Tag Archives: Sheila Clover English

ThrillerFest 2013

Barbara Vey -- July 16th, 2013
Sheila Clover English

Sheila Clover English

Sheila Clover English attended Thrillerfest in New York and is our Cub Reporter today.  She is an author and CEO of Circle of Seven Productions.

This year ThrillerFest was packed with authors on every level of the career ladder you can imagine, and even some readers. As a matter of fact this year they had something called FanFest where authors could invite their readers to come hang out with them!  It was a huge success and I’m hoping they do it again next year.

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Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Anne Rice is the 2013 ThrillerMaster and giving her that award was R.L. Stine who is an amazing speaker.  As Ms. Rice was speaking she noted how touching it was to see these top selling authors working so hard to help new authors and how impressed she is with the way everyone supports each other.  She said she’d always wanted to feel accepted by her peers and that the award was one of the highlights of her career. As she said it, her voice cracked and I was surprised at the emotion there, the sincerity. She is an amazing author and an amazing person.  She said she plans on coming next year too!

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R.L. Stine and Sheila English

R.L. Stine and Sheila English

Highlights for me included a talk given by Steve Berry about POV that was truly some of the best craft advice I’ve ever gotten.  Another great workshop was with Alexandra Sokoloff who talked about the rhythm of writing and Gayle Lynds who talked about how to create great characters.  Oh! And I got great advice from John Sandford’s panel on techniques and ideas to burnish your text!

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Brad Meltzer and daughter

Brad Meltzer and daughter

I walked around the room at parties, still feeling that sense of awe that I am surrounded by so many talented authors, even though I’ve attended ThrillerFest for many years.  It never gets old.  I turn around and there’s Brad Meltzer walking by, smiling, then

Heather Graham comes up and give me a hug, Allison Brennan asks me how I’m doing. Joseph Finder (who I call “Gentleman Joe” because of an experience I had with him during an RT event. Great guy!!) signed the book I had secretly carried with me during the entire event waiting to run into him and he even wrote “So good to see you again” and I was so fan girly I am hoping I didn’t  totally embarrass myself.  Probably did. But, Joe’s too nice to tell anyone.

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Before the awards were given out they gave a moment of silence to Vince Flynn who, sadly, passed away this year. Looking at his picture I was stuck by how young he was.  I met him once years ago and will always remember that.

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Thrillerfest Award Winners
BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL-Brian Freeman – SPILLED BLOOD (SilverOak)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL-Sean Doolittle – LAKE COUNTRY (Bantam)
BEST FIRST NOVEL-Matthew Quirk – THE 500 (Reagan Arthur Books)
BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL-CJ Lyons – BLIND FAITH (Minotaur Books)
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL-Dan Krokos – FALSE MEMORY (Hyperion Books CH)
BEST SHORT STORY-John Rector – “Lost Things” (Thomas & Mercer)

Bottom Line:  By the time you read this I’ll be in Atlanta at RWA, say hi if you see me!

Marketing, Book Trailers and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell

Barbara Vey -- November 20th, 2012

Morning all!  Some days you just want to shout in the morning and make sure everyone is as awake as you are.

As many of you know, Sheila Clover English (CEO, Circle of Seven Productions) and I wrote a book several months ago.  We both do a lot of workshops and panels, so we took all the questions we were asked and answered them in fun, little book, Marketing, Book Trailers and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell.  It’s for new and used not so new authors.

Sheila, being the Über talented person she is, had a book trailer made for us.  May I present the video for Marketing, Book Trailers and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell.

This has certainly been a year of new experiences for me.  I even have an author’s page on Amazon.  It all would have tickled my mom.  But I really think Sheila should have used me as an actress in the video.  Then I could have joined SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) and got a page on IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base).  Hey, a girl’s gotta dream.

ADDED BONUS!  Just leave a comment, “I’d like your book” and I’ll pick one winner to receive a free ebook in the format of your choice.

Bottom Line:  I’m now working on my follow up book, How to Keep a Clean House While Traveling and Doing a Bunch of Other Stuff.  Just kidding…I hate doing housework.

Disneyland Day Off

Barbara Vey -- July 25th, 2012
Me and Sheila in a teacup with our new hats

Me and Sheila in a teacup with our new hats

I’m going to admit that I took a day off from conferencing at RWA (Romance Writers of America) to sample Disneyland.  Officially, the conference starts today, but people have been arriving since Monday, so lots of meetings with authors, agents and editors have already been happening.  But being this close to Disneyland, I knew I couldn’t concentrate on the event if I didn’t get it out of my system.

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Mickey Beignets

Mickey Beignets

 

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Sheila Clover English (owner and CEO of Circle of Seven Productions) and I skipped out early and entered as they opened the gates.  Since this was Sheila’s first time, we stopped to eat breakfast and plot out our day (see, we even think like writers on our day off).  We ate Mickey waffles and the chef came out and gave Sheila a pin to wear that said “1st Visit.” We immediately hit the stores where I bought a Disneyland backpack (that you’ll see me using at the conference) and we both bought hats to save us from the sunnier parts of the park.

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 Teresa Bodwell, Sally MacKenzie, Laura Drewry, Michelle Rowen, Sandra Schwab and Eve Silven

Teresa Bodwell, Sally MacKenzie, Laura Drewry, Michelle Rowen, Sandra Schwab and Eve Silver

We decided to take it slow and enjoy the day, so that meant Pinochio’s Adventure, Storybook Boat ride and the annoying, but delightful, It’s a Small World.  We road the train and when we got off we ran into other conference skippers Sally Kirkpatrick, Eve Silver, Michelle Rowen …. and   ….   Since they had lunch reservations, we quickly hooked up with them and had a wonderful meal talking about books, conferences and readers.  We even saved room for Mickey beignets for dessert.  (I swear, if it’s shaped like Mickey, I have an urge to take a bite out of it.)

 

Sheila and I got sucked into buying the pins and trading them with cast members.  I really just wanted the cool holder to use for my name badge at the conference.  We fought over Tinkerbell pins, since we both are collectors of all things Tink.  You know, it may seem silly, but it’s really fun to be silly sometimes and it felt great to laugh for a whole day.

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Pirates of all ages

Pirates of all ages

We rode the cars at Autotopia and managed to finally ride Indiana Jones (well  worth the wait).  By then it was dark and our sore feet won out over the fireworks.  We headed back to the hotel and the reality there.  It was time to get to work and plan out the next day.  I’m off to the Librarian’s Day with a stop to meet with friends for a quick breakfast.  Then a luncheon that I’ll have to sneak out of to do a few quick interviews that have been set up and back to the librarians.  That’s only through lunch, but it’s pretty much like that the whole time.  It’s crazy, but I love it.  What does that say about me?

 

Bottom Line:  It was definitely a Magical Day at Disneyland and I think I brought a little Pixie Dust back with me.

 

The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy

Barbara Vey -- October 25th, 2011

 

Sheila Clover English

Sheila Clover English

Today’s Cub Reporter is Sheila Clover English who is the CEO of Cirlce of Seven Productions and Readers Entertainment network.  In 2002 she started the book trailer market and in 2003 she trademarked the term “book trailer.”

The Women’s Fiction Festival was kind enough to invite me to speak at their annual event in beautiful Matera, Italy this year. I have never been to Italy and was thrilled to be able to attend.

Matera

Matera

The day came to go to Matera and my husband and I made the 7 hour bus ride there from Rome in relative comfort. We arrived and walked up the 100 steps, okay it was probably only 50, but it felt like 100 steps, to our hotel which was situated in a cave. Yes, a real cave.  I learned quickly that everything is up hill, both ways, in Italy. I better have lost at least 10 pounds after all that walking!

 

Interpreters

Interpreters

I had to give some thought to what I would say since 50% of the attendees were Italian speaking.  You don’t give much thought to language until you have to relate ideas in a language that is not your own. Certain American sayings like, “under the gun” don’t mean the same in Italian culture. So, I carefully reviewed slang and things that might now translate well.  There would be interpreters and the attendees would wear headphones like they do at the U.N. so we could all understand each other
My talk was about the future of marketing for publishing, but there were several speakers from all over the world. Elizabeth Jennings, author and founder of the WFF,  spoke about pitching before there was an editor’s panel that included editors from the US, UK, Germany and Italy. Then Sophia King did a creative writing workshop.

 

Beth Barany

Beth Barany

Day two’s panel spoke about digital publishing which was a very hot topic. The idea of self-publishing is still new in Italy.  Saturday they continued talking about “Italian publishing: new horizons” with a panel of editors and then one of my favorite lectures was with US social media expert Beth Barany who did an amazing talk on branding. More panels with editors that were open forum and an interesting talk with cyber terrorism expert Raoul Chiesa rounded up the day.

 

That night there was an author talk and book signing and I saw Lara Adrian from afar. She was very popular in Italy although she is an American author. There was an Italian author, Ornella Albanese who was very popular.  Harlequin threw a party that went late into the night and authors and industry professionals got a chance to mingle and meet. A special award was given to Italian author Margaret Mazzantini Mazzantini for her contributions to women’s fiction writing.

 

Brunch

Brunch

The final day we talked about the changing role of agents with literary agents from Italy, the US and the UK. Everyone was interested in how much an author had to do for their own marketing and how agents could help bridge the gap between publishers and authors.  The event ended with a lovely brunch and a lot of heart felt goodbyes.

 

In a nutshell the issues discussed weren’t really much different than those I’ve heard discussed in US conferences. Authors want to know how to write a good synopsis, wonder if they need an agent to approach a publisher, wonder about ebooks and the new digital age and are looking to write the book of their heart and have someone read, and love it.

Video of Elizabeth Jennings, author and founder of The Women’s Fiction Festival.

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Bottom Line: Story transcends language barriers. No matter what language you speak, a wonderful story appeals to us all.

Lori Foster’s Event: Whipped Cream Saves the Day

Barbara Vey -- June 5th, 2010

Bartender Chris

The registration line for Lori Foster’s Reader-Author Get-Together snaked through the hotel lobby.  Hating lines myself, I joined Samhain CEO and Publisher Christine Beashear and her go-to person, Marty, at the bar.  Bartender Chris was serving up a Marriott Malito (I’m sure it was called something else, but I never can remember by the time I get to the room).  It was made with Bailey’s, vodka, expresso and chocolate.  Because it was a little sharp for my delicate palate, Chris was kind enough to get out the heavy duty whipped cream and top my chocolate coffee confection off.  Now that’s the way to wait a line out.

When I finally made it into the ballroom, the pizza party was in full swing.  There was an author or two at every table, so readers could sit with their favorites or get to know new ones.  Authors were also designated with red heart necklaces.  I really wanted one, but alas, I had no proof that I’d ever been published.

Bride Beth Eakin O'Neill

The volunteers supplied their own party when they surprised fellow worker Beth Eakin O’Neill with an after wedding shower.  Beth shared her Hawaiian honeymoon adventure and then open the mound of gifts that included gift cards from Target, Home Depot and Bed, Bath and Beyond.  There was also a Muppet Movie and her husband’s favorite game, Pass the Pigs.  The ongoing joke was about the baby shower they wanted to have for her next year.

Brenda Jackson

I caught up with author Brenda Jackson who has 10 new books coming out this year including her 75th career book, Hidden Pleasures, in June.  She let me know that she didn’t want to miss this event because of her fans, but she would be back at work writing as soon as it’s over.

Over 100 raffle baskets lined the room filling both sides of the tables they were on.  The bigger gift baskets which includes a Nook, a Kobo and even an iPad.  I really bought the raffle tickets for the charity, One Way Farm for children, but yes, all my tickets went into the drawing for the iPad.  The drawing is today, so hopefully, I’ll be writing the blog tomorrow with a smile on my face.

Rhonda Stapleton

While I was scoping out the baskets, I met author Rhonda Stapleton who was showing off her amazing tattoo that covered her whole back.  She said it took 16 hours to complete.  It looked incredible, but all I can say is, “Ouch.”

I attending a Social Media presentation by Sheila Clover English of Circle of Seven Productions.  That woman is so techno savvy that I’m putting her on my speed dial.  She explained RSS feeds in terms we could understand and offered to help link a lot of the social sites into a doable platform.  She’ll be at RWA, so go to her workshop if you get the chance.

Next up was Author Bingo.  When the name of an attending author was called, you could mark it on your card for prizes.  Nothing for me.  The night ended with a dance party sponsored by Barb Hicks and Erin McCarthy.  I lasted as long as I could, but ended up in my room and curled up with my Kindle.  Perfect way to end the day.

Bottom Line: No Kindle, I will not forsake you when I win that iPad today.

BEA: Jon Stewart Rocks

Barbara Vey -- June 3rd, 2010

Sheila Clover English

Sheila Clover English, CEO of Circle of Seven Productions is a marketing visionary and entrepreneur who works specifically within the publishing industry arena. In 2002 she started the book trailer market and in 2003 trademarked the term “book trailer”.  Sheila took time out from her busy schedule to be BHB’s Cub Reporter at BEA.

BEA was amazing! From Barbra Streisand to Jon Stewart and from Neil Sedaka to Bernadette Peters, there were a lot of stars out this year! More and more I see celebrity books, but of course I never forget my favorites too! I saw Melissa Marr, Anne Elizabeth, John Grisham, Steve Berry and many, many more!
Barbra Streiand was incredible. She was humble, but had a great sense of who she is, confident, but not over-bearing. I will say that she was interviewed by Oprah’s BFF Gayle King and King seemed nervous around the super star and kept interupting her. Who can blame her?

Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart was so great. He was charming, funny and, well…hot! Not that I noticed or anything. I was being very professional and all.  The breakfast was a group thing and a lot of people showed up. I was lucky because I got to be up front at the table with the press and the who’s-who.

There were four authors at the breakfast and all the advertising and everything done for breakfast advertised: Meet Jon Steward, Condolezza Rice, John Grisham and more!
Except “more” was one more author…Mary Roach. Everyone else got great hype and then…there was Mary. It was strange and it was a little uncomfortable. It was like she was dismissed because she wasn’t the draw the others were.
Even the people at my table were commenting on it. Why invite her if you don’t let her be on par with the others? We wondered if she was uncomfortable about her treatment.
Fear not! She was quite fortunate to have a knight in shining…well…wit! lol

John Grisham

Jon Stewart got up and was suppose to address everyone and introduce the panel. He introduced Condolezza Rice, then John Grisham and then…

“Uh…that writer…you know..those wizards books…no, no…vampires! Right?” Jon Stewart starts making fun of the way Mary was treated but in a way that I’m sure shamed anyone who had a part of slighting the very charming and talented writer. And everyone in the room knew it. Then he introduced her and remarked that “How could ANYONE not know this author?”

Later on, after the breakfast Jon Stewart went over to Mary Roach and made a point of being with her. He even took her arm and walked her out of the room, treating her like she was the most important person there.

It was obvious that he was NOT going to allow someone to be slighted with him there. And he did something about it.

Mary Roach

The author herself was a great sport and took it all in stride. She was very funny and very charming and I got her book!

It’s so nice to see someone care about the feelings and treatment of another person. Jon Stewart ROCKS!!!

We found out that Neil Sedaka was signing. He worked on a children’s book and did the music. A group of us when to get the CD signed and my wondefully funny friends decided they would serenade the star. He loved it!!!

Bernadette Peters

The event was only two days instead of the usual three and I think they’re going to go back to three days next year. There just wasn’t enough time to do it all. So many great things to do and see and so little time. I left with four boxes of books to ship home. It was a successful event on a lot of levels and I loved every minute of it!

Bottom Line: I will NEVER miss another BEA again…Sheila, can I be your roommate next year?