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Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Biggest Sale Ever BAG OF BOOKS!!

The Big Bag Sale
Available through December 15
The Big Bag $85
Includes a copy of all Diversion Press books, FREE shipping (US only), and a Diversion Press Bag of Books bag:
German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946
Dakota: A Work in Progress
Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse
The Darling Rebels
Urban Falcon
Ellabug
In the Shadow of the Big Apple


The Young Adult Bag (Recommended for ages 13 and up) $45
Includes Diversion Press Bag of Books bag, FREE shipping (US only), plus
The Darling Rebels
Urban Falcon
In the Shadow of the Big Apple


The Something for Everyone Bag $50
Includes Diversion Press Bag of Books bag, FREE shipping (US only), plus
German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass: Housing German Prisoners of War in Kentucky, 1942-1946
Dakota: A Work in Progress
Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse
Ellabug

See www.diversonpress.com to place your order.

The Biggest Sale Ever: What is it?

Just what is our Biggest Sale Ever?????????


Diversion Press Announces…
Our Biggest Sale Ever
All Books over 20% Off
Order 4 or More Books and get a free Bag of Books Bag!

Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse
$9.95 Now $7
Urban Falcon
$12.95 Now $10
The Darling Rebels
$12.95 Now $10
Dakota: A Work in Progress
$14.95 Now $10
In the Shadow of the Big Apple
$12.95 Now $10
German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass
$24.95 Now $18
Ellabug
$12.95 Now $10
Shipping & Handling
($3 for the 1st book, $2 for each additional book)

SALE ENDS DECEMBER 15!
ORDER IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Interview with Gregory Turner-Rahman about Ellabug

Hello!

Before we start I want to make a comment that, while biased (since I am one of the editors at Diversion Press) it is also true, this is one of my favorite children’s books. I say that not just as a publisher, but someone who has three children

That is very kind and I am extremely pleased that you enjoy it. Do the kids like it? I hope so. When you work on something so intensely you never know exactly how it will be received. I have been surprised by how people are responding to it. It has been incredibly positive.

What inspired you to write Ellabug?

I think most stories start with a kernel of true-life experience. There are so many families I know that are a mocha-swirl of cultures, races, ethnicities, and even religions – including my own. Sometimes it is easy to take for granted or, worse, to feel self-conscious about the unique and really good aspects of being in such a family. I thought the multi-animal family would be a fun way to talk about the issue. But the story could really be about any family and how wonderfully unique each is. My hope is that the story resonates with everyone.

How long did it take you to conceptualize the project?

Egads. I am not sure. My daughter, when she was young would ask for me to read a bedtime story then, as one of those brilliant kid delay tactics (along with the proverbial glass of water), ask me to make up a story. To be completely candid, I was terrible at doing this. So, being the consummate professional parent (my wife is rolling her eyes right now), I prepared the story ahead of time. The rhyme helped me remember the story. Parts of the final story that appear in the book must be at least 7 years old. Translating it into images and refining the story, however, only took a few weeks.

What is Ellabug searching for in the book?

If you dig deep enough, I think, Ella is really looking for assurance that it is ok to be who she is. Through that archetypal hero's journey, however, she has to go through hardship in that search for "normalcy" to realize that what she's got at home IS normal.

In our children’s books we strive to only work with books that give a strong positive message. What is that message in Ellabug?

Regardless of those things - strange ideas and prejudices - that other people get hung up on, it is really all those crazy people in your life and the great big set of experiences, your life, that really make you who you are. Why not embrace and celebrate that fact?!

What advice would you give to any aspiring children’s writers and/or illustrators?

I learned it is very difficult to do both writing and illustrating. If you do take on both tasks be sure to have the story completed before beginning the drawings. I kept having to break up the argument between my right and left brain. The left brain always wanted the text to be the whole story. The right brain wanted more explanation through the images. Finally, I had to split them up and left would sit and sulk and the right would listen to jazz and shoot spit wads at the left brain. It would've been much worse if I hadn't had the story somewhat complete.

Anyway, I would also suggest really striving to create a story that could address a particular issue but could also be viewed more universally. The story has to have broad appeal.

As a university professor in an art department, I work with a lot of young artists and illustrators and would say that it is very important for them to remember that the illustrations should be in service of the story and not necessarily a series of masterpieces. There are many extravagantly beautiful children's books on the market. So, the temptation and desire is to put everything into the art work. This is fine as long as it supports the story. As a parent, I can say that, with many of the books we've bought, while the images initially have a "WOW!" factor, it is the stories that remain long after it has been read/viewed. I love those illustrations that are simple yet really give an essence of the story. A classic example is Quentin Blake and his work with Roald Dahl.

If you had to convince someone to purchase a copy of Ellabug in only two sentences what would you say?

"HELP! My kidnappers said they won't release me until you buy my book Ellabug!"

Where can we get a signed copy of Ellabug?

Good question. I am currently setting up signings locally. I live in rural eastern Washington State and teach in rural Idaho so I think I will try to line up some event in Seattle perhaps near the University of Washington, my alma mater.

In the meantime, if you happen to be in the neighborhood...

The Results from our Halloween Movie Survey and Contest

Here are our Halloween Movie Results.

Unfortunately we only had 12 people respond!!!

Our winner is Sean McHugh who will be getting a copy of Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse.

Everyone who participated received a coupon for a free Diversion Press tote bag with any order during our Biggest Sale Ever Promotion.

Question 1:Halloween is fast approaching and you find out that your friend has never watched any horror movies. Which classic do you recommend?

Psycho by five votes

Question 2:Which of these movies is the most underrated?

Night of the Living Dead with three votes

Question 3:Which of these movies is the most overrated?

Saw with five votes

Question 4: If you were fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough) to pick how you had to go, which of these options would you pick?

IRS Audit with 7

Thanks to all for your support!!

Upcoming Book Signings

Support our authors and the bookstores that are hosting them at these upcoming signings:

Greg Turner-Rahman will be signing Ellabug at November 7th at Bookpeople in Moscow, Idaho at 11 am.

Bill Rosencrans will be signing Dakota: A Work in Progress at the Apple Barrel Country Store Schoharie, N.Y. between 3-5 PM; and
January 30th, at Borders Bookstore in Crossgates Mall in Albany, N.Y. between 2-4 PM.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blog Contests

Blog Membership Contest #1
The member of our blog, who successfully enrolls the most newmembers (10 minimum) by November 27 will win our new “Bag of Books” a Diversion Press tote with three Diversion Press books. This could make a wonderful holiday gift for someone or several people. The Diversion Press “Bag of Books” will also be available for purchase on our website in the coming weeks and will be shipped in time for the holiday season. All of our author’s books are available for this offer.

Here are the rules (the fine print):*You must be a member of the blog to be eligible.*Contestants must submit an email between November 27 and December 1 listing all the people that you recruited. All new members that you list must still be members.*The winner will be announced after December 1 and the prize will be guaranteed to arrive in time for the holiday.*We will post the results and each person’s total at the end of the contest.*We may also post the results during the contest so that you can see what the competition is up to.*The blog must reach a total of 50 members for the contest to be valid.





