Showing posts with label World of Ink Virtual Tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World of Ink Virtual Tour. Show all posts

Writing From The Heart: Laura Smith author of “In All Things; Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost”

Writing came easily for me because it came from my own personal experiences and a deep place within me. I write very honestly and hold nothing back. I believe that by the power of our testimony others will find healing. I believe sugar coating things makes for a nice story but has no impact. Of course this depends on the type of books that are being written. Creativity plays in more in some writing genre’s than others.

When I was very young, I remember sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen on the floor while my grandparents and their friends sat at the table playing cards. They would play for hours and hours and often times into the night. While I would sit there on the floor, I was very content in doing so because I was in my own little world doing what I never imagined would be my heart’s desire later in life. I was writing stories and songs, and reading them or singing them out loud for my card playing family to adore. Now, thinking back to that time and the fact I was only about 4 years old and had no idea how to even write my name let alone a story or a song, I’ve concluded it had to be God planting within me the inspiration and desire to write.

Fast forward to my teen years, I remember wondering why I was even on this earth or why would God put me in a family that didn’t seem to even want me. I was always called a mistake and they would tease me when I was younger that they found me on the streets of St. Paul. It’s no wonder I married the town rebel two weeks after my high school graduation! Finally someone loved me and I wasn’t going to let that go.

Again, fast forward 18 years and two daughters later, I’m re-married. My youngest daughter was molested by her biological dad, is diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and Bipolar disorder, my oldest daughter diagnosed with neurofibromatosis and going through numerous back surgeries, many other trials and then being told my husband and I will never have a child of our own. But wait! After weeks of being sick a random pregnancy test to rule out that possibility, I’m PREGNANT! A miracle! It took us weeks to absorb this miracle and with growing excitement from our entire family, I lost the baby 3 months into the pregnancy.

While some write to entertain, I found the writing process was very healing for me. Journaling through trials helped me to empty the pain of the day from my heart onto paper so I could start fresh the next day. As was the case when I initially started writing “In All Things”, it was simply in a journal and a way for me to try and process the grief of going through miscarriage. Later, my original intent was not to publish a book, however; when I had one person read it and then another, and another, the feedback was amazing! It was like a sense of urgency that the message within was something people needed to hear. And even the men who have read it have been profoundly affected. 

Since the publishing of this book, I have had inspiration for another book to be a second in the “In All Things” series. The next one will be “In all things; Expect A Miracle” which is about an amazing two years going through my dad’s cancer journey with him. Also since publishing, I have been asked to speak at a few local events and my desire is to be able to do that more. I feel when you can share your story in person, it can touch people more deeply.   

At one of events where I shared my story, there was a lady in the audience that was healed instantly from the pain she was suffering for two years! I would love the opportunity to see others find that same healing and freedom to live again. I encourage others with a personal story to get it out there, the reward, and I don’t mean monetary, is far greater than the fear.  

Author Bio: Laura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. In All Things is a witty and raw account of an otherwise normal life filled with incredible challenges that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and tears of sorrow. Her little family had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the near death of her oldest daughter.
Author’s Contact:
Link to Purchase: also available at all major online book sellers.

Halo Publishing and the World of Ink Network are currently touring author Laura Smith’s, In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost published by Halo Publishing Int.

About the Book:
Experience an incredible journey that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and sorrow. Learn how one miraculous encounter with God created an unshakeable faith that would later give Laura Smith the strength to face the near death of her oldest daughter.

Get a sneak peek of the book at

Today on The Writing Mama show at BTR's World of Ink Network, Laura Smith will be sharing about her book and the experience of sharing her life story. Come listen live or on demand at
You can find out more about Laura Smiths’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at
To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit

Tips to Writing a Good Book with Kasey Crawford Kellem

Though I have only written the five books for my Mind Over Matter Book series, I feel pretty knowledgeable about what makes a book good. I have not only read hundreds of children’s books, but I have utilized such books in instruction when I taught younger children earlier in my career. I had my own library of books in my classroom that I had inherited from a library that closed.

The books chosen by the children to borrow often intrigued me. It seemed that the more vibrant the illustrations, the more interested the child. The simpler the message, the more captivated the reader. The more creative the graphic design was for the wording, the more engaged the reader. Most importantly, I observed that a child wouldn’t even acknowledge a book if the cover wasn’t appealing! Vibrant colors and creatively fun illustrations are a good start! A catchy title is a must! A meaning that is appropriate for your readership is vital, as well.
The best tip I have for writing a good book is to have a purpose and an audience who would gain from that purpose. My Mind Over Matter Books were written to help teach children resiliency skills. Believe, the first of the five books, teaches children to believe in themselves and their potential. The message on each page is simple and the illustrations are quite whimsical. The purpose of the book, to teach children to Believe, is not only captured in the messages on each page, but also on the cover. The size and shape of the book allow it to free stand so to serve as a decoration on any child’s shelf, nightstand or anywhere in a child’s room. Again, the purpose of the book is being exposed even with the cover.
If you have a mission to write a book, put your whole self into it and don’t cut any corners. One of the most important aspects of my book was its unique size and shape, which allowed it to free stand as a decoration. A few publishers wouldn’t touch the book just because of this! Once I found my wonderful publisher, Lisa Umina with Halo Publishing International, I had to impress upon her that I would not compromise the size and shape of the book. This took a lot of extra time and work on her end to find a printer willing and able to accommodate our needs. Thankfully, she found a printer and one of the best attributes of my book is its uniqueness! I wasn’t willing to compromise what was important to me regarding my purpose for my books and I encourage you to do the same!

