NC Writer’s Network Conference – Greensboro, NC.
Just returned from the NCWN conference in Greenboro, NC, on the campus of UNCG. It was my first time in the area, and a two hour drive up from south Charlotte. It was a long drive at 6am.
Anyway, I arrived and immediately met some lovely people.
Ted from Wisdom House Books (a Book Publishing Service Boutique for the Independent Author) and I realized that we’d both lived in Dallas for a long time, and had a lot of laughs over that! Turns out we know some of the same people, and had a cathartic complaining session. We got down to his own business and it turns out he’s quite a talented graphic designer, and a whiz with layout.
Next I met Jason from Prospective Press, who turns out some really interesting and beautiful children’s books, as well as YA and Tween faith-based fiction. He gave me some pointers about affordable hardcover options for our Waverley series, and was generally very affable.
At that point, it was time to go and hear the first class of the day, which turned out to be a much needed crash course in marketing with Lauren Moseley of Algonquin Books. I haven’t taken that many notes since my undergrad years! Lauren is also an aspiring poet, but she didn’t share any of her work with us – much to our chagrin!
I also met some crazy-interesting authors:
Gary Neil Gupton, author of Time to Meet Max
Dori Ann Dupre, author of Scout’s Honor
Lucia Peel Powe, author of The Osprey’s View
Carol A. Linden, author of Effective with People
Bonnie J. Doerr, author of Island Sting and Stake Out
Gary, Ted, and I found the ale house across the street and had a beer and burger, Bonnie gave a lovely talk about taking your middle grade fiction further with teacher tools, Dori Ann and Lucia were slogging their books (Dori Ann even made an imovie to showcase hers! And Lucia is using her novel to try and save her town’s beloved river), and Carol’s guilty pleasure turned out to be YA dystopian.
I went to another presentation, this one with Bonnie Doerr. She writes Ecological Mysteries, which I’d never even heard of, but immediately loved. What an interesting way to bridge STEM and humanities in the middle grades!
All in all, it was great fun, and I’m glad I went. To top it all off, when I got home, my Evie surprised me with a beautiful picture welcoming me home – I’d been gone 11 hours in total. 😉
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: The Reworkd Press
704 488 2195
THE PHOENIX CHILD named Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist
CHARLOTTE, NC —Today, THE REWORKD PRESS is pleased to announce THE PHOENIX CHILD has been recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Here is the complete list:
Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.
“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews. “The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”
“This faith-based, dystopian young adult novel has set the stage in The Phoenix Child to answer the question: What do we do when civilization ends? Will we find and follow the truth, or listen to the lies of those who only want power? The Reworkd Press is proud of the skill and subtlety of this powerful short novel. We are also excited to announce that a sequel to this novel is shortly forthcoming.” –THE REWORKD PRESS
Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.
About The Reworkd Press: The Reworkd Press is a small, independent publisher in Charlotte, NC, which specializes in Young Adult, Children’s Story Books, and Latina Fiction. Find more information about our listings at www.reworkdpress.com
About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, they feature reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Their website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, andPinterest. They are headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.
Update: The Phoenix Child by Amanda Stanford.
A YA Dystopian novel
Here is the synopsis and link:
Avril awakens from a dream to find her mother has gone missing: she has broken the Code of their Nation, and seeks to become like the Phoenix. Avril must find her before she opens the Pit of the Heat of a Thousand Suns, and must convince her that she is deluded. But Avril is just a child – can she save the people of her Nation, her mother, and herself without a spirit animal to guide her? Avril doesn’t realize that spirit animals are not what they seem, and she must rely solely upon The One Who Comes Before All Time to help her – but will it be enough?
I really enjoyed writing this. I was a little sad, actually, that the entire process only took 4 weeks. I’ve already outlined the next two, but I’m saving the writing for when I need a distraction from real life. 😉
Hellooooooo! Two things: firstly, I’ve decided to publish a YA dystopian novel entitled: The Phoenix Child. It will be the first of a series for 10-15 year olds. I wrote it because my students kept asking for me to tell them stories, and well, I ran out of real ones and had to make some up.
Secondly: remember, parents. A young child only needs two choices at most: This one or that one. If you must have more, include a third: neither. 😉
Okay! Here are some images of the journey of The Phoenix Child
Souvenirs of the Revolution is now available on Kindle! :D!!!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog, and with good reason. A while ago, for Dr. Gentry’s blog on Psychology Today, I wrote this:
“My hope for this world is that children like Evie become more common, not resented or seen as a difficulty to be dealt with, a problem to be solved. I wish that we could let go of the notion that intelligence and potential has a start-date. I wish that we would realize that our babies and toddlers don’t think of learning as we do—as books and tests—but as vivid experiences, complex games, and marvelous adventures. And I hope parents can believe their babies and toddlers can, and desperately want, to learn to read and do math—even before they can walk and talk.
Lastly, I hope we can find a school for Evie that will be a place where she can continue to wander through life learning about our world’s splendid history, its exotic flora and fauna, its cultures, peoples and complexities. The school of my dreams for Evie is a place where intelligent, precocious children are the rule, not the exception, where the teachers lead by example, and is a place where learning is done with creativity, curiosity, and joy.”
And wouldn’t you know it? I think I’ve found just the place. It is a Charlotte Mason-based school and they have just tested Evie for early entrance to Kindergarten (she just turned 4). Because the classes are so small (8 or less students per class), we’ve discussed giving her 1st grade work, but keeping her with her Kindergarten class. It is honestly a really lovely little place. I am so thankful that I’ve found this school for her, and even more thankful that they’ve asked me to teach their junior high and high school students. Everything seems to be falling into place.
Please look into this wonderful philosophy: http://simplycharlottemason.com/what-is-the-charlotte-mason-method/ I really believe it benefits ALL children to learn this way.
This weekend I’m going to be selling our Waverley Series of story books for children at the 7th Street Market in Charlotte, NC. I’m hoping it will be a lovely weekend and to meet some lovely people. Maybe even make a habit out of it? 🙂
I have some great new magnets, stickers and t-shirts to sell too. And for the first time, ALL SIX KIDS BOOKS will be available, so that’s cool. Also, now that I’m credit card ready, I have a wonderful answer for that question: Do you take credit cards? Yes! The answer is YES! 😀 I’m hoping that there will be teachers out, grandparents out, young readers and art lovers out for a sunny weekend in UPtown Charlotte.
Let you know how it goes 😉
Last weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was INCREDIBLE. So much fun to meet fellow authors and talk books in both Spanish and English. Here’s what happened:
I took a morning flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles the day before and rented a car Saturday morning. I arrived at the book festival and immediately got to the business of selling books. I had made some postcards on Vistaprint.com of the book’s amazing cover (thank you, Kitty Van Oosten!!) originally designed by my good friend Lisa Shapiro, and my contact info. I set up Souvenirs of the Revolution in Spanish AND English and people immediately zeroed in on that amazing cover. I also made a little sheet with the book cover and a photo of me with some information. I must have talked more about Scotland than I have since leaving Edinburgh – and in Spanish no less! I sat beside some fine authors, made chit-chat, and ended up selling 15 copies (in both English and Spanish) of Souvenirs of the Revolution. It was awesome!
I got there, again, bright and early and set out my cards and my books. At about 1130 am, one of the sound engineers ran over to us. It turned out he had 20 minutes to fill at 230pm and did we have a comedian? Yes, we told him, we did. His stage name was Chorizo Lopez. Great, said the sound man, get him to me at 1.50pm. Okay, we said, and continued selling books. So, time comes and Chorizo (whose name is actually Robert Chavez, Jr.) turns to me and asks, will I take pictures while he’s on stage from the stage? Yes, I say and we go up to wait. Some other authors come along to talk about their books. Then, about 5 minutes before we go up, Chorizo turns to me and says, Okay, you’re my daughter Cassandra Diaz, but I call you Quesadias. Okay? This was my face: (O_O) Huh? Well, so now I’m part of the act, and the act is that Chorizo Lopez is my dad and I’m his daughter Quesadias.
