Friday, July 25, 2008

Prolific Novelist & Essence Storyteller of the Year L.A. Banks to Talk About Writing at July 30 Athena Isle Writers Meeting

L. A. Banks, author of the popular Vampire HuntressTM series of novels and recipient of the 2008 Essence Storyteller of the Year award, will be the guest speaker at the Athena Isle Writers meeting on Wednesday, July 30, at 12 noon SLT (Pacific time), at Story Mountain Center for Writers in Second Life.

Banks, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program, and received a Master's in Fine Arts from Temple University, has written more than 30 novels and contributed to 10 novellas, thus far, in multiple genres under various pseudonyms.

As a writer, she mysteriously shape-shifts between the genres of romance, women's fiction, crime/suspense thrillers, and of course, paranormal lore. One never knows how or when this enigma will appear . . . her forms are many, her secrets of crossing genres vast, and she does this with her teenaged daughter and her black Lab from some remote, undisclosed lair in Philadelphia.

Her Vampire Huntress series has become so popular among young adults that a Teacher's Curriculum Guide for the first two books has been created. The Office of Accelerated Learning, School District of Philadelphia, developed the guide as a result of numerous requests from educators nationwide who wanted to know how to harness the fantastic positive energy young people had as avid fans of the series. Given that the major themes in the Vampire Huntress legend were in alignment with the themes that many educators wanted to promote, these educators said they were also looking for ways to standardize a teaching methodology around the body of literature.

She also writes crime/suspense novels as Leslie Esdaile Banks, of which the most recent is No Trust; the Soul Food TV series novels as Leslie E. Banks; and women's fiction, romance (most recently Better Than), and motivational non-fiction as Leslie Esdaile.

L.A. Banks' newest book is Bite the Bullet, a Crimson Moon Novel, to be released in October 2008 by St. Martin's Press/Griffin.

Come meet L.A. Banks and learn more about her successful writing career next Wednesday, July 30, at 12 noon SLT at the Story Mountain Center for Writers on Athena Isle.

The meeting is free and open, and all SL residents are invited to attend.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Author Shares Tips for Book Promotion: Locally and Globally (i.e., the Web)

Elizabeth Yarnell, a successful author who started out publishing independently, came to Story Mountain Center for Writers on July 16 to address the Athena Isle Writers meeting.

She provided many great insights at the meeting, and you can read them in this transcript of the meeting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sisters Who "Mix Pots & Pans With Pens & Puns" Will Discuss Their Writing Life at July 23 Athena Isle Writers Meeting

Janet and Greta Podleski, who make up the sister act that wrote the bestselling cookbooks Looneyspoons, Crazy Plates (a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Awards) and their latest, Eat, Shrink & Be Merry!, will be the guest speakers at the Athena Isle Writers Meeting on Wednesday, July 23, at 12 p.m. SLT (Pacific time).

PhotobucketAs they write in the introduction to Eat, Shrink & Be Merry!, "Whether you're trying to change your eating habits, lose weight, launch a new career, or even become a better parent, the journey we're about to describe will show you that, when you dream big, set goals, work hard, refuse to quit, and let passion be your guide, just about anything is possible."

Janet and Greta are also monthly columnists for Canada's No. 1 magazine, Reader's Digest, and were voted into Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2000. The sisters and their inspirational, self-publishing success story have been featured on dozens of national TV programs such as The Today Show, CNN, Canada A.M., and QVC, as well as on hundreds of radio shows, and in magazines and newspapers across North America.

Although Janet is not quite as handy in the kitchen as Greta (read: huge klutz), she brings many other talents to the table. A year-2000 inductee into Carleton University’s Sports Hall of Fame (for soccer and basketball), Janet’s fitness knowledge is only surpassed by her ability to endlessly create annoying puns. In addition to a B.A. in Psychology, she has also earned a degree as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Originally from St. Thomas, Ontario, Janet and her Jack Russell Terrier, Lacey Lou, live in Ottawa.

Greta’s love of cooking began in her childhood after receiving an Easy-Bake Oven as a birthday gift. By age 12, she was preparing 3-course dinners for her 5 older sisters and her parents, using a real oven. Originally from St. Thomas, Ontario, Greta and her food-obsessed dog, Lexi, live in a 150-year-old farmhouse in rural Kitchener.

Come meet the Podleski sisters and hear their story next Wednesday, July 23, at 12 noon SLT at the Story Mountain Center for Writers on Athena Isle.

The meeting is free and open, and all SL residents are invited to attend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How the Web Can Help You Sell Your Book: July 16 Athena Isle Writers Speaker to Share Success Strategies

Want to learn how to publicize your book in the new millennium? Come to the July 16 Athena Isle Writers meeting in Second Life, when our guest speaker will be best-selling author and publicity coach Elizabeth Yarnell.

After being rejected by a stack of publishers, Elizabeth Yarnell independently published her best-selling, award-winning first book: Glorious One-Pot Meals: A new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking.

As a one-woman show, she knew it was up to her to make her book a success, so she learned how to be her own publicist, and landed everything from television appearances to stories in national magazines, prominent newspapers, and radio shows. Most recently, she has been focused on using social network marketing to get free publicity and prepare for her next book launch.

After selling more than 10,000 copies of Glorious One-Pot Meals, Elizabeth landed a New York agent and was picked up by Broadway Books, an imprint of Random House. Now she shares her publicity expertise through workshops, seminars, as a publicity coach, and on her Website "Recipes for Publicity: Cooking up strategies to get yourself noticed by the media and online communities."

Elizabeth will talk about her successful strategies at the Athena Isle Writers meeting at 12 noon SLT, Wednesday, July 16, at the Story Mountain Center for Writers on Athena Isle.

The meeting is free and open, and all SL residents who want to learn more about using online communities and social networking to generate publicity are encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Guests of Athena Isle Writers:

7-23-08: Janet and Greta Podleski, authors of Eat, Shrink & Be Merry

7-30-08: L.A. Banks, award-winning author of 10-book Vampire Huntress series

8-13-08: Novelist Michelle Richmond, author of The Year of the Fog and the newly released No One You Know

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