Look What I Found!

I clicked on one of my google ads above and came up with this neat comparison shopping link:

Campusi. (I must admit that I thought it might have been a porn site, but they don't call me Curious Dee for nothing... LOL)

On your next online shopping spree. After you've checked out a few review sites and feel that you know what you want to read, give Campusi a whirl for the best price.

Compare Book Prices - Pay less! Compare 100 bookstores in seconds. Any New, used. Coupon too. www.campusi.com

Have a great night!

Dee has officially left the building!

AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS ACKERMAN

Today BookZone welcomes Chris Ackerman the author of Poogle the Discoverer. Chris was gracious enough to answer a few interview questions that I posed to him so sit back, relax and get to know Chris Ackerman 

Q: Tell us a bit about Chris Ackerman, the person and Chris Ackerman the author.

A: Well, let's see ... it's interesting that you phrase the question that way because for a long time it actually seemed like the person and the author were two distinct components. Aside from a couple minor deviations in the path, I pretty much took the traditional course of pursuing education and then employment but the author I always suppressed kept struggling to emerge. I remember reading a few novels and, with all the arrogance of youth, scoffing and telling myself I could write one far better. Nothing materialized in spite of a couple half-hearted attempts during university, so I let it go. Then one freezing cold, lonely, dark, and jet-lagged night while on law school exchange in Copenhagen, the author burst forward and I took my first real shot at writing something for a wide audience.

Since then, Chris Ackerman the person has abandoned the traditional approach to earning a living and become indistinguishable from Chris Ackerman the author. At least in my own eyes!

Q: Tell us about Poogle the Discoverer.

A: It's actually pretty strange how Poogle came to be. I had struggled with writing a full length novel and decided it would be a good idea to start with something of a little more modest length and complexity. As a kid I was an avid reader and (still to this day) big fan of cartoons so the natural course seemed to be to create characters and a world that reflected that ... it would be a good trial run. A lot of the characters are amalgams of people I know, or knew, especially from that time in Denmark studying law.

Poogle is a platypus, an animal I always thought to be one of the most unique in the world and if you've ever seen pictures of baby ones you'll see why I figured it to be perfect for the story. It is an action/adventure tale with a ton of twists and turns that each reveal a little more of a tragic history the characters all have in common.

The more I wrote the more into the story I got and the more I strove to emulate the quality of the books and movies that really stood out for me: Charlotte's Web, Bambi, The Lion King, The Bunjee Venture ... I wanted to create characters that kids could really identify with, flaws and all.

I also think it's important that with all the laughs and fun, the story actually offers something more, something uplifting, some lessons ... but without being preachy about it.

Q: You mentioned that it is being used at a local school as part of their literacy program. How did that come about?

A: Oh, it was pretty perfect timing that a close friend of mine from university was a substitute teacher at this school when a large influx of government funding allowed it to add several new programs. He was offered the position of creating a curriculum and heading up a literacy program for students in grades 3-6 who were either struggling or disinterested. He had read Poogle and mentioned it to his principal. He agreed it would be perfect for the program and subsequently purchased a classroom set for the program.

I was also invited in to meet the students and talk a little bit about the book, its creation, the characters ... and the sequel! It was more than encouraging to see a room full of kids who were that into the book.

Q: What did you find to be the most challenging aspect of being a self-published author?

A: By far the most challenging part is making people aware that the book exists. I have complete confidence that Poogle is a book anyone would thoroughly enjoy reading, the difficulty is being the little guy trying to promote a book in a market where the competition is so well
bankrolled!

Q: What do you know about the process that you wished you'd known before?

A: I was pretty realistic about it from the beginning, but I think I probably could have started networking and researching some of the avenues for advertising and so on, a little earlier. Getting reviews, that type of thing. I felt it necessary to have a tangible product, the actual printed, bound and illustrated book, in hand before pursuing or looking into those things.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring children's author?