Blog Membership Contest #2

This is open to all members of our blog. One member will berandomly chosen on or after December 1 to receive a DiversionPress “Bag of Books”, a Diversion Press tote with three DiversionPress books. These can be veteran or new blog members.NOTE: Each person can only win once!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Introducing In the Shadow of the Big Apple



Introducing In the Shadow of the Big Apple by Tom Piantanida

In the Shadow of the Big Apple
By: Tom Piantanida

In the Shadow of the Big Apple is a story about Kenny, a mischievous boy growing up in an Italian neighborhood in 1950s New Jersey. Summers in the sweltering tenements, where sewer-gas laden breezes carried with them a reminder of the proximity to Caputo’s Fish Market, Giuliano’s Deli, and the car barns, drive Kenny to seek escape by finagling himself into a stalag-like summer camp, complete with swarming bats in the dorm, a snapping turtle in the zero-visibility swimming pool, reports of quicksand to keep hikers on the trail, and burned-out counselors. Using his “private entrance,” Kenny spends afternoons at Palisades Amusement Park where he gets even for all those years in Catechism Class by swamping a boatload of nuns on the motorboat ride. On one of their many trips to The Big Apple, Kenny and his not-quite-juvenile-delinquent cousins sneak into a movie theater in New York City, only to find that it’s a 3D movie that requires special glasses. The cousins fare no better during the family’s zero-income summer vacation on the Jersey Shore, when they “borrow” a boat, only to find that it is porous, and despite the fact that the vessel is sinking, the irate owner forces them to push it across a stagnant lagoon.

Symbolically, Kenny never quite grabs the brass ring on the local carousel, but he nonetheless enjoys the challenge of learning to whisk four rings from the chute at a single swipe.
Readers will be amazed at the amount of trouble young Kenny can manage to get into as he learns important life lessons. Older readers will be able to relate many of the stories to times of their own youth. Author Tom Piantanida breathes this era to life as only one who lived in New Jersey at that time could.

In the Shadow of the Big Apple by Tom Piantanida
Diversion Press: Young Adult, fiction
$12.95, Paperback, 170 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935290-05-6, Distributed by Ingram and returnable
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Click here to purchase.

Introducing the Darling Rebels by Siobhan Nichols

Introducing the Darling Rebels by Siobhan Nichols

When Charlotte returns to her hometown of Asebrook from boarding school, she knows what she can expect from her days--lessons from tutors, criticism from her mother, and listening to the same gossip from the same people. But there seems to be something different in store for Charlotte when she meets Adam and Jack, the two boys who will change her forever. However, when Jack and Charlotte fall in love, they realize the fight that they are going to have to put up if they want to be together. During a time when money, society, and how one is viewed as everything, Charlotte stops at nothing to be with the boy that she knows she loves. Even so, Jack seems unwilling to sacrifice her future and happiness since he knows he has nothing to offer. The Darling Rebels tells the story of bravery and resilience in the face of insurmountable odds and how far one girl will go for love, even if it means leaving her seemingly perfect life behind.
About the Author:
She began work on her first novel at age 13 and finally found enough time and dramatic ideas to complete it. Even though she's still a teenager, she works as a movie critic, book reviewer, trend follower, music enthusiast, and avid sleeper. She would rather not disclose what she actually does for money, but it includes visors and French Fries.

The Darling Rebels, By: Siobhan Nichols
Diversion Press, Young Adult
$12.95, Paper, 260 pages
ISBN: 978-1-935290-06-3 1-935290-06-1
Distributed by Ingram and returnable
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
You can purchase a copy by clicking the cover or just click here.

Introducing Ellabug by Gregory Turner-Rahman

Diversion Press announces its first Children's Book: Ellabug by Gregory Turner-Rahman

Ellabug is a simple story about non-traditional families that follows Ella, a small but strongly willed young ladybug, as she begins to question her identity. Raised in a family made up of different animals, Ellabug desires ‘normality’ and uniformity which she finds in a family of ants whom she meets in the garden. Ella decides to escape the craziness in her own home by joining the ants. They, however, have a very different life and Ella is surprised when they work endlessly. Ella fears she has lost her parents forever and she quickly grows to appreciate her quirky family. Just when all seems lost, Ella’s parents call to her and they are reunited. All ends happily. Ella has learned that each family is unique in their own way.
Just click on the cover to purchase a copy.
See the fantastic website here
and then see the incredible Youtube video here
and finally purchase your copy here

Ellabug
By: Gregory Rahman-Turner
Diversion Press: Young Adult, fiction
Distributed by Ingram and returnable
$12.95
ISBN: 978-1-935290-09-4
Paperback, 40 pages
Publication Date: October 1, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview with Tom Piantanida about In the Shadow of the Big Apple

This week we asked Tom Piantanida, author of the newly released book In the Shadow of the Big Apple, a few questions about his book.

Hi Tom,


Your book In the Shadow of the Big Apple was just released. The main character is Kenny. Can you tell us where the inspiration for Kenny came from?

Kenny is an amalgamation of kids I knew while growing up in Union City, NJ. Of course, some of the adventures are autobiographical with literary license. That is, the stories have a kernel of truth, but were embellished to provide more interest. If you think of Kenny as my alter ego, you would not be far wrong.

The book is called In the Shadow of the Big Apple, can you tell us where the book is actually set and what are some of the locations Kenny ends up visiting?

Kenny's home base is 28th Street, Union City, NJ, and most of the local action takes place on that street and the two closest cross streets - Bergenline Avenue and Central venue. Bergenline Avenue is the most interesting street in the stories because it is lined by the car barns, Caputo's Fish Market, Vincent Giuliani's Italian Grocery Store, and Reguzzi's Produce Stand.

Columbia Park, where Kenny and two friends were apprehended for setting a fire was a defunct amusement park that Kenny's dad and others of his generation passed some time decades earlier. The park was actually beyond Kenny's territorial limit, being across Hudson County Boulevard, which was one of the main thoroughfares in Union City.

Palisades Amusement Park was actually in the town of Palisades Park, NJ. It was poised on the edge of the New Jersey palisades, overlooking Manhattan. The huge PALISADES AMUSEMENT PARK was clearly visible from the West Side of Manhattan. I only recently learned that the management of the amusement park knew all about the private entrance the Kenny and other kids used, and they had told their security force to turn a blind eye to kids sneaking into the park.

The Highlands is a real town on the "Jersey Shore." In fact, the movie Jersey Girl with Ben Affleck, George Carlin, and Liv Tyler was set there. After a few summer vacations - always the last two weeks in August - at Keensburg (another Jersey Shore town), my family settled into a pattern of renting from Captain Brown in the Highlands. The family would stay either in the Big House or The Boat House, but always at Captain Brown's. When the excitement of a carousel waned as Kenny got older, the family vacationed in Seaside Beach, NJ where there was a boardwalk and a huge amusement park.

