Events Buzz: End of July!

Happy last full week of July!

Have you picked up your Summer Reading books yet? We have a great selection in-store, and we can also order them for you. Come in before you run out of summer to read those books!

We have a busy week and weekend closing out the month for you.

THIS THURSDAY, July 27, FROM 7:00 – 8:00 PM we have our Doctor Who Discussion Night. This month’s topic is “Sequelitis.” What episode sequels worked? What didn’t? What episodes should have sequels? Come in and talk about our favorite Doctor!

And then, THIS FRIDAY, July 28, 7:00 – 8:30, we’re hosting Worcester Storytellers. Join us for the open mic; stay for featured reader Dana Laquidara!

After that, THIS SUNDAY, July 30, 12:00 – 4:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Presents: Magical Boy Basil Team. Stop by between 12-2 for informal signing and chatting with the writers, artists, and marketers behind this popular webcomic; stay through 2-4 for a more formal discussion and Q&A! ABSW welcomes Rebeckah Murry and Jill Marie Hacket, the creative team behind the popular webcomic—and now graphic novels—Magical Boy Basil.

And for HARRY POTTER’S BIRTHDAY, on THIS COMING MONDAY, JULY 31, we’re having a special Happy Birthday, Harry Potter! event with stories, games, crafts, and more! Throughout the whole day! Kids must have adults with them at all times.

And only a few days after Happy Birthday, Harry Potter, we’re having another event for family fun…

NEXT THURSDAY, August 3, 7:00 – 9:00 PM, hang out with Kathleen Rowe, author of Exploring the Charles River while she shares ideas and tips for any last minute trips and adventures along the Charles River in Boston, only 45 minutes away from Worcester.

And for the rest of August…

Sunday, August 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Sharon Pywell’s Romance Reader’s Guide to Life.

Saturday, August 12, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Presents Misfits by Garrett Leigh.

Saturday, August 12 – Sunday, August 19 – Teacher Appreciation Week – Special Discounts for Teachers!

Sunday, August 13, 2:00 – 4:00 – Mackenzi Lee Reading, Signing, Q&A

Thursday, August 17, 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Doctor Who Discussion Night – Open Topic.

Friday, August 25, 7:00 – 8:30 – Worcester Storytellers Open Mic and featured reader Trisha J. Wooldridge.

Sunday, August 27, 2:00 – 4:00 – Tui Sutherland Reading, Signing, Q&A

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Worcester Storytellers, the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM. Join the Worcester Storytellers for their open mic and featured reader every month. July is Dana Laquidara! Next meeting is July 28.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting is July 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is, SPECIAL DATE due to travel, July 27.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting August 12.

As always, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

If you had a great time shopping or at any event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at our 65 James Street location, you can leave us a review on TripAdvisor or leave us a review on Yelp.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

 

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Spotlight: Magical Boy Basil

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This Friday, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on both our Rainbow Readers Presents guests: Jill Marie Hackett and Rebeckah Murray—the author and artist team behind the wildly popular Magical Boy Basil webcomic that’s now in graphic novel form.

For those unfamiliar with Magical Boy Basil, it’s the story of Basil, who lived a normal life until he met Aaron, the leader of a band of undercover teenage magicians who fight monsters in order to maintain the balance of the universe!

Now Basil has a host of paranormal problems—fantastical mishaps, monsters that want to eat him, and a crew of magical classmates who are not happy Basil knows their little secret. In the meantime, Basil is trying to make new friends, hold his family together, pass algebra, and figure out why Aaron makes his heart pound so hard.

Tenth grade can be complicated.

Jill and Beckah will be at our 65 James Street store on Sunday, July 30, from 12:00 – 4:00 PM.  From 12:00 – 2:00 will be an informal chance to meet the creators and look at their work. Starting at 2:00 will be a Q and A, signing, and discussion of the comic.

First in the interview seat is Jill Marie! Thank you for joining us, Jill. What can you tell us about yourself and your writing?

