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Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…

August 30, 2017
mandyevebarnett


writing-hub

Writing:

I succeeded in increasing the word count on my new YA story – Bubble the Gruggle to 17,715. It is a fun story set on another planet. The message within the tale is to care for your environment no matter which planet you live on.

I’m impatiently waiting on the go-ahead from my publisher to begin my cover reveal and teasers for The Twesome Loop. The official launch is set for 30th September at Words in the Park. Although I have two tables for this event I’m having to plan how to set them up to showcase the new novel but also give my other books, fair representation as well. This newest novel is number five in my published works!

Rumble’s First Scare, The Rython Kingdom, Ockleberries to the Rescue, Clickety Click.

It is amazing that I have this number of books when I only began writing when I immigrated to Canada and joined my writing group in 2009. (8 years 14 weeks to be precise). I am making up for lost time.

I have been asked where I get my titles and character names. Well mostly it is a word that pops into my head or a combination of a title/word/name I have heard or seen. Some, like Rumble, just seemed right for the character and the mischief he performed and for my magical woodland sprites, Crispin and Tansy were reflections of their personalities. (Ockleberries to the Rescue). Clickety Click was easy as it is the sound Alice hears in the story. Rython was a made up word for the griffon within the tale Guillem relays to the King’s court. As for the ‘Twesome Loop’ I wanted something mystical/intriguing as the loop is the means by which a link is made.

I try not to have a ‘common’ novel title to avoid confusion for my readers when buying my books. The internet gives us an easy way to check we are not duplicating a title.

How long have you been writing?

When was your first book published?

How many books do you have published to date?

How do you choose your titles and character names?

Books:  Beautifully engaging characters and a mystery that propels me to continue reading.

Mind of the Phoenix

Next on my TBR pile are:

A Desperate Fortune by Susanne Kearsely and 11/22/63 by Stephen King

What are you reading at the moment?

How many books are on your TBR pile?

Writing Tips:

Don’t judge the first draft.

No matter what you’re writing, the first draft should be about getting the ideas on the page—never let your inner editor hold you down at this stage. That’s what revisions are for.

How do you approach your first draft?

Writing Hub -Books, Writing, Tips & more…

August 23, 2017
mandyevebarnett


writing-hub

Writing:

Although I did escape with my friend, Linda for a mini break over the weekend, I did not get around to writing for me. We spent time organizing for our Words in the Park event and the launch of our writing group’s Canada 150 book project. Working together is easy and productive, we work well as a team.

Words in the Park – Saturday 30th September 10:00 am – 4:00 pm- Spark Gallery, Sherwood Park. 

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

We did, however enjoy an afternoon of history at the Fort Normandeau, where we were taught some Cree words around a fire pit. Then a wander through the fort itself and conversed with the chickens! Then onto the Kerry Wood Nature Center and a 1 km walk to the viewing/duck hide. Ducks, mostly bottoms up and two greater yellow-legs. A tour of the center – bookstore, gallery and nature discovery. 

 

 It was good to recharge the batteries, so to speak and I returned home refreshed.

 

Books:  My review: 

Santa writes with eloquent descriptions giving the reader a perfect tapestry of place and character. Her characters are well structured, engaging and keep the reader intrigued until the end. Woven between England and Italy this novel gives a taste of life in these two places and the struggle of their inhabitants. I highly recommend this book, it was a joy to read.

The Mermaid Garden

Already enjoying the intricacies of this story! And have just found out there is a sequel launching.

mind-of-the-phoenix

Writing Tips:

I wrote about how stress can have a profound effect on your writing here: https://mandyevebarnett.com/2015/11/16/stress-blocks-creativity/

https://goinswriter.com/how-to-overcome-writers-block/

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/7-ways-to-overcome-writers-block

What do you do to overcome the ‘block’?

