Come to www.creativetouchescelebrations.com to watch the author interview! The interview will be posted on December 22, 2018!
On November 30, 2018, I had the esteemed pleasure of interviewing Lorraine O’Garro via Skype from London, England. She is the children’s author of, The Alphabet with Bella and Numbers with Bella book series. The main character Bella Sweeney is a beautifully illustrated preschooler. Bella shares her heritage with her creator Ms. O’Garro. Both live in London, England and have parents from Guyana in South America and Montserrat in the Caribbean. Both the books feature elements of Ms. O’Garro’s heritage.
In the audio interview Lorraine O’Garro shares how a lack of representation of black characters in children’s books, and a desire to see more characters that looked like her, inspired Ms. O’Garro to write her first book. This interview captures the necessity for increasing diversity in children’s literature. In the interview Lorraine shares her experiences and tips for upcoming authors. The story of how Lorraine became an indie author is inspirational to any author. Click here to listen to the audio for the interview.
To keep to date with all of the latest developments with the adorable Bella book series visit the website here.
Please Like and Comment. Comment below after listening to the audio interview your thoughts and opinions on diversity in children’s literature. Comment about your experience as an author. Are you a parent or grandparent who has been looking for books with ethnic characters for your child or grandchild? Let us know in the comments. Did you check out Bella’s website?
Share your thoughts on this adorable character.
Today is my 7th and final day of my 7 Days of Blogmas. I enjoyed writing them. I hope you have all enjoyed following my Christmas blogs or blogmas. If you have missed any they are all listed on my website at www.creativetouchescelebrations.com . Today I was challenged by Amylou.
1. Eat brussel sprouts or cauliflower cheese?
I actually like brussel sprouts and cauliflower is okay with me also. But I would take the brussel sprouts.
2. Have twinkling lights or still lights?
I love all holiday lights. However, my favorites are the twinkling lights.
3. Eat gingerbread or Ferraro Roche?
Gingerbread makes adorable houses, but I will go with the Ferraro Roche for dessert.
4. Open your Xmas presents with only immediate family or with all of your family members?
Immediate family, with my husband and the kids.
5. Cook Xmas dinner for the whole family or don’t eat Xmas dinner at all?
Is this even a question? I throw down on Christmas dinner every year. Let the cooking commence.
6. Have a real Xmas tree or a fake Xmas tree?
I love real trees. We have had a real tree annually for about the last fifteenth years.
7. Use blue, yellow, white or multicolored lights?
I love white lights but multicolored lights are my favorite.
8. Eat mince pies or Xmas cake?
I have to be honest even as an adult; I still don’t know what mince pie is. So I will go with the Christmas cake. I love cake!
9. Wake up at 6 am or 10 am?
Lord if only I could sleep to 10am on Christmas morning. My youngest child still wakes me up…LOL. So 6am it is.
10. Drink champagne or hot chocolate?
Homemade hot chocolate with whipped cream.
11. Eat Heroes or Roses?
Yeah, I’m lost. I do not know what either taste like. So I will have to pass on the this question…LOL.
12. Get a puppy for Xmas or a kitten for Xmas?
A puppy, a beagle would be so cute.
13. Watch Elf or Home Alone?
14. Only be able to listen to Xmas songs all year round or never hear a Xmas song again?
I would choose to hear Christmas music all year round. I love gospel music which holds the same meaning.
15. Wake up bright and early and get all of the best boxing day sale goodies or stay warm and cozy in bed wearing your new Xmas PJs?
Stay in bed cozy with my pajamas.
If you would like to know more about Blogmas. Click here for my blog all about Blogmas!
Please Like & Comment Below. I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Do you want to participate with blogmas? If so tag me in a post and answer the Would You Rather Christmas Tag questions.
I’d love to see your answers! Leave a link below, or leave me your answers!
Today is Day # 6 of my Seven Days of Blogmas. In today’s blogmas we will look at activities for children.
I think children’s joy and delight with Christmas helps to make the holiday sparkle. I love seeing a child get excited about the magic in making Christmas cookies, visiting Santa or getting to hold the lit candle for the first time at Christmas Eve candlelight service. Christmas has so many opportunities for wonderful activities with children. Please enjoy some of the activities listed below.
A favorite thing to do during the holidays is to bake. We love to bake reindeer cookies. We use pre-made refrigerated sugar cookies. First we slice the dough and roll them into balls and place them on a cookie lined with parchment paper. Next we add two small pretzels to the top of the ball of dough. Then we put two M&M candies on the dough for the eyes. Lastly bake as the package directions specify. The cookies are delicious with the sweet sugar cookie, sweet chocolate and salty pretzel.
