Category Archives: For Authors

#Authors A few links on the always useful and fascinating topic of the unreliable narrator #iamwriting

Hi all:

Those of you who follow my reviews will know that I’m forever talking about narrators and how interesting I find them. The ‘unreliable narrator‘ can be put to very good use by authors, not only mystery writers, but also writers of other genres.

Thanks to Unsplash for their royalty free images
Thanks to Unsplash for their royalty free images

An unreliable narrator, a term first used by Wayne C. Booth in 1961, is somebody who in work of fiction tells the story, but whose version of the truth leaves a lot to be desired. There are many different classifications and definitions and I thought I’d share some articles about the subject, in case you’re thinking about using it. And a few lists of favourite unreliable narrators (I’m sure you have your own).

The link above, from Wikipedia, suggests a possible classification or different types, for example, narrators who are liars, who are mentally ill, children or immature, pícaros…

This link from Now Novel offers a general description and discussion of the term, with some clear examples.

This link from Writers’ Digest shares some tips on how to use the unreliable narrator in your writing. Unmissable!

Thanks to Unsplash for another colourful image
Thanks to Unsplash for another colourful image

Two lists with suggestions of well-known unreliable narrators, with a few books in common.

This one is from Flavorwire.

This one from the Guardian.

Thanks so much for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

What’s in a #review? What do readers actually expect from a book? (I don’t have an answer, it’s only a philosophical question).

Hi all:

As I know is the case with many of you, I’m a writer. Before I was a writer, I was a reader and I’ll remain a reader (hopefully I’ll remain a writer too, but perhaps I will stop publishing at some point. No matter). If you write reviews (I do), I imagine you might have all been surprised at times when checking other people’s reviews on books you’d read because they were the complete opposite to yours. Of course, personal taste and subjectivity come into it. I, for instance, am not a big lover of lengthy descriptions (although I can admire them if very well written, particularly if the genre calls for it), and I do not like a lot of background story (but sometimes it works). The best books for me, are those that can make me enjoy things that perhaps I wouldn’t choose, and also those that leave me wondering if I should call myself a writer at all because I’d never be able to write that way.

Sometimes expectations might play a big part in how we appreciate (or not) a book. I could not resist but share some one-star reviews of The Great Gatsby (I personally love it, but don’t worry if you don’t) to illustrate the point. First, I thought I’d share the ending, and the original cover, that is gorgeous.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder. 

And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. 

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning—— 

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Here two one-star reviews (I’ve removed the identity of the reviewers, although I don’t know them because it’s irrelevant).

on March 11, 2015
1.5 stars

The Great Gatsby – I don’t get it. That is basically my review. I don’t get why this is such a classic, why people seem to love it so much, really I just don’t get it. It is just a bunch of rich people in the 20’s having parties and their nonsensical conversations. Throw in the fact that everyone cheats on each other and you have The Great Gatsby. There is very little actual plot and it is just this random hodge podge of conversations. I found it very hard to pay attention to what I was reading. I kept having to go back and re-read as I found I just read a few pages and could not tell you what happened. Then I would re-read it and think oh, well nothing really happened so no worries. Then I also would also go back and re-read parts as I was always feeling like I was missing something. It was just a strange read for me. Little character development, little plot development, really little plot and yet it is a classic. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I do think it will be way better than the book. I mean it has to have a more developed storyline than the book does right? We shall see.

The book starts off with our narrator Nick moving in next door to Gatsby. He also has a married cousin, Daisy, who lives nearby. The first 3/4 of the book I feel like nothing really happened. I kept thinking why am I reading this? Why do people love this book so much? Then we get to the last bit and a few things happened, but I didn’t really care. I didn’t care about any of the characters as they were all so over the top ridiculous rich people that it was just hard to connect with. That and you didn’t really get to know them at all so they are just random people.

Before I read this I remember hearing it is this great love story. That to me is the most head scratching thing of all. I don’t see how this is a love story. The characters were just cheating on each other which even if they would have been developed more so I connected with them, even if there would have been more of a story here, that wouldn’t be a great love story for me. A very strange read and I just don’t understand what so many people see in this book that makes it such a classic. Oh well, I guess I don’t have to get it. It is just not for me.

 December 28, 2015
I leave this review fully aware that I’m going to catch flak for it. How dare I belittle a classic novel, after all, one beloved by generations of readers. Well, simply because a book is a “classic” doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily going to appeal to all tastes, nor that it’s a masterfully written novel. It simply means that it was popular or meaningful enough to endure, or that it’s worked its way into school curriculum. And while I never had to read “The Great Gatsby” for school, I did watch the film version and found it lacking. But I was still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a shot — the movie was obviously trying to ape “Moulin Rouge,” and perhaps the book would provide a better experience.

I don’t understand why this book is a classic. It is unpleasant, full of unsympathetic characters, and all-around overrated.

“The Great Gatsby” is narrated by Nick, a young man from the Midwest who moves to New York City during the Roaring Twenties and finds himself drawn to his mysterious, charismatic neighbor, Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is fabulously wealthy, and constantly throws wild, lavish parties at his home. Nick becomes obsessed with Gatsby, trying to unravel his past (and finding countless contradictory stories about said past from various acquaintances), and soon becomes swept up in Gatsby’s mad quest to achieve his ultimate goal… to win the heart of the woman he fell in love with as a young soldier so many years ago. But in trying to capture his elusive prize, Gatsby will set off a chain of events that will destroy lives… the only question is whose, and who will escape in the aftermath.

I know, the above description makes the book sound intriguing. But in all actuality, the book is incredibly dull. Nothing of import happens until a third of the way through, and the book is larded with pointless conversations that ultimately go nowhere. I ended up skimming large parts simply because they consisted of nothing but characters aimlessly gasbagging about things that ended up having no influence on the plot. This book could easily be condensed into a novella or even a short story without losing anything plotworthy.

I can better tolerate pointless content in a book if said content is written well. But Gatsby’s prose is bland at best, awkward at worst, and never truly captured me. It’s not terrible writing — I’ve certainly read worse, especially in modern novels — but neither is it very good, let alone great. (I’m told there’s some controversy over whether F. Scott Fitzgerald really wrote this book, and some attribute it to his wife Zelda, but regardless of who wrote it, the writing is nothing to write home about.)

