Thanks to Reading Recommendations-promoted author, Paul Butler, for asking me the questions in this interview on his blog!
Setting is often one of the most fascinating aspects of a crime novel. Sherlock Holmes would not have been the same without London, its hansom cabs, its street gangs, and its sharp division between the capital’s east and west ends. More recently, Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels shoulder the history of Edinburgh, with its pubs, its narrow streets, and its seedy antiquity living on into the 21st century.
Anne Cleeves’s Jimmy Perez novels exemplify another kind of place-based crime fiction. Most of us in the English-speaking world have heard of Shetland, but very few people have set foot on the northern Scottish Isle. Placing a story in a location that is real yet quite remote has both advantages and challenges for the author.
This issue is the natural starting point for a Q & A with Canadian-born author Susan M. Toy, whose racy and compelling novel, Island in the Clouds…
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I’m reblogging this post I wrote in April 2016 to update with the information and inclusion of One Woman’s Island, the 2nd Bequia Perspectives novel that has since been published as a eBook. So I’d like to again make this small request of all readers …
Yes, I know this news is going to be hard to believe, but after 4 years in publication (both as an eBook and in print) Island in the Clouds will finally have a sister-novel to share your shelf or space on your eReader! I finished writing an umpteenth draft of One Woman’s Island a week-and-a-half ago and now it’s in the hands of my editor, Rachel Small. I think at this point in time, after writing and rewriting the story of Mariana on Bequia these past 12 years, I’m more relieved than excited. Now comes the ultra hard work of preparing the final edited manuscript for ePublication, sometime later this year.
That publication date has been moved back further, however, because yesterday I discovered this link to a competition for which the new novel qualifies. But the novel needs to be unpublished. Might as well give that a shot…
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Some are still biting the hand that feeds all of our promotion and publicity needs … This ongoing problem of bullying reviewers has to stop RIGHT NOW!! (See as well my blog post of a few days ago, Authors continuing to behave badly …)
*Ok, I’m honestly a little scared of posting this as I don’t want any more harassment from the wrong people…
The above picture pretty much sums up how I feel today. I’m exhausted and drained from all the horrible things that have happened recently. I’ve faced cold distant treatment, attacks on facebook and now I’ve been bullied privately, all because I wanted to be honest and help out an author.
Back in October I wrote this post A Tough Decision – Don’t blame the Book Blogger Blame Your Fellow Indies 😦 after facing a load of abuse from some indie authors. In the post I talked about my tough decision to stop reviewing indie books, but several weeks later, after having only good communications, I took back my ‘no-indie’ policy and started receiving indie requests again. BEFORE I go on I must point out that this post isn’t talking about all the…
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(This is primarily meant for authors, but could possibly work for any creatives.)
At what time during the life of your book will you declare yourself to have been successful? Not successful according to others, but according to you – yourself. When will that moment come that you declare yourself to be a success as a writer?
– When your book has sold thousands of copies and is listed everywhere as a big bestseller?
– When you’ve made enough money on sales to have covered any out-of-pocket expenses for publication and compensate for the inordinate time you spent writing the book?
– When your book receives the 50 reviews or 100 reviews required by online sales sites to push it into the next level and generate more sales?
– When many bloggers and online reviewers want to promote you and your book on their sites?
– When you hear privately from friends and family, or even complete strangers, that they have purchased and enjoyed reading your book?
– When you receive reviews and promotional blurbs from advance readers who have enjoyed your book and praise it?
– When you type “Final File Ready For Formatting” and send that off to be professionally formatted, published and made available for public consumption?
– When you push back from the computer after finishing up those final edits of your book and know that you have done everything you could to make this the best book possible … you’ve written the story the way only you can tell it, you’ve had the book professionally edited, the cover has been professionally designed, and your editor and any beta readers who have helped you are in agreement that this is a great book. Is this the moment you consider yourself to be successful?
Now flip my list over and read in reverse order.
If, like me, you can say – honestly – that “when you push back from the computer” is the moment you consider yourself to be successful then you’ll be able to look at the rest of these achievements with great satisfaction, if and when you achieve them. Because while they will show to others that you have reached some level of success, none will ever match that initial success you feel in actually writing and finishing the book! There are so many, many people in the world who, every day, say, “I’m going to write a book. How hard can it be?” You know, after having completed writing a book, exactly how hard it is! But … you were successful in having finished writing and that, to me, is something to celebrate – even if you only celebrate with yourself and in your own mind. No one can ever take away that sense of accomplishment and, once you have completed your great book, there is a terrific amount of satisfaction in having done the very best work that you are capable of doing.
All the rest of the “goals” on this list are icing on the cake, or coloured streamers on the bicycle handles, as JP McLean declares! If you are self-satisfied that you’ve written the best book you can then you will find readers for that book. And the other levels of “success” will follow on. Eventually.
In the meantime, give yourself a satisfied pat on the back!
I would notice, Happymeerkatreviews. And many others would, too. Ignore the others and keep doing what you do best – review books!
This is inspired by my very depressed mood recently which seems to be getting worse 😦
You Do Not Want The Truth
Would anyone notice,
If I left this here place?
Would anyone even see it,
The pain that’s on my face?
Didn’t want to hurt or harm,
I just wanted all the best.
But no matter what I said,
You saw me as a pest.
Said you wanted honest,
Said you wanted truth.
I gave it, you attacked me,
Or acted all aloof.
Countless times I’ve had to,
Explain my actions here.
Instead of feeling welcomed,
You left me feeling fear.
Instead of being helpful,
You didn’t understand.
Think you know better,
Bury your head in sand.
I’ve had a year of all this,
Trying to help you to see.
That you are not as you think,
Being the best you can be.
But every time I speak up,
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From author, Kevin Brennan, a conundrum … and a special on his latest novel, Fascination!
I had just been rejected by Ereader News Today for the second time in two months. Something in me snapped.
There aren’t very many effective ways to promote indie books, and without promotion the whole self-publishing wheel stops turning. And not just promotion but low prices too — generally 99 cents or even free. I’ve complained before …
But when ENT declined to promote Fascination again last week, I decided I had to find out why. So I appealed the decision.
I described my history with ENT — three novels in three years, all with successful campaigns via ENT — as well as my earlier publication history. Parts Unknown. William Morrow/HarperCollins. I’m not a shoe salesman who decided to “write up” this great idea for a novel I’ve always had.
Bridget from ENT wrote me back within a few hours and explained that Fascination had been declined — get…
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