Friday, September 27, 2013

Two Thoughts for Friday...

I had fun hanging out with Stan Brookshire, Homicide Detective, Lake City Police Department, who interviewed me about The Bunco Club. Stan is the main character in Allison Cosgrove's books. You can check out the interview at Stan Brookshire. I hope you enjoy it, and learn a little bit about me and my book.

I'm excited to be heading to the Glen Ellyn BookFest tomorrow morning (Saturday, September 28) where I will be among 35 authors promoting, selling and signing their books.
The Trade Show is open from 11-2 at the
Glen Ellyn Public Library
400 Duane Street
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

There will be a Pitch Fest (starting at 9:30 at the library) where any author has one minute to pitch their book to the audience. It sounds like a lot of fun! So if your looking for something to do on Saturday, come on out to the Glen Ellyn BookFest.
List of participating authors.

Monday, September 23, 2013

B. A. Q. S. Fall Quilt Camp, 2013

As promised a few photos and stories from Quilt Camp.

The theme for this fall was "Black and White". The electricity even cooperated with the theme, as  Saturday night the room went completely dark. Luckily, the emergency lights kicked on because we are truly in the middle of nowhere. Within about an hour the management had generators up and running, but none of us trusted plugging our expensive computerized machines into the fluctuating current of a generator! By 2 a.m. we were back to the regular electrical service. We heard it was a widespread outage affecting many of the surrounding towns, but we never heard what caused the problem.

My group takes a turn in the kitchen:
Our turn on KP Duty (Friday Lunch) -- Faye, Me, Sandy T, Chef Sandy, Ruth

Quilt tops:
This is a 30s reproduction quilt I've been working on called Aunt Grace's Circle of Friends. I finished the center and attached one of the many borders. I'm getting close to finishing, but still have plenty of work to do on it.

Marge won these blocks on our bus trip last year and made this basket quilt.

Geri's "hand work"

Kathy showing her finished top.

A baby quilt that Moe made

Just Having Fun!
I was part of the Chain Gang for the Black-&-White theme. We surprised everyone by dancing into the room to Sam Cooke's "Working on the Chain Gang". We were dressed in black and white striped prison outfits complete with hats and our own ball and chain. Mustaches were handed out to everyone. L-R: Kathy, Me, Sandy T, Caryle, Alice, Sandy C

Jail Birds just hanging out

Geri, Linda, and Bev served dinner to Michael Jackson's song, "Black and White"

Sisters Moe and Geri had the coolest black gloves with silver fingernails...where do they find this stuff?

Some people prefer their mustaches upside down!

Kathy's was feeling sad and lonely as her side of the room was deserted.

Our side of the room was crazy busy with worker bees!

The Kitchen:
We are so lucky and spoiled to have Chef Sandy cook three meals a day for us. She is the Best Chef EVER and we all LOVE her! She even made these cute little water bottle dress-ups for everyone.

Saturday dinner menu
Chef Sandy preparing her camp favorite, Oatmeal Pancakes--YUM!!

Ooopsie--veggies take a tumble coming out of the oven. Never fear, Chef Sandy had Plan B up her sleeve and we were up and running with a fresh batch immediately!

More quilts:
I love this happy quilt Moe made. We decided it would make a nice table cloth for a kitchen...very cheery.

Faye finished her beauty--a Civil War reproduction quilt
Moe's red and white quilt top

Overview of camp:
BAQS group photo ~ Fall 2013 ~ Theme: Black and White
Eating, laughing, quilting, sharing, feeling productive, and enjoying ourselves!
Outside view of the lodge where we stay.

What can I say? It takes a lot of power to make our beautiful quilts!

A lovely Michigan sunset
I hope you enjoyed my recap of quilt camp! As always, thanks for looking =)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hiding Out in Pure Michigan

Good-bye Wi-fi and any semblance of consistent cell phone connectivity. It's that time of year again, when 24 of us pack up equipment, food, and clothes, and head to a remote area of Michigan for Quilt Camp. I'll be gone until Sunday, and for anyone interested, I'll be posting pics and possibly videos after I get back.

