Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Favorite Things About Editing

It's almost December, so I am definitely feeling in the holiday mood. The Sound of Music is my favorite movie. One of its songs, "My Favorite Things," is often played around the holidays, so I thought I would use that theme to discuss my favorite things about editing.

Editing Makes Us Think

I don't edit as I go. My goal: get to the end as quickly as possible. That first draft might wind up dreadful, but it's done. When I sit down to edit, the thinking cap comes on. Is this the best word? How many words are overused? Does this sentence clearly communicate what I meant? What can I cut? Where should I add? It's the deep thinking of editing that makes the story stronger.

Editing Helps Us Better Understand Characters

In the world of fan fiction, if you write a storyline that doesn't stay true to a character, you'll hear about it. A reader of one of your stories might not take kindly to sweet ole Ida, who they have adored for twenty chapters, pushing the minister down the stairs or cursing up a storm when she slams her finger in the door. The reader will be scratching her head and wondering what the heck happened.

Editing gives you the time to consider the actions of your characters. In the middle of a situation, do their actions make sense? Take time to understand why they do what they do. If they are acting in an unusual manner, what has happened? Will that character's response be realistic to the reader?

Editing Helps with Fact Checking

As a writer of historical fiction, accuracy is important to me. If it's Christmastime in America -- before fancy wrapping paper was regularly used in the United States -- my character better not be opening a gift wrapped in shiny paper with a glossy bow on it. Writers can tweak history here and there, but readers of this genre have an expectation that proper research has been performed. Should the flow of writing be stopped to fact check? Who knows what rabbit hole that will lead you into. Highlight areas that need fact checking, and use the editing stage to iron out those details.

Hopefully, this has shown you some great advantages to the editing process. What do you enjoy most about editing? What are areas you struggle with?

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, Amos Faces His Bully. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at

Monday, November 26, 2018

4RV at Luther Pecan Festival

         The announcement let people know 4RV Publishing would be present at the Luther Pecan Festival November 17, 2018. The 4RV crew arrived late the afternoon  the day before to set up the tent and tables and planned to be back at 7:30 the morning of the festival to finish setting up. Jacque Graham and Vivian Zabel arrived to  find the tables piled away from our spot and the tent upside down in the path trucks would take to get to other spots, an auspicious start to what ended as a successful day.

Wayne Harris-Wrick
       Four authors/staff plus one unofficial member of the company helped with the booth: Wayne Harris-Wyrick, Jacque Graham, Dianna Street (and her daughter Morgan), and Vivian Zabel.

Morgan, Dianna Street and Vivian Zabel



      The largest group of people the company has seen at any event flowed through the festival constantly until 4 PM that day.

      Vivian, a former Luther High School teacher, saw many former students, parents of former students, and teachers and staff from her past life at Luther. Many bought copies of her books as well as those by other 4RV authors.

Jacque Graham
Jaccque Graham helping a customer

       If possible, 4RV will attend the Luther Pecan Festival again in 2019.

       With Dianna Street, managing vice president, helping, 4RV will be represented at more events. December 1,  several authors will be participating at Jingle Jam, held at Piedmond, Oklahoma. Some books by authors not able to attend will also be available.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Kindertransport: A Child's Journey earns the Silver Literary Classis Seal of Approval

              Literary Classics is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in literature. Through our AWARDS, BOOK REVIEWS, and SEAL OF APPROVAL PROGRAM, we help you sort through the many books in circulation today. It is our goal to help you select the finest books available. Additionally, our programs offer opportunities for publishers, authors and illustrators to receive recognition for providing excellence in literature. Below is the review for Kindertransport:
Helen, a young Jewish girl, could no longer play with the kids in her neighborhood, nor was she allowed to attend school anymore.  She couldn’t understand why the kids who were once her friends now spat at her and called her horrible names. As if that were not enough, her parents feared the worst and tearfully insisted on sending her by train to England where she could be kept safe.  Kindertransport – A Child’s Journey, by Kena Sosa recounts the atrocities of World War II at a time when children were sent away to escape the tyranny of the Nazi regime.  This relatable and heartfelt story is told from the perspective of young Helen as she struggles with accepting her new fate while hoping and praying for her parent’s safety.  Recommended for home and school libraries, Kindertransport – A Child’s Journey has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval 
     Kindertransport: A Child's Journey, written by Kena Sosa and illustrated by Jeanne Conway, and Kena's bilingual book Rey Antonio and Rey Feo can be purchased on the 4RV Bookstore as well as through brick and mortar stores and other online sites. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Where Did Panther Go? earns Gold Literary Seal of Approval

     Literary Classics published the following review of the gold seal winning children's picture book by Vivian Zabel and illustrated by Carrie Salazar. Any placement in the Literary Classics competition is notable and a great honor.
Katie’s kitten had lived a long life, but after her Funny Face kitty passed away Katie was quite sad.  That was until one day when her uncle surprised her with a new kitten which he hoped might make her feel better.  Katie loved her new kitty which she named Panther.  As Panther grew, the two became the best of friends and Katie even made up a song which she often sang to her little black cat.  But one day Panther slipped outside and disappeared.  Katie was beside herself with worry.  She didn’t know if or how she might ever find her little black kitty again.

Where Did Panther Go?, by Vivian Zabel is a sweet story about the bond between a little girl and the pet she adores.  This memorable tale will tug at children’s heartstrings as they sing along with Katie’s song in this lovely children’s picture book.  Musical notes and lyrics are printed in the back of the book along with an interesting section on fun cat facts.  Recommended for home and school libraries, Where Did Panther Go? has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval

     Where Did Panther Go? can be ordered through the 4RV Bookstore as well as through brick and mortar stores and other online sources.

