Road Map to Create Your Book

Post # 202

August 2, 2019

 

 

A Road Map to Create Your Book

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

By Lynda McKinney Lambert

Published July 15, 2019

 

Let’s take a tour of my newest book.

I think of a book as a landscape that we can walk through.

Let’s begin with the beautiful image on the book’s cover.

 

The book  is a creation by many different people.

 

Yes, as the author, I wrote the book and selected everything that is in it.

But once I did the writing, the book was sent off to DLD books, and that is where David and Leonore Dvorkin began to do their magic on it, too.

Leonore is the editor, and David is the technical director – he’s the one who puts everything it its proper place. But decisions are made by all of us as we go through the process of creating a book.

We have a shared vision for how the book should look and how it should be designed. When I say “we” I am usually referring to the Dvorkins and me, as we worked together on the book.

 

~Book Cover ~

Our book cover has to have an image that attracts the eye of a potential reader.

The first thing you are aware of when you see a book, is the cover. Immediately, you know if you like it or if you don’t. If the cover is appealing, then you will pick up the book and open the first page to have a look at the inside.

As we created the book, the cover was the last thing that was selected.

I had the idea that I wanted a rural landscape with trees, a stream and a star strewn sky.

When Leonore Dvorkin found this photo, we instantly knew it was perfect.

James WHEELER, a photographer, created the photo that Leonore found on Pexels.

WHEELER’S original  photo was too large for the cover size, so David and Leonore selected a detail from the photo and it fit perfectly. That was an exciting day when we finalized the cover image! Every time I hold this new book in my hands, I whisper a “thank you” to the wonderful photographer who captured this breathless night scene.

 

~Pre-Publication Endorsements ~

Once you get your draft to the place where you have your poems in place where you want them, you can begin to ask some other people who are respected in the writing field to write a blurb – or an endorsement – for your book and for your promotion of the book once it is published.

I asked 2 authors  to write an endorsement that would be inside the book. The 2 blurbs are by Tennessee poet, Wesley D. Sims, and New York author, Annie Chiappetta. The 2 writings are featured on a page just inside the front cover.

An excerpt from Wesley D Sims is a special highlight on the BACK COVER.

In addition, several others wrote  pre-publication endorsements that I will use in promoting the book after publication. All writers are my personal friends.

 

~Table of Contents~

The Table of Contents is a  ROAD MAP  to help a  reader  find the items in  the book.

Every aspect of the book is listed in this section, in chronological order from beginning to end of the book.

Be prepared to spend so much time on this part of the book! It may seem endless once you begin creating it – because you will move different pieces of the book around once you begin and that will change the order of the listings in the Table of Contents every time you make a tiny change. I made  an enormous amount of changes right up to the `last day of preparation before the book was published.

 

~The Dedication Page~

Choose someone you want to honor by writing a Dedication Page for them.

I chose a high school English teacher and his wife for this Dedication. Both are deceased, but both were an important part of my academic life as a young girl, and they were life-long friends through the years.

 

~Foreword~

I wanted the Foreword to be written by an editor who has published my poems in his literary magazine and immediately, I thought of Michael Northen, editor of Wordgathering. To my delight, he agreed to do it and I was thrilled that he did.

You will find that you have so much respect for the editors you work with in the different publications, that you feel so honored when they agree to help you in this way.

 

~Divide your book into parts~

Since this is my 3rd book, I realized that I have a pattern for putting together a collection of work. I was not too aware of that fact until after I completed the 3rd book. What I will describe next, is really the skeleton on which I build the book. Other writers may do it completely different than me. That is ok, because we all have a vision of how we want our book to look. What I will describe next, is my personal vision for all 3 of my books.

~Select a Photo to Begin Each Part~

 

I am a visual artist and even though I have profound sight loss, I still highly value photographs and other art forms. I want strong visuals in all of my books. After all, my entire life-long career has been in the Fine Arts. I am still the same person I’ve always been. Because I lost my sight does not mean I have lost my VISION.

I am a visionary – one who dreams

awake or asleep

I select a photo or art work that will be the opening visual statement for each part in the book. I chose an image that would reflect an idea or theme in the first poem for that section.  People really enjoy the photos  and I get compliments on my choices. In most instances, they are my own photos. I list the source of the photos to give credit for each of them and I give each photo a title which is printed below that photo.

 

~How I create different parts~

First, I select a theme for my entire book.

My theme is always discovered in one of my poems!

