August 31

Birthdays: William Saroyan (1908), Kenneth Oppel (1967), DuBose Heyward (1885), G. Willow Wilson (1982), William Shawn (1907), Stephen Coonts (1944), Blake Nelson (1965)

Tip: When you get to the point where you’re doing book signings, some places you’ll be sitting there twiddling your thumbs and at others, you’ll have a line. Even if all you get asked at the dead one is directions to the bathroom, be nice. Smile. Engage the person as you point to the restroom sign. Perception is everything and if you come across as a curmudgeon, you’ll get a bad reputation.

Thought for the day: “For me the hard part of writing isn’t coming up with ideas — it’s shaping and developing an idea into a good story. I find writing very hard work, and I write and rewrite my stories many times before I’m happy with them. I think inspiration is a small part of the writing process; perseverance is equally, if not more, important!” – Kenneth Oppel

Jumpstart: What kind of garden would a vampire plant? What about an evil magician?

Spotlight: Wendy Stetson

When Tessa’s big-city plans take the A Train to disaster, she lands in her sleepy hometown, smack in the middle of the most unlikely love triangle ever to hit Pennsylvania’s Amish Country.

Hot-shot Dr. Richard Bruce is bound to Green Ridge by loyalty that runs deep. Deeper still is Jonas Rishel’s tie to the land and his family’s Amish community. Behind the wheel of a 1979 camper van, Tessa idles at a fork in the road. Will she cruise the superhighway to the future? Or take a slow trot to the past and a mysterious society she never dreamed she’d glimpse from the inside?

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Wendy Rich Stetson is a New York City girl who still considers the Central Pennsylvania countryside to be her home.  She grew up road tripping in a 1979 VW camper van, and she keeps a running list of favorite roadside attractions from coast to coast.  Now an author of sweet, small-town romance, Wendy is no stranger to storytelling.  She’s a Broadway and television actress, an audiobook narrator, and a mom who likes nothing more than collaborating on children’s books with her teenage artist daughter.  Wendy lives in Upper Manhattan with her family of three and rambunctious Maine Coon kitty.  Follow Wendy’s journey at

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