My training is in visual storytelling for animated films (I have a BFA in computer animation from Ringling College of Art and Design), but the skills are transferable to writing for comics. In addition to writing, I also color Magical Boy Basil.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Magical Boy Basil?

Magical Boy Basil is an LGBT+ webcomic about undercover teenage magicians who battle monsters. The story and artistic style sets a light and quirky tone that evolves as the themes develop over time. It’s one of those growing-up stories, but with magic fights and cute boys who hold hands.

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

Beckah and I love to produce comics that feature LGBT+ leads because they’re the kinds of stories that we wished we had growing up. Either we didn’t have access to the genre at all, or the stories we did have involved sad endings or low production value. Beckah and I put everything we have into our comics as our contribution to quality storytelling for the LGBT+ community.

In addition to being an LGBT+ positive story, Magical Boy Basil is a riff on the “magical girl” genre of anime and manga. (Think Cardcaptor Sakura or Sailor Moon.) Beckah and I both enjoy this genre for its uplifting and episodic nature. The genre is easy to get into and it feels good to read, but it also has massive potential to break down from there and use the safe space created by the genre to explore some heavy topics. We selected the magical girl genre specifically for that quality, since we want to create a story with serious meaning that teens and adults will appreicate while keeping the overall experience fun for the reader.

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

The most challenging part of writing is sitting down and starting. Honestly, overcoming it is a matter of dicipline. Select a time to write every day, and write at that time every day. Set a timer for an hour, turn off the internet, and write for that hour. Develop habits. Get serious and stay serious about working.

I read an article about Anthony Trollope, who in his lifetime wrote 47 novels and a boatload of other non-fiction and short stories. He said that the key to his productivity was requiring himself to write 250 words in a 15 minute block, on repeat, for the value of three hours in a day, every day. Ultimately, that effort would produce about ten pages of quality writing, which resulted in three novels a year for him. The story of how he works sticks with me because it’s really about mastering the art of starting. If you can learn how to self-start, over and over again, you only need to stick with any project for fifteen minutes at a time. Breaking down massive amounts of work into little segments like that makes anything possible.

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

You can read the comic at www.magicalboybasil.com. Most of my personal work for Magical Boy Basil is behind-the-scenes writing and layout, which is all available through Patreon. www.patreon.com/magicalboybasil

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

For weekly updates and conversation, our website is great: www.magicalboybasil.com

To follow weekly updates and news, our newsletter: www.magicalboybasil.com/news

For social media fun and weekly update notices:

Facebook: facebook.com/magicalboybasil
Twitter: twitter.com/magicalboybasil
Instagram: instagram.com/magicalboybasil
Tapastic: tapastic.com/series/magicalboybasil

For behind-the-scenes fun and to support the creation of Magical Boy Basil, our Patreon: patreon.com/magicalboybasil

And finally, to get updates about the publication of new issues, our Kickstarter!: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/firesidestories/created

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Thank you for joining us, too, Beckah! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your art? How would you like us to introduce you?

I’m Beckah, a freelance illustrator originally hailing from Southwest Florida, super Gay, super Demisexual and I really just like to draw characters, costumes and comics (my motto is: “Line-work line-work line-work!”). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can call me Tyrannosaurus Becks (certifiably the best nickname I’ve ever heard in my life). “They” pronouns are preferable, but I don’t mind “She/her” or “he/him” either!

What’s your favorite medium as an artist? Do you vary between projects or pieces? How do you choose the best medium?

Absolutely ink! And graphite. Dry medium, honestly. I’m not much of a painter but I love, love, love strong line-work so most of what I do reflects that. For coloring, if it’s traditional, I’ll use markers but most (almost all) of my color work lately has been digital. As for how to choose the ‘best medium’, I automatically default to pen and ink unless a writer or commissioner requests otherwise. Or if the mood of the piece needs something different.

What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?

