New LitWorldInterviews.com Team Member-Elizabeth Tyree!

Everyone welcome our newest Team Member here at LitWordInterviews.com.

ELIZABETH S. TYREE

Elizabeth Tyree

Some of you may know Beth from  Here there Be Dragons, her blog where she currently shares her own writing and book reviews.

Colleen, you all know the Silver One, led me to Beth after reading her reviews and thought she would make a great addition to the team. After reading some of her reviews, noting her unique voice and her professionalism, I immediately emailed her. And here we are. And I’ve already thrown some reviews her way that were waiting in line.

We get a lot more books than we are able to handle as fast as I like, but the authors have been patient, understanding the great demand for Book Reviewers. And demand good book reviewers who are fair and professional is even greater. That is something I hope LitWorldInterviews has a reputation for.

ABOUT BETH:
In addition to her blog link above you can visit her Gravatar page for her other sites to follow, including facebook.

Bio: “I am a mother, an author, a musician, a crafter, a teacher and a seer of dragons! This blog will be focused on sharing my experiences and, hopefully, helping you through book reviews, short articles on family and home life, crafting, and writing, and the occasional off topic ramble just for funsies. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and lurk! Welcome to the Whimsical World of ESTyree!”

When asked her favorite quote she responded with;

“Ronovan Rocks!”

No, sorry, I had to do that. When you’re the one writing these things you have to throw some self promotion in where you can.

I am hard pressed to choose a favorite quote but one of my favorites is “Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem ad everyone refuses to believe in magic.” The Mad Hatter. 

BETH’S GENRE INTERESTS
My main genre interests are ficiton, fantasy, fairy tale/folk tale/mythology retellings, teaching, picture books, children’s books, middle grade books, young adult books, mysteries, etc.

I am honestly up for reading just about anything. My typical genres are children’s, middle grade, and young adult because I write my own books in those areas and like to keep up with what is popular at the moment. However, I have no problem reading and reviewing the gamut of items. 
BETH’S HOBBIES
My hobbies include writing, blogging, reading, adding to my TBR list, playing the flute, crocheting, obsessively watching Netflix or movies while I color (Adult coloring books are AMAZING), and playing with my daughter (who I’m teaching to love the finer things in life, like superheros, comics, and 80s cartoons!). *Side Note* Halloween is my favorite holiday, I love semi-creepy things, and I believe that fairy tales exist somewhere and that’s why we can write them in so many forms and still have them feel relevant today.
BETH’S BACKGROUND
I have a teaching degree and certificate for 1st-8th grades with a strong background in English, Literature, Music, and Learning Types. I like to partake in continuing education so I’m starting to also have a strong background in Brain Based Learning, Sciences, Autism, and Jewelry Making.
BETH’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
I’m very excited to have Beth as part of the team. I am constantly on the lookout for an original voice and professionalism to help stay up with our demand here, and this time Colleen came through for me AND for you, the author, with Elizabeth Tyree.
I look forward to a long association with Beth and many reviews AND interviews from her. Follow her blog(s) and she will have her own page here you can submit a request to soon you can get to through our About page, that is if you don’t want to use the regular Book Review Request form.
*All requests for signed copies of Beth’s bio photograph must be made to her directly. Our site cannot handle that amount of traffic at this time.

 

*Humor intended, perhaps.

Much Respect
Ronovan (Writes) Hester
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Two More Sleeps to NaNoWriMo and a Little Prize or Two

Two days to go to NaNoWriMo 2015! Your NaNo month might seem like it could be a little hard and stressful, but actually it should be the very opposite. An entire blissful thirty days that you get to devote entirely and without ANY guilt at all to your writing. All other business relating to your Indie empire gets to idle along. What more could any scribbler’s heart desire? Don’t put off joining the NaNo this year because life is a little stressful lately. Rather do take part in it so that all that stress can be ignored while you’re banging away at your hot keyboard. That’s another great thing about being Indie. You get to give yourself last minute urgent jobs to do anytime you like. I am sorely tempted to push my science fiction series release back a month and join you all. Don’t tempt me! I’m already on the ledge with this one.

By now you’ll probably already have created your novel profile and synopsis. That will probably change as you go along, but that doesn’t matter – you still need to get that up on the site. It’s time to sit the family down in a row on the couch, and let them know what their extra chores will be for November. Don’t be shy – give them all away. It’s only one month and nobody will expire from doing a little bit extra. Twist the nose of any little voice that starts whispering in your ear about duty and so on. Don’t think of it as family neglect, but rather as a bit of excitement for everyone. Everyone, except your writerly self that is, can have a go at the cooking, which can really be an adventure – you might in fact discover that you are nurturing the next Jamie Oliver in your bosom. If they’re not as good as you are at having at dust bunnies, that doesn’t matter at all. If you’re into cleaning think of all the good stuff awaiting you in December. A bit of mess never killed anyone, so let it go.

One story. One month. That’s all you have to think about. If you don’t have an outline and are planning on pantsing it, don’t worry, the words will come! It’s all about you now NaNoers, so if you have any questions or need any help with anything, fire away in the comments. My apologies for being a bit slow to answer comments here recently, but I haven’t been able to spend much time online. I’m back here now though.

One final thing for today. For any of you joining this year, the first two of you who say, I WANT A COVER in the comments, and already have an idea of what they want, will get a free cover design made by yours truly. Then you have to finish the book, don’t you? At the end of the challenge, we’ll put up a Rafflecopter and all the challenge winners who want to participate will have a shot at a free cover as well as a gift copy of my how to publish on Amazon book and one on one help from me to put your new baby out there to start selling like hotcakes. So NaNo warriors – tell us where you are so far.

Finally, a very special doodle for you to print out and stick on the door, or anywhere conspicuous while you’re immersed in the worlds behind your eyes. Good Luck Guys!

FW1.jpgW

LitWorldInterviews.com The next step in our Commitment.

litworldinterviews.com

It has been over a year since I made a strange decision. I created a second blog.  A place to share my interests and love of books and authors and everything related to writing and literature.

With an ever growing team, now numbering TWELVE with the latest addition of Elizabeth Tyree of  Here there Be Dragons, a writer and reviewer I was led to by Colleen who was recently promoted to Editor here at LWI, we’re no longer a normal blog. We have schedules and committed professionals who have a love for this profession and give of their time to add to the joy of others and to the careers of fellow authors.

And a full post with details about Elizabeth will be coming soon.

Today I simply wanted to let you all know about our commitment to you, the author, and to you the reader. You all know that any time a writer shells out money for anything, it’s a big deal. No matter how little or how large.  It was determined a little could be put in the budget for something I love so much and I hope brings happiness to others.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Interview with Anne Goodwin @annecdotist – Author of ‘Sugar and Snails’

I have the privilege of interviewing author, Anne Goodwin about her debut novel ‘Sugar and Snails’, of which I did a review here on LitWorldInterviews.

