Sunday, January 26, 2014

Choose Civility, Our Shaken Community

I love Columbia. In fact, twice this week I had conversations with friends about how much I love my town, how I grew up here, and how I wouldn’t mind living here forever. That may sound close-minded, you know, you grow up and move out of your hometown, but we have everything here. A great sense of community:

Back when I went off to college, I visited a friend’s home and she had a “real” mailbox. I had only ever really seen one when I was at my grandma’s house and I was a little kid. She thought it was funny that I found a mailbox so cool, but in Columbia we don’t have mailboxes at each door – we have community mailboxes, so that you see your neighbors when you go out to get your mail. As an adult, I appreciate them, and they’re cooler than “real” mailboxes.

We have ten village centers, a great college and public school system, shopping, dining, parks, lakes, gyms, pools, ice skating, sport organizations and venues, horseback riding, nature centers, a terrific music venue, festivals, anything you could think of, all right at your fingertips. And, until now, there has always been the sense of security that wherever you go, you are 'pretty much' safe.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Interview with Author, Amanda Miller: Thoughts on Writing for Children, Self-Publishing, Collaboration, and more!

Amanda Hart Miller is the author of the new children’s book series about SyperDylan. The books are illustrated by her brother, Grant Miller. So far they have released two books, SuperDylan and the Powers of Just Right and SuperDylan and the Night Horse, and both are available on Amazon (click the covers below to visit the Amazon store!)

The series stars Dylan, a middle child with a big sister and a little brother. The first book focuses on Dylan starting school, and feeling like he is in the shadow of his older sister, Sydney. But throughout the story, Dylan realizes his own position as an older brother as well. The second book takes place when Dylan and his family move and the kids must switch schools and make new friends. Dylan’s anxieties manifest themselves in nightmares, and, with the help of his sister, he must learn to overcome the “Night Horse” in his dreams.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with the author to get some of her thoughts on writing for children, collaborating with an illustrator, use of the unreliable narrator, the world of self publishing, and more!

After the interview, be sure to check out how to enter our contest to win a FREE, SIGNED copy of SuperDylan and the Night Horse!

Here is the full Q&A from our interview:

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