One Strangely, Incredibly Good Tour!

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STRANGELY, INCREDIBLY GOOD comes out in ebook June 5th, and I’m going on tour in May. Fictionella is setting up an online blog tour for me -I’ll be visiting 25 blogs.

This Is So Exciting!

What do you want me to talk about? Please discuss below, or send me a note via my Facebook Page. I’ll make sure those questions get answered during my blog tour. I’ll also be re-blogging some of the best interviews here.

Another question: I haven’t decided if I should create an event page for the digital launch of the book on June 5, (so many people hate those event invites!) or just create one post, such as, THE DAY IS HERE! ;) and we can all chat on that on the main page of the Facebook Author Page that day. Ideas?

Thanks again for your support and loyalty. You rock.

Can’t wait for you to meet Cat, Eugene, and Gram!

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Love,
Heather

 

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The Writing Process Blog Hop

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Thanks very much to Doreen Pendgracs for inviting me to participate in this fun blog hop about the writing process. I met Doreen through PWAC (Professional Writers Association of Canada) many years ago, and she has been a great supporter of all my writing projects ever since. Thanks Doreen!

Doreen Pendgracs

Doreen’s intent is to educate, entertain and inspire writers and anyone interested in creative and cultural endeavours.If you’re a chocolate lover and love to travel, you will enjoy Doreen’s chocolate travel blog at http://diversionswithdoreen.com/. If you’re interested in her latest book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate, visit  http://chocolatour.net/ for updates about the book, and chocolate tours, tastings and events. In addition to non-fiction books, Doreen also writes magazine, newspaper, and online articles and blog posts about travel, lifestyle, chocolate, volunteerism, and other topics for various publications. You can read some of her published articles on the “Samples” page of her static website at http://www.wizardofwords.net.

Doreen’s previous title, Before You Say Yes … A Guide to the Pleasures & Pitfalls of Volunteer Boards was released by Dundurn Press in 2010 and has been renowned as the “volunteer’s bible” as it was written to serve as the ultimate guide for anyone sitting on a board of directors in the non-profit sector. In addition to books and periodical assignments, Doreen has also done writing/editing projects for various corporate clients, and conducted writing and public speaking workshops for numerous writing and community groups. As a Distinguished Toastmaster, Doreen’s speaking abilities have dazzled audiences on Celebrity Cruise Lines and in other forums.
Doreen loves making contact with readers and fellow writers and hopes you will enjoy perusing her wide variety of posts. Drop by her Twitter and don’t forget to check out her Chocolatour website.

Okay, now it’s my turn:
Author Heather Grace Stewart

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1) What am I working on?

I am excited to say that I’m currently “in final edits” on my adult fiction/women’s fiction novel, Strangely, Incredibly Good, with my publisher Morning Rain Publishing. Gosh, I love being able to say that! I got the best Christmas gift ever when they sent me a publishing contract for Strangely, Incredibly Good on December 23rd, 2013! I’m also thrilled that we haven’t revised much from my original manuscript. We’re just looking to clean it up and make it shine now. It is due to be launched on June 5, 2014.

When I’m not working on edits for that book, I’m coming up with the plot for my next book. I can’t say much about that. You’ll just have to wait. :D

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

 I hope that people will say it has more humour than most other women’s fiction novels. I also hope they find it’s more of an escape. It’s about a woman who starts an exercise routine and discovers a genie in her Wii machine! It’s definitely fanciful, but that’s what I set out to do. I wanted it to be based in modern reality, but allow for the characters to escape that reality – and take the reader along with them on that fanciful journey. It’s more adventure packed than some other books that are considered women’s fiction, I think, but then, I didn’t write it specifically for women  – I wrote it for myself, and my friends and family, with hopes that many people from diverse backgrounds, men and women, would pick it up and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

3) Why do I write what I do?


I write to entertain myself, first and foremost. It’s pure entertainment for me. When I’m writing a longer work of fiction like this, I’ve noticed the TV remains off for several weeks at a time, or, only one or two shows pull me in a couple times a week (I do need to watch some times to recharge my batteries after writing all day)!

The topics I choose to write about – in my poetry and in fiction like Strangely, Incredibly Good - are all themes I feel need more discourse in our society. I want to get people thinking and talking about these themes. Sometimes, I just want to poke fun of our society and get us all laughing at ourselves. Other times, I’m more direct, and I’m trying to incite change. This novel was really meant as an escape for the reader, and as a form of entertainment, but there are some themes and sub-themes in there I hope get dissected to pieces in Book Clubs across Canada and beyond. As long as you have some wine in hand and don’t take my book too seriously! The last thing I want is to cause cat fights at Book Clubs!

Side note: My main character’s name is Cat. This could get interesting. We could actually call debates over that character – debates over her actions and what they mean – Cat Fights.

See? I’m having waaaaay too much fun with this book. I may never watch The Bachelor again!

4) How does your writing process work?

The only hard and fast rule I have is to write something every day. If I’ve got a lot of marketing to do, or maybe I’m prepping a writing workshop like the one I just did at Queen’s University, I still set aside half an hour every day to write creatively. I don’t always like what I wrote, but I save it in a file, and work on it the next day, and the day after that.

When I was working on this novel, I got to my desk every morning at 7:30 a.m. and wrote until noon. That’s a little trick I learned when I read that Hemingway did that. Then he went fishing every day at noon. I choose to have lunch, Tweet, check Facebook, do yoga, take a walk, read, or do laundry! Then I get back to other work tasks.

The first week or so of writing Strangely, Incredibly Good, I just wrote. I didn’t edit at all. I tried to not even edit my sentences as I put them down, let alone re-read what I wrote and edit that paragraph or paragraphs. I just wrote. I had an idea, and I saw the beginning, so I wrote that. And then I kept going.

When I got to about 5,000 words, I took a look at what I had, and started plotting. I had cue cards, and a filing system, and filed items on plot, main characters, sub characters, etc. I plotted out how the story was going to end, but I did so in a vague way. My story wasn’t solidified yet. I still had to write and find out what was going to happen.

So, I got back to writing, and worked at a slow but steady pace. Some days I put down 1,000 words; other days, more like 1500. I never wrote beyond that because I never wanted my writing to sound tired.

Once I was finished my book, I spent weeks going over it and massaging it for language, plot development, and character development. Then I wrote up my query letter and started looking for a publisher. This is the first time I’ve found a publisher for my work this quickly. I sent my letters out in early November, and received this request for publication just before Christmas. It doesn’t usually happen like that, trust me. But it does feel meant to be.

This is one experience where I can say I’ve definitely enjoyed the journey, the writing, as much as the destination of getting published.

PLEASE visit the following three writers, who will be posting their answers to these questions next week, Monday, March 31, 2014. Not only are they talented writers, they have become dear friends. I feel blessed that they have become part of my life.

Hesch Profile

Joseph Hesch is a writer and poet who lives near Albany, New York. Many of his poems and stories are inspired by the spirit and history his 350-year-old hometown. But often, they capture the observations and feelings of a man who began to create verse and stories in middle age. His work has been published by numerous U.S. literary journals, as well as in anthologies such as Petrichor Rising, a worldwide collaboration with a small group of friends brought together on Twitter. Joe posts many poems and in-progress short stories on his blog, A Thing for Words A founding staff member with the dVerse Poets Pub community, and now a contributor to the Bardo Group, Joe has been named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.”

Please drop by his Twitter timeline and his Facebook page.

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Author Elisa Lorello was born and raised on Long Island, the youngest of seven children. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and eventually launched a career teaching rhetoric and composition. Elisa spent six years in North Carolina, where she split her time between teaching writing to university students and publishing her own work. She has since returned home to the Northeast.

Elisa is the author of Kindle bestselling novels Faking It and Ordinary World, Why I Love Singlehood (co-authored with Sarah Girrell), and Adulation. Faking It, translated in German as Vorgetäuscht, also spent three consecutive weeks at #1 on the German Kindle Bestseller List.

When not writing, Elisa is an unapologetic Duran Duran fan, Pop-Tart enthusiast, walker, and coffee shop patron, and she can sing two-part harmony.

After you visit her awesome website, please visit her on Twitter and drop by her  Facebook Page.

