Archive | June 2013

Around the Web #6

Written by Erin Eymard

Well, my “AWESOME/GREAT/SHARE” folder is HUGE because I haven’t done a highlight post in a while.  So let me break down some of the awesomesauce (yes, I did make up that word) that is floating around the internet!

41 Flavors of Body Language for Writers6a00e54ed05fc2883301761639e6c1970c-800wi

I’m not sure that I know where to start with how great this article is!  As a reviewer, this article from Amazon’s Omnivoracious Blog started my girl crush on Susan J. Morris.

I’ve run across more than my fair share of authors who just can’t grasp the concept of body language.  And of course throughout the whole of my educational career I had teachers who would mark up our papers with the phrase “Show, don’t tell” but never really explain it.  Susan J. Morris explains it perfectly!

She tackles all the nitty-gritties in a fun, easy to understand way.  I especially love the list of emotions and how to portray them through body language.  Here’s a taste:

Shame
-Slumped shoulders (Don’t look at me.)
-Trouble meeting your gaze, looking down and away
-Burying her face in her hands or bowing her head (I can’t face the world right now.)

Shocked
-Hands covering her mouth, or mouth hanging open, sometimes with a gasp (If I had words, I would be saying them.)
-Freezing and staring with wide eyes and eyebrows raised (Diverting all resources toward staring.)
-Smacking a palm into his forehead (Clearly, my head isn’t working right, or I wouldn’t have seen that)

Shy
-Avoids eye contact, or has only fleeting eye contact (Eye contact means you might speak to me.)
-Keeps a fair distance from everyone, and will back away if someone steps closer (Space invaders!)
-Folded arms, head down, and other defensive body language (If I make myself small, they can’t see me.)

Check out the rest of the list at Omnivoracious and also check out Susan J. Morris’s Blog!


a-game-of-proofPaving the Road with Books

Ever wonder what happens to print books that don’t sell?  Author Tim Vicary shares his experiences with his first book “A Game of Proof“.

Tim talks about writing under his female pen name and finding an advertisement offering a signed copy of one his books which it listed as rare.

It is entirely possible that this is only an urban legend or maybe only something they do in the UK but it definitely is interesting.  And it does open up the question as to what are the options for book pulp.

Perhaps the road to hell isn’t paved with good intentions but instead with the hopes, dreams, blood, sweat, and passion of writers.


Interview with Barbara Kyle

blood-between-queensWho doesn’t love a good historical fiction?  I certainly do!

Especially if it set in England pre-1700’s!

Barbara Kyle is the author of the “Thornleigh” series of historical fiction novels set during the Tudor era.  In this interview by Mary Tod of A Writer of History blog, she covers everything from research to series writing.

Her advice to writers of historical fiction?

“I’d say don’t be a slave to academic facts. Readers want characters who feel alive, and that life comes from you giving breath to the characters through your individual and vivid worldview, your distinct vision. That’s priceless.”

For the full interview visit the A Writer of History blog, which has tons of useful information on researching and writing your historical fiction.  You can also visit Barbara Kyle’s website .

 


I hope you enjoyed this entry of Around the Web!

As always you can follow the Bookworm on twitter @ErinEymard and Google+.

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Interview – Robert Evert (Follow-up)

Written by Erin Eymard

Happy Monday, Bibliophiles!  Today, I have for you the special treat of a follow-up interview with Robert Evert, author of “Riddle in Stone.  For those of you not familiar with Robert or RIS, please check out my past interview and review.  For everyone else, please enjoy!

Welcome, Robert!  And once again thank you for giving us a little insight into your publishing experiences! At the end of the “Riddle in Stone”, you gave us a little peek into the sequel.  How is the writing process coming along?

Author of  Riddle in Stone

Author of Riddle in Stone

It’s going very well, thank you for asking!

The second manuscript, Betrayal in the Highlands, is basically finished. It’s just needs to be edited.  The current projection is that it’ll be released as an e-book in August and then as an audio book sometime after that.

My publisher and I are currently discussing a third book, tentatively entitled Blood in Snow. The first draft of that manuscript is finished.  I’m just letting it sit a bit before working on it again.

We’re also waiting to see how many people buy Riddle in Stone. If enough people buy it, Diversion Books will be interested in releasing the third book in the series.  If nobody buys Riddle in Stone…well, then Edmund and his dog are dead.

No pressure there, people. Hint! Hint! Hint!

Any sneak peeks or tidbits you could share with us?

