Sharon Powers's Blog

April 10, 2016

Do you remember the days of pen pals where your teacher would give you an address and you’d start a correspondence to someone you didn’t know probably in a land far, far away? You’d keep in touch, but as you grew older, you probably ditched the whole thing. As an adult, I remember mine. She was someone I went to elementary school with and then she moved away to Alaska so I kept in touch…for a while.

Now they’re called epals and I recently met mine, in person, after two years of corresponding via the Internet. When I self-published Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers, I also created my website, www.MySeaBuddies.com, and a social presence for my book through www.facebook.com/MySeaBuddies, twitter.com/MySeaBuddies, Sharon Powers, etc. What I didn’t expected was an almost immediately email off my websites’ contact page asking if I wanted to participate in a children’s sea creature book giveaway. What an opportunity for me as a new author. I couldn’t wait to promote my book. I couldn’t wait to promote my sea creatures. I couldn’t wait to promote myself!

I got much more in that email than a marketing opportunity, I got a wonderful friend. Stephanie M. Ward, author of Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin, had also just self-published her first children’s book. I read the story and immediately became enchanted with her rhyming tale about a traveling penguin looking for a warmer existence.

Somehow, across continents, in the age of wondrous technology, Stephanie and I were able to communicate without waiting for letters. With email we could connect, at times, immediately. I say at times, because Stephanie is in Australia and I was in Baja, Mexico so we had a time difference that didn’t work in our favor. When I was checking my morning emails, occasionally she was checking hers before she went to sleep.

We have exchanged wondrous stories over the past two years of our book ideas, marketing ideas, promoted each other, told each other stories of our lives and families. She’s helped me by offering critiques of my work, cheering on my successes and encouraging me after failures. It has been great sharing photos and telling tales with her. We have tried to meet on a couple of occasions, but the timing wasn’t right…until recently.

We were both finally in the same state, at the same time, and we were able to meet one-on-one. I felt like a nervous schoolgirl getting ready for her first class photo. When Stephanie knocked on my door and I opened it, I was thrilled to finally meet my writing soul sister. My first thought was that her hair was straighter than I imagined, and she was taller, but she was really here. My Stephanie, my epal, and I would have a couple of hours of her time before her family came back to get her and they all prepared to return to the land down under.

After chatting about everything we could squeeze into our couple of hours, and yet not even making a dent in the countless questions we had for each other, it was time for her to go. I could have been sad, but I felt like she was an old friend that I’d known forever and knew I’d be seeing her again. With a big smile, I said goodbye and shut the door behind her. Wasting no time, I quickly went to my computer and sent her an email!
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Published on April 10, 2016 12:15 • 43 views • Tags: children-s-books, kid-lit, pen-pal, penguin, sea-creature, turtle

April 1, 2015

I recently vacationed in Hawaii with my family. We are a busy group, but everyone always manages to find time to pour their souls into cooking and the preparation of meals. On our first adventure to the local farmers market, we were enthralled with the colorful visuals of the fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables. One in particular caught my eye, the #Rambutan. This red, spiny fruit instantly reminded me of one of my characters in my children’s book, “Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... and her name is Sasha the Sea Urchin. http://www.MySeaBuddies.com Sasha is a seamstress in my underwater world and with all her spines “she can whip up anything”. I looked at that rambutan and expected it to start sewing something right in front of my eyes.

I like to make my posts entwine with my books using facts and information that are relevant to my characters, settings, topics, etc. Sometimes it’s tough and then sometimes it’s easy. This dumb rambutan sparked my mind in every direction. I’m even blogging about it. I interweaved facts, recipes and used photo’s of the fruit and art from my book and my new Sasha the Sea Urchin plush animal. I did a personal rambutan media blitz and mentioned either my book or website or characters names in everything I did squishing in #kidlit for that extra social media bonus. I'm finishing up "Lost and Found", the second book in the MySeaBuddies children's series, and added a few sentences about the rambutan in that.

I’m recuperating from my hours of posting and researching and of sorting through my pictures and art to determine what to use for my posts. I guess my immediate reward is self-satisfaction and feeling revitalized from so much brainstorming, followed by some re-tweets, likes and emails. But I’m hoping for the biggest bonus of all – the sale of books because that’s what this is all for. Marketing is so time consuming especially as a self-publisher when you are probably already doing every other aspect in regards to the production of the book, too.