The characters are unlikable as well. Gatsby is a sad excuse of a human being, not caring who he hurts in his quest to win his true love, even descending to drug-dealing and homewrecking. The girl of his dreams isn’t much better, and comes across as painfully shallow. Her husband, and the closest thing this book has to an antagonist, isn’t much better than Gatsby himself — he’s also racist, but then, this book was written in the ’20s, and some uncomfortable elements of older novels are simply products of their time. The narrator, Nick, is the closest thing to a decent human being the book has, and even then he comes across as a wet blanket, letting himself be walked on and not bothering to get involved when events take a turn for the worse. Some might argue that the unlikable characters are the point of this book, that it was meant to show the shallowness and corruption of the day, but a cast of unlikable characters will make your book VERY unpleasant.

Finally, without spoiling too much… the ending of the book renders the entire rest of the story pointless. The characters have gained nothing, learned nothing, and in the end the moral of the story seems to be “isn’t this world a terrible place?” I don’t demand a happy ending from everything I read, but this book isn’t so much a sad ending as it is a nihilistic one. It’s as if the author set out to write an unpleasant and cynical book simply to make his story “meaningful” or “deep.”

I don’t understand why “The Great Gatsby” is considered such a classic. It’s unpleasant and miserable to read, without a single sympathetic character in the cast and without any sort of meaningful resolution. All I can say is that I’m glad I was never forced to read this in school.

**********************************************************************
Perhaps this post is also an unpleasant and miserable read, and please, don’t feel forced to read it. But thanks if you do. And if you have any thoughts, please feel free to share them too.
Olga Núñez Miret

#Author Do you need a push for your campaign or promotion? Try Headtalk

Hi all:

If you recall, a few weeks back I wrote about the advantages of joining in multi-author promotional campaigns (read the post here) and one of them was the fact that you could learn from other authors.

Today, thanks to another multi-author event I’m taking part in (an audiobook giveaway for Thanksgiving), I’ve discovered something called HeadTalker. It seems to work in a similar way to Thunderclap (although I’ve never used Thunderclap), the idea being that you can set up a campaign, and ask other people to provide you support, via sharing on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and LinkedIn, although they can choose to share everywhere or only on some of them). You have to choose a goal, a number of people who has to offer their support, and if you reach that number, then on a set name and time, your message (the campaign with the message you’ve chosen and the link you decide to use) will automatically be shared by all these people wherever they’ve chosen to share it. So it’s a good way to make a bit of noise (for instance if you’re organising an event, having a launch, a special promo, whatever).

Here is what my HeadTalker looks like:

A Time For Giving! Audiobooks

Have a go  yourselves, and of course, we’d all be very grateful if you could share and support. And just in case you want to visit the event itself, here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1090652230971258/

And don’t worry, it’s not me alone…

authors

So, have a go and see what you think.

Thanks so much for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Save

Holiday and seasonal #BookMarketing. Some tips.

Hi all:

I don’t know if you’re like me, but I tend to find articles, books, podcasts, etc, that sound interesting in my day to day life, or in my visits through the internet and social media (much the same thing these days) and although I don’t have time, I decide to save them for later, for that perfect occasion when I’ll need just that piece of advice or tip. Yes, that perfect day rarely arrives.

Thanks to Unsplash.com for another great royalty free image
Thanks to Unsplash.com for another great royalty free image

Over a year ago (towards the end of 2015), having subscribed to Sandra Beckwith‘s newsletter (here is her website in case you’re interested. She has plenty of free content on marketing and promotions, and although she works more in non-fiction, it’s well-worth having a look), I saw that she was offering a service throughout the following year. For a very small fee (I’m not sure what it was but I think it was $1) she would send daily tips to your mailbox. I couldn’t resist and I signed for it. And I’ve been getting these tips. I decided to save them all in a document to make sure I could access them easily. Although I read them as they arrive, I haven’t done much organising and have not looked at them in depth, but now that we’re coming to a time when there are a lot of promotional campaigns being organised related to holidays and events (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year), I decided to check her advice and share it with you. Here are some of her tips, related to the subject:

  • Remember to pitch seasonal magazine articles or news items related to your book or its topic four to five months in advance of the season or holiday. Pitch four weeks out for newspapers. (We might already be late, but worth keeping in mind for next year).
  • Identify perennial seasonal topics you can link your book to – e.g., grief at the holidays or June weddings – and pitch yourself to the press as an expert available for interviews. Write a blog post about them. http://buildbookbuzz.com/8-ways-to-pitch-media-outlets/ This sounds like a pretty good idea, and although on the surface it might seem more relevant to non-fiction writers, personal circumstances vary, and if you think about it, you might find relevant topics you hadn’t thought about.
  • Use Chase’s Calendar of Events or the quirky monthly holidays listed at the Holiday Insights website to create a promotion around a relevant holiday or special occasion. http://www.holidayinsights.com/ In this global times, when we’re pitching to an ever increasing and larger market, it’s good to be able to localize our efforts and make them more relevant.
  • This is a personal suggestion, but I can’t say if it works or not. Just because you don’t have a book in a genre specifically relevant or suited to the holiday or season (a romance for San Valentine’s day or a Christmas tale for Xmas) that does not mean you can promote  your books. Try and be quirky and appeal at other interests… ‘Can’t take any more happy ever after? Why not check my horror story? (For San Valentine’s, for example). Or, ‘Thinking about murdering somebody during the family reunions? Read a crime thriller instead’ (for Christmas). See what you think, and if you decide to try it, let me know how it goes.
  • Unsplash.com
    Unsplash.com

Thanks very much to Sandra Beckwith for her suggestions, to all of your for reading, and do like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

#Multi-author promotions. Reasons why you should be thinking about them #amwriting

Hi all:

I have taken up an external project with tight deadlines to work towards and that means sometimes I have to improvise more than I like, but I thought I could share a few thoughts on the possible benefits of joining in with other authors to promote your work, organize events, giveaways, etc.

