Posts made in June, 2014

An Interview with Lydia Kurnia

Posted by on Jun 20, 2014 in Blog, others books | Comments Off on An Interview with Lydia Kurnia

I’ve known Lydia for years, since we were critique partners on Online Writing Workshop. I still hope to see her book Stealing a Dream in print someday. She’s here today to talk about her experience working on Unburied Treasure as both a writer and illustrator.

Unburied Treasure

– First of all, you just attended Supanova Pop Culture Expo, where your work on a friend’s book cover and trailer was shown in public. What was that like?

It was amazing. I always love these events, so much energy and fun. My husband and I should have come as Sherlock and Dr. Watson but blame it on my poor planning.

Isaia and I actually worked on an artwork for my friend’s website: 3 Dragon Ladies, which is currently in construction. It will be a site where the three dragon ladies – Ciara Ballintyne, Dionne Lister, and Melody-Ann Jones Kauffman – join forces to share their honest thoughts on various published fiction. Quite an exciting project, it will be awesome when it’s up.

It was wonderful to see our artwork on display there, along with the book trailer which Isaia and I created for promoting Ciara Balllintyne’s debut novella ‘Confronting The Demon’. It was surreal to see it play on loop where people can watch. We’re really proud of this trailer, cause it took a lot of planning and care to get right. These creative projects are always fun to do.

3 Dragon Ladies

– What was your artistic process like for this book? How did you and Isaia decide on who illustrated what?

Isaia and I have collaborated on so many artwork, we hardly ever need to discuss anymore who does what. He is the master of landscapes and buildings, so he gets to be in charge of those; whereas I get to focus on the characters in the scene. For the anthology, I became like a bridge between authors and artists. Lovely Erika Wilson who collected and edited the submissions would send the stories to me and I would read them then discuss how to visually present the tale with Isaia. He would then do his magic with mountains, rocks and trees, and I would fill the scene with dragons, leopards, bears, whatever the story needs. It worked out well for us. I certainly enjoyed the process.

– You have a story in the anthology as well, one that’s very unique because it draws on Balinese mythology. Are there other creatures from Indonesia that you would like to write about (or that others should know about)?

Oh yes, there are many! I grew up reading Indonesian folklores and I don’t think the world knows much about Indonesian mythology, I should really be the ambassadors of these legends. Ha.

Indonesian folktales like to draw on animals as characters of moral (or immoral in some cases). There is kancil, which is also known as mouse-deer because he has body of a deer and face of a mouse, although he is neither a mouse or a deer. He is a trickster, very smart and quick especially when he is due to become someone’s food. I would love to write a kid’s story featuring kancil. Other mythology creatures include battling monkeys, magic golden snails, sisters of garlic and shallot, vain peacocks… many exciting heroes and villains which I would love to use in stories one day.

– How do you divide your time between art and writing these days?

To be honest, I don’t. I’m rubbish at multitasking. These days, the ratio of drawing vs writing is disproportionately for the first. I guess it’s due to the demand which is currently more in illustration space. I know I should be writing more. I do miss the good old times when I could easily churn out 2000 words/day. I do hope I get back to it one day.

– What personal projects are you working on?

I have plans to publish ‘Stealing A Dream’, I really do. I just need to edit a few (difficult yet awfully important) parts of the story, and I’m suffering a major roadblock on those. But I’m doing it. Slowly. I’m also working on the illustrations. In fact, I finished all fifty of them, just they look kinda sucky so I’m retouching and redrawing from scratch.


From the desk of ‘Worlds Beyond’, Isaia and I are currently in contract for illustrating a serial fiction and two book covers. We’re also working on a portfolio showreel to put on our website so people know how we work and what we offer.

Busy time. I’m absolutely loving it.

– Are there plans to do another anthology like this?

Yes. The plan is to publish one every year. This anthology idea is actually not mine; the credit should go to our friend Leslianne Wilder who gathered us all and published ‘Trespass’ last year. I just wanted Isaia and I to illustrate this edition so the publishing job went to me, ha. I would love to invite more authors to join us as we grow. We will see how we go.

Thank you, Lydia! I wish you all the best with Unburied Treasure and all of your other projects!

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Bready or Not: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats in the Crock Pot

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, crock pot | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats in the Crock Pot

In recent years, we’ve been trying to eat more healthy stuff.

That means I’ve been trying more alternative grains like quinoa (okay), amaranth (bleh), and steel cut oats. What are steel cut oats, you ask? They are oats that haven’t been processed as much. They take longer to cook and they have more texture and more nuttiness to them.

That whole texture things means they are awesome when slow cooked in the crock pot.

It takes maybe ten minutes to throw everything together the night before. I don’t bother peeling the apples. Just chop, combine everything, put the lid on, close the pot.

