Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – The Benefits of Reading

March 24, 2020
mandyevebarnett


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You have no doubt seen numerous authors sharing their books all across social media sites and readings from favorite books recorded for children in the last few weeks of social distancing. This sharing is the writing communities way of bringing some comfort to everyone isolated during this time. We have the ability to ‘connect’ remotely, which is a blessing during this time of COVID-19. 

As we all know information is the new currency, and reading is the best source of continuous learning, knowledge and acquiring more of that currency. However, reading has many other benefits, you may not realize.

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It puts your brain to work as it uses various parts to work together, in essence reading is exercise for your brain. It becomes active allowing growth, change and the making of new connections and different patterns. While reading we can roam the expanse of space, time, history, or discover deeper views of ideas, concepts, emotions, and our body of knowledge. Reading increases ‘fluid intelligence” which is the ability to solve problems, understand things and detect meaningful patterns. Other benefits of reading are an increase in attention span, focus and concentration. reading is in fact a multifaceted exercise.

Fictional narratives, allow us to imagine an event, a situation, numerous characters, and  details of an imagined story. It is a total immersion process. It has been proved that reading literary fiction enhances the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions, a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships. So the more you read the better you become within your own mind and for those around us. So get reading!

Everyone please take care, stay well and safe. 

If you are looking for a new read please take a look at my books. I have narratives for children, young adult and adult so something for all the family. As always if you have any questions about any of the books please comment below and I will answer.

Enjoy a good story and escape for a while.

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Mandy+Eve-Barnett

http://www.dreamwritepublishing.ca

ebook-sites

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MDUAS0V

Wordsmith’s Collective Thursday – #AuthorToolboxBlogHop – Define a Genre for Your Narrative

February 20, 2020
mandyevebarnett


genre-picture-2Being aware of your genre can help you contextualize your story but remember—just because you may have been writing towards a certain kind of genre, it may not mean that’s what your story actually is.

Common Genres include:

  • Thriller –built around the fast-paced pursuit of a life-or-death goal.
  • Fantasy – typified by fantastic aspects, such as magic.
  • Sci-fi – Sometimes called ‘speculative’ fiction. Fiction typified by scientific aspects, such as nonexistent technology or alternative realities.
  • Horror – instilling dread or fear in the reader. Sometimes but not always featuring supernatural aspects.
  • Mystery – solving of a mysterious set of circumstances.
  • Crime – typified by a focus on criminal activities.
  • Historical – set within a defined time period but drawing context from the cultural understanding of that time.
  • Western – typified by aspects of the American frontier.
  • Romance –focuses on a romantic relationship as the source of its drama.
  • Erotica – primarily intended to instill arousal in the reader.
  • Literary – focuses on realistic, weighty issues, typified by character-focused writing and a lack of other genre features.
  • Adventure Story
    A genre of fiction in which action is the key element, overshadowing characters, theme and setting. … The conflict in an adventure story is often man against nature. A secondary plot that reinforces this kind of conflict is sometimes included.
  • Biographical Novel
    A life story documented in history and transformed into fiction through the insight and imagination of the writer. This type of novel melds the elements of biographical research and historical truth into the framework of a novel, complete with dialogue, drama and mood. A biographical novel resembles historical fiction, save for one aspect: Characters in a historical novel may be fabricated and then placed into an authentic setting; characters in a biographical novel have actually lived.
  • Ethnic Fiction
    Stories and novels whose central characters are black, Native American, Italian American, Jewish, Appalachian or members of some other specific cultural group. Ethnic fiction usually deals with a protagonist caught between two conflicting ways of life: mainstream American culture and his ethnic heritage.
  • Fictional Biography
    The biography of a real person that goes beyond the events of a person’s life by being fleshed out with imagined scenes and dialogue. The writer of fictional biographies strives to make it clear that the story is, indeed, fiction and not history.
  • Gothic
    This type of category fiction dates back to the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Contemporary gothic novels are characterized by atmospheric, historical settings and feature young, beautiful women who win the favor of handsome, brooding heroes—simultaneously dealing successfully with some life-threatening menace, either natural or supernatural. Gothics rely on mystery, peril, romantic relationships and a sense of foreboding for their strong, emotional effect on the reader.
  • Historical Fiction – story set in a recognizable period of history. As well as telling the stories of ordinary people’s lives, historical fiction may involve political or social events of the time.
  • Horror – includes certain atmospheric breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces.
  • Juvenile – intended for an audience usually between the ages of two and sixteen. The language must be appropriate for the age of the reader, the subject matter must be of interest to the target age group, the opening of the work must be vivid enough to capture the reader’s attention and the writing throughout must be action-oriented enough to keep it with the use of suspense and the interplay of human relationships. Categories are usually divided in this way: (1) picture and storybooks (ages two to nine)… ; (2) easy-to-read books (ages seven to nine)… ; (3) “middle-age” [also called “middle grade”] children’s books (ages eight to twelve)… ; (4) young adult books (ages twelve to sixteen.
  • Literary Fiction vs. Commercial Fiction
    Literary, or serious, fiction, style and technique are often as important as subject matter. Commercial fiction is written with the intent of reaching as wide an audience as possible. It is sometimes called genre fiction because books of this type often fall into categories, such as western, gothic, romance, historical, mystery and horror.
  • Mainstream Fiction – transcends popular novel categories—mystery, romance or science fiction, [etc.] and is called mainstream fiction. Using conventional methods, this kind of fiction tells stories about people and their conflicts but with greater depth of characterization, background, etc. than the more narrowly focused genre novels.
  • Nonfiction Novel – real events and people are written [about] in novel form but are not camouflaged and written in a novelistic structure.
  • Popular Fiction
    Generally, a synonym for category or genre fiction; i.e., fiction intended to appeal to audiences for certain kinds of novels. … Popular, or category, fiction is defined as such primarily for the convenience of publishers, editors, reviewers and booksellers who must identify novels of different areas of interest for potential readers.
  • Psychological Novel
    A narrative that emphasizes the mental and emotional aspects of its characters, focusing on motivations and mental activities rather than on exterior events.
  • Roman a Clef
    The French term for “novel with a key.” This type of novel incorporates real people and events into the story under the guise of fiction.
  • Romance Novel – the romance novel is a type of category fiction in which the love relationship between a man and a woman pervades the plot.
  • Romantic Suspense Novel – romantic suspense novel is a modern emergence of early gothic writing and differs from traditional suspense novels because it moves more slowly and has more character interplay and psychological conflict than the fast-paced violence of [most] suspense thrillers.
  • Science Fiction [vs. Fantasy]
    Science fiction can be defined as literature involving elements of science and technology as a basis for conflict, or as the setting for a story.
  • Techno-Thriller – utilizes many of the same elements as the thriller, with one major difference. In techno-thrillers, technology becomes a major character.
  • Thriller – intended to arouse feelings of excitement or suspense focusing on illegal activities, international espionage, sex and violence.
  • Young Adult – refers to books published for young people between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

Do real research, describe aesthetic/tone/vibe over content, and be open to adjusting your decision down the line as you grow more accustomed to working with genres.

genre

Genre is different from age group

Genre isn’t the age group you’re writing for.  Age group and genre are often said together, so it’s easy to think they’re the same, but they’re not. For example: Young adult is the age group – Spy and thriller are the genres.

The primary age groups are:

– Board books: Newborn to age 3
– Picture books: Ages 3–8
– Colouring and activity books: Ages 3–8
– Novelty books: Ages 3 and up, depending on content
– Early, levelled readers: Ages 5–9
– First chapter books: Ages 6–9 or 7–10
– Middle-grade books: Ages 8–12
– Young adult (YA) novels: Ages 12 and up or 14 and up

Choose a primary genre

When you pick your primary genre, you’re identifying the most prominent elements of your book. Ask the following questions.

You may have a handful of these elements in your book but when picking a primary genre focus on the most dominant aspects of your novel.

Is there magic?

If the answer is yes, then your book is most likely a fantasy. Is it set it in a fictional world that you created from scratch (like Lord of the Rings)? Then you probably have a high fantasy. Or is it built into our own world? If so it is most likely an urban fantasy.