To cut a long story short, Anne thought it would be good idea for someone who is associated with psychology to review her book, and I couldn’t be happier to do so. Of course, after reading ‘Sugar and Snails’, I do have a few questions for Anne.

So here goes:

An interview with ‘Sugar and Snails’ author, Anne Goodwin

Anne, what an incredibly thought-provoking book. I guess readers will want to know how you come to conceive the idea/theme for ‘Sugar and Snails’?

Thank you, Florence. I’m not totally sure where the idea came from – I think these things can lurk in our subconscious for quite some time – but there seem to have been three strands, which I have written about in more detail elsewhere: taking almost half a lifetime to figure out my own difficult adolescence; an awareness that many competent professionals have hidden vulnerabilities; and the discovery, part way through a long overseas trip, that an administrative error had led to my travelling on a passport that had registered me as male.

Find out about Anne’s difficult adolescence here.
Look here for Anne’s take on the vulnerabilities we harbour.
And finally, Anne registered as a male? Look here for what she means.

Your bio states you worked as a clinical psychologist in the UK for some 25 years. What was your area of practice or expertise as a clinical psychologist? When and how did you come to study psychology? And with mathematics?

I specialised in working with adults with severe and enduring mental health problems, often psychosis (Diana’s methodology for researching adolescent decision-making actually comes from a study of psychosis). Many of those I worked with were in residential care, which sparked my interest in organisational dynamics, so I did some additional training in psychoanalytic approaches to organisational consultancy.

I went to university straight from school at eighteen without a clear sense of what I wanted to study. In Britain, you’re expected to specialise early on, but I hadn’t had much guidance. I began studying languages but, being rather shy, I struggled with the spoken side, but eventually found the right place for me in the combination of psychology and mathematics. I liked the fact that in the former “the answer” is always provisional, while in mathematics, if you follow the logical process, you get to the correct solution. I loved reviving these subjects for ‘Sugar and Snails’, making Diana a psychologist and her best friend, Venus, a mathematician.

While maths is conceptual, it is easy to assume there is ‘the’ answer. Perhaps that is where its similarities lay with psychology – we must remember the factors and variables involved in the psychological makeup of a person. It is indeed fascinating to compare the different approaches Venus and Diana have to problem solving, to life in general.

How has your work experience assisted in writing ‘Sugar and Snails’?

As a basic level, it gave me an insight into Diana’s job as well as her, somewhat disastrous, experience of the health service. Yet, when I first answered this question in a Q&A, I didn’t fully appreciate quite how much my professional background has helped. But, having returned to this question after the one on research (below), I realise that the capacity to empathise with lives very different to one’s own is second nature to anyone who has worked therapeutically, as it is to the experienced writer of fiction. Although I was nervous that insiders might doubt my character’s authenticity, my work experience gave me the confidence to give it a go.

I can appreciate this. You certainly haven’t inundated the book with psychological profiling of each of the characters. And to think I wasn’t the first to ask this of you? 🙂 Here is Anne’s interview with Carys Bray  on Blogger.

Next, how much research did you have to do for ‘Sugar and Snails’? What did you research?

 I probably didn’t do half as much as I ought to have done! There’s a “secret” page on my website that lists my main background reading on attachment, gender and adolescence, although some of this I would have read anyway. I had to check out some legal and medical detail regarding Diana’s situation, but mostly I proceeded on the basis of imagination and intuition. Then I was lucky to have experts-by-experience among my prepublication readers who I hope would have flagged had I got anything drastically wrong.

Well, I’d better check out that secret page 🙂

Are the locations in the book real places, and if so, which are familiar to you and why?

The contemporary strand is set in the city of Newcastle, where I went to university and lived for twenty years; I might have used poetic licence, but the backdrop to Diana’s adult life is very real. The small town where she grew up was imagined, but the country walk she recalls taking with her father is one I’ve trod frequently.

Check out Anne’s interview with Geoff le Pard regarding the country walk.

And why Egypt? Do I sense a certain personal ‘love affair’ with Egypt?

My research suggested Diana could have gone to Casablanca but, never having been there, I crossed my fingers and used a setting in another part of North Africa. While I enjoyed revisiting my memories of a month-long visit twenty years before, many of the Cairean scenes were cut from the final version, so I’m pleased my affection for the place still comes through.

Find out  here the scenes of Cairo which were cut from the book   A photograph Anne shares.

WP_20150710_003 (2)

I am intrigued by the nature of Diana’s relationship with Geraldine which isn’t exactly explained. Is it intentional? If not, what is it?

Mmm, I’m intrigued by your being intrigued, although another reviewer did comment she didn’t quite “get” it. I think their early childhood relationship is quite intense, as such friendships often are, with Geraldine initially the more “knowing” of the two, using the relationship to explore her own sexual and gender identity. When, at secondary school, she becomes more conscious of social norms, she distances herself from the “oddball”, but still enjoys having power over another child who’ll do anything for her. When they meet again as adults, Geraldine has moved on in a way that Diana hasn’t. I find that quite poignant.

It is indeed poignant, especially when I see how Geraldine is now leading a ‘normal’ internal life while Diana’s somewhat stuck. Yet the book also highlights to me how the world would see them in such a different light.

When did you begin writing ‘Sugar and Snails’? Describe the writing journey from beginning to getting it published – as well as getting the book to us, the readers.

I started it in 2008, filled with confidence after completing a long-distance walk, but it took many drafts to get it right, partly because I didn’t realise what a complex task I’d set myself, followed by two years to find and sign with a publisher (and, yes, I’m still waiting for a couple of agents who enthusiastically asked for the full manuscript to get back to me). So seven years from inception to publication, which felt inordinately long when I was in the thick of it, less so now I’m through to the other side.

When did you get the writing bug? Describe the circumstances which led you to first put pen to paper as a writer?

 I’ve written all my life but lacked the courage, early on, to consider myself a writer. Busy with my studies and career, fiction took a backseat until a complicated bereavement about twelve years ago forced me to take stock. I reduced my hours at work to have a day for writing and have never looked back.

Now this is an example to follow – at least one day a week 🙂

I note the contribution from book sales to Gendered Intelligence. What is your relationship with this organisation? Why do you support Gendered Intelligence?

As a social enterprise, Inspired Quill is committed to improving community well-being. Although a new venture, their pledge to give ten percent of profits from book sales to selected charities is part of that. Gendered Intelligence is the perfect fit for Sugar and Snails because Diana would have been saved a lot of grief had she been able to draw on the kind of support they offer young people who are gender variant today.

What message, if any, would you wish  ‘Sugar and Snails’ to convey regarding the important issues of gender and sexuality?