So we go up and we did STAND UP COMEDY. It was wild, man! There I was, cracking jokes and acting like a teenager mortally embarrassed by my dear old dad. We got a real crowd going! The authors come up and I talked about my own book at some point, mentioning that it was telenovela-like. We finish and go back to our tent (The Latino Literacy Now Award Winning Author Tour tent) and someone comes up to me. Hey, he says, is your book like a telenovela? Yeah, I say, it is. Can I read it? He says, I’m from the channel Azteca America and we’re always looking for stuff we can turn into telenovelas. This is my face: (O_O) Sure! I say, here it is! Then someone from a literary press comes by (a press bigger than wee Reworkd, but I won’t name names 😉 ) and wants to read it too. Sure! I say, here it is!
And that wasn’t even the most incredible of all.
I sold about 35 copies of Souvenirs of the Revolution in both Spanish and English, and I only had 3 copies left of the English version.
I get to the airport, but I know I won’t make my flight. I’m flying standby and the 1130 is full. Oh well, I think, I’ll wait in line and ask about the next flight. A woman comes to me and says, Is this the line to board??? And I say calmly (because I know how it is!) No, no. Don’t worry, they haven’t started boarding yet. This is just the line to speak with the gate agents about seats and things. So, she goes and sits down and I think to myself…wow, those are some cool shoes. Hmmm. I know this woman. I *know* her face. Her voice – I know her. It takes me about 30 seconds before I realize it. She’s Jane Kaczmarek, the mom from the show Malcolm in the Middle. I love that show! So, I go sit down across from her and her daughter. I draw up my courage and start a conversation.
And then something amazing happens – she tells me she’s a book lover. And I tell her about myself – professor, writer, mother, at the L.A. Times Book Festival as an award winning author. And then? *I give her my book* And…she’s interested in it!
And this is my face: (O_O)
We chatted for ages about people we know, and Edinburgh, and writing and being mothers, and life in general, and then she got on the flight…and I didn’t.
And this was my face: (u n u)
But honestly, it was amazing. It was awesome. It was Los Angeles.
Here are some pictures:
A M Montes de Oca and Amanda Stanford will be at the 13th Annual Chicago Latino Book & Family Festival on April 5-6. If you are in the Chicago area, admission to the festival is free! Come out and see, and support a great event!
Congratulations to A M Montes de Oca AND Maria de los Angeles Moody for their nominations in the International Latino Book Awards! GREAT WORK!!!!
A M Montes de Oca will be participating in book events in Chicao and Los Angeles in April. Good luck, A! 😀
This morning, my soon-to-be four-year-old said to me, “But Mummy! I *need* my lipstick to go to the YMCA! I want to have a beautiful day!” I told her that we were going to leave the spa treatments at home, and even though she didn’t want to, she gave in to me. We showed up at the Y minus the kiddie makeup and she still managed to have a beautiful day. But as I was on the elliptical, in place of my usual daydream that I am a Transformer taking over Tokyo, I was thinking about my daughter – who is growing up way too fast for my comfort.
There seems to be a fine line between imagination and role-playing. If there is one at all. She wants to be just like her Mummy – to wear my makeup, put on my shoes, use all my combs, brushes, and even the hair dryer. And I find that very flattering, as I’m sure many mothers have before me. But I also find it unnerving and bittersweet.
Mixed emotions for a moody Wednesday morning.
What a week! And it’s only Wednesday. Finished TWO more storybooks! Here they are:
IT’S READY!! The Lazy Rooster is now available for purchase on Amazon:
IT’S READY!!! Our newest Waverley Story Book for Children, The Lazy Rooster, is one proof-copy away from being available on Etsy and Amazon. Illustrator extraordinare, Kitty Van Oosten, worked tirelessly to bring Charlotte Moody’s wayward Rooster to his full Technicolor glory.
And here is where I will soon post the link to purchase the book! 😀 So excited! WOOHOO!
Happy Spring, everyone.
New Story Books! New Illustrators! New! New! New!
omigoshommigoshomigosh. If I were still a teenage fan-girl, I’d be hand-flapping right now!
Jenny Moodie – the REWORKD Press’s latest illustrator, has finished her first image to Animal Hugs: A Waverley Story Book for Children by Amanda Stanford and Jenny Moodie – out soon on Amazon and Etsy.
But, of course, I’m going to jump the gun and show you guys just a little piece of it. 😉
Isn’t it sweet? It follows the text “Small hugs under ground.” Awwwwwwwwww.
This article – yes! yes! yes!
The book industry isn’t dying, it’s thriving with an ebook assist
By Aaron Pressman
“Overlooked and de-emphasized in these attacks on ebooks are the many ways big publishers have worked hard to destroy literature without Amazon’s help. To wit: overpaying huge advances for worthless books written by celebrities. Dumping vast quantities of best sellers in Walmarts (WMT) and Costcos (COST), where they’re sold at half price. Favoring the megachains for decades as they squeezed out the independent stores, the publishers now champion against Amazon…”
I’m looking for a magic diet pill. Do you know of one? See, I’m usually a clean eater, and I exercise moderately. I only eat junk food every so often, and when I do exercise it’s a slow jog. I’m pretty comfortable with myself most of the time, but I want to lose 20 pounds – preferably without changing anything. I want a magic diet pill. Do you know of one?
No, you say? There are no magic diet pills? You tell me I have to exercise hard; sweat, work, be more mindful of what I eat? That it will take time? Months or even years? Ugh, that all sounds so…inconvenient.
And this is exactly what happens when people ask me how I taught my daughter to read. She’s polite and intelligent, sweet and caring – and she’s been reading since she was a wee toddler. Everywhere she goes she makes friends and leads the action. She’s got imagination and spunk. So they ask me – what did I do? What’s my secret? What’s the name of my magic pill and where can they get theirs?
I begin to tell them – all about Glenn Doman and his reading program, his encyclopaedic facts program and math program. I tell them about making materials myself late into the night and well before my daughter was born, about laminating sheets with words and photographs of her that I bound into homemade books she could read. I show them the Bits cards of famous paintings, landmarks, musical instruments. Some I’ve made and some I’ve bought, hundreds of them catalogued into sets of 10. I explain Glenn Doman’s reading system, how you sit down with your toddler or baby a few times a day and play games with them – games you’ve created and practiced, games that you put a lot of work and time into.
They ask me about the DVDs of Your Baby Can Read. Can they just put them on and the baby will learn to read? No, I tell them, the DVDs of Your Baby Can Read come with word cards, sliding cards, and fold-out books – they are wonderful materials and an important part of the YBCR learning system! We used them until they were worn out – *all of them*, not just the DVDs. Because you have to talk with your child about all of it, show him or her all the materials; link the information together – visually, tactilely, and orally. Engage with your child. *Teach* her.
And their eyes glaze over. I can see their thoughts as clearly as a cartoon balloon. It’s too hard. I don’t have that kind of time. Ugh. How…inconvenient.
It’s the same look that comes over me when athletic friends tell me how to lose 20 pounds. Because I know – it’s not really that important to me. What’s 20 pounds anyway? 2 dress sizes? Blegh, all that effort? So I understand that look. I can see these other parents thinking: My kid will just end up at school later anyway. This sounds like a lot of bother when they’ll be taught to read and do math by the teacher. I’m really sorry I asked Dr. Stanford about this – she’s going on and on!
Well, you know what? They’re right. I do go overboard when asked this question. And I know I’m doing it!
Because the Bell Curve comes to mind at times like these, when I’m seeing that glazed, slightly panicked look in the other parent’s eyes. I love the Bell Curve. My college freshmen students don’t like me to explain it, especially in relation to their grades, but it’s the honest truth. The average (mean) is not just a mathematical number. It is also, statistically, the place in the curve in which the greatest number of people fall into – the peak of the curve. The greatest number of people are average – this is a mathematical fact.
