Blog Tour: Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here


Dear Diary

Today, I have pleasure of hosting Judith Natelli McLaughlin and her new middle-grade novel, Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here, published by BookFish Books! Read on to find out what this adorable book is all about, and to learn about the author and where to find her online. Plus check out my interview with Judith, where she talks about her inspiration for the novel, her favourite (liquid) writing snack, her favourite YA books, and what she’s working on right now! Enjoy!

Back Cover Blurb

Dear Diary,

E. P. Thompson here.

Worst. Year. Ever. First semester in sixth grade, and my best friend Debbie has dropped me because my boobs aren’t big enough. Well, she didn’t say that exactly, but I just know that’s the reason. Then I got paired with Adam Berry, the biggest pencil-protecting geek of the decade, for the never-ending, semester-long math project. And as if that’s not bad enough, Thomas Maxwell, the cutest boy in my grade, only pays attention to me when I’m making a total fool of myself. Ugh.

Weirdest thing of all: it seems Lucas C. Tanner Middle School has a full-on, bona fide thief! Now all the teachers are going crazy and all the students are too, because Mrs. Peule has promised to make this year a living nightmare until the culprit is caught. We have to find out who is ruining sixth grade. Like, now!

Well, at least the criminal activity has taken the focus off my lack of bra ownership. Sigh.

I have to go. I’ll write again soon. Promise.

Emily’s Interview with Judith:

How did you come to write your novel?

I smiled when I read this question because it has an easy answer. I wrote Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here for my daughter Katie.

Dear Diary is a middle grade novel. Is there anything that inspired you to write for that age group?

Yes! As I mentioned above I wrote this book for my daughter Katie. It’s true. I even dedicated the book to her. As the story goes, Katie was in the fifth grade at the time, and she was not an avid reader. She found long chapters intimidating, preferring, instead, short and concise entries. She was having trouble finding what she liked to read and so it began. I decided to write a book for my daughter, one that she would enjoy reading. I would tell a story using short and humorous diary entries. I completed the book when Katie was in the sixth grade. She loved it! And what a thrill for me, despite not being published, her English teacher let her do a book report on Dear Diary. That was an exciting moment for this author.

And, as an aside, it became a McLaughlin tradition. I wrote a novel for each of my daughters when they entered the fifth grade. While the books are not about my girls, they are written to suit their particular tastes and dedicated to them.

Favorite Writing Snack?

Being that I am an early morning writer, I would have to say my favorite writing snack is more of a favorite writing beverage. Coffee. And lots of it!

Are you working on anything new right now?

After hearing such positive feedback from Dear Diary, and especially knowing my fans didn’t want to see my book end, I am currently working on its sequel.

What are some of your favorite MG Books? What about YA?

I really enjoy the Dork Diaries series (and I am thrilled to note that Dear Diary is no rip off, as it was originally written long before DD came out!) But, perhaps, my favorite books are the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read the series, in its entirety, when I was roughly eleven years old. Wilder’s images, and the world she taught be about, remain permanently imbedded in my brain and I am forever grateful for the love of reading and writing they inspired.

YA? The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is categorized as YA and I absolutely loved that novel! While the Holocaust, WWII setting is hauntingly evil, the book was pure joy to read. Even amidst the worst atrocities there is goodness to be found.

What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading two books. One for laughs. It is Food by Jim Gaffigan. The guy is funny and his open discussions about his relationship with food make me laugh out loud. The second book is Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. It is written so beautifully that I find myself re-reading the same sentences just to savor their structure, meaning and beauty.

*******

Thanks for the interview, Judith!!!!

Judith McLaughlin author pic

About The Author

Judith Natelli McLaughlin grew up reading a solid diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and Shel Silverstein. Her mom was famous for telling her, “You are never alone if you have a book,” and her dad, a lover of words, was always reciting poetry to her.

She went on to write, illustrate, and publish her own poetry book,Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies—Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. Her other works include a women’s fiction novel titled This Moment and a soon to be released children’s chapter book, Mackenzie Goode Makes A Mistake—A Big One.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband Brian; her three daughters Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie; and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.

Find Her Online

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3456642.Judith_Natelli_McLaughlin

TWITTER
@judynmclaughlin

https://twitter.com/judynmclaughlin

WEBSITE
http://www.judithnatellimclaughlin.com

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf6oQICghcBz-iHg3f6h3gg/videos

Happy New Year! (plus, “Coming Up”)


Hey All!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time during the Christmas holidays and a wonderful new years! I just realized that I haven’t posted since December 15th (whops! #onholiday), so I thought I’d drop in and give you a quick update on what’s coming up.

  1. My Painted Veil saga. It’ll come. Right now I’m busy with getting my novel finished up for submission, plus working on some other work-related projects. Plus I started my ESL Teacher’s Certificate program online! So, it’s busy, but I’ll try to get the story together, in case anyone was reading.
  2. More cover reveals, book reviews, book tours. I’m on several street teams, so you’ll hear more from me on the YA/NA/Middle-grade book promotion circuit in the new year.
  3. More themed weddings. You liked em’, so you’ll get more!
I’ll also just try to log in and post about life every now and then. Right now life is busy with grad school application essays, career development, etc., but I always love sharing on here. Speaking of developments; this February, I will officially graduate from my BA in English!!! I’m so excited. And I believe I have an anniversary coming up. I’ve been blogging for three years this month! Time’s flown (must have been having fun…)
Until next time!
xo, Em

Cover Reveal: Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here


Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Judith Natelli McLaughlin and revealing the cover for her middle grade novel, Dear Diary, E.P. Thompson Here !!!

