Category Archives: Joan Leotta

Look for my Ad!

Did you catch my ad on WOW? Or someplace else? If you purchase a copy of any one of my picture books this month, please tell me where you found out about the book, send me a copy of your receipt and I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the other four (my choice of book) in paper or eform (kindle, bn, other) according to the format you purchased.

email me at: joanleotta@atmc.net with your receipt!

 

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Fiona McVie Interviewed Me

Fiona McVie in the UK interviewed me and that interview is live today!
Click on the link to connect.
whoosh_cover_2500

Picture Book by Joan Leotta

Joan in Print 2015– partial notation

Regular Writing
Myrtle Beach Sun News–series of articles about food and a number of cookbook reviews
Righter Publications–Poems in each monthly edition
Poems accepted this year in a number of other publications online and in print, including a Quiet Courage and Silver Birch Press–for complete list see Hats off in NCWN website
Essays accepted this year–Eastern Iowa Review and more
Books Out this Year
Secrets of the Heart--Desert Breeze
Simply a Smile–Cane Hollow Press
Whoosh! Thea Q

Picture Book  by Joan Leotta

Picture Book
by Joan Leotta

Last book in Legacy of Honor Series

Last book in Legacy of Honor Series

Collection of short stories by Joan Leotta

Collection of short stories by Joan Leotta

Meet Cheryle Williams; How Authors Can Establish a Presence on Goodreads

2-Cheryl July 2015 photo P3-544aaCheryl had this to say:

HAVING A PRESENCE ON GOODREADS – HOW TO BEGIN
By Cheryle Williams
Many thanks to Joan for inviting me to speak on her blog today. Joan asked me to talk on how I set up the Goodreads discussion page for Desert Breeze Publishing authors. Bottom line, several months ago I saw a void and floated the suggestion that we needed to have a corporate presence on Goodreads. Fellow authors expressed interest, so I started to play at the Goodreads site just to show it could be done. It was surprisingly easy to set up.
First off, why Goodreads? It’s the world’s largest site for readers showcasing what they read and making book recommendations. It currently has more than twenty million members. It’s a continuous party atmosphere as you list the books you read, rate them, write reviews and recommend them to others. You can friend other authors and ask them questions about their works. As you buy a new book at Amazon or an audiobook on Audible.com, Goodreads offers the option of posting news of your sale on Facebook, so all your FB friends can marvel at your good taste and intelligence. (Or you can turn down that option if you don’t want them to know.)
If reading is your thing, then this is the site to play on. For authors, it’s a chance to showcase yourself as part of a publishing community. That’s why I started the discussion group for Desert Breeze authors. I saw that other small press publishers had a Goodreads group. For new authors who don’t know which publisher to submit their works to, searching the different publishing sites listed on Goodreads is a good way to find a publisher. An active group shows that the members are committed to promoting their brand. It shows a healthy publishing company. DB authors are proud of the DB catalogue and we’re always ready to publicize our accomplishments.
To start a group, go to Goodreads.com and either create an account or sign in with Facebook. Click on ‘Groups’ on the toolbar, then click on ‘Create a Group’. It’s a breeze after that. You’ll make a decision whether you want the group to be public or private. I chose to make the Desert Breeze group open to all, because fans will join to keep up to date with our publishing company. For ‘Rules’, I listed only one: Be kind and supportive of your fellow authors.
As moderator, I went to Bookshelf on the Goodreads DB home page and began typing in the names of my fellow DB authors. As their titles popped up from Amazon.com (Amazon owns Goodreads), I added all their DB titles with cover, title, and link back to Amazon to buy. Forty-four authors have 228 titles listed so far. Then I went on the DB Yahoo group and invited authors to join, advising them their books were already uploaded. This became a continuous process as more authors joined and I uploaded more titles. Authors can add their own books to the Bookshelf, but many authors asked me to please add them, and I was happy to do it.
The purpose of this activity is to create awareness of Desert Breeze as a company and build interest and loyalty among readers, hopefully leading to increased sales. I also added six discussion threads that we have kept going.
– Book Launch News, Awards, Signed a Contract, General News. (This thread is tagged to always stay in the top position.)
– Blogging or Guest-Blogging? Post link here.
– Websites of our Authors.
– Our Reviews for Desert Breeze Titles.
– What is Your Current WIP, DB Authors?
– Post Your Promotional Appearances Here.
Individual authors can add additional topics as needed. As comments are added, an email indicating new activity in your group appears in your Yahoo inbox, if you so wish, and the activity is reflected on the Goodreads Home Page. The site also has options for posting photos, videos, adding a poll, and sending an email message to all members.
Here’s the link to the Desert Breeze Goodreads page. Hold down the Control key and click on: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/163604-desert-breeze-publishing
best,
Cheryle Williams, DB author of Strangers in the Province of Joy, YA contemporary (Sept 11, 2015) and Stairway to Heaven, YA angel paranormal (Sept. 2014)
http://www.cherylewilliams.net
https://www.facebook.com/cheryl.e.williams.5
cherylewilliams205@yahoo.com

Cheryle is a fellow Desert Breeze author. She established the Goodreads site for Desrt Breeze authors. Here is a line on her latest creation.
1-StrangersInTheProvinceOfJoyCoverArt300x300icon(1)

Here is the blurb about the book with that lovely cover!
Short blurb:
In Strangers in the Province of Joy, a YA contemporary by Cheryle Williams, two high school juniors Max and Azar, both age seventeen, find that love is hard enough without adding stress, school and family issues to the mix. The title comes from a prayer card Azar treasures with the phrase, “Let us not be strangers in the province of joy.” Can Azar and Max work through all trying obstacles and forge ahead with peace and confidence into their future? The heat level is sweet. This is a clean read.

