Posted in local author event

Meet Me and Other Local Authors This Fall at a Cat Cafe, Coffee House, and Church

If you live on or near Long Island, you might be interested in some of the upcoming author events at which I’ll be participating with other local authors.

My first event, on Saturday, October 19, is at A Kitten Kadoodle. Coffee Cafe  with three other members of the Coffee House Tours from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you like books, cats, coffee, and/or refreshments, come on down to see me and three other authors who will be happy to chat with you and autograph a copy of our books.

In November, I’ll be attending two author events. On Saturday, November 2, I will be at Mongo’s Coffee Roastery and Lounge with four other members of the Coffee House Tours from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. If you haven’t been to this coffee house in Syosset yet, you’re missing a wonderful experience. Unlike most coffee houses, Mongo’s is a large space that hosts many literary events and roasts their coffee on the premises. Come see for yourself and treat yourself to a cup of Joe with five authors.

On Saturday, November 16, I’ll be hosting the Local Author Fair at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church from 2 to 5 p.m. The President of the Long Island Authors Group, Roland Allnach, will be a speaker, and there will be twelve authors of various genres signing books at tables. In addition, each author will talk about their writing, and there will be raffles for prizes. Admission is free, and raffle proceeds will be donated to a local charity. It should be a fun day and a great opportunity to purchase some autographed books for yourself or as gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

I hope you can join me at one or all of these events. Thanks for your support.

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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
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, 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 Conference, Monday blogs

A Librarian and Author’s Day at BookExpo America

It started on a clear Friday morning, the 2nd day of June, as I boarded an early train to Penn Station along with my friend and fellow Long Island author, Lisa Diaz Meyer, and her son and husband who were also on their way to BookExpo in New York City. Lisa was exhibiting her three wonderful dark-fiction collections while I was representing my library. Although, as a librarian and author I’d been to other local library and book-related conferences, this was my first time at BEA.

Lisa Diaz Meyer, my friend and fellow Long Island author, at her booth at BookExpo

Walking through the glass doors of the Javitz Center, I noticed the huge signs of publishers and booksellers such as Simon & Schuster, Ingram, Publisher’s Weekly, etc. People in business attire were walking around with coffee cups and conference schedules, their registration badges hanging around their necks identifying them as librarians, authors, editors, and others involved in the book world. Spanning four floors and including conference rooms, stages, and exhibitor booths, most of the action took place on the main level. That’s where Lisa set up her table with the other Indie authors. She had been exhibiting since Wednesday and planned to remain for BookCon which took over on the weekend.

Meeting Michael Connelly, a fellow member of International Thriller Writers, was the highlight of my day.

When I received my badge for the day, I was interested to see that it advertised Michael Connelly. As a librarian, I was familiar with the appeal of his books to thriller lovers. One of my patrons who once received books at home when she was homebound was a particular fan of his, and I always had a hard time keeping up with her request for his titles. When I learned he would be appearing at a booth that afternoon to sign copies of The Late Show, his latest release, I thought of Mrs. Nelson and knew she would love to receive her own autographed copy of this book. I made a point to attend the signing and, although the line was long, I managed to get the book, meet Michael in person, and even have a photo taken with him. It was the highlight of my day.

During BookExpo, I also attended the library programs that previewed upcoming summer and fall titles. At many of these, I was able to receive advanced reader copies of these popular forthcoming books. Since I order the fiction and mystery titles for my public library, I found these sessions very informative and knew they would help me select the most anticipated novels for my community. In addition, since we are starting an adult summer reading program this year, some of the ARC’s and exhibitor giveaways can be used as door prizes for our closing event.

Besides the signing with Michael Connelly, there were two other pleasantly unexpected events that happened to me at BookExpo. The first was discovering the Librarian’s Lounge, an oasis hidden away in the far corner of the main floor. Sponsored by Publishers Weekly and open only to librarians, this wonderful area featured food and refreshments throughout the day along with authors and book signings. In the morning, there were bagels and spreads with coffee; and, later in the day, a sweet treat of ice cream and cookies for tired librarians in need of a pick-me-up from the long day of walking around the conference center. During this afternoon break, several authors were also present to sign copies of their books.

The second nice surprise was the number of cat items for sale. At a conference for book people, I actually should’ve expected this. I picked up a black cat tote and a shirt as souvenirs and nabbed a free copy of a Grumpy Cat book.

At the close of the conference day, toting twice as many bags as I’d entered with, my friends and I headed to Penn Station for the train back to Long Island. Unfortunately, it was rush hour, no taxis were available, and the conference shuttle was nowhere in sight. We ended up walking, and I was glad I’d taken the advice of my co-workers and director and brought along a rolling suitcase and comfortable shoes. The day was still pleasant, one of the best of the season so far, so the trek to the station was an enjoyable end to a great day.

