Monday, August 12, 2013

What are your favourite and least favourite genres?

OK, so I have just finished (and reviewed, somewhat nervously) yet another apparently unplanned and rambling novel and posted my analysis on  I am hoping that I haven't killed it off.  What I would like to 'kill off' is the legacy of Kerouac, writers thinking they can still write something off the top of the edit, neither plan nor edit and then upload to amazon to sell it.  I am offended by the typos, the crappy grammar and the sloppy workmanship.  Writing is a JOB (if you're good), a PASSION if you were born/raised like that and a DISCIPLINE (if you really know what is involved). 

Today, there is so much written material to wade through each day.  Forms, supermarket labels, subtitles on foreign films, surtitles on opera, supers & tickers on television news programmes, street signs and so it goes.  Do we really now need stories?  Do we need them to be books?  Is the daily newscast and its analysis enough?  Nup, it ain't quite enough.  There are still gaps in the reading market.  Books that capture our societies and pluralistic world are welcome.  However, I am so darn tired of crappy dystopian, post-apocalyptic tales of woe that even the works of Douglas Adams and Philip K. Dick are putting my teeth on edge.

I am longing to settle in to a beautifully-crafted book that creates its own world, nailing its sense of place and introducing us to well-rounded characters.

Bring 'em on!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Life's too short to read all the good books so don't waste time reading rubbish ...

Well, that's the theory.  I have been reading a number of books lately (through lists on Goodreads) and darn it, I want those hours back!  So many books are just not worthy of the time it takes to read one.  That's why I return over and over to the writers I KNOW can write.  Yet this is doing a disservice to the new, contemporary writers out there who have a style as well as a story, who take the care to write something that lingers.   The late Barrie Unsworth is such a writer.  For me, the tales that have their roots in some kind of reality, an accurate portrayal of time and place, far surpass those truly awful apocalyptic/zombie/Dystopian ramblings that litter Amazon/Kindle today.

My two cents' ......

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Goodreads 'good' or 'bad' for authors?

I've been a member of Goodreads for a while but lately, I am thinking of unsubscribing.  There are so many petty squabbles among the members and nastiness seems to have broken out in the ranks that it is becoming a chore to wade through the material.  Generally, I just dump the emails before reading now - the good with the bad.  What do you all think?  I don't really care about sharing my latest reading book with readers; it was more about the marketing for my own books.  I can't see that the discussions of books are in any way illuminating and am quite staggered by their sale to yet another octopus of a parent site.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Getting through a hot summer

This summer promises to be a real scorcher.  Already, temperatures of over the century are seen on the weather map daily.  It's probably too hot (and certainly too dangerous for your skin - melanoma alert!) to lie on a beach and read.  I still haven't designed the cover for my next book and am thinking I may need to call for help again.  I have searched in vain for a cover design app that is inexpensive.  At present, I am not in the position to spend a lot on a cover.  But it is such an important selling tool!  I have a concept but no pictures to go with it.

So in the next few weeks I will be hanging around cemeteries looking for a great gravestone.

It is at the heart of the story so it is a vital ingredient.

Wait and see!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Time to write

I always thought that in retirement I would have hours of free time on my hands, all to be spent writing.  Then how come I just don't have that time any more? Top priority at present is our newish grand-daughter.  She is 8 months old now and I seem to spend a minimum of 3 days a week making sill noises, building towers for her to smash down, teaching her to 'drum' in time and working out novel ways to keep my glasses on my face.  Just as well the last glasses I bought are heavy duty, though I must admit, she takes them off with such grace and a glint in her eyes that it now is a routine each time we get together. 

Some writers use the current phases of their lives for inspiration.  When they have small children, they write for them.  That certainly worked for J.K. Rowling.

I am nearly finished my latest book.  Still being edited and I am tossing around ideas for the cover.  So far, I haven't launched into getting a professional cover made.

Nor have I offered any printed books, restricting them to digital versions.

This holds back sales and its potential.  Some people still love having a shelf of books.  I am thinking of printing just one of each for the family record. Just one.  But I do think that Kindle needs a button that potential buyers can hit to send a request to the writer to create a printed book.  If there is demand, I will certainly provide it in print but so far I haven't been down the smashwords/createspace route.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sad to report the sudden death of writer Captain Doug Danielson

When I first moved to Puerto Vallarta, I joined the Writers' Group. I'd heard good things about this small and jolly group of people who just wanted to write, be it memoirs, poems or novels, many based on the locale.

The first person to hold out his hand in welcome was Captain Doug Danielson, the moderator and 'show-runner' and he was always a positive presence in our landscape!  He encouraged and helped many people down there, wrote some fun books based loosely on his job as a boat delivery expert and shared his experiences in marketing the printed or digital word.

Yesterday, quite suddenly, Doug died, shocking everyone that, in fact, he was mortal. His vibrant spirit had us all believing he would be around forever.

We wish Karen and his family peace in the knowledge that they 'had a good one there' and that he was much-loved in whichever community he dropped anchor. 

Vale Doug!