Recently I ran a series Public Relations for Authors which focused on how we are perceived by those who view our profile photographs, biographies and presence on social media. This included guest posts on other writer’s blogs. Here is an opportunity to not only promote your own blog or books, but those of someone you admire as well.
Is there an inspiring individual, blogger or an author you would like to give a boost to who might enjoy joining you for a coffee and a piece of cake with us all?
Details on how to participate are at the end of this first post in the series.
Today children’s author Darlene Foster brings along her guest fellow Nancy Blodgett Klein. Nancy I am delighted to say will be joining Darlene and the other authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore.
Author Darlene Foster and guest Nancy Blodgett Klein
Introduction by Darlene Foster
When I moved to Spain from Canada six years ago, I didn´t meet any one from North America for the first couple of years. Then one day while walking my dog, a couple stopped to pet her and tell me how adorable she was, as often happens. To my delight, they had an American accent! Nancy and her husband, Rick, had moved to our neighbourhood from Chicago, Illinois. It was like meeting long lost cousins. We chatted for half an hour and agreed to meet for coffee. It didn´t take long and the subject of books and writing came up. Nancy was interested in my books and my writing journey. It turned out Nancy had written a book, sent it out a couple of times, got the typical rejection letters and put it away, discouraged. I invited her to our local writers´ group where she shared some of her writing. It was very good. Everyone loved her story and encouraged her to revisit the book. Like every first draft it needed some revision but it certainly had potential.
When the book was completed, with the help and encouragement of the group, she asked a few of us to beta read it. Nancy took all comments and suggestions to heart and polished up a good story to become a great story. She then asked me to do a thorough edit, which I did. After sending the book out to a few more traditional publishers, to no avail, she decided to self-publish. We went through a few more edits before she hit publish, and Torn Between Worlds was born. A wonderful book she can be proud of.
We have since worked together on publishing an anthology called Life Lessons: Guidance for all Ages, a collection of 34 true stories written by ordinary people in which a lesson was learned.
I strongly believe that people are meant to meet. I also believe that sharing your work with other writers and critique partners is essential for encouragement and a better end product.
I am happy to introduce Nancy Blodgett Klein and her books here on Smorgasbord Coffee Morning.
A bit about Nancy
Nancy Blodgett Klein worked as a journalist as well as a magazine editor in the Chicagoland area after receiving a Master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University.
She started out as a police reporter in Chicago, then worked for the American Bar Association Journal, writing hundreds of articles on political, social and legal topics. She also published articles in the National Law Journal. After returning to college, she earned a Master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Education. She then worked as a public school teacher for twelve years, including eight years as a bilingual teacher to mostly Mexican students. In 2016, she retired to Spain with her husband Rick.
They are the proud parents of two adult sons, a rescue dog and an Irish cat. Nancy keeps busy with travelling, yoga, singing in a choir, volunteering in a charity shop for hospice patients’ care and participating in a writers’ group and two book groups. She writes a blog covering a wide variety of interesting topics. Spain Writer
Torn Between Worlds is her first novel, and Life Lessons: Guidance for All Ages is her first non-fiction work, both published in 2021.
About Torn Between Worlds
This is the story of Isabel, a 12-year-old Mexican girl who comes to the United States illegally with her father, in search of a better life. A story common to many Mexicans. She has to leave her mother behind and this makes her sad. People demand she speak English, a language she doesn’t know well. She doesn’t feel welcome living with her uncle and his family and is very lonely. How will she cope?
Her kind sixth-grade teacher suggests Isabel keep a journal, where she can pour out the feelings she used to share with her mother. She encourages her to take home the newspaper to read to improve her English and learn about world events and politics. Isabel is horrified by the events that take place on September 11, 2001 in the US, witnesses a political demonstration in Oaxaca, Mexico where people are killed, and is forced to flee to Madrid, Spain to keep her and her mother safe from harm. Will all this chaos prevent Isabel from finding a way to feel connected to the world around her?
This coming-of-age story is written in journal format, spanning three years and three countries. Follow Isabel as she grows from innocent child into confident young woman through turbulent times.
Darlene’s review of Torn Between Worlds
I love reading stories written in journal format as you really get to know the main character. Young people especially are very honest about their feelings and thoughts when writing in their journal. The author has done a great job of writing from the point of view of a young illegal immigrant girl sharing her innermost thoughts as she deals with trying to fit in, a new language and frightening current events. Isabelle is living in the United States at the time of the 9/11 attacks. A scary time for all young people but even more so for immigrant children. She documents her fears, joys, ideas and hopes as she moves between Mexico, the US, and Spain. We learn about her friends, her first kiss and how she deals with her parents failing marriage. Growing up is never easy, but for Isabelle, it’s especially difficult. I highly recommend this book.
About Darlene Foster
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dogs.
A selection of books by Darlene Foster
A recent review for Amanda in Malta
While I am not a 7-12 year old who would be the target audience for this enchanting story I loved learning about Malta through Amanda’s eyes. Author Darlene Foster has such a great way to tell a story and impart information about a location at the same time that I found myself thinking “Hey- I want to go to Malta!”. I think that is the sign of a great writer when the reader wants to visit the place that is written about in the book.
The Amanda series is such a wonderful series and with each adventure young readers are able to learn a little bit more about the country that Amanda is visiting. This time she is drawn to Malta by her BFF who alludes to being in some sort of trouble and in true Amanda style she is able to come to the rescue.
From jellyfish stings, to sightseeing, to eating lots of native food and even visiting a Cat Cafe (my favorite) Amanda manages to take in a lot of what Malta has to offer.
If you have a young reader in your life this is definitely a series for them. Thanks to author Darlene Foster, her publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy for my honest review. Definitely one for your child’s bookshelf.
My thanks to Darlene for introducing us to Nancy and her books and thank you for joining us for coffee this morning.
I hope to hear from you with the information about your guest and your work (if you have not been featured here before).. thanks Sally.
Some ideas of the guests you might bring to coffee.
- An author you have just read for the first time who you would like to introduce us to.
- A blogger who is very supportive of your own blog or books.
- A new blogger who you would like to showcase
- An author or blogger who inspires you and your work.
- A blogger who goes out of their way to support others by reviewing books and promoting on social media.
- Someone in the public eye who is inspirational to others in medicine, charity, education, who has overcome challenges to succeed.
- Anyone you feel deserves a boost.
The format of the post
- An introduction by you of around 200 to 400 words about your guest. Be creative and tell a good story
- Their photograph, biography, Amazon or book links and if you have them their social media links. I will find if not.
- Your photo, biography, Amazon or blog links and social media links (if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore I will have those).
Send your introduction and the links to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can sort out a date to air your post.