Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Book Trailer for The Commodore’s Gift

September 22, 2020
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I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this fantastic book trailer for The Commodore’s Gift, created by Kelsey Hoople.

It is the first book trailer I have had created and it conveys the excitement and adventure of the story. It also highlights Owena, my fierce heroine and the stalwartly Galen.

As a steampunk novel, the background is set in a Victorian/industrial era of the imagination. Steam powered machines, elegance of the era and the fight for supremacy.

Under the Buldrick Empire’s rule, Owena finds herself fighting alongside a rebel force. Her aptitude for strategy and swordsmanship come to the fore. When she meets Galen, not only does she fall in love but becomes even more determined to join the fight to restore the rightful King to the throne.

The official launch is at Words in the Park – Virtual where I will be interviewed and talking about the idea and concept for the book and my writing life. Feel free to join me Facebook Live 2.35 pm https://www.facebook.com/events/2603735563209646/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/178555652163835/

The book or ebook will be available on 26th September on all purchase sites.

Let me know what you think of the story – leave a review.

Many thanks

Mandy

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Famous Books and Author Readings

September 1, 2020
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Once we leave the education system, our reading choices change. Free from scheduled literature, some we had no interest in reading in the first place, our choices expand. Depending on our own particular favored genre, we pick books for a variety of reasons. However, have you read any of the classics?

The following list is for the 20th century, but of course there are many other books that have been hailed as excellent over the decades.

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

How are you liking your current read?

Due to a variety of things I am still reading One Step Closer but hope to finish in the next week or so. Then I will begin If It Bleeds followed by The Secrets of Flight.

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Have you reviewed each book this year? Remember your pledge in January.

I found a great reading by Stephen King from If It Bleeds. There’s something special about hearing an author read their work.

Take care an happy reading.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Discovering & Reading New Authors

August 25, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As readers we all have favourite authors, whose writing engages us. We impatiently wait for their next book to come out. In the meantime, what are our options? Should we read another favourite author or find someone new?

I tend to read an eclectic range of genres and authors, although of course any new book by Stephen King is a must for me. However, I am lucky to be able to edit or review author friend’s books and manuscript’s as a freelance writer. This opens up exciting new narratives to me and I will have to say has introduced me to new writing styles.

I am currently reading a debut novel by Sophie Pollard and have another book arriving in the mail any time now from Suzanne Burkett.

I feel reading new genre’s and authors expands our imaginations and opens us up to new reading experiences. There are many ‘lists’ on the internet, if you care to search giving information on new books for each season, entries into contests and up and coming authors. It is a good place to start as well as asking your family and friends for recommendations.

Do you stick to your tried and tested authors or do you try new writers? Have you discovered a new exciting author in some way? Care to share?

Of course I would like to suggest one of my own books. The current list is here: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V  My newest novel, The Commodore’s Gift (steampunk) will be launched on 26th September 2020

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Happy reading and comment below to join in the conversation.

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday -Creating A Book Launch During COVID19

August 20, 2020
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With the restrictions on events and social gatherings, it is difficult to launch a new book in the traditional way. However, there are ways to promote your newest novel.

Make sure to announce the book title, it’s genre and date of publication and issue date on online sites. This can be through subscriber emails, on social media or local newspaper editorials. Or a combination of all three!

A great way to get your new novel out is a virtual book tour. You can utilize your social media platform and post dates you will be answering questions about the book. There are many options to choose from: Instagram Chat, Facebook chat, Zoom or your own YouTube channel.

If you have fellow authors willing to post your book announcement on their blogs that would be great too.

Offer blog subscribers and/or local book clubs a virtual book reading with a Q&A session afterwards.

Depending on your book’s genre (children/YA) you can create an interactive activity based on your narrative theme.

If you have a local bookstore – offer to have several signed copies available in store.

Be creative and think outside the box! What can you utilize from the story to showcase the book?

Have you launched a new book during COVID19 – how did you do it?

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My own steampunk novel, The Commodore’s Gift is set for release 26th September, so I am planning a virtual launch. I have already shared steampunk images on my social media and a few teasers. I even created a steampunk bird, which was a lot of fun. Not sure if I keep him or include him in a gift basket. We will see. Of course there will be a book cover reveal as well.

Now I have to create the six week pre-launch campaign.