Writing Prompt Contest – Window View…

May 28, 2016
mandyevebarnett


window view Shaw

Today’s photo is actually from the upper floor window of my old school – Shaw House in England. It is an Elizabethan manor and the Roundheads took a shot at King Charles I through this window. The hole in the wooden paneling has been preserved. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaw_House,_Berkshire

Give your imagination free reign and write a poem or short story (1000 words maximum) to reflect those facts or something entirely different.

Have fun.

After voting prizes will be awarded quarterly to the most voted response. Remember to post your response in the comments.

 

Alternative Living -Moving to Another Country…

March 16, 2016
mandyevebarnett


Expat

As an expat myself, I know the trials and tribulations of moving to another country. I moved from the lush green of England, where I could easily travel to the sea in a mere forty minutes. Days of dull and grey weather were the norm and we were used to the rain! However, my family, the centuries old history, and the glorious countryside are what I miss the most.

I now live landlocked in Alberta, Canada, where the winters are long and extremely cold but the summers are hot and we have sunshine a large amount of the time year round. It was so unusual to wake up to sunshine seven days running that my body was in shock. Now when we experience a dull cloudy day, we refer to it as “English’ weather! To get to the ocean requires a flight or several days driving.Canada has enabled me to pursue a passion for writing; given my children an advantage in life and the people have warmly embraced us.

expat3

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons:

Pros

A new country means new experiences for you and your family, such as different cultures, customs, laws, and often languages. You will taste unknown foods and get to experience day to day life that may be a polar opposite of what you are used to. Meeting new people from other backgrounds will broaden your horizons and give you an insight into their culture.

Language may initially be a barrier, although it is best to learn the language before moving. It will make the transition easier and lessen misunderstandings. It can also enable you to find work quicker and benefits your resume/CV when relocating.

Financial benefits can be an incentive to move as many countries have a lower cost of living enabling you to stretch your finances. Although initially there maybe a financial burden due to the extra costs of moving, monthly bills and required purchases, such as vehicles.

A common reason to move is to have a fresh start giving the feeling of freedom and possibilities. You can also form new friendships and interests, which benefit you socially and emotionally.

Cons

Actually uprooting yourself from all that is familiar and comfortable is a stressful endeavor. It is best to research, investigate and meticulously plan everything prior to moving. This will lessen the culture shock to some extent while you find housing, and work.

There is an element of risk that must be considered. A job may fall through or you have not had confirmation of a position. You will probably have to sell all your belongings or spend a considerable sum on transporting them. Your accommodation may not be as expected. Again with careful planning these risks can be minimized.

The largest toll on you will be the emotional one. Living far away from family is the hardest burden to bear. You will miss the simplest of moments, like popping round to a family members house for a quick chat or taking part in seasonal celebrations. There is technology available although it is not the same as being there.

It will take some time to get accustomed to the new country and you need to be patient with yourself. Accepting the ‘new’ and embracing it will help.

I will give you a couple of instances of things I encountered and had not realized prior to moving to Alberta. One the price shown on the item you purchase is not the price you pay! There is 5% GST (tax) added at the check out. Also unlike the English 2-3 week’s vacation per year for each employee, here you do not automatically get vacation until you have worked one year with a company. When you change jobs you start again!

Expat-Living

What has been your experience of moving to a new country?

Did you stay or did you return?

Welcome back Paul W Papa – A Second Interview…

February 9, 2015
mandyevebarnett


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What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been fascinated with history and with Las Vegas, combining the two seemed like the natural thing to do with It Happened in Las Vegas.

IHI LV HIRES

How did you come up with the title?

The publisher came up with the title actually. My first book is part of a series called “It Happened In…”

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

My latest book Discovering Vintage Las Vegas is my fourth book, all of which have been published by Globe Pequot Press. This was by far my favorite one to write as it celebrates all those great places that have been in Las Vegas for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years—quite an accomplishment for a town that blows up its past like most people change their shoes. This book tells their stories and invites the reader to visit each place on their own. Additionally, there are shout outs of vintage spots that each contains a short but interesting tidbit.

