Meet the Author of Best Friends Playbook

Pre-order now from Chicken Scratch Books. Coming December 2021.

A Publisher I Can Agree With

I like to shop local, small business, and made in the US. That’s one of the reasons I love the model for Chicken Scratch Books. Chicken Scratch Books direct markets to schools, libraries, and homeschool groups. While you can find the books at some of the major, national retailers, that’s not where Chicken Scratch puts its marketing efforts.

I LOVE THAT!

I haven’t shopped regularly at major, national retailers for probably over ten years. Yes, I do sometimes need to when I can’t find an item locally, regionally, or from a small online business, but overall, I’ve stuck to shopping small. Yes, it can be inconvenient at times, and yes, I do go without things sometimes if it’s something I really don’t need and I can’t find it locally. But overall, I have such a sense of satisfaction.

I am so thankful to have found a publisher (technically, it found me) that lines up so well with my desires for marketing my book.

And don’t forget you can pre-order Best Friends Playbook!

Best Friends Playbook Available for Pre-Order!

Da da da da! The day has finally arrived! Best Friends Playbook is available for pre-order from Chicken Scratch Books. Official release date is December 10, just in time for Christmas.

And as promised, here is the amazing cover!

I love the fact that this is the only contemporary novel I’ve ever written, and it still has a dragon on the cover. ūüôā

One of the things I was excited about with publishing traditionally is that someone else would design my cover for me. My editor, Kiri, asked what my vision was for the cover (because she is amazing like that), but I told her my vision was very 90’s. I explained it to her, and she said yes, that is very 90’s and told me her vision, which was much better. ūüôā

Another great thing about Chicken Scratch Books is that they create a novel study course for each book they publish. Keep an eye out for the novel study course to accompany Best Friends Playbook. The prices are extremely reasonable and include videos by the authors! So you get to see me in person (sort of) talking about the book.

I encourage you to pre-order straight from the publisher: https://chickenscratchbooks.com/product/best-friends-playbook/

While you’re there, check out the other great books Chicken Scratch Books offers.

I’m all for supporting local businesses, too, so you can always ask your local bookstore for a copy.

Can you tell I’m excited? I’m very excited. I hope you enjoy Best Friends Playbook available December 10, 2021 (but you can pre-order now ūüėČ ).

Favorite Character

It’s that time of the year when people all over the United States dress up. Not in fancy dress necessarily, but in make-believe dress.

So my question for you is if you were to dress up as a favorite character, which character would you dress up as? I might pick Luke Skywalker because he’s been a favorite character of mine since I was about ten, and I think I could accomplish that outfit. Of course, it could be fun to dress up like a villain, such as Ecliptor or a Psycho Ranger from Power Rangers Space.

When I was in high school, I frequently went places dressed as Samwise Gamgee, and I probably still have that outfit lying around somewhere. . . .

I have to confess, though, that due to lack of energy this year, I’ve decided that my costume will be (drum roll, please) . . . . . an author!

There, that was easy. ūüėČ

One Week Countdown

One week until Best Friends Playbook is available for preorder! Curious what the book is actually about? Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

What do touchdowns and tea parties have in common?

Absolutely nothing.

Eleven-year-old football superfan, Hannah Taylor, has watched her friends leave the homeschool group one by one. It was okay, at first, because she always had Beth, her best best friend. They were a team for science experiments, for co-op classes, and on the football field.

But just as they’re starting sixth grade, Beth’s parents put her in private school. Now Hannah is the only middle schooler left in the homeschool group.

She’d better come up with a new play fast. The only kids even remotely close to her age don’t like football, and they don’t play sports.

They play princess.

And they want Hannah to join their team.

Two Weeks until Preorder!

I just finished editing my marketing video for (drumroll please) my book! Get ready because it will go live for preorder at the beginning of November.

I’m working on getting some author events lined up. I will hopefully be able to do some in-person events, but those are always subject to change in these uncertain times. However, after teaching online classes for a year and a half, I am quite comfortable with zoom. I’d love to do some online events and even school visits.

One of the things I’m really excited about is doing author visits with homeschool groups. When I was a kid being homeschooled, one of the things I dreamed about was being able to meet a real-life, published author. I learned as a college-student that authors actually visited public schools. Kids actually got to meet real-life authors! I am excited to offer author visits to homeschool groups and to smaller or rural schools that don’t often get the opportunity to meet an author.

Keep an eye out for more details!

