Archive for November, 2011

Mark Twain: The Father of American Literature

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Author: Sherry Helms

“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”- Mark Twain.

Mark Twain, the great American novelist and humorist, was named “The Father of American Literature” by William Faulkner. He gained popularity mostly for his two best novels- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- that was later called “The Great American Novel”. He has been one of the greatest humorists of American Literature.

His novels were instances of beautiful combinations of fiction, realism, social criticism, satire, humor and also American cultural history. His novels were at some parts autobiographical too. Through the course of his writing journey, not only Twain developed as a human being but his views and social and political outlooks also got to be developed from time to time. From being an ardent imperialist and “red- hot imperialist”, he got completely transformed to anti- imperialism and that also started reflecting in his works. (more…)

Author Interview: Laura Dave on her The Divorce Party

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Laura Dave, the world famous author of acclaimed novels like “The First Husband”, “The Divorce Party” and “London is the Best City in America”, engages in a conversation with us about her novel “The Divorce Party”. Laura gives us a wonderful interview on her book, her characters, her personal favorite readings and many more.

Tell us something about yourself- your first writing experience, how you follow your passion for writing, your hobbies, likes and dislikes etc.

My love of writing really started with a love of reading.  From the time I was very young, I’ve been reading like a fiend!  I enjoy reading everything (mysteries, science books, thrillers, literary novels, love stories) and believe it is still the best way to get excited about my next story or book.

Why are you interested mostly in writing women’s fiction?

I like writing about relationships — romantic, familial etc.  And exploring relationships –while interesting to many people — is especially interesting to women.  Though, as a caveat: some of the loveliest notes I’ve received have been from male readers, who have connected to my books.  That always makes me so happy too.

What is your personal definition of love, marriage and relationship in a woman’s life?

I think the answer is different for every woman, but particularly at this moment in my life – I prioritize my family and my husband above all else.  Their happiness means so much to me. (more…)

Process and its Evolution

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Author: Aliette de Bodard

I used to be a very methodical writer: when I wrote my first professional novel (1), Servant of the Underworld, I planned basically every scene in the book–until about 3 chapters from the end, where I wrote something akin to “the characters have a climactic battle and somehow save the world”. That was the only freedom I left me: when I wrote the book, every interaction between the major characters had been meticulously mapped and plotted; and the only bits and pieces I inserted were brief moments of pause and/or witty banter.

It sounds rather mechanical; and it was to some degree; but I’m the kind of writer who works much better with a solid idea of where they’re going. And, since I am also the kind of writer who goes way over the prescribed length, outlines are an easy tool to make sure I’m still on target with my word count: I know how long a scene takes on average, and I can keep track of how many scenes I’ve written, and how far I’m still from the ending.

But I’ve come to see another thing about outlines: the over-detailed outline I used to rely on was a kind of crutch. Writing is a bit like juggling for me: I can only have so many balls in the air at the same time; and struggling with plot, character and length was just too hard at a time when I hadn’t mastered any of those. (more…)

The Scary Truth

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Author: Stacey Kade

So, we’re finally past Halloween and the corresponding influx of scary movies on television and in movie theaters. And I must confess: I’m relieved.
Because…well, here’s where I have to admit my dirty little secret: Ghosts terrify me.
It’s true. Anything ghost-related, aside from, say, Ghostbusters or Casper is going to give me nightmares. Like wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-drenched-in-cold-sweat type of bad dreams. Just the trailer for Paranormal Activity III (or any of those movies, really) made me squeeze my eyes shut, sing to myself so I didn’t hear the scary “we’re being haunted” noises, and fumble for the remote to change the channel to something safer (which is WAY harder to do with your eyes closed, I might add).
Of course, it’s not all that strange to be afraid of the supernatural, particularly ghosts, so you might be thinking, “So what?”
Yeah, well, here’s where it gets weird. For someone who fears ghosts, haunted houses, spectral possession, Ouija Boards, the whole kit and spiritual caboodle, the smart thing, the logical action, would be to avoid thinking of such ideas. Right? (more…)

Author Interview: Deborah Underwood on her The Loud Book

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Deborah Underwood, the bestselling children’s author of “The Quiet Book” and “The Loud Book” fame, shares her ideas, her messages and her personal favorites with her readers over here. Learn more about Deborah and her writing from her interview. Make sure you read them loud to your kids.

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How much do you enjoy writing books for kids and their world?

I love writing books for children. Books were really important to me when I was growing up. I read all the time–even in the bathtub! I hope to write books that kids will enjoy as much as I enjoyed my childhood favorites.

Say something about your book “The Loud Book” and how did you come up with the idea of writing a book on every kind of kid- friendly loud noises?

THE LOUD BOOK is an exploration of various louds that a child might experience–everything from “Alarm clock loud” to “Dropping your lunch tray loud.” Some are joyous, some are embarrassing, some are scary, and some are lovely.

Kate O’Sullivan, the editor of THE QUIET BOOK, was actually the one who suggested THE LOUD BOOK! I was really happy to be able to work with her and with Renata Liwska, the illustrator of THE QUIET BOOK, again. (more…)

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