Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coaching Session

I had my 1 hour coaching session yesterday. This is the summary: As I suspected, book signings are pretty much a waste of time for marketing and sales purposes, unless you are a celebrity. It is better to spend your time and resources developing a web presence, such as website and blogs. Internet radio is another avenue. The most important thing is to make yourself known as an  expert or person of note.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Writing class

I am registering for a class at Phoenix College for Writing A Historical Novel, Spring of 2011.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coaching Session

I'm going to have a 1 hour coaching session with Dr. Marcia Reynolds, best-selling author, speaker and master certified coach tomorrow morning, Nov. 22. It will cover writing and publishing with special emphasis on marketing.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Spiral of Echoes--EPIC eBook Finalist

I was just notified that A Spiral of Echoes is a finalist in the paranormal catagory of EPIC's eBook contest.

I am doing a happy dance...can you see me now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's Talk About Trees

I'm going to work on my tree book again after receiving several valuable critiques. If anyone would like to read/critique it, let me know. Thanks.

Friday, September 24, 2010


See you at WTOH tomorrow!

SCBWI Arizona Welcome to Our House Conference

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chaparral Suites Resort and Conference Center

5001 North Scottsdale Road

Scottsdale. AZ 85250

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Have you visited http://www.authoradvance.com/  yet? It's interesting and will be more helpful as it develops. It replaces the old LitMatch site.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Historical Fiction

Have you read Noah's Wife by Teresa K. Thorne? It's a great read...fast moving with more unexpected turns than you can count. It has inspired me to consider writing a historical fiction book for middle/upper grade kids about Mary, mother of Jesus. I want to write about her first 16 years, ending when she receives word of her pregnancy from the angel. But, like Noah's Wife, there won't be any angels or direct words from God.

Monday, August 16, 2010

New web site

We are so happy to announce our brand new web site.
Many thanks to Joyce Himes at Design by Joyce http://www.designbyjoyce.com/index.html

Come check it out!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The WriteonCon Online Writers Conference was great. After a first day server meltdown, everything proceeded well. I received welcome, useful feed back on all of my submissions. I read a lot of interesting stuff by other authors too!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today's Blog Talk Show

Don't miss my blog talk radio show today if you are looking for frugal tips on marketing and promoting.

Also will have some intriguing insights concerning modern day Gypsies.

Here is the link. The show airs at 3:00 PM Pacfic Time today.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Have you registered for the Writeoncon online conference yet? I did (it's free). I uploaded my picture book this morning in the critique forum and already have received 2 critiques and the conference hasn't started yet! Go to http://writeoncon.com to register...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Working on the New Blog

Happy August everyone!

I'm working on my new blog, so if you'd hop over to www.kkbreesonwriting.blogspot.com and leave a comment and follow, I'd be really grateful. Thanks.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Front Page Listing

I am featured on the "Front Page" of the AuthorAdvance website...www.authoradvance.com.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mom's Story Event

The program at the Microsoft Store was fabulous. In addition to my videotaped interview, the Vice President, Programs & Services of the Arizona Chapter for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society attended, providing useful information about the Society and its services. Everyone who attended received a complimentary teeshirt from Microsoft. The video will be available on YouTube soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mom's Story Event

Today is the day...the long awaited event at the Microsoft Store in Scottsdale. A friend is going to video tape it and put it on UTube. How cool is that?!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Microsoft Store Event

On July 30th from 6:00-8:00 PM the Microsoft Store will be hosting an event on multiple sclerosis (MS). Mary Jo Nickum will discuss Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS.

Great News!

Today is the final session of the PNWA Conference and I'm looking forward to Elizabeth Lyons and her workshop. If you aren't familiar with her books helping you with the writing craft, you should discover these terrific resources.

Last night was the celebration dinner for the literary contest finalists and (major drumroll......The Esposito Caper took second place in the mainstream category! I am still floating on Cloud 9! I didn't even realize that a check came with the award. What a night!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PNWA Saturday

Interesting day at the Conference yesterday. Short stories may soon be experiencing a resurgence in the publication business. Credit this one to the rise of ebooks and POD that make compiling and formatting this genre easier. Advice from the panelists was to enter contests and start compiling an anthology if this is an area you're interested in writing to.

The Weird Report.

In addition to the woman wearing the stuffed parrot and feathers glued to an oversized straw hat and sporting a rainbow skirt, a man wearing a lime green velveteen cape was prowling about the environs yesterday. Balding (looking a bit like Friar Tuck with the tonsure) and a scraggly beard, he was a sight to behold. If I were an agent, I would have put out my "Out to Lunch" sign if he approached my table.

