Tag Archives: E-book

And She Was – Page turner, thriller – Coming March 2012

9 Feb

I just put down And She Was by Alison Gaylin and it is with pure satisfaction that I do so. This book, from the very first pages, has proven to be an addiction. For days I had been passing by it at work, reading the same first few pages over and over again when I decided to pick it up and read it start to finish. My first idea was to save it for my upcoming travels – some very long flights ahead – but “Oh, only one chapter” turned into “Oh, only the first 100 pages” which then turned into me, in the middle of the night, 3 hours with my eyes glued open and only ten pages to go. I promise you…it was THAT good.

Absolutely captivating. A page-turner.

Normally, my recreational reading revolves around humorous memoirs, chick lit,  and some historical fiction. Mystery-thrillers usually aren’t my go-to because I get so engrossed in the novel that I scare myself silly if I’m reading any time after 7 at night and this book was no exception to that rule. Let’s just say that at 1 am two nights ago I could have sworn someone was breaking in to kidnap someone in my home. No, no, not irrational at all :-O My unwarranted fears only prove that Gaylin is very effective at creating nail-biting, page-turning suspense magic with her words. Take  a peek at her website: http://www.alisongaylin.com. She has penned several other mystery novels that I will need to check out of the library ASAP since I already devoured As She Was and loved it.

Happy Reading!


Doctors to the Rescue!

1 Feb

Thanks to my daily NaNoWriMo newsletter I learned today that there are Book Doctors to the rescue for those in need of some assistance in getting their book published. Currently, the Book Doctors are running a WriMo-specific Pitchapalooza Contest where any WriMo participant can submit a 200 word pitch to be in the running to win an introduction to an agent or publisher that suits his/her novel. Another “fan favorite” contestant will win a free 1-hour consultation with the Docs worth $250. Not too shabby!

Here’s the low-down:

You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to nanowrimo@thebookdoctors.com. Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The 25 random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!  Link

This duo of Book Docs also advertises a “free 20-minute consultation (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published [their book]. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.” Not a bad trade-off! Two types of advise rolled into one.

It’s often said that writers are their worst editors because you are so engrossed in your own work that you can’t see the mistakes (sometimes glaring) that sit on the page in front of you. So, get a second set of eyes to take a look at your pitch, your idea, your novel and call the Book Doctors. They may be just what your novel ordered! 

Happy Writing!

Peek into Screenwriting

21 Sep

As I mentioned last week, Gotham Writer’s Workshop (GWW) offered a set of free introductory courses in NYC on Sept 20th & 21st. The classes filled up quickly as I found out when I applied to attend a course on the 21st and was told in the next 10 minutes that it was already filled…along with almost every other course listed for that date. This place is popular and there is no shortage of writers in NYC & its periphery, so I suppose I expected it to be that hard to get into a class.

Well, in the end a friend of mine decided to take the Creative Writing 101 course on Tuesday night and I decided that I had done that already in my GWW Fiction 1 intensive last year, so I sprung for something out of my comfort zone – screenwriting.

Now, I am a movie addict. I watched ‘Titanic’ SIX times in theaters and cried every single time Kate Winslet wouldn’t let Jack on that perfectly large-enough-for-you-and-your-lover piece of debris. ANYWAY, I digress… The point I’m trying to actually make is that I love the medium of film but it had never occurred to me to write a screenplay. Sitting in this class, though, I can see myself eagerly transforming my novel into a screenplay and quite easily.

As per usual, GWW excelled in bringing a highly educated, smart, engaging teacher to this class. This time around, I had the pleasure of learning from screenwriter, novelist and director, Richard Uhlig. He attended NYU grad school and has his MFA in Screen Writing from the American Film Institute. Mr. Uhlig was very personable and in the 60-minute span had lots of insightful comments, suggestions and stories to tell. We worked through two different 5-minute writing exercises and everyone was engaged and there was great energy in the room. If I lived closer, I would definitely take his class just to learn something new. Today, in reading about him some more on his website, I learned he has also written 2 novels (covers shown below). You can read the first chapter of his second novel, “Boy Minus Girl”, on his site and it is very engaging an immediately I was transported into the life of this bored, horny teenage boy who desperately wants to hook up with his dream girl and flee Kansas as quickly as possible…and did I mention there’s a Charlie Sheen type Uncle that apparently takes him under his wing to learn the lay of the land of ladies? Oh yeah…I need to get this book asap.

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Anyway, regarding screenwriting… Here are a few tips Mr. Uhlig shared in class that I think are really useful. As a way to break some writer’s block, maybe take a step back from your project and turn a scene into a screen play to better visualize where you want your piece to go.

