• September 2014

Are You Ready to Write a Best Seller?

Who doesn’t want to write a book? Business owners, especially, are interested in penning their thoughts and ideas, and in sharing them with the world. Writing a book is not only a great way to market a business, it’s a powerful way to help entrepreneurs get on a speakers bureau. It also creates a new revenue stream through the sale of their books.

A case in point is “PR Rules: The Playbook” our new book, available now on amazon.com. The 176 pages of this entrepreneur’s guide to supersizing a small business are filled with advice that will help small-business owners learn how to write and sell their books. We also share our entire playbook on how to rock a PR, marketing, advertising, social media, and sales campaign.

Plus, in 2014 we launch the Inkandescent Publishing Company to help more small-business owners make their dream of becoming an author come true. Click here for details.

Still, the question remains: How can you turn your book into a best seller? For insights into how to accomplish that big, beautiful, hairy goal, we got advice from Kate DiCamillo, a woman who is a wizard when it comes to writing books that warm hearts, touch souls—and sell millions.

DeCamillo is also the winner of tons of prestigious writing awards, including the 2014 Newbery Medal for her latest bestseller, “Flora & Ulysses;” as well as the National Book Award (2001), the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (2006), and the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award (2007, 2011). On top of that, she is the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature—which means this celebrity author is making the rounds to meet kids across the country.

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Back to School Month.

In this issue, all of our columnists also offer advice on how to accomplish more of your business goals:

  • We welcome attorney Lisa Hughes, who is writing our new Estate Planning column—and penning a book (hopefully a best seller) on the topic. She starts by explaining the basics.
  • Insurance expert Dave Beck, a partner at the financial services firm Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC, sheds light on how members of the “sandwich generation” can better prepare for their own senior years in this month’s Retirement column.
  • History Teacher of the Year Tim Bailey explains why it’s so important that kids and adults understand history in this month’s Education column.
  • Attorney and entrepreneur Stephanie Bhonslay reveals the joys and drama of leaving her corporate job to grow her company, GardenU, in our September installment of LiveLoveLaughing.com.
  • Robin Miller takes a trip down memory lane, recalling the bliss of buying that new lunch box, and advises applying that same excitement to your next speech in our Public Speaking column.
  • Want to read another best seller? Don’t miss Phil Done’s “32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny,” which is sure to enchant parents and teachers.

  • Illustrator Keith Gordon Campbell breathes life into the anthropomorphic tale of a girl and a talking squirrel in “Flora & Ulysses.” Check out the Q&A that our art director Michael Gibbs did with Campbell in this month’s Fine Art column.

We leave you with this parting thought, which is actually a little “Squirrel Poetry” from “Flora & Ulysses”: “Nothing would be easier without you, because you are everything, all of it—sprinkles, quarks, giant donuts, eggs sunny-side up—you are the ever-expanding universe to me.”

Whether you are heading back to school, or watching your book climb the best-seller list, here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success! — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, author PR Rules: The Playbook

Back to School: Let's Go on an Illuminating Adventure

COVER STORY: SEPTEMBER 2014

Beloved Children’s Book Author Kate DiCamillo Brings Animals—and Magic—to Life

By Hope Katz Gibbs, Publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine

Flora Belle Buckman is 10 years old and hates romance. She prides herself on being a natural-born cynic, and while she wants to believe in superheroes, she just can’t make herself buy into the premise.

At least, that’s how she feels during the summer after 5th grade when she’s reading, “The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto!”

With the whoosh of a vacuum cleaner, that all changes. Flora’s neighbor, Mrs. Tickham, while using her new Ulysses Super-Suction, Multi-Terrain 2000X—on the lawn—sucks up an unassuming squirrel, and the incident magically gives him superpowers. From then on, the squirrel is known as (what else?) Ulysses.

“Holy bagumba!” shouts Flora, witnessing the scene from her bedroom window.

Holy bagumba, indeed.

Magical realism abounds in the 240 pages of Kate DiCamillo’s “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.” After his encounter with the 2000X, Ulysses is born anew with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry. Their friendship helps Flora discover the power of having an open heart.

Themes of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances are the hallmark of DiCamillo’s wildly popular novels. Her 12 New York Times best-selling titles have sold nearly 20 million copies and have been translated into 39 languages.

Adding to the appeal of this latest tome are illustrations by former Hollywood interior designer Keith Gordon Campbell, whose genre-bending approach blends graphic and comic-style in the artwork.

It is no surprise that “Flora & Ulysses” is the 2014 Newbery Medal-winner—another honor for DiCamillo to add to her collection, which includes the National Book Award (2001), the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (2006), and the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award (2007, 2011).

She is also the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature—which means this celebrity author will be making the rounds to meet kids across the country. Yet, the modest DiCamillo says she’s stunned that any of her books have even made it into print, much less onto the silver screen.

“This almost sounds disingenuous, but there’s a large part of me that is still hoping I will simply get published,” DiCamillo admits. “I wrote for six years and got a lot of rejection letters before I sold anything.”

In fact, DiCamillo didn’t consider a career as a writer until one of her professors at the University of Florida told her she had “a certain facility for words.”

“Because I was 20 years old, I thought he was telling me I was wildly talented. So I ditched the idea of grad school and bought a bunch of black turtlenecks and sat around telling everyone that I was a writer—for the next 10 years. I wasn’t writing anything, mind you, just telling everybody that I was a writer.”

To make a living, she traded the turtlenecks for a light-blue polyester jumpsuit and worked as a guide at several Florida theme parks, including Circus World and Disney’s EPCOT.

“My job was basically to tell people, ‘Watch your step,’” she shares. At 30, all that changed. She moved to Minneapolis and made writing her priority.

Holy unanticipated occurrences! Her 2000 breakout book, “Because of Winn-Dixie,” won critical acclaim and became a feature film in 2005. Like the sensationally scrappy Flora, this book’s star is another 10-year-old. This girl, named India Opal, rescues a scruffy dog that was wreaking havoc in the Winn-Dixie supermarket, and of course, adventures ensue.

DiCamillo’s 2003 mega hit, “The Tale of Despereaux,” became an animated movie in 2008. This fantasy follows Despereaux Tilling, a mouse with giant ears, who sets out on a quest to rescue a beautiful human princess named Pea.

Why do animals have starring roles in her books?

“It’s not a conscious thing,” admits DiCamillo, now 49. “Sometimes I sit there and think, ‘Oh boy, I’ve got to make sure there isn’t an animal in this one.’ But as readers, we’re inclined to open our hearts to an animal. Once we do, we give the rest of ourselves over to the story. And that’s when the magic happens.”

Don’t stop now! Click here to read Kate DiCamillo’s thoughts on being the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in our September Tips for Entrepreneurs. Click here to listen to our Q&A on the Inkandescent Radio Network.

Also be sure to read our Q&A with “Flora & Ulysses” illustrator Keith Gordon Campbell.

How Do Stories Connect Us? A Q&A With Children's Literature Ambassador Kate DiCamillo

Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo is the newly appointed 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

In the last two decades, she has earned 11 New York Times best-selling titles and sold a combined nearly 20 million copies in print worldwide. Her books have been translated into 39 languages, and two have been turned into major motion-picture feature films: “Because of Winn-Dixie,” and “The Tale of Despereaux.”

DiCamillo recently participated in a Q&A with the Children’s Book Council about her new ambassadorial role in promoting reading and literacy. She is looking forward to traveling the country over the course of her two-year reign, and she looks forward to seeing new places, meeting new people, and gathering groups to read together through her “Stories Connect Us” platform.

Scroll down for her thoughts on what else she’s looking forward to.

What are some things you are most looking forward to during your time as National Ambassador?

Kate DiCamillo: I am looking forward to going places I haven’t gone. I am looking forward to seeing faces I haven’t seen. And I am looking forward to being in rooms filled with people who are reading together.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature?

Kate DiCamillo: I hope I can somehow convince people that reading together is a way for us to see each other. And that that would be a happy and joyous thing. And that there is nothing but pleasure and connectivity in stories. Reading should not be a task; it should be a celebration.

Your stated platform is “Stories Connect Us.” How do they connect us?

Kate DiCamillo: We are all connected by stories because we are stories ourselves. There’s that wonderful quote from Muriel Rukeyser: “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” When we learn someone else’s story, it shifts the fabric of our being. We are more open. And when we are open, we connect.

How will you advocate your platform?

Kate DiCamillo: Well, I would love it if I could talk to people who have gathered together because they are reading together. I would like to go to towns, schools, hospitals, community centers, anywhere we can get people to gather and talk about books they have read together, and how reading together has changed how they see each other.

What sort of change would you like to see come about through reading together?

Kate DiCamillo: I would like to see if we can all open up and see each other.

What do you mean when you say “We are made of stories?”

Kate DiCamillo: If you sit down and talk with anybody at length (child or adult) you can get them to tell you amazing stories. Everybody’s life is a story just waiting to be told.

With several social media platforms available, anyone and everyone can tell/post/blog their story. Does this form of storytelling connect us?

Kate DiCamillo: Oh, yes. I think so. It’s still stories. It’s still windows into different lives.

What books/stories do you recommend be read together in realizing your platform?

Kate DiCamillo: I might have to work on compiling a list. Off the top of my head: “Wonder,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Whistling Season,” “A Single Shard,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963.”

Republished with permission from the Children’s Book Council.

Click here to learn more about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

Click here to listen to our podcast interview with Kate DiCamillo on our Inkandescent Radio Show, Authors Between the Covers.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

– Seneca

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

I always maintained that the greatest obstacle in life isn’t danger, it’s boredom. The battle against it is responsible for most of the events in the world — good or ill.”

– Dr. Evelyn Vogel, Dexter

Passion makes perfect.”

– Eugene Biro

Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

– Albert Einstein

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen.”

– August Rush

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

The follow-your-gut mentality of the entrepreneur has the potential to take you anywhere you want to go or run you right out of business.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

Destiny is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”

– William Jennings Bryan

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

Some things are destined to be—it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

– J.R. Ward, Lover Mine

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.”

– Benjamin Disraeli

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

Treat the attainment of happiness in the same way an entrepreneur would approach building a business — with a vision, plan, goals, and a systematic approach.”

– Ted Leonsis

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back at you.”

– Byron Katie

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

Find somebody to be successful for. Raise their hopes. Think of their needs.”

– Barack Obama

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

He who wants to tear down a house must be prepared to rebuild it.”

– African Proverb

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?”

– Steven Schussler

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

– Thomas Edison

Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”

– Helen Keller

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

This is the age when magical technologies make more and more radically fun ideas plausible, even easy. You’re only limited by your creativity.”

– Martha Beck

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

– Leonard Cohen

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading.”

– Anita Roddick, founder, The Body Shop

Many people prefer to play it safe when it comes to business matters. Are you willing to take risks in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success?”

– Steven Schussler

Do one thing every day that scares you.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

Books

The Heart of a Teacher: Dive Inside Phil Done's "32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny"

Take a trip back to 3rd grade and remember what really matters in life—laughter, kindness, and the joy of being 8 years old.

Read more...

Education

Connecting With the Past Is a Key Part of Our Generational Legacy

Why is it so important for kids and adults to understand history? “Because history is the common experience that binds us together as a civilization,” says Tim Bailey, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2009 National History Teacher of the Year.

Read more...

Estate Planning

What Is Estate Planning? Four Essential Ideas to Embrace

“When it comes to explaining the basics of estate planning to my clients and friends, liken it to getting a new hairstyle,” says attorney Lisa Hughes. “That sounds simple, and even a little fun, right?”

Read more...

Fine Art

The Secret Passages of Children's Book Illustrator Keith Gordon Campbell

Children’s book illustrator Keith Gordon Campbell was born in a steamy, exotic place with wildebeests and other ungainly creatures. He couldn’t stop thinking up stories and pictures to go with them. In Kate DiCamillo’s “Flora & Ulysses,” his imagination expands to new levels.

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Great Spots to Work

Brunch at Indigo Landing—A Taste of Paradise in DC

Do you want to have a great brunch this Sunday—and get some work done—while you look out over the Potomac River? Sounds like a dream come true, right? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Indigo Landing at the Washington Sailing Marina. Another Great Spot to Work—when you work for yourself.

