Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

A Creative Workshop Story

November 7, 2019
mandyevebarnett


 

I attended a creative workshop a couple of Saturday’s ago held by my writer’s group, The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. The topics were POV and plot lines. We had several warm up exercises and an explanation of the various POV types and the variety of plot structure methods. Then with a timed exercise of twenty minutes, we had to write a short story using those techniques but with a title and a genre picked from a bowl. My title was Clue of the Painted Hand in a children’s book style. Although the last couple of paragraphs were added later, I think I did pretty well to have characters, plot, and a beginning, middle and finally an end!

Capture

Clue of the Painted Hand

Daisy pulled at her mother’s hand as they entered the library. It was her favorite place. Books let her escape to other worlds and made her feel less lonely. An only child, Daisy looked like a mini replica of her mother – blonde, brown eyes and slim -the only difference was the flower shaped birthmark on her right cheek. The reason she was called Daisy.

As usual there were lots of people in the library browsing book shelves and she saw a small huddle of younger children were listening to story time. Daisy felt too old for the short picture book stories and felt proud her reading age was ten years old, more than her real age of seven. She surpassed most of her school class mates in reading.

She looked over to see her mother talking to a friend so made her way to the book shelves in her favorite section – mystery adventure. Daisy loved jigsaw puzzle when she was younger, solving the patterns to create a whole picture. Now it was the same with stories. She would figure out the answer to the clues in the narrative before the end, most of the time.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, Daisy ran her fingers across the book spines reading the titles. If one interested her, she took it out and read the explanation on the back. One by one she piled up books beside her. She could take out ten books and always finished them before the next Saturday. One book pulled another off the shelf and Daisy dropped them on the floor. As she lay down to grab one from under the shelf her fingers encountered another book shoved under the wooden base. After several tries she prised a dusty old book from under the shelf. It was an old book, its cover tattered and dusty. Daisy used her sleeve to wipe the dust off the cover. The title was immediately interesting – Clue of the Painted Hand. Oh this looks good, she thought. Turning the book over and opening it, she realized there was no library stamp of barcode. How long has it been there? Looking side to side, Daisy felt a real thrill – a book I can keep! A shiver of excitement and guilt went through her young body. No-one would know, she could put it in her coat pocket without anyone seeing. Her curiosity could wait no longer; opening the first page a map covered the first two pages. As she traced her finger over the markings and named streets, she recognized one – Hampton Avenue, where she lived. How could a book hidden under a shelf have a map of her town?

“Daisy, are you ready to go?”

Her mother’s voice startled Daisy and she quickly put the book in her pocket before picking up her selected library books. With the books scanned, they returned to the car. Daisy kept her excitement to herself but raced upstairs as soon as they arrived home. Now I can read the clues and find whatever treasure there is. It only took an hour to read the book. It told the story of an old Jack in the Box made by a master toymaker, who lived in the town many years before. His shop sign was a painted hand. This particular Jack in the Box had a musical mechanism and a doll instead of a jack, which popped up. Daisy read the clue, traced the map’s tracks and realized the location of the box was in the play ground behind her house.

She walked through the back garden, through the gate and counted steps just like the map said – one, two, three – until she reached twenty-five steps. Standing beside an overgrown old fountain, she pulled ivy and weeds away. The instructions said there was a secret detail to push in sequence. Daisy brushed away dirt and old leaves to find the stone carved like a bunch of daisies. She pressed the first petal it did not move, then another. Gradually, she discovered the petals that did move and marked them with a thumbprint. Now how do I press them in the right order? She sat down cross-legged and looked at the stone decoration. It was a posy of daisies, the stems long and disappearing into the weeds. Maybe I should pull these weeds out as well. Her thought propelled her into action. The flower stems were encased in a stone vase decoration with faint lettering on it. After rubbing the grime off with her sleeve, the words were clearer. A riddle! How exciting.

I’m at the peak

Then to the right

Follow me to the base

And reach to the left

A final center will release

Daisy read the riddle three times then pressed the loose petals, top, right, left, bottom and center. A grating sound alerted her to something moving. The vase shape pushed forward to reveal a void. Sitting in it was a dusty square box. With nervous excitement, Daisy pulled it out of its hiding place and wiped it clean. She knew her mother would be upset with all the dirt on her clothes but the treasure was worth it. Gently, she wound the handle on the side of the box until the lid burst open to reveal a beautiful blonde doll, head to one side holding a book and smiling. Music started to play and the doll’s head moved side to side just like if she was reading. This is so beautiful, she looks a little like me. Blowing gently she rid the doll and its book of a layer of dust. That’s when she saw the title of the book – Daisy the Adventurer. It is me! How can that be? Another mystery for me to solve but maybe I will need mother’s help. With great care, Daisy pushed the stone vase back into place, pulled the ivy and weeds back over the fountain and walked home cradling her treasure.