A group of us went to dinner in Seattle last night - The Flying Fish. Why is it that the smaller the portions, the larger the pricetag???

Tonight is the literary competition awards dinner and I'm excited! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PNWA Conference

I'm at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference in Seattle for the next few days. Typical Seattle weather - cloudy and drippy fog but the atmosphere inside the hotel is animated. Just emerged from an all-day workshop on the nuts and bolts of novel writing coupled with an overview of the changing publication industry.

NEWSFLASH!! Small presses have gotten the green light! In fact, they're on the cutting edge of a changing industry. Just thought Chalet would like to hear the good news. There was a considerable amount of discussion about promoting one's work and the use of Social Media and other formats.

Branding is still big news. If you're going to be successful, it appears you need to become a household name - like Pepto Bismol or Burma Shave. That's branding yourself. Hint from the seminar: Don't put your book cover as your avatar on FB or Twitter. Use your name and picture. Brand yourself. More tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm packing my bags for the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference in Seattle. Leaving on Wednesday for the long, long drive (After my last marathon plane trip that took me to Denver via Oklahoma City and a tense time winding around tornadoes and massive thunderstorms - I decided to drive).

Going to take my tape recorder with me and make some notes on the next novel (Crosswind)as I drive. I need to get characters' bios fleshed out and a general outline completed.

One of my novels - The Esposito Caper - is a finalist in the mainstream category of the literary contest, so I'm stoked! Very different characters from Headwind.

Need to do some blog updating today and find my toothbrush.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Trip of a Lifetime

Just returned yesterday from the most incredible journey I've ever taken. I'd always heard how big Alaska is but I truly was not prepared for the vast vistas, rugged terrain, and abundant wildlife. We traveled all the way to the Arctic Ocean, bumping along the Dalton Highway dodging ruts and gravel chunks the size of Kansas.

I kept a journal along the way but words can't do this great land justice. Pictures can only capture a part of it. The tundra, the glaciers, the mountains majestic are humbling indeed.

Now catching up on blogging and preparing for Headwind's launch.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Outstanding Board Member

On June 20, at the Annual Meeting of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Mary Nickum was awarded Outstanding Board Member, 2010 in recognition for her work to reorganize the Excellence in Craft (EIC) Contest and Awards. The EIC Awards recognize the best outdoor writing in 10 categories.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Microsoft Store and Mom's Story

The Microsoft Store will be hosting an event for kids and families that have or know someone with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) on July 30th, 2010 from 6:00-8:00 PM. You will have the opportunity to meet with Mary Jo Nickum, author of Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS. Mary has been diagnosed with MS for over 30 years and is an inspiration for all of those learning to cope with this challenging disease. Her book provides information on how to better understand MS, who gets it, how the disease is diagnosed, the various forms of MS and listing of material and organizations available to assist families in the fight against MS. While parents are learning from Mary Jo in the theatre area, the kids will be provided with fun activities to learn more about the store and the technology used in everyday life. They will even be introduced to future technology through an entirely interactive experience with the staff! We hope to see you there!

When: Friday July 30th, 2010

Welcome time: 6:00-6:30

Event time: 6:30-8:00pm

Where: The Microsoft Store

Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall

7014 E. Camelback Rd.

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

(480) 308-0800

Light Refreshments will be provided

**RSVP: Space is limited for this event, so please do not wait to RSVP.

RSVP: https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=149256

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blog Tour

I'm thinking of doing a blog tour in August. How many in Chalet would be interested in taking part?

I'll come to your blog and post, and you will post on mine.

Friday, June 4, 2010


I'm off to my usual vacation/business venture. First to Rochester, Minnesota for the annual meeting of the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) where I will give my talk: "In Defense of the Independent Publisher" at a session by the same name. Then it's on to Wisconsin where my sister, as one of the Library Friends, has organized an event at the Park Falls Public Library, where I will discuss my book, writing for children, and a signing for Mom's Story.
I'll keep you up-to-date as the next 3 weeks unfold.

