Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Library Lost&Found #1 (or Cat-astrophe)

Tip of the Day: If you missed WriteOnCon this week, that's OK! Check out the archives and speaker list for current agent and editor information.

For the past six years, I have wanted to blog about this topic, and finally, after three years of collecting photos, I am taking the plunge.

What am I talking about?

Library Lost&Found, of course!

Background: I am in charge of the Circulation Department at my library, and with that I inherited "management" of the Lost & Found. This highly evolved area consists of a plastic crate (probably a lost & found item itself back in the day) sitting on a small table in the cart room.

At any one time the L&F may be full of the following items:

  • Mittens/gloves
  • Notebooks/pens
  • Umbrellas
  • Canes
  • Sunglasses/reading glasses
  • Action figures
  • Sippy cups/bottles
  • Flash drives
  • Etc.
However, there is the occasional time where something completely outlandish ends up in the L&F and I think to myself one/many of the following:
  • Who could forget that?
  • Who would bring that into the library in the first place
  • Who would own that in the first place?
  • Why did we even save that in L&F instead of throwing it out? 
While I am considering the above, I am also usually laughing hysterically and I thought I should share that hilarity with the blog-reading world.

I started collecting photos about three years ago, and it evolved from just items that were placed in the L&F to also include:
  • Notes/letters/school assignments found around the library
  • Items stuck in books
  • Items donated to the library
Now, to kick off Library Lost&Found, this is a recent item that was donated to the library. Keep in mind, we don't actually accept clothing donations...yet somehow these furry faces found their way into our building with a box of books....

A number of questions arise:
  1. Why did someone think printing cat faces all over the front of a giant t-shirt would be attractive?
  2. When they realized it wasn't attractive, why did they think the library would want it?
Oh, wait, I guess the library did want it since I'm wearing it. But only because it was too amazing to pass up adding the tongues and tail and then gifting it to my director. 

But the kitty print itself is all natural, baby! MEOW!

Until next time...

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Win Two YAs! (or I'm Not Above Bribing Readers for Reviews)

Tip of the Day: Get ready for WriteOnCon 2014, the free online kidlit writing conference August 26-27. I'm excited to check out the buzz again this year!

I want to start with a huge THANK YOU to all A2A readers who have read BLACKOUT or DESERTED! I am so grateful for the support and excited to work on book #3, which I never thought I'd say. (Me? A trilogy?)  I plan on releasing an unrelated YA contemporary novel this winter, and then Jenny and Zak's story in August 2015.

To celebrate other summer 2014 YA novel releases, I want to give away two of them that I loved:


THE FOURTH WISH by Lindsay Ribar is the sequel to THE ART OF WISHING but it also stands on its own. Why did I love it? Because Margo loves Oliver, a genie, regardless of the exterior form he takes. Margo is a positive, uplifting character who is fun to follow through her own transformation.

THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU by Lisa Schroeder is by our very own former A2A contributor! Why did I love it? Because the love story is sweet and non-angsty, and the dual povs from both Lauren and Colby are expressive and connected, but also unique.

All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a review on Amazon or B&N for BLACKOUT, DESERTED, or both, and leave the link to the review in the comments! You'll get one entry for each review you write and post below (for a total of 4 possible entries). Enter in the Rafflecopter below between 8/18-9/18. Sorry, open to U.S. mailing addresses only.

For links to the books on Amazon and B&N, go to

Happy Second-Half-of-August!

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 2, 2014

On Celebrating EVERY Writing Accomplishment (or Bigger Isn't Always Better)

Tip of the Day: Love deals on discounted ebooks of your choice genres sent to your inbox daily? Check out and subscribe to Ereader News Today

As online social media sites have moved from MySpace to FaceBook to Twitter to Tumblr, I am still a loyal reader and user of LiveJournal. I post all of my book reviews here and enjoy reading the occasional posts by other stalwart LJ users, such as author and poet Kelly Fineman.

Last month Kelly wrote two posts that made me think. The first was about how she had good news to share; three of her poems had been accepted into two publications. I commented that it was fantastic and every little piece of writing news is something to celebrate when you are a talented, driven writer! Kelly replied that yes, it is good to remember to celebrate and share every achievement, no matter how small.

