Author Spotlight: Gregory Scott Katsoulis

09142018 - Access Restricted cover

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on Gregory Scott Katsoulis this week! Gregory is a writer and photographer based in Cambridge, Mass. He is a former educator who has worked extensively with children of all ages across a range of subjects and programs. His likes to write about subjects with a good, juicy concept to explore. When he is not writing, Gregory composes incidental music and enjoys taking photographs of faces, debunking bunk, and confounding children by teaching them about black holes, time travel paradoxes, and the hilarious fallibility of human memory.

Gregory will be at our 65 James Street store on Friday, September 14, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM celebrating the release of Access Restricted, the long awaited sequel to his YA science fiction thriller, All Rights Reserved.

 

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

I loved writing about Sera Croate in Access Restricted. She is a minor antagonist in All Rights Reserved, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to both explain her behavior and build a relationship between her and Speth. I wanted to find a way to allow both the reader and the protagonist to empathize with and care for Sera, despite her frustrating behaviors. As you read the book, you start to realize that the systems you’ve read about have been designed to keep people apart and Speth and Sera’s relationship is a victim of those systems.

 

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

Speculative Fiction allows me to use the predictive software we all possess in our minds to fast forward and exaggerate whatever ideas strike me. Both readers and I have good reason to be anxious about where we are headed with our future. Writing specifically about a dystopia lets me run with that anxiety and take it to places that I might describe as gleefully, absurdly miserable. Young Adult books in particular have seen a lot of dystopian stories because teens are, and should be, deeply invested in the future.

 

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 relish imagining possibilities. I know some people fear the blank page, but I love it. That blinking cursor in the upper left-hand corner of the screen could go anywhere and describe anything. Even if I’m writing a story about a future I hope we can avoid, I still enjoy being able to dream up that world and ways to fight it.

One of the great things about the publishing process is that these ideas are then read and interpreted in a myriad of ways, from the first reads by the editor, to the many readers, each of whom sees the book through their own lens. Connecting with readers and hearing their interpretations can be both fascinating and gratifying.

 

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

There are a lot of clues in All Rights Reserved that point to the location of that first story as taking place in a dome in a future Portland, Maine. In fact, I set it inland a bit from where Portland actually exists because of rising oceans. It is possible to overlay the map of the dome in the book with the map of the area and see places that align. Access Restricted is much more overt, with a map I designed based on some of the worst projections for sea level rise. The entire Eastern Seaboard is depicted in the map and early parts of the story take the characters out of the Portland dome and down through what has become of New England.

09142018 - Katsoulis Author pic

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

I used to construct elaborate playlists of music, mostly modern classical and movie soundtracks, to play and inspire me as I wrote. (Never anything with lyrics.) But I found that the mood of each piece would affect the mood of my writing and it wasn’t always appropriate to the scene. I tried to break down these playlists down into very specific groupings so I could have one for the exact mood I required, but it was an impractical use of time. It might even have been a method of procrastination, so I stopped. I can’t say, however, that I work in silence because I live in a city and silence isn’t really an option.

 

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

My books can be found at most independent booksellers, public libraries and for sale several places on the internet where books are sold.

 

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

Folks are welcome to follow me on Twitter at @gregkatsoulis, on FaceBook at @gscottkatsoulis and on my website: http://gregorykatsoulis.com

 

Thank you for the great interview, Gregory!  We’re looking forward to hosting you at our 65 James Street store on Friday, September 14, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

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Events Buzz: Back to School is Here!

Back to School season is in full swing!

We have literature for all grades—in spinner racks by our new author section, in our literature section, and in our children’s and YA areas—so if you find you need a last minute book for the school year, stop in and see what we’ve got. If you’ve got someone away at college who needs some last-minute literature, we can send a book to them through our mail order program.

We’ve also re-done our Local Author display! Discover some amazing titles by your very own neighbors—fellow Worcesterites, Massachusetts folks, and New Englanders. We have titles from all genres—many signed—that you might not find anywhere else.

08272018 - Local author display

Thank you to everyone who came out for events this week—especially our Saturday Afternoon event with Sydra Mallory and her children’s book, A Most Unusual Day! We had a great time talking about adoption and writing, and we do have a few signed books left if you missed the event.

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

We have some great events happening THIS WEEK too!!

TONIGHT, we’re happy to welcome our Free People’s Artists Workshop, starting at 7:00 PM.  Bring your art, writing, craft, or other creation to share and get critiqued by other local artists in Massachusetts.

And THIS WEDNESDAY, is our Board Game Night starting at 7:00 PM! Like board games? Want to meet local folks who like board games? Come out and have some fun!

Also, THIS FRIDAY, August 31, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, we’re hosting our Storytime: Dinosaurs.

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at 65 James Street is now hosting monthly Storytimes for children ages 3 – 8. The regular event will happen on the last Friday of each month—unless otherwise noted. Storytime will run from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Each Storytime will have a different theme, and August’s theme is Dinosaurs. Pre-registration is suggested, since space is limited. Please call Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at (508)796-5613 to register.

Come join us for a fun-filled hour of entertainment! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

And guess what: We’ve got a packed September starting NEXT WEEK!

Friday, September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM – SF Author Gene Doucette and The Spaceship Next Door.

Gene Doucette is the best-selling author of the fantasy series Immortal and The Immortal Chronicles, and sci-fi thrillers Fixer and Unfiction. He is also a humorist, award-winning screenwriter and playwright. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife.

 

For fans of classic SF classics like  Villeneuve’s Arrival, H.G. Wells’s War of The Worlds, and Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Doucette’s chilling, off-beat tale begins three years ago, on a cool August night, when a spaceship lands in the sleepy New England town of Sorrow Falls. Since then, it has remained dormant, never opening its doors. After being taken over by the US Army and cordoned off, it remained impenetrable and continued to do… nothing.

Until one day, everything changes. Townspeople, both alive and dead, begin to “sleepwalk” through the streets, hysteria sweeps through the community. Investigating government agent Edgar Somerville finds an unlikely ally in 16-year-old Annie Collins, a precocious local teenager, and the two embark on a thrilling, at times terrifying, quest to uncover the secrets of the alien vessel once and for all.

Saturday, September 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens.

This September, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to again team up with Kim Miczak of Breezy Gardens in Leicester to present “How to Garden using Integrated Crop Management” just in time for autumn garden preparations. Growing fruits and vegetables through environmentally sound practices is the very best way to enjoy healthy, delicious foods. Pre-Registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly at 11:00. Pre-register in-store or by calling (508)796-5613.

Saturday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – ABSW Table at Worcester Pride Festival.

We’ll be by the children’s area on the Green—and we’re getting in some special titles just for this event! Stop by and say “Hi!”

And look at the rest of September…

Friday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 – YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Saturday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Farm Animals.

We know it’s a busy time of year, so we’ve got even more events up on our calendar—and if you’re a newsletter subscriber, you got them delivered right to your inbox today. Interested in getting special coupons and being the first to hear about special sales and events?

Sign up for our newsletter here!

Saturday, October 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Josh Funk Pancake Party Reading, Signing, and More!

Monday, October 8, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Pete the Cat Day.

Saturday, October 13, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Loom Knit. Pre-registration and $5 Materials fee required.

Friday, October 26, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Spooky Tales.

Saturday, November, 17, ALL DAY – Annual Doctor Who Day!

Saturday, November 24, 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM – Small Business Saturday with Local Children’s Authors and Artists.

 

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

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!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This August, our theme is Dinosaurs! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting THIS FRIDAY, August 31.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! August’s topic is How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens. Pre-registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly. Next meeting September 8.

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 TONIGHT, August 27.

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 September 20.

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 September 15.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight: Gene Doucette

 

09072018 - Spaceship-Next-Door__hres

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight this week on author Gene Doucette! Gene is the best-selling author of the fantasy series Immortal and The Immortal Chronicles, and sci-fi thrillers Fixer and Unfiction. He is also a humorist, award-winning screenwriter and playwright. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife.

Gene will be at our 65 James Street store on Friday, September 7, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, celebrating his latest release, The Spaceship Next Door.

Thank you so much for joining us on our Friday Spotlight, Gene! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

You can introduce me as Gene or Gene Doucette. Mr. Doucette just confuses me.

