“If you love Kentucky so much, why move?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: Last year I did a Kentucky Historical Society short fellowship for my Radical Agrarian Economics: Wendell Berry and Beyond book, spending some time at the society, and at neighboring archives, as well as talking to the region’s farmers. You mention in the version of your bio in the OUTBACK book that the magic there was based on your childhood experiences with the “creeks, caves and bluffs of western Kentucky.” Can you elaborate on what about Kentucky, as opposed to other states, makes it a place that so many American writers from Wendell Berry to Abe Lincoln were inspired by or wrote about? Is the nature in Kentucky somehow more magical; is it more accessible; are people living there trained to love it more than in other places? And if you love Kentucky so much, why did you move to Florida? Do you want to go back? In the Acknowledgements you thank your parents, Larry Wayne Adams and Mary Francis Adams, “for sharing their Kentucky childhood memories” with you, so are the reminiscences in this novel theirs more so than your own? It seems that Australia’s Outback is as different in climate to the bluegrass Kentucky as a place can be, so why the parallel?

Adams: The OUTBACK magic is based on my Kentucky childhood experiences. My grandfather, Eliose Trotter, worked for the Kentucky State Parks’ Department of Forestry. Eliose harvested nuts, nurtured saplings, and planted acres of trees. My father, Larry Adams, worked 40 hours a week in a plastic factory. Every afternoon and weekend he farmed until late at night. If dad took a day off, he was fishing or hunting. My two male role models respected the earth and everything that came from it.

Why did I leave? I was told if you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s meant to be. I moved to Florida to chase my animation dream. When I left, family and friends said, “You can always come home.” As a public speaker in elementary schools, I return “home” to Kentucky often. I’m greeted with, “Welcome home!” I don’t get this greeting in the suburbs of Central Florida.

IMG_0153I spent eight years shipping books from Florida across the United States. I realized shipping from the central United States reduces shipping cost drastically. In 2015, I moved my book warehouse/distribution center to Dawson Springs, Kentucky. Kentucky is a better location, if you’re in the distribution business. I now understand why factories locate in the Central United States.

My parents’ childhood stories encouraged me to explore the simple pleasures of being a kid. I ran barefoot and rode horses bareback because luxuries like shoes and saddles weren’t required for adventure. Books were required. My librarian mother made sure the Adams kids were registered for the Dawson Springs Branch Library’s annual Summer Reading Program. We read for points and for fun!

Reading is a powerful tool in the hands of children. Words change the world. Peter Pan flew to Neverland, an imaginary place without problems. I traveled to the Never Never land, a vastly remote area of Australia’s Outback that I read about. Kentucky “out back” where I played and Australia’s Outback parallel not in “temperature” climate, but as Never Never lands where a lost boy like me played.

Climate, like many words, has alternate meanings depending on who, what, when, where, and how it is used. Anna, you see Kentucky and Australia as vastly different. I see them as two sides of the same coin. I folded a rectangular world map in half and half again. The United States and Australia are similar in size; located in the same position in opposite hemispheres; and both had natives displaced by western civilization. Digging a hole from Dawson Springs, Kentucky to the other side of the world, would place me near Dawson CityVictoria, Australia. Dawson Springs, Kentucky once thrived, and Dawson City, Australia did too. Coincidence or a great story of parallels?
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

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3 Ways to Discover Indie Bookstores

Whether planning a book tour or book launch, locating indie bookstores is critical. Before packing your travel bag, map out the best bookstores based on your book genre, readership, and location. Here are 3 ways to determine which indie bookstore is appropriate for you.

#1: New Pages Guide to Bookstores in the U.S. and Canada is by far the most comprehensive listing of bookstores. NewPages.com offers valuable resources for indie authors and publishers wanting current information about literary guides, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

#2: Fellow authors and publishers are another resource for bookstores in your area. Ask not only for the bookstore name, but also for: past book signing experiences; special consignment requirements; previous sales; top-selling books; and for a manager or store owner’s contact information. PJ Boox and Bookmark It are two of my favorite local stores.

#3: When traveling be mindful to ask for directions to the nearest bookstore. Tourist destinations, historical landmarks, and gift shops often carry a selection of books. Ask not only for a contact name but their top-selling books, genre, and reason. Lula’s by the Sea, SunDog Books, and Downtown Books & Purl are examples of bookstores located in tourist locations.