The second was a post called "Why is it so hard to own the good stuff?" and it truly spoke to me and made me start thinking about writing a post of my own, where I knew I'd link to Kelly's post because she is such an eloquent writer. Go ahead, read Kelly's post now. I'll wait. :)

I've been a writer all my life, but I first began writing with the idea toward publication (YA novels) in 2004, the summer after I finished my MLS and fell in live with YA lit in the YA Materials class. By 2006, I had three manuscripts and was sure that after a couple of years, I would have a YA novel on store shelves. Why wouldn't I? I was reading a ton, writing a ton, had a critique group, started up this group blog, went to conferences, knew how to edit and revise, took an online class, researched the market, signed with my first agent in 2008, kept writing more books, my crit/blog partners got book deals....

Um, yeah. And here I am now 10 years later without a book deal.

I am not writing this for pity or because I am fishing for encouraging remarks!

I AM writing this because, holy crap, I have accomplished a LOT in 10 years in the writing arena and these things need to be celebrated:

  • April 2011 -- Accepted as a VOYA reviewer; 1-2 of my YA book reviews are published monthly in this national professional librarian journal
  • July 2013 -- Self-published my YA ebook BLACKOUT and created a book trailer*
  • January 2014 -- Hired as a freelance Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine Book Nook writer; 1 article per month of kidlit book reviews is published in this local free Rochester-area magazine
  • July 2014 -- Self-published my YA ebook DESERTED and created a book trailer*
* To date, I have sold approximately 135 copies of my books, which is about 130 more readers than I would've had if I hadn't epubbed. Woo hoo!

So basically since spring 2011, I've had something professionally published every month, and since 2014 I've had at least two publications released per month. And you know what? That's pretty freakin' cool! I LOVE writing book reviews and while yes, they do take away time from writing my own fiction, there is a certain satisfaction in knowing they will be seen in print. Plus the librarian in me adores gushing about good books and telling people what to read. :)

Other cool things?
  • I have a fantastic agent who is working hard with me to polish my next MG novel. We are, of course, hoping the one on sub will sell, but either way it is exciting and motivating to have someone enthusiastic in my court with great ideas for making my books the best they can be. Also, she is a talented author herself so I know she "gets" revision and the work it takes to make your book baby solid for submission, from both sides of the business.
  • I have a fantastic core of talented writers who critique and edit my work, both online and in-person. I would not be where I am today without the years of input they have given me. I never take them for granted.
I do not plan to ever stop working toward traditional publication or self-pubbing ebooks at this point in my life, and I'm sure if/when I do get that elusive book deal, I will be ecstatic. 

But I also know that realistically, after the initial push, printing, and distribution of that one book, I will still need to write another and another and another. Not only to sustain a writing career, but because I have stories to tell. And one month, two months, three months after the book comes out, to the general population it will just be another book on the shelf at the library/store/house. Does that mean that the book and the accomplishment and hard work it represents still shouldn't be celebrated just because it is not "new" anymore?

I say no. I mean yes. I mean: Continue to relish that accomplishment and also celebrate all the small goals reached on the way to the next book deal or journal publication or poem completion or query letter sent. Because book deals and the publications of said books are too few and far between to be the only thing writers are celebrating.

As longtime A2A reader and awesome YA author Jenn Hubbard said in Kelly's comments:

"We're stopping to smell the roses, instead of saying that they're small roses or thorny roses or there could be more of them. They smell sweet."


Now excuse me while I finish up the October monster-themed Book Nook for Rochester & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. :-D

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

Friday, August 1, 2014

DESERTED Book Trailer (or Watch it for the Music & Pics)

Tip of the Day: BLACKOUT is on sale for .99 for two more hours...and DESERTED is officially on sale for $2.99.

Today is the official release date for DESERTED, the YA ebook sequel to BLACKOUT!

In honor of its release, I have created a book trailer with the help of my sister Andrea Lipomi (she took the Vegas photos -- follow her on FaceBook/instagram @feetishspa for more of her pics), and to my husband John Viviani (he wrote the music and produced the video -- follow Blue Falcon on FB for more new tunes

Thanks to all my readers, friends, and family for the continued support!

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing