The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors

The Next Big Thing: Authors Tagging Authors

I used to think that the greatest-ever part of writing a book was actually writing a book. Well, I guess I do still kind of feel that way, but something I never imagined has come out of the book experience: Joining a wonderful community of writers. While the experience of writing is solitary, the experience of promotion is anything but. Thanks to the women (and men) I’ve been meeting these past months, via social media, I’ve learned so many things about how there really is “strength in numbers” and that it really does “take a village” to promote a book!

Last week, I was tagged by the amazing Isabella Louise Anderson in her blog for “Authors Tagging Authors”–a fun and creative way for authors to help other authors get noticed. She started a group on Facebook called Chick Lit Goddesses that’s been a wellspring of information and encouragement for me as I launch The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything, and I was honored she chose to tag me. At the end of this post are authors who graciously agreed to be tagged by me. Go check them out!

Speaking of checking out, please follow me on Twitter, connect with me on Facebook, and check out my website!

And now without further ado… Here’s the Q&A we’ve been asked to post–the skinny about our next book!

What is the working title of your book?
A Comfortable Madness

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The book is about people making bad choices, mainly romantic ones, and the sometimes tragic ramifications that go along with it. It’s also about how people rationalize and live with these choices, trying to pretend they’re okay with the crazy (i.e. a “comfortable” madness). I have been married for nearly nine years. There was a good 25 years of dating before that. So… Well… Now you know where the idea comes from!

What genre does your book fall under?
I think this one is solidly women’s fiction. Anyone looking for the quirkiness of Rita Hayworth’s Shoes or the kookiness of The Girl, the Gold Tooth & Everything won’t be disappointed, but A Comfortable Madness is probably my darkest work to date.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’ve been dreaming this one up for a while, so when I started, I saw Reese Witherspoon as Annie and Paul Rudd or Tobey Maguire as Hugh. Though I think by the time this book gets finished, those guys will be way too old! (My characters are all in their early 30s. I think that’s an important age in a person’s romantic development. Old enough to understand what true love should be, but young enough that infatuation and impulse still kind of rule.)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Bad romantic choices run through generations.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Diversion Books published my first two books and I hope eventually they will be game for this one, too.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started writing this book in 2001. My most recent draft is dated May 2007. Since then, I’ve carved a screenplay out of it, and am now focusing on making it a novella. (I’m all about re-working what I think is a good idea until I get it right. I’m tireless that way!)

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
If it was compared to The Hours, I think that might be cool.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Initially, pain. Then perseverance. In all honesty, I always develop a great attachment to my characters, and it really distresses me that the ones in this story have been hanging out in some purgatorial waiting room all this time. They deserve to be heard, to have their stories known, so I’m inspired by that to keep going!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
All of my books can be read on many levels, and touch various nerves emotionally, socially, even politically. So while this book is about the awkwardness and insecurities that can sometimes go along with falling in love, it’s also about living with secrets, some of them dark, that spark that awkwardness and insecurity. If we all walked into relationships as clean slates, how different would these relationships be!

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Please check out the posts for the following authors next week. You will not be disappointed! And thanks for dropping by!

Sara Palacios
Shawndra Russell
Cindy Roesel
Sarah Hitchcock
Monique McDonell

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Five For Friday: Richela Fabian Morgan, aka “The Duct Tape Queen”!

Five For Friday: Richela Fabian Morgan, aka “The Duct Tape Queen”!

Welcome to my blog, Clippings in the Shed. Glad to have you here, especially because it’s Friday–interview day! Each week, I’ll introduce you to a cool, kickass woman who lives life well beyond going through the motions. This week: Richela Fabian Morgan, one of the “craftiest” people I know.

Connect with me: on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about me at www.francinelasala.com. And now–Five for Friday!

Richela and kids… Could you all BE more gorgeous?!

Five Questions With Richela Fabian Morgan
Richela Fabian Morgan is one of the most extraordinary people I know. Not only is she a dominatrix of duct tape, she’s an insanely crafty all-purpose re-purposer. Oh… and she also has a wicked sense of humor and enjoys wine from a juice box. Really, what’s not to like? Some people send their kids to summer camp. Richela spent one entire month of summer vacation with her kids making New York City their camp. Not just Manhattan–all the boroughs. Famous places, holes in the wall. By train, by subway, by car. Read all about it here: Mommy Summer Camp. Just amazing.

Richela’s creative mind knows no limits. She has amazing vision, and she is able to see amazing things even beyond the raising of her two fun and fabulous kids–and even bring them along for the ride. As a fellow mother and fellow creative, I am in awe. You will be, too. Read on!