Even if you’re a skilled marketeer (I am not), there are advantages to working as part of a team.

fall-into-romance-kindle-giveaway-large

In no particular order:

  1. You can share the organizing with others. Different events are organized differently, but it is possible to share and delegate responsibility for different parts of the event to different people, or you might just join in and follow instructions if you’re not a strong organizer.
  2. You can join forces and share skills to create a great event. You might be very good at visuals but not good at keeping track of lists, or setting up a Raffle copter giveaway. Rather than doing a bad job, you can each do what you’re best at.
  3. You can pull together your followers. A few months ago, when I had just started my own subscribers’ list and had very few followers, I joined in a giveaway with a group of authors where we could choose which link we wanted to promote. I chose the link to my list and I ended up with almost 800 subscribers. This works better when the giveaway is geared towards similar genres  to those you write in, or set up as multiple genres from the beginning, but you never know what might catch a reader’s attention.
  4. You can learn new things and join in events you might not have dared to organize by yourself. You might learn things and find out about resources you’d never used before, and you might dare to try things (within the safety of numbers) that you might not have wanted to do by yourself. (For example, I’d joined in several Facebook parties but only as part of the public, as I never thought enough people would attend just for me. If you are part of a group and know other authors from the same group will attend, you will feel more confident and dare to try new things. Yes, I eventually did participate in a Facebook author event. I did it!).
  5. You might be able to cover a wider geographical area and take advantage of promotions or options that are otherwise limited to certain markets. I have, on occasions, tried to organize giveaways or send gift cards and then realized that they were only open to authors with accounts in Amazon.com (let’s say). If the event or giveaway is run but international authors it will be possible to access the best options for the different markets and your knowledge base will cover a wider area.
  6. You will be able to afford bigger rewards and a varied choice of gifts and books that will make it more attractive to readers. If you take part in a lot of giveaways it can become expensive, especially if you want to offer something a bit costly. Joining in with other authors means you can offer bigger gifts without costing you the Earth.
  7. They can be a great way to make yourself known in  a new genre. If you’re writing in a new genre or market, joining in with other authors who are already known and have an audience with fans of the genre will open many doors for you.
  8. You might feel more comfortable talking about other people’s books also taking part in the event and sharing their achievements than blowing your own trumpet all the time. I forgot this one, that for me is one of the most important, on first writing the post, but I’ve added it on.

I’m sure you can think of many other reasons to join in with other authors, but those were just a few I thought up. And I wanted to show you, as an example, a giveaway I’m taking part in.

You can click here for more details. 

Thanks so much for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Introducing a great friend of all #authors, the Story Reading Ape (@Storyreadingape) and a project very close to his heart.

Hi all:

I wanted to let you know that I’ve started working on a new project and due to deadlines I might not be around as much as I’ve liked.

I thought I’d share one of my blog posts because I talk about a great friend of all authors and his latest project, that might inspire you as much as it has me.

Here it is:
I’m sure that a lot of you in the blogosphere know The Story Reading Ape and his blog Author Promotions Enterprise. Chris Graham (a.k.a The Story Reading Ape, or perhaps, The Story Reading Ape, a.k.a Chris Graham, I’m never 100% sure) is deservedly known as he works ceaselessly to help and promote writers.

Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape
Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape

Let me tell you a bit what he does (in case you haven’t crossed paths with him yet… Where have you been hiding?).

He has a Hall of Fame where he shares features of authors whose work he finds interesting and also of supporters of his blog. Here is the link where you can check both features. If you’re an author but have never been featured in the Hall of Fame or didn’t know about it, you can check here how to go about submitting an article. (Yes, I am featured but I’m not going to pester you with it. If you want to find me, please do…)

If you’re interested in finding writing resources, Chris regularly writes his own, has guests and also generously shares and reblogs content he finds interesting. Go and explore his author resources!

If you’re looking for a great design service, he also provides covers, 3-D covers and videos at bargain prices (and I’d advise you to keep an eye open for special offers). Check here to see what he can do!

He also recommends other people’s services and has great content like the Monday Funnies, so I just advise to explore in general.

OK, I’m sure by now you’re wondering what any of this has to do with the new book. Chris has always said that as much as he enjoys reading and loves the ins and outs of the world of writing, he doesn’t think it’s his thing. But, he decided to do something wonderful. Enter

Agnes Mae Graham
Agnes Mae Graham

Agnes Mae Graham is Chris’s mother. She’s no longer with us but she wrote poems. In her day and age, it was difficult (well, almost impossible) to publish and there were no easy options available to everyone as we have now. Chris’s sister Lorna had kept her poems. Chris re-read the poems, talked to another great supporter of authors and great author herself, Jo Robinson, and here is the result:

My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham
My Vibrating Vertebrae by Agnes Mae Graham

We all have dreams, loves, and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?
From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humor, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Available from AMAZON:

UKUSACAAUS

If you want to read in Chris’s own words how the book came to be, you can check this great post, here.

My father was a great storyteller but he didn’t write. My mother is more of a listener, but I’m planning on prying a few stories out of her while she’s still with us. I love Chris and Lorna’s idea and I had to bring it to you.

Thanks to Chris, Lorna and Agnes Mae Graham for the book, thanks to Chris for all his help to writers, and thanks to you for reading, please, like, share, comment and don’t forget to CLICK and explore not only the book but also the Story Reading Ape’s site.

#Bookblurbs Any tips? What are your favourites? #amwriting

Hi all:

As you know I write (and translate) and I’m currently going through the corrections of my next novel (Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies, is proving challenging, or rather the circumstances around it are. I might tell you the story some day). Although there’s still a while to go (I always publish both versions, Spanish and English, of my books at the same time, and that means multiplying by two everything, including the time it takes to get everything ready), I started thinking about blurbs. Despite having written quite a few, I always hesitate when I’m about to write another one, and check advice on it.

Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now... well, not quite
Escaping Psychiatry 2. The Case of the Swapped Bodies by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés. Any day now… well, not quite

I decided to share some of the articles I found about the subject (the advice isn’t that different, but I thought you might find that the style of the writer of some of the articles connects better with you than others).

17 tips on how to write blurbs that sell:

http://authorsociety.com/17-tips-how-write-blurb-sells

The dos and don’ts of writing a blurb for your novel :

http://www.blurb.co.uk/blog/writing-blurbs-for-novels/

4 easy steps to an irresistible book blurb:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/4-easy-steps-to-an-irresistable-book-blurb/

How to write a book blurb:

http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/2015/04/how-to-write-a-book-blurb/

Writing a short book blurb:

http://www.writing4success.com/Writing-a-Short-Book-Blurb.html

The 5 core elements of a book blurb (and why you should know them):

https://www.standoutbooks.com/five-elements-of-a-book-blurb/

And after all that advice, I wanted to ask you if you had any tips or any strategies (different to those ones or adapted from them) that you found particularly useful. And also, what are your favourite book blurbs? They can be your own or other writers’. Personally, although I agree certain elements are expected, I think what will entice readers depends on each individual. As one of the articles observes, some very successful books have not-so-good blurbs. But I’m curious and I guess the best way to learn is to analyse well-written blurbs. So, please, do share! And if we get a good response, I’m happy to collect the best and share them in a future post.