What can I say about 42nd Street in Manhattan that hasn't already been said? In Kenny's time, the street was lined by movie theater that showed first-run films and businesses that sold a wide variety of inexpensive items, particularly binoculars, pocket radios, and switchblade knives. These business perennially displayed "Going Out Of Business" signs. Sandwiched between the businesses and the theaters were Grant's, where you could buy a great hotdog, and Hubert's Museum that featured a flea circus, among more exotic fare. The museum was at the rear of a penny arcade, and had a downstairs where the actual fleas circus and other acts could be found.

McDougall's Camp is based on a real camp that I attended near Sparta, NJ. And, as the story suggests, an "association" of which my parents were members, sponsored the trip. The camp was about as decrepit as described in the story, right down to the chlorine and gypsum-laden pool. And, incidentally, while I was at camp, my family did move out of Union City. I found them, though.

There are several distinct stories in the book, which one is your favorite?

I think my favorite story is about the Highlands, because there are so many fond memories of summers spent there.

What is it about that story that you like?

I am particularly pleased that an illustration from the Highlands graces the rear cover of the book. It is the only photo I have of Uncle Ben, who was my grandmother's "boarder" (a polite term used in the early 20th Century for a cohabitant of the opposite gender), and who I loved as the grandfather I never had. My fondest memory of the Highlands is chronicled in the story. It was not until many years later that I learned that because my dad had been laid off at work, the only way we could afford a vacation was if we lived off the sea, which we certainly did that year.

Can you tell us about one or two of the characters that Kenny interacts with?

Two of Kenny's closest friends were his two male cousins, one six months younger and the other a year younger than Kenny. The three cousins were a physical contrast. Kenny was of average build, if small; the next younger cousin, Max, (AKA Crisco, because he was "fat in the can") was taller than Kenny whether he was standing up or lying down; and the youngest cousin was rail thin and was called JJ Candybody by his father because he seemingly survived on candy, refusing to eat whatever his mother prepared. The cousins were very attuned to each other, so if one started a prank, the others joined in immediately.

Are you planning any appearances or signings to promote your book?

I am, indeed, planning some book signings, although it will be a bit more difficult now that I have moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area. My original plan involved signings at a multiple book stores in and around SF, and I fully expect to contact many of them to arrange for signings. However, having moved to the boonies 150 miles north of San Francisco, my signings may be somewhat curtailed.

If you had to convince someone to pick up a copy in two sentences, what would you say?

Wow!! Two sentences to convince someone to buy my book. Could one of them mention my cousin Guido, the Enforcer? No, I guess not. I don't know whether comparison is permitted, but if so, I like to compare my writing to that of Jean Shepherd, who wrote such books as WANDA HICKEY'S NIGHT OF GOLDEN MEMORIES (and other Disasters), and IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH. Jean, who was my inspiration, had a zany talk show on WOR in NYC in the early 60's. He also morphed many of his stories into a film that has become a classic: A CHRISTMAS STORY.

Okay, try this: Experience what was like to grow up in an Italian ghetto in the mid-fifties with street-wise friends destined to dichotomize into cops and criminals.

Is this the last we will see of Kenny?

You have not heard the last of Kenny. In fact, I have self-published two other books about Kenny. KENNY'S KEMPS is a collection of short stories about Kenny's adventures as an older adolescent. Most of the stories involve cars and girls, which were the two intertwined themes in Kenny's life. DAVIES LAKE EPISODES is a novel that expands the cars-and-girls theme, while documenting adventures and misadventures at a summer resort where Kenny worked, and in Kenny's high school. Both were published by Lulu.com, and are available on Amazon.com.

Thanks Tom, we enjoyed reading about Kenny and we wish you and the book much success.

In the Shadow of the Big Apple, by Tom Piantanida. $12.95, 170 pages, Diversion Press Young Adult, paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1935290056


To purchase a copy, click on the cover picture above or just click here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FREE BOOKS---A CONTEST FOR FREE BOOKS--

The heading should say TWO Contests for Free Books!!!

Blog Membership Contest #1
The member of our blog, who successfully enrolls the most new
members (10 minimum) by November 27 will win our new “Bag
of Books” a Diversion Press tote with three Diversion Press
books. This could make a wonderful holiday gift for someone or
several people.

The Diversion Press “Bag of Books” will also be available for
purchase on our website in the coming weeks and will be shipped
in time for the holiday season. All of our author’s books are
available for this offer.

Here are the rules (the fine print):
*You must be a member of the blog to be eligible.
*Contestants must submit an email between November 27 and December 1
listing all the people that you recruited. All new members that you list must
still be members.
*The winner will be announced after December 1 and the prize will be
guaranteed to arrive in time for the holiday.
*We will post the results and each person’s total at the end of the contest.
*We may also post the results during the contest so that you can see what the
competition is up to.
*The blog must reach a total of 50 members for the contest to be valid.

Blog Membership Contest #2
This is open to all members of our blog. One member will be
randomly chosen on or after December 1 to receive a Diversion
Press “Bag of Books”, a Diversion Press tote with three Diversion
Press books. These can be veteran or new blog members.

NOTE: Each person can only win once!

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Dear Readers, Authors, and Friends,

We are reposting some information about one of our new anthologies. We are still accepting poetry and stories for this anthology. Please read the information below and contact Darla Crist, the editor of this work, at museflash@aol.com for more information or to submit.

We're Not in Kansas Anymore:
This anthology will collect well-crafted poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction in responses to the cultural phenomenon of The Wizard of Oz. Topics of interest include—but are not limited to—the idea of place and/or displacement, identity, disguises, memory, transformation, and objects of desire or disappointment. Please send your imaginative and previously unpublished submissions (1-3 poems, up to 6,000 words fiction or creative nonfiction, maximum 3 flash pieces up to 1,000 words each) with a cover letter, an active email address, and brief biography to museflash@aol.com or to Oz Anthology, c/o Darla Crist, Editor, Indiana State University, Department of English, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Survey and a chance to win books and get discounts


Click the Link below to take our Halloween Survey.

You will also have a chance to win free books and get coupons just for taking part.
More details are available on the giveaways when you follow the link.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Interview with Jennifer Caloyeras, author of Urban Falcon

Recently we asked one of our newly published authors, Jennifer Caloyeras, a few questions about her book Urban Falcon, publishing, and being an author.

Jennifer, This is your first book, tell us what it feels like being a published author?


It feels wonderful! It’s a strange thing being a writer. You spend so much of your time sitting alone and writing. It’s such a private experience and then when the book comes out it shifts to this very public experience. But it’s nice to know that now people are finally able to read my work! (aside from family members).



What motivational advice would you give to aspiring writers?


Stick with the task of writing. Do one thing each day towards your goal. It could be something large, like writing a rough draft of an entire chapter or something as small as completing a sliver of research you may need in your book. I’d also advise aspiring writers to become avid readers of the genre they are writing in. Be sure you write a story that no one else can tell as well as you.


Tell us something about Evan Falcon?


I think I would have definitely had a crush on Evan in high school. He’s funny, artistic and sensitive and has just the right amount of insecurity, which makes him endearing. At his core, he cares deeply about the people he loves.



