Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Ultimate Launch Party

Every author dreams of launch day. For some it comes quietly. The box of books arrives on the doorstep, and the author sits down to hold a book, smell it, feel it. Yes, it's real. Yes, my name's on the cover. And that night you sleep with it under your pillow.

Others are more expressive. They jump up and down for joy, scream and shout. Some share their joy by calling friends and family. Everyone celebrates together. Still others plan a booksigning or a multi-author event.

But in the freezing northern town of Cold Lake, Alberta, one author celebrated her launch with the whole town's support. Not only did the local newspaper, The Cold Lake Sun, do a feature article, but a nearby radio station, Kool 101.3 fm, did 30 spot ads and a live interview beforehand. The radio station came out to serve as dj for the party and also covered the launch. Bean Trees, the local coffeehouse opened their doors for the event, and let an artist paint their walls with art from the book. Six-foot high pictures of the main character and the book's graveyard setting adorned two full walls.

Those Canadians really know how to party. So does the author. She had the all-girl band, Shenanigans, perform. She's pictured above singing along with the band. A singer/songwriter herself, she's multi-talented, and she even performed a song about one of her book characters.

The local bookstore sold out of books before the event, then sold their second order at the event and was still taking orders after the author sold out the boxes of author copies she'd brought!

And who was the lucky author? Judith Graves, YA paranormal author of Under My Skin, published by Leap Books.

Want to know what all the buzz is about? Check out her fabulous book trailer for details about the novel that has a whole town buzzing...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Harrisburg Book Fair

Hi Everyone: I received word from Catherine at the Midtown Scholar that the Harrisburg Book Fair will be held the last Saturday and Sunday in June (June 26/27) at the Midtown Scholar. This is a replacement from the snow out we had in December.
She has scheduled two nationally known authors to speak (Fiction on Saturday and Nonfiction on Sunday). I don't know the names as yet.
Catherine will be mailing out notices and invitations later this week. If you're not on her email list, be sure and contact her.
She will have tables for authors to sign books. Should be a great marketing opportunity as well as a lot of fun.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 30th is Blogmania!

Less than one week till Blogmania! I'm excited! My blog at will be one of more than 100 participating that day.

If you want to have the most fun and scoop up as much loot as possible, here are a few Early Bird Reminders to help you do just that.

1. Be at any of the blogs participating in the Blogmania Event as early as possible on April 30th. The easiest way to find a Blogmania Blog is to look for the Blogmania Badge.

2. This is an international event, so understand that there will be some differences in time zones. My advice is to start early and stay late to catch all the blogs.

3. Each blog will have their own giveaway requirements. Read them carefully, follow through, and then move on as quickly as possible. If you run across a blog that you really like and want to spend some time exploring, copy their URL and then visit them after Blogmania is over.

4. We will have a 100+ blogs for you to visit. Each one will post their number like this. ( This is blog 47 of 100) This is to help you keep track of which blogs you’ve visited, and which ones you still need to reach. You may want to prepare a blog sheet numbered from 1 – 120, then mark off each numbered blog as you visit.

5. All blog links provided will also have a number like (Blog 89 of 100). Look for the blogs that you haven’t yet visited and follow those links until you’ve checked off all the blogs on your sheet.

6. We have all types of blogs participating in Blogmania, which means that the range of items in their giveaways are diverse. I have previewed many and they are awesome.

Here are the goodies I'll be offering to a random commenter on April 30 for Blogmania - one print copy each of One Soul for Sale and Picture This!

Also, I'll include a bracelet handmade by me, and a beaded book thong! Click on either photo for a closeup view.

Don't forget to visit my blog on April 30! More than 100 authors and artisans are participating with some very cool offerings, so it's well worth visiting their blogs! You can check out other offerings on the Blogmania Facebook fan page.

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

First Book Signing

Hey folks,

I just confirmed the first book signing for SHADOW'S SON to take place at the Camp Hill Barnes & Noble on June 16th (6 pm).

If you are in the area, swing by and keep me company. I may have a surprise for those who attend (hint: it might be cake).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Public Speaking: Worse than Death?

I once read that most people dread public speaking more than death. And who's one of the shyest groups? Authors, of course. So combine the two and what do you get? Double dread. We write because we can do it privately, can mull over our words, can hide. We may spend years slaving over a book. Then what happens?

We're thrust into the public eye. At first it's not too bad. We see our name mentioned online when our books go up for sale. Then it progresses to reviews--magazines, newspapers, and online. OK, we manage to deal. We try not to cringe when we're misquoted or people misunderstand what we were attempting. We survive having our biographies splashed around the Internet and our pictures on Facebook. Some authors even revel in these bits of fame. Next come blog tours. OK, we can still use our writing skills, spellcheck, and cut & paste--all the author survival tools we know and love.

Then comes the dreaded phone call. "Will you speak to..." You freeze. Your mouth dries up. (OK, those are cliches, but you know that's what happens.) You manage to choke out a strangled yes. You have to do this, right? Appear in public. Before groups of people. All of them eyeing you. Gulp.