Books and more books

(Ah, and a word about blurbs. It seems that in some cases, although not so much now, in the US a blurb might mean only a list of recommendations or positive reviews of a book added to the back-cover. That indeed can be included in what we are talking about, but we refer more to the short description at the back of a book in paper that tells the reader a bit about it and tries to hook him into buying and reading it).

Thanks so much to all the writers of the articles, thanks to all of you for reading, and please, do like, share, click on the articles and COMMENT!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

Talking about #bookreviews. A collection of great posts on how to get them and how to keep reviewers happy.

Hi all:

Recently I’ve read some great posts about reviews: how to get them, how to avoid things that annoy reviewers, and even posts recommending free books on the subject. You might have read them all, but just in case you haven’t, I thought I’d post them here.

How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)
How to Get Good Reviews by Theo Rogers (remember to check the price!)

The first one that came to my attention was a post by Nicholas Rossi, where he mentioned a free book  (this one ) that was still free when I wrote this post but do make sure that’s still the case, and also some updates on other interesting sounding books on similar topics. You can check Nicholas Rossi’s post here. Do follow his blog if you haven’t as he shares a wealth of knowledge and is a great writer.

That post resulted in a comment by Beetley Pete, a great blogger and a top reviewer in Amazon (do check his blog especially if you like dogs, photographs and pretty good writing too. See here, for instance ), where he provided a review on the said book. He made such great points that Nicholas created a post sharing that comment. Check here.

Book and mugsmall

This morning I read a post with the title Top 7 Book Reviewers Complaints in the blog Indies Unlimited. I’ll share the list but you can (and should) read the full post, and contribute to the discussion, here.

According to the post these are the seven top complaints by reviewers:

  1. “…he woke up and it was all a dream.” Done to death and back as a zombie too.
  2. “She could see the insanity creeping into his eyes.” Not the best way to justify a character doing out of character things. (I’m a psychiatrist and this is a particular bugbear of mine.)
  3. “He asked…” “…she answered.” I’m sure there are full volumes on dialogue tags but…
  4. Lack of Dialog (Can result in a lot of telling and not showing)
  5. Too Much Dialog (This is a bit of a personal taste, but it depends on the type of book. The writer of the post likes dialog and so do I)
  6. Too Much Description. Might depend on the genre but…
  7. Too Much Background. Like before

And Others

Don’t forget to check the full article and comment here.

If after all that, or perhaps after doing more reading on it, you still want to approach reviewers, I got a link to The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages here. Good luck! (I have no personal experience of that page but do let us know if you do).

PS: After publishing this post I just read a post by Rosie Amber about writing reviews, the reasons some people don’t and suggestions as to how to go about it, so I had to share it. Check here (and do follow her blog too for great reviews and also for a great way to get reviews if you’re an author).

Thanks all for reading, don’t forget to visit the blogs and follow the bloggers and good luck finding reviewers. And readers remember that reviews are a great way to share your love of books and to support writers!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

 

#Author. Should you think about translating your book? 2. Lost in Translation. Adventures when translating your book for China

Hi all:

You might remember that last week I wrote a post asking the above question and listed a few reasons why authors might consider translating their books. (In case you missed it, here it is. As I translate from English to Spanish and vice versa I had prepared a talk about the subject and it occurred to me that I could sample some points of it here). I found the discussion that followed the post interesting, and Teagan Geneviene (I recommend her blog if you love great stories and recipes, check it here) reminded me of a story I had told her about some of my experiences when using Fiberead to get my book translated for the Chinese market.  And I thought you might find it interesting. I surely did.

It brought to mind how I had started originally the presentation about translations…

Here it is:

What does the word ‘translation’ bring to your mind?

In my case, it always makes me think of a scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Bill Murray plays an actor filming a spirits’ advert in Japan (I think it was brandy) and the director is giving him instructions. As he doesn’t understand Japanese, there is an interpreter. The director talks for several minutes, gesticulating, quite intensely. He eventually stops talking and the interpreter just tells him that he wants him to say the lines looking at the camera. ‘Is that all he said?’ Yes, we’re never quite sure. (By the way, you can watch the scene that goes on, here:

Of course, that’s interpreting (rendering live and orally a conversation, conference, speech…) whilst translation implies a written piece of work, but there are connections.

It also makes me think of the risks of mistranslating texts. In the case of the Bible mistranslating a Hebrew word and instead of rendering it as ‘beam of light’ it ended up becoming ‘horn’ and we have poor Moses depicted with horns (and not only in Michelangelo’s famous sculpture, that judging by the small size of the horns, makes me think that he wasn’t that convinced about the translation). Oh yes, if you’ve used Google Translate (that seems to be improving, to be fair) you know all about that.

And now, I wanted to tell you a bit about my experiences with Fiberead, that is a website that offers you to get your books translated for the Chinese market. If they are interested, you give them the rights to the translation for a number of years, and you spilt the earning with them and with the translating. Yes, team…

What happens is that a team leader or manager decides that your book is worth translating, and then they set about getting a team of translators to translate the book. I’m not sure how the division of work is made, but I know you get notifications when evidently translators provide a sample translation and the team leader decides if it’s good enough. Once they think they have a big enough team, they start the process. The beauty of it is that they contact you with questions if they have them. In general in my case it’s been mostly the team managers but sometimes also other members of the team.

I realised when they started to ask me about my YA novella Twin Evils?, asking me if Lucifer and Satan were the same, and asking for the meaning of references to angels playing harps or being dressed in white, that of course, although the novella is not religious, such content would not be understood in a mostly non-Christian country. And although I tried to send them links to images of angels playing the harp, I am also aware that some links to websites might not work there. We might assume that certain things are common knowledge, but the world is huge and people’ s beliefs and lifestyles very different to ours.

Some of the other questions showed extreme literalness. It might be to do with the language, but when I tried to explain that I prefered to allow the readers to make up their minds as to why characters might say or do certain things (whatever I thought the reason was) they wanted a full explanation. I suspect ambiguity is not a well-received quality.

I had some interesting and curious exchanges too, like a policeman who told me he was translating one of my thrillers (so far, although not published yet as they’re still in production, they are working on both of my Escaping Psychiatry stories and have also translated Family, Lust and Cameras, so they seem intrigued by my thrillers) and really enjoying it, and I had the manager for the translation of one of my books asking me for help understanding a couple of pages she was trying to translate for a different project.

Ah, and to give them their due, they caught a mistake that neither I, nor quite a few readers and editors of both my Spanish and my English book had seen, so, kudos to them.

Here I leave you the cover of the other one of my books available so far (and that although it hasn’t been out very long, it seems to be doing much better than Twin Evils? and for sure much better in the Chinese version than in Spanish and English).

Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market
Family, Lust and Cameras by Olga Núñez Miret version for the Chinese market

Thanks very much for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, please, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

Help an Indie Author out.

We have several authors that work here on LWI. We’re all Indie Authors and you know what that means. Out of our own pockets for everything.

First time Author,  Angela Kay is trying to raise funds for her novel The Murder of Manny Grimes. But she’s doing something I’ve never seen before, although it’s probably been done. She’s giving away stuff at each level of donation.

Click the link to check it out and if you can’t donate at one of the levels, any amount helps. We all know that if everyone that saw this gave just a little then it would be done in no time.

You can see a mock up of her cover below.

Now back to editing her book.

Ronovan

https://www.gofundme.com/manny-grimes-novel

Manny Grimes Cover

Mysteries – Reader Survey!

If you haven’t answered the Survey Questions yet, we still need more responses. It doesn’t take long.

Here we are on LitWorldInterviews with our first of many Genre oriented surveys. The success of our previous survey “Why do people stop reading a book?” and the response in the comments prompted a more detailed evaluation of the topic.

Please reblog and share this with as many people as you can so we have a lot of responses to make the data we share as accurate as can be expected.

We need at least 100 responses or there’s no reason to post the results.

This month’s survey is the genre of Mystery.

Thank you to the following 19 bloggers for making our previous survey such a success by reblogging the survey:

James Glenora

Aurora Jean Alexander

Juliette King

Stevie Turner

Linda G. Hill

Vanderso

Wendy Anne Darling

Adele Marie Park

Woebegone but Hopeful

Lori Carlson

Colleen Chesebro

E.S. Tyree

Ravenhawks’ Magazine

Sally G. Cronin

Gipsika

Tricia Drammeh

Susan Gutterman

Kate MacClelland

Jo Robinson


by Ronovan Hester

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

Making Dreams Come True

As most of you know, I’ve been working toward publishing my book. As I said in my last post, I’m starting with independent publishing. Here is a tidbit of my debut novel, The Murder of Manny Grimes:

The Murder of Manny Grimes CoverWhen three young boys stumble into Lieutenant Jim DeLong’s  life one night during a winter storm, they claim they’ve seen a dead body by the swing sets of the Columbia County Elementary School. After he investigates, DeLong sees no evidence, not even a body.

But were the boys telling the truth?

With the help of his oldest friend and mentor, former Naval investigator Russ Calhoun,  DeLong sets out to find whether Manny Grimes is alive or dead. The further away he gets to the bottom of the mystery, the closer he comes to realize that his own marriage is falling apart.

Delving deeper into the murder of Manny Grimes, Lieutenant DeLong begins to unravel, losing his sense of control, falling into old temptations he spent years to overcome.

Will he be able to move past his own demons and untangle the web of lies before it’s too late?

I’m excited to be talking to a publisher already. However, I’m trying to raise money to offset the costs of publishing my book. As of right now, it’s a major risk for me because I’m unemployed and haven’t been able to find a job. At the same time, I want to start shooting for my dreams. During this difficult jobless time, the thought of my dream beginning to come true is what’s keeping me going.

You may not know me, but I would like to ask for your help in making this as easy and worry-free as possible. Any amount of a donation helps. Beginning at $25, you get a copy of my book (I know, I know…$25 is a lot, but it’s for a good cause!). I also have other giveaways, depending on how much you pledge. When you click the link below you will see all of them!

I have a goal, which includes some funds for marketing for my debut novel, but I hope to earn at least $2000 as soon as possible to get what needs to be done now. My publisher is a trusted indie publisher a personal friend has known for years and is involved in the Southeastern Writer’s Association.

Ronovan can vouch for my authenticity, for those of you who are unsure of giving to a complete stranger. You may contact me for more information (and if you’d like, ‘like’ my FB page, Angela Kay’s Books.) Thank you for your support!

Angela Kay

Click Here: The Murder of Manny Grimes Fundraiser

© Copyright-All rights reserved by Angela Kay 2016

How to programme a post in WordPress. #Video

Hi all:

I read a comment in a blog where somebody noted they were not sure how to programme a post and I decided to take that chance to do a video on the subject.

Here it is (and if you have any requests for other videos, and I can be of help, please let me know).

 

Thanks very much for reading (or watching in this case) and if you know anybody who might be interested, please, like, share, comment and click.

Be well!

Olga Núñez Miret

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

What do you like about Mysteries? – Reader Survey!

Here we are on LitWorldInterviews with our first of many Genre oriented surveys. The success of our previous survey “Why do people stop reading a book?” and the response in the comments prompted a more detailed evaluation of the topic.

Please reblog and share this with as many people as you can so we have a lot of responses to make the data we share as accurate as can be expected.

We need at least 100 responses or there’s no reason to post the results.

This month’s survey is the genre of Mystery.

Thank you to the following 19 bloggers for making our previous survey such a success by reblogging the survey:

James Glenora

Aurora Jean Alexander

Juliette King

Stevie Turner

Linda G. Hill

Vanderso

Wendy Anne Darling

Adele Marie Park

Woebegone but Hopeful

Lori Carlson

Colleen Chesebro

E.S. Tyree

Ravenhawks’ Magazine

Sally G. Cronin

Gipsika

Tricia Drammeh

Susan Gutterman

Kate MacClelland

Jo Robinson


by Ronovan Hester

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

Stephen King on WritingOne of the books just about every big writer, agent, publisher, or whatever in the industry says you should read as an author is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. So what if it’s been nearly 17 years since it came out.

King covers everything from his childhood and a very bad case of poison ivy to his being hit by a driver that almost killed him. And from his first earnings as a writer from his mother paying for his childhood stories to his latest works around the year 2000. Mixing the two strings of discussion in such a way that you learn just as much about writing from reading the book as you do from what he says about writing in the book.

One thing I realize from Stephen King is, that no one is right all the time. Even King admits there isn’t a hard fast rule about writing. There are rules about writing, but not about writing.  Did that make sense to you? Welcome to an example of how King sometimes gets his point across although it was my point in this instance.

Great things can be said by great people and garbage by even greater ones, but if you want to learn anything, listen to those who do things rather than talk about them. There is a reason you don’t see dozens of books about writing from King. He didn’t want to say anything unless he had something to say. It had to be different and it had to be useful information.

He succeeds on all counts. His examples are excellent and the encouragement one can get from following his path to success is inspiring. Even King had his moments of doubt but he never gave up. He hated one of the books that he is most identified with. He worked harder than most of us ever has, while continuing to write, write, and write some more.