     Another book from 4RV received a silver seal, and a newsletter blog post about it will be posted in two or three days.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fiction vs Nonfiction -- Part 1

         I have heard writers say or write, "I can write fiction but not nonfiction," or "I can write nonfiction but not fiction." We all can write both if we can write, but we may do better at one than the other. Often components of one type writing are the same as for the other. But, let's compare the two and not be afraid to try either or both.

Fiction vs Nonfiction Part 1

         I will present my thoughts in an outline format to help readers follow, remember, and keep.


Where to get ideas for fiction or nonfiction (keep a notebook with ideas):

1.  Newspaper articles, media stories, overheard comments
2.  Assignments, interesting topics, world events, historical locations and people
3.  People watching, research, ideas from others
4.  Family stories, personal experiences, experiences of others, personal interests
Our imaginations are our biggest assets to use when searching for ideas.

Research/Gather Info.

Fiction (I use index cards, one for each character or detail):
1.  Have general idea of story line.
2.  Need names and characteristics (physical, emotional, mental), hobbies, likes, dislikes. Use more information than will be included in writing/work. Include relationships to other characters.
3.  Need details for locations, events, etc.
4.  IF using any facts, be sure they are correct – research. Yes, research is necessary for fiction.

Nonfiction (I also use index cards, one for each individual point):
1. Have thesis. This is the topic and points you’ll cover.
2. Research each and every point.
3. Have at least 3-4 support points for each main point, even if all aren’t used.
4. Conclusion should tie everything together or refer/tie to the beginning


Fiction: Writers organize their material in one of several ways. Some use more than one.
1. Outlining (I agree with Tony Hillerman that outlining doesn’t work for everyone)
2. Mental “movie” of story before writing
3. Story boards
4. Plot/time lines
I use a combination of “movie” and plot/time lines. I also organize my index cards to help with time line.

1. Organize note cards in order of thesis.
2. Create outline, how detailed = writer’s preference (I use detailed outline)

a bad beginning means a book/story/article not read

Fiction: “grab” reader’s attention immediately.
1. Begin in the right place, with an inciting incident – something happens that indicates a story-worthy problem. The rest of the story contains the struggle to resolve problem(s).
2. Have the hook within the first sentences or paragraphs. Don’t bore the reader first.
3. Intrigue the reader and cause him to want to continue reading.

Nonfiction: Need an introduction that captures the attention of the reader and leads to the thesis.
1. A story/example
2. Statistics presented in an interesting/amazing way or give surprising fact(s)
3. Provide details leading to the thesis

         I will continue this discussion of fiction vs nonfiction my next newsletter. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Pahutchae's Pouch Released - historical fiction with mystery, romance, and treachery

      Pahutchae's Pouch is a compelling fictional history of people and events from 1783 to 2017. The story relates the interaction and intertwining of descendants from Pahutchae, an Ioway Indian, and Johann Sordenauer from Hamburg, Germany.

      Oil, murder, love, a concealed treaty with American Indians, and international and national political intrigue make Pahutchae's Pouch the quintessential page-turner.

     The author, vehoae, wrote Pahutchae's Pouch in the literary vein of James A Michener. People who enjoy reading historical fiction with multiple twists will enjoy vehoae's book.

     Copies of the book, whether hardcover or paperback, can be found at the 4RV Bookstore or through brick and mortar stores or other online sources.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Two 4RV Books Finalists for CLC Award


Literary Classics Announces Youth Media Book Award Finalists

Rapid City, SD - Tradition continues with the arrival of one of the most anticipated moments in the world of children’s and young adult literature. The 2018 Literary Classics Book Award Finalists and Top Honors Book Awards Finalists have been announced. Selected from submissions by entrants around the globe, these distinguished honorees are recognized for their contributions to the craft of writing, illustrating, and publishing exceptional literature for a youth audience. In this highly competitive industry these books represent the foremost in literature in their respective categories.

The competition this year was tremendous, and we congratulate all of the finalists for their outstanding and inspiring work. Final awards, categories and levels will be announced on November 15, 2018. All Silver, Gold and Top Honors award recipients will be invited to attend a writers’ conference, awards ceremony, formal gala, and authors’ book signing to be held in conjunction with the Great American Book Festival, May 10, 11 & 12, 2019 in downtown Rapid City, South Dakota. 

The Literary Classics selection committee is proud to recognize two books from 4RV Publishing: 

     Kindertransport: A Child's Journey by Kena Sosa and illustrated by Jeanne Conway 
    Where Did Panther Go?  by Vivian Zabel and illustrated by Carrie Salazar.

Final award levels & categories will be announced November 15, 2018

     4RV Publishing congratulates both authors and illustrators.  As someone said recently, "4RV may take more time than some people like to get books outs, but their books win awards." We want every book to be well-written, well-edited, and well-designed.

      Kena Sosa has now had two books released through 4RV. Her first book, a bilingual English/Spanish children's book Rey Antonio & Rey Feo, and Kindertransport can be found on the 4RV Book Store, as well through other online stores and brick and mortar stores.

     Jeanne Conway has illustrated several books for 4RV including Kena's, all which bring the author's story to life.

     Vivian Zabel wrote several novels and young adult books, many of which won honors. Where Did Panther Go? is the second which made the CLC finalist list. 

     Carrie Salazar has also illustrated several books for 4RV. As well as Where Did Panther Go? , she provided illustrations for Spearfinger, a bilingual book in English and Cherokee.