LOVED Signing at the beautiful Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books

I loved meeting readers and writers this weekend at Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books in Watertown, WI. They promoted my appearance and my young adult book, God Awful Loser, which I’m thrilled to say they called “an awesome summer read you can’t miss!”

Tribeca is just a beauty of a bookstore with rows of great books, sumptuous coffee selections, unique local artistry, and an adorable children’s area upstairs that’s visible through the white picket fence. Enjoy a few pics of the event!

Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books

Tribeca GalleryCafe & Books

God Awful Loserright by the sweets!

God Awful Loser right by the sweets!

Reader with Silvia Acevedo

Silvia and readers

Silvia Acevedo and reader

Tribeca Book Of The Week

Tribeca Book Of The Week!

Highlights of the God Awful Loser Book Launch

Had a wonderful book launch for my young adult fantasy, God Awful Loser, held Friday night at the incomparable Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee. Thank you so much to all of my friends and family — and complete strangers (but soon to be friends) — who came out to hear me babble about my book. The reading was fun, as was the mingling afterward. I’m really blessed to have people support me.

I spy God Awful Loser on Boswell shelves

I spy God Awful Loser on Boswell shelves

God Awful Loser on Boswell shelves

Doesn’t God Awful Loser look great there?

Jeff Miracola & Silvia Acevedo

My husband, Jeff, and me behind the sumptuous treats

Ambrosia petit fours

Petit fours to mimic ambrosia, the food of the gods

Silvia Acevedo reading a passage of God Awful Loser

Reading a passage

With former colleague Erica and her daughter

With former colleague Erica and her daughter

Esther, bright and fascinating

Esther, bright and fascinating

With Rebecca and family

With Rebecca and family

With Lynn, Wisconsin's celebrity stylist!

With Lynn, Wisconsin’s celebrity stylist!

Eileen, my mom Iris, me, and mother-in-law Regina

Eileen, my mom Iris, me, and my mother-in-law Regina

Silvia and Iris

With my mom, Iris

Silvia and Janet Halfmann

With talented picture book author Janet Halfmann


Mingling with the faaaabulous people

Kathleen & Dano

Kathleen & Dano

The awesome athletes in my life

The awesome athletes in my life


Three Weeks Until The Big Day

Silvia Acevedo Book Launch FlyerThree weeks from today I will be at my book launch. It’s happening at Boswell Books on May 8th at 7 p.m. and of course you’re invited.

I admit to being awed that the book launch is my own. I’ve been to quite a few launches, being a member of the state’s writers’ association and being plugged in to that world. I’ve even attended the launch of a former WTMJ-TV reporter and colleague. I couldn’t be more proud of the writers I know who’ve put their words out into the world. It takes guts.

My launch, like theirs, marks the culmination of years of writing. It’s the release of a brand new, funny mythology into the young adult genre. More than that, it’s me putting myself out there in a way I never have before. It’s one thing, as a reporter, to talk and write about the accomplishments and talents of others; it’s another thing to accept a challenge for yourself and then go for it. It’s an exciting thing I’ve done.

There’s no single work of art or literature that absolutely everyone loves. Every creator has to accept that. As a reporter, I had to develop a thick skin early on. So I’m going to do my best to always focus on the positive on this new journey of mine. Regardless of how the work is received, I’m so glad that I did it. I tried something new, and my friends will be there to see it. Hope to see you among them. 🙂

BOOK LAUNCH — Whooo hooooo!!!

God Awful Loser by S. AcevedoI’m so excited to announce the date and time for the BOOK LAUNCH of my young adult novel, God Awful Loser!

Drumroll please!

Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (that’s my drumroll… 🙂 ….)

my official launch will be FRIDAY, MAY 8th, at 7 p.m. at Milwaukee’s own Boswell Books! AND, more great news — it’s part of the celebrations for National Children’s Book Week! Whoo hoooo!

Please come share my joy at the realization of a long held dream. I’d love to see all of my friends and family there and would super enjoy meeting new people! It will be fun — and we’ll even have treats. See you in May! 🙂

What I Just Read

The Edge of Nowhere by John SmelcerI just finished reading the young adult novella The Edge of Nowhere by John Smelcer. It’s an adventure story about a discontented teenage boy who, in trying to help his dog, gets swept over the side of his father’s salmon fishing boat during a storm and must survive the Alaskan wilderness to make it back home.

During his trials, the teenager, Seth, contemplates the recent death of his mother, his tendency to seek comfort through food and video games, and the nearly forgotten culture of his Native Alaskan grandmother.

It was a fast read with plenty of action and interesting lessons on survival. Young readers who enjoy adventure and survivalist stories will root for Seth to not only find his way home but to find his way back to the person he once was.

Synopses That Are a Breeze

     I just finished my latest manuscript and synopsis, and I have to say that, if you have a good method of taking notes, writing your synopsis should be a breeze.

