Friday, October 30, 2009

Is this the Death Drum for TomTom?

Shares in Sat-Nav device companies crashed earlier this week when Google unveiled it's "FREE" live satalight navigation system for mobiles. Us Firm Garmin's shares fell 185 in one day, while Tom Tom dropped 13% when the markets opened on Wednesday.

The Google application promises "free real time, turn-by-turn directions" for people to follow on their phones.

The "Motorola Droid" will be the first mobile phone equipped with this system.

This news came only days after Google announced it was entering the "online music market" with a new service for finding and buying music. Their "One Box" is an alliance with music sites Lala and MySpace owned iLike.

According to Google, the words "music" and "lyrics" are amongst the top 10 search terms of all time.

So what next for Google... a phone that reminds you that you have locked your keys in the car or perhaps an option to make you a cup of tea while you drive?


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sex, Baseball and a Good Curry‏

One item of news I spotted today was... "Fan denies sex-for-tickets gambit".

With the baseball “World Series” starting... yesterday and NO--- I still have not worked out how it can be a "World Series" where only American teams and a token Canadian team take part.

According to the news... A mother-of-two has been charged with offering to trade sex for tickets to see her favourite sports team play.

It seems 43 year old Susan Finkelstein from Philadelphia so desperate to see the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team compete in the World Series against the New York Yankees she offered herself for sale. The problem was it was to an undercover cop who arrested her on Tuesday after meeting her while responding to her ad on Craigslist.

Describing herself as “gorgeous, tall, buxom, blonde diehard Phillies fan” it seems she hinted more than just the price of the tickets to the undercover cop.

Her lawyer stated… “She wanted to get tickets to take her husband to the game" (Phillie's won 6-1). "She never explicitly offered sex" (now where have we heard that before… the White House?). He added… “She was merely a nice lady overcome by Phillie's fever”.

While this was going on in the USA in Somalia hundreds of people attended a wedding between a man who says he is 112 years old, and his teenage wife.

Ahmed Muhamed Dore - who already has 13 children by five wives - said he would like to have more with his new wife, Safia Abdulleh, who is 17 years old.
"I didn't force her, but used my experience to convince her of my love; and then we agreed to marry," the groom said.

It must run in the family, as Mr Dore has a a grand total of 101 grandchildren. His oldest son is 80 years old and three of his wives have died.

He says he hopes his new bride will give him more children.

Perhaps the secret of why this improbable marriage is able to take place is mentioned in a medical news snippet that appeared this week. In the past “curcumin” which is an extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric has long thought to have “healing powers” now a team at the Cork Cancer Research Center have found it can also destroy gullet cancer cells.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Across the Pond" News

It's been a while since I passed on any news about my book, perhaps you thought there hasn't been any?


My total on Amazon is now numbering "103"

Since the last time I wrote about reaching the magic "100" I have received a five star and two four star reviews. Here are a few snippets of what the reviews say...

"...a cute love story. Highly recommended for teens."

"Ahhh, young love! This book reminded me of what it was like to fall in love. The young characters were so sweet, I wanted to meet them. This is an easy read and definitely worth your time."

"This is a great read for tweens and teens - and the rest of us who still love YA fiction. There is romance, adventure, misunderstandings and even a big bully you can watch get his comeuppance! Fred comes from England and stays with Brit and her family in America while his parents go to Australia. While he's there, he and Brit fall in love.

Brit and Fred are funny and endearing. I admit it took me a few pages to really get into the story, but when I did, I couldn't stop reading! It's also fun to watch Fred work out all the differences between the languages of the two countries. All in all, Across the Pond is an enchanting story of first love."


While my own "Book and Chat" radio shows are going from strength to strength I have appeared as a guest recently on these shows.

Literary Pizzazz

Red River Writers

Author Buzz


I managed to sell over twenty copies of my book in the couple of days I was at the Big E, not a huge amount, but more than I expected. I am also working with Barnes and Noble and Borders to have copies on the shelves, though you can already order it for them, it now being distributed by Ingrams.