I hope you liked it. 

Which plot method do you think I used? Story map, Story Flow Chart or Story Mountain?

 

Author Interview – Catherine Saykaly-Stevens

August 6, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

CatherineSaykalyStevens_ProfilePic

What inspired your latest novel?

This time around, I’m writing a screenplay. I see a new space opening up in Transformation/ Transformation thrillers. The inciting idea was watching a young man open his 23ANDme results and discovering that he was not related to either parent or his siblings.

How did you come up with the title?            

Serf, in early Christian times ignorant and powerless French peasants worked the land, handing most of their hard earned labours to the local Lord. 

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

When change happens slowly people don’t necessarily notice it until it’s happened. Politicians are corrupt, and groups of young adults attempt to publically prove the consequence of a bad political decision can be overturned. They captures the unwanted government attention, just as they are about to graduate.

  • Anyone can capture anyone’s attention.
  • Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
  • It only takes one action to start a movement.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s based on our normal North American history, but where one political decision made 4 years earlier launched a new direction, and how one privileged young man searches for answer to a personal dilemma in this new political environment.

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

They are completely fictitious and living in my head.

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

I have a digital marketing Blog on my Website: TheNetworkingWeb.com
Connect with me: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook1 | Facebook2 | Instagram | YouTube (launching April)

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

This one is written specifically for the Netflix 5-year Series.  No other sequel, but the books will spawn 2 more from the same Story World.
So far, I have over 200 story outlines. My biggest problem isn’t coming up with ideas; it’s finding the time to write and to STICK TO and FINISH 1 story.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Honestly, I don’t have favorites. Each has their uniqueness, secrets, and quirks. I just jump from brain to brain when the moment calls.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

Mystery, missing persons, and thrillers have always been my favourites.  Today I see the transformational writing space opening up and am interested in producing transformational thrillers.
Curious? The Matrix is one.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I used to be a seat of the pants style writer. Now I outline EVERYTHING to develop intriguing layers first, to ensure that it works. (Fiction) In business writing, you plan everything.

What is your best marketing tip?

It takes MONTH’s to launch a book properly.
Use your book as a tool to get interviews, lots of them!

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

Good question, as a digital marketing expert, social media could very well be the most disruptive tool ever seen, or when used effective, they greatest tool to grow your audience and sell more books, attend more conferences, and to maybe get a movie deal.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?

It’s cathartic. It’s my outlet. It lets me release the ideas in my head.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

Maybe 6. I may have rewritten my cartoon to run stories the way I wanted them to turn out. Fan Fiction circa @1983

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

I’ve always writing the mysteries/missing person thrillers in fiction.
For work, because social media and digital marking is ALWAYS changing, I’ve had to rewrite old books and keep putting out new ones. That’s why they are never in print.

What genre are you currently reading?

Thrillers, mystery, crime, Psychological drama’s in fiction – business and marketing books and biographies in non-fiction and biz.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

I use to read far more for pleasure, not I read mostly for work.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My brother from another mother. We are each other’s biggest content creation supporters.

Where is your favorite writing space?

Comfortable bustling coffee shops where I don’t know anyone.

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

I used to belong to Inklings until a few years back, most crime writing, but not for a few years.
I belong to one of the many #12WeekYear now, for HIGH productivity

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it, be and why?

Two come to mind: For science and for decades I’ve always wanted to meet James Burke. These days, I’d love to interview Malcolm Gladwell.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

I am partially connected to many cities. I’d like to live a winter to WRITE in Prague, Florence, or Seville, or most other locations where old cobble stone roads are the norm, little watering holes has people speaking English as a second language and the locals LOVE to share their stories, history, and folklore.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. For work, I regularly produce technical writing, copy writing, blogs, articles, even copy for explainer videos. For myself, I write Novels, Outlines and Screenplays.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

I drink as I write all day; coffee mostly, then water, a specialty soda is a treat.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

Start the next project. No rest for the wicked

BookCover_SMS4W_final_3D.jpg

TITLE:  Online Research Paths: Fake or Real?

Once the internet became available to the masses, new opportunities to collect and post data fueled new research.

