Okay, it’s one thing to have an awesome time at Barnes & Noble‘s Author Open House, which I totally did. It’s another thing to have a kid put down the book of a major franchise in favor of yours, which he totally did!
There we were, nine authors at B&N Village Crossing in Skokie, Illinois, mingling with the great crowd and talking about books. We’re in a place with thousands of books, so many titles, just a plethora of choices, and THIS young man puts down his Star Wars novel to get mine. I was flabbergasted and so, so honored! Thanks, Collin, my new little buddy.
And thanks to Cathy Athans at Barnes & Noble Village Crossing for organizing this great event!
Cathy Athans and me
Author Joyce Burns Zeiss Talks to a Reader
Authors John Dominguez and Dan Killeen
Author Molly Page
Readers and me chatting at Barnes & Noble Village Crossing in Skokie, Illinois
I hope you’re excited to read more of Cupid’s adventures. And as a reminder, if you liked God Awful Loser, please do the kindest thing you can do for a writer: leave a review at Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite website.
I am throwing a party, and YOU’RE invited! Whoo hoo!!!
GOD AWFUL THIEF launches into the world May 4th, 7 p.m., at Boswell Books in Milwaukee. I am thrilled with how THIEF turned out, and I’m extra thrilled to get it to those who’ve emailed, anxiously awaiting it. It’s great to hear from you!
GOD AWFUL THIEF is the second book in the God Awful Series of Books for teens and adults. It’s also the sequel of the very well received GOD AWFUL LOSER. Read on for a sneak peak at THIEF’s jacket copy.
Cupid’s back and at the top of his game.
The always adored – and now restored – God of Love has a new look, a new attitude, and even a steady girlfriend. With his humiliating dethronement and harrowing banishment behind him, Cupid wants nothing more than to settle in to a comfortable immortality.
But someone has dreamed up a different plan.
With a sea god setting the oceans against him, a drama-loving hanger-on refusing to go away, and the king of the gods ordering Cupid to steal the most powerful relic ever made by the most cunning god ever angered, Cupid and his leading lady, Tamara, must join a new cast and crew to face their most challenging mission yet. The stage is set for an epic performance, but just who is writing this script? And will Cupid and his troupe figure it out before they lose their minds – and quite possibly their lives?
God Awful Thief brings new hilarity and an ever-expanding cast of fickle gods to Cupid’s misadventures, potential tragedies, and everlasting comedies. God Awful Thief is the second act in the God Awful Series of Books.
I’ll have my cover reveal within the next few weeks and pre-order info soon after that.
So, friends, mark your calendars for GOD AWFUL THIEF’s May 4th launch. We’ll celebrate the book, have fun, and support our local bookstore all at once. See you there!
Food is always a good idea. And it’s one thing to enjoy it with incredible people, new friends who share the same passions and humor as you and with whom you can see yourself spending many happy hours. It’s even more amazing when you get to help a worthy cause while doing it!
I got that chance this month when a friend — and a soon-to-be friend — invited me to their fourth annual Novel Cuisine Luncheon. What the heck is that, you ask? It’s a gathering of authors / librarians / teachers / book bloggers / booksellers. We donate books from our collections to a local charity in need of them, we talk about books, and we enjoy a fabulous meal based on foods mentioned in select titles. It was my first time going, and I am so blessed to have been a part of this!
First, just look at the piles of books collected to donate to Sojourner Family Peace Center! Sojourner’s tagline is “Peace is Possible.” Their goal is to help those impacted by domestic violence. And by help, I mean they are involved in the most desperate of times. They literally help women escape violent situations. They protect them in a hidden safe house. I personally know people who’ve benefitted from their help. When mothers run from violence, they so desperately want happiness for their kids, and books help. I couldn’t be more proud than to help in a tiny way by offering a moment of entertainment in trying times.
Hello? Author Liza Wiemer opened her home to about 20 of us. She and YA Book Blogger and Librarian Heidi Zweifel put together an incredible spread, thought up really fun games, and generally made themselves a holiday joy. Thanks so much to them for inviting me.
And look at this! My novel God Awful Loser was the basis for the lunch’s pizza fun! We made our own from ready-made dough and lots of fixin’s. YUM!
Author Melissa Gorzelanczyk handed out ARCs of her own Cupid-based novel, Arrows, and everyone even left with a few new reads of their own. It was a fantastic time, and I hope to continue the spirit of giving great reads in the years to come!
It’s amazing how certain events in your life harbor so much meaning.
I remember as a child spending many, many, MANY enchanted hours reading on the bean bags at the kids’ corner of the South Milwaukee Public Library. I used to ride my bike the half hour to get there to happily satisfy my demanding reading habit, delighting in Peanuts and Moby Dick alike.
