Sampler series. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

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© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.