Spotlight & Guest Post: Should We Tell Her? by Lillian Keith
I have got one PACKED post for y'all today! Everything from a book spotlight to a guest post to a giveaway (*cheers ring out because we all love free stuff*) - we've got it all...and it's for none other than middle-grade author Lillian Keith's latest release, Should We Tell Her?
I haven't read middle-grade in literal years (since I was about seven or eight), but I know this sweet story will be loved by readers of all ages, and y'all won't wanna miss your chance to learn more about it AND its lovely author!
Not to mention, Lily's guest post is SO inspiring!!! So let's dive in, shall we?
about the book
“Mommy’s in Africa,” You kept saying, and you smiled for the first time since Mom hadn’t come home.
And suddenly, I didn’t want that smile to disappear. I didn’t want to hear your pleading voice asking over and over when Mom would come home. And I didn’t want to see the disappointment in your eyes anymore.
When summer turns to tragedy, twelve year old Aspen and her younger sister Wren struggle to cope. But how can they when their youngest sister can’t understand what is happening? Will they be able to pull together to help each other or will they fall apart?
snag your copy
When Dreams Become Reality
guest post by Lillian Keith
I’ve always loved the idea of seeing my story in book form. Even as a little kid, I’d have some folded paper stapled together to form a booklet (don’t worry, I usually had an adult do the stapling for me!) Then, I’d ‘write’ stories in them and sometimes I’d draw pictures to go with it. (My personal career as a book illustrator was short-lived, thankfully.)
When I was about eight or nine, I had a two page story typed out for school (well, actually, my mom did all the typing. I dictated.) I remember when we printed it out, it felt so surreal to see my words on a page. An actual page. With my words in shiny black printer ink.
For the next several years, I wrote short stories for school. They’d usually get printed out, and for most of them, I stored them as a collection in a three-ringed binder. I never got over how fascinating it was to see your very own words in print. I even tried finding ways to bind the 8 ½ x11 inch paper into a book with my stories printed on it. I never did succeed in that.
During my teens, I sometimes dreamt of becoming a famous, successful author, with my stories on bookshelves and in libraries. They’d be epic, moving fantasies with equally awesome covers, just like my favorite books growing up. Wow, wouldn’t that be so cool to have them sit together on my bookshelf? Wouldn’t it be so amazing to finally see my words printed on a book page?
Of course, I figured that that was just a dream. I mean, where did one start to become a published author? Perhaps I’d get a regular job and keep writing on the side (because seriously, did I even have what it takes to get there?)
Well, I didn’t take the author dream seriously until my mom sat me down after I just finished highschool. We talked about what direction I wanted to take. Maybe work as a librarian? Or get a job at Hobby Lobby? (which was a favorite store of mine.) Or I could go on to college. But working as a full-time writer and become an author? Pfft.
But wait, what had been a constant in my life (aside from God and my family, of course)? Writing. How would I feel if I gave that up forever? Never write another word again? Could I find other things to fill my free time and be happy with that? What if I had no more computer time or notebooks to fill characters and story ideas with? These were the questions and thoughts given to me.
At that point, my face must’ve turned a bit pale. If all means of writing, even just a little idea, were taken away forever, would I be okay with that? Absolutely not. It was then that I realized how much writing was like breathing to me.
I suddenly knew the path I wanted to take (even though I still wrestled with doubts about it working.)
And thus, I was launched down the author road. It involved writing, writing classes, research on publishing routes, finding a target audience, learning about marketing, writing, writing, and more writing. Oh yes, and everyday life in between too. But also growing in my writing and figuring out the route I wanted to take as a writer.
Long story short, when I first learned that you could have total creative control if you went the indie route, I knew at once that that was the way I wanted to go. Maybe it was because I’ve always tried to transform my own stories into books and this was a sure-fire way to do so or maybe I’m just a control freak XD. But I fell in love with the idea of doing it myself, even if it was going to be hard. I mean, really hard.
As in, a lot of research for a print-on-demand service, building a following, formatting, editing, cover design, more marketing, etc, etc, etc. And of course, there were bumps along the road that you didn’t quite plan for, nor did you think to look up during your research. And I almost quit. I almost wanted to give up. But my drive (and dream) for holding my own book in my own hands kept me going.
Then one day, after I uploaded my first story to KDP and sent for proof copies, they arrived (much later than I expected, but they still came). And I finally got to hold my story in my hands. I even sat an official copy on the shelf with my other favorite books. Sometimes, I still flip through the pages, marveling that I can finally see my words in print. It’s rather surreal.
There’s still a lot I’m learning about self-publishing. And at times, it’s still a learning process (and a bit of a pain lol). But my dream of getting my story into an actual book form came true. It just took a lot of perseverance, patience, and hard work.
Do you dream of holding your own book in your hands? Then I believe that you can get there!
about the author
Lillian Keith (you can just call her Lily for short!) never grew out of her love for children’s literature. She has been telling stories all her life, first to her dolls, and then to her family, and hopefully to more kids in the future. She’s the author of the short story, An Apprentice Escapes, and the middle grade novella, Should We Tell Her?
Aside from writing, you’ll often find her feeding wild rabbits, arguing with spell check on Google Docs, or talking with her imaginary friends *ahem* story characters. Feel free to drop by her site and say ‘hi’. She loves meeting new people, hearing from excited readers, and making new friends (be forewarned, though. She loves puns and may try to sneak one into the conversation when you’re not looking!)
Saturday, August 13th
The Introspective Introvert — Kickoff Post, Spotlight, and Giveaway Announcement!
Kristina Hall — Sneak Peak and Book Review
Sunday, August 14th
Joy C. Woodbury — Spotlight (and possible book review)
Monday, August 15th
The Misty Mayflower — Behind-the-Book Interview, and Book Review.
Vanessa Hall — Sneak Peak
Grace A. Johnson — Spotlight and Guest Post
Sisters Three — Author Interview and Sneak Peak
Rooted Scribbles — Behind-the-Book Interview, and Spotlight
Saraina Whitney — Author Interview
Tuesday, August 16th
Amy The Beloved — Art and Music Post
The Pencil Sisters — How to Make a Postcard
Wednesday, August 17th
Grace A. Johnson — Author Interview
Thursday, August 18th
Saraina Whitney — Sneak Peak
Friday, August 19th
Allie Anderson — Behind-the-Book Interview
Vanessa Hall — Book Review
Alicia Marentette — Spotlight, Sneak Peak, and Guest Post
Into My Writing Journey — Behind the Book Interview
Saturday, August 20th
Sparkle Girl— Sneak Peak, Behind-the-Book and Character Interview, plus Book Review
Rewrites With A Faerie Pen — Sneak Peak, Character Interview (Curtis), and Book Review
Sunday, August 21st
The Introspective Introvert — End of Giveaway
Y'all see that s up there? Yep, that's right! That means Lily is hosting not one but TWO giveaways!!!
The first is a US giveaway, and the winner will receive a signed print copy of Should We Tell Her? + a trio of tiny character dolls (Aspen, Wren, and Piper) and a homemade postcard!
The second is an international giveaway, and the winner will receive a code to redeem a free e-copy of Should We Tell Her?
Y'all can enter below!
If you love sweet, touching stories about family and friendship, you're gonna love Should We Tell Her? (Dude, the one time I can't use an exclamation mark. *sobs*) Y'all don't forget to enter the giveaway and check out the other posts in the tour! And stay tuned for my upcoming interview with Lily!