Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A sweet children's book, Fiona - the Lighthouse Firefly

I have to say that I'm very excited to see Fiona on Amazon.  It was a labor of love, for sure. The above illustrations by Mary Licata are just a few from the book.

Profits will be split between my sister's scholarship fund and the United States Lighthouse Society.

I said a few days ago, I would give a little synopsis of Fiona... this description is found on the back of the book.

"Children love to read stories that transport them to another time or place.  And parents love to read stories to their children that evoke memories of their own magical childhood.  Fiona - the Lighthouse Firefly is such a story. 

Fiona comes to life in this tale, using her fairy-like powers to save Lizbeth's Daddy, a Maine fisherman.  Lizbeth, a sweet young girl who lives in a magical world of animal friends including Fiona, always finds herself in a bit of trouble, like being late for school or losing her Math homework.  Tonight though, her fears are real.  Will her father's boat crash or be lost at sea because the lighthouse has gone dark in a storm?  Against her mother's wishes, Lizbeth runs to the lighthouse through the rain, thunder and lightning to find out why there is no guiding light at the top of the lighthouse.  Stuart, the squirrel, awoken by Lizbeth's shouting, appears by her side.  Mr. James, the lighthouse keeper, tells them both that he has no solution; the new generator was hit by lightning and is broken.   There will be no guiding beacon tonight.  After a few minutes, Stuart, not happy seeing his Lizbeth’s sobbing, has an idea and disappears over the rocks chattering.  

Well, can you just imagine what happens next?  No?  Well Lizbeth will have to finish the story."    

As one of the agents said, "Thanks for sharing your sweet story with me. There is a real poignance to your writing."  I'm not sure about that, but it was nice to hear.

I'm a pretty driven person and when I start something, it is never left undone - mostly :-)  Even so, it feels so good to have this project completed.  I wanted to do it for my sister.  And here it is.

I'll return to my regular blogging soon - I just had to share my excitement!!

Keep writing -- it's good for the soul. 


Monday, October 26, 2015

Almost published....

It has been awhile since I wrote, but life has been very busy with travel, family health issues, and my children's chapter book!  I feel the other issues are mostly under control and therefore I'm very excited to be talking about my decision to self-publish Fiona - the Lighthouse Firefly.

When I last wrote, I was pursuing a publishing lead through a friend.  Circumstances, the death of a well known agent in that agency, kept them from taking on my book - the shared workload had increased for them all.  That was a turning point for me and I decided that it was definitely time to seriously investigate the self-publishing route.  Fiona needed to be out there.

I talked to a number of people and searched the Internet for leads and decided CreateSpace, tied to Amazon, would work for me.  This is my first self-publishing effort and I wanted an experience that would be fairly easy and quick.  CreateSpace appeared to offer both.  

The process of uploading text and illustrations was straightforward with CreateSpace providing a proof copy within 24 hours.  They also provided a set of different cover designs to choose from - I would have liked more choices to tell you the truth, but....  They did offer a personalized cover consult for a fee which I didn't choose.  As I said, I wanted something quick, easy and relatively inexpensive.  I did go for a color book, glossy cover.  I think the illustrations demanded that.

Proofing the book took maybe five times before I was satisfied with the illustration and the text placement.  I tried all the offered cover templates just to see how the illustration would look in each one.  I chose one and then went back and changed it to the one above.  It has a nice front to back look and a story description on the back.

The book is available on the CreateSpace website today, but I'll provide the link to Amazon in 3-5 days when it is available on their website.  Profit from the book sales will be sent to my sister's scholarship fund and the Lighthouse Society.  I wished that she had lived long enough to see Fiona come to life.

I am excited about this step and wanted you all to know that I had made great progress since I last wrote.  I'm now going back to my other novels and may self-publish them as well.  The novels will be much easier to publish because they have no illustrations.

Stay turned - I'll be back in a few days.  I'll describe more of Fiona's story and let you see what it looks like on Amazon.

Keep writing -- it's good for the soul.