Monday, May 27, 2013

My Highfalutin Notions About Responsible Authorship!

My novel, Magic All Around has two reviews on Amazon now.  It’s a big deal in my life, and I don’t mind if you’re amused by how big a deal it is to me because I’m highly amused by it myself.  Nonetheless, it’s a big deal. 

You see, this is my dream, this writing stuff.  This is what I’ve known I’m meant to do since I was twelve years old.  Also, I believe in “responsible authorship”.  In other words, I think there’s a lot of crap and drivel in the media that takes up too much room in our brains and leads us to have skewed and unhealthy perspectives about reality.  I believe that media creators (authors and such) have a tremendous power to change lives.  With power, comes responsibility.  So, I’m not sitting at my dining room table trying to write stories that I think might make me rich, I’m over here trying to write stories that I think, and hope, might make a difference to someone; stories that might help someone solve a problem, reframe a dilemma, try something new.  I want one person to buy and read Magic All Around and be transformed by it the way I’ve been transformed by books over the years.  I want my stories to trigger new trains of thought, introspection, insight, epiphany.  Plus, I want them to be enjoyable and fun.  Ya know?  I’m asking for a lot, I realize that.  These are pretty highfalutin standards for a light and humorous fantasy novel to live up to! 

All of that is to say, this is why my two reviews on Amazon are a big deal for me.  They are both five star reviews and they both specifically mention the uniqueness of my main character, Vivian Marshall.

I'm a character-driven reader and nothing alienates me faster than a foolish, insipid or boring character. One the other hand, nothing else hooks me like the magnetism of an interesting, three-dimensional character with a unique perspective.

As a writer, I’m also character-driven.  When I created Vivian, I was aiming for realistic; the kind of young woman you might actually meet if you came to Juneau and wandered into her artist’s studio.  I also wanted Vivian to demonstrate the kind of self-determination that you and I might, in her circumstances.  I wanted to avoid, at all costs, a character that tripped over her own feet, didn’t know what she liked and let other people run the show all the time.  Vivian is far from perfect but she’s on her own path to self-empowerment and she’s not afraid to take action to get what she wants.

What kinds of characters do you like best?
What do you think about responsible authorship?  Do you think authors and other media creators have the power to change cultural trends?

Are you tired of reading about the same recycled female protagonists?  Do you want to meet a young woman who knows how to cook on the engine block of her car?  Care to read about a gal who wears rain boots and ties a bandana over her hair instead of wearing strappy heels and carefully coifed locks?
Meet Vivian Marshal.  She's introverted but she's not soft-spoken!
If you long for a strong, unique female lead, you'll adore the stubborn and self-determined Vivian as well as the rest of the unique cast in Magic All Around.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Breaking News & Silly Legalities

Hello and happy Wednesday to all!

Today, I woke to thrilling news on several fronts:

1-    My interview about Magic All Around on No Wasted Ink with Wendy Van Camp has gone live and here is a link! I’m delighted to be interviewed by Wendy and am impressed by her organization; she’s a pro and her blog has great and consistent content.

2-    Thanks to one of my wonderful Twitter pals in the U.K., my short memoir Head Buckets & Hashtags has received its first review on!

3-    My Magic All Around bookmarks are printed and cut and ready to pick-up! Whee!

As you can see, life is jogging along at quite a pace and I’m scrambling, with my short legs, to keep up.  Imagine me grinning  and hooking Jeb up to a skateboard.  He can pull me along just a bit faster…Wheeeeeeeee!

Today, I’d like to share with you a morsel of writing that I did NOT include in Magic All Around.  I wanted to.  I was ready to.  A wise friend talked me out of it.  I ended up using a more conservative statement.  Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy reading this and imagining it in my front matter.

