Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the two hundred and seventy-ninth, is of ‘adventure and romance with a touch of sci-fi magic’ novelist and interviewee Darlene Jones. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
A long time ago, Darlene Jones lived in Mali. Every single day, the poverty she saw mad her wish of a magic wand to wave and relieve the suffering. The storyline of her books reflects her desire to wave that wand and make the world a better place. If only wishes could come true. And of course, every novel needs its love story, so along with the sci-fi magic, she added the requisite romance – in this case a love triangle.
Darlene has always believed humans can’t be the only beings existing in the vastness of the universe. She argues that there must be others “out there somewhere” and she brought some of them along for the ride. The setting stays, for the most part, within the realities of our world, but Darlene loves the magic the sci-fi element of other beings can bring to the story.
Em and Yves Series
- Embattled: Aliens take over Em’s life. Trouble is the guy in charge is a rookie. Of course he messes up.
- Empowered: Jasmine is convinced she’s invincible. The visions she experienced as a child told her so.
- Embraced: Abby believes the clickings she hears in the fillings of her teeth are messages from aliens. She’s right.
- Embroiled: Emily is obsessed with the notion of going “up there.” She arrives to a world in crisis. Saving it and the man she loves is up to her.
My writing and the page 99 test
“Open the book to page 99 and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” Ford Madox Ford
As I market my books I seek feedback and reviews. I start with the Page 99 test. Here are some of the comments I’ve received.
- I would read the manuscript. I think it’s snappy and quickly paced.
- The writing is immature.
- It’s a short page, but written well.
- Interesting, but the dialogue is awkwardly phrased.
- Great use of language to evoke emotion.
- Nothing much happens, but I would like to keep reading until something does. I like the style.
- You can get a feel of the characters right away. Their interactions with each other feel genuine.
- Confusing voice. Not sure how many people are interacting in the scene.
Would I read it?
- The excerpt is too short! Yes, I’m whining because I actually thought that was an interesting read.
- Yes, because it is exciting and you set it up so I want to know more about Mentor.
- No, it’s a bit of a dull extract, and the sentences are rather short and choppy.
- No, the story didn’t engage my interests.
- Yes, I’m interested at the mention of symbols and messages.
- I need to know what is going on. I definitely would buy the book to read it. I have been caught in its web!
- Well, I’ve obviously done some things right and others not so much. Perhaps I can glean more from the lengthier reviews readers post on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, etc. Alas, in the reviews I find more of the same.
- I started and finished Embattled in a day. The book is a page-turner, full of passion. There’s never any doubt about the will of the book to carry you on.
- High entertainment value yet provocative, original, and straight from Mencius’ ‘unbearing mind.’
- I think the pacing could have been improved. Some sections were smooth and others dragged a little too much.
- What I did find fascinating were the twists and turns. A teeny bit similar to that of Agatha Christie’s multiple twists that explode in a conclusion that will make you flip through at least parts of the story if not the full book.
- There is a lot going on in this story, and I admit to being a bit confused in the early chapters because of the shifts in view-point and rapid changes of scene
- Darlene Jones also has a good ear for dialogue and writes convincing sex scenes (no easy feat). I’d also like to offer special props to author Darlene Jones who writes fantastic fight scenes. They were realistic, engaging and entrancing!
- I found issue with the dual narration. Part of the story is told in the first person from the point of view of Yves and part is told in third person from the perspective of Em, either as her normal self or as Miracle Madam. While this would normally be fine, and the execution of both is fantastic, there is no transition between the two and the two sides are by no means equally represented, making the story very disjointed.
My mother used to say, “You can please half of the people half of the time.” Now that I’m an author with four books published, I understand more than ever what she meant. Reading tastes are so varied and so personal.
So, what’s an author to do? Writing, for me, is an art form that allows expression of my interests and passions. I’m always striving to improve, therefore I take note of the critiques offering suggestions for improvement and try to implement them in new work. Then I continue to write the stories that please me, confident that I will find readers who love my characters and plot lines as much as I do.
- Website: www.emandyves.com
- Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/EMBATTLED-ebook/dp/B005ZLLR4M
- Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/EMBATTLED-ebook/dp/B005ZLLR4M
- Apple ibook (US store): http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/embattled/id488500006
- Apple ibook (UK store): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/embattled/id488500006
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/102614
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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.