You really seem to be able to relate to these characters, they come alive, how were you able to do this?


I love the teenage voice, not just writing about it, but also reading it. I think the teen years are such a time of flux and self-reflection. All problems, even little problems are so amplified when you’re a teenager. I remember so vividly being at a point in my own life where I was so caught between being a kid and being a grown up. The key to creating a successful teen voice is to really tap into the characters. I feel as though I handed over the novel to these characters I created and let them lead the way.


You are actively promoting and signing the book. Where are your upcoming promotional plans and where might someone be able to pick up a signed copy?


Well, the last time I checked the Amazon.com website, there’s a used, signed book for sale! I have been busy promoting the book in California. I will be speaking at various high schools throughout the fall and I was just invited to be the guest speaker at a book club. I am currently adding dates and reviews to my novel’s website: http://www.urbanfalconnovel.com/


What would you tell someone who has not read the book, something that would inspire them to pick up a copy?


If you’re an adult looking to relive some of the teen angst you lived through (all within the safety of the pages of a book) this book is for you! I think that young adult readers will feel as though they’re not alone in their experiences of feeling as though the world is out to get them and no one understands them.


Jennifer, we think your book is great and can’t say enough about it, do you have any closing comments?


Happy reading, everyone! Thanks for interviewing me!


Thank you Jennifer.



Jennifer recently signed books at Skylight Books and at
the Orange County Children’s Book Festival. You can catch her this coming weekend (October 9-11--check for exact date and time) at Children’s Book World in West Los Angeles . She suggests that you "Come on by!"

You can order a copy of Urban Falcon by clicking here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Titles for the Fall

Diversion Press is very, very busy. We have just released several new wonderful books. If you are looking for gifts this holiday season or just something great to read pick up a copy of one of our new books. Most of them are young adult books geared towards teenage readers, Ellabug is a children's book, but all of them can be enjoyed by adults and a wide audience (we [the editors] loved them!!!).

We are planning on doing interviews with each of these authors, so stay tuned to the blog and keep an eye on our website for updates.

Click on the covers to order a copy, a color catalog is available via Email by request.
BOOKSTORES CONSIDER HOSTING A SIGNING WITH OUR AUTHORS. You can contact them directly via our website or contact us at diversionpress@yahoo.com







Monday, September 21, 2009

We are starting the new 2009 Poetry Anthology and Contest

Diversion Press announces our 2009 Poetry Anthology

Submit: Submit no more than five poems. Send all poems on a separate Word document with your name, address, phone number, and Email address on each page. Your poems should appear exactly as you would like them to appear if accepted for publication. Prepare a cover letter. Send the entire thing as a single attachment to our email address: diversionpress@yahoo.com. The subject line should read Poetry Submission. The Email should state that the poetry is attached.

Do not submit more than once for this contest.

Selection: There is no reading fee and poems will be read and accepted or rejection given by Email. Once the contest end period is over (January 2, 2010) the winners will be announced.
Prizes: YOU DO NOT have to purchase a copy of the book to be included or to win a prize. We will select the poems and winners before the book is published or we even offer the book for sale.
All winners will get a free book (books are not free unless you win—but you will be offered copies at a much reduced price). All winners will also get their name and place put into the book. All entrants may have their poems also placed on the website.
Diversion Press only asks for rights to the print the poems in this anthology and any reprints of this anthology under the same name. The rights then revert back to the poets.

1st place: $20
2nd place: $15 dollars
3rd place: $10 dollars
Up to three honorable mentions

Encyclopedia of Global Terrorism and the War on Terror

Diversion Press invites submissions for inclusion in our upcoming Encyclopedia of Global Terrorism and the War on Terror. We seek contributions from academics from all backgrounds for this interdisciplinary work. Authors are invited to submit up to 6 entries. Each entry should be between 500 and 1000 words. Certain entries (those on entire nations) will run from 1000 to 3000 words. The format is explained in more detail in our guidelines.The focus of the Encyclopedia is to provide detailed entries describing both domestic and international terrorist events throughout the 20th and (thus far) the 21st centuries. The culmination point of the work is to discuss the War on Terror, in all of its aspects, and the nations that are involved in this effort. The work is an interdisciplinary work aswell, with entries concerning history, political science, biology, chemistry, and agriculture, and contributors range from professors, officers in the Armed Forces of the U.S. and elsewhere, and political, officials in the U.S. State and Defense Department, and foreign officials. Ph.D. students, advanced graduate students, or civilian ormilitary experts can and have also contributed.Once entries are assigned to authors, they should be submitted to us in 6 weeks. We can work with extended dates if needed. For an updated word list and guidelines please e-mail terrorismencyclopedia@diversionpress.com with "word list" in the subject line. The anticipated publication date is Winter 2009/2010. Please pass this information along to any colleagues or graduate students who may be interested.

There is a blog for the encyclopedia at:
http://terrorismencyclopedia.blogspot.com/

The Press Blog and websites are
http://terrorismencyclopedia.blogspot.com/
www.diversionpress.com


You may request a PDF of our catalog, delivered free of charge to your Email address, by simply sending an Email to us with “Catalog Request” in the subject line.

You may also enter our free contests for book giveaways, as well as view other publishing opportunities, by visiting the above links.

New information

There will be a lot of new information about Diversion Press being posted here very soon. A lot of new and wonderful things are in the works. Stay tuned to this blog and visit our website at www.diversionpress.com.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse poet interview



In celebrating the release of Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse, our first poetry anthology, we asked our poets a few questions about inspiration and writing. Here are their answers:

What inspires you to write your poetry?
“I am inspired by anything that emotionally and intellectually attract my five senses,” Richard Eric Johnson.

"I'm inspired to write when I think about the timelessness of the craft. Poetry is an essential component to human life, dating back to the very beginnings of recorded history, and such a large span of time is both intimidating and inspiring. So, I write because of the poetic tradition, because of all that has come before, and that, hopefully, has yet to be produced," Matthew Henningsen.

“Other poets inspire me as well as images and experiences from everyday life,” Cecilia Milanes.

“I write whenever the moment grabs me - most often while I am observing, listening or reading something or someone. I am mostly inspired by others' art, nature and human experiences throughout life - my own and those of others. Human experiences are so transferrable and almost every reader can relate to a poem, or interpret a poem in a way that resonates with their own experiences,” Nadine Stanford.

“My writing is inspired by my life. Everything I write is based on my interactions with the world and people around me,” Erika K. Lueker-Tarango.

“I don’t actually consider myself a poet. I’ve written very few poems. It was an interest in exploring a new medium,” Bill Mesce.

“There is nothing more inspirational for writing than going to a poetry reading or conference and being surrounded by other who are as in love with language as you are. For subject matter, I look to my backyard, my dogs, my family and anything else that I can spend time with. Sometimes I’ll immerse myself in a subject (like tomatoes, monkeys, trees) and see where that goes,” Allison Wilkins.

“It's in the genes; my family is made up of passionate readers and committed writers,” Nancy Carroll.

