Enjoy these moments from my first two book-signings of the year: Lebanon’s May Market on May 6th, and Trinity’s Strawberry Festival on May 19th! Met a lot of great new readers, saw many friends, even saw one of my old preschool students who starred in The Amazing K, and overall had a blast! Also, sales were great, meaning that I also raised over $100 for ALFA, the local charity I support that helps adults with autism and other disabilities live full and abundant lives here in Southern Illinois. Excited to see what else God has in store for this year!
Heya, readers, friends, and fans! FINALLY, my first true post in a while. Been a long time coming, but I’ve been working on a lot of various projects behind-the-scenes, so to speak, keeping busy as ever! I have a slue of fun lil summer plans in between editing, publishing, doing book-signings, collabing with artist Stacey Hummel to create my graphic novel series…and boy, am I pumped for it all!!
Here’s what I’ve been up to the past month, author stuff and adventure stuff included:
Finishing Puca, my newest children’s book: Every year I determine to finish a new children’s book by the time of my workplace’s annual Strawberry Fest, where they always graciously grant me a table to sign and sell my books. This year, the children’s book I completed was Puca, which I wrote for the lovely lady on the left, a co-worker whose grandson passed away last year from brain cancer. The book is inspired by him and dedicated to his family, and was written so that other children and their families who are going through the same experience can find hope and peace.
Book-signing at Lebanon’s May Market: For those who aren’t familiar, I sell my books at the Tiadaghton House in lovely little historical Lebanon, Illinois. The Tiadaghton House sells work from about 70 local artists. Well, this year, they invited me to participate in Lebanon’s annual May Market, and of course I was excited to snatch up a spot ASAP!
Despite roads being flooded due to recent torrents of rain, the turn-out was fair. I met some new people, made some new readers, and had a blast hanging out with Codiya, Squal, The Emma, Mumsie, and various of my other friends who stopped by and made the whole day super fun and enjoyable.
The Lion King Live!: The day after May Market, me ‘n’ Squal had tickets to go see The Lion King live at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis with our mums. Alas, Squal’s mum took ill, but I was able to quickly find replacements for the tickets, including my dear friend Codiya here, whom Mom and I took along with us personally. It was a beautiful performance, truly worth the wait! One our favorite parts was the giraffes; kudos to whoever was up on them stilts, workin’ some skillz!
Special Editions, Coming Right Up: Soooo, originally, I had this idea to create a graphic novel version of Bloodmaiden, but that idea eventually dissolved as I decided to write The D.N.A. Sequence as a graphic novel series. I will be focusing all my time and resources into getting that series created over the next couple of years, but in the meantime wanted to do something special with Bloodmaiden, as well as One Starry Knight. So instead, I will be creating “Special Editions” of each of these young adult fantasy novella, including illustrations and, for One Starry Knight, a photo shoot. Below are a couple of character sketches from One Starry Knight, with Kaos on the left, noble yet brooding as ever, and the chipper Jay on the right. #prayforjaysinn
Book-signing at Trinity Strawberry Fest: As mentioned above, every May I get to do a book-signing as part of my workplace’s annual Strawberry Fest. I work at Trinity Services which provides residential and day program services for adults with disabilities in the Southern Illinois area. It’s always a blast getting to spend the day with my co-workers and clients while meeting new people!
Also, for those of you who don’t know, 25% of ALL my books sales goes to ALFA, a local charity that provides volunteers and funding to many of Trinity’s program. Please consider buying one of my books from Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com and support adults with autism and other disabilities in the process!
Nature Geek Chic: I love nothing more than exploring nature, even if it’s just a stroll through Lebanon’s McKendree University grounds and their magic fairy fountain! Immersing oneself in God’s creation recharges the soul.
Rubbing Zac Efron’s Abs…Uhh…I Mean, Hittin’ Craptastic Movies With Squal: This month’s films included Get Out, which was really flippin’ weird but good, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The only good thing about the latter movie really was rubbing a cardboard cut-out Zac Efron’s abs, and I’m not even an Efron fan. Yes–Squal and myself, aka Glaz, conclude the movie was THAT BAD. It has some nice imagery, but pretty much zero emotional connections to any of the characters, too many wtf moments to list here, and despite all the action was surprisingly boring. Ties Snow White and the Huntsman: Winter’s War in terms of awfulness…perhaps even surpasses it… *shudders*
That’s all for now, folks. Stay tuned for further updates on my books and personal adventures. Till then, God bless, happy reading, and may you all be inspired!
~ Christine E. Schulze
Wow, so long time no see, my dear readers!!
During this several-month interlude, much has been in the works. I am cranking out a new Zelda fanfic for my eager fandom, finally completing my first series for re-publication, The Gailean Quartet, came out with a new kids’ book, The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon, and have been looking into new marketing ideas–including the awesome book-signing I had yesterday, which I am fixin’ to tell y’all about.
This was my second year doing a signing at the Trinity Farmstead and Garden’s Strawberry Festival. I actually work at Trinity, located in Mascoutah, IL, which means I have basically the coolest day job ever. I mean, if you’re forced to be a starving artist, may as well have an awesome day job in the meanwhile, right? I work with folks with autism and developmental disabilities. They are some of the coolest, most loving and fun people you will ever meet. I get to help them with art projects, music, cooking, gardening, and learning life skills that will help them become more independent.
