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Happy Pride Month! We are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Pride Month

Pride isn’t just a parade and celebration,

it is also a protest.

While representation is increasing, and acceptance and love is spreading, there are still many people in the LGBTQ+ community that are suffering. Yes, we celebrate this month, but we also protest for those living in countries where freedom to be yourself hasn’t been achieved, and to the lives lost getting to where we are today. Let this Pride Month be a reminder to us all that we need to consistently stand up when we hear words of hatred; we need to teach our children that love is available for everyone and that love is something we all deserve, regardless of who our partner is.
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Happy Pride Month, let us continue our fight to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place.
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In honour of Pride Month, we are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Here are a few of Tellwell’s picks:

Blame it on Betty

BOOTS I’M IN

 “Get over it” the story of my life
And it’s what I do to routinely survive.
“Get over it” those words I’ll ne’er forget
So often given with little to no regret.
For a First Nations Gay woman who’s deemed a triple threat
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.
In the mid-’70s whilst serving for my country
With a 1:1000 gender ratio in the military,
And only one of nine women at that time
Accepted to a trade, wherein the past denied.
And only one of three women of seven other members
Who graduated early with exceptional skills!
So, I reported to a station as the first woman in that place,
And was I worthy written on their faces.
For male dominance, such a routine privilege
And that’s the world I was living in.
Not only a woman but a Gay one too
And in that era, condemnation, it’s true.
If “outed” during service, I was discharged from the army
Without hesitation and without being sorry.
In the mid-’90s whilst serving as a cop
When a “fag boy” article stirred emotions up,
By fellow officers with blatant discrimination on display
And an employer who didn’t care what I’d say.
“Should have been a private joke,” said the commander,
But with my lifestyle deemed comical, that wasn’t the answer.
With article upon article in the newspaper
“Get over it” barked the enablers.
Now, my greatest threat at that time
Were comrades who conscientiously denied
Whilst the investigators dealing with my complaint
Didn’t have my back and held me to blame.
“Get over it” summarized the investigators.
“She’s the problem, and she’s a troublemaker.”
Now, with policies galore to protect my human rights,
It should have been a slam dunk and should have been airtight.
And I’m ne’er alone, there’re others like me
Facing discrimination on the job, it’s plain to see.
So, just another battle, I’ll “get over it”
And a constant reminder of the boots I’m in.

AVAILABLE NOW


Blessed

In a world filled with magic where Gods and Goddesses walk amongst the mortals who worship them, a war is brewing-a war between the Divine that started centuries ago. Unable to fight in the Divine Realms, they’ve enlisted their followers to fight for them. And to certain mortals they’ve even bestowed their own powers.

These mortals, known as the Blessed, walk a lonely path, balancing the awesome and cruel powers of the Gods and the vulnerability of their human sides. They are immortal unless their God or Goddess sponsor abandons them or they are killed by another Blessed.

One of these Blessed, a veteran from the first war, is gathering other young Blessed to her. Her plan? Create a bond between them all so they can vanquish the God bent on bringing destruction to their world once and for all. Under her tutelage, her students will be the turning point of their world. They start to their destinies struggling with their powers and their place in their world. But will they be the salvation or the destruction? Only time will tell, for they are . . .

The Brethren.

Neilina – a Blessed who once conquered a God, she has lived a solitary existence since the first war ended. Now once again she will face a foe from her past that could be her undoing. But this time, she won’t be fighting alone.

Adeline – the only daughter of a warrior king, she is a healer and prophet. But her powers weigh heavy on her and the darkness promises sweet reprieve-will her bond to her Brethren keep her strong?

Aubrey – a young girl with a mysterious past she can’t remember. She wants to be a knight in the Holy War, but she’ll need to discover her past if she’s to help save their future.

Mathilde – the Crown Princess of the nomadic tribes, she’s got to right an ancient wrong if she wants to help her people. Her powers of the wild and animals makes her a strong card for whoever earns her loyalty in the coming war.

