Category Archives: manuscript writing

Genres of Literature – Picture Book


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A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives aimed at young children with the pictures being prominent rather than the text, which is written with vocabulary a child can understand but not necessarily read.  Therefore, picture books have two functions for children: firstly they are read to young children by adults, and then later children read them once they begin learning to read.

Well known children’s books include Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Which was your childhood favorite?

From the mid-1960’s several children’s literature awards have included a category for picture books. However, some picture books are published with content aimed at older children or even adults. Tibet: Through the Red Box, by Peter Sis, is one example of a picture book aimed at an adult audience.

My first published book was a picture book, Rumble’s First Scare. Not because it was easier but rather the subject matter appealed as a unique children’s story. The POV of a monster coming from underground on All Hallow’s Eve to ‘scare’ the children. However, Rumble is much too cute to be really scary. 

Rumble

Do you write children’s books? Care to share in the comments?

 

Happy 8th Anniversary to My Blog


8 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
Little did I know how big this blog would become when I began. I was advised to start it to promote my first children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare. Not only was it my first published work but blogging was a complete mystery to me.
As the year’s rolled by, I found that connections with the writing community from far and wide as well as local was the impetuous that propelled me to continue. I have loved the interviews, the feedback and even the crazy schedules I imposed on myself. One year I posted every day! Mad I know, but it was a unique exercise to come up with the response to a particular word every single day from a daily calendar.
Now I construct an annual schedule and declare it prior to January 1st every year. Mainly posting three times a week, Monday, Wednesday & Friday, with each day being a specific theme.
Times have changed since that first post and I now have five published books to my name with two more (hopefully) this year, followed by another two next and then a sequel and a new genre novella after that. The stories keep coming and I am obsessed with my writing life. It has brought me joy and an enormous circle of friends, whether virtual or not.
Thank you to everyone who has followed, connected and responded to my blog. Onward and upward for year’s to come.
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thank you

Author Interview – Bianca Rowena


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Bianca

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Mostly it exhausts me, both emotionally and physically. But so does playing the piano and doing art. If I was doing those things to relax, then it would be like a colouring page or writing a diary entry. But when I’m truly working on my art (writing) then I’m exhausted afterwards because it takes a part of my very self, when I’m truly creating.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Constant interruptions.

Book 1 Rowena

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Yes. I wanted to publish a mid-grade book, which would be too far separated from my adult romance. I wouldn’t want the mid-graders to pick up the adult romance, so I considered writing the younger genre under a pseudonym.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m part of a writer’s group, where we write together and share our work. My best friend is also a writer, who writes romance and we talk about writing all the time. I am lucky to also have a couple friends who work at the local library and who like to write and read, not to mention writers I’ve met and become friends with through conferences, book fairs and author readings from Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. It really is a big community once you get involved. They help me become a better writer because we share insights and advice and things we’ve learned or discovered, from anything from writing style to book advertising options.

Ryn

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Currently I’m working on a three book series. The first two definitely go together, originally written as one long novel split into two. The third book could be a stand alone and is the prequel to the first two. The series is a Young Adult Sci-Fi Fantasy based on a fanfiction novel I wrote two years ago. The first book has been published and is called ‘The Gift Stone’, book one of the Gifted Series ( https://www.amazon.ca/Gift-Stone-Bianca-Rowena/dp/0994851332/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 ).

Book two will be released in the summer of 2018, and will be titled ‘Takano Rynn’, the name of the main male character in the series. Book three will hopefully follow soon after that.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I was born in Romania and we were Hungarian speaking. So when I came to Canada I was five years old and put into Kindergarten. I remember being forced to go to these English language sessions in the office, where they would hold up a photocard of a boot and say ‘boot’ over and over again. It didn’t take me very long to learn English, and it was WAY before anyone realized I understood it. So I had the power to know what everyone was saying around me and about me, without them knowing that I understood them. Understanding English came quickly at age five, but speaking it back, took a bit longer.

Also, whenever my parents needed to tell us something that they didn’t want anyone else to overhear, they’d tell us in Hungarian. And when they wanted to discuss something that they didn’t want my sister and I to hear, they’d discuss it in Romanian (we were too young to have learned Romanian in school, before coming to Canada). So I recognized at an early age that language held the power of communication, either to make it possible or to close it off and leave you completely clueless, depending on which language was being spoken at the time.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

‘Swim the Fly’ by Don Calame

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

The Eagle.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve got five unpublished but completed novels and one half finished novel, as well as 4 full length screenplays and many, many, many stories I started.

