Monthly Archives: July 2012

Friday PS

If you want a copy of the MP3 file with my WHQR interview, please email me at


Friday-Interviews for Authors

So, you have written a book. Now you want to be interviewed so that you will get publicity for your book.

There are several things you need to do in order to obtain that interview.

Write a press release

Identify the appropriate print, TV and radio media to receive your press release

Send the press release

Follow up with a phone call.

Follow that up with a card and another copy of the press release and offer of a review copy. 

If you still have not heard, then follow up with another call,

You can hire a professional to do all of this for you, but in my view unless you are famous already or have an absolutely dynamite book topic on a hot issue, you will receive the same number of acceptances as if the pro had sent out your material.

Warning–it is a lot of work and if you do not have the time or inclination to do this work, then do hire a specialist.

Then it is time to give the interview; Prepare, present and take a deep breath. Most interviewers are people who love the arts and will be nice to you. No need to fear.

Oh, you say (as my interviewer did today, you will do fine, Joan. You are a professional performer. But even though I was interviewing with possibly the nicest interviewer int eh world, Jemila Ericson of NPR in Wilmington , NC, I managed to flub the title of the collection of short stories (Tales Through Time, Women of the South) –one of those stories was the inspiration for the book I was promoting–Giulia Goes to War, a novel about a young girl who leaves home in small town PA to work in the shipyards of Wimington during World War II. Jemila tried to fix it, but it is only testament to no matter how well you can handle and audience when on stage as performer, when you are being interviewed, all bets are off! Fortunately most people will not remember the flub,(I hope!)

No need to dwell on it–if it happens to you, just go on to the next interview.

More detail on how to write a press release and the theory of how to be interviewed in future posts.


Recipe for Success–Food Day Sweet Potato Pie

In my new attempt to add value with my posts, I am using Wednesday to deliver something on food.

Today is my day for substitution–sweet potatoes for the Pumpkin in my sister-in-law’s pumpkin pie recipe. Bake the sweet potato, peel and mash and substitute and equal amount. My sister in law has not done this as far as I know. Her recipe is the best pumpkin pie ever and makes a great sweet potato pie too. Sweet potatoes are a super food and grow all around me here in North Carolina. Try and enjoy

Cathy’s Fresh Pumpkin Pie


One 9-inch pie crust (home made or bought) unbaked

1 ½ cups mashed cooked pumpkin

¾ c sugar

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

3 slightly beaten eggs

1 ¼ cups milk

1 6oz can of evaporated milk


Thoroughly combine the pumpkin and the salt, sugar, and spices. Blend in the eggs and both the fresh and evaporated milks. Pour into the unbaked pastry shell. Bake at 50 minutes at 400 degrees or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Recipe for Success

Sunday and Monday I would like to talk about parenting, family and relationships. Wednesday, a recipe for food and Friday something to help those out there who are fellow writers.

Hope I can keep up with this schedule!

Today’s topic is about creativity. How to foster and how not to foster creativity.

Someone I know who volunteers in church nurseries all the time. She notes that there are people who do not discipline their own children and do not even correct the run-all-over and not care-what -I do behavior of other children in small groups. A teacher might sympathize. Children who are not required to stand in line quietly, not bother their peers, use indoor voices, etc. etc. etc.

My volunteer informant who was simply letting off steam, then noted that these same people who do not see any need to seek respectful behavior from the children, change completely during the craft time. My informant has termed them: “Craft Nazis”.

This is not school, mind you. These are simple crafts where a child might want to try something different. Instead of developing a picture or folding and pasting according to what is in the leader’s head, the child feels safe enough to try another approach to the problem. In working with children at craft exercises after storytimes, I have learned a lot by asking a child why he or she chose a certain way to draw or work on a problem. My own children got blank paper and drawing pencils each year to make their own patterns and pictures. A child’s mind should be gently directed, not forced  into a set mold. Guiding is not pushing,

My friend notes that such pasting, cutting, drawing out side of the lines is “jumped on”, and corrected by the same adults who saw no problem with letting these children run wild in play.

Rules are to teach self-discipline and respect for others folks– crafts are creative expression. It does not matter where they put the bird’s wing. Perhaps they have a different idea about wings that we could all learn from. Perhaps the child would like to make a tree red because red is his or her favorite color.Creativity is about finding yourself . Behavior is about learning to respect the rights of others. There is no need for harsh discipline, just a few simple words of correction and distraction to a different task. Such gentle guidance will mold behavior just as acceptance of a different approach in art will allow the child to develop at his or her own pace and perhaps teach us all something new.

Happy Fourth of July

Wednesday July 4 and my book has been on sale at Amazon for four days!!!!!!!! So exciting!

Spent this morning in the kitchen and as soon as I stepped into the other room to work on the computer (and play words with friends!) the oven must have punked out–when I returned to take the pie out of the oven, ARGGGGGGGG!

So, now I have to guess how much more it needs to bake in order to be done. Thank goodness pie is more forgiving than cake on this score.

Writing is like that too–sometimes we are going along just gret and then discover we have been missing something essential–like the one thing needed to bring the book/story/poem to fruition (no puns from my peach pie intended).

More lessons for writing from my day–a turtle laid a nest last night on the beach. She worked hard and then had to leave her babies out in the world on their own–like our books.

Only instead of turtle volunteers we have marketing.

Have a Happy Fourth!