Thursday, January 05, 2012

This Monday on Dellani's Tea Time

Join Christina and me as we speak to Ralph Gallagher, Jo Ramsey and Kira Harp as they discuss their joint project Life Skills. We will also talk about Kira Harp's stories, Intervention and The Benefit of Ductwork.

Helping Hands was the brainchild of Featherweight editor Ralph Gallagher, who saw a need for stories that would support and encourage GLBTQ teens. All royalties from each story in the line go to a charity, chosen by the author, that supports GLBTQ youth. 
In Life Skills, Brian Monahan starts a Spread the Word to End the Word event at his school after seeing students in the school's Life Skills class being bullied and called "retard." The event encourages students not to use that word. Brian draws on the skills he's gained as a co-organizer of the Day of Silence event at his school each year, which encourages support and tolerance of people who are GLBT. Brian is bisexual, so he's had his share of being bullied as well. 
Royalties from Life Skills are being donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network, which sponsors Day of Silence. A one-time donation is also being made to Special Olympics, which sponsors Spread the Word to End the Word.

Jo Ramsey is a former special education teacher who's permanently stuck in her teen years, so she writes young adult fiction. She started writing stories at age five, and has a drawer full of manuscripts in spiral notebooks to prove it. Jo's first YA novel, an urban fantasy titled Connection, was published in January 2010. Since then she's had several other novels published. Jo lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, her husband, and two cats, one of whom occasionally likes to help her type.

Ralph Gallagher is one of the editors at Featherweight Press. He has worked in publishing for two years with houses like Silver Publishing and Charles River Press. He is also a full-time student pursuing a plethora of degrees.

Kira Harp - I've been writing since I could put words together. Early stories were about dolls and horses and kids who surmounted the odds and came home with a kitten. Gradually I learned about punctuation and point-of-view and my characters grew up. But real life came along, with forays into psychology and teaching and then a biomedical career and children. Writing happened in my head, for my own amusement, but didn't make it to paper.

Then several years ago, my husband gave me a computer. And my two girls were getting older and developing their own interests. So I sat down and typed out a story. Or two. Or three. Now I have adult novels published, and my love of Young Adult fiction has led me to Featherweight, and the chance to share some of my YA stories.

I currently write constantly, read obsessively, and share my home with my younger teenager, my amazingly patient husband, and a crazy, omnivorous little white dog. I can be found at my author page on Goodreads, and look forward to sharing many more stories with YA readers in the future. My first published YA story, Intervention, came out from Featherweight on January 1st 2012, and my second, The Benefit of Ductwork, will come out on January 5th. Both are part of the Helping Hands line of books with the profits going to LGBT charities.

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