     There are many great websites out there detailing what is a synopsis (It’s a summary of the story, including key characters, events, and, yes, even the ending.), how to write one that’s compelling, how to organize it, format it, its preferred length, etc, and I’ll link to a few below, but here’s what I learned from writing my latest one: If you keep a separate document throughout your writing process with detailed notes of chapter events, you’ll end with what is essentially a rough outline for your synopsis. That’s not to say that you have to write your synopsis chronologically and with every event listed as a blow-by-blow, but you’ll have a ready template that lays out the storyline.

     My document has the working title, date started, chapter titles (with pages listed for easy finding later), and a brief recap of what happened therein. You might think, well, if you wrote the story yourself, you shouldn’t have any trouble remembering what’s in every chapter, but, let me tell you, if it takes you a year to write a story, it’s very easy to forget every detail in a chapter — or forget to tie up that loose end you wrote in as a red herring at the start of the piece. My document helps me regain my thread if I must take time off of writing AND, once I’m finished, to see my path from beginning to end.

     Here are links with tips on writing great synopses, realizing that some writers might contradict others. That’s just the way of life, I suppose. Still, these sites are worth checking out:

     Happy writing!

Everyone’s a Critic

A+     But not everyone does it well. There are angry critics who reject everything they see. There are unhelpful critics who expound without explanation. There are sunshiny, happy critics who see toil behind every work and inevitably praise every effort. Finally, there are objective, helpful critics who judge a work systematically and with professionalism.

     I’m in a crit group that’s working on our style of critique, and one member helpfully suggested author Victory Crayne’s detailed method for critiquing fiction, found here. I liked its itemized, blow-by-blow approach to offering truly helpful critiques. Nicely done and worth a look!

The Agent/Author Relationship

     As I’ve been researching litery agents, one of the things that I’ve been pleased to see is their purported interest in nurturing agent/author relationships, in addition to promoting projects.

     I’m glad I’m seeing that so often because I think that long-term vision is vitally important. I was blessed with a really good agent, on the television side of things, who didn’t just scout the next gig. She and I worked to hone skills. With so many years of writing ahead, I want an agent/author pairing that’s promising for the long run.

Query Letters

     Query letters, like resumes, are some of the hardest documents to write. Not only do they require writers to condense their story and expertise onto one page; they also require writers to do something very few people feel they can do well — sell themselves.

     Self-exaltation, for most of us, is counterintuitive. It’s a clumsy exercise, trying to walk the fine line between promotion and revulsion. On the one hand, if we writers don’t market ourselves, who will? On the other, modesty — and probably reality — dictate that we not present ourselves as the best writers of the generation, especially if our attached chapters will have the agents laughing at our ineptitude (Of course, if we recognized our failings beforehand, we, doubtless, would not have sent out the query to begin with.).

     The query format is simple enough, much like that of a cover letter. We politely explain the aim for our letter, tell exactly what we’re pitching (“My fantasy middle reader of 38,000 words”), and then provide a compelling and pithy synopsis. Finally, we explain our credentials or previous successes, offer a method of communication (email address or phone), and then thank the reader for his time. Oh, how easy I’ve made it sound. In reality, a good query letter is an arduous task, but one that can fling open many doors.

     The rejection / acceptance letter is so much easier! One or two lines. Changing futures. But we all knew this — the number of words doesn’t make the difference. The impact is in the message. Poor agents. I almost feel sorry for them. We writers get a whole page to deliver our message, while they only get a fraction…

Identifying the Market

     As I’d gone through the process of thinking about, and then writing, stories over the years, I’d asked myself the question many agents and publishers say that authors are to consider: “Where does your work fit in the market?”

     Many books / websites / interviews from these professionals and many trade discussion boards assure authors that this is something all writers are supposed to think about, especially if they hope to get their work published by a publishing house. Authors are supposed to identify the single genre of their work, understand the demand (or lack thereof) for that work, and then associate their work with other works already on the shelf.

     I once found myself troubled with those requirements. Yes, authors should be able to determine such basics as the genre, I told myself; yet, I hated to associate my work with those of others ( “My book falls between This and That on the shelves.” or “It’s a cross between This and That.” ), never mind that those other works obviously passed enough hurdles to actually land on the bookstore shelves.

     It was vanity, I suppose, to not want to label oneself or link one’s work with that of another, even though so very many stories are revisions and offshoots of others — or greatly influenced by them. We just don’t ever want to admit it.

     So I was forced to recognize that even if one didn’t want to stamp a label on her work, it is an inevitable necessity. How is the agent or publisher to know what they’re being asked to consider if the author herself fails to identify her work in a clear and concise manner? They can’t, obviously, without reading it. Therefore, the author would be asking people with very limited time to find the answer on their own without her help.

     Good luck, I figured. The request wasn’t so invasive, after all.