Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Joy of Writing

We all write for different reasons and have different goals, but hopefully we all find joy in the work. Otherwise, why bother. Writing can be a hair yanking test of patience and disappointment, so when we have opportunities to celebrate, we should. I thought I would share a few of the things I enjoy about my newfound hobby of writing. Here's the top 5 countdown.

5- Writing keeps me occupied with a meaningful project and challenges my mind
4- Writing allows me private time to think and let my imagination wander
3- Writing allows me the time I need to articulate my ideas in an intelligible way, instead of rambling incoherently like I do when I speak.
2- It is SOOOO rewarding to hear from a reader who enjoyed the book or who learned a meaningful lesson. This is true whether it is a family member or a complete stranger.
1- It feels GREAT to hold that book in my hands for the first time, thumb through the pages and stare at the cover. It's a sense of accomplishment that is hard to match. In short, writing is one way I have found to magnify a talent.

Why do you write? What about writing is most fulfilling for you and where do you find the most joy?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crater Lake Book Tour- Continued

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the last few days worth of reviews on my Crater Lake Book Tour. Check it out.
The book's audience is not just for kids! I have always been a YA fan and Crater Lake fits the bill. Frankly, I had a hard time putting this book down. It's an exciting read and the ending leaves room for a sequel! I love a sequel! Buy two copies and read it along with your child.
Steve Westover has created a world that is very imaginative and full of adventure and mystery.
Crater Lake is a great book that teens, and tweens will love to read. It is full of adventure, fantasy, and mystery.
Adventure, adventure, adventure. That's how I would sum up this book. Throw in a bit of magic and a common purpose and you get a great book… Swimming through freezing waters, exploring underground, fighting creatures, and near death experiences will keep you interested and entertained all the way through.
Middle-grade age kids (9-12) will definitely enjoy this book as well as teen readers.
Mystery? Check. Suspense? Check. Annoying little sister? Check.
I’d like to thank all those who have participated so far and I look forward to reading the rest of the reviews over the next week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Venom- By KC Grant

From Goodreads-
Samantha Evans is determined to make a name for herself in the cutthroat world of advertising. Newly hired by a prestigious ad agency, she volunteers to work on location in Mexico City as a personal assistant to the beautiful and driven creative director Katrina Edwards. At first the association seems promising. But Ms. Edwards seems preoccupied in a way that makes Samantha increasingly uneasy. In fact, many in the group seem like they are not being completely open about the project including David Ayala, the mysterious and moody photographer for whose attention the two women find themselves competing.

After several strange accidents and numerous appearances by an unknown man, Samantha discovers the truth: not everyone on the team is in Mexico to create a stellar advertising pitch. When her sleuthing leads to her abduction, she is brought to the pyramids of Teotihuacán and comes face-to-face with the venomous evil of the South American crime boss known as “The Serpent.” Now Samantha must not only fight for her life, but she must also discover if she can trust the man she’s come to love.

I’ll mention briefly that as a guy, I like to see people get shot and watch things blow up. I know…I’m a clichĂ©, what can I say. I’m not always as interested in reading about the emotional angst a character is feeling and I want the action to pop and grab me from the start. Venom starts a tad slow for my liking but the characters and backstory really start to come alive. Samantha is a likable and a bit peculiar but the set up at the beginning of the book is critical to the overall success KC achieves in helping us to care about the heroine. So, if it starts a little bit slow, hang in there. You’ll be glad you did.

I love the Mexican setting. Setting is much more than just where action takes place, it is often the heart of the story. Think of Hogwarts or in my new book Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island, the setting becomes another character that seems to live and breathe. KC’s vivid description of Mexico and its competing cultures really add depth to the story. Add to LDS thriller plenty of mystery and intrigue wrapped into a plot that will keep you guessing about the bad guys and you’ve got an interesting and exciting read.

Venom, by KC Grant is a thrilling adventure set at the epicenter of colliding Mexican cultures. Mystery, suspense, betrayal and love: Venom will keep your heart, mind and fingers frantic as you race through to the final, satisfying page.

Visit the Author’s website here.

Or purchase the book here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Crater Lake Blog Tour Has Begun!

