Market Your Book With a Group: Blog Hop Stop, (Thank You Steven Parlato)

Steven Parlato invited me into this very cool blog hop. I’m admitting I am not quite sure how it works, but if you have ever wanted to market your book with a group, it’s a pretty great way to do it. However, don’t do what I did: I missed my date (SO sorry! I was traveling that week. Duh, me.) But I do want to publicly thank Kim Stokely, author of Woman of Flames, and Cindy Eastman and Natalie Zaman, too, for good measure. See more about them below my interview, which are questions Steven sent me as part of this blog hop. 
Who is Steven? He’s part of a young adult marketing group I’m in called Uncommon YA. He’s also …
… a writer, illustrator and Assistant Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. An occasional actor, he’s played roles including MacBeth, The Scarecrow and Bambi’s dad, the Great Prince of the Forest. Steve’s poetry appears in journals including MARGIE, Borderlands, Freshwater, CT River Review and Peregrine. His debut YA manuscript, winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices, was released January 18, 2013 by Merit Press as The Namesake. Recently, Kirkus called the novel a “memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.” Represented for fiction by Victoria Marini of Gelfman-Schneider Literary Agency, Steven is at work on his next YA novel. He’s a member of a YA author collective, Uncommon YA. Find him online at or on Twitter: @parlatowrites

1) What am I working on?

Since I just published my  eBook How to Promote Your Children’s Book: Tips, Tricks, and Secrets to Create a Bestsellerand tomorrow my debut YA, Dancing With the Devilcomes out from Diversion Books, I’m working on a lot of marketing! It’s odd to beswitching gears like that but you have to do it if you are in business as a writer. I’m also working on picture books and a middle grade novel as well as my marketing clients and Video Idiot Boot Camp students … I’ve got my hands dipped in a bunch of different places.

Dancing With the Devil (SMALL)2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t really know. I just I hope it’s as good as others in this genre. When I read other people’s books I am blown away by their talent. When I first started writing this book nine years ago I sent it to a woman named Carolyn Lehman who wrote a non-fiction book called Strong At the Heart. In it she interviews people who survived various kinds of sexual abuse. I felt that if I were going to write a character who’s a kickass survivor, I wanted to make sure I did not do a disservice to the people who really are the heroes who made it through the other end. The one thing I wanted to avoid was making their stories smaller by not respecting what they went through with McKenzie’s story. Carolyn told me that I what I had was ringing true, so I continued on and I’m proud of what came out of all that work.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write in many genres: from picture books, to middle grade, and now young adult, as well as marketing guides for adults.  But when it comes right down to it, it’s all about the story. I’m compelled by story, and then I fall in love with the characters. When I talk to kids I tell them it’s not a matter of choice––it’s like a physical need. And so that they can relate, especially the little kids, I explain that it’s like when they have to go to the bathroom really badly: they do not have a choice! They have to go. And when you gotta go, you gotta go.

4) How does your writing process work?

I hate first drafts. I love revision. Once I’m deep into revision I will re-key in the entire novel. What does that entail? I will print out the story and I will take a day and I will read the entire manuscript in that one day. I’m a slow reader so I start early. Then, as I read, I will mark everything that I see that I want to change. Then I put that manuscript away for a while, whether it’s a week or a month depends on how busy I am with other things. When I take it out I’ll sit at the computer and put the manuscript next to me. I will start with a new blank Word doc and I’ll start typing in from the marked-up doc. As I go through it something happens that really and truly feels like magic: new things start to happen in the manuscript in my mind and new things blossom.
Cindy Eastman is a writer and an educator raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended undergraduate schools in Austin, Texas and graduate school in Springfield, Massachusetts and holds a Master’s degree in Education. She has taught students from ages 5 to 85 in subjects like poetry, English writing and computer skills.
Cindy’s writing is informed by her ability to be an observer as well as a participant in her life. With her dry sense of humor, she is able to address a variety of topical subjects and deliver an insightful analysis that’s both provocative and amusing.
Cindy’s first book, a collection of essays entitled, Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered To Write Down will be published by She Writes Press in April 2014.You can find her online at or follow her on Twitter @CLEastman
Young Adult author and blogger Natalie Zaman works her magic from central New Jersey where she lives with her family and several fine-looking chickens. You can find her blogging away on The Nearly Daily Nut, on Twitter @Natalie_Zaman, and of course, wherever fine books are sold.

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