Headline Hitters: Video Games Are Good For You!

Posted by admin on January 7th, 2013

Video games continue to grow in popularity and widespread use. Genese Davis knows this world well. She is a gamer. She’s also a writer, a pilot, a horseback rider, an athlete, a model and a manager in a financial organization. In other words, she is a highly accomplished, well-rounded woman. She also loves video games. Genese gives us 6 WAYS VIDEO GAMES CAN IMPROVE OUR LIVES.

1) Life Skills Acquired Through Video Games

Video games improve comfort level with professional and social expectations. They require strategy skills, team leadership, problem solving, quick decision-making, delegating responsibility and raising awareness. Building these skills in games can be easily transferred into professional life. Work skills will be enhanced, confidence will grow and leadership skills will develop.

2) Video Games Build Confidence

In video games, the player is the hero. Women must learn to be the hero of their lives. So often, women relinquish this role or downplay their successes. Storylines in video games empower women to believe in themselves and give direct and immediate feedback, i.e., “We couldn’t have won without you,” and “Thank you so much, you saved us!” As simple as this sounds, this positive reinforcement can do wonders for your confidence.

3) Video Games Benefit Relationships (Shocking but True!)

Healthy and content relationships blossom when both partners take a proactive interest in each other’s lifestyle. Even if video games are not your “cup of tea” right now, give one a try. You may be surprised how many positive and artistic attributes are uncovered. Video games offer couples a hobby to explore together. Time playing a video game together is time well spent. Couples can bond while playing video games because they are interacting on new micro and macro levels. Communication improves when playing video games together much more than when watching television or movies. Video games require adaptation and quick decision-making. Video games will constantly challenge the player and can significantly improve brain function.

4) Video Games are NOT Just For Men

When we hear the term “video game players,” people often think of a throng of children, or a group of men. However, the average age of every video game player is thirty-three. Video games are an important form of entertainment for all ages. In fact, video games offer crucial validation for women and men.

5) Video Games Enhance Social Behavior

Video games are a way for women to discover new perspectives, meet new people, hear new theories, and discuss new topics.

6) Video Games Are Healthy

All humans need time to unwind. When we relax, our minds have the chance to process our daily stress and to rejuvenate. Additionally, more and more video games are being created for overall health and wellness Video games give people the means to enhance their lives.

A 2011 study conducted by scientists at Brigham and Young proved that video game exercise can help achieve physical wellness. Active video games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Boxing allow players to experience enough exercise to meet recommendations for physical health. Georgetown University researchers conducted a separate study on overweight teenagers in Washington, D.C., using the Wii version of Sports Active. They found that children who played various games felt better about themselves, lost weight and developed increased focus necessary for academic achievement.

Genese Davis’ debut novel The Holder’s Dominion (Beaver’s Pond Press, March 2013) explores the world of video games from an outsider’s perspective. She has been working in the world of video games for the past few years and has started the online movement, The Gamer in You. More information on Genese can be found at her website, www.genesedavis.com.



Headline Hitters: Meningitis Explored in TEN DAYS

Posted by admin on January 3rd, 2013

Dr. Janet Gilsdorf’s brilliant debut novel, Ten Days (Kensington, September 2012) is an emotional novel that opens up the world of medicine from all angles.

Dr. Gildorf’s novel explores something she is quite familiar with in her work as a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases, a topic that has been making tragic headlines recently, meningitis:

  • The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has counted 419 cases of meningitis in 19 states linked to tainted steroid injections. At least 30 people have died. Hearings have been held on the deadly U.S. outbreak.
How can Dr. Gilsdorf use her expertise to help the general public while gaining name recognition?
  • Dr. Gilsdorf can advise people of the signs to look for and the realities of this terrible disease. She can also calm people by explaining the rarity of such cases and real statistics of meningitis.
  • Dr. Gilsdorf can explore the doctor patient relationship from both sides. With healthcare being a primary concern of U.S. citizens, it is important to understand the best way to communicate with your doctor and your family.
  • Dr. Gilsdorf can provide a window into a world that few know but many are fascinated by, the world of modern medicine and its impact on our lives.

In her novel, Ten Days, Dr. Gilsdorf portrays the world of medicine from both sides, that of a parent and a physician. What if a parent doesn’t recognize an illness in their child? What if they don’t seek medical attention quickly? What if one of the parents is a physician?

Ten Days introduces the reader to Anna and Jake. Although Anna and Jake Campbell interact with the world in very different ways, she as a cautious worrier and he as an optimistic realist, they successfully navigate the everyday problems that percolate through their marriage until the night their young son, Eddie, becomes ill. Anna has a bad cold and longs for the peace of evening and Jake, an orthopedic surgery resident, spends the night at the hospital, taking care of other people’s sick wives and children. As a result of their irreversible, achingly regrettable inactions, Anna and Jake face losing their child.

The characters in Ten Days represent the many parents and physicians Dr. Gilsdorf encounters during her work as a pediatrician. Dr. Gilsdorf is the Robert P. Kelch Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the University of Michigan, Director of Haemophilus influenza research laboratory, Director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology in Pediatrics Training Program and Co-Director of the Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases.

Visit Janet Gilsdorf on her website and read her blog for insight into the world of medicine.

