|Posted by kellyhashway on October 28, 2011 at 6:05 AM||comments (36)|
Skype. The word alone used to make me tremble with fear. It was a lot like the word vlog. See myself while I talk to others? What could be more frightening? Well as most of you know, I gave in to doing the occasional vlog. But recently I decided to give in to Skype as well.
I set up a Skype account a little while back when a book publisher wanted to hold a virtual meeting with me. And you know what? It was fun! I ignored my own image on the screen and focused on the people I was speaking with, and it was kind of like sitting around a coffee table discussing books.
Well, it's no secret that I love doing school visits. The former teacher in me loves being back inside those school walls. But school budgets are hurting. Enter Skype. I've decided to do Skype visits with schools. It's cheaper for the schools, and I don't have travel expenses. Everyone wins. Will I miss being in the actual school? Yes, and I fully intend to keep doing in-person visits to schools within traveling distance, but Skype will let me reach schools all over the country.
And... I've decided to give away two FREE Skype visits to the first two schools who contact me to set it up. So if you are a teacher or homeschooling parent and you would like to Skype visit with me, simply contact me through the contact me button. And if you are one of the first two, the visit will be free.
What about you? Would you ever do a Skype visit?
|Posted by kellyhashway on May 4, 2011 at 6:32 AM||comments (6)|
Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for a free signed copy of May the Best Dog Win and some great SWAG including a doggie bag filled with goodies and a t-shirt.
Who won? Well, thanks to the help of a random number generator, the lucky winner is.....
Congratulations! Amber, I'll be emailing you to get your address so I can send your prizes.
For those of you who didn't win, you can order a copy of my book here on Amazon.
But wait! That's not all! (Do I sound like a sales person?)
If you are a teacher or you home school your children and you purchase a copy or copies of MAY THE BEST DOG WIN for use in your classroom, contact me and I'll send you a free teacher resource packet. The packet includes:
Be sure to include your email address when you contact me so that I may send you your free electronic copy of the resource packet as my way of saying thank you for your purchase.
And now to leave you with a question. What was your favorite picture book when you were a child?
|Posted by kellyhashway on April 29, 2011 at 6:32 AM||comments (37)|
My release day is tomorrow!!! April 30, 2011. MAY THE BEST DOG WIN is about to be officially released to the world. So what am I doing--besides jumping up and down? I'm hosting a giveaway! Since I don't post on Saturday's, I'm starting the giveaway today!
But before I tell you about it, here's a little bit about my book.
"Dash has the perfect life until the Super Sweeper 5000 shows up. Sweeper runs all over the house sucking up the leftover food scraps, and he even gets his own room! But Dash won't give up his place as the favorite dog without a fight."
Want to know what reviewers are saying about it?
"This is a fun story young children will love to read."--V.S. Grenier, Editor-in-Chief of Stories for Children Magazine
"Dog lovers of all ages will smile all the way through this dog's eye view of the dog-sweeper conflict in May the Best Dog Win, a delightful new picture book by Kelly Hashway."--Rebecca Fjelland Davis, author of Chasing Alliecat.
Here's what you can win:
A signed copy of my book and a doggie bag! What's inside the doggie bag? A bookmark, pencil, magnet, sticker, bracelet, and candy. And the pencils come in every color!
a t-shirt! (It's a child's shirt even though it looks big in the picture.)
Here's how to enter:
Want an extra entry? Mention my giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Just include a link in the comment so I can verify.
You have until 11:59pm Tuesday, May 3 to enter. I'll draw a winner at random on Wednesday, May 4.
That's it! So go comment. And tell your friends.
|Posted by kellyhashway on January 12, 2011 at 6:30 AM||comments (22)|
I think I might be a freak. Why? I'm having fun with all the promotional things that go along with having an upcoming book. The process is time consuming and to be honest, it's hard work to put yourself out there like that. But I LOVE it!
I get excited when people contact me to be part of my blog tour. When a total stranger likes the concept of my book and wants to feature it on their website, it makes me all giddy. I sort of feel like I'm a little kid again and Christmas morning is just around the corner. I'm making business cards, reserving my spot at Book Expos, setting up school visits, and planning book signings.
But there's one thing that's giving me a hard time. I can't decide what promotional giveaway items to purchase. You know what they are: bookmarks, magnets, pins, bracelets, t-shirts, etc. And I'm wondering if all the items need to have my book's image/name on them or if they can just relate to my book's topic. Since my book is about a dog, can I giveaway dog erasers or does that not tie in enough? I've been on site after site, researching promotional items, and I can't decide!