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Hiring

Barbara Mitchell on the Art of Being a Lifelong Learner

What does it mean to be a lifelong learner? And what are some ways you can engage your brain, heart, and spirit? Hiring expert Barbara Mitchell shares how the Smithsonian American Art Museum taught her about more than just art.

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History

Grateful American™ Foundation Launches Newsletter; 1st Issue: Lincoln's Home-Away-From-Home

Presidential vacations may be controversial today, but taking time away from the White House is nothing new. In an e-newsletter debuting this month from the Grateful American™ Foundation, readers visit Lincoln’s Cottage, where the 16th president spent more than a quarter of the time he was in office.

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Live Love Laughing

Tending the Garden in Your Life

Are you living the life of your dreams—or are you waiting for your kids to go to college, to gather the needed courage, or to win the lottery to afford to make your dream come true? Or, could you be waiting to lose your job? Here’s what former corporate attorney Stephanie Bhonslay knows.

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Networking

http://www.inkandescentnetworking.com

Networking: Whom Do You Need to Meet?

If you don’t know what your next career should be, see which of these networking events might clarify your path: InkandescentNetworking.com.

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Andrew Carnegie

Publisher
Hope Katz Gibbs
Art Director
Michael Gibbs Illustration
Managing Editor
Kathleen McCarthy
Associate Editor
Cheryl Moore
Website developer
Max Kukoy
Staff Photographer
Anna Paige Gibbs
Editorial Interns
Meet our 2014 team

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Nonprofits

Energizing and Empowering African Youth Through the Congo Leadership Initiative

Initially overwhelmed by the complexity of the Congo’s development challenges, 25-year-old Nathaniel Houghton created an organization that empowers Congolese youth to develop their country themselves.

Read more...

PR Rules

PR Rules Is Available on amazon.com!

What do you need to know about PR and marketing? In this 176-page guidebook, you’ll find answers to your questions about how to supersize your small business using the 8 Steps to PR Success.

Read more...

Public Speaking

Don't Underestimate the Power of a New School Lunch Box

What do you look forward to each fall? New school supplies? New school clothes and shoes? The perennial favorite for ARTiculate lead coach Robin A. Miller has always been a new lunch box. Here’s how such excitement can help you with public speaking.

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Inkandescent Radio

Why Are So Many Women 65+ Living in Poverty? Carmen Wu Explains

Did you know that women are twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during retirement? “It’s shocking, and unfortunately it’s true,” shares Financial Adviser Carmen Wu of Egan, Berger & Weiner, LLC. Learn why in this podcast interview.

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Retirement

Prepare for What Lies Ahead as Your Parents—and You—Inevitably Age

“Ah, the joys of aging,” laments Dave Beck, a partner and insurance expert at the financial services firm Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC. “Life at 50 is an adventure, but I cannot think of anything worse than having to ask my kids to take care of me when I get older and am possibly infirm.”

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Self-Help

Does Soda Cause Strokes?

I gotta admit, I love my Diet Coke. But this new research from Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and Harvard University has me reconsidering. Maybe you should, too?

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Speakers Bureau

How Can You Reach Reporters? Tom Shroder Offers Insight

Want reporters to write about you? Former Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder offers tips on how—just weeks before the Sept. 9 release of his new book, Acid Test. He’s our October 2014 cover story, so stay tuned for more!

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Inkandescent TV

What Do You Know About the Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers?

George Washington was an incredibly successful entrepreneur. Thomas Jefferson died in debt. What made some of the Founding Fathers better businessmen than others? Historian Tom Fleming explains in this episode of the “Grateful American™ TV Show.”

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Wealth

Teach Your Children Well: Financial Literacy Is the Key to Economic Success

Children need to learn from their mistakes in order to become adults who know how to manage their money well, says Certified Financial Planner professional Rita Cheng, who offers three strategies for raising financially literate children.

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Andrew Carnegie

To learn more about becoming a client of Inkandescent Public Relations, or becoming a Be Inkandescent Magazine columnist. send an email to publisher and founder Hope Katz Gibbs at hope@inkandescentpr.com.

Here’s to your incredible, indelible, Inkandescent success!