Niall – the bastard waif of a nobleman of a distant kingdom, he’s not who everyone thinks he is. Behind his laughing persona is the power of the cosmos. He’s got a lot to prove.

Selene – the exiled Princess, cast away by her magic-fearing father. She’s got a lot to prove and isn’t afraid of a fight. Her loyalty is unquestionable but she feeds off of her emotions. Her powers are barely in check: she could be the wildfire that burns friend and foe out.

Eibhlin – with humble beginnings, her stunning beauty enchants every man who meets her. But when a young-love romance goes wrong, bitterness rules her heart and only time will tell if she turns to her Brethren for comfort or if she’ll cast them aside.

AVAILABLE NOW


Lavender Rose

When nine-year-old Haven Fleet disappears from her school bus stop, everything changes.

Every parent will tell you that the thought of losing their child is unfathomable. Stevie Fleet would spend her whole life searching for her lost daughter, and her four remaining children will face battles of their own.

How far would one parent go to find her lost child, and what other obstacles could meet her along the way?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dani is a non-binary author, activist, and animal lover. They published their first novel in 2020 and have been writing since the age of ten. They are an avid activist for the LGBTQ+ community and includes this subject in many of their novels. Dani lives in Canada with their family.

AVAILABLE SOON


Coming in from the Cold

“The truest, most authentic freedom in this Universe, is found in love…”

-Cosmo, Chapter 14, “Coming in from the Cold”

This is one of many seeds of wisdom prudently planted by Cosmo: a mysterious yet engaging and compassionate mentor to Jake Johnson, Jr., the protagonist in the novel “Coming in from the Cold”.

Jake, Jr. is a young, troubled African American man on the cusp of important life transitions when he meets and befriends Cosmo while travelling into New York City one day in early June. Cosmo takes the young man under his wings and over the course of a summer, Jake and Cosmo have a series of meetings and dialogues at significant venues in New York City. The compelling dialogues explore such topics as spirituality and religion, the constructs of race and racism, the dynamics of human sexuality and relationships, the connections between the health of planet Earth and human health, the mechanics of money and the material world, the legacy of slavery across time, and the nature of the Universe.

The first three chapters of the novel delve into the origins of Jake’s family life before his fortuitous meeting with Cosmo. At the heart of the novel is a love story. Shortly after graduating from Evergreen College in New England, young Jake travels to Japan, where he teaches English. During this transformative sojourn abroad, Jake meets and develops a close companionship with a very atypical, hip Japanese man named Hiro, who introduces Jake to love and the very best of Japanese culture.

Much against his father’s wishes, Jake is called to work in the field of education, and enrolls in Columbia University’s graduate program in teacher education upon his return from Japan. It is the period between his return from Japan and his enrollment at Columbia when Jake meets Cosmo, who provides guidance and wisdom at that critical juncture in the young man’s life. During Jake’s first semester of graduate school in New York City, however, there is a catastrophic earthquake in Japan, and all communication is cut off between Jake and his Japanese companion, Hiro. Not knowing if Hiro is dead or alive, and compelled by his deep love for him, Jake makes the momentous decision to take a dangerous trip back to Japan to find his lover, with whom he is eventually reunited. At the end of the novel, the true identity of Cosmo is revealed.

The main theme of the novel is about the redemptive powers of embracing love and wisdom in facing the vicissitudes of life during this transitional era in human history: a turbulent era on the cusp of brighter, more promising days of a more harmonious, united humanity on Earth.

AVAILABLE NOW


Violet Mage

Homelessness in the hardscrabble town of Belleau can be life-threatening: transients often suddenly vanish from the dingy streets without a trace. Sixteen-year-old Polly Onasis suspects the king and his guards are the culprits behind these disappearances. Once she turns eighteen, she knows she will be forced into the city streets too, away from the safety of her foster home and family . . .