So I'm turning to you for help. What do you like to get as giveaways?
|Posted by kellyhashway on December 10, 2010 at 1:06 PM||comments (4)|
The contest is official closed. Before I announce the winner, I'd like to thank Kathy for allowing me to interview her and for generously agreeing to give away a free signed copy to one of the members of this blog. And Kathy even went beyond that by "talking" to those members in the comment section. Amazing!
For those of you who didn't win, you can purchase Kathy's book at Amazon as well as many other online bookstores.
So, without further ado, the winner of the free signed copy of NANNY'S TALES: THE DRAGON AND THE UNICORN is...
CONGRATULATIONS! Please email me your mailing address so Kathy can send you your prize!
Want to find Kathy on the web?
Check out her blog http://katherinecoppinger.blogspot.com/.
You can also connect with her on Facebook.
Thanks again to Kathy and all who entered. I had a blast this week.
|Posted by kellyhashway on October 15, 2010 at 12:41 PM||comments (2)|
The results are in!
I know you are all dying to now who won the free ebook of Shadow Dancer, but I'm going to keep you in suspense for a moment longer. I have to say that hosting this contest has been a blast. Reading all the comments was--well, hilarious. Some people wanted to win so badly!
Let me also thank Courtney Rene for not one but two great interviews!
Okay, so without further ado, the winner of the free ebook is......
Please email me at: khashway(at)hotmail(dot)com (Please convert to an email address. I'm trying to avoid spammers here.)--Include your address so Courtney Rene can send you a gift certificate for your free ebook and a personal letter. Congratulations!
For those who didn't win, you can purchase Courtney's book at Amazon.com or at Rogue Phoenix Press.
|Posted by kellyhashway on October 13, 2010 at 6:27 AM||comments (19)|
I thought it would be fun to find out some more about Courtney Rene while the contest is still going on. So I asked her some questions just for fun. Enjoy!
How do you reward yourself when you finish a manuscript?
For short stories and articles, I dont do anything special. When I finished Shadow Dancer though, I went out and bought myself a bag of Harry and David, Gummie Bears, took a week off from all writing, and just enjoyed some free reading time. As I get closer to completing my current WIP, I think I will do that same. I could use a nice easy week of reading, along with my favorite treat.
What is your favorite book of all time?
This changes from time to time, but I would have to say that for a while now, it's been: "Ride the Wind", by Lucia St. Clair Robson. It makes me laugh, cry, and get angry every time and I have read it many many times. Such a good read.
If you could be a character in any book, which character would you choose? Why?
This was such a hard question. I couldn't come up with anything at first but then after sleeping on it, I think I would want to be Cinderella. Really. Her harsh beginnings made her strong, but her love made her happy. I dont even mean love as in the prince. I mean her love of life, of everything even the hateful people in it. That is one of the best stories, rewritten numerous times and nemerous ways, but in the end, she is happy. Plus she can talk to animals, so...
If you could co-write with any author who would it be? Why?
This was easy. Stephen King. All the way. I grew up with his stories, in fact I still have plastic bins full of his books down in my basement. He is such a creative, scary, thought provoking writer. The things I could learn from him. Wow. Yeah, he's the one for me.
Do you prefer print books or ebooks?
Print books. I like the smell of them, the feel of them, the ease of them. I like cramming them in my bag and taking them with me anywhere. Maybe that will change with the creation of all the easy e-reader devices, but as of yet, I am still a print girl.
Paperback or hardcover?
Flowers or candy? (In case any adoring fans want to send you some!)
Actually I'm easy. Both! Flowers - White tulips are my favorite. Candy - Harry and David Gummie Bears. I happen to be a gummie bear snob. It's gotta be Harry and David. Of course a Hershey Bar would not go to waste either.
What's the last song you listened to?
Just a Dream by Nelly. Nice to see him back with some new songs.
Facebook or Twitter?
I do both, but Facebook is more entertaining.
What is your favorite food?
Italian. It's the garlic, it's the salad, it's the noodles. They go together so nicely, dont you think?
Don't forget to enter to win Courtney's new book Shadow Dancer.
The rules are simple:
1. Become a member of Kelly Hashway's Books by clicking on the "Register" link on the left sidebar. If you are already a member, then yay for you and move right on to rule number two!