It’s hard for me to believe I’d ever say that a book about writing is a page turner, but here I am saying exactly that.On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is a page turner. You want to know what example he’ll use next; what nugget of wisdom he will share. You want to see if you are already doing things King mentions and give yourself kudos for it, while telling King he’s wrong about the things you disagree with, but know he’s correct all the same.

King is the antithesis of what so many point to in regards to classic writing, but he’s not really. He still tells tales in that big epic manner while doing so in a modern fast paced way that holds attention. How can you read his books in one sitting? People do it.

Every book is a classroom. You either learn how to write or how not to write. King is the classic read-as-much-as-possible writer. He’s read more books than I’ve heard scanned the titles of and that’s something that needs to change, and I’m doing so.

I recommend Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft to anyone who is or wants to be a writer. The sooner you read it in your career the better. Why waste time doing things the wrong way when we have help out there telling us the right way?Writing the breakout novel by Donald Maass

My next book on writing to speak about will be Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass. I started it quite some time ago, but it’s not quite the page turner like King’s. It’s not meant to be, but it does have its merits and I’ve used what Maass said in my debut novel that has pretty good ratings so far. Until next time;

“Read Great to Write Greater.”-Ronovan


by Ronovan Hester

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

Why Readers Stop Reading a Book.

Recently, we here at LitWorldInterviews.com conducted a survey, “Why do you put a book down?” and through the assistance of the writing community we had a very nice response of over 100 participants (I stopped counting.). Now it’s time to share what we found.

First, I want to say why the survey was conducted. We wanted to help writers by giving them the information they most need. If a reader takes the time to check out your book and don’t like it, they are unlikely to give you a second chance with your next work. First impressions mean a lot.

86.30% of those responding were Female, thus leaving the remaining 13.70% Male. Considering the majority of those reading novels are Female, although not quite this extreme, I’m comfortable with sharing what we found.

There were 34 sub-categories as a result of the survey. Those results were then placed into 5 main categories: Writing, Editing, Proofreading, Taste, and Other, with Writing providing the largest number of sub-categories and results.

68.49% of those responding noted some form of dissatisfaction with Writing as a reason for putting a book down.

26.03% gave Editing.

23.29% gave Proofreading.

17.81% was Taste.

2.74% was Other.

Let’s take a look at the Writing sub-categories first.

Click Image for larger view.

Writing Concerns of Readers Pie Chart

The above pie chart shows the concerns in descending order of greatest number of mentions. The story being Dull was the most frequently mentioned problem with 25.29% of the mentions of the Category. Followed by actual Bad Writing, then Dull or Unbelievable Characters, Info Dump, and uses  of Profanity.

Let me speak about Profanity for a moment, this along with Gore, Violence, and Sex were all mentioned in the context of being included in the story for no apparent reason. Most of those who noted it as a concern stated they know these things occur in books, and even have a place, but the problem arose when the author was using them as obvious crutches in an attempt to hide poor writing and plot.

The subcategories of Writing Concerns as identified by readers are as follows in descending order: Dull, Bad Writing, Unbelievable Characters, Info Dump, Profanity, Over Describing, Violence, Weak Narrative, Confusing Beginning, Unexpected Sex, Gore, Weak Story, Bad Dialogue, Dashes, Racism, Poor Relationships, Head Hopping, Repetition, and Writing with Dialect Accents.

What does this tell us? The first thing that jumps out to me is that we as authors aren’t putting out books with stories that are capturing the attention of the reader. With a book done with professional intent behind it, a dull story should be the reason our books are not read. That’s right, we are not read because we just didn’t do a good job of telling our story. Maybe we didn’t have the right beta readers. Maybe they were too nice. Maybe they just went through the motions. Maybe they just aren’t that good at the task. Or maybe we should recognize our work isn’t that good. How about all of the above?

Let’s look at Editing Concerns

There were four subcategories for Editing Concerns: Actual Bad Editing, Plot Holes, Sentence Structure, and No Scene Breaks for Time Lapses.

Click Image For Larger View

Editing Concerns of Readers Pie Chart

The bad thing about writing a novel is the author knows everything that is happening, even behind the scenes, the back story the reader never sees, and the in between scenes that happen. The problem this creates is hopefully caught during editing. A good editor can save a book from disaster. Fresh eyes see old mistakes that the author overlooks each time they’ve gone through each of the five drafts they’ve done.

An Editor is not responsible for rewriting a novel. I want to make that clear. They take what a writer gives them, looks for plot holes, sentence structure, weak story development, and things of that nature. They are not a Proofreader. I think people confuse the two, but having been associated with a professional Proofreader who has guest hosted here on the site, I know the difference.

If you pay an Editor they are to give you the tightest and most entertaining story they can from what you’ve given them. Of course you, as the author, can disregard everything, but that would be a foolish thing to do. I have a writing mentor who edits some things I give her at times. I take some of what she offers and disregard others because of the importance of what that means to the overall story, a story she isn’t fully aware of yet.

Notice I didn’t throw everything away, and I took into consideration what she said about the part I disregarded. I changed things to make that part seem more relevant to the story at that point, without giving anything away.

But what we get from this part of the survey is that readers notice editing of a book. The idea of not editing a book crosses the minds of Indie Authors. We’ve been through the book a dozen times. We know it’s just fine the way it is. Note the sarcasm I said those last couple of sentences with. I’m not saying it’s impossible to edit your own work, but you would have to be able to step away from the work long enough to see it with fresh eyes, several times. At least that’s my opinion. You also have to become slightly detached from this labor of love, in some cases.

Proofreading Concerns

There isn’t a need for a chart here. There were two sub-categories: Proofreading (66.66%), and Grammar (33.33%).

I have to say, this is an area I notice a lot in books. If there are proofreading problems in a book, they take me out of the story, out of the world created by the writer. Every book has a proofreading error, or perhaps a printing error, not so much on the printing these days with the modern printing methods, but back in the old days of typesetting, errors happened.

I’ve read several books for the purpose of reviews and I have put some down because of the proofreading problems. I honestly don’t think there was any proofreading conducted. You might get past the dull story, even some bad editing, but when you are constantly tripped up by spelling errors, punctuation, and all of that, you eventually become tired of it all.

Taste Concerns of the Reader

There were 7 different sub-categories placed under taste: Slow Beginning (30.77%), Tragic Ending (15.38%), Difficult Vocabulary (15.38%), Too Much Detail (15.38%), Back Story (7.69%), Genre (7.69%), and Cliffhanger Ending (7.69%).