Positive Reply from Editor

I just received a positive reply from the editor to my picture book submission. I promised her a revision by mid July, but, right now, I really have no idea how I'm going to revise it. I'll give it some serious thought this month while I'm on a working vacation!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Demand Studio

I signed up on Demand Studios. Does anyone have any experience with them?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

John Collins--Obituary and arrangements (Joy Collins)

John C. Collins, 67, of Fountain Hills, AZ, died suddenly in New York City on May 24, 2010. John was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and grew up in New York and New Jersey. He served in the Air Force after high school and then graduated from Old Dominion University with a major in Psychology. He later returned to school and became a Registered Nurse. He worked at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ. John loved life and always had a kind word and a ready smile. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife Joy, his mother Frances, and his furchildren Jessie, Toby, Casey, Charlotte, Riley, and Chaz. He is preceded in death by his father John and brother David. A viewing will be held at Messinger Mortuary in Fountain Hills on Thursday May 27, 2010 from 6 PM to 8 PM and a Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Friday May 28 at 10 AM at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Paradise Valley, AZ. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting a donation be made in John’s name to the Arizona Humane Society.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To Joy:

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for the death of your husband, John. May the love and companionship of your fellow writers at a time like this be a comfort.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New look for Sweet Music on Moonlight Ridge

Here's the new cover, and we're all in a state of anticipation here in Eden!

I believe this is going to be an exciting, busy summer.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS

I will read, discuss and sign my book, Mom's Story, at Park Falls, WI Public Library on June 16th at 3:00 pm

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Come Jog With Me.


May 9 is Blog Jog Day. Come to my site and see what’s new. Then click on the next Blog Jog Day link and see what other awesome sites are out there to explore. The list goes on and on; you don’t want to miss the fun!

Start by clicking on my site at


Friday, May 7, 2010

Coming soon

Welcome to Moonlight Ridge, a magical, musical place overlooking a small town named Eden. Here you'll meet a pair of intrepid eight-year-old cousins, Lily Claire and Willie T., and their multi-ethnic family in the backwoods of Alabama.
     This is a story about family and community ties, loyalty and faith, and a very unusual map used by two flamboyant children to solve a mystery "out on the mountain."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Google Ebooks

Google is jumping into the ebook market.
What do you think?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why do you write?

What drives you to sit in front of your computer or grab pen/pencil and paper?
Did you choose to do this or did it choose you?
When did you know you were a writer?
When did you first call yourself a writer?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Erin Hunter

I'm going to a signing by Victoria Holmes this coming Tuesday evening. Here's what Changing Hands, the Indie bookstore has to say:

Erin Hunter's advice for aspiring writers: "Read, read, and read some more! Make sure you read a wide variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships. Also, write as many stories as you can, even if no one else reads them. And remember that the best inspiration comes from what's around you – Kate, Victoria and Cherith go for long walks through the woods to find new locations for the cats to explore. They also spend hours watching their cats -- and other people -- to see how they behave in certain situations."

Erin Hunter is the nom de plume of three British writers who create enthralling, animal-centric YA fantasies in the tradition of Brian Jacques's Redwall books. In 2003, they launched their bestselling Warriors series with Into the Wild, the story of a domesticated kitten who leaves the comforts of his human home to join a family of feral cats living in the woods. Introducing a captivating world where rival cat clans struggle for survival, the book was an immediate sensation with animal- and adventure-loving preteens.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


How do you get people to your blog and get them to follow? It doesn't seem to be happening at Blogging with Barbara.

More on blogging

Let's share more ideas about blogging.
All of us are at different stages of blogging. Karen, I suspect you and Teresa might have the most experience. I have been doing it a while but I don't feel I take advantage of it as much as I could. I know it's a great networking tool. My biggest question is how to make the blog interesting, get followers, turn those followers into people who interact.
Anyone have thoughts on this they want to share?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting the Word Out

It can be difficult letting the world know you've written The Great American Novel, but it's getting easier. Blogging is one way to share what you've done with like-minded folks. To that end, I spent the better part of last week pounding my head against the keyboard, trying to find the right way to do this.

I went to one of the lists I belong to - Historical Novel Society - and pitched the idea of a blog for and about writers in this genre. The results were mind-boggling, to say the least. At last count, the blog (Clio's Children) has 17 members and I was able to network the blog after just two days.

We'll share posting responsibilities, but for the next three weeks, I'll get it going. It goes without saying (but I'll mention it anyway) that we'll support each other by buying each other's books, writing reviews, and spreading the word to friends.

The math goes something like this: 17 people each tell 10 other people about a particular book. That means the first step involves 170 people. If each of these individuals tells just 5 more people and those people tell even 3 others, the effect is exponential. It's been shown that word of mouth is still the best method of selling, so if you're not a dedicated blogger, it may be time to consider this method of networking for introducing yourself to the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Coffee Time Romance's Review of A Spiral of Echoes

They gave us a five cup rating. That is as high as you can get. Here's a snippit...A ghost story more cleverly told than any I have read for a long time, Spiral of Echoes is rich in local texture and flavor as well as being an edge-of-your–seat thriller in turns. The tension between the main characters literally burns off the page as fiery as the weavings Isabelle creates. Passion flows through the pages of this eerie tale and will leave you shivering while you feel the hot sun beat on your flesh as if you were standing on the beach looking up and waiting, like the ghost, for your love to return…

You can read the entire review here.