2. Leave a comment on this blog post or Courtney's first interview telling me what gift/power you would love to have.
*UPDATE* This is exciting! Starting today, you may enter yourself in this contest up to FIVE times!!!!! Yes, FIVE entries! More chances to win! You still need to list a power each time though, and it can't be the same one over and over.
|Posted by kellyhashway on October 11, 2010 at 6:37 AM||comments (30)|
Today I'm talking with young adult fantasy writer, Courtney Rene! Courtney is the author of SHADOW DANCER, which just came out last month through Rogue Phoenix Press.
What's SHADOW DANCER about, you ask?
Sunny has a gift that she has no idea how to use, until shemeets Leif, a boy from the kingdom of Acadia, on the other side of the shadows.
Leif teaches Sunny about Shadow Walkers and how to use her new found gifts. As they grow closer and their gifts grow stronger, a threat arrives. The Shadow Guard has been sent to bring Sunny back to Acadia, to determine if she is a threat to the king as the rightful ruler of Acadia.
As Leif and Sunny prepare to defend themselves, Sunny finds that Leif has also been sent to bring Sunny back to the kingdom but for very different reasons. As a battle for possession of Sunny wages, she is struggling to come to turns with her feelings of inadequacy regarding controlling her gifts as well as the hurt regarding the lies and deceit of everyone around her.
Sounds great, right? Well, here's the really exciting news. Courtney has graciously decided to give away a FREE ebook to one lucky winner! That's right--a free ebook!
But first, I interviewed Courtney about her novel. Check out what she had to say:
I'm noticing a pattern with the names in your book: Sunny, Leif, Shadow Walkers. Can you tell us a little about the story behind choosing these names?
It’s actually a little on the hokey side. I was watching a paranormal movie and got to thinking about what would be the best power to have which led me to thinking that being able to walk around invisible would be awesome. The thought refused to leave me and the next day I had the beginnings of a story in my mind about a girl that could walk in the shadows and become invisible. As for Sunny and Leif, I wanted something that was different but not wild and weird and hard to pronounce. I always call my daughter my sunshine, which got me to thinking about my book and there you have Sunny. Leif was just a bi-product of that same thought. I was on a nature kick apparently and Leif matched.
How would you describe Sunny in 140 characters or less?
Very book smart, but life naive. Strong of character, but very unaware of it. Bubbly and fun. Infectious.
What made you decide to give Sunny a power she didn't know how to use or control?
Life is never that easy. If she were given an easy power the story would be over. The Acadia series centers on Sunny as she grows into her powers. It takes us on her journey as she learns how to control her gifts along with gaining a little faith and strength in herself as well.
How did you create the world of Acadia?
The land of Acadia never rains, and it never gets cold or overly hot. It’s my idea of the perfect place. If I was going to write a fantasy, I wanted it to be a wonderful fantasy place.
Describe the process of getting this book published, from when the idea came to you to seeing your book in print.
As I said above, the idea just swirled around in my brain for a few days. I finally sat down at my computer and the story literally poured out of me. I couldn’t find enough time to get it down on paper fast enough.
Writing the story was the easy part. Editing it was a different story. Grammar is not my friend, and I struggled with it. Editing and revising took what felt like forever, but actually was maybe six months.
Once it was finally suitable to submit out to publishers, I was ready to not look at it again for a while. I picked seven to ten publishers to begin with and my sixth one accepted me. I had to read their letter several times for it to sink in. After that everything was rather quick. We did a final edit, designed the cover, and off it went to print. Holding my finished book in my hand was worth it all. All the late nights writing, all the hours editing and revising, yes it was worth it.
Take us through your typical day of writing. Any set routines?
I pretend to have a set writing routine, but in general, it’s whenever I can fit it into my day. I will spend about an hour in the mornings checking email, making responses, and browsing blogs and websites. I spend my lunch hour researching, either new sites, or information for my stories. Night though is when I write. I try to sit down by 9:00 but some days it’s not until 10 sometimes later. That’s when my house is finally quiet. It works for me.
Where do you find your sources of inspiration?
Everything and everywhere. Sometimes I maintain my creativity by sheer determination. It’s hard to be creative all the time, as life gets in the way. I will go for walks in my woods sometimes to help clear out some of the unnecessary clutter that is holding me down. Music is a big one for me too, or something simple like watching cartoons with my children, sitting outside with the sun warm on my face, or new spring flowers just popping up from the still frozen ground. Even moments of embarrassment like falling down in public, I can usually turn into something.
What are you working on now?
