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What Makes Author Events So Appealing?

Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Dear Readers,

One of my favorite pastimes is to attend author events. I have gone to more events this year than ever before. The last time I attended a bookish event was when I attended the Boston Book Festival back in 2019. It was the first time I ever covered an event for my university’s newspaper and my first experience with journalism. 

When COVID hit, bookstores had to figure something out. If these events could not continue in-person, what were the alternatives? I am sure that many of the questions asked were in line with how to bring together many people in one setting in order to hear an author speak. Then, online events came in full swing. It allowed for people with busy schedules or long commute times to be able to see an author from the comfort of wherever they were. 

At the beginning of 2022, author events began to return to in-person, with an added bonus of hybrid events. Being able to meet authors face-to-face again and hear them discuss their works that they have spent time on, often in the hopes of giving an audience something to love or learn from, is utterly inspiring to me. 

It has made me wonder what makes author events so appealing? On the one hand, author events are like celebrity meet-and-greets for readers. If one loves an author’s book, one may hope that they can meet the author in-person and pick their brains. On the other hand, readers just love to hear about books, but this is a step above a simple recommendation.

Another thing that I personally love about author discussions is that they are super inspiring and motivating. I never leave an author event without immediately yearning for my laptop to continue writing my own manuscript. 

For introverts, author events can either be a completely solo experience or it can be a great opportunity to make bookish friends that may be hard to come by in a different environment. 

For go-getters, these events are great ways to branch out and connect with people in various industries related to books. Sometimes author’s friends, publicists, editors, and/or agents tag along. If you can find a way to put yourself out there, author events are a great avenue for your career. 

I love the excitement that author discussions bring. It feels so amazing to know that an author is just a regular person who found the time to put their imagination on a page and sought out the right people in order to give people a story to love. Since the majority of events I go to feature Young Adult writers, it reminds me that no matter how old I get, I was a teenager once who fell in love with reading, and I want nothing more than to share that same feeling with teens in the future. 

What do you love about author events?

Sincerely,

Kaliisha of Woods BEAUyond

Greetings From Woods Beyond

Thursday, September 8th, 2022
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Hello to you all! My name is Kaliisha. I have just begun my senior year of college. My school journey is almost at a close, but like most great books, the story is never truly over once you reach “The End.” A little bit more about me is that I adore Young Adult books of any genre. Some of my favorites are And They Lived by Steven Salvatore, Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim, and Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro! However, my all time favorite book/ book series of all time is The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani! Fun fact: I actually got to meet the School Master in person this year (which you can see in the image)!

I thought that for my first post I would recommend some titles that are fairly similar to my favorite series!

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  1. Almost Magic by Kathleen Bullock (Spencer Hill Press)

Ever since she turned twelve, Apple Bramblewood’s life has been plagued by visits from weird creatures from the magical realms.

It seems she is a rare Attractor, a Wizard whose sole talent is solving the clamorous demands of very odd beings, usually in the most unorthodox, haphazard, and klutzy ways. Apple doesn’t want to be an Attractor; her most passionate goal is to attend the ordinary high school with ordinary kids where her perfect older sister, Cornelia, is allowed to go. Her parents have no doubts about Cornelia’s magical prowess, but Apple seems destined to be home-schooled forever if she can’t pass the entrance exam and perfect at least one magical enchantment.

Almost Magic is Apple’s first-person account of that magic summer between childhood and adolescence and, in Apple’s case, one filled with the most amazing, hilarious, and often dangerous events.

Buy Almost Magic Now!

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2. Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas (Abrams Books)

Hasani’s post-seventh-grade summer to-do list is pretty simple: get a bigger following for her makeup YouTube channel and figure out how to get her parents back together. What she does NOT expect is that an emotional outburst will spark a latent magical ability in her. Or that the magic will be strong enough to attract the attention of witches. Or that before she can say #BlackGirlMagic, she’ll be shipped off on a scholarship to a fancy finishing school for talented young ladies.

Les Belles Demoiselles is a literal charm school. Here, generations of young ladies from old-money witch families have learned to harness their magic, and alumnae grow to become some of the most powerful women across industries, including politicians, philanthropists, CEOs, entrepreneurs—and yes, even social media influencers. Needless to say, admission to the school is highly coveted, very exclusive . . . and Hasani sticks out like a weed in a rose bouquet.

