Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Wordsmith Collective Thursday – A Question Every Writer is Asked

May 5, 2022
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As writers, we are used to being asked why do we write. Our answers are as diverse as we are as individuals and the many genres we write. There is no catch all answer, our reasons are as many as there are stories. No matter if there are similarities in upbringing, location, class, education or a plethora of other influences, how we perceive our world, and the experiences we encounter on our life’s path, make us unique. Therefore, our stories are unique to us. How we tell them, creative them, construct them is ours alone.

So, I will endeavour to answer that question in my own unique way. And hopefully, it will give you an insight into my creativity.

I write because I enjoy creating imaginary worlds, its characters and their stories. To weave a story around characters that I have conjured up in my mind, gives me not only satisfaction but also allows me to be creative. It is a kind of escape really. I become immersed in another world, where everything is possible through my fingertips. As a naturally creative person, who has tried many forms of creative expression, writing has given me the ultimate power. I am omnipotent. I can place characters in different eras, on other planets, in magical kingdoms – wherever I want. After saying that, a lot of my characters do dictate their story lines and propel me into new unexpected directions on occasion. This is part of the enjoyment and magic of writing. I hope to continue writing for as long as I can see and type and even then, maybe I can utilize modern technology to continue!

To another commonly asked question: what do I really want, my answer is – I want my stories to be my legacy. To be read and enjoyed for future generations and hopefully give a glimpse into my personality when I am gone. Instead of just the ‘dash’ on the gravestone there will be a pile of books to note my contribution to literature. It is a way of paying it forward into the future.

How do you answer these questions?

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Author Event – Independent Bookstore Day

May 3, 2022
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I was honoured to be part of Indie Bookstore Day at my local bookstore, The Sherwood Park Bookworm on Saturday. With so many books to choose from and three local authors and a couple of artisan’s attending as well, it was a great day.

I was sequestered on one of the lavish armchairs to display my novels and chat to visitors. It is always a pleasure to talk about my stories and the backstory of their creation. I am always open to reader questions and welcome a comment or email at any time.

These beautiful paper flowers were too beautiful not to purchase by @unwrittenbookbinding.com

What is your local bookstore called?

The Smart One by Jennifer Close A glimpse into a family’s thoughts, their interactions and events that cause friction, reassessment and belonging. Well crafted characters that you will become involved with, finding some similarities within your own family dynamics, others far from your experience

What are you reading?

Wordsmith’s Creative Thursday – Creative versus Freelance Writing

March 17, 2022
mandyevebarnett


Photo by Andrea Davis on Pexels.com

When I initially, made the decision to branch out into freelance writing after a couple of paid gigs, I had no idea how it would affect my writing style. Obviously, it was interesting, but also gave it me another avenue to learn my writing skill.

When I write creatively, I am in control of what happens, where the story leads when I write and ultimately when I finish. However, with freelance projects I quickly learned to accommodate another person’s viewpoint, requirements and adhere to a deadline. Fulfilling another person’s vision for their project is about asking questions – lots of questions and then reiterating them to ensure you are both on the same wavelength. Among my past projects, I have written new bio’s, edited manuscripts, created blog and social media posts, written articles and information leaflets, mentoring and ghost written a hybrid marketing book to name a few.

Through this business I have gain experience and knowledge from each project, which allows me to hone my skill. I have also gained valuable insights into other styles of writing, which in turn have assisted me in my creative writing. You may think that cannot be the case, but all writing teaches us something. It can be as simple as writing to a deadline or writing to a specific style or tone to align with current literature or media. It also gives me great backstories for future characters, who work in environments I am writing and learning about so a win-win situation.

Have you broaden your writing into freelance? What has your experience been like?

You can find my freelance website, testimonials etc. here:

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Love a Local Bookstore – Daisy Chain Book Co.

March 8, 2022
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1.     How did you start your journey into a bricks & mortar bookstore?

I began by resurrecting and researching an idea that had been brewing in my mind for many years: a mobile used bookshop. In time, and with a lot of work, the book mobile became a reality. I enjoyed connecting with readers, but realized I was leaving them behind when I traveled to other communities. That was the impetus to open a bookstore.

2.     What was your motivation for owing a store?

To create a community space where readers can gather, creating a literary hub for the neighborhood

3.     Will your book van still be touring at some point?

No, the van was decommissioned just after the store opened – a side effect of the pandemic

4.     What is your view of print versus digital books?

There will always be room for both, and there are dedicated readers of both eBooks and tree books. Paper books (or tree books) are still a relaxing respite from screens which we desperately need. eBooks do not support independent bookstores, so I am a biased fan of tree books!

5.     You are obviously a reader – do you have favorite genres? If so which ones?

I prefer contemporary fiction, and I especially like books with strong characters that tell a story that makes me FEEL something. A book that makes me cry gets extra points.

6.     Do you have a special place to read?

Although I do have a very cushy corner of my sofa, I don’t get to sit there as often as I’d like. So, I guess I don’t really have a favorite place to read. I am on the move a lot and one thing I love is that my books can adjust to wherever I am and make any place I sit down cozy and satisfying. 

7.     Which book began your reading journey as a child?

The Ringmaster’s Secret by Carolyn Keene

8.     What are your plans for the future of the store?

To develop a strong community and always make newcomers curious about their next great read. I have many ideas about future plans, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what’s happening next!

9.     What makes the Daisy Chain Co unique?

No two indie bookstores are the same, they each reflect the passions and character of its owner. DCBC is very much like me, so it’s hard to answer that without talking about myself. I guess you’d have to ask someone in our reading community this question!

10.  Can you tell us about the programs and events you offer?

It’s best to go to our calendar for all the current events.

11.  How can book lovers find you?

Social media, website, Google, and walking by. Address: 12525 102 Ave, Edmonton, AB T5N 0M4

12.  Is there a message you would like to relay about the store?

Choosing to support your local indie bookstore keeps your community vibrant. I would encourage readers to cease the “Add to Cart” habit and instead choose to get books from a local bookstore that is dedicated to your community and cares about you. There is nothing quite as magical as an indie bookstore, and if we want to keep them around, we have to be supporting them. I am so grateful for the remarkable readers who support us!

Connect with Daisy Chain:

Instagram: daisychainbookco

Facebook: @daisychainbookco 

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – What About Those New Year’s Goals? How are you doing?

October 28, 2021
mandyevebarnett


At the start of each year, some of us decide on goals for the year. These range from the most common ones, such as weight loss, fitness, and stopping smoking, the ‘healthy ones’ in other words. But, what of the other goals, the practical ones, so to speak? For authors this would be improving our brand, more sales, promotional opportunities, presentations or speaking engagements and more. As writers, we want to increase our word count, the number of projects completed, or receiving publicity or publishing deals.

Obviously, many of these goals go by the wayside pretty quickly, while others make it to mid-year, or possibly later. The question that arises is – why make goals in the first place? Are we swept along with the possibilities of a fresh start? Do we think we can achieve them, and stay committed to our self-inflicted goals? The excitement of a whole new year ahead of us is a powerful momentum for change. I think that is the key to our initial thinking, when it comes to annual goal making.

As we all know that momentum gets harder to maintain as the months roll by. We get off-track.

There are time constraints, health issues, family matters, work events, vacations, seasonal holidays – the list goes on. Each scenario affects how we feel, our ‘free’ time, and what we are able to accomplish. There is always some ‘distraction’ pulling us away from that initial elation of new year possibilities.

So, what is the answer? This is a difficult question to answer, as we are all experiencing life in a multitude of ways. No one person is the same as another. I think the first step is to be totally honest with yourself, when it comes to setting goals in the first place. Too many goals, too loftier a goal and the ‘good grief’ goals should be shelved before they even get ‘out the box’.

Making a goal is a very personal thing. You need to look at what your time will allow and also your personality trait. Do you have a week to week, or month to month planner or do you hope for the best? Or something in-between? Having too many goals sets you up for failure and that isn’t good for anyone.  Remember we don’t have to do ALL the goals in one year – pace yourself. Put the most ‘important’ one first, then plan accordingly and stick to it. Put less pressure on yourself and accomplish one or two instead.

My goal board

You can even make a ‘goal’ under the umbrella of a wider spectrum, such as ‘improvement’, whether for your health or for your writing career. Many of you saw my 2021 goal board link – it is the best board I have made in many years and I don’t think I will be changing it very much for 2022. I have goals I want to reach in the next few years and the board reflects that for me.

Realistically, a goal can take longer than a year. Accept that and work towards it at your own pace. Time constraints and deadlines are not applicable here. We all ‘work’ at different paces, make that work for you.

How are your 2021 goals coming along?

Have you succeeded or are you on track?

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