One morning, Polly wakes up to discover that her hair has turned from deep brown to brilliant violet. How? And why? She must keep herself hidden from the public, for fear of being noticed by the king’s guards. But soon enough her eighteenth birthday is upon her, and she no longer has any way to hide herself. She runs into a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about Polly and the secrets which lie behind her hair. Polly’s life is turned upside down as she is carried through the wonderful and the nightmarish, the dark alleyways of Belleau and the king’s palace. Meanwhile, she must fight to protect her loved ones, and find out who she really is.

AVAILABLE NOW


Basil's Unkie Hred

Basil’s Unkie Herb microwaves socks, plans fabulous birthday surprises and has a friend with a donkey, a monkey and a garbage truck.

This book chronicles the special relationship between Unkie Herb and Basil, and grandma’s worries about “lonely” Unkie Herb.

It ends with Unkie Herb finding love, and Basil learning, contrary to what the girls in school say, “where we live, you can marry whomever you love.”

AVAILABLE NOW

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Tellwell News Uncategorized

Tellwell Books on Mental Health

For May’s Mental Health Awareness month, we are acknowledging some of our Tellwell authors whose books include themes of anxiety, depression, insecurities, and emotional expression. These books aim to give the reader a better understanding around mental health and how to recognize and communicate various feelings.

I Don’t Want to Go to School

Abosede Oderinde

I Don’t Want to Go To School is a book that is intended to help children and families deal with separation anxiety, especially when it’s their first time at school. For some children, every day is like the first day because they are afraid their families will not return to pick them up. I wrote this book to reassure children who are still working on a secure attachment, that school is fun and families always come back because they are loved. Most books that address these issues use animal characters, but I chose real-life illustrations that the children can relate to. Lastly, this book will help teachers present classroom transitions to little children more effectively.


Worry!

Karli Coulter Gillespie

A story about a young girl who has a worry bully that keeps visiting and making her tummy and her head hurt. Whether it’s when she’s trying to join a game with friends, speak in front of her class or go for a check-up, he keeps showing up. He seems to be EVERYWHERE! But with help from some people who care and a big dose of bravery, she begins to learn just how to send her worry bully away.

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Uncategorized

Tellwell’s lead editor Simon Ogden on what makes a good editor

We aim to take the piece of art they have shed blood and tears for and polish it into its most beautiful form, and we do this by being the author’s greatest champion.

Simon Ogden, Tellwell Publishing’s lead editor

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a recent Toronto transplant after a two-year residence on Prince Edward Island (Canada’s cuddliest province), but I was born and cultivated throughout British Columbia, mostly Vancouver and Victoria, the latter being where I joined forces with Tellwell in 2017. In Vancouver, I spent many years wearing the various hats one does in pursuit of a theatre career, mostly as a playwright and director, and I ran various hospitality establishments, from ridiculous night clubs to nerdy classicist-cocktail lounges, finally accepting my birthright and inevitable career as a book editor (I’m the youngest son of a pedantic linguist, who passed on to me his deep love of the English language and its best literature). 

You’ve been an editor with Tellwell for several years now. Tell us about your role.

I began with Tellwell as a contract editor and soon assumed the post of head editor, or assistant to our beloved managing editor, Alison Strumberger. I have recently moved into the position of in-house editor, which delightfully allows me to interact more with my colleagues populating the other departments in our little publishing mothership, and it lets me keep a more structured schedule than is typical for freelance editing, which I refer to amongst the team as “the craft that never sleeps.” 

The bulk of my duties still entail working with our authors to strengthen their manuscripts before we put them to print, but I’m also a handy resource for the rest of the team to make sure processes are on track, and the often esoteric world of the editing department is approachable and clear when needed.

What approach do you take when editing a manuscript? 

Working with an editor is a very trusting and intimate relationship, so my first and abiding goal is to get in sync with the author’s style, intent, and rhythm. One of the glorious aspects of the job of the professional editor is the opportunity to work with many unique and personal voices, and it’s our main job to support them. All authors need support in unique ways, so we begin by identifying each manuscript’s overarching strengths and weaknesses, and then decide where best to apply our resources. 

