• Life Outside the Pages

    I’ve Got a Newsletter!

    I officially launched my very first author newsletter this week, and I think it’s not half bad!

    Looking around, I realized most my fellow authors have such a thing. I thought, meh, I’ll do that when I actually have a book published! Who wants a newsletter from someone who really has no news?

    But now that “Ruth’s Ginger Snap Surprise” has been out for nearly three months (and on the Amazon bestseller list most of that time!) and “Mary’s Calico Hope” is set to release June 1, I figured I couldn’t dodge the newsletter responsibility any longer.

    Plus, my fabulous tech genius bro-in-law, Phil, told me if we didn’t launch a newsletter pronto, I was going to lose my domain on Mail Chimp. Well, I couldn’t let that happen, right?

    So, the thing is done. If you’re one of the 91 people who have asked to be included, you should have received the newsletter (which I’m planning on publishing monthly) this past weekend.

    If not, please feel free to PM me on Facebook at Anne Blackburne. Give me your name and email, and I’ll see that you are added to the list to receive my next newsletter in March.

    I’m having fun with this writing journey! I hope you’re having fun traveling along with me.

  • My Writing Journey

    Ohio Author Festival; a Great Opportunity to Meet Fellow Authors and Try Out my Author Table Set-up!

    Last weekend I was privileged to be invited to participate in an Ohio Author’s Festival at my local library branch. Here I am, pictured with my author table and my stuffed Ginger Snap kitty! I honestly did not realize the photo was mimicking the cover painting! I’ll bet my good friend, who took the picture, did that on purpose! Most of the other authors at the event came from a couple hours away, and were much better known than I am.

    Of course, being better-known-than-I-am is not hard to do; my first book doesn’t come out until December 1! So I was quite happy to be included in this illustrious group, even though I had no actual, physical books to sell that day.

    The event also gave me a chance to set up my table display, which I will use for future author signing events, for the first time.

    This was a good thing, as I found out my banner is way too big to hang from a standard table! I guess I should have asked other authors how big their banners are before ordering mine! I’ll look at this as a humorous learning opportunity.

    I think my stuffed orange kitty was a big hit, though, and people seemed to like the cat stickers I was giving away.

    I’m not as certain about my original painting of Ginger Snap. You can see it in the bottom left corner of the attached photo. It’s a bit cartoonish, but I like it. I am giving it as a gift to one of the people who attended the event and signed their name and email in my pretty, little notebook. I need to pull a winner’s name and mail it off! I’ll do that later this weekend.

    Two of the authors attending spoke to the group, and both were amazing. One woman was a fellow Amish romance author; although she had us all in stitches explaining how she writes Amish murder mysteries, and apologizing for “killing off Amish folks right and left”.

    The other spoke about how some of her books have been banned, and why. She really got me thinking about this disturbing topic.

    There was a wide range of genres represented at the event, and I looked over all the work of my fellow authors, and made some notes about books I wish to purchase.

    Several of my friends attended the event and come over to wish me well after hearing the speakers. That made me feel great!

    Next time, I’ll be prepared with a banner that fits my table, and I’ll actually have books available for purchase!

    This little shake-down was good for me, and fun. I hope to see you at a future event! Maybe you’ll win an original, Anne Blackburne, painting! I plan to do them for all the kitties in my books.

    My next event will be at the Christmas Open House at Kerns Christian book store in Akron, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 2. That’s the day after my book releases! It’s really getting close! Drop in and say hi if you are from the Akron/Canton area. I’d love to meet you!

  • Life Outside the Pages

    Amish Country Adventure Meet & Greet

    Warm Welcome from Admins, Authors and Readers!

    Recently I was fortunate to be invited to join a wonderful group of people in a group called Keeping up with the Amish. They are made up of authors and readers of Amish romance, and people who are simply interested in the Amish way of life.

    What a happy bit of luck or serendipity it was that I joined the group right before their annual Amish Country Adventure Week! This year’s adventure happened to take place in Berlin, Ohio – less than an hour from where I live!

    I don’t have any books out yet (my very first Amish romance releases from Barbour on December 1!), and it was too late to take three days off work. So I shrugged and thought, oh, well, too bad I can’t go this year; I’ll plan to attend next year.

    But the lovely Connie Lynch, an admin of the group, invited me to attend their Thursday evening Author/Reader Meet & Greet. I was able to go! So my buddy Linda and I hopped in the car and headed for Ohio’s beautiful Amish Country! About an hour later, we arrived at the well-appointed Berlin Grand Hotel, and parked in a lot filled with colorful three-wheeled motorcycles.

    Chit-chatting at the Meet & Greet! We sat with lovely ladies from around the country. Photo by Connie Lynch

    Inside, we found the gathering of authors and readers of Amish romance, and they immediately made us feel welcome, giving us swag bags filled with fun items donated by participants in the event.

    There were beautiful items for sale and auction, and I bought a chance on a lovely wall-hanging and table runner made by an Amish woman from the western part of the U.S.

    Linda and I checked out the auction and sale tables, and then found a place to sit with some really nice people, all avid readers of Amish romance!

    We got cold iced tea, and settled down to enjoy an evening making new friends, playing games and feeling most welcome.

    I brought along some very pretty bookmarks made for me by the folks I work with in our print shop, and people seemed genuinely happy to get them. Some even said they’d pre-ordered my book! What a thrill!

    This lovely, Amish-made wall hanging was won by a lucky woman this week!

    At the end of the evening, Linda and I hated to go. Now we’re making plans to attend next year’s Amish Adventure in Shipshewana, Indiana – the third largest Amish community in the U.S. I’ve never been there, and I can’t wait to go!

    I’m booking my AirBnb so I’ll have all year to look forward to the fun. If you’re an author or reader of Amish romance, I highly recommend that you join the group Keeping Up With The Amish on Facebook, and that you consider attending next year’s adventure week in Shipshewana in June. If you do, I’ll look forward to meeting you in person!