There is a particular poem that just stands out, for me, and I keep thinking of that poem so much that it seems to rise to the surface of my thoughts. Eventually, I realize that poem will be my opening poem, and the theme for my book is there in that poem.

For Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, I began with the poem, “Star Signs.”

This poem is the entry way into my collection.

It was FIRST PUBLISHED  in  2016,  by Wordgathering Literary Magazine. In addition to the print version of the poem, there is also a voice recording of Melissa Cotter,  who is reading my poem. I love to listen to Melissa read my poems, for she brings them to life with her interpretations.

Listen to Melissa Cotter read;  Listen to this poem now.

READ the POEM HERE:  Read it now!

When I heard her reading my poem, it was as though I never heard it before. Her reading was so beautiful that I listened to it so many times. She gave it a magic that thrilled me when I heard her voice.

From the poem, “Star Signs,” I selected an image for the opening of  Part 1 of the book.

Once I decided on that first part, then I moved on and selected 3 other poems that would open the section of Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

I used a line from the opening poem, for each section –

~I’ve listed the  4 Parts of the Book and the PHOTO INTRODUCTION to each part~

~Part 1 – Lights Across the Sky~

~Part 2 – Distant Legends and Metaphors~

~Part 3 – Transmutation of Earthy Elements~

~Part 4 – For Seasons, Days, and Years~

~Acknowledgments~

For poetry, you will cite only the “first publisher” of that particular poem or essay.

Here is where good record keeping is important. If I did not keep good archives of my publications, I could never do this important piece of the book.

I keep detailed records of every individual piece of writing in a file that I update monthly.

In another file I keep the publication history of every published work.

In a third file, I keep the publication history by year.

You will need to know all of this to create your Acknowledgments Page.

Believe me – this page will change so much during the editing of the book that your head might begin to spin. Leonore and I labored over this page and the Table of Contents Page for many days throughout the entire process of creating the book.

~Meet the Author~

Here is where you will have a photo of yourself as the author of the book.

In addition, this is where you will write a biography of your professional life.

For this book, since it is a collection of new and selected poems, I wanted to share the roots of my publication life – I put my first professionally published poem in this section so my readers could enjoy seeing that first poem that motivated me to continue on the writing path back in 1990.

That poem also gives the reader the information about what is important to me as a person who loves art and poetry that spans the centuries. It establishes me as an author who loves history, mythology, the Classics,  and setting work in the historical context.

 

~Additional Highlights~

This is something I never did before, but I had some additional professional recognitions that I wanted to share with my readers. I cited some international anthologies my work appeared in; a book that was published in recognition of fiber artists who have disabilities; and listed some honours I was awarded in the past year. I did this as a way of showing my appreciation for these opportunities.

 

~The Back Cover~

The back cover is just as important as the Front Cover.

It has to look appealing and it should carry information about the book.

 

For Star Signs: New and Selected Poems, we decided to put a quote from the endorsement that Wesley D. Sims wrote.

Below that quote, we wanted to put a poem that was appealing.

We chose “Painting in Mid-October” for the back cover.

It fit perfectly.

 

Below the text is a small head shot of me – the Author of the book.

It is a detail view of the black and white photo of me which we used for the “About the Author” section. I really like this photo because it shows me wearing a hand-knit jacket that I created and I am seated in my Zen Meditation Garden, in front of the Tamukeyama Tree which is as it’s peak in brilliant hot pink/red blazing colour.

I created this road map for a book of poetry.

This works for me – and I am pleased to share it today.

I hope you find it helpful when you are beginning to design your own book.

Copyright 2019.  Lynda McKinney Lambert. All Rights Reserved.

Created for the Sizzling Summer Super Book Release Party Event,

August 3, 2019.

I will present this information and speak with our guests from 1 to 2 pm that day.

YOU can WIN a PRINT COPY of my book:

Star Signs: New and Selected Poems

1_Read this article.

2_Write a comment about the picture of the girl holding something in her hands.

What do you think this girl  is doing in the photo?

What do you think this photo says about the girl and the book of poetry?

3_After you LIKE this page, and Comment – Please SHARE on your Social Media site.

This will QUALIFY you to be in my drawing.

I’ll draw the LUCKY WINNER of the BOOK on August 10th.

Please share the happiness.

I love you for that!

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday is for Sharing ~ Butterfly Thomas

 Post 180

Saturday is for Sharing

Good morning to our Readers

SCAN-a-BLOG

Author’s Interview with

Butterfly Thomas

by Lynda and Miss Opal

 

Lynda_ For our FIRST AUTHOR’s VISIT on the FIRST WEEK OF SPRING ~ 

Miss Opal and I  are so delighted to welcome  BUTTERFLY THOMAS  to our home on the ridge overlooking the spectacular Connoquenessing Creek, in The Village of Wurtemburg, in rural western Pennsylvania. Finally, SPRING ARRIVED here even though it is frosty cold today with a light blanket of fresh snow on the grass.

Listen for a few seconds, Butterfly, and you will hear the Red-Breasted Robin singing from the bare branches in the Ginkgo  tree as you came down the sidewalk.  She begins her song so early in the mornings that the sky is a soft rosy glow on the horizon. I imagine she is busy with nest-building right now, too.

 

Miss Opal_  Butterfly, we just love these pretty Spring mornings! The sun has been shining, in between the days of rain that we get at this time of year. But, I know you live in Virginia, so I think that Spring arrived there with a bit more sunshine than we have in PA.  I always think of the Cherry Blossoms that bloom in your area when it is still cold here.

I like to watch the world of nature from my window in our office. This is a very special day  for us when one of our fellow writers drops in for a little chat.   I want to know more about your name, Butterfly! Do you like it?  Tell us more about it, if you don’t mind.

 ~ Butterfly Thomas ~

~ A Virginia Author ~

Butterfly_  I thought  you would ask me about my name because this is my professional name. And, yes, I really like my name. I don’t use my given name for professional work. Instead, I chose to use the name  “Butterfly Thomas.” I have had the name Butterfly for half of my life now, as I just had a birthday on March 12.

Lynda_ I think your professional name is perfect for a woman with a birthday so close to the beginning of Spring.  It is a time of renewal and rebirth, and that is exactly what a butterfly signifies.

Butterfly_ When I was in high school, a series of events led to me becoming completely blind. I had retinal detachments, cataracts, glaucoma and a couple of unexplained hemorrhages. In my junior year, I accidently got hit in the eye which detached my retina for a final time and I was forever changed. 

 

Lynda_ How did all of this  trauma affect your life as a young girl? 

How did you deal with the rapid changes you plunged into at that time?

Butterfly_ Well, here is what happened!

One year later, I was still adjusting to blindness, but flourishing in my senior status. I was back on honor roll, no longer acting out, and mentoring the younger girls in my dorm (I attended the state school for the blind).

About mid-year, the superintendent told me that I would be presenting the farewell speech at graduation and suggested I do a poem. By this time, I was writing poems about everything from the nasty food in the cafeteria to nurse appreciation week. So, I thought about it for a while and began to write. I called the poem, “Butterfly,” and it was about my 3 years at this school. From year 1 to year 3 I had made several transformations from a vision impaired teenager who let her grades slip and got into fights, to a blind young adult honor roll student who was a role model for the other students.

Miss Opal_ Oh, I see how this could make such a difference for you because you really turned this around by giving hope and inspiration to your fellow graduates.

Butterfly_  Yes! Thereafter, I kept the name Butterfly as a nickname and it was an easy decision to use it as a pseudonym when I started publishing.  

Lynda_ Let me ask you a question that is a little bit off the beaten path, but I think it will be interesting to hear what you have to say about it. This is one of my favorite questions for my guests.

When it is 5 o’clock somewhere, where will you be and what will you be doing?

Butterfly_ I live in the city and I prefer the city because there are more options for paratransit and public transportation. On my job, I work as a counselor and advocate for my cities’ Center for Independent Living.I get off work at 4, so sometimes I am on the paratransit on my way home at 5.

However, if time is on my side, then at 5 I will be at home in my bed, snuggled up under the covers and reading my latest book download. Reading is my absolute favorite thing to do and after a long day at work I have to take at least an hour to decompress and get my thoughts together.

After the clock strikes 6, I have mentally prepared to spend time with my family and so I leave my comfy bed and my room and go out into the living room to engage with my loves.     

Lynda_  Can you please speak a little more about your job as a counselor. What is the best part of your day and why do you like it so much?

ButterflyThe best part of my job is in  powering people with disabilities by helping them become more independent whatever that may mean for them.

I have a Master’s degree and professional counseling and I’m currently under supervision gaining hours so I can sit for my licensure exam.

