Kidnapped Smile: A Book Trailer

Do you ever find yourself stuck in your novel? Wondering where the heck to go next? I sure do. So, why not try taking a break from crafting your novels to create a book trailer? It is a total blast to mix different images with summarizing phrases until you get just the right sequence to tell your story.

What I do is build it little by little. I add a few scenes, before viewing the beginning of the video to get the gist of it. If the mood is right I add more. Then I repeat this process, again and again until I’m satisfied.

Here’s one about the Kidnapped Smile I had fun with over the weekend.  Enjoy!

Laurie Woodward is the author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. She co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at

Review of Number the Stars

Do people stand up to fascism? Who can find hope when their people are disappearing right and left? How does a single child survive a human-made holocaust? These are the types of questions Danes had to deal with during World War II. And their answer is found in Lois Lowry’s poignant novel, Number the Stars.

Number the Stars  is the story of two 10 year old friends, AnneMarie and Ellen, who live in Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943. The story is told by the Christian, girl AnneMarie, as she watches what happens to her Jewish friend, Ellen, when the Nazis gain power. The events seem innocuous  until one day some friends of the family disappear, and their business is shut down, as the Nazi “relocation” of the Danish Jews gets underway.  What ensues is a heroic adventure that reminds us all of the best and the worst in humanity.

Not only moving, but educational, Lowry’s book is based on real events of the evacuation of Danish Jews from Copenhagen during WWII. It is heartening to hear that when the Nazis threatened to relocate all the Jews in Denmark, the Danish people came to their aid and smuggled almost the entire Jewish population, nearly 7,000 people, to the safety of Sweden.

If only all peoples could band together like this. Just imagine.

Highly recommended.

A teacher, Laurie Woodward is the author of  several novels including Forest Secrets, and the fantasy series The Artania ChroniclesShe also cowrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes her novels on the Central Coast of California.

Artania Launches at Number One!

These last two weeks have been such a whirlwind of emotions. From reeling over a publishing deal to getting the manuscript ready to awaiting Artania’s release, I’ve been swirling. Then Creativia released the novel on Amazon and it hit number one. To say I’m feeling gratitude is a full on understatement.

Dreams. Realized.

Buy Artania!

But I’m Embarrassed!

I gulped. Me? What if I sound stupid? Hell, I will. I’ll say something that’ll make Dumb and Dumber look like Einsteins,  I thought when the president of my writer’s club, Cathy Kitchco, sent an email asking if she could interview me for her weekly radio show. I pressed reply and began to type, NO WAY! But then a quiet voice whispered in my shy skull…

Stop. Writer’s need to do interviews. You’ve done them before and didn’t die. Actually were good. Be brave.

My hand hovered over the keyboard. Forcing my shaking fingers to type what my flip-flopping gut fought I told Cathy that I’d be honored to do an interview over the phone.

Then came the big day. That morning I must have cleared out every frog that ever dared to hide in my vocal cords. Ahem. Ahem. AHEM.  Then, with notes splayed all over my kitchen table, I waited for the phone to ring.

Was I shaking and nervous? Hello? Does a skunk’s spray stink? You bet I was. But a funny thing happened as I started to talk about writing. I forgot I was being interviewed and started to focus on the joy writing brings me.

And guess what? I sounded nothing like Jim Carey.

Here it is, what do you think?”>Woodward Interview

Creating an Author Page on Facebook

Are you a shy author like me? Do you find it challenging to put yourself out there to get interest in your books? Are you afraid that you will become that annoying salesman that everyone avoids? If so, one way to create interest is to make a fan page on Facebook

It’s easy. All you have to do is Click on “Create” and then “Page” from your home page. Next you will be asked to choose from an icon menu. I chose “Brand” but “Entertainment” works just as well. Now you set up your page just like your FB profile, link to your books, and wallah you are ready to invite friends to like it.

Give it a try. You won’t even sound like that annoying time share salesman you listened to in Hawaii just to get a free snorkel trip. I promise.


Book Launched!

Are you an introverted author like me? Would you rather roll over hot

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My new novel

coals naked than do public speaking? Do you break into a cold sweat just imagining being the center of attention?  We writers are a mixed bunch, but as observers, many of us shy away from taking center stage. Well, if you’re launching a new book, waiting in the wings will not sell copies. I know, I had a field of dreams attitude when I published Artania: The Pharaohs’ Cry. Write it and they will come. Well, they didn’t. Oh, I’ve steadily sold a few books, sure. But nothing like I’d imagined.


So when it was time to publish Forest Secrets I decided to do it right. Hot coals and cold sweats be damned. This time, I’d launch with a scream instead of whisper. We’d have a party and invite everyone, their cousin, their brother and their cousin’s cousin. But first I needed a 10394552_10153068563742221_2548028625675952024_nvenue.

I’d remembered that the owner of Toy Zoo: Anything Educational, Marc Canigiula, had suggested hosting an event at his bookstore when I told him I was publishing a new book. I  was scared to  ask but figured the worst he could say is no. So I headed over, marched inside, and with a gulp asked him if he’d like to host my book launch. My jaw dropped to the floor when he said yes. Not  only that, he’d help me organize the event.

I was flabbergasted and, I’ll admit it, overwhelmed. But I scooped my jaw off the floor and got to work. And the results? A resounding success. I had 75 people attend and sold close to 50 books.

If you are planning your own book launch, here are a few tips:

  1. Start early. Post the upcoming publication on your social media sites. Get over your author humility and brag a little.
  2. Print up invitations. I use Vista Print for quality and value, but there are reasonably priced printers everywhere. Make it look as professional as you can afford, Here’s mine:
  3. previewHave a theme with activities for the attendees. Since most of Forest Secrets  takes place in the woods with mystical creatures, I had leaf coloring, green tape leading kids on a scavenger hu1052nt throughout the store, and mask making.1062
  4. Decorate your book signing table according to your theme. Here’s how I did mine.
  5. 1012Send out notices to local publications. Don’t just focus on newspapers. Be creative. Our school district newsletter did a write up that went out to thousands of employees.
  6. But most of all, have fun! It’s your moment. Enjoy it.

Literature and Conflict Resolution

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Many books can inspire peace in children. Silver People by Margarita Engle, which tells the story of the Panama Canal, is just one.The Jane Adams Peace Association honored this book in its annual awards. For more books that promote peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races go to

Book Trailer Success

Do you have a novel you’re trying to promote? Are you looking for new ways to capture your audience’s  attention? Why not try making a book trailer? With Animoto, it’s easy to create a professional looking commercial.

Here’s one I made for my new novel, Forest Secrets.

Animoto makes it easy.  With over 50 templates, 1000 soundtracks in their music library, and cool typography all you have to add is a script and some photos. Check it out at:

They’ll even let you make a sample for free.