“I’m a suburban guy. Born & raised in suburban Long Island; I’ve raised my family here as well. My poetry reflects those experiences and values. I find inspiration in family, especially my children, in growing up in a suburban area--sidewalks and lawns--and in the growing older, with all that entails,” Tony Iovino.

“Extremes of emotions, joy, sadness, anger trigger much of my writing. A gorgeous nature scene or a great injustice, either spectrum excites my desire to write,” Jane Herschlag.

“What inspires me to write my poetry is the clarity I find from expressing my feelings and thoughts through evocative, direct and clear images and then the intimacy it can create when shared with others,” Mary Oliver.

“Poetry offers me a unique format to make an impact in about two dozen lines. I strive for poems that deliver a message that is clear and unmistakable. I have something to say and I think the reader is entitled to my opinion. And the fewer words the better. Every word counts,” Steven C. Levi.

“I spent many years working as a healer, and I think that I view poetry in some ways as a form of healing work. I love telling stories, and I love entertaining. I also love to play with sounds and words. Sometimes I write just because a phrase or a sound or an image is stuck in my head and I have to get it out before it drills a hole through my brain,” Kristen McHenry.

“My adult poetry is inspired by emotions. Hard times. Happy Times. Sadness or Grief. Love. Poetry is a way for me to work out my feelings. My children’s poetry is inspired by what else? Children. Sometimes they say the craziest things. Their words become the kernel for a rhyming picture book or a simple stanza for a children’s magazine,” Gail Krause.

“The world around me, my personal life, eavesdropping, my dreams and the books I read,” Jeff Williams.

“I am inspired by several things, especially nature in its beauty and ugliness as well as the existential horror of living in a country like Nigeria,” Adeshina Afolayan.

Is there a season or time of year that you are able to write more poetry?

“There is no particular time,” Cecilia Milanes.

“Not really. I am equally inspired by rain and snow - as one year living in Maine last year can attest to - as I am by sunshine and fine weather (I am now living in Dubai),” Nadine Stanford.
“I find that I write more in the fall and spring. They are seasons of change, tumultuous times between the warmth of summer and the harsh cold of winter. They are unpredictable seasons, when you are never sure if you need a raincoat or a silk fan. Also, the change of these seasons is tied to so many memories. The turning leafs reminds me of my college days and the budding flowers reminds of a childhood spent exploring,” Erika K. Lueker-Tarango.

“Because I am a professor, I have more time to write in the summer, although I try to make time each week during the semester to dedicate to writing. I find I write the best poems in the winter. I think it’s because I’m a fan of cold weather,” Allison Wilkins.

“I am always looking for ideas for poems so there is no season or time or year that is best. Truth is stranger than fiction and Ifind irony and poetic fodder in the newspapers, magazines, in what colleagues say and, of course, political speeches,” Steven C. Levi.

“I write more in the winter months (I live in Minnesota), because in summer my soul needs the outdoor air and sunshine,” Nancy Carroll.
“I write in spurts. I find that life events–births, funerals, weddings, birthdays, graduations– churn ideas and emotions, and lead me to write more,” Tony Iovino.

“A particularly chaotic time in my life can cause me to write feverishly, or cause me to withdraw from my passion of writing, but generally, the seasons do not influence my output,” Jane Herschlag.

“So far, I've been inspired during all four seasons, for different reasons and with different moods,” Mary Oliver.

“I don't have one season that I write more than others; my writing tends to flux more with what's going on at my fairly demanding job. However, I love the Fall, and feel the most inspired during that time. I need darkness and quiet to write, so the noise and heat of summer is hard on my muse sometimes,”Kristen McHenry.

“No, not really,” Jeff Williams.

“I find it easier to write poems in the last three months of the year, Halloween through Christmas. Holidays are big inspirations,” Gail Krause.

“Poetry for me usually results from terrible inspiration any time,” Adeshina Afolayan

How many poems do you write per year?

“It varies,” Cecilia Milanes.

“In the year to date, I have written more than 300 poems,” Nadine Stanford.

“I write every day. Sometimes it’s a line here or there, a stanza scribbled into a notebook. These will often become the puzzle pieces of my larger works. In terms of clean, polished, finished pieces? I write about fifteen a year,” Erika K. Lueker-Tarango.
“I’ve only written a handful of poems over some 30-odd years as a writer. I’m in awe of people who write poetry regularly,” Bill Mesce.
“I’ve never thought to count. I’d guess more than 10 and less than 20. And that would include real poems, ones that are revised over and over again, not bad drafts or writing exercises,” Allison Wilkins.

“I am new to poetry, (I usually write short fiction or essays); writing it seriously only the past three years,” Nancy Carroll.
“About 20 to 30, though many don’t make it past two or three lines,” Tony Iovino
“Since I run a peer workshop twice monthly I am disciplined to produce, and write between 100-150 poems per year,” Jane Herschlag.

“I've only been writing for two years and have written about three hundred poems so far, at a fairly steady pace. I assume I won't keep up at this rate, but I guess I have a lot of expressing to catch up on!” Mary Oliver.

“I probably average a poem a week. Of these only about ten are good and three are very good and one, maybe, is great. But my great poems are really those I have re-worked over and over again. There is no short-cut to quality,” Steven C. Levi.

“I tend to be very slow to consider a piece finished. Sometimes I'll work on one poem for months, although I'm always writing other poems at the same time, and experimenting with new ideas. Right now, I am in a poetry elimination competition called "Project Verse", and I'm learning to produce decent poetry very quickly, as we have less than a week to get our work up by the deadline. So, that's getting me a poem a week for now, until they kick me off the island! Outside of that, I'm happy to average twenty four good poems per year...about two a month,” Kristen McHenry.

“I'm trying to get back into writing poetry. At present, I maybe write two or three poems a year, but when I was actively writing poetry some 16 years ago I would write two to three poems a week and maybe one of those would be a keeper or something that I would choose to edit and revise. Hopefully I will get back to those days soon,” Jeff Williams.

“I write approximately 35-40 poems a year,” Gail Krause.

“An average of four or five,” Adeshina Afolayan.

What advice would you give to new poets?

“Never get discouraged,” Richard Eric Johnson.

“Write everyday, even if only for a half hour,” Cecilia Milanes.

“Listen to what you hear. Be brazen. Share your art. Believe in yourself,” Nadine Stanford.

“Write daily. Write hourly if you can. I have a stack of small notebooks that are tucked into purses, backpacks, pockets, so that I am never without somewhere to collect my thoughts. Also, read daily. Find poets you like, poets you don’t like, poets you think you might like and read the heck out of their works. Go back and read Ovid, dive into literary journals to discover someone who just published their first poem,” Erika K. Lueker-Tarango.

“Voraciously read all the poetry – from narrative to experimental - you can get your hands on. Support the presses with your subscriptions to their journals/books. Then you help those who publish work and you familiarize yourself with what is going on in the writing world. And then write regularly. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write! The only way that you will develop as a writer is to read and write. And be patient,” Allison Wilkins.

“I was stimulated by a professional poet who is also a college professor and is outstanding in both areas - Ms. Deborah Keenan at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN; and continual encouragement and support from my writer friends,” Nancy Carroll.

“Go to readings and listen to other poets. You'll hear some very good poetry, and some very bad poetry. It’s like a free creative writing class. And then, ass in seat and write. Finally, edit, edit, edit,” Tony Iovino.

“I would suggest that new poets spend lots of time critiquing, and having their work critiqued by other poets. The old idea that teaching teaches the teacher, is very accurate; one learns as one pays close attention to and analyzes the work of others. I find that my work is dramatically improved after being workshopped by writers whose skills I admire. To me, revision is like playing in a sandbox, reshaping, redesigning my work. It is almost meditative,” Jane Herschlag.

“The best advice I can give to new poets is to make your best poems great. No great poem ever started that way. They blossomed through a labor of love. There is not a dime in poetry so there is no reason to join the rush for fame and fortune. Take your time. Rewrite. Rethink. Rewrite. And ignore people who think you are ‘different’ because you write poetry,” Steven C. Levi

“Read as much as poetry as you can. Read "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. Look for a trustworthy mentor, but be very discerning. Try mastering a few types of formal verse. What you learn from that discipline will pay huge dividends down the road, even if you only want to write free verse,” Kristen McHenry.

“Write regularly, even if it is only one or two hours a week. Set aside a specific time and write, write and write. Also, read. Read lots of poetry, be aware of what is out there and what other poets are doing. Make writing poetry and reading poetry a discipline. You cannot write too much and you cannot read too much and you do not have to keep everything you write,” Jeff Williams.
“Don’t force the rhyme. If it flows from your mind fast, it usually works. If you must ponder the meter and rhythm or search for a “good” matching word, it usually doesn’t,” Gail Krause.

“Write, don't edit too much and have fun. Don't be afraid to share,” Mary Oliver.

“Listen to your muse!” Adeshina Afolayan.

In your opinion who historically is the most influential poet to you?

“I have been deeply inspired by Jack Kerouac, Leonard Cohen, and a host of traditional German poets. It helps immensely to be fluent in at least one foreign language and experience another culture's poetic insights,” Richard Eric Johnson.

“I think that Pablo Neruda is most historically influential because he's influenced all the poets I admire,” Cecilia Milanes.
"I'll always be attracted to T.S. Eliot. His verse, dealing so heavily with the concept of time, with the movement of human history, will always sound a chord. His "Four Quartets" is undoubtedly one of the most important literary works of the 20th century,” Matthew Henningsen.

“Rainer Maria Rilke (translated into English) has been the most influential poet for me,” Nadine Stanford

“Historically, it’s Byron. But not for his work, but his life. There is something amazing in the idea of being free and young and reckless. Of being lost in your own romanticism and ending up the Quixote of your own story. Plus I have unwittingly fallen in love with a series of Byronic Heroes, many of whom have found their way into my poems and stories,” Erika K. Lueker-Tarango.

“For me personally, Sylvia Plath is the most influential poet. A close second is Elizabeth Bishop,” Allison Wilkins.

“There is no one; though I fell in love with Shakespeare in high school,” Nancy Carroll.
“J R Turek. She is a local poet-activist here on Long Island. She has urged me, and countless others, to write and really enjoy poetry,” Tony Iovino.

“Edna St. Vincent Millay and Sharon Olds were my first inspirers. Millets ability to soar, and Olds’ attention to minute detail were crafts that I knew I had to incorporate in my work if I wanted my poetry to move others,” Jane Herschlag.

“Ferlinghetti, Homer, Shakespeare, Coleridge, Harte, Guthrie,” Steven C. Levi

“To me personally, it was Anne Sexton. I credit her with saving my life. I think that she broke down a lot of barriers and taboos for women, and opened up a whole new territory for us,” Kristen McHenry.

“There is no one most influential poet for me. Certainly Walt Whitman is one I would mention and in reality all of the Prophets of the world's religions were first and foremost great poets and their influence is undeniable. In terms of recent poets, the historically remembered I have to include Jorie Graham, Joy Harjo, W.S. Merwin and Marvin Bell. In terms of poets I have known or met ( the personal historical) and who influenced me and gave me personal inspiration there is Michael Fitzgerald, Roger White, William Stafford and Jim Simmerman,” Jeff Williams.


Don't forget that we are currenlty accepting poetry for our new anthology and contest. Check out this blog and our website http://www.diversionpress.com/ for details.

If you need to purchase a copy of Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse, click here.

Bill and Dakota: A Work in Progress at The Reef Resort on Grand Cayman Island



Bill Rosencrans spent part of his summer as an invited speaker at TheReef Resort on Grand Cayman Island. Bill talked about and signed copies of his new book Dakota: A Work in Progress. I guess you could call it a working vacation . . .






Keep up with all of what Bill and Dakota are doing at his website http://dakotaaworkinprogress.blogspot.com/



















If you need a copy of the book click here

Diversion Press helps sponsor the Summer Gazebo Readings in New York

Diversion Press joins with The Kiwanis Club of Oceanside, Bondi & Iovino, Attorneys-at-Law, and others to help bring the Summer Gazebo Readings to New York.

Summer Gazebo Readings. Don’t miss what has been called the "literary event of the summer!"
"a magical evening," "a beautiful setting" and "absolutely unique!"

When: Every Monday evening in June, July & August at 7 pm
Where: Schoolhouse Green, Foxhurst Rd, Oceanside (just east of Long Beach Rd)
No admission fee! (Seating is limited–bring your lawn chairs!)

For more information on attending, participating, or sponsoring, follow these links:
http://summergazeboreadings.blogspot.com/
http://www.schoolhousegreen.org/

Friday, July 10, 2009

THIS JUST IN!!! Diversion Press will be at the Decatur Book Festival

Diversion Press will be displaying books, talking to customers and potential authors, and networking at the Decatur Book Festival this September. Decatur is near Atlanta, Georgia, the dates will be September 5th and 6th, 2009.

More details will be posted soon. For information on the book festival follow the link below.

We hope to see you there!


http://www.decaturbookfestival.com/2009/index.php

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Ordering Our Books

If you look at the bottom of our blog page you can see that you will now be able to easily order our books directly through Amazon.com

We currently have three books available: German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass by Antonio Thompson, Dakota: A Work In Progress by Bill Rosencrans, and Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse.

Keep watching our blog and website. We have several more books that will be released this summer and fall. We will also be going to some trade shows and book fairs. We will keep you updated through this blog site.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Current Publishing Opportunities at Diversion Press

Current Publishing Opportunities at Diversion Press

Dear Potential Authors,

Diversion Press is working on a variety of anthologies including short stories on war for War Is All We Know, and ghosts and horror stories for After Dark. We are looking for poetry, essays, and academic work for our anthology We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, edited by Darla Crist. We are also looking for essays that explore the creative processes of women writing fiction, (In)Scribing Gender: International Female Writers and the Creative Process, edited by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard. We are also accepting poetry for our 2009 Poetry Anthology. Prizes are given for the best War Is All We Know stories and the best poems. Contributors living in the U.S. will receive free copies of the anthology that their full length essay or short story appears (we do not send contributor copies for poetry, or outside of the U.S., unless you win one of the contests).

