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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Author Spotlight no.132 – Olga Vannucci

Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the one hundred and thirty-second, is of non-fiction author Olga Vannucci.

Olga Vannucci was born in Italy, lived in Brazil, and came to the United States to attend Brown University.  She lives in rural New Jersey with her beloved son, George.  When he was seven years old, she realized quite suddenly that she hadn’t been back to Italy in ten years, and she went, and took him along.  Then she went four more times, and she wrote a book about those trips, a mix of travelogue, personal history, and little anecdotes.

What’s a little different about the book is that Olga is both an Italian native and a tourist.  She captures the little everyday happenings that a tourist may not, and she also visits the major cities, though there too she tends to experience them in her and George’s own way.

She is currently working on two new projects.  She’s working on a book of travels with her son in the U.S.  The other project is around cooking with her mother, who is a fantastic cook, while everyone knows that Olga can’t boil an egg.  The book is built around her mother’s recipes, and around their relationship.

And now from the author herself:

I am a very shy and private person, and I have no idea what possessed me to share my thoughts with others!  I think I felt that what I had to say was a little bit different, with a view low to the ground.  What I find interesting is that my friends who have read the book say it sounds just like me.  It’s written in the present tense, so it feels like you are along and I’m talking to you.

One of the most rewarding things about writing is finding out more about myself.  There’s nothing like having to express a thought to help crystallize it.  The other reward is hearing from others about the things that spoke to them in the book, and they range from the more profound to the totally mundane situations.  Women will focus on the mothering aspects of the book, dealing with my son.  Men enjoy my description of how Italians give directions:  they start from a place you’ve never heard of, proceed vaguely, and stop well before your destination.  Apparently that’s happened to others…  They can relate, and I love when people tell me they can relate to something I wrote about.

It was hard to write about others and protect their privacy at the same time, particularly with my son.  I find him very amusing, but he doesn’t intend to amuse me, and he is sensitive to it.  He thinks I’m making fun of him basically.  So I’m always walking that line, writing about him, but trying to be respectful of him.

My favorite stories are the quirky ones, like the sheep stampede that almost flattened us—not really, it wasn’t that bad, but it was a funny occurrence.  We did so many different things, visiting with my ancient relatives, riding the bullet train to Rome, the only passengers without a snack, having coffee with my aunt in the morning, trying to dunk cookies in the little tiny cups, lots of hiking, with my son resorting to tears to make us stop.  One nice thing about the book is that it covers lots of different material, from the very simple happenings to the tourist destinations.

I don’t know that the Italian heritage speaks to my son all that much yet, but I believe (and hope, but I do believe) that the experiences he has had build his knowledge and interests, and that he will find value in it all later on.  A lot of my Italian-American friends relish their connection to Italy, and he will have had an extra special connection.  I hope and believe…  When he brings up something from the trips, I get all excited.  Yes, he was there, he was paying attention, he got it!

I have a little website at http://olgavannucci.com with some pictures and some snippets from the book.

I also have a Facebook page that can be reached via http://travelswithgeorge.com.  I update it pretty actively with some of the many photos I took during my trips.

And the book, both the printed and the Kindle versions, is available at Amazon.com.

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The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with YA thriller and suspense / romance author Daphne Olivier – the five hundred and thirty-eighth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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Guest post: Writing 101 by Paul Lell

Tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of writing basics, is brought to you by science-fiction / fantasy author Paul Lell.

Writing 101

The most common question I am asked at conventions is easily, “how do you do it?”

For the longest time my answer was, “I just sit down and do it…”

Then I got to thinking about it. I did some reading and some investigation on the process of writing. I did a little soul searching and ‘dug deep’ as they say; and do you know what I discovered? I just sit down and do it!

So as not to appear trite, let me explain myself a bit better here. If you want to be a writer / author / novelist / whatever (they’re all pretty much the same thing in my mind), you need to write. Just as if you wanted to be an artist, you need to produce art of some kind, or if you want to be a baseball player, you need to play baseball. It comes down to motivation and practice, really. While I do believe there is a certain level of ‘inborn’ talent that can really push a person over the top in their chosen endeavor, I also believe that just about anyone can become just about anything they want, as long as they knuckle under and put forth the effort it takes to learn, practice, accept feedback (read: criticism), go back to the drawing board and occasionally reinvent themselves… In short, they need to commit themselves to the process of evolving into what they want to be.