Projects are packed tightly into the car. I've double checked to make sure I have all the electronics needed to run my fabulous Bernina until it screams "Uncle"! Leaving in the morning, and I can't wait to see all of my Peeps.

Oh, by the way, we never go hungry--Chef Sandy will be cooking three squares a day and tons of snacks and surprises. We are so spoiled =)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interview with Samantha Hoffman, Author of WHAT MORE COULD YOU WISH FOR

A big Thank You to Samantha Hoffman for so graciously accepting my offer to interview her on my blog. I met Samantha about a month ago and loved the story she told about her most recent book, What More Could You Wish For, published by St. Martin's Press.

Samantha Hoffman, Author of What More Could You Wish For
A fun side note...Samantha is an avid moviegoer and not only Rates but Reviews movies on her blog.

Please give us the title, genre, and a quick look at the storyline of your newest book.
My novel, What More Could You Wish For was published by St. Martin's Press in August 2012. It's the coming-of-middle age story of a woman who connects online with her high school sweetheart on the same day her significant-other proposes. Tough problem, right? But this is not a romance novel, it's about a story of woman who's at a crossroads, and a family tragedy causes her to re-evaluate her world and discover what she wants for the second chapter of her life. 

What inspired you to write this book and how long did the process take?
My father's death, and a year of making decisions driven by grief, were the inspiration for the book. I started writing about a year after his death and it took eight years. My second novel only took two and a half years which is a good thing because I'm not getting any younger.

You also have another book, can you tell us a little about that one?
I like writing about older woman who find strength in life's challenges. The Ones You Left Behind is about a woman whose husband mysteriously abandons his family, leaving her to figure out how to take care of herself and her thirteen year old daughter. This story has no direct inspiration from my life and I have no idea where it came from. I love when that happens.

Samantha Hoffman with Patty McNair

Who designed your book cover(s) and how do you feel about them?

St. Martin's Press designed the cover for What More Could You Wish For. It's charming, but not what I imagined for this story. To me it looks like a young adult book and I have concerns that it limits the audience. However, this is St. Martin's Press so I have to trust their judgement. That said, I hope I have more input on my second novel.
Screen shot of Samantha on CAN TV. (This is not a live video on this blog)

How did you arrive at titles for your books? Did you know what the titles were from day one or were they constantly changing as you wrote?

The title for my first book went through many iterations. It started out as because the main character finds her high school sweetheart on that website. I tried to get the company that created interested in the project and sent them about thirty pages of manuscript but they were indifferent (although one of the secretaries told me she loved it!). Ultimately they asked me not to use that name for my title (it was just short of a cease and desist order). So I changed the title and the name of the website in the book. From there the title became Mr. Right-Enough, then What More Could You Want, then What More Could You Wish For, which I think was a typo on the original contract but that's what stuck. 

The title for The Ones You Left Behind came to me when I was on page four. It's perfect and I hope no one wants to change it. However, if they pay me enough money they can call it whatever they want. I suppose I should be embarrassed to admit that. Oddly, I'm not.
I have just started my third novel but at this time it is unnamed. 
Book Signing

What do you enjoy the most about having a book(s) published?
Not to be morbid but I love that when I die my work will still be in the world. I don't have children, so this is my legacy; my words, my thoughts, the lessons I've learned.

Click to listen to Samantha Hoffman's Interview on WGN Radio 

Upcoming Events and Appearances for Samantha:
September 22, 2013 - Beverly Arts Center - "Get Booked" 2-5p
The September 22, 2013 issue of Printer’s Row Journal will have an article about Samantha written by Rick Kogan.
September 27-29, 2013 - Chicago Writers Conference, details to follow but I can tell you it will be fabulous (I'm on the programming committee, and we have some surprises in store...)! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

To learn more about Samantha and here books check out the links below:
Website and blog: 

Thank you Samantha for agreeing to do this blog interview and discussing your amazing journey as an author. I look forward to seeing you again.  Karen