A: Be patient, and don't expect to quit your day job right away! Sales are great and help offset the out of pocket expenses, but if you don't value hearing glowing reviews and getting positive feedback more then you will be disappointed.

Q: What do you forsee in your writing future?

A: I am currently finishing that elusive first full length novel for an adult audience and have mapped out the sequel for Poogle the Discoverer...should be done by the fall, right around the time Disney will decide to make Poogle into an animated feature. See, I can advise aspiring writers to be realistic and grounded, but anyone who writes fiction has to have one foot in fantasy land!

-------

D.S. White writes creative non-fiction, and has just completed her first blook (book based on a blog). She is the founder of Dee411 a website with links to articles and resources for victims of abuse and rape and resources for sufferers of bipolar disorder. She has lived in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Maryland, New York and now resides in Pennsylvania. Dee receives email at dee411 (at) gmail.com

No More Slumlord

Hi folks,

I've been a bit of a slumlord to my previous tenants, not introducing them or anything, but I'm making a change in my life... LOL. (I borrowed that phrase from one of my daughter's best friends).

Meet this week's tenant: Winsome Gunning Art Walk

She is an artist and I copied this description from her "about me" section:

"The paintings I produce are about working from the creative spirit within. At different times themes emerge which I feel drawn to develop but always my work is about discovering this spirit and listening to its promptings. It is a daily walk to keep myself clear of the blocks which stop me connecting to this creative flow."

Now y'all show Winsome how we do around here. Hop on over to the sidebar, click on her link and don't forget to say hi and that your found her site by way of Read Zone!

Peace,
Dee

Review: The Life of Teenagers Ain't No Joke!

Living a Courageous Childhood, In An Unforgiving World by Keith G. Wright
Publisher: Ain't No Joke Books, Inc.
Category: Self-Help
Reviewed by D.S. White for Active Christian Media


"No Joke Teen Truth #325: The smartest teenagers have already figured out that anything that can happen to someone else, can also happen to them. If someone else makes a decision that leads to dangerous consequences, then surely, by making that same decision, it will lead you to danger as well. There are no exemptions for the many teens that believe that it won't happen to them." - Pg 57

"No Joke Teen Truth #253: The most successful teenagers have figured out that they were born to be great people, that they were born to make history, and that they were born to leave a legacy of their remarkable lives to the world." - Pg 38

About the Book:
The above quotes are two of the many gems to be found in the teen version of the "Ain't No Joke" book series. Throughout the book the author's pride in his mother and sincere heart for teenagers resounds loudly.

The author touches on several issues that if translated into a letter, would probably read as follows:
Dear Teen,

Many don't expect much of you, but I know they're wrong. I believe that it is because society expects so little of you, that you give little. In this book, I turn that all around. I expect a lot of you and I know you can do it! No matter what society says, you can achieve great things!

You were born with everything you will ever need to fulfill your dream already deposited inside of you. However, this does not mean that it will be accomplished without input on your behalf.
  • Study - a must
  • Application of what you learn - a must
  • Reading - a must
  • Being open minded - a must
  • A Spiritual component - a must

Will it be easy? I won't lie to you. No it won't, but it will be easier for you, than it was for the people in history who paved the way for you through their struggles. Your possibilities are endless and the only one who will be able to stop you--is you!

So let's get started!

Sincerely,
The Author


About the Author:

Born in the south, raised in the north, Keith G. Wright is the son, and only child, to a single mother, educator, and a truly inspirational woman, Evelyn Wright. From childhood, he has gained a real sense of the immeasurable value of women, an appreciation of the importance of our past, and a love for all people of all colors and backgrounds.

Keith G. Wright is the founder and president of Beyond Color Foundation, an organization devoted to racial harmony, multicultural unity, and "empowering everyday people to live famous lives."

As a young and ambitious entrepreneur, by the age of 30, Keith owned and operated a multimillion dollar real estate and business enterprise. He went bankrupt by the age of 35. He states, "Lost it all?... I know how it feels. It’s a lonely, isolating place at the bottom. Yet, the experience and knowledge gained are deeply liberating. I know who I am now, and I know where my power resides..."

