Monday, 28 May 2012

Love & Death in Paris '97

This last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend Word on the Lake, a festival for readers and writers in Salmon Arm, BC.  One of the highlights for me was listening to author Eric Wilson speak about his interesting writing career, how he came to write mystery novels for reluctant readers, and the changing face of publishing.

Mr. Wilson decided he wanted to write a book for adults as a tribute to Princess Diana, but under a psuedonom, Eric Hamilton, so as not to confuse kids and have them read his adult book.  Because of this, his publisher refused to publish it, so he decided to do it himself.  The route he's chosen is to offer it in the Kindle lending library (I didn't even know that existed!).  Here is a paragraph from his Facebook page about this project:

Love and Death in Paris ’97 can now be borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (KDP Select). Use the quick link at the website to get it. Author Eric Hamilton’s goal is to make his Princess Diana tribute novel the most borrowed book on KDP Select. Please tell your friends and let’s make it happen for this suspenseful, great story.

This sounded like such a great project that I wanted to share it with others.  I haven't read this particular book yet myself, but I plan to.  However, I know from reading his children's books, that Mr. Wilson is a compelling and interesting writer.

Here is a synopsis of the book from his webpage:
This suspenseful novel contains themes of love and loss, peace and forgiveness. It follows the adventures of Daniel Plain, a young man from Seattle who moves in Paris in the fateful year of 1997. Daniel’s life becomes intertwined with events linked to Diana, Princess of Wales, and he finds himself in great danger as he seeks to unravel the mysteries surrounding the tragic loss of the people’s princess.

In this novel about Princess Diana, readers experience events in Paris and London in 1997. The “Queen of Hearts” is seen in Paris visiting an AIDS clinic. Her love affair with Dodi Fayed unfolds, followed by the sad events at the Alma Tunnel. Author Eric Hamilton (pen name of bestselling mystery writer Eric Wilson) explores the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Lady Di, and takes the readers to the south of France where the murder of a paparazzo sheds new light on the loss of the Princess. Fans of royalty will love this novel, as will those who enjoy Turner Classic Movies!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Book Review: Missed Her by Ivan E. Coyote

BookMissed Her, Stories by Ivan E. Coyote, Published August 31st 2010 by Arsenal Pulp Press, 144 pages.

Synopsis from Goodreads
Ivan E. Coyote is a master storyteller and performer; her beautiful, funny stories about growing up a lesbian butch in the Canadian north have attracted big audiences whether gay, straight, or otherwise. Missed Her is Ivan's fifth story collection, following 2008's Lambda-nominated The Slow Fix and Bow Grip, her novel that was named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association. Whether discussing the politics of being a butch with a pet lapdog or berating a gay newspaper for considering butches and trans people as "extreme," Ivan traverses issues of gender and identity with a wistful, perceptive eye.

My Thoughts:
I'd never heard of Ivan Coyote before I saw her name on the list for the Word on the Lake Festival I'm attending in Salmon Arm, BC next week.  I picked up her book, not knowing what to expect and found I tore right through it.  Each story is only a few pages long and I found myself reading "just one more," until the book was done.

Coyote is a storyteller and her stories are engaging, entertaining and sometimes challenging.  She is a lesbian butch and I haven't read anything like this since my university days.  Her stories are very personal, mostly from her own life or from her family's history.  I love this kind of attention to the details in life.

I will admit, I liked some of the stories more than others, but as a collection, they made me at various times laugh, feel angry, miss Vancouver (where I grew up), and think about things in a new light.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Help! Writer's Block

I have, what I can only describe as writer's block, lately.  I am finding it so difficult to sit down and do what I normally love to do.  I know part of it is my change in routine, and part of it is allowing myself to put other things first.  However, if I felt better about my writing, I'm sure these things wouldn't matter so much.
This is how I feel - I've been doing so many other things, piling my desk with other obligations, that I haven't been writing.

So, I would like to ask others for help:  What do you do to make writing fun again when it is becoming a bit of a chore?  I know how important it is to schedule time and actually sit down and write, to hold myself accountable, but do you have anything you do to add fun?  It's so much easier to do things that are fun and I know writer's are creative people, so I would appreciate any tips and advice you have.

Thanks so much, everyone!