Thursday, December 10, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Many of you may not know this, but I've worked for Alan Osmond on one project or another since 1983 when I first moved to Utah from Indiana. I used to go places to take photos of his sons for him when The Osmond Boys were just starting to sing. Then in 1988, I began working on the staff of Stadium of Fire, eventually working my way to Associate Producer. I also became the promotions director for 2nd G, writing newsletters and magazine articles, developing merchandise, and sometimes going on the road to sell it. Even now I am the editor of the Osmond Family blog, help with both Nathan and David's blogs, and I'm working on a biography with Alan.
Of course, my assocation with the Herrin family is much more recent. Two years ago I heard Erin Herrin, the twins' mother, pitch the idea of a book about her girls. At the time I thought, "Wow! I'd love to write that book," but they already had someone else in line to write the book. As fate would have it, several months later I was approached to see if I'd be interested in helping Erin tell her story. The rest, as they say, is history.
The next book I'm working on is a biography with Rob Joseph. He's already been on Dr. Phil, but now I wonder if his next stop could also be Oprah. . .
Friday, October 02, 2009
Also, we heard yesterday that Famous Family Nights (I'm a contributor) is #1 in the Family home Evening category at DeseretBook.com. You can buy a copy at their site, or get one here from Amazon.com:
I'll be posting a few photos from my son's wedding on the blog very soon. Thanks for all of you who sent your well-wishes to the new couple.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Wow! Sometimes I think we as authors tend to forget that our books can speak to the hearts of people all the way around the world. It's amazing to me to think that someone sitting in a state or a country where I've never been is reading the very words I typed into my computer at home.
Because of the internet, I've also come to see that I have readers for my newspaper and magazine articles from all corners of the world. It's awe-inspiring to consider. What a responsibility that places on me to always put my best work out for others to read.
Of course, this has also made me appreciate more the work of others who I enjoy reading. What if JK Rowling hadn't continued to write despite all those rejections? Or if Laura Hillenbrand hadn't researched, written and submitted her book despite the agorophobia she suffered from? What if no one had ever thought to trasnlate Cornilia Funke's books from German to English? My reading work would have been a much different place.
The older I get, the smaller the world seems to become, and as a writer, I'm glad that people can find me, just like I've found so many of them and made their work a part of my life. I hope I'll someday hear from my worldwide fans, and I'm hear to say, my book publication career has just begun.
If you'd like to purchase one of my books, I'm excited to announce that they are now available at Amazon.com
When Hearts Conjoin, the true story of the Herrin family, including conjoined twins Kendra and Maliyah can be purchased at the following link:
am also a contributor in Famous Family Nights, a collection of essays by ninety-one well-known members of the LDS church about how to make your family nights more meaningful. Also included in this volume are stories from Alan Osmond, as well as many LDS writers my readers probably already know.
Also, used copies are still available of Teaching Ideas for 7-12 English Language Arts: What Really Works. I was a guest contributor with the chapter Recipe for the Reluctant Reader: Add Young Adult Literature and Stir. My chapter includes much of the information I present when I speak at educator conferences.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sure, kids spend time with video games, athletics, and even texting their friends, but kids who are given choice and quiet time will also spend quality hours reading, IF they have had positive experiences at some times with books.
One of the first activities I do in my English classes is a presentation I call "Important Books." I spend a class period talking with my students about books that have played an important role in my life. I talk about those warm fuzzy moments of childhood when my mother read to me; I talk about my favorite books of childhood; I tell them about books which inspired me to action, taught me a lesson, and changed my way of thinking--all positive memories about books, something kids would expect me to do because I'm an English teacher.
But then I do something kids don't expect. I tell them about books I hated, books I abandoned, books I had never read yet still wrote reports about. I share my absolute worst reading experiences, reasons why I was frustrated with either the book or the teacher.
I have a really good reason to let them see this negative side to reading--kids who are reluctant readers have the mistaken impression that kids who like to read like to read--EVERYTHING! They believe all reading is created equal, and that the reader loves it all the same--textbooks and novels alike. Since the reluctant reader once found something they didn't like to read, that must mean they don't like reading--PERIOD.