I’m a local (I live in Cambridge) and have been writing in some way, shape or form since before we had an Internet. Novels are where I’ve found the greatest success, but I also logged time as a playwright, screenwriter, humor columnist and essayist. All of my novels have been self-published, the most successful of which is The Spaceship Next Door, which was picked up by HMH/Adams.

 

What was the inspiration for The Spaceship Next Door? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

There wasn’t any one inspirational source; it was all in pieces in my head. I just didn’t put the pieces together, until one day I did.

I’ve said (elsewhere) that I got the initial idea—a spaceship lands somewhere and then doesn’t do anything—while reading Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. This is true, but if you read Neal’s book, you’re probably wondering how that connection makes any sense. The inspiration was structural, not textual: the catalyzing event for the story happens at the very beginning of the book, and everything that comes after is a working out of the consequences. His thing was the moon being destroyed. Mine is a spaceship landing.

Once I got that far, I needed a place to land the ship. As it happens, I already owned a fictional town in Massachusetts. Sorrow Falls was invented for a play (never finished) in 1991. I revisited it in a novel (never finished) in 2006. Those two efforts fleshed out the town nicely before I even got to work on Spaceship.

Once I had “a spaceship lands in Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, and then doesn’t do anything,” I banged out the first chapter. Then I created Annie Collins in chapter two, and she took the story the rest of the way.

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out The Spaceship Next Door?  How did you overcome that challenge?

It’s pretty hard to put my finger on any real challenges, because I was doing this all myself and I’d cleared the necessary hurdles ahead of time.

Before the first edition of The Spaceship Next Door was released, I’d already worked out what I needed to do to self-publish something—I’d been doing it with novellas for more than a year. I had a cover designer, accounts with all of the distribution channels I would need, and I had the finished book. I didn’t hire an editor, or use beta readers. The first people to read the book aside from myself were the first people to buy a copy. Once the book’s sales took off, I used the proceeds to pay for an audio narrator, and that edition really took off.

So maybe the biggest challenge came later. When I received an offer from John Joseph Adams Books, I had to take a step back and recognize that if I wanted Spaceship to get to where I thought it should be, I was going to need to partner with a publisher who could get it into bookstores. That step back was challenging.

 

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

Annie Collins, obviously. I loved writing for her and miss not being able to do so all the time.

09072018 - Doucette_Gene Author Pic

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

I tell everyone I write science fiction and fantasy, and while that’s essentially accurate, I don’t really see a huge difference between the genres because my approach is the same.

I like writing about the “real world,” but with one or two tiny changes. In science fiction, that can be a spaceship landing somewhere, or an out-of-control computer simulation, or a character who can see five seconds into the future. In fantasy, maybe it’s just a character who’s been alive for sixty-thousand years, but otherwise shares nearly the same (non-magical) world the rest of us do. Basically, I’m interested in exploring our existing reality, but with one changed variable. It’s escapism, sure—I imagine that’s at least a part of what draws readers to the genre—but it can also be illuminating.

 

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

It was the perfect place to land a spaceship.

As I said, I invented Sorrow Falls as far back as 1991, and I based it on towns in Western Massachusetts. I did that because I was raised in this state, and went to high school in Northfield. (Northfield Mount Hermon.) That kind of on-the-ground familiarity helped make Sorrow Falls—which I would argue is as important a character to the story as Annie Collins, if not more important—feel solid. It was a much better choice than the usual ‘corn field in the Midwest’, which is where we expect all of our alien spaceships to land.

 

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

That depends on what they’re looking for. The Spaceship Next Door is available everywhere in print and ebook. The audiobook is exclusive to Audible right now.

My other novels—including The Frequency of Aliens, which is the sequel to The Spaceship Next Door—are available in all formats, with a diminished “everywhere.” The ebooks are as widely available as ebooks can be, and the audiobooks are also exclusive to Audible, but print copies are slightly harder to come by, because the self-published books are print-on-demand. The usual online sellers can get copies, but bookstore distribution is less common.

 

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

I’m pretty easy to find online. I have a website at www.genedoucette.me, author pages on Facebook and Amazon, and I’m on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Google me. If you get the guy who did the embroidery for Elvis Presley’s jumpsuits, you’ve got the wrong Gene Doucette. Otherwise, you’ve probably found me.