To get back to the question, “how do I do it?” The more complete answer is, “I write every single chance I get. I write good stuff. I write bad stuff. I write terrible stuff (lots, and lots of terrible stuff). Occasionally, I may even write some great stuff. But I write, all the time. Even when I have nothing specific that I feel I need to produce, or a story to tell (which doesn’t happen very often, by the way). I have piles and piles of junk writing lying about my hard drive, filled to overflowing with writing that will likely never see the light of day.

I also throw away any pretentious thoughts that everything I write is gold and should immediately be published so the world can bask in the glory that is my crazy mind. I have no illusions about being the next [insert amazing author’s name here]. I just hope that somewhere, someday, somebody might enjoy one of my stories. I keep trying to refine my craft. I share work with people and ask for brutally honest feedback. Then I don’t cry once I’ve received it.

It is a rare bird indeed that can turn a love (or in some cases, a compulsion) for writing into a comfortable living. Much like teaching, one should never enter into the world of writing novels with the expectation or love of money as motivation. Rather, do it for the love of the craft. The difference you might make in the lives of yourself and, hopefully, a few other people.

I’m still working on the living part, but loving it certainly. Thank you, Paul!

Paul Lell is a Science Fiction writer and publisher, best known for his series, ‘The Keys of Kalijor’ which can be found on all major eReaders and at all major online booksellers.

You can read more about Paul Lell, his books, and his crazy life, at www.Kalijor.com.

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If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about.

The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with children’s author Jeyanthi Manokaran – the five hundred and thirty-seventh of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in articles, ebooks, ideas, novels, recommendations, tips, writing

 

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Post-weekend Poetry 045: The Novel by Linda Eve Diamond

Linda by Kate Gardiner Photography

Linda by Kate Gardiner Photography

Welcome to Post-weekend Poetry and the forty-fifth poem in this series. This week’s piece welcomes back Linda Eve Diamond and perfect timing for those of us embarking on NaNoWriMo this Thursday. 🙂

The Novel

I want to write…

…but the pen is so far away…

Across miles of minutia,
snacks, a telephone,
the world outside,
a winding superhighway.

As I binge my time away,
I contemplate my novel—
my navel—

Why the neighbor
mows the lawn at dawn
… and then again at noon.

I imagine the finished novel
discovered one day in its entirety
inside my head and heart
by a coroner.

He’ll find blood rich with story
characters in my capillaries
irony woven through my veins,
plot twists on the matter of my brain.

He will fall in love
with the writer I never was.

He’ll say it was true of me
like so many others he’s seen—
She had a novel inside her.

***

I asked Linda what prompted this piece and she said…

I was asked in a radio interview when I’d be writing “the novel”. When I had another interview coming up on the same show, I thought about that question and wrote this poem. I then told him I had just completed “The Novel.” Was that cheating?  😉

I wouldn’t have said so. 🙂 I loved it. Thank you, Linda.

The Beauty of ListeningLinda Eve Diamond is the author of several books in the areas of business, education, self-help and poetry.

Her work (and play) earned two awards from the International Listening Association and a Coffee House Press Poetry Award.

Her poetry and essays have been published in journals, anthologies and online.

Her websites are: http://LindaEveDiamond.com, http://ListenersUnite.com, http://www.thebeautyofpicturebooks.com.

This poem is included in “The Beauty of Listening”, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

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If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with non-fiction author Frank Newby – the five hundred and thirty-sixth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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** NEW!! You can now subscribe to this blog on your Kindle / Kindle app via Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com **

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.

For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.

As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.

I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

We look forward to reading your comments.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in ebooks, events, NaNoWriMo, novels, poetry, writing

 

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5a.m. Flash 291012 – Free Thriller eBook by G.T. Rigdon 29 & 30 October

What is the line that separates good and evil, coincidence and providence, delusion and reality? This question is confronted by G.T. Rigdon, author of morally engaged fiction, provocative stories for curious minds. His book High Striker will be available for FREE on Kindle during 10/29 to 10/30 2012.

For more information visit www.gtrigdon.com.

At Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/High-Striker-ebook/dp/B008YPL8AO.

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G.T. Rigdon is an engineer, an ex-minister, and a writer.

One of his favorite quotes is from Plutarch who said: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”

He finds great satisfaction by igniting such fires with morally-engaged, provocative stories.

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Do you have a free eBook scheduled? Would you like me to ‘5a.m. Flash’ it? Just send me a short blurb, dates it’s free, website links and third-person biography and I’ll gladly put it up at 5a.m. on the first day it’s due to go live.

You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books and I also have a blog creation service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in ebooks, novels, writing

 

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