Local Author Event–White Lake Library

(signing)

I love libraries, don’t you?

I love the feel of a million words next to me. I love walking the aisles and knowing I’m passing the creative intellect of thousands.

My youngest and I go to library ‘preschool’ every week. It’s not really preschool. It’s storytime without the parents, and they do a craft afterward. But we call it preschool, because, well, he wants to. He loves it.

I do, too.

Though I struggled with reading as a child and teenager, something finally clicked for me as an adult. Now I never have enough time to read all the books I want. But I still make my piles. I still check them out from the library in hopes that maybe, just maybe, I’ll get some time.

I love libraries.

Because of this, I’m very excited to be part of a local author event at the White Lake Library this Saturday. This event features authors from southeast Michigan. I get to meet them. I get to sit by them. Not only that, I get to be one of them. :)

How. Cool. Is. That?

So if you’re a Michigander (or happen to be in the neighborhood), come stop by and see me.  

I’ll be the lady trying desperately to look mature and dignified, while secretly trying to meet all the cool people.

Here are the details:

Authors and illustrators from Southeastern Michigan will be available to discuss, sell, and sign books for children, teens and adults. No registration required, just drop in to shop locally for the holidays!

Date: 10/13/2012
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 1:00 PM

7527 E. Highland Rd, White Lake, MI

I’ll have copies of SADIE there to sign, or feel free to bring your own. Considering it has snow on the cover, and it’s set around Christmas and New Years, it’s definitely a great gift book for the holidays. :)

Hope to see you there!

Comment here

Pictures: LDStorymakers MW Conference

(traveling)

Last weekend was the LDStorymakers Midwest Conference, the first LDStorymakers Conference outside of Utah.

It was awesome!!! 

Barnes & Noble Authorpalooza Book Signing with Lynn Parsons, Steve Westover, Lisa Mangum, Karen Hoover, Heather Justesen, Don Carey, Laurie Lewis, Rebecca Belliston, Danyelle Ferguson, Tamara Heiner, Josi Kilpack, Traci Abramson

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I’ll post later this week about all the great things I learned at the conference, but for now I wanted to post a few pictures with the people I met. Authors are so much fun, if I do say so myself. A bit quirky, too, but that’s what makes them/us so entertaining, right?

Though I’ve been a member of LDStorymakers for almost a year, and though I’d heard of and even chatted with many of the authors there, I’d only met one of them. Yet the whole group was quick to make me feel welcome and a part of their organization. I’m looking forward to being the secretary this next year.

We started off the weekend with a 13-author booksigning at the Barnes and Noble in the Oak Park Mall outside of Kansas City. (see picture above)

Can you tell I’m happy to be there? I had to fold my arms to keep them from shaking with excitement. :)

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Hanging with the fabulous Heather Justesen. She was a lot of fun. When we weren’t signing books or talking to readers, we were chatting up a storm 

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I posted this picture to show off Sadie’s beautiful cover. I can’t tell you how many comments I received at the conference (and the past year) about the cover. I wish I could take credit for it, but Deseret Book’s Heather Ward designed it. I’ve loved it since the moment I saw it. And no, I don’t know the lady on the cover. :)

The next day was the actual conference, held in Olathe, Kansas.

I attended six classes, plus heard keynote addresses from Lisa Mangum and Josi Kilpack. Oh, and it just so happened that my name was drawn to sit at the table of honor with Lisa and Josi. Yep. Pretty rockin’ awesome. They’re two accomplished, gracious women who speak as well as they write. 

However, I didn’t get my picture snapped with them. Bummer.

But the photo below is of me and Sharon, my good friend who let me drag her across the country to attend this conference. Though I really admired her before this trip, I am in awe of her now. Not only is she a great author, but she’s an amazing person. Plus she makes me laugh. And she didn’t make fun of me either. The whole trip. Even though I am a complete dork who couldn’t take the right exit even with Lady Garmin shouting the directions at me. See. Awesome friend.