 

Thank you so much for a great interview, Gene! We’re looking forward to having you at our 65 James Street store on Friday, September 7, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

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Events Buzz: Rest of August Events

Thank you to everyone who came out for our fabulous events this week! We had a full house for Paul Tremblay, but there still are a very few signed copies of The Cabin at the End of the World available. We also had a fun time with our Doctor Who Discussion Night and our How To: Find Crafts for Kids events as well!

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

We have some great events happening THIS WEEK too!!

Besides our regular Spinning Yarns event TONIGHT, Monday, August 20, starting at 7:00 PM,  and Board Game Night THIS WEDNESDAY, August 22, starting at 7:00 PM, we also have…

THIS SATURDAY, August 25, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, we’d love you to join us as we celebrate Author Sydra Mallery’s adoption picture book, A Most Unusual Day.

Sydra Mallery is an elementary school teacher, a poet, and an adoptive parent. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family, a cat, and a bearded dragon. She has poetry in the acclaimed One Minute to Bedtime collection. A Most Unusual Day is her first book. Find out more at www.sydramallery.com.

A Most Unusual Day is the warm and loving lyrical tale of Caroline and her multiracial family as they bring home an adopted sister.

“This adoption story fills an important need in most picture book collections while also representing the general experience of becoming an older sibling. A must purchase for any library serving families.” — School Library Journal, starred review

“An unusually good adoption book.” — Kirkus, starred review

And NEXT WEEK…

Friday, August 31, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Dinosaurs

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at 65 James Street is now hosting monthly Storytimes for children ages 3 – 8. The regular event will happen on the last Fridays of each month—unless otherwise noted. Storytime will run from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Each Storytime will have a different theme, and August’s theme is Dinosaurs. Pre-registration is suggested, since space is limited. Please call Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at (508)796-5613 to register.

Come join us for a fun-filled hour of entertainment! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Ready for a look at September, too?

Friday, September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM – SF Author Gene Doucette and The Spaceship Next Door.

Saturday, September 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens. Pre-Registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly at 11:00.

Saturday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – ABSW Table at Worcester Pride Festival.

Friday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 – YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Saturday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

NEW LINK: Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

NEW LINK: Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

NEW LINK: Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Animals.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

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!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This July, our theme is Wild Things! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting August 31.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! August’s topic is How To: Find Crafts to do with Kids with our own Selina Lovett. Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Events start promptly at time listed. Next meeting September 8.

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 August 27.

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 September 20.

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 September 15.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Events Buzz: Three Events This Week!

08132018 - Cabin

We had a most wonderful week and weekend with our special sales and events! Thank you to everyone who came out for the Rainbow Readers Discussion of Trans Liberty Brigade by L.M. Pierce, as well as Pagan Picture Book and Sigil Making with J.C. Artemisia. We had a wonderful time with everyone—and we have a few of each of those books still left. ALSO, J.C. was kind enough to leave a few sigiled stones and handouts for anyone who purchases one of the remaining signed books!

We also had a lot of fun with the Tax-Free Weekend and our surprise A Very Special Doctor Who sale! For our beloved Doctor Who fans, keep an eye on our calendar for some more Whovian updates—especially our Annual Doctor Who Day on November 17!

08132018 - Moon

Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

We have some great events happening THIS WEEK too!!

THIS TUESDAY, TOMORROW, Author Paul Tremblay Speaks, Reads, Signs from 7:00 – 9:00 PM.

With its praise by Stephen King and other horror masters; starred reviews from Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly, Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World an unbearably tense, gripping tale of paranoia, sacrifice, apocalypse, and survival that escalates to a shattering conclusion, one in which the fate of a loving family and quite possibly all of humanity are entwined.  The Bram Stoker Award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts adds an inventive twist to the home invasion horror story in a heart-palpitating novel of psychological suspense that recalls Stephen King’s Misery, Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, and Jack Ketchum’s cult hit The Girl Next Door.

Paul Tremblay is the author of the novels Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and A Head Full of Ghosts. His other novels include The Little SleepNo Sleep till Wonderland, Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye, and Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (co-written with Stephen Graham Jones). His fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles TimesSupernatural Noir, and numerous Year’s Best anthologies. He is the author of the short speculative fiction collections In the Mean Time and Compositions for the Young and Old and the hard-boiled/dark fantasy novella City Pier: Above and Below. He served as fiction editor of CHIZINE and as co-editor of Fantasy Magazine, and was also the co-editor of the Creatures anthology (with John Langan). Paul is currently on the board of directors for the Shirley Jackson Awards as well.

