Interview with author/organizer Jean Darla Davis & Emma Palova
- Why have an author tent at Lakeshore Art Festival? How well is the festival attended?
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.
January ice blown away by February victory of Patriots; Wind never felt better
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI- After the “unforgiving freeze” in the last week of January, the heated sixth victory of the New England Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl felt like a warm balsam on the rattled nerves. It melted away the ice with the wind, and ushered in inspiration.
As an author, people ask me a lot of questions. My favorite one is: “What inspires you?”
As a freelance journalist, I’ve asked local artists and authors that same question more than a hundred times. I like being on both sides of that question; you never know what answer you’re going to get or give.
Sometimes, inspiration comes in the form of an open space that needs to be filled, as a gap in time while waiting for snow or spring or from a masterpiece game.
I always eagerly expect the answer, but I have to think about my own response. There’s a certain tension in the question itself, plus it’s very timely as I have just found out. The artists most often say that nature inspires them and they have their specific spots they love to paint. For artist Kathleen Mooney, it’s the Yellow Dog River in Upper Peninsula, for others it’s the pretty garden by Ball’s Ice Cream or the dogwood by the Franciscan Sisters.
Authors say that family, parish stories, crime and history have inspired them.
However, I’ve never heard anyone in the artist/author tribes say, “The Super Bowl inspires me.”
On the contrary, I saw posts on writing groups on social media, that they’re not going to watch the biggest American game.
“Superbowl Sunday? No thanks. I’ll write. For the first time in about a month,” Jade states.
“Need to correct American writers tonight; it’s Super Bowl (two words, not one),” Warren responds.
“Proof that I don’t care about the game,” Jade professes his deepest beliefs.
“Superb owl,” Hugo responds. “I mean you’re wasting time on Facebook…”
Regardless, the correct spelling, the big game spurred a dialogue wherever you went; from general stores in the country, churches, main streets to living rooms. Anytime you have a heated discussion, you have a story: real and fiction.
After watching the spectacle on CBS from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, I beg to differ from reports of a boring game. The opening NFL commercial with John Malkowich from the Roman Colosseum in Rome talking on the phone with Peyton Manning in the USA rocked the boat.
It was a game hard to watch, according to the commentators. Some would call it a nail-biting old-fashioned football game.
“Wind never felt better,” Budweiser touted their use of wind energy in an ad.
And foreign car ads dominated the automobile scene, along with robots like The Transformer.
After 266 games, the New England Patriots won for the sixth time the Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday night just around 10 p.m.
“It was a physical game for a physical team,” a commentator said. “Any way you slice it, it was a defensive masterpiece.”
That’s the story twist: a victory in a defensive game. Wind never felt better.
“It’s sweet, we’re still in,” said Patriots owner CEO Bob Kraft. “We’re all patriots.”
Quarterback Tom Brady, 41, is expected to play the top role for the Patriots until 45. In response to the question what motivates and inspires him, Brady, looked around the stadium, and said.
“You, my fans, it feels like at home.”
Copyright © 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Little Dreamers Sleepovers
A dream come true for Hastings woman
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Grand Rapids, MI- Maranda Palova chatted about her business “Little Dreamers Sleepovers” with Fox 17 Morning Mix co-host LeighAnn Towne on Tuesday morning.
Inspired by her French niece Ella’s request for a sleepover at her Hastings home, Palova designed a kids’ birthday party line.
“My daughter Josephine and Ella enjoyed it so much that I thought why not let everyone enjoy a sleepover party,” said Palova.
The path from idea to the final product- a themed tent set-up- at clients’ home entailed a mix of hard work, innovation spiced with passion and creativity.
“I love kids,” said Palova. “It’s very rewarding. “
The most popular themes include: Unicorns, mermaids and minecraft.
Palova comes to a client’s home two hours or earlier before the party to set up the sleepover scene complete with tents and all the party bells and whistles.
The next morning she tears down the tents leaving behind only precious memories.
“It’s coming of age thing,” Palova said. “It’s heart warming. “
Palova loves changing the colors in different themes. She encourages early bookings. Her coverage area is within 60 miles radius of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo or Hastings.
For booking and more info go to:
Little Dreamers Sleepovers on http://littledreamerssleepovers.com
Copyright (c) 2019 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
The National Novel Writing Month enters its first full week. You can still hop on, but don’t wait too long. The average writing rate per day is 1,667 words.
via Day 5 #nanowrimo
Happy Monday Wrimos,
We rolled into the first full week of the National Novel Writing Month at full speed with pep talks from author Andy Weir:
“First off, you have to accept that you’re not going to be blazing away in a creative euphoria all the time,” he wrote. “Next, you have to accept that your story will change as you write it.”
