Archive for the ‘Working Writers–Their ideas and research’ category

THE END OF THE JOURNEY: Publication and Promotion

April 28, 2013

grant's final promo copy

Grant Overstake: Publication and Promotion

In this third and last segment of  our interview with Grant Overstake, he details the final steps he took to prepare Maggie Vaults Over the Moon for publication and distribution. Listen in as he discusses his experiences with book cover design, editing, Create Space and Amazon, and promoting through social media.

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about Grant on his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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maurice FINAL copy

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.
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GRANT OVERSTAKE ON WRITING “MAGGIE”: NOT A LONELY VIGIL

April 27, 2013

grant overstake promo2 copy

     Writing is often thought of as a lonely vigil, but Grant Overstake, author of “Maggie Vaults over the Moon,” found this not to be true. In this Keyhole Conversations interview, he acknowledges those people who helped him along the way.

     His novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, has been endorsed by National Schools of Character as a story with a “positive character-building message for young people.” A former athlete and Miami Herald sportswriter, Grant has the experience needed to bring Maggie’s journey to life. Through pole vaulting, Maggie achieves both a physical and symbolic triumph over gravity.  Set in Grain Valley, Kansas, this sports-related book has a depth people of all ages can relate to. Without a doubt, readers are sure to enjoy Grant’s novel of courage.

     Watch the interview below as Bonnie Myrick and Grant Overstake discuss the inspiration for the novel and the people who encouraged and supported him, which he describes as believing mirrors that reflected back on him, and his novel is “…truth embedded with a capital T.”

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about Grant on his website.

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Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

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flash katoonzcopy copy

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

NEW VIEWS OF OLD STORIES

April 9, 2013

everett roberts promo final

Hazel Hart plays host at the KWA Scene Conference in March as she interviews playwright, Everett Roberts, to discuss his latest plays, The Absolutely True Story of Tom Sawyer as Told by Becky Thatcher, and Allie in Wonderland. Hazel found a not-so-quiet table with good lighting, and Everett gave some intriguing hints about Becky Thatcher’s views on Tom Sawyer. Both plays are available from heartlandplays.com. Check out the vlog below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

everett roberts

 Hailed as “one of our best new children’s authors” by Heartland Play Publishers, Everett Robert is an award winning author, playwright, actor, and director with over 20 years of experience.

 A Kansas Native, he graduated from Colby Community College with an Associates of Applied Science in Radio and Television Communications and an Associates of Applied Arts in English with a Drama Emphasis and currently attends Fort Hays State University. Everett is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, The Playwright’s Center, The Kansas Writer’s Association, and the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation.

 Everett’s plays have been performed in Kansas, New York City, and the Philippines. Published Works include: Allie In Wonderland (Heartland Play Publishers, 2012), The Absolutely True Story of Tom Sawyer As Told By Becky Thatcher (Heartland Play Publishers, 2013), and winner of The Greatest Western Never Told included in the Cactus Country III Anthology (High Hill Press, 2013).

      View Emergency Room Productions, the official website of Everett Roberts. You can also read more about Everett on Facebook, Twitter, and Heartland Plays.

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final everett cat promo

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MAGGIE VAULTS OVER THE MOON–MORE THAN A TEEN SPORTS NOVEL!

March 29, 2013

grant promo of maggie copy

Grant Overstake’s novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, has been endorsed by National Schools of Character as a story with a “positive character-building message for young people.” A former athlete and Miami Herald sportswriter, Grant has the experience needed to bring Maggie’s journey to life. Through pole vaulting, Maggie achieves both a physical and symbolic triumph over gravity.  Set in Grain Valley, Kansas, this sports-related book has a depth people of all ages can relate to. Without a doubt, readers are sure to enjoy Grant’s novel of courage.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

ABOUT THE STORYLINE

In the new teen sports novel, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon, author Grant Overstake retells the story of another amazing small-town athlete, Maggie Steele, a gutsy farm girl who pours her broken heart into the daring sport of pole-vaulting. The story climaxes at the Kansas State High School Track and Field Championships, the largest track meet in the nation, held at Wichita State University‘s Cessna Stadium.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

grant overstakeFormer Miami Herald Sports Writer, Grant Overstake, is a lifelong participant in the sport of track and field who competed in the decathlon for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. A multiple award winner for excellence in journalism, Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is the author’s premiere work of sports fiction.  Read more about his upcoming booksigning at Watermark Books and check out his website.

<>—<>

Many thanks to The Inn at Glenstrae for graciously allowing Keyhole Conversation to film the interview with Grant Overstake. Take a tour of this beautiful bed and breakfast inn here.

<>—<>

timmy  readingcopy copy

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Thanks to vintagefeedsacks for the use of their images.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD GUYS GONE?

February 6, 2013

h.b. promo week 2-persp copy

Swan Song: Creating Characters, Plot, and Setting

B.J. Myrick of Keyhole Conversations interviews author H.B. Berlow about the creation of SWAN SONG. Berlow discusses the development of the characters, plot, and setting of his crime fiction novel.

View H. B. Berlow’s author page here. Check out his novel,  Swan Song, a different kind of book by a different kind of author. You can preview the first three chapters of Swan Song on Amazon, but you’ll be hooked by the time you finish Chapter one.

Click image of Swan Song to read the chapters!

SwanSong-ebook

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Swan Song: From Manuscript to Published Book

January 30, 2013

h.b. promo copy

Author H.B. Berlow traces the development of his novel from completing a NaNoWriMo challenge, through revising, editing, and pitching the novel, to finally signing with a publisher and holding the paperback in his hands.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

h.b. owfiH. B. studied filmmaking and creative writing at the University of Miami in the 1980′s and was involved in the Boston Poetry Scene in the mid 1990s. He is president of the Kansas Writers Association and has been a member of KWA  since 2007. His other passions are cooking, food and wine.  He discusses all these aspects on his blog.

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Childhood Experiences Provide Novel Setting

January 12, 2013

RANDYgold frame 1 copy

ABOUT THE STORY

Crazy About You has been described by reviewers as a coming-of-age, Young Adult, thriller/suspense book that relates in first person one week in the life of high school junior Brad Adams. Brad lives on the grounds of Larned State Hospital because his father is the institution’s dentist and the state provides free housing. Brad works after school in the mental hospital’s cafeteria. He has gotten to know the inmates (patients) from an early age and befriended many of them.

The week is set in 1964. It’s prom week. There is a horrific murder in a house between the hospital grounds and Larned, three miles to the east. All suspect a mental patient. Brad becomes involved in the investigation. He also becomes involved in the life of a schizophrenic teen girl he thinks he is in love with. But he dates a normal teen in town who thinks she is in love with him.

Complications lead to dramatic confrontations and discoveries.

READ AN EXCERPT

The hospital was located three miles outside of a small town that was in the middle of a state in the middle of the nation. It was the dumping ground for the retarded, the senile, the schizos and the paranoids, the brain-damaged, adolescent dopers, the suicidal-depressed, the manics, maniacs, and the perpetually confused. And one building, the Pinel Building, the one with barbed wire around it, housed the criminally insane. It even had its own small hospital ward, and Dad had an auxiliary dental office there. Patients were never taken from the Pinel Building unless they were judged to have become mentally competent to stand trial for their crimes, or, if they had been committed because they had been found innocent by reason of insanity for their crimes, released when they became sane, which didn’t happen very often. If ever.

They said it would happen to Michael Fromme, who at the age of fourteen had killed his mother, father, little sister, and brother, and then sat in the house with their dead bodies until a neighbor happened upon the scene and called the sheriff. Since he was a juvenile, he couldn’t be tried as an adult, so he was committed to the Pinel Building for the Criminally Insane until he was 18, at which time, if he was judged to be mentally sane, he would be released. He could even claim the farm of the family he had murdered.

Dad had worked on his teeth and found him to be perfectly normal. “Now that he’s killed his family,” Dad had said.

I kept trying to write a folk song about it, but nothing was coming. It was teaching me just how hard those simple little ditties were to compose.

It wasn’t easy recruiting people to work as attendants in the Pinel Building because most of the patients weren’t perfectly normal at all. They were perfectly dangerous. So the attendants and nurses who worked there were paid more. They were a group apart. A little pitied. A little feared. A little envied.

The whole insane asylum was the principle economic force for the small town nearby. Farming was in decline. But there would always be nuts to take care of. America seemed to produce a bigger crop every year. Nepotism at the hospital was rampant because the town was so small you couldn’t help but hire someone’s brother, sister, uncle, aunt, or cousin.

Although the town needed the mental hospital, it also resented it. After all, it wasn’t much fun to come from a place whose name was synonymous with being crazy. When our high-school basketball team went to other towns for games, there always would be a group of students from the opposing side in the stands waving their finger in circles at the side of their heads and screaming, at the top of their lungs in the shrillest falsetto as we were introduced: “Woo-woo!”

The superintendent of the whole affair was a psychiatrist who lived in the nicest house on the grounds. He wasn’t seen much. He presented the budget before the state legislature and went to a lot of national conferences. Dad himself was away for the week I’m about to relate, making his annual trip to a national dental conference. Being the only dentist for such a large and heterogeneous population as the asylum provided gave him several dentally interesting cases to present each year.

For a while, Mother had tried to convince Father to go into private practice, but he said he liked not having to worry about patients paying their bills. He could decide what the best course of treatment was for them without regard to whether they could afford it or not. Socialized medicine existed. You just had to be nuts to get it.

So eventually, Mother ran away. I thought I might turn that into a simple little folk song, too.

randy by shore

A WORD FROM RANDY

I grew up on the grounds of a Kansas insane asylum where my father was a dentist. During the troubled 1960’s, I attended the University of Kansas getting  a degree in art history. After stints writing and teaching in Italy and Japan I had a 16-year career in newspapers as reporter, editor and column writer winning major awards in all categories. I turned to health care public relations serving as director of University Relations at KU Medical Center. I finished my career as media relations officer of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Now retired, I am marketing the fiction I’ve written over all those years. And creating more.

I donate $1 from every purchase of Crazy About You to Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence because those people work the Suicide Prevention Hotline for this part of America and deserve our support.

Check out Randy’s books and read his blog here.