It was a weekend of sunburns, guitars, people in animal costumes, dubstep, Pinot Grigio in a bike thermos, puncture wounds, antibiotics, hair every color of the rainbow, screaming kids, screaming musicians, glitter, fried food and crowd surfing. I can’t imagine a much better experience.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’m sorry about that. Now that I’m deep in the throes of writing a novel I’m finding it very difficult to keep up with blogging as well. Even my showcase is late! Aargh! I can’t make any promises, but I’m really going to try from here on out to post at least once a week. Once the first draft is done things will hopefully lighten up and I’ll have more time to get back to blogging. But until then, please stick around! I haven’t disappeared, just been in hiding.
Here are my favorite indie finds for the month of September. Below is a brief summary of each and links to purchase. Please consider supporting these awesome indie authors by buying their work and leaving reviews for them on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords or wherever you normally purchase/review books. Thanks and I wish you all the best for October!
A Cappella Zoo – Editor Gina Ochsner
A Cappella Zoo Publishing, Issue 10, Spring 2013 , 343 pages
I couldn’t wait to get this collection of stories, poems and artwork in the mail. It was so beautiful when I unwrapped it, and I had to immediately flip through to check out all the awesome artwork. The name of the issue is called Bestiary: the best of the inaugural demi-decade, and it’s split into these awesome sections including Aquarium, Phylum, Topiary, and Crematorium. Everything about it is beautiful – layout, text, artwork, stories. This is exactly the kind of thing I love.
I’m not exactly sure how you would classify these stories – magical realism? Slipstream? Bizarro? The poetry is fantastic. One of my favorites, not just of this collection but of all time, is called A Secret Note from the Dream-Self by Nicelle Davis accompanied by artwork by Cheryl Gross. Stories about water women, houses that torture people, and many other unusual encounters are so engrossing you find yourself finishing stories almost before you realize you’ve begun them. Imagery and writing together create and incredible package that I highly recommend.
Swallowdown Press, Released July 2013 , 53 pages
This collection of stories was intense, at times disturbing, and incredibly well-written. The best one word description though would be heartbreaking. These three stories about people dealing with hurt and grief each in his or her own ways stuck with me long after I read them. Although they are each upsetting, they are incredibly human. I can’t imagine a more accurate way to depict loss, loneliness, and confusion. This book is part of an entire collection of shorts, each 99 cents on Amazon. I haven’t read the others but they are definitely on my list now!
Dogs make a pretty common companion to humans in literature. Some dogs become the focus of the story, as in Old Yeller or Shiloh. Other dogs saunter around the background, tagging along behind their owners, getting into mischief and commonly saving their humans from disaster.
Because I am a dog person and because I will be writing a dog into my new novel, I thought it would be appropriate to explore this fine creature in literature in a little more depth. So I’ve pulled from some of my own favorite resources to see just how dogs are written about. I’ll explore three aspects of dogs in literature – descriptions, interactions with humans, and loyalty/death.
Today I began working on the first draft of my new novel. I’ve been thinking about this one a long time, getting to know the characters and the setting, trying to find the tension in the story. The idea first came to me about eight months ago disguised as a different story entirely. But over the last several months I’ve worked on it enough that I’m pretty confident I know what direction to go. So onward!
I always seem to have a problem when I’m writing my novels though. At first I love it, everything goes along just fine. But after a couple of weeks I start to drag. I don’t know if it’s my energy or that I don’t know the story well enough or what. On several occasions this slump has been enough to derail me – as evidenced by three half finished novels sitting in a drawer somewhere.
So, I’m trying something new this time.
The biggest challenge self-published writers face is obscurity. There are so many books being produced that it’s hard just to get your book noticed. You work hard to market your book in every way you know how but with twitter feeds inundated with free books, new blog hops and book review sites popping up every single day, it can seem like there’s no way your book can stand out. However, if you have a truly great book that you’ve published yourself, you do have a few options available to you that the mass of cookie-cutter novels may not. One of these options is to enter (and hopefully win!) a self-published novel contest.