Julie/Copper/AJ – Year 2019

human-725651__340Wow, what a year it has been. In 2018 I discovered the online publishing world and in 2019 I hit it like a tornado. From ten-word stories, drabbles (exactly 100-word stories), numerous flash fiction, poems and short stories chosen to appear in a plethora of anthologies, articles about the writing life in the ground-breaking Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine to co-authoring a novella/novel with the talented Garrison McKnight, which, hopefully, will be ready for publication sometime in 2020, putting together a collection of Copper Rose stories to be published by Clarendon House Publications (from when my poem “Free Falling Eagles” won reader’s choice back in November of 2018), meeting even more talented writers online and keeping track of what my pen-name personalities are always up to, my already busy days became even busier.

This year I learned about Tom Swifties, a word game with a clever take on words. I entered a fierce story-writing competition put on by Inner Circle Writers’ Magazine and my first story, “Around the Corner,” advanced me to round two of the competition. My second story, “Grave Circumstances,” moved me up to the final three. My story, “The Bacon Bandit of Banbury Quarter,” (my most favorite story to write—to date) didn’t win against the impressive talent of David Bowmore and the winner Peter Astle, but the story pushed me beyond my comfort zone in ways that are hard to explain.

You can view all my accomplishments on my LANDING PAGE. I’m looking forward to a lot more writing in the year to come! Now go ahead, open a book and turn a page!

Mom Needs a Dinosaur – Launch!


Mom needs a dinosaur Anthony Kent Erin

Mom Needs a Dinosaur!,  (Seabear Press 2019)

Author/Illustrator Team  – The Barnards

Kent and Erin Barnard have published their first book after seven years of work!  Their journey to publishing Mom Needs a Dinosaur! has been long, but rewarding. I’ve heard authors say “It took me 5 years, 6 years, 10 years,” to publish their book, and I thought that’s crazy – how can it take so long? And here Erin and I are, with 7 years behind this book!  Amazing!

Kent is the Library Director of the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose and Erin is a professional illustrator, who has been published in over 200 educational books published by Kagan Publishers, a California Educational Products company.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and it usually does!

When Kent first took over as Director of the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, WI, at his very first Mr. Kent’s Storytime, a young boy named Anthony was there with his mother. Anthony was the only child at that first Storytime, and he loved dinosaurs. Every week he checked out dinosaur books, reading each one, then bringing it back the next week and checking out more. Wash, rinse, repeat!

One Storytime, Mr. Kent was talking about birthdays and asking who had a birthday coming up.  Anthony said his mom had a birthday coming up. Kent says, “When I asked Anthony what he was going to get her, he said, “A dinosaur!” and I thought: well of course you are, what little boy or girl wouldn’t want their mom to have a dinosaur?

So the seed was planted and the first draft written a few months later. “I just couldn’t stop thinking what a great book it would be – ‘A Dinosaur for Mom!’  I can’t remember how many drafts there were, but since a picture book needs to be short, every word is carefully chosen, edited, another word selected, and on and on.  I think the “final” draft was ready in a few months,”  said Kent. The first draft had 201 words.  When Erin had trouble deciding what to draw for a couple of pages, they were removed so the final version has 164 words.

“I showed it to Erin, who was my girlfriend at the time, and she liked the idea, and started drawing a few pages.  Her her illustrations give my meager words life! She also did the font in the book, which adds so much to the words – she’s amazing!”

Kent’s mother lived with them and suggested self-publishing. “We were very wary of self-publishing, there is a stigma about it – you’re less of an author or illustrator if you can’t find an editor, no matter how good you are. Of course, there are a lot of poor books published, so that doesn’t help the self-publishing image,” related Kent.

After his mother’s death in 2018, the couple decided it was time, and published the book in September, a month before his mother would have been 99 years old.

After overcoming a few trials and tribulations, particularly with Adobe, they at last, borrowed a friend’s computer and uploaded the book to Ingram Spark. Mom Needs a Dinosaur! was published!  “Unfortunately, the first few copies were cut or printed incorrectly, and Erin had to re-do the entire book with more bleed to ensure it wouldn’t happen again!” Kent said, “but now we’ve had no trouble at all!”

The Barnards have been tireless promoters of their book, and have managed to get 4  signings so far, all but one at libraries.  Mom needs a Dinosaur! is available at Amazon.com; Barnes & Noble, and other booksellers.

For details on signed or personalized copies, please visit seabearpress.com and click on book order info, or send an email to editor@seabearpress.com. The website also has fun games and printable bookmarks – They’re Dino-mite!