And THIS THURSDAY, August 16, starting at 7:00 PM join us for our regula Doctor Who Discussion Night.

BSW has a sizable representation of Doctor Who merchandise, and owner Patty Cryan is a long-time fan of the series—the world’s longest running science fiction serial! This month we’re talking about THE NEW DOCTOR! We are super excited about Jodie Whittaker, our first female Doctor, and her adventures. What are your thoughts and hopes for the series as we prepare for the next season? What are you excited about / worried about? Share your thoughts!

Saturday, August 18, 11:00 AM – How To: Find Crafts for Kids.

If you have any ideas or would like to present something, let us know by calling the store at (508)796-5613 or emailing info@anniesbookstore.com, and we will consider it.

Each program will run from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, one Saturday each month depending on scheduling.

The next event will be on Saturday, August 18, from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. The topic is “How To: Find Crafts for Kids” and will be presented by ABSW’s own crafting queen, Selina Lovett!

And we’re only just halfway through August! Have you marked your calendars for…

Friday, August 24, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Dinosaurs

Saturday, August 25, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Author Sydra Mallery’s adoption picture book A Most Unusual Day.

 

Ready for a look at September, too?

Friday, September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM – SF Author Gene Doucette and The Spaceship Next Door.

Saturday, September 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens. Pre-Registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly at 11:00.

Saturday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – ABSW Table at Worcester Pride Festival.

Friday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 – YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Saturday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Animals.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

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!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This July, our theme is Wild Things! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting August 31.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! August’s topic is How To: Find Crafts to do with Kids with our own Selina Lovett. Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Events start promptly at time listed. Next meeting August 18.

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 August 27.

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 August 16.

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 September 15.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

Posted in events, Kids and Teens, Local Authors, Monday, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Events Buzz: Happy August

Happy August!

August is that strange month in the U.S. where folks are both clinging to summer and preparing for the new school year. Fortunately, we have books for both of those things—and if you’re in a bind or still traveling, we can even mail them to you.  Find out more about our Mail Order program here!

A great big thank you to everyone who came out for our Winnie-the-Pooh Day and our Happy Birthday Harry Potter events! We had a spectacular time at both with new friends and old. We also had a lovely time with local author Nick Zwirblia, who debuted his first novel, The Bramford Chronicles I: Johnny and Baby Jumbo—a heartwarming tale set in Depression-era Vermont. We do still have a few copies left if you’d like to bring this beautiful story home with you!

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Have you enjoyed our events or the time you’ve spent in our little store? Consider leaving us a review on TripAdvisor or leaving us a review on Yelp. You can also review us on Facebook!

If you want to get the first notices for these kinds of events—along with special Newsletter Only coupons and discounts—sign up for our Newsletter! We send out emails every other week, and we’ve upgraded our Newsletter server to ensure the protection of your information.

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We have some great events happening THIS WEEK too!!

Please note that Author Paul Tremblay Speaks, Reads, Signs HAS BEEN MOVED to Tuesday, August 14, 7:00 – 9:00 PM.

THIS SATURDAY, August 11, we have TWO great events happening!

We have our regularly scheduled Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts Meeting from 6:00 – 8:00 PM as Rainbow Readers Discusses Trans Liberty Brigade by L.M Pierce.

Andi knows being born an intersex “Transgressor” and then choosing to stay that way can have lethal consequences. After all, surgical assignment is mandated by law. But she ain’t going to spend her life hiding from the Society, hooked on Flow, and wanking tourists just to make a few bucks. She’s a member of the Trans Liberty Riot Brigade, an underground faction of Transgressors resisting the government’s war on their illegal genitalia.

But it’s not enough to tag their messages on shithouse walls and sniff down the next high. The government has found their headquarters, decimated their ranks, and they’re crushing the resistance. Though Andi might be nothing but a junktard, she embarks on a desperate dash to stay alive and send a call for help before they’re all killed—or worse, surgically assigned.