One of the most anticipated events is decorating for the Christmas. A great ways for children to get into the Christmas spirit is to trim the tree. Whether you use an artificial tree or buy a real tree adding the lights, tinsel and ornaments to the family Christmas tree is quite magical for children. It doesn’t matter if the ornaments are handmade, store bought or a combination, (which I prefer) decorating the tree is a fun affair.
Don’t forget the honor family traditions and do not be afraid to begin new family traditions. Sharing Christmas traditions with children is a magnificent way to help kids to learn about Christmas. Some popular traditions are listed below.
Please Like & Comment Below With Your Christmas Activity Ideas. Did this Blogmas post give you any new ideas for your Christmas plans?
Please let me know in the comments.
If you want to know more about blogmas check out my blog 7 Days of Blogmas.
Today is Day #5 of my 7 Days of Blogmas. Who doesn’t have a favorite Christmas song or two or ten…LOL. I love gospel music which is music sharing the gospel or good news of Jesus Christ year round. But I also love to hear Christmas music during the Christmas season. I love to listen to Christmas music while we decorate the tree and also when baking. It just seems to set the stage for holiday fun!
This list is in no particular order of some of my favorite Christmas songs. This is not a complete list of Christmas music that I like by any means, but some of my favorite holiday songs and artists versions of these classics.
My Top 12 Christmas Song Playlist in No Particular Order
Please Like & Comment Below. Comment below your favorite Christmas songs. Leave a link below and/or leave me your answers! I want to hear some of your favorite Christmas songs!
If you would like to know more about blogmas. Check out 7 Days of Blogmas.
Today is Day #4 of my 7 Days of Blogmas. We are looking at Christmas DIY projects today. I decorated a holiday wreath and used real pinecones. This is a much cheaper option then buying a pre-made real wreath.
I have wanted to have a real wreath for the past few Christmases but have settled for my handy pre-made wreath. However, this year I purchased a fresh wreath. I bought silver pre-made, ice blue and silver small wire ribbons and a large sparkly silver bow to decorate the wreath. I also used silver pinecones. I utilized green floral wire to adhere the ribbon and the pinecones to the wreath. It was easy and fun to decorate! I posted some pictures. Let me know what you think.
How I Prepared & Decorated the Real Pinecones
Last Christmas I decorated pinecones and placed them in glass bowls for decoration for a family Christmas party I hosted. To make them, my son and I picked some pinecones from my sister’s yard. Then I took the pinecones home and washed and soaked them. Next I lined cookie sheets with aluminum foil and baked the pinecone in the oven to get rid of any bugs. When the pinecones were done baking and had cooled down, I divided the pinecones in half and put both them in two separate large disposable aluminum pan. Finally I sprayed painted the first pan silver and the second pan with gold spray paint. They came out lovely. Be sure to do this outside because of the fumes.
If you want to know more about blogmas, check out my blog & 7 Days of Blogmas.
Please Like & Comment. If you have any questions about this DIY project or comments please let me know in the comments. Post pictures of your Christmas DIY projects. I would love to see them!
Today is Day # 3 of my 7 Days of Blogmas.
Almost everyone looks forward to their favorite food at the holidays? Today’s blogmas challenge was to share my favorite Christmas food. This was a super easy list to make for me. I love holiday food. I listed 10 of my favorite Christmas dishes in no particular order.
Favorite Christmas Food
Do you have questions about blogmas? Check out my short blog called 7 Days of Blogmas.
Please Like & Comment Below. What are your favorite Christmas foods? Are you participating in blogmas this year? Let me know in the comments.
Leave a link below and/or leave your answers!
Today is Day # 2 of My 7 Days of Blogmas. My favorite Christmas book is, “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Twas the Night Before Christmas.
I love this classic Christmas story because when I was a little girl my Grandmother would read this to me every Christmas Eve.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good-Night!”
Please Like & Comment Below. What is your favorite Christmas book?
Please share it or a link in the comments below.
Today is Day 1 of my Seven Days of Blogmas. I am happy to start my Christmas blogs or blogmas. I was challenged by Amy Lou.
I love tea but I prefer hot chocolate during the holidays.
Going to the farm and getting fresh apple cider right after it is made.
Pine and Peppermint.
The turkey and dressing.
Very cool. I live in Michigan so the weather varies anywhere from 15 degrees to 50 degrees.
My red sweater.
Defiantly Uggs. I am a more cuddly and comfortable lady.
I do not think so. Nope.
This is Us and Netflix bingeing.
I don’t have a particular song that gets me into the winter spirit. I am more of a summer girl…LOL.
I am tagging
for the Sweater Weather Blog!