1) Movies are all about IMAGES. Iconic images that you remember forever. His one example was of the girl getting sucked under water by an unseen create as she swims through the water…aka JAWS.

2) In screenplays you can only write about what you can SEE and HEAR. The ‘internalization’ found in narrative can be adopted to film with voice overs, but they are what drive a movie.

3) The job of a screenwriter is to emotionally involve your audience using IMAGES. Dialogue is secondary. As with most writing, SHOW don’t TELL.

4) Screenplays are written in the PRESENT tense. “The girl is sucked under the water by an unknown creature.”

5) Visual images, songs, characters, conversations, places are all great inspiration for screenplays…and other types of writing, as well. Follow the inspirations you find and work with them to create your screenplay.

6) COMMIT to writing daily. Make a schedule. Be adamant about keeping fresh with your writing. As Mr. Uhlig said last night and I’ve heard time and again, “writing begets writing.”

7) Particularly with screenplays, DON’T write in the shots or micromanage actors. The shots are determined by the director and the actors will interpret the character as they see fit. You want to give both directors, actors and editors enough information to go on, but not too much as to stifle them.

As for me, I presented during on the five-minute writing pieces in class and I think it really is telling of my character in “Alternate Ending” so I’m going to roll with it…take inspiration where you can find it – it’s all over the place!

Happy Writing!

Workshops| New York City | 42 Free Writing Classes – Gotham Writers’ Workshop Fall Open House

15 Sep

If you’re in the NYC area take advantage of these great FREE writing courses. Gotham is excellent. I took a one-day intensive Fiction class this time last year and it really helped get the ball rolling & my mind churning with new ideas…take advantage of this deal if you can!

If you’re prepping for NANOWRIMO 2011 this November, these classes could be a great place to start getting your preparations in place for that awesome month-long creative journey!

Happy writing…

Click on the Image below to get more info!

Weathering the storm in my bossypants

29 Aug

For many, this weekend consisted of tropical storms, flooded roads, tornado warnings, cancelled flights, no electricity, and spoiled beach vacations. In my neck of the woods it was all of the above and more…but it a great way. We celebrated an amazing wedding of two great friends despite some hazardous conditions and arrived home to the peace that only comes when the electricity is out. No TV, no radio, no nothin’…but wait! My sister, who took this power outage time to take a midday Sunday funday nap, lent me her juiced up Kindle so that I could read one of her first downloads…Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Now, I have to say, that I was very opposed to the Kindle. For one, Amazon is a behemoth killing a lot of local businesses and small bookshops, in particular, around the world not only because of their monopolistic hold on the eBook market, but because they sell at incredulously low rates and offer free/cheap shipping to most places in the world. Seeing as my business is working with small bookshops around the world, it’s sad to see them go down once Amazon arrives, but I digress. I took my sister’s Kindle with anticipation mostly because I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Tina Fey and anything she’s every touched is gold in my eyes. 30 Rock? Baby Mama? Do I even need to mention Mean Girls??? Come on! All were awkward, hilarious masterpieces of gold! Jumping into her book was a dream come true.

In an hour I had somehow finished half the book. Now, I am known to devour books and this was a very easy, lighthearted read, but I was surprised at how unbothered I was by the whole Kindle, eReader experience. The eInk was easy to read even with only light coming through the windows behind me and the click page turner was not as distracting or irritating as I had anticipated. The whole experience was light weight (the text and the object) and thoroughly enjoyable – surprisingly so. Now, I probably won’t be out buying one anytime soon, but I can see even more now the lure of it all. I haven’t tried the Nook, but now I’m curious. Anyone want to lend me one for an afternoon? I’ve got the other half of Bossypants to read J

Alight, back to the book – Bossypants. It’s scatterbrained, laugh out loud and light-hearted read, as I said. The anecdotes are funny and jump from one to the other. There are a lot of 70s TV references which I wasn’t always sure of and you understand quickly that any writing group Tina Fey runs or is a part of has to be the most entertaining scene to watch – even beyond what they are writing up. She’s just a funny lady. I think it was so relatable to me because she was such an awkward teenager and lo and behold…so was I! Well, my haircuts were never as bad as hers, but I think that’s what makes it endearing at another level. She had such a high regard for herself despite her awkwardness that I WISH I had that confidence at that time. She embraced her white denim suit and faux Farrah Fawcett hair do’ and chased after all the awkward boys she could. At least five specific times I laughed out loud, to myself, in my room and had to put the Kindle down to regain my composure. It is just too much sometimes…and I can’t wait for the new season of 30 Rock which has been pushed back to January 2012 since our girl Tina just had her second baby girl recently. Thankfully, her hilarious genes are being reproduced…the more funny ladies in the world, the better!


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