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Author Arianna Merritt, M.Ed, is a Canadian Psychotherapist (registration in progress), Author of ‘Stand Tall & Speak from the Heart: How to Find Your Way’ and the Founder of
Arianna’s Random Thoughts. The focus of her work is centred around issues of expressive writing, self-worth, and perseverance. Arianna empowers individuals to reach their full potential through finding their voices and sharing their stories. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her website.

Take Ten Thursday Writing Prompt

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Hello again!
I missed a Thursday while visiting Kingston, Ontario on my Three Spaces book tour, speaking at Queen’s University and visiting two bookstores. But while there, I took some neat shots, and was hoping you’d be inspired to write something looking at them today. I’ll post two.

All you have to do is take ten minutes to get yourself started today. Just ten. You can take more if you have it, but at least get a paragraph down if you don’t have much time, and then write more tomorrow. I’d love a link to your post when it’s ready and will share it.

If you are working on another writing project, I encourage you to stick to it and keep writing! Let me know how it’s going here?

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Do Not Think…Just Write.

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Do not ‘Think’ you have a book inside of you.

Go from ‘Think’ to ‘Do!’ by scribbling or typing some of it down -at least 1,000 words of it- without editing it as you go.

Do it today. Do not tear up what you’ve done, or allow yourself to listen to the voices telling you the premise is silly and that everyone’s going to hate your book. Wake up early and do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day. Then, keep going.

There is a book inside everyone.

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Morning Rain Publishing To Publish My Novel

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I’m thrilled to announce that Canadian publisher Morning Rain Publishing has acquired my novel, ‘Strangely, Incredibly Good,’ for publication.

It has been a long, winding journey to my first novel, and I’m so excited that 14 months of imagining, writing & rewriting has resulted in a publishing deal with a fantastic publishing house.

I hope you wonderful regular readers will follow right along with me, right to the book launch (hopefully in early June 2014 in ebook, and a few months later in print).

Here is Morning Rain Publishing’s official announcement:

Announcing Our Newest Author

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can't wait to create and reveal the cover!

The place-holder for Strangely, Incredibly Good. Can’t wait to create and reveal the cover!

What I’m Up To When I’m Not Tweeting/on Facebook

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-In edits this month and next for my novel Strangely, Incredibly Good (more news on that from my new publisher next week!)

-Negotiating sale of poem ‘The Day You Looked Me In The Eyes’ (Three Spaces) to Oxford U. Press! It will be used for a teacher’s resource guide to teach their UK syllabus; anticipated sales are 500 over 3 years. I’ve worked with Oxford University Press a few times and am so impressed with them.

-Preparing to read from The Groovy Granny and teach Haiku and freestyle poetry to Gr. 3′s at a local school (early February 2014)

-Preparing to speak at Queen’s Media and Journalism Conference March 8-9 2014 – thrilled to be invited back!

-Laundry, laundry, laundry (does it clone itself when I’m not looking?)
-My title is a bit of a joke – I do love Tweeting and Facebook, but in my free time I also love Image
just being with my family, scrapbooking, and doing yoga (I’m writing those last two on purpose so I actually commit some time to them soon!)

Can’t wait to share more about my upcoming novel with all of you with a post from my new publisher – NEXT WEEK! :)

Have a great start to 2014, everyone. Make it count.
Heather

Half Price Signed Paperback Books!

Hey guys!
If you’re starting your holiday shopping for literary lovers on your list, I’ve got a deal for you all this month. Where the Butterflies Go, Leap and Three Spaces will be half-price if you order a signed copy in November 2013 (plus shipping to your city). So that’s $4 for a signed WTBG, $10 for a signed Leap (only 1 copy left! hurry!) $6 for Carry On Dancing, $7 for Three Spaces.  Payment is by Paypal. If you order several copies I can of course give you a great deal on shipping. CONTACT ME writer@hgrace.com to arrange for your signed copy to be shipped to you!

For those who prefer ebooks, it’s also sales time for you. I’ve reduced Where The Butterflies Go, Three Spaces and my screenplay, The Friends I’ve Never Met, to just $1.99 all this month, on all ereaders – Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Sony, Apple iBooks and many more!

Just my way of saying thank you for supporting my writing these past five years – hoping you’ll share the joy by buying someone you love some of my poetry or prose! CHEERS and thanks!ImageHeather

Why I May Move To France

I’m writing a book. My first long work of fiction.  I was supposed to keep that a secret. Oh well.

I’m at 19,500 words and I didn’t tell too many people ~ until now. Unless you count my Facebook Page, but with their wonky news feed that only hits 10 percent of my Likes, who knows who’s reading anything I post there?

Back to keeping it secret. How the heck is a writer ~ someone who tells stories for a living ~ supposed to keep quiet about the process of doing something they’ve always dreamed of doing, always felt a little intimidated to try, always felt they had in them? I can’t keep quiet about this!

I’ve read lots of advice along the lines of: Don’t tell anyone you’re writing a book. Not until you’re done. But what was I supposed to say I was doing at home all day these last few weeks? Dancing to Adam Levine’s Payphone while eating Swedish Berries? That would be truthful, but not the entire story. Everyone knows I spend my days dancing with a Swiffer down the stairs, freelance writing, and writing creative work. I can’t really hide from that. Or the Swiffer people, who keep begging me to shoot a commercial.

The book is a romantic comedy-drama, and I’m hoping it will be an enjoyable beach read for many. Yesterday, I was blushing as I wrote my first (tame) sex scene. I kept thinking: Oy. My parents are going to read this. But, I kept on writing. After all, they did have me. And my sister. I think they know just a little about the subject.

Today, Grandma (“Gram”) got a disco ball in her bedroom. I’m at summer camp, I tell you! I’m having the time of my life, growing with these characters and their experiences.

I’ve found some of my best plotting happens while in the shower. This works great, except that I become so lost in the story, I keep forgetting to shave my armpits. It’s pretty clear that by the time this novel’s done, I’ll have to move to France.

I’ve found some of my best plotting happens while in the shower. This works great, except that I become so lost in the story, I keep forgetting to shave my armpits. It’s pretty clear that by the time this novel’s done, I’ll have to move to France.

So, the secret’s out. I’m writing a book. Maybe I won’t finish it. I still have half way to go on the first draft, and I have all kinds of annoying inconveniences getting in the way of my writing. Paid magazine work. Photography work. Feeding my family. Geesh.

I’m betting I will realize this dream, since now I’ve told everyone I’m doing it, and I simply can’t stand quitting. Maybe it won’t get published; hopefully, some day, it will.

I’ll certainly share the journey with you, and all that I learn along the way.

Thanks for reading!

Eggs wrapped in ham (use an oiled muffin tin!): favourite go-to-dinner item for this author! Thankfully, our daughter loves it. She'll be eating this often in the next few weeks, because Mommy's writing a book!

Eggs wrapped in ham (use an oiled muffin tin!): favourite go-to-dinner item for this author! Thankfully, our daughter loves it. She’ll be eating this often in the next few weeks, because Mommy’s writing a book!

Our Person Is In There, Typing Away…

1 year old Marmie:  You think it’s safe to go out there? That white stuff is truly gone?

15 year old Sam: Our person is in there, typing away all day on that warm flat silver device she won’t let us sit on. I don’t want to leave her side. She seems like she needs me. Especially when she stands up and screams.

12 year old Shadow: But it smells like those feathered creatures with wings out here. I gotta go gotta go gotta go oo boy!

Sam: She’s forgetting to open the big white cold beast to nourish herself. She’s only getting up from that chair and that warm flat silver device to feed us, and to feed these gerbera daisies (I heard her call them that. She loves naming her flowers out loud). No. I’m really worried about her. I won’t leave her side.

Marmie: She’s fine. She had enough energy to yell at me when I ate her swimsuit. She’s fine.

Shadow: You ate her swimsuit?

Marmie: Just the strings. They were so salty! Delish!

Sam: I’m going back inside. I heard her say she’s at 8,300 words, but she’s tired. She needs me.

Shadow: She’d better portray cats in a nice light in this novel. I’m sick of being portrayed as mindless creatures who lick themselves all day long. Hm. I wonder what these daisies taste like?

Marmie: Big furry beast with teeth on a leash!  Run! Run! Run for your life!

Sam: Oh brother.

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