May 26, 2009

A few things taking shape

I mentioned awhile back that I was included in a poetry anthology due out in 2010. I found out that another poem I submitted was accepted, so I'm pretty excited about that. Although I have a few rhyming picture books under contract, this will be my first poetry anthology. So, I really feel validated as a poet. I'll post more info about this once the revisions are finalized

Also, I heard from Kit Grady about my book, The Sister Exchange. She posted a sketch of one of the illustrations. It's a cute character and I'm psyched to see the rest of the illustrations. To take a sneek peek of The Sister Exchange, go to Kit's blog at

I've already seen sketches for If I Could Be Anything which is being illustrated by Marina Movshina, so I already have a decent idea of what the final copy of the book will look like. The only books that are still a mystery to me are Lightning Strikes and The Soggy Town of Hilltop. These are being illustrated by Eugene Ruble and I haven't heard anything about them yet. But I've seen Eugene's work and he's a talented guy. I'm sure he'll do my books justice.

May 19, 2009

Virtual Book Tour Hiatus

I took a leave from the Virtual Book Tour group that I belong to. The illustrator for my first book, The Sister Exchange, crashed her computer and won’t have the artwork ready until July. Three of my other books are assigned to illustrators, but my publisher can’t give me a release date for any of them until she’s received the finished artwork. Originally, when I joined this group, I thought my book would be out by now. But with the unforeseen delays, it doesn’t make sense to be on a virtual book tour with no book to promote. So I’m going to sit out a few tours until I have a better idea of what’s going on. The moderator of the group, was very understanding of the whole situation and granted me the leave as long as I check in with her and let her know that I’m still interested in being a member. That definitely works for me. I found this group following last years Muse Online conference and I have definitely learned a lot since joining.

The authors there are serious and professional, and the group is still looking for new ways to promote its authors. So I definitely like the knowledge and the energy that I’ve found there and would hate to have to go looking for a new group once my books are out. I know that all groups are not created equal, so I want to stay with what works for me.

So right now I’m going to keep writing and be patient. Hopefully things will start moving along soon.

May 7, 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Harry Gilleland's - Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man

As promised, here is more information om Harry's book, Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man.

Title: Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man

Author: Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.

Date of Publication: 26 March 2008

Publisher: Lulu Press

ISBN: 978-1-435712423 (1-435712420)

Pages: 172 pages, paperback, 6” x 9”

Price: $12.98

From Publisher:


From Barnes & Noble:

Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man is the third published collection of poetry written by poet Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. This new collection of 81 storoems and poems will engage its readers by making them think about life and leaving them pondering their emotions and beliefs. It will also bring smiles and maybe a tear or two.

Contained within this collection are forty-seven rhyming poems and "storoems", a format coined by Gilleland. A storoem is a hybrid between a story and a poem, i.e. a story told with poetic techniques. The collection also contains twenty-eight free-verse poems, four acrostic poems, and two limericks.

These writings are poetry for the thinking person, be he/she someone who is a poetry lover or someone who normally does not read poetry. This poetry is easily readable and accessible to all -- poetry for the poet and the common man alike. A wide variety of subjects are addressed, including everyday life events, observations of nature, tales of fantasy, expressions of love, and much more. This wonderful collection will surprise and delight all readers.


“Thoughtful, funny, & full of wisdom …I thoroughly enjoyed "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man" from start to end. I was a little surprised at my reaction to this book, because while I enjoy poems, I am usually not as enthusiastic about books of poetry as I was about this compilation. The third collection by this author is definitely one not to miss reading. Harry Gilleland is a very talented writer, … The collection of poems includes stories about every aspect of life. Some of the poems left me with tears in my eyes, while others had me laughing about life's lighter side. … I applaud Gilleland on creating such a well written, thought provoking book. It is one that I will definitely read again. I highly recommend "Poetic Musing of an Old, Fat Man" to anyone who is looking for an enjoyable book to read this summer or for someone who is looking for a gift to buy for that person who has everything.” By Cherie Fisher for Reader Views

“One of the true purposes of poetry for a reader is not just to discover what the poet was intending to convey, but to find how you relate to the poem. Gilleland does a superb job of presenting an array of poems that are easy to understand and will certainly capture the attention, and the heart, of every reader. …. Verse after verse, this poet is to be commended for his true talent with words.” By Shannon L. Yarbrough

“Harry Gilleland often uses his storoems and poems to reveal life in its glory and its despair. This collection is not different. … ‘Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man’ offers something for every one in over 150 pages, which contain rhyming poems and storoems, two limericks, acrostic poems, and free verse poems.” By Vivian Zabel

“All in all, I highly recommend this book. Not only will the poems entertain you, but they will also stimulate your mind, as you begin to ponder some of the lessons they put forth. … Very insightful!” By Kristina N. Fountain

“This book illustrates my point that seniors should consider expressing their lives and their thoughts in poetic form. This book provides an interesting tour through the author's mind. … Gilleland's observations about life … ring true.” By Marlys M. Styne

“These are poems that often feel like having a light bulb switched on in your brain and after reading the poem you unconsciously cry out ‘eureka!’…
Probably one of the most outstanding qualities of Gilleland's poetry is his ability in proving that any topic or theme, if handled skillfully, can be transferred into persuasive poetry. This is effectuated with his balancing of his personal convictions and fervour with imaginative meticulousness that speaks to us at another level and touches us in a similar way as music. Moreover, Gilleland employs very little ornamentation in his poetry, which is one of the prime reasons why they contain meaningful content that leave a lasting impression. … Most of poems have a conversational rhythm containing a great deal of bluntness and a clear expression of emotions that brilliantly portray the work of a mature self-confident gentleman who knows what life is all about.” By Norm Goldman, Publisher & Editor Bookpleasures

“I must admit that poetry is not my favorite medium. Too often the author rambles on, not conveying his/her point. However, ‘Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat, Man’ is an awesome book. Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. has a talent for poetry. He conveys his message with a unique style that is easy to understand and that brings emotion to his readers. I was hooked from the first poem, … I will long cherish ‘Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat, Man’ and highly recommend it to others.” By Debra Gaynor for

“I have to admit when I first saw the cover of the book I wasn't too intrigued. However, the old adage holds true to not judge a book by its cover. Once I started reading the book I was hooked. Gilleland's writing is very readable and thought-provoking. … ‘Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man’ definitely has something for everyone and, if you enjoy stimulating writing, then I highly recommend this collection!” By Kam Aures for RebeccasReads

It was a pleasure hosting Harry. I wish him much success with his work.

May 1, 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Poet, Harry Gilleland

For his month's Virtual Book Tour, I am please to be hosting poet Harry Gilleland.

Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. is a 64-year-old southerner. Born and raised in Macon, Georgia, he earned a B.S. (1966) and a M.S. (1968) in Microbiology from the University of Georgia in Athens. Following three years of service in the U.S. Army as a captain, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, he returned to earn a Ph.D. in Microbiology from UGA in 1973. He then headed north to complete a two-year fellowship at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. In July of 1975 he joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. After twenty-nine years of teaching microbiology to medical and graduate students and performing vaccine research, Harry retired in July of 2004. Today Harry lives in Shreveport with his wonderful wife Linda. Harry enjoys being able to engage in his passion for writing full-time.

Lets get to know a little more about Harry.

Harry, can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

Actually, this happened the first time while I was a graduate student studying for my Ph.D. A journal article I had written for the Journal of Bacteriology, a highly prestigious journal, was accepted with minor changes required. I knew then I could write scientific material well.

It happened again when I started writing poetry. After learning more of the craft required, I knew I was a real poet when I started getting readers on Internet poetry forums telling me I needed to publish my work since it was good enough to be published.

What is going on with your writing these days?

I write poems as they come to me, not as often as in the past. I have an action-adventure novel in the starting phase.

What are your future goals for your writing?

To get better and better as a poet and to get my novel finished within the next year.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Since I am retired, I write in spurts throughout the day. I will write whenever the mood hits me during the day from early morning until late at night after midnight. I write for several hours, then have to move around to loosen my arthritic joints and back. Essentially, I have no set schedule or output requirements for each day. I write as I am driven to write.

Why do you write?

Writing is pure pleasure to me. Using words well so that I deliver my message precisely as intended gives me such a feeling of satisfaction on those occasions when I feel I have accomplished this.I have so much I want to say that I have to write. It fulfills a need deep inside me. Plus, I want to leave behind something to represent who I was for posterity. I want my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to know what sort of man I was once they reach adulthood. Even if I am dead by then, my writing will be their window into my mind.

What writer most inspires you? Why?

Poe (and Tennyson) I have loved their rhyming poetry since high school English classes. They are my idea of great poets.

How do you define your writing?

I see myself primarily as a poet whose storoems and poems address everyday topics in a way that speaks to the common man, people that don’t normally read or like poetry. You don’t need a M.F.A. to understand and enjoy my poetry. Yet some of my poems address profound subjects. I’d call my writings thought-provoking and engaging.

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

This fellow had a lot of wisdom and insight into the world we live in and human nature.

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

A sampling of my poetry and the covers of my five books are available at Gilleland Poetry:

Information about my five books is available here:

I have poetry posted at and at and I have a blog at, Facebook, and WordPress.

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Sure. I can be reached by emailing me at .

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your books?

To be engaged emotionally and mentally, as well as being entertained. I want them to laugh as well as cry as they read through one of my books of poetry.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I try to be as honest as I can in my poetry, whether the subject is highly emotionally charged, a routine everyday event, or a humorous piece or even fantasy. I want you as a reader to think in a different way than ever before about the subject, to maybe gain new insight, or to revive old memories. I want you to be well entertained and to feel reading my work was a good investment of your time and money.

Thanks for letting us get to know you Harry. Below is more information on Harry's books and other work.

Harry has previously published three books of his personal poetry:

Poetry For The Common Man: Storoems and Poems (2003, ISBN 1411600649),

Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems (2005, ISBN 1411629272), and

Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man (2008, ISBN 978-1-4357-1242-3).

In addition, Harry has published two books of prose, a tale of fantasy entitled Bob the Dragon Slayer (2005, ISBN 1411633156) and a contemporary romance story entitled White Lightning Road (2006, ISBN 978-1-4116-8693-9).

Harry Gilleland’s poetry recently won two cash awards in the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest associated with Winning Harry’s rhyming storoem The Old Salty Poems won 2nd Place with a $1,000 prize, while his free-verse poem The Assembled Waiters earned $200 for a High Distinction award. Harry was the only poet to win two cash awards in the contest.

Harry Gilleland’s poetry has been included in four multi-author print anthologies of poems and short stories, in several poetry e-zines, and on numerous Internet poetry forums, in addition to his own three published collections. His storoems (story-poems) and poems are readily accessible to all readers, including those who do not regularly read poetry. Harry views the world with a poet’s eye.

Again, to see Harry's books please go to:

To see Harry's book covers and samples of his poetry:

Next week, we'll find out more about Harry's book. Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man.

Personally, I think that's a great title.