Moving along… the advanced reading copies are out and heading for those who will read and hopefully review my work. They might like it… or maybe hate it.
Too much back story… characters not credible… pace too slow… weak structure… ending too abrupt… I’ll have a panic attack trying to come up with what I did wrong.
But maybe they’ll connect to the main character, Nadine––fingers crossed––and forgive all the flaws in the story. Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.
As writers, we are dependent on the reader’s reaction to our work. Some will enjoy the book and review––or not. Others will make sure to comment if they don’t like something about the story. Both positive and negative reviews help to make the book visible to others. Without reviews, the book disappears.
It should be released May 1st, but it’s available for pre-orders which will arrive at the end of March.
#Quebec fiction #Canadian fiction #modern historical fiction #Family saga #womens fiction #adoption #WW1 #WW2 #October Crisis #Amazon #Indigo #Barnes & Noble
My new historical fiction novel— a family saga set in Quebec, spanning two world wars and beyond— will be released in early spring. The cover is to be revealed very soon.
#historical fiction #Canadian fiction #Quebec fiction #October crisis #women fiction
Did you know that before Cheez Whiz was sold in jars, it came in Swanky Swigs tumblers you could drink from? That’s the kind of wonderful nonsense I come up with while researching for my latest historical novel. Also learned about blunt-ended seamen’s knives—used for cutting, not stabbing. My characters have a lot to show me.
#historical fiction, #amwriting #Canadian #research
Just finished three weeks of intense proofreading of my new historical novel, Not a Healing Balm,—it’s only a working title since the publisher wasn’t comfortable with the one I first came up with. I didn’t agree with his suggestion at first, but rereading my manuscript after not setting eyes on it for six months warmed me up to it. This being at least my 6th proofreading attempt, I was determined to make the manuscript sparkly clean. I knew the publisher’s own editor would come up with a bunch of grammar mishaps and typos, so I willed myself to find them first. Lost cause, I’m sure, those things become invisible when writers search for them.
His initial request was to change a few verbs around and to ease up on my use of italics, but I ended up revising almost every verb in the novel. I don’t like to use dialogue tags, so I have to resort to a lot of action beats. Most times those action beats only serve the purpose of giving the reader a break from all the dialogue. But you have to vary them once in a while. Try finding creative synonyms for look, turn, pause or smile—daunting to say the least.
But I got the work done—after neglecting everything else, including social media, the whole time. Now I have to work on my biographical notes—ugh, a much hated task. Since I conceded about the title, work on the cover is next, and I can go back to the second historical novel I’m working on. I’ll have to get reacquainted with my characters and get back on track with what they were up to before I last dumped them to do my
#historical fiction #Canadian writing #proofreading #Quebec.
This must be a partial list, because a lot more phobias come to mind–claustrophobia and arachnophobia being the ones that concern me most. As a writer I can add the fear of rejections, although I think publishers these days are trying to be more politically correct–my manuscripts are now referred to as ‘declined’ rather than ‘rejected’. There’s also the fear of getting bad reviews, although I should be immune to those by now. And as my kids are getting older and settling into a life of their own, there’s the fear of the distances created between us by their new-found independence.
There must be a lot of unnamed phobias out there. Can you think of more and what would you call them?
List from: penseesduchoeur.tumblr.com
#writing #reviews #rejections #phobias
Geraldine Brooks historical novel, Caleb’s Crossing, tells the story of Calvinist pioneers who came to settle Martha’s Vineyard in the latter part of the 1600 century. Pristine land was acquired through unfair negotiations with the native people who had no idea of the white man’s concept of ownership. Then came the imposition of their Puritan views and religion which eventually led to the genocide of the Wampanoag tribe. It is also the story of Bethia Mayfield, the Calvinist minister’s daughter, who must fight to satisfy her quest for knowledge—education for women being taboo in the Puritan scheme of things. She befriends Caleb, the chieftain’s son,because he is native, is considered undeserving of education. But the English back in the old country want to assert their Judeo-Christian compassion by helping to fund the schooling of Indian children. Caleb’s brilliance becomes apparent and he is chosen to cross the river to the mainland to further his learning. He quickly outshines the non-native students in all subjects, but by doing so he must forsake his own native religion. There is also a price to be paid to cross over to the other side?
A fascinating read but for the abrupt ending where fifty years of Bethia’s life are told in just a few pages. Quite disappointing when her earlier life was told in such detail.
#historical fiction #reviews #Geraldine Brooks
End of year tidying up! I’ve compiled a few lists of books I’ve read. Nothing worse than buying a book only to realize a few pages later that I’ve already read it (different cover, same story). This list covers authors who are either Canadian or have Canadian content. Most are historical fiction.
#Canadian Fiction #reading #books #reviews #Canada reads
This is an American-western story of bank robbers in the 1920’s. An elderly lady on her death bed asks a young newspaper reporter, Nathaniel, to write her story while her granddaughter Madeline listens by her side. The grandmother has kept her story secret for seven decades and is now ready to tell it, but insists on using fake names. She describes Joe Tilley’s life of crime in the early 1920’s with his partner Buck. The two go on a bank robbing spree with a young girl as a side-kick, and their criminal exploits seem to be unstoppable–at first.
Meanwhile, Nathaniel and Madeline form some kind of friendship where they try to find clues that will validate the story which at times appears a little far-fetched. A twist is revealed at the very end of the story–although more astute readers will pick up the clues before that.
The framework of the story flips flops between modern times when the story is being told, and the wild-west times of the actual story. A very entertaining read, but I would’ve liked to see more involvement between the modern characters.
#reviews #fiction #historical fiction #novels