My current project is a shape-shifter paranormal novel. I wanted something different in the werewolf story. I wanted real people struggling with a curse, not crazy killing machines. So I decided to write my own. The first draft is complete. Now comes the hard part….revising.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
The same advice I was given once long ago: Don’t get lost in the technical side of writing. Write the story, then go back and worry about the grammar, the spelling, the format. The story is what people want to see, and if you write a good enough story, your readers won’t even notice the rest. They shouldn’t notice the work that went into it.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Just a quick thank you to everyone that has supported me and my writing. I hope my finished product lives up to the expectations.
Now that you know a little about Courtney Rene and her debut novel SHADOW DANCER, I'll tell you how to win a free ebook.
The rules are simple:
1. Become a member of Kelly Hashway's Books by clicking on the "Register" link on the left sidebar. If you are already a member, then yay for you and move right on to rule number two!
2. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what gift/power you would love to have.
That's it! You'll have until 12 noon on Friday, October 15 to register and post your comment. I'll be picking a winner through a random number generator.
So go enter and good luck!
And for those of you who don't win, you can purchase a copy of Courtney Rene's SHADOW DANCER on Amazon.com or RoguePhoenixPress.com.
Find Courtney Rene online:
Website and blog: http://courtneyrene.com/
|Posted by kellyhashway on September 8, 2010 at 7:00 AM||comments (6)|
Yesterday I discovered an amazing contest. One that I entered immediately. What makes it so great? The winner gets a free edit of up to 100,000 words!!!
C.A. Marshall, a freelance editor and young adult writer, is hosting this contest. And yes, she will be the one doing the free edit. She'll comment on everything from pacing to character development.
It's easy to enter. Just go to her website:
Fill out the form on the site and click submit. Okay, maybe there's a little more to it. You need to follow Marshall's blog and tweets. You earn points for following and for tweeting about the contest or blogging (*cough cough*) about it. You can even update your points everyday by filling out the second form on Marshall's site.
The contest ends at midnight on Monday, September 20, 2010.
It's that easy! I've posted a topic about this contest in the forum, too. So if anyone else is entering (and you should) you can brag about how many points you've earned over there once this blog post gets pushed down out of sight.
Good luck to all who enter, and a huge thanks to C.A. Marshall for offering such a great contest.
|Posted by kellyhashway on August 7, 2010 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
It's no secret I love contests. Over the past few months I've entered everything from query letter, opening line, and Secret Agent contests. I think the feedback you get from these opportunities is worth almost as much as the prizes. I've been fortunate enough to get past first (and second) rounds and even get a request for a partial. But I recently discovered there is a downside to entering so many contests. You may be repeatedly submitting to the same agent!
How does this happen? Well, I entered a Secret Agent contest a few months back, and the agent turned out to be Kathleen Ortiz, whom I had just queried, coincidentally. Okay, no big deal. But in July I entered another Secret Agent contest on another author blog, and believe it or not the agent turned out to be Kathleen Ortiz. Ugh! Nothing against Ms. Ortiz. I've heard great things about her and I follow her blog and tweets. From what I've seen, she's great. But having her as the secret agent meant bad news for me. I'm guessing my submission wasn't even considered since it had recently been in one of her contests. Aside from that, she had passed on my query so I knew she wasn't interested in the type of book I'd written.
So here's the problem. When you enter a Secret Agent contest, you have no way of knowing who the Secret Agent is going to be. Duh! I know. But it can be an issue because, like me, you could end up spending all that time stalking--I mean following the contest blog to see how your entry is doing, and it could all be for nothing because you've already submitted to that agent in a contest or in a regular query.
Does this mean I'm not going to submit to Secret Agent contests anymore? Come on, you should know me better than that! I'll keep submitting with my fingers crossed. Because like I said, you never know who the Secret Agent might be. It just could be my future agent.
|Posted by kellyhashway on July 18, 2010 at 9:53 AM||comments (0)|
I'm a big proponent of critique groups and contests that provide feedback. That's probably apparent by the number of contests I've entered this year. I've done everything from query critique contests to first 250 words contests to 140-character pitch contests. I'm currently participating in two contests--well two and a half.
I was part of a novel opening lines contest but didn't make it past the third round. At that point a panel of published authors gave feedback on the entries that did not move on. So I thought, "Great! Let's hear what published authors think of my work!" Well, I only got two comments. Both were positive. No negatives. Nothing to watch out for or fix. Good, right? Not really.
This may sound strange but I'd almost rather have things pointed out to me that I can actually work on. I'm ecstatic that the authors liked my voice. After all that supposedly the biggest and most important thing in a manuscript. But my question remains, "What am I doing wrong?" There has to be some reason why I haven't found an agent yet. But what is it?
