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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome Ann Shorey and The Dawn of a Dream

Please interact with our guest authors by answering the question they provide. Your response will also enter you in the drawing for a free book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


ANN SHOREY has been a story collector for most of her life, and has been a full-time writer for over twenty years. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Grandma’s Soul, and in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort series. She made her fiction debut with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, which released in January 2009. The third book in the series, The Dawn of a Dream, released in April, 2011. She’s tempted to thank Peet’s coffee and Dove chocolates when she writes the acknowledgments for her books.

When she’s not writing, she teaches classes on historical research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals at regional conferences. Ann lives with her husband in southern Oregon.

She may be contacted through her website, www.annshorey.com, which also contains her blog, http://annshorey.blogspot.com/ or find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AnnShorey.

THE DAWN OF A DREAM
by Ann Shorey
Published by Revell

ABOUT THE BOOK

She’s embarking on a new life—but can the past truly be left behind?

Luellen O’Connell is stunned when her husband of just one month tells her he is leaving—and his reason leaves her completely astonished. Deeply wounded by his betrayal, Luellen decides to finally follow her dream to become a teacher, a desire she had set aside when she married. But can she truly hide her past? Or will it destroy her ambitions forever?

A moving story of tenacity and perseverance in the face of opposition, The Dawn of a Dream will inspire you to discover and follow your own dreams.

“Her best book yet! Ann Shorey’s The Dawn of a Dream reminded me of a fine tapestry. A skillful blending of nineteenth-century history, intriguing facts about teachers’ training, and vivid descriptions of military life form a background for the story of one woman’s determination to achieve her dream, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Readers looking for a gentle story of love and honor should not miss it.” —Amanda Cabot, author of Tomorrow’s Garden

Readers, buy your copy of The Dawn of a Dream today!

AND NOW A WORD FROM OUR FEATURE AUTHOR

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

I have a dear writer friend and mentor who’s multi-published. She’s guided me along for many years, first by critiquing my initial fiction efforts, then later by endorsing my novels. Since we live in the same area, I’ve seen how the writing life has affected her.

But like so many other things, I could see enough differences in our lifestyles to believe that the pressures she experienced wouldn’t happen to me. Wrong.

When my first novel, The Edge of Light, was released, I already had much of the second one (The Promise of Morning) written. So the book signings and book talks weren’t too much of an interruption. Now fast forward to writing Book 3 in the At Home in Beldon Grove series, The Dawn of a Dream. Here’s where I started to learn what the writing life is really like.

During the time after The Dawn of a Dream went to the publisher, I signed a new contract for another three-book series and began writing Book 1 in the new series. This is when things stopped being easy. :) The first series was historical fiction, as is the new one. Historical fiction requires research—which is the fun part—but time-consuming.

So the new reality is when I say I’m a full-time writer, that about sums it up. When a new book releases, I schedule book signings in our local area. Keep in mind, these signings are happening at the same time I’m in the middle of writing a book, or correcting galleys for my last book, or filling out questionnaires from the publisher, or all of the above.

One thing I’ve learned so far, that I’m happy to share, is that the farther from home I schedule a signing, the smaller the turnout. The exception to this is signings scheduled with other authors, or following a theme. For instance, I spoke and did a signing for The Edge of Light at a bookstore in Sisters, Oregon, during their well-known annual Quilt Festival. Two other authors also participated. The town overflowed with quilters, mostly women, so the attendance was great and so were sales.

On the other hand, I traveled to Washington state (I live in Oregon) with another author to do a signing on her home turf. Unfortunately, the event was scheduled on what turned out to be a gorgeous spring afternoon. Almost no one came—everyone was outside enjoying the weather.

Whatever the attendance, the thing I like best about doing a book signing is talking to the people who stop by, whether or not they buy a book. Another thing I’ve learned that I’ll share, just in case you’re contemplating your first signing, is to speak to the people who come by. Speak first. Say “hi,” ask what they like to read, compliment their outfit, whatever. If you come across as friendly, people will engage with you.

Another lesson I’m still learning is to “triage” my workload. When I’m right down to the wire on a deadline, I don’t do anything but work on my book. I try to save evenings and weekends for my husband, but with my last book even those times went out the window once or twice. In a workshop years ago, I asked the presenter, a published author, how she managed to take care of her home and family and still write. Her answer has served me well. She said she puts most of her home chores off until her husband is there and she can’t focus on her writing anyway.

So, I fold clothes, iron, sometimes vacuum, change the linens, whatever, when my husband’s around. He doesn’t mind—probably doesn’t notice—because he’s busy with his own home chores. This was a hard one for me to put into practice, because I grew up in a time when women were expected to be homemakers. There were even marriage tips about being all glamorous when hubby got home, have the kids fed, house clean, you name it. Not that I ever achieved that level of servitude, but I tried. Cleaning house when he’s around is a big change for me.

I know as time and deadlines go by, there is much more I have to learn. Right now, I must say the biggest thing I’ve learned is how much God has blessed me to allow me to do something I love. I wouldn’t change a thing about my life.


* * * * *

Thank you, Ann, for sharing with us today.

Guest Questions: If you’re an author, perhaps you would share one of your best “finding time to write” tips with me.

I’d also like to hear from readers as to what you think about book signings. Do you like attending? What do you want to see from an author when you attend a signing?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

8 comments:

Ann Shorey said...

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Tiff. I look forward to hearing from your readers.

Diana Lesire Brandmeyer said...

I've read the book. Wonderful! so don't enter me in the drawing.

Finding time? I don't have anything and I'm home all alone all day and I still have trouble with this one. I like Ann's idea of doing the house chores when hubby is home. Great idea. I'm going to try that.
Diana

Janalyn Voigt said...

I'm reading Ann's "The Dawn of a Dream" right now, and it is riveting.

Thanks for the tip about scheduling household duties for when my husband is home. That's a gem.

My time saving tip is to let your routines do your deciding for you. Rather than haver about what to do next, you just move on to answering emails, or whatever the next task in your day might be. This saves you thinking time.

Janalyn Voigt said...

Oops. I didn't realize I was entering a book giveaway. Please enter me. Here's my email address: janalynvoigt (at) gmail.com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I find my writing time multiplies when I don't open my e-mail until the day's writing is completed. Writing with an uncluttered mind is a side benefit.

Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Ann Shorey said...

Ann Lee, Love your suggestion about not opening the email (or Facebook) until I'm through writing for the day. My excuse for not doing that is that I live on the West Coast and my publisher is in the east. So, by the time I start my morning, they've already been at work for three hours. So, I have to check to see if anything has come up. Then comes the hard part--ignoring everything else! I'll try harder!

Jo said...

Another new to me author and I enjoyed reading about your book. It sounds like a book that I would enjoy reading.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

karenk said...

i would love to read ann's latest novel...thanks for the chance...and i do enjoy attending 'book signings.' it's always a pleasure to speak w/ the author of a book that have enjoyed reading :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com