While the other girls have always known they were destined to be witches, Hasani is a Wildseed––a stray witch from a family of non-witches, with no background knowledge, no way to control her magic, and a lot to catch up on. “Wildseed” may be an insult that the other girls throw at her, but Wildseeds are more powerful than they know. And Hasani will learn that there are ways to use magic and thrive that can never be taught in a classroom.

Buy Wildseed Witch Now!

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3. Kingston and The Magician’s Lost and Found by Rucker Moses and Theo Gangi (Penguin Random House)

Twelve-year-old Kingston has just moved from the suburbs back to Echo City, Brooklyn—the last place his father was seen alive. Kingston’s father was King Preston, one of the world’s greatest magicians. Until one trick went wrong and he disappeared. Now that Kingston is back in Echo City, he’s determined to find his father.

Somehow, though, when his father disappeared, he took all of Echo City’s magic with him. Now Echo City—a ghost of its past—is living up to its name. With no magic left, the magicians have packed up and left town and those who’ve stayed behind don’t look too kindly on any who reminds them of what they once had.

When Kingston finds a magic box his father left behind as a clue, Kingston knows there’s more to his father’s disappearance than meets the eye. He’ll have to keep it a secret—that is, until he can restore magic to Echo City. With his cousin Veronica and childhood friend Too Tall Eddie, Kingston works to solve the clues, but one wrong move and his father might not be the only one who goes missing.

Buy Kingston and The Magician’s Lost and Found Now!

I am so excited to be able to work with Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press for this fall season. I love books, but I also just love talking about them, too! 

Sincerely,

Kaliisha of Woods BEAUyond

Empowered Women Empower Women

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou 

Happy March, readers! Before we get further, I wanted to acknowledge the distress in the world right now. Be strong, and safe, wherever you are. 

Beau Weasley here, encouraging you all to enjoy the spring and recognize the wonders of women this Women’s History Month. Here’s a compilation of memoirs about empowered women, written by empowering women:

  • Becoming Odyssa: Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Pharr Davis

After graduating from college, Jennifer isn’t sure what she wants to do with her life. She is drawn to the Appalachian Trail, a 2175-mile footpath that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Though her friends and family think she’s crazy, she sets out alone to hike the trail, hoping it will give her time to think about what she wants to do next. With every step she takes, Jennifer transitions from an over-confident college graduate to a student of the trail, braving situations she never imagined before her thru-hike. The trail is full of unexpected kindness, generosity, and humor. And when tragedy strikes, she learns that she can depend on other people to help her in times of need.

  • Know My Name by Chanel Miller 

*SA trigger warning

Known as Emily Doe to the world, Chanel Miller reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

  • Floreana by Margret Wittmer

The remarkable first-hand account of Margret Wittmer, who settled the island of Floreana in the Galapagos—600 miles from the mainland of Ecuador. It took Wittmer and her family weeks to travel to the island in 1932; they battled with the ties for three full days before they could land. Five months pregnant when she arrived, Wittmer found the beauty of the tropical island constantly tempered by the traumas of attempting everyday life in a wild and lonely spot. From the mysterious disappearance of a stranger linked to another recluse on the island, to a missed opportunity to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 56 years recalled in this memoir are full of exotic adventures and the joys and tragedies of a lifetime.

  • Lost and Found by Kathryn Schultz

Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz’s beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery—from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering—a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.

  • Called Again: A Story of Love and Triumph by Jennifer Pharr Davis

In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis became the overall record holder on the Appalachian Trail. By hiking 2,181 miles in 46 days – an average of 47 miles per day – she became the first female to ever set that mark. But this is not a book about records or numbers; this is a book about endurance and faith, and most of all love.  The most amazing part of this story is not found at the finish, but is discovered through the many challenges, lessons and relationships that present themselves along the trail. This is Jennifer’s story, in her own words, about how she started this journey with a love for hiking and more significantly a love for her husband Brew. By completing this extraordinary amateur feat, Jennifer rose above the culture of multi-million dollar sports contracts that is marked by shortcuts and steroids. This is the story of a real person doing something remarkable. Jennifer Pharr Davis is a modern role-model for women – and men. She is an authentic hero.

  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

  • School Choice: A Legacy to Keep by Virginia Walden Ford

On a cold winter night in February of 1967, a large rock shattered a bedroom window in Virginia Walden Ford’s home in Little Rock, Arkansas, landing in her baby sister’s crib. Outside, members of the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross on her family’s lawn. Faceless bigots were terrorizing Virginia, her parents, and her sisters–all because her father, Harry Fowler, dared to take a job as the assistant superintendent of personnel for the Little Rock School District. He was more than qualified, but he was Black. In her searing new memoir, legendary school choice advocate Virginia Walden Ford recounts the lessons she learned as a child in the segregated south. School Choice: A Legacy to Keep, tells the dramatic true story of how poor D.C. parents, with the support of unlikely allies, faced off against some of America’s most prominent politicians—and won a better future for children.

