Author Archives: Katie Hennessey

Book Marketing Tips & Tricks

How to utilize your author website!

So you made the decision to create an author website – FANTASTIC! A website functions as a modern online business card, and not having one can impact credibility. You will use your website to share information and news about your book, let people know where they can buy it, and offer other ways of connecting with you by including your social media links. Ultimately, your website is the foundational building blocks of your brand! But, what should you be doing with it and how can you help get traffic (views) to the site?

Unless you are creating regular content in the form of a blog, uploading new resources, or doing something unique on your site, it can be hard to drive people to visit your author website frequently or at all. So what should you be doing?

Here are 4 key elements to follow to get the most out of your author website:

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Author of the Month Book Marketing Tellwell Books

How a cheeky, real-life pelican inspired a book about cleaning up our oceans – Tellwell’s July author of the month Renee James

Renée James is the talented Australian children’s author of Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican. Her book was featured as one of the best-reviewed books by IndieReader in May, she has been reviewed on a number of book blogs, and has been featured on the Clarence Valley Independent!

Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican touches on the impact of ocean pollution, such as rubbish, on wildlife – an important theme in line with “Clean Beaches Week” that took place earlier this month July 1-7.

Renée’s ‘monkey see, monkey do’ attitude has inspired her to pursue her dreams and become an author! Learn more about Renée and discover her advice for authors!

PATROOSH, THE CHEEKY PELICAN is an illustrated children’s story that hits all the marks: appealing and memorable central characters, high entertainment value, and its function as a powerful educational tool.

~Amanda Ellison for IndieReader
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Tellwell Books

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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Let us continue our fight to make the world a more inclusive and accepting place. In honour of Pride Month, we are celebrating books written by LGBTQ+ community members and books with LGBTQ+ characters!

Happy Pride Month!

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 their destinies struggling with their powers and their place in the 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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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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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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Author Success - In the media, awards, reviews

Celebrating Women! Award-winning authors, rave reviews and publicity

This month, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate the successes of some of the incredibly talented women published with Tellwell! 

These fabulous women have risen up and used their imagination, voice and experience to create something timeless. Each of our featured authors are celebrating a unique success in their journey as an author.

From the kind generosity of young author Shreya Gupta, to some local spotlights for authors Jennifer Chapin, Gabriella Kikwaki, and Dr. Greta Archbold! Back around to the highly acclaimed work of Darice Cairns, Ellie Beals, and Maria Depenweiller. 

We hope you check out the stories from some of Tellwell’s women creators.

Shreya Gupta donated all the the proceeds made in the month of February from the sales of her book, Flamingo Feet, to #PinkShirtDay! What is Pink Shirt Day? Pink Shirt Day is an Anti-Bullying Day when people wear a pink shirt to symbolize a stand against bullying. 

Shreya’s involvement in Pink Shirt Day had her featured on Global News, 980 CKNW radio, Breakfast Television with Bevo Brown, and on the Pink Shirt Foundation website! Shreya, we celebrate your continued success and generosity. You go girl! 

Check out Shreya’s interview with Breakfast Television with Devo Brown by clicking here!

Shreya is also the recipient of the 2021 International Elite Women’s Global Award (youth category). The award recognizes outstanding women & young girls who have demonstrated innovation & leadership. Congratulations Shreya!


Gabriella is another young Tellwell author who we are excited to celebrate! Gabriella, and her parents Angel & Olivier, joined Mike Stubbs on London Live 980CMFL to discuss her bilingual juvenile chapter book A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes: Volume 1 & 2. 

Check out Gabriella’s interview with Mike Stubbs by clicking here!


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Author of the Month

February’s author of the month – Poetry author Utanu Maa’s lessons in resilience

For February’s author of the month we are celebrating Utanu Maa! Utanu came into Tellwell without any prior publishing experience, and with little knowledge on how she could market her book. Over the last 6 months, Utanu has embraced her new role of authorpreneur and has successfully been featured on a number of blogs, received a beautiful review from IndieReader and is connecting with poets and readers all over the world through her social media.

“Utanu Maa’s RISE AND FALL OF MY BELOVED is a short biographical poetry collection, focused heavily on the themes of grief, mourning, recovery and resilience. The story is deeply personal, it speaks for countless individuals who are voiceless and marginalized. Nevertheless, the writing never seethes with anger at the injustice and unfairness. Instead, it is full of empathy, understanding and acceptance, and may be a cathartic experience for some readers, especially those trying to heal from trauma.” – Archita Mittra for IndieReader

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Utanu Maa, also known as Utanu Adele Mafandala, my birth name. I published my debut book of poetry last year using a pen name, Utanu Maa, just to keep it short on the book. I live in Toronto, Ontario and worked as a public servant within the Ontario Court of Justice. I had previously lived many years in Montreal where I migrated from the Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 1991. I was born and raised in DRC where I studied French Literature and Civil Law, and pursued education in Paralegal studies and Fashion Management after moving to Canada. I am a proud mother of a young man who is building his career as a Fine Art artist after graduating from the Memorial University of Newfoundland Fine Art/Visual and Technology last year.

2. What inspired you to write your book?

I needed to heal from the profound grief and loss I carried after the death of  my only sibling and brother from my mother. I lost my brother to HIV/AIDS. He suffered a lot, and it was painful to him, and to me as a sister to witness my loved one going through a myriad of pains and health complications until he died. I cared for him for the last two months of his life. I was deeply sad and devastated. 

I grieved from April 2019 until April 2020; I felt weary and burdened, I desperately needed to talk to someone to share and ease my pain. But Covid-19 had forced the entirety of humanity into confinement. My anxiety, along with everyone elses, increased and I felt so lonely inside and out.  

My son was away for studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In solitude, the only voice you can hear is yours inside of you or your own murmure, and the only person you talk to is your own double. So, my only rescue was to write and pour all my grief onto a paper to start a journey to resilience, gratitude, and healing.

3. How have your personal experiences influenced your book?

In my book, I expose not only the pain and suffering caused by the HIV virus but also the shame, stigmas, discrimination, rejection, and isolation that our society inflicts to people living with HIV. So, I write about a virus that is still active, still very infectious, and deadly to bring awareness for protection, inspiration for resilience in hard times, aspiration for a healthy and compassionate society, a testimony and reflection about the voiceless and vulnerable people in our society. 

Each poem of my book depicts a true story and personal experiences.  I am the witness of the events happening throughout the journey that my readers embark in my book. I wrote about what happened to my brother, from his childhood as a vulnerable orphan infant, marginalized but resilient to survive and grow, to his rise as an accomplished and successful engineer, and to his fall and death as a HIV/AIDS patient. 

My writing is also a journey into learning to express gratitude despite challenges because life is a blessing.  Our life is filled with many blessings, big or small, but we tend to forget to count them when facing hardship, struggles. One morning as I was weeping, thinking of my brother’s struggles in childhood as a vulnerable and neglected six months old orphan infant when my mother died, recalling the bullies he endured because he did not speak earlier like other kids and was labelled mentality retarded and incapable of succeeding at school, and counting the pain, sufferings, shame and rejection he faced and how he beat all odds and became an accomplished Master in Structure and Building Engineer, a still small voice stormed me inside and spoke to me in this way: “count instead the blessings of his life and heal from that because death is not a punishment”. 

From that moment, my brother’s death became the beginning of a new life in everlasting peace.  My grief taught me to express gratitude, and with gratitude, I found resilience to overcome and heal. These are the two main lessons in my book: resilience and gratitude to overcome grief, and heal.

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