Thank you Cheryle, for sharing your knowledge with us.

Form and Technique

Warning–this is a longish entry

Find the Right Form, Then Make it Look Easy with your Technique

That’s really what good writing and good performing are all about. Finding the right form for the expression of your ideas and then making it as if it were completed with ease.

This is how I often feel--life is like meeting waves.

This is how I often feel–life is like meeting waves.

Form
In performance the right form can mean, using puppets, props, degree of audience involvement, length of performance, using the fourth wall, interacting with the audience, live, film, music, and more. In writing form runs the gamut from poem to flash fiction to short stories, novels, essays , creative non-fiction, standard non-fiction and then there is the whole genre thing—literary, mystery, humor, and more. Often, the creative thought chooses its own form somewhat like the Harry Potter concept of the wand choosing the wizard.

Which brings me to what I am going to share with you today. I am not sharing the work itself because it will be produced in February but has not yet been published.

The name of the work, now a ten-minute play, is “Pinpoint Wisdom” It first saw the light of page about five years ago as a short story. I wrote it as a challenge to myself, to those in the creative world who were slamming my entries to various short story contests, rejecting them out of hand because they were not “literary” fiction. I decided to try my pen in this genre. The saying/ question, “How many angels are on the head of a pin?” came to mind. I like this because it seems deep but in working out my tale

The story came into being as a dialogue heavy work in which I determine that the wrong question is being asked by th echaracters. My critique group liked it. Using their comments, I polished my story and sent it off, waiting to be embraced by the literary journal world. A few “reading fees” later, I determined that my cost was exceeding any benefit of seeing the tale published and put the story away for a while.

Various contests challenged me to remake it,–as an all-dialogue short, a poem, and more.. Still failed. Finally I saw the Ft. Point Channel contest. 10-minute play involving dance.
Hmmm, my characters dance in the story. I groaned. The discipline of play writing is not for the lazy or faint of heart. Because I ‘m a performer, I can shift focus to staging easily. But when I do it for myself, I don’t have to meet the conventions of stage formatting which is a pain in the neck to write for those not used to it.

Sigh. I researched the form, and doubled down . Hours later it was done—first draft that is. Then I polished and polished again. At last, I sent it in. Then, I forgot about it.

Amazement! My play was accepted and will now be produced! The right format for this thought was stage. But it took me five years to find the right format.

Technique
And in shaping it, each time I had to submit a program that was well crafted enough for technique to promote the tale.. Technique should never be in the way/ It should be your box of tools. The house or finished piece should be smooth and lovely. All of those times you hit your finger with the hammer, that’s all forgotten,. The crooked nails you had to pull out and replace, the changes of size, color, etc—none of that should show in the finished product. Of course you have to know what kind of house (format) you are building. Each time I switched, I had to re-think technique, so the constant reshaping of my work was a graduate course in creative writing.
Persistence, attention to craft and to the demands of each form. Now my work will live in a different way, as a play! My first. A director and actors will interpret my work for an audience. As a performer, it makes me rethink how I shape and present the words of others when I am on stage. Humbling. Exciting!

So, don’t give up on a piece that is languishing in your computer. Maybe it should be presented in another form. Don’t skimp on the craft of that other form and format. No matter what, rethinking and reshaping will give your mind a creative boost.

See below for the playbill with my name in it as playwright—Mine is one of six ten-minute plays being offered on the Valentine’s weekend in Boston.

So, I just found the playbill in my email(draft). So exciting!
I cannot thank Ft. Point Theatre Channel enough for selecting my show, Pinpoint Wisdom!.
The play is being produced on Feb 13 and 14, contact for tickets(free) is below)
https://www.facebook.com/events/328361430684525/ is the FB page to find out more about everything…

Tickets
Tickets for Channel/Dance are free. You can reserve a seat below or just show up and take a seat until we are full! Half the seats will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.
FORTPOINTTHEATRECHANNEL.ORG

I’m a Guest!!! Rainy Day Party

Dear readers,

Elaine Stock is hosting me today, so please hop over to her blog

The direct link is: http://bit.ly/1wiMnL7

to find out what I have to share with you about writing.
So, despite the rain today I am having a party, “meeting” new folks over there.
There is a book giveaway on the site for those of you who want more of my work.

Where do you submit?

How do you find the sites?

Many ask me this. I spend a lot of time looking at magazines, reading, and reading newsletters that list magazines that have calls for work.

Study

I study the submission guidelines and often review the bio of the judge in contests. If the work of the judge is fabulist and I am a realist, then….. chances are slim I will be chosen.

Respect

Never submit to a journal you do not respect. Why would you want your work there? A woman in my poetry group once noted I had published a short story in a journal that had rejected her poetry. “My work is so much better than what they use,” she told me. “I was very insulted when they rejected my poems.” Aside from the fact that she managed to insult me while also “dissing” the publication, she was wrong on many levels. Her work is very traditional and very “literary”. This magazine is more of a populist in its selection of pieces to publish. Its not a matter of “good” or “bad” but of different styles.  However if you do not respect the style the editors chose to print, why would you submit. You will not win them over to your more literary approach and vice versa. I don’t expect the Literary mags to publish my genre works. So, take a breath, study, read, and submit–to journals you respect