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

While these books are representative, they are not all-encompassing. I encourage you, reader, to utilize Women’s History Month and reflect–on often overlooked accomplishments, on women’s empowerment, and reflect on how you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Beau Weasley, signing off!

This is Farewell

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

Four months have never passed so quickly. When I started at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press in September, it felt like I had all the time in the world to soak up the experience of being a publishing intern. How naïve of me. New York City is so fast-paced that 14 weeks seem to go by in mere seconds. Nevertheless, in these 14 weeks, I have gained valuable experience and knowledge working with truly impressive and wonderful people. Taking a book from manuscript to publication is an arduous undertaking, but the people at Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press do it with grace and skill. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from them, and parting ways with them is bittersweet.

Leaving New York City is equally as hard. I have gained so much from this incredible city. The confidence of navigating an often confusing and delayed train system. The determination of pushing through crowds of tourists when you’re late. The list goes on. Being here during the holidays has been a dream too! Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and being here in the City to see all the lights and decorations has only deepened this sentiment. Of one thing I am certain, I will be leaving a part of my heart in this city when I go, but I know that I will be back soon.

I figured that before I say goodbye, I should probably leave you all with my recommendations of things to do in NYC. Check them out below!

  1. Get free tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers or another talk show

Sign up for a 1iota account to be put on the waitlist for a plethora of shows and events happening in New York. I went in early December to Late Night with Seth Meyers and saw Saoirse Ronan (Ladybird) and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)!

2. Take a walk around Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO

I lived in Brooklyn Heights during my stint in the City, and it was such a great place to be. The neighborhood has tons of restaurants, beautiful brownstones, and is a short walk from the Promenade where you can get million-dollar views of the city skyline. Right next door is DUMBO, another great neighborhood with tons to do and incredible views.

3. Visit Times Square. Just go early

If you want to visit this tourist attraction without the crowds, I recommend going around 9 AM and not during the holidays. I went early in the morning at the beginning of November. No massive crowds. No lines at the Disney store. It was glorious.

4. See a Broadway show

I managed to see TEN shows on Broadway during my four months. I kept the costs minimal by entering the lotteries and joining the rush lines for plays that I wanted to see. My top recommendation is Jagged Little Pill. Alanis Morisette’s iconic album inspired the musical. It was a marvelous and emotional ride.

5. Leave the City

Although I love New York, there are so many amazing places that are just a short train ride away! I went to Connecticut to visit friends and enjoyed the change in pace from New York. Mystic, CT, is a quaint little town on the coast that is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the City. There are also beautiful places in upstate New York that are close by.

Well, dear readers, the time has come. Goodbyes are so bittersweet, but I am excited about what’s next for me. Thank you for joining me on this journey. I hope all of you have a joyous holiday season and a blessed 2020! Love hard, read often!

With gratitude,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared post with Beaufort Books.

A Book-Filled Weekend

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019
The Brooklyn Book Festival 2019

Cheers, readers! I’m Beaufort and Spencer Hill’s second intern for Fall 2019. For the remainder of the semester, I will be going by the alias Mia ThermoBEAUlis in honor of my all-time favorite author, Meg Cabot, and her most popular character to date. Growing up, Meg Cabot’s colorful, creative, and always slightly disheveled protagonists strongly resonated with me, and the fact that every Meg Cabot book I own has been read to the point of near destruction serves as proof.

It’s crazy to think I’m already approaching my 2-month mark since starting my internship with Beaufort and Spencer Hill. Fortunately, there have been plenty of exciting projects to keep me busy, which is why I’m just now getting to my introductory blog post. 

While I’ve been an avid reader my entire life, I’m considerably new to the publishing world. With the exceptions of the Harry Potter series and a few classics by Roald Dahl, it always felt like I was the only book lover among my friends growing up. It wasn’t until I stepped into my first screenwriting class my freshman year of college that I knew what it was like to be among other eager storytellers.

Moving to New York feels like freshman year all over again. It’s been equally thrilling and terrifying to be surrounded by people who live and breathe books. I finally feel at home, but every day I’m in the Beaufort office brings new challenges and reminds me just how little I knew about the publishing industry before starting the internship.