 

 

Posted in Authors, Monday blogs

Wordup at Long Island Litfest: A Tribute to Authors and Storytellers

Yesterday afternoon, I attended Wordup: Long Island Litfest at the Madison Theater at Molloy College with two author friends, Kimberly Amato and Lisa Diaz Meyer. This annual event, in its third year, featured popular Long Island authors and was kicked off with a choice of two free writing workshops. My friends and I selected the Storytelling Workshop presented by Tracey Segarra of the Now You’re Talking Show. After treating the attendees to one of her own stories, Segarra broke down the structure of a story and invited everyone to try two storytelling exercises. The first consisted of prompts to help generate ideas. The second was a group activity involving object description and active listening. Although the workshop was short, it was quite informative. Segarra also invited everyone to her May 6 event, The Tipping Point, at the Merrick Theater and Center for the Arts at which several authors and storytellers will share stories.

Cathi Hanauer Interviewing Gail Sheehy at LI Litfest

The main event of the Long Island Litfest commenced at 1 pm and ran to 4:30 pm. It consisted of two sessions of speakers followed by questions from the audience, book sales, and author signings. The Emcee and first speaker for the event was Barry Dougherty, author of How To Do It Standing Up, The Friars Club’s Guide To Being A Comic and other books on comedy. The first-session speakers included Caroline Leavitt, author of the novel Cruel Beautiful World and New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow, Pictures of You, and many other works; and Steven Gaines, co-founder and a past vice-chairman of the Hamptons International Film Festival and author of numerous books, including Philistines at the Hedgerow and his memoir, One of These Things First. The last two speakers of the session were  Cathi Hanauer, New York Times bestselling author of three novels and editor of two anthologies, The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth about Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood and Marriage and the recent The Bitch Is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier; and Gail Sheehyauthor of seventeen books, including internationally acclaimed best-seller Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress. Hanauer and Sheehy spoke alone, and then Hanauer interviewed Sheehy about her recent memoir, Daring: My Passages,.

Alan Zweibel and Dave Barry answering audience questions at LI Litfest

Session two featured George Carlin’s daughter, Kelly Carlin, writer, actress, producer, monologist, and Internet radio host, and author of A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George ; Bill Scheft, Emmy-nominated and long-time staff writer for David Letterman and author of five humor novels, including his latest, Shrink ThyselfAlan Zweibel, an original Saturday Night Live writer, who has won multiple Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards for his work in television, which includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Late Show With David Letterman, and Curb Your Enthusiasm and has also won a Tony Award and the Thurber Prize; and Dave Barry, Pulitzer-Prize winning humor writer whose columns and essays have appeared in hundreds of newspapers over the past 35 years who has also written a number of New York Times bestsellers including the recent, For this We Left Egypt, a parody of the Passover Haggadah, co-authored with Alan Zweibel (and Adam Mansbach). After Barry spoke, he and Zweibel opened the floor to questions.

Book sales for Litfest were handled by Turn of the Corkscrew bookstore. Other sponsors included The Madison Theater, Long Island Pulse, Now You’re Talking, and East End Fringe Festival. It was nice to be able to buy the presenters’ books and have them autographed on the spot. It was a very entertaining afternoon and an opportunity to listen to some great stories and storytellers.

Posted in Author Spotlight, Authors, Books, New Releases, Short Story

Author Spotlight: Lisa Diaz Meyer

authorspotlightWelcome to the Literary Library Lounge where I interview fellow authors. Today, I am chatting with Lisa Meyer who writes under Lisa Diaz Meyer, from Wantagh, Long Island, New York. As we are practically neighbors, I met Lisa at an author signing at a local library this past summer.
photo-1limitlesslibrarylounge

Thanks for joining me, Lisa.  Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable.
I understand you have a short story collection that was recently released that is the second of a similar collection you published recently which also contains a continuing saga. Can you give me some details about them and your publishing history?

I have been published with Outskirts Press since April of 2015, ALL ROADS HOME: A Collection of Short Stories and recently this year in September 2016, with the sequel ALL ROADS DESTINED: A Collection of Dark Fiction and Poems.

img_3506ALL ROADS HOME is a collection of what I’d written throughout my life, short stories, essays, poems and stage plays. I consider myself a dark fiction writer, which doesn’t particularly mean only horror, I just appreciate an unhappy ending or a twist. I also choose to write about awareness issues and depression situations. In both of my books there’s a post-apocalyptic saga, called the Outposts. I’d never done that genre and wanted to give it a try.

 all-roads-destined-coverIn ALL ROADS DESTINED, the Outposts continue and will slowly slide into the science fiction genre, because I’d never tried that before either. There are short stories and poems at the end as well, that are again different in nature.