A Few of My Favorites

Here are the titles of a few of my favorite Korean shows thus far: 

Memories of the Alhambra¬†(AMAZING! There were actually a few unexplained things in the plot and worldbuilding, but the story was so good, I didn‚Äôt care. I generally don’t like horror because it feels kind of icky, but I like the thrill/excitement aspect. Memories of the Alhambra had all the fun parts of horror/thriller without the¬†ickiness.)¬†

Crash Landing on You¬†(I got the soundtrack to this one; the music really made it. I loved the characters so much. Except the nasty ones. I didn‚Äôt like those, but I wasn’t supposed to. ūüôā )¬†

Hello? Me! (This was such a sweet story. It had laugh out-loud moments and also made me cry.) 

My Holo Love (Another fun one. Contrary to the title, there was a lot more to it than just a love story.) 

Mystic Pop-Up Bar (Again, I really liked the characters. There was a strong family aspect, which I really liked, and it was just a lot of fun.) 

Sisyphus: The Myth (This one was like Matrix meets Terminator meets I Am Legend [the movie], and it was awesome.) 

I will add a warning that some of these shows were a lot gorier than I prefer, but it generally wasn’t enough to turn me off of the show (although I didn’t finish¬†Was It Love?¬†or¬†Abyss¬†because of the violence). One thing I’ve liked is that the shows have been generally pretty clean, and if there are swear¬†words¬†I don’t understand them¬†’cause¬†they’re in Korean.¬†I have loved the sweetness of the romances and that romance was generally not the main plot. Character growth was.

Nonlinear Storytelling

Another thing¬†I’ve¬†really enjoyed about Asian shows is the nonlinear storytelling. (I noticed a bit of nonlinear storytelling in the Chinese shows I¬†watched,¬†too.) It was a little confusing at first, but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it.

In both my undergrad and my graduate programs, I studied hypertext narratives as a form of storytelling. I even wrote a few nonlinear stories using various new media applications at the time. There is so much you can do with nonlinear storytelling. Nonlinear storytelling does not always work well in a linear format such as a novel or a print book. 

I honestly don’t know how the directors and editors of these Korean shows manage to make these nonlinear shows. The way they juxtapose scenes from different points of time with different characters is brilliant. I can’t imagine what goes on in their heads to be able to put those pieces together and to picture it and then to translate that to the screen. It’s amazing. 

Better Endings

I started watching Korean shows because they were fun and so I could try to learn Korean, but as I watched I noticed some really interesting storytelling differences from what all the western stories I’ve read and watched have been. Now, storytelling does go through trends and phases just like fashion and home design, so bear that in mind. The current trend in western books has been to jump right in the action and end quickly. By end quickly, I mean tie up loose ends really fast once the end has happened and don’t spend much time explaining what the characters did next. 

Many of the Korean shows I’ve watched have spent most of the final episode just tying everything up. There might be a big tense end-of-the-climax at the beginning of the episode, but the whole rest of the episode is just what happened to all the characters. I’ve really enjoyed it. At the same time there have been a few series that left the end kind of open-ended, and that was really cool, too. 

I will also say that the endings have been awesome. There are some unwritten rules of storytelling, it seems, in western storytelling. At least in what American and British stories I’ve read and watched. I really like that the Korean shows I‚Äôve watched don‚Äôt follow those rules. It keeps the stories engaging and unpredictable, and honestly, some of the endings are more authentic. I mean, they follow organically from the story and have a lot of heart, whereas some of those unwritten western rules force endings that don‚Äôt follow the story. 

What I’ve Been Doing for the Last Year

(at least part of it)

Well, I haven’t been around much for the past year due to some health issues. All the bed rest¬†gave¬†me lots of time for trying out some new shows. A Korean show kept popping up on my streaming platform as a recommended show, so I gave it a try. I’ve been watching¬†sooooooo¬†many Korean shows since.¬†

At first, I found the shows just really creative and fresh. I have not been impressed with US shows for awhile now; they just seem repetitive and so similar to each other. A lot of these Korean shows have been really original and creative, at least for me.  

I watched a few Chinese shows, too, which I also enjoyed, but I noticed that I picked up Korean words a lot more easily than the Chinese words. A friend, who had spent a semester in Korea and another semester in China, told me the Korean alphabet was actually pretty easy to learn and that Korean was a phonetic language. So that was another reason for me to watch Korean shows; it was a new language to learn. 

I’ve been using Mango Languages for practice. My favorite resource (and how I learned the Korean alphabet) is 90 Day Korean.

Learning Korean has encouraged me in my own constructed language. My language is a contextual language, but I got discouraged thinking that wasn’t even possible. Well Korean is a contextual language! Woohoo!