When the relationship starts, ask if you can contact the store with you new products, events, or newsletter. Cultivating relationships with locally-owned and national indie bookstores boosts both authors’ and bookstores’ success.

“Is there pressure to mimic popular books?”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: Most illustrated books today look very similar to each other in style and technique. Why do you think this is the case? Is there pressure to mimic popular books in any genre because failure to conform to genre norms is seen as a mistake by reviewers, award organizers and others in the publishing industry? In other words, the styles of classical painters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo are sharply different, but if an art historian attempted to tell two popular illustrated children’s illustrators’ work apart, they would be stomped as to how to tell them apart. For example, paint types, brushstroke style, and various other elements differ in the best canonical painters, but modern digital illustrations lack most of these characteristics, and frequently top illustrators mimic techniques others utilize to conform their art to the industry standard. If an illustrator attempts radically different art, the work is typically either ignored by reviewers or negatively criticized as a mistake. Have you made any attempts to break with these formulaic requirements, and if so, what was the result of this experiment?

Adams: Fine artists and illustrators are educated using not only paint mediums, brushstrokes, and art history, but also computers. My college drawing professor, Dale Leys, refused to let me draw cartoons during my four year degree program. He believed a fine artist could become a great cartoonist, but not the reverse. Talented illustrators rely on art techniques that apply in a variety of medium using any tool.

Many of my clients are independent authors or publishers who take liberty in pushing the bounds of traditional publishing. Reviewers, award organizers, and publishing purists stubbornly hold to publishing tradition and labels.

Nicholas,That's Ridiculous!-Carpenter-www.mwa.companyWith Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous! I learned even “mistakes” add value. I had flooded an illustration with water and dropped magenta paint onto the page of a story about being a boy. Rather than discard the illustration, I submitted it for author approval. Author Christa Carpenter loved the liberty I took. Many clients request my bold color choices for their books.

When I was younger, my librarian mother never allowed me to fold pages, write in margins, or cut my books. I experimented doing this in my Best Sketchbooks. In the illustrated edition of OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, readers are allowed to cut or fold the over 100 illustrations. Each illustration is an experiment from the first sketch to the final cut illustration.
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Cooking in Fern Valley—Aileen Stewart

Aileen Stewart-headshotPack your suitcase and grocery bag! Aileen Stewart, author of the Fern Valley book series, has a new book. Cooking in Fern Valley, A Collection of Stories and Recipes is her latest book filled with short stories about life and friendship on the Curlytail Farm.

Join in the disasters, dilemmas, and choices of the farm animal children’s daily adventures. Respect, love, and compassion describe the many friendships. The short chapters would make this a fun daily summer read.

The endearing relationships between the animal students and their teachers is perfect for classrooms! Students and teachers will enjoy the tasty mixture of math and science. From fractions to combining ingredients, the learning is equally as fun as Aileen’s stories.

These delicious Curlytail Farm adventures and recipes will fill your heart, mind, and tummy!

Reviewed by:

Mark Wayne Adams is an award-winning illustrator, author, and publisher of more than 40 children’s books. View Books and Awards

Website(s):  www.markwayneadams.comwww.mwa.company

Social Media:

Fern Valley-www.mwa.company Return to Fern Valley-www.mwa.companyCooking in Fern Valley-www.mwa.company

“You’ll make a lot of money in this business…”—Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

 

Faktorovich: What kind of work did you do at Disney? You mentioned during our chat at ALA that you started in illustration when a friend told you that because you are such a quick animator, you could make a lot of money in illustration. Can you give an example of the timeline for one of the projects you did for Disney or another company you animated for, with details on how long each image, or set of images took? What are the daily tasks you had to complete as a professional animator? How are they different for an illustrator?