I have arthritis (it set in when I was 28, two years ago). Not something people who first meet me know or realize because I’ve got such a baby-face (I swear I am not my best friend’s son) and it’s not something I share often but it’s become a bit of a driving force for me now. The first flare up was so bad, Magical Boy Basil‘s release was delayed because I could barely curl or move my fingers. The knowledge that someday- sooner than for most- my hands won’t work anymore is terrifying but it’s also what keeps me drawing every day. You have to take advantage of your body while you can because you honestly never know if life (or genetics) is going to throw a monkey wrench or three in your plans.

While you’re working, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

Music is a very important aspect of my work process! I struggle with concentration issues so the music not only inspires me but it keeps me a bit more focused (and energized). It’s a great source of creative input, particularly for writing. Some of what you’ll find on my playlists- Prāta Vētra, Imagine Dragons, Vast, Bastille, Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups, AWOLNATION, Half Moon Run, IAMX and so on. I love finding new music to listen to, though, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share!

What do you consider the most challenging part of the artistic process? And how do you overcome that?

Being afraid of wasted time is huge for me. It keeps me from experimenting which in turn fosters stagnation in my abilities. It’s difficult for me to remind myself that I don’t have to show anyone anything if I don’t want to, particularly if they’re studies in some new process. I also don’t produce as quickly as a lot of other artists, so that “wasted time” fear really cuts me deep. I think part of the issue is intimidation factor as well. I’m a bit older compared to some of the people I see with a big art presence online, so it’s also a matter of wrestling with feelings of inadequacy.  Yet for as much as I compare myself to others (Don’t do this, guys, at least if it’s not to pump yourself up to improve), I force myself to draw anyway. Lately, I’ve been slowly trying to creep out from under the shadow of “Wasted Time” and try new things- different compositions or small coloring techniques or styles. For me, it’s all a matter of passion and being too stubborn to quit.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your artistic career?

Practice really, truly does improve your skill set. I know it’s something beginners might get tired of hearing, but there’s just so much truth to it that it’s said for a reason. Likewise, NEVER be afraid to use reference.  NEVER be afraid to copy for practice (replicating a masterwork is part of the curriculum at Ringling, for example). If you use reference consistently enough, eventually you’ll reach a point where you don’t need it as often- your brain’s already supplementing aspects of what you’ve learned from repeated visual observation. And, most importantly, NEVER be afraid to challenge yourself. Draw trees even if you hate them, draw hands and feet especially if you’re not very good at them. By drawing what I’m not particularly good at, I do improve. By pushing myself to start incorporating things like reflected light and ambient light, I improve. It’s a slow process, sometimes I can be incredibly unforgiving to myself, but I’m sticking with it.

Where can people find your work? (Books, galleries, online sales?) (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

Recently, most of my work is all for Magical Boy Basil, so you’re totally welcome to come check out all the extras on our site, Magicalboybasil.com. Other than that, I’m working on being less eclectic with my posting! You can find everything not Magical Boy Basil related at paradoxfound.tumblr.com, remurray.com/secret-shop (where I sell things!) or even at thissidewaysbox on Twitter because that also exists.

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

Following and retweets/reblogs certainly help on Twitter (thissidewaysbox) and Tumblr (paradoxfound)! We’ve also got our Magical Boy Basil newsletter and a MBB Patreon (www.patreon.com/magicalboybasil) so it kind of depends on what you want to see. I’m a bit of a shy guy, but if anyone ever messages me I try my best to respond promptly! If you’d like my private tumblr (warning: where I often put NSFW material, my own or others), feel free to ask!

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Thank you, again, Jill and Beckah, for joining us on the Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester Spotlight blog!  We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, July 30, from 12:00 – 4:00 PM at 65 James Street in Worcester!

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Events Buzz: Mid-July Fun, a peek at August

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Author Marty Epstein with her Numbers Count worksheets! Stop by the store to pick up these excellent math story, coloring, and activity books!

Congratulations to all the 2016 Shirley Jackson Award nominees and winners from this weekend. Check out who was nominated and who won here.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Dr. Seuss Story and Craft Day, our Rainbow Readers Discuss Tremontaine by Ellen Kushner, and our Numbers Count Drop-in Activity! We have plenty of Seuss books, copies of Tremontaine, and even a few of the math work books left if you missed the events.

Summer Reading is in full swing, and we’ve got an excellent selection of new and used books based on the lists we’ve received from schools around the Worcester area. And if we’ve sold out of the book you need, we can always order the books for you—and ship them, too! Check out our Summer Reading display shelf in the larger children’s room, as well as our spinner rack of summer reading and classics.

Some of  our staff will be on the road this weekend at the Northeast Writers Conference, so we’ve pushed some of our usual events and upcoming events to the following week—so you have extra time to plan to come out and visit us!

Thursday, July 27, 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Doctor Who Discussion Night. This month’s topic is “Sequelitis.” What episode sequels worked? What didn’t? What episodes should have sequels?

Friday, July 28, 7:00 – 8:30 – Worcester Storytellers. Join us for the open mic; stay for featured reader Dana Laquidara!

Sunday, July 30, 12:00 – 4:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Presents: Magical Boy Basil Team. Stop by between 12-2 for informal signing and chatting with the writers, artists, and marketers behind this popular webcomic; stay through 2-4 for a more formal discussion and Q&A!

We’re halfway through July…want a sneak peak at August?

Thursday, August 3, 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Exploring the Charles River with Kathleen Rowe.

Saturday, August 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Presents Misfits by Garrett Leigh.

Saturday, August 12 – Sunday, August 19 – Teacher Appreciation Week – Special Discounts for Teachers!

Sunday, August 13, 2:00 – 4:00 – Mackenzi Lee Reading, Signing, Q&A

Thursday, August 17, 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Doctor Who Discussion Night – Open Topic.

Friday, August 25, 7:00 – 8:30 – Worcester Storytellers Open Mic and featured reader Trisha J. Wooldridge.

Sunday, August 27, 2:00 – 4:00 – Tui Sutherland Reading, Signing, Q&A

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Worcester Storytellers, the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM. Join the Worcester Storytellers for their open mic and featured reader every month. July is Dana Laquidara! Next meeting is July 28.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting is July 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is, SPECIAL DATE due to travel, July 27.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting August 12..

As always, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

If you had a great time shopping or at any event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at our 65 James Street location, you can leave us a review on TripAdvisor or leave us a review on Yelp.

 May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Events Buzz: Summer Fun!

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Congratulations to everyone who received their Report Card Rewards for this year! Enjoy your new books, and keep up the good work next year!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Novel Superheroes and Massachusetts Calling Local Author Panel events this past weekend.  We had a lot of fun with all of you—and if you missed the events, we have a number of the books still available! Find them on the top shelves of our local author display, where we show off our more recent and upcoming guests’ work.

Summer Reading is in full swing, and we’ve got an excellent selection of new and used books based on the lists we’ve received from schools around the Worcester area. And if we’ve sold out of the book you need, we can always order the books for you—and ship them, too! Check out our Summer Reading display shelf in the larger children’s room, as well as our spinner rack of summer reading and classics.

And if you’re looking for things to do…

THIS WEDNESDAY, July 12, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, join us for Dr. Seuss Story and Craft Day. This is one of our Drop-In Storytime and Craft events, open to crafty kids of all ages—but all children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Also, THIS SATURDAY, July 15, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Rainbow Readers discusses Tremontaine by Ellen Kushner.

Welcome to Tremontaine, the prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside series that began with Swordspoint! A Duchess whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; her husband’s dangerous affair with a handsome scholar; a foreigner in a playground of swordplay and secrets; and a mathematical genius on the brink of revolution—when long-buried lies threaten to come to light, betrayal and treachery know no bounds with stakes this high. Mind your manners and enjoy the chocolate in a dance of sparkling wit and political intrigue.

