These teasers get me in the mood.
Take a look yourself and decide. Tell me if your book has a teaser and if it helps you reconnect with your book(s).
It's a slow week writing wise. I've written down what was in my mind and now the mind is blank - can't think ahead. In times such as these, I always look back at our book teasers. These teasers help me revisit the characters I fell in love with in the first place, and remind me of why I did.
These teasers get me in the mood.
Take a look yourself and decide. Tell me if your book has a teaser and if it helps you reconnect with your book(s).
AOIFE & DEMON: Cursed be the Syhlain
AOIFE & DEMON: Rise of the Syhlain
End of May; end of school year; a bazillion grade level send-off activities that all teachers who ever taught my kids throughout the year can concoct, and one of my daughters brings home a recipe that she’s supposed to cook with Mom. Why? And as if that’s not enough, the god-awful paper sheet says ‘make it a fun experience’.
I’m ready to commit suicide. Also, they forgot to include 1 fire extinguisher in the ingredients.
I hate cooking. If I wasn’t brought up on good, healthful home cooked meals and ruined for life for wanting them, I wouldn’t cook. If I wasn’t married to a man who understood good food, I wouldn’t cook. If I didn’t have children whom we’d spoiled and nourished on healthy meals, I wouldn’t cook. Also, I’m educated – unfortunately – and I can read labels and ingredients and health blogs and magazines and oh yes, hubby is a doctor so – if we could consider fast food as food – I. Wouldn’t. Cook!
And then to have my kid with me whilst I cook? Oh sure! What are we cooking? Perfect Chaos with a hint of Hysterical Mother and a side of Don’t Freakin’ Touch That Sharp Thingy glazed with Step The Hell Away From That Stove? How about a tall glass of We’re Never Doing This Again topped with Gritted Teeth to go with it?
Besides, I’m not a fan of that trigger: make it an experience. Why? I don’t want to. What’s with the constant need to add a festive tag to everything we do?
I watch all these cookery shows – yes, I love those and I watch them on a full stomach lest I’m compelled (God forbid) to try any of the dishes they’re showing me how to make – and I listen to all those chefs sharing what an experience cooking was when they were young.
“I always saw Mom cooking something,” declares a celebrity chef proudly as she rinses out her celery, and goes on to elaborate how awesome the experience was.
I can relate to that partly. Mom cooked; always. Because if she didn’t cook, we didn’t eat. It was the same way in her house when Nana cooked; and back in Nana’s house when her mother cooked, and so the tradition had trickled down through generations and households and not just among us but all around us as this was the way of the East. Food from outside was not the norm but a sign of indulgence.
But cooking itself was never an experience as if that word is synonymous to something joyous and festive and fun. It was routine; something that had to be done – like eating or breathing or going to school. I mean of course Mom cooked because well…why wouldn’t she? That was part of her job as Mom. As is now part of mine – or my husband’s or my father’s and they have risen to that occasion countless times – lest a feminist pops a nerve here.
Point is – meals have to be cooked, not bought or ordered. You don’t have to like it; I don’t. And yes, you have to pass on the skill; I will – eventually. But I still don’t see myself making it an experience to cherish and blah. To me, it’s a prerequisite for staying healthy. It’s a prerequisite for good quality family time. It definitely feels awesome when my six year old smacks his lips and declares, “Mom is the best cooker ever!”
So yes, all the things that a home-cooked meal brings to the table with itself are, indeed, to be cherished and amazing and great to experience. But no, not the cutting, the chopping, the blending, the blazing heat of the burning stove, the strong simmering smells that fill my entire house and won’t go away, not the onions that make my eyes water, the meat that won’t thaw in time, not the ticking clock that mocks me more than it helps, and certainly not the dreaded daily question – what shall I cook today?
None of that is a fun experience. And none of that becomes any easier when I have a kid in my kitchen, holding a paper from school that says I have to cook with her and make it a fun experience. Then, I’d rather call up a restaurant and order a take-out.
Now, a clean kitchen – that’s fun ;)
Aoife and Demon: Cursed be the Syhlain is now officially available for sale, as an ebook initially, under the banner of New Concepts Publishing.
Check out the link below; like it, read it, review it and spread the word! Thank you so much for all the L.O.V.E :)
I was recently tagged in an article that was more a compilation of quotes of some 25 renowned authors. Most of those quotes were dedicated to writing things that haunt us, scare us, upset us; are taboo that nobody wants to talk about. Shock everyone, create controversy and win.
I’m guessing depression sells tons.
Then, somebody left this message for me:
“… write a book on poor, homeless kids of XXX, or anywhere in the world, I am sure you will get a plenty of 'stuff' to write about. Use your talents to help the poor and the needy...”
That’s cute. And thanks but no thanks, though, I appreciate the confidence.
I don’t write books about things that scare or upset me. I can’t see why I should. I write about stuff that makes me happy because I believe people need to know that part too about the world I come from. And I believe that that is just as capable of enlightening the readers as the tales of terror and torment that are constantly dished out to portray real life.
Furthermore, if it still needs to be said, real life is made up of sad moments and happy moments, and just because I choose to write about the Happy, doesn’t mean it isn't real or deep or worth reading about. You can say it’s incomplete, and I’ll say it is just as incomplete as the books dipped in the Sad.
Besides, what if I dedicated my earnings from my happy unreal romcoms to help the needy? Would that help? Or is money earned from romance tainted and can’t be given to charities?
I am amazed at the idea of dubbing one genre more worth one’s while than the other. The why are you wasting your talent by writing This and not That is a rude question. I’ve been asked this enough times to be sore from it.
My answer: because That is not my freakin’ genre.
Every book ever written has a genre, a category: romance, fantasy, humor, drama, horror, creative fiction, non-fiction; the list goes on. Sometimes, the writer chooses a genre but often times the genre chooses the writer. Fantasy chose me. I chose romance. And if you’re a reader who reads neither, steer clear.
Seriously, this is honest advice. I mean well.
Don’t expect Khaled Hosseini to pull off a Tolkien and vice versa because you definitely don’t want to go kite-flying with the Orcs or have them molest a child. Enid Blyton is not Stephen King and will not write Needful Things, and I certainly wouldn’t want to read to my kids about the creatures that might live up Stephen’s Faraway Tree. Sadat Hassan Manto’s idea of love is not what Sophie Kinsella writes about so let them both say what they best believe to be true.
You cannot compare. It is grapes and strawberries. Or grapes and raisins even.
You see, no sensible writer is ever wasting their talent. If I am good at what I write, and the readers determine that and by readers I mean the target market for which I write, then, my talent is not wasted.
If you didn’t enjoy a particular kind of book, and not because it was grammatically or literately atrocious, perhaps it wasn’t written for you. Maybe that book’s genre wasn’t your type. And that’s fine. For every kind of reader there is a writer and for every kind of writer, there is a reader.
It’s all about finding that perfect match.
Just don’t expect a writer to change her genre to suit your fancies. Don’t expect of Jane Austen what you liked about Alistair MacLean, and then demonize her for not doing it right. Shakespeare is nothing but pure genius and if you think otherwise because Hollywood does a better job with drama, your argument is invalid.
The idea is to read and appreciate every writer for what they write best. Now, that will be respectful.
All us writers can live with that :)
This blog post is so overdue. I should’ve written it the first time someone told me I need a writing corner to be a writer. Or asked me how am I a writer?
My humble two cents for that person – I don’t have a corner. I have kids. And I am a writer.
I’ve read enough posts and articles on how to be a successful writer to know that none of those will ever work for me because they aren’t written for me. None say oh hey, your kitchen counter is the best desk because it’s close to the goddamn stove! So now you can cook, clean, wash and write. Or did you know that listening to kids radio and watching kids TV even when kids aren’t around is an excellent solo brainstorming session? And of course, you may write every day. But there will always be more days when you can’t write and that’s okay too. For instance – here’s my story with writing a little romance:
I’m all pumped up and ready with my chai and sunlight in my window and my netbook’s working fabulously. The kids are fed and the house is spotless. It’s time to get Aoife and Demon all erotic. I’m thinking hard, picturing him making his move, the warmth of his hands and feel of lips and hearts throbbing and her swooning out of her mind, totally melting and letting go in his arms, his charisma overpowering her, finally she has his heart after much anguish. Finally, her wait is over. Finally, her struggle to make him realize is over!
My words start flowing on screen like a soothing river just when my ten year old sails in and demands to know, “Mommy! How come women had to struggle so much all through history even for basic human rights while men could do all they wanted?”
“Well, darling, because men…because our society…and men, it’s…oh, great.”
There goes my kiss. That ain’t ever gonna happen now. Because now I’m thinking let’s just kill the rascal and see if anyone misses him. No wonder people say I’m good with action and suck at romance.
There’s also this glorious notion put forth by super writers, Stephen King among them, that three months is enough to get your first draft done. No offence to King but his latest books actually seem to have been written in just three months (this one’s for you Shami). AND he is not a housewife.
So, scratch three months. Embrace twelve instead.
The idea is to not give up. Don’t be disheartened if you had to vacuum your car when you really had planned on exquisitely describing how elegant your protagonist’s bedroom is. Maybe you can describe her exquisite car instead.
Also, listen to your kids talking. Often times, they dish out such delicious dialogues, you can literally have your readers smacking their lips. My daughter gave me the term lemonade sky that I used in one of my books. My son asked me if fireflies were really tiny fire fairies. That led me to write about Shimmers…and Demon’s fire sprites.
So, happy housewife-ing and mommy-ing and writing. There’s no one else who can write the way you do so don’t ever stop :)
I admit. This post isn't my original idea. It's inspired by another blog post about what our crushes on fictional characters tell us about ourselves. The only problem with that post was it didn't have the characters that we crushed upon...or knew anyone else to have crushed upon...or ones we could make fun of.
So, here's our list of 20 characters we had something to say for. Enjoy!
So there. Our list is nowhere complete but I ran out of things to write about many of our fictional men like Laurie from Little Women & Good Wives. Don't remember him much except that I liked him. Anyway, who is your fav and do any of the above tell you a bit about yourself?
Happy reading :)
I was virtually terrified of the term housewife till I was one myself.
Not my fault entirely. It’s just that the social labels we in the work force constantly attach to that crowd are quite fear-inflicting. But once I was one of them, I found a way of life that wasn’t just new, it was totally badass. So, here I am today cheering for the team.
We housewives are often boxed into creatures who know nothing of the world. All we ever talk about is the home and the kids and the cooking and cleaning and – well excuse me but doesn’t everybody only talk about what they know best?
I mean have you ever heard physicians converse socially? 95% of their gossip starts with the H of a HOSPITAL and ends with the L. And should you even try to divert the conversation by say, asking them about what they think about bending it like Beckham; they’ll look at you like you just asked them if they’ve ever done it on the dance floor. You might as well ask that for the fun of it for if you’re lucky and there are men in the group, you may have answers. Still no fun? Throw in gun control. Congratulations, you’ve just recreated a Congressional session in full swing at a table for eight at a Save Our Souls Benefit.
I’ve always thought men are so much easier to talk to anyway.
However, if you’re at an all-girls table, chances are you’ll be discussing birth control. Of course them rug-rats are such a speed bump in our career paths. The lesser, the better, you say. Right. I have four kids. You bring up that topic in my presence and you will cry. I can tell you all about that won’t work. That 1% chance of error on every box of everything ever invented? Yeah, that’s real. You don’t want babies? Be celibate or get your tubes tied.
I’m also entertained beyond sanity with stories of how tough work life is. You think your boss is harsh? Try working for mine – the baby, the toddler, the preteen. That two hour board meeting when you almost lost your oil-rigging client to sign for your tree-hugging project was not excruciating, nerve-wrecking or stressful. Try soothing a colicky baby at three in the morning. And no, you may not cuss at or sedate or talk logic to the baby.
Now, if you’re ever sitting across from a housewife like me, she probably hates talking about shopping the way you do. Oh no, I don’t mean talking about the shoes and bags and clothes and labels – just their price tags because chances are she barely ever knows what anything costs. Here’s why: if I like it, I buy it. Yeah, that rich guy I married spoils me rotten. Sue him.
And my favorite – do I work out? Yes, I do. I’m raising two boys. Even my vocal chords can kick your ass.
In my experience, a socially quiet housewife among a horde of loud working women is not silent because she has nothing important to say. It could be, she’s thinking of her own mother who was a working woman, who did all the house work too and never complained. And she’s sitting there quietly, listening to all your talk, smiling and probably thinking – what a bunch of crybabies!
