Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

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 – A Podcast Interview, Itching to Edit & A Writing Retreat

October 7, 2021
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I hope you will be able to enjoy my latest podcast interview with Randy Lacy at Between The Lines. Here: I had a fun time talking story inspiration, books, hobbies, reincarnation and writing. As always I am open to questions, just drop me a line.

Once again thanks to Creative Edge Publicity for arranging this opportunity.

I have been avoiding another edit of book one of my detective trilogy, An Elusive Trail, for a month now. This is not because I have lost interest in it, but so I can ‘distance’ myself from the story a little. This will enable me to process the next editing/revision task better, allowing me to ‘see’ the narrative with fresh eyes. I have been through the draft three times already, but as we all know, there are always some things that are missed. This weekend I will use these ‘fresh eyes’ to do a thorough read through, while on a writing retreat. Unfortunately, this may be one the last retreats of the year – BOO! It all depends on the Albertan weather. So, I will take advantage of the time to write, edit, read and explore new places with Sammie.

I have upcoming Interview dates of 18th October and 6th November – so watch this space!

What are you working on? What is the genre?

Do you have a book launch you would like to share?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Road Trip Companion and Essentials

June 10, 2021
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I am lucky to have fellow writer/author and best friend, Linda, who loves road trips as much as I do. This friendship has led to numerous road trips over the last twelve years or so, giving us the opportunity to explore my new homeland and Linda’s home. We have several essential items that we pack or insist upon in our accommodation, a companionable routine for the driving and exploring, as well as the writing, editing and reading portions of our trips.

We do not ride the highways but back roads, trails and secondary highways giving us time to stop and watch wildlife, take in the scenery and explore hamlets and ghost towns. We have been inspired on multiple occasions to create but also to decompress and relax. We have encountered numerous animals, witnessed fabulous scenery and found little known corners of Alberta, Saskatoon and British Columbia.

For the driving portion of our trips, we leave early knowing we will be taking the long way to our destination. This has culminated in more hours added to a trip than maybe we should admit to! (Case in point our last ‘day road trip’ took fifteen hours.)

Our in-car essentials are:

My road trip book to write down the road numbers, towns and counties we travel through and Linda’s map book to mark out the roads we travel. A bird identification book, blankets, emergency kit, shovel, trolley, chargers, camera, sunglasses. Also a bag for trash and water bottles.

Our accommodation requirements are:

A desk (or two) and two comfortable chairs, a nice view, and a kettle! (I need my tea). Comfortable beds, ample lighting, space to spread out our things and a good shower.

Our trip essentials are:

Lap tables, laptops, notebooks, pens, current writing projects, reading material, chargers, extension cord and power-bar (there are never enough power points), cell phones, camera, back-up drives.

Comfortable clothes (layering is essential), warm socks, jackets, walking shoes/boots, slippers. These change dependent on the time of year of course. Eye glasses and ear plugs, a bottle of wine & snacks, easy meals and tea bags (Okay I’m English teabags are a must!)

Neither of us needs noise so silence reigns unless we are discussing our day or writing projects.

Over the years our routine has evolved into a well oiled machine. We are comfortable in silence and respect each others creativity and time to just create and enjoy the wonders we encounter.

Having time to let our writing Muse gather and cultivate new ideas, allows us to start, progress, or even finish writing projects.

What road trip essentials do you need?

When was your last road trip/ Where did you go? What did you do?

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – Seasonal Changes Affect Your Writing & WIR Advantages

March 25, 2021
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As we Albertan’s look forward to ‘proper’ Spring instead of ‘false Spring’, we look forward to embracing the warm weather to write outside and enjoy nature. It is not a pretty sight, with brown grass and slush but it will get better. Although, COVID still has us under restrictions, there are ways to enjoy the outdoors. We can drive to a lake or forest, even explore the Rocky Mountains. If you are like me and my friend, Linda, take the back roads and discover untouched parts of the province. Get away from the noise of the city or town, immerse yourself in the stillness and quiet. Here is where your writing Muse flourishes. It is a time when a new project or idea may come forth.

Indulge in people watching, notice how your mind and body react to the change of season. Learn to use emotional, social, and climatic insights and feelings to the benefit of your craft. It gives us an idea how weather can effect a character’s situation or show the passing of time.

How do the different seasons affect your writing?

In other news my ghost writing gig will start late April/early May so it gives me more time to complete the first book in my detective trilogy. I worked with my designer on the covers for the trilogy so that they are consistent and will ‘link’ together when all three books are laid down beside each other. It is always difficult not to share the cover of a new book, there is excitement and eagerness to show them off. I will have to curb that and keep them secret until launch days, apart from the normal teasers, of course.

When you are working on your book covers, how do you ensure your vision comes to life?

I have been very lucky to have access to several talented artists for my book covers through my writing group, Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and my publisher, Dream Write Publishing.

I have been taking advantage of our local Writer in Residence at my library with Zoom open mic meetings and special presentations. This is a great way to have an unbiased view of your current work, not only through the readings and subsequent feedback but also because you can send a sample of the manuscript to them for review. Each year the WIR’s are from different backgrounds and literary genre’s, but no matter what your genre (or theirs) this tool is well worth taking advantage of this free service then maybe you should.

What are you currently working on?

I have a presentation on blogging this Saturday. An Easter writing retreat to look forward to. And a ghost writing project lined up for late April/early May.

You can register for the writing conference here. There is a broad spectrum of writing skills to learn about. https://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/annual-writers-conference

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – False Spring in Alberta and Book Review.

March 23, 2021
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Apologies for my tardiness today.

As I am an acclimatized Albertan (for the most part!) I was enjoying the warm spring weather last week. Being able to walk with Sammie without piles of warm clothes on was such a treat. However, when I opened the front door for our early Monday morning walk – there it was a light dusting of snow. This is what Albertan’s call ‘false spring’ and it can be a see-saw of weather conditions. Warmth and cold, back and forth for several weeks. So out come the boots and heavy coat only to be too hot later in the day when the temperature goes up. The landscape is brown spotted with white and we anxiously await the blush of green in due course. It will come we just have to be patient.

I finished reading Road Tripping, which was a fun book and full of wonderfully eccentric character’s and places. My review:

A great trip around Alberta! Lots of place I have visited on my own road trips too. Great humor, local history and food! A fun read.

I will start Miss Benson’s Beetle tonight.

Miss Benson's Beetle

What are you currently reading?

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