Tag Archives: stories

Genres of Literature – Picture Book


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A picture book combines visual and verbal narratives aimed at young children with the pictures being prominent rather than the text, which is written with vocabulary a child can understand but not necessarily read.  Therefore, picture books have two functions for children: firstly they are read to young children by adults, and then later children read them once they begin learning to read.

Well known children’s books include Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat, and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.

Which was your childhood favorite?

From the mid-1960’s several children’s literature awards have included a category for picture books. However, some picture books are published with content aimed at older children or even adults. Tibet: Through the Red Box, by Peter Sis, is one example of a picture book aimed at an adult audience.

My first published book was a picture book, Rumble’s First Scare. Not because it was easier but rather the subject matter appealed as a unique children’s story. The POV of a monster coming from underground on All Hallow’s Eve to ‘scare’ the children. However, Rumble is much too cute to be really scary. 

Rumble

Do you write children’s books? Care to share in the comments?

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


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The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?

I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.

Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?

“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”

She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.

There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?

“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”

He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.

“Go on then, run.”

Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.

“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”

She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.

He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.

I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.

Genres of Literature – Grotesque


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The Grotesque is often linked with satire and tragicomedy, in which the author conveys grief and pain to the audience. The term was first used to denote a literary genre with Montaigne’s Essays. Many of the earliest written texts described grotesque happenings and monstrous creatures within mythology, which was of course a rich source of monsters. Examples, such as the one-eyed Cyclops from Hesiod’s Theogony or Polyphemus in Homer’s Odyssey and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where we find grotesque transformations and hybrid creatures of myth. 

This genre was a departure from the classical models of order, reason, harmony, balance and form, opening up an entry into grotesque worlds. British literature abounds with native grotesquerie, from the strange worlds of Spenser’s allegory in The Faerie Queene, to the tragi-comic modes of 16th-century drama. 

Occasionally, literary works of mixed genre are termed grotesque, such as “low” or non-literary genres such as pantomime and farce. Gothic writings often have grotesque components such as character, style and location while other describe the environment as grotesque. Examples being urban (Charles Dickens), or American south literature,  termed as “Southern Gothic”. Other grotesque uses have been social and cultural formations, such as the carnival(-esque) in François Rabelais and Mikhail Bakhtin. Or in satirical writings of the 18th century, such as Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

Thereby fictional characters are considered grotesque if they induce both empathy and disgust by way of physically deformity or mental deficiency, but also if the character has cringe-worthy social traits. In Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the figure of Caliban inspired more nuanced reactions than simple scorn and disgust. Also, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the character of Gollum may be considered to have both disgusting and empathetic qualities, which fit him into the grotesque template.

One of the most celebrated grotesques in literature is Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame and of course Dr. Frankenstein’s monster can also be considered a grotesque, although he is presented more sympathetically as the outsider who is the victim of society’s alienation as they describe him as  ‘the creature.’

There are also examples of grotesque literature during the nineteenth-century, however the grotesque body was displaced by the notion of congenital deformity or medical anomaly.  And more in terms of deformity and disability, especially after the First World War, 1914-18. The growth of prosthetic’s created themes of half-mechanical men and became an important theme in dadaist work.

You may be surprise to know that Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is deemed grotesque literature due to the many fantastic grotesque figures she meets. However, Carroll managed to make the figures seem less frightful and fit for children’s literature.

Were any of these surprising to you?

Have you written grotesque fiction?

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Author Interview – Wendy Hobbs


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Wendy and book

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

My writing energizes me as I love, Claudia Quash, the heroine that I have created. She’s strong and brave and hopefully she inspires people never to give up on their dreams.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

The magical moment in ‘The Spell of Pencliff’ is when Claudia Quash discovers that she has special powers of her own.

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

No

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have connected with many authors through social media, and I think that we all inspire and encourage each other by reading each other’s work and sharing marketing ideas.

  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am developing the ‘Claudia Quash Series.’

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The Spell of Pencliff book cover

Giving away free copies of the ‘Claudia Quash Series’ to children in the hospital to help pass the time. and hopefully inspire them and give them hope.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I was inspired by the speeches that I read by famous politicians.

  1. What’s your favorite novel?

My favorite novel is Wuthering Heights and it is also my favorite film.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

It would have to be the mechanical dog featured in ‘The Spell of Pencliff.’

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I am currently editing two books at the moment.

  1. What does literary success look like to you?

Literacy success is being able to use the money to help create more special memories for seriously ill children and their families of Dreams and Wishes Charity.

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I spend a great deal of time researching before I write as Claudia Quash travels back in time and it is important that I know the date of the inventions in ‘The Spell of Pencliff.’

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

It depends on how busy I am with book-signing commitments, school visits and promoting Dreams and Wishes Charity, which is very important to me.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

Firstly, I imagine what the character will look and act like and what sort of person I am trying to convey, then I choose a name that I think fits his/her personality traits.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

The most difficult thing to describe is how things in the book grow bigger and then shrink in size and how it made Claudia Quash feel.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? 

I love writing magical adventures and Claudia Quash, my chosen protagonist is the character that I became intrigued by. I enjoy the way her personality changes and grows and how she adapts to her different surroundings. At the moment, I don’t have any plans to write under another genre or develop a new character/characters apart from the ones that Claudia meets during her adventures.