So you do one of two things. You scramble to prepare a talk and rehearse it. Ad infinitum. Or you procrastinate. You avoid thinking about it. And suddenly the day arrives and you have no idea what you'll say. Actually, it doesn't matter, because ready or not, when you walk to the podium, fear sucks every coherent thought from your brain. The notecards you wrote, if you planned ahead, look like a foreign language. The outline makes no sense. If you wrote your speech out word-for-word, the words blur together.

You stand there quaking and croaking. Words come out, but they make no sense. Your tongue races through a marathon of tangled thoughts. You stop. People applaud, but you aren't sure if it's because they're glad the torture is over, if they're being polite, or if you left them with some great insights. Still relief floods through you. It's over. You survived. Finally, you can relax.

Nope, not yet. You need to paste on a smile, answer questions, listen to people describe (in excruciating detail) every book idea they've ever had, and... Yesss! Sign books. The joy of a writer's existence. You love this as much as hearing, "I enjoyed your talk." But you live for the greatest gem of all, "I love your book." And for that, writers will endure almost anything.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stand Together or Hang Alone

Excuse my forgetfulness. I don't remember exactly which of the founding fathers made the statement, 'We must stand together or we will surely hang alone' or something like that but I believe the sentiment holds true for writers as well as rebels.

All writers are voracious readers also. As a group we're supportive of each other with words and with our actions. We critique for each other, give advice, help each other make contacts and buy each other's books. When there is a booksigning we promote for each other on our blogs, we go to the booksigning even if we've already bought the author's books and cheer for each other when all is said and done.

Last Friday night at Aaron's Book Shop, I was pleasantly reminded of this as I signed copies of my first fantasy novel, The Keepers of Sulbreth. Not only did I have the entertaining company of my fellow CPRW authors, Victoria Burkholder, Misty Simon and Victoria Smith with their wonderful books for sale, we were blessed by several friends dropping by to support us.

Kim Wenger and Donna Grant from CPRW stopped in, made purchases, and offered their support. It was so great for me to have a chance to speak with them outside our meetings. I learned how interesting Kim's job is and about Donna's upcoming adventure to Europe. Another very welcome visitor was Walt Honsinger's from Pennwriters. Walter not only is an accomplished author himself, he's the area representative for Pennwriters and does a terrific job with a monthly newsletter detailing all our successes and promoting our appearances and latest releases. Thank you, Walt!

If you live anywhere near Lititz, you must visit Aaron's Books. Not only is it comfortable and friendly, it contains nearly any book you might desire. It has none of the rushed, noisy, take-a-number feel of the big chain stores. If you can't find a book, they'll order it for you. If you love a certain author, they can recommend a similar author you might want to try. And the town of Lititz has atmosphere aplenty.

Last but not least, I should mention how our booksigning fared. WONDERFUL! I believe I sold every book they'd ordered for me and my fellow writers did as well or better. Thank you everyone!

Remember support each other and support your local independent bookstore. If you have one to recommend in your part of the country let us know so we can all stand together and help each other survive.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get your poet on!

April is National Poetry Month! I had no idea until this email from Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

Though a week late, you can sign up for National Poetry Month’s Poem a Day from

Myself, I receive a poem a day year round through NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, which also has cool facts associated with the date.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has the right idea by showcasing seven local poets. Hear them read their works here. had a cool idea for Poem in Your Pocket Day, to be held April 29th. Coworkers might not be receptive to shared poems, but other ideas include:
- Distribute bookmarks with your favorite immortal lines
- Add a poem to your email footer
- Post a poem on your blog or social networking page
- Project a poem on a wall, inside or out
- Text a poem to friends

I also had no idea April was NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) until that email. It’s described as “An adaptation of National Novel Writing Month, NaPoWriMo challenges participants to write and post a poem each day in April.” Apparently you have to be a registered member to see the web site, but here’s a list of blogs mentioning NaPoWriMo, if you care to peruse them.

In celebration of “the role of contemporary poetry in American culture,” The Academy of American Poets’ Gala benefit on April 20 looks like a fun soiree. Some of this year’s guest readers at the event, Poetry & The Creative Mind, include Lauren Bacall, Liam Neeson, Joan Baez, Glenn Close, Dan Rather, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ethan Hawke, Caroline Kennedy, Meryl Streep, Wynton Marsalis and William Wegman (whom I love, his photos are borderline poetic). Cheap seats start at $40. Tempting.

Like short stories, poetry is great for sharpening your writing skills. Poetry demands precise language to convey images and ideas. I highly recommend Frances Mayes’ The Discovery of Poetry for any writer. Reading Barbara Hamby’s poetry is like entering another dimension. It takes me right out of the present to an amazing place.

Think poetry is low tech? Think again. even has Poem Flow for iPhones. “A veritable box of light with words and thought in fluid motion.” It’s true that inspiration can come from anything, I suppose.

And Billy Collins has posted some animated poems on You Tube (but disabled the embedding, so you have to click on the link, sorry) -- among them, Forgetfulness and The Dead. Maybe to entice younger generations to the medium? Hopefully.

So what are you waiting for? Get your poet on! It’s National Poetry Month.

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.