Write Up - Newsletter from Author Teresa LaBella.
Welcome to the latest edition of my author newsletter Write-Up.
The name reflects my full-circle writer’s journey from journalist to fundraising executive, freelancer to author and the direction following our dream will take us. I invite you to join me on this journey while you compose your own life chapters and verse.
A reader Facebook posted me - “I need book three!”
Every author hopes for readers so engaged with the story and characters that they can’t wait to find out what happens next.
“Belonging” challenged me in ways I could not have imagined five years ago when I decided to cross write a novel off my bucket list. The sweet summer read romance that brought Ali and Darien to the pages of “Reservations” churned up the storyline that became “Heartland.”
But I couldn’t stop there. Marisa demanded her place of “Belonging.”
So the circle of New Life in Love that began in New York City cycles to conclude on the west coast of Scotland with a heart-stopping handsome, yet lonely man who yearns for everlasting love with the lass who will be his wife.
The last tale in the trilogy will be published by or before October, the month when the uncomfortably good-looking executive chef met the beautiful love of his life at a charity gala in Manhattan.
Will these characters rest or return? Or will another set of circumstances cease my muse? I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Write-Up Author Events
Clinton Book Festival @ the Clinton Public Library
306 8th Ave. S. Clinton, IA
Saturday, August 27 – 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
A celebration of books, reading, and the book arts featuring authors from Clinton and surrounding communities
High Ground Café
301 E. Market Street – Iowa City, IA
Saturday, September 17 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Join me and “Windy City Heat” author Remi Hunter, Quad-City writer and author extraordinaire Sean Leary, and Clinton young adult and romance author Dionne Witt for a great cup of coffee and conversation!
Read Local – Bettendorf Public Library
2950 Learning Campus Drive – Bettendorf, IA
Wednesday, October 12 - 7-8:30 p.m.
Be there for a discussion and reading from “Belonging” the third romance novel in the New Life in Love trilogy.
Celebrate Writing – Marion Public Library
1095 Sixth Ave. – Marion, IA
Saturday, October 15 – 8:30 a.m. -3 p.m.
I’m pleased to be presenting at this amazing writer’s mini-conference!
Write-Up on Karen Musser Nortman
Meeting Karen can best be described as a serendipitous experience. The author of cozy mysteries set in campgrounds where she and her equally delightful husband Butch connect with others who love the outdoors spins stories rich with characters immersed in a chosen lifestyle. After fulfilling careers as a teacher and test developer, Karen lives the decision made in fourth grade with every story she writes.
What and/or who inspires you to write?
Writing in general is my happy place. It's like having an alternate existence with people I've come to know very well. When I retired, I was looking for a light mystery to download to my Kindle for a weekend camping trip, and I thought it would be fun to read a mystery centered around camping but I couldn't find any. So Frannie Shoemaker and her friends were 'born.'
As far as inspiration for specific books, often they come out of a small incident that makes me wonder "what if this little thing had changed?" The Blue Coyote was based on an actual experience at Ledges State Park. The book I'm working on now, The Space Invader, came from an incident when we were traveling through New Mexico last spring. On the other hand, Peete and Repeat began when we saw the spooky Root River power plant in Minnesota while on a canoe float. I grew up with the legend of the Lady of the Lake at nearby Beed's Lake State Park and that became the basis for that book.
The time travel books started with a lifelong curiosity about what my grandparents were like as young people. The nature of grandparents is that we only know them when they are old and our perception is skewed toward, usually, a more sedate, conservative person.
What genres and authors do you choose to read?
I have always loved mysteries--ever since Nancy Drew as a kid. I loved reading and have told my grandchildren that my parents ordered me to "get your nose out of that book" as often as theirs threaten them about video games. They don't believe it. I also grew up on the original Oz books (about 36 of them) so I've enjoyed fantasy too, as well as historical fiction.
My two favorite mystery authors (besides Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers) are Louise Penny and Martha Grimes. Both succeeded in combining a police procedural with a zany cast of recurring characters such as you find in cozy mysteries. I also like John Sandford, Michael Connelly and Stephen King.
Tell us about your unique approach to marketing for a niche audience.
I figure most of my readers are campers, so besides posting notices about free offers on RV Facebook pages, I often hand out a few books in campgrounds. I also have a separate book of recipes and camping hints that I hand out. When we camp, I write a blog about our experiences that brings new people to my website. I also have the first book in the Frannie Shoemaker series, Bats and Bones, at .99 with a notice at the end that people who sign up for my newsletter can get a free download of The Blue Coyote.
What are you working on now?
I'm about halfway through the seventh book in the Frannie series, The Space Invader, which takes place in New Mexico. This will be the first book with a setting out of the Midwest.
What advice would you give a new author?
Keep plugging. Just as in fields such as acting or music, very few people become big successes--or even small successes--right off the bat. I have had a steady growth in the last four years to the point where I have a nice supplemental income. At least it pays for our camping! And when I'm writing, if I get stuck, I squeeze out a few words every day until it starts flowing again.
Read. Watch for things other authors do or don't do that make their writing smooth to read.
Listen. I love to mix with other writers and many have had advice or resources that I have found very useful.
Find out more about Karen and her books at www.karenmussernortman.com
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Go back to The Web Site of author Teresa LaBella