The cure for cabin fever? More books, of course

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

As I type this, many of us are still spending inordinate amounts of time indoors as the world continues to grapple with a pandemic affecting almost every aspect of daily life.

In my area, hair salons and barber shops have been closed since mid-March, so at this point, it’s impossible to tell, just by looking, the back of my head from the front. You’d need to hear my muffled voice—coming from under my thick cloth face mask—to know where to direct your attention.

The cure for the cabin fever so many of us are experiencing? Why, more books, of course.

That’s why I’m inviting you to join us for our virtual book fair, the September Book Reading Party. From the comfort of your home, you’ll be able to read the books we’ve been working so hard to write and publish over the past year. RSVP now, and you might even discover your new favorite author this fall!

It’s all part of the Book of the Year Competition, which rages on over at ChapterBuzz, and if you’re the author of a published book, you’re invited to enter. Up for grabs is a valuable prize package that includes promotion for your book, a premium membership to ChapterBuzz, and credit toward a complete publishing package for your next book. Enter today to compete for the biggest award we’ve ever given!

Now, let’s open up this issue and see what we have, shall we?

In a poem called “Little Wolf,” author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes, in vivid language, a “brutal and beautiful” life. “I tend to think or feel that I should always be a good deal further ahead than I am,” Allison writes, “even though ‘ahead’ is an immeasurable illusion.” It’s a short poem, but one you’ll want to read over and over.

Then, award-winning novelist Jodé Millman, who is also an attorney, has plenty to teach us about publishing contracts. This month, she goes into detail about force majeure, a clause that can release a publisher from the original terms of an agreement—and as you’ll see, it’s especially relevant during a pandemic. With her ability to turn an otherwise dry topic into a fascinating read, the information Jodé shares could help you avoid costly misunderstandings.

Regular columnist Shirley Holder Platt, as the award-winning author of Mama Needs New Shoes, knows a thing or two about how to use language effectively to evoke a reader’s senses. “If what you write doesn’t excite you,” she asks, “why would it excite anyone else?” In her column this month, Shirley shares a simple 3-step method for finding the words to arouse the senses.

And on the cover is, well, the creative mind behind the cover herself: graphic designer, film producer, and Pushcart Prize–nominated author Bri Bruce. I’ve worked with Bri for many years on books and other projects, and these gorgeous magazine covers you’ve been seeing every month are made possible by her talent.

In her interview article, Bri discusses how she discovered her true calling in life, why she desperately needs a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her office door, and how she happened to get involved in documentary filmmaking on the side. “It’s hard for me to say no to any project—and it’s very rare that I do,” she tells me. Bri loves working with authors, and is available to help with the cover of your book.

There are plenty of tidbits in these virtual pages to delight your senses, so kick back in that old rocking chair with a tall glass of iced tea—spiked, if that’s your jam—and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Now if I could just get the hair out of my eyes long enough to send this off…

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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