Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Adventure: Self-Publishing

Squeeeeeeeeeee....Kaytalin Platt designed the cover for my interactive e-book for girls. Now THIS gets your attention, doesn't it? This non-fiction book profiles the careers of successful women. My hope is it will inspire the girls to dream big and then work hard to achieve their goals.

Yes, self-publishing is a new experience for me. I have a traditional publisher for my mysteries, Muse It Up Publishing. Finally this new technology is what I envisioned for a book such as this book for middle grade girls. The interactive element is what I wanted since I began this project in 2006. After each chapter I include information about the woman and her career including books, but also websites about the topic. So the girls can now click on a site. For instance, Pati Pierucci is a competitive dressage rider, so I linked to a video of a dressage competition. Sue Chef is an energetic cooking professional so I linked to a video of her demonstrating how to make alien pancakes. Yes, really! 

Can you tell I'm excited about this project? I am. I have the manuscript ready to enter into the Smashwords "meatgrinder" (scary name) which will take the MS Word ms and convert it to four e-book formats. Um, well it's supposed to. We'll see. I will also upload it to Amazon. So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and I am not tearing my hair out trying to figure it all out...!!!

P.S. You're invited to visit the Girls Succeed Blog to discover more careers.

To be continued--- 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

FREE Muse Online Writers Conference--Register NOW


Registration extended through September for the FREE Muse Online Writers Conference. You gotta go! So much information, so many friends, and you can attend wearing your jammies!

Registration information --be sure to write down your username and password to get into the conference.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gilmore Car Museum - Ridin' Along in My Automobile

The following video brings back the good old days of muscle cars and classics accompanied by Chuck Berry's song, Ridin' Along in My Automobile (No Particular Place to Go)

Do you wanna reminisce? Then take a trip to the Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, Michigan, near Kalamazoo. What an adventure into the history of cars! We were there for the third time this past weekend. I never tire of it. Visitors now enter through the new heritage center which connects to the old restored barns housing all the historic vehicles. From Ford's model T's, Checker cabs (made in Kalamazoo), Franklin air-cooled cars, muscle cars, classics, racing cars, and more. 

So many captains in the industry are profiled I wish I could remember them all. Did you know the Dodge Brothers who founded the Dodge Company were "real hellions?" Henry Ford failed in his first two attempts to build cars? Henry Ford burned all the scraps of wood from car making and collected the charcoal for sale as the Kingsford Charcoal Company? Electric cars were popular with women at the turn of the 20th century? Kalamazoo is known as the "other motor city?"

Not only the mechanics of the car are on display, but also the pure beauty of design. Cars are works of art. Go visit if you get a chance and you too will learn to appreciate the automobile even more.

Friday, September 14, 2012

You Gotta Love Your Writer's Group!

The banner at the top of this page is all thanks to my writer's groups. Oh no, they didn't design it. But without them, there would be no J.Q. Rose, mystery, suspense, and romance author. Without their thoughtful and conscientious work on my manuscripts and their brainstorming and encouragement, I wouldn't even be a published author!

I have been a member of a writer's group off and on since 1995. The North Country Writers headed by Judy and Mary was the first one that introduced me to warm, caring writers and I mean real writers. They knew how to phrase a sentence which in my case meant getting rid of those long, awkward sentences that go  on and on and on and on and on. They opened my mind to actually sitting down and penning a story that would be worthy of publication.

Along came the Internet and I discovered writer friends from all over the world. Amazing! THE most helpful person on the Internet was (and is) Audrey Shaffer. She is known as the Queen of Google because any writerly question we asked during our writers chat, she could whip up the answer from the Internet or from her vast pool of knowledge. She has been leading the Writers Chatroom for years every Wednesday night from 8-10 pm EDST. She also hosts authors who guest every Sunday night from 7-9 pm Eastern Time.
This book would have never been published
without input from my writer's group.

Another important influence on my writing, the Fremont Area District Library sponsored a writer's group led by librarian Esther. We had so much fun and learned about writing with this group. We were asked to move to the conference room for our meetings because we became a bit too loud with our laughter and conversations to meet near the stacks in the quiet library room. That group's membership has changed over the years with many folks coming and going. Now it is led by Nan who is a wonderful role model for writers.

Some of the members of the library writer's group broke off into a smaller group and now meet at a local coffee shop. Again, so much support and encouragement and help in shaping stories and discovering major plot problems...For instance, the character sits in the chair, but somehow the writer forgets to actually tell the reader he does finally stand up and walk out of the room!! Or in one chapter it's the friend who told the secret and in another it's the uncle who did it. Lots of fun. And I should add that every one in this small group is now a published author. Congratulations!

I recently joined an online writers group for children's non-fiction books founded by Deb. Because of the members' insight and helpful suggestions, this fall I look forward to releasing an interactive e-book for middle grade girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women.

Thanks to my groups for encouraging me in my writing. Because of these brilliant folks I found the courage to submit my first manuscript for publication. Muse It Up Publishing released my debut mystery novella, Sunshine Boulevard, last year and will publish my next mystery, Coda to Murder, in February 2013. 

All different writing styles, personalities, and backgrounds come together in a writer's group to enrich this crazy adventure in publishing.

How about you? If you are an author, do you love your writing group???

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School, Time for Learning

Back to school time, learning time. I don't know if it's because I come from a line of school teachers and I was one at one time, but there is something that just makes me want to crack open a new book and find the scissors to create bulletin boards in the fall.
I teach a creative writing class, so today I have a list of writing books that I think are helpful to new and seasoned writers alike. Perhaps one of these will get your Muse whirling and your fingers a clacking away on your keyboard to create a new piece of writing. Go for it.
If you have a suggestion to add to this list, please share. Thanks!
Author: Anne Lamott
Chicago Manual of Style
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Author: The Editors of Writer’s Digest
How to be a Writer: Building Your Creative Skills Through Practice and Play
Author: Barbara Baig
The Elements of Style
Author: William Strunk and E.B.White.
Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Scribner
On Writing Well
Author: William Zinsser
Author: Francine Prose
Publisher: HarperCollins
Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times
Editor: John Darnton
Author: Natalie Goldberg
Publisher: Shambhala