Posted in Publishing, Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Spin the Golden Light Bulb turns 1!

Hey sweet friends,

I can hardly believe it. Today marks one year since Spin the Golden Light Bulb was published, and the official end of my debut year. It’s a little bittersweet. My book baby has grown up right before my very eyes!

One year ago, hardly anyone knew it even existed. Now many readers do. They know my characters, like Kia, Ander, Mare, Jax, and Jillian. They know all about the Piedmont Challenge, and they even know quotes from the book—ones that I scribbled in my notebook over seven years ago! It’s still strange to think that, but also wonderful too. The first phrase I ever wrote in my red notebook as I brainstormed the plot was this…

I know my chances stink. But somebody has to win—I pick me.

And now not only are these words actually found in the book (on page 5), but people have read them…and they’ve read the other words too. I sometimes still pinch myself over that! So just because, I thought I’d share a few other highlights from my debut novel’s first year out in the world too…

A few days before release day, my husband and I stopped by our local Barnes & Noble to see where my book would be shelved eventually, in case they ever decided to stock it. I literally (and audibly!) gasped to see it already displayed—on an actual bookstore shelf!

On release day, we had a launch party for Spin the Golden Light Bulb at the elementary school where I worked as a reading teacher. It’s the place where I wrote parts of my first manuscript—the one that happily stays hidden in my desk drawer now. Over 100 of my closest family and friends attended—and bought copies of my books! I didn’t even think I knew that many people!

Signing those books was surreal (there’s that word again!) and I’m grateful to each and every person that spent that magical night with me. I signed my very first copy for my daughter, and as I took out my golden pen and looked out at the crowd of people, I felt like I was living a dream.

I found it hard to keep it together when the real kids behind the Crimson Five kids (my World Finals Odyssey of the Mind team) gathered around me for a picture with the book. The kids on the team, which included my son, were just eleven years old when I first toyed with the idea of writing an Odyssey of the Mind inspired book. That night they stood next to me as 18 year-olds on the verge of graduating high school. They were the perfect inspiration for the characters and I was thrilled to finally be able to share their story (even if it was an over the top version!) with all of them! It was a night I’ll for sure, never forget.

I did my first book signings and school visits in the spring. It was all kinds of amazing to chat with kids about publishing and the making of Spin the Golden Light Bulb! When people say you will never forget your first few book signings, they aren’t kidding. Some were attended by almost a hundred people. Some were attended by two. But all of them were fun because well, I was doing a book signing. Something I had dreamed of doing for over ten years!

Spin the Golden Light Bulb welcomed her sibling book, Flip the Silver Switch into the world over the summer on August 21, 2018. I don’t think she minded sharing the spotlight though. We had a smaller scale launch for FTSS basically because I felt bad asking my friends and family to do the whole book launch thing again with me so soon! And because STGLB had only been out for six months, it actually felt like another launch for it too!

In the fall, I met my Kids Need Mentors teacher, Erin and her class of 5th graders. I read chapter one of Spin the Golden Light Bulb to them during their first week of school, and received letters from them a few weeks later. How cool is that?

Spin the Golden Light Bulb made it’s first appearance at the Rochester Children’s Book Festival in November. It’s my hometown book fest, the biggest of its kind in the area and I was honored and thrilled to finally participate as a published author! I was interviewed live by our local TV station and yikes that was scary! I guess in a year of firsts, that one was definitely memorable!

In a surprise ending to debut year, Spin the Golden Light Bulb was named by the Children’s Book Council and the National Science Teachers of America to their 2019 Best STEM Books K-12 List! I was and still am humbled and thrilled to receive such an honor.

There were so many other highlights from this year but to be honest, I can hardly wrap my head around them all. The whole year has truly been a blur! I feel so grateful and I want to thank everyone who made my first published book’s debut year truly wonderful. The team at Amberjack Publishing and my agent, Rebecca Angus made this dream come true. I am forever grateful for their belief that readers would love this story as much as I do. So many people have been my cheerleaders this year: The Electric 18s. The booksellers. The teachers. The librarians. The bloggers. The reviewers. The parents. The children. My family. My friends. You’ve all help spread the word about my book and showered me with kind words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I never posted the acknowledgments pages because it honestly never occurred to me. But so many people play a role in bringing a book to life and so today I want to share my thoughts on that with you. For those of you interested, here they are!