Is it a fairy tale or a fairy tale retelling then you might want to classify your book as such.

Are there paranormal creatures (such as vampires, zombies, etc.)?

If there are, then it could be a fantasy, or it could be a supernatural/paranormal. Fantasy and paranormal are closely related and share some overlap, so it comes down to what is the more dominant element. If the magic is the more dominant element, then you have a fantasy. If the creatures are the more dominant element, then it’s supernatural.

When is it set?

If it’s set in the past, it’s probably a historical fiction. If it’s set in the present, you’ve got a contemporary and if it’s set in the future, it’s probably science fiction.

Where is it set?

If it’s set in this world, it might be a historical or contemporary. If it’s set in a world you made up, it might be some kind of fantasy or science fiction.

Is there manipulated science/technology?

If you are using significant manipulation of the science, we know today it’s likely to be science fiction. If you have time travel, then you could consider it science fiction.

Is there an element of mystery/crime to solve?

If the main purpose of your plot is mystery, then this is the genre you will use.

Is it laugh-out-loud funny?

If it is, then you’ve got a comedy

Is it a tear-jerker or a book with a lot of interpersonal conflicts?

Then it’s probably some form of drama.

Is there a romance?

Use the romance genre when the central plot of the book is a romantic relationship.

Is it intended to scare?

Then you’ve got a horror.

Is it “literary”?

If it’s a deep book, rich with symbolism and deeper meaning that’s meant to be dissected an analyzed than you most likely have written a work of literary fiction.

Is it action packed?

If your book is littered with action scenes like fights and car chases, then you have an action or thriller on your hands.

Is it about a terrible version of this world?

Then you’re looking at a dystopian.

Now decide which elements you think are the strongest/most prominent. That’s your primary genre.

Do your research

Make sure you do your research and have a good understanding of genre conventions. Readers of each genre have certain expectations. While you can most definitely take some liberties, you want to make sure you’re giving your readers what they’re looking for.

Note*** I did a series of posts throughout 2018 detailing every genre if you want to scroll through put ‘genres’ in the search box.***

#AuthorToolboxBlogHop

 

My Author Online Interview

November 21, 2019
mandyevebarnett


I had so much fun doing this interview…nice to be on the other side of an interview for  a change 🙂

https://onlineforauthors.org/mandy-eve-barnett/

Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, young adult and adult books. Every story has a basis of love, magic, and mystery. Mandy currently lives in Alberta, Canada but is originally from England. Her background is diverse and gives her rich experience to utilize in her writing. She has been a nursing professional, a business owner, and a sort after administration expert. She has traveled throughout Europe, parts of America and Canada and was born in Africa.

Mandy joined a writers group about 10 years ago and has not looked back. She shares about reading her first piece of writing to the group “I thought okay, I have to write something. So I write this very short piece and it had a twist at the end. So, you know, I was really nervous, but I read it and the room went quiet. I’m thinking, “NO OH!?” I’m never coming back again, it was obviously dreadful and they absolutely hated it. Then everyone went, Wow! They just loved it and that was the hook for me to have a reaction to something I’d written just was absolutely thrilling. I’m just thinking I have to do it again.”

Mandy is passionate about writing to the point of obsession and she succeeded in becoming a published author in record time. With eight books published since 2011 and one more launching in September 2020, she indulges her Muse in creative as well as freelance writing. Her venture into freelance writing has been successful in creating projects as diverse as social media posts, promotional literature, and professional biographies, to ghostwriting a marketing book. She also regularly contributes to the Never Been Better page in the Sherwood Park newspaper, has been published in several anthologies and collaborated in creating a ‘how to begin writing your memoir’s’ guide book for seniors.

Mandy regularly blogs and she encourages support and networking of all writers as a writing community advocate. She is also prolific on social media in a multitude of platforms. As the current Secretary of The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County and past President of the Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County, she lives her creative life to the fullest.

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Thanks to Online for Authors for the opportunity.

