I’m Back!

25 Feb

It’s been a long time.

While I was away, I had a baby–hence the long absence. That first year is a bear.

I haven’t written anything new yet, but I’m slowly getting back in the swing of things and am making a legitimate attempt at resuming business as usual. Attempt is the key word there. Wish me luck.

 

NaNoWriMo 2018

1 Nov

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HAPPY NaNoWriMo 2018.

It’s day 1, and I’m done with today’s count. I didn’t do what I said I would do in October, but this month I get serious. Follow along with my word counts to stay on track with your own WriMo goals. We can encourage one another.

The minimum to reach 50k by the end of the month and “win” NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words a day. My personal goal, as usual, is 2,000 a day. These extra words add up to a lot of cushion for days you just can’t make it happen, and with the Thanksgiving holiday, those kind of days are likely.

Best of luck to all WriMoers! And remember, there’s no limit to how rough a rough draft can be. This month is for telling yourself the story. Next month is for making it presentable. So, just get SOMETHING on the page. Every day. Here we go!

Today: 2,112 words
Total: 11,543

Nova June: Inventor

30 Jul

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Nova June: Inventor©2018: Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Picture Book, STEM/Educational Fiction (3-7 years)

Cover Summary:

Who is Nova June?
A BRIGHT MIND
A DETERMINED SPIRIT
A FEARLESS VISIONARY
She and her pet box turtle, Georgie, are out to change the world one invention at a time.
Nova never stops creating. She knows progress means paying attention to the STEM trail-blazers who came before her. Learning from their mistakes and successes is the way to improve, and she plans to do just that.

 

Vicki Baty Reviews Humans In My House

2 Jul

Humans In My House (series book 1) Chapter 4 illustration, art by Victoria Lyons, 2015

Vicki Baty, Co-Owner of Bookends, a wonderful new and used book store in North Myrtle Beach and book blogger at Beach Walk Book Talks, reviews Humans In My House (series book 1). Review republished with permission. Full article of her other Independence Day reads and recommendations at the link.

 

“Humans In My House by Amanda Marsico – There are terrific self-published books for children as well as adults and this one by Amanda Marsico is very enjoyable.  A cat having been dumped by a human, is living his life in an abandoned house.  He has a lovely time living a life of freedom until he meets some special children who teach him what friends, loyalty, love, and home are all about.  The sequel – Humans In My House and the stars above it continues the adventure.  These are perfect middle school reads.”

 

**Personal note: I make a point not to alter my reviewers’ words or thoughts about my books. However, I don’t want readers to be misinformed. Although the review calls these “middle school reads,” I want you to know that the Humans In My House series is marketed for 8-12 years as this is the industry-standard range used for “middle grade fiction.” 12 years is pushing the age where these books may no longer challenge even if they still amuse. My typical customers range from 7-10 years. Humans book 1 is the easiest of the series, followed by book 3, and book 2 in ascending levels of difficulty.

 

 

Book Review: Acephalous

30 Jun

Nat from Nat’s Book Review Blog Reviews Acephalous

“I liked this book. There were things that I didn’t like too much, the pacing and the main character, mainly. Overall, I really liked the book though. This book is perfect for fans of Holly Black and once I was able to sit and read for a couple hours, I was hooked. I’m looking forward to the sequel and I’ll probably be re-reading this book in the near(ish) future.”

Book Release Updates

27 Jun

Humans In My House 3 will release ON TIME for Kindle, July 1. Amazon price promotions on series e-books 1 and 2 will run July 1-7. Paperback publication will be delayed. I don’t know how long.

Ontogenesis is still ON SCHEDULE for July 6 in Kindle and paperback. There will be no Amazon price promotion for series e-book 1, but it will be available for 75% OFF through www.Smashwords.com for the ENTIRE MONTH OF JULY! Just search Acephalous or Amanda Marsico.

Blogger Spotlight: The Broody Bantam

22 Jun
eggs in the metal basket

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I don’t have any book news or new articles for you today, so I thought I’d share The Broody Bantam, written by a good friend of mine.
For any of you interested in homesteading, goats and chickens, and lots of child shenanigans, this is the place for you. Personally, I’m not a farming kind of girl, but because of the stories here, I get a chance to experience vicariously things I would NEVER know about or do myself. And, after all, writers are always watching other people for knowledge about life they can’t gather on their own.
Hope you enjoy 🙂

~Cover Reveal~ Ontogenesis: Acephalous Book 2

21 Jun

Available on Amazon July 6, 2018.

In book 2 of the Acephalous series, Breena must contend with the results of her previous actions. As book 1 follows her to rock bottom, book 2 sees Bree wake up to reality and make a plan to clean up her messes. It is a long road to Gehenna, and to reconciliation, but she has learned to forge ahead with others’ interests at heart rather than escaping as in the past. While certain conflicts are put to rest, others still seethe beneath the surface. Her new approach to balancing chaos with peace throws tradition to the wind as she takes her role as Queen of Gehenna.

The Acephalous series is a mature young adult (15+) metaphysical drama with an urban fantasy mood. Readers of Cassandra Clare, P.C. and Kristin Cast, and Lauren Kate will enjoy the series.

Look for book 3, the final installment, Winter 2019.

Cover Reveal: Humans In My House and the Animals Beyond It (series book 3)

15 Jun

Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book July 1, 2018.

 

On Composition: Writing for Children

13 Jun

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When E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s WebStuart Little, and a host of books for adults, was asked if he had a hard time shifting between writing for adults and writing for children, he said,

“Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.”

I fully agree. I’m partial to this method as an author of educational fiction. That’s what I like to call my genre, anyway. It’s made up stories with real-life academics. My goal is to sneak some language, some science, some activism, some human decency into an adventure that, to a child, is just fun.

Not every children’s author aims for the educational, but most children’s books come out of the printing press with a moral or a lesson anyway. Books teach children even when they don’t set out to dictate a fully realized lesson–academic or otherwise–because children soak up EVERYTHING.

It is because books create teachable moments that children’s authors, whether aiming to create a book worthy of lesson plans or not, write UP to children. Why not? What’s the purpose in a book that doesn’t challenge its reader in some way?

Don’t say enjoyment, because books that write up and challenge are enjoyable, too. Frankly, books that don’t stretch the mind get boring. Kids are constantly searching for more. More. More. More.

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So, when writing up to a child, are we missing our target audience? Are we mislabeling our age group? Is it bad that a middle-grade fiction book hangs at the upper end of the age range in difficultly while the story and characters are more enticing to the younger end? Is this bad marketing? Do we need to sell our books to the ages who already use the vocabulary it contains? Do we say, “Well, if that book is too easy, they should buy a book for an older child,” and continue on our way?

No to all of those! Because aging up in books in order to get the desired complexity often results in children reading age-inappropriate story-lines simply so they aren’t bored with its delivery. Writing up to children means delivering appropriate challenges.

And to that I say: why wouldn’t you want to teach that eight-year-old something new within an appropriate and amusing context? Make them ask their parents for a definition.  Make them open a dictionary! Make them revisit first grade methods of sounding it out. Make them say the word wrong a few times before someone hears them and corrects them.

How many times have you heard someone mispronounce a complex word? They didn’t say it wrong because they’re unintelligent. They said it oddly because they learned it from READING! Thank a book that challenged that person somewhere along the way!

So go ahead and put that tough word in your kid’s book. Challenge them academically (whether your book is academic or not) by trusting them with a sturdy vocabulary, honest delivery, and creative contexts. They will accept all of it.

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