Virgin

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

A movie made based on your book.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

For my fan-fiction I spend a lot of time researching the details. Otherwise my novels are more character based so I don’t get into details, even in my sci-fi/fantasy novels, of the technicality of things. I sort of avoid too much research. As for character research I watch a lot of movies, read a lot of books in the genre I write and observe everyone around me. That too is research!

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

The last three months I’d been writing at least 3-5 hours daily, mostly for posting fanfiction chapters daily ( www.wattpad.com/biancawatson ). But when I’m not deep in my fanfiction I spend most of my time editing. I’ll write a novel in a month or two, non-stop, about 6 hours a day. Then I’ll stop and do edits at a slower pace. I’m not a planner, so when ideas hit me I write them as fast as I can (like my personal Nanowrimo), then I plan and edit and work hard on the rewrites, but at a slower pace, a few hours a day. It’s not a consistent thing for me, writing. It’s on a project by project basis, so the times fluctuate per month.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

I like short, simple names. Usually I can just sense that the name is right for the character or if it is wrong.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I write YA because everything I write comes out sounding YA, whether I intend it to or not. My first novel, The Virgin Diaries, was a contemporary adult romance. Yet anyone who has read it would tell you it ‘reads’ like a YA. I’m naturally drawn to writing in a more simple, easy to read, style and my understanding of the world around me seems to be naturally very young minded. So I stick with what I write best!

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I was working on my Star Wars fanfiction right after the new movie came out, doing a sequel to it. Now I’m focusing on my next novel in the Gifted Series, Takano Rynn, which comes out this Summer. I also want to write some new material for future work, and I’m editing (alongside book two) book three of the Gifted Series, which may need a rewrite for the ending. I also write in a journal when I can.

  1. Share links to your author websites.

www.biancarowena.com

www.facebook.com/biancarowena

https://biancarowena.wordpress.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Bianca-Rowena/e/B0161S8DI0

https://www.instagram.com/biancarowena/

https://twitter.com/biancarowena

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14199529.Bianca_Rowena

 

Author Interview – Pamela Allegretto-Franz


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Pamela

1 – Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing absolutely energizes me.

2 – What is your writing Kryptonite?

Getting sidetracked on Facebook.

3 – Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

No, never.

4 – What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I won’t name names; I might leave someone out. I can rely on them to be honest with their criticism regarding plot, style, tone, and character development. I am also inspired and encouraged by the authors I have met through Goodreads and Facebook.

5 – Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My first book is a World War 2 drama that will not have a sequel. My work-in-progress is a diamond caper set in Venice, Italy with an amateur sleuth protagonist who, if she is well received, may find herself in future novels.

6 – What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

$6.95 for a copy of The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

7 – What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

In 8th grade when I began public speaking.

8 – What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

History by Elsa Morante. It was a success in Italy, but the English translated version didn’t receive the recognition it deserved.

9 – As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Pinocchio is my favorite “Guy.” I love his fearless, curious nature, his sense of joy, and most of all, his unwavering love for his father. I have an assortment of Pinocchio figurines and dolls that I have collected during my annual visits to Italy. Located throughout my home, they never fail to make me smile.

10 – How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Five completed children’s books and one work-in-progress novel.

11 – What does literary success look like to you?

My desire is to entertain and inform. I want readers to lose themselves in my stories and enjoy and connect with my characters. I am deeply touched and elated when a reader takes the time to let me know through email, website, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. that they enjoyed my book. A happy, satisfied reader is golden.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

12 – What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

My research for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams included interviews throughout Italy including multiple family members, and translating countless documents and publications. The discovery of personal letters and journals written by Italian POW’s augmented my study. The consistent manifestation of hope, scribbled across those abandoned pieces of paper, afforded a valuable glimpse into the Italian sentiment during this horrific period. Research takes the author off on so many fascinating tangents; and then comes the difficult task of editing down to just enough information so as not break the suspension of disbelief. I will say, to weave my fiction around the time-line of events that I wanted to highlight was tricky, but I didn’t want to alter facts to fit my fiction; instead, I utilized truth to enhance my characters and their story. And so, after more than a decade of research, translations, false starts, writing, editing, shelving, writing, editing, shelving, etc., etc., Bridge of Sighs and Dreams finally developed into a novel of which I am proud.