The Festival itself was a huge hit. The weather was perfectly beautiful, and it was overall a great time with great people, great food, great bluegrass music, and lots of selling of strawberries and the clients’ amazing artwork.
And of course, there was the book-signing itself. Twenty-five percent of my sales always goes to ALFA (Abundant Living for All), which is the local charity that provides funds and volunteers for the many programs our folks are involved in. I was able to sell a lot of books, making a nice profit for not just myself but for ALFA as well, which always makes me happy. Every little bit helps our folks, and one of my goals as an author is to help raise awareness for all the wonderful work going on at Trinity.
My favorite thing about signings is always the people. I had two other local authors come up to my table, one of whom expressed interest in the possibility of starting a local authors’ group. I love meeting new people and talking to them. I love it when the kids come up to my table and touch the books and look through them and know exactly which one they want. I love the power God has given me to connect with and inspire so many wonderful folks simply through the written word.
One of the biggest highlights of the day came when my illustrator for The Puzzle of the Two-Headed Dragon, the very talented and lovely Karen Swartz, showed up along with her boyfriend and family, including some of his family visiting from New York. It was the coolest thing getting to meet all of them, they were the most gracious and sweet family! Karen has been such a pleasure to work with, and we look forward to doing another project together. Who knows? Perhaps together we will just keep making cool things and ultimately take the publishing world by storm. Watch out, readers! ‘Cause here we come.
Overall, God blessed me and everyone at the Farm with a truly beautiful and successful day. I even got to hold a baby bird. And go bowling afterward. Can’t go wrong with bowling.
Well, I’m off to the grind. Next stop is finishing this darned Zelda book before my fans have a conniption. Then, it’s time to start planning some real marketing tactics. And after that, who knows? I might just be off to tour the world before you know it.
I said it would happen on July 11, and by golly, it has!!
As of today, I have officially published my two fantasy adventure picture books that feature people with special needs as main characters.
In the Land of Giants will be available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. It will also be published in multiple ebook formats via Smashwords. Smashwords distributes to various retailers, so the ebook will eventually be available on sites like Barnes and Noble as well. The Amazing K is only being published on Amazon as print and Kindle.
I have also started Give-aways on Goodreads for each book. These should become available to enter in the next forty-eight hours.
Thanks for showing your support!! And remember, by ordering print books through me personally, you get a discount and a free autograph!! Feel free to message me on Facebook for information on how to order an autographed copy of one of my books. Also, remember that 25% of all royalties made from these and other of my books goes to ALFA, a local charity that helps create and run programs for adults with disabilities.
God bless, happy reading, and may you be inspired!!
~ Christine E. Schulze
Wow. So a few hours ago, I finished participating in a book-signing associated with Trinity Service’s Strawberry Festival. I have been posting about this event for some time, but at last, the big day arrived, and let me just say what a fun and awesome experience!! I met some great people, sold and signed more books than I ever would have imagined. It was truly a fun, exhilarating, but also humbling experience.
And you know what I learned from it? That this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Inspire and help people through my creativity. All my life, I have known this is both what I want to do and what I am meant to do, the path God has for me. Today it all paid off. Today was the the beginning of a beautiful new chapter in my life. A chapter I will continue to write as I inspire as many people as I can with my stories.
But the Strawberry Festival wasn’t all about me. The signing was a great personal triumph but was only a small part of went on today!! Today was all about raising awareness for the awesome work we do at Trinity Services to help adults with disabilities live full and abundant lives. We featured much of their artwork for sale, including original paintings and barn quilts. We had food, fresh-picked strawberries, and a band came to play blue grass music. Clients, staff, and locals joined together for a grand time of fun and fellowship. It was a simple but beautiful thing.
Please enjoy these pictures as a sample of this wonderful experience. I hope everyone who got a book today is blessed and truly inspired!!
Here I am with Holly Midget, proud owner of the first copy of In the Land of Giants. I chose to give her the first copy because she has been such a huge supporter of the project and also is such a wonderful person to work with!! I once worked alongside her as an independent living counselor at Trinity Services; she now works as a job coach to help find jobs for our folks with disabilities.
Holly says this is my greatest work to date as an author, I think it just might be. I have also decided to donate twenty-five percent of all my royalties to ALFA, an charity that helps create programs for folks with disabilities while also providing supplies and volunteers to work with them. I have worked alongside ALFA for some time now; they are a wonderful team with a true passion for helping folks with disabilities live full and abundant lives. I feel strongly in giving to ALFA through my books. I believe fervently in them, their purpose, and the wonderful people they serve.
Thanks so much again for your support and encouragement, Holly!! I promise more great things to come, especially with the book-signing fast approaching!!
Just like the dwarves in The Hobbit, the books for my signing on May 30th just keep coming. Forget Midas and his gold; I’m swimming in a sea of books.
Twenty-five percent of all profits from the signing will go to ALFA, a charity that helps fund Trinity Service’s many great programs like culinary and art for adults with disabilities.
If you live near Mascoutah, IL, consider coming out to our Strawberry Festival on May 30th!! That’s where I’ll be doing the signing. Feel free to message me here or on Facebook for more details.