Category Archives: genre

Belding Museum at Historic Belrockton

“Keep your head in the clouds and your hands on the keyboard.”
Marissa Meyer

Back to the keyboard

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I am back behind the computer after a summer filled with author’s gigs, book marketing, anniversary parties and granddaughter Ella’s departure for Fixin, France.

The fall solstice weather is also much more conducive to being tied to the chair without any distractions; that includes minimum social media and Internet browsing only for research purposes and logging in daily word count on the NaNoWriMo website at https://www.nanowrimo.org/

Emma’s book signing during Fallasburg Village Bazaar at the one-room schoolhouse.

However, I have one more big author event to go to before I embark on my second National Novel Writing Month 50k challenge starting on Nov. 1 with prep work in October.

Belrockton Dormitory , home of the Belding Museum

107 Hanover St. Belding, Oct. 6, 2019 1 pm – 4 pm

I am especially looking forward to this book signing of “Shifting Sands: Secrets” inside the original dormitory that housed the silk city girls when Belding was known as the” Silk City of the World.”

The making of “Silk Nora”

The long short story “Silk Nora” is the main story in book 2 in the Shifting Sands Short Stories series. By genre, it belongs to the historical fiction/historical romance catefories. So a good way to search for the book online is by using the keywords #historical fiction #historical romance. In physical bookstores, the book can be found in the fiction category.

The story digs deep into the history of the silk city girls’ dormitory “Belrockton” in Belding at the turn-of-the-century.

The Classical Revival-inspired building was erected in 1906 at a cost of $30,000 . It provided accommodations for 100 single female workers and staff. It was better known as the “Bel” and it is the last dormitory left from the three buildings. Much like the Richardson Mill is the last structure left from the three silk mills in Belding.

As a reporter for the Ionia Sentinel-Standard in the early 2000s, I visited the museum on multiple occassions. But, it wasn’t until two years ago, when I spotted a picture of a woman in a hat during the museum’s fashion hat display in the fall of 2017. She was very elegant and beautiful with a nostalgic look on her face.

That woman in a hat served as a model for creating the main character Nora in the historical fiction story “Silk Nora,” which is the main story in the new book “Shifting Sands: Secrets.”

I also explored extensively the interior of the dormitory including the girls’ rooms. There was another picture in an oval frame. This was a photo of Mathilda Adrian, who lived in the dormitory. Right next to the oval photo was her marriage certificate to John Mahar dated April 1917. And a double love story was born.

This discovery inspired the character of Mathilda, who became Nora’s best friend. So, at this point I had the main characters, and then I added Doris, the matron and the men into the story. All the characters are woven into Belding’s history of the silk industry started by the Belding Brothers in 1860 by selling silk from house to house.

Creativity of Belrockton staff

The creativity of the Belrockton Museum staff, Jane Forth, Barb Fagerlin, Jan Mehney along with others inspired my own creativity.

T he creative displays at the museum from Hotel Belding such as the receptionist’s desk helped me recreate the scenes of social life at the hotel.

The displays of girls’ rooms complete with mannequins, the movie theater, grocery store, fueled my imagination.

When I discovered the optical illusion picture of the “Face of Gossip” at the dormitory bathrooms, I was totally flabbergasted by the chain of coincidences that made the individual pieces fit into a complete story.

To be continued

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

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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.