Please let me know if you are posting Blogmas this year or plan to. What blogmas ideas are you posting about? Let me know in the comments if you want to be tagged for upcoming blogs?
Do you want to know more about Blogmas? Then click here to learn about Blogmas!
Today let’s look at preparing to launch your book. As authors we spend countless hours writing and editing our book to make sure it is just right. Then we worry about our cover. We want our covers to attract as many potential readers as possible, without breaking our bank. If you write children’s book, then you encounter the painstaking process of explaining how you envision your book characters and the detail for every pages background. Now all your hard work and dedication have paid off and you have a book that is almost about to be released. What do you do now? Your next step is to create a buzz before you release the book.
Creating Your Author’s Platform
There is no shortage of competition in today’s book market. As a self-published author exposure through marketing is a key element to your success. I understand this because I am a self-published author in the making. Authors want to have a good online presence. You want to utilize social media to let the world know you are an author, with books of value that they would love to read. Please refer to my blog on Establishing Your Author’s Platform for detailed instructions on how to complete your author’s platform.
60 Days Before the Release Date
Book Release Party
45 Days Before the Release
Do Author Blog Posts
Bloggers like quality blog posts for their blogs. Reach out on your social media author pages and see if someone is looking to interview authors. This is a great way to get free advertisement for your upcoming or current book. By being on another blog this enables your work to be highlighted to a whole different audience! Even a smaller blog could result in new bloggers to follow you on social media and potentially purchase your book. Make sure the blogger includes in their interview how to follow you on social media and provide a link to purchasing your book if one is available. Some blog interviews will not be posted immediately. Start before your book is released to help build the excitement of your release date.
30 day Before the Release
Have a Countdown to Your Books Release Date
About one month prior to your book release do a countdown on your website. My book is titled; Vicky has a Sleepover, which has not been released yet. Here is an example of a countdown I may do for my release.
Three Weeks Before the Release
Prior to your book release date start thinking about potential venues to host book signings. Think about local bookstores of course. Also look for area book fairs, cultural centers and expos. Some coffee shops host local artists and my host a book signing. If you are a Christian author or your book is about family values maybe some local churches would let you host a book signing there. Look around and see what venues would be idea for you to host your book signings. Make sure to always bring enough books to sell and sign. Ask each potential venue about the average amount of book sold in previous book signing events. This will help estimate how many books you should bring. After you have your book signing confirmed, make a calendar for your upcoming events. Post your upcoming book signing dates on your website and all of your social media. You want to carry book signings well beyond your release date, to help in getting new exposure to your book.
Post a Question and Answer Review
Two Weeks Before the Release Date
One Week Before Your Release Date
Let Everyone Know How to Purchase Your Book
Day of the Release
Thank everyone for following your journey to getting your book published! Do the drawing for the book giveaways. Announce the winners of the book giveaways. Let everyone know how to purchase your book.
I hope this blog helped you with timelines and just gave you some great ideas on how to prepare to launch your book.
I am so happy for all of you. Please leave comments to let me know if you have questions, ideas for other ways to promote your book, ideas for pre-launching your book or business related promotion comments.
Today we are looking at Blogmas. I recently learned about blogmas from a blogger named Amylou. I accepted her invitation and I will do two blogmas from her offer this December. Thank you Amylou.
What are Blogmas?
Bloggers sharing short Christmas blogs for up to 24 days in December are blogmas. Bloggers can tag in the blogger who tagged them to do the particular challenge(s) at the top of their blogmas post and then tag people they are challenging to do the particular blogmas topic at the bottom. These blogs are in December and lead up to Christmas, which are basically Christmas blogs. Bloggers can post on various holiday topics during December leading up to Christmas. Christmas Blogs = Blogmas. Kind of catchy. Here are some blogmas ideas.
How Long do Blogmas Last?
Blogmas can last from December 1st to December 24th leading up to Christmas. You can also do a Christmas day blogmas if you choose. You can choose to only participate in few blogmas you are tagged in, do blogmas for the whole month of December or something in between. It is truly up to each bloggers preference. My blog is under six months old and this will be my first time participating in blogmas. I am doing 7 days of blogmas this December.
How Can You Participate in Blogmas?
You can look at this link for blogmas ideas and join in the fun. I welcome anyone who wants to get tagged for the blogmas I will be doing on this blog to join me. Simply let me know in the comments or contact box and I will let you know which blogmas I will be sharing this upcoming holiday season and tag participants. I hear blogmas are not only fun but a great way to draw new traffic to your blog and meet fellow bloggers.
If you plan to participate in blogmas please comment below
Today let’s look at establishing an author’s platform. A few days ago I was on a Facebook group for new authors. As I was networking on the page I mentioned I was working on my author’s platform. One of the ladies I was networking with commented she didn’t know what an author’s platform was.
