The Writer’s bible

I’ve read many, many articles, webpages and books about writing a novel and I’ve come to realise that most of these people don’t seem know what they’re talking about! They have been filling my head full of useless, vague, repetitive, patronizing etc etc information that are supposed to help, but in no way do.

….but, (thank god!) I’ve struck gold with one book. It’s called The Fire in Ficiton by Donald Maass. He is a genius, and unlike other books on writing, this one really has the answers. It is the missing piece to the puzzle and I guarantee it can help YOU! There’s so much valuable help, insight, knowledge in this book, it’s the only one you’ll ever need. At £11.69 is a bargain, though what you get for £11.69 is priceless. I wish I found this book a long time ago, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time and money.

Go buy this book for yourselves, then buy a copy for every writer you know!!


The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life – Kerry Reichs

I’ve just finished reading this book another that I found with the help of a review from A good book about a woman who attending an extreme number of weddings, in the beginning enjoying them and by the end struggled with her own ideas of what romance/love etc should be and deciding she doesn’t want to get married herself.

Overall it was funny and different but what I like the most was when I got a part of the way through the book I noticed their was a talking cockatiel, his favourite saying “Road trip, don’t forget the bird”, this rung bells in my head. I remembered that I had read a Kerry Reichs book before. I thought maybe she had a thing for birds but as I got further into the story I realised that although the characters were different, the story was about a member of the same family from the other book I’d read. I looked into it and going by the characters ages this is the first book and ‘Leaving Unknown’ was the second.

I loved the idea that the two books were linked and have never known anyone else to do this in the same way. The book isn’t a sequel, it focuses on the sister of the girl in the other book. Completely different lives and stories but it made me feel closer to the story having kind of deeper insight into their world and lives. I already knew bits and pieces about some of the characters from the other book, it was weird, but nice and even though I read the books in the wrong order, reading about the character from the other book, through the eyes of the character in this book was kind of like catching a glimpse of someone long after their story had finished.

The first book ‘Leaving Unknown’ or ‘The good luck girl’ as it’s named in England, is funny, quirky and the main character is so loveable. The story is of a girl who decides she is going to take a road trip to a load of strangely name places around America. It’s a good story but nothing like I expected. I was gripped from the beginning, though all through it I felt there was something odd about the character, something that was hidden or held back.Then later in the story the character relieved something that came completely out of left field. It niggled at me but I liked that for once (I presume this was deliberate) the reader wasn’t meant to know everything about the main character, we find out at the same time as the other characters instead of knowing the whole time and wondering when the characters will find out themselves.

It wasn’t exactly a twist but more of something that wasn’t expected but at the same time, thinking back over the character’s behaviour, the way she is and the way she thinks, ‘the not twist’ completely makes sense, and then I felt guilty for ever thinking her ways were good/funny/quirky and lighthearted when looking at the whole picture they really weren’t

Read it, it’s great. It was the first girly book i’d picked up in a long while and it was a refreshing change from the English chick lit I was reading at the time. I was impressed and I’m itching to spoil it for you but then you wouldn’t go and read it and it’s really worth reading yourselves.

World Book Night – The Night

We looked forward to giving out our copies of ‘Northern Lights’ at an event we specifically chose to attend, we were told other people would there giving books out that night too. I thought it would be so much better to give them out at the event where people came out on a Friday night to be apart of World Book Night and to get hold of a book rather than of handing them out to passers-by who may only take the book because it was free.(I heard about this happening a lot).

I had visions of a great night handing out books, talking about them, meeting people etc etc
What it actually happened went like this, we arrived at the venue and the person in charge of the event took our books into another room while the ‘entertainment’ took place. We stood up for two hours watching a great gospel choir that sung briefly,followed by a bunch of miserable looking 12-year-old girls and their dance teacher(?) ‘dancing’ around, out of time to the music, repeating the same few moves throughout five difference songs. Their teacher seemed to crave the attention and completely overshadowed the girls the whole time. They were a professional dance club but if it were my child I’d have asked for the membership fees back.

After that was final over the audience was bored to tears listening to two local quiz teams answering questions about Dr Who and children’s TV shows.

Finally,as an after thought the book giving was announced. People soon woke up and proceeded to crowd into a small room where all the books were laid out. We were kind of pushed to one side as the staff took over, even though we were supposed to physically hand the books out to whom we chose. There was about 48 copies of 15 different titles and only one other ‘giver’ stayed, the others dumped their books and went home. This really annoyed me, there were hundreds of people who applied to be givers and were turned down and these people couldn’t even be bothered to do it.

The whole point of World Book Night was for people to give others a book they might not normally read/buy or people who don’t read at all and for them then to pass them on, encouraging someone else to read them. Instead, much to the annoyance of the woman in charge(she told people they could only take one book each, i thought this was unfair since there was about 600 books and about 150 people who would like to read more than one of the titles) people just helped themselves because the books were free. Their children mostly under 12 were allowed to take what they wanted and neither the staff nor their parents stopped them. It was such a waste of books, apart from our title none of the others were suitable for children and I imagine they will end up in a cupboard or thrown away.

Loads of books were abandoned even with people loaded them into their bags but I’m glad we managed to rescue some of ours and kept some back. Some of ours are being sent to local care homes in hope they will brighten someone’s day, some have been given out in the break room of a local hospital and the rest i think will find homes as we go….

I’d be interested in hearing about anybody else that had a disappointing experience with such a great event.

“Welcome to my world”

I’ve just finished reading Miranda Dickinson’s Welcome to my world and I loved it. It’s been a while since I’ve felt really satisfied after reading a girly book. This chick lit book isn’t so much about romance like the rest and it’s not all perfect characters with perfect lives. It was a good story, the characters are charming and a little different from the norm in this sort of genre, they were interesting and real. They were definitely different from the bog standard 2D characters i usually find myself reading about, but all the same I felt like I really knew them.The setting wasn’t a big city where everything is exciting and perfect but it’s a place you can imagine clearly even if you’ve never been anywhere like it. It’s a place that feels like home, the characters invite you in and make you feel welcome.

What i most enjoyed about this book was the fresh description. Although, I’ve not read anything I thought had boring description, the words on these pages really stood out to me. It’s the first time I’ve read a book where I’d really noticed the descriptions/metaphors/similes(not because i don’t normally) I kept finding myself thinking ‘that’s a really good way of writing it’ or ‘i wouldn’t of thought of putting it like that’. I loved how original those were(though i can’t think of any off the top of my head. Will add some at a later date) and how easily I was able to see what the author was showing me.

I really recommend reading it and if you’re not into chick lit, read it anyway because it’s a great example of originality, it’s been a while since I’ve read about someone or some place, written so well I could almost reach out and touch it.

I went back through the book, below are a few snippets of description that I particularly enjoyed reading.

“Large spots of rain began to pepper her head and shoulders, catching the light from the street lamp as they fell; a shower of shimmering crystals splashing around her as she remained frozen to the spot.”

“The sun was beginning to dip behind the early evening clouds, gilding everything in rich golden light.”

“Brazilian rainforest canopies, throwing spotlights of pure gold onto the forest floor hundreds of feet below.”

“Outback Australia, its surface cracked by the scorching sun and peppered with skeletal frames of weather-beaten trees..”

“When their lips meet, its like a billion shooting stars colliding, filling every atom of darkness with shimmering light.”

World Book night 2011

I came across World Book Night on The Book People’s website just after Christmas. Luckily the deadline for applicants had been extended so I….well my fiance applied on our behalf.

For those who haven’t heard of it, World Book Night follows a few days after World Book Day, that’s usually run in schools. The kids are given vouchers and/or a free book to encourage reading. When I was at school it was just kicking off and I definitely looked forward to getting a free book since I didn’t get enough pocket-money to be able to walk into Waterstones to purchase a book. Since, it’s really bugged me how a lot of kids no longer use the vouchers or bother collecting the books, I’d love a free book! Finally, there’s something similar….better even, for kids, adults, for everyone.

On 5th March one million books will be given away for free across the UK and Ireland. 20,000 applicants were selected to be the ‘givers’ and will distribute their chosen book. Each applicant was asked to select a title from a list of 25 books that they’d already read and wanted to share with others.

I think it’s a great idea, though I’ve read a lot of comments from annoyed booksellers that don’t agree.
I really wanted to get involved but shamefully I’d not read a single book on the list. My fiance had read and enjoyed Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. So we picked that and luckily have been chosen as givers ourselves. I’m sure it’s a great book, I’ve been told a bit about it but I’m kicking myself because I’ve since come across two other books that I’d like to read that happen to be on the list.

Anyway, the aim is to encourage people who are ‘reluctant readers’, people with less access to books or just someone you think is deserving and would appreciate it.

I was on Facebook the other day reading through the comments and people have some really good ideas of how they will distribute their books. Some people will be taking theirs into hospitals, handing them out to fed up commuters on the London Underground,some are having parties or carefully handpicked students/people who would really appreciate a book. Some made their selection to increase awareness of related things such as Autism with the book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I think it’s an amazing idea and wish I’d known more about some of the other books to have been able to do similar.

There’s a lot of annoyed people who weren’t picked to be givers.It’s disapointing that some of them had really good ideas and specific plans for the books. Others just thought they deserved to do it more than the next person. It’s about the books and who gets them, not the person giving them, people should keep that in mind.

We’re hoping to give half our books out at my fiance’s work since there are people working there from all walks of life and also (if they let us) join an event happening a few towns away where they are already giving out books. There are events up and down the country to draw more attention to the whole night, unfortunately not near us. It’s worth checking out your local one or attending the celebrations in Trafalgar Square on 4th/5th March. It’s gunna be a good one….!/worldbooknight?v=info

Scott Sigler

This morning I read an interview of Scott Sigler, a New York Times Best-selling author.

Not someone that I’ve heard of before since I’m not really a fan of science-fiction/horror but I thought the way he found success was really interesting.

As I understand it, in 2005 as a unpublished author, Sigler recorded an audio version of his novel(read by himself) split it into episodes and released it via podcast. “Earthcore became the world’s first podcast-only novel” achieving over 10,000 listeners by the time the last episode was aired.

I think it’s really impressive and obviously did the job. For all those interested in the thriller/horror/sci-fi genre, you should check out his website You’ll find plenty of free audio books available to listen to, links to buy his novels in print and an author dedicated to his fans.

Even I’m temped to see what he’s all about.