New book idea

I'm starting a new book for children on trees and the forest. There will be 3 in all, one for the very young (3-6 picture book), another one for ages 4-8 also a picture book and the third for ages 8-11, a picture/chapter book. Pretty ambious, I know.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Judith Marrs

I'm what some would call a late bloomer, starting to college after having five kids and getting preggo with the sixth the year I graduated. Our lives have been happy, but April 28, 2007, my husband lost his battle with cancer, and that was the day the music died. He was the leader of the band...a professional musician and my soulmate. I have several books written that only my hard drive and closest friends have read, but now Chalet is taking a wild chance on me. Why, I have no idea, but I thank them. I have been a journalist for many years, too busy with that to promote my own work, but now here I am. I'm an okay writer but critical of myself to the point of wondering how I ever thought someone would want to keep reading after the first paragraph. My favorite book (I wrote) is "Mike and Sadie Mae" because it's as crazy as I am and written in memory of my best friend that died of AIDS. But if "Snakecharmer" charms the reader, that's okay with me. I started writing it on a typewriter, so it took forever, but by a miracle from the maker of stars, I found a computer for $100 and thought I had died and flown to Heaven. I assumed that if God could make stars, surely he could find me a computer for $100. He did. My Italian roots have made me a chef of authentic Italian cuisine. My goal is making it financially from month to month with half an income since the main breadwinner has left the building. That reminds me, Elvis' Aunt Lurlene Pritchett married my husband and me in a double-wide trailer the King bought her on some land where she preached many a sermon. This has been an exciting life, full of surprises, some good some bad, but they reminded me that I could still feel. I'm alive and ready to share my words even if they aren't worth the paper they are printed on. I salute all writers, especially struggling ones. You have my utmost respect. Single parents, I pray for you daily. (I hope this wasn't too long.)  Favorite authors: Anne Lamott, Hunter S. Thompson, Rick Bragg, Victor Villesenor, Jeffrey Marriotte, Wayne Dyer, Frank McCourt, Willie Morris, Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer among many others.

Congratulations to Barbara Hodges and Maggie Pucillo!

A SPIRAL OF ECHOES is published and ready for purchase.

After Isabelle Allen's husband dies in bed with his latest lover, she is bombarded by her well-meaning friends' attempts to find her another love. But as far as she is concerned, love is for fools. She escapes to Baja, Mexico with her basset hound and her cat. Baja - beautiful beaches, long walks, vermilion sunsets, and time to re-discover her love of weaving. A good plan, except for two things - a stubborn ghost who has fixated on Isabelle, and Cristiano Casamiro, a handsome Latino geologist who makes her temper flare, her emotions flame, and her heart sing.

A SPIRAL OF ECHOES is a paranormal romance that will keep you turning pages far into the night.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today is Chalet Publisher's 1st Anniversary

One year ago today, Joyce Norman and I decided on our company's name and told each other to step away from the computer. :>) We had spent several days trying to come up with a name that we both liked, that sang to each of us and when Joyce suggested Chalet we knew that was it.
I admit we had come up with some doozies prior to that [The Olive Press is one that comes to mind] but Chalet spoke to both of us.
So it was that on that day, our dream now had a name and we went full steam ahead after that.
It boggles my mind to see how far we have come since then. We have a family of authors and a list of titles that we are so proud of. Each and every one of you [authors and readers] have helped us reach this point.
We have great plans for the coming years and are happy to have you on this journey with us.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blog Radio Show

I just finished the radio show with Barbara Hodges. It was fun and the questions were really different from other interviews I've had. I actually got a chance to read from Mom's Story. It was sooooo much fun!!! Hope you had a chance to listen. I think you can still download it on the website: www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/04/08/red-river-writers-live-no-limits

T.K. Thorne, "mother" of NOAH'S WIFE

Hello everyone! I'm Teresa, writing as T.K. Glad to be joining you. I am proud to be an author at Chalet and to make new friends with people who share my passion for story telling. There's lots of info on me at my web site, probably more than you want to know. :-) My debut novel/baby, NOAH'S WIFE, is doing well and is a 30+ year dream come true for me (Thank you Chalet!). You can read the first chapter on my site and I also have a video trailer which I will share below. I blog at tkthorne.wordpress.com when something moves me.