If there are other anthologies or reference works that you think Diversion Press would be interested in and you would like to edit, please send a proposal and resume or c.v. to us.
A full catalog of all current and upcoming Diversion Press books is available upon email request.

Thanks for your interest in Diversion Press.
http://www.diversionpress.com/

Our Newest Anthology: We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Diversion Press is looking for well-crafted poetry, fiction, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction for We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, an anthology of responses to the cultural phenomenon of The Wizard of Oz. Topics of interest include—but are not limited to—the idea of place and/or displacement, identity, disguises, memory, transformation, and objects of desire or disappointment. Please send your imaginative and previously unpublished submissions (1-3 poems, up to 6,000 words fiction or creative nonfiction, maximum 3 flash pieces up to 1,000 words each) with a cover letter, an active email address, and brief biography to museflash@aol.com or to Oz Anthology, c/o Darla Crist, Editor, Indiana State University, Department of English, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809. Electronic copies will be necessary for accepted work.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Meanderings: A Collection of Poetic Verse

Our first poetry collection is finished. The proof is in our hands and it looks excellent. The photo on the cover was taken by one of our editors and is not clip art. It will be available for regular distribution in June 2009. Those who won the contest and those who submitted pre-orders will have their copies mailed out in mid-May. We will post more details about this, our third book, very soon. If you have questions or are interested in a pre-order, please contact us. www.diversionpress.com

(In)Scribing Gender: International Female Writers and the Creative Process

Diversion Press is pleased to announce our newest anthology and first academic volume of collected essays.


(In)Scribing Gender: International Female Writers and the Creative Process
Edited by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard
Diversion Press (http://www.diversionpress.com/)

The purpose of the (In)Scribing Gender anthology is to explore the creative processes of women writing fiction, non-fiction and poetry from multiple cultural contexts, in different styles, and within various disciplines. Through personal anecdotes, interviews, articles, narratives and essays, established and emerging female writers from diverse backgrounds will expound on topics such as creative inspiration, locating the muse, the limitations and liberties associated with categorization and labels (academic, institutional, social, artistic, literary, or other), conducting literary or scholarly research as a woman, cultural perceptions of female writers, female/feminine literature, feminist literature, and gendered representations. This anthology will examine how gender shapes an author’s creative process and the ways in which gender tints the lens through which a writer’s work is viewed by literary and/or academic audiences.

In both academic and literary circles, specific labels (and their attendant expectations) are often foisted upon, or in some cases chosen by, female writers. One of the goals of this anthology is to begin to deconstruct these culturally specific (in terms of literary, academic and global cultures) categories, both imagined and real.

To articulate and overcome the myriad gender-related social challenges of the twenty-first century, the world’s creative literary and academic minds must unite. In this vein, (In)Scribing Gender will encourage dialogue between international female authors and provide a global readership with the opportunity to more fully comprehend the intricacies of the creative process as it applies specifically to women writers.

Essays, articles and narratives on (but not limited to) the following themes are encouraged. We welcome a wide range of disciplines, topics, and stylistic, theoretical and methodological approaches. Entries may be self-referential or focus on another writer’s process. Contributors are also welcome to submit interviews related to these themes.
- Inspiration, the muse, the creative spark
- Culling, organizing, and articulating ideas for an article, story, poem or book
- Verbal and written imagery (drawing from the theories of Mitchell, Paivio and others)
- Academic writing as a creative endeavor
- Theories of creativity, gender and audience reception as they relate to the creative process (drawing from the theories of Benjamin, Adorno, Arieti, Wertheimer, Ghiselin, Wallace and others)
- Negotiating gendered literary themes and gendered representations (women writing on men and women, creating gender-specific fictional characters)
- Language and gender
- Poetry written by and for women
- Gender and authorial authenticity
- Writings on gender, culture and sexuality
- Feminist vs./and/or feminine literature

All entries should be between 5,000-10,000 words. Interested contributors should email an abstract of around 300 words, a short bio, and a current CV to Jen Bouchard at jtwestmore@yahoo.com by August 15, 2009. Completed manuscripts will be due by December 15, 2009.


Editor bio:
Jen Westmoreland Bouchard holds a B.A. in French and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a M.A. in French and Francophone Studies from University of California-Los Angeles. She has presented her research on Francophone women’s writing, postcolonial literatures and world language pedagogy throughout the United States and Europe. Bouchard is currently a faculty member in the World Languages Department of Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota and a French instructor at Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, Minnesota. Her recent articles and chapters have appeared in The Journal of African Literature and Culture, The Journal of Pan African Studies, Migrations and Identities (Liverpool University Press), and in myriad anthologies and reference volumes published through Gale Cengage Learning, Pencraft International Press, Diversion Press, Greenwood Press, M.E. Sharpe, Wiley-Blackwell, ABC-CLIO, Handel African Books Network, and Facts on File. Bouchard serves on the editorial board of The Journal of African Literature and Culture and is a film, literary and arts reviewer writer for Global Woman Magazine. She is the owner of a freelance writing, editing and translation company, Lucidit√© Writing, LLC (http://www.luciditewriting.com/).

War Is All We Know

War Is All We Know

PROJECTED PUBLICATION DATE: November 15, 2009

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

Some of the stories featured in the collection include:

The Battle
Scout Story
A Small Piece of History
(Authors names withheld as this is a contest which has not ended yet)

…And Many More

After Dark

After Dark: A Collection of Haunting Tales

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
PROJECTED PUBLICATION DATE: October 1, 2009

After Dark will collect the best fictional horror stories and stories of true haunting and ghost sightings. The stories should be sent to us DS and between 20-40 pages.

Some of the stories featured in the collection include:

The…Flavor is Life By Vicky Gilpin
The Shadow Over Lynchburg By Casey Claybough
La Belle Dame By Billie Louise Jones
Haunted Theater By Deborah Finkelstein

…And Many More

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

UPCOMING BOOK SIGNINGS

Bill Rosencrans signing Dakota: A Work in Progress
April 11th - From 2-4 PM at The Green Toad Bookstore - Oneonta, N.Y.

Antonio Thompson signing German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass
April 18th Author Meet and Greet at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, Bowling Green, KY and

April 19th signing at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, Bowling Green, KY
For more information visit:
http://www.sokybookfest.org/

Bill Rosencrans signing Dakota: A Work in Progress
April 25th - From 2-4 PM at Borders Book Store - Crossgates Mall, Albany N.Y.

Antonio Thompson signing German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass
April 26th-From 3-5 at Borders Bookstore in Governor's Square Mall, Clarksville, TN

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dakota: A Work In Progress

We are featuring Bill Rosencrans and his book Dakota: A Work in Progress.
"Bill is one of those authors that is outgoing, easygoing, and is always willing to do a booksigning and talk about Dakota to anyone. He is a great person and a pleasure to work with. We all fell in love with Dakota after reading the rough draft."-the Diversion Press Editorial Team.