Now, that I consider solid and decent advice as I forge ahead with “The Writer, the Nun and the Gardener” from the new anthology Shifting Sands: Secrets (c) 2018 Emma Palova. I have a clear intention to publish this sequel to Shifting Sands: Short Stories (c) 2017 Emma Palova.
The characters have changed their roles and their names as they continue to evolve with the plot. This is my third day plugging away and it has taken young Zita from her disappointed world into a different one.
I struggled a little bit with the changes, but as Weir writes about the “rough patches” during the writing process: “When you read the pages later, you won’t be able to tell which ones you wrote in a good flow and which ones were hard.”
That’s something to keep us going through the inevitable “rough patches.”
I validated my word count at 10,016 words on http://www.nanowrimo.org
The next writing badge is set at 25,000 words, but I will divide that chunk into smaller pieces to make it palatable.
Here is an excerpt:
As weeks went by, Dona grew accustomed to the feeling of emptiness. She stopped the numerous attempts to reach her daughter. Zita’s phone number did not exist anymore. She could wait for letters or messages; none ever came.
Summers turned into fall and winters, and these turned into years.
Kurt called Dona several times inquiring about Zita, if she had changed her mind. He was already back home from the college overseas, but he hadn’t forgotten his high school girlfriend.
“How is she doing, Dona?” he asked occasionally. “Is she okay?”
Kurt was the only lifeline from the past to Zita, so Dona always answered unlike other phone calls. She stopped talking to Wilsa, since she was the messenger of the bad news.
“I don’t know, Kurt,” Dona said. “We haven’t heard from her in five years.”
As winter arrived with first snow, Dona finally received an ornate envelope with the insignia of the Dominican Sisters order.
It was an invitation to Zita’s final vows at the convent. Dona was shocked to read the signature: Sister Theophane. That was Zita’s new name forever.
“This is the last time, we will see our daughter,” said Dona.
“No, you don’t know anything about it,” said Mike, “These Sisters can come out into the public.”
“I don’t want to see her anymore after this,” said Dona.
Veni Sancte Spiritus played in the background of the chapel with huge organ pipes in the front. Then, the Sisters sang psalms. Mike and Dona sat in the back of the chapel. Dona noticed Kurt standing on the side by the stained glass windows.
Their beautiful daughter dressed in a white bride’s gown with a wreath of yellow roses on her head, now Sister Theophane, walked alongside Mother Karla to profess the final vows. Mother Karla stepped aside to make room for new blood. Sister Theophane prostrated on the wooden floor in front of the priest and then recited the vows and received a ring. As such, she was the “Bride of Christ.”
Copyright (c) 2018 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
As Ludek and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary on Oct. 7th, I think about all those years spent with one man. We were both born in former Czechoslovakia.
In 1978, that seemed unimaginable to an 18-year-old girl still in the Zlin Gymnasium Prep School with university years of studying ahead of me.
“You’re going to spend the rest of your life with one man?” classmate Zdenek asked me. “I can’t even fathom that.”
Yes, indeed. I spent all those years with one man.
“Boring,” said an acquaintance jokingly some time ago. She herself had been married to one man for a long time.
Just like in everything, there were some great times and some rough times over the four decades. Some of them, I consider historical moments.
Following are some highlights that really stand out:
The birth of our daughter Emma in April of 1979, my graduation from the University of Brno in 1986, the birth of our son Jake in 1987 and the move to the United States of America in 1989. My book Shifting Sands Short Stories came out in 2017. I became an American citizen in 1999. Ludek will have his naturalization ceremony this year.
In between were big, medium and little things; all those elements that make up marriage.
“For better or for worse,” as we said our wows.
Among the big things were: Weddings of our kids. Emma got married in Montrachet, Burgundy, France and Jake in Parnell, MI.
Another big shebang , I consider our celebration of the millennium at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, where Hemingway once stayed. Since, I love history, I love to stay on historical properties.
To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we will be staying in the historical Murray Hotel on Mackinac Island. I find inspiration in history, because it has a tendency to repeat itself. You can predict things based on the past.
We were surfing rough waters when the recession hit in 2007 through 2009, and Ludek lost his job. Ludek had to leave the state of Michigan to work in Prarie-du-Chien, Wisconsin. I stayed in Lowell because we didn’t want to lose the house. Our friends have lost theirs.