But the next day in my class, we discover this isn't true. That's when they become the teacher by bringing in a list of 3-10 books they have read or had read to them that were important in each of their lives. The kids are anxious to stand in front of the class and share their reading experiences. They often discover they were not the only one to feel a certain way about a particular book. They hear about other books they might also like to read, and they find out which books to avoid.
My the time I turn them over to independent reading time, even my most reluctant readers are ready to give the experience one more try. I do everything I can to help them find the right book, the right mode (audio books are a great way to hook reluctant readers), or the right place to read (kids love the couch in my back room). I teach them to abandon a book early if it's not interesting, skip words they don't know, and always have a book handy to read when there's a free moment of time. And If they need help finding just the right book, I always have about a hundred suggestions in mind to give them. I don't ever let them STOP the process of reading, because as soon as they do, they STOP reading.
And as Annette Lyon mentioned in her blog today, using these strategies has helped me change the mindset of many a non-reader in a short period of time. If you've got a reluctant reader at your house, try talking with him or her about your important books and see what they come up with about themselves. You may learn a lot about why they stopped reading in the first place, and lead them to discover a new joy for reading that will last them their whole life long.
(Lu Ann Staheli was named Utah's Best of State Educator 2008, Nebo Reading Council Teacher of the Year 2007, Utah's English Language Arts Teacher of the Year 2000, and Utah's Christa McAuliffe Fellow in 1999 for her project on Literacy)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Less than ten seconds after the tardy bell rang to start the school day, the fire alarm went off. No kidding! Kids had hardly made into into their seats before they were filing out again. New teachers and interns were at a loss as to where to go and what to do once they got there. Of course, none of the teachers knew the names of their students to call roll and most of the kids didn't know what their teachers looked to find them once everyone assembled in the right place anyway.
I didn't have a class first period, and I've been here long enough to know there likely wasn't a fire anyway. Instead, anytime the water pressure drops either at the school building or in Payson's south end, the fire alarm goes off in our building. But no announcements had been made so I began to wonder. At last, one of the counselors--and Payson's former Fire Chief--told a few teachers to stay in the building and ignore the alarm. Someone figured out how to silence the obnoxious sound that accompanies the flashing strobe light signal.
The volunteer fire department was already of their way, but they knew enough to bring a small crew just in case it was yet another false alarm. Maintenance people from the district office drove in from Spanish Fork and lots of adults stood around, staring at the gages and saying, "Yep, I think it's the water pressure."
Eventually someone realized half the school was standing around outside, waiting for the all-clear to come back and start school. Several announcements later, and teachers from inside the building going to open doors for interns and new teachers who didn't think to take their keys who were locked outside, and soon everyone was back inside with five minutes left to take role before it was time to move to second period classes.
Of course, by then, the bells had topped ringing loud enough for anyone to hear them. That's okay though. They had been set to the wrong times anyway, and no one had informed the new teachers that second lunch gets out at the third bell instead of the second one. Another round of announcements finally got kids back into class in enough time to get let out for the real start of second lunch.
We made it through to the end of an early day. Wednesdays are early-out because of teacher collaboration in Nebo school district.
Day two brought excitement all its own. Today was PICTURE DAY!
Our principal likes to do pictures right away so the kids get student ID cards and so the administration has current photos of all the little darlings in case they need to locate a person who breaks a rule. ( I threatened to take a phone away from a cute little 7th grade girl already.)
So, through most of the morning, classes were interrupted with more announcements--"Would all students with last names beginning with the letters A through B, please come to the cafeteria to have your picture taken?" Why is it that these announcements go on forever, yet in the end, we still have students--and teachers--who suddenly realize while the photographer is packing up that they forgot to go down and get their picture taken for the yearbook?
But the over-riding question is, after two days of chaos like this, will we be able to make it through the next 178, or will they be more of the same.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So here I am, an adult, spending year 31 in (where else?) a junior high school classroom! What am I thinking?
In all honestly, I'm thinking, "Okay, another year. So what?" My lessons are planned for the week. Handouts for are copied and ready. I've made two slide presentations to accompany my lessons. I've even cleaned out my desk drawers.