An E-Book PDF file of the book is now available check out the book web site for more details

I have also been asked to a couple of events to talk or be on authors panels.

So that's some of the latest news I thought I would share with you.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Storyheart Sunday UK Blog - Beanz Meanz Heinz

One of the things I have really missed since being in the US, is a "Real English Breakfast". Of course once in England one of the locations I headed for was one where I could purchase a real "English Breakfast".

My English Breakfast

Americans seems to find it "interesting" to have bake beans for breakfast, but then this is a country that has "puffed up cakes" or muffins for their morning meal.

In England we are taught that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after sleeping and not eaten for many hours. This being the case we have a "Full English Breakfast" which sees you though the day until your evening meal... except of course for a snack and a couple of beers at lunch time.

Baked Beans are part of the staple diet of people in the UK. Be it with a fry up breakfast, a "Bangers and Mash" lunch or on toast for tea. The old UK TV advert states...
"A million housewives every day, pick up a tin of beans and say..Beanz Meanz Heinz."

And basically that is what is does. While most of the supermarkets have their own brand of Baked Beans, Heinz is still the number one. For those colonials who do not know the difference, Heinz beans are closest to the Vegetarian beans in the US.

The Heinz company markets their product in the UK under the name "Heinz Beanz" (before July 2008 as "Heinz Baked Beans"), in reference to a 1960s advertisement campaign which used the slogan "Beanz Meanz Heinz".

There are substantial differences between the Heinz baked beans sold in the UK and the nearest equivalent US product (Heinz Premium Vegetarian Beans). The US beans contain brown sugar where the British beans do not, and the US product contains 14g of sugar per tin compared to 7g for the British version (equating to 140 vs 90 calories). The US beans have a mushier texture and are darker in color than their UK counterpart. For several years, the UK Heinz Baked Beans have been available in the US, either in different sized cans than those sold in the UK or in a 385 gram can (the same can as the 415 gram can in the UK) with an "export" label with American English spelling and the word "baked" dropped from the title on the label. These are sold in many US specialty stores.

In New England baked beans usually are sweetened with maple syrup, and are traditionally cooked with salt pork in a beanpot in a brick oven for a full day.

In southern states along the eastern seaboard of the US, the beans become tangier usually due to the addition of yellow mustard. Ground beef also becomes common alongside bacon in these beans. They take on a flavor similar to Cowboy Beans, a similar popular dish.

In Poland, with addition of bacon these are known as Breton Beans (fasolka po bretońsku).

Many unusual dishes are made with baked beans including the baked bean sandwich. These are slices of bread topped with beans and other additions, such as melted cheese.

In 2002 the British Dietetic Association allowed manufacturers of canned baked beans to advertise the product as contributing to the recommended daily consumption of five-six vegetables per person. This concession was criticized by heart specialists who pointed to the high levels of sugar and salt in the product. Some manufacturers produce a "healthy option" version of the product with lower levels of sugar and salt.

BE WARNED....Baked beans are known on occasion to cause a considerable increase in flatulence following consumption. (Don't we know it)

Their low price (The supermarket own brand or discount beans can cost as little and 30cents) and wide availability has led to baked beans becoming a staple food in the United Kingdom, especially popular among students and those on a tight budget.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Trip Across the Pond

So I’m back from my trip across the pond, as promised this will be a blog about my travels.

The journey to JFK airport in NY was not without issue and I arrived just about ten minutes before the gate was due to be opened to board the plane. Once again I was surprised about how the security checks when leaving the US have relaxed since my departures a couple of years ago.

As normal I flew Virgin Airways, I can’t recommend them enough from service to food, from entertainment to flights always they seem one step ahead of other airlines. There was as normal a choice of about 50 films to check out during the flight as well as TV, radio and music shows.

The flight which normally takes around 7hrs was quicker this time as we hit the jet stream with a tail wind of about 150mph which reduced the flight time to around six hours, only issue was we had a few bumps along the way.

Unfortunately about a hour from reaching England a passenger was taken sick, and with the flight crew looking after them and the reduction in flight time, we never got around to purchasing “duty free”. No biggy for me, but a pain for the family members who had asked me to pick up cigarettes for them on the flight.

Once through UK customs I picked up my rental car, a diesel powered Peugeot, which was doing about 52 mpg throughout my trip. That was a good thing with petrol (gas) costing about $7.5 a gallon.

I traveled about half way to my destination and stopped to catch some sleep before heading out to meet my youngest sister and her family.

After a good night’s sleep I carried on the rest of my journey to East Sussex, stopped just outside Hailsham for some real English breakfast.

The rest of the day was getting ready for the shopping, a new Tesco’s (The number one supermarket chain in England)supermarket had opened in the town. One nice thing they have done is keep in line with the town. Hailsham has a history of rope making, so they incorporated this into the fence that surrounds the car park finishing in a statue of a man hauling in the ropes.

In the store as normal I just walked around wishing such a store was available in the USA. There is so much more variety, the prices generally for food are much cheaper than in the US. I wanted another 3 suitcases to bring home half the stuff I wanted to buy. Loaded up with fresh supplies to bring back to the US, I then completed the shopping trip.

The rest of the day was spent getting ready for my eldest sons wedding, taking dresses to where the bride was staying.

I made sure I stopped and snapped a couple of pictures on such a mild autumn day, with the sea as smooth as a babies bum.

Later that Friday night I went out with a couple of old friends and shared a few beers with them.

Saturday morning was sorting out the reception tables, cake etc. As for the wedding itself? All went well, and everybody enjoyed themselves.

The next day after stopping off for another breakfast, followed by a look around a “car boot sale”… Car boot sales are a mainly British form of market in which private individuals come together to sell household and garden goods. The term refers to the selling of items from a car's boot (U.K.) (or trunk in the U.S.). Although a small proportion of sellers are professional traders selling new goods or seconds, the goods on sale are often used but no longer wanted personal possessions. Car boot sales are a way of focusing a large group of people in one place to recycle still useful but unwanted domestic items that previously would have been thrown away. Car boot sales generally take place within the summer months, however a growing trend of indoor boot sales and all year hard-standing outdoor boot sales are now appearing in some parts of the UK.

The rest of Sunday and Monday I spent with my parents, before heading back to the USA.

I had a good time, enjoyed myself, ate and drank well, had many laughs, met most of my family, even sold six "Across the Pond" books by me "Storyheart".


The music is "ENGLAND" by Ralph McTell, perhaps more well known for his song "Streets of London" it is to me though a song that means so much. The pictures are of England, my own location and some sites that others would know.

BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Book and a Chat with "Melissa Crandall"

I'm back from my trip "Across the Pond" and will be sharing some items of news and interest and even a laugh or two over the next few days on this blog. For today however I'm back with my radio show. Tonight it is "A Book and a Chat with Melissa Crandall"

At the tender age of six, Melissa Crandall wrote, illustrated, and published her first book, "The Dog and the Fox." In 1992 Melissa collaborated on her first professional endeavor and she hasn't looked back since.

From writing Fanzene version of Star Trek and Quantom Leap to her latest smash hit book of short stories "Darling Wendy and Other Stories", Melissa continues to write novels and short stories, dabble a bit in poetry, and doesn't expect things to change until they haul her away, kicking and screaming.

You can listen to this enjoyable radio show and find out more about Melissa and her writings at

or on my blog spot at

So why not stop by and listen to this enjoyable thirty minutes of entertainment as I chat with Melissa Crandall on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Despite living now for almost ten years in the USA, England will always be my home.

In scouting terms this is the tracking term for "Gone Home"

Today I am flying back "Across the Pond" to the land of my birth, this time for the wedding of my eldest son... Kevin

I will be sure to take pictures of course, to share upon my return.

There will be no blog updates for a week, so here's a little of my country to share with you until I return.


The music is "ENGLAND" by Ralph McTell, perhaps more well known for his song "Streets of London" it is to me though a song that means so much. The pictures are of England, my own location and some sites that others would know.

BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Book and a Chat with " Anjuelle Floyd"

On todays "Book and a Chat" I was lucky enough to have Anjuelle Floyd as my guest. Wife of twenty-seven years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work. Anjuelle is writer of "Keeper of Secrets: Translations of an Incident" and coming out next month her new book "The House".

You can listen to this enjoyable radio show and find out more about Anjuelle and her writings at

or on my blog spot at

So why not stop by and listen to this enjoyable thirty minutes of entertainment as I chat with Anjuelle Floyd on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Flying the Flag

So how much is history worth?

The only surviving union jack from the Battle of Trafalgar could fetch £15,000 at auction after it was found in a drawer, auctioneers say.

The flag was flown from one of Nelson's warships, HMS Spartiate, in the naval battle off the Spanish coast in 1805. The Spartiate was the last ship in Nelson's column during the momentous battle -- his warships all sailed in a line to engage the French fleet.

It was presented by the 540-strong crew to Fife-born Lieutenant James Clephan after the conflict, a high honour bestowed upon an officer by his men.

The flag is being sold by one of his descendants living in Australia.

Clephan, who later went on to command his own ship, was one of the few men to have risen through the ranks and was greatly admired by his crew.

The flag, measuring 7ft 4in x 11ft 7in, is made of 31 panels sewn together by the crew on board the ship.

It bears a number of "battle scars" - holes caused by shot and shell splinter damage sustained during the conflict.

The union jack will go under the hammer later this month after being put up for sale by one of Clephan's descendants.

"I think it's hard to overstate the historical importance of this flag" stated the flag owner Charles Miller

It was treasured by his family, who kept it in a drawer to preserve it.

Auctioneers expect the flag to fetch £10,000 to £15,000.

Charles Miller, through his own auction house, is selling the piece in London on 21 October, Trafalgar Day.

He said the flag was the only known surviving union jack from the battle.

"I think it's hard to overstate the historical importance of this flag," he said.

"This was the greatest naval action ever fought.

"The great thing about the flag is it's one of the most emblematic items you can get from Trafalgar.

"This is a bit of naval hardware that has actually served in the action."

Clephan, from Scoonie in Fife, spent his early years as an apprentice weaver and went on to join the Merchant Navy.

He retired in 1840 with the rank of captain and lived in Edinburgh for 11 years until his death at the age of 83.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

STORYHEART SUNDAY UK BLOG - Stonehenge, President Obama and Marge Simpson

It's been rather a strange week, with news from both sides of the pond causing some discussion.

First archaeologists have discovered a smaller prehistoric site near Britain's famous circle of standing stones at Stonehenge. Dubbed 'Bluehenge' after the color of the 27 Welsh stones of which it was once made up, it was uncovered over the summer near Amesbury in Wiltshire. It lies at the end of the 'avenue' - a pathway connecting Stonehenge to the River Avon, about a mile away from Stonehenge.

Then we heard how President Barack Obama had been awarded the "Nobel Peace Prize", which was to shock to even the people in the white house. It perhaps should not come as quite so much of a shock when you realize that the award is named after the person who not only discovered dynamite and ballistite, but was instrumental in turning Bofors from an iron company to an armaments company whilst he owned it. Why Nobel wished the Peace Prize to be administered in Norway is very unclear.

Obama however not the first US president to be awarded the "Peace Prize". Theodore Roosevelt won the prize in 1906 for his "mediation to end the Russo-Japanese war and for his interest in arbitration, having provided the Hague arbitration court with its very first case."

In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson won the award as "Founder of the League of Nations".

In 2002 another American President, well "X-President" won the award. This time it was Jimmy Carter "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development"

The winner of "The Nobel Peace Prize" had often been controversial, with several of the selections being heavily criticized.

When President Obama collects his award he will be the 4th US President to receive the honor, yet Gandhi despite having been nominated five times, never won the award.

Then yesterday it happened with the shock report that Marge Simpson is gracing the cover of Playboy magazine, becoming the first cartoon character in the publication's history.