Be open to diverse ways of being human in yourself and others; I truly believe it will make the world a better place. But I think fear of difference is also part of being human and acknowledging our discomfort can be a step towards transforming it into empathy rather than hate. Fiction can help with this process by offering a safe space in which to be curious about difference.

Let’s end on a lighter note. Describe your writing spot and how it came about.

My writing space has extended over the years and I now have the luxury of not just an entire desk to myself, but a room I’m only intermittently obliged to share with my husband. We have a rather large house and I dread to think of what I’ll do with all my books if we ever downsize.

WP_20150810_006

What is your beverage of choice when writing? You may be as specific as you wish.

Because I use voice-activated software, I need to drink a lot to protect my throat. I tend to drink a variety of herbal teas throughout the day, often just a sprig of sage, lemon balm, mint, fennel or rosemary from the garden doused in boiling water. I also like very weak lapsang souchong with a slice of lime. You must be thirsty yourself after all these questions. Could I offer you a cup?

Most certainly. I drink green tea for its clear crisp flavour.  It’s a psychological trigger for me to relax, usually at the end of the day.  I need a strong coffee to wake me up in the morning.

Thank you, Anne for your time and sharing your writing with us.  I have thoroughtly enjoyed reading ‘Sugar and Snails’ . Wishing you the best in your writing endeavours, and a positive outcome as you wait to hear from publishers.

*******************************

My review of Anne’s book ‘Sugar and Snails’ is here.

Visit Anne on her website, annethology; or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Anne’s book ‘Sugar and Snails’ can be purchased here:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Booktopia Australia
Bookdepository
Inspired Quill
Barnes & Noble

Now there is no good reason not to go get a copy.  It’s a worthwhile read!

– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

florence-2

 

© 2015 LitWorldInterviews

Guest #Book #Review by @TheAranArtisan of Dancing to an Irish Reel by @CFullerton3

Melissa Gillan Review of Dancing to an Irish Reel

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire Fullerton – A book review

Dancing to an Irish Reel by Claire FullertonOh to be twenty-something again, but this time with the same intuitive sensibility as Hailey Crossan, the heroine of this fictional story.

That thought crossed my mind many times while reading Claire Fullerton’s novel, Dancing to an Irish Reel. I had the pre-decided notion that I would relate personally to Hailey’s experience being that, like her, I’m an American woman involved with an Irish gentleman. Relate I did, but not where I expected to. Our relationships are as different as our personalities and the same goes for the men in our lives. So I reread the book with no expectation or comparison and it won my heart over.

What I most connected with were the references to western Ireland geography, weather, language, and societal mores — they are impeccable. I could nearly hear the distinct Connemara blas when natives spoke. Ms. Fullerton nailed the vernacular, evidence she had spent time in the setting either researching the book or being Galway by Melissa Gillaninspired to write it. How fortunate for her because the west of Ireland is a spectacular place to be.

Another appealing part of this book for me is the use of genuine locations. One pub in particular made me smile each time it was mentioned. My husband and I celebrated there with friends and family days before our wedding and returned again on the day following our wedding. I’ve eaten, drank, danced, shopped, and wandered in many of the places that are written about. And the places I was less familiar with, I found myself drawn to explore.

The story reads more like a true narrative rather than one of fiction. As Hailey keenly observes the nuances of Irish life, her confusion about her swain, Liam Hennessy, begins to make sense and she gains knowledge about the realities of life with an Irish man whose first loves are music and family. While all this is happening she remains remarkably level-headed and generous with her time and affections for friends, co-workers, and neighbours. In their own unique way, they provide insights that may or may not relieve some of her uncertainty; if not, they at least help to take her mind off the wonders of her heart while also enhancing the storyline.

Hailey and Liam’s relationship is not an uncommon scenario here in Ireland. Bittersweet at times, there’s an innocence and naivety to their love story that had me reading between the lines of their dialogue right up to the end of the book. I’ll admit, the ending was unexpected but not surprising. I could easily see a sequel to this book and would welcome it with open arms.

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely. Who would I recommend it to? Anyone living apart from Ireland who wants to get a sense of its people and intrinsic nature. Anyone who is living in or has visited Ireland and wants a reminder of how unique a culture it is. Readers who are interested in real life relationships, full of complications and void of fairy tale scenarios would also find this story appealing. If you enjoy a really good piece of fictional writing, then Dancing to an Irish Reel is for you.

Claire in front yard with dogs Dec 28 2011-1007895 1Author Amazon page

Dancing to an Irish Reel – Google+ page

Dancing to an Irish Reel – Facebook page:

Claire’s blog

Follow Claire on Twitter: @cfullerton3

Claire on Pinterest

 

About the Reviewer:

Melissa Gillan The Aran ArtisanMelissa Gillan “The Aran Artisan” is an Amercan lady who married her Irishman and moved to Ireland on love and a prayer. She and her husband work the land, raise their children, and do everything the Irish way. Her Blog,The Aran Artisan is a favorite stop for many who love her style of sharing the Irish way of life in an American voice. She was chosen specifically for this review to deem how authentic and how successful Claire Fullerton had made Dancing to an Irish Reel.  Living in the area of the setting for the book, she would know.

 

#Writingtips Summary of wisdom from Jerry Jenkins (@JerryBJenkins). With thanks to Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman)

Hi all:

I don’t know you, but I have recently been attending many webinars, on different topics. Recently (22nd October) I attended a free webinar organised by Jane Friedman that had Jerry Jenkins (21 times New York Times best selling author) as guest, on the Secrets of Storytelling.

I’ve read, listened to, and attended courses, lectures and seminars, on writing. And like all advice, some will resonate more with some people than others. Although the seminar seemed geared towards people who were trying to find their confidence writing (if there ever comes such a time) rather than seasoned scribblers, I enjoyed the personal wisdom and Jerry’s style of delivery, and I thought I’d try and bring you some nuggets from it, especially as I know that quite a few people are going for NaNoWriMo. I decided to try and make it less boring with images, but we shall see if it works…

1Eng

2Eng3Eng4Eng5Eng

Although most are self-explanatory, I thought I’d give a few pointers on some.

  1. Jerry Jenkins said that formulas don’t really work, as they make the story seem… well, formulaic, I guess. He referred to Dean Koontz How to Write Best Selling Fiction when talking about the classic structure. His brief summary was: Plunge your character into a terrible situation; everything he tries to do makes the situation worse; things look hopeless, and hero saves the day (by doing what he’s learned on the way).
  2. In reference to his previous point, he said that although you have to put your characters in extreme situations, it’s best not to start the novel at that point, because it’s better to build up the character so that the reader gets to care for him or her (or them).
  3. I think it’s self-explanatory. Don’t hit the readers in the head with a hammer, although for him, there’s always a message, otherwise there’s no novel.
  4. There isn’t always romance in all novels (or movies, it might depend on genre) but it’s very common. He gave many examples of not very original ways of introducing the love interest (although referring to movies, characters bumping into each other, blind date…), but it all depends on how it’s done.
  5. His advice, that I’ve seen in many places, is that it’s best to get the story down once you get writing, and not try to edit at the same time. He said that he’d edit first thing the next day what he’d written the previous day. In the case of NaNoWriMo, unless your brain goes completely blank and can’t remember what you’ve written, it’s probably best to keep going…
  6. Nothing to add (unless it’s a peculiarity of a character).
  7. I couldn’t find a colour that would show well, so I’m transcribing: Writers are readers. Read in your genre, but also read about the craft of writing. He mentioned quite a few of his favourite books, but the world (or the library) is your oyster.
  8. In discussing point of view of the character he reminded the audience that it’s like the camera we see the action through. He mentioned the most common (first person narrated in past tense, or third person limited), and noted that perhaps for somebody starting to write, first person might be easier. He talked about his own experience of struggling with one of his stories and how he heard a particular character talking in the first person in his head, and that was it.
  9. This is a very personal take on the matter, but he observed that sometimes other characters in the story might take over and run with it.
  10. He didn’t seem to be a big lover of flashbacks explaining the background story, as he felt they slowed down the action. In real life we get to know people gradually.
  11. This one sounds a bit zen, but he referred to himself as a pantser, and said that sometimes you might get to a certain ending through writing the story, and that’s a perfect way to make sure that it’s surprising to the reader, because it’s a surprise to you too.
  12. If you’re worried, you’re on the right track. He referred to this as the ‘Exponential multiplication of emotions’ equation. If you feel sad at some point in your story, the reader will feel the same but magnified. And if you feel bored… well, you get the gist.
  13. You’re not alone. His message was that if you get stuck, there are many places where you can get help, be it virtual or real writers’ groups (his comments were invaluable but…), coaches, books, other writers…

You can check Jerry Jenkins’s page here

http://www.jerryjenkins.com/

He offers courses, including one he was promoting, later in October, but you can check his page and that of Jane for more information if you’re an interested (I have no connection with them other than attending the webinar, that was free).

Thanks to Jane Friedman and Jerry Jenkins for the the webinar and thanks to you all for reading. Do take care, and good writing. 

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Jen’s Edits & Critiques. @JensPenDen

Have you ever wanted writing help from someone whose book has been optioned to a movie studio?

Or maybe you want someone with years of experience as a Lead Copywriter for a media company in a major US city?

What if you could combine those two into one?

Let me introduce you to the services of;

Jen’s Edits & Critiques

Jen's Edits & Critiquesby

Jenna Willett

Author Jenna Willett

You’ve seen articles by Jenna Willett here on LWI before. She often has great advice, finds fabulous articles she shares on her blog Jen’s Pen Den, and I share those here whenever I remember to do so, much to the benefit of our readers and friends who visit us.

Jenna is very active in the writing community, participating in the annual NYC Midnight Challenges, where she does quite well and performs so many critiques she forgets there is a world of reality that exists. Believe me, I’ve done beta reading for her during the challenge and it’s a nightmare of an ordeal. And she keeps going back every year for more punishment.

For testimonials and pricing click HERE to head over to her business site.

I’ll say this in closing; if I were in the position to hire a professional to be my editor it would very likely be Jenna Willett. I’ve read her work, I know the dedication she has for the craft. I also know the agony she suffers through over her own work to get it just right. I know she would go even further for those engaging her services. She’s tough and will tell you like it is.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with the debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December. He shares his life as a father, amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com with the hope if inspiring others to chase their dreams and catch them. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

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Jen’s Top 10 NaNoWriMo Tips @JensPenDen

Here are Tips from a fellow brave soul, Author Jenna Willett-2015 NaNoWriMo participant.

Author Jenna Willett

Jen's Pen Den

Up until a few days ago, I hadn’t planned on participating in NaNoWriMo this year. I had planned on spending the month revising the latest draft of my current WIP. Unfortunately, my current WIP came to a grinding halt last week when I realized I’d made a fatal error:

I’d chosen the wrong narrator.

So, guess what? I have to rip up the majority of my first draft and start over.

*cue tears*

Okay, okay. Things aren’t that bad. Thanks to my methods of madness, I’ve already written a significant chunk of my new narrator’s backstory. Still, it’s going to be a lot of work. I need something–anything–to motivate me and push me to finish this new draft as quickly as possible.

After some hemming and hawing, I realized there’s no better motivator than NaNo. So, I’m signing up!

To prepare myself, and to help the rest of you who’ve accepted the daunting task of writing 50K words in one…

View original post 1,303 more words

Time to Kick the Critic to the Kerb

Even though finding a terrible review of any of your writing can slice your soul in two, and have you spending a week in your jammies going through super deluxe boxes of tissues, some of your own inner dialogue has probably been a lot worse at various points along the way. Perfection is something we all secretly wish for, but perfection in any pursuit, creative or otherwise is probably something attained only accidentally. NaNoWriMo November is fabulous because there really isn’t any time for agonizing over sentences, and you have a golden free writing ticket to bang away at your story without any exact sense of expectation for the outcome. If it sucks when it’s done, that’s perfectly alright. There will be lots of time for repair later.

If we could inject some of that good stuff – that happy, fearless scribbling – into our day to day writing lives, we’d probably produce more of our best work. In fact, I think that a lot of our best work gets deleted and never sees the light of day because of the stern critique we often subject our own writing to. I don’t think that I’ve ever read anything, no matter how much I loved it, that was perfect in every single respect. Maybe I found only a single sentence in a hundred thousand word book ever so slightly jarring, which made it not entirely perfect for me, but someone else probably loved that very sentence and found something else lacking in perfection.

Self-confidence is often in short supply in creative souls. We’re mostly quite an empathic lot – total softies.  Probably we have to be to convey feelings that we may not have personally needed to feel in our stories, so we’re overly sensitive to what kind of effect we have on others to begin with. Add to that the potential infliction of our very own creations on others who might hate it, or think badly of us for having the temerity to actually try and sell it to them, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a pretty mean inner critic.

For all you NaNoers out there, prepare to tie that critic up with industrial strength rope in eight days time. Get out the duct tape while you’re at it so he can’t yell when you accidently pinch him as you toss him into the cupboard. Anything that flows from your fingertips for thirty whole days is going to be straight from your scribblers soul – no matter what it is, and what you’d ordinarily think of it. Write it down and leave it alone till after you’ve slept through the entire day and night on the first of December. And for those of you not partaking in any NaNo madness this year, how about you send that little guy who chuckles and sneers in your ear on a month long holiday anyway? Whatever you’re writing right now, save the critique till the very last month of this year, and have at that scribbling!

Critic

5 TIPS FOR NaNoWriMo PREPARATION TODAY!

BEGIN TODAY!

