Family Stories: Leaving a Legacy of Words

e-Grandma4girlsEvery family has them: stories of Great-Uncle Harold’s time in the trenches of WWI, Grampa’s side trip into bootlegging during Prohibition, Aunt Helen’s wanderlust that took her around the globe twice, Grandma’s ground-breaking work as the first female at Lockheed Aeronautics during WWII. These are the stories that may only get trotted out once a year or so, maybe at Christmas or the infrequent family reunion, but otherwise stay hidden away in shoeboxes at the back of closets or in the dimly-lit corners of an oldster’s mind.

And very often, the story and its teller are, eventually, lost for all time. Why? Because the stories don’t get written down.

There’s a Mandinka proverb that says every time an old person dies, it’s as if a library has burnt down. Continue reading “Family Stories: Leaving a Legacy of Words”

Book Brief: Counter Currents

Counter Currents - historical fiction by Shaun McLaughlinCounter Currents
by Shaun J. McLaughlin
Genre: Historical Fiction
Word count: 104,000

Counter Currents, the 2013 silver medal winner for Historical Literature Fiction – Modern (set 1500-1940 AD) from by Dan Poynter’s Global Ebook Awards, is set in the Patriot War, an almost forgotten border conflict, where rebels attacked Canada 13 times from the USA. Among the raiders was Bill Johnston, the St. Lawrence River historical legend.

Ryan, 19, arrives in colonial Canada at the outbreak of the 1838 Patriot War. He is drawn into Bill Johnston’s world of smuggling and secret societies set in the beauty and grandeur of the Thousand Islands. Ryan falls for Johnston’s daughter, Kate, and is coached by her older cousin Ada on how to capture Kate’s heart. Ada develops feelings for Ryan and he in turn grapples with his attraction to Ada.

Circumstances drive Ryan into a web of piracy and rebellion. Each step Ryan takes closer to a peaceful life as Kate’s husband is matched by deeper entanglement in a glorious but lost cause. Tugged by the opposing currents of romance and war, Ryan struggles to reconcile his family history, his duty and his heart. The story builds on real events surrounding the Patriot War and stays close to historic facts. It is history illuminated by fiction.

This book is available from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Continue reading “Book Brief: Counter Currents”

Author Tips and Tricks

smart owlHere are a few tips, tricks, hints, and “did you knows” that we’ve been accumulating over the past few months. I hope they help!

Shipping to a library? Whether it’s a school library or an actual standalone library, make sure the word library is on the outside of your package in the ship-to address. Depending upon what Post Office you’re at, that will make your package eligible for “library rate.”  (Some postal workers actually haven’t heard of this, and there is a debate over where it has to be from AND to a library, or just one or the other.) Library rate is by far the LEAST expensive method of transit available. If that doesn’t work (it’s worth a try, right?), you can use media mail as long as there is no personal correspondence in the package.

Signing books and peripheral materials? Don’t use the same signature you use for your legal and financial dealings! You’re setting yourself up for identity theft if you do.

You can edit a facebook comment. Just go to the comment, hover over the top right-hand corner and you will see a little pencil. Hover over that and a little bubble will pop up – click on that.
facebook edit comment Continue reading “Author Tips and Tricks”

#twitter #hashtags for novices

hashtag hashOnce upon a time, I believed Twitter to be a site filled with dull people reporting about their dreary days or people bombarding me with tweets asking me to buy stuff. Yes, those exist on Twitter but it is a useful social platform and as I have gradually become more au fait with it, I have discovered a good way to use it to reach a target audience and gain interest in your tweets—use a hashtag.

What is a hashtag? It’s almost anything that begins with the hashtag symbol “#”. You will find silly hashtags #eatingsweets and sensible ones #newrelease. They are a way of organising information on Twitter. So, if you want to find out about new releases, you’d type #newrelease in the search box on Twitter. This will direct you to a Twitter page with all tweets using this hashtag. Continue reading “#twitter #hashtags for novices”