This is the section where I remind you that, being a novel (a fantasy novel, no less) this is a work of fiction.  In other words, it’s all made up.  It’s also the section where I say that any resemblance of anything in this book to anything in real life is totally and completely coincidental.  As we both know, that sort of coincidence is sheer bunk.  First, this story is set in a real place: my home, Juneau, Alaska.  I admit, I’ve tweaked several teensy details about Juneau, but not that many.  Second, a few of the secondary characters in this story are inspired by (and resemble) close friends and family and all the characters in this story (including the antagonist); resemble me, which can’t be a coincidence because I’m the author!
I’ll be blunt: the purpose of this section is less about coincidence and more about preventing litigation.  Please don’t sue me.  I’m not maligning anyone’s character (except, perhaps, my own) in this book.  Besides, if I was going to commit defamation, libel isn’t my style.  If I was going to vilify someone, I would slander them in person, and I’d do it while hopping up and down, frothing at the mouth and turning various shades of red and purple (maybe red with purple polka-dots).  I know, not a pretty picture.  Let’s avoid it, shall we?

If you do try to sue me, Vivian will make you eat raw Brussels’ sprouts and that, dear reader, could be a real crime! 


May your day be filled with wonder, delight and perfect moments!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Secret Dangers Of Being An Author:

Just over a week ago, I launched my debut novel, Magic All Around for Mother’s Day and a week ago today, I hosted a Twitter launch party.  What a blast!  The Twitter party was fabulous, exciting and fun to the point that I’m trying to figure out how to have all my parties on Twitter from now on!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am hugely lucky to have met so many kindred spirits and fantastic pals on Twitter and through blogging.  Wow.  Thank you, folks for all of your support.

Since then, it’s been a rip roarin’ week.  I wrote my first press release and have been diligently finding places to submit it.  Did you know that there are press release distribution services all over the internet?  So, I hooked up with a few places that have a free listing option.  I also designed bookmarks for Magic All Around which I’ve sent to the printer, posted the novel at Indie Book Lounge (if you like to read indie, you should check it out, had fun learning about postal services in Europe, updated this, entered that, created such-and-so and signed up for Good Reads.  Whew!  Every step of the way, I’ve learned new skills and experienced firsts.  Every step of the way, I’ve also gotten feedback, help, support and encouragement not only from my family and friends, but from all of the wonderful people that I’ve met through the internet.  And here, I need to issue a warning.  If you are a brand new author, get excited easily and have an amazing network of supporters, BEWARE!  You may get that floaty feeling.  You may find yourself grinning and drifting up, up towards the ceiling.  You may, in fact, end up with a bruised noggin from spending too much time floating around up there and repeatedly knocking your supposedly hard head against ceiling.  Wear a helmet during the first week after publication.  That’s what I recommend!
May you all have a fabulous day filled with perfect moments!
P.S. Speaking of firsts, Magic All Around has its first review on Amazon! *thumps head against ceiling*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My First Press Release


Marcy L. Peska

Marcy L. Peska publishes debut novel set in Juneau

 Juneau, AK, May 15, 2013

 Longtime resident Marcy L. Peska released her debut novel Magic All Around, on Mother’s Day on Amazon Kindle’s digital publishing platform KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). 

 Marcy set Magic All Around in Juneau because, “There’s nowhere more enchanting than Southeast Alaska.  The land, the ocean, the climate, the wildlife; this region is magic.” Magic All Around is contemporary fantasy written for adults.  Dog-lovers will delight in the canine antics that shape this story and genre readers will relish a fresh voice in the field.  Marcy’s loving portrayal of Juneau’s scenery, weather and local customs is woven smoothly into the fabric of the novel.  Readers previously unfamiliar with the region may find themselves longing for a taste of wild Alaskan salmon and a visit to the world’s largest temperate rainforest.

Marcy arrived in Juneau, Alaska as an infant and spent much of her transient childhood living on boats and in float houses.  She lived in the remote community of Edna Bay in Southern Southeast Alaska for nine years and returned to Juneau permanently in 1991.    

 Marcy is a dog-loving author who lives with her husband and their four-footed pitsky (pit bull/husky mix) Jeb.  Ms. Peska blogs at  Her novel, as well as her short memoir Head Buckets & Hashtags, may be purchased from Amazon Kindle. 

Marcy welcomes those interested in her writing to contact her via any of the links below.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day!


Today’s post is dedicated to my amazing mom.  If you’ve read the first chapter of my fantasy novel, you probably realize that my main character Vivian idolizes her mom…even when she is annoyed by her.  Vivian hasn’t fully come to terms with the idea that her mom, Maeve, has her own identity, separate from that of being her mom.  Vivian wishes that Maeve were static and unchanging and doesn’t yet understand how much each of us grows and changes throughout our lives.