For example, a manuscript may present a truly original and fascinating approach to its plot, but its sentence-level syntax isn’t making the plotting as clear as it could be—that becomes the area we would prioritize toward bringing all the elements into alignment. Or the author’s sentence styling might be nuanced and gorgeous but various plot points are in conflict—we would then be looking to smooth them out a bit while maintaining the sentences’ natural euphony … each book has its own needs, and a great editor has to be able to tweak all the dials as necessary.

Tellwell Publishing Editing Services

What is the end goal when you are editing a manuscript?

It’s always the same: to help the author produce absolutely the best final version of their book, one that they can for the rest of their lives be proud to offer to the world in exchange for the cover price. We aim to take the piece of art they have shed blood and tears for and polish it into its most beautiful form, and we do this by being the author’s greatest champion.

Some authors worry an editor may change their words too much, and the book may no longer feel like it’s theirs. What would you say to those authors?

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews Tellwell Books

Author Celebrations – News, Reviews, Awards, and More!

Tellwell authors, do you ever rest? So many of you have accomplished so much over this last month! We’ve seen interviews, online book readings, reviews, awards, and book launches. You continue to impress and surprise us!

Take a minute to sit back and relax so we can celebrate each of you!

REVIEWS

We’re especially excited to celebrate this first review. Tellwell’s own Jennifer Chapin received a terrific 4-star rating from IndieReader for her book, The Poet and The Angel.

You may have connected with Jennifer when you started your self-publishing journey with Tellwell. She’s been with our team as a publishing consultant since nearly the beginning! We love seeing reviewers like IndieReader recognize her talent as a writer.

THE POET AND THE ANGEL is a moving exploration of the life and death of Frederico Garcia Lorca that offers historical insight and cultural relevance. While the plot is spare, the author’s language is enchanting.

“Chapin’s lyrical language and talent for crafting evocative imagery consistently elevate this book beyond typical historical fantasy. For example, Angelina is introduced with a poetic description: She twirled round and round like a spinning top, her hair an aureole of red and gold. Her skirt swirled around her in fuchsia disarray, like the petals of a flower opening its arms to the sun on a warm summer day.” – Lisa Butts for IndieReader.

Click here to read the full review for The Poet and The Angel.

The Hollywood Book Review had nothing but great things to say about Monique Gliozzi’s new thrill-ride of a book, Facets of the Past.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished is undoubtedly a successful work. Very quickly, the book puts you on your toes. It starts to become a real page-turner all without the standard cheap elements designed to move forward a plot. It truly does feel like a fully realized world that you can get lost in and the characters are memorable. I loved how the author thrust us into the life of the antagonist and how in the plot, he was slowly becoming a victim of the unknown. ” – Lily Amanda for Hollywood Book Review.

Read the full review here.

First time author Karen Bailey recently published Obsidian Mine. The Prairies Book Review had nothing but great things to say about the first book in Karen’s new urban fantasy trilogy, calling it, “Hypnotic, bold, and deeply seductive…

Karen has made quite the literary debut! Here at Tellwell we already can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.

Read the full review of Obsidian Mine here.

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Book Marketing Tellwell Books Tips & Tricks

How to market and sell your children’s book – book marketing advice for children’s authors

Whether you are published, in the process, or only just thinking about it – here are some tips & tricks for all children’s authors.

1 . YOUR AUTHOR BRAND

Your author brand gives your readers insight into who you are! Creating something that showcases your personality is key. As a children’s author, you may also want to show off a bit more of your goofy side!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your author brand:

  • Make it eye-catching and fun!
  • GET PLAYFUL
  • Use a fun background or bright colors
  • Don’t be afraid to make a silly face
  • Let your personality shine through – both in your photo and bio

2 . YOUR COMMUNITY

The average buyer’s age of children’s books is between 30 and 44.