A look inside the used bookstore

I love that each day in the Beaufort office brings opportunities to learn something new about the publishing industry, and that indoctrination continued with a few book-related occurrences two weekends ago. On Friday, while in Philadelphia, I got lost on my way to dinner and wound up at an inconspicuous used bookstore. The storefront was unmarked and from the front room, it appeared to consist of just five bookshelves stuffed with old CD’s and dusty self-help titles. I was about to ask the store owner if he had any fiction books when I saw a small entryway that opened up to another tiny room that was packed with books. Each secret room led to another, with each room getting progressively bigger and home to more obscure titles, stacked wherever the owner could find space.

At the very back of the store was one bookshelf filled with antique books. For just $10, I grabbed three different antique books, each published in the 1920s. While any bookstore is great in my book (yes, pun intended), the challenge of searching through piles of pre-loved stories makes bookstores like the one in Philadelphia a rarity that should be preserved.

On that Sunday, I stopped by the Brooklyn Book Festival. If you’ve been before, you know how palpable the energy is among the authors, publishers, and festival attendees. Whether it was a Big 5 publisher, an indie from a small town in Minnesota, or a local bookstore from Brooklyn, each table was swarming with authors, publishers, booksellers, and devoted readers, all looking to discuss the transformations the publishing industry is undergoing and the new books about to hit the market. I even had the opportunity to stop by and say hello to some of the publishing professionals I’ve heard about while working at Beaufort. Going into the festival I had no idea what to expect, so to say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.

If anything, this weekend reinforced my love for books and my desire to work in publishing. I can’t wait to see what the next few months with Beaufort and Spencer Hill bring!

Until next time,

Amelia Mignonette ThermoBEAUlis Renaldi, Princess of Genovia Intern at Beaufort Books.

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press. 

Welcome to New York!

Friday, September 6th, 2019
Manhattan skyline, August 2019

Hello fellow book lovers!

I am the newest intern here at Beaufort Books & Spencer Hill Press! Over the next four months, you’ll be seeing periodic updates on the blog about my latest bookish adventures and NYC experiences. For this brief time as a blogger, I’ll be going full James Bond and using the alias of Captain Beaumerica (I am a Marvel fiend and cannot be stopped). I am so thrilled to share my thoughts, musings, and lessons learned with you all!

I think it is only appropriate that this first post serves as an introduction to myself. Below you’ll find a list of a few of my favorite things.

Favorite Book:

One thing to know about me? I will never lie to you. I have so many favorite books. I’m not a parent, but I imagine that choosing your favorite book is not unlike trying to choose your favorite child. For the sake of time and your sanity, I won’t list all my favorites, but here is my default:

Divergent by Veronica Roth – This book isn’t a groundbreaking novel with an ultra-diverse cast, nor is it an underrated gem that everyone will love, but as a lost middle schooler this book was exactly what I needed to read. It brought me comfort and guidance during that complicated time of adolescence. It was an influential book that shaped the rest of my school experience. I could talk for hours about the first book in this series and the injustice of the film adaptation, but instead I will just encourage you to read it for yourself. Come share in the heartache.

Favorite Movie:

This probably won’t come as a surprise, but I have several favorite movies… Here’s a few:

The Way Way Back – A coming-of-age story starring Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. This film is so heartwarming and emotional. It will always hold a special place in my heart.

The Truman Show – I love Jim Carey. He did a phenomenal job in this movie, but honestly, when does he not?

The Entire Marvel Cinematic Universe – Captain Marvel. Black Panther. Iron Man. Too many to name. I love them all with the passion of a thousand Suns.

Favorite Place:
In May of 2019, I spent two weeks in Southern Oregon and Northern California. They are easily my favorite places in the World. If I could hole up in the California Redwoods to write for the rest of my life, I absolutely would. These massive trees brought tears to my eyes and made me emotional in a way that I never thought trees could. I consider it a travesty that the Redwoods are not on the official Wonders of the World list.

Favorite Thing About NYC (so far):

The subway. I consider myself I great driver, but I highly dislike it. Not having to drive everyday is a blessing that I never want to lose. Also, the bookstores. So. Many. Bookstores.  

That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me! I am so excited to be a part of the Beaufort team and interact with you via Beaufort social media. Check back soon for more updates!

Your Favorite Hero,

Captain Beaumerica

This is a shared blog post for Beaufort Books and Spencer Hill Press.