Hmmm.  What should I say???

In Betrayal in the Highlands, Edmund continues to be relentlessly pursued by the goblins, Kravel and Gurding. While hiding in a picture perfect coastal town, he falls in love with a wonderful character named, Abby—an unabashed snoop who wants to adventure. The problem is Edmund’s best friend, Pond Scum, has also fallen in love with Abby. Further, she’s now in mortal danger because of Edmund. He has to try to save her while saving himself and Pond Scum.

I really enjoy Abby. It’s nice to meet a female lead character who is as tough and smart as the male leads.  I’d like to eventually write a series just for her; but again, I need Riddle in Stone to sell well enough to keep writing.

Am I being too subtle?

Not in the least bit, Robert.  But it’s alright.  I didn’t invite you back to be subtle.  Over three months since the release of Riddle in Stone, what are some of the lessons you will take away from this experience?

Holy crap! Boy, that’d fill a book in and of itself!

I’ve learned a great deal about the writing and publishing processes.

First, writing is far more of a team endeavor than I originally thought.  

I really have to rely on the feedback of readers to see what works in my writing and what doesn’t. I’m constantly reading reviews and asking readers how certain aspects of the story could have been different and so forth. Then I have to force myself to adjust my writing style accordingly.

I’ve also learned about marketing books. Honestly, I spend more time begging people to read “Riddle in Stone” that I ever did writing it. But that’s the nature of being a small-time writer.

Every sale, every review counts.  

Seriously, a couple dozen sales could separate me from publishing another book or spending my life daydreaming about my characters. Marketing and promotion are THAT important to new writers, which is why I appreciate you letting me come here and say, “Riddle in Stone” over and over again. By the way, “Riddle in Stone” is available where most e-books are sold for $2.99.

In a recent blog post, you mentioned sitting next to a famous author on a flight and he/she gave you marketing advice.  Can you share some of that with our readers who may not have read your blog? (Readers you can visit Robert’s blog here for a more in depth answer)

She was really helpful, not just by entertaining me on a very long flight from Oslo to New York, but also by telling me about what publishers want from new writers. We talked for several hours about the need for writers to have a marketing plan and a well-established presence on social media.  It was a real eye-opener.  I thought I just had to write a decent story. Evidently, I have to be social as well. Go figure!

Speaking of marketing, when will you get that twitter account?

Ugh! You know, I have a website that I rarely update, a blog that I post on every so often, facebook, G+.   I can’t take anymore social media.  I can’t!!!  What can I possibly say on a minute by minute basis that anybody would remotely care about?

Buy Riddle in Stone! Buy Riddle in Stone! Buy Riddle in Stone!

Buy Riddle in Stone or Edmund and his dog die!!!!

I think I’ll draw the line at twitter.

What are you currently reading?

In print, I’m reading Christine Green’s Deadly Errand, Simon Brett’s The Poisoning in the Pub, and Jasper Kent’s Thirteen Years Later. On audio, I’m listening to a book on ancient history. I can’t recall the title. On my computer, I’m reading a bunch of manuscripts other new and aspiring writers have been sending me.

So much to read, so little time…

The cover for Riddle in Stone was one of my favorite covers ever.  Any cover ideas for the sequel?

RIS

Robert Evert’s Riddle in Stone

Well, thanks!  I’ll pass that along to the art department at Diversion Books. I’m sure I owe much of the success I’ve had to them and their wonderful cover.

I always have ideas for covers, but the problem is when you’re a nobody writer, you don’t really get to design your cover. You can’t say, “I want a painting of this and that and these colors.”

I tried with Riddle in Stone; but they basically laughed at me.  Instead, you get covers created from existing pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, the art people are wonderful at putting things together. However, you can only do something with the pictures that are available.  That creates some problems for my books.

You see, my characters aren’t really typical.  Edmund is middle aged, balding man who has one-eye. Most of the available artwork involves burly men with tattoos and their shirts torn off.

And, oh, they also seem to all wear really tight trousers!  

Don’t know why.

None of that fits my books. So we are limited in what covers we can make. But I’m sure the art people will do something wonderful for the second book. Fingers crossed!

By the way, if any of you are members of Goodreads, please visit the site for my book, Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone was put on several lists—including “best cover” and “books you want other people to know about.”  If you have time, please “vote” for Riddle in Stone.

Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone. Riddle in Stone.  Geez! How many times can I say that without losing all respect for myself?  I feel like such a whore.

What character/scene/book do you wish you had written?

Hmmm.  There’s so much that I could talk about here. I have tons of ideas for future books.

I suppose if my book, which I refuse to utter it’s name again, doesn’t sell enough to warrant another sequel… I think my next project will be a satire about higher education. I’m a faculty member at a major university.  It’d be interesting to write something about my odd coworkers and insane administration.  I’m tenured.  I can do what I want now!

Jason Bourne, James Bond, or Ethan Hunt?

To sleep with or just cuddle?

Personally, I think James Bond is overdone. But I suppose that’s the purpose of those books. He’s almost like a cartoon or a superhero.

I enjoyed the Jason Bourne series and Mission Impossible. So they’re both possibilities.

The issue I have is that they are both good-looking guys with incredible skills.  I just don’t relate to those kinds of characters. I like the under-achieving losers who don’t fit in.

However, if I have to answer, I’ll go with Ethan Hunt—but only because I keep getting mistaken for Tom Cruise.  But that’s a story for a different blog post!

Just a closing plea!

If you like somewhat dark fantasies and need something to read this summer, please consider my book. You can read the first chapter on Amazon.

If you’ve already read it, please write a review wherever you can—even if you think it sucks. Every review helps, especially on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, and BarnesandNoble.com!

If you’ve already reviewed it, please mention your review to your friends on Facebook, G+, Goodreads, and so forth.

The life you save maybe Edmund’s!

Thanks for having me, Erin!  It’s always a pleasure!

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Sanctuary by Kris Kramer (Book Review)

Once again here is a review for  The New Polder Review blog!  For the uninitiated the site is a group of reviewers dedicating their reviews to small press and self-published books worth reading.  You should definitely check them out!  And now ON TO THE REVIEW!

Sanctuary by Kris Kramer

Sanctuary by Kris Kramer

Sanctuary by Kris Kramer

Set in 9th century Britain, Sanctuary follows the journey of almost priest Daniel after a mysterious stranger saves his life during a viking raid. Daniel believes the stranger is a sign from God. The stranger disagrees but Daniel follows anyway as he is desperate to find his faith. Little does Daniel know that he is a pawn in a much larger game, one in which he has caught the attention of a very powerful demon.

Off the bat, I must say this is an exceptional debut book. I was fearful at times that it would develop into a travelogue. But Kris Kramer successfully avoids this pitfall and instead we are treated to a wonderful story that I would declare just as interesting and enjoyable as Ken Follet’s Pillars of the Earth though not nearly as daunting.

The characters are well written and believable. Though there is a religious nature to Daniel’s quest, the purpose is not to be preachy or overtly religious by rather to provide a background to his struggles. Daniel is a leaf in the wind trying desperately to get his bearings.

My one gripe about the book is the prologue. When I was given sample chapters to decide if I was going to review it, the prologue was not included. To be honest, if it had been, I might not have read the book. Most prologues add nothing to the book that couldn’t be added in small bits throughout the first couple of chapters. I feel that this particular prologue could be tweaked and much better used as an epilogue.

The Players

Daniel the Almost Priest – Daniel is a great character. He is someone looking for his place in life. He thought he found it in the Church but in his weakest moment, but he realized even that was lacking after vikings destroyed his village and his life was spared by the mysterious stranger Arkael. It was this realization that caused him to leave his adopted village and the Church for something bigger. He just didn’t know what it was, but he was sure that Arkael was the key.

Even after the Arkael leaves him behind, he continues to search for his purpose. This trek is particularly treacherous as vikings are raiding the countryside in overwhelming numbers. He eventually returns to the town he grew up in and is given his sign during a harrowing encounter with Ewan, a stablehand afflicted with spells of madness.

He travels with Ewan and Pepin, another priest, to confront and possibly cleanse the sorceress that afflicted Ewan with madness. There he looks into the very depths of the darkness only to realize that the darkness is looking back and has seen him.

Arkaelthe Mysterious Stranger/Divine Warrior – Arkael is a man(?) with a mission. He tracks down those inhabited by demons and delivers fast bloody justice. He knows no other purpose than this. He saves Daniel’s life by slaying one of the leader of the vikings who is the vessel for a demon.

Pepin the Frankish Priest – Pepin is a priest working in the same town as Daniel in the beginning. After the viking raid, he begs Daniel to allow him to travel with him but Daniel leaves him behind. He eventually catches up with Daniel and accompanies him to the island where they will confront the sorceress. He is surprisingly resourceful for a priest and there certainly is more there than meets the eye. I have a feeling that Kramer will expound upon this in the next book.