Today was 7th grade orientation. My classroom was filled with students and parents for most of the morning. They seem like a pretty good group of kids. Tomorrow I'll really find out. I'll be teaching two 7th Honors English pods and two 9th grade English classes. I'm excited to have the 9th graders again. I've taught 9th grade for 29 years, so not having them last year felt really strange.
I know--some of you are thinking I'm strange. Despite the fact my own junior high experience was crummy, I still sort of like these guys and this age group. The idea of being in an elementary school and coming home with little hand-prints all over me is creepy (not to mention the number of germs those little kids spread around!) I taught Seniors once and they might as well have been AWOL from school since their brains were already of graduation the first day of school.
Junior high kids are great. Still trusting enough to be interested in what you're saying, independent enough that I don't have to wipe their noses, and becoming savvy enough about the world in general that you can talk with them like they might possibly understand what you're saying.
Torture chamber or not, I'm back. Now if I could only find where I put that switch to the electric chair . . .
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I had a great time last Monday at Confetti Antiques and Books on Main Street in Spanish Fork. Owner Donnie Morris interviewed me for his show, "Turning the Page" that runs on Spanish Fork Cable. I saw the episode last night, and it looked great. I know SFCN will run the episode again, but I don't yet know the times, etc.
As you can see, Confetti Antiques has my book on the shelf, so people can buy it now, or they can come down on Monday, July 20th from noon to 4:00 p.m. to meet me, buy a book, and have it signed. You can also pre-order books that are "autographed" by the Herrin twins.
This is a great little shop--all sorts of cool things to look at inside--and a wide selection of hard-to-find LDS books in the adjoining bookstore. I'm going to have to look around the place more carefully while I'm there.
Of course, I'm also going to stop in on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday to purchase books by some of my friends to have them sign!
If you're into antiques, there are lots of great items upstairs as well as those trinkets on the first floor.
If you can't make it to the store, but you still want to buy a copy of the book, they are available both at ConfettiAntiques.com and UtahTwins.com.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Kendra and Maliyah Herrin were born conjoined, attached at the abdomen and pelvis. Doctors embarked on a groundbreaking surgical procedure to separate the girls. How will they learn to cope with life as two independent people?TLC listings indicate the following airtimes (which may be Eastern)
Sunday July 12 9:00 p.m.
Monday July 13 12:00 a.m.
Wednesday July 15 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday July 15 11:00 p.m.
Our first big TV show since the book was published!
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Long before the Herrin family entered my life, there were The Osmonds. Nathan Osmond is debuting his new CD this weekend in Salt Lake, and he was nice enough to list my name in the credits. Thanks, Nate! I always wish the best for you.
If any of you would like to hear Nathan sings live this weekend, here's a press release about his concert on Friday.
Cottonwood Heights Relay for Life Will “Feel Like Heaven”
Osmonds 2nd Generation member to debut solo album at charity event
(Salt Lake City, Utah) June 16, 2009 -- As part of the Cottonwood Heights Relay for Life 2009, benefiting the America Cancer Society, Nathan Osmond will debut and release his first solo album, Feels Like Heaven, this Friday, June 19th.
“It just feels like an appropriate time to share my new album with the world,” Nathan said. “I hope Feels Like Heaven inspires people to show up and contribute to the cause.”
Participants in the Relay for Life attend for various reasons—from honoring cancer survivors, to paying tribute to those lost to the disease. The Salt Lake Relay is a fundraiser for cancer research and is one of many similar events across the country. Teams participating in the relay camp overnight at Butler Park and have at least one member walking or running from 6:00pm Friday, until 7:00 the following morning when the event officially ends.
Relay for Life events kick off with a survivor’s reception at 5:00 pm at 7500 South 2700 East (Butler Park - behind Butler Middle School) in Cottonwood Heights.
The Relay and Entertainment will begin at 6:00 pm. Nathan will perform pieces from his new album along with other music. He will also be there to meet fans and participants. Feels Like Heaven will be available for purchase with a portion of proceeds going to The American Cancer Society.
Additional activities will include a silent auction, dunk tank, inflatable slides and bounce houses, food, special appearances and more music. Highlighting the evening is the Luminaria Ceremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle against cancer. The luminaria line the track and are left burning throughout the night to remind participants of the incredible importance of their contributions.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has state divisions and more than 3,400 local offices. The ACS works to eliminate cancer through research, education, patient services and advocacy. Learn more about ACS, what they do, and their plans for the future at www.cancer.org.
