It’s Monday! It’s April! It’s time for the Monday Blog! Why am I so excited? Because Spring is here (I mean, it’s been here since March 20th, but now it actually feels like Spring). As a New Yorker, and a woman of Caribbean descent, I’m tired of the cold weather.
This month’s theme will center around inspiration. I’m also going to include Small Businesses, since I have one, and Record Shop Day is coming up on April 21. But, mostly, I will focus on inspiration.
Inspiration comes in many forms. A book, a song, your favorite movie, perhaps. Whenever I find myself in a creative rut, I turn to the things that inspire me, to help me reclaim my creativity. For example, I got stuck while working on Righteous, and picked up a copy of AP Magazine, which happened to have a section filled with inspirational quotes from musicians. Reading that issue gave me the inspiration I needed to start writing again, and it also gave me an idea for this month’s theme (so it was a twofer!).
Sometimes, inspiration comes from an act instead of a physical object. When I need to clear my head and come up with fresh ideas, a walk can be very inspirational. When I need to channel my energy, lighting incense or a candle really helps me.
So, what inspires you? Feel free to share in the comments below!
At long last, December has arrived. December is one of my favorite months, because of several reasons: Christmas, snow, time off from work, my birthday…and most importantly, Woolaston Entertainment’s birthday! This year, Woolent is turning 23. Yes…23. There are a few milestones that took place this year, but, before I get to them, let’s go back to the beginning…
I started watching Sailor Moon on UPN, in Hampton, Va. I made sketches of the characters I had been visualizing for months. The first one to come to life on paper, was a black cat named Vanessa. From there, I began writing furiously and drawing during every spare moment I could find. I started drawing comics and writing my own books. Little did I know, 23 years later, all of that creativity would pay off. Watching anime and reading mangas, writing books and drawing comics, would lead to a series of paintings, learning to play the guitar, and publishing 19 books. No matter how far Woolaston Entertainment goes or how old it gets, I always attribute everything to Summer 1994, when everything got started.
W.E. may have been born in 1994, but things REALLY kicked off in 2009, with Fortune’s Wing. But let’s go through the years, as I can remember them:
1994: W.E. is born!
1997: Enos, W.E.’s first series/comic is created
1999: first short story publication in Polaris Literary Art Magazine
2000: my artwork is published in Polaris Literary Art Magazine
2002: Fortune’s Wing is written
2005: my first attempt at teaching myself to play guitar (a failure which later inspires creation of Our Lady)
2009: Fortune’s Wing is published
2010: Valentine is published
2011: Fortune’s Wing: Second Flight is published; first 2 W.E. books featured at A.L.A. convention in Washington, DC
2016: First book signing at Barnes and Noble, 2 W.E. books available via Hampton and Norfolk public libraries (this may have occurred in 2015, but this is when I can remember discovering this for myself!)
2017: Jon and Olivia comic featured in Bear Facts newspaper, published 19th book, The Witch of Fulton Lane, 2 W.E. books available via Queens Public Library, W.E.’s website becomes self-sustaining
December 2017 marks Woolaston Entertainment’s 23rd birthday. While I am excited to celebrate the anniversary of the wonderful thing I created back when I was twelve, I’m even more excited at the prospect of Woolent turning 25, in 2019. In fact, I’m already working on the birthday present.
Before I was a published author, I hand-wrote several (okay, 125 or more) books for myself. I have been publishing them one by one, over the past few years, beginning with Fortune’s Wing. Every other year or so, I would write a Compendium, which would summarize and explain all of the books, comics and artwork I had produced for the year (or years, depending). This is what I would like to do for Woolent’s 25th birthday: release a compendium, which will cover all of my books, comics and artwork, from the handwritten materials to the published works. In order to accomplish this, I literally need to get started now. Fortunately, I have my previous compendiums from 1998 through 2007 to fall back on, along with the one I started gathering materials and making notes for just a few years ago. This book will contain illustrations, and background info about Woolent, and everything I will have created up until that year. It’s going to be very interesting.
If you’ve published a number of books or artwork, etc, a writing a compendium may be something you’ll want to consider. You really don’t know how much you’ve created, or how special it is to you, until you begin to archive it.
It’s another Monday in the fabulous month of October (sort of, I’m late!), so it’s time for another Monday Blog. This week, I’m using Erin from Our Lady as a medium, and I’m posting a playlist of her favorite music to listen to, when she’s feeling extra Emo. Some of the songs may not make anyone else’s EMO list, but I think they still work. If you find a song here you’ve never listened to before, give it a try! And feel free to share your own playlists on Twitter , @NicoleWoolent.
Hello everyone! Happy Labor Day! September is here! Today is Labor Day, and tomorrow, students across the country will be headed back to school. So, this month’s theme will be school-related. I have some exciting news for you, so let’s get to it.
This month, I will donate copies of W.E. books to libraries both in the US and abroad. I was delighted to learn of a community library in Bream, in the UK. I discovered it while searching for libraries in Woolaston, UK (since it is my last name, the name of my company…). I’m also donating to Open Books, an organization which works to support literacy. If you would like to learn more about them, here is a link to their website: http://www.open-books.org/give/donate-books/
If you belong to or know of a library in need of fiction books, please contact me, via the Contact Page on woolastonentertainment.com, and let me know. I still have copies of the first editions of Fortune’s Wing and Valentine available.
Bethel High School
I’m happy to announce, I’m currently working on a project for my old high school, Bethel High, in Hampton Virginia! I’m drawing a set of four comics, which will appear in their newspaper, “The Bear Facts”, and a W.E. ad will be placed in their literary art magazine, “Polaris”. When I was a student at Bethel (thousands of years ago) I worked on the “Polaris” staff, and had my work published in the magazine during my Sophomore, Junior and Senior years. I really loved working on it, and I enjoyed my time at Bethel. I’m looking forward to having one of my creations published with Bethel once again.
Speaking of Polaris… I mentioned in the paragraph above, I’m having an ad for W.E. placed in Polaris magazine. If you’re an author, or if you own a business and would like to place an ad in Polaris, please reach out to me via the Contact Page on woolastonentertainment.com. I can put you in touch with the teacher who is overseeing the publication. Keep in mind, this magazine is available in Hampton, Virginia. However, this is a great opportunity for writers to gain some exposure for their books; especially if you write for young adults. To give you an idea of the pricing for the ads, a quarter page is $60—that is the ad I’m using. So, if you’re interested, please reach out to me. Remember, the internet is national.
The covers of some of my hand-written books, anime inspired…
I’m currently reading Jen Sincero’s “You Are A Badass”, and I read a passage that suggested going back to your childhood, and thinking about the things you were passionate about. It sounded like pretty solid advice, so I took a moment to think.
I’m a writer, and its something I’ve always been passionate about. I’ve been writing books for myself since second grade, and I’d like to think, my skills as a story teller have improved over the years. Every now and then, I develop a case of Writer’s Block, and I find myself feeling a bit uninspired. But, I have found a way to pull myself together, and start writing again. I went back to my childhood, to when I started writing more detailed books, with chapters and developed characters. This happened when I was about eleven or twelve. I would wake up early on Saturday morning, around 4:30 or 5:00, and start writing. Back then, I worked on two or three books at a time. I was always excited to finish a book, and draw the cover, make a spine label and place my Woolaston Entertainment logo on the back cover. I even kept a hand-written spread sheet of stats for my books: how may chapters, pages, dates for starting and completing each book, etc. I was my own publisher, and I LOVED it.
Whenever I find myself at a loss for anything, I think about those days. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was building something very special and very important back then: I was building me.
Greetings, everyone. Welcome to the first Monday Blog for August 2017. This month’s theme concerns WE comics. Today, I’d like to take you on a little trip, all the way back to 1995….
WE was only seven months old or so. During the summer of 1995, I started watching a lot of anime, and my interest in manga (graphic novels) was beginning to stir. I woke up early every weekday morning to watch Sailor Moon on UPN (or My9, or whatever it’s called now). I rented a ton of VHS tapes from Blockbuster Video, since their anime section was fairly decent. I was able to see Slayers and Akira. This led me to create a comic of my own: the Enos series I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. I drew the first of what was going to be a series of comics, in 1996, but decided I could write the book faster than draw a comic, so Enos became a series of books instead.
Every time I rented an anime video from Blockbuster, I made a list of all of the previews which aired before the feature. Then I’d look for those other titles. In high school, I discovered Animerica Magazine, which exposed me to a whole new world of anime and manga titles to explore. I read Galaxy Express 999, which led me to Queen Emeraldas and Captain Harlock. But, I wasn’t only interested in shojo (girl’s) material; I later discovered Kohta Hirano’s Hellsing manga, and watched both versions of the anime that followed. Blue Seed, El Hazard, Dirty Pair, Cutie Honey, Bubblegum Crisis, Bastard!, Sorcerer Hunters, The Devil Lady, Neon Genesis Evangelion…I could keep going and going. All of these titles and more, inspired the WE comics, which later inspired the WE books.
Apart from Enos, I drew humorous comics, and used some of the characters you’ve met in the Our Lady books. Dee had her own series, titled Seybrook, while Amy and David were featured in Sarconi. Mike and Vanessa, were featured in Mike and Vanessa. These three comics became part of a calendar I created in 1998.
Who would have thought, all those years of watching anime and reading manga, would lead to this point? It just goes to show you: your hobbies may not necessarily be a complete waste of time.