98-Ronnie Mesa-Mark AdamsAdams: I participated in the WDW College Program Internship, MGM Studios Food Service, Professional Lifeguard for both waterparks and resorts, which ranged from lifeguard, health club, to caricature artist. In every WDW position, I continued to submit portfolios to the Disney Animation Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida until the studio closed. At that point, I gave up my animation dream for the reality of a house and family in Florida. I drew ridiculously fast and was referred by a coworker, Ronnie Mesa, to a publisher in Tavares, Florida. I illustrated two children’s books within 45 days. The publisher said, “You’ll make a lot of money in this business, if you keep illustrating at this speed.” A second of animation is composed of 12-24 drawings. Most animators create hundreds of drawings a day. The standard children’s book has 32 full page illustrations, which is less than a day’s work for an animator. The $500 the publisher paid me in 1997 wasn’t going to help me quit my day job.

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

Book Review: A Hand Truck Named Dolly

A Hand Truck Named Dolly 3D-bookKay Whitehouse has written an empowering chapter book about a loving blue hand truck named Dolly. Dolly’s adoption comes with a unique set of challenges brought on by Bear, her new family’s standard poodle puppy. Her story is filled with amusing sibling pranks and humorous puppy accidents.

A Hand Truck Named Dolly has short chapters, age appropriate text, and entertaining illustrations for young readers. The story engagement continues with activities like: Fill in the Blanks, a Crossword, Word Scramble, and Word Search. Free printable versions of these activities are available at the author’s website: www.ahandtrucknameddolly.com.

Dolly’s helpful, pleasing personality is a fresh perspective. Families, students, and teachers should adopt this insightful story and its educational activities into reading time!

Hand trucks have been a part of my business and home for decades. Since reading Dolly’s story, my three loyal hand trucks have received names: Tiny, Flip, and Mo.

Reviewed by:

Mark Wayne Adams is an award-winning illustrator, author, and publisher of more than 40 children’s books. View Books and Awards

Website(s):  www.markwayneadams.comwww.mwa.company

Social Media:

Meet Author Derek Sabori

An Art grad with an MBA, author Derek Sabori’s has always wanted to be an Earth Bug. Realizing that’s a lot easier said than done, he lives vicariously through Lu and the Earth Bug Crew. When not dreaming up new adventures for the Crew and focusing on living a low-impact life of his own, Derek can be found heading up environmental affairs at action-sportswear giant Volcom; spending time with his wife; skateboarding with his son and daughter; or sneaking away for a surf on his own.

Derek’s book, Lu and the Earth Bug Crew Zap the Energy Spikes, was illustrated as a collaborative effort between Steve Riley and Mark Wayne Adams. In this Earth Bug adventure, Lu and the Crew start their day by shredding it up. After skating, surfing , and enjoying the outdoors, they arrive home to discover that something’s up—or ON! It’s time for Earth Bug Action!

2016 FAPA Award-winners!

Congratulations to Linda Smigaj, Eddie Price, and M.W. Adams! Their books: Little Miss Grubby Toes, Steps on a Bee!, Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series, and OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, were selected as medalists in the 2016 Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Awards. Gold, silver, and bronze medalists will be announced at the 2016 FAPA President’s Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 6, 2016, at the Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The awards banquet follows FAPA’s Annual Conference: Capture Your Publishing Dream. Over a dozen publishing professionals including Eddie Price will speak on topics from intellectual property to niche marketing. The annual conference not only open to FAPA members, but also authors and publishers nationally. Hotel reservations can be made at FAPA’s group rate of $126.00 at Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Hotel at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Once again, congratulations to Linda Smigaj, Eddie Price, and M.W. Adams!

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-bookLittle Miss Grubby Toes-Book 1-www.mwa.company-3D-bookOUTBACK 3D-book-72DPI-RGB

Best Book Event Travel Bag

As an author and illustrator constantly on the move, I’m asked, “What’s the best book event travel bag?” The best event bag evolves from situations at events: “Did you have a safety-pin? Do you have a poncho? Do you have a Band-Aid?”

Below is a list of my longest lasting, preferred, and regularly used supplies for events. A good book event pack has everything necessary for events or airport travel. The big stuff: tents, tent weights, table, etc., are not a part of this list.

Ciao Rolling Carry On BagCiao Rolling Carry On Bag:  Rolling bags with retractable handles reduce heavy lifting. This bag carries up to 10 hardbound books either vertical or horizontal format. Deep pockets are found on left and right sides, front panel includes 3 exterior pockets and 2 interior pockets. It has enough storage space, to become a heavy hauler. Add a custom luggage tag with a book cover image to market your book while traveling. AGP Carabiner clip(s) are excellent additions to hold keys, or secure the bag while traveling. Use carabiner clips as makeshift chains too.