Tremontaine is an episodic serial presented by Serial Box Publishing. This collected omnibus edition gathers all 16 episodes from Season 1.

And finally, THIS SUNDAY, July 16, from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, ABSW is proud to host a special Drop-in craft event: Numbers Count Drop-in Activity.

Marty Epstein has written several books that use stories, coloring, and activities to inspire kids to have fun with math. She’ll bring her books, as well as sample activities kids can do at the Drop-In. As with all ABSW Drop-In Story and Craft events, all children MUST be accompanied by an adult.

Although Marty designed SMILING DOG ™ MATH books to be lots of fun, the books address a serious issue—weak math proficiency among so many U.S. children. Even in a strong public school in another state, one of her children started hating and struggling with math. Luckily, Marty has always loved numbers, was able to help her children, and they’ve gone on to major in math and physics in college. Upon learning how pervasive math difficulties are in this country, she wanted to help. To that end, she’s creating the SMILING DOG ™ MATH book series.

And later this month…

Thursday, July 27, 7:00 – 8:– PM – Doctor Who Discussion Night. This month’s topic is “Sequelitis.” What episode sequels worked? What didn’t? What episodes should have sequels?

Friday, July 28, 7:00 – 8:30 – Worcester Storytellers. Join us for the open mic; stay for featured reader Dana Laquidara!

Sunday, July 30, 12:00 – 4:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Presents: Magical Boy Basil Team. Stop by between 12-2 for informal signing and chatting with the writers, artists, and marketers behind this popular webcomic; stay through 2-4 for a more formal discussion and Q&A!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Worcester Storytellers, the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM. Join the Worcester Storytellers for their open mic and featured reader every month. July is Dana Laquidara! Next meeting is July 28.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting is July 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is, SPECIAL DATE due to travel, July 27.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting July 15..

As always, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

If you had a great time shopping or at any event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at our 65 James Street location, you can leave us a review on TripAdvisor or leave us a review on Yelp.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

 

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Author Spotlight: Lisa Shea

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Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on author Lisa Shea, the editor of Massachusetts Calling, who will be at our 65 James Street store with several of the contributing authors, this Sunday, July 9, from 1:00 – 3:00 PMMassachusetts Calling is an anthology of local authors sharing stories and more from around Central Massachusetts.

Besides editing this anthology, Lisa Shea has over 300 works published in a wide range of genres.  Her fiction includes mysteries, romances, historical adventures, time travel, science fiction, dystopian, fantasy, and mythology. Her nonfiction includes cookbooks, pet care, meditation, yoga, getting published, journaling, and stress relief.

Welcome Lisa! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect fromyou?

07092017 - Shea_authorphoto4in.jpgAll of my work is gently written with no explicit violence or sexuality – it is suitable for teens and up. Whether I’m writing mystery or romance, scifi or dystopian, I tend to focus on the way the characters interact with and learn from those around them. I like to explore how characters grow and strengthen from the challenges they face. I rarely have a “bad guy” in a story – if anything, I am more likely to have the heroine discover that there are reasons which caused an antagonist to become trapped in a certain negative mindset.  Most of my proceeds benefit battered women’s shelters, and I tend to have endings where the heroine finds a path out of her troubles due to her perseverance and determination.

 

What kind of research went into writing your works?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

The 14-book medieval series is probably the area I did the most research on. It’s a time period I’ve loved since childhood. I belonged to the Society for Creative Anachronisms for many years and had a medieval personae there. I participated in a dance group, took several years of medieval swordfighting lessons, and explored medieval cooking. I especially enjoyed my visits to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Europe to wander around castles and breathe in their atmosphere.

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What was the inspiration for your writing? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

I have over twenty different fiction series out. A fellow writer informed me it was absolutely critical that a series be on one and only one genre. I of course took this as a challenge. My next series is going to be a genre-hopper where every single book is a wholly different genre.

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out [newest release/spotlighted release]?  How did you overcome that challenge?

I love polishing my stories. I read and re-read them, tweaking a verb here, an adjective there. I could keep doing that forever. It’s always hard to release one of my stories. The beauty of self-publishing is, if I re-read it later on and decide I want to tweak something, I can. I just make the change, reload, and the new one is now live.

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

I’m not sure I ever hate any character. I strive to always consider each character a product of the way they were brought up and the life forces which bear on them. I try to make sure even my “villains” have understandable reasons for being the way they are, much as in real life. I think it behooves us as travelers on this planet Earth to look at each fellow person as a human with the same faults and strengths we have. So in that sense I try to love each character for who they are and the stage of their journey they’re in.

 

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I love pretty much all genres and styles. I strive to write my books to be teen-and-up friendly, as I want to be able to reach women in most stages of development. I generally strive to write uplifting stories which encourage the readers to find their own strength within them and to move past whatever hurdles impede them in their own lives.

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

I’ve worked from home since 1998 and love the flexibility that schedule provides to me. I can sleep in if I’m not feeling well. I can work late through the night if I’m enthused about a project. I can take a break to do yoga. I love being able to share my stories with the world and to help a cause at the same time.

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Write about something you’re passionate about. There is example after example of an author who wrote in a totally oddball genre and did extremely well with it, because it’s an area they adored. Don’t write in a genre just because others say it’s popular or you think it’s the hot genre. Write in the area you are thrilled about. This makes the writing go more quickly, it brings the characters to life, and your fan base can feel that energy.

Write about something you know well. If you’ve lived in Kansas all your life and you try to write a NYC thriller, you’re going to be hard-pressed to compete with the thousands of NYC-living authors who infuse their stories with a wealth of authentic details. If you instead write about Kansas and bring that world to life, it’s something the rest of the world will crave learning about.

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How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

A number of my series are set in New England. My four-book Sutton Massachusetts Mystery series are set in the Sutton – Millbury – Worcester area. My 31-book Salem mysteries are all set in Salem. I have a seven-book art theft series primarily set in museums around New England. My seven-book zoo mystery series is set in zoos around the area. This ties into the above question – write what you know. I can breathe specific details into my local stories because I live here. I know the trees. The flowers. The landscapes. I can bring those to life far better, in general, than someone who lives in France and is trying to insert details based on Wikipedia articles.

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What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

My world is wholly integrated with my writing. I love kayaking – and those trips get worked into the Sutton Mass mysteries. I love photography, cyanotypes, monoprints, and monotypes. I have books out on all of those topics. I enjoy wine and food – there are books on those as well. I love to travel, and my trips become the basis for my stories.

 

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

I adore writing and can do it nearly anywhere. Curled up in bed with the laptop. Lounging on the futon. Sitting at my desk. Writing is my escape and immersion. I’ll put off everything else to write. I don’t feel any draw to go out to a noisy café or to go to a group location to write – for me that would be incredibly distracting, along with a waste of the time driving to and from the location. I could write far more simply by staying put and typing.

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

Absolutely I prefer silence in my own cozy nook. I wholly immerse in my story. I don’t want any distractions bothering me from that immersion. It’d be like watching a serious drama movie and having someone wandering around or talking or playing music. It would take me out of that immersion.

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

The majority of my works are available free through the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program. A selection of thirty-three of my books are on all major platforms – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and so on.

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

I have a variety of social media locations:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/LisaSheaAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/lisasheaAuthor

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+LisaSheaAuthor/

GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/lisashea

Wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/user/lisasheaauthor

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lisasheama/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/lisashealowcarb/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Shea/e/B002BLWXPQ/

 

Thank you, again, for joining us on our Spotlight Blog, Lisa!  We look forward to hosting you and some of the Massachusetts Calling authors this Sunday, July 9, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM

 

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Events Buzz: Happy 4th of July!