The November issue sees Marge posing on a chair with the distinctive Playboy Bunny logo.

It marks the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons, viewed as America's most dysfunctional family.

The move to put Marge on the cover is an attempt to draw in a younger audience for the soft porn magazine.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What is PAYA?

In yesterdays blog, I mentioned about So what is it all about?

PAYA is a coalition of Pennsylvania’s young adult authors, bloggers, librarians, readers, and other book-lovers. Our mission is two-fold:

1. To share the love we have for young adult literature with others in our state

2. To raise money to support Pennsylvania’s libraries, with a focus on helping build Young Adult library collections and Young Adult services.


Authors, are you interested in participating in the PAYA Festival? If so, please send an email to


f you’re a PA librarian interested in learning more about how PAYA can help your library, please email us to discuss things such as a bookdrive or donations.

**Please note that we must work with a librarian for these things. If you are not a librarian but know your library is in need of help, please show them the site.


Every month from October to next July the PAYA group will be featuring a PA library in need of a YA collection. Each library will provide a wish list of YA or MG books they’d like for their collection.

This month the book drive is to help the Wyalusing Public Library, located in Bradford County.


This is something thought up by two young bloggers after hearing about the cut backs in libraries in the PA area, a terrific idea as you might have heard in my radio show last night with Willow author Julia Hoban.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Book and a Chat with "Julia Hoban"

Previously on YA blogger chat shows we have heard how "Willow" has become one of the YA hits for 2009. I am lucky enough to have author of that novel "JULIA HOBAN" as my guest on this special show.

Hear how the YA bloggers helped launch her book, and like myself, Julia has nothing but praise for this wonderful group of people, many of which she has befriended.

Listen as Julia explains how bloggers are helping to bring more YA books to schools and libraries in PA where funds have been drastically cut. Authors and publishers can help this fantastic effort by these young bloggers by visiting

Join me and several other special guests as I chat with Julia for this one hour special about her book and anything else we can think about.

"A Book and a Chat with Julia Hoban"

You can listen to the show at

or on my blog at

So why not stop by and listen to this enjoyable sixty minutes of entertainment as I chat with Julia Hoban on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Book and a Chat with "Dianne Castell"

If you like a down to earth romance novel, with humor, plenty of twists perhaps a ghost or two and a happy ever after ending then books by my special radio show guest tonight are for you.

Dianne Castell is an USA Today award winning author whose books are ideal for anybody wanting to escape from this world for a moment and find themselves in the romantic southern states.

Her books are down to earth not one of those flowery romantic novels that use words almost from another age. They are modern romantic novels that keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next, with humor nor far away they are great fun to read.

Listen to tonight's fun and enjoyable show as we discuss about her writing, how she started and what she is working on now.

Learn how she does not have time for her hobbies because of her writing, but when she lists of her hobbies as cleaning toilets you might understand that is perhaps not a bad thing.

A Book and a Chat with "Dianne Castell"

You can listen to the show at

or on my blog at

So why not stop by and listen to this enjoyable thirty minutes of entertainment as I chat with Dianne Castell on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Dangers of a Public Library

This last week a very interesting article appeared "Across the Pond" which made me think exactly how dangerous can a "Public Library" be?

Camden Council in North London has apologized after a woman was refused the loan of a pair of scissors in a library because she might "stab a member of staff".

Lorna Watts, 26, a self-employed dressmaker, was turned down at "Holborn Library" in central London.

She said: "It's ridiculous - public libraries are supposed to be supportive of small businesses."

A spokeswoman for Camden Council, which runs the library, has apologized and said it would investigate the incident.

Ms Watts, said: "I asked why I couldn't borrow a pair of scissors and she said, 'they are sharp, you might stab me'.

"I then asked to borrow a guillotine to cut up my leaflets but she refused again - because she said I could hit her over the head with it!"

She added: "It's absurd - there are plenty of heavy books I could have hit her with if I wanted to."

"I hardly look very threatening - it's really sad she could not make a commonsense judgement."