(Here’s how to connect with Richela: Facebook, Twitter, and, as indicated above, her fabulous blog!)

1. This is not a question, but you are by far one of the most creative and talented people I know. This is a question: Have you always been so artsy – or is this the person you’ve evolved into?
C’mon! Now that is a lie because we know some of the same people. But I appreciate the compliment. Artsy is probably not something I would have called myself when I was a kid or a young adult. I loved art but I can’t draw well or with any originality. But I’ve always been crafty. I liked making all sorts of stuff. Since I couldn’t necessarily create something that had a deeper meaning (i.e. art) I tended to make stuff that was useful. But it really started to take off when I had kids. We would play/create with anything and everything in the house: paper towel rolls, magazine paper, bottle caps, broken crayons. And we loved all kinds of tape, from regular scotch tape to duct tape. When my kids both went off to elementary school, I had a little too much time on my hands! I thought about getting a 9 to 5 job, but then I realized that my skill set had changed. I suddenly had all these crafting skills that didn’t fit into a normal job description. So I created job for myself. I became a crafter and a writer.

101 crazily creative projects!

2. Very excited about your new book, TAPE IT & MAKE IT! Can you tell us how it came to be?
Someone asked me if I could come up with 101 duct tape craft projects. At first I balked—101?? That seemed like an awful lot. But then it occurred to me that I might have made that many or more different duct tape crafts in the past. So I decided to write them all down and in less than 15 minutes I had 101. And about the process of creating 101 crafts with duct tape? I photographed set-up shots while making each craft. This actually slowed down my usual tempo of crafting because I had to think about the next step. Then when the craft was completed I reviewed each shot and wrote accompanying instructions. It worked well.

Who knew the magic this stuff can do?

3. Duct tape isn’t the only incredibly creative medium you’ve used to make beautiful things. Can you tell us about some of the other clever things you’ve done with milk cartons and other re-purposed materials?
I also love working with brown paper bags, half-gallon cartons, and other paper goods bound for the recycle bin. And maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I tend to make a lot of bags and wallets. Also about your other books? I wrote a book called THE GREEN CRAFTER (Citadel), which contains 52 projects using materials found in and around the home. And I recently contributed a craft to the forthcoming book ALL THINGS PAPER (Tuttle Publishing). It’s a tote bag made from brown grocery bag handles. Yes, it’s a brown bag…bag!

4. What advice can you give a person looking to craft with re-purposed materials?
First, make sure you clean all your materials well whether it’s bits of food or dirt or adhesive. And make sure you have the right tools to work with your material. If you aren’t sure what kind of tools you need, bring the material with you and visit your local hardware store. Tell a knowledgeable salesperson what you intend to do and then ask what type of tools you will need. You might need to go to a craft store, but the salespeople are not as knowledgeable about tools. I guess because what we do is more DIY, but the smaller hardware stores—that’s where you’ll find the most hands-on salespeople—cannot carry a big inventory. Big craft stores can.

5. So what’s next for “Crafty Richela” the Queen of all Duct Tape?
Currently I’m doing library and independent bookstore events in New York. And as I mentioned before, I contributed a brown bag paper craft to the upcoming book ALL THINGS PAPER. It’s due out in the Spring of 2013. I’m also teaching eco crafts at Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont (NY). I’d love to write another craft book and have some ideas that might be great…or not! We shall see.

BONUS QUESTION: After our books take off like rockets, where should we plan to “summer” next year? The Rockaways? The Hamptons? The South of France? (And who’s bringing the juice-box wine?)

The Rockaways, baby! I spent a month there last summer and soaked up the scene (surfers, tacos, fish sandwiches, Italian ices, HIPSTERS!). And guess what? Juice-box wines are a-plenty! No need to bring it.

ANOTHER BONUS! If you’re permitted, can you share a craft from your book here?
Click here to come to my website and I’ll teach you how to make this:

Hair Feather
The hair feather project is one of the easier ones in my book. But don’t be fooled by the simplistic instructions. The resulting duct tape feathers are quite sophisticated. They can be worn in your hair, but they can also be attached to bags and belts for a George-Clinton-funk-meets-Sex-Pistols-punk look that will have heads turning.

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Thanks for sharing your time and talent, Richela, and thank you reader for joining us for the ride. Please follow this blog for more fun and games and connect with me: on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about me at www.francinelasala.com.

And again: Here’s how to connect with Richela outside the Shed: Facebook, Twitter, and, as indicated above, her fabulous blog!

See you next time!