In the morning, give it a good stir. Most of the liquid will have soaked it. It will be soft, though my crock pot creates some crunchy bits, too–which are my favorite, to be honest. Dish it up, and then add whatever topping you want– nuts (pecans are awesome), maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, more milk, more spices…

Keep the crock pot on “warm” and the slow-to-rise people can get their food, too!

Really nice thing? The leftovers. Stash them in the fridge, and for several days–maybe all week–you can scoop some out, zap it in the microwave, and go about your day.

Modified from Jamie Cooks It Up.

Bready or Not: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats in the Crock Pot

Use your slow cooker to prepare breakfast the night before so that it's ready and waiting in the morning.
Course: Breakfast
Keyword: apple, gluten free, slow cooker, steel cut oats
Author: Beth Cato


  • 2 medium-sized apples cored, unpeeled, chopped
  • 1 cup steel cut oats uncooked
  • 3 Tb brown sugar packed, or substitute with xylitol and a drip of molasses
  • 2 Tb butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 Tb ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk or any kind of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Topping options:

  • milk
  • chopped nuts
  • maple syrup/agave nectar/honey
  • more spices


  • Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray. Pour all ingredients (except the toppings) inside. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on low for desired length of time, like 10 hours.
  • Dish up oatmeal and add desired toppings.

OM NOM NOM all week long!

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    My Reading Rainbow Story

    Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Blog, kickstarter, nostalgia | Comments Off on My Reading Rainbow Story

    Reading Rainbow

    Check out the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter. It ends July 2nd.

    Reading Rainbow didn’t make me a reader, but it told me that I was not alone in my love of books. These days, we have social media and places like Goodreads and LibraryThing and thousands of book blogs. Back in the ’80s, as a kid? I had the B. Dalton at the mall and the Hanford Library. My mom loved to read her Louis L’Amours and Harlequins (the latter, to my mortification). My brother had his Sky and Telescope magazines and read a variety of fiction and nonfiction.

    As for me, I read every single horse book I could find.

    When I watched Reading Rainbow, I loved connecting with people outside of my family who loved to read. Nothing delighted me more than recognizing books I had read, or finding a new one that we just had to seek out at our next trip to the library.

    The episode that I always think as my ‘the first Reading Rainbow’ is the one where James Earl Jones reads Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema.

    I mean, holy cow, Darth Vader is reading gorgeous poetry, along with vivid illustrations. It still gives me chills.

    A few of my other favorite episodes include Conan the Librarian using might and magic to create library cards (no video on YouTube, alas!), Gregory the Terrible Eater, and probably my favorite episode of all time: on the subject of teamwork, where the featured book was A Chair for Mama. Yes, I remember this off the top of my head. Because I LOVED this episode. I would get this song stuck in my head for weeks. NOW TO INFLICT IT UPON YOU.

    At school, I cheered when a teacher would roll in that big black stand with the TV and VCR and put on Reading Rainbow. I’d unabashedly sing along with that theme song.

    When I was a kid, we were too poor to support the PBS pledge drives. When I saw this Kickstarter, it hit me in a profound way. The effort’s about the love of books, but for me, it’s also about saying “thank you” for a show that had such a major role in my childhood and made me who I am today.

    “Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high…”


    The Clockwork Dagger, out September 16th, 2014 from Harper Voyager.

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    THREE MONTHS *freak out*

    Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Blog, clockwork dagger, publication process | Comments Off on THREE MONTHS *freak out*

    Three months until The Clockwork Dagger comes out.



    Okay. I’m cool. I’m calm. I can handle this. [[Send chocolate.]]

    A few things you can expect over these next months:
    – reminders that preorders and the first few weeks of a book’s release are huge in a writer’s career
    – links to blogs or good reviews [do you have a blog? want me to drop by for a guest blog or interview? drop a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook!]
    – news on events around release time
    – have you preordered The Clockwork Dagger yet?
    – gratuitous use of gifs to convey complex emotions
    – September on Bready or Not will be CAKE MONTH. Because CAKE.
    – if you can help spread the word through social media/family/enemy infiltration, that’d be fantastic!

    I’m doing my utmost to get ready. When dreams comes true, it’s weird and crazy and awesome.

    Let’s do this!

    wiggle cat


    Handy dandy ISBNs and links for preordering!

    Paperback ISBN: 978-0-06-231384-3
    ebook ASIN (Amazon): B00HLIYZ5U
    ebook ISBN (Nook): 978-0-06-231385-0
    Release: September 16, 2014

    Amazon Barnes & Noble Powell’s Books-A-Million Poisoned Pen Changing Hands

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    Sunday Quote extends Happy Father’s Day wishes

    Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in Blog, Quote | Comments Off on Sunday Quote extends Happy Father’s Day wishes

    “Well–then the book is done. It has no virtue any more. The writer wants to cry out–‘Bring it back! Let me rewrite it or better–Let me burn it. Don’t let it out in the unfriendly cold in that condition.'”

    ~John Steinbeck, original dedication to East of Eden

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