From the information I have gathered from more established author’s, YouTube video’s with traditional and indie published author’s and even articles about being a successful author on the internet, they all agree that….Authors have to market themselves! Unfortunately, even when the author publishes with a publishing company, if they want their book sales to reach a larger market and build a fan base they need to develop an author’s platform.
What is an author’s platform? From what I have gathered in its simplest form, it is the author’s tool belt to increase their visibility with potential readers and followers.
How do you attain an author’s platform? The number one component in increasing a national or even global author’s platform is social media. You want a presence on social media so people interested in what you are writing about can get to know you. This also increases your credibility with your readers and helps them to be informed of when and how they can buy your books and/or other products.
I started with a website from the research I conducted when beginning my author platform. A website is like your central hub for your platform. My website serves for my author’s platform in the following ways.
Next, I added social media accounts to my author’s platform. I was already an active user of Facebook. I made an author’s page on Facebook, and then added my website address to my Facebook page. After that I linked my Facebook page to my website page. Next I joined BookBub. BookBub’s is an online marketing tool that lets authors connect with reportedly millions of potential readers. However, you will not be on the author’s page until you are published. This week I joined Twitter. I had never been on Twitter before but heard it was an excellent way to reach a whole active author community and readers. So far I like it. I have gained 88 followers in three days. This is over triple what I have gained on my website list thus far. I will keep you all posted on how my author platform is going. I would encourage you to explore other social media outlets like Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube. Whatever social media outlets you choose interact with your followers on a regular and consistent basis. Plus make sure to be consistent with your author’s platform.
How to consistent with your author’s platform? Fine tune your brand. Once your brand is fine-tuned, be sure to apply it to your author’s website and all of your author social media outlets. Make sure your brand colors, profile picture and logo are all the same as your website for each of your author social media outlets. This way your followers will start to recognize your specific branding, making it easier for them to follow you.
When to start? Now! Yes, right now. The sooner you start your author’s platform, the greater following you will have when your book is released.
Celebrating Life: Today I am celebrating that my business cards arrived in the mail yesterday! This is one of many, many steps to growing my author’s platform and business. Don’t forget even when it seems like you have so much to learn and so many steps to take, each lesson and step are leading you to your arrival of being a successful author!
If you would like to hear more about author platforms or have any questions, please leave me a comment below. Also let me know about other topics you would like to know more about. Subscribe so you don’t miss any blogs on my journey to being a published author.
Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful week and your creative juices are flowing! In my journey of celebrating life and traveling on my journey to publishing my first book I joined Twitter. Please follow me at Twitter @KathrynTHall.
Today let’s look at celebrating our small accomplishments to bigger things, and not letting bumps in the road hinder us. I originally planned to publish my children’s book in CreateSpace through Amazon. I heard so many positive reviews and wonderful testimonies about the self-publishing experience with CreateSpace. So with my manuscript completed what was supposed to be an easy sign up to CreateSpace and a simple process of downloading my book into their website was greeted with a halting road block. The road block said “CreateSpace is now closed to new accounts”! Wait what??? Excuse me? I then did some online research and discovered they had been in the process of combining CreateSpace with Kindle Direct Publishing. I showed up at the end of the process and would now not be able to publish through them. Unfortunately the majority of the reviews pointed to CreateSpace being an easier and more enjoyable experience to navigate. Ok, life threw me a road block so what will I do? I did some more research on the next best place for self-publishing through YouTube videos, company research and my Facebook author groups. I concluded that I will publish through Kindle Direct Publishing for an ebook and paperback book and through IngramSpark for hardcover books. I may not get the ease I was anticipating originally but I will have the book published all the same. And the blessing in this is now I will offer a hardcover edition of my children’s book collection. For those of you that don’t know CreateSpace only offered books in ebook or paperback options. But being forced to look around more gave me insight into not being afraid to publish with more publishing company.
Last night I attend a Mother and Son dance. The event was held locally and was the first time it was held. I do hope it becomes an annual event. I have always supported the Daddy Daughter dances. My daughter had attended them with her father as a young girl and I felt it was special to have that time to honor their relationship, and to make her feel very special. Well last night was about celebrating my son, our special bond. He got to be the center of my attention and felt very special. We had a great time!
Please comment below with feedback for the blog and also with your mother and son or daddy and daughter pictures.
Thank you for joining me….On this journey! Please join me on my new adventure of becoming a published author! I am excited about this new journey in my life. The blog will follow as I publish my first book and Celebrate Life…On a Budget!
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Welcome and Enjoy!
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Plato
Thanks for joining me!
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou