Publisher’s Note: In the Company of Angels

This past weekend, I took my daughter to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time, but not in a movie theater. Instead, I took her to see a radio play version of the story performed by our local theater group.

Now, I tend to avoid local theater for the most part. I was spoiled growing up in such close proximity to Broadway. I’ve seen more than a dozen Broadway shows on Broadway and even the smaller theaters in the area have high-caliber talent. So, my standards for quality theater are ridiculously high.

And Lincoln City is a very small town.

But Nola’s third-grade teacher was in the performance and Nola really wanted to see it. So, I bought us all tickets and we went.

And I’m so glad we did. It was delightful.

I’d never seen a radio play before, and, of course, Nola hadn’t. At first, she was confused. Why were there only microphones and chairs on the stage, she asked. But once she understood the concept, she thought it was great. So did I. It was fun to experience something from a different era. It even had a live band.

And I love that story. I’ve watched the movie I can’t count how many times. It always makes me cry at the end (as the radio play did today). George Bailey is such a selfless guy. Everyone rallying around him at the end to help him gets me every time.

George’s guardian angel makes me think of some of the mentors I’ve had in my life. Those who helped me see my value and worth in this world, even when I couldn’t see it.

Good mentors can make all the difference in a career. Which is why when Dean Wesley Smith told me he was going to offer a mentorship program for writers, I was thrilled.

You can read more about it here. But if you’re interested, act fast. There’s only one spot left.

Speaking of acting fast, if you’ve been procrastinating buying one or more of the WMG surprise gift boxes, Thursday at noon PST is the last moment you can order them. We have one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50. Buy one for yourself and give others as gifts. You can find out more and place an order here.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: A Horse, Of Course

When you’re a designer, you tend to have colloquial names for the art we use on covers, especially when they are in a series. Sometimes they’re innocuously referred to, such as “women in beautiful dresses.” But sometimes, well, we use more caution when referring to them.

If you’ve ever read Dean Wesley Smith’s Thunder Mountain series, you’ll notice an art theme. Horses. Generally, cowboys on horses. To see all the Thunder Mountain covers and read more about the books, click here.

But inside the WMG offices, they’re referred to as the horse’s ass series. Because, well, a lot of them show the ass end of a horse. And we have a bit of a juvenile sense of humor sometimes.

Now that Dean lives in Vegas, he comes across all sorts of fascinating things. And wouldn’t you know it, he and Kris found a giant horse at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden—decorated for Christmas no less—and Kris had Dean pose for pictures. Naturally, Kris and Dean sent me some.  

(click the images to enlarge)

As you can see, horse’s ass pictures are even funnier with the author in them. What a wonderful gift for the holidays. I just hope that’s not what they meant by “Christmas bonus.” <grin>

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: A Bit of Christmas Magic

My daughter’s Elf on the Shelf has returned, and although finding new and creative places for her to appear can be exhausting (hell, remembering to move the damn thing can be a real challenge—which is why my husband, thankfully, took on the job), I love seeing the excitement and wonder that Christmas brings to her.

A friend of mine asked me the other day if Nola still believed in Santa (she’s 8). I’m happy to report that yes, she does. And even though someday she’ll discover that Christina is just a doll that Bubba moves around and Mommy is the one that buys Santa’s gifts to her, I hope she always will believe.

Because I still believe in Santa. I believe a world in which Santa exists is just a better world to live in. I believe in Christmas magic. And I’ll tell that to my daughter when she starts to uncover the deception we parents employ to create that magic for our children.

We need more magic and light in the world.

Kristine Grayson believes in Santa, too. At least, I’m pretty sure she does. And her Santa Series is the perfect way to recapture a bit of that Christmas magic.

You can buy the books one at a time or all together as a boxed set. Here’s the synopsis:

Kristine Grayson’s popular Santa Series—Up on the Rooftop, Visions of Sugar Plums and Dressed in Holiday Style—together in one volume.

The magic of Christmas takes a lot to pull off, even for Santa. Enter the elves and humans of Claus & Company, who help Santa make the big day happen.

But any time an elf or member of Santa’s family walks among the mortals of the Greater World, risk follows. The risk of discovery. The risk of failure. And most of all, the risk of falling in love.

Bestselling author Kristine Grayson makes Christmas magic with these three stories of holiday romance—no mistletoe required.

The boxed set is available for $5.99 in ebook here.

And don’t forget that if you’re still in the market for Christmas gifts, the WMG December Holiday Spectacular includes two surprise gift boxes: one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50. You can find out more and place an order here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to see where that elf will turn up next…

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Two Surprise Gift Boxes, Just in Time for the Holidays

Today is Cyber Monday in the US, the day of great online deals to kick off the Christmas shopping season. It follows Black Friday (for great deals on in-store shopping, particularly at the major retailers) and Small Business Saturday (a holiday promoted by American Express to encourage shopping at, you guessed it, small businesses).

