My Books

Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE NEXT BIG THING

Author, Elizabeth Egerton Wilder, recently invited me for a ‘chain’ blog entitled ‘The Next Big Thing' where I answer a few questions about my current work-in-progress, then I invite other authors to do the same. A bit like a chain letter, except it is only focused on an author’s work-in-progress. One of the authors who participated earlier is author Darlene Foster. I included a link to her blog so you can explore her answers to the same questions.  

The Questions:


What is the working title of your next book?
Emilia

I just got the cover from my designer friend.       

Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the third volume in my Family Portrait series. The seeds of the novel began to sprout when I was writing the first novel, LOVE OF A STONEMASON, which became the second book in the series. LOVE OF A STONEMASON deals with two young artists, a painter and a sculptor/stonemason, and takes place in the south of Switzerland, in Italy, and Peru. Having lived with these characters for several years, I couldn't let go--or they couldn't let go of me. So I continued and explored their past as well as their future.

What genre does your book fall under?
Ah, genre. I hate that word. EMILIA as well as my other books cross genres and I always scratch my head when I have to come up with one for the different book sites that require such a narrow definition. You could call my novels "family dramas involving artists with a touch of romance in an international setting." How about that for a genre?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I have to pass on this one. I am terrible when it comes to names of actors and I'm not a frequent movie goer (in spite of the fact that I live in the Los Angeles area). However, if my books ever make it to the big screen, I want to be part of the actor selection team. I'm sure the producer/director would value my opinion?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
EMILIA deals with the struggle of a family of artists who are trying to keep the flame of love and creativity alive through difficult times.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Independently published. I have my own micro publishing company, called Bookworm Press. So far, it's only for my own books. Self-publishing is a lot of work, if you take it seriously. For the most part, I enjoy the experience of being in control of every aspect of the publishing process--choosing the cover, picking the editor and the proofreaders. I have met many wonderful and helpful people in the process and made some great friends. I have also learned a lot and am still learning. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Somewhere around 8 or 9 months or so.


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Not sure. I can only name a few of my favorite authors, but they don't necessarily write in my genre: Joanne Harris (Chocolat), Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind), Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife), Olaf Olafsson (The Journey Home), Ann Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars), Harriet Doerr (Consider This Señora), etc. etc. etc. I am an avid reader and I hope I learned something from these wonderful writers.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The characters I created in the first two books wouldn't leave me alone. They kept bugging me to continue. I created them and so I owed them a future (at least that's what they claimed).


What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
EMILIA takes place in particularly beautiful part of Switzerland as well as in Paris and Peru. It deals with artists, children, puppies, lots of espresso, Merlot del Ticino, the smell of paint, the fragrance of jasmine and honeysuckle, and thunderstorms (emotional as well as weather-related ones).
  Here are the authors I invited to participate:

We want to include a hashtag (on Twitter) so we can see where this goes from here. #BlogNextBigThing.

Linda Cassidy Lewis

Susan Dormady Eisenberg

John Cammalleri

Annie Acorn

Darlene Foster 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Author in training: A critical review that did NOT make me want to rip out my hair


Picture by Davi Sales, Bigstock.com








In addition to many positive 5- and 4-star reviews, I also get my share of less enthusiastic and downright negative ones. I read all of them. I rejoice in the glowing ones and have grown a thick skin when reading the negative ones. Here I distinguish between critical and negative. Critical reviewers are those who point out stuff they didn’t like about a book in a professional manner. Negative ones are often just plain hostile. I particularly take issue with reviewers who don’t like a book and for that reason belittle or condemn those who do like it.

The other day, I received a 2-star review of Love of a Stonemason. This was an intelligent albeit critical evaluation. The reviewer stated that this was a book one either liked or disliked and that she unfortunately did not like it. She also mentioned that after reading some of the glowing reviews, she gained a different perspective and appreciated it. In other words, the reviewer respected other readers' opinions, although she did not share them. I am sorry that she didn't like the book, but I value her honest and professional assessment of it.