It’s been a good week for yet more book-related activities after the excitement at Winchester Writers Conference last weekend:
1)SOMETHING NICE, but not unexpected: I received an email from the Lamma-zine reviewer of Paper Lanterns, John Cairns, with a link to his own e-zine, Cairns Media. He’d previously asked if he could quote an excerpt from my novel there, and here it is, complete with some of his own pictures to illustrate the scene from Paper Lanterns when Ann arrives at the ferry pier on Lamma island.
If you’ve read it already, you might like to see the photos, and if you haven’t, you’ll get a flavour of the book and the accuracy of my descriptions when writing the novel.
2) SOMETHING NICE AND TOTALLY UNEXPECTED: I solved the mystery of how Tammy from Tennessee had come across a brief description of my novel, Paper Lanterns. You might not find anything extraordinary about this until you think of the thousands of novels published each year, many with the weight of a huge marketing machine behind them, and then consider the fact that Novel Press is a frail new-born, with Paper Lanterns as its only product so far, and nothing behind it at all except my efforts, and the good wishes of my small group of fellow writers.
The only way I could think of that might have led Tammy to my book, would have been the lovely review from the excellent Rhaposdy in Books, with its large following of readers, most of whom are also Americans.But no,Tammy had arrived there through sheer happenstance (as I’ll explain in a later post). Until this week, I was too involved in discussing the most convenient way of getting the ten copies safely to her home in Tennessee, and it was only when I heard that the package had arrived,(two days after being picked up by the carriers, DHL) and the copies distributed to the other members of her group, that I thought of asking her how she’d come across it in the first place.
3) SOMETHING NICE that had been planned a couple of months ago: an ‘author’s talk’ that I gave on Thursday morning at Erdington library. Last month I was talking to a writing group there. This time, it was a reading group. One member who had read and enjoyed Paper Lanterns, commented on her perception of the way that novels these days are presented to the reading public. She felt that the we, the readers are being manipulated by the needs of the publishing world to produce sure best-sellers, and that many of the books that are promoted in bookshops have been written with an eye on an imaginary camera, as if they were packaging their stories in a way that would easily convert to film scripts.
I was glad to hear her views, as they seem to accord to those of Jonathan Davidson of Writing West Midlands in his article ‘New Ways of Publishing’ in which he expresses the hope that “poor writing won’t be quite so often foisted upon us in an attempt to get a return on investment or to distort our reading tastes for purely commercial gain.”
And now for the fifth and final question in my Virtual Treasure Hunt. Congratulations to everyone who’s already emailed me the correct answers to the first four questions (It’s still not too late to find the answers – you can start here, and then find the links back to the earlier questions)
(a)What is the fourth statement about Writing a Book that I won’t immediately want to contradict?
AND,(HINT) if you’ve found the right page, you’ll also be able to tell me the answer to this, linked, question
(b)Which author re-wrote one of his novels 30 years after its publication?
The first five people to ‘contact me’ with the correct five answers will win a copy of either The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society, or my latest novel, Paper Lanterns: