Tag Archives: book

Champagne breakfast

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So the day is the big day. My book Nephilim Quest 1: Shadowhunter  is now live on all the major e-book stores. I have been working on it for about two years, and was planning basically just to check this morning that the book really was live all those stores.

I did not have the time to do so before my husband had already risen from bed and checked. He came to give me a kiss and announced: “It’s live on iBooks!”

I got up from bed and checked all was well on Amazon, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords and Payhip as well. And there my book was.

And then I was in for a treat. People had been asking would I have some kind of publication event and I wondered whatever for. (I’m not much of a party animal) Just another day in my calendar. Lots to do.

My husband was making breakfast while I wrote a letter to my preview team, letting them know the book could now be reviewed online. And then I headed for a cup of coffee.

What awaited me was not a cup of coffee champagne breakfast. Yes. Champagne, strawberries, newly baked bread, scrambled eggs and delicious coffee. He said this day was worth it – poured champagne on the glasses, and pronounced he was so proud of me.

I have the best husband ever…

 

 

Clever Cubbies Lookbook

Gotta love them all! 🙂

Cafe Book Bean

lookbook
I love all things book related, and I especially love clever fun ways to display and enjoy said books. So, I have compiled a fun assortment of amazing little cubby reading/book storage spaces.

Please enjoy this Lookbook of Clever Cubbies:

unique-bookshelvesI love the style of and functionality of this, so cool! I think I would get a little matching ottoman (which could also have books too, and store a blanket 🙂 .)

house-shaped-bookcaseHow adorable and fun is this little bookhouse! I love that there is a little place to put your book and read! It just need a quaint little stool.

imagesI’m over the moon for this one, I think the design is beautiful, and I just want to grab a book and curl up in it right now!

whaleAnother fun one, it’s just so cute! Also, it has wheels so very functional while being just a joy to look…

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Rejection Letters

As I am publishing my first ebook as an indie, it has been interesting to follow the discussion indie vs traditional publishing.

There have been researches that show ebooks are losing their popularity, and when you have a closer look at the subject, you find out the non-ISBN ebooks have not been counted in the sales numbers at all. (It is not necessary to have your own ISBN if you publish with for example Amazon and Smashwords)

The world is changing regarding self- and traditional publishing. I am sure both have their role in the world of reading, and neither should mock the other. Traditional publishing houses might expand their services to the direction of assisted publishing – hire their expertise to help wannabe indie authors, even if the publishing house itself isn’t publishing the book.

Also good indie e-books may be noticed by traditional print-publishers, which may lead to contracts to authors (though not all such offers are beneficial to the authors).

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Here is an interesting article regarding rejections by the publishing houses. Made me chuckle – I once received a rejection letter years back. Now I am not saying my writing was the best, as I was in my twenties, but on hindsight the comment of the publishing house was funny.

You see my book told about a school for wizards and witches. The rejection letter stated there was no market for that subject line. Not long after Harry Potter appeared (and mind you – I am not comparing myself to JK Rowling as an author). Goes to prove the publishing houses themselves often don’t know what will sell and what not.

But let us hope the cooperation between independent authors and publishing houses will move from opposition to cooperation.

http://ind.pn/1YTIGdv

 

Book gift

Last I wrote about people who never read a book and how I would give a book as a gift to someone who never read books.

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Well, someone beat me to it. I have a coworker who said she hadn’t read a book in years. She only reads gossip magazines, really. But surprisingly she said (while we were having lunch) that she once read a book and forgot everything around her when the plot “drew her in” to the story.  “That was really fun!” she told enthusiastically.

She had her birthday this week. I did not remember it, but the lady sitting next to us at that lunch did. She had bought our coworker a birthday present – a novel! We high-fived when our coworker was so happy about her book.

I should have guessed she would not forget our coworker’s words – we have been discussing the books we’ve read before, and of our love of a good novel. Even though I like more historical and fantasy novels, and she wants to read about the everyday relationships of ordinary people, we both enjoy hearing what the other one has read.

Discussing literature is so interesting, isn’t it? And actually it was the two of us discussing a book we had both read that made our coworker confess she never read books. One thing led to another. Maybe she will soon join our literary discussions. You never know…

 

The pleasure of leisurely reading…

After five years of constant studies of Egyptology, it is almost over… Five years of evenings spent with Egyptology books, hieroglyphs,essays and reading academic articles. Can’t believe it went to so fast…

And now, finally, I have to time to read novels. I love novels. The more pages, the better… I have downloaded Diana Gabaldon’s latest to my iPad, and am thoroughly enjoying a well woven plot, the rich language, and the feeling of drifting away from the stress of everyday life.