13 – How many hours a day/week do you write?

I write for several hours every day.

14 – How do you select the names of your characters?

I love naming my characters. Names are important; they have to “fit” the character’s look, personality, and nationality. They need to be easily remembered (No Stobingestikofsky), and not too similar to the other characters (No Jane, Janet, Joan, Jason, Jack, etc. all in one story) Readers don’t need to spend time trying to remember who’s who or attempting to pronounce a certain name every time it shows up.

15 – What was your hardest scene to write?

I don’t want to give away the who, but sending off two of my favorite characters to be executed really had me weeping over the computer keys. I still can’t read than scene without welling up.

16 – Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

While growing up, I always hated listening to jokes about the Italians going into World War 2 with their hands raised. This was not at all the case, and I wanted to point out the bravery of the Italian population during this horrific time. Although Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is fiction. It is based on real events. I felt compelled to write a war novel in which the women don’t play the role of wallpaper or objects of amusement to soldiers and politicians. The women in Bridge of Sighs and Dreams take center stage in a behind-the-lines battle between good and evil.

17 – How long have you been writing?

I started writing in grade school. I loved books and enjoyed making up my own stories.

18 – What inspires you?

The lives of ordinary people who preform extraordinary deeds without seeking recognition. Diligent and creative people also inspire me.

19 – How do you find or make time to write?

As I don’t have a regular 9-5 job, I balance my day between writing and painting.

20 – What projects are you working on at the present?

I am currently working on a “not-too-serious” diamond caper that takes place in Venice, Italy. I am also a translator for various Italian poets, so there are continuous translation projects in the works. As a working artist, there is always a new painting on the easel.

21 – What do your plans for future projects include?

I am considering adding to and publishing my blog, Painting in Italy, which is a guide to painting in Italy for artists who prefer independent travel and off the beaten track locations. I have written 5 children’s stories that I still need to edit and illustrate, and I continue to take on select translation assignments, mostly for Italian poets and musicians.

22 – Share a link to your author website.

http://www.pamelaallegretto.com https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14409573.Pamela_Allegretto

Bio:

Pamela Allegretto lives in Connecticut and divides her time between writing and painting. In addition to her historical fiction novel, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, her published work includes dual-language poetry books, translations in Italian literary journals, articles in local newspapers, book and CD covers, illustrations, and cartoons. Her original art is collected worldwide. 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


evocative

On Sunday I attended a writing workshop entitled Texture and Emotion in Your Writing.

It was an informative and fun afternoon and we all learned a lot about word usage and creating more evocative sentences.

I would like to share my responses to a couple of exercises and then you can have a go too.

Food: 10 minute exercise. Describe the meal. Taste/Smell/Colour/Feel

Angus and Bella have gone to an upscale restaurant for a special celebration. The menu consists of shrimp on skewers with a dipping sauce, a salad of baby spinach and fruit with a lemon dressing, steak, roasted potatoes and a green vegetable. 

The sizzling of hot fat spitting from the skillet of skewered shrimp heralded the arrival of their meal. There was a salty aroma as the shrimp cooked. A see-through sauce placed in the middle of the table, added a spicy smell – it’s flakes of chili visible as the liquid clung to each dipped shrimp. Vibrant spinach leave tossed with fruit glistened in white bowls and a citrus aroma from the dressing added to their watering mouths.

Thick steaks sat on oval plates, juices flowing with a meaty char-grilled lines. Roasted potatoes broke open from browned skin into fluffy white interiors. Sliced zucchini ribboned along the side with steaming broccoli and petit pois.

Odours/Smell: 5 minute exercise. Write a better, more evocative, sentence to replace the following.

Bob came in smelling of the barn.

Dusty and hot, Bob walked into the kitchen smelling earthy and of dried grass.

Verbs and Adjectives: 10 minute exercise. Make a more textured sentence so we know something more of his mood or purpose.

Ambrose stood in the dark doorway.

With his hat lowered on his head to hide his face, Ambrose stood in the shadows of the doorway, watching intently for the bedroom light to switch off. The tip of his cigarette glowed as he inhaled, the only evidence of his presence. The gun weighed heavily in his jacket pocket. When the light went out his heart pulsed harder and adrenaline flowed through his body.

Let’s see who can come up with other evocative sentences. Please share them in the comments.

Get that writing Muse working!

This quote explains it much better: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensations in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
E.L. Doctorow