Friday, December 10, 2010

Moving to a new blog

Hello all - since I'm updating my website, I've decided to move to a new blogger name.
Please visit me there and sign up to follow me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving will be bittersweet this year. It's the first Thanksgiving without my dad. Last year he passed away suddenly the day after Thanksgiving on November 27th. It's also the last holiday that we have to go through as being the "first without Dad". I'm glad for that because those "first" holidays - especially Christmas and his shared birthday with my youngest son- were very difficult.

Even though his death was such a shock, I was grateful to have spent the prior day with him and the rest of my family. It was like Thanksgiving was even more of a gift than usual. We laughed and talked, ate and drank. I sat across from him and worried about the triple by-pass he'd just undergone a week or so prior, and if he really felt as good as he said.

This year as we gather at my sister's house, I'm sure we'll all be thinking of that last Thanksgiving.The food will be similar or the same, the company almost the same. But we'll all miss my dad's snarky remarks, his booming laughter, and his huge bear hugs. I know, though, that he'll be with us in spirit.

Love you, Dad.

Lee Dewstow

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Picture Book to be Released

I've very excited to mention that in just a matter of days, this book will be shipped off to the printer. Chuck Gaidica, a TV and radio personality in metro-Detroit, came to the press I work for interested in several projects. The first that we are publishing is Tommy Starts Something Big: Giving Cuddles with Kindness. Chuck had an idea for the book, but no manuscript. I was able to help him create the text, as well as be his editor and project manager. We found a lovely illustrator, Mary Gregg Byrne, who was able to bring the characters to life in exactly the way Chuck wanted.

Here's the back cover blurb:

Have you ever been hurt or felt lonely and wanted a cuddle? That was Tommy, until he discovered what made him feel better. He also realizes that reaching out to others makes him feel special. Now Tommy wants to share that feeling with everyone. Will his cuddle alerts start something big?

The book will be available in December and can be purchased at, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and of course the press I freelance for,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Awards - shameless SP for the press that employs me...

Today, we found out that ten of the books published in 2009/2010 for the press I work for received awards from USA Book News. I'm especially happy because seven of those books were ones that I had edited. I've put a * by those books.

The books are:

* Read to Me Daddy, My First Football Book 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Children’s Education
* Divorced Together for the Sake of the Children 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Parenting/Family: Divorce
* The One and Only Bernadette P. McMullen 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Children’s Fiction
* Bartholomew’s Gift 2010 USA Book News Finalist Children’s Picture Book-HC with Audio
* Hank the Tank Engine 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Children’s Non-Fiction Picture Book
Engineering the ABCs 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Children’s Non-Fiction Picture Book
* Dadsongs: Remembering a Loved One’s Melody 2010 USA Book News Finalist-Death& Dying
* Opening Doors, Opening Lives 2010 USA Book News Finalist Education PreK-12
Bursting with Joy 2010 USA Book News Finalist: Self Help/Relationship
Poetic Camera 2010 USA Book News Finalist- Photography: Nature

It is great news for the authors, as well as Nelson Publishing and Marketing. If you're interested in finding out more about these great books, please visit

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Should a writer ever be "in-between" projects?

For those of us who have not been published in our genre, like myself, I always wonder as to whether one should keep working on a project that is out on submission (i.e. the next book in the series), or if one should start something new, OR (God forbid) take a break and not write at all.

Part of me wants to keep working on the current project. The characters are fresh in my mind, their problems seemingly to mount with each day that I'm not at the keyboard.

Another part of me would like to revisit a previous project and maybe improve it.

Still, maybe it's time to think of something new to write.

Or maybe it's time for a writing break?

The issue with the last one is that the break can last much longer that I ever intend. Days, weeks accumulate into months, and that becomes a whole new problem in and of itself.

What do you do when you've typed The End and shipped the manuscript off to your agent - do you keep writing the same series, start something new, or take a break?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Editing Projects

I don't often brag about any of the editing projects that I work on for Nelson Publishing & Marketing. I'm not sure why because they really are wonderful titles. I think it's because I don't want to hurt an author's feelings by not blogging about their book. There are several new books, though, that I believe will truly make a difference in the world. 

They are:

The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy

Here's the back cover blurb:
Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete’s new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When the juice box mess becomes more than just a dirty shirt, Pete’s classmates teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”?

Does This Make Me Beautiful? by Harriet Morse

Here's the back cover blurb:
Does a certain pair of jeans or type of shirt make a person beautiful? How about a shiny gold necklace? Harriet thinks that these are the things that can make her beautiful. And she’s sure that her red hair and freckles do not help. But will an old family mirror teach Harriet what true beauty really means?

Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life by Carol McCloud

Here's the back cover blurb:
Do you know you have an invisible bucket which is filled with all of your good thoughts and feelings?  If you're new to the concept of bucket filling and bucket dipping, then this book is for you. With easy to read chapters, colorful illustrations, and daily questions to help readers become better bucketfillers, Growing Up with a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life gives readers the tools to live a life filled with happiness.

All three of these books will help readers in many aspects of their lives, and I'm pretty proud to have been involved. All of these books will be available within the next month, either at,, your local bookstore, or

They are all worth your time.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Synopsis...the dread word....umm.....document.

How many of you write your synopsis before you write your story? How many afterward?

If I had a choice, I would write it afterward.

But the publishing industry often times wants a synopsis along with a partial when agents submit to editors. As a writer, I hate this. It's not because I don't like to write the synopsis--ahem.-- but because I generally do not have a clue as to where the story will take itself once I start writing. I usually know the beginning, part of the middle, and how it ends. But getting from a to b to c, at least for me, is not a straight line.

I did something different with this current manuscript; I created chapter titles and a one-to-two sentence of what happens in that chapter. I'm not sure if my agent submitted this partial synopsis to the editors. I do know that it helped me tremendously when I needed to get back to writing this story. I can see myself doing this for future stories--especially for ones that I write only a partial and then move on to the next story. I've laid the groundwork for what I was originally thinking, and I then only have to fill in the spaces (chapters) that are unfinished.

Now that the manuscript is done, though, I need to write the full synopsis. It's still not my favorite thing to do, but it sure will be a lot easier since the manuscript is finished.

Did I fudge by not having the synopsis done when I submitted the partial? Yeah, probably. But now that my hands are not throbbing, I can work on cranking out those lovely pages and sending those off to my rock star agent. At least this time when I attempt to write it, I know what happens!