He commuted 500 miles to work and he came home for the weekends. When I wrote about it back at the peak of the depression in 2008, I got a response from a publication:
“That’s normal, that’s not a story.”
Yes, maybe for them it wasn’t. But for us it was a big story, as well as for millions of other Americans. I compensated the horror of separation and living by myself with a dog in the country by writing a screenplay. I bought Final Draft software and wrote about the assassination on liberal candidates.
We got through it with scars and hurts. Sometimes, it still hurts.
We still adhere to Czech traditions and customs, but we also have taken on new American traditions. It makes life interesting sharing two different cultures.
People ask me what do I miss the most about the old country?
“Definitely friends, since most of the family members have passed,” I answer.
But, always having a positive outlook, writing and innovation helped us through the good and the bad. Of course there was more good than the bad. It depends on the perspective and interpretation.
The good prevailed in love, passion and belief in each other.
And like talk show host Ripa said on TV, “It always boils down to respect of each other.”
The values we have established have carried us through; first comes our family, then passion for our work and innovation. This philosophy has always worked well throughout the years.
With well wishes for many more years.
Love always, Emma.
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
February expands new horizons, get the scoop at Emma’s author events & new Cool Vendors Abound blog
Author’s note: These are my thoughts prior to the Feb. 3 book signing of my new book Shifting Sands Short Stories at the award-winning arts gallery in downtown Lowell from 1 to 4 p.m. The gallery presents the Grand Valley Artists-In View show.
LowellArts has received the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce reward for the best non-profit organization for providing more arts programs and services, while positively impacting the downtown businesses.
“Yes, this is a big deal for Lowell,” said Lorain Smalligan, executive director of LowellArts. “There are not many communities the size of Lowell with an arts center like LowellArts.”
I look forward to February for several reasons: I consider February as the month of love, and the Mardi Gras extravaganza. I also squeeze in my annual writer’s retreat in Florida.
1- January, the longest and coldest month will come to an end tomorrow, but we will also get to see the rare Super Blue Blood Moon for the first time in 150 years. The phenomenon consists of a super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse, aka blood moon, all in one. Don’t miss out on Jan. 31.
2- I get to revise if I have stuck to my new year’s resolutions. Let’s look at this one close-up.
Among my many new year’s resolutions was to get in shape; that is physically and mentally. I continue to exercise; 30 minutes of yoga and 30 minutes on the treadmill, plus freestyle weight lifting. I have yet to explore the possibilities of the yoga fitness 75-cm ball.
Mentally: My husband and I have signed up for Spanish classes so we can order lunch in Cuba. We both continue to go on Monday evenings under the tutelage of Mr. Jim Albert. I can now put together an entire sentence in Spanish:
“Yo voy a apprender Espanol.” I am going to learn Spanish.
I meditate with one of the greatest thinkers of this world: Deepak Chopra in his “Making every Moment Matter” meditations.
3- Straighten out or strengthen relationships. Build new DIY sites.
Now, this one is tougher than it looks. I have a lot more work to do, even though I managed to visit my brother Vas in Paris, MI last Sunday. A story “The Trainman” (c) Emma Palova is coming to my new site Cool Vendors Abound.
Visit Cool Vendors at http://farmcountryblog.wordpress.com
I re-purposed the farm country theme blog to a broader base for vendors, hobbyists and DIY crafts.
4- Moderation; I practice moderation on drinking only two cups of coffee a day .
5- The Dominant goal reigns over it all; and that is fiction writing.
I am currently working on Shifting Sands: Secrets, Book 2.
I will be discussing at my upcoming Emma’s author events including the book signings at LowellArts on Feb. 3 and March 10 the following themes:
“How to start and finish your book in 2018.”
“How to write about love.”
Looking forward to seeing you soon. You can also shoot me a note or a question at email@example.com. Come for inspiration.
Buy a copy of my book locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Okemos, Lansing. I will have a few copies on hand.
For info on LowellArts go to: http://www.lowellartsmi.org
For info on Schuler books go to : http://schulerbooks.com
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Restaurant Lorenz, a dream come true for Czech & Slovak couple
After working as a chef at a Viennese restaurant for 30 years, Jan Laurencik opened a restaurant in beautiful Kromeriz with wife Eva on this wintry day at the end of January.
Having a restaurant in Kromeriz has been a lifelong dream for this enterprising couple, Jan & Eva. Jan is from Slovakia, Eva is a lifelong resident of Kromeriz in Czech Republic.