Thanks sweet friends for following along on my journey. You have constantly made me feel like publishing my first book is a big deal, even when author imposter syndrome set in and I felt like I was just pretending…playing dress up as an author! Now that I have a year as an author under my belt, I finally feel like I am.

So with that, I’m off to celebrate. I’ll be toasting at 6:30pm with this lovely bottle of wine I received at my launch party one year ago tonight. I may even read a few chapters—of my very first published book!

Thanks for checking in, sweet friends and remember…if you ever wonder if dreams really do come true. I’m here to say they do. They really do!

Until next time~

Think More. Work Hard. Dream Big!

Jackie

Posted in Publishing, Spin the Golden Light Bulb, The Crimson Five series, Uncategorized

The Author-Impostor Visit

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at an elementary school in my city…my first unofficial author visit. And it was so much fun! I spoke with two fourth grade classes about books and writing and inventions. Amazing! But I wasn’t sure it would be that way…

The Rochester Children’s Book Festival is a huge deal where I live. Rochester is not a big city, like Boston, New York, or Chicago, but we sure do know how to put on a children’s book fest! Now in its 21st year, the annual RCBF is host to 45 authors and illustrators, both local and not at all local and this year it takes place on Saturday, November 4th.

Over the years, I’ve spent many amazing Saturdays in November perusing the books, fan-girling the authors, and volunteering at this festival. As the main sponsor, the Rochester Area Children’s Writers and Illustrators group (a group I belong to) plays a major role and I’ve had the honor of volunteering in many ways like managing the flow of traffic in the busy main author area, being an author assistant, and announcing presentations by the authors. To say that being a part of the event is a writer’s dream of a way to spend a day (with books and the people who create them) would be an understatement!

As part of the book fest, published and non-published members of RACWI are invited to volunteer as visiting authors at the RCBF’s outreach program with the Rochester City School District. In my early years of writing I always passed up this opportunity. Even though I’ve always been very comfortable in a classroom setting—having spent years as a substitute teacher and also a reading teacher, I kind of felt like the kids would rather hear from a real author—a published author, not an wanna-be author like me. But the focus of the outreach program is to get inner city school kids excited about reading and writing, especially since many of them may not attend the book fest. Volunteers can present in any way they like from reading another author’s books, to talking about their own stories and their dreams of one day seeing them in book form. But still, for many years, I felt like there were writers many authors more qualified than me to speak to the kids about books.

But last year, while Spin the Golden Light Bulb was still out on submission to publishing houses, I took a deep breath and volunteered—hoping the children would not view me as an author-impostor. With my binder encased middle grade manuscript and a self created children’s story planner in hand, I dressed up, headed off the one of the city schools, and conducted my presentation to two third grade classes. I spoke to kids about creating memorable characters, reading excerpts from Spin the Golden Light Bulb; I spoke to them about my own ups and downs of getting publishing; I listened to their ideas for their own stories; and ultimately, I left them with their own story planners to use. I had a fabulous time chatting with them and I don’t even think they saw me as an author-impostor at all! In fact, before I left, they gave me all sorts of encouragement. Convinced that my story would be published one day, they made me promised to tell them if it ever is! Little did I know that one week later, my publication offer would come and my binder bound manuscript would soon be turned into a real book.

Almost exactly one year later, just last week, I volunteered again—this time with my ARC, my advanced reader’s copy of Spin the Golden Light Bulb in hand and presented to two amazing fourth grade classes at another city school. This time though, with a bit more confidence than the year before, I spoke to kids about all things books, writing, and publishing… I gave them a presentation on how writing futuristic books can help create our own future and I read a sneak peek preview of my first soon-to-be published book. It was an incredible day, meeting the children and hearing their enthusiastic ideas for their own inventions and stories. It was amazing meeting the librarian, and the teachers, and the volunteers from Altrusa who make the event happen each year. And it was especially wonderful to see how eager the kids were to talk about books.

The biggest lesson I learned in meeting the children and presenting to them was to get over myself. All those years I could have been volunteering for this program, I stayed away—worried I wasn’t author-ly enough to have something to offer these kids. When really, most kids simply want to be connected with…and books are one of the greatest connectors there are.

For privacy reasons, I wasn’t able to take pictures of the kids, but I was able to snap a picture of a few of them with my ARC. This photo will always remind me of the kids who listened to the first chapter so intently, the kids who became wide-eyed when I told them that no other kids had read this story yet…the kids who got a sneak peek at my first published book.

RCBF To Go ARC photo

I plan to continue my author visits through this program, each year, as long as they’ll have me. I also plan on doing as many school visits as I can. I would have loved if an author came to my school growing up. I never knew that becoming a person who wrote the books I loved was even a tiny possibility. If I can inspire kids to write and to read—to open their world up to the millions of books that could make an impact on them—like so many other amazing authors do, then I will be so happy. Books are meant to be shared—and talked about. Author visits are a great way to do that.

So if any of you ever have the chance to share your love of books and writing with kids in any capacity, I say just do it. Your presentation doesn’t have to be award-winning. It just has to be genuine. If your love of books is there, it will most certainly shine through.

If you happen to be in the Rochester area this weekend, definitely stop by the Book Fest. I won’t be signing my book there this year, since it doesn’t release until January, but a little birdie told me that I may be signing both my books there next year. *squee!*  Here’s the link so you can read all about the festival fabulous-ness!  Rochester Children’s Book Festival.

Remember, Spin the Golden Light Bulb is available for pre-order now and pre-orders help so much—especially for authors of indie publishers, like Amberjack Publishing. So if you have any interest in reading it, or know a child who would, consider pre-ordering it. I would appreciate it so much!

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

IndieBound

And don’t forget to stop back on November 9th… two months out from launch day. Big things are happening. Big!

The debut of the Spin the Golden Light Bulb BOOK TRAILER will be happening right here on my site!!!! Plus, there will be a giveaway attached to it’s debut also. So…lots of fun things happening next week and I’m so excited…in case you couldn’t tell!

Have a fantastic week, friends! Thanks for stopping by:)

Jackie <3

 

Posted in Spin the Golden Light Bulb, Swirl and Spark Weekly

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey Guys! How are you all? I’m guessing this week feels more than a little mixed up for you too. I mean, celebrating a holiday is always fun, but when it’s thrown into the middle of the week—especially during the summer, it’s really hard to get back into a routine. But here we are and like I promised last week, I have lots to share…

July 2nd marked 6 months until release day of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB!!!! I can’t even believe it.

I tweeted about it on Twitter and like I said there, I’m feeling a little freaked out. There’s so much to do to prepare for a book launch. Will I be ready? Will I forget to do something? Am I supposed to be doing something else, that I’m not already doing? AAAAAAHHHH.

Don’t get me wrong. My publishing team has been fantastic at keeping me on track and guiding me through the process. They’ve given me a checklist and everything. But still, I’m panicking just a little. However, in the midst of panicking, I am enjoying the process and trying to make this whole event as memorable as I can. I mean I have been dreaming about this very thing for. like. ever.

So on that note, I will share the big secret that I mentioned last week.

I’ve been creating a book trailer… a book trailer filled with a skit, costumes, hair, make up and everything!

Cue the crazy, I know!

In fact, filming happened earlier today. We created a mini movie set and I’m still reeling from all the fun we had and the lack of sleep last night. Filming began at 8:30 am but the prep stuff began at 6:00am. So yeah, I’ve been up since 4:30am and right about now it feels like bed time. But my lack of sleep was so worth it. The whole experience was amazing. If you ever have the chance to put together a book trailer (from start to finish) I promise you won’t regret it. You may question your sanity a little, but you’ll be so happy you did it. Even if it isn’t Hollywood production quality, a book trailer will help get your book out into the world with a little fanfare, so why not?

SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB is set 50 years in the future so we took a little creative liberty with parts of the video. I won’t spill any details now, but I will say even thought it’s set in the future, the project has been like a blast from the past. Anyone who knows the inspiration for this book may know what I mean by that. In any event, I’ve taken a million pictures and I can’t wait to share them with you. For now,  we just have to put all the pieces of the video together, and then it will be ready for you to see. I’m actually really excited to see how it turns out myself!

In unrelated news, I’m reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban. I know, right? This may not be news to most of you, but it’s big for me. I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ten years ago when my son was seven. We both loved it, but we never really had the desire then to read on. (I’m sorry, we just didn’t!) Several years later, I picked up The Chamber of Secrets, and I really loved that too. I mean, the books are all kinds of amazing, right? But again, I just didn’t have the desire to read more. I know, I know. There is definitely something wrong with me.

Then, over the weekend, for some random reason, I took the Pottermore Sorting Hat Quiz. I never had taken it before because I never felt like I was qualified or worthy I guess. I mean true Harry Potter fans have read all the books, right? But, nevertheless, I took it and I was shocked. Guess what?

I was sorted into Gryffindor. That’s right. Me! Noble, Courageous, Brave, Loyal. Daring. Bold. Good-hearted. Just like, Hermione. Just like Harry.

I feel so special.

So, I felt compelled to read the next book, and in the first day I read 96 pages…five chapters! What? This is big because I am the world’s slowest Harry Potter book reader. Obviously. Well, actually I WAS the world’s slowest Harry Potter book reader. Now at least I am an actual Harry Potter book reader, and maybe not the slowest either! I’ll keep you posted on my progress but this book is amazing and if I can absorb a speck of the magic in this book as a bonus, I’ll be oh so happy.

So what about you guys? Anyone reading anything great? Writing anything almost great? I hope you are. I hope you’re having some fun in the sun too. I’ll be doing a little of both this weekend and probably polishing up my book trailer. Yes, that’s right, the book trailer will be live soon. So check back to watch and you can see what all the crazy today was about. Because really as much as I love words…sometimes images tell the story way way better!

That’s it for now. Have an amazing week, my friends! I’ll be back next week with more news and if by chance the book trailer is ready, I’ll be back again with that sooner. 🙂

Jackie ❤

Posted in Holidays, Publishing, Spin the Golden Light Bulb, Swirl and Spark Weekly, The Crimson Five series

Swirl and Spark Weekly

Hey all! What’s new?

Not much here…just sitting around on a cloudy summer day figuring out how to keep this website fresh… and I thought of something! Hence the name of this blog post. Back in the day (like three years ago), I religiously blogged once each week, without fail, on Wednesdays. But as time has gone on, it has become harder to think up things to blog about and to find the time to do it. And as life has gotten in the way, my post have become more erratic.

But I hate that. I like connecting with all of you. So here I am, creating a weekly column called Swirl and Spark Weekly.

You may wonder why I think it will be easier to keep it up to date, now that I’ve given it a fancy title. And that would be a fair question. I mean I haven’t thought of any more earth shattering topics to write about, and life hasn’t slowed down at all. It’s is still… well life. But my mom taught me a long time ago that if you stay in touch with someone by talking to them on the phone every day, you know more about their every day life, not just the big moments. You’re more likely to pick up the phone because your conversations can be brief, you don’t have to have an hour long conversation each and every time. The task doesn’t seem so daunting. Sometimes it can be a brief check-in, just to say hello and let the other person know how you’re doing. And even though that’s just my mom ensuring that I call her every day, (Hi Mom!) she does have a point. 🙂 And yes, I do call my mom every day–mostly!

I’ve noticed that often times when I sit down to blog lately, I’m making it harder than it has to be. I’m trying to write something fabulous, something you know…worthwhile. But that’s wayyy too much pressure. So for now, until I get back into the routine, my weekly updates may be as thrilling as “Hey Guys, I went for a run/ slash walk today, spent too much time on Twitter, and struggled with what to make for dinner. Oh and I revised my WIP. How about you?” Or…it may be something amazing like, “Here’s the link to my new book trailer. Check it out!”

Many exciting things right now are happening for me as a writer, for the first time ever, and I want to share it with you all. You’ve been great at cheering me on through the struggles as I’ve worked toward publication, and now that it’s happening I want to bring you along with me to experience the fun stuff too! Because you will all be there soon enough too, if you aren’t already, and maybe my crazy ride will make yours just a little bit less crazy- if I share my stories with you!

So that’s that. I’m working on some other updates to the site too. The Book Nook will be getting a new look sometime soon. I’ve been more active on Good Reads lately so eventually I’ll be sharing my reviews over there. I’ll add a link when it’s updated so you’ll be able to see what I’m reading, what I want to read, and any reviews I’ve done.

I’ll also be adding back to the site some activities for kids pertaining to summer reading and writing. So keep checking back for those. I recently added my College Essay Assist information too. It’s that time of year again, so if your college- bound child needs my help, just click on the tab for info.

Do you guys have any fun holiday plans for the weekend? I’ll be doing a little packing (vacation is coming soon!), a little reading (I’m reading two books right now that are sooo good and critiquing my CPs WIP!), a little picnic-ing with the fam (always good to have family time), and taking a stroll through my town’s 4th of July exhibits at the Town Hall (lots of food, crafts, people watching…fun!).

The ARCs of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB (Book 1 of the Crimson Five series) should be arriving soon and I am literally shaking just thinking about it. Ten years is a LONG time to dream about holding your own book in your hands. I’m not sure if I will scream, faint, cry ugly tears, happy dance, or pee. Maybe all of the above!! I am sure that there will be pictures though. Lots of pictures and I will post them for all of you to see!

As far as writing goes, I’m on a writing break right now and it feels so weird! Like I have no projects hanging over my head. I submitted Book 2 of The Crimson Five series to my editor. We’ll start revising next month some time and I can’t wait! You know how much I love revising…polishing words is a sick sort of fun for me!! I’ll reveal the title and the release date in the coming weeks too.

So yeah, like I said, lots of fun stuff is happening around here and something really fun is happening next week in regards to the release of SPIN THE GOLDEN LIGHT BULB. It’s top secret though so you’ll have to check in next week to know what I’ve been up to!

Well my friends, I’m off to my exciting life of laundry, picking up after teenagers, and checking out Instagram! I may even buy the ingredients to make another flag cake this year. Doesn’t that sound fun?!

If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, come find me! I’m jackieyeager18. Or like my Facebook page: Jackie Yeager Author. I’d love to connect with you too!

Happy 4th to my friends in the USA! Cheers to independence and freedom…and a shout out to those around the world too, because everyone deserves a reason to celebrate!

Until next week…

Dream big and big things will happen!

Jackie ❤

Posted in Book Cover Reveal, Spin the Golden Light Bulb, The Crimson Five series

Cover Reveal! THE CRIMSON FIVE: Spin the Golden Light Bulb

Hey Everyone!

My book has a cover! The first in THE CRIMSON FIVE series,  Spin the Golden Light Bulb has a bright, sparkly, illuminating cover! And I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you!

 

I dreamed forever of what my first book cover might look like and now that it’s real, I’m in awe. Gabrielle Esposito, the Illustrator who created the amazing image, captured the essence of the Golden Light Bulb in the story perfectly. The moment I received it from the Amberjack team, I was blown away. I felt a little like Kia Krumpet  did the first time she saw it in the story; the first time she set her sights on winning it; the first time she imagined all that would be possible if she could only have one of her own…her very own Golden Light Bulb.

I’m so glad I can finally share this shiny cover with all of you. It represents so many things to me, like the fact that winning isn’t everything, but having a goal to work towards and believing you’re capable of reaching it definitely is. And sometimes it’s what you do after your reach that goal that matters the most. But even more that that, this cover represents personal affirmation that perseverance pays off, and my own dream really is coming true! It’s been torment keeping all its sparkly golden-ness a secret, and now that you’ve seen it, I’m even more excited for this January when you can read the pages inside. I can’t wait for you to meet Kia and the rest of the Crimson Five characters…and find out what’s so big about winning a Golden Light Bulb anyway!

A heartfelt thank you to the Amberjack team for their vision, and also to Gabrielle for creating this gem for my first middle grade book. 🙂 If you’d like to see more of Gabrielle’s work,  go to her website at http://www.gabrielleesposito.weebly.com. Her illustrations are amazing! She created the chapter illustrations as well and seriously guys, I have no words. They are just that good. I’ll share those soon so keep checking back.!

I hope you love this cover as much as I do! Thanks for celebrating it’s reveal with me. All of you make this journey wayyy better than I ever imagined.

Have a fantastic week!

Jackie ❤