This Wednesday, December 2nd, I will cherish the immense honor of presenting there, my hometown library. Starting at 6:30, I’ll present an excerpt and talk with readers about my fantasy novel, God Awful Loser, a signed copy of which is on the library shelves.
I will admit that my childhood self never imagined presenting as an author in the building in which I traipsed so often. I loved reading; books were, to me, worldly educators, understanding friends, and foolhardy daredevils. As a child, I never imagined writing books. As an adult writing a part of my novel at the SM library, I had to smile at going full circle from reader to writer.
Saturday, I was one of a host of authors at the Edgerton (WI) Sterling North Book & Film Festival celebrating its tenth year. And what a reunion — I got to see former TV anchor Patty Loew, with whom I worked as an intern in my college days at WKOW-TV in Madison! I helped on a documentary that later earned an Associated Press award. We hadn’t seen each other in 25 years! Now she’s an accomplished author, and I was so happy to see her.
Thanks to all the librarians out there, to readers, and the many other book lovers that make this journey so wonderful.
I am incredibly honored to be the very first author featured on the newly created WISCONSIN WRITES AUTHOR VIDEO SERIES. This interview chat was created by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction for students to hear directly from authors about how they do what they do, providing a glimpse into both their current works and their creative minds.
I have two segments, which you can see above or at the WI DPI website. The first segment is on my writing process, and the second covers many topics, including my approach to subject matter, the role of research, editing, feedback from other writers, and advice to students.
Many thanks go the educators behind this series! I hope you enjoy it, too, and please feel free to share it widely with the writers (young and old) in your life!
I had the honor and pleasure of talking on a panel about kid lit at the Wisconsin Writers Association‘s Annual Convention yesterday. Beside me were some of the most talented writers of the day, their works spanning from picture book to young adult novel.
A few of the questions had to do with taboo topics and whether we censor our writing for the sake of our audience. The answer was a universal no to censorship but that, of course, a writer’s presentation is tweaked depending on age range and relevancy to the story. We all agreed that stories are a safe place to explore new worlds and perspectives. Besides, those readers who don’t enjoy a book will self-censor, that is, decide a particular book isn’t for them and put it down. It comes down to choices, which is an integral part of growing up.
Not every book covers deep, heavy topics, but most offer a window to emotional growth. My God Awful Loser is a light read and yet doesn’t gloss over the protagonist’s womanizing. He and other characters eventually learn, with the readers riding their wave, to value those around them.
Do kids need books to teach them such lessons? Perhaps another question is in order: Who remembers reading a book at just the right time and having it profoundly affected their worldview?
Soon Wisconsin students engaged in writing will have video proof that, yeah, sometimes you just have to scrap what doesn’t work. And who got to teach them that? Why, yes, you guessed right. It was me.
It was part of an interesting video project being put on by the Wisconsin Department of Public Schools, the state agency that runs public schools. The “Wisconsin Writes” project aims to catch Wisconsin authors wherever they happen to be in their work-in-progress to talk to students about how they’re advancing their work and to answer a few tough questions. My work-in-progress is the sequel to God Awful Loser.
It so happens that I was at a point in which I’d explored a certain path only to find it didn’t work, and so I was on the cusp of scrapping a full chapter. That turned into a talk about how sometimes you just have to try something out, see how it goes, get messy, be willing to change it or let it go if it’s not your vision, and embrace picking it up again where you left off. I hope hearing that is helpful to students.
Here I am signing God Awful Loser for the program’s host. Thanks, Marci, for inviting me.
A Confederacy of Dunces is a comedic marvel. It has pretty mixed reviews, many of the negatives focusing on the “likability” of the protagonist, who is a snobby, idealistic, physically grotesque bum who still lives with his mother. She induces him to find work, and hilarity ensues. I tend to not dismiss books on the likability of the protagonist. I focus more on whether he or she experiences emotional growth and on the quality of the writing. Whether you love Ignatius Reilly as a character or not, no one could deny there’s a lot of great humor there. Thanks, Tim!
My next read was Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall in which an intersexed teen (having both male and female sexual organs) leaves his bullying high school across the country to start fresh as a girl in a Wisconsin high school. Her lifelong interest in basketball helps her make friends and eventually keeps her sane when her past inevitably roars into the present.
This is not normally the sort of thing I’d read, and maybe that’s exactly why it’s good to change habits once in a while. It’s good to expand your world. Double Exposure‘s story was engaging, the characters sympathetic, and the conflict real for our times. I’d recommend it to anyone who might benefit seeing the grey between the lines. In the interest of full disclosure, I acknowledge that I have met the author through events at SCBWI, but that doesn’t matter. It’s an enlightening read.