Females make up more than 70% of these buyers. They are also more likely to discuss and recommend a book they and their kids enjoyed. In fact, buyers of children’s books are more easily influenced by the recommendations of family and friends than any other book category. For this reason, it is really important to build a loyal community of parents and teachers that enjoy and support your book.

Consider building an ambassador program or launch team! Also, get involved in your local community and make time to meet your readers.

Meet your readers!

  • Pursue classroom visits
  • Join children’s book festivals
  • Participate in library events such as a read-along!

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Author of the Month

How Miami-based children’s author Jennifer Segarra gained traction for her children’s book!

For May’s author of the month, we are celebrating Miami-based author, Jennifer S. Segarra!

Over the last few months, Jennifer has successfully been featured on a number of influential #bookstagram pages like @the_bookish_mind and @nerdybibliophilee, interviewed by notable outlets like KidlioMag, Children’s Literature and the Reading With Your Kids podcast, and has connected with readers all over the world through her social media!

Author Jennifer S. Segarra with her children’s hit – El Lechón Choncho otherwise known as Choncho the Pig

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Jennifer S. Segarra. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. My parents immigrated to this country when they were young. My father is from Cuba and my mother is from Puerto Rico but also half Filipino.

I am a married mother of two beautiful children, and have an Italian Mastiff fur baby. I am bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. My husband is from Cuba and we have been married for 15 years.  

I love to cook, travel, discover new things, and LOVE reading books!

What inspired you to write El Lechón Choncho otherwise known as Choncho the Pig?

Since I was a young girl, I always loved reading, and this may sound quite weird but I loved being given assignments where I needed to write book reports, essays and stories in my own words. However, my mother always told me the story, since I was a little girl, of her favorite family pet pig named Choncho. I always told her she needed to make this a children’s book.

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Author of the Month Tellwell Books

Poo with a View – How an alpine outhouse experience became a top-selling book!

One of Tellwell’s best-selling books in 2020 by author Gavin Boutet

Be persistent. Be patient.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

Gavin Boutet’s coffee table book, or perhaps more appropriately bathroom book, Poo with a View: High Alpine Shitters of the Canadian Rockies, showcases some of the most remarkable views in the Rocky Mountains….from outhouses. The unique concept was inspired by Gavin’s time working for the Alpine Club of Canada servicing these remote locations. He began photographing the, rather, unique and stunning places to go to the loo.

The quirky humor book has been featured on three national news outlets – the CBC, Global News and CTV news. The book has sold thousands of copies, and was Tellwell’s best-selling book in 2020! As our Tellwell April author of the month, we asked Gavin to share the secrets of his success and his all-time favourite poos with a view:)

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Collingwood, Ontario and moved to the Bow Valley in 1999 in pursuit of skiing champagne powder. I have been playing drums for over 30 years and have developed an addiction to fly fishing in the last five. 

What inspired you to write Poo with a View?

It was strictly a collection of photographs to start, but as the project took shape, I wrote a small amount for each “chapter” or location. It’s a simple toilet humour book, meant for the bathroom or coffee table, so there’s not a huge focus on the writing.

Tell us about the process and adventures in finding these outhouses. How did you find them? 

It was an opportunity working with the Alpine Club of Canada that led me to some of these locations. I was employed as a hut services worker when I came up with the concept. We were responsible for the helicopter long-lining work that went into servicing these remote locations, including flying out the full outhouse barrels, or “honey buckets” as we liked to call them.

Did you visit all of them or were some recommendations from friends? 

All of the photographs in the book are taken by me, so I have seen all (and used most too).

I had no idea that a funny little project like this book would actually make me money.

Gavin Boutet, author of Poo with a View

What are your top three poos with a view? 

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Meet the Team Tips & Tricks

What to ask before you begin your self-publishing journey – advice from Tellwell publishing consultant Ejay Co

Ejay, tell us about your role at Tellwell.

