—New York Times
“A heart-rending epic…truly marvelous.”
One of the most beloved novels of all time, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough’s sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback, returns to enthrall a new generation.
The Thorn Birds is a book from my past, a sweeping story about the frailty of human lives and relationships. Set on the fictional sheep farm of Drogheda, in the Australian Outback, it features the loves of three generations of the Cleary family and covers the period from 1915 to 1969.
Meghann “Meggie” Cleary is the only daughter of Paddy, a poor sheep shearer living in New Zealand, and Fee, from an aristocratic and wealthy background. When we are introduced to Meggie, her parent’s already have five other children, all boys, and her overworked mother has…
Robbie has been reading Death On The Danube by Jennifer S. Alderson.
I am a great fan of Jennifer S. Alderson’s Adventures of Zelda Richardson books as I really enjoy the fast pace and wonderfully exotic locations that feature in this series. When this first book in Ms Alderson’s new cozy mystery series became available, I quickly snatched it up to see what this versatile author can do in this slightly different genre. I have recently visited Budapest, so I was also keen to see how this amazing city is featured in this book.
I was not disappointed, either with regards to the genre or the setting of Death on the Danube. As a cozy mystery, this book is shorter than the Zelda books and, as a result, the characters are not as fleshed out. this was not a…
One of the books that I enjoyed over the holidays was the novella The Hat from C.S. Boyack… and here is my review.
About the book
Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water.
She inherits an old hat from her grandmother’s estate, but it belonged to her grandfather. This is no ordinary hat, but a being from an alternate dimension. One with special powers.
Lizzie and the hat don’t exactly hit it off right away, but when her best friend’s newborn is kidnapped by a ring of baby traffickers, Lizzie turns to the hat for help. This leads her deep into her family history and a world she’s never known.
Wow! It’s already Friday again. Not that I’m complaining, especially since I have a three-day weekend coming up. But time is flying and we’re already over halfway through January. Not to mention I waited until Thursday night to write Friday’s post.
Our weather has been a little crazy of late (nothing new for Texas). Not much cold but we had storms last Friday night that ushered in a cold front. Saturday was one of those days when it was best to stay indoors. The weather cleared late in the afternoon. We had a heavy frost overnight, but fog and clouds moved in just before sunrise. The result was this:
Okay, not the best photo in the world, but I was standing on my front porch in shirt sleeves and wearing slippers!
So now, enough about me. Here are this week’s links:
And even if you have the money, having your book accepted as a “Featured Deal” is ultra-competitive. The privilege of getting a spot in the newsletter is awarded to only a select few. BookBub chooses their titles using a complex process that predicts what their subscribers most want to read.” Sounds like a lottery to me.
When I was young, I never questioned the fact that my imagination was a vivid and constant companion. It was a river flooding through my life and in whose waters I could baptize myself whenever I wished—and I wished often. I was a dreamer of dreams and a viewer of visions. As a child, I would stare out the window on long trips and watch as horses and bandits and cowboys and wild outlaw lovers raced through the rolling countryside beside the car. I never washed dishes or pulled weeds or rode my horses or jumped on the trampoline without my creativity adding something to the seen in ways unseen to others but deeply vivid and meaningful to myself.
I took my ever-present ima” I can’t imagine anything more scary than losing my creativity. I’ve experience such during the dark years and at times of illness. As I age, I do get slower for sure, but there’s still the thrill of discovery.
Most authors know that the first pages of a novel are the most crucial and carry the weightiest burden in their entire book. The opening scene must convey so many things that often the author will have to rewrite it numerous times to get it right.
But the first page is especially crucial to get right.” The best way I think to start the journey is in the middle of the first scene. Not a just got out of bed, mirror moment either. Skip the boring parts. Lean in and whisper that all important clue as to what the character wants or knows. Pretend she’s your best friend and she’s about to tell you the juicy gossip. Find your beginning there.
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://shirley-mclain.net/2020/01/13/do-you-enjoy-revision/ “Now on to the main point of this blog. You were asked if you enjoyed the revision of the books that you wrote or are writing. I can’t say I enjoy it much. I would never make a good editor in my mind. When I’m writing I depend heavily on my writing group at FanStory.com. I can read over a page and I do not see any of the mistakes they find for me. My mind put it down on the paper and it doesn’t let me see everything it should.
There is a article in this months The Writer magazine on Revision. The author, Bernard Malamud believes “Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing”. He also pointed out specific steps to take to help you get through the revision process. Here are his tips, but if you get the chance do read the entire article. It gives you lots of information.” I enjoy revision to a point. I love straightening everything out and getting it in the flow but I hate the nitpicks. This verb. That subject. That’s why I rely on others to help me with the mechanics as well as the rest of the things needing fixing.
Guys. We do not talk about context vs. text vs. subtext enough in the industry!
And this creates some problems! (which I’ll touch on).
So here is a “quick sheet” on these three things.
In writing tips, we talk about text a lot. But I feel like we don’t talk enough about context and subtext in this industry. Both are vital to good storytelling and often misunderstood or even mixed up. So today I wanted to go over and define the differences between context, text, and subtext, and explain when and how to use them.” Some very important things to study!
1. https://stevelaube.com/public-domain-in-2020/ “According to the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, works published between 1923 and 1977 were given an extension to their copyright from 75 years to 95 years. Works published after 1978 are under copyright for the life of the author plus 70 years.
This means that works published in 1924 are now in the public domain. They can be reproduced, revised, performed, etc., without having to pay any royalties to the estate. Every year for the next 50+ years, there will a new batch of properties that will become public domain on January 1.
This year’s group includes some well-known works, including:
Books” After reading Charles Yallowitz’s blog (Legends of Windmere.com) on Disney copyright and how they are making it harder and harder for authors to get their rights back to a work as Disney keeps increasing the copyright for works, it’s something I think all authors should keep in mind as they peruse their contracts.
2. https://nailyournovel.wordpress.com/2020/01/14/story-as-metaphor-talking-to-ann-napolitano-author-of-dear-edward/ “As you might know, I’m fond of novels that are bold metaphorical concepts and haunting stories. A few months ago I came across an advance copy of Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, the story of a 12-year-old boy who is the only survivor of a plane crash. He struggles to find a way to live, having lost everything, including his brother, mother and father. The narrative of his present life is intercut with the hours of the flight, the people whose last hours he shared, who will stay with him for ever. It’s a spellbinding read and I’m thrilled to be able to talk to Ann, keyboard to keyboard, today.”
I hope last year held many blessings for you, and I hope the coming year will be even better. Maybe you met your writing goals, hopes, and dreams in 2019. But even if you didn’t, you can still make this coming year a great one. And one way to help that happen will be to write—and to write plenty. How? Here are a few suggestions:”
3. https://awriterofhistory.com/2020/01/16/the-challenge-of-going-way-back-in-time/ “On its surface, the writing of historical fiction seems straightforward: pick a theme, premise, or concept from at least 50 years ago (the official minimum), spend some time researching locations, conducting interviews, studying photographs or artwork, reading documents, letters, memoirs, articles, etc. And then write your book.
Beyond the obvious challenges of having the time/resources to do it, having or not having a publisher to accept it (not a problem for an Indie author like myself), and all the other challenges that novel writing presents, the path to creating a work of historical fiction seems fairly direct, albeit sometimes—many times!—daunting.
But here’s another complication I encountered in publishing my recent time-slip novel, NEANDER: A Time Travel Adventure: a lack of most of the resources listed above. Why? Because my time frame drops back to 40,000 years ago!”
On its surface, the writing of historical fiction seems straightforward: pick a theme, premise, or concept from at least 50 years ago (the official minimum), spend some time researching locations, conducting interviews, studying photographs or artwork, reading documents, letters, memoirs, articles, etc. And then write your book.
Beyond the obvious challenges of having the time/resources to do it, having or not having a publisher to accept it (not a problem for an Indie author like myself), and all the other challenges that novel writing presents, the path to creating a work of historical fiction seems fairly direct…