Amazing Authors I met at Author Alley this Year!

IMG_3515I wanted to share about some of the most interesting books and people I had the pleasure of meeting at Author Alley this year (my first year at Author Alley).

jerry_lewis_celebrities_coverI had the goal to meet one specific author I wanted to get advice from, who ended up being a really awesome individual, Irv Korman – author of I was Jerry Lewis’s Bodyguard for 10 minutes! and I was Jackie Mason’s Chauffeur for 5 Minutes. I wanted to get some advice regarding the book I’m working on about my dad’s life. My dad’s brushed up against several celebrities when he lived in Canada, and I want to write about his encounters. It was good to talk with Irv and get some important tips – most importantly to RECORD my conversations with my dad as I interview him about his experiences. It was cool too, because Irv also works as an entertainer for parties, so when a little girl bought Pretty Betty Butterfly, he made her a little balloon apple – a very cool surprise!

I was thrilled to meet the two wonderful people sitting on each side of me as well. They were both professional illustrators as well as writers, which we had in common.abirdsc

I met Lawrence (Larry) Hohman who had written and  illustrated a series of alphabet books, called Alphabetical Books in Color. We actually both graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art, which was another wonderful coincidence! I bought his book on bugs for my son Jack who is obsessed with bugs lately. Larry did pretty well at the event by selling a whole set of his books to one customer. That was exciting (and envious) to see!
fd5db72ecf996469e71348ecbb9379c4Another great person I met was Dixie Frank! I bought her wonderful children’s book, I’m So Glad You Saved Me – The True Story of Ringo Star-ling. It’s a beautiful story with equally beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend it. Her book is a true story about the Starling she rescued as a baby bird. This bird is actually quite amazing. Dixie told me that Starlings actually are mimicking birds – like parrots. So this bird talks and sings, and whistles the Andy Griffith Show theme! Ha! Dixie also creates Pet Portraits and does face painting for events as well.

There were other authors I wish I could have spoken with more, and their books looked very interesting to me as well!

Here are my favorite books & authors from the event:

Jennifer Priester – author of The Mortal Realm Witch Series – a series for ages 8-12 years old.

James A. Willis – Author of many “Weird” books and Ghost Stories (yummy!)

Tali Nay – Author of Schooled – A book about the things you REALLY learn in school – the life lessons you remember for the rest of your life. This topic of course interested me.

Mary R. Woldering – Author of Children of Stone: Voices in Crystal – A very interesting looking book. If the title interests you, I recommend checking it out! And this awesome woman lives in Euclid, Ohio – so excited to live so close to some of these people!!

Joel Ayala Ayapana – Author of The Book of Positive Light – Remembrance of the Heart. This guy will be conducting a workshop at the Ohio Journey Expo this year, and has an iTunes Radio page.

The experience at Author Alley was an interesting one. Not the best when it comes to book sales (but I guess selling 2 books isn’t too shabby for an event that’s tucked away in an alley), but a wonderfully fun networking event! I definitely want to do it again next year, and am looking forward to having at least a couple new books to sell next year (my gears are working)!

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Emergency Business Card Creativity for My Afternoon at Author Alley!

IMG_3506This past weekend I was excited to be a part of the Author Alley event at Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, Ohio – as part of the annual Larchmere Festival! Unfortunately I couldn’t find my business cards for the event, so I was forced to improvise and create some promo materials to act as business cards instead.

I was there to promote the books I’ve published this past year, Wearing My Weird (the 3-book series), and a book I illustrated by Sally Deems, Pretty Betty Butterfly.

I returned to an old technique and dressed it up with adding ribbons to make tasseled bookmarks as my freebie giveaways (to double as business cards).

Materials (to make 1.5″ x 4″ 200 bookmarks/business cards):

STEP ONE: Have FUN, painting on your watercolor paper – be abstract or not, and involve the kids!!! Let them paint whatever they want, because these large painting will be chopped up into pieces 1.5″ x 4″.

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STEP TWO: Let the paintings dry, of course, and then start slicing each page into 5 long 4″ strips (using the Exacto knife and cutting mat – or large paper cutter).

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STEP THREE: Take the 4″ x 15″ strips and use the small paper cutter to chop them into 1.5″ strips.

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STEP FOUR: Start stamping! I used a 3.5″ personalized stamp for the backside of my cards with my website/promo information, and on the decorative side I used a variety of Rubbermoon Art Stamps!

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STEP FIVE: Punch holes in the top ends of the cards to create tasseled bookmarks out of your cards – turning your business card into a fun promotional giftie/freebie!

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These were very fun giveaways, because each bookmark was unique, creating a fun synchronicity for the person choosing it. I received some comments regarding the messages on the bookmarks. People really responded to them positively! I could have easily sold them if I wanted to!