Nathan Osmond is an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer, motivational speaker and has shared the stage with some of the industry’s biggest names. He is the son of 70’s pop star Alan Osmond. Nathan has appeared on MTV, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, CBS This Morning, Entertainment Tonight, CNN and other major shows and networks.
For additional information:
Friday, June 05, 2009
My question is, how does J. Scott Savage fits into the Relief Society? Did someone find out about his impersonation of Stephenie Meyer at the LDS Storymakers conference?
To further the cause of literacy in our homes and communities
Eaglecrest 1st Ward~~Enrichment Night
June 30, 2009
650 W. 2600 North
Come and hear from LDS authors who share the concern of literacy in our homes and communities. It will be an evening of fun and learning. There will even be a book drawing at the end! To find out more about these authors, you are welcome visit their respective websites.
Annette Lyon (www.annettelyon.com) Annette is the author of the “temple” series—a set of historical romances set around the building of the Logan, St. George, Salt Lake City, and Manti temples. Spires of Stone was awarded Best of State in Fiction for 2007 and was a 2007 Whitney Award finalist. Her latest book, Tower of Strength, came out April 2009. Annette is a former co-producer of the Utah Chocolate Show. She and her husband live in American Fork with their four children.
Heather Moore: (www.hbmoore.com) Heather is the author of the four-volume Out of Jerusalem series—historical fiction on the Book of Mormon. Her latest book is called Abinadi, winner of the 2008 Whitney Award for Best Historical and was recently named as 2009 Best of State in Literary Arts for Historical Fiction. Her next book, Alma the Elder, will be out Fall 2009. Heather lives in Lehi with her husband and four children.
J. Scott Savage: (www.readfarworld.com) J. Scott is the best-selling author of the YA fantasy series Far World, published by Shadow Mountain (imprint of Deseret Book). Far World: Book 2 will be out September 2009. J. Scott also writes the Shandra Covington mystery series, under his “other” name: Jeffrey Savage. He and his wife and their four children live in Spanish Fork.
Julie Wright: (www.juliewright.com) Julie is the author of several books, including romance, young adult and non-fiction. She is best known for her YA novel My Not-So-Fairy-Tale Life. Her newest book, Eyes Like Mine, hits shelves June 2009. Julie lives in Oak City with her husband and three children. When she’s not busy writing she manages a store with her husband and works for Ebay.
Josi S. Kilpack: (www.josiskilpack.com) Josi has written nine novels, from contemporary romance, to women’s fiction, to suspense. Sheep’s Clothing won the 2007 Whitney Award for Best Suspense. Her most recent cozy mystery is Lemon Tart—which was the book of the month for Time Out for Women, and has been the #1 bestselling fiction title at Deseret Book for several months. Her next book, English Trifle, will be out this fall. In addition to her writing she enjoys reading, baking, traveling with her husband (and sometimes her four children) and amateur chicken farming.
Lu Ann Staheli: (http://luannstaheli.com) Lu Ann is the co-author of the When Hearts Conjoin: the story of the conjoined Herrin Twins from Utah. She teaches creative writing at Payson Jr. High and has been awarded as Utah English Language Arts Teacher of the Year and 2008 Best of State Educator for K-8. She has written a column for the Spanish Fork Press for many years on how to help your reluctant readers.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Anderson - Maybird series
Thursday, May 21, 2009
When Annette doesn't make it to critique, we all fret over those really technical points of grammar and usage, and a flurry of emails go back and forth the next day as we discuss the question and wait for Annette to respond.
But what if Annette is on (dare we say it?) VACATION and gone off to another exotic location for weeks at a time (like her trip to Finland)? How could we ever live without her?
Annette has just given us the next best thing---There, Their, and They're: A No Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd is Annette's entry into the world of educational writing. I've ordered a copy to keep by my computer at home, and I'm seriously thinking I might use some of my grant money next year to buy a few copies for my classroom. (No other grammar book since Warriner's has taught so much!)
