THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA is Amazon's #1 New Release in Children's Short Story Collections

THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA — Chills on the Yellow Couch

Release day for THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA was absolutely wonderful. I’m truly  grateful for a sublime day.

The book-birthday celebrations started by chatting about the book with the lovely ladies of The Morning Blend TV talk show on WTMJ, Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate. Hosts Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle expertly talk through any topic. Here’s how we looked on the yellow couch:

Silvia Acevedo on The Morning Blend on release day of the spooky middle grade anthology THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA, in which she penned the Wisconsin story

And here’s how the segment turned out! Click below and enjoy.

Next I went to my local, independent bookstore, Boswell Book Company, to sign their book stock. Then–and I have to pinch myself here–by midday, Amazon had splashed a pretty little orange banner on the book’s page! Writers know a banner means the book achieved some sort of bestseller ranking, and yes, it had! THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA rocketed up the rankings to become (drumroll, please) the #1 New Release in Children’s Short Story Collections! Whoo HOO!

THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA is Amazon's #1 New Release in Children's Short Story Collections

The love and support of friends across social media and in my inbox were absolutely heartwarming as well. Thank you to all of you who’ve cheered me on and supported me and the other 51 authors of this spooky anthology. Its publication was a journey, and we appreciate your high-fives.

If you’re wondering what all the excitement is about, please click on THIS LINK to check out the book and consider picking up a copy for a little chill-inducing fun. Thanks!

Spooky Season arrives tomorrow!

Wow wow woweee wow!

THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA releases tomorrow, July 9, 2024! That means Spooky Season officially starts tomorrow and you can pick up this title for all the shiver-loving readers in your life! Whoo HOOO!

I love Spooky Season. Halloween. Terror Time. Whatever you like to call it, when autumn’s cold creeps in, when the world is a little grayer and grimmer, when people’s thoughts turn to the dead–and dread–of October. Bwaaahahaa.

I am sooo excited about the release of THE HAUNTED STATES OF AMERICA. It’s the culmination of the long-held dream for 52 authors from around the U.S. and D.C. and Puerto Rico. I’m proud to represent Wisconsin and my hometown’s beautiful but supposedly haunted Seven Bridges. This collection of spooky stories from around the country is already getting great reviews, like this one from Kirkus. I know it will be a favorite for readers like me, who, as a child, would have absolutely EATEN THIS UP.

The promo copy tells you to “strap in for this spooky cross country tour.” I really hope geography teachers will offer this book to readers who like a little spine-tingling (but not too scary) thrill. And it’s great for emergent or reluctant readers, as each bite-size story spans only four to six pages.

So, my lovely reader, PLEASE ORDER THE BOOK HERE, right away, even if you think you or your young person won’t get to it just yet. First-week sales greatly affect a book’s trajectory. If you want to support your local library, please ask them to carry it! Many libraries have a link where you can request titles.

A million thanks go to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Godwin Books/Macmillan for spearheading this project. And just as many thanks to go you, dear reader, as you dig in to these shadowy tales. I hope they bring a trickle of fear for the dark, stormy nights ahead…

What I’ve read and what I’m reading

A few blog posts back, I told y’all I was joining a book club put on by my local independent bookstore, Boswell Book Company. They run a handful of clubs, each focusing on a different genre. Tonight was their last one for my group, which focused on general book club fiction and held at a local pub/restaurant, as the bookseller who led it is moving away. A few of the participants are carrying on.

So how my experience? I really enjoyed it, actually. It encouraged me to read books I might not have otherwise and see how others view and rate books, the organizer typically asking people around the table to informally rate the book 1-5 stars. I’ve discovered a rate books higher than most, as I tend to rate it on whether it delivered on its promise, whereas most others tended to rate it on whether they enjoyed it.

What have I read lately?

THE GOLEM OF BROOKLYN by Adam Mansbach, which I enjoyed. It was funny, very New York, and brought up some serious questions about anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

THE HACIENDA by Isabel Cañas, which wasn’t as scary as I’d hoped, but I loved the setting of post-colonial Mexico. Her ability to “put us there” was top notch.

ASSISTANT TO THE VILLAIN by Hannah Nicole Maehrer, which was hysterical. I’m looking forward to its sequel, APPRENTICE TO THE VILLAIN.

