Posted in Authors

A Beautiful Day at Long Island’s Local Author Fair

Debbie De Louise at her author’s table at Long Island’s Local Author Fair. Photo by Richard Meyer

On Saturday, April 6, I joined fellow Long Island authors from three writing groups at the Tilles Center on the C.W. Post Campus for the first Long Island’s Local Author Fair. The event was hosted by Long Island Authors Group, Long Island Romance Writers, and Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators. Author tables were set up in the Atrium, and author presentations, panels, and readings took place in the Founders and Patriot Lounges.

Roland Allnach, President of the Long Island Authors Group Photo by Lisa Diaz Meyer

The day started with an opening address by Roland Allnach, President of LIAG (Long Island Authors Group). After Roland gave information about his group, Patty Blount from Long Island Romance Writers and Linda Maria Frank from Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators each spoke about their associations. The keynote speaker, author Steve Israel, a former Congressman who grew up on Long island, told of his experiences as an author and representative. He compared writing to politics, pointing out several similarities. Regarding rejection, he noted a difference between the two, saying that a writer’s rejection is much more personal than someone running for office. He also gave some humorous but true anecdotes about participating in book fairs that the authors who were present were able to identify with.

Debbie De Louise speaking in the Founders Lounge about her mysteries. Photo by Lisa Meyer

After the opening speeches, authors returned to their tables and took turns speaking in the Founder’s Lounge. Some also participated in panels and readings in the Patriot’s Lounge. My turn to talk was at 4:40 p.m. I hadn’t viewed the Founders Lounge before and expected it to be a more formal room. I was surprised and pleased to see that, instead, it was set up with comfortable chairs and provided a casual atmosphere to discuss my writing and books.

For me, attending this event was like a homecoming to Post, my alma mater, where I earned a Bachelors in English and a Masters in Library Science in 1989. It was also where I worked as a Features Editor on the Pioneer, the student newspaper. That’s why I was especially glad to meet Carolyn Schurr Levin, Assistant Journalism Professor at C. W. Post, who dropped by my table to introduce herself. Her students had interviewed Roland Allnach for a story, and she said some would come by to also meet me.

Authors Debbie De Louise, Lisa Diaz Meyer, and Rekha Valliappan Photo by Richard Meyer
Debbie De Louise by her poster at Long Island’s Local Author Fair Photo by Richard Meyer
Debbie De Louise outside the Tilles Center Photo by Lisa Diaz Meyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also great to see many familiar faces of fellow LIAG members and those who I’ve met at various local book fairs and author talks. My friend Lisa Diaz Meyer was seated in back of me. We took a few breaks to step outside into the beautiful spring day to view the campus and get some fresh air. This brought back many happy memories of my time at Post.

View across the LIU/Post Campus from outside the Tilles Center Photo by Debbie De Louise
Authors Debbie De Louise and Lisa Diaz Meyer outside the Tilles Center Photo by Richard Meyer
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Posted in Authors, Books, local author event

Don’t Miss Long Island’s Local Author Fair

This Saturday, April 6, I’ll be attending Long Island’s Local Author Fair with fellow members of LIAG (Long Island Author’s Group) and other local writing associations. This event will take place at the Tilles Center on the LIU/C.W. Post Campus. Admission is free, and it runs from 3 to 8 pm. There’ll be over 50 authors participating, keynote speaker, Steve Israel, panels, and book signings. I’m looking forward to a great day meeting and chatting with authors and readers. If you’re in the Long Island area, enjoy reading and meeting authors, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

Check out this list of author presentations that feature a wide variety of genres. I’ll be speaking about my Cobble Cove mystery series and other books as well as my upcoming psychological mystery release at 4:39 pm in the Founders Hall. Please come by to see me at that time or at my table any time during the event.

 

Posted in Authors, Guest Post

Guest Post and Blog Tour for Murder Gone Missing by Lida Sideris

This post was contributed by author Lida Sideris. Her cozy mystery, Murder Gone Missing, is currently on tour with Escape with Dollycas Escape into a Good Book. 

Rustling Up Characters

I’m often asked where I find my characters. Are they based on people I know? Nope. But they are based on people I don’t know. For instance, in a subplot in my first book, heroine Corrie Locke is hired by basketball superstar, Ty Calvin, to find his missing lucky charm. I’ve never known any professional sports stars. But I did have a brush with one. It was enough for me to want to base a character on him.