If you'd like to get you own copy, visit the online ordering form at: http://lyfebooks.com/
Sunday, May 10, 2009
If you've already read the book and you're a member of either Good Reads or Shelfari, I'd appreciate it if you leave a rating and review.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Herald Extra: Spanish Fork Press
People all over the world watched the story unfold in 2006 as the Herrin twins, Kendra and Maliyah, underwent a twenty-five hour surgery to separate their shared lower bodies. And just two years later, in the fall of 2008, a local author was given the opportunity to team with Erin Herrin, the mother of the twins, to help co-write a book to share their story with the world.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli is an accomplished educator and writer. She currently teaches English at Payson Junior High in addition to being a writer. Staheli is also a part of the Write Wise program founded by Richard Paul Evans and Robert G. Allen. Staheli has been able to teach and edit other authors work with this program. Evans was so impressed with Staheli and her work that he knew she would be perfect to help Herrin write a book about her experiences.
"I have worked with Lu Ann in our Write Wise program," said Evans. "I knew I could count on her and knew that she would be a natural fit in helping Erin share her story."
Staheli and Herrin began working on the project in August of 2008. They started out by sending each other information via the internet and talked over the phone. Staheli began putting together the information into a story form.
"When I was going through all these experiences there was no information about other families who had been through this and their experiences," said Herrin. "I really wanted to have information from other parents. The book was written so others will have that information and also because as time goes on our memories fade and I wanted something to document all of our experiences."
Staheli wrote the book from the notes Herrin wrote down during her experiences and the book is written as if Herrin had written it herself.
"It has been wonderful to work on this project," said Staheli. "The world has known about these little girls for the past seven and a half years and now they can know the whole story and that miracles do happen."
The story shares more than just the twin's experience, it starts at the beginning with the Herrin's dating and ends with an update on what the family is currently doing.
"The book is definitely an emotional book," said Herrin. "From the beginning Lu Ann was right on and worded everything the way I wanted it. The story flows so well. She has been wonderful to work with and has made the story exactly what I wanted."
The book, "When Hearts Conjoin," was released just a few weeks ago and is only available at the website www.utahtwins.com. All the proceeds from the books will go into a trust fund for the twins medical expenses. The book tells the families story and shares never before seen photos. It also has a forward by Evans, a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author. The twins will also be featured on a TLC special in June and then on the Oprah show to let others know about their story and book.
And now that Staheli has had her first successful experience co-writing a book, she already has three more co-written books in the works. She is currently working with Alan Osmond to share his story about life lessons, David Osmond to share his story about overcoming life's battles and with Jim Karol to share his story about a man with super mind and how he uses that mind to entertain and teach others.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
In 2007, Annette Lyon won the Literary Medal for Best of State Fiction,
In 2008, I won Best of State Educator K-12,
And on May 30th, 2009, Heather Moore will receive her medal for Best of State in Literary Arts: Historical Fiction for her Whitney Award winning novel, Abinidi.
How cool is that? We're three in a row.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Last Tuesday was the official release party for When Hearts Conjoin. The party was hosted by Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box) who is our publisher. Here I am sitting at the autograph table with Rick, Erin and Jake Herrin, along with their children, Austin, Courtney, Kendra, Justin, and Maliyah. (I might have the twins' names backwards in both cases.)
We had a great time, did several newspaper and television interviews, and signed a ton of books. So many of my friends and family members came up as well. Thanks for all of your support, everyone!
Let me remind everyone that Mother's Day is this weekend and this would be a great book to get for your mother. Copies can be ordered from www.whenheartsconjoin.com or www.utahtwins.com. I also have a case of books at home if anyone needs a copy and they are concerned the ones ordered online wouldn't make it on time.
Be sure to check out the links to reviews, articles, or other blogs about this book on my main blog page, and a special thanks to Candi Higley of the Spanish Fork Press for allowing me to use this photo.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
On August 7-8, 2006, the whole world watched as a team of doctors performed a miracle at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the first time, four-year-old twins Maliyah and Kendra Herrin were having surgery--in separate rooms. Born conjoined from mid-torso down, these two angels captured the hearts of millions of people around the world!
Like most Utah residents, Mrs. Lu Ann Staheli was also aware of the birth and eventual separation surgery of the conjoined twins, having seen numerous medical updates as the girls progressed. "Of course, I never anticipated that someday I would be the one to write it," Mrs. Staheli said.