Click Image for Larger View.

Taste Concerns of Readers Pie ChartYou won’t find two readers with exactly the same taste. They may have a discussion and it sounds like they are the same, but put five books in front of them and have them read them, I would be willing to bet you would get different opinions.

Some books, due to the nature of the story and world, may require a slow beginning. The trend is to jump right into action to capture the reader’s interest, but perhaps your story doesn’t fit that type of trend. Difficult vocabulary may be part of how a certain character speaks.

But I understand what the readers are saying. Sometimes the way things are done, they are not necessary. I think when it all makes sense, a reader is fine with it, but just as when people throw profanity or gore into a story, sometimes these tastes, other than perhaps genre, are signs of weak storytelling and plot.

Other

There were only two that fell into the Other category: Having the book available for Screen Readers, and Having a Misleading Book Description.

I think these are two very valid reasons to not read a book. As my eyesight fails I know it becomes more difficult to read. Some will say just get glasses, but this is due to medications I must take. Eventually I will likely not be able to see at all. But I love books. It would be a shame to not buy a book because it didn’t work with my screen reader.

As for a misleading book description? It may be the opinion of the reader as to the misleading nature or not. If it truly is misleading, I think the book needs removing or at least the description updated.

 Conclusion

What all did we learn from the survey? Good writing and story, with good editing and proofreading will make for a page turner.



by Ronovan Hester

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 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

21 #Quotes About #Inspiration for the #Author and #Creative.

14 Quotes From Authors About Inspiration

“When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and ‘good, orderly direction’ to enter.” Julia Cameron

“I feel like part of getting better at writing is knowing where to find that inspiration. Right after something happens to me, the first thing I’ll do is go write when those feelings are really, really fresh.” Troye Sivan
“Inspiration comes of working every day.” Charles Baudelaire

“The main characters for ‘The Seer and the Sword’ made an appearance one night and then haunted me for over five years before I began to write them down. Does that count as inspiration? For me, characters tend to show up, stay on to help with the work of writing their stories, and then occasionally deign to visit after a book is finished.” Victoria Hanley

“Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration and let your whole life be Revelation.” Eileen Caddy

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them.” Henry David Thoreau

“Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the muses.” Amy Tan

“There are little gems all around us that can hold glimmers of inspiration.” Richelle Mead

“What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one’s nose, taking shortcuts.” Italo Calvino
“Inspiration comes from so many sources. Music, other fiction, the non-fiction I read, TV shows, films, news reports, people I know, stories I hear, misheard words or lyrics, dreams… Motivation? The memory of the rush I get from a really good writing session – even on a bad day, I know I’ll find that again if I keep going.” Trudi Canavan

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London

“Many a witty inspiration is like the surprising reunion of befriended thoughts after a long separation.” Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

“Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful, and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you.” Bernie Siegel
“Youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged.” Gilbert K. Chesterton

7 Quotes From Creatives About Inspiration

“Technique is what you fall back on when you run out of inspiration.” Rudolph Nureyev

“Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.” Vincent Van Gogh
 
“The single thing all women need in the world is inspiration, and inspiration comes from storytelling.” Zainab Salbi
 

“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Ella Fitzgerald

“Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” Bob Dylan
“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” Johannes Brahms
“Sometimes, you just have to clear your head and get out to see other things. It is very important to be nourished. I love to go to museums and galleries, I like to see theatre, film, dance – anything creative. It doesn’t promise you inspiration, but it nourishes your creative soul, and that’s good.” Marc Jacobs
 

You can check out the other Inspiration entries  HERE, on SilverThreading.com, Colleen Chesebro’s site, my co-host for the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. This is her week to come up with the theme.


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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterview.com 2016

#Bookfair at Llandeilo. Bad photos and some (non-serious) tips. Oh, and I’m on the #radio!

Hi all:

I’ve had a sudden change of schedule and I’ll be travelling and dealing with a number of issues, although I hope I’ll be able to share some posts still. But, if you don’t see me around as often, don’t worry.

In April I attended my first book fair, and this week I finally managed to share some bits of my experience at my blog, and as people seemed to find it interesting, I thought I’d share it with you too. By the way, at the end I mention I’m on the radio, but due to this change in schedule this won’t be the case for some time, although I’m hoping to talk about books in my radio program and will come back to ask for help with that when I’m back to normal.

I hope you enjoy and thanks for your patience.

Here is the post:
I know I’ve been talking about my first book fair in LLandeilo for a while. As usual, on checking my pictures of the day I’ve discovered they’re rubbish, but hey, I’ll share a few so you can see (or guess) how it was.

The good news is that the fair will carry on. There is one booked for Christmas time and there will be another one next April. Check Christoph Fischer’s post about it for more information, here. Oh!, and check his other posts about it as you’re there. We’ve even made the papers!

I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!
I discovered my banner was the smallest one. Oh well, not good at blowing my own trumpet. Thanks to my friend Lourdes for the design!

My own reflections about the fair (not sure this is advice or tips, but…)

  1. You might want to take reinforcements with you. It’s always handy to have somebody man (or woman, of course) the fort for you (there are so many people to talk to and books to check! And at LLandeilo there were interesting workshops and talks but I couldn’t go to any of them). Fellow writers kept an eye on the stall, but it’s not the same…
  2. Take supplies of drinks and whatever else you might need. There was catering on site, but I’m not a tea, herbal tea or coffee drinker, and there was no cola to be had there… No caffeine for me! (Of course, if you’ve followed the advice on number one, you can either go and leave the troops covering the stall or send them out for victuals).
  3. I took sweets that seemed to attract people, especially children. Yes, I’d recommend it. I wouldn’t say it helped with the sales, but it got some smiles. Ah, and at the end I shared them with the writers (and the staff working at the hall) when we were putting things away, and after a long day they were very welcome.
  4. Take comfortable shoes. You’ll be standing up most of the time. (The author next to me who was pregnant worried me no end, although she was very enthusiastic).
  5. Pace yourself. I worried that I might have lost my voice before the end of the day (yes, I talk too much). It was a close call (sorry, no luck!)
  6. Put your glasses on when you’re taking pictures!
  7. It’s difficult to find time to network with everything else going on, but it was great to meet the rest of the writers there, Hugh Roberts whom I knew from blogging and hopefully will meet again at the Blogger’s Bash. I did collect information from everybody (I hope!) as I’m planning on featuring writers and books in my radio show.
  8. Of course have change and chat to people. In my case, as I publish in different genres, I never knew well what to open with (pitching 5 different books is not easy). But I tried.
  9. I took some extra stuff to give away (cupcakes book, notebooks…) I didn’t have much chance to give anything away, but of course, the Cupcake recipe book that I had bought for £1 got much more attention than my own books. (When I tried the local market once, the Christmas decorations I got for the table had more success than me. Perhaps I should sell something else).