A few years ago, I waited on the first tee of a local golf course with my junior golfer son. Basketball superstar Alonzo Mourning approached us from behind and asked if he could play through. In golf speak, that’s, “Mind if I go first? I’m in a little bit of a rush.” He asked so politely, so kindly, that he left me with a lasting impression. Of someone who treated others well, of an animal lover, a gentle role model, one who was bent on doing the right thing. I have no idea what Mr. Mourning is really like. But I had a strong notion of what my basketball player creation would be like. Kind, thoughtful, generous, and yes, an animal lover who would go to great lengths for his animal and human friends. Would I have created the character without that brief encounter? Probably not.

Sometimes, a character idea will arise from viewing a photograph or a movie. For instance, I was watching a 1947 Bogart film, Dead Reckoning that co-starred an actress I wasn’t familiar with: Lizabeth Scott. I’d never seen or heard of her, but her mannerisms were enough to inspire me to create a lanky murder suspect, patterned after her character in the movie. I used her in Book Two. Ms. Scott’s expressions, the way she spoke and walked, her hair and her clothes in that particular film, helped me to get a sense of the character I was seeking to create. Ms. Scott has a very unique voice and every time, my character, Alyce Scerbo, opened her mouth, I thought of Ms. Scott.

Basing characters on my impressions allows my imagination to run around and figure things out. It helps me to hear them speak and move…and eventually breathe between the pages.

Murder Gone Missing: A Southern California Mystery
by Lida Sideris

About the Book


Murder Gone Missing: A Southern California Mystery
Cozy Mystery/Soft Boiled Mystery
2nd in Series
Level Best Books (April 10, 2018)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1947915046
Digital ASIN: B07BHCBX51

Newly minted lawyer Corrie Locke has taken a vow of abstinence. From PI work, that is. Until her best friend Michael finds his bully of a boss stabbed in the back after confronting him earlier that day. Michael panics, accidentally tampering with the crime scene…which could lead the cops to Michael instead of the real culprit. He turns to Corrie to track down the killer. She doesn’t need much coaxing. Her late great PI dad taught her the ropes…and left her his cache of illegal weaponry.

They return to the scene of the crime, but the body’s missing. Racing against time, Corrie dredges a prestigious Los Angeles college in pursuit of clues. All she finds are false leads. Armed with attitude and romantic feelings toward Michael, Corrie dives into a school of suspects to find the slippery fugitive. Will she clear Michael’s name before he’s arrested for murder?

About the Author

Lida Sideris is an author, lawyer and all around book enthusiast. She was one of two national recipients of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America scholarship for her first novel, MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS. MURDER GONE MISSING is the second book in the Corrie Locke series. Like her heroine, Lida worked as an entertainment attorney in a movie studio. Unlike her heroine, she keeps her distance from homicides. To learn more about Lida, please visit her website: www.LidaSideris.com

Author Links

WEBSITE: http://www.lidasideris.com/

BLOG: http://www.lidasideris.com/blog/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lidasideris

TWITTER: @lidasideris

GoodReads:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26139837-murder-and-other-unnatural-disasters?from_search=true&search_version=service

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Posted in Authors

Author Fair at St. Stephens Church

Jan and Rick Mosebach at the St. Stephens raffle and information table.

The first church author fair at St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Hicksville took place on Saturday, May 12. It featured nine local authors, raffles, a church table with information and giveaways, and refreshments. The raffle prizes were donated by the authors. The money raised through the ticket sales were used as a fundraiser for the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club. Throughout the afternoon, each author spoke about their writing and autographed books at their table. The authors who participated wrote a variety of genres from mystery to romance to children’s books and poetry.

Rick Mosebach, Inreach/Outreach Director opening the fair.
Author Debbie De Louise at her table

Since I was the one who suggested an author fair for St. Stephens, I opened the program after Rick Mosebach, the director of Inreach/Outreach ministry, gave a few words about the church and their upcoming events. I introduced myself as a librarian at the Hicksville Public Library and the author of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and a recent standalone mystery. I read the blurbs to the first book of my series, A Stone’s Throw, and then the blurb and prologue of my new mystery, Reason to Die.

Author Michael Di Leo

Mike Di Leo spoke next and read an excerpt from his historical novel, Images of Broken Light, taking place in 1980 during the time of John Lennon’s murder.

