Monday, May 16, 2011

Amelia Givin Library Needs You!

In 1890, Miss Amelia Givin, heir to the Givin paper mill and rug factory fortune, presented the tiny borough of Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania, with a free public library. (Miss Givin was a real trailblazer: her library opened five years before Andrew Carnegie's library in Pittsburgh and four years before George Pepper's Philadelphia Free Library.)

The Amelia Givin Library (added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004) is the oldest library in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and continues to serve Mt. Holly Springs and the surrounding communities.

The library has a vibrant children's program and offers computer access, as well as books, periodicals, and videos for children, teens, and adults.

As a member of the library's Board of Trustees, I can tell you that the library is heavily used by the community and that it---like all of Pennsylvania's libraries---has experienced some significant budget cuts in recent years.

So, the library's annual on-line auction, which is its biggest fundraiser, is more important than ever!

My publisher has graciously donated a Kindle to the upcoming auction. I am donating a signed paper copy of IRREPARABLE HARM and the right to name a character in my work-in-progress.
I am also going to load the Kindle with the IRREPARABLE HARM and DARK BLOOMS ebooks.

Here's where you come in: Do you have a paper version of your book (signed or unsigned) that you're willing to donate? Would you donate an electronic version that I can load onto the Kindle?

Fellow thriller writer Douglas Dorow recently solicited ebooks for a Kindle that he donated to his children's school auction with great success, so I am going to shamelessly copy him here:

I will (1) thank each author or publisher who donates to the auction here on the blog (where all five of my followers will be very impressed, I am sure), as well as on Twitter and my Facebook page; (2) link to the book and/or your website; and (3) encourage the winning bidder to post Amazon reviews of the books after he or she has read them as a way of thanking the authors.

The auction is in October and the deadline to submit items is September 15, so you have plenty of time to finish your WIP. Heck, if you write fast, you could finish two!

You say you aren't a writer or publisher but you want to support the library?

No problem! The auction isn't limited to literary items. Past auctions have included themed gift baskets, gift cards, handcrafted items, sports memorabilia---pretty much if you are willing to donate it, we would love to have it!

Please post a comment if you have any questions or e-mail me at melissa(at)melissafmiller(dot)com.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Steel Pierogies?

As Mother's Day approaches, I am thinking about all the Pittsburgh women---moms and non-moms---whom I know and love. I am also thinking about my protagonist, Sasha McCandless.

And the striking thing about all of them is that they share the same tough-as-nails outer shell. The women I know and admire are pragmatic, sarcastic, and take charge. They may not, as Sasha does, break someone's fingers and disarm them, but they overcome real-life challenges with a matter-of-fact grace and wit.*

And inside that tough exterior is a warm gooey center. These are women who support, love, and help their families and friends.

I should know. Since the publication of Irreparable Harm, my circle of Pittsburgh women, both those still in place and those who have relocated but retained their Pittsburghness, have been amazingly supportive. From buying multiple copies of the book to sending me flowers, my relatives and friends have rallied around me. Which is what Pittsburgh women do.

Thanks, ladies.

*I am actually pretty sure that ALL women have this dual nature---whether it is the steel magnolia manifestation from the South (soft and ladylike outside and tough inside) or the tough outside/soft inside version indigenous to the 'Burgh.