Every day, I drive past the local coffee shop once or twice or thrice, depending on what's on the agenda. Today I realized that there is--or at least should be--a symbiotic relationship between independent coffe shops and independent authors. It's the ideal pairing in my estimation, since there are a lot of foks who still appreciate and use coffee shops as a place to relax and read while enjoying their favorite cuppa. Since the advent of Kindle, Nook and other ebook readers (are there really any others?), it's harder to tell at a glance if patrons are reading novels or email and messages on their very smart phones. Myself, I still prefer 'real' books that I can hold in my hands, turn under a page corner (yeah, I know your're not supposed to do that), and use to press flowers. But it is the 21st Century and I suppose that there is a large advantage to making my books available in both formats. I just plain like sharing the stories and look forward to seeing/hearing reader responses, even any that might be critical; I can learn from others' reactions and might find ways to improve future novels. Meantime, back to work on the latest manuscript, set in 1950s Boston.
Genres: Do you select your books by genre OR
Cover: Is the artwork more important to you OR
Title: Do you select your books by the title OR
Author: Is the author's name recognition how you choose your next book?
Because I began writing only for my own creative outlet and recreation, I gave no thought whatsoever to the four questions above. However, these are important items to consider when composing and formatting a new book for release to the public; I know how I would answer these questions, but I'm often outside of the 'usual' parameters in many areas of real and virtual life, so I'd appreciate knowing how others view these features. Candid replies are treasured information.
Going to Visit Boston? An Invaluable Place to Get Info from the Folks Who Live There: It's a Priceless Resource.
Hinting at the content of a novel-in-progress that is unlike any of my others: She is a young woman intent on making and breaking molds literally and figuratively as part of an extended Italian-American family in Boston during the 1950s. She's stereotypically traditional until she isn't and then no one escapes the fun or the dangerous consequences when the large Benardo family starts WWIII on the North End the day Mary announces what she will be doing. Add in Interpol, union shenanigans, and a trio of cousins all born in the same month to different mothers, and you have a small window into the story.
Is OCD a blessing or a curse? Seems to me that it could be both, especially if you think of it in the context of writing books. I never viewed myself as having this disorder, but today I could almost be convinced, as I've just completed another edit of an already published title, to wit, "The Recipe Box: War for Parker Farm."
It is a much better book now, not because the story has changed much but because the mechanics of the thing have been revisited (again). With each read-through of the published versions, I've found ways to improve the appearance of the text and flow of the lines. I am learning that reading has a rhythm, just as a melody has rhythm.
To be truthful, I discovered that in high school when William Shakespear was required reading. At first I found his style nearly imcomprehensible; then, I discovered that he wrote with a certain rhythm and once I found it, I almost enjoyed his work. Almost. At least I preferred him to Chaucer.
The latter was easy enough to read, but the content was a bit disgusting to me and I read only as much as was required. Authors were something that the teacher and I disagreed on; I liked Zane Grey's westerns and my English teacher accused him of having "mental constipation and verbal diarrhea." The teacher liked Chaucer, and I accused him of writing stuff that was...well...disgusting. I did not care that it was vividly written, getting to the heart of the matter, down to the nitty-gritty of the characters. Those characters were just not anyone I wanted to spend time with.
Sierra is one of Canada's brightest rising stars in the music world; her melodies and lyrics reflect a rich inner life that connects with the listener's own kaleidoscope of emotions and memories. www.sierranoble.ca/
This entire site is a work in progress and you'll probably see it morphing weekly if not daily. Today I added an item, a widget. And that's even a real word. I wonder what year it was added to the American English lexicon. At any rate, if you should want to have an 'autographed' copy of an e-book for yourself or to give as a gift, I'm happy to inscribe it per your specifics in the 'comment' box that will appear when you click the link. I began this little process a few hours ago and just decided that I would not go to bed until I'd figured out how to do it and had updated this site and Facebook with the widget. When I need sleep, my brain tends to go into rhyme mode and the longer I looked at 'widget' the more lines occurred to me. Digit. Gidget. Midget. Yep, a sort of wicked little annoying link you must click, midget-digit-widget, etc.
I noticed that on my author's page in Amazon, it is not obvious in the book list that all titles are available in both formats, so I just wanted to make that clear. Some folks have a very definite preference for one or the other and some of us want both.
The Nightmare Trilogy has garnered high marks from readers in a very wide range of ages: the youngest was a lad of 10 and the oldest of whom I am aware was a 93 year-old woman. I was approached by a 70-something gentleman who enthused, "That book was magnificent." Wow, I was stunned, not expecting a fellow to walk up to me at a large gathering and tell me he'd read "In the Gloved Hand." I don't constantly think about 'being an author' so when someone asks me about it or says they've liked one of the books, it still surprises me. Definitely, older readers, meaning at least AARP age, will relate to some things in the story lines more than younger ones, but having been alive during WWII certainly is not a requisite for understanding or enjoying the plots. It just means that some of us feel things in a different manner than those whose lives were not directly affected by the war.
The 10 year old read Book 1, "The Taste of Violets," and the 93-year-old "In the Gloved Hand" and "The Taste of Violets." No one has volunteered a review of Book 3, "The Pheasant's Daughter," and I do not recommend it for a 10 year-old. These books emphasize the relationships between men and women of very different backgrounds, the human commonalities, and the effect of war on the everyday lives of these folks long after WWII is over. They are not morbid but they contain extremely stressful situations for the characters, and they contain some areas of intense intimacy. By that I do not mean explicit or gratuitious sex; rather, intimacy in its broadest sense and in a positive way. There is also a good bit of humor in all of my books as well as a thread of mystery and suspense.
The shorter books are appropriate for all ages; however, adults will get a slightly different story than will youngsters reading the same material.
In the years since the first editions of Book 1 and Book 2 of The Nightmare Trilogy were published, I closed my accounts that included the book reviews, so cannot document them for you. The publisher is no longer in business, so all of those reviews have gone the way of the dodo. I will begin some marketing efforts shortly, so will post what and when soon.
Today I sent an email to every friend and relative in my personal address book to let them know about my latest adventures with writing. Justin and I are in a holding pattern with our film/s project/s, so this seemed like the right time to send more of my novels out into the ether. The first step was creating a mailing list. I haven't needed one before this in personal mail, so it was a learning experience and I can now say emphatically, I prefer writing to making lists. I did remember to blind cc everyone except the original recipient, Justin, because I, too, am not crazy about having everyone in the world knowing my personal email! (Although it is apparent that all of the porn sites and lots of folks desperate to date me from Russia, and those eager to enlarge body parts that I do not possess already have it.)