I figured my query needed help so I entered a query contest a few months back and got a request for a partial and a note that said my query was good. But then that query didn't get me any more requests. So I revised it--again! I've sent my query to the Query Kick Around group on YALitchat but very few people commented on it. I got comments to tighten it up a bit. OK, I did that and reposted my query to get more feedback. But only one person commented on it. So I still don't know if I'm on the right track.
So I was complaining about this to my husband this morning and he said that maybe it meant I was doing the right thing and I just had to wait to find the agent who loved my work the way I do. I can't tell you how much I hope he's right!
Of course this brings up another question. Am I querying the wrong agents? I tend to query the agents that I follow online. The ones I really like as people and who have been successful with their clients. But is this the best way to go about it? Maybe I'm letting my personal feelings dictate how I query. I like the agent as a person, so I query them. But liking them as a person doesn't mean they are the right person to represent me and my work.
So I've come to the conclusion that in addition to continuing to enter every contest I can to get more feedback on my query and my manuscript, I'm going to take a good look at my list of agents and stop letting my feelings get in the way. The expression is to follow your gut, but maybe I need to follow head first.
|Posted by kellyhashway on May 31, 2010 at 7:22 AM||comments (7)|
There was a time when I wouldn't even consider entering writing contests. I didn't understand why someone would want to put themselves out there like that. Especially in contests that publicly post your writing for others to critique. Bottom line--I was a chicken.
In January, I entered my first contest (which I won't hear back from until next month). Then I went on a contest spree! I sought out contests, hoping for feedback/critique. I mean how else am I going to improve? I'll admit that sometimes it's scary going on a site and reading the comments on your work. But it's completely worth it. It's difficult to critique our own writing because we're so attached to it. It makes sense in our minds, and we assume it will make sense to others. But that isn't always the case. Fresh eyes can point out things that we'd never see for ourselves. It's even better than the open-mindedness that taking time away from your manuscript can give you.
But the greatest thing is that these contests can highlight things you do as a writer--not just things you did in one manuscript. I learned things about my writing style in general, and it's helped me in all my projects. You can't beat that!
Another great thing is that many of these contests are judged by agents. It lets you get to know who the agents are and which agents are most willing to help new authors. Now if you're like me and you spend countless hours researching agents and following their blogs and tweets, this will allow you to connect with them on another level. I like having agents recognize my name in tweetchats because let's face it, there are tons of writers out there. Getting your name out there (in a positive way) is a good thing. I've been fortunate enough to get positive responses from the agents whose contests I've entered. That means the world to me because agents are the ones I need to impress right now.
So here's my challenge to everyone who has never entered a contest or who hasn't entered one in awhile: Go out there and find a contest. Enter it. And take the feedback as helpful critique that will only make you a better writer--because that's what it is.
Ready? Set? Go!
|Posted by kellyhashway on February 27, 2010 at 7:52 AM||comments (0)|
I am very excited about a query contest I read about on Twitter this morning. The wonderful and extremely generous Joanna Stampfel-Volpe is running a contest where she'll be brutally honest about your query letter. This is what I've been waiting for! I love brutally honesty. I'm definitely entering this contest. I can't wait until Monday to get here response!
I may share the results on here--if I'm feeling brave!
Here's the link to the contest:
Ok, the results are in!
Ms. Stampfel-Volpe reported the following:
Disqualified: 31 (reasons: late or early, sent more than one, sent to the wrong email, incorrect header in the subject line, or unfinished ms)
Requests for Partials: 27
Requests for Fulls: 3
Unfinished Manuscripts: 4 (really?)
Included Attachments: 1 (why, man?)
Were not for genres I represent: 8
Vampire stories: 7 (yup.)
Queries that blew me away/caught my rapt interest: 8
For more on what Ms. Stampfel-Volpe had to say about the contest click on the link below:
|Posted by kellyhashway on December 17, 2009 at 7:27 AM||comments (2)|
I'm polishing my submission for the Highlights Fiction Contest. I had to trim a story for it, but it's almost ready to go. This will be my first writing contest, so I'm excited. The only downside is that the contest states the winners will be announced in June. That's six whole months of wondering! I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I guess I'm going to have to learn to be patient because there's nothing I can do about it. Since it's Highlights it's well worth the wait.
I've gotten some good feedback on my submission, so I'm hopeful. I really like the story but that's because it's a true family story that still makes me laugh years and years later! It's embarrassing, but I'll risk the embarrassment for possible publication in Highlights!