Tag Archives: The Day Soon Dawns

Lessons From My Father: Lesson #1

Last week I spoke to a group of mostly seniors, residents of Finlandia Village, for Reading Town. Coincidentally, it was the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and only a few days after the seventy-first anniversary of my father’s liberation from Stutthof Concentration Camp. In the days before the talk, I thought about what I would focus on. Sometimes at these events I discuss the method of interviewing my father, the process of writing and rewriting, the stumbling blocks and challenges Read more [...]

Reflections on a Memorable Year

A year ago, last December, I decided to pull my manuscript from the small presses I had approached earlier that spring and self-publish my father’s memoir.  Looking back, it was a decision I made because of concern for my father’s health and a desire to share his story with others while he could still participate. In fact, at the end of January, my father was hospitalized after my mother found him splayed out on their frozen driveway.  Within a few days of hospitalization, the colour returned Read more [...]

10 Tips for a Successful Book Launch

My experience with book launches is limited to two, one of which was my own, so perhaps I’m not the authority on this subject.  But, as always, what I didn’t know led me to read, investigate, ask questions, and eventually follow my own path. What I learned along the way suggests that book launches are as varied as the books they are celebrating and as unique as the individual writers. With that in mind, I offer my tips for creating a memorable book launch based on my first experience. Celebrate! Read more [...]

The Universe Conspires

Paulo Coelho wrote, “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I always liked this idea, but I didn’t really know how it could be possible.  The whole universe? Conspiring? Really?  A month has passed since I launched my family memoir about my father’s experiences as a young Finnish sailor in a Nazi concentration camp.  Before its release on March 19, two months ago, I blogged about the process of self-publishing and all of those things I Read more [...]

My Little Book Goes to Washington

I had a full-circle moment a few days ago when I entered the industrial steel-encased elevator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  A fellow teacher and I had travelled to Washington, D.C. on a school trip with a group of twenty-four grade twelve English and Literature Studies students who were eager to explore the museum for the first time. It was our first stop. This was my third visit to the USHMM, but I was no less excited. Tucked into the pocket of my travel purse I had a copy Read more [...]

One Journey Ends and Another Begins

Spring has finally arrived, although it is difficult to tell as a layer of fine icing sugar snow fills the air and clusters on the deck outside my patio doors.  It has been a whirlwind of a week now that my book is finally published. Appropriately, I think, the official publication date was on the last day of winter.  I started self-publishing at the beginning of December and what a journey it has been!  Like waiting for spring, it took several weeks longer and was more blustery than I initially Read more [...]

Striving for Perfection While Learning to be Imperfect

Last week I was delighted to find the printed proof copy of my manuscript in the mail. When I cracked open the heavy duty cardboard packaging to reveal the book version, without the cover art, unfortunately, I was thrilled. What I didn’t expect was the anxious feeling that accompanied the excitement. This is it. This is the book. This is what I have been working for over the past three years. As I flipped through the pages, pausing to look at the pictures, the headers, the fleurons, and the fonts Read more [...]

Cover Art for Christmas

Christmas came early to the Kovala household this year.  A few days before the event, I checked my email and, low and behold, a message magically appeared. With a quick click of my mouse, I opened the file, a most electronic type of wrapping paper, to view the package inside: two possible versions of my book cover. I could have kissed Santa right there through my laptop screen. I know it is dangerous to judge a book by its cover, but I have to admit that my general browsing through bookstores includes Read more [...]

What I Don’t Know about a Book’s Interior Design

What I Don’t Know about a Book’s Interior Design I vividly remember standing in the stacks at the Morisette Library at the University of Ottawa, a second year English major, overwhelmed by the sheer number of books and seriously wondering how I would ever be able to read all of them in my lifetime. Even at that age, I naively had every intention of trying to do just that. There was something about the dark and musty rows upon rows of shelves that ran from my toes to the tips of my fingers Read more [...]

How a Story’s Circle Expands

December 14, 2014   How a Story’s Circle Expands This week in self-publishing was all about…waiting.  I’m not so good at biding my time.  Perhaps that’s why I chose to self-publish in the first place.  After many months of waiting on publishers to say yes or no to my manuscript, I decided to move ahead on my own. This week, with nothing to be done but practice patience, I finished a short story, read a few articles about self-publishing and experienced some Zen moments Read more [...]