On the Diversion Press homepage we listed some of the interview with Bill. Here we will post it in full.



Bill,

Your book has been out for a few months now and is doing great. We wanted to talk to you about your book and about Dakota.

When and why did you get Dakota ?

I got Dakota when he was four months old. He was born in South Dakota, crated, then shipped to a pet store here in Upstate, New York. That’s where I found him, wreaking havoc in a pet store. He had escaped from the room we were in, where we sat debating whether or not he was the dog for us. There was total chaos. He almost made it out of the store and into the mall before he was scooped up and handed to my wife, Rita. I knew then that what was a potential sale was now a done deal. We got Dakota because there was a giant void left in our house with the passing of our Belgian Shepard, Bear, almost four years ago. Dakota filled that void, the same way a jumbo hot dog with chili on it fills the void in your stomach, then leaves you doubled over in pain a half hour later.

What inspired you to write Dakota: A Work in Progress?
Dakota was like no other dog I had ever known, which was why I began taking notes, jotting down the unusual things he did. I’ve asked other owners of golden retrievers if their dog behaves the way that Dakota does, and each one replied with basically the same answer, an emphatic “Oh, nooo...My dog doesn’t do anything like that.”

How hard was it for you to sit down and write the book?

It wasn’t hard at all. It was fun elaborating on all of the crazy things that Dakota does. When my wife, Rita read what I wrote she was laughing out loud. She then passed these stories on to her Mother, and to her friends in the office where she works, and she was getting the same reaction from them. It was Rita’s idea that these short stories should be a book.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about or currently writing?

The best advice I have is to never give up. Keep writing. I once read that a good story will find its way, and I am a firm believer in that adage. It may not happen as quickly as you’d like, but it will happen. It’s also important not to be intimidated by the other writers. I remember reading the works of the heavyweights like Ernest Hemminway, William Kennedy, Saul Bellow, and others, and thinking to myself that I could never write like them, so I started writing screenplays instead. What I failed to realize was when writing you must be yourself, and have fun with what you’re writing if the genre allows it. I enjoy hearing people laugh over something I said or wrote. Who doesn’t? And Dakota is quite a character. He gives me plenty to write about.

Tell us something about Dakota that is NOT in your book?

My neighbor, Eileen is avoiding me now thanks to Dakota. When Eileen’s son goes away on business he leaves his dog, Harper with his parents. Eileen was in her yard with Harper when she saw Dakota and me in my yard. She invited us over so that Dakota and Harper could play together.

When the gate opened and Dakota saw his best friend, Harper standing there waiting for him, he went bonkers. His reaction triggered the same reaction in Harper, and they started chasing one another around the pool at warp speed.
Their lips were pulled back with the G-force they created.

I knew that sooner or later Dakota was going to veer off and come running and jump up on Eileen wanting to give her kisses, thanking her for letting him come over to her yard to play with Harper. I stood there guarding her like a goalie for a hockey team guards the net, while trying to have a conversation with her at the same time, which was near impossible. I had a number of good saves as I dove to the left, then to the right. Then Dakota got by me and jumped up on her. Eileen thought nothing of it. She’s so sweet. Dakota went back to chasing Harper around the pool.

My mistake was not paying attention to Dakota as Eileen and I continued to talk. In mid-conversation I saw her face drop and her mouth fall open. I turned and saw what she was looking at. It was Dakota. He was trying to pick up the floats that were not in the pool and puncturing them with his teeth. The floats popped and hissed, Dakota jumped back. He was deflating them all.

I told Eileen that I had better get going and took Dakota and left. I hope Jeff has a bike tire repair kit so he can patch up the floats.

What would you tell someone who has not read the book, something that would inspire them to pick up a copy?

I would tell them what Amy, Editor in Chief at Diversion Press, told me “This is not just another book about a dog,” and she’s right. There is no other book out there like this one. This one is unique and it is very, very, funny. The picture of Dakota on the cover sets the tone. This is a book that will keep you laughing from cover to cover, and it is appropriate for all ages.

What is one of your favorite stories from the book?

That’s a tough question to answer because there are so many of them. I’M TURNING INTO HIM is one of my favorites, and every word of it is true. It’s really kind of scary.

You have been doing a lot of signings. How is that going?

The book signings are going great. It’s always fun. I love meeting people and talking about Dakota’s book with them.
I could go on all day talking about it. It’s always a good time. I leave my customers smiling and nine times out of ten they have a signed copy of Dakota’s book in their hand as they walk away from the table. I read somewhere that an author is lucky if he sells ten copies of his book at a book signing. I’ve been selling between twenty and thirty books at each signing.

What is your best and worst signing experience thus far?

My best signing experience was at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna, New York when a little girl whose cheeks looked like they were about to burst, saw Dakota’s book and went running to get her mother. The mother told me that the little girl told her that she had an emergency, then took her by the hand and brought her to the table where I was signing books. She wanted to buy Dakota’s book. I sold twenty-seven copies of the book that day.

My worst experience was when I was set up at the rear of a store. No one would have known I was back there signing Dakota’s book if it weren’t for advertising the event in the newspapers and on the web. Not everyone takes the time to stop and look at the poster you have in the store front
window. I would rather be set up near the front of the store where people walking in will see me.
What advice would you give to authors about scheduling and conducting signings?

I would advise them to try to schedule their signings in malls and on Saturday afternoons when you have the greatest amount of people coming through the store. Also, be sure you are set up where you will be visible, preferably near the front of the store. Smile, be courteous, and engaging, and ready to talk about your book and you’re sure to do well.

Bill thanks and congrats on the success of book and signings. You can keep up with Bill and Dakota on their website at http://dakotaaworkinprogress.blogspot.com/

If you need a copy of Dakota you can get it here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Welcome to 2009

Welcome to 2009

The first thing that one might say is that “it is already February 15, so why ‘welcome to 2009’”? Well, we have been so busy here at Diversion Press that we have neglected this blog. After speaking to one of our authors, Bill Rosencrans (author of Dakota: A Work in Progress) we realized we needed to get moving on this Blog and we promised Bill that we would.

So this first entry of 2009 is just going to be a teaser. What have we been up to? Well, as you can see we have two books in print and have not even been around for a full year yet. We have many wonderful new books under contract that will be coming out this year. We will devote some space to each of them. We also have found some great talent for our anthologies and we will feature those authors and their work as well.

We also want to add that we are still accepting stories for both the horror/ghost anthology and the War Is All We Know anthology. If you have something that you think would fit just send it along.

We are also still taking entries for the Encyclopedia of Global Terrorism and the War on Terror.
In the next few entries we are going to talk about Meanderings, our poetry anthology, and announce the winners! We have finally finished the contest!!!!! (whew!)

We are also going to talk about our two books and their authors. In the near future we will talk about Antonio Thompson’s German Jackboots on Kentucky Bluegrass, but as promised our very next post will feature Bill Rosencrans and the stories of his neurotic dog, Dakota.
Stay tuned to Diversion Press, our authors, our books, our website, and our blog. 2009 is going to be a big year.