Book Review: Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

There’s nothing more frustrating as a reader than really, really wanting to love a book — and not quite being able to. I loved the description of Farsighted by Emlyn Chand, even though paranormal isn’t my usual fare. The concept is great, a blind teen with second sight who must try and prevent the death of a friend he foresees. And Chand shows some real potential with this debut outing. But in the end, the pieces don’t quite work together well enough.

Chand has created a likable narrator/protagonist in Alex, and experiencing everything as he does — without visual cues — makes for an engaging read. To uphold that mindset throughout an entire book takes some skill, and Chand can justly be proud of her work in this area. It also means that, like Alex, we aren’t always clear at first whether something is a vision or reality.

Unfortunately, Continue reading

Around Town: Downtown Exeter

Another in a series of pieces focusing on the places in Exeter: 

Katie Reilly stepped out of Town Hall, notepad and camera in hand. If she could get this streetscape grant for Exeter, the town might be able to make some other improvements that didn’t make it into the budget this year.

She turned and snapped a photo of Town Hall itself, the clapboard building sprawling out from additions over the years as the town grew. The white columns at the entrance were peeling, but she knew structurally they were sound. She turned her back on the building and took a second shot, this one capturing the entire area. She paused to record the information, as if she wouldn’t know just by looking at the photos.

The Town Common was front and center, the grassy area that had once served as grazing space for town resident to stake out their animals. Now Continue reading

Indie Authors Turn Focus To Quality

I’m not doing a year-in-review blog post, nor one about predictions for 2012. But one welcome change I’ve been seeing more and more about during the past several weeks is a focus among some indie authors on quality.

  • Robert Bidinotto highlighted quality as a key reason for his fantastic Amazon success last month.
  • Porter Anderson focused on a number of people starting to talk quality in last week’s Writing on the Ether.
  • Reader Unboxed is reviewing indie authors along with traditionally published ones to try and raise the quality bar.
  • Indie Book Collective members have mentioned a 2012 initiative in this vein, though no details are out yet.

My comment on last week’s Ether post was we’re through our teen rebellion phase and heading off to college. Depending on what genre you write, quality can have a different definition, or at least a different bar to clear. Still, there is a segment within the indie author community that realizes for this to be viable long-term, we need to Continue reading

Good Writing Lets the Characters Share in Your Misery

 “Best motivations for creating are the worst aspects of life: revenge, jealousy, loneliness, anger, pressure. Misery makes good inspiration.” — @JesseStern 

I’ve said before that the stories I’m telling now, I couldn’t have told 10 years ago when I first wrote a novel. I hadn’t been miserable enough. Fortunately, I’ve since been miserable in many ways and my stories are the richer for it.

Now, I’ve never had the mob after me, at least as far as I know. (Although my dad did make me park in the street for a week after I wrote one column for my hometown paper, just in case the person I’d skewered got somebody to plant a bomb under my car. I still think Continue reading

Looking For YA Paranormal? Try Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Emlyn is another author I’ve gotten to know on Twitter and I’m in the middle of reading Farsighted now — watch for a review later this week. Check out the excerpt below, and pick up a copy this week for just 99 cents.

Announcing the Farsighted Social Media Whirlwind Tour!

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Farsighted eBook edition is just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes, including lots of Amazon gift cards (up to $100 in amount) and 5 autographed copies of the book. Be sure to enter before the end of the day on Friday, December 30th, so you don’t miss out.

To Win the Prizes

  1. Purchase your copy of Farsighted for just 99 cents on Amazon or Barnes & Noble
  2. Fill-out the form on Novel Publicity to enter for the prizes
  3. Visit today’s featured event; you may win an autographed copy of the book or a $50 gift card!
  4. BONUS: If you leave a comment on this blog post, you have another chance at $100!
  5. DOUBLE BONUS: If I receive more comments than any other blogger, *I* win $100.

…And I can win too!

Over 100 bloggers are participating in this gigantic event, and there are plenty of prizes for us too. The blogger who receives the most votes in the traffic-breaker poll will win a $100 gift card as well. So when you visit Novel Publicity’s site to fill-out the contest entry form, don’t forget to say that I referred you, so I can get a point in the poll.

The Featured Events include:

Monday, a guest blog on Novel Publicity! Emlyn kicks off the tour on the Novel Publicity Free Advice blog by discussing her brightly burning passion for books in a guest post entitled “My journey through the pages and toward a life-long love of reading.” One commenter will win Continue reading

Have a Wonderful Holiday Week!

Hanukkah has started, we had a rainy solstice (at least around here) and Christmas and Kwanzaa are coming up in the next few days. Since most of you will be making merry in whatever tradition you prefer to celebrate, and I am covering for a lot of vacationing people at both the newspaper and the gym, no Around Town today or Meet the Character on Monday. You won’t be here to read it and it’s one less thing on my to-do list (which rivals Santa’s in length this week). I might have a writing post over the weekend, sparked by Porter Anderson’s Writing on The Ether column today, but otherwise I’ll be responding to comments, but not posting, until next week.

Enjoy your holidays!


Content Editing Separates Good Indies from the Rest

A friend of mine has been reviewing books for years — he’s on Amazon’s honor roll of reviewers. He prefers cozy mysteries, and usually buys traditionally published books. After his last experience with an indie book, I can’t blame him.

Mark was excited about the topic of the book, but when he was telling me about it on Twitter, he said the execution was lacking. The book needed an editor. He gave it two stars, which is rare for him. Based on his review, it deserved it.

Anybody who’s heard me talk about writing knows I think a editor is key. Not just any editor, but a good one. I’m blessed to have Kyrie as an editor, but if you aren’t fortunate enough to have somebody who started editing your work 10 years ago and shares your brain, that’s no excuse. Ask around, find out who other people are using. (No, Kyrie’s not taking on other writers.) Look for somebody who is a better editor than you are a writer.

If we indies want to be taken seriously, Continue reading

Sneak Peek: Writing Playlist for All That Is Necessary

On Wednesday, author Roz Morris is hosting a guest post from me in her Undercover Soundtrack series of writers talking about how we use music in our writing. She’ll post a playlist of the pieces I mention in that post, but it’s not the same as the playlist for All That Is Necessary, so I figured I’d give you guys a sneak peek Continue reading