Thursday, April 20, 2017

Becoming a Published Author!

MindStir Media put together this funny video depicting a celebratory new author. I think the video is somewhat self-explanatory. Publishing a book is a big deal. Why not celebrate?

Hiring A Children's Book Illustrator

For a children's book author, part of publishing a book also includes finding and hiring a children's book illustrator. At MindStir Media, we've been illustrating/publishing children's books since 2010, and many of our illustrators have been illustrating much longer than that on their own. Some of our illustrators are even award-winning illustrators. They've illustrated in nearly every illustration style imaginable and have worked on hundreds of picture books.

Recently, I had one of my illustrators at MindStir Media create a mascot for our children's book division. Check it out below.

Click here if you want to learn more about getting your children's book illustrated. We follow a simple 3-step illustration process and our rates are affordable considering the quality. We even include free revisions as part of the process and fees.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Interview with Author Christy Day

Christy Day is a New Hampshire author born on a Wyoming ranch in the USA. Apart from writing, she is also a passionate traveler, sailor, and she even holds a private pilot’s license. In this interview, she talks about her debut book, Walking from Here to There: Finding My Way on El Camino, published by Seacoast Press, a Division of Mindstir Media, LLC.

1.How would you define yourself? I am curious, I love life, and am passionate about doing good in the world. It goes without saying that my daughters are the most important part of my life.

2. At what age did you start to show interest in the outdoors? Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, I was introduced immediately to the outdoors. Some of my earliest memories are of being put up on the back of a great big, gentle horse. I also remember following my father’s tracks in the deep snow. Rivers, lakes, and oceans, mountains, deserts, and plains – I feel at home in Nature and I respect its power and beauty. I enjoy writing about Nature and photographing it. 

3. What drove you to become interested in El Camino, Spain? I watched the movie, “The Way,” starring Martin Sheen and written by his son, Emilio Estevez. I found it intriguing and moving. Then a Pilgrim who had walked El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (that’s the full name of the pilgrimage) spoke at my local library in Amherst, NH, and I realized it was something I could do. Once I realized that, I knew I had to do it!

4. Why a Pilgrimage? “Why a Pilgrimage” is a question I have asked myself since I decided to do it. I am not deeply religious. Like everyone, though, I search for meaning. In the beginning, I did it partly because of the challenge of doing it. As I moved along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, I became more involved with everyone else’s challenges and searches for meaning. It is quite amazing to meet so many people of so many religious persuasions and engage meaningfully in conversation and shared struggle. If anything, the mystery of Pilgrimage deepens as you walk along. 

5. What were the logistics involved in walking 500 miles? It took me 39 days of walking which was an average of 12.4 miles per day. In addition to that, I also took two days of rest. This Pilgrimage has been in existence for over 1100 years, and Pilgrims have always been well-support. A great guidebook shows you what to expect for walking conditions and where the inns (called albergues), restaurants (called bars) and other support services are. Thios makes logistics along The Way easy. It is also made easy because of the amazing Spanish hospitality. The logistics are most important in the planning stage. Every decision you make about equipment is critical. You must have just the right shoes and socks that suit you and your feet. Your backpack has to fit just write.   Beyond that, common sense and trusting your judgment come into play. What to take and what not to take is complicated.  It took me a year to choose the right equipment, to pack and repack dozens of times, and to decide what to leave out of my backpack to make it as light as possible. 

6. What was the most challenging part of the Pilgrimage? Oh, there were lots of challenging parts. Being disciplined about the rigors of walking 500 miles was one of the most challenging – always using sunscreen, always paying attention to problems with feet as they developed, always tending to blisters and infections. The most challenging part of the Pilgrimage for me was having the courage to say “Yes, I can do this.” The fear, joy, and angst of saying goodbye to my younger daughter at the sign in Roncesvalles and taking that first step of 500 miles is something that will stay with me forever. 

7. What was the most rewarding aspect of your experience? My younger daughter told me that when I arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, she wanted me to fully prostrate myself and thank the powers of the universe for all the good that got me there. Your feeling when you arrive at the Cathedral Plaza makes you want to jump for joy. You can’t believe that you have actually arrived. Instead of jumping for joy, I fully prostrated myself. When I did, the World went silent for me. It was  as if I felt all the powers of the universe right there with me. I had a profound sense of gratitude.

8. Do you have any plans for the future? I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughters. I plan to write a novel. I want to keep traveling – lots of places to see.