Kasey Crawford Kellem, a School Counselor and former Special Education Teacher, has devoted her life to helping children facing adversity be resilient. Kasey created Mind Over Matter (M.O.M.) books to teach children skills to overcome life’s challenges. She has earned a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in Special Education and an Educational Specialist Degree in Counseling. She is a devoted wife, stepmother, sister, daughter, friend and counselor.

You can find out more about Kasey Crawford Kellem’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Kellem and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. You will be entered into the main the Book Giveaway each time.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier and Irene Roth chatted with Kasey Crawford Kellem about her M.O.M Books, writing, helping children to be resilient and her experiences. The show aired live February 20, 2012 at 2pm EST. You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit: 

Tips to Writing a Nonfiction Picture Book for Kids By Maryann B. Sawka, Author of “Good Table Manners Made Easy”

As we are taught in elementary school, the difference between fiction and nonfiction is quite substantial. Nonfiction is meant to inform by sharing factual information and data that educates us. Whereas fiction is meant to entertain us with stories that are built on fantasy and untrue events. At times, fiction can be based on some factual historic event or supported scientific theory, but the writers and developers of the work of fiction generally take some license as they adapt the factual information with a heavy dose of fiction to entertain us and keep us hooked on the product that they generate.

We have to admit that, at times, some works of nonfiction have been labeled as dry, boring and “too wordy,” with passages that are quite long and sometimes lose us along the way. When reading nonfiction, we often have to re-read the same sentence several times as we interpret the meaning and make the understanding our own.

The same challenges that adults may face with nonfiction are not very different than the challenges that children face when reading nonfiction in science, history and other classes at school or when learning a new topic for a book report or project. Teachers work to determine the best instructional methods that they can employ to successfully educate their students with valuable factual information.

When writing nonfiction for children, it is important to remember who your audience is so that, like a teacher, you are presenting the material in a way that is less challenging for their level of learning. That being said, nonfiction works do represent valuable information that children need to learn.

Nonfiction for children generally includes shorter passages on each page of text combined with colorful illustrations to demonstrate the concept that is being shared. The age-level of the intended audience determines the complexity of the illustrations. For younger audiences, perhaps toddler through first grade, the illustrations are rather simple with less detail and larger images. The illustrations are bright with vivid colors that are inviting to the learner. When moving upward in audience age, the illustrations become more refined with greater detail so that the intricacy of the concept is more readily understood.

In the same way that the illustrations appeal to different age groups so do the words that the author uses to convey the concept of the published work. Early in the writing process, an author determines who the intended audience is for their work. Will the book be intended as a storybook where an adult or older child will read the work to a younger child? Is it intended to be a picture book that a young child can “read” independently? The answers to these questions will provide the direction in which the author works while writing and collaborating with an illustrator and editor.

Picture books are appealing to children because they are meant to entertain while informing. In many instances, their messages or valuable pieces of information are supporting the illustrations rather than the opposite when writing for an older audience. Picture books for young children have illustrations that are large, often encompassing an entire page with short, concise and succinct text that helps to explain the illustration.

Fiction and nonfiction books for children often look very much alike until you read the title or the first few sentences. Once you have read a picture book to a young child, it is fun to ask if they think the story was real or just pretend. With so many clothed, talking animals in our picture books, young children probably wonder why their own pets don’t talk! But remember that the talking animals in their nonfiction picture books are teaching them a valuable piece of information, even if we don’t always agree with their sense of fashion.

 As an educator and parent, Maryann has always embraced the notion that good manners are stylish and timely in every situation. She founded Charming Manners, a training company that educates all ages in the quest for civility and self-confidence.  Maryann introduces good manners with a fun, engaging approach that makes the pursuit for knowledge an enjoyable experience.  She resides in southwestern Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.  Learn more at

Good Table Manners Made Easy is a quick, easy-to-read resource that teaches basic table manners in a delightful fun way. It also serves as a quick refresher for the table manners that we may have forgotten.

Get a sneak peek of the book at 

You can find out more about Maryann B. Sawka’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Sawka and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with Maryann B. Sawka about her book, writing, the publishing industry and experiences. Sawka will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and the tribulations of the writer’s life.

The show will air live January 16, 2012 at 2pm EST.

Don’t Depend 100% on Your Publisher

By Terry Whalin (@terrywhalin) In 2007, America’s Publicist Rick Frishman invited me to participate on the faculty of MegaBook Marketing Uni...