The opportunity for big discounts used be limited to a few hours of mad shopping. Recently, retailers have started expanding the great-deal window to last through the week.

Here at WMG, we decided to go one better: We have two amazing deals on book gift boxes that last for the better part of a month.

The WMG December Holiday Spectacular includes two surprise gift boxes: one for writers and one for the whole family. Each is valued at more than $250 but is an amazing holiday deal for $50.

The WMG Surprise Holiday Gift Box Includes 40 ebooks (novels, novellas, short-story collections, magazines, boxed sets, bundles, and a sampling of something from each of our 33 series). It has something for every reader and is a great way to share (or discover for yourself) why we call WMG The Home of Great Fiction!

The WMG Surprise Gift Box for Writers offers 12 ebooks, 1 classic workshop and 1 lecture to help the writer in your life make the most of their writing career.

The gift boxes will be available to order until noon PST December 19. They will be delivered on December 20.

So, if you’re shopping for that hard-to-please relative, need a gift for the person who has everything, or even looking to help someone celebrate Jolabokaflod in grand style, why not give the gift of reading with one of our WMG surprise gift boxes.

You can find out more and place an order here.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

Publisher’s Note: Ready for Battle

We celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US on Thursday. And although we could all stand to celebrate a day of thankfulness, the history of the Thanksgiving holiday is fraught with issues.

You can read about some of the misinformation about the history of Thanksgiving (see this National Geographic article titled “A Few Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Thanksgiving”).

In fact, it wasn’t until the Civil War that President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday, and the feast many of us associate with Thanksgiving became an annual tradition.

What has also become tradition is families battling over differences in their religion and politics over that Thanksgiving dinner table.

How ironic. A holiday meant to bring people together (inspired by the need for unity during a very divisive time in our country) will, in today’s political climate, likely drive many families even further apart.

I hope not. I won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving with my family this year, but mainly because of logistics (they live on the East Coast, and I’m on the West Coast). But I have a feeling, if I did, I might have a hard time following my golden rule of interpersonal relationships: no politics, no religion.

Just in case your holiday is fraught, let me offer you a means to escape: The Valor: Military Science Fiction Bundle from Storybundle.

Curated by Dean Wesley Smith, this bundle offers ten titles sure to spark conversation.

There are three WMG books in this bundle, including Fiction River: Valor, edited by Lee Allred; Skirmishes: A Diving Novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Dean’s Life of a Dream. The rest of the titles are: Perihelion by Tami Veldura, Can’t Shoot Straight Gang Returns by Blaze Ward, Battlenaut Crucible by Robert Jeschonek, Trial Under Fire: A BattleTech Novel by Loren Coleman, Guilt in Innocence by Keith R.A. DeCandido, Invincible by David Bruns, and Stealing from Pirates by Stefon Mears.

You can read all about this limited-time bundle here.

As Dean says about the bundle: “You’ll make someone’s life a little brighter, and have hours of wonderful science fiction reading going into the holidays.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.

 

Publisher’s Note: Finding the Time

I’m a schedule-driven person. I need deadlines and organization. Without them, I’ll procrastinate indefinitely. But give me a deadline and I’ll move heaven and earth to meet it.

This year, however, has been chaotic (to put it mildly). Some business years are more challenging than others, and this was one of the more challenging. Because of a couple of unexpected life rolls, we made a lot of changes to some aspects of our business (the retail and teaching side of the business primarily), and I found it was impossible to maintain a schedule.

So, I did what any effective leader does, I adapted. I realized part way into the year that a rigid schedule wasn’t possible, and I would need to be very flexible with handling projects on the fly. The more people involved in a project (and some of our projects, like Fiction River, involve a lot of people), the harder that is, but thanks to our amazing staff, we managed.

The most difficult part of steering a ship through rough waters, as I’ve done this year, is time management. So, how do you manage when there literally is not enough time in the day?

It means knowing that you’ll get overwhelmed and being honest with yourself about how long you can continue working at that pace. It means controlling what you can and recognizing what you can’t but leaving room in the day/week/month for the unexpected. It means, if you’re a schedule-driven person, staying as organized as you can to keep your sanity.

It also means recognizing when you can’t do any more and speaking up.

Sometimes, effective time management means taking time off.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch wrote a wonderful piece called Time Management (it is part of her Freelancer’s Survival Guide as well as a standalone short book). I find it a handy book to help remind me of best practices during challenging times.

You can find it here.

Speaking of helpful books, don’t forget that there’s another Freelancer’s Survival Guide Short Book called The Secrets of Success in The 2018 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle on StoryBundle, which, along with 11 other informative books, is available until the last week in November for National Novel Writing Month.

You can learn more about that bundle here.

But hurry. Time is running out on this one.

And while you’re there, check out the new Valor: Military SF Storybundle. I’ll have more information about that one in next week’s Publisher’s Note.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.