How to Prep for a Book Signing

Hello everyone!

Recently, some of my friends got their short stories published in an anthology titled Bitter Sweet (  They had two book launches where they read part of their stories and signed the book.

Their experience, coupled with my anticipation for the release of the anthology in which my short story “Damaged Angel” will be published, made me think about book signings and what goes into making one successful.

Below are two blog posts which contain tips on what authors can do in the weeks and months before a book signing to make it successful. I hope you find their advice as helpful as I did!

“The Book Signing Checklist!” by Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc. (AME):

“KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL BOOKSIGNING – Part One” by Marlo Berliner, author of young adult, paranormal romance, and women’s fiction:

Happy writing!



Story in the Clouds

Hello everyone!

Ever since the weather got warm back in May, I’ve been spending more time outside. Although I find beauty in all nature that is not insect, amphibian, or reptile related, I have been repeatedly struck by the beauty and variety found in the clouds.

Your challenge is to look at the clouds until you find an animal, person, or mythical being and a location. Then, write a story about your character and location.

Here are some questions to get the creative juices flowing:

1. What happens when that animal, person, or mythical being goes to or leaves that location?

2. Why did your character go to or leave that location?

3. What does your character want?

4. Is the location stable or are there environmental issues?

Happy writing!


Magical Realism vs. Surrealism

Hello everyone!

While submitting picture books to agents and editors, I noticed that some of them were interested in magical realism manuscripts.  Originally, I thought this was a synonym for surrealism, but their are some subtle differences.

Merriam Webster offers the following definitions:

magic realism:

  • painting in a meticulously realistic style of imaginary or fantastic scenes or images
  • a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin America that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction —called also magical realism (


  • a 20th-century art form in which an artist or writer combines unrelated images or events in a very strange and dreamlike way
  • the principles, ideals, or practice of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in art, literature, film, or theater by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations (

For anyone who is still confused about the difference between the two terms, here are two articles that will hopefully clear up any remaining ambiguity.

Comparison of Magical Realism and Surrealism:

Explanation of Magical Realism:

Happy writing!


The Source of Conflict: Multiple Perspectives

Hello everyone!

“There are two sides to every story, and more often than not somewhere in the middle you will find the truth.” – Vladislas Nikilovic

In honor of our country’s recent birthday, your challenge is to write two diary entries or letters about July 4, 1776: one by a loyalist and one by a separatist.

This link will take you to a brief historical overview of the events that led up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence:

Happy writing!


Short Stories

Happy 4th of July!

Over the last few days, I have been thinking a lot about short stories.  I attribute this to celebrating the launch of Bitter Sweet, a short story anthology in which several of my writer friends got published, and to anticipating the September publication of the climate fiction anthology in which one of my own short stories will be published.

I found this great article, “How to Write a Short Story” (, which gives an in-depth guide for how to craft a solid short story.  Although my creative process differs slightly from the one in the article, I agree with the author’s advice and hope you find it helpful.

Happy writing!



Be sure to check out Bitter Sweet: “Bitter Sweet” anthology benefits Camp Hill’s Fredericksen Library;