My role in a nutshell is to introduce authors to the world of self-publishing. I help with the process of identifying an approach to move forward, selecting processes and services that would fit their needs, and setting the foundation for their expectations about the process. I see myself as a pilot helping authors navigate their way to the destination they have selected. 

What do you enjoy most about working with authors?

As a bookworm, hearing about an author’s writing process is always fascinating. It amazes me how much work goes into each book an author writes. Hearing stories from authors who wrote their book over several decades, and others that have been completed over a couple of weeks is a manifestation that there is no “standard” process for writing a book. These conversations are always the best part of the job.

What advice do you have for authors who are considering self-publishing a book?

I understand just how much work and love is poured on to every page an author writes and I think, ultimately, authors would expect the same amount of dedication from the team in charge of developing their books.

I assume it’s a relief for authors to know that they can get all the professional help they need while still keeping a level of creative control over their book, and keeping their full copyright ownership is just the cherry on top. 

If you decide to take the route of assisted self-publishing, where you partner with a self-publishing company, ask about their company culture. It’s essential. You’ll be working with the team for a significant period of time and it’s important to consider the dynamics of the team you’re working with. This helps ensure that you’ll feel comfortable throughout the process which makes completing your book a lot more fulfilling in the end. 

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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Author Highlights: Awards, Reviews and In-The-News!

Each month, we’re always excited to highlight the successes of our authors! From top award nominations, to featured interviews, to rave reviews – we’re offering a huge congratulations to our authors for these terrific accomplishments!

AWARDS

Dr. Chelinay Gate, author of Lucky-Child: The Secret, just made it to the Prime Minister’s Book Club in Australia. A huge honor!

This compelling coming-of-age tale is the story of Lucy. Answering her dying great-grandmother’s call, Lucy is lured into the dark red heart of Australia’s Great Sandy Desert. Indigenous mother tongues Mangala and Wajarri exquisitely mimic the landscapes and evoke a feeling of timelessness that transports Lucy and the all-female search party into a Dreamtime World, where she learns to respect the Lore, Country and herself. “Like the striking of an ancient gong, I heard my name, Lucy Lucky-Child.”

Lucky-Child: The Secret also won first place in the Fiction category for the 2020 Next Generation Indie Books Awards! The book also won the grand prize in the First Novel category, and was a finalist in the Action/Adventure Category and Regional Category. 

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Tellwell Books

April is National Poetry Month!

This month we are celebrating some of our poetry authors and books. Each book, poem and story shares their experiences of love, loss, personal growth and so much more. 

Poetry, literature that evokes a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience or a specific emotional response through language chosen and arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

Britannica

The author displays her vulnerability and openness in this collection of poetry, which spans the last twenty years of her life. She deals with such themes as lust and love, as well as illness and abuse, among other profound and relatable topics. The overarching theme, though, is that there is hope and triumph throughout all experiences, and is a poignant reminder that there is light through the dark. Faith also serves its purpose during all of life’s most magnificent and most heart-wrenching times.

For me this book is not just a book…

It’s an achievement It’s a reward It’s a helping hand

It’s a token for my success

This book is a gift to those who thought

I wasn’t enough

To those who thought

I wouldn’t achieve anything

This book is the story of my life…

Poems to the Homeless paints a graphic picture of the poor and the homeless everywhere in the world on a given day. The poems elicit deep feelings of sympathy and compassion towards those who once may have been whole, healthy and productive individuals, but who are now broken, and some beyond repair or help. Many are on the street, begging for food, heat and shelter. The poems also address the great indifference and complacency of individuals and institutions who may have the power and the means to make a difference in the life of the poor and homeless, and help make society more just and humane.

Poems to the Homeless has been written to sensitize and motivate the readers through schools, social and religious groups, private networks, churches, volunteer organizations, and for those who may be searching for an excellent fundraising item when working with the poor and the homeless, and encourage greater awareness and financial and practical involvement.

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