Ewan the Mad Stablehand – Ewan is a sympathetic character. He was injected against his will with the dark disease. He constantly is battling to hold back his violent intentions from spilling over. After an encounter with Daniel, he agrees to take the priest to the people who did this to him.

All in all, I thought this was a very enjoyable story and am looking forward to the sequel.  I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

You can visit Kris Kramer’s visit blog at the4threalm.com.

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How Did You Become a Lover of Books and Reading? (Ron Vitale)

Ron Vitale

Ron Vitale, Author of “Cinderella’s Secret Diary”.

In today’s guest post, author Ron Vitale shares how he fell in love with the written word.  In “Cinderella’s Secret Diary: Lost” Ron writes about what happens after happily ever after.  You can visit his blog at www.ronvitale.com

Growing up, a friend of mine introduced me to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and taught me how to play Dungeons & Dragons. I devoured Tolkien’s trilogy and happened to be living at a fun time for fantasy literature. The Dragonlance series was all the rage and I spent many long hours reading through the books and then roleplaying my Dungeons & Dragons games using the modules to have my friends and brother go through the adventures.

Back in the mid-80s we had pencils, paper, dice and lots of imagination.

But none of this truly sparked my inspiration to loving and reading science fiction. I want to tell that story. I am known for my fantasy young adult books, but I have written some science fiction and am a big fan. Of course, these days, with limited time, I don’t get as much chance to read sci-fi as I would like. I focus reading more on the fantasy side of the fence since that’s more relevant to my writing.

Back when I was around 13 years old, a relative of mine gave me Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Series for a birthday present. When I look back, I would say that those books and all the other Asimov books I read over the next decade marked a turning point for me. I loved fantasy, but science fiction opened new worlds (literally) to me. I have been a diehard Star Wars fan since the first movie came out, but Asimov’s work broadened my taste in reading and first introduced me to the actual man behind the books.

I read as much as I could get my hands on, falling in love with Asimov’s style, his easy going prose and his thought-provoking topics. His robot series are still one of my favorite books because of the moral complexities woven throughout the stories. Years before anyone really had thought about this, Asimov wrote about the effects of a robot society on people. How would we adapt to being mostly surrounded by robots? Would we become alienated from other people? Being a young teenager and reading Asimov’s stories caused me to question the effects technology would have on us as well as sparked great hope within me.

I dreamed of a future in which I could be a writer and that the science in the fiction that I read would one day become reality. But most importantly, Asimov’s books acted as a gateway. Through Asimov, I stumbled on Niven’s work (Ringworld and The Integral Trees stand out in my memory), Heinlein’s and Clarke’s. From there, I became a subscriber of Asimov’s monthly magazine and then Science Fiction & Fantasy.

I read, read and I read some more.

I love reading and as I matured and went to high school and then college my reading diversified. Professionally I had become an English major, focusing on the Romantics, but in my leisure time I would read fantasy and science fiction.

This all took place before Rowling’s Harry Potter and Meyer’s Twilight series. I have read The Washington Post article that cites that 25% of Americans haven’t read one book in a year. That disturbs me. With mobile devices and tablets great tools for unlocking millions of books, I do not understand why someone would not take advantage of this opportunity. How many games of Angry Birds can one play? With many indie authors as myself offering free or inexpensive books, the world has changed, and although the choices have become overwhelming, there are still more great books out there than I could ever read in a lifetime.

I look back and my love of books started from a simple decision: 

Someone gave me a book as a gift.

With the great diversity that is now available for such low costs, I would encourage people to give books or ebooks to people as gifts. When a new book comes out that I think my wife might like, I buy it on Amazon and it shows up on her Kindle Fire. How easy is that? To me, it’s about creativity, imagination and the solace that a book brings me from the stress and rush of the day-to-day world.

Read. If I could pass that message onto my kids and they were to listen, I’d be most satisfied that they would have a rich inner life. If you’re a reader, then spread the word: Give books to your family and friends. With many ebooks being under $3, that’s a great deal. Now I’m off. I have a date with A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness and need to get going. But before I do go, could you do me a favor? Share your story in the comment section. How did you become a reader?


Ron Vitale is the author of the dark fantasy novel Cinderella’s Secret Diary who hopes that his daughter will grow up to find her own voice and not allow others to dictate who and what she can be.

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