Category Archives: festivals

Insights from book tour

Insights from summer book tour 2019 July-August

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – Short like a summer romance, the book tour started in Muskegon with the Lakeshore Art Festival, where I officially launched my new book 2 “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series.

It was my first time at the festival in Muskegon, and I was impressed by its magnitude. Two busy days brought many surprises like the guy who asked me to sell my book to him in two minutes. I had the marketing pitch ready, and I did sell him the first book faster than he expected. Then came a lady with a cart who had to have a book from each Michigan author. There was only a little time left to network with other authors. Thank you Diane for buying our books.

MichiganAuthors are sweeping the shores of the Great Lakes from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior and Lake Huron in a new wave of renaissance in literature.

But I did manage to connect with authors Jules Nelson of “Shadows”, authors Andrew Smith, Jean Darla Davis and Ludington author Joan H. Young. We filled two big tents, and people did support #MichiganAuthors. The cost was $100 for two days.

Somebody asked me if my book was the original book “Shifting Sands” about a dune in Muskegon. And then better yet, my daughter Emma discovered the Pigeon Hill brewery in Muskegon with their Shifting Sands IPA.

The next gig was in my hometown of Lowell during the annual Riverwalk Festival. We were in the Riverwalk parade at noon, and in the afternoon, I was at LowellArts signing my books during Livin’ is Easy exhibit. I had a big yellow and black painting of a horse behind my back that matched my yellow dress.

Somewhere in between was The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin and a podcast with America’s Community Voices Network with hosts Ronald & Donald Brookins. I will be reading passages from my new book “Secrets” on their podcast show.

Books Alive! In Ludington was a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) event, and it was incredibly hot. There could have been 14 authors bearing the heat. People were not buying a lot of books, more like ice cream and pop, while loading up on free stuff.

Traverse City, organized by Dan McDougall was very cool, since it was inside a mall. The traffic was good, and I made new friends with fellow Michigan authors; I also stopped at the Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City. My book is available at the bookstore now.

Then again, I joined the horse on the canvas inside LowellArts on Aug. 10.

But definitely the best event was in Paradise located in Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Paradise is a tiny village nestling on the shores of Lake Superior on Whitefish Bay. The Wild Blueberry Festival with Arts & Crafts show lasted three days. People flocked to it from all over Michigan and Canada. It’s about an hour drive from the Mackinac Bridge.

Our booth was located on a dune above the lake. Priceless. We could see Canada on the other shore. The traffic was busy all three days. I had bratwurst with wild blueberries, and a great little helper Ella, 8. She even got commission from book sales. Ella learned the marketing pitch and worked it all Saturday long.

“The main story is historical fiction from Belding, MI when it was known as the Silk City Capital of the world,” she said.

The book cover with the optical illusion of the “Face of Gossip” attracted a lot of attention. Other people were fascinated my own immigration story from former communist Czechoslovakia, when I showed than an article about my naturalization.

“You did the right way,” the lady said.

We were stationed next to Redfish Artworks booth of creative and original art, by Bill and Angela Kuhn. On second day, I knew their pitch for their arrowheads, just like they knew mine for the book.

“I am a flint knapper,” Bill would repeat 100 times a day.

We all had a blast and sold a lot of products.

“Are you coming back next year?” Bill asked.

“Yes, we loved it.”

We were only a short drive from Tahquamenon Falls surrounded by beautiful nature from all sides. There were four other authors at the festival, and people were buying books.

I would consider both Belding parades, where the main story “Silk Nora” is set as the last summer events on my tour. Both parades started by the former Ballou Basket Works Factory and proceeded through downtown with hundreds of spectators.

Labor Day weekend is known as Belding’s homecoming.

Thank you, Belding, for a great homecoming.

Watch for a post about my upcoming fall book tour.

I will be at the Fallasburg Village Bazaar on Sept. 14 and Sept. 15 from noon to 5 p.m. Come for a book and an authograph. There will be plenty of vendors to find your treasure.

Check out the Kindle Countdown deal starting on Sept. 10 through Sept. 15 on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.com/author/emmapalova

END

Into Paradise

Heading to Paradise in Upper Peninsula

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – I am getting ready for my next book stop in Paradise located in Upper Peninsula in Michigan. The tiny village nestled on Lake Superior’s Whitefish Bay annually hosts the popular Wild Blueberry Festival-Arts & Crafts Fair on Aug. 15, 16 & 17 with close to 100 vendors peddling everything from Lake Superior agate pendants to books.

My new book “Secrets” from the Shifting Sands Short Stories series is a collection of 15 short stories with the main historical fiction story “Silk Nora” set in the turn-of-the-century Belding.

One of the stories “When Layla met Corey” is set in Mackinaw City, which is a gateway to Upper Peninsula.

The book made its debut at the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon in July.

An artist’s dream

Paradise, a community rich with nautical folklore, logging and Native American History attracts thousands of visitors and vendors due to close proximity to Tahquamenon Falls.

For its natural wonders and wilderness, Upper Peninsula has traditionally drawn writers, photographers and artists from all over the USA. Among the most famous authors were: Earnest Hemingway and John Voelker.

Where inspiration abounds

A recent wave of emerging Michigan authors is sweeping the shores of the Great Lakes from Lake Michigan to Lake Superior. They write from Michigan with Michigan settings and locations. They market themselves under the umbrella of Michigan Authors. Follow them on http://www.MichiganAuthors.com

This is by far, not my first visit to UP or Paradise. I have fond memories of vacationing Up North, both from years ago with our kids and most recently with our granddaughter Ella.

I love the wilderness of UP and its natural pristine beauty, as well as the spirit of the Great Lakes.

For info about the Wild Blueberry Festival in Paradise go to: http://www.WildBlueberryFestival.org

To be continued

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Insights from Authors’ Tent at Lakeshore Art Fest

Authors Tent at the Lakeshore Art Festival insights from author Jean Darla Davis

By Emma Palova

I spoke with Holland author Jean Darla Davis after two great days at the Lakeshore Art Festival on Saturday afternoon. Davis organized the Authors Tent located at Clay and 2nd Ave in downtown Muskegon to give more exposure to Michigan authors.

Hundreds of people stopped by the two tents with multiple authors and genres. Just like in a library or at a bookstore, the books with their authors represented different categories from mystery to crime, and everything in between.

The icing on the cake was that the authors were present for book signings and to chat about writing and publishing with readers and public in general.

Each author had their own story about their journey to publishing; from former cop Bob Muladore of Charlotte to hiker/author Joan H. Young from Scottville along with 18 others.

For some participating authors the next stop will be in Ludington at the Books Alive event in downtown on July 19 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There are still some open spaces. So you can sign up on Eventbrite to diversify the event or contact Joan H. Young.

Interview with Jean Darla Davis



Was this a chamber event and did it have sponsors?

Yes, the LAF is put on by the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce. Here is the link to their sponsor page: https://lakeshoreartfestival.org/support/sponsors/

How was this year’s festival? Which day was better?

This year’s festival was the biggest yet, with more vendors. Thanks to how the holiday fell this year, it seemed like both days had equal traffic.

Why do you think the attendance was lower than last year?

It felt like less people this year, very likely due to the heat. But attendance was still quite good.

What seemed to be the the shopping trends and genres?

I didn’t get much of a chance to wander the festival as a whole so I can’t really answer that. There are always a wide variety of fine art and craft vendors, so something for everyone. 

Were the authors from all over Michigan?

19 of our authors were from all over Michigan, both the Upper and Lower Peninsula. One lives on the Indiana border and is considered an honorary Michigan Author. 

Your plans for next year?

We’re considering adding a third tent to accommodate more authors, but that decision is ultimately in the hands of the Muskegon Chamber Festival committee. Otherwise, we’ll be using the same layout we settled on this year as that worked quite well.

What will you remember the most from this year’s festival?

The heat. And off course spending two days with so many fun and talented authors. 

Feature photo by author Joan H. Young.

Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Author Tent @Lakeshore Art Festival

Interview with author/organizer Jean Darla Davis & Emma Palova

  1. Why have an author tent at Lakeshore Art Festival?  How well is the festival attended?
Author Jean Darla Davis

The Lakeshore Art Festival is attended by tens of thousands of people over two days. It runs July 5 and 6 from 10 to 6 and features over 350 fine art and craft vendors, along with artisan food,  children’s activities, street performers and interactive art.  It’s the perfect  venue to connect readers with local indie authors.

  • How did you get involved? Who came up with the idea and how did you go about implementing it?

This is our third year as a group of authors being involved with the Lakeshore Art Festival. The first year was organized by author Steve Lebel . When he stepped back, I was tapped to take on the project. Last year we officially became part of the festival with the emerging authors tent within the festival footprint. This allowed us much better visibility and allowed us to connect with more readers.

  • What was last year’s festival like?

Last year we had two beautiful sunny days and what seemed like a mostly endless flow of traffic both days. There’s so much art to see and great food to check out.

 Eighteen authors took part in our tents last year. We all had a great time networking with one another, talking to readers and signing books.

4-Which genre will be represented?

Our tents feature twenty authors with a little something for everyone. We everything from children’s books to adult books, including mystery, suspense, non-fiction  romance, science fiction, fantasy and more.

  • What do you hope to accomplish there in two days?

We’d love to introduce readers to authors they might not run across on Amazon due to the vast number of books there or in the big book stores that often focus on big name authors.  We’re available to talk about our books, our writing processes and  inspirations. This is a great opportunity for readers to buy direct from the authors and get their books signed.

  • Give us some tips for authors

Many authors struggle with marketing their books . They write one and hope that it sells online or through their publisher, if they have one. Unfortunately, even with a publisher, the majority of marketing falls on the author, and most of us would rather be home writing our next book. However, once you do a few book events, you’ll find it’s fun to network with other authors, learn from them, share your experiences and knowledge and to meet readers face to face. Festivals like this one give authors the opportunity to get their books in front of thousands of people a day. The Lakeshore Art Festival allows authors to purchase their own larger booth or to take part in our emerging author tent, which though we have smaller table spaces, is within the budget of many indie authors.  We do have a limited amount of spaces each year and they go quickly. If you are interested in being part of the emerging author tent, please contact me on facebook: jeandavisauthor

  • Give us some tips for visitors

Visitors should wear comfortable shoes. There’s so much to see and do at this Festival. Stay hydrated. Bring a bag to carry all your artsy finds. Most vendors will take cash or cards. And talk to the artists. Ask questions. Make your purchases personal. It’s not often you can talk directly to the artist who made the piece and find out the story behind it.  

  • How do you personally plan your book tour?

Having recently released my fifth book, I can easily say that I’ve tried a lot of different things to get the word out. Have I found the magic answer? No. What I’ve settled on, that works best for me, is doing a blog tour within my network of author friends, and booking in person events. I like to do a variety of venues: bookstores, libraries, craft & vendor shows, comic cons, ren faires, and art festivals. This year, with the release of the first book Trust of my new space opera series, The Narvan, I’m doing 30 different events all over Michigan.

I find personally connecting with readers to be the most gratifying way to get the word out . When I can do the same event a couple years in a row, it’s even better, because then people know where to find me and come back for my next book. I try to release one or two books every year so I have something new to offer.

Link to participating authors at the Author Tent at the Lakeshore Art Festival https://emmapalova.com/2019/06/12/authors-at-lakeshore-art-festival/

Copyright (c) 2019. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

June Newsletter

Happy summer!

