Month: January 2014

Join See Jane Write at the Birmingham Local Authors Expo


Birmingham writers, mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 1. On this day the Birmingham Public Library will present its annual Local Authors Expo. This expo gives local authors an opportunity to sell their books, network with other writers, and attend free workshops. This year, See Jane Write will present a workshop on how authors can use social media to reach readers and promote their work.
The See Jane Write social media workshop, set for 1 p.m., will be led by yours truly and authors Stephanie Naman and Kathryn Lang. Naman, author of the novel Murder on the First Day of Christmas, has not only had great success with social media networks such as Twitter and Pinterest but she also blogs as the main character of her book at Chloe Gets a Clue. Naman will discuss best practices for blogging and using social media. Lang, who has published ten books, has a knack for helping people develop self-marketing plans that get to the heart of their writing goals. She will share her writing wisdom at the session, too.
I’m also quite excited about the morning workshop “How to Write While Having a Life.” This session is set for 10 a.m. and will be led by young adult author and full-time teacher Anne Riley. Riley will explain how to make writing a book a manageable task when you also have a job and a family.

See Jane Write Magazine contributor Chanda Temple had a chat with Riley and the prolific author shared that one of the best pieces of writing advice she’s ever received is “Write the book you want to read.” 

Saturday she’ll share tips on how to actually find time to do so. 

You can read Temple’s entire interview with Riley at See Jane Write Magazine

The Birmingham Public Library Local Authors Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Central branch of the Birmingham Public Library, located at 2100 Park Place in downtown Birmingham. Nearly 100 authors will be on site selling their books. This event is free and open to the public. For more information visit

See Jane Speak (and Eat) at FoodBlogSouth

I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately and not just because I’m fasting meat, sweets, and dairy for my church’s annual 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. 

I have also (like every other middle class American) resolved to eat a more healthful diet this year. If you need some help with your own aspiration to eat right in 2014, check out the recipe for Brussels sprouts with fried egg and curried spiced yogurt salad by Christy Turnipseed that was featured last week on

I’ve also been thinking a lot about food because on Saturday, January 25, I will be speaking at the annual food blogging conference FoodBlogSouth. Yes, I know I’m not a food blogger, but I’ll be speaking to attendees about generating blog post ideas. 

I’m usually a bit embarrassed when people ask me how I come up with ideas for my blogs because my process is really weird. Sure, I believe you should read a lot of books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to stay abreast of trends and current events related to your niche. But I believe you still need to do something to mold all that information into a solid idea and this is where my process gets screwy. I have this uncanny ability to stare at an object, contemplate how I could connect it to my niche and produce a blog post idea from this process. 
I especially enjoy using parts of the human body for inspiration. I could stare at my big toe and come up with five blog posts ideas. (Really, I can. I tried it once.) Weird as it is, I thought this process would come in handy when the organizers of FoodBlogSouth asked me to come speak about generating blog post ideas. My presentation is called America’s Next Top Blogger: How Tyra Banks Can Help You Generate Blog Post Ideas because Ms. Banks did, in a way, inspire this strange process of mine. On her show America’s Next Top Model,  Tyra always tells the young aspiring models who are contestants on the show to model head to toe or “H2T.” At FoodBlogSouth I’ll be giving a 15-minute crash course in what I call “Blogging H2T.” I’m going to show attendees how they can generate 30 food-related blog post ideas by contemplating different parts of the human body.
I hope you’ll join me at this event. There are many other great reasons to attend FoodBlogSouth besides my weird talk. The conference will feature sessions on photography and food styling, how to turn your blog into a career, multimedia storytelling, and much more. You can view the full agenda online.
FoodBlogSouth 2014 will be held Jan. 24-25 at Rosewood Hall, 2850 19th Street South in Homewood, Alabama. Registration is $175 but See Jane Write fans can receive a discount by following this link.
My fast also ends the morning of this conference, so you will most likely see me stuffing my face with cake and cheese before and after (and perhaps even during) my talk.