DiscoverVintageLasVegas

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. It’s important to treasure the past as you move forward.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s non-fiction, so all of it. One of my favorite places is a gorgeous chapel right on the Las Vegas strip that got its funding from a notorious mobster.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are no characters in this book. However, there are plenty of people and they are all very real.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes. I would’ve liked to include a story on Ralph Jones Display. It’s a great spot where Christmas is celebrated all year round. I didn’t think of it until after I already wrote the book, but I did manage to give the place a vintage spot shout out.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want them to understand that history doesn’t have to be boring. We all remember sitting around the campfire enthralled by some great storyteller. That’s what I want history to be—a great tale that you can’t break yourself away from.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I don’t really have a favorite chapter. Each story was a little adventure on its own and I enjoyed following each one to its conclusion—receiving a unique reward each time.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

History: or more specifically, the story of people. I find people fascinating and I have learned that each and every one of us has our own little story. My goal is to capture as many of those stories as I possibly can.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m not into satanic things or the occult—though I have written a book about haunting in Las Vegas (Haunted Las Vegas). That’s not a road I feel comfortable walking too far down.

Haunted LV HIRES

What book are you reading now?

I’m always reading books on my craft—learning how to tell stories the best way I can. For relaxing reading I can usually be found with my nose in Lawrence Sanders’ McNally series or following Tom Dorsey’s lovable serial killer (I know—but it’s not what you thing) and Florida historian Serge.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, Gretchen Archer and LynnDee Walker, both mystery authors. If you have not checked out these two women, you are missing something indeed.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yeah, a hard career, but a very enjoyable one. Hard only because what they don’t tell you at author school is that you can write the greatest book ever written, but if you don’t know how to get that book into the hands of readers, you’re wasting your time. Authors need to know not just how to write, but also how to embrace that evil word “marketing.”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Key West Florida…oh, you meant as a career didn’t you? I see myself with several books on the bestseller list, doing what I love—capturing people’s tales and ensuring their stories are not forgotten.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making sure I honor the people I write about. Those people entrust their stories to me and I feel a strong weight on my shoulders to do them justice.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes, but only after it was published. Okay, here it is…my first book has so many mistakes in it I’m embarrassed to call it mine. I wrote the book too quick and didn’t spend enough time proofreading. When you get dates wrong, you lose your credibility and once that’s gone you can’t get it back. I learned a valuable lesson not to skip the proof-reading step. You can tell a great story, but if you say that story happened in 2003 when it really happened in 1993, you’ve cheated your audience—the people who have trusted you with their time and money.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Art of Driving in the Rain, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

What is your best marketing tip?

If you Indie publish, learn as much as you can about key words. Don’t think of it as marketing, put yourself in the role of the reader and think “how would I find this book if I were looking for it,” then make sure you book comes up on those searches.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

Non-fiction. I’m writing a book about bike trails in and around Las Vegas. I’m an avid bike rider and this is my first guide book. It’s been fun and challenging…and I’m always up for a new challenge.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure, it’s a guide to 35 bike trails in and around Las Vegas. Some trails are for mountain bikes, some for road bikes, and some for urban bikes.  The book contains mile-by-mile instructions, as well as maps and cool things to do in the area.

Best Bike Rides of Las Vegas Cover

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

I can be found here:

Amazon Author’s Page: amazon.com/author/paulwpapa.americanstoryteller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulWPapa?ref=hl

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3172096.Paul_W_Papa

In addition, I have a website: www.paulwpap.com. I have a blog on the site, but it is kind of under construction, but keep checking back, I have a very exciting project in the works and should be revealing it shortly.

Here is a link to Paul’s previous interview in 2013 -https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/04/07/interview-with-paul-w-papa/

You can see he has been extremely busy writing! Thank you for joining us Paul.

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