Karen Harter

Karen Harter, a children’s author from Manhasset, spoke about the first book in her series, Jeremiah Strout and the Curse of the Golden Harp and shared some excerpts from the book before a short break that allowed the audience to chat with the authors, purchase autographed books, and have refreshments.

JoAnn Krapp

After the break, JoAnn Krapp, a School Library Media Specialist and children’s author, spoke about her writing and books.

Jeannie Moon

Jeannie Moon, a high school librarian, romance author, and member of the Romance Writers of America spoke about her books published by Penguin Random House and Tule Publishing and read an excerpt from them.

Russ Moran

Russ Moran was the last speaker before the second break. Russ, a member of the Long Island Authors Group along with a few other authors at the event including myself, spoke about his Time Magnet time travel series and other books. He mentioned how characters can become “real” to authors and develop their own identities.

Michael O’Keefe

After another short break, Mike O’Keefe, a retired NYPD detective, read excerpts from his crime novel, Shot to Pieces

Cliff Bleidner

The next presentation was given by Cliff Bleidner, Coordinator of the Performance Poets Association, who was fit into the program last minute after one of the authors cancelled due to an emergency. Cliff read some of his poetry to the audience and spoke about his writing. He encouraged audience members who had an interest in writing to not let their fears stop them.

Elaine Whitehouse

Last but not least, Elaine Whitehouse, a journalist and former editor of the Fire Island Tide and the Fire Island News who currently lives in Sayville, read an excerpt from her historical novel, Hart’s Tavern.

After the speakers, the raffle winners were announced. Each author who donated an autographed copy of their books drew a ticket. The largest prize was a gift basket of books donated by Meara Platt, an author who couldn’t attend the event. Janet Muller, the winner of that prize, also won a copy of my new mystery.

The fair raised $221 for the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club and was a nice opportunity for local authors to share their work with readers. St. Stephens hopes to make this an annual event.

Debbie De Louise with Janet Muller, winner of two raffle prizes at the fair.

 

Posted in Authors, Monday blogs, Writing

Indie Author Day at the Bellmore Memorial Library

It was my pleasure to attend the Indie Author Day at the Bellmore Memorial Library on Saturday, October 14.  The day consisted of speakers, panelists, and authors who interacted with the local community. There was also publishing workshop videos streaming in the Meeting Room throughout the event.

The morning schedule included presentations by three speakers in the library’s community room outside of which snacks, water, and handouts were provided. The first speaker, Dina Santorelli, author of thriller and suspense novels who earned a degree in Creative Writing from Hofstra University, spoke about her experience as a self-published author and her success with her book, Baby Grand.  Santorelli explained how she made the decision to self-publish after having signed with an agent and attempting to sell her book to a traditional publisher. She chose to go the Indie author route to have more control over the production and marketing of her book. Although she had to invest her own money in cover designers and editors, Santorelli was able to sell 100 copies of her book in the first month after it was released and has currently sold tens of thousands of books. She described some misconceptions about self-publishing and explained how most sales of books today are from Amazon eBooks. She said that social  media, particularly twitter, is of utmost importance to authors for them to be discovered by a world-wide audience.

The second speaker was Ellen Meister, author of Dorothy Parker Drank Here, Farewell Dorothy Parker, and other contemporary works. Meister gave suggestions on how to hook a literary agent. She pointed out the advantages of signing with one and gave an overview of what agents did for authors. She also offered tips on what authors should do before they query an agent including the type of research about the agent they should do and where to find the information. She then described the parts of the query letter and what happens if an agent is interested in an author’s query.

The final speaker of the morning was Jan Kardys, literary agent and founder of the Unicorn Writers Conference whose experience working with a large number of traditional publishing houses allowed her to offer her clients creative and unique opportunities to attract a large publisher. She gave examples of how she helped one of her clients build a platform and a brand for herself. She also stressed the importance of social media especially Facebook and Linkedin. She discussed popular resources for writers to help them locate information about agents and publishers, and she also spoke about the importance of copyrighting one’s work. She recommended meetup groups and networking with other writers.

Following a brief break, the program continued with panels of local authors on topics that included, “Telling Our Stories and Those of Others;” “Writing Fiction,” and “Writing for Children.”

Me with my friend and fellow author, Lisa Diaz Meyer, in Author Alley at the Bellmore Memorial Library

In addition to the speakers and panelists, other authors sold their books at tables on the main floor of the library in “Author’s Alley.” There were also giveaways and raffles, and the community had a chance to speak directly to local authors about their unique experiences whether they self-published, published with a small Indie publisher, or published traditionally with a larger publisher.