I'm looking forward to being part of our community. This was a great idea.


Video trailer for Noah's Wife

T.K. Thorne blog

Radio show

My blog radio show appearance is today at 3 pm (PDT) www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2010/04/08/red-river-writers-live-no-limits. I'll be discussing Mom's Story, writing for children and anything else that comes up. It is a call-in, I'd love to hear from you all.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

More about me.

Forgot to mention I have a blog here...Blogging With Barbara. Come by and follow me.

My website is http://barbaramhodges.com

There you can find out about all of my books.

I also do two shows a month on Blog Talk Radio.

My show this Thursday is No Limits. One of my two guests is our own Mary Nickum. The show airs 3:00 PM Pacific Time.


When Joy and I first began talking about creating the kind of publishing company we could not find anywhere, it was something neither of us thought we could accomplish. BUT, Chalet Publishers, LLC is exactly the publisher we always dreamed of....putting out quality products, talking good care of each of our authors, being encouragers...and it's only been one year from inception and we're just getting started!

Most of you know much about me...a transplanted Texan who adopted Alabama years ago. A former journalist, foreign correspondent, college professor, author...and most importantly, Mom to my wonderfu son, Clay, in San Francisco.

We are so proud of all our authors and more will be joining us in the coming months! This blog is a chance for us to keep in touch, to get to know each other better, to share. Let's not let this site gather literary dust. Write often about anything you think we'd love to read about.



Howdy from Barbara M. Hodges

I'm excited to have a book coming out with Chalet. My co-writer Maggie Pucillo and I have created a paranormal romance set in Baja, CA. A Spiral of Echoes is now with the printer and it looks like it will be available at the end of the month. Yippee!

Hi from Joy

Hi, my name is Joy Collins and in addition to being part owner of Chalet Publishers, I am also a writer. I am a nurse by education and I started out by writing medical articles for the public. But fiction has always been my love.
I published my first novel SECOND CHANCE in 2007 and my second novel COMING TOGETHER in 2009 which Joyce Norman and I co-wrote. I am now working on my third, a paranormal/spiritual romance WINGS OF MY OWN. It will be out later this year.
I have several blogs as well as a web site.
Joyce and I had a vision when we started Chalet. First, we wanted to publish our book our way. Then we knew we wanted to give other authors the kind of treatment that we wanted for ourselves - an understanding that only another author can give. We know how much these literary babies mean to us.
So, we started Chalet and we have been lucky and blessed to have found so many wonderful authors. In just a short period of time we have grown into a true family with more members coming on board every day.
We are very excited about Chalet's future.

Hello from Mary Nickum

Hi, I'm not real new to Chalet Publishers but the family has grown exponentially in the last few months. I am a writter of children's nonfiction. My emphasis when writing magazine articles for adults or when writing for children is "science for the public." Chalet published my first book for children, "Mom's Story, A Child Learns About MS." I have MS so I was fairly knowledgable about the topic. To be sure of my information, I had it peer reviewed by neurologists, neuropsychologists and, of course, Chalet's own nurse/editor/publisher, Joy. I was indeed fortunate to have a publisher with such background!

Ramey Channell

Hi, I'm Ramey Channell, new to the Chalet family. I'm so excited to have a new book coming out later this spring, a novel set in 1950s Alabama. I've previously had poetry, shortstories and children's stories published in journals, collections and online. I live in Alabama, where I work as a librarian in our public library. You can view my blog, The Painted Possum, at http://www.rameychannell.blogspot.com/

Hooray for Chalet Publishers.

Introducing: KK Brees

Hello Everyone

I’m Karen and I write fiction as KK Brees. I’m partial to historical fiction. My first novel, Headwind: The Intrepid Adventures of OSS Agent Katrin Nissen, will be coming out this summer.

The book is set in April 1940 and is the first in a series featuring my heroine and her husband, John Breckenridge. Katrin is a professor in the Botany Department at Yale University and her husband is an attorney. That’s in their other lives. The war changes that and a good deal more for them.

I’m looking forward to getting to know everybody.


My website is http://www.karenkbrees.com.

My Blogs

I have two active blogs. The one pertaining to my novel is KatrinNissen.blogspot.com. I also blog as The Practical Preserver at practicalpreserving.blogspot.com.


This week Chalet Publishers celebrates its first anniversary. It is fitting that we start off the new year with a new adventure.
Welcome to our blog.
Here we will showcase our authors and their books.
We will also discuss topics that we hope will be interesting to you, our readers.
Make some tea. Rest a while. Visit. Ask questions. Get to know us.
We're glad you're here.