Andi, together with Brigade leader Elenbar, must get beyond the communications block preventing all radio transmission, which means crossing the seaboard Wall barricading the United Free States borders. It’s designed to keep enemies out and the citizens in, but amid increasing earthquakes and deadly pursuit, Andi will discover there’s a far more dangerous secret hidden deep within the Wall itself.

And ALL DAY, this Saturday, August 11, we are having A Very Special Doctor Who Sale!

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is known for our love of Doctor Who, our Doctor Who events, and our amazing selection of Doctor Who audio, toys, magazines, and more.

For August 11 ONLY…

50% off 3.5″ scale figures!
50% off MINI-scale (compatible with Legos (R) items!)
50% off Doctor Who and SciFi magazines!
20% off 5.5″ and 5″ scale figures!
20% off mugs, toys, and all other DW merchandise!

ABSW already has the lowest prices around on Doctor Who merchandise, so if you are a Doctor Who fan, make sure you make it out for this in-store-only timey-wimey goodness!

It may never happen again, so if you don’t have your own functioning TARDIS, make sure you’re here!

Also THIS SUNDAY, August 12, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM, come in for Pagan Picture Books and Sigil Making with J.C. Artemisia.

Author  J.C. Artemisia will not only read and share her books, but she’ll also lead a child-friendly workshop on sigil making!

J.C. Artemisia is a pantheist Pagan and the proud mother to three, happy children. In addition to writing and visual art, she enjoys reading, crocheting, and baking up some kitchen magick. She earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Chester College of New England and her master’s degree in education from Plymouth State University. She teaches communications courses in an online graduate program. Artemisia writes about Pagan holidays, spirituality, nature, herbal lore, animals, dreams, and more. She is daily inspired by her three intuitive children, her spiritual companion Ophelia, and the many natural blessings bestowed by the Gods and Goddesses. She hopes her books will encourage Pagan children to grow in kindness and love, and celebrate their families’ traditions and the blessings connecting us all.

Artemisia’s latest release is Look to the Moon, a rhyming devotion that observes the moon’s powers and protections to reassure sleepy, magical children all through the night.

And for the rest of August…

Tuesday, August 14, 7:00 – 9:00 PM – Author Paul Tremblay Speaks, Reads, Signs.

Thursday, August 16, 7:00 PM – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, August 18, 11:00 AM – How To: Find Crafts for Kids.

Friday, August 24, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Storytime: Dinosaurs

Saturday, August 25, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Author Sydra Mallery’s adoption picture book A Most Unusual Day.

 

Ready for a look at September, too?

Friday, September 7, 6:00-8:00 PM – SF Author Gene Doucette and The Spaceship Next Door.

Saturday, September 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM – How To: Garden with Integrated Crop Management with Breezy Gardens. Pre-Registration strongly suggested; event starts promptly at 11:00.

Saturday, September 8, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Table at Worcester Pride Festival.

Friday, September 14, 6:00 – 8:00 – YA SF Author Greg Katsoulis and Access Restricted.

Saturday, September 15, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey.

Thursday, September 20, 7:00 – 8:00 – Doctor Who Discussion Night.

Saturday, September 22, 1:00 – 3:00 – Noir Mystery Author Sharon Healy-Yang and Letters from a Dead Man.

Friday, September 28, 12:00 – 1:00 PM – Storytime: Animals.

As always, keep an eye on our Facebook Events Page and our website for even more great family and children’s programming we’re putting together for you! Or sign up for our newsletter, and get that information right in your inbox!

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!

Game Night, every Wednesday (unless there is an author event) at 7:00 PM. Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

Storytime, last Friday of each month at 11:00 AM. Come in for an hour of read aloud time for children ages 3-8. This July, our theme is Wild Things! Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Next meeting August 31.

How To…, one Saturday each month at 11:00 AM. Join us for a quick talk and demo about how to do… something new! August’s topic is How To: Find Crafts to do with Kids with our own Selina Lovett. Pre-registration strongly suggested; space is limited. Events start promptly at time listed. Next meeting August 18.

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 August 27.

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 August 16.

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 11.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

Posted in British Science Fiction, events, Kids and Teens, Local Authors, Monday, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Spotlight: Sydra Mallery

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Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on author Sydra Mallery, children’s book author and elementary school teacher. Sydra will be at our 65 James Street store on Saturday, August 25, from 1:00 – 3:00 with her newest picture book, A Most Unusual Day—a beautiful story of adoption.

Thank you so much for joining us, Sydra! We’re very excited to have you come out to our store and to see your newest book! For those not familiar with your work, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

I am a writer for love and an elementary science teacher in a public school for work and love. I have lived in Brooklyn, NY since the mid-90s, or as my eldest son says, since the 1900s. My cousins own a small house we call “camp” on Lake Quaboag, in nearby East Brookfield, MA, that I have been visiting since I was three years old. I have two sons.

 

 

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out A Most Unusual Day? How did you overcome that challenge?

It took almost two years for my agent to sell my first book. During that time, I practically re-wrote the entire book. People didn’t understand that the message of the book was a story about familial love, but also a story about how one thing different can throw off a kid’s whole day. But with loving, understanding people around, a child can get through that day whole and happy. They just didn’t get it. One of the best parts of that process was when an editor from another publishing company really wanted to buy the book. She asked me some really tough questions and pushed me as a writer to make the book much better. She wasn’t able to get it past her editorial board, but she did reccommend it to my current publisher, who snapped it right up.

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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 really love playing with words. I have been writing poetry since I was around ten years old. I would say that the actual writing is my favorite part of the process. I like revising, because it can take me a really long time to think something through. Then, eventually, it all flows out in a rush and I get it down on paper. 

I always wanted to publish a book, because I just really love books. I wanted my name on a book on a shelf in a library. It felt like a tiny bit of immortality. Even though I know that books go of out of print and paper doesn’t last forever. Now that my book is actually out in the world, I would like to add that I really love seeing kids enjoying my book. When my friends send me video clips of their kids reading my book and knowing the words to it, it makes me feel like I have super powers.

 I think the greatest lesson has been to keep loving the writing. I’m lucky, in a way, that writing is not my main source of income. I get my salary from teaching and I can write for the love of it. (Although I do not have a lot of time and energy to do so after a full day of giving one hundred percent to my students.) I don’t need to worry about selling the next book to pay my bills, so I don’t have to get my ego tied too much to the results of my efforts. I just write and write and write.

 

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

My late English Literature professor, Alan Grossman, once said to me, “Sydra, you’ve got to read like mad!”

If you want to write picture books, I recommend reading at least a hundred high-quality picture books first. Then, choose your ten favorite, and read them aloud at least 20 times each, preferably to a child. THEN write. I don’t think it is a coincidence that I have read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes to my students so many times, and my first book was purchased by Kevin Henkes’s editor. You’ve got to read like mad!

 

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

I have another picture book coming out from Greenwillow about the journey of a pencil named Stubby. It is pretty adorable, if I do say so myself. It doesn’t have a definite publication date, yet. But I promise to post it on my website as soon as it does. 

 

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

For me, the hardest part is coming up with a framework for the story. I’m really a poet, so describing something really well, or adding details that make a character special comes rather naturally. I can also think of a plot. But putting the character and the details into a structure that serves the plot best can take me a ridiculous amount of time, considering that picture book manuscripts tend to be about two pages long. I have one story I have wanted to tell for about seven years and I still can’t figure out the best way to tell it. 

 

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

My first and only picture book that is available now, A Most Unusual Day, is available in all of the usual places—independent book stores, large chain book stores and virtual book stores, as well as many libraries. All of those places are wonderful. But it is most fun to purchase it from a local independent bookstore like ABSW, don’t you think? I also have a poem in the poetry anthology, One Minute Till Bedtime Poems, edited by Kenn Nesbitt. It was quite an honor to have my poem on a page in the same book as some of my favorite writers, like Naomi Shihab Nye, and Jane Yolen. One Minute Till Bedtime Poems is also available in all of the usual places. I have another book in the works with Greenwillow Books. 

 

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

My brother helped me set up my lovely little website, Sydramallery.com. Look for me there. You can follow me on Twitter @SydraMallery and on Instagram @sciencekyd. I also hope to set up a Facebook page soon. When I do, I’ll add a link on the website. 

 

Thank you, again, for the great interview, Sydra! We’re looking forward to your visit at our 65 James Street store on Saturday, August 25, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM!

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