But the amazing thing about the Bell Curve is that it can *shift*. The peak can shift – this mathematical situation (the average, the majority) can MOVE.
Who can shift that median? WE CAN. Parents. By teaching our children when they are babies and toddlers.
I know it sounds like a pain. It’s hard work – yes, it is! There is no magic bullet to being your child’s first teacher. We have to want to be – we have to see the benefits of teaching babies and toddlers how to read and to learn. We have to be more outspoken about baby/toddler education – and we have to lead by example. Just saying it’s a fine idea does nothing. Getting past our own insecurities as parents is the first step. Even if you aren’t a trained teacher, you can teach your small child. How do you think teachers are trained? They learn. Parents can learn too.
The book that taught me to teach 2-3 year olds was How To Teach Your Baby to Read by Glenn Doman. Yes, they were other people’s children, but they trusted me all the same. I can’t recommend the book highly enough. But it’s not a magic bullet – it’s a place to start. If you even have a little bit of curiosity, pick it up (it’s been out since the 1950s in several editions, so you can get it secondhand for cheap!) and see what you think. I think it might change your (and your child’s) life.
And if you happen to hear about a magic diet pill – let me know! Seriously.
PS, if you are curious about other materials to help you teach your baby or toddler (and more reasons why it’s such an important thing to do!), please check out our Articles and Resources page.
Here are a few I have used with my daughter (No one is paying me to say this – haha! Wouldn’t that be nice?)
It’s snowing in Charlotte, NC! Too warm to stick to the road, the white trees glisten against the dark streets, dim skies. I went for a drive with my 3 year-old who ooed and aahed and feel asleep to a little bit of Radiohead. It was a lovely day.
Here is a picture of the little one, looking for signs of Spring under the snow.
So, I like to google things. Today I decided to google “YBCR blog” and WOW did I get some hits. The vitrol that is fired against this company is astounding. Here’s the thing: In our house, we love Your Baby Can Read. We used it when Evie was just a small baby and it calmed her, it interested her when she was fussy and it taught her to read, strengthened her vocabulary and gave her a comprehension (both verbal and visual) that surprised and delighted us.
I knew the methods would work because I was familiar with their basis – I had used the same basic model for teaching 2-3 year olds in Japan. At that time, I didn’t know about YBCR – we used How To Teach Your Baby To Read by Glenn Doman and made our own materials. My little Japanese students became fluent in *both* Japanese and English by 3 years old. They spoke (and read) Japanese at home with their parents, and English with us at the preschool. I knew it was no ordinary preschool, no ordinary circumstance. I was determined to use these methods with my own child – and I did. And she is amazing.
I know how that sounds, like some star-struck millennial mom. And you’re right – except that she *can* read – phonetically, mindfully, and with a great deal of understanding. Sometimes I catch her teaching her toys how to read, doing her Bits with them, telling them what the liver does and how many kidneys they have.
It might be unpopular right now, but I don’t care. I’ll keep saying it until I’m a little old lady who has got to put her teeth in just to proclaim it – Babies and toddlers CAN learn, WANT to learn, and LOVE to learn.
If you agree, let me know. Let’s get the word out, yah? 😉
Hello everyone! Dr. Amanda here to share a few things with you.
Firstly, a HUGE thank you to Dr. Titzer of Your Baby Can Read (Infant Learning Company) for his facebook page post of Bird and Butterfly. Like his page, he rocks!
Secondly, I’ve forgotten to share a few articles I wrote for Psychology Today as a guest blogger on Dr. Richard Gentry’s Blog: “Raising Readers, Writers, and Spellers.”
I’m really excited about the two newest books in the works. They’re Waverley storybooks and really wonderful. The first is The Lazy Rooster and the second is The Hugging Sea. I’m waiting on my illustrators to finish their amazing work so I can put their storybooks together, but life happens sometimes, doesn’t it? 😉