6 May 2015

Creative Hobbyist in the Park

Recently I participated in a local event brought to you by the Salinas Circle for Children called CHALK IN THE PARK. A wonderful, feel good annual event, with artists of all ages drawing chalk art on squares sponsored by businesses to raise funds for local children with special needs. There were food and craft vendors, live music, and just a peaceful vibe throughout the day. Unfortunately I was under the weather, but managed four hours to draw my koi fish! Working with chalk was a new and fun learning experience.

Thanks for Smith & Cowell Insurance for sponsoring my square and for donating to a wonderful cause. I hope to participate again in the future.





27 July 2009

"CCW Workshop"

The event in Monterey, CA with the Central Coast Writers was awesome!

CCW: YA Workshop,the room

The meetings are held at a lovely hotel, where Shelley Adina (All About US Series) and I were provided dinner and dessert. We chatted with many of the members, who were all very gracious and wonderful.

After the CCW business concluded, I opened up the workshop by thanking everyone for inviting us. This was my second workshop on the topic of multicultural YA. I was a little calmer this time around! (haha!) But I still need some experience here!

CCW: YA Workshop

Shelley is an absolute pro! She knows her stuff and went through her Inspirational topic like a breeze!

CCW: YA Workshop

Here are the points we basically covered:

~ The Dos and Don’ts of Multicultural YA
~ The Inspirational Market
~ How to reach your target audience
~ How to reach readers through the Internet

With various questions from the audience, such as how do we pick our character’s names, are personally diaries marketable, would specific ideas or age groups sell for YAs, etc. We had a steady Q&A going, which was very nice!

I also had a pleasant surprise visit by one a blogger friend, Kelsey! She was visiting family in California, and this summer she’d met Sarah Dessen too! It was so awesome of her to attend our workshop!

CCW: YA Workshop with blogger

I think a few hundred more of these events and I might just actually feel like I know what I’m doing. *wink*

15 April 2009

"Visit to CSUMB"

About two months ago, I was contacted by a Professor of Liberal Studies in the Liberal Studies Department at CSU Monterey Bay about 25 miles from my neck of the woods. He taught a Latina Reading group! Yes, a group he put together himself to encourage and support some CSUMB Latino students as undergrads who want to become teachers. As part of this process they were reading a series of picture books and YA novels. One of their proposed novels was Graffiti Girl. He had recently had a visit by another local author, Ann Jaramillo, author of La Linea.

Of course, I was flattered! And truthfully, I was a little nervous and not sure what to expect. These wouldn’t be middle grade students, but adults reading my book, and I’m just a newbie author, who never attended a university…what could I bring to these students?

Well, I could bring chocolate! *grin* But this time I knew I wouldn’t be throwing around candy to get the group to open up. But there was no need, once I arrived Professor Miguel was so welcoming. He joked that Miguel in Graffiti Girl was him! And the group was so friendly, it really was like they were a family of cousins with mostly woman and two men.

Latina Reading Crew

The only part that made me nervous was the video camera. *grin* But the professor assured me it was for studying purposes so they might revisit the meeting. We went around the table and introduced ourselves, and the students each told me of parts of the story that they related to, what scenes touched a personal cord with them, and the themes that they felt were important.

I had never been to a group where the readers had each taken time to read my book and them discussed it with me. I tried to share my feelings about each scene and character and what made me write them. It was a very honest, and enlightening, and humbling experience. I was incredibly honored.

Near the end, they each described what their “tag” name would be and how it would look painted. That was very fun and creative! I followed up by signing a few books and taking pics. One of the students baked cupcakes and I took some home. *grin*




Professor Miguel has since sent me photos, a writing prompt from one of his students about what it means to be Latino, and mentioned they have now changed their name to the Latina Reading Crew! I wish the best to this wonderful group of Latinos. And like I mentioned, it was an awesome experience I won’t forget. 🙂


21 October 2008

"Invisible Touch Book Signing"

The book signing was very nice!

I had family, friends, and readers stop by for my first Invisible Touch book signing. The morning started off with a review, “Kelly Parra’s novel is visionary”, in the Salinas Californian with “Five Gold Pens” for Invisible Touch. Check out the full review here.

Here I am before the signing…

Touch Signing 01

A pic with my kiddos sitting with me.

Touch Signing 03

My modest line during the signing! 🙂

Touch Signing 04

And reader Rei’ Monique, who I first met at a Graffiti Girl signing and her mom was kind of enough to bring her to get my latest book.

Touch Signing 02

It was great day and I’m gearing up for the next one with Shelley Adina this weekend! 🙂

1 October 2008

"Secret Fates Extravaganza Begins!"

The Secret Fates Extravaganza begins now!

Invisible TouchWhere 26 authors of various genres will be sharing secrets and giveaways to help me celebrate the release of my latest novel INVISIBLE TOUCH (October 14, 2008) published by MTV Books!

I have to say these authors are super cool to donate their time and books to what I hope will be a fun month. I’m so excited! Thank you, Authors!!!

You may wonder, Why Secret Fates?

My character Kara in INVISIBLE TOUCH has a secret, she sees signs on individuals and pieces the signs together in order to help stop unfortunate fates, and she shares this supernatural secret on an anonymous blog called Secret Fates. So I thought it would be great to create this blog to share author and character secrets!

This is how it’ll work. Through the month of October, I will be posting an author secret and giveaway every day on Secret Fates except for Sundays. You will have the week to post a comment on the author’s secret, then on that following Sunday I will announce the winners for the week. Then the next week we start again with a new group of talented authors.

Sound good?

Here is the schedule for this week:


Wednesday, October 1st: Laurie Faria Stolarz shares about PROJECT 17…

Thursday, October 2nd: Amanda Ashby dishes on the backstory of YOU HAD ME AT HALO…

Friday, October 3rd: Tina Ferraro dishes on THE ABCs OF KISSING BOYS and offers up two releases…

Saturday, October 4th: Erica Orloff aka Liza Conrad shares a personal experience and offers up THE POKER DIARIES…


If you help spread the word through the month of October about the Secret Fates Extravaganza (by sharing a link http://secretfates.blogspot.com + the promo video) on your blog, myspace or facebook, and leave a comment here with a link to the blog or post or telling me how you helped, you’ll be entered to win a copy of GRAFFITI GIRL and INVISIBLE TOUCH by me, and your pick of one of Secret Fates Extravaganza participating authors’ novels. (If you’ve already read one of my books I’ll replace it with one of the author’s novels, too. Either way, you win 3 books.) The more you spread the word, the better chances of winning!

Okay, we’re kicking it off with Laurie Faria Stolarz here

Thanks and I hope you join in!!!

~Kelly 🙂