Ahh… Can there BE a more enjoyable thing than leisurely reading? Well, maybe writing, but when you write a story, your brains are constantly working on the text, whereas when reading you can just go with the flow…

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Power of the written word

 

A friend of mine told this little story.

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Her children had been out, and saw some frogspawn in a pond. They had been looking at it up close, when a mother with her son saw them. She told they were not to touch the frogspawn, and they didn’t. They left, and when they turned around, they saw the very same lady and her son scooping the spawn.

They went home and felt there was something wrong with this scene. And did they leave it at that? Oh no, not these children. They did not know how to write yet, but their big sister did. So they recruited her and wrote a formal letter to the lady.

“We do not think it is fair that you say we cannot touch the frogspawn and then you touch  it yourself!”

They signed the letter, both of them, with their names, so it was no anonymous letter. Then they took the letter to the postbox of the lady.

Way to go children! They did not leave an injustice unhanded, they expressed their opinion in writing, and they signed their opinion with their own name.

I asked my friend, what had happened after this.

“Oh, nothing really. I saw the lady at the grocery store and wondered why she had this apologetic smile. And then I heard about the letter from my children. I suppose the message got through!”

 

Pile of Books

Do you read more than one book at a time?

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I do. I’m notorious in that respect… I have one book on a chair under the dinner table. One to three on our living room table. Several by my bed. Two in our bathroom.  A pile on my desk. And several as e-books on my iPad I take turns to read. (And that is only counting the novels, not the non-fiction books, mostly Egyptology, lying around)

I have no problems hopping from one plot to another. I actually like doing so, because it helps me see the differences in style by each author. Which is enjoyable in itself. It’s like comparing the brushwork of painters.

I have no trouble in saying no to new clothes, or shoes, or decorations. But just you let me loose in a bookstore…

 

 

Research

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I have the utmost respect for people who spend years of their life doing research, then putting all their collected knowledge into book form.

I am sitting here, doing the very thing. Not for a book, but for an essay on Egyptian-Nubian relations during Middle Kingdom Egypt. Picking up crumbs of knowledge, and baking them into a loaf of information takes a lot of work, creativity, and good memory. And we are the fortunate ones, able to use modern technology. Imagine what a scholar’s world was like before computers. Getting the reference materials, doing your notes by hand, keeping an overall picture in your mind, and finally writing it into a valued scientific research.

I love writing fiction, and I feel having done this scholarly writing according to set rules and Harvard referencing system for five years, has taught me much about fiction writing as well. Not falling too much in love with my own words, being able to cut unnecessary things away, spotting the loose ends that don’t lead anywhere…

Maybe writing a few essays with an absolute word limit would be a good exercise for any writer. Short stories, for example. Condensing your story to 2000 words. Makes you really look at your words, and hone them so they still convey your message.

OK, back to my reference books…

A Pile of Books

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Last year we went on a skiing trip with our friends (oh well, not a skiing trip for me, as I didn’t ski, but the snow was fun, nevertheless). Their older daughter Livia was two at the time, and the younger one, our goddaughter, only four months old.

In the evenings we spent time together, ate dinner, and discussed. I usually sat on the couch, and as the evening progressed, I turned into a living bookshelf. Literally. Little Livia traveled with all her favorite toys – and that included at least ten books. She carried them to my lap, sat next to me every once in a while (with all that energy, much  running around was involved), and wanted me to read books with her. The Moomin characters were her favorites.

Did I like it? You bet! How could I not – a two-year-old who wanted to read books! You can guess what I’ll be buying her as presents, when she actually learns to read…

Slow Reading

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Have you ever read a book so good you don’t want it to end? I have, several times. Add to that the fact that I am a fast reader, and it’s clear that more often than not, those good books have ended much too soon.

These last five years have been different. I started studying Egyptology at the Manchester University. (If you are interested in the subject, you’ll find their Egyptology Online information here.) That, of course, meant that I no longer had much time to read novels. Did I stop reading novels, then? Heavens, no! But now I had to squeeze my reading into a few minutes here and there, where before I could read for hours at one go.

And this usually means reading a few minutes while I was eating, after coming home from work, before beginning my studies.

Oddly, this proved to be a good thing. Now I could savor a good book for much longer. The characters had time to settle in my mind, and the whole story was somehow even more enjoyable to read