Dinner with my friend and road-trip buddy, Sharon

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Lisa Mangum gave several great addresses and classes. What a great presenter.

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Attending Josi Kilpack’s class on Internal and External Conflict. It was awesome. The three great rules of writing are conflict, conflict, conflict

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The picture below is our group.

The conference was set up in such a way that I felt like I was able to meet and converse with most of the people below. An excellent group of authors.

LDStorymakers Midwest Conference 2012 – Sharon and I are in the lower left corner

With luck, I’ll be able to attend again next year.

(thanks to Danyelle Ferguson for letting me use her pictures. My camera had issues. She was kind enough to allow me to post hers.)

Have a great one!

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Comment here.

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Answering SADIE Questions

(asking)

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My church is having a SADIE night next week

Let me just say, I’m so excited!

I’ve been to another book club on Sadie, and I had so much fun. The ladies were so nice, and they remembered the characters so well, it was awesome. They even served college-guy refreshments like orange juice, cold cereal, and pizza. How cool is that?

At my book signings in Utah, I loved talking to everyone there, too. And e-mails I’ve received, and facebook messages. Wow. People have been so stinkin’ nice.

It’s been a blast.

One of my favorite things is hearing people’s questions and comments about the book. Things that stick out to them sometimes surprise me. I know I wrote all those words, but some have slipped through my memory, and others are interpreted in cool ways by some readers. It’s been fascinating to hear their/your comments.

  • Side note: If you live within a few hours of the Detroit Metro area and want me to come to your Sadie book club, or if you own a bookstore and want me to do a book signing, please ask! I love that kind of stuff. Just contact me via email here. (I probably should have mentioned this months ago, but hey, I’m a newbie.)

Anyway . . . Questions

Since I’ve been asked to talk about my book, and since I prefer to talk about what people want to hear, and not what makes me obsessively obnoxious, I’m opening the discussion up to all of you. Think about it as an online book club (of sorts). So . . .

  • What questions do you have about Sadie
  • What things did you wonder as you read?
  • Do you have questions about the writing process in general? 
  • The publishing process?

Pretty much anything you want to ask, ask. I’ll do my best to answer.

Just comment below (you can comment anonymously if you prefer). Or ask on facebook or twitter if those are your social mediums. I check all three regularly.

(You guys are so awesome.)

I’ll leave this post up for…well…forever, so even if you find this down the road, feel free to post your questions.

So are you ready?

Ask away!

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PS) Here is the synopsis for Sadie in case you’re curious:

Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until one misunderstanding leads to a brutal event that changes everything. Terrified, she flees her boyfriend’s wrath, two FBI agents, and her “perfect life.” Lost in a Montana snowstorm and desperate for refuge, she’s rescued by four quirky guys on their annual holiday ski vacation. But even as her physical wounds heal, Sadie wonders is she will ever be able to escape the clutches of her wealthy and determined boyfriend.

While her heart tells her there is more to a perfect life than diamond necklaces and elegant dinner parties, Sadie doesn’t know who she can trust. And just when her heart settles, she finds herself abandoned by the one person who swore to protect her for a religion she doesn’t understand. Will she have the courage to follow her heart and find the life that is perfect for her?

Book Signing: A Strange Phenomenon If You Think About It

(signing)

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I might be the only weird person in the world . . .

.                  And this might be kicking myself in the foot, but . . .

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Why do authors sign books for people?

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Don’t get me wrong. This is personally one of my favorite parts of writing. I love that people want my messy, obnoxious signature in their copy of Sadie. That’s cool. In fact, I just signed another book for someone this week. I love it!

But . . .

Why us?

  • Why don’t teachers sign our children on the way home from school?
  • Why don’t firemen leave big black, ashy swirls on the sidewalk after they save our house?

Fireman Dave was here! Hope you enjoy!

