Write On, Wednesday: Debut Literary Thriller Author Laura McHugh!

By Leslie Lindsay

I am absolutely, 100% thrilled to welcome Laura McHugh, debut author from my home state of The Weight of Blood - COVERMissouri! “Show Me Girls” (and boys; see Matt Wertz’s interview on song writing) have gotta stick together…kind of like family, as they do in Laura’s new release THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD. This literary thriller will knock your  socks off with the carefully crafted sentences, attention to detail, and the family saga McHugh deftly weaves throughout the pages. [Be sure to check out the end of the interview for a chance to WIN a complimentary copy of the book!]

A busy mom of two young daughters, a background in library science, and stellar reviews from prominent authors, Laura seems to have it made. But I am guessing it wasn’t an overnight success.

Laura, can you tell us how you went from idea to published book? Time involved? Critique Groups? Agents? However your journey unfolded…

Laura McHugh: I decided to write The Weight of Blood after I lost my job, and my goal was to finish the first draft in a year, which I did. I had two small children at home with me at the time, and I did not get much sleep. I worried that I was pouring all my time and energy into something that would never be read by anyone, but I wanted to see the process through to the end. After completing the first draft, I probably spent a year revising the manuscript, researching agents, and learning how to query them. Once I signed with my agent, everything went very quickly. The book sold at auction less than two weeks later. I feel incredibly lucky with the way things worked out. I love all the folks I work with at Random House.

L.L.:What is your biggest inspiration for writing? In other words, what gets the juices flowing? Piques your curiosity?

Laura McHugh: I’m a people watcher. I notice someone at the store or walking alongside the road, and I come up with a backstory to explain their behavior and appearance, and sometimes those characters or details end up in a story. I’m also inspired by true crimes. I try to figure out why people do the terrible things they do.

I spend a lot of time thinking through a novel before writing anything down. Once I start writing, I sit down in my chair every day and work, whether I’m feeling inspired or not. I think the best method might be to write the first draft quickly and then go back and revise, but I actually revise a lot as I go, especially at the sentence level. It bothers me if a sentence doesn’t feel right. I probably waste a lot of time rewriting sentences that I might cut later, but I can’t help myself.

 .L.L.:  What’s your fondest book-related memory?

Laura McHugh: For birthdays and other special occasions, my grandma would give me a book—Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Nancy Drew. I used to wonder why she wrote so much on the inside cover—my name, my address (we moved a lot), the date, the occasion, my age, her full name and Grandpa’s, etc.—but now I treasure those books and her lengthy inscriptions. She was not a big reader herself, but she saw books as the most valuable gift, and that had a lasting impact on me. I always remember the last lines of the poemThe Reading Mother, which she kept in a frame in her living room:

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.

Laura McH..Author Bio:

McHugh, a first-generation college student who also holds a Masters in Library & Information Science, was working as a software and web developer when she was laid off while pregnant with her second child and took the opportunity to start writing full-time. Building on her own experiences as an outsider in the small, rural community, and inspired by a true incident that took place in Lebanon, Missouri, where she attended high school, McHugh started the novel that would become THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD.  She proves herself a masterful storyteller who has created a harsh and tangled terrain as alive and unforgettable as the characters who inhabit it. Her mesmerizing debut is a compelling exploration of the meaning of family: the sacrifices we make, the secrets we keep, and the lengths to which we will go to protect the ones we love. You can connect with Laura via social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauramchughauthor

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraSMcHugh

And now for the…..Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-WayLaura has graciously agreed to give away not just one, but TWO complimentary copies of THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD (Random House, 2014) to TWO lucky blog winners. Here’s what you have to do:

  • Share this interview link on social media and email me so I know you shared (leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com with subject line, “I shared!”)


  • Leave a comment on this blog about this book/interview/Laura McHugh/the Ozarks…

The Fine Print: Winners will be selected at random Saturday, April 5th 2014 at which time the give-a-way will be over. If you are a selected winner, you’ll be contacted via email, so be sure to check your junk/spam folder for an email from Leslie Lindsay. If you did not win, you will not be contacted. Books will be mailed directly from Ms. McHugh’s publicists. Please be patient as you wait your book’s arrival. Good luck and happy reading!! The Weight of Blood - COVERWith special thanks to Laura McHugh and Random House for this interview opportunity. Book cover image courtsey of Random House. Author image courtesy of Taisia Gordon.

Thanks to all the interest in THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD.

CHRIS C. in Wisconsin and CHRIS F. in Indiana!! 
Thanks for being loyal blog–and book–readers! There are always more give-a-ways here at http://www.leslielindsay.com and awesome author interviews. Stay tuned…Wednesday’s are the day!

Write On, Wednesday: Author Kimberly McCreight of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA (2013) with GIVE-A-WAY!!

By Leslie Lindsay Product Details

I am super-excited to spend some time chatting with NYT bestselling debut author, Kimberly McCreight of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA.  While this book was a Target Book Club pick and my local book discussion group selection, I am in awe as to how this literary wonder woman does it all.  She’s a mom to two young girls, runs marathons, and has several unpublished manuscripts just lying about. Oh, and she’s a former attorney. To accomplish all of that, you’d have to say the woman is driven, hands down.

RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA appealed to me for several reasons: it’s been compared to Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, has a Jodi Picout-like quality in that it alternates between view points, and perhaps most importantly, the storyline is ripped right from current trends in mean girl behavior, also know as social aggression–a trend I am not proud to associate with the female culture. So, without futher ado…please welcome Kim McCreight.

LL: Thank you, Kim for taking the time to chat with us about your book, RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA (Harper Perennial, 2013). I am currently in the last quarter of the book and find myself racing to the end to find out what really happened to young Amelia. Without giving away too much, did you intend for the book to be a mystery?

Kimberly McC: Reconstructing Amelia was inspired first and foremost by my experiences as a mother, specifically my fears for my daughters as they grow older.  And I don’t think I set out to write a mystery per se.  I didn’t set out to write any particular kind of book.  But as much as I cared about the characters while writing Reconstructing Amelia I was also very interested in the puzzle aspect of the story.  And I knew from the outset that a central question driving the narrative would be the “why” of what happened to Amelia.  For me, that’s the question at the heart of all great mysteries.

