Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Ask A Question Thursday

February 14, 2019
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Today’s question is: What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

Does a cover image play a vital role in attracting a reader? Should it reflect the genre and characters in the story?

Have you changed a cover? If so why? Was the new cover more successful?

Please leave your replies in the comments. Thank you

Comments from last week question:

When your narrative is set in a real location do you research it or do you visit it?

What are the pros & cons of utilizing the internet to find out about a location versus actually staying there?

I once wrote a character who worked in a factory. I didn’t care what kind of factory, it just had to be a factory. My aunt worked in a meat packing plant, so I asked her if I could visit her at work. Not only did they let me visit, I got a tour and got to watch “the line” as they worked. It was fantastic. The story was “Poor David” and it’s in my collection, Things Withered! I’m telling you, visiting that plant was invaluable, and I’ll use the info again in some other piece, I’m certain. It’s always better to see and feel and hear a place.

Both. If possible.

New book banner Nov 2018

 

A Look Back – My First Attempt at Writing…

November 14, 2016
mandyevebarnett


I was looking back on my writing progress this weekend and came across a blog post I wrote in February 2011. Prior to that piece of writing, I had not tried out my ‘writing muscles’ in any form.fire

When I first joined my writing circle I was too shy and unsure of my ‘talent’ to read, but did enjoy listening to other members work. Eventually I summoned up the courage to read a piece. It was short and the result of a 5 minute writing exercise. The shocked faces around me as I finished reading will stay with me forever. It is still a conversation piece even now! So I thought I would share it – the three words I was challenged to use were Fire, Clock & Certainty.

Fire light flickered on the walls and ceiling as Joan sat with a glass of her favorite red wine. Watching the flames lick the logs and send little sprays of ash and sparks upward, she tried to calm her mind. It was a certainty that Thomas would be angry with her once he knew of her accident. The clock ticked as its hands made their gradual path towards 9 o’clock and the inevitable argument.
Joan had tried to cover up the dented fender with a casually placed cloth but Thomas would immediately know something was wrong as she had parked in his place in the garage. Such a creature of habit, her husband he had rules and very particular likes and dislikes. His routine had to be strictly adhered to or there was hell to pay. She knew he would go over the top with his recriminations and probably ban her from driving for months.
The clock struck nine and she heard the garage door open as Thomas drove up to it. Straining her ears she heard his car drive forward and then shriek to a halt. His place was taken up by her car now he would be mad. A slam of the driver’s door told her he was walking through to the kitchen and she could feel his presence enter the lounge.
She squeezed the trigger slowly as the instructor had told her and Thomas’ face flew apart. No more shouting, no more rules, no more living in fear. Watching Thomas’ foot twitch as the life left him gave her a rare feeling of joy. No more tormentor.

What was the first piece you read aloud to an audience?

Since this foray into writing, I have experienced an incredible journey. My writing group members have become firm friends, given me encouragement, advice and support. Without my passion and the fellowship I have enjoyed with them, I would not now be personally published, not just once but four times. (And twice in other collaborations).There are many projects for the future and ideas crowd my mind on a daily basis. It is my happy place, where I feel alive and my are words appreciated. I admit I am obsessed with this particular craft form and long may it continue.

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An invitation -50 over 50 Bloggers…

March 25, 2016
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over 50 bloggers wanted

http://katherinescorner.com/bloggers-age-50-older-wanted

Hello Followers,

I would like to invite you to join in with this ’50 over 50′ blog project. It sounds like fun and will connect us with even more people in the blogging world.

Click on the link and sign up.

Expand your horizons, connect and support.

 

Kathie Sutherland – A Poet and Life Balance Seeker…

November 11, 2015
mandyevebarnett


Kathie

What inspired you to write your first book? My experience of SCUBA diving and a writing circle in which “angels” were a prompt.

How did you come up with the title? “Angels from the Sea” was inspired by a prompt and an appreciation for angel fish seen while SCUBA diving.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)? My poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines, anthologies and trade magazines. I have published two books of poetry, one produced by Dream Write Publishing and one through CreateSpace, as well as four chapbooks of poetry sold as a fundraising project.  I produced 5 copies of “Angels from the Sea” and published them using handmade paper hardcovers produced by a woman at the Strathcona Farmers Market.

Balancing

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? “Angels from the Sea” was written after two diving trips to Belize. I wanted to share the profound, one of a kind experience of diving and travel in writing.

How much of the book is realistic? Many of the poems arose from my appreciation for travel, SCUBA diving and observations on these two trips.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? These poems are based on my experience, thoughts and feelings.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Interestingly, my latest book “Shadow Girls in the Spotlight” is the opposite of the goodness of “Angels from the Sea.” And no, I wouldn’t change either book, although I am working at changing myself.

ShadowGirlsInTheSpotlight

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? We all have dualities in our nature.

What do you enjoy most about writing? Expressing the relationship between ineffable concepts and concrete forms.

What age did you start writing stories/poems? I wrote my first short story in grade 10.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? I enjoy research in all projects.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write? Spiritually focused poetry.

Do you see writing as a career? Yes. Especially journal writing for personal growth because it is my purpose and the subject of my writing workshops.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Retired and writing my memoir.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  Writing fiction that has nothing to do with my real life.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline? Satisfaction.

Have you ever hated something you wrote? No. It’s all been grist for the learning mill.

What book do you wish you had written? I want to finish my memoir and a novel.

What is your best marketing tip? Be comfortable reading to an audience.

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What genre is your next project? What is it about? Poetry. “A Madwoman’s Raving.”

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? This book is about surrendering negative thinking and embracing love and positivity.

How do we find your books, blog and bio? I have a website. www.kathiesutherland.com and a writer’s page on Facebook.

Christmas Story Telling – An Opportunity…

December 1, 2014
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My writing group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/) were invited to participate in story telling at a locally organized event on Sunday – Christmas in the Heartland (http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/economic-development-and-tourism/tourism/christmas-in-the-heartland/)

Bremmer House Read 30Nov2014

The venue was Bremmer House, a beautiful old house in the midst of renovation. (http://www.strathcona.ca/local-government/about-strathcona-county/strathcona-county-history-and-heritage/places/historic-buildings-and-sites/bremner-house/) 

Myself and two other Board members of the foundation attended and two of us read Christmas themed stories to visiting children.

Books at Bremmer

The room as you can see was beautifully decorated to enhance the Christmas atmosphere. Unfortunately, our room was also the only one that did not have adequate heating so we remained in our coats and boots throughout the day. It brought realism to the reading if nothing else!

Books displayed.

Captive audience

The event not only gave Karen and I valuable experience in reading and interacting with an audience but also enabled us to spread the word about our writing group and our published works. Volunteering for events is a great way to be involved and meet new people.

Reading Nib the mouse who made a house in a Christmas cake.

Karen at Bremmer

Karen wrapped up cozy.

What have you learnt from your author readings?

What was the most unusual setting you read in?

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