Only around 17% of the people who signed up for NaNoWriMo actually finished NaNoWriMo. Why the low percentage?

  • A lot of likely signed up on impulse.
  • Some even just plain forgot about it.
  • Then there are those who wrote 45,000 words and didn’t want to find a way of putting in another 5,000 because they didn’t think the story needed it.
  • And you have those who thought they had a 50,000 word idea and it was more like 15,000.

A big reason for those who were successful can be found in their preparation.

NaNoWriMo Dome of Preparation

PREPARATION NaNoWriMo

HAVING AN IDEA

You need to know what your story is about before that first day. You may want to do a YA Paranormal Romance but once you get into it you realize that the genre just isn’t speaking to you, or maybe even the story isn’t. You can easily sit and think, if you want to take that route, about the plot and how it will go.

DOING SOME RESEARCH

If you’re certain of your idea and it might need some research for parts, maybe some historical event or a technical aspect, go ahead and get that done and out of the way. But also remember this is a first draft and you can wing it for now and change it later if you need to. But if a big part of your book is based on those little details, research now. A second draft of complete rewriting is never fun.

HAVING A LOOSE OUTLINE

Know roughly where you will go from one chapter to the next. It could be once sentence, just as long as you know. This doesn’t mean you must stick to it, but it will let you know if you have a full length story or not.

HAVING NAMES

One of the most difficult things for a book is determining names. It sounds easy and it may be for some, but I tend to do research into names to fit regions and ancestry. I want the names to seem as authentic as possible. A boy named Bubba who was born and raised in Paris might take the reader out of the story, unless you have a very good reason for his name being Bubba. That’s a bit extreme and very unlikely a case but I think it shows you what I mean. The same goes for restaurants.

One of the best things to do is base your character names on people you know and perhaps even the setting where you live, if possible. You can’t write any more authentic than the place you know.

PREPARING YOUR HABITS

This is the most important thing. Begin now to write during the time you plan to write for NaNoWriMo. Begin writing roughly 2000 words on any subject, but write. And don’t stop writing and walk away until you have that 2000 words. You are not only training yourself but those around you as well. They’ll know that during this time is your time and not to disturb you. If you have the habit you’ll be surprised how quickly you can write 2000 words.

More tips, suggestions, and writing habits to come, stay tuned!

Check out the NaNoWriMo Pinterest Board I’ve started. As I find articles, mine or otherwise, I’ll be Pinning them, and I’ve allowed some others to do so as well that I know will find some great things to contribute. And here is a quote from a pep talk on NaNoWriMo from last year.

Jim Butcher Sarcastic Pep Talk about Writing

To be my NaNoWriMo Writing Buddy, click

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/ronovan

Much Respect

NaNoRonOvanO



 

About the Author and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ronovan Hester is an author, whose debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is due to release in December of 2015. He’s also a blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

#BookReview ‘City on Fire’ by Garth Risk Hallberg. How Long Was My Novel.

City on Fire, Kindle by Gareth Risk Hallberg
City on Fire, Kindle by Garth Risk Hallberg

Title:  City on Fire
Author:   Garth Risk Hallberg
ISBN:  0385353774

ASIN:  B0104WXPR8
Published:  E-book version due on 22nd October, although available in paperback
Pages:  944
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, urban

Body of review: 

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg. How Long Was My Novel.

Thanks to the publishers (Vintage/Penguin Random House) and to Net Galley for offering me a complimentary copy in exchange for a review.

I must confess to feeling curious after reading about all the attention the novel was getting and the advance praise. Although I read a variety of authors and genres, I studied American Literature and have an affinity for it and an interest in new American writers, so I was intrigued. But, I didn’t investigate the matter further and didn’t quite realise how long this novel was.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read, and loved, many long novels (I love Moby Dick, although it is not quite this long, but I’ve also read War and Peace, several of Jonathan Franzen’s novels, and have never felt the length). And I’m sure I’ll read many more. Although perhaps since I’ve been dedicating more time to reviewing and reading about writing, I’ve become more impatient.

City on Fire is 944 pages long. There are many stories, all entangled into one (sort of), told from different characters’ point of view (using the third person), with some interludes that include (fictitious) documentation, like the article on Fireworkers (experts on firework or pyrotechnics) written by Richard, a reporter and writer, or the Fanzines that Sam (a young girl, fan of Punk music) writes. The novel doesn’t follow a chronological order either, and you have episodes set before New Year’s Eve, when one of the central plot events takes place —the shooting of a young girl (Sam)—, some set after, and some set many years later, with flashbacks to years before, in seemingly no particular order, although not difficult to follow (but somewhat exhausting if one is reading for long periods of time. And I wonder if it could be confusing if people read the book in short chunks). The book, set in New York, in the Seventies, refers also to a number of issues, like the financial crisis, the musical movements of the time, riots, the big blackout, art, and all those worlds are illustrated by characters from different genres, social classes, walks of life, ethnicities, sexuality and origins. Ambitious is an adjective that has been used to describe this novel, and there’s no denying that. There are cops with physical ailments nearing retirement, artist, musicians, youngsters exploring and discovering themselves, rich and unhappy families, conspiracies and financial entanglements, an anarchist group setting up fires and bombs, adultery, love, a shooting, drugs, alcohol, writing, radio… And always New York.

The author has a beautiful turn of phrase, and you can’t but admire some of his sentences, although they can have the effect of throwing you out of the story. I kept thinking of the indictment for writers, ‘Kill your darlings’, don’t let those pieces that seem like beautiful paintings decorating the book just hang there. Remove anything that has nothing to do with the story or does not contribute to its progress. But perhaps the story is not the aim of this novel. I wasn’t so sure about the characters, either. Most of them were interesting, but perhaps there was something generic about them, and despite the length of the book I didn’t get the sense that I really knew a lot of them (not the same time is dedicated to the inner thoughts of all the characters, and some of the secondary characters that are potentially interesting, like Amory, are not given a voice), and the ones I felt I knew were familiar types. The rhythm is leisurely and although at times it seems about to pick up the pace (during the blackout), the changes in time-frame and point of view slow it down again. I was somewhat puzzled at finding the interludes about the fireworks more engrossing than some parts of the novel (although I’ve always loved fireworks, but it could be the journalistic style).

Having read some of the comments, I have to agree that much of what contributes to the vastness of the novel does not necessarily add to the experience of the reader or the story (at least for me). City on Fire is a huge canvas, with some very beautiful splashes and sublime moments, but perhaps the sum does not live up to the promise of the parts. I felt it aspired to be like one of the fireworks it describes, that have several layers and fuses, and go up, and down, and then back up again, before exploding in a wonder of colours and shapes. For me it didn’t manage, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hollberg Paperback
City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg Paperback

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 3/5
Recommended: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $13.40 

Hardback: $18 
Kindle: $11.47 

Audio: $16.93 

 Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

Excuse the mess . . . LWI is changing.

