Darlene Foster's Blog

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Today I´m a guest on a great site 2 Cooks Crafting Books. Stop in, check it out and leave a comment. Also another opportunity to enter the give away if you haven´t already.

2 Cooks Crafting Books

Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by Darlene Foster, author of a series about a traveling twelve-year-old named Amanda.

In book six of the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind, the book follows Amanda and her class on a school trip from Calgary to New Mexico. Their exploration of different parts around Taos, New Mexico, is interrupted by a ghost. Ms. Foster’s description of the New Mexico geography, architecture, and artifacts is truly amazing! Ms. Foster brings New Mexico to life for readers as she details Amanda’s travels. 

Amanda in New MexicoWelcome, Darlene!

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Elizabeth.

You asked me what drew me to Amanda as my main character. The wonderful thing about being a writer is that you can create any character, place and situation you want. You are totally in control. Well almost, sometimes your characters…

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As you could see from my previous posts, I had a wonderful time back in Canada visiting family and friends. But the trip was also to promote my books, more specifically my latest release, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind. I had a lot of fun at the pre-planned events and thought I would share them with you.

I was invited by the Vancouver Public Library to be a workshop leader at their annual one week Writers and Book Camp held at the main branch, downtown Vancouver. This is my favourite library and I was honoured to be able to share some of my writing knowledge with the eager participants. These 9 to 13-year olds were serious writers. I created a workshop called Writing – It’s More Than What You See. We discussed how using all the senses makes writing more effective. I also spoke about how I use photographs to inspire my writing and gave them examples. I showed them one of my pictures and had them write for fifteen minutes, using as many senses as possible. Then they shared their work. I was amazed at what they produced in such a short time. The participants said they enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot. I had so much fun delivering it.

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The Vancouver Public Library, an amazing building built to look like the Colosseum

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A ‘place of books and learning

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All set up and ready for the eager students

I then went on to Calgary where I did a presentation and book signing at the Shawnessy Branch of the Calgary Public Library. The event was well attended and I sold all the books I brought along! The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. Another great experience.

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Display at a Calgary Library

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Some attentive listeners at the presentation

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Some of the attendees were cousins. So great to see them.

Next stop was Coles Indigo Bookstore in my hometown, Medicine Hat. I saw so many folks I hadn’t seen for a long time, former neighbours, childhood friends, relatives and even my first landlady from fifty years ago. I sold out of books!

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As you can see, I had help.

Back to BC where I held my book launch at Albany Books in Tsawwassen. This bookstore has been so supportive of me and other local authors over the years. The staff are fantastic. Even though it was a sunny Saturday, the last long weekend of the summer, many people came out to chat and buy books.

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With my amazing publisher, Michelle. She is like a fairy godmother and makes all this happen!

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Book launch for Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind

I was invited to do a presentation at a BC Association of Travel Writers MeetUp where I spoke about How to Turn Your Travels into a Series of Travel Adventure Books to a sold-out crowd. Everyone enjoyed the PowerPoint presentation and many great questions were asked. Great to see many travel writer friends and meet new people.

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Since I was leaving after the first week of school, I was only able to visit one school this time. It was my sixth time to do a presentation at Holly Elementary in Surrey. The students there are huge Amanda Travels fans and some of the grade sevens even dropped in as they wanted to hear what Amanda was up to. I enjoy visiting this school with students from diverse cultures. They loved the theme of the latest book and when I showed them the trailer for Amanda in New Mexico,  they stood up and clapped!

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Presenting to a captive audience of about 100 at Holly Elementary School

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As always, they asked many good questions.

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My last event was a book signing at Indigo-Chapters on Granville Street in Vancouver, the largest bookstore in BC. It was a dream come true to hold an event at this bookstore. Many people stopped by my table to chat and buy books. There are many new Amanda fans now. I sold all but two of the books in stock. Happy days.

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A friend helping out at the book signing

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Signing books at Indigo-Chapters, another dream come true.

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A fabulous sign in Indigo Chapters

I got to spend time in libraries, bookstores and schools, my favourite places, as well as meet some amazing people. It was a lot of work but well worth it.

Don´t forget to enter the giveaway 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4e6fad2120/?

 

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada and I have so much to be thankful for. The list is long but included in that list is my amazing blogging friends. Thank you so much to Sally Cronin for all you do for the writing community. Today she has included Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind in her Cafe and Bookstore Author Update along with a fabulous review. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving today and every day!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the first of the author updates this week and the first author with news is Carol Balawyder with a brand new book released on 6th October. The Longest Nine Months – A Getting to Mr. Right Series.