The above three were part of the book club. Here are some personal reads:

THE RUNNER by Kristin Oakley, which I beta-read and is part of THE DEVIL PARTICLE series. Fascinating concept to this series, and well executed.

DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS by Julie Schumacher, book 1 of the trilogy of the same name, and which I’d read before. This book won a bunch of awards for humorous writing, and they were all well deserved. I’m looking forward to meeting Ms. Schumacher at the upcoming Washington Island Literary Festival in September.

I’m currently reading  STILL TRUE by Maggie Ginsberg, who’ll also be speaking at that festival and is a force within Wisconsin authorship. Her writing is lyrical and rich.

In between all those books, I’ve also been writing, submitting my work, and enjoying the start of summer.

Hope you’re enjoying it too! 🙂

The beauty of the wooden clog

I spotted this gorgeous carved wood clog at Café Benelux in Milwaukee’s artsy Third Ward. It’s a nice restaurant and where my husband and I hosted the Faculty Dinner during our illustration workshop. <–If you don’t know about Fantasy Art Workshop’s Illustration Intensive, please do click on the link to learn more about it–or search my website for past posts about it. It’s our big event, our heartfelt endeavor, that we’re thrilled to present every year.–>

Back to the clog, isn’t it a beaut?

I think when I was younger, I may not have appreciated it as much as I do now. I had a couple of pairs of (regular, not wooden) clogs in my youth and wore them to the point of disintegration, haha. But, in my youth, I might have thought too literally about the utility and comfort of wooden clogs to see any artistry to them. I could be remembering myself wrong, as adults are sometimes apt to do  years removed from childhood, but I suspect not.

But now I see its beauty. Now I appreciate it. Now I marvel at it. Today, as I’ve just finished seeing scores of artists work on incredible pieces for a whole week, I’m pleased to see beautiful, artistic things displayed just for the sake of it. Truthfully, I don’t know if this piece was mass produced–but even if it was, it’s still nice to see pretty things around us. We need that.

There’s no grande message behind this post other than LOOK. Look at this gorgeous thing. It’s truly lovely.

Sometimes you just gotta reward yourself

I had to share these pictures of high tea–because it was fancy and extravagant and COMPLETELY DESERVED for the two of us, thanks to being put through the wringer the few months previous.

My friend, critique partner, and cheerleader Valerie Biel and I enjoyed afternoon tea at Milwaukee’s famed Pfister Hotel after months of polishing and querying our current manuscripts. It’s a lot of work to get a query package ready and send it out into the world for publication. Plus, the whole endeavor requires fortitude and confidence in the face of the uphill climb. I started the effort a few moths before her, but we’ve been on the journey together since then– and that’s really the best way to do it, IMHO, with a friend, as we helped ready each others’ submissions and kept our spirits high. All this to say, we deserved the pampering.

The tea and dainties were excellent. The whole experience is highly recommended. 🙂

The historic tea kettles at the Pfister

These dainties were DELICIOUS and actually very filling. We started at 2pm and didn’t need to eat again until late evening!

Savories at the bottom, sweets up top.

Soooo good.

Can you believe this detail? Fabulous.

The yummiest of yummies.

Author Silvia Acevedo at High Tea

Me

Author Valerie Biel at High Tea

Val

An odd find

Sometimes people ask me, as a writer, if I discover weird things while researching for a book.

Um, YES. Yes, oh yes. So much yes.

Writers often joke that if “the authorities” were to look at our browser history, they’d put us on a watch list. But really, how can a murder-mystery writer not read up on the many ways to murder a spouse? How can a writer of speculative fiction, like me, not look up otherworldly stuff? How dare you think we’re just a bit off?! (*inserts nervous laughter here*)

Okay, so what did I find? My current work-in-progress required I find an animal that growls, and of course I didn’t want to go with the obvious, like a dog. So a Google search finds this: a fish that growls. Say what? Yes. It’s called a red gurnard, as no doubt some of you will know, but I don’t fish, okay?!, so how would I know this? Gentlefolk, I present the big-headed fish that growls. It’s red and large and kinda turns my stomach, but it works for my story, so huzzah!

Copyright © Silvia Acevedo. All rights reserved.