Best Sketchbook-3D-bookPaper/Writing Utensils: I generally carry a 6 x 9 inch Best Sketchbook. It is not only for drawing and writing inspiration, but also to track potential event and client contact information. Small notepads, post-its, and loose notebook paper are used for short-term purposes: signs, tracking inventory, spelling of customer names, and newsletter sign-up sheets. Pack a variety of sharpies, ink pens, or even a stylus to write on any surface from paper or clothing to digital devices.

Tripar Small Adjustable EaselTripar Small Adjustable Easels: These lightweight clear easels fold flat and look professional on any surface.

8-ft Tablecloth: Choose a lightweight or sheer fabric tablecloth that folds into a gallon Ziploc® bag. Press the air from the bag before closing to minimize storage space. A disposable plastic tablecloth is handy for outdoor events not only to cover tables, but also to protect books from water.

Marketing Materials: Business cards, bookmarks, price sheet, order forms, and shipping labels can all be stored neatly in an accordion plastic file folder for easy access. Using a waterproof filing system looks professional, minimizes search time, and protects documents from water damage.

Swiss Army KnifeCutting & Binding Supplies: Metal scissors, box cutter, or pocket knife are helpful, but not allowed on airlines or in some public buildings. Carry all sharps (scissors, pins, including zip ties) in a hard plastic pencil box. The container stores items neatly and can be removed easily. Duct tape, clear shipping tape, zip ties (various sizes), safety pins, and lightweight rope are handy for hanging banners, packaging supplies, and securing items.

Credit Card Processing: SquareUp credit card reader is still my favorite. I carry my reader in a neoprene case outside my bag for quick access. The SquareUp app syncs across digital devices and can be used by multiple users.

First Aid/Personal Products: Travel size first aid kit, Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, pain relievers, lip balm, deodorant, tissues/wipes, sunscreen, and snacks are life savers! Use a small grooming kit to store items neatly for quick removal and discrete needs.

Portable USB ChargerWeather Proofing: Plastic Ziploc® bags (various sizes), trash bags (various sizes), hooded poncho, hand-held fan, portable USB charger/flashlight, phone charger, and cable come in handy when traveling in the rain or long distances.

Yes, the Ciao Rolling Carry On Bag will carry this and more. With a decade of experience and four retired travel bags, I can say my event bag is “a speaker’s first aid kit.” Not all contents are used at events; however, they keep you out of a bind!

Staff Book Picks: July

Written by Jane R. Wood
ISBN: 9780979230400
Paperback Retail Price: $8.99

Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, a Princess, and Buried Treasure continues the escapades of the Johnson family. Five-year-old Katy meets a pirate—is he real or imagined? Bobby and Joey visit a cemetery and a 19th century fort, as Bobby searches for buried treasure that is rumored to still be hidden on the island. Local legends and tales of ghosts add to a story filled with colorful characters, humorous situations, and a youthful spirit of adventure.

 

Little Miss Grubby Toes-Book 1-www.mwa.company-3D-book

Written by Eddie Price and Illustrations by Mark Wayne Adams
Hardbound ISBN:  978-1-59616-026-2
Pages: 32
Retail Price:  $14.95

Little Miss Grubby Toes tries to be a good girl, but when she doesn’t obey her parents, she gets herself in trouble!

One day, her mother warns her to keep her shoes on outside, because the bees are out collecting nectar. But Little Miss Grubby Toes loves to run around barefoot! She starts playing and ignores her mother’s warning.

What do YOU think will happen?

 

Jaces Adventure at Crystal River-3D book-www.mwa.company
Jace’s Adventure at Crystal Lagoon

Written by Diane Harper
ISBN: 9780984873678
Paperback Retail Price: $4.99

Summer is almost over and Jace isn’t happy about starting the new school year… until he meets his teacher, Ms. Merwin. The two fourth grade classes depart for a field trip to the Crystal Lagoon Aquarium, when the school bus breaks down at a National Park near the Lagoon. While eating their picnic lunch, Jace and Rocco’s new friend, Mia, disappears beyond the trees. Jace goes to look for her. When he arrives at the edge of the water and finds Mia, he can’t believe what he sees!