LL: Cyber-bullying has become such an unfortunate trend in young people’s lives—from texts to blogs, to Facebook. You tap into this environment surprisingly well—the teen slang, the secrets, their mannerisms, yet your own children are young.  Can you give us a glimpse into your ‘research’ for the book?

Kimberly McC: I was certainly influenced by many news accounts of bullying, though the book wasn’t inspired by any one story in particular.  I also did a fair amount of Internet research, exploring what teenagers talk about and what mediums they use.  There was a lot that surprised me about the ways teens use social media these days, for better and for worse.  I’m amazed how different their definitions of “privacy” and “friend” are from mine.  I also talked to local teens while writing Reconstructing Amelia.  I grew up in the suburbs, so I needed to get a sense of how the details of life differ for an urban teenager—where they go one weekends, after the school, etc.  But much of Amelia’s character was inspired by my own memories of being a teen.  And her voice came very naturally, which maybe should concern me more than it does.

LL: Speaking kids…as an author, how do you structure your writing time while still remaining an engaging parent? My own kids are 7 and 8 and I write like mad while they are at school, but sometimes that’s not near enough!  My characters keep “talking” to me as I help with homework, prepare dinner, etc. Can you share some tips for ‘trying to do it all?’

Kimberly McC: Ever since I left the practice of law to write fiction, I’ve tried to treat writing as a full-time job with regular hours and a clear structure.  That was less complicated, of course, before I had children.  But then, life for any working parent is a constant juggle.  I feel very lucky that I at least have the flexibility (and proximity) most days to be at school at the drop of a hat to pick up a sick child.

These days, I write from 9-6 pm, five days a week, which means my girls are in aftercare or with a sitter after school.  Having lots of strict deadlines (and sub-deadlines, and sub-sub deadline helps) and I rely heavily on a great to-do app.

But you’re right that even that isn’t always enough.  Just last night, I had to sit across from my older daughter revising something as she finished her homework because I had a deadline.

Also, I am always jotting story notes in my iPhone—while watching my kids play sports or while cooking dinner (which might explain why I’m such a terrible cook) and, yes, sometimes even when they’re talking to me.  In that case, of course, I feel totally guilty, but mostly do it anyway).

McCreight Kimberly ap1_credit Justine CooperBecause you can’t control when a new idea or the solution to a vexing narrative problem will come to you.  And if you don’t grab it, it can disappear.  But I find that as long as I’ve made a detailed note, it will usually keep until whenever I can return to it during my regular work hours.

LL: I understand your first manuscripts are stored someplace under your bed or in your hard drive; RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA is actually your fifth attempt at writing a novel, right?  You must have really, really been determined to get a book out. What advice would you give to emerging novelists?

Kimberly McC: Keep writing.  That’s really obvious, but it’s also an incredibly important point.  And by that I mean don’t give up, but also:  write to get better at writing.  My work has certainly improved over the years.  I think feedback is critical, too.  Find a great critique partner or, better yet, a terrific writers group.   Then listen to what they have to say about your work.  That doesn’t mean you have to do everything they say, but keep an open mind.  There is no way to improve in a vacuum.

LL: Moving on to agents. You say you’ve gone through several, yet we struggling writers would be happy with just one!  What tips might you offer for finding that perfect fit, crafting a stellar query letter, and ultimately getting a book in the hands of readers?

While it’s certainly important to approach agents who represent your kind of work and who are accepting new clients, I think it’s easy to get bogged down in the research phase of finding an agent.  The “who to approach” part, instead of getting to the “actually approaching” phase.

I would recommend casting a wide net.  Part of finding an agent is a numbers game: sending out enough queries to enough agents (keeping in mind always to notify them that yours is a simultaneous submission) until you find that perfect match.

I’d start with a group of ten agents and see what response you get to your query letter.  If only a very few (or none) ask to see pages, your query letter probably isn’t strong enough.  Stop and revise it.  Writing a great query letter takes a lot of time.  More than you’d ever think a single letter could possibly take.

It’s also really hard.  How to write a good query is something I would recommend researching extensively.   You can start online, there are lots of great articles there. Then imagine you’re writing the jacket copy for your book.  You don’t need to tell the reader everything, you just need to grab their interest.  On that note, be sure that your letter is written in the same tone as your book.  If your novel is funny, make your letter funny.  Wrote a mystery?  Make sure your letter is suspenseful.  And don’t be gimmicky.  Agents get more queries then you can possibly imagine.  You want to stand out, but not for the wrong reasons.

LL: What’s next for you?  When will we see more of your books on the shelves?

Kimberly McC: I’m at work on revisions for my next book, another mystery with a strong character element.  Don’t know when it’ll be out, but I’d expect in about a year or so.  I’ve also started the first book in a YA trilogy that I’m really excited about. 

Thank you so very much for being here today, Kim! It’s been an absolute pleasure. Best wishes!

THANK YOU!! Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

And now for the book give-a-way!!  One lucky winner will be drawn at random to WIN a FREE copy of RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA. All you have to do is share this interview via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and let me know you shared (if you don’t let me know, I can’t enter your name).  How do you do that?!  Easy. Just leave a comment on this blog or shoot me an email at leslie_lindsay (at) hotmail.com with subject line, “I shared…enter my name!” *

For more information, please follow Kimberly’s social media:

Twitter:   @kimmccreight

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/mccreight.kimberly

website:  http://www.kimberlymccreight.com

*Fine Print: Give-a-way is open to US residents only. Must comment or email leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com so I know to enter your name after you’ve shared via social media. Contest runs Wednesay, January 22-Saturday, January 26. Please check your in-box/junk/spam for an email from me indicating you won. Please respond promptly with your mailing address. Book will be sent to you from HarperCollins Publishers. Good luck!!

[book image retrived from Amazon.com on 1.21.14; author image courtesy of Harper Collins Pub with permission of Kimberly McCreight]

Write On, Wednesday: Interview with writer Laura Munson

By Leslie Lindsay author_photos_heath 004

I am honored to have NYT bestselling author Laura Munson with us today as she talks about her memoir, THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS (Berkley Trade, 2011). She has graciously agreed to give-a-way a copy to a lucky reader!! Laura’s writing has appeared widely in various household publications, including The New York Times, Redbook, and O Magazine. She is also the founder of the Haven Writing Retreats. Without further ado, please welcome Laura Munson!