But this past August, that very opportunity came to her. "I was approached by Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box) to work with the girls' mother, Erin, to get their story down in the form of a book. As soon as I met Erin, I knew the story of her entire family needed to be told through her eyes and voice. Hundreds of emails flew back and forth between the two of us, but now we have a book we can both be proud of."
The early reviews have already been positive. Evans says, "It's a great book, a story of faith and the power of a mother's love." Others are also excited about the publication which has a May 1st release date.
TLC recently completed a special about the girls set to air in June, and Oprah can't wait to read the book. She plans to have the family on her show again this summer to celebrate the day the girls receive their prosthetic legs.
Royalties from this book will go into trust funds for the girls.
Copies can be purchased at www.WhenHeartsConjoin.com.
You and a friend are cordially invited to a very rare and special reception to meet the world famous Herrin Twins, hosted by #1 best-selling author Richard Paul Evans.
Come celebrate with the Herrins the release of their new book:
WHEN HEARTS CONJOIN—the miraculous true story of the Herrin twins, with author Lu Ann Staheli
(The Herrin twins have been seen on Oprah, Good Morning America, Today Show, NBC News, Access Hollywood, 20/20, People Magazine, Glenn Beck and many other major media outlets worldwide)
Who are the Herrin Twins?
On August 7-8, 2006, the whole world watched as a team of doctors performed a miracle at Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. For the first time, four-year-old twins Maliyah and Kendra Herrin were having surgery—in separate rooms. Born conjoined from mid-torso down, these two angels captured the hearts of millions of people around the world!
When Hearts Conjoin is the heart-warming story of Erin Herrin, her husband Jake, and Maliyah and Kendra. It is also a story of faith, hope and the power of a mother’s love.
Excerpt from the book:
At 5:45 a.m. we started getting ready for the big day. We awoke Kendra and Maliya, wanting to hold them for the last time as conjoined twins.
“Is it Cut-Apart Day?” Kendra asked.
“Today is the day,” I said, hoping she wasn’t worried, like I was.
I’m not sure worried was a strong enough word to describe how I felt. Terrified might be better. My nerves were raw, my emotions ready to erupt. I tried to stay positive so the girls wouldn’t see how upset I was and become frightened themselves. If anything went wrong today—if I lost one or both of my precious daughters, I’d never be able to live with myself.
This is an extremely rare opportunity to meet these remarkable little girls, one you will likely never have again. Books are just $12.95 and not available at bookstores. Also available: Special Editions signed by the girls. Author royalties from this book go to the girls’ special medical trust fund.
This beautiful book will make a great gift for your friends, family and loved ones.
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 / 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Magnolia Grove Reception Center
1117 W. South Jordan Parkway (106th South)
South Jordan, Utah
We will be limiting attendance
RSVP to Diane Glad: 801-676-3068 or email@example.com
Media will be in attendance
Monday, April 27, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
This is a copy of the new cover for my book. Every day this past week has provided a new and exciting step along the way to making the publication of my first book a reality. I got tears in my eyes when I actually saw the PDF file showing the layout and read the dedication I wrote myself to my family. Come on! I shouldn't cry when I wrote it, should I?
Anyway, I spent an hour proofreading the PDF yesterday (it amazes me how many mistakes appeared between the final draft I sent in and the one they sent back from the designer. Do they just go through and toss in spelling errors, take out italics, and change punctuation marks for the fun of it?)
The official release date is still May 1st, but pre-orders are going great on the website. If you want a copy autographed by Erin or the girls, you can get those there. If you want me to autograph your copy, we'll have to work something out between us.
Thanks for all the support everyone has been through this crazy process!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
The Herrin book is getting very close to the release date. I've submitted the final draft to the printer, cover photos of the Herrin girls are being taken this week, and the web site should be up and running by March 1st, ready for pre-sale orders. They believe the book will be ready by the end of March or the first of April. The Herrins are going to Disney World in March to tape a TLC special (maybe along the lines of jon & Kate, Plus 8). I haven't heard a date for an Oprah appearance yet, but that should be coming as well, and Oprah will also link her website to the direct-sale site for the book. The book will credit me on the front cover, so it will say: "When Hearts Conjoin" Erin Herrin at the top, and with Lu Ann Brobst Staheli at the bottom. I'll post the cover, exact release dates, and website info for ordering copies as soon as that comes in from the publisher.