A few more photos:

The cake
The cake

IMG_1107

I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
I was looking forward to catching up with Judith Barrow although we were both very busy!
Christoph Fischer en el escenario anunciando los ganadores del concurso de historias para niños
Christoph Fischer announcing the winners of the children’s story writing competitions

IMG_1103I loved this bannerIMG_1099IMG_1098

 

Oh, and I’ve mentioned my Radio programme! Yes, I’ll tell you more about it, but now I have a regular (sort of) programme at Penistone FM, on Thursdays from 1 to 3 pm (UK time). I hope to talk about books and with a bit of luck bring in quotes and information about indie writers (although I don’t have much time to talk). Here is the link to listening online.

I'm on the radio!
I’m on the radio!

Thanks to all for reading, visit Christoph and Hugh’s blogs and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

 

HONESTY: The Best Policy?

Stephen King on Writing“As with all other aspects of fiction, the key to writing good dialogue is honesty. And if you are honest about the words coming out of your characters’ mouth, you’ll find that you’ve let yourself in for a fair amount of criticism.” Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft, Page 217

Stephen King’s book On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft is considered a must by many in the profession. The quote above continues on about how King receives mail at least once a week calling him all sorts of names because of what his characters say. A lot of people confuse what a character believes with what an author believes.

Believe me when I say, that if I have a character murder someone, I don’t believe in people murdering people. I want that on the record. Oddly, I imagine King has rarely been called a murderer.

The dialogue he’s referring to are defamatory, degrading, and profanity filled. I agree that authors need to have their characters speak honestly. Here comes the hard part. Through which pair of eyes and ears are we listening with?

King believes, or at least notes that even the good little Christians will say the expletives when faced with things such as that smashing of the thumb with the hammer scenario, unless it’s an old maid aunt. I’ve never been called an old maid aunt before. Then again I was only hit in the eye with a fast ball by my son. The only thing I said was “Ow!” and “Gosh!”.

You see, my habits of life are to not use certain words in thoughts and conversation. What this in turn creates is a creative environment of ‘clean’ dialogue. Strangely, the no profanity doesn’t seem to come out as dishonest to people.

How can this be? If you create the setting, the world, and use the proper sentence structure, you don’t need certain words to convey certain emotions. I’m not saying a writer shouldn’t use profanity or whatever else they want to, but I wanted to point out that King doesn’t have it perfectly right, and he would probably be the first one to tell you that. His book is very good and he doesn’t profess to be the end all be all of writing. I think that, and his own honesty of life and experience is what makes this book one of the Top 5 books on writing people recommend.

Honesty is what every book must have in order to be an honest success. Have you read a book and then suddenly there is this scene that makes no sense? It’s an obvious insert. Someone decided the book needed that scene. Hopefully the rest of the book is strong enough to overcome an obvious veering away from a character’s portrayal to that point.

If you are an organic writer, like I am, your characters write your books. You tell them that you want them to arrive in the Bahamas by the winter of 1705-06 but you leave it to them how to get there. Along the way the characters you wanted as good guys end up being less than likeable and some even end up dead. That’s honesty.

I know sometimes you read a book that’s a success and it is so dishonest you want your money back although it was a free download for three days only. It makes you wonder if you are doing it all wrong. The question is, do you want to live with yourself, hold that book up to the world and say you wrote it?

Profanity or not, honesty or not, and what honesty of dialogue means is up to you. My advice is to be honest, whatever that means to you.

Honsety: The Best Policy? Image


Ronovan Hester


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“SEX SELLS,” THEY SAY BY @LRWLEE

sexsellsAfter publishing the fifth book in my Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy series I noticed something that helped my book sales. “What is it?” you ask, leaning forward, spellbound to learn how you, a fellow author, might exploit this nugget.

I noticed readers consistently report experiencing a roller coaster of emotions as they read the book. In fact, one woman reported she cried…which had her award my book five stars (how strange that seems, we feel hurt and award the author who hurt us with a perfect score…gotta love human psychology, LOL! But I digress).

These responses got me reflecting how earlier books in my series were received. With book two, I remember reviewers commenting on a small portion of the book. Book three had readers sighing and cheering as well but these responses were not as enthusiastic as what I was hearing about my latest release.

I started thinking about the books I enjoy reading…lots of YA fantasy, with a splash of romance thrown in. I love it when an author develops characters who connect with one another in a way that is vulnerable, yet pure and healthy—the characters who experience deep insecurities yet come to a point where they are able to share with one another the depth of their worry and pain without fear of being laughed at, knowing their confession will be respected and held in strict confidence. These are relationships, and in turn books, that get my heart a pumpin’ – I adore them. Put another way, I connect with them.

An example, I think of Air Awakens and Fire Falling. In this series, Elise Kova constructs a relationship between the crown prince and a relative “nobody” who, of course, is not of social status appropriate for him to fall in love with, let alone marry. That relationship is vulnerable and seemingly pure and I find myself rooting for the pair. The Divergent series is another example is Bea and Tobias’s relationship. You feel their pain and cheer their triumphs. And there’s so many more awesome examples I can point to, but I share that to prove my point. We adore these relationships because they touch us deeply, emotionally, many times over.

When I’m writing a particularly vulnerable part of a story, my whole body experiences it. It’s hard to describe the sensations: my heart feels soft, my emotions are raw, and I feel “twitchy” as I approach writing (much like someone before confessing a deep secret). Then once the dialogue begins my whole heart is consumed by an essence of purity for what my characters are truly feeling. Emotion pours out of me until I’ve gotten the scene down on paper. That may sound strange, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Its purity and heart poured out. And these are the scenes my readers have commented specifically about as touching their hearts—they’vealways started this way.

This realization has shifted how I orient as I write, for I see that causing my characters to connect with my readers on this deeply vulnerable and emotional level IS the difference between creating books readers like vs writing a novel readers adore! So, yes, I’m sure the old adage “Sex Sells” is true, but so does the creating of characters who connect with each other on a deeply vulnerable level. Having come to understand this principle I now work to create scenes that tug on my reader’s heart strings like never before.

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Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
Website: LRWLee.com
Twitter: @lrwlee
FB: LRWLee Author
Blog: blog.LRWLee.com

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.

FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.