You might notice that we’re doing some construction work here on the site. It won’t take long . . . I hope.

Ronovan

WHY GO NaNoWriMo? WHY NOT? 5 Reasons to take the plunge.

Are you nervous about writing 50,000 words in 30 days? That’s about an average of 1,667 words per day.

NaNoWriMo Badge Nervous

Sound like a lot to you?

  • If you blog, how many words do you write per day in your posts, comments, social media?
  • If you are a normal human, how much do you write in emails or on social media? Just think about your facebook exchanges.

I’ll let you in on a secret though; This isn’t supposed to be submission quality work. AT ALL!

ONE REASON PEOPLE LIKE NaNoWriMo IS:

You write and write and get your basic story and plot down with encouragement and a goal. You have messages from the community and great guest posts from published authors, even superstars in the publishing world, who give you tips about what to do. I want to say last year that Jim Butcher was one of the authors who joined in.

A SECOND REASON IS:

NaNoWriMo is a lot easier to DO and get started in than you think. You sign up and your good to go. There is no sign in blood commitment. There is no fee. There is no criticism. You get out of NaNoWriMo what you want to get out of it.

With NaNoWriMo you can have “Buddies” who will encourage you and you can turn to. You can see their progress which in turn encourages you and yours.

I did NaNoWriMo for the first time last year and P.S. Bartlett was my only buddy. But having that buddy was encouraging. We would email our progress, see each others progress in word count on the NaNoWriMo  site, and generally have that person doing the same thing we were doing. That person going through what we were going through.

Want to find me? Well, not too many people named Ronovan and my Author picture is the one I use there. I’ll be committing to NaNoWriMo in a big way this year. I will be attempting to get more involved in the community and whatever community we build here on LWI under the NaNoWriMo Support page and NaNoWriMo Support Articles.

And if you have a competitive type Buddy and you are competitive, then it’s game on!

I LIKE NaNoWriMo BECAUSE:

It forces me to put thoughts into words and I don’t have to worry about quality at that point. All I have to NaNoWriMo Maledo is keep writing and flowing.

This year I am going to work on a book I’ve been promising my son I’ll do for a long time. Yes, I’ve had hugely legitimate reasons for not having done it yet, but now I’m going to do it. It’ll be something that will have his name attached to it because I sat with him one day while his Grandma was in an appointment we had taken her to and I had slowly nudged him through creating an idea. Now I’m combining his idea and my thoughts.

ANOTHER REASON I LIKE NaNoWriMo IS:

There is no failure in NaNoWriMo. So you don’t reach  50,000 words. Maybe you reach 40,000, but you wrote and you wrote. There is no judgement. Everyone is in the same boat and doing the same thing. Everyone gets it.

A FINAL REASON IS:

This is a world wide event. Sometimes regions compete against each other for fun, even cities. Last year my city competed against another one that is a rival to our college football team. I do believe we won. Not that we won anything personally, but it was an added thing of fun to the whole experience.

There really isn’t a reason not to try NaNoWriMo. It is a beginning for some, a yearly start for a novel for a lot of Indie Authors for their next published work, and a fun experience for those who love to write.



About the Author and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ron_LWIRonovan Hester is an author, whose debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is due to release in December of 2015. He’s also a blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

Why Not Write a Series?

Series is the new black. It seems like everyone is writing them these days. Having a published series of books is a great way to keep readers interest for long enough to have them remember your name, actively seek you out, sign up for your newsletter, or ask to be advised by Amazon when you publish a new book. I’ll be publishing the second and third books in my series at the same time either late December or early January. In retrospect I think that publishing the first book on its own was a mistake, which is why I haven’t tried to sell it so far. The time for readers to buy books in a series is directly after reading one of them, so it’s better to publish three at the same time to begin with. My book one will really only get properly launched with two and three, so most of the readers who read it before will probably have been lost. It’s so exciting to publish your first book, but for me from now on three books at the same time will be the procedure for series. After that I think you can safely add one at a time. Possibly you already have the material for a series in a book you’ve already published though, and maybe even whole plotlines for future stories in the outtakes.

Writing a series is really worth considering as an Indie. Readers love revisiting characters they love, so while they might not be tempted to buy a totally different novel written by you, if they’ve fallen in love with a certain story they will almost certainly be willing to buy some more of it. I know that I for one get quite sad when I finish a book wanting more of those lovely folk between its covers, but knowing that I’ll never meet them again. Why not turn your standalone novel into a series of standalone books? Same people and places, but not having to be read in sequence. Not all books would be suitable, but quite a few novels that I’ve read would definitely make for fabulous future tales. Writing more in a world that already exists would be a nice way to revive old titles in your backlist and a lot of fun because you already know all the characters, so you’re playing with old friends. All you need is a new plotline. This isn’t the same as intentionally setting out to write a series, and announcing it as such, but rather a pleasant surprise for future and current readers.

Self-publishing is a learning journey. These days there’s so much more help to be found for newbies starting out, but quite a lot of us didn’t have a clue when we first set out, so maybe some of our first books are languishing. That doesn’t mean that your only way forward is to write and promote new books. There’s no reason not to revamp your first novel, write another to follow it, and give it a relaunch at the same time. Consider giving it a brand new cover to go with its new companion, and treat it as a brand new book. That’s the great thing about being Indie. Your books don’t get moved further and further away from new releases, finally to end up in boxes in back rooms somewhere. Your backlist is always as current as you choose to make it. So dust that poor forgotten novel off, and either write more of it, or give it a makeover and a do-over launch party. Another possibility for your NaNoWriMo book this year too – have a go at a sequel.

Books

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin #BookReview by @FTThum

Sugar and Snails

Title:                     Sugar and Snails
Author:                Anne Goodwin
Publishers:         Inspired Quill (23 July 2015)
Format:                Paperback
ISBN-10:               1908600470
ISBN-13:               978-1908600479
Website:             http://annegoodwin.weebly.com/
Twitter:                @annecdotist
Pages:                   342
Genre:                 Contemporary Fiction, LGBT
 

What’s it about?

This is a story of a woman’s journey of self-discovery.

I am introduced to Diana through the narrative of the life she’s lived, so far filled with insecurities and fears. The story begins in the present day with a confronting scene of Diana self-harming as a result of, so it seems, her partner leaving. The vivid description of her bringing a knife to her arm, after many years of abstinence, caused me to put the book down and almost not returning to it. But I did, because I wanted to know more.

What happened in Cairo? Why is it significant? What is she hiding? Why? What? How? So many more questions asked as I followed Diana Dodsworth’s life journey…from a young kid to a professor of psychology at university.