Me standing by my poster behind my table at the Indie Author Fair. I enjoyed chatting with readers and other local authors attending the event.

The Reference Librarian who helped organize the Bellmore Library’s first ever Indie Author event was Martha DiVittorio. She did a wonderful job selecting speakers, panelists, and local authors. The event was well attended, informative, and a great success.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, Mysteries

Author Spotlight: Matt Ferraz

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Matt Ferraz from Brazil 
limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining me, Matt.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. 

I don’t believe I’ve had any authors from Brazil in my Author Spotlight before. Can you tell me more about your background?

I live in Contagem, an industrial town in central Brazil. Contagem is a nice place but it lacks cultural spots, so I spent a lot of time traveling to Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state, where there are more libraries and theaters.

I have spent the last year living in Buckingham, UK, taking my masters in biography at the town’s university. Whenever I had the chance, I would take the train to London and spend the day on bookshops and museums, or go to the theatre to see a play. It was an amazing experience, and I hope to come back there in the future.

That sounds very exciting. 

How long have you been published? What titles have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.

My first book was Teorema de Mabel (Mabel’s Theorem) a Portuguese-written novella about a young girl named Mabel who gets a job as a typist for her favorite writer. However, when Mabel meets her new boss, she finds out he cannot write anything, so she decides to write the book herself, knowing that he will get the credit. I wrote this book due to my passion for typewriters, and am still very proud of it. It was self published, and I got to appear on local TV and newspapers with it.

After that I published Killing Dr. Watson, a thriller about a geek who teams up with an actor who played Sherlock Holmes on BBC to find out who’s the killer who’s eliminating actors who played Watson on TV. This book was released by MX Publishing, which only deals with Sherlock Holmes related material. It was later released as an audiobook, and it was an amazing thing to listen to it for the first time.

I’m now venturing into cozy mystery with the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series. I always loved the genre, and decided to give it a try. The first volume, The Convenient Cadaver, was released on March 7 through Amazon.

Very nice. I’m hoping to review that book soon. It looks wonderful and is in a genre that I write.

Tell us a little more about your books.

I consider myself a crime writer, but like to venture into other genres once in a while. I created the Grandma Bertha Solving Murders series based on my experiences with my grandmothers Edite and Eva and with a elder friend named Silvia. My idea was to write about elderly people but not in a bitter way. Having an old person living with you can be harsh, but it can also be a wonderful and funny experience, and I wanted to write a book showing that.

Grandma Bertha is an old lady who loves horror movies and her dogs. Afraid that she’ll be lonely living by herself, her son Todd decides to make a bedroom for her on his garden shed so she can spend more time with the family. Todd’s wife Lydia doesn’t get along very well with Grandma Bertha, but their son Stu loves having his granny by his side.

One day, while they’re getting ready for a party, Lydia finds a dead body on the alley at the back of their house: a beautiful young woman shot three times on the back. They call the police immediately, but Grandma Bertha decides she’s going to find out who the killer is. You see, Grandma Bertha had an experience like that on the past, when she solved a murder but didn’t report to the police for not believing in her own deductions, and that haunted her for life. Now she wants to redeem herself by catching this one.

Sounds like great characters and a fun plot.

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?

I want to entertain people and tell stories they can relate to. I do my best to be funny and endearing and clever and all that good stuff. My goal is to release at least three more books in this series in the next two years, and I believe people will love what I have in mind for Grandma Bertha’s next cases.

I’m also working in a completely different project at the moment, a sci-fi book called Know Thy Enemy. I always wanted to co-write a book with another author, and I met a wonderful writer named Dawn Chapman with whom I got along like we were old buddies. We are now halfway through this book, and as soon as we finished with it I’ll go back to Grandma Bertha.

Excellent. I’m also working on another project at the moment and taking a break before I continue my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series with #4.

What type of reader are you hoping to attract?  Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?

Anyone who likes a good mystery with touches of humor can enjoy The Convenient Cadaver, but I think that people who has had a strong relationship with their grandparents will find this book special.

Unfortunately, I never knew my grandparents, but I do enjoy mysteries that include a bit of comedy.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

You have to learn how the publishing industry works. That’s vital. Spend your money in books and courses about this industry. You can write the most amazing novel in the world, but if you’re clueless about how a book gets published, the odds are other people will make money out of your work. Sure, money is not the most important thing, but if you can write a good book and want to make an honest buck out of it, you should be informed about how to do it.