1)  Laura, thank you for taking the time to chat with us about your book, THIS IS NOT THE STORY YOU THINK IT IS (2011). While your story is no doubt an eye-opener, what do you believe sets it apart from other memoirs out there?

LM: People tell me that reading my book is like sitting with a good friend, drinking tea, and sharing.  That is a result of many years of learning my craft and understanding why I write.  I come from a place of service.  I want to help people know they’re not alone.  I want to help people know that we can powerfully choose our emotional reaction to the things people say and do to us.  I think that my intention behind writing This Is Not The Story You Think It Is shines through:  writing is my practice, my prayer, my meditation, my way of life, and sometimes my way to life.  I faced that time of crisis in my life by writing my way through it, both for myself and others.  I was walking the walk, and I think that is what drives the book.  The reader actually experiences the writer using her lifeline, which gives them permission to do the same in whatever challenges they face in their own lives.

2)  Many readers/writers are interested in doing just what you’ve done: writing a memoir.  Whether the book is about their entire life or just a horrific portion of it, how do you see the process of writing memoir different than, say writing fiction?  

L.M.:Writers mine their lives, whether it is in fiction or non-fiction.  I write both and I need both.  Fiction feels like distilled reality to me.  Realer than real.  In writing fiction, we are not bound by actual events and people.  I like that freedom to go somewhere I might not go in my “real” life…on the page.  With memoir writing, however, it is such an intimate, vulnerable dwelling place…that it can’t help but bring new insights into the world as you know it.  They both have their place.  I’m working on a novel and a memoir right now, and I decide which book I want to work on depending on my mood/needs at the time.

3)  Can you give us a glimpse into your writing process?  How do you determine what to include in memoir? What to leave out? The stories you relate are quite real and raw leaving you, the author vulnerable. Would you say writing is cathartic for you?

L.M. For the most part, I’ve written every day since 1988.  When you sit at the intersection of heart and craft and mind that is writing– page after page, year after year– you learn the architecture, rhythm, and voice that breathes a book alive.  People often think that a memoir is a tell-all expose or a long journal entry.  It’s not.  At least not a memoir I would want to write or read.  Yes, the writer is drawing from her life, but it still has to be crafted to work as a narrative.  And that comes from hard work and good intention.  I believe that if you write out of service and responsibility, then you can write about anything.  Writers write as much for ourselves as for others…to try to makes sense of this beautiful and heartbreaking thing called life.

4)  How does your environment—the horse farm, the mountains—influence your creativity?  Can a writer flourish in an isolated study carrel at the library as much as she can a log cabin in the woods?

L.M. : I hope that this is true!  I believe in being a flexible person and a flexible writer.  I’ve written in cock-roach infested urban apartments, and in the stone cold silence of Montana, when I worked three jobs, when I had small children—you name it.  I know that the sacred follows us if we’re dedicated to creating it, and my writing life, outside of my motherhood, is the most sacred ground I know.

5)  Please, share with us a bit about your Haven Writing Retreats.

L.M.: Haven Retreats are incredibly powerful.  You do NOT have to be a writer to come.  You simply have to be a seeker, willing to share in a group setting, and have a hunger to dig deeper into your creative self-expression on the page.  I’ve worked with over 100 people and it’s like magic every time, watching them have breakthroughs on the retreat I design and facilitate.  It’s a true honor and some of the most important work I can imagine doing, because it’s not just about being creative and opening your mind…it’s about raising your self-awareness and that translates to anyone, no matter where they are in their life.  Haven meets you where you need to be met.  I have a few spaces for my Feb. retreat, June is full, and there are still some spaces for next Sept. and Oct.  You can find more info here: http://lauramunson.com/retreats/

6)  Are you working on anything else right now? Other books?

L.M.: I am working on three books right now:  a novel, a memoir, and a book about writing inspired by my retreats and what I have learned in my writing life.

7)  Anything obsessing you right now? 

L.M.: I’m totally obsessed with the power of retreats!  I ADORE helping people go places they would never go on their own at Haven, and helping them to get a clearer sense of what makes them unique and special.  I feel like I’m on a crusade to help people ask (and answer) the most powerful question I know:  What can I create?  And then apply it to their lives!

8)  Thanks again for sharing your journey with us, Laura!!

L.M.: It’s been a great way to spend a snowy Montana morning.  Thank you for your support of writers and the written word.

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

And now for the give-a-way: All you have to do is share this post (email, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) and then comment that you shared and Laura’s book could be yours.  (You can also drop me a line at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com with suject line, “I shared!”). This will enter you in a raffle in which 1 name will be drawn Saturday, Jan 18th.  It’s that easy!!**

Bio:Laura Munson is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling memoir This Is Not The Story You Think It Is:  A Season of Unlikely Happiness.  It has been published in nine countries and has been featured in Vanity Fair, Elle, Redbook, Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, and many other newspapers, magazines, and online venues across the globe.

Laura is the founder of Haven Writing Retreats in Montana and speaks on the subjects of empowerment through creativity.

Her work has been published in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, O. Magazine, The Week, Huffington Post, Redbook, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal, More Magazine, The Sun, and others.  She has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, WGN, many NPR stations, Hay House radio, as well as other media including London’s This Morning and Australia’s Sunrise.  She lives in Montana with her family.

**The fine Print for Give-a-way: Open to U.S. residents only. Must let me know you shared to be entered…or, else I don’t know to enter your name. Don’t worry–your email won’t be used for anything else. Please check your email; this is how your will be notified if you won. Please check spam/junk mail and respond asap with your mailing address. If I don’t hear from you within 24 hours, I’ll have to draw another name. Good luck!!

[book cover image retrieved from Amazon.com on 1.13.14]


By Leslie Lindsay

They will each received a complimentary copy of Emily Liebert’s YOU KNEW ME WHEN as well as custom nail polish.
Hooray : ) Thanks to all of those who expressed interest.
{image source: eonreality.com]

Write on, Wednesday: Author Interview & Book Give-a-Way–Karen Brown!!

By Leslie Lindsay

Write on, Wednesday:  Decontrusting a Novel

I am super-excited to welcome Karen Brown to Write On, Wednesday.  Ms. Brown is the debut novelist of THE LONGINGS OF WAYWARD GIRLS (Washington Square Press, July 2013).  She has written several books of short stories in the past and teaches creative writing & literature at the University of South Florida. Without further adieu…

Leslie Lindsay: As a first time novelist, how did the writing process differ from writing compilations of short stories?  In what ways were you particularly surprised or challenged by the creative process at hand?

Karen Brown: “The short story is all about compression—how much of a world can you create in as few words as possible. You have to reveal a conflict and have something happen to a believable character in a scant twenty pages or less. I’d gotten used to this form, adopting a particular lyrical style—and I enjoyed hinting at things, letting the reader guess or intuit the characters’ motivations. The novel is so very different. I still feel I’m struggling to make the transition, and I have to prod myself to tell more, to show more, to expand scenes. I feel I’ve had to abandon the style that depended on the reader—this worked for a handful of pages, but what reader will spend three hundred pages trying to muddle her way through prose that only hints at things? I’ve found that readers want characters they can identify with intimately, and sometimes this means showing parts of their lives that would be a waste of words in a short story. It’s as if I’d set up my own rules, and now I have to break them!”  

Leslie Lindsay:  THE LONGINGS (of Wayward Girls) is a complex story teetering between the past (1979) and the present (2003) of Sadie Watkins-Stahl’s life.  Sandwiched between the past and present is the disappearance of a young girl who has yet to be found, twenty years later.  As the story unfolds, Sadie recounts various summertime moments that trigger a certain sense of nostalgia.  How many of those summer memories were uniquely yours?  What advice would you give writers so they don’t clog their manuscripts with too many personal asides?

Karen Brown: “The neighborhood of Sadie’s childhood is my own—we did create a “Haunted Woods” and charge admission, and a friend and I did once trick a younger girl by writing a letter from a “farmer boy” and leaving it under a stone. I’ve taken these events and amplified them. Our “Haunted Woods” wasn’t nearly as elaborate, and of course the neighborhood girl never went missing. I used the Haunted Woods in the book because it was an odd, eerie event, and it created a certain tone—one of manipulation and fear. As a child I did write a play, “The Memory of the Fleetfoot Sisters,” and attempted to put it on. I remember being very invested in the show, and when everyone quit I got my first sense of real disappointment—though with what exactly I wasn’t sure. I gave this part of my past to Sadie because she is struggling to keep the creative side of her childhood, and yet knows she is moving past it. So, while I drew on details of my own childhood summertime activities for the novel, I knew I had to pick and choose those that did the job I needed them to.”

Leslie Lindsay: In reading THE LONGINGS, I was particularly struck by the ease and accessibility of Sadie’s affair with Ray.  Without giving too much away, what is it about those old loves that have us wanting to relive the past? 

Karen Brown: “In Sadie’s case, Ray represents a particular summer in her past—one in which things changed irrevocably for her. But I think she latches onto who she was before things went awry. Ray seems unchanged, and she wants to reinvent herself as the person she might have become. It’s as if she is able to re-do her life with him. There was no real relationship between them in the past—there was only what she imagined. Ultimately, they both use each other for their own selfish purposes.”

Leslie Lindsay: Are you a pantser, or a plotter?  What advice would you give a panster who doesn’t like to plot, and a plotter who must have things “just so” before even taking pen to paper?

Karen Brown: “I’m not sure how anyone could keep things straight without writing something down, but I’m a firm believer in letting the story unfold naturally. It’s so much more fun! If I’d known everything that would happen beforehand it would seem tiresome to write it out. I guess for me the writing is a form of discovery. That said, once I knew where I might want to head I did keep notes for myself. “Sadie finds Bea’s love letters” for example. I have a file called “Notes” for each project, and I write things down as reminders. I think a happy mix of notes and fearlessness is necessary.”

Leslie Lindsay: A hot topic—even in fiction—has to do with a writer’s platform.  Can you describe what a platform is, and why it’s so important, anyway?

Image of Karen BrownKaren Brown: “I knew that I needed to have social media in place if I wanted to publish a book, so the basics—Facebook and a website—have been a part of being a writer for me for a while. I added a few other things—Twitter, for example, the summer my book was on submission. I’ve also published stories in magazines, and won a few awards, which gave me something to stand on. It’s always been difficult for me to be an outgoing social media participant. Writing is work I do alone, and I’m not always eager to share anything related to it. But as a teacher I’m trained to be supportive, so I like to think I am a supporter of other writers and of work that I find admirable. Occasionally I will sneak in something about my own process, but rarely about my personal life. In this sense a writer’s platform is a sticky subject for me. Some do it so well—their personalities are open and engaging, and they feel comfortable sharing themselves. Or, their newest project has a basis in a topic that’s historical or cultural, and they use this as a way to project themselves. I do believe publishers want writers who have established some connection with the world—even if it’s just one part of it.”

Leslie LIndsay:  What are you currently working on? 

Karen Brown: “I’ve been revising a novel draft I’d set aside a few years ago. Part of it was set in the Caribbean, and while I’d never been there before I wrote it, I did travel there this spring. I decided to read the draft again, and I discovered I had captured that world pretty well! I also found I still liked the draft—so I thought I’d continue work on it.”

Leslie Lindsay: What are you currently reading?

Karen Brown: “I used to read one book at a time—I wouldn’t even consider reading another before I finished it. But lately I find I’m reading a few books at once—partly due to the variety of ways I’m reading things now. As an ebook, Submergence by J. M. Ledgard, in print, Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, and online I’m reading Clairvoyance by C.W. Leadbeater.”

Leslie Lindsay: Can you share your social media and other ways to reach you? 

Karen Brown: “Certainly!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Karen!  Very insightful and inspirational!

The Teacher is Talking:  Saying Bye Bye to Binky

And now….give-a-way details:  Karen has graciously agreed to provide one lucky winner a signed copy of THE LONGINGS OF WAYWARD GIRLS.  Here’s what you have to do:  Comment on the blog or send me an email leslie_lindsay(at) hotmail.com about one of your favorite summer activities as a child.  That’s it.  It can be as long or as short as you’d like.  Winner will be drawn at random next Wednesday, August 21st.  Open to U.S. residents only.  Please check your junk mail as winner’s will be notified via email.  Thanks and good luck!! 