Diana’s story weaves in and out of different pasts as she held the attention of the reader, slowly and steadily divulging the story of her life.  Goodwin has written real characters, not just in Diana but with each of the significant figures in Diana’s life – flawed, conflicted. As the reader, I can empathise with each of them. What are the motivations for parental love? How is one changed by childhood events? Is an adolescent capable of deciding her future? What is the value of friendship and love in shaping a life?

As a therapist, I would have loved to get greater insights and explore Diana’s psyche as she slowly comes to the realisation that she has held herself back and living in a time bubble, and that she is indeed alright. Not that it is indeed the case, or is it? I appreciate a psychological study however may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This said, my reading experience was not compromised in any way. There is enough to maintain my attention and interest. After a somewhat slow and for me, perplexing take by Goodwin in ‘jumping’ across time and events, the second half of the book provide resolutions which showed Goodwin’s skill in weaving all the threads into a coherent tapestry.

Goodwin has created an intriguing story of a person’s life, complex and filled with the confusions of a child, the pain of existence, of irrevocable decisions and the effects on the subsequent decades of her life.

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. Mesmerising, especially the second half of the book, thought-provoking and sensitively written.

If you enjoy reading real and flawed characters set in a  contemporary background with controversial issues (still!) to boot, this is the book for you (and your book club, if you belong to one).

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization:   3.5/5
Made Me Think:               4/5
Overall enjoyment:           4/5
Readability:                       4/5
Recommended:                 4/5
Overall Rating:                   4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 4.31
  Paperback USD 12.99
Booktopia Paperback AUD 38.95
Bookdepository Paperback €15.47

– FlorenceT

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

florence-2

© 2015 LitWorldInterviews

 

30 Tips for NaNoWriMo from @JessicaStrawser & About LWI Support.

It’s that time of the year, or almost. November. Writing 50,000 words in one month. We cringe at the thought, but have you ever thought how many words you write on your blogs, social media, and just general messing around online? Think about it that way and you would be surprised how books you’ve written. Here’s a way to get focused, bear down, and get it done. WITH SUPPORT.

NaNoWriMo Image

Here on LWI we’re going to have a page dedicated to NaNoWriMo. There will be inspirational posts you can comment on and receive feedback and support. If you need a pep talk, we’re here for you. Whenever we find something great we’ll share it and it will show under that dedicated page. So you visit here and click the NaNoWriMo tab/page in the menu and there you are. Our resident guru of Indie Authorship suggested we do something. I might be taking it over the top but I shoot for the unknown galaxies and your bound to hit a star somewhere along the way.

To start us off, here is an article from Writer’s Digest by Jessica Strawser. The beginning blurb is below, then click the HERE to go to juicy parts.

“Sometimes it’s a lone writer who’s been putting off a story idea for too long, and decides it’s now or never. Sometimes it’s a pair or a group determined to find out what they can achieve by sharing self-imposed deadlines and strong pots of coffee. Sometimes it’s peer pressure or curiosity about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), that challenge that rallies ever-increasing numbers of writers around the globe every November to band together in pursuit of a 50,000-word “win.”

Book-in-a-month challenges take all forms, fueled by all stripes of writers with all manner of motivations—make the most of that time alone in a borrowed cabin, hunker down for the winter, stop procrastinating, have something ready to pitch at that conference, prove to yourself you can do it, prove to someone else you can do it, get a fresh start—and in this hyperconnected age of 24-hour fingertip resources and networks, of tiny portable keyboards and glow-in-the-dark screens, they’re more popular than ever.”

For the rest of the article and the 30 Tips, click HERE.

 

ABOUT JESSICA STRAWSER

@JessicaStrawser

Editor of Writer’s Digest magazine | debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, coming from in 2017 | mother of two | book lover | repped by agent



 

About the Finder of the Article and a Winner of NaNoWriMo 2014!

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

Be a Good Reviewer.

Be A Good Reviewer

Levant Mirage by @OliverFChase “It’s so possible, it’s scary.” #Book Review

  • Author: Oliver F. ChaseLevant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
  • Title: Levant Mirage
  • File Size: 3416 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pearl River Publishing Group; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 15, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015G7TWYQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Formats: Paperback & Kindle
  • Pricing: $13.99 & $3.99
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Suspense, War

I received a copy of this book for an honest review and I’m glad I did.

Levant Mirage takes snapshots from the headlines of the past few years to build a character and combines it with frighteningly realistic possibilities to give a story you pray never happens.

35 year old U.S. Army Major Adam Michaels is no James Bond, nor did he ever set out to be. What is he? He’s a man who rejects the easy path that being the heir to a shipping empire gives him in order to join the military, serve his country, and be a father. Right, no money other than what he makes as a Major in the Army. You don’t see jet flying, limousine riding, womanizing and all of that. I would trade in the 10 year old Corolla for something a little better though. Tap into the trust fund already.

Finding himself used as a scapegoat for a foreign relations nightmare, Michaels works out his days in the Pentagon pushing papers, and paying alimony, child support and the mortgage on his rising political star ex-wife’s house. You see the everyday life to some extent leading up to the changes in life the military can throw at you. You don’t control you in the Army. And there are times when that twists the guts out of Michaels.

Michaels is of a dubious parentage, with his father not being who he thought he was, but upon finding out explains a great deal. This in part leads to his choice of path in life. He wants to be his own man. He doesn’t want to be identified with a past that isn’t really what he thought it was.

But part of that past comes back in one night and changes a quiet world into a search to find the defense against a missile guidance system he created that is now in the hands of terrorists. Which terrorists? Who is the enemy? You won’t believe it. Or you will believe it but be surprised.

The believability of Levant Mirage is what makes it so freakin’ scary at times. Perhaps the guidance system isn’t real, or I hope it’s not. But I’m sure there is something like it out there. The enemy Michaels must fight against is out of this world. If he fails, billions die. If he succeeds?

Chase writes with detail and a knowledge base that gives the story realism. You are able to submerse yourself into Levant Mirage and you don’t get pulled out by oddities and unbelievable scenes. Some scenes are high energy and amped up, but still possible.

Being honest, the amount of detail is incredible at times and I could have done with a little less of the technological speak, but it doesn’t take away from the story. In truth, it adds the believability—you don’t have these leaps from action to intellect in the span of a few seconds. Okay, maybe you do but for a whole different reason, but I’m not giving those parts away. Ah, that does remind me of one scene that did cause me pause and have to reread in order to get it clear. In part, that was due to the surprise of those involved.

I enjoyed the handling of the terrorists. As you read you’ll develop ideas but never get to comfortable, you never know what is going to happen next, who is going to happen, or what the truth is until it’s almost too late. But there are clues along the way.

Recommendation

I would recommend Levant Mirage to those who like believable action thrillers. Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt and other NUMA series books come to mind, but not that fantastical or off the charts. Where Cussler takes you over the edge of believability at times, Chase keeps you here on earth and scares the life out of you with reality you can find in your neighbors living room.