 

Author Toolbox Blog Hop- Character Building

August 13, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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Whether you spend time intricately plotting and creating your story line or let the story flow unbidden, one facet of all stories that must be created and created well are its characters. Your protagonist, antagonist and all the supporting characters have a ‘job’ to do. They must give our readers an insight into their personalities, their struggles, ambitions and fears. Characters build the ‘world’ you have set your characters within by showing it through their eyes, their thoughts and actions.

Every writer has his or her own methods, when it comes to the creation of a character.

  1. Name,
  2. Physical attributes
  3. Personality traits.
  4. Setting.

For example, Setting: an alien being trapped in a spacecraft, a monster hunting its prey or specific behavior traits for period pieces.

Physical features: This primarily gives our readers an image but more importantly an idea of their personality. A thin, acne-faced teenager will not automatically give our readers the idea of a ‘superman’ kind of personality but a muscle bound, athletic type could.

Name: a good starting point for our creation, but it is also a minefield. Research into real persons, living or dead should be foremost, unless of course you are writing about that particular person.

Accent: a character’s voice says a lot about their location and background.

Real people or not: We can base characters on people we know or a combination of several or from people watching – an author’s favorite pastime. As writers situations, overheard conversation and life in general is a constant source of inspiration.

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There are numerous ‘character development work sheets’ available on the Internet and it can be useful to fill them in for your main characters, if you have no clear ‘picture’ of them to begin with.

I tend to write the story letting my characters dictate how their story will unfold. In so doing the characters develop creating their own story. This tends to change the narrative from my initial perception.  In this way they may develop characteristics I had not considered or react quite differently to a situation from my preconceived idea. This method may seem harder than having a detailed description of each pivotal character, their backstory and emotional compass, but it is my method.

We ‘live’ with our characters for a long time and they become ‘real’ to us. This enables us to write the story with ‘insider knowledge’ of our characters backstory, their emotional compass and their ultimate goal. This knowledge becomes paramount during the subsequent drafts and editing process, giving us a well-rounded character and a believable one for our readers. In truth, the initial draft is the testing ground for our characters, and revisions make them well rounded and ‘believable’.

Character profile

How do you create your characters?

Recognize these characters? Remember how irate poor Wile E Coyote would become with Road Runner? No matter what he did he never succeeded in catching his ‘dinner’. Beep, beep would ring out as yet another ACME kit damaged the coyote instead of the bird. It was truly a lesson in perseverance. No matter how many times the speedy bird escaped the coyote he would try, try, try again. I actually went past a road sign to Acme on my way to Canmore one time and wished I could have made a detour just for the fun of it.

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The art of creating such lovable and memorable characters is what every author strives for. We hope our creations will stay in our readers minds long after the last page has turned. Character profiles and back story play a large part in ensuring our characters are well rounded and believable. We delve into their personality type seeking out traits and habits to make them react to their crisis situations in an authentic way.

Do you make up scenarios for people you observe? Have any made it in to a manuscript?

 

Without characters our stories would have no real impact on our readers. We write to engage and intrigue them and hopefully make our protagonist the character our reader cares about. If your experience is anything like mine, there is usually one, or possibly two characters, that make their presence known in no uncertain terms. They want the starring role in our narrative. These characters are usually more defined in our minds and are ‘easier’ to relate to, whether because of a personality trait or that they are more fun to write. When creating the protagonist and antagonist in our stories, we give each opposing views and/or values. This is the basis of the conflict that carries our readers along their journey. Each character, whether major or minor, needs to have flaws and redeeming features, motivations, expectations, loyalties and deterrents.

With such a guideline our characters become clearer. A lot of the details will never reach the pages of our manuscript but knowing our characters well makes for a more believable personality as they struggle through the trials and tribulations, we subject them to. As most of you know I am a ‘free flow’ writer so everything is by the seat of my pants until the editing starts. This is where I find character flaws or great character traits that I can correct or build upon. My characters live with me during the writing process and usually lead me in directions I had never considered – I’m sure many of you can relate to that. As these personalities gain strength they become more ‘real’ and that is the moment their true selves appear.

When creating characters we must remember to ensure that each character acts and responds true to their given personality. Character profiles are a good way of ‘getting to know’ our characters. For example this sheet.

character

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