Flag and Fireworks

Happy Fourth of July!!! May you have a safe and wonderful celebration of our country’s independence!

We are OPEN for our regular hours all week, including on July 4th. Our regular hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday      –           10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  • Friday-Saturday          –           10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday                        –           10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

And as an added gift to you, we are extending our Report Card Rewards through July 4! So, if you’ve got a great report card, bring it in to our 65 James Street store and show us!

If your highest grade is an “A”, you’ll receive two free used books.

If your highest grade is a “B”, you’ll receive one free used book.

If you have a straight “A” report card (including A+ and A-), you will receive a $10 gift certificate to Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester.

If you have a straight “B” report card (including B+ and B-), you will receive a $5 gift certificate to Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester.

One prize per report card.

And if you’re looking for fun stuff to do THIS WEEK, we’ve got fun stuff!

THIS SATURDAY, July 8, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Novel Superheroes. Come and meet some superheroes—and  their authors—who live within written words instead of comic pages. Authors Michael Bailey, Jude McLaughlin, Jeremy Flagg, Gabriel Ross and Amelia Ritner talk about their books, writing life, and the many facets of being and representing superheroes—as well as reading and signing.

THIS SUNDAY, July 9, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Massachusetts Calling Local Author Panel. Join best-selling author Lisa Shea and the Sutton Writers, a collective of local authors, and their anthology, Massachusetts Calling, which showcases the local things they love. The authors include Lisa Shea (who also edited the anthology), S.M. Nevermore, Kevin Saleeba, Christine Beauchaine, with more being announced shortly. They will each talk about their books, writing life, and the importance of all love—as well as read and sign..

And for the rest of July…

NEW LINK: Wednesday, July 12, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Dr. Seuss Story and Craft Day.

NEW LISTING: Saturday, July 15, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers discusses Tremontaine by Ellen Kushner.

NEW LISTING: Sunday, July 16, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Numbers Count Drop-in Activity. Enjoy fun stories and activities designed to help kids have fun with math.

Sunday, July 20, 12:00 – 4:00 PM – Magical Boy Basil Team. Stop by between 12-2 for informal signing and chatting with the people behind this popular webcomic; stay through 2-4 for a more formal discussion and Q&A!

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

Worcester Storytellers, the fourth Friday of every month from 7-8:30 PM. Join the Worcester Storytellers for their open mic and featured reader every month. July is Dana Laquidara! Next meeting is July 28.

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting is July 24.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is, SPECIAL DATE due to travel, July 27.

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting July 15..

As always, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

If you had a great time shopping or at any event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at our 65 James Street location, you can leave us a review on TripAdvisor or leave us a review on Yelp.

 May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Report Card Rewards – EXTENDED THROUGH JULY 4TH

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester hopes everyone is enjoying a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend.  We are open today, Sunday the 2nd, until 7pm.  We will be open tomorrow, Monday the 3rd, until 9pm and will be hosting our regular Monday event Spinning Yarns at 7pm.  On Tuesday the 4th, we will be open from 10am to 8pm.

reportcard

We are very impressed by the turnout of students with excellent grades who have taken part in our Report Card Rewards program for the month of June.  In speaking to some parents this past week, it has come to our attention that some report cards have only just gone out in the mail.  Therefore, we are happy to extend the deadline until 8pm on Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

To participate in the 2017 Report Card Rewards program:

Bring your final 2017 report card into Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at 65 James Street, Worcester MA 01603!

If your highest grade is an “A”… you’ll receive two free used books!

If your highest grade is a “B”… you’ll receive one free used book!

If you have a straight “A” report card (including A+ and A -) you will receive a $10 gift certificate to Annie’s Book Stop!

If you have a straight “B” report card (including B+ and B-) you will receive a $5 gift certificate to Annie’s Book Stop!

One prize per report card!

Many thanks for allowing us here at ABSW to serve you, the reading community.

 

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