This lady then visited another three libraries in North London only to have her request rejected in each of them.

A government Health and Safety Executive said there was no policy in place on lending sharp implements.

"People know their own workplaces and must carry out their own risk assessments", she said.

"But we do ask workplaces to take a common sense approach.

"This could be a case of someone misinterpreting the rules."

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "We are sorry we have not reached our usual high standards. We will investigate fully as soon as possible."

So hand out the plastic scissors, take away the sharp pencils, and hide all the heavy books. It would seem at least in one part on London library's are dangerous places.

I wonder what would have happened if she'd have asked for a "glue gun"?


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Book and a Chat with "Lisa and Mathew Ball"

Tonight I had two guests on my show "A Book and a Chat". Lisa and Mathew Ball are both authors in their own right, and part of a very talented family.

Mathew as well as writing poetry and some wonderful children's books "Minnie & Melvira" and "The Worm & The Caterpillar" is a fantastic boogie-woogie and blues pianist (he is known as "The Boogie Woogie Kid) and has produced two books. The Art of Boogie-Woogie and Blues Preludes 'Music Scores'.

Lisa as well as being an editor and a dab hand with the tambourine, has also written a book called "Booze House". Raised in a home of instability, addiction, and violence, this is the story of a young girl fighting to navigate a path to normalcy amidst the turmoil of a family held hostage to alcoholism, betrayal, autism, and pain.

On top of that, they have also created William Joseph K Publications is an independent publishing house established in memory of "Billy-Joe" Kiel, whose life ended abruptly from conditions related to his Autism. Not only that they have brought out an anthology of stories and poems from various authors, called "Episodes of the Norm". Fifty percent of the proceeds from this book are donated to the Autism Society of America.

But it does not end there, with a talented father, and two brothers joining in with the production of the books, there is so much to listen to and enjoy in this jam packed thirty minute show...

A Book and a Chat with "Lisa and Matthew Ball"

You can listen to the show at

or on my blog at

So why not stop by and listen to this enjoyable thirty minutes of entertainment as I chat with Lisa and Mathew Ball on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Book and a Chat with "Ruby Dominguez"

The author, Ruby Dominguez, is challenged by the conflicting complexities of the past and future. Undeterred, she strokes with pen the somber and bright hues of her visions.

Listen as we discuss her life and her new book "THE PERUKE MAKER". Inspired by true events, is a meticulously researched screenplay that is laced with relevance and substance. The book follows the unforgettable spiritual and emotional journey of BRIDGET CANE, a stunning 17th Century woman and SARAH, a product of the
2lst Century who are inextricably bound together in a tenuous journey that comes full circle.

You can listen to the show at

or on my blog at

So why not stop for thirty minutes and listen to this enjoyable thirty minutes of fun and laughter as I chat with Sheila Roberts on today's "A BOOK AND A CHAT"


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Sunday, October 4, 2009


"Blue Peter" a blue-and-white flag hoisted by a ship in port when it is ready to sail.

But since it was first aired on October 16th 1958 it has been one of the most popular programs on the BBC for children.

The signature tune has always been a sea shanty, originally using variations of Barnacle Bill. The original opening titles showed a Blue Peter flag being lowered on a ship.[62] In 1979 it was updated by Mike Oldfield, and again in the 1990s.[37] From the 2008 series onwards it became a rendition of the similar Sailors Hornpipe. However, from 14 October 2008, the tune has become a blend of both tunes. The programme's motif is a stylised sailing ship designed by Tony Hart. Hart's original design was never successfully used in a totally uniform fashion, with several different reproductions used in studio, on badges, the Blue Peter books and on-screen graphics.

The first two presenters were Christopher Trace, an actor, and Leila Williams, winner of Miss Great Britain in 1957. Since that time presenters have come and gone, entertaining, teaching, and providing numerous Christmas presents for familys made with yogurt pots and sticky back plastic. The term "here's one I made earlier" is among several sayings they brought into the English language.