 

Lynda_  Since you were born in Germany, do you have memories of this country?  You know I was fortunate enough to live in Austria every summer during most of the years I was professor. I loved Germany and took my students there every year since we lived just across the border in Austria.

Butterfly_  I was very young when we lived there. But, I wish we could have stayed  in Germany long enough for me to make some memories>  I will go back some day. This is a promise I made to myself 😎

Lynda_ I believe you will since you feel so strongly about doing that. We just never know where life will take us but I have found that life has a way of taking us to where we intend to go – no matter how long it takes.

Lynda_ I was also thinking about how we have a creative place or space  where we go to do our work. My special work place is here in my home in this room just off of the kitchen. This is where Miss Opal and I do our work together.

Can you describe your creative work space?

Butterfly_ I didn’t really create my creative work space lol.

It is just there in my room. I don’t even sit on a chair or anything, I prefer to sit on my bed cross-legged with my laptop in front of me and my external keyboard in my lap. I will usually have Pandora playing music on my phone in the background and I am in the zone with everybody and everything shut out. My bedroom door stays shut during this process. I guess as an introvert, I must have that place that I can go to recharge from outside influences or just be comfortable and relaxed and my bedroom allows me to do that which is why it became my creative work space.    

 

Miss Opal_  I’m an introvert, too Butterfly.  But, I love to think about some of my first memories. I was rescued by Miss Lynda and her family, along with my mother and my 3 siblings one summer day in the woods in Ohio. We were alone and hungry, and we were sick. We really needed help. We all came  to Pennsylvania to live.  Our mother, Effie Pearl, died last year, but my sister, Miss Bessie lives with us.  Our 2 brothers went to live with some friends. We are now 6 years old and we have a good life. 

Well, that is my earliest memories, Butterfly. I am wondering, what are your early memories like?  What is your earliest memory, how old were you when this memory was saved in your mind?

when did you remember this?

Butterfly_ One of my earliest memories is of me and my family playing outside in the snow. I remember my dad tossed a snowball and it kind of fell on the inside of my glasses. I remember the super cold water dripping down my face as the snow melted against the heat of my skin. I let out a little eek sound from the shock of the cold because I was all snuggly and warm in my thick and heavy snowsuit. my siblings laughed and kind of just ran around picking up snow and tossing it. I was about 3 or 4 in this memory, but I don’t know when I solidified this memory in my mind. Also, on this same day, the memory flashes to my dad pulling a frozen snowball out of the freezer and putting it down my mom’s back, she screams because of the cold and playfully swats his hand. These 2 scenes are all I remember of this day, but it sure seemed like a fun day.    

Lynda_ I’ve always loved to travel. How about you? Do you enjoy going to new places or do you prefer to stay closer to home?

If I gave you a ticket to anywhere you would like to go, where would it be? I

Butterfly_ Lynda, I am really drawn  to this question. Since we  mentioned Germany a couple of minutes ago, it reminded me of how I used to think about this.  But, after reflecting on it, I can say I am changing somewhat.

The way I used to answer this question is by saying I would like to visit Germany because I was born there and my family moved back to the states when I was 2

So, it is true, I have no memories of the country, as I said.

But, there are pictures:  October fest and fun things like that.

But I can no longer see the pictures.

Though, I still do want to go back to Germany and experience everything that country has to offer, my real answer is that I want to go on a food tour.

I want to visit every interesting place and country and taste the lovely foods that signify each culture.

Lynda_  And, I believe you will, Butterfly.  I believe you will go many lovely places in your life and you will enjoy the culture, foods, and everything else that is so good about visiting new places.  And, when you do, please take a moment during your travels and send Miss Opal and me a post card. Will you? We will be watching the mail.  It has been delightful to have this morning with you. Thank you for this special day.

Butterfly_ Thank you Miss Opal and Ms Lynda for inviting me. I hope you both have a wonderful day. It was so nice to be here.

_

Find out MORE about Butterfly Thomas:

  Butterfly Thomas Book title: Head Held High

Social media link: http://www.twitter.com/butterflytnovel

Link to purchase: https://www.dldbooks.com/bthomas/

  • Official book blurb:

Shya’s dying mother tasked her with taking care of her younger brothers, and the girl is trying hard to do just that. But it doesn’t take long for the reader to learn that Shya is doing a lot more than being a loving, attentive sister and attending college. She’s also working as a high-end escort under her stepfather’s control. As the stepfather’s demands increase, Shya sees no choice but to kick up her plan to squirrel away enough money to win custody of her brothers. Little does she know that one brother is doggedly pursuing the escape of drugs, while the other is being bullied and hopes to escape everything — permanently. More tragedy ensues as Shya gets caught stealing from the wrong person. Can she save her family with bodies dropping all around her and a killer closing in? Will she lose everything for the pursuit of money? Can she keep her head held high in the face of so much adversity?    

_

This feature article on Saturday is for Sharing is a gift from Miss Opal

and Lynda McKinney Lambert. 

Are YOU a PUBLISHED AUTHOR?

Want to be OUR GUEST?  Click here to see how to be our guest

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright March 23, 2019. All rights reserved.

Saturday is for Sharing

is a series coordinated by Lynda and Miss Opal, her feline writing partner.  Lynda and Miss Opal live in rural western Pennsylvania in The Village of Wurtemburg.

Lynda is the author of 2 published books:

  ~ Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems Buy it!

~ Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage Buy it!

Thank you for visiting with us today.

 

Contact Lynda & Miss Opal at:  riverwoman@zoominternet.net

Your COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, and SUGGESTIONS are always welcome.

 

READ MORE AUTHOR INTERVIEWS on Saturday is for Sharing Read it here!

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. Lynda McKinney Lambert.

Please SHARE the HAPPINESS with your social media friends.

We only ask that you copy the entire article and

include our copyright notice with any publication of this article.

 

WE LOVE YOU FOR THAT!

Friday Favs: The NEW BOE BLOG SHOWCASE

Post 162

Friday Favs: January 18, 2019 

 

~ Lynda’s Friday Favs ~

The NEW BOE BLOG SHOWCASE

BOE = Behind Our Eyes

Where to Find them?

Perhaps you have not yet heard of Behind Our Eyes, Inc. ?

It is an organization  that hosts a  writers group, specifically for  writers with disabilities.

I’d like to take this opportunity to share the website for the group.

The page containing blog listings from our members is now posted on  the group’s  website.

The direct link is:   https://www.behindoureyes.org/wp/blog-showcase/

*

Do you know about Magnets & Ladders?

It is a literary magazine of Active Voices by writers with disabilities.

 

If you are a writer who has a disability, you may be interested in finding out more about the opportunities provided.  I’ve been a member for a number of years. I am a published author and writer who has significant sight loss.  But, the great thing is that our disabilities do not define us and cannot keep us from being active in the craft that we love.

In addition to the website, there is a writing opportunity 2 times a year to send work to the Magnets & Ladders Literary Publication for consideration.  The website for the organization gives information and guidelines you can read about how you can enter your writing for this magazine. Click here for guidelines.

BONUS:  CASH  AWARDS in Each Category. Enter NOW.

 

BREAKING NEWS…

For the Spring/Summer issue this year – 2019 – there is an additional opportunity for writers who have a focus on Nature and the Outdoors.  The contest will award a $50 cash award for the best poem in this category.  This contest is  a memorial award in honor of the group’s late member, Ernest Jones, who died last year. Ernie served on the board and was an active member of BOE for a number of years.

Visit the guidelines and learn more about how you can enter your work! But hurry, the deadline is coming up in mid-February.

It is free – no charge to enter your work for either competition.

*

WAIT – There is MORE…

Behind Our Eyes has published 2 anthologies.

The  first Behind Our Eyes Anthology came out in 2007.

The second anthology is

Behind Our Eyes: A Second LookClick here for more information.

 

The THIRD ANTHOLOGY is now in process:

Behind Our Eyes: A Literary Sunburst

produced by DLD Books – scheduled for publication in early 2019.

*

The latest addition to the BOE Website is the BLOG SHOWCASE.  All BOE members who write blogs are featured on this SHOWCASE, if they choose to be listed.

Be sure to visit the website and visit the blogs on the page.

I think you will enjoy it very much.  When you visit a blog, make sure you leave a comment so the blogger knows you were there. That means a lot!

*

This article is written by  Pennsylvania Author Lynda McKinney Lambert.

This article was featured on the Friday Favs Special Feature as part of Lynda’s recognition of a variety of her favorite things – stories, organizations, and more.

Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2019.  All rights reserved.

You are invited to share this post with your friends on Social Media.

My only request is that you print it in its entirety, including copyright information and authors name.

You can find both of Lynda McKinney Lambert’s blogs listed on the New Blog Showcase at BOE.

Share the Happiness!

*

I Love you for That –