Right now, I’m working on my third and fourth installments of my ALL ROADS books that will include more Outpost stories, my usual, weird short stories and poems. I will be adding another saga-esque storyline in that leans toward dystopian. I hope they are as likeable as the Outposts.

For someone who has read and very much enjoyed your first book and who is looking forward to the follow-up collection and the continuation of the Outpost stories, I can say that you truly have a unique writing voice, Lisa.

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?

My goals as a writer are to be part of the literary world, not so much as pop culture. (Though, I’ll take it should it happen!) Perhaps some short stories and poems could be in a curriculum for high schools or colleges. Ya’ know how kids just love a Nathaniel Hawthorne story! (Although I did) Sorry, a little lit humor there but it’s actually what I’d like to see happen for some of my work. Required reading, what was the author trying to say, that type of thing. And for other works, maybe some will be considered camp. Right now, I’m just trying to get myself out there and noticed and hope that people like my writing style.

Very nice. I think most authors would agree that building a fan base is the most important thing; everything else will follow. You certainly have a good start and some interesting ideas.

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

People who like something different. People who need a change from the norm. I want people to think. Readers who enjoy dark fiction, a little macabre and aren’t afraid of unhappily ever after’s. Someone who wants to hear the voices of the victim, the hero and villain.

As a librarian as well as an author, I like to expose myself to a variety of genres and other authors’ styles of writing. I guess that’s why I found yours a nice change of pace. As part of my job, I also edit the monthly staff picks at my library and like to feature debut authors as well as those from the New York Times bestseller’s list. I find that readers are always looking for new and distinctive voices.

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

Not to be afraid of indie or self-publishing. We’re a huge community. If that’s just not for you then just keep trying. Start a blog, make a you-tube channel for discussions, create a following on Twitter. Believe it or not, pre-book I was told I needed a “following” first. Sounds ridiculous. How does one get followed BEFORE the book? Social media. Don’t fight it. It’s a window, climb on in. It’s also time consuming and a numbers game but a breakthrough opportunity writers didn’t have before.

That’s so true. I self-published my first book, Cloudy Rainbow, but then was lucky enough to find a small publisher for my following novels. I know many self-published and Indie authors who do quite well. I believe there are more opportunities for authors today due to the proliferance of print-on-demand technology and ebooks. However, whether you self-publish or publish through a traditional publisher, you, the author, are still responsible for marketing and promoting your books in as many venues and media outlets as possible both on-line and in person. An author who doesn’t have a website, blog, or pages on Facebook and Twitter is like a job seeker today who doesn’t have a college degree. Your options are severely limited.

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

My life! Ha! Actually, being a short story writer, I didn’t have enough material at first. So I had to write more, taking me off my time frame. Also… fear but I decided to stop that. It’s counterproductive and takes up more energy than you’d think.

Yes, fear can be quite debilitating. Everyone goes through it, but some people are better able to cope. You certainly seem like you’ve developed a way of combating the different fears a writer faces — fear of rejection, fear of criticism, even fear of success.

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’ve gone to writing groups maybe twice in my life but always stopped going after the first meeting. Too shy.

We have a writing group at Hicksville. I actually started it. They found a very good teacher to run it, but there are people who are still reticent about sharing their writing. Most authors are sensitive because the words they pen are often quite personal. Writing groups aim to be non-judgmental and their members are advised to only offer constructive criticism.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

Writing is always number one but there are many others. The theater; just before the play starts and those lights begin to dim, I am home. I crotchet. I paint abstract art. Photography. Abandoned places. Antiques. Reading my favorite authors. History. Science. I love to research things. Gardening. I get ideas to make something and I make them. I love to design things and decorate my house with them. Pretty much ANYTHING creative. Or anything spooky. Certain video games and promoting other indie’s (music, movies, writers and artists).

Wow, Lisa. You have a variety of interesting interests – lol.

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

Right now, I love everything about being an author. It’s the only thing I ever wanted to be. The toughest challenge is marketing and patience.

Marketing is most author’s achilles heel. I know it’s mine, although I actually enjoy some parts of it.

gray-me-1Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.

Website: lisadiazmeyer.com

Blog: Blah Blah Blog …ldmeyer.blogspot.com

Twitter: @LisaDMeyer

 

Thanks, Lisa. I hope my readers connect with you. It’s been a pleasure having you in my author spotlight, and I wish you the best of luck with your books. I can’t wait to read your latest.