When Rebekkah Gelles suspects her husband, Avram of not only lying to her, but also contriving not to have the children she so desperately wants and embezzling money from his business, she wants out of their marriage.
Her life gets complicated when she falls in love with detective Nick Rossi. Convinced Nick’s wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing—she walks away after they share a night of passion. Nick warns her even though he loves her, he won’t beg. Their budding relationship seems to have ended.
When Rebekkah finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test, she wavers between joy and sadness. Motherhood wasn’t supposed to happen this way.
Karoline Barrett - I've had the honor of knowing her for a few years now. She is one of the most talented, helpful and patient writers I've known throughout my own writing career. So, naturally, when I was informed that her tour will kick start with my blog post, I was ecstatic!
I asked her a few questions to get to know the writer in her better. Here's a slice. I hope you enjoy :)
Tell us a little about your book – inspiration, why you wrote it, etc.
The Art Of Being Rebekkah is about a talented Jewish artist, who finds out her husband has a frightening dark side, and wants out of her marriage; but her life gets complicated when she moves back to her parents’ home in Park Slope, Brooklyn and falls for the charming Italian detective who’s investigating her estranged husband. Convinced he’s all wrong for her—he’s not Jewish for one thing — Rebekkah struggles with love, faith, family, and a surprise pregnancy.
I wanted to write something that the market wasn’t already saturated with (like vampires); there isn’t a lot of Jewish women’s fiction out there.
Why should one read your book?
It illustrates the female journey, is character driven, emotional, and suspenseful.
Are characters/story based on real life?
Only loosely! I love making up lives for my characters, I don’t want to pull from my own life, or anyone else’s.
Some writers tend to segment their writing life into a reading phase and a writing phase. Do you do that? How do you manage it?
I usually write a big chunk, then go back and re-read, then repeat the process. When you’re writing a novel, at least for me, there’s a lot re-reading, so I can remember who said what, when.
How do you write – techniques, outlines, tools, drinks, drugs, food, clothes or lack thereof...?
First, I outline. My outline changes as I go, but I can’t write without one. I do my outline on software called Snowflake Pro, but actually write in Word. I do wear clothing, and my drink of choice is Coke! My snack is Goldfish crackers, or chocolate.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Why?
Is this a trick question? I have to say Humeira Kazmi and Shamila Ghyas. I just read their book, Aoife and Demon: Cursed be the Syhlain. I don’t read fantasy, and they captured my interest, and held it. You should read it!
What are your current projects?
A cozy mystery set in upstate New York.
Do you see writing as a career?
Hopefully, one day! Before I’m too old…
Why be a Writer?
Because, I hate math and have a very vivid imagination, which lends itself well to story-telling! I love making up characters and turning them into multi-dimensional people.
How do people react to your ‘writer’ job title?
Some are thrilled, some are “meh”, some want to know if they can have a free copy, some apparently have no idea of what reading actually is, and some regard me as a goddess. I made one of those up…
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time management is huge; sometimes too, I get a big case of writers block, and I can’t make a scene work well. That’s when I blog, or update Pinterest, stuff like that.
How hard was it to get where you are today as a writer?
I didn’t start to seriously write until later in life (after twenty-five we’ll say for laughs---you don’t have to actually laugh). I took two courses through Long Ridge Writers Group, and I started getting short stories published. The hardest part was querying for an agent after my novel was done. I am so luck to be represented by Frances Black of Literary Council. She’s wonderful. But, what else would I say, right? She could be reading this. Kidding, she really is wonderful.
Your book cover is very refreshing. Who designed it? Why does this cover work for your book, in your opinion?
Thank you, Humi! It was designed by talented illustrator, Martin Blanco. It works because it shows who Rebekkah is; an artist who finds her happily ever after, despite a bumpy journey getting there.
Are your character names important to you?
Yes! Fair or not, certain names conjure up certain images. My book’s main characters, Rebekkah and Nick, would not work as Harriet and Elmer!
Did you learn anything from writing your book?
Yes. Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. And, no matter how many times you look at your manuscript, you’re still going to find way too many people sighing deeply, way too often. Ok, that might just be my issue.
Any bad reviews? How do handle them?
My book will be out December 9th, and since this is November, I have not had any bad reviews yet! But, let’s say I get one or two, from disgruntled people who obviously don’t appreciate a good story when they read one. Probably feel really bad for a couple of minutes, then move on to a good review!
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Your favorite excerpt.
Thank you for asking. It’s not my favorite; I had a hard time picking my favorite! Here you go:
The majestic tile mosaic of Jerusalem on the walls surrounding the mikveh was a reminder to Rebekkah of her heritage, and made her feel a kinship to all other Jews.
She ducked under the water, and felt her soul go still as she offered prayers to God. She spread her arms and legs and left her eyes open. Her hair floated around her like seaweed, and she heard nothing from the outside world. This must be what it feels like to be in the womb, Rebekkah thought.
Yanna left her alone to recite in Hebrew as she immersed herself, “Praised are you, Adoshem, God of all creation, who sanctifies us with your commandments and commanded us concerning immersion.” She ducked beneath the water twice more, and took a few minutes to ask God to open her womb.
When she was through she returned to the prep room to dress. Thinking of Avram, she slipped on her new lace teddy. She knew he would love it. The rest of her anger seeped out as she thought of his body joining with hers to create a new life. Just as her body was now ready for him, she wanted her spirit to be ready. She didn’t want anger to serve as a barrier to a new life.
About KAROLINE BARRETT:
She was born in upstate New York and has lived in South America, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. At the moment, she lives in a small Connecticut town with her husband. When she’s not writing, she loves reading, spending time by the water, traveling, and doing anything that has nothing to do with math.
She’s currently working on her second novel, a cozy mystery set in upstate N.Y.
Adela (A Book from the Guardian Series) By J.L McFadden
Adela: Is a beautiful young woman of a very wealthy family in Eastern Europe who is fending off advances from an older aristocratic German business man that has an evil presence about him. She falls madly in love with another man to see her father and his followers come under the attack and clutches of this barren try to use the enslavement of her father’s land and people to force her to be his own.
About the Author
Jamie Lee McFadden is the Author of the Guardian Series: Guardian, released, Adela, release in September, Chooses, release in December, Adela’s Lost Guardian, March, more to be named at a later date.
McFadden spins tragedy and romance into all of his stories with picturesque descriptions that vividly paints and melts the scenes into your pleasure cortex that is a valid and important part of every reader’s mind.
McFadden was born in a mixed Celtic and Slavic family in the river valleys of Pennsylvania. In his earlier years he played in bands in New York and ended up working his way into H.Q of the largest musical retailer in the world Guitar Centre; while working at the store level he managed multiple departments at once and handled all the stores merchandising logistics. He has explored the world and became the first American to be accepted into the Interregional Federation of Aikido Aikikai of Crimea & Sevastopol, where he enjoys learning from great masters from around the world, where he has developed himself. He explains that the people, rich and colourfully different people he has met, spawned a lot of his characters.
I’m being educated. Halloween is not all about candy. How awful :'(
My initial response were more in the vicinity of a confused frown. I didn’t think suicide bombers were a ‘culture’. I didn’t understand why a child would associate himself with a suicide bomber. I didn’t find it funny, didn’t think it was the spooky costume of the year nor was I particularly offended. I just found it distasteful – like a bad aftertaste of some new recipe.
Most of the commenters exasperatedly yelled that it’s Halloween, get a sense of humor, political correctness is tiresome and such with many Muslims jumping on board.
It all made sense. I was pretty ready to leave the thread and move on when I read this:
Such comments weren’t many but they were there alright. Some were less vile while others outright attacked the Prophet of Islam, his religion and followers, the Arab culture. There was nothing light-hearted-Halloween-fun about these comments. They were hateful and insulting and ignorant.
Suddenly, the poster didn’t seem quite so irrelevant. It did have a target audience – the arrogant and the ignorant sitting on the other side of the fence.
Yes! That boy could just well have been a Middle Eastern Christian protesting this stereotype because it’s hurtful to his Middle Eastern roots.
I’m not a fan of political correctness. I guess none of us are till lack of it really steps on our toes. This poster initiated a barrage of costume ideas, most pushing buttons to see how high the tolerance threshold was on either side:
Yes, I remember the good ole times when it was funny to make fun of fat people, of ethnic customs, certain dialects, of skin color – but then it started translating into actual hate crimes. And then it was funny no more.
I think I’ll just grab my witch hat and go get some candy. After all, the Happy in my Halloween comes from lotsa dark chocolate; not dark humor.