However, not all information online is true. Still, there are many rich information resources to collect information, post queries to request information, and apply listening tools to seek information not yet posted. There is truly no limit.

How can you use this great online resource to your advantage yet not waste value time?

This interactive class explores online search methods, queries, and untapped resources.
Catherine invites you to bring your search queries, mobile devices, and questions.

Author Interview – Joan Havelange

May 21, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

IMG_0396 joan photo

What inspired your latest novel?

I was watching an old Agatha Christie movie. And I thought what if my amateur sleuths decide to solve a murder, but with much less skill. My ladies are a modern-day Miss Marple with a bit of bite and a lot of humour.                

How did you come up with the title?

I’m an avid golfer, but my golf shot does not always go where I want, like down the fairway. Hence the name Wayward Shot. The wayward shot leads the ladies into a wild adventure.

Havelange-WaywardShot-150

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

Life does not end when you reach fifty plus, adventure is waiting for you.

How much of the book is realistic?

Nothing

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

No, no one I know, but bits and pieces of personalities I have meant over the years may poke up now and again.

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

No blog.

https//facebook.com/mablemysteries

https//twitter/@joanjhave

https//Instagram/joanhavelange

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

I don’t know.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I guess Mabel, she says and does things we would like to, and Violet is the exact opposite, she holds Mabel back from disaster. Well, some of the time.

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

Mysteries, I like the puzzle.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I plan my stories. I start out with a What if. Then I plot out the story line.

What is your best marketing tip?

Your blog for one, you can have a fabulous book. But if the readers don’t know your book is out there. Fabulous won’t help.

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

So far it has been good to me.

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love the what if. I take an ordinary circumstance and then I do the, what if this happened.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I started writing in my twenties, romances, but I was never published.

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

I now write Cozy Mysteries, I found out I was not very romantic.

What genre are you currently reading?

A mystery, but I do read other genres.

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Pleasure, but you learn as you read.

If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Linwood Barclay, his mysteries are amazing I never figure out whodunit. I love his humour too.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Right here. except when it’s minus crazy.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

A cup of coffee.

Bio:

Joan Havelange has been writing fiction since her early twenties, beginning with romance stories. Always a fan of mysteries, she is an avid reader and writer of cozy mysteries.

She is an accomplished actor and director of community theater, which lends well to her writing. Joan is a world traveler and enthusiastic golfer. She lives on the Canadian prairies and has three grown children.

 

 

Author Interview – H.M. Gooden

May 15, 2019
mandyevebarnett


AuthorInterview

Thankfully we have the interview details now so only a day late 🙂

gooden

What inspired your latest novel?

I’m currently working on a novel for a retelling of Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham…it has completely gone off script though so I’m interested to see where it ends up!                                                                                                              

How did you come up with the title?                 

I actually don’t have a title yet! I think that’s a first for me actually. Now I’ll have to work on that before I can talk about it. Hmmmm! 

Dream

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

I tend to have repeating themes of good vs evil, but also of friendship, love and family. I think it’s important characters are strong but also can rely on their loved ones. That is what gives them the little extra they need to defeat the bad guy.

How much of the book is realistic?

The settings all exist, but there are a lot of fantastic elements. I love myths and legends and magic, so much of what happens in my book is impossible.

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

Pieces are, here and there, but my characters come into my head and as I write they tell me who they are. I don’t think a single character has been ever exactly one person I know.

stone

Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?

I have a blog on my website, https://hmgoodenauthor.com

And can also be found on Twitter- https://twitter.com/HMGoodenauthor

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/HMGoodenAuthor/

My fan page, Summerland gate,

https://www.facebook.com/groups/981341802029808/?ref=bookmarks

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17229510.H_M_Gooden

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/hmgoodenauthor/

BookBub- https://www.bookbub.com/profile/h-m-gooden

Amazon- amazon.com/author/hmgooden

phoenix

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

Not sure yet! Chances are it will have something following it, and I’ve found that many of my characters and books intersect. So highly likely!

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I have a special fondness for my first main character, Cat McLean, but I think I love them all. How can you pick your favorite child?

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

I love paranormal. I think it satisfies my wishes for a little magic in regular daily life, and maybe one day, I’ll find I have magic after all!

dragons

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

I do a little of both. I like to write a synopsis of what I think should happen, but often veer off course – that’s okay though, because I think stories truly evolve as you write.

What is your best marketing tip?