That’s an interesting insight. Although writing is an art, the business side of it is the publishing aspect.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Publishing a  book in Brazil is a nightmare! I submited Teorema de Mabel to a Brazilian publishing house that took two years to answer me, and when they did, they wanted me to pay the equivalent of 5,000 dollars to publish my book. That’s more than a year of minimum wage in here, so I politely declined. These publishers don’t believe that your books is going to be successful, so they want you to pay in advance so if the book is a failure, only the author will lose money.

I only got to become a published author after I started writing in English and Italian. It’s much more effort to write a book in another tongue, but it’s amazingly easier to get it published in the UK or in Italy. Most publishers in Brazil are vanity presses, which is a shame, for that harms our own literature.

I agree. I paid to have my first book published, but I used an established self-publisher. I would not pay to publish a book with a vanity press, and I believe there aren’t too many still around in the U.S. for good reason.

Have you taken any writing or publishing classes? If so, please provide information about them and if you feel they helped you further your professional skills.

I took an online workshop of How to Get Published at Gotham Writers, and a live workshop called How to Make a Living (and a Life) out of your Writing when I was in London. They were vital for my career, and I advise every writer who wants to become a professional to take these kind of courses.

I’ve taken some online writing and publishing courses and also found them very helpful.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I mostly watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books. I also have a collection of porcelain penguins I’m really proud of. I also collect Italian comics and old VHS’s.

Interesting. I used to collect cat figurines and other collectibles. 

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?

The best thing by far is that I can write about anything I want to. That’s the most powerful feeling in the world, knowing that I can write any story that comes to my mind, and all it takes is the effort of sitting down and writing. The worst part is when people ask for free copies, not to read it but just to show their friends that they know a writer. The toughest challenge is that I’m building a career at a very long distance. My books are written in English and I’m living in Brazil, which feels very strange at times.

That must be challenging. 

Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Official site: https://mattferraz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matheus.b.ferraz

Goodreads Links:

The Convenient Cadaver: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34728968-the-convenient-cadaver?ac=1&from_search=true

Killing Dr. Watson: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26760441-killing-dr-watson

Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14405163.Matt_Ferraz

Amazon Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Convenient-Cadaver-Grandma-Solving-Murders-ebook/dp/B06XYSQ1W8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491144570&sr=8-1&keywords=the+convenient+cadaver

Thank you so much for the interview, Matt. I wish you the best with your mystery series as well as your co-authored science fiction title. I will keep an eye out for them. 

Posted in Authors, Monday blogs

A Taxing Task for Writers

Most people dread preparing their taxes each year. If you write professionally, even if it’s part-time, you should know that the IRS considers it a business and requires you to account for your income and expenses. I found out, the hard way, that records should be kept monthly to avoid the last-minute rush of trying to locate the information for filing. I’m including links to some articles on tips for writers on what they should claim on their taxes and also a list of what I claim on mine.

‘I see here you’re a professional writer. That explains the touch of whimsy in your return.’

Although as a new writer, my expenses far outweigh my income at this point, I still need to account for both. My income this year came from three library talks, an article I published in a magazine, an award I won in the Cat Writer’s Association contest last summer, and my royalties. Since publishers often pay royalties on a quarterly or monthly basis, the dates the amounts are deposited are later than when the author earned them.

One of the categories that I listed for expenses included my annual membership fee in writing organizations. I pay for all of them except International Thriller Writers because they offer free membership to authors who publish with a publisher on their approved publisher list. I’m lucky that my publisher, Solstice Publishing, is one of these publishers.

Other expenses included:

Book Tours

Prizes (gift cards as well as books)

Bookmarks/Business cards and other promotional material

Conference Fees (travel, hotel, registration, etc.)

Postage costs

Contest Entry fees

Subscriptions to writing Magazines

Books on writing and publishing

Copyright Fees

Ads

Miscellaneous costs (Book trailers, Editing, Teasers, etc).

Here are links to some articles about taxes that might be helpful to authors.

https://www.thebalance.com/taxes-and-the-book-author-2799907

https://janefriedman.com/author-taxes/

http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/get-published-sell-my-work/tax-advice-for-writers

Writers, please also feel free to comment on any other expenses or income you have claimed that isn’t mentioned in this post.