Up next: Karen, along with authors Caroline Leavitt, Amy Sue Nathan and singer/songwriter Matt Wertz will be joining us later this August to share their ideas of “home.” a common, yet complex theme in many literary subtexts.

The Teacher is Talking: Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness

By Leslie Lindsay

You may be thinking red, white, and blue this time of year in light of American Independence Day (better known by the familiar moniker, 4th of July).  But, have you ever stopped to think about the qualities within Americans that make the USA truly great?  Product Details

In New York Times Bestselling author’s Eric Metaxas’s recent book, we delve right into that.  While there are gads of influential women, this one focuses on seven widely known–but not well understood men.  Each exquisitely crafted short portraits of these men showcase a commitment to live by certain

virtues found in the gospel. 

Of course you are curious–just who are these great men and what can I learn from them? 

Within the covers of this beautifully written, highly engageable book is seven men from all walks of life–politicians, founding fathers, baseball all-stars, athletes, and men of faith…George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, and Charles W. Colson.

While not all of these individuals are American, we can certaintly see how their impact on the world also affected the overall democracy and spirit of the American nation. 

Within Metaxas’s introduction, he answers the question, “Why these seven men?”  His answer, “Of course this list is not definitive.  There is a great subjectivity in these choices…I was looking for seven men who had all evidenced one particular quality: that of surrendering themselves to a higher purpose, of giving something away that they might have kept…nobable and admirable, and it takes courage…and usually faith.  Each of these seven men have that quality.” 

A wonderful family teaching guide, or one which youth directors and church groups could benefit, SEVEN GREAT MEN, is a an indispensible look at what makes a man of virtue, an everyday–everyman hero.  Discussion points may include:

  • What does it mean to stand for honesty, courage, and charity?
  • How can a man (or woman!) still be a person of integrity, even when the world around us depicts other desires?
  • What does it mean to be a man or woman in today’s world?  Do you think there is a difference now, versus historically? In what ways are men and women alike in their values?
  • Who is your hero and why?
  • Have you ever considered being a role model or mentor to someone?  In what areas do you carry an inherent knowledge or skill you would like to impart for the greater good? 
  • What about fallen or false idols?  Can you identify some?  What qualities or characteristics did they proport to have, yet somehow failed? 
  • What does it take to be a true leader in today’s policical, religious, and social climate? 

As you sit back this holiday to enjoy the fireworks, the family gatherings and delicious summer harvest this holiday, I challenge you think of these great men–those who can serve as heroes and men of virtue for our nation’s children.

Who Wrote it:  Eric Metaxas is the author of NYT #1 bestseller, BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy which was named Book of the Year by EPCA in 20111.  He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The New Republic, Harper’s, Kirkus, NPR, FoxNews, Christianity Today, and others.  He was also the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.  He currently resides in New York with his wife and daughter.(author photo retrieved from the author’s website, www.ericmetaxas on 7.2.13)

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

Interested in a complimentary hardback copy of SEVEN GREAT MEN?  Here’s all you have to do:  Tell us–either in comment here on the blog or by sending me an email at leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com why you’d like a copy.  A name will be selected at random on Friday, July 5th by 5pm CST.  Open to US residents only.  You will be contacted via email if your name is selected.  Please remember to check your junk mail for notification.  Your prompt response to the winning email is appreciated, otherwise another name will be drawn.  Thanks and good luck! 

For more information, please see the author’s website,   http://www.ericmetaxas.com/

Write On, Wednesday: Author Amy Sue Nathan Talks about her Debut Novel, THE GLASS WIVES

By Leslie Lindsay

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

I am honored to introduce Amy Sue Nathan to “Write On, Wednesday.”  Amy is a mother of a college-age son, a high school daughter and two dogs.  She is also the recently published author of THE GLASS WIVES (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013).  She’s generously offered a complimentary copy of the book to one lucky reader.  Amy resides in the Chicagoland area.  I just started reading the book, and already I can tell it’s going to be a great journey.  (image retrieved 5.26.13 from Amazon.com)

Product Details

L2:  First—the book!  Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment many of us only dream about.  What’s it like to finally have your book “out there?” 

Amy Sue Nathan:Having my book out in the real world is surreal on one hand, and very tangible on the other. I have likened it to an expected surprise, like a baby. You know it’s going to happen, you’ve been preparing, you’ve read all the books, made all the plans—but when it happens, it’s still full of unknowns, twists, turns, and surprises. Hopefully, most of them good surprises!

L2: THE GLASS WIVES is all about family.  Of course, many women readers can relate to that topic, but what makes THE GLASS WIVES different is that it is based on this idea of an unconventional family.  How do you see the vision of ‘family’ changing in the 21st century? 

Amy Sue Nathan: I think what is changing is the idea of what is unconventional.  One of the reasons I wanted to write a novel about a “newfangled” family was because I felt there was a lot of lip service given to families that weren’t mom/dad/kids.  I’d heard people say that family is what you need it to be, or want it to be, or what you make it, but when I divorced in 2002, after being with my ex for 20 years, all of a sudden (or so it seemed), I was not longer part of a full-fledged family in the eyes of many people, and in a way, even to myself. I wondered where all the acceptance had gone and realized it was idea of a single mom family that people (or the people in my life) were okay with, but the actual fact of it, no, they didn’t really deal well with it. I had to get a grip on it, so I did. But most people still look at a single-parent headed household as a whole missing a part. I think that once people actually accept families as equal in weight, no matter their configuration, then the vision of family will actually resemble the fact of family.

L2: As I was looking over your website, I came across your definition of family, “home isn’t broken unless there isn’t love inside it’s walls.”  Do you believe that home truly is where the heart is?  Can you expand a bit on this quote? 

Amy Sue Nathan: I’m a homebody. No matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, I’m always drawn toward my home, which for the past 14 years has been a ranch house in a tiny suburb of Chicago. I shudder when someone refers to kids of divorce being from a broken home. Often, divorce fixes a family more than it breaks it.  Obviously the word “broken” has negative connotations, and that bothers me. I may have a broken chair in the dining room, but neither my home, nor my family, is broken.  It’s the matter of another perception of unconventional families that I try to dispel in THE GLASS WIVES. 