 

Dear Diary

 

Judith McLaughlin author pic

About the book:

Dear Diary,

E. P. Thompson here.

Worst. Year. Ever. First semester in sixth grade, and my best friend Debbie has dropped me because my boobs aren’t big enough. Well, she didn’t say that exactly, but I just know that’s the reason. Then I got paired with Adam Berry, the biggest pencil-protecting geek of the decade, for the never-ending, semester-long math project. And as if that’s not bad enough, Thomas Maxwell, the cutest boy in my grade, only pays attention to me when I’m making a total fool of myself.

Weirdest thing of all: it seems Lucas C. Tanner Middle School has a full-on, bona fide thief! Now all the teachers are going crazy and all the students are too, because Mrs. Peule has promised to make this year a living nightmare until the culprit is caught. We have to find out who is ruining sixth grade. Like, now!

Well, at least the criminal activity has taken the focus off my lack of bra ownership. Sigh.

I have to go. I’ll write again soon. Promise.

About the Author:

Judith Natelli McLaughlin grew up reading a solid diet of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Louisa May Alcott, and Shel Silverstein. Her mom was famous for telling her, “You are never alone if you have a book,” and her dad, a lover of words, was always reciting poetry to her.

She went on to write, illustrate, and publish her own poetry book,Poems on Fruits and Odes to Veggies—Where Healthy Eating Starts With a Poem. Her other works include a women’s fiction novel titled This Moment and a soon to be released children’s chapter book, Mackenzie Goode Makes A Mistake—A Big One.

She lives in New Jersey with her husband Brian; her three daughters Katie, Lindsay, and Maggie; and her faithful writing companion, a Westie named Duke.

 

 

GOODREADS
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3456642.Judith_Natelli_McLaughlin

TWITTER
@judynmclaughlin

https://twitter.com/judynmclaughlin

WEBSITE
http://www.judithnatellimclaughlin.com

YOUTUBE
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf6oQICghcBz-iHg3f6h3gg/videos

How to Promote Your Indie Review Books


Hi All!

As many of you know, I’ve been reviewing books pretty much since this blog started almost three (!!!!!!!) years ago. It’s something I love doing, and I’ve also loved getting to connect with so many wonderful authors, both indie and traditionally published. Beyond that, I’ve loved helping out the book community as a whole, and the indie book community, particularly. So many of these books are just as creative and engrossing as their traditionally published counterparts, but don’t get as much promotion, since the authors don’t have a complete marketing team at their disposal. As bloggers, we’re a powerful part of the indie book promotion community, and in order to maximize these awesome books’ sales trajectory-and promote our own reviews- we need to do more than just write the book review.

Here’s some ideas to help promote your fav indie books further:

  1. Use Complimentary Promotion. Make an event of your book review by posting complimentary promotion in the days before or after your review, preferably afterwards. Complimentary promotion includes excerpts, sequel previews or sneak peaks, or interviews. I really like using interviews. My philosophy on this (totally unscientific), is that after you intrigue the reader with your review, you follow up with something about the author. The reader then thinks: “Now that I know why the author wrote the book, I want to actually read what they wrote.” That’s my philosophy, anyways.
  2. Engage in Creative Fan Cultures. What does HarperTeen (one of my favourite traditional publishers) have that indie authors don’t? One answer: EpicReads!!! Don’t know what it is? It’s an awesome (in the true sense of the word), online destination for YA book lovers. It has quizzes, games, contest, author Q&As, and much more. More important than its overall awesomeness, is that it’s a form of participatory fan culture (that’s the four-year degree talking, unfortunately :)). Participatory fan cultures involve fans engaging with media and with one another, in activities that involve their favourite books, films, or television shows. Are you a fan of an indie book? Start a fan culture! Make a book trailer on YouTube, draw fan art and post it, write fan fic. You might meet some fellow fans, plus it gets the word-of-mouth out.
  3. Circulate. Part of the reason that some indie books may not get a large following very fast, is circulation problems. Print copes may be difficult to acquire, and if readers don’t have the technology to read the ebook versions, chances are they won’t be buying them. One way to circulate these books to maximize their exposure, is to donate your print review copy to your local library. Now, I understand if you don’t want to give away your copy because you love it so much (I’m with you), but if you give it to the library, then you can not only check it out, but others will benefit from it as well. Just think about the transmission once people get to read it! They’ll write their own reviews, buy the author’s other books off of the internet, Tweet it out, tell their friends. You can even help the exposure along by, ahem, tweaking the library’s book display and fixing it in a prize, end-of-the-shelf spot. Just be sure to clear it with the author or publisher first if you’re donating an ARC.
Do you have any tips for promoting indie books? Let me know in the comments below!