Writing about Vivian’s relationship with her mom was fun for me.  I loved writing the push/pull dynamics and the saucy banter!  I drew on some of my own experiences as a daughter because I know all about how it feels to idolize one’s mother and about how deep that appreciation and love can run even when Mom is human and flawed.

Some of you will have read my short memoir, Head Buckets & Hashtags and may have wondered what my adult relationship is with the woman who married the evil that was my stepfather.  There’s no sense in me being coy about this stuff, it’s obvious my mom made some horrible errors in judgment.  And, still, I idolize her.  Remember, she’s also the woman who drove my stepfather out of the house and out of our lives with the business end of a shotgun. 

In the years since that event, my mom and I have taken college courses together and worked as colleagues in two human service agencies for a total of eight years.  At work, it was fun to call her Georgia and to see how long it took folks to realize that we have the same laugh because we’re related.   We've been lucky to build a fantastic adult friendship.  Someday, Vivian and Maeve will get there, too! 

Today, my gift to my wonderful, complex, growing mother is the publication of my very first novel.  Magic All Around is NOW AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE.  My mom has been waiting for this as long as I have.  She’s been my number one fan since the very beginning.

Thank you, Mom.  I love you!

You should know that sometimes I do things that annoy the crap out of my mom.  This, gentle readers, is going to be one of them.  This is a photo of my mom.  I think she’s beautiful and that her amazing capacity for unconditional love, her resilience and her wonderful wit are visible in this image.

Don't forget to join the #MagicAllAround book launch party on Twitter tomorrow (5/13/13) from noon-2p.m. Alaska Standard Time (4-6p.m. Eastern)!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Author!

Folks; life is exciting and I’m honored to be interviewed in two places today! 
First, please meet Dara Beevas and Amy Quale at WiseInk Creative Publishing.  The WiseInk was one of the first (and best) resources I discovered as I began exploring self-publishing and I subscribe to their terrific blog.  WiseInk has posted an interview with me about my short memoir Head Buckets & Hashtags!

I’d also like to introduce you to Kristin McFarland, who’s been interviewing authors from across the genre spectrum for her blog.  Ms. McFarland asks tough and thought provoking questions that challenge her interviewees to dig deep for answers.  I enjoyed talking with her about contemporary fantasy and my debut novel Magic All Around.  Don’t just read my interview, read the previous author interviews and watch for the ones not yet posted; that’s what I’m doing!

In case you don’t already know, Magic All Around is going live on Sunday, May 12 at Amazon Kindle!  If you don’t have a Kindle reading device, Amazon has free applications for smart phones and all manner of desk and laptop computers so you can read Kindle content on the device(s) you already have.  If you have questions, please tweet or e-mail me and I’ll be happy to help you figure it out.
YOU are invited to my 

Twitter Launch Party
for Magic All Around on Monday, May 13th from noon-2p.m. AKST (4-6pm Eastern).  Please let me know if you need help sorting out the time zones!  We’ll be using the hashtag #magicallaround 

Plan to have a blast, ‘cause there’ll be fun, games and give-aways!

 Salmon jerky, smoked coho, smoked white king, smoked red king, salmon jerky

I’m starting an e-mailing list!

Do you find it difficult to stay caught up on what your favorite authors are doing? Does it seem like you're inundated with social media updates but still missing important announcements?
Sign up for my e-mail list and you'll never have to worry about keeping track of what I'm up to; I'll send you a friendly e-mail whenever I have writing-related news!
I won't send you spam and I won't share your contact information with anyone else.  If you want to be removed from this list at any time, just send me a quick “unsubscribe” e-mail & I'll remove your name & contact info.

As part of my launch celebration, the first 100 people (or pups) to sign up for my list between now & midnight (AKST) on Monday, May 13, 2013 will receive a hand-written Alaska postcard from me (complete with my not-yet-famous autograph) and will be entered into a drawing for a professionally vac-packed piece of wild Alaska-caught salmon!

To sign up: send me your first & last name, your mailing and email addresses at
Subject Line: e-mail list

If you do not include your name and full snail-mail address, you will automatically opt out of the postcard & drawing!
I'm having perfect moments just left and right!  I hope you collect some perfect moments today, too!