About The Longest Nine Months

In Getting to Mr. Right, Campbell debunked the Prince Charming myth, only to meet a special man who turned all her assumptions upside down.

Now she’s married to Chand..

But Happily-Ever-After turns out to be another illusion.

Campbell deals with job burnout and struggles to find her place in the world. An unexpected pregnancy and its complications undermine her relationship with Chand and take her to a difficult crossroad. No matter which way she decides to go, nothing will ever be the same!

Buy the book:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765RYGLK

and Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Longest-Nine-Months-Getting-Right-ebook/dp/B0765RYGLK

Also by Carol Balawyder

A review for Not by Design book four in the Getting…

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Book six in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind has been officially released on Amazon, Kobo and other sites. A recent reviewer stated: This story combines a good young adult adventure story with hints of the paranormal while also providing some well placed educational material lightly in the text and great ideas for other young people to aspire to.

Thank you to everyone who has already purchased a copy of the book. I do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you like the story, a short review would be most welcome.

To celebrate, we are featuring a fabulous giveaway that includes a copy of the book, a colouring book, the cutest little ghost stuffy, cookie cutters and an Amazon gift certificate. All in time for Halloween!!

PrizePack

You can enter this great giveaway here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4e6fad2120/?

Please note it’s only available to US & Canadian entries. Any international winners will be granted digital copies of the full Amanda Travels series.

And there´s more! I was honoured to be invited to be a guest on The Maltese Tiger´s Tips From a Pro.  My responses to his excellent questions.

Do you think that creative writers need to pursue a formal education, or can you learn the craft on your own?

Foster: I think creative writers need to continue learning as long as they breathe. But I don’t believe they need a formal education, although it certainly doesn’t hurt. But not having a formal education should never stop one from writing. There are so many ways to learn and improve the craft of writing. Reading everything you can get your hands on will always be the best teacher. I’m a great believer in workshops and seminars, both in person and online. Critique groups also provide a fount of knowledge. Hanging around other writers, not just those who write in your genre, can teach you so much. Every time I attend a writers’ conference, I come away feeling like I just received a degree.

What kind of research do you do when writing a book or story?

Foster: I usually start my research during my travels by being curious, taking a lot of pictures, keeping notes and chatting with people. When I return home and start the story, I do more detailed research on certain topics I plan to include in the book, usually on the internet.

Read the rest of the interview here and leave a comment if you wish.

Don´t forget to enter the giveaway http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4e6fad2120/?

I hope everyone is having a super autumn, whether you are basking in the sun or enjoying the freshly fallen snow, it is always a lovely time of the year. Life is good!

 

 

I will be away from blogging for a while as I am off to Canada to launch Amanda in New Mexico, do presentations and book signings in Vancouver, Delta, Calgary and Medicine Hat, visit with family and friends and stock up on Tim Hortons!! I’ll miss my blogging community but will check in from time to time.

Thanks so much to all of you who read my blog, like it, comment and share it. Time is limited and there are many great blogs out there to read, so I feel honoured that you take the time to read mine. I am so lucky to have such an awesome following.

I will leave you with the trailer to Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind

Laura Best and I have been blogging buddies since we both had stories in the same anthology back in 2010. She is a fabulous writer of books set in Nova Scotia. I am pleased to be featured on her blog. Check it out!

Laura Best

Today, it is my pleasure to welcome author Darlene Foster to my blog. Several years back, Darlene and I were published in the Country Roads anthology together. Ever since that time we’ve been following each other on social media. Darlene is a wonderful supporter to other authors and an all round terrific author and person and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest on my blog.

Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky 12 year-old Amanda Ross who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, in Spain with her husband and…

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I am a guest on Marcia Meara’s blog with an excerpt from Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind. Hop on over and see what Amanda is up to in New Mexico.

The Write Stuff

Here is an excerpt from the sixth book in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind soon to be released.

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Amanda stood in front of a door the map showed as the Santos Display Room.

“What’s in here?”

Along with Caleb and a couple of other students, she entered the dimly lit room containing glass cabinets filled with pictures and statues of various saints. A sign explained how the families in Spanish America always kept a shrine to a saint in their homes. The shrine often held Milagros, tiny silver shapes attached to statues of the saints. There were legs for people who couldn’t walk, eyes for those who had bad eyesight and animal figures to wish a farmer a productive year with his flock. Amanda was fascinated as she peered carefully through the glass at the small objects stuck on the figures.

She…

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