  1. How long have you been writing?

After I qualified as a lawyer, I studied for a degree in ‘Theatre Studies and Drama’ and during this time I did a lot of writing and became interested in storytelling. My debut novel, ‘Claudia Quash:The Spell of Pencliff’ took me three years to write.

  1. What inspires you?  

My daughter, also called Claudia has inspired my writing.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I write early in the morning, in the evening or whenever I am not busy with the wonderful Dreams and Wishes Charity that grants dreams and wishes to seriously ill children and their families.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I am currently editing the second book in ‘The Spell of Pencliff’ series and completing an activity book.

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

I am keen to write more short stories for younger children.

BOOK COVER DREAMS&WISHES

  1. Share a link to your author website

‘Claudia Quash : The Spell of Pencliff’ and ‘Claudia’s Special Wish’ are available on Amazon, Kindle, and as an Audiobook and via my website – www.wendyhobbs.com

The Spell of Pencliff   – http://myBook.to/ClaudiaQuash

Claudia’s Special Wish – http://MyBook.to/SpecialWish

Author page – http://author.to/WendyHobbs

ClaudiaQuash/Facebook

Twitter @WendyFHobbs

Bio: WENDY HOBBS, LLB (Hons), BA (Hons), PGCE.

 I am a Lawyer, Ambassador for Dreams and Wishes, and a children’s fantasy author of “The Claudia Quash Series.” My journey began when I took a break from my legal career to study for a degree in Theatre and Drama, and I developed an interest in storytelling. My debut novel, “Claudia Quash:The Spell of Pencliff” has received amazing 5 star reviews, and it won a book award. “The Spell of Pencliff’ is a magical adventure  inspired by my daughter, also called Claudia, and it is based on Tenby (Pencliff), a historic town steeped in ancient history in West Wales. The story features the Tudor Merchant’s House, St Catherine’s Island and the famous Ghost Walk. My aim was to write a story that not only captivated the reader’s imagination, but to create a unique character that encouraged children to pursue their dreams and never to give up.

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Last year, I was invited by Mr Tony Curtis MBE, founder of Dreams and Wishes Charity, to write a book to inspire children. I wrote “Claudia’s Special Wish,” which was launched by the Secretary of State for Wales,  and I had the honor of reading the book on behalf of the charity in the House of Commons and in 10 Downing Street.

Author Interview Glynis Guevara


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Glynis

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing energizes me.

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

I cannot think of any. I love writing. It helps my mental health and I can’t associate writing with anything negative.

  1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

No, I have always wanted to write under my real name.

  1. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I don’t have any close friends who are authors, but it would be nice to develop friendships with some authors.

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  1. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I have written several stand-alone books, but I am currently working on a sequel to debut YA novel, “Under the Zaboca Tree.” The working title of the sequel is “Poui Season”

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The best money I’ve spent as a writer was hiring a good editor.

  1. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I used to have a lot of pen-pals when I was a kid. I was able to develop good friendships through writing. I even met a couple of my pen-pals during my travels through Europe. Writing allowed me to learn more about other cultures.

  1. What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

A Dog or an Elephant. They are my favourite animals.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have at least three unfinished books and four books that are completed but unpublished. I am currently seeking a literary agent for two of the finished book. Two of them have already found homes. My second YA novel, “Black Beach” will be published by Inanna Publications in the fall of 2018. A third novel, “Barrel Girl,” is also forthcoming from Inanna Publications.

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  1. What does literary success look like to you?

Literary success means being able to support myself mostly by writing

  1. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I do a lot of research online, but I also speak to experts. The amount of research depends on the information I am seeking.

  1. How many hours a day/week do you write?

Lately, due to an ear injury I am writing only once or twice a week. But when I’m healthy I write at least ten hours a week. I sometimes write more depending on deadlines.

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

It depends. I sometimes just use names that come to me. Other times, I search baby books on line for suitable names.

  1. What was your hardest scene to write?

There have been many hard scenes to write. But one that was particularly difficult involved writing about leatherback turtles in my soon to be published YA novel, “Black Beach.”. I had to do a lot of research and I hope I got it right.

  1. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?  If you write more than one, how do you balance them?

I write mostly YA novels. I didn’t set out to write YA books. It simply happened. I have one adult novel that I’m seeking a publisher for; I am currently making a few changes as requested by a literary agent who expressed an interest in reading the entire manuscript.

  1. How long have you been writing?

I have been writing all of my life. I tried to write my first novel when I was about fourteen. It was a learning experience even though I don’t think it was very good.

  1. What inspires you?  

Reading good books inspires me.

  1. How do you find or make time to write?

I am very disciplined regarding my writing. I usually challenge myself to write a specified amount of words per week and stick to it.

  1. What projects are you working on at the present?

I am editing an adult novel and also writing a sequel to my debut novel, “Under the Zaboca Tree.”

  1. What do your plans for future projects include?

My plans for future project including writing two more YA novels that I am currently researching as well as another adult novel that I have already completed about seventy pages of.

  1. Share a link to your author website.

glynis.guevara.com

Bio:

I was born in Barataria, Trinidad and I hold a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) degree from the University of London, England. I am also  a graduate of Humber School for Writers creative writing program. In 2012, I was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary short fiction prize and in 2014 my manuscript “Barrel Girl” was a finalist for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean literature. “Under the Zaboca Tree” is my debut YA novel. I currently live in Toronto where I work as an adult literacy instructor.