Shifting Sands: Secrets 
My new book “Secrets” in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series is ready for July 1 release. You can now preorder on Amazon. Just enter Emma Palova historical fiction. Below in the book section are listed links to book 1 and book 2 on Amazon.
The core of the book is the long short story “Silk Nora” that takes place at the turn-of-the-century Belding. You will be swept away by the historical setting of the “Silk City Girls” dormitory known as Belrockton. The major characters are Nora, her friend Mathilda and the matron of Belrockton- Doris from Sussex in England. Other characters include newspaper man Harry and band player John.
The cover “Face of Gossip” and the main story “Silk Nora” were inspired by my multiple visits to the Belrockton Museum over the last two decades.
A story from the hosiery mills was picked up by the Associated Press and major newspapers in Michigan ran it.
 I will be with the new book at the Muskegon Art Festival on July 5th and July 6th inside the author’s tent on Clay & 2nd Streets. I will be at “Books Alive” in Ludington on July 19th, followed by a series of book signing events at LowellArts with exact date TBA.
Fall events will include the Belding Labor Day twilight parade on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 9 pm.
My major event will take place at the historic Belrockton in Belding on October 6th in the afternoon. The museum is open from 1 to 4 pm on the first Sunday of each month. For up to date news follow me on EW Emma’s Writings on http://emmapalova.com  SecretsThe new book is a collection of 15 short stories. Thematically, the stories range from the action-packed 40 Hunks where driver Jose transports 40 Mexican men to labor in Michigan orchards to the core of the book which is historical fiction “Silk Nora”.


 Excerpts from “Silk Nora”Signs of progress were touchable everywhere from the interior six bathrooms at the Bel to a space designated for women in the saloons of the bustling city. At the time, the city of Belding had four hotels.
Known as the “Silk City Girls” the young women spent much of their time weaving silk on spools. Silk at the time was on high demand as the major feminine fabric due to the existing shortage of woolens and cottons.
Nora and Mathilda worked together long hours at the silk mill earnings 47 cents an hour. The Belding Banner called the girls “Sweethearts in Silk” blasting propaganda about their happiness with headlines such as “The Silks with Happiness Woven into Them.”
The girls sat at their stations on the floor of the factory in orderly rows. The downstairs of the Richardson Mill was used for making stockings.
Sentiment played a part in the founding of the silk industry in Belding by the Belding brothers. After prospering in silk manufacturing in New England, they built a plant in Belding, where they had made their start as door-to-door textile salesmen.
Mathilda traveled home to Alpena twice a year for the holidays, while Nora stayed year- round at the Bel. She had a beautiful view of the Flat River and the boardwalk from her room. Nora was an avid reader and she frequented the dormitory library.
Nora easily made friends with other girls, both at work and at the dorms. She cut her hair short, a sign of times.
Matron Doris Applebaum managed the Belrockton dormitory and the girls who lived in it. She came from England to take the job at the “Bel” when it opened in 1906. Doris kept her English accent and manners.
“Girls, I will make you into ladies,” she said at the dinner table. “You already have the right foundation otherwise you wouldn’t be here in the first place. You’re a diamond in the rough. I will make you shine.”
The silk girls respected this English lady from the county of Sussex on the English Channel seaside. Doris was single and constantly happy. She competed for the Belrockton job with other ladies from around the world and won.
She took a special liking of well-mannered Nora.
“We’re going to be friends,” Doris said resolutely to Nora at their second meeting, since Nora arrived in Belding. “We have a lot in common. You come from New England, I come from the real England. But you have better food here.”
You can pre-order the new book at:
https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Shifting-Sands-Emma-Palova-ebook/dp/B07SH9YGQH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Secrets%3AShifting+Sands&qid=1559745646&s=digital-text&sr=1-1


 Book 1 in Shifting Sands Short Stories series, 2017

Follow me on my Amazon author’s page at:

https://www.amazon.com/Emma-Palova/e/B0711XJ6GY

 Upcoming author’s eventsInterview with author Donald Levin on https://donaldlevin.wordpress.com/ on June 20
Muskegon Art Fair …..July 5th and July 6th
Ludington ……………..July 19
LowellArts……………….TBA
Radio shows TBABelding Twilight Parade…. Sept. 1
Belrockton, Beding………….Oct. 6
Girls Nite Out…………………..Oct. 17
Christmas through Lowell…..Nov. 15, 16, 17

Map to Lakeshore Art Festival
https://lakeshoreartfestival.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2018-LAF-Brochure-F-D.pdf
Copyright © 2019 Emma Palova, All rights reserved. 