If nothing else, I now consider myself a rambutan expert and will tell myself my time was well spent.

http://www.MySeaBuddies.com
http://www.Facebook.com/MySeaBuddies
http://www.twitter.com/MySeaBuddies
http://www.pinterest.com/MySeaBuddies
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rambutan
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Published on April 01, 2015 05:22 • 148 views • Tags: children-s-books, food, fruit, sea-creature, turtle

August 29, 2014

"Seaspan" is now available online, as an ebook, at Amazon and Smashwords. It will also be on Apple, Sony, B&N, Kobo, etc tomorrow. The paperback will be available September 15th. Be one of the first to read it this exciting fantasy romance novella. Take some #time to #travel with our heroine, Kelly!

Twenty-five years ago Jack and Kelly met. He can't forget. She can't remember. That's because it hasn't happened to her...yet.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N40IC4Y
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/...
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Published on August 29, 2014 07:15 • 74 views • Tags: amazon, fantasy, myseabuddies, romance, scuba-dive, sharon-s-blog, smashwords

August 23, 2014

Now through September 22nd you can enter to win one of (5) signed paperback copies of "Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers". Click on the link below.




Goodreads Book Giveaway






Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers


by Sharon Powers




Giveaway ends September 22, 2014.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.






Enter to win


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Published on August 23, 2014 06:49 • 33 views • Tags: children-s, giveaway, kidlit, kidsbookfest, myseabuddies-com

August 19, 2014

What’s your favorite Chapter of “Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers” and WHY?

I’ll be at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival, http://www.kidsbookfest.com, on September 28th with both an Author Table (9:30 am to 1:00 pm) and to give a presentation on the Animal Stage (3:00 to 3:20 pm) for my children’s book “Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers”. I’ve been asked to read a chapter for the presentation and I couldn’t decide which chapter to read. Hopefully, you’ve read the book and can give me some input. If you haven’t, the #ebook is on special through Friday the 15th at $0.99 at Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, B&N, etc.

Please go to the Contact Us page on my website and email me with your favorite chapter is and why (in 5 sentences or less). I’ll read through the submissions and make my selection. My top choice will receive a signed copy of the book, a mug (with the book cover on it) and I’ll be sharing their email online and at the fair.

Please complete the Contact Us form at http://www.MySeaBuddies.com/contact-form completely answering these 2 questions in the Comments section by August 31st.

1) What’s your favorite chapter?
2) Why? (in 5 sentences or less)

Thanks for your help and I look forward to your input.
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Published on August 19, 2014 08:58 • 57 views • Tags: barnacles, giveaway, kidlit, kidsbookfest, turtle

August 15, 2014

Today is #BestFriendsDay and I think pretty much everyone has a best friend and maybe even more than one. #Friendship is the heart and soul of "Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers". It's the story of a lonely #sea #turtle and how two #barnacles change his life by bringing him true friendship. In their adventures together, they meet more #MySeaBuddies and develop new and lasting bonds.

Starting today (the 15th), there will be a 1-week FriendshipPrice of $0.99 for #ebook downloads of "Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers" on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Apple, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo and more.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/149913391X
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Published on August 15, 2014 16:23 • 34 views • Tags: barnacles, bestfriendsday, friendshipprice, myseabuddies, sea-turtle

August 8, 2014

I’ve always loved movies and television and I grew up wanting to somehow be both Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. I didn’t take that journey and went for a more traditional career choice: accounting. Driving to work one day, I decided I’d write a screenplay. Why not? I knew movies and I had an “idea”. Drive after drive, I worked out the plot in my head during my work commutes and then, one day, I knew I was ready-to-write! Each night after work, and after the kids were asleep, I’d sit down at my typewriter. One month later, I finished my first screenplay, Seaspan. My family gave me the thumbs up on the script so I decided to take it to the next level. I went to a writing seminar, got some basic information on script formatting, marketing, agents, etc. and I went full steam ahead. I signed with an agent.