The blog tour for Crater Lake has begun. Here is a sampling of the nice things people are saying about it. If you want more, check out their blogs or look up Crater Lake on Amazon and goodreads to read the reviews.
Battle for Wizard Island is the first book of the Crater Lake series -
and it was EXCELLENT! I was pulled right in from chapter one and only
put the book down when my munchkins insisted they needed Mom. =)
Steve Westover crafts a great mystery filled with suspense that will
keep youth and adults on the edge of their seat. I loved the
characters, their attitudes, and interactions as they try to unravel
ancient stories and clues. I'm definitely purchasing a print copy of
this book. I know my 11 year old daughter will love it!
The story grabbed me from the start. First, the setting is vivid. The
author does a great job at capturing the beauty of Crater Lake.
Second, the characters are all likable. . . I think there are great lessons to be learned from their bravery and perseverance. I can't wait to see
what happens in Steve Westover's future books.
I found Crater Lake a perfect book for tweens, a wonderful adventure for sure. . . Crater Lake is a wonderful mix of intrigue and adventure. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a book that teaches you about determination, and teamwork.

You can also check out this interview...

and sign up for a drawing for a free copy of Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island on GoodReads.
Goodreads Giveaway

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Today I wanted to share a couple of thoughts about issuing a press release for a new book. There are a few elements that a press release contain.

Urgency of the news- “For Immediate Release” tells them they can run the story NOW.
What is the story? The release of this new book and what the book is about.
About the Author- Help the media outlets get to know you a little bit.
Contact Info- Tell the media outlet how they can contact you or your publisher if they’re interested in doing a story or interview.

Who should you send it to? Work with your publisher as they will likely be issuing a Press Release about the book to certain media outlets. It’s rarely a problem if both the publisher and the author sends a release to the same outlet, but be organized and coordinate your efforts. Is there a specific audience you’re trying to reach? In the example of my Crater Lake book I targeted media in Missouri (where I live) approaching it from the “local author” angle. My publisher has close relationships with media in Utah where they are based so they took care of that market. I also focused my attention on the media in Oregon because Crater Lake is a landmark for the state and there will be local interest there because of the subject.

I’ve contacted newspapers, both large and small, radio stations offering to do interviews, and even TV stations. Not all outlets contacted will run the story, but some will. Target your media outlets strategically but also make sure you spread a wide enough net to catch all the outlets that may be interested. Once initial contact has been made, via email or phone, giving the outlet a copy of your book cover and the Press Release. Then follow-up becomes important, emailing again and even calling the outlets to see if they’ve received it and if they have any questions. This may seem a little bit overbearing, but who cares. It’s the media. They are the kings of overbearing and this is definitely a situation where the squeaky wheel can get the grease.

One last thought. In addition to media outlets, also make it a priority to contact book sellers in the target area who may also have an interest in the book. In my case I’ve targeted bookstores local to Crater Lake and even the Crater Lake gift shop asking them to carry the book. Hopefully they will see that it is a win-win for both of us.

Here’s an example of a Press Release I worked on with my publisher.

Steve Westover’s new book to be released March 2012 - Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island

1/31/12—KANSAS CITY, Missouri—Steve Westover, author of the FBI thriller Defensive Tactics (August 2010), announces the release of his first youth novel, Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island, March 13, 2012, available in hard back at selected bookstores and online at Amazon, Barns & Noble, and WalMart.

Crater Lake is a thrilling adventure about thirteen-year-old Ethan, whose world collapses around him when his parents and all other adults disappear while the family is visiting his crazy uncle at Crater Lake National Park.

Westover delves into the mystical legends of Native American tribes local to Crater Lake to craft his story. Set in modern times, Ethan’s life is thrown into turmoil when all the adults at Crater Lake are devoured into an earthen prison. He must dig deep to find the courage and determination required to face his fears and rescue his family.

“I found myself wondering what would happen if all the adults visiting Crater Lake disappeared, leaving only the children and young teenagers on their own?,” says Westover. “What would happen if the legends of Crater Lake were true? How would kids survive the natural and surprising dangers of Crater Lake, and how would they save their parents?”

Crater Lake, all that is left after the collapse of the once majestic Mount Mazama, holds a hidden secret, a lost colony buried beneath its depths. All that remains of Ethan’s family is his annoying little sister and the hope that he can free his parents.

Ethan must decipher the legends of Crater Lake, rally his friends to find the key to the Prison of the Lost, and free his parents before their captivity becomes permanent.

# # #

About the Author
Steve grew up in Salem, Oregon, and graduated from South Salem High School. He then attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a BA in political science and a minor in psychology. He currently lives in Missouri where he works as a banker but writing is his newfound passion.

For further information contact: