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review 2019-04-21 11:32
An entertaining and easy read.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - Terry Pratchett,Neil Gaiman

I am a fan of both Gaiman and Pratchett and Good Omens was an enjoyable read. My favourite parts were the end notes where the authors discuss working with each other. They inspired me to search for synergy with another. I have to admit though, and this may be unpopular, I found little synergy in the story. If anything it was less funny than books by Pratchett and less weird than books by Gaiman as if they had succeeded in toning each other down, rounding off the edges, until what was produced was more commercial but less uniquely theirs. Reading it, I imagined Aziraphale as Terry Pratchett and Crowley as Gaiman, and those images worked well for me.

 

Accessible and fun. An enjoyable read and perhaps a good entry point for both authors for a new generation.

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review 2019-02-10 18:52
or "People Susan Hill Has Met"
Howards End Is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home - Susan Hill

There were things I really liked about this book - the journey through a house full of bookcases, where many of the books Hill owns evoke memories of when and where she read them, or meeting the authors themselves. At times it feels like a who's who, but is enjoyable in spite of that. I have ordered three books on Hill's recommendations and I look forward to reading those soon. I appreciated her thoughts on reading and rereading books to get the most from them - slow reading as a skill to be relearned has much value and appeal.

 

There were things I liked less - Hill can be somewhat dismissive and derisive of certain writers, politics, social movements, people, books and technology. Many of her arguments seem somewhat circular or vague, and "the authors who I have met" parts got tiresome after a while. Some of the quotes used seemed to add little to the book and the section on "Reading for the Soul" just wasn't compelling, but perhaps that's me being equally dismissive.

 

Published at eighteen, invited to all the right parties, and mentored by very talented people it sounds as though Susan Hill's life has been rich and full. It was fascinating to get a glimpse of that. All in all I did enjoy the book. It took me years to take it off my shelf and it was worth the wait. 3.5/5*

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text 2019-01-20 11:00
A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Novel, Part One – Introduction

Whether you are starting a new novel, thinking about writing a novel, or stuck half way through the process, this series of articles is designed to offer help and new ways of looking at your craft.

 

Carmilla Voiez is a horror and fantasy author. Her novels have been published by indie publishing companies including Vamptasy Publishing, CHBB and Stone Circle Publishing and her short stories have been included in anthologies by Clash Books, Weird Punk Books, Stitched Smile, Siren Magazine, and Dragones Mecanicos. Her award-winning Starblood series is being adapted into a series of graphic novels illustrated by Anna Prashkovich. She has studied creative writing with the Open University and proof-reading with Chapterhouse. Carmilla also offers individually tailored editing packages for self-publishing authors.

 

This blog series will take you through the nine steps of writing and publishing your novel. It is designed for those of you planning your first adventure in writing, and those who feel they are missing something as they write but don’t know what. It may have some relevance to writers working on short stories, but it is designed to cover the challenges of longer pieces (50k words and over).

 

This introduction will set out the format of the course, and list the resources I will refer to throughout the articles. You may wish to add some of these books to your own reading list, but it is not obligatory.

 

Part Two – The Blank Page 

Includes: where to find inspiration for your - story, characters, and settings.

To plan or not to plan, that is one of many questions.

A cost-benefit analysis of NaNoWriMo.

 

Part Three – Content and Themes 

Character-based vs plot-based.

What do you want people to think about as and after they read the story?

 

Part Four – Style 

Perspective, language, tenses and chapter lengths.

 

Part Five – Writer's Block 

Keeping going when it gets tough.

 

Part Six – The End?

Rewriting, foregrounding the themes, deciding whose story this is.

 

Part Seven – Editing

Checking for consistency and avoiding unwanted repetition. Style sheets. Plugging the plot holes. Character arcs.

 

Part Eight – Proofreading

Understanding grammar. Use a dictionary. Common errors. The role of beta readers. Do you need to pay a professional editor?

 

Part Nine – Delivery

Traditional vs self publishing. How to find an agent. How to snag a publisher. The elevator pitch. The dreaded synopsis. Starting something new.

 

Part Ten – Promotion

Release parties. Paid adverts. Building connections. Book signings. Your Facebook page. Your website. Anthologies. Goodreads.

 

Join me on this journey through the writing process and feel free to comment on my blog if you have any specific questions related to the content or your own process. Learn the importance of a closed and an open door as you progress and start building a community of like-minded individuals who support each other’s efforts.

 

The resources I will be using while writing this course include:-

 

“Creative Writing” - Linda Anderson,

“On Writers and Writing” - Margaret Atwood,

“Becoming a writer” - Dorothea Brande,

“On Writing” - Stephen King,

“The Art of Fiction” - David Lodge,

“A Creative Writing Handbook” - Derek Neale,

“Story Structure Architect” - Victoria Lynn Schmidt,

“The Writer’s Journey” - Christopher Volger,

“Writing a Novel” - Nigel Watts,

and my own experiences.

 

Carmilla Voiez.

 

Check out my full bibliography on Amazon.

Follow me on Twitter.

Like my page on Facebook.

Connect with me on Goodreads

Subscribe to my newsletter.

Source: carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2018/10/04/A-Step-by-Step-Guide-to-Writing-a-Novel-Part-One-%E2%80%93-Introduction
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video 2019-01-19 13:26

Carmilla Voiez talks about Starblood and what inspired her to write the book.

Source: vimeo.com/304786745
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text 2018-07-31 13:04
Author interview with Johanne Levesque + "Trouble & Strife" Giveaway

  

 

We're happy to welcome Johanne Levesque and her debut novel Trouble & Strife. Keep on reading to get to know the author better, and win a review copy in the Trouble & Strife Giveaway

 

Trouble and Strife - Johanne Levesque

GIVEAWAY JULY 17 - AUGUST 15, 2018

Trouble and Strife - Johanne Levesque  

REQUEST A REVIEW COPY ->

Sometimes the smallest voices make the deepest impact.
Josephine Hadley, a 1930s Canadian housewife, fills her days looking after her children, her indifferent husband and a stream of Depression-era visitors. Her contribution to her guests is a bowl of stew and an open heart.
Her small world, however, is soon shattered by a tragic event which forces her to become the breadwinner. Can she run a business without sacrificing herself? And is it possible to act on a long-buried desire without remorse?
Johanne Levesque’s first novel, Trouble and Strife, is a poignant and heartbreaking look at a woman’s life in a fast-changing time. With intimate details and a deft poetic touch, Levesque has captured the spirit of an age where war and economic hardship altered the workplace, home and women’s lives forever.

 

 

What are you reading now?

 

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Middlemarch - George Eliot 

 

 

Was there one event that inspired your decision to become a writer?

 

Yes, it was the recession in 2008. My husband was a landlord and he lost a couple properties and he sounded like Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh. I told him, “I wonder what it was like for a landlord in The Great Depression. He challenged me to write about it.

 

Can you tell our readers more about your book Trouble and Strife, and who gonna love the story?

 

It is about a family with four children living in Toronto Canada during the Great Depression. The husband is a landlord and the wife stays at home to take care of four children and she find ways to help others during this financial crisis. Things get more and more difficult for the family and she struggles to cope under difficult circumstances..

 

 

How did the book story emerge?

 

Curiosity about what the Great Depression was like for people living in Toronto during the 1930’s. I riffled through archive newspaper for 10 years, going through microfiche to make the story as accurate as it could be with the historical events of the time included in the story.

 

 

REQUEST FREE REVIEW COPIES ->

 

 

You studied Psychology. Do you / How do you use your knowledge and experience from the psychological field to create your stories and characters?

 

Because I studied who what where how of human behavior I have a good grasp of motivation of my characters and why they act the way they do.

 

 

What are your writing plans?

 

I am in the process of writing the sequel of Trouble and Strife. The story will continue into the Second World War and we will see how the family copes during the difficult years of 1940-1945.

 

 

In your short bio we can read I only spoke French for the first 18 years of my life. I learned to speak English by reading One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest using a French English dictionary for most words. Does it mean literature was always important in your life and your life decisions?

 

Yes reading was my solace as a kid. Our house was filled with violence and chaos and my escape was books. Reading was my safe place where I could travel to other countries, immerse myself into a character and feel his or her thoughts and feelings. My only exercise was when I took my bike to the library and back. If I had to play dodge ball at school I placed myself where I could get hit right away so I could go back and read my books. I would get into a theme, like a whole series of books about a flight attendant and her adventures. I would read everything I could find about Apartheid, or Martin Luther King or the Holocaust before I was a teenager. I am afraid to say I preferred books over people. I am still a loner but I am much more social now...

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and genres? Have they influenced you and in what way?

 

I like the classics, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte, Nathaniel Hawethorne, Gustave Flaubert, Wilke Collins, Louisa M. Alcott, Leo Tolstoy, Harper Lee. They have influenced me because I love the old English way of speaking and I feel it is a pleasure and an education to read such great works.

 

 

You mentioned running 7 marathons. What are you doing when not writing?

 

I injured my Achilles tendon twice now so I am retired from running long distance. I am lucky enough to have a beach walking distance and I try to swim for one hour 5 days a week. I have a 4 month old Doberman puppy that I walk three times a day and when he is fully mature I will take him on short runs and hopefully swimming with me. I take him to obedience classes and take him to all my book shows. When he turns one year old he will take a test with the Red Cross and if he passes, he will be a Therapy Dog and we will visit retirement homes together. I volunteer with the Alzheimer Society in a program called Minds in Motion where I facilitate a group of people who have Alzheimer to exercise physically and mentally through games. It is a lot of fun and I enjoy it tremendously.

 

 

Three titles for a holiday break?

 

In January we always go to Tanga, Tanzania to visit an orphanage which we have sponsored for the past 5 years. We make sure they can afford to go to school, have backpacks, uniforms, shoes, tuition money. When we have extra money we do repairs on their building. We take them out somewhere. Last year we took them to a resort to dance on New years eve. And we took them on a local safari.

The three book I have chosen for this trip is Drood, by Dan Simmons, Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

 

Drood - Dan SimmonsDombey and Son - Charles Dickens,Jonathan LethemA Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

 

 

Paper book or ebook?

 

Always paper. I love the smell, the touch and feel of a book, I have to say I mistreat them, they are earmarked, highlighted, water stained and food stained, I use and abuse them.

 

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photo. And your writing spot, as well :)

 

My library is in an unfinished basement and my books are in boxes right now. My husband will build me a library but in the meantime there is not much to see. I work on a recliner in my living room also unfinished. Sorry no pics this time, maybe in the future...

 

But I can give you a picture of my husband and I with the orphans. My husband and I with the orphans. We do a fundraiser on Go Fund Me before we leave every year and make sure each child can go to school. Even the ones who got older over the years we pay for their college too. One is studying to be a nurse and one to be a teacher. We pay for their tuition plus all things related to school.

 

 

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