Czech Harvest Festival

Summer  brings  heritage festivals and fairs

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI  -I am really looking forward to this weekend. First of all, it’s going to be hot again, and I love that.

Contrary to what the promoters of “Back to School” pump out, summer is not over. For me summer is over when I have to swap my flip-flops for closed-toed shoes, usually with the first snow.

Summer always stays in my heart year-long.

Other than my author event at the LowellArts gallery tomorrow from 1 to 3 p.m. during the Captured photo exhibit, I can’t wait to go to the Czech Harvest Festival “Dozinky” in Bannister this Sunday.

This is our annual treat and a tribute to our Czech heritage. Every year, I get my hopes high that I will run into a Czech-speaking person at the festival in the middle of nowhere.

Over the years of going to Bannister, I’ve met probably a total of eight people who knew some Czech. The fun part about this event is that I get to sing three anthems that I know: American, Czech & Slovak.

The third-generation organizers Tom & Diane Bradley of Czech origin have done a fantastic job of preserving the “Dozinky” event as it truly happens in the Moravian and Slovakian villages in the old country. The dancers wear original costumes, the band of accordions plays Czech polka and the singers sing Czech songs.

I marvel at this effort, because the festival passes the Czech heritage onto the younger generation. The dance troupe involves kids ages three to unlimited. The festivities open with the shortest parade in the world; it’s even shorter than the parade in Hubbardston on St. Pat’s Day.

The parade route is past the ZCBJ Lodge to the small field with a concrete platform for the dancers. The dancers and singers march in the parade with rakes and scythes, symbolizing the original harvest of wheat.

Usually, a polka band plays inside the hall after the dance troupe is done outside. I’ve never been to that part, because it runs later in the afternoon when we have to head back home for a long drive through the fields.

The best part of the event is the original Czech food. For ten bucks, you get to eat like in a fancy Czech restaurant without leaving USA. The buffet features, ham, chicken, dumplings, sauerkraut, cucumber salad, mashed potatoes, biscuits and a dessert.

Czech “kolache”

However, one thing you will not get here, is the traditional Czech “kolache” pastry. One of the editors of the Fraternity Herald asked me to share the origins of this festive pastry.

So, I asked my mother Ella, while she was still in Venice. Growing up in Moravian small town of Vizovice, she could trace the humble origins to the villagers.

“They used all the ingredients available to them in their households,” she said. “This included the cottage cheese they made themselves, butter or lard and eggs. The only thing they bought was sugar and flour. They had everything else including the plum butter.”

The popularity of “kolache” as a signature pastry at all events and festivities, skyrocketed over the years, as the city folks discovered them while touring villages.

“Kolaches” are to Czechs what pizza is to the Italians,” mom said. “They too use the ingredients available to them; olives, pasta sauce and such.”

There are hundreds of recipes for traditional “kolache” varying according to the region.

However, they all have in common the following: golden crust topped with plum butter with sugary crumbling and filled with cottage cheese mixed with raisins.

For one of the many kolache recipes visit the

Mazac Family Genealogy blog:

https://mazacgenalogy.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/czech-moravian-kolache-recipe/

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

FFW 2018

Festival of Faith & Writing attracts speakers and panelists from all genres

“I need the rigor and radicalism of friendship to be a poet, to be anything, really.”

-Natalie Diaz-

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Grand Rapids, MI – The three-day Festival of Faith & Writing was jam-packed with speakers, workshops, book signings and exhibitors. It started under the blue skies and ended with freezing rain on Saturday at the Prince Conference Center.

I had trouble picking workshops due to conflicting times and variety. Of course, I didn’t want to miss anything. Some sessions required pre-registration, and those were full three weeks ahead of the conference.

On Thursday, I attended “Self-Editing to Take Your Writing to the Next Level” with Erin Bartels. The lecture room was filled to the last seat.

“Schedule writing time and protect it,” she said. “Find an accountability partner. You owe it to people to get that done. Get involved in writing groups.”

Suggested reading: “The First Five Pages: A  Writer’s Guide To Staying Out of the Rejection Pile” by Noah Lukeman.

The keynote speaker Kwame Alexander, poet and educator, first showed a picture of his tour bus. Yes, Alexander uses a bus to promote his books, wherever he goes, including at Farmer’s Markets. He received the 2015 Newberry Medal for novel “The Crossover

In his speech “Saying Yes to the Writerly Life”, Alexander said yes many times in his life, including to building a library and a health center in Ghana.

Historical fiction is huge and authors Natashia Deon and Suzanne Wolfe spoke to that in “Walking the Line between Fact and Fiction in Historical Novels.”

Deon is an attorney by day, and a novelist at night.

“I want to rescue people from history,” she said. “I write the story first, and then fill in the gaps with history research.”

Wolfe said she treats characters like they never died.

“You write what you know. I am alive and I am human. My character is alive. Augustine is not dead, Shakespeare is alive. They arepart of the conversation. I bawled over Augustine,” she said.

Deon’s novel “Grace” won the 2017 First Novel Prize. Wolfe is the author of “Unveiling: A Novel and Confessions of X.”

The #Me Too movement came up for discussion during several sessions including: “Silence and Beauty” in the Sister Books of Shusaku Endo and Makoto Fujimura.

“Insight and goodwill will heal us,” said Shann Ray, instructor.

The festival goers were not afraid to discuss Toxic  relationships.

To be continued with “Daughters Writing about Mothers, ” “Writing the Wrinkles in Time” and film at the festival.

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Taurus on edge before Easter

As my horoscope states, I am quite on the edge today.

I am trying to sort through tons of information; everything from Bell’s Oberon summer release, Facebook mess, First & Second amendment demonstrations, “Stormy” interview with Anderson Cooper, stormy weather in Michigan, Kim’s message about China, and Easter Triduum preparations.

Amidst all of that, I am getting ready for the Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing from April 12 through April 14 in Grand Rapids.

I am waffling back and forth between two manuscripts to submit to the Festival. Only one is allowed via the Submittable app. It’s a good thing that I have manuscripts to choose from for publication.

Most of the workshops and festival circles have filled up already. The roster of speakers is so huge that I just don’t know who to pick.

“It can be an overwhelming conference,” wrote my fellow writer and friend Tamela. “I heard Anne Lamont a few years ago…she was awesome.”

The iPad calendar is showing me that I have a webinar in one minute, and a meeting at noon.

I already missed the “blessing of the oils” @St.Andrews Cathedral yesterday.

My facebook friend warned me that he is shutting down his account, because he doesn’t believe FB provides a net-positive contribution to the world.

“We all have a finite amount of time to invest,” he wrote. “The return on investment of my time on Fb, other than the connection with my immediate family, is not worth it.”

Oh, yes; Facebook and fear. I have yet to write about that. I promised that to my fellow writer Sheryl.

“What’s up with that fear?” she asked.

We’re picking up my brother Vas on Good Friday in Paris, MI. That is, if he decides to come and spend the Easter with us.

My parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny are staying in Venice, Fl for Easter.

Stay tuned for full post about Czech & Slovak Easter traditions right here on EW Emma’s Writings.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, the great Russian playwright and short-story writer, said that you must first incubate your story idea for at least two days, so it comes out right.

I must Incubate all this.

 

http://www.tarot.com/daily-horoscope/taurus

 

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Novel Writing Festival

I just missed the Jan. 15 deadline. I plan to submit one of my short stories from Shifting Sands to the festival for February.

The festival aims to give exposure to writers whether the submission makes it into a movie or not.

I dub my short stories lovingly “A Moveable Feast.” I borrowed the nickname from Hemingway’s memoir of Paris in the 1920s.

The reason I call them moveable is because they can easily transfer into a movie script due to vivid dialogues and scenes. Thus, they are screen friendly.

”Your book is very visual,” wrote an agent to me in response to the submission of the first chapter of my first book, “Fire on Water.” (c) Emma Palova

I am really excited about exploring this avenue of exposure for my new book.

The submission is $35 for the first chapter of the novel. You get a feedback and a longline listing on the Writing Festival site.

 

Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

via 1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL FESTIVAL. Deadline January 15th