Books that Shape America

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“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.”       ~Walt Disney

On Saturday and Sunday, the National Mall in Washington, DC was abuzz with activity, The Library of Congress hosted the 12th annual National Book Festival. More than 100 authors were in attendance.R.L. Stine , known as the “Stephen Kingof children’s literature” and creator of the “Goosebump” Series was just one notable in the line-up. I remember those books well. My son read them in rapid succession, with avid interest. There were 62 books in the “Goosebumps” series published from 1992 – 1997. These books helped to engage many children, who were non-readers or low readers, in literature.

Book TV over the weekend was dedicated to the National Book Festival. Interviews of authors who have written books of historical and political importance were featured.

David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower have penned a book together, called Going Home To Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969 about David’s grandfather Dwight D. “Ike” Eisenhower’s years following his presidency. Jean Edward Smith, author of Eisenhower In War and Peace http://wapo.st/y4Ebyl was also on the podium. It struck me as I listened to the interviews of the authors, that it took an enormous amount of research into Eisenhower and Richard Nixon as leaders and political figures, and much study about the relationship he and Nixon had with one another to write these books. Book TV will no doubt rebroadcast this show, don’t miss it.

 

As we go forward in this digital age of publishing, in my opinion, a whole new generation of authors will influence America’s children arising out of the industry of e-book publishing. That is exciting!

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Screening Half the Sky

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“No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself.”        ~Rabbi Sofer

Economic empowerment, education and good healthcare for women are solutions that make a difference between opportunity and oppression. The film , Half the Sky: Turning Opression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, is an adaptation of the book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It  focuses on six celebrity activists and their work to rebuild lives after a women’s integrity and self-esteem has been taken away by violence and brutality. Click for info & ordering Half the Sky

On Wednesday, September 12th at 6:30 pm Half the Sky will be screened at the Bud Werner Memorial Library in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The film is  part of the Women & Girls Lead program for Independent Lens through PBS. It will be followed by a discussion of the issues that are highlighted in this movie. Anyone is invited to join in the screening and the dialogue afterward.

 

This film is being sponsored by the Bud Werner Memorial Library, the Yampa Valley University Women and Tasaru Girls School Fund, a non-profit that works to help educate Masai girls and women.

If you do not live in the vicinity of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, you will still have a chance to see it. It will be broadcast on October 1st and 2nd, 2012 on PBS channels. Look for the air times in your local TV program schedule.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Local Authors in the Limelight

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If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.” ~ Edward Hopper

Saturday was a day of great fun for me as a person who works in the independent publishing industry. The literary community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado came  out from behind their computers and into the limelight at the Written Arts Festival. I am aware of the fact that we do, indeed, have a growing population of independent publishers in this community. Nearly thirty were gathered; some having just published their debut novels, while others have more than one book published.

Panel discussions added interest to the event. “How should history be portrayed in writing?” was a subject that drew differing opinions from the authors. In the opinions of some, there is an obligation to write stories true to history; while others contend that history can be written from different perspectives.

Other authors specialize in fiction writing. The panelists in this genre seemed to agree that authors draw, to a certain extent, from personal experience and background which often gives them the basis of the story. Then the storyline “is pushed in different directions,” sometimes ending in a total surprise, even for the author. One panelist mentioned how her deeply felt spiritual beliefs influences her writing and a prolific romance writer admitted that individuals she encounters inspires her characters.

Sites, smells and visual landscapes also influence writing. A third group of panelists discussed how stories are crafted from experience in travel as well as from their rootedness in community. Place plays great significance in our identity as people and as writers. Local issues are often brought into books of regional interest.

The event culminated with an interview of a very talented poet and the Home Ranch owner, Ann Anderson Stranahan. Words, when used with the right cadence and meter makes music, she said. When Stranahan was asked  if “her poetic images come to her in black and white or in color?”

“Vividly and suddenly, perhaps as in a photographic image, rather than an oil or watercolor,” was her answer.

The Bud Werner Memorial Library http://www.steamboatlibrary.org/ and the efforts of their staff made this inspiring event possible. Also, the support of the Steamboat Arts Council http://steamboatspringsarts.com/and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore’s  http://www.steamboatbooks.com/ handling of the bookselling allowed the authors to visit with potential book buyers and answer questions.

I would have liked to have mentioned each of the authors individually, in this blog writing, but there were too many. I did get around the room to talk to each of them briefly. Thanks to all who participated and coordinated the Written Arts Festival. It was encouraging for anyone who is contemplating writing and publishing a story.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

What are Indie Publishers All About?

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Remember those words sung by Dionne Warwick from many years ago –

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?”

Over the past ten or twelve years, these same types of questions have been asked by readers and writers everywhere. They want to know – What is the independent publishing industry really all about?

On Thursday evening, February 2nd at 7pm, I will be giving a presentation at the Hayden Library in Hayden, Colorado on the evolution (or revolution, as some may see it) of independent publishing and the arrival of e-books to the publishing scene.

Join me and feel free to ask “What is it all about, Suzie?” I have spent many years sorting out this constantly changing, exciting and growing industry of independent publishing, as best as I possibly can! And, no! It is not just for the moment we live – books live on and on, and many “independent minded people” publish as a way of leaving a legacy to their families, friends and for many more reasons, too.

Again – we will be discussing fulfilling dreams of publishing on February 2nd at 7pm in Routt County, Colorado at the Hayden Library. You will see “the possibilities are endless… one merely needs to step forward.

SHe Writes Steamboat because of their affiliate membership with the Colorado Independent Publishers Association  has all the educational resources and vendors available to help authors  along the way to becoming a successful independent publisher.

Come along. Jump on the Fast Track of Independent Publishing. It’s a New Year, and a great time in publishing! Join in.