Perhaps the most famous group of presenters were the trio of Valerie Singleton, John Noakes and Peter Purves. They presented the program for five years.

Blue Peter's first pet, a brown and white mongrel dog named Petra was introduced on 17 December 1962, however Noakes and his Colly "Shep" brought another saying into the English language, his "Get down Shep" became a well known saying.

In 1962 Blue Peter made their first appeal collecting all sorts of worthless items from silver foil to buttons over the years they have helped millions over the years.

While the show had adventure and interest it was for both girls and boys with many world famous guest appearing on the show the receiving of a "Blue Peter Badge" has been more sort after than a knighthood some might say.

Many items from Blue Peter's history have passed into television legend, especially moments when things have gone wrong, such as the much-repeated clip of Lulu the elephant (from a 1969 edition)[48] who defecated on the studio floor, trod on presenter John Noakes' foot and then proceeded to attempt an exit, dragging her keeper along the ground behind her.

The show still airs twice a week, and is as popular as ever,some 4000 shows have been produced since 1958, and almost every episode from 1964 onwards still exists in the BBC archives.

BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The art of selling books at a big event

I have over the last two weeks spent many hours at the Big E, the North England Fair that runs for four weeks in Springfield MA, as one of the CAPA (Connecticut Authors and Publishers) trying to sell their creations in the Connecticut building.

It is my first time at the event let alone selling my book, and I learned several lessons over the period.

If you do not know, "The Big E" is a huge event with upwards of 150,000 people a day vising the various building, stall, events over the four week period. While the top visitations are over the weekends, even the days I was there between 60-80,000 attended.

As normal at such large state fair, there are a wide range of places to visit and items to see, food stores of every shape and kind from the cheeseburgers in a doughnut, to bacon covered chocolate. From giant jacket potatoes to beer from each state in New England. You can ride an elephant, get a cartoon picture of you even purchase some Sham Wows. Basically anything and everything.

So, what did I learn?

There were four authors signing at the CAPA book store at any one time, each author had about two foot six of table space (see picture), with hundreds if not thousands of people passing you buy during the day. The Big E is an event for all ages and many family's with young children of all ages visit. This will mean that there is a market for young childrens books, being purchased by grandparents and parents.

It really helps if you have an author selling such books signing next to you.

I mentioned "passing by" this will happen unless something is done to attract this flowing traffic into your booth.

An eye catching cover, a prop etc anything to attract the attention.

I was at least able to do something to help stop the flow and bring the people into our area.

Using my voice and English accent I was able to almost act as a "fair ground barker", asking the public to "roll up, roll up etc..." actually it was more like. "All books by Connecticut authors, over 90 authors represented come inside, have a look around.".

I can't say it helped my book, but it certainly "I think" helped bring people into the booth and made sales for many of the other authros.

Have a hand out that gives your book details, how to contact you etc.

It might not bring sales, but several libraries, book stores, teachers etc visit and might pick you up to appear at a school or library. (We actually had two librarians there last Friday who spent over $400 on books)

Be willing to talk to people.

Have a chat, even if it's not about your book. As with salesmen, you get a few people around an others stop to see what's going on.
Just think of the "rubber necking" that goes on when there is a car accident.

Make sure people know what your book is about.

A lot of people take one look at a cover and think they know what the book is about. I learned very quickly people thought "Across the Pond" was about baseball, which is just a small part. So the second time I went I had a board with headline snippets that stated more that the book was for "all ages" etc.

While I did not sell a huge amount, I did sell some, also made several contacts and had fun.

To me the latter is the real thing. Writing is not my livelihood it is a hobby, and even with all the costs involved let's face it... it's still cheaper than playing golf.

So Tips:

Make Sure you are noticed.
Say hello to anybody who will listen.
Be willing to chat about your book and anything else.
Make sure you have literature to hand out even if people don't purchase your book.
It helps if you are able to take credit cards.
Enjoy yourself.

And finally, ware comfortable shoes, clothes and some throat sweets... Beleive me standing for 6-9 hrs takes it out of you.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
"Across the Pond"