L2:  How did you arrive at the title, THE GLASS WIVES?  I am assuming a sense of fragility, the fact that families can crumble and break…or was there something more? 

Amy Sue Nathan: Honestly? The book had several different titles, but the one that stuck was The Glass House. Then, about six weeks before my agent was going to start submitting to editors I was working on a final edit or two and the title hit me. The book was about The Glass Wives. I knew at that moment it was a keeper.  And yes, there is an element of the metaphorical glass, and also the literal. The main characters’ last name is Glass.

L2: On to agents…can you give us writers some sense of what your journey was like when you set out to find an agent?  What advice would you give a writer who is determined to have their work represented

Amy Sue Nathan: It might be cliché to say DON’T GIVE UP but it’s the truth. I’ve come across many aspiring authors who send a dozen queries and stop.  If someone is determined to be published traditionally, as I was, then they need to be in it for the long haul.  I sent 116 queries over 10 months before signing with my agent, Jason Yarn, of Paradigm.  I’d also recommend listening to any advice any agent gives you.  You don’t have to follow the advice, but it’s a good idea to think about it, see if it makes sense, and make changes if need be.  Another thing to do is to continue writing while you’re querying.  Write short stories or a new book or essays or something else to remind you why you’re sending queries.  That’s because you want to keep writing and you want to be published by a publisher.

L2:   You’ve been blogging since 2006 as a “mommy blogger.”  Would you say this was the beginning of your writing career, or was this simply a by-product of your love for writing?  [Be sure to check out Amy’s blog Women Fiction Writers at http://womensfictionwriters.wordpress.com/]

Amy Sue Nathan:My professional writing career started in the 1980’s. I was a writer at a few nonprofit organizations and corporations before becoming a fulltime stay-at-home mom.  I had a variety of part-time jobs over the years, some included writing and some did not.  I started writing for myself again around the time leading up to my divorce, when I realized the only creative thing I was doing was adding peas and carrots to macaroni and cheese. In 2006 I went on a date (a one-date-only date) and the guy asked me if I’d ever considered blogging, because my writing style in the emails we’d exchanged seemed really suited to it.  I never saw him again, but that week I started a blog, and by the end of the year I’d had my first essay published in The Chicago Tribune, where I published pieces in about 10 issues through 2009.

L2: WomenFictionWriters.com was founded in 2011.  Can you tell us a little more about your blog and what type of resources exist there

Amy Sue Nathan: I started the blog because I was looking for a place to connect with other writers who wrote what I define as women’s fiction—which are stories about a women’s journey that do not center on a romantic relationship, at all. At this point I’m seeing that there are many definitions for the genre, and a bunch of perceptions, not all of which I like, but to each her own. Right?  At WFW I try to focus on the authors, books, and craft of women’s fiction. I interview authors and often it’s as much about the author as a person, his or writing and life, as it is about the book.  The craft posts are really popular, because I think so many writing posts are either very generic or very specific—and on WFW we try to bring everything back to women’s fiction, which doesn’t happen many other places.

L2: Can you give us aspiring writers some words of wisdom on the craft? 

Amy Sue Nathan: My most recent advice to myself is to separate business from craft.  When I’m writing I can’t think about selling the book or even about the readers, I just have to tell the story in the best way I can.  There will hopefully be time later to think about the needs and wants of others. Writing, even when you want to publish, has to be selfish at first. Write YOUR story as YOU see it.  Tweak it later.  But never write to the market because by the time you’re finished, the market will have changed. Write on, Wednesday:  Decontrusting a Novel

L2: Finally, will we be hearing more from you?  What’s next?  Another book?  Can you give us a glimpse inside?

Amy Sue Nathan: My work-in-progress is about a single mom, blogging, secrets, and lies—and where it all can lead if you’re not careful. Or even if you are.  [note from Leslie–this book was just sold to St. Martin’s yesterday!  Stay tuned]

Thank you for having me on your blog, Leslie!

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

***WANT A COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF THE GLASS WIVES?***  Of course you do!!  Just drop me a line at leslie_lindsay@hotmail with “GLASS WIVES” in subject line.  Tell me to enter you in the give-a-way.  I will.  Pay attention…I’ll contact you by email if you name is chosen at random.  Contest ends Friday, May 31st.  Good luck!! (Your email won’t be saved, or used for anything else–just the contest!)

Amy Sue Nathan‘s debut novel, THE GLASS WIVES, published by St. Martin’s Press May 2013.  In addition to blogging, her stories and essays have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times online, The Washington Post online, The Huffington Post, Chicago Parent, Grey Sparrow Journal, Rose and Thorn Journal, Scribblers On The Roof, The Verb, Hospital Drive Journal and The Stone Hobo. She’s also a freelance fiction editor, and a reader for literary agents.  I’ve also been fortunate to contribute to four amazing writing sites, Writer Unboxed, Beyond The Margins, The Book Pregnant Blog, and Girlfriends Book Club. I’m currently serving as Secretary for the RWA-WF chapter, a contributer to the Writer Unboxed newsletter, and a member of the 2013 Class at The Debutante Ball blog. 

The Teacher is Talking: 50 Rules for Sons by Tim Hoch

By Leslie Lindsay

“Set goals and work like hell to accomplish them. Later, you’ll realize the journey was far more enjoyable than the end result.” 

This is rule 03 in Tim Hoch’s new book, 50 Rules for Sons (released April 18, 2013).  What started as a letter to his son who was graduating from high school turned into a list of lessons the author wanted to share with him.  Great, too for recent college grads, Scouting organizations, youth groups, and more.  Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of today’s post to read about the give-a-way!  (image source: Amazon.com 5.14.13)

Perfect for the attention span of the 140-character generation (think Twitter), 50 Rules for Sons dispenses rapid-fire chunks of wisdom in the first half of the book, independent of any explanation.  But each “rule” has a backstory, which Tim Hoch explains–sometimes eloquently, other times bluntly, and almost always with some wit.  These backstories, are located–well–at the back of the book. 

Here are a few of my favorite rules:

  • Rule o6: “There are few people you will meet who are truly looking out for your best interest.  When you find someone who does, guard and treasure that relationship.” 
  • Rule 14:  “Try new things daily.” 
  • Rule 23:  “Most of your life your only company is yourself.  Like yourself.” 
  • Rule 31:  “Read leisurely for at least 30 minutes everyday.  It will increase your curiousty and broaden your point of view.” 

There are plenty others–but theses were the ones who resonated with me.  And I am not even a “son.”  Which goes to show this little book could be valuable for just about anyone.  It’s written in a straightforward, down-to-earth manner we can all apprciate.  I plan to send them to new grads on my list this spring….so go on and…Seize the day! 

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-WayAnd now for the give-a-way!  Got a grad on your list who would benefit from 5o Rules for Sons?  Let me know by dropping me a line/making a comment on this blog post.  Tell me in 50 words or less what makes this young man special.  It will enter you into a drawing for a complimentary copy of 50 Rules for Sons!  Contest runs now thru Friday, May 17th at 5pm.  You will be contacted via email if your name is drawn.  Books will be mailed to you shortly thereafter.  Open to US residents only.  Good luck!

(image source: http://www.50rulesforsons.com/ 5.14.13)

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TIM HOCH has practiced law in Texas for more than 20 years. He lives in Fort Worth with his wife and three children where he serves as Vice Chair for Catholic Charities-Fort Worth and is on the Board of Directors for Frog Club at Texas Christian University.He is also a volunteer at The Assessment Center and Child Advocates of Tarrant County, two programs that assist abused children. He is working on his next book,50 Rules for Daughters. You can follow Tim’s blog here.


The Teacher is Talking: Mum’s the Word–Interview with Author Jessie Clemence

By Leslie Lindsay

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

As as teenager, I subscribed to YM magazine (I think it stood for Young & Modern).  The publication had a section entitled, “Say Anything: Your Most Mortifying Moments.”  Gone are the the days of YM, (and thankfully, so are my teenage years), but those mortifying moments live on, even as a mother.  Especially as a mother.  Today, I present “Cringe-Worthy Moments” by Jessie Clemence, author of There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse: And Other Ways Motherhood Changes Us. 

I am thrilled to have Jessie spell it all out for us–mortifying moments and all here in her guest post.  Stay tuned to learn more about the give-a-way: a complimentary copy of her book–perfect for gifting this Mother’s Day.  

Before I had my own children, I had an idea of how parenting would go. I operated under the assumption that I would parent my children to the best of my ability and that would be enough. I believed that my efforts would ensure me happy and obedient children, all the time.

I was wrong.

It turns out that you can parent a child with all your might. You can train. You can teach. You can make up good-behavior charts and bribe reward a child with all manner of stickers and special treats, but these things might not make a difference at crucial times in their life. No parent has ever been able to predict and control every choice a kid makes. That’s the thing about kids—they come with minds of their own. And this often becomes obvious in front of other people, and we mothers are embarrassed beyond words, possibly even stunned silent.

For example, our daughter recently startled a room full of relatives at the family reunion when she yelled, “Pray, Larry!” at her grandfather. You see, my father-in-law is a dear man of God, but he often takes a bit of time to gather his thoughts before beginning the prayer. My mother-in-law has been known to nudge him with a whispered, “Pray, Larry!” to get him moving. My own husband has taken up this prayer-hesitation as he ages, so I’ve started mimicking his mom at the dinner table. “Pray, Larry!” I hiss at Eric.

I think I’m terribly funny, and if he’s honest, so does my husband. He snorts and starts praying. But we forgot to tell Audrey that sometimes little family jokes are just that—little and with only the four of us. So when she was hungry at the family reunion and Grandpa wasn’t on her schedule, she just did what comes naturally—she ordered him to pray. And the whole room thought it was hysterical, except for maybe me. And Grandpa, who apparently doesn’t appreciate being called by his first name by a grandchild. He did get right to the prayer, so I guess the child made her point.

In another example, I think of the time that Caleb threw up on me, all over me, at story time at the library. We were sitting quietly when I suddenly realized he was burning up, then he was throwing up. There was no time to prevent the disaster. My first instinct was to start cleaning the mess, but there was no way I could do that and care for my sick child at the same time. The dear librarians came to my rescue and started mopping up the mess. They cleaned the carpet and the chair and sent me home. My daughter was heartbroken to leave story time early, so they let her stay and then walked her home when it was over.

I could go on and on about the chances God has given me to get over myself as I parent. In fact, I wrote an entire book called There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse, and it’s all about the ways God has let me grow closer to Him through parenting. Each parenting challenge is another chance to move past my initial reaction to seek the good of my children, and to move past pride and self-absorption. These things are poison to our walks with God, and He lets the difficulties of parenting teach us this over and over. plasticmonkey_160x240and ridiculousness. I love to connect with people through writing about how God’s Word applies to all parts of our lives. We talk about parenting and marriage, the food I burn for dinner, how much I hate skinny jeans, and anything else that comes to mind. Subject matter runs the gamut, I tell you.

I have also written a book titled There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. It’s 200 pages about how God helped me get over myself and turn to Him in my inadequacies as a mother. It’s about how He’s never

Colossians 3:12-15 says: Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (NLT)

Those cringe-worthy moments in motherhood give me a chance to do just these things. They let me learn how to clothe myself with tenderheartedness towards a child even when I’m embarrassed. They give me a chance to react with kindness when a child blurts out something at the wrong time. They let me learn forgiveness over and over again, just like Christ forgives me over and over again. My life is not about me. I live to glorify God, and He teaches me how to do it as I parent. I pray that He lets you learn these same blessed things through your own experiences as a parent!  Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

***It’s Give-A-Way Time!! ***Here’s how it works:  Tell us  your most embarrassing moment as a MOM by leaving a comment in the comment section of this blog.  (Sorry, but Facebook comments will not be entered to win).  A lucky winner will be drawn at random on Friday, May 3rd at 3pm CST.  If you’re the winner–great!  We’ll contact you via email.  Please remember to check your junk folder!  You’ll have 24 hours to claim your prize (respond to the email with your mailing address).  Your complimentary copy of Jessie’s book will be mailed to you from PRbytheBook, based in Texas.  Thanks–and good-luck!

Bio:Jessie Clemence is a mother of two fun and occasionally sassy children who keep life interesting. She is married to Eric and their family lives in southwest Michigan. To find Jessie online, visit her blog at www.jessieclemence.com. You can keep up with their daily adventures there.  [all images retrieves from www.jessieclemence.com 4.05.13]

Apraxia Monday: Interview with Kimberly Scanlon, CCC-SLP

By Leslie Lindsay

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

Special thanks to Kim Scanlon of Scanlon Speech Therapy in Ramsey, NJ and author of My Toddler Talks for joining us today.  She’s also mom of Kerrigan Grace (aka Kerri) who is 7 months old.  Without further adieu, here’s Kim!

L4K: Wow. I am just amazed at your energy.  You’re a mom, a speech-language therapist of a busy practice, and author of My Toddler Talks.  How do you do it all? 

Kimberly, CCC-SLP: I drink a lot of coffee and don’t sleep! Ha! To be honest, I really try to manage my time so I can do it all without becoming too stressed. Time management is key. The night before I go to sleep, I compose a very detailed to-do list. Then, I wake up the next morning, ready to tackle my day! Having my to-do list keeps me focused. It also helps that I love crossing off tasks as I complete them; gives me a sense of accomplishment.Professional Picture (300 dpi)

Additionally, I strongly believe in having routines because they keep my sanity. In My Toddler Talks, I write about the importance of routines and guide readers on how to create routines to facilitate language development in their toddlers.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I love what I do! After having a great speech therapy session, I feel energized! Treating my clients makes me happy. Additionally, my husband, Ryan is very supportive and I’m super lucky that my mom babysits, Kerrigan while I work. All in all, I’m very fortunate to have such a blessed life.

L4K: You have a wide variety of skills and experiences from Early Intervention to school-based SLP, and even a medical center working with geriatric patients.  Do you have a favorite population to work with?  I bet you learn a little something about every population. 

Kimberly, CCC-SLP:  I’ve had such wonderful and varied work experiences in my career. A very wise mentor once told me that you should try your hand in each population and seek different settings to find your niche. Currently, I primarily treat children; a majority of them are toddlers and preschoolers. Although, I like to have a diverse caseload because it keeps your perspective fresh.

L4K: I love your tagline, “making speech therapy fun and effective.”  What do you find are the keys to a fun and effective speech session? 

Kimberly, CCC-SLP:  Thank you, Leslie! Whether I’m treating adults or children, it’s important to keep things interactive and exciting. Discovering what motivates a client is critical to their success. By nature, I’m upbeat and a little zany so it’s pretty easy for me to turn even a structured task into something fun.

As for effective, I also have a type A personality and strive to do my best. I invest a lot of time and money into staying up-to-date on best practices. Using evidence based strategies, devising a good treatment plan and systematically targeting goals and objectives produce effective and efficient results.

L4K: Your post on Sandra Boynton’s Book, Snuggle Puppy (February, 2013) warmed my heart, as it did many others.  Can you give us some more tips on how to make reading with your child more engaging?  How does reading really help with speech and language development?Product Details

Kimberly, CCC-SLP: Thank you! I had so much fun writing my Snuggle Puppy post.

I can think of so many ways to make reading with your child more engaging and have written several posts about this topic on my blog. Creating a reading routine and picking a time when your child is most relaxed and focused is essential. For toddlers, choose books that he can relate to and read ones that mirror some of his own life experiences. For instance, using the potty or going to the zoo.   (image source: Amazon.com 3.10.13) 

There are so many ways reading helps with speech (articulation, voice, and fluency) and language (expressive and receptive skills). In fact, I could probably write another book on it! Books can easily be used to target very specific objectives. For articulation purposes, books can provide an enjoyable context to practice certain sounds. If a child is learning to say his “f” sounds and has progressed to the sentence level, reading books that have multiple opportunities for “f” is so much more engaging then doing worksheets! For language development, you can use books to target verbs, adjectives, prepositions, following directions, answering and asking various wh questions. And, the list goes on.

L4K: The concept behind your book, My Toddler Talks is to empower parents, grandparents and educators to promote language skills in kiddos through play.  What aspect of the book are you most proud of?  My Toddler Talks Book Cover (300 dpi)

Great question! There are so many parts of My Toddler Talks that I love (the 25 step-by-step play routines, the easy to remember acronyms, the troubleshooting tips, etc). I’m really proud of how well I transformed some complex “speechie” terms and concepts into something much more parent friendly and easy to digest. Of course, this book is not a replacement for speech therapy, but its hands on and helpful. I set out to design a workbook for parents to read with their highlighters and pens. One to make them think, “Yeah, I can do that! I’m going to try it tomorrow!”

My Toddler Talks is available for purchase at Amazon.  But…Kim has graciously offered to give-a-way a copy to one lucky reader.  (See below for detials). 

L4K:  Finally, what advice would you give to a parent who is raising a child with CAS? 

  • Seek out an ASHA certified and licensed speech language pathologist who is experienced in treating apraxia of speech.
  • For severe cases, teach the child some signs or how to use a picture book to reduce frustration and increase functional communication until his speech motor system further develops for speech.
  • Practice specific sounds or words in short but purposeful 10 to 15 minute bursts throughout the day.
  • Purchase Speaking of Apraxia by Leslie Lindsay! 
  • Last but certainly not least, give your child a break. He needs to have down time as well. Don’t push practicing if he’s tired, stressed, or not feeling well.

***Thanks, Kim for sharing your passion for speech!***

Now for the… Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-WayWant a free copy of Kim’s book, My Toddler Talks?  Of course you do!  Drop me a line (leslie_lindsay@hotmail.com) or make a comment on the blog about how this post “spoke” to you.  A U.S. winner will be drawn at random Friday, March 15th 2013 at noon CST.  You will be contacted via email if you are the winner.  Book will be mailed to you free of charge.

Help SPEAKING OF APRAXIA win in the READER’S CHOICE AWARDS!  You can VOTERCA 2013 Logo for the book every day now thru March 19th.  Just click on the link below.  THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!  http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2013/02/19/vote-for-favorite-new-special-needs-parenting-book-2.htm