Interview with Jan Surasky

Posted by admin on January 2nd, 2013

We are kicking of the New Year by bringing the fascinating lives of our authors to the Kelley & Hall blog. We will be featuring interviews with our authors and giving readers a glimpse into the writer’s life. Today we start off with Jan Surasky. Jan has worked as a book reviewer, movie reviewer, and entertainment writer for a San Francisco daily newspaper. Her many articles and short stories have been published in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers. She has also taught writing a t a litterer center and a number of area colleges near her home in upstate New York. She is graduate of Cornell University and has studied English literature in the graduate department of the University of Rochester. Her novel Rage Against the Dying Light has won the Eric Hoffer Award for commercial fiction. You can find her at JanSurasky.com.

Q:     Tell us the story behind the story. How did Rage Against the Dying Light come to be?

While I was researching an entirely different topic, I came across the entry on Boudicca to which I was immediately drawn. I was impressed with her courage and the beautiful and tragic life she had lived. I knew I wanted to tell her story.

Q:     What was the most challenging aspect of writing Rage Against the Dying Light?

Imagining Boudicca’s story based on the very few facts available and trying to get it right was the greatest challenge. I wanted to do justice to the society and culture in which she lived. Also I wanted to depict the beautiful English countryside which so inspired her courage.

 Q:     What is the message you want readers to take away from your book?

I want readers to see that although Boudicca was a queen, she was also under the same constraints as any human. I want to show that courage lies in all of us to be tapped when necessary.

Q:     Describe your background.

I have worked for a San Francisco daily newspaper as a book reviewer, movie reviewer and entertainment writer. My many articles and short stories have been published in national, regional and local magazines and newspapers.

 Q:     Describe your writing schedule. Do you outline? Any habits?

I write every day. I do not outline but for this book, I had a one word chapter heading for my use only as a guide. I edit my work daily.

Q:     What books are on your nightstand? What are you currently reading?

The book on my nightstand is a book of Hemingway’s letters recently released from Cuba and so far unpublished. The book I have enjoyed the most this year is The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramango.

 Q:    Which authors inspire you?

Many authors have inspired me including the authors of the many fairy tales I have read, Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Thomas Hardy and Ernest Hemingway.

Q:     What have you learned from this experience?

I have learned that a woman who summoned her courage inspired so many.

Q:     What is your advice for aspiring writers?

My advice to aspiring writers is to hang in there, be true to your work and believe in it, and never give up.

 Q:    What are you working on now?

My second novel Back to Jerusalem is in the launching stage and I am working on a third novel.

Planting the Seed

Posted by admin on November 7th, 2012

We often equate book publicity with planting a seed. You have a written a novel (or self-help manual or cookbook or memoir). You have published it (either through a major publishing house, a small press, self-publishing, or e-book). It is ready to go out into the work or it’s already out there on shelves or online.

Now you’re ready for people to start talking about it!

So where are all the reviews, interviews and coverage?

According to Bowker, 3 million books were published in 2011. Consider the staggering fact that 248,000 books were published in 2003 and the figures continued to double every year after that. Bowker estimates, as reported by Seth Godin, that the figure will grow to 15 million in 2012! That’s a lot of competition.

So how do you get your book noticed?

Slowly and with great determination, patience and effort. There is no other way around it. If you want your book to be read and reviewed, you have to reach far and wide in the media landscape. You have to be prepared to send out many review copies, and you have to wait. Following-up with the media outlets is essential, but you can’t force people to read and react to your work. You have to change your approach, think of different angles and find ways to make your story newsworthy. You have to think like a journalist and constantly scan the news for appropriate angles or areas where you can offer expertise.

The more coverage you can accumulate, the more news-worthy you will be to other media outlets. You are building “buzz.” You are building a brand. But it does take time. There is an old joke said by actors that it takes decades of hard work and dedication to become an overnight success. The same can be said for authors. The most successful publicity campaigns last for years, not months. Don’t expect to get readers and fans right out of the gate. Many times we read about instant successes and yes, they do happen. But people also win the lottery. If you want to be realistic about the process, you have to be prepared to do the work. You are building an audience slowly. Most “break out” authors have been working at this tirelessly for a very long time.

Publicity is like planting a seed. You have to nurture it, give it plenty of time and attention and it will grow. It just takes time and a lot of effort.


Posted by admin on November 6th, 2012

What have we learned during this presidential election? That negative commercials don’t really work? That automated phone calls are really more of an annoyance than anything beneficial for a campaign? That voters don’t want to be spammed with emails forcing issues and ideas down their throat?

Authors seeking publicity can learn from the tactics used in a presidential election. What really matters are the issues at hand and how they affect your life. This is what voters and readers relate to and seek out. As an author, what is your purpose? What are you hoping to teach, show, or do? The reading (and voting) public is much more interested in being enlightened than choosing something because it has been forced upon them. They don’t pick a book (or a candidate) because they see it everywhere. Intelligent readers, and voters, make a choice because it opens their eyes to something that personally affects them. It draws them in, inspires them, teaches them, excites them. But the only way people will know if your book is going to do all of these things is if you get your voice out there. You need to let people know what they will find in your work. You need to let them hear your voice. Just seeing your face everywhere is not going to make a lasting impression. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan, you want to build a lifelong audience. That takes time and patience and dedication to your readers and your voice.

Don’t forget to vote today!