Interview with G.G. Anderson…

February 4, 2013
mandyevebarnett


May I introduce you to G.G. Anderson, a YA author. As you will find out today’s word describes her stories well…Trove – definition: 1) a discovery, find 2) a valuable collection : treasure : haul

G.G.

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

My favorite character is Elliot from The Guardians of Feral Mountain.  He is a deep and difficult to read ghost with lots of emotional hang ups.  He was truly fun to work with.

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

I prefer Young Adult/ New Adult, but am currently working on two chick lit pieces.  I guess that makes me a bit of a dabbler.

c)      What do you enjoy most about writing? 

For me, I love opening up what I call the Pandora’s Box and allowing the characters to come out and play.  I never really know where they are going to go, so it is an adventure for me as well!  Having a stranger like your works is always amazing, too.  It helps you know you are not alone!

d)     Have you got a favorite place to write? 

Not really.  I can write literally anywhere.  I can write in crowded places, even loud spaces.  When the characters start playing, they are hard to ignore.

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

Both.  Sometimes, I see the entire story line before I start; sometimes they lead me where I am to go.  I have never been a formal outline person that is for sure.

f)       What inspires your stories? 

Inspires?  The voices in my head isn’t the right answer is it?  (laughing)  No, really the thoughts and ideas just come to me.  I know I glean a few things from stories and books I read, movies I see and people I meet, but few of them are ever spot on.  Names on the other hand, those totally are stolen.  I have been to known to use descriptions of people I know in works too.

g)      What are you currently reading? 

I am reading a couple of different books at the same time.  I always am reading pieces for a critique group I am in.  Pleasure reading, I am reading Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon and I just finished the Beautiful Creatures series.

h)      Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories? 

Not really.  I was such a boring kid.  I didn’t do sports, wasn’t talented in music.  Couldn’t do anything really spectacular.  My life was pretty normal.  Odd habits?  Hmmm, I think I will plead the fifth!

i)        Do you have any pets?

Well maybe this is my odd habit!  I have many pets.  I adore dogs.  My poor husband didn’t marry the crazy cat lady, he married the crazy dog lady.  We have 4 dogs, 2 cats and fish.  I love my animals.  They are part of our family.

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

I belong to the Idaho Writer’s Guild.  Plus I am involved in a local critique group and I partake in online critiques through Authonomy, a Harper Collins site.

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k)      What age did you start writing stories/poems? 

I started writing poems- really, really bad poems in junior high.  It was very shortly after that I headed straight into actual novels.

l)        Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it? 

Feral Mountain

Oh a plug!  I love it.  I have one book available on Kindle only.  It is called The Guardians of Feral Mountain.  It’s a coming of age ghost story.  Feral, a 14 year old girl chooses to run into the woods to live on her own to escape her situation.  She moves into an abandoned cabin only to find out it is inhabited by ghosts.

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

Oh this is so difficult.  There are a few. Sorry I can’t pick just one.  I would start with Charles Dickens simply because I think his story telling is amazing.  Edgar Allen Poe because he was crazy, which would definitely be an interesting evening lastly Robert Frost.  His poems still move me like very few ever have.

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

Honestly, right where I am.  I traveled quite a bit when I was young, stateside mostly, but I wouldn’t choose any place over Idaho.  I love it here.

o)      What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Of all time?  Gone With the Wind.

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p)      Where can readers find you and your blog? 

www.gganderson.blogspot.com  and they can read a piece of my next book The Reluctant Witch on Authonomy.

q)      Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have a few Works in Progress.  Currently I am editing The Reluctant Witch, New Adult genre.  Plus I have two Chick Lit pieces that are simply fun works- who knows where they will go.  I have another one I am working on edits for called The Elemental Souls and the Crystal Prophecy.  So I guess the answer is yes, I have a LOT of plans!

r)       Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? 

I am fortunate to belong to a wolf pack of women!  They are tenacious and incredibly loyal.  They are a huge support.  My husband is always there for me, but honestly, my older sister is really the one who has kept me writing when I didn’t know if I could keep going.  She’s always a huge cheerleader for my work.

As you can see G.G. is full of ideas and inspiration, what a fun guest.

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