In the meantime, I've started my next book, a biography of David Osmond. Did you see him on American Idol? He had laryngitis and got kicked off the show during group auditions. That was hysterically funny to those of us who know him because he's been singing in a group since he was 4! Anyway, I've been running his blog, helping with his website, and writing some promotional materials about him as well, just like I used to do when he was a kid! Life goes in such circles. He's going to release a single on iTunes February 20th, so he's off on a radio tour for several weeks promoting the song. He performed it on Entertainment Tonight a couple of weeks ago and we've had lots of positive response.
I may be doing some signings of my own soon, but in the meantime, I will be presenting at the UVU Forum on Children's Literature in March and for the Wordcraft chapter of the League of Utah Writers in April. My topic for UVU is "When they STILL Won't Read," and for the LUW, "How Show, Not Tell, Can Help You Find your Voice." I'll also be on a panel for UVU, "Books I Wish I Had Written or Edited."
If any of you have conferences coming up and you need a speaker, please let me know and I'll send a proposal for a topic that could fit your need.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
It was until the night we attended the symphony at the L.A. county arboretum, and I took my great fall. To make a long story short, when I got back to Utah and we got past the July 4th holiday, we discovered that what we thought was a sprain and a simple fracture in both of my arms, turned out to be a dislocated elbow and a crushed radial head.
I couldn't do surgery until my two day required face-to-face graduate class presentation was complete, so my left arm was in a sling for about six weeks once all was said and done. Two days after surgery I wrote my final grad paper, finishing the class and graduating with a 4.0, and I returned to my own classroom a couple of weeks later.
But that's not all that I've finished since then, while my arms were nearly non-functional. I wrote a screenplay adaptation of an LDS novel, "Seasons of Salvation", which is in pre-production.
I wrote and published several magazine articles, including "Bringing the Library Back to Life after the Library Dragon is Slain" which will be in the March issue of Library Media Connection Magazine and "Mr. & Mrs.: What's in a Name" in the current issue of Desert Saints Magazine.
But the biggest project of all is the book I wrote with Erin Herrin titled "When Hearts Conjoin". This is the true story of the Herrin family, including their daughters Kendra and Maliyah who were born conjoined in 2002 and separated in 2006 at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. We're both excited about this project because the family will soon be featured on a TLC special and Oprah will have them on her show again as well.
One thing all of this has shown me is that, no matter what the obstacles, if I just keep plugging away at my writing, good things can be accomplished. Even though there have been times when I thought I was losing my mind, that a project was too hard or taking too much time, I managed to make it through in the end. I think it all turned out okay, despite the stress and pain.
But then of course, the insane usually do believe their lives are normal.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
There is stiff competition:
Big & Rich, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry and Sugarland.
You can check out all the other nominees online at acmcountry.com
Monday, January 12, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
The biggest accomplishment the past few weeks has been that I finished the rough draft of Conjoined at the Heart: The True Story of the Herrin Family. I know there is much work to be done, but I wanted to be able to say I had finished the all the chapters that were on the outline I was given, and I did. This is a pretty good accomplishment since I started in August and wrote while teaching school and healing from my elbow replacement surgery!
I also wrote and retyped an entire screenplay for Seasons of Salvation at the same time. The last word I hear was that
production could begin in February.
Enough with the updates, here's what's happening in the next few months with my writing and editing careers:
I'll be writing books this year with both Alan and David Osmond. We've started the drafting on Alan's and have David's partially outlined.
I'll be editing Devin Davis's new book in the next weeks.
I'm drafting Fablehaven Teacher Guides for Shadow Mountain Publishers.
I've queried a couple of magazine articles and I'm just waiting to see.
I have future projects already lined up with Deborah Dennis and BookWise Publishers.
That's enough for now. It's wearing me out already just thinking about it!
Hope all of you had a great Christmas and and enjoyable New Year's. I'll be at work on these projects again tomorrow and Saturday, then Monday it's back to the grind of teaching school! (Although the year IS nearly half-way over.)