I wrote more scripts and I had a couple optioned, I was a writer-for-hire and placed in a competition. My life evolved, but writing was on a backburner simmering nonetheless. Twenty-three years later, I’m still writing scripts and marketing them because I love the creation process.

After reading my latest completed script, my sister Pat told me I should make it into a book. Barney and Barry, The Hitchhikers. It’s a children’s story which I have now self-published. During this script to book to self-pulishing journey, I decided to take all my scripts and adapt them into novellas, one by one, and then self publish as eBooks. All the time and energy I had put into those scripts could now be morphed into readable material for the masses (not just producers, agents, script analysts). I was thrilled with my idea.

I debated whether this first novella should be updated to the present, but I feel part of the charm of this story is looking back and seeing how things were in the early nineties since it deals with time travel. I did add an epilogue and a new sentence in the story to accommodate the epilogue. For the leads of this movie, I had cast Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell who were just fresh off their OVERBOARD success.

I also chose not to increase the size of the scripts to make huge books. I think novellas are the way to go on these. We’re busy people and don’t always have time for a long, detailed read. Finishing a book in one sitting seems gratifying to me and I hoped for others, too.

"Seaspan" will be available as an ebook late August and paperback in September.

Seaspan by Sharon Powers
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Published on August 08, 2014 12:08 • 58 views • Tags: caribbean, dive, fantasy, novella, romance, scuba, treasure

July 2, 2014

Books and Chocolate; not a bad combination. Each separate can be wonderful, but paired like a fine wine with fabulous food the experience can be glorious.

I was ‘tapped’ to pick several books of my choice and then pair them with chocolate that I felt suited the book. I immediately pulled out my GoodReads list of favorite books and worked from there. I started with Shirley MacLaine’s ‘Out on a Limb’. I think of her book about her personal experiences and her thought provoking comments and I’m instantly transported to the Andes. In a place that cold I want to be sipping on Mexican Hot Chocolate. If you’ve ever had Mexican hot chocolate you’ll know its spicy taste, which comes from Ibarra chocolate.

I love Steve Martin’s novella ‘Shopgirl’. What a charming story about a shopgirl working in the glove department of a high-end department store in Beverly Hills. I envision her snacking on M&M’s (regular, NOT peanut) throughout her day. She has a hanky tucked in her sleeve just so she can wipe the dye from her fingertips after she discretely pops one in her mouth.

‘The Clan of the Cave Bear’, by Jean M. Auel, immediately brings to mind Macadamia Nut White Chocolate Chip cookies. The main character Ayla was a ray of light in a world of dark, the same as white chocolate. Both unique and special. The cookie seems like something she would have scurried off to her cave with and cherished with small bites while warming herself around her fire. The nuts would be an extra bonus, because like the white chocolate, they’re unique. Betty Crocker has a great mix for this and it comes in a bag! It’s so easy and so tasty.

Chocolate Soufflé and ‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ by Jeff Lindsay. The precision, patience and care of making a soufflé is, to me, the same technique Dexter uses during his planning, hunt and kill. It’s an art to him with the end product bringing all the joy, just like a soufflé. The process itself lends directly to the end result. Is their anything more scrumptious and satisfying than a chocolate soufflé with Valrhona chocolate?

Okay, so here’s my all time favorite book, Viki King’s ‘How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method’. This is my writing bible. It’s all about story structure, characters and even personal time management for writing. It’s so nuts and bolts and full of great stuff, just like a Snickers Bar. It packs a satisfying punch for the first bite (word) to the last.

I want to thank http://stephaniemward.com for tapping me on this all the way from Sydney, Australia. I will be updating this when I’ve ‘tapped’ my own set of authors. I also wanted to mention that I’m pretty sure if Wally the Warm-Weather Penguin were asked what his favorite chocolate was he’d say a Peppermint Patty. I envision him snacking on those throughout his journey to The Galapagos Islands.

Read Stephanie's Chocolate blog https://www.goodreads.com/author/show...
More chocolate blogs:
http://www.inkspokes.com/2014/06/06/m...
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...
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Published on July 02, 2014 08:15 • 213 views • Tags: chocolate-book-blog-tour, goodreads, robin-hardy, stephanie-m-ward