  • Why don’t cement workers leave their hand print in all their beautiful work? (They’d get fired, yes, but why?)

I just find it curious that some professions get more credit than others.

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A Little Bragging

Since my engineer hubby doesn’t get to sign his hard work either, I had to brag a little. For all you truck fans out there, my hubby works on the pretty shiny parts of the F-150. Yep. He is that cool. There’s an article mentioning the new exterior changes on the F-150 in the Detroit News today.

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Now picture his permanent signature in the bottom left corner of that grille. Cool, eh?

Picture car salesmen saying, “Today is your lucky day! We have a genuine, autographed F-150 in our store. We keep it behind glass to protect it.”

Or picture people driving past my hubby on the street and screaming, “Stop! Stop the car! There he is. The guy who designed my grille! I have to get his autograph! STOP!!!!”

Might be a little weird, right? I know it would freak the heck outta my hubby.

So again . . .

Why authors, artists, and actors, and not engineers or computer technicians? Is it the A thing? If your profession starts with an A you give out your Autograph? Seems discriminatory somehow. And again, so I’m not misunderstood, I like signing books. I do. So . . .

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Here’s my little dare

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If you have a career in something that doesn’t normally require a signature, I dare you to sign something today (maybe in washable marker so you don’t get fired). See what kind of reaction you get. Sign that tooth. Sign that box of chocolates someone buys at Walmart. Go for it!

But . . .

You must come tell me about it if you do. :) I’ll see if I can get my hubby to sign the next F-150 he sees, and hope he doesn’t get punched by a truck guy who doesn’t like someone messing with his truck.

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(Ironically, I sign all my posts now. Don’t know why, I just do. But so you know, my real signature is not that pretty, and usually I don’t have the patience to get past the first B. It’s usually RE*scribble*)

Win an Autographed Copy of Sadie (or two)



Hey, I wanted to let you know about two copies of SADIE I’m giving away starting this week. This giveaway includes an inscription and my lovely (not) signature The first book is for my blog followers here, just comment below if you want to be considered. The other copy is on goodreads, details here if you’re interested. Yes, that’s two free copies of SADIE, one here for my followers and one over at goodreads. Both giveaways are open until March 15th

If you don’t know anything about my book, here’s the book trailer and a quick synopsis:



Sadie Dawson thinks she has the perfect life until accusations and misunderstandings throw her life into turmoil. Fleeing her boyfriend’s wrath in a blinding Montana snowstorm, she is rescued by four friends on their annual ski vacation. While she knows there is more to a perfect life than diamonds and dinner parties, she must discover who has her best interests at heart and who she can trust . . . before it’s too late. Click here for more info.  

I could tell you how much I like my own book, but that would be really weird and, quite frankly, a little desperate, so here are some reviews from some very nice people: 

Deseret News
Tristi Pinkston
Amazon
Deseret Book
(If you’ve read SADIE and want to share your thoughts, post a review or send me a note at rebeccabelliston at gmail dot com. I love hearing from readers!!!)

That’s it for now. I hope you win. Well, one of you reading this will, but I hope that it’s you. Yes, you! The last person who won a copy was the fabulous Cassie, who has since become my friend–at least, I claim her as my friend. I’m not sure she claims me. :)  Don’t worry, my friendship is optional with all entries, so don’t let that deter you. (Wow. Can you tell I haven’t been getting enough sleep? I’m in a strange mood. Sorry. I should quit typing.)

Enjoy the sunshine! If you don’t have any where you are, come to Michigan. We have blue skies in February for once. Yahoo!!!

Want your eCopy of SADIE autographed?

(signing)



The ebook version of SADIE has been sitting at #2 on Deseret Book’s fiction list for a couple weeks, which I think is just so stinking cool. Even on amazon.com, SADIE has been as high as the top 1.8% of all ebooks. So, so, so exciting for a dorky, first-time author like me. Seriously, I’m like a kid with a credit card in a candy store. I just had to say a big thanks! to everyone today. I’ve received some very nice letters and reviews from some very nice people, so again, THANKS!!! And keep sending the notes (you can reach me by email, rebeccabelliston @ gmail . com, or on my facebook page.) I love hearing from people! 


