When working on my master’s degree, I had the opportunity to hear a speech by a famous YA literature author, specializing in initiation stories for middle schoolers. The majority of his stories are outdoor adventures, but one of his well-known stories begins with a scene he said he refused to allow his children to read. That was in 1996, and I’m still wondering… how could anyone write something he/she wouldn’t allow his own children to read but then have it published for other people’s children to read? I personally disagree with that philosophy. I won’t write anything I’d be ashamed of any of my past students reading, let alone my own children. I think that as your reading audience, everyone’s children should be as important to you as your own. What gives a writer the right to use people’s minds as dumpsters?
The very first book, Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel, needed updating! So much technology in it, that it required updating to keep up with today’s newest developments and improvements… just like computer scientists who need to stay current with the newest programming languages. So, this announces that the 4th version of this Consuming Fire novel is now available on Amazon, iTunes, and BN. A new feature with Amazon is that it is not only available as an ebook, but is now also available in printed paperback format. Can’t wait to get my hands on this book, a labor of love by Dan and me – and we are satisfied this version is “New & Improved” – a must-read! The Audible.com book should be released soon! Stay tuned for updates!
New Edition – First Book! It’s funny – I just wasn’t satisfied with my first novel. I mean, the plot and characters were good, but something bothered me. After writing 5 other books and rereading the first novel, Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel, I finally realized how I could revise it – there were a few “loose ends” – connections that I took for granted the reader understood – which I always told my students NOT to do. I used to remind them that the reader is not inside your head… Right! So taking my own advice, I set out to rewrite it and with the help of my partner/son, Dan, we did just that!! WOW! It was worth all the effort, too. Soon, it will be posted online as the 4th Edition, in place of the original text, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s a great feeling to be completely »
Gottta be truthful here! I really am not accomplished in this department… I’d rather be writing and I feel very comfortable sitting on my sofa, churning out the characters and stories and painting pictures in the reader’s mind. Social media is actually pretty hard for me… I’d rather be looking at the person I’m talking to, face-to-face. I prefer getting to read facial expressions and body language. You know, sometimes what you write on the phone, emails, or in social media is misunderstood because the reader can’t hear your voice and inflections. Words on paper seem so antiseptic and disconnected from warmth and familiarity. Guess I’m never gonna change my opinion, but I have to learn to get connected on social media because we need to promote our books – a new genre in literature, Christian suspense/thriller murder mysteries. Think about that one for a while! AND CHECK THEM OUT »
I’m embarking on a new venture: a new kind of book club. The book of choice is Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, a combination of an autobiography and fiction. This initiation book was written with rich imagery as it describes the relationship of a young boy and his redbone hunting hounds in the Ozark Mountains. The time period is 1920’s – 1930’s, a decade to which most senior citizens can relate and most people have had a pet at some point in life. The plan is to read this book together, a chapter at a time, and relate to the experiences of the main character, either writing them down in a booklet or drawing them. This exercise allows people to create a memory book about their life experiences to pass on to posterity. My husband, John, will be assisting in helping senior citizens create books about their life memories as »
Just got to tell you about The Man Who Invented Christmas – one great movie! Don’t care much for the title; never thought of Christmas as an invention – more of a blessed and miraculous event, actually. However, this movie is able to show the amazing dynamic of the interaction between the author and his characters as they take on a life of their own. And it’s true; once they become believable – come alive – their personalities begin to drive their behavior and this begins to drive the progression of the plot. Sometimes, it’s like the writer has to buckle in and go along for the ride as the characters develop the storyline (which the writer has determined) in their own style. If you get a chance to see this movie, don’t hesitate! And if there are any writers reading this – you’ll love the truth as writers see it – for »
I am someone who HATES revisions. And that’s pretty strange coming from a retired high school English teacher, right? My first book, Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel, was begun 30 years ago and went through 14 revisions before we published it as an ebook. Those revisions were basically due to changes in content as I got all the characters’ personalities figured out and as I realized that some scenes were just-over-the-line improbable. Now, since my son has become my content editor, we decided to REWRITE the first book, updating all references and usages of technology (including photography) and substituting ride-shares for cabs. What an amazing endeavor! I now know the depths that revision can take. The job is done and now we need a new title – one that incorporates the old title but definitely indicates this is one new & improved mystery/suspense thriller. Got any ideas? And finally, I’ll have »
And…a whole new career I’m embracing 100%. For those of you who like GarageBand, I’ve found that recording and editing on that program has become one of my favorite things to do. And of course, I liked it more after spending hours learning and perfecting my skills. My studio is a soundproof room in our house, complete with recording equipment our son Dan picked out for me. AND – he made wall hangings out of the book covers he’s created for each of our 6 books – check out this picture of my studio with those book covers hanging over my recording equipment. Creating the right environment is really encouraging, not to mention cool.
…though it’s really not fun to rewrite or re-record your book, there are advantages. My first book was so difficult to write because the entire story line and characters and setting were being created for the first time. Writing sequels wasn’t as difficult because they fed off the basics that were put in place in the first book. But here we are, the entire trilogy online with BN, iTunes, and Amazon and all three recorded and available on Audible.com. Sounds like a done deal, right? Welllll….since I’m a lot more experienced writer than I was with my first book, Consuming Fire: An Alexa Silven Novel, my editor and now manager, Dan, and I have decided to rewrite and update Consuming Fire. At first, I was disagreeable because that’s a lot of work. But as we progress, I’m actually excited to see this story evolving into something I’m really proud of. My son Dan is »
…finally available on Audible.com! This is the last book in the Alexa Silven trilogy. Can’t tell you how difficult it was to read, remove all extraneoous noises, and edit this recording. But I’m really glad I’ve learned these new skill sets. If you’re not learning and growing, you’re stagnating…at least that’s how it seems to work for me. You know, like spinning your wheels in the mud – lots of stuff flying in all directions, but you’re really not going anywhere. Catch the action in the Alexa Silven novels!