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writing

Hot On The Street Turns 7

Anne Donahue and Sarah Prince

Today marks 7 years since I published my first Hot On The Street post on Tumblr. A lot has changed since then, but my interest in fashion, entertainment and marketing has stayed the same.

Earlier this month, I had a chance to meet a local writer who I’ve liked for a long time: Anne T. Donahue. Most people went to Indigo to get Gabby Sidibe’s autograph, but I went to meet a woman with a kickass Twitter account and a wicked writing style. Continue Reading

Hot On The Street Turns 6

Hot On The Street's 6th Blog Anniversary

Last year I celebrated Hot On The Street’s 5th anniversary and that was a really big milestone. Marking Hot On The Street’s 6th anniversary is sweet too. Aside from going to school or camp, this is the longest I’ve ever done something and it feels great.

I’d like to thank all of my readers for your support. I’m also grateful for the encouragement I’ve received from friends, family, publicists and strangers. The blog has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people and I’ve particularly enjoyed connecting with the people who I’ve interviewed.

I’m always open to hearing feedback on previous posts or suggestions for upcoming content. Please email me anytime at hotonthestreet[at]gmail[dot]com with questions, comments or ideas. Let me know if you’d like to collaborate on a future post!

Hot On The Street Turns 4

Hot On The Street Turns 4 Cake - pizzazzerie-4th-birthday

Blogging involves so much more than writing, SEO and social media. Blogging is ultimately about creative self-expression and building relationships. So when I look back on the last year, I don’t think about how much time I spent on WordPress. I think about the inspiring people I met in cool places.

Blogging is rewarding because it provides access to experiences I would not enjoy otherwise. I think the tagline for Smirnoff’s Exclusively for Everyone campaign captures blogger outreach quite well because everyone can start a blog and therefore become eligible to participate in blogger outreach programs. With so many free online resources available, there’s no better time to join the blogging community than right now.

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Behind the Band: June and the Bee

After meeting June and the Bee at Aspetta Cafe in Kensington Market, I was delighted when the band’s lead singer Emma agreed to do a Behind the Band interview.

June and the Bee & Me

What makes June and the Bee’s music unique?

We write our music using our lives as a malleable creative substance from which to draw upon. We play from a place of infectious joie de vivre and are utterly unconcerned with being anything other than what we are.

What can you tell readers about your songwriting process?

As a trio we all bring an ingredient. My brother, Eli, is the melody guy. While he plays, words are usually jumping down from the shelves of my mind and arranging themselves into lyrics. Lyric writing happens all the time. My way of processing an experience is turning it into a song. Zoe, our third member writes the wonderful harmonies. Her technical background in classical music grounds the band in an awareness of dynamics and all those elements that may seem miniscule but are responsible for the song being something we love to sing. As we have continued to grow as a band, we have started to share the different roles in the songwriting process.

Professional role model: Carrie Ferguson

When we first entered the folk scene, Carrie took us under her wing, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the essence of pure joy when playing regardless of the stresses and pressures the road ahead could present. We pride ourselves in being able to tend to that creative joy and let it radiate through our music. This joy is detached from the ego and is more about collectively sharing than about individual self-worth.

What is your approach to promoting the band?

I manage the band’s social media, regardless of the fact that I have historically been ‘living under a rock,’ so to speak. We love to keep things as personal as possible. Being from a small town, you know everyone. We want to invite all of our fans to be a part of our musical family. We usually just send out our mailing list via carrier pigeon. so if one morning you hear a tap on your window…you’ll know we are in town. If you are a part of the Facebook world, Like us because we adore you!

June and the Bee

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Eat, Read and Discuss: Amor Towles Tweet Up

As I’ve said before, what’s a Toronto visit without an Indigo event? This time my trip home coincided with another Indigo tweet up at the classy downtown French restaurant Biff’s Bistro. I was one of four winners selected to have dinner with the bestselling author Amor Towles, who was in town for the International Festival of Authors.

Amor Towles’ debut novel Rules of Civility (2011) has been well received by critics whose praise matches my impression of him. Rules of Civility‘s 1930s New York setting led the tweet up attendees to discuss history, including commentary about how students learn about previous decades through textbook summaries, often leading us to generalize how people lived in the past.

Grey nails for dinner in Biff’s Grey Room

The tweet up was organized by Indigo’s events team and Penguin Group (Canada), Amor’s publisher. Amor sat in the middle of the table, making it easier for everyone to ask him questions. Amor primarily works in investments in New York, so his stories about writing the manuscript and approving the final content while juggling a full-time job on Wall Street was interesting to hear about.

Although the earlier topics of conversation were directly linked to books, such as Kobos, reviews and book clubs, I enjoyed when the discussion shifted to marketing. It was nice to talk about word of mouth marketing as it relates to publishing and learn about how often the avid readers at the table make decisions based on friends’ recommendations.

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