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Showing posts from April, 2017

Is Beauty And The Beast Just For Kids?

I haven't seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie yet. Somehow it seems odd to look for a live-action version of a Disneyesque version of a familiar fairytale. But I might see it one day.

Meanwhile I was given a copy of "Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales about Animal Brides and Grooms from around the World" to read. I suddenly found that Disney's version wasn't so strange, and that there are far more versions of the familiar fantasy than I'd ever known. Myths and legends, from Greek, Native American and more... stories of wisdom and folly, warnings, and messages of love that sometimes conquers all... a fascinating collection... and not for kids!

"Sammy's Broken Leg (Oh No!) and the Amazing Cast that fixed it" isn't strictly for children either. A fun picture book, it includes, very naturally, an image of the instructions for care of Sammy's cast, plus a very realistic look at how a small child will struggle when unable to play, and how…

To Kindle Direct Or Not To Kindle Direct

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There's a fantastic kindle authors contest going on - kindle storyteller 2017 - and you can enter it any time up to May 19th. All you have to do is

release a book on kindle - at least 5,000 words and no less than 24 pages in print; all your own work; not violating any laws etc - create a print version - easy using the new kindle beta print, which looks almost the same as Createspace but without distribution to other vendors, make sure you use the right keywords (simple to cut and paste) andenroll your book in kindle direct.
All of which should be really trivial if you happen to have a novella lying around almost completed on your computer. I had three, and I had wonderful friends encouraging me to try. So I published them all.
Obey the first rule - easy; obey the second - fine and a perfect chance to try out that kindle print - I LOVE the covers! (Not sure I like the fact that you have to pay full price to buy YOUR OWN BOOK, but they say they'll fix that when it's out of bet…

What's In A Mystery?

I read a book called "The Mystery Tomb" recently. Can you guess, it was a mystery? Characters had mysterious backstories. Locations revealed unexpected treasures. Desire and intention collided while truth slipped and slid, awaiting the final reveal. Mystery for sure. "Deadly Spirits" is a mystery driven by a wonderfully human narrator whose favorite spirits come in bottles, but whose life revolves around mysterious deaths. "Raining Men and Corpses"? has to be mystery and humor for sure. Meanwhile "Dead Shot" is a more juvenile mystery-adventure with deeply serious themes.

Then there's "Girl With All The Gifts." But it's that horror isn't it? Except it's also a mystery, filled with the question of how, why or what she is, and how, why or what she might hold as the clue to the future. A mystery that doesn't  resolve all it's clues, Gifts proves all the better perhaps for not doing so, and lingers in the mind. Does…

Are the Genders Equal in Childrens Books?

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Today I'm delighted to welcome Sonia Panigrahy, the author of Nina the Neighborhood Ninja to my site. (Click on the link for my review, or find it on Amazon here). Lots of picture book and storybook heroes are boys, so it's nice to read this one with valiant Nina as the protagonist. And it's great to read how Sonia feels about those children's characters.
Gender Equality in Children’s Books, by Sonia Panigrahy
Over the past decade, I grew into the role of an aunt to my network of friends and family with children. Having been a book worm as a child, I was excited to share the love of reading with them, opening a new world of imagination and knowledge. We often say that a child’s brain is like a sponge and books are a wonderful way to help them absorb life’s lessons.
The books society produces reflects the lessons of what our society chooses to teach its members, including its youngest members. Progressive societies see education as a social equalizer, as noted by educatio…

Who do kids learn their lessons from?

Who do kids learn their lessons from? The obvious answer is from teachers at school. Perhaps from parents at home. But what about from teddy bears, dogs, birds or snakes? If they're reading books, they might learn lessons from all of these. And if they read the first book in my list below, the parents just might learn the odd lesson too. So from where or what did you learn your most important lessons?

Creature Comforts, the extraordinary life of Cassandra Jones, by Tamara Hart Heiner is the first in a series of novels for pre-teen girls, centering on the adventures of a very ordinary ten-year-old. She's a fairly observant 10-year-old, and parents would be wise to learn that their disagreements and distractions are easily visible to their kids. I'd like to have seen more resolution to the tale, but it looks like a good series with a very convincing character and voice. Enjoy with some two-star easy-drinking coffee.

Talon 2 On The Wing by Gigi Sedlmayer offers life lessons fro…

Different Genres, Different Names?

Some authors change their names when they write in different genres. Some change their publishers. Some publishers have subgroups for different genres. And some just ... publish ... write ... go for it.

I think I was trying to be "organized" when I "went for it" and tried to get different publishers for each of my genres. I didn't want to change my name - it's mine! But I didn't want to confuse readers, so I sent my children's Bible stories to a Christian Publisher, Cape Arago Press (actually, they asked me for them, which still fills me with hope). My contemporary novels went to a literary publisher, Stonegarden.net, who closed down. Then they went to a contemporary publisher, Second Wind Publishing, who slowed down. Now they're with another contemporary publisher, Indigo Sea, and I'm wondering if book 3 will ever be released. Meanwhile my speculative fiction went to Gypsy Shadow, who "released" me for lack of sales. Then they ...…

What's In A Title?

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I got a book in the mail the other day. It's title was "This Book Needs A Title." I read a poem in the poem with the same title. And I pondered, what's a title there for anyway.

The author has now produced TBNAT 2. Meanwhile I struggle to write, struggle to get my publishers to release anything, and struggle to catch up with book reviews. The writing's fun - it's just a pain being squished into an ever-shrinking corner of an ever-more-cluttered bedroom when I HATE CLUTTER! (Pause while I dream of dry redecorated basement, maybe by Christmas if I'm lucky, but hey, I'm pretty lucky to even have a basement. Why am I complaining?) Pushing publishers to publish is less fun - my publishers tend to have babies, get sick, get overwhelmed, and even close their doors - please don't close your doors, PRETTY PLEASE! But the book reviewing is always fun and doesn't tie me to that cluttered bedroom. If it's a real book (the sort that can come in the mai…