Be consistent- be yourself, be nice if you aren’t a nice person, and keep on working on it. What works for one person doesn’t work for all people, so don’t give up!

Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?

A bit of both! I’ve met some great writers and readers through it, and it can be helpful at having people find you, but it can also seriously eat up free time that could be used to write the next story

raven

OPTIONAL QUESTIONS

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I love the act of creation and finding out where a story will lead me. I’m always surprised by the end product.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

Six? As soon as I could read I started writing

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

Oh it’s so different! When I was young I tried to write reality and magic kept intruding. When I started again as an adult, I was looking for the magic and found it!

What genre are you currently reading?

I read a little everything- fantasy, romance, paranormal, mystery, thriller, self help, philosophy history- basically anything that catches my eye

Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Mostly for pleasure- I spent twelve years reading for school and now I can read for pleasure again I’m making the most of it.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

It’s a tie- my mom or my husband.

Where is your favorite writing space?

Anywhere my children aren’t haha!

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

In an RV- that way I can see the world!

Do you see writing as a career?

For many people absolutely- for me? No it’s a passion not a career. Maybe some day!

Bio:

M. Gooden has been scribbling on everything since she first learned how to hold a pencil. While often told that her handwriting was atrocious, she persisted, and upon discovering computers and learning how to type, she realized that she was no longer limited by her (admittedly) messy writing.

Unfortunately, life and work and family have conspired to make it only possible to write in the wee hours or at coffee shops, so most of her love of reading and writing are indulged at times when only vampires and insomniacs abound.

Beginning in October of 2017, her love of writing and the characters in the world she has created burst into public view in her first book, Dream of Darkness, which follows the adventures of a group of girls fighting evil with abilities that H. M. Gooden would love to have. As a result, 4 am has become even busier trying to find out what will happen to her paranormal buddies in the future, and book six, seven and eight are in the works.

 

Contact Information:

hmgoodenauthor@gmail.com

https://www.hmgoodenauthor.com

Social Media:

| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author Central | BookBub |

Gooden’s Summerland Gate – Facebook Fan Page

 

Genres of Literature – Pulp Fiction

November 26, 2018
mandyevebarnett


pulp-fiction-genre-presentation-1-728

The term ‘pulp’ comes from the cheap wood pulp used to print the inexpensive fiction magazines first popularized between 1896 through to the 1950’s. During this time a typical pulp magazine consisted of 128 pages on paper 7 inches wide by 10 inches high with raged, untrimmed edges.

The term pulp fiction became synonymous with run-of-the-mill, low-quality literature. They were the successors of the penny dreadfuls and dime novels, known for their lurid, exploitative and sensational subject matter. Many contained stories of superheroes, such as The Shadow, Flash Gordon and Doc Savage.

Frank Munsey’s Argosy Magazine of 1896 is seen as the first pulp fiction publication with 192 pages and no illustrations, even on the cover. It combined cheap printing, cheap paper and cheap authors in a package that provided affordable entertainment to young working-class people. In six years, Argosy went from a few thousand copies per month to over half a million.

Next on the market was Street and Smith, a dime novel and boy’s weekly publisher with The Popular Magazine in 1903, boosting 194 pages. It’s success was increased when they serialized Ayesha by H. Rider Haggard in 1905. His Lost World genre influenced many key pulp writers including Robert E. Howard, Talbot Mundy and Edgar Rice Burroughs. In 1907, 30 pages were added to each issue, the price increased by 15 cents and a stable of established writers proved successful. The next innovation was introducing specialized genre pulps within each issue. Popular titles were monthly, many were bimonthly and some were quarterly.

The peak of popularity was in the 1920’s and 1930’s with the most successful pulps selling up to one million copies per issue. Although, by that time there were some 150 pulp titles, the most successful were Argosy, Adventure, Blue Book and Short Stories., collectively known as “The Big Four”.

Primarily and American publication there were also a number of British pulp magazines published between the Edwardian era and World War II. These included the Pall Mall Magazine, The Novel Magazine and The Story-Teller.

Pulp magazines began to decline in the 1940’s, due to paper shortages during the Second World War, when smaller and thicker magazine publishers began publishing  paperbacks, comics and digest-sized novels and the heavy competition from comic books, television, and the paperback novel.

When the primary distributor of pulp magazines, American New Company liquidation it was seen as the end of the pulp era. By that time many of the famous pulps were defunct, leaving a few specializing in science fiction or mystery in the digest size format.

Have you read or written ‘pulp’ fiction?
Blog at WordPress.com.