The fusion of the Austrian dishes with Czech is apparent in the entrees such as the featured Old Viennese pork knee on a skewer with red cabbage sauerkraut, hot pepper and bread, served on a plank and accompanied by Bernard beer.
“It is delicious with a well-balanced tangy taste of the sauerkraut,” said Emma Palova. Palova visited Kromeriz and the local restaurants many times. “I love this Moravian specialty. The beer washes down the grease from the knee. It’s finger-licking good.”
The weekly menu features daily specials with soup included and a choice of four entrees ranging in price from 85 kc to 135 kc. KC stands for Czech currency, Czech crowns.
The restaurant/cafe menu is complete with a piece of Vienna; that is the Sachr Torte. The Sachr chocolate cake has been the most famous cake in the world since 1832, and the original recipe remains a well-kept secret.
The featured coffee is the Vienna melange with Mozart’s kugel confection. The large selection of desserts also features traditional Czech “pohar” cup with fruits, whipped cream and ice cream.
And of course the dessert menu would not be complete without the famous apple strudel, home to both Austria and Czech Republic.
Congratulations to my friends Eva Larencikova and her husband Jan to the opening of the Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna in beautiful Kromeriz, Czech Republic.
Note: Eva and I met on a “Hops” train to Zatec in 1982. We spent three weeks in the Bohemian hops fields picking hops in order to obtain a university credit from the Technical University of Brno. The hops brigade was mandatory under the socialist educational system. Hops in all forms including liquid as in beer, have cemented our lifetime long distance friendship. The pork knee on a plank with beer was our favorite dish during our student years in Brno, because it was good and cheap. The distance across the Atlantic Ocean has changed nothing in our relationship.
You don’t need a Reservation to this Czech Viennese cafe.
Featured photo: Courtesy of Lorenz Restaurant & Kavarna
Smoked pork knee on a skewer with red sauerkraut and bread served on a plank.
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is a Viable press release that you can re-purpose many times.
Shifting Sands Short Stories book signing press release
Local author Emma Palova will have book signings at Lowell Arts Gallery
To be released immediately
January 5, 2018
EW Emma’s Writings blog
Lowell, MI- Local author Emma Palova will have book signing events of “Shifting Sands Short Stories” at the Lowell Arts Gallery on Main Street on Jan. 13 & Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Palova, a former reporter for the Lowell Ledger, has published the book of short stories based on her immigration, retail and journalistic experience. Both formats, Kindle for $7.99 and paperback for $11.99 are now available on Amazon, and locally at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and in Lansing.
The book is a collection of 13 short stories that Palova wrote and collected over the span of more than two decades. The fiction’s genre is magic realism, a combination of fantasy with reality.
“In magic realism you combine the fictitious with fantasy and sometimes you use real characters to model the fictitious characters,” Palova said. “It can be a hybrid. I don’t write about Martians. I write about real people.”
Palova started writing for the Czechoslovak Newsweek based in New York City in 1990 upon arrival in the USA. She initially wrote a column, “Place for Commentary” in Czech. That was the only time she wrote in her native language, Czech.
Many of the stories are based on experiences Palova has had during her time living and working in the greater Lowell area in Michigan.
“Life is an awesome tapestry of stories,” she said. “I love chatting with my fans. People mostly want to know how to finish the books they have started writing. It’s not an easy question to ask, and definitely not an easy one to answer.”
Palova will be offering writing and publishing tips at her upcoming author’s events.
“Success comes from everyday writing, building a following and meeting with fans,” she said.
Palova has been writing for the area publications since 1997 when she launched her journalistic career with Kaechele Publications in Allegan. In 1998, she joined the staff of the Ionia-Sentinel Standard where she received awards for community reporting from the Ionia Chamber of Commerce in 2000 and the Ionia County Community Mental Health, 2003. Palova also had a community blog in the Ionia Sentinel-Standard.
Palova worked as a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press, the Advance Newspapers, Gemini Publications and the Lowell Ledger.
Palova is currently working on the second volume of stories, as well as on the memoir “Greenwich Meridian, where East meets West” about the Konecny family immigration saga from communist Czechoslovakia to the USA.
She is preparing her first novel “Fire on Water” for publication. She has also penned a screenplay “Riddleyville Clowns.”
Palova has a lifetime passion for history and politics. She does social media marketing for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).
“I am deeply humbled by the opportunities this country has given to me,” Palova said.
She became a US citizen in 1999 in Grand Rapids.
Shifting Sands Short Stories on Amazon
Schuler Books in Grand Rapids and Lansing
Lowell Arts Gallery
Copyright (c) 2018. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.