Along those lines, I’ve seen this new thing around that I finally got around to investigating today. It’s called KINDLEGRAPH and it allows authors to sign ebooks. Weird maybe, but also very cool. Especially since I live in Michigan and a lot of my readers don’t. 


So…


If you have an ebook version of SADIE, and would like it Kindlegraphed, the link is here. Just drop me a note of who you want it inscribed to and I’d be more than happy to ‘sign’ it for you. There are directions on how to make it work, but I’ll have to say that it took me a little bit to figure it out. Then again, I’m not the greatest at technology. If I’m understanding it right, you need to have a Kindle (or the free Kindle app for your device) plus a Twitter account to sign in. If you get stuck, let me know and I’ll try to help. As this is a fairly new concept, I’m hoping the technology will become more user-friendly with time. 


Cool, cool, cool.


Side note: if you’d like me to sign your actual paperback book, just shoot me an email and we can try to arrange something. Oh, and if you haven’t bought SADIE and would like to, the links are on my website here. ;)


Gotta love technology!

Experiences from a New Author:

1) Writing a book is easy (comparatively). Editing/cutting a book is not.
2) Editing/cutting a book is easy (comparatively). Getting a book published is not.
however…
3) Getting a book published is DEFINITELY worth the effort!
Lovin’ life in the University Village Deseret Book, Orem
This year I learned how to make a website, create a facebook fan page, blog, tweet, help make a book trailer, create covers for self-published music, edit HTMLs, create a goodreads page, a playlist, and sign books. I’ve learned how to self-promote (my least favorite thing) and relearned how to sign my full name since I’ve been cheating on checks and visa receipts for awhile now. In my defense, I went from Becky Lund growing up (9 letters) to Rebecca Belliston as an adult (16 letters–almost double). It’s been a stretch. Now I have a few hundred people who know exactly why I got a C+ in third grade for my handwriting. 
I also learned this year that having a book published has allowed me to connect with so many people I haven’t seen for years. High school friends, cousins, Michiganders that defected to Utah. It allowed me to work with my dad closely on something we both love. It has also allowed me to meet many new people who have been so kind and inspired me as an author. I think these have been the greatest benefits.

Book signing with my sister, Cynthia Dobson
and my dad, Gerald N Lund in the SLC Deseret Book

As 2011 winds down, I just had to drop a quick note to say thanks to everyone that has encouraged me along the way, to those at Deseret Book for making this possible, and to everyone else who has given me feedback on SADIE. It is very fulfilling to think that my story might have entertained you for a few hours. Hopefully there are many more stories to come.

One last thing…
If you happened to like SADIE, I would love it if you would take a few minutes to nominate it for a Whitney Award. The Whitneys are an academy set up to honor LDS novelists in all genres and across all markets. You can nominate more than one book/author in any given year, but there are only two more days to nominate a book for 2011. The website is here
Thanks again for helping to make 2011 a great year!!!

First Book Signing, Including Pictures

Today was so much fun! I signed with some amazing people, William Bennett, Lisa Mangum, and Denis Gaunt, plus I was able to see a lot of friends and family that I haven’t seen for so long. What a great day. Thanks for everyone that came. Since this was my first ever book signing, I have to post a few pictures. Thanks David Mora for snapping some for me.
I have two more signings tomorrow with Gale Sears (Orem 10-11:30 and Bountiful 2:30-4) plus one next Thursday night (SL 6pm with my dad Gerald Lund and sister Cynthia Dobson). If I haven’t seen you yet and you are in Utah and you have a moment to come stop by, I would love to see you!
Who would have thought that writing a book was such a fun way to connect with old friends? So much fun!