Key Positives:

  • Highly inspirational
  • Attempts to raise the bar of expectations towards teenagers
  • Pinpoints the importance of teenagers in society
  • Pinpoints the importance of choices
  • Pinpoints the importance of education
  • Author's genuine caring for teenagers
  • Good dialogue starter for parents of teens

Key Negatives:

  • Point-of-view shifts in book
  • Absence of positive case studies to balance out the negative ones

Rating:

4.5 out of 5
stars for Inspiration, high expectations and author initiative, however I would have liked to see a few practical steps to facilitate practice of the teen truths. Maybe a workbook is in order?

Recommendation:

I doubt that teens of their own volition would purchase this book to read. However, this book would be a great tool for parents, youth counselors and youth organizations to utilize to get dialogue flowing. Great start Mr. Wright!

Summer Book Scavenger Hunt!

Hi Folks,

Have I got a gift for you! A chance to test your Internet savvy and win some books as well.

Fellow author, Trista Russell of EbonyAuthors.com sponsors three separate scavenger hunts. Forty authors, forty books and three chances to win!

The only stipulation, you must join her mailing list in order to participate. So hurry up and join and happy hunting to ya!

Peace,
Dee


Summer Book Scavenger Hunts

The scavenger hunts will be held on:

July 12th, August 16th, and September 13th

Participants will search the Internet to answer the 20 questions that will be listed below (websites will be provided with the questions) on July 12th and also sent via e-mail in the Ebony Authors newsletter. The first person to return to this webpage and enter all of the correct answers will receive 10 books. The second person will receive 3 books, and the third 2 books. All books are signed and will be mailed directly from the authors. Books titles and authors listed below.

Rules:

#1 You must be on the ebonyauthors.com mailing list to participate. If not,
click here to join!


Scavenger Hunts Book List


  • A Dream Come True, by Michael T. Owens

  • Age is Just a Number: Adventures in Online Dating, by D.S. White

  • Backroom Confessions, by Rose Jackson-Beavers

  • Blind Temptations, by Lesley Hal

  • Caught Up, by Deatri

  • Changing Faces, Changing places, by Sydney Molare

  • Daddy's Girl, by Linda D. Wattley

  • Devil In The Mist, by Diane Dorce

  • Diary of a Street Diva, by Ashley Jaquavis

  • Dirt Ball Bad, by Lesley Nowlin

  • Dirty Little Secrets, by Joy King

  • Every Woman Needs a Wife, by Lissa Woodson

  • Fatal Desire, by Jessica Tilles

  • Going Broke, by Trista Russell

  • How to Get Over Him and Learn From Your Mistakes, by Honilovee

  • If I Ruled the World, by Joylynn Jossel

  • KARMA, by Hashim Conner

  • Lawd Mo Drama, by Tina McKinney

  • Love Me Carefully, by A.C. Arthur

  • Love, Pleasure and Pain, by Corlis Martin

  • Make You Love Me, by Latonya Williams

  • Mistaken Identity, by Sylvia Hubbard

  • Mode One: Let The Women Know What You're REALLY Thinking, by Alan Roger Currie

  • My Invisible Husband, by Shelia Goss

  • My Woman His Wife, by Anna J

  • Peace In The Storm, by Elissa Gabrielle

  • Second Time Shame on Me, by Erica N. Martin

  • Sooner or Later, by Cheryl Talley Moss

  • The Art of Walking through Fires, by Beverly Welch

  • The Mayor's Wife Wore Sapphires, by Marti Tucker

  • The Party, by Saundra E. Harris

  • The Product, by Marcus A. Parker

  • The Rotation, by Jackie Young

  • The Roux in the Gumbo, by Kim Robinson

  • Two's Enough Three's A Crowd, by Brenda M. Hampton

  • When Death Comes a Knockin', by Vanessa Johnson