Another fabulous MDBC giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, Jennifer Donovan at 5 Minutes for Books is offering a wonderful giveaway:  a complete set of my mother-daughter book club novels (The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne, and Dear Pen Pal), along with The Anne of Green Gables Treasury.   Hurry on over and enter to win — the contest ends December 8th!

Big ole mother-daughter book club giveaway!

The Mother-Daughter Book ClubThis week, Julie at Booking Mama is spotlighting mother-daughter book clubs on her blog!  Today she’s interviewing Cindy Hudson, author of “Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs,” and tomorrow I’ll be chiming in with a Q&A. 

PLUS (drumroll please) be sure and sign up for Julie’s walloping mother-daughter book club giveaway.  You can win enough books to start a book club of your very own!  Full details are posted on the fab Booking Mama site.

Happy birthday, Dear Pen Pal!

Dear Pen Pal

Today is the official publication day for my new book, Dear Pen Pal! 

(Those pop and fizz sounds you hear in the background would be me cracking open a bottle of sparkling cider.)

To help celebrate, I’m giving away an autographed copy of the book, so if you or any young mother-daughter book club fans you might know are interested in entering the drawing, please send an email to heather@heathervogelfrederick.com by September 30, 2009.  A winner will be selected at random on October 1st by a team of highly-trained experts me. 

And since so many of you have kindly asked, “What’s the best thing I can do to help support your books?” click here to read Eileen Flanagan’s fabulous article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on that very topic.  

Thanks for spreading the love!

Deadline fever

1940s-reporter-working-on-deadlineA friend sent me a link today to a hilarious article in the Toronto Globe and Mail on the writing process, specifically the perils of being on deadline. 

Heaven knows I desperately needed a laugh, as I’m a week and a half away from turning in my latest novel.  Anyone, anywhere, who’s ever been on deadline knows exactly what this means.  It means I’ve barely been out of my pajamas for days.  It means a steady diet of cereal and pizza and Junior Mints.  It means ignoring your spouse, your dog, your children, your friends.  It means leaping out of bed in the middle of the night in a cold sweat because you just got an idea for fixing that pesky plot hole at the end of chapter seven, an idea that might be brilliant or might be rubbish but either way you’d better write it down immediately or you’ll forget it.

Will Ferguson riffs brilliantly on deadline fever in “How’s the Book Going?”  I laughed out loud at what he had to say about procrastination, and loved his description of the annoying habit that books have of “stubbornly and — it must be said — ungratefully” refusing to write themselves.  And I also appreciated the timely reminder of Douglas Adams’ (of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fame) immortal quote :  “I love deadlines.  I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

(Adams, it’s worth noting, was so notoriously bad at meeting deadlines that his editor used to have to literally move in with him for a couple of weeks to get him to finish a book.) 

Thank you, Will Ferguson.  You were just the boost I needed.  Back to work here…

Reading on the Rise

Is it as cold in your neck of the woods as it is in mine? I have no business complaining – the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures are hovering around freezing, is positively balmy compared to other parts of the country right now. A friend I talked to in Ohio on Friday afternoon reported that it was nine degrees outside, while a colleague in Minnesota topped that at 21 below. And the girls in a Chicago-area mother-daughter book club that I visited with via Skype over the weekend had been home from school for several days because classes were cancelled due to the extreme cold.
 

Here’s some news to warm the hearts of readers and writers everywhere, though. Earlier this week, The Christian Science Monitor reported that a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts shows reading among American adults is on the rise for the first time in 25 years.

 

Reversing decades of decline, the number of literary readers – those who read novels, short stories, plays, or poetry – has grown significantly, and across the board amongst all ethnic groups. According to the NEA, “reading is an important indicator of positive individual and social behavior patterns,” including everything from volunteerism to attendance at arts and sports events, and even participation in outdoor activities and exercise.
 

For the first time in the survey’s history, literary reading has increased amongst both men and women. And what’s even better, in my opinion, is that the largest jump is amongst young adults (18-24), which certainly bodes well for the future of the publishing industry.

 

So take that, cultural pessimists! Take that, everyone who’s been predicting the demise of books, and reading, and literature! If this isn’t news to ring in the new year and “drive the cold winter away,” as one of my favorite traditional carols puts it, I don’t know what is.