Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

Everyone is a winner!!!

This was my first giveaway ever. I loved the experience.

I did have one worry. Five people competing for three prizes? Hmmm . . . That would mean, instead of having three winners, I’d end up with two “losers” on my conscience. Not cool.

To me, that is NOT what the beautiful act of GIVING AWAY should be all about. So here comes the most natural solution of all: EVERYONE is a winner of my giveaway.


SHARON PUTNAM, a writer and a moderator of three on-line critique services. “Six years ago I decided to treat my love for writing as a career, instead of just an on again, off again hobby,” she says. “I am actively working toward publication with thirty-two manuscripts soon to be sent out into the world, and more simmering away on the back burner, waiting to go through another round of revisions.” 

Wait a minute, Sharon, thirty-two manuscripts? Wow!!! I am assuming at least some of them are picture books? No matter – I think that’s amazing.

As you can see from a portrait of Sharon, by a children’s author and illustrator Elizabeth Briggs Jones, Sharon loves cats! She owns fifteen cats right now. 🙂

As part of keeping open a conversation about recent history, I have asked Sharon what moment or event in recent history (roughly from the 1960s to the present) had captured her imagination and influenced her the most?

Her answer: “Even though it was October 4, 1957,  Sputnik captured my  imagination and my soul. It was then that  I became a bona fide space nut and remain one to this very day. My daughter was born on July 20, 1969, the day the Eagle (Apollo 11) landed on the moon.”

Sharon will be receiving “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

MEDEIA SHARIF is two things I aspire to be: a high school English teacher and a YA novelist. “In my view, a perfect combo! Her debut novel “The Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.” will be  published by Flux next summer.  Her greatest passion is, “books, of course!” she says. The recent historical event that influenced her the most? She says it’s the Cold War. Medeia is getting “Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle” by Nan Marino.

3. MIKE JUNG, a blogger extraordinaire who is becoming quite a voice in the children’s writing community is receiving “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. Mike does many things, he says, and writing middle-grade fiction is his biggest passion. As far as an event from recent history, he says it’s hard to pick one, so he lists three, ” in no particular order” – A. The election of Barack Obama; B. The Harry Potter phenomenon; C. Lance Armstrong’s domination of the Tour de France.

4. STEPHANIE PYLE is an aspiring teacher studying education and physchology at Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey. She took grammar class with me this summer. Her biggest passion is helping people. The recent historical event that affected her the most was the September 11th terrorist attacks. I am so excited that Stephanie stopped by, I am giving her my own personal (and brand new!) copy of Lauren Oliver’s “Before I Fall.”

5. And then we have author NAN MARINO — it’s amazing but it feels like I’ve known her for years already. I am giving her a beautiful writing journal to keep recording her daydreams. 🙂

Thank you guys for reading and for keeping the conversation going.


June 20, 2010 - Posted by | Updates


  1. Thanks so much, Katia. And I get my pick!

    I’m already a teacher though. I’ve been doing it for years, so I’m far from aspiring, lol.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | June 20, 2010 | Reply

    • No, no, Medeia, I double-checked just now — I had it written correctly from the beginning: “Medeia Sharif is two things I aspire to be: a high school English teacher and a YA novelist.” Stephanie Pyle is the one who is ASPIRING! As a former journalist I take pride in getting it right, so this is a big deal to me!:)

      On another note, I am super happy that you are getting your first choice.

      All my best,

      Comment by Katia Raina | June 21, 2010 | Reply

      • Oops. My bad. I need to stop reading from my cellphone.

        Comment by Medeia Sharif | June 21, 2010

  2. Wow.Thanks, Katia. I carry a journal with me all the time so I’ll put it to good use. How nice that everyone wins something. Hope to see you again, soon.

    Comment by nanmarino | June 20, 2010 | Reply

    • That’s just what I thought, Nan 🙂 I figured I could never go wrong with a journal for you!

      Comment by Katia Raina | June 21, 2010 | Reply

    • I can’t wait to read your book, Nan. I couldn’t find it on Kindle.

      Comment by Medeia Sharif | June 21, 2010 | Reply

  3. Thank you so much, Katia. The majority of my manuscripts are chapter books, although I do have a few picture books, and currently I am working on one of my middle grade novels. I also write poetry.

    I did want to correct one thing though, I am now down to only 2 cats, Canoe who is 13 and Yoshi who is 21. But you can call me the “Cat Lady,” as I have had 98 cats to date, and the most at ONE time was 26!

    Comment by S A Putnam | June 22, 2010 | Reply

  4. Hi Sharon AKA Cat Lady,

    Wow, talk about writing productivity!!
    As for the cats, I only got this from the write-up that YOU sent me along with the picture!! When you send me something like that, I am going to assume it’s up to date and accurate!
    Hope your two cats are doing well.

    My best,

    Comment by Katia Raina | June 23, 2010 | Reply

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