Character Believability: 4Levant Mirage by Oliver F. Chase
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 4
Overall Rate: 4

 

Share this Review to Support this Author.

About the Author

olvier-chaseOliver spent five years in a police department working narcotics and SWAT, and the next 22 in the FBI. Now he’s the author of Marsh Island, Blind Marsh, the first two installments of the Hirebomber Series. And now Levant Mirage, releasing Oct. 15, 2015.

oliverchase.net

https://oliverchase.wordpress.com

facebook.com/oilverchase

https://twitter.com/OliverFChase



About the Reviewer

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, blogger and former educator who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of  LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com, a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources.  For those serious about book reviewing and interested in reviewing for the LWI site, email Ronovan at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com to begin a dialogue. It may not work out but then again it might.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.wordpress.com 2015

#Bookreview. Conditions by Christoph Fischer (@CFFBooks). Because Normality Is Overvalued. And ‘Conditioned’ is coming soon.

Hi all:

I’m organising more interviews and in the meantime, I thought I’d share some reviews of book by independent authors that I’ve read while  I was away. I have plenty to choose from, but I chose to talk about Conditions today, not only because I’ve enjoyed Christoph Fischer’s writing in the past, and he is always hard at work promoting other writers, but because I saw that his new book, Conditioned, the continuation of the adventures of those characters will be on the 16th October and is already available in pre-order. So, what better?

Title:   Conditions
Author:   Christoph Fischer
ASIN: B00NZ1VTBU
Published:  16th October 2014
Pages:  224
Genre:  Family life

Body of review:

Conditions by Christoph Fischer
Conditions by Christoph Fischer

Conditions by Christoph Fischer

When Charles and Tony’s mother dies the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.

The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another. has cast one aside.

Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.

Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

 

Here is my review:

I’m a psychiatrist, and what is normal and how we define normality are questions that the more one works in the field, the more one wonders about. Absence of a diagnosable mental illness is not the same as what society might think as “normal behaviour”. And each individual’s opinion on the matter is even more varied. Culture shock, for instance, results from differences in what is accepted behaviour in countries far apart (although not necessarily as far as we might think). Being transplanted into a culture or a situation brand new for us might make us question if our version of normal is the correct one. Even what might be normal for our neighbours we might consider utterly bizarre.

The author of this novel explores the reactions to a character, Charles, who has a psychiatric condition (a mental disorder unspecified in the book), by a number of people, including relatives (his brother and sister-in-law), close friends and acquaintances, complete strangers and previous employers. Charles’s diagnosis is left intentionally vague (we can speculate, based on the description of his behaviours, but that is not the point of the story. Charles’s behaviour is peculiar and bizarre at times, but he does not appear to be a danger to others and most of the time remains capable of making his own decisions and explaining himself, although not always) probably to avoid the temptation of turning the book into an apologia or a treatise to defend the sufferers of a particular illness or disorder. It is not about one set of symptoms or even one character, but it reflects back to us some of the standard reactions to people who might be affected by such a disorder. Are they really unable to do a day’s work, or is it all an excuse? Are they telling the truth or are they making up stories to get attention? Why should they be treated differently and given special privileges when they aren’t pulling their weight? Are they just exploiting the system? Should they just be locked up?

The novel is written in the third person, at times by an omniscient narrator that shares the internal thoughts of some of the many characters, at times the third person narrator simply shares what is happening, without taking any specific point of view, but rather that of an objective observer. That contrast allows us to get a better understanding of the psychological make-up and reasons behind some of the characters’ reactions, and we can compare those reactions to the facts.

Although we never get to see things from Charles’s perspective, we hear the stories of his friends (some closer than other) who are gathered, at the beginning of the book, to help him and accompany him on the occasion of his mother’s funeral. There are a number of works of fiction where a funeral brings people together to discuss the deceased, and in the process discover the true selves of those in attendance, although here, there is less discussion of Rose, the mother, and more of Charles. And also of the rest of the guests. We get to learn about them, their relationships (or lack of them), their sexuality, their weaknesses, their beliefs and interests, mostly through their conversations. All the characters have interesting backgrounds, lives and stories, and we become as curious about them as they are about each other. And we want to learn more. There is plenty of dialogue and not much description or narration. It struck me that this book would make a great play with many juicy parts for talented actors and actresses.

When we get to know both his friends and those who aren’t that close to Charles, we come to understand that all of them (and by extension, also us) have their own conditions, and we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Even the most enlightened of us can have prejudices and misjudge others if we are not open and  refuse to take them on their own terms.

Conditions has a fascinating array of characters and is a book that will make all readers think. I believe there is or will be a second part that will follow some of the characters’ stories. I’m looking forward to it. This is the second book I’ve read by this writer and I’m happy that he has so many books available and of varied styles and genres. I’ll keep reading him, enjoying his stories and watching his career.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon 
Format & Pricing: 
Paperback: $8.99
Kindle:  $3.71

And now, here is a link to the cover reveal of Conditioned where you can get more information from the horse’s mouth:

condiotioned-twitterv2

https://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/cover-reveal-conditioned/

CONDITIONED dives back into the world of gardener Charles, his friends and the state of his mental health – one year on. We meet loner Simon and his battle with the outside world, co-dependent Martha and her abusive husband Clive, neurotic poet Catherine on the verge of getting married, Tony, who finds his strange brother Charles a challenge, psychic Elaine looking for a new direction in life and quirky widow Sarah Roseberg who has a go at sorting out all of their problems.

CONDITIONS aimed to sensitise readers and make them think about tolerance and acceptance. CONDITIONED wants readers to look beyond their attitude towards Conditions and examine what we all do and what we can do to overcome our challenges. The sequel is another snapshot of this circle of friends. Some will have improved their lives, others will not.

I can’t wait!

You can also follow news about Christoph’s books, here.

And check out his blog, where he writes about the characters and also about why he decided to write about mental health issues.

Thanks to Christoph for your book, thanks to you all for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK! And I’ll keep you updated!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Truth In Fiction – Guest post by Claire Fullerton @CFullerton3

Find out more about Claire Fullerton and her writing of Dancing to an Irish Reel, which is my 5 Star Review and one of my favorite Interviews ever.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

My guest today is Claire Fullerton, author of A Portal in Time.  Today she shares her a little background to Dancing to an Irish Reel… and looks at a question Stuart and I are often asked about our books… just how much is true?

WP_20141004_001 Photo: Claire Fullerton

I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Now that my book, ‘’Dancing to Irish Reel” is out, I’m being asked the inevitable question, “How much of the story is true?” Everyone who knows me personally knows I picked up and moved to the west coast of Ireland without much of a plan, and that I stayed for a year. Add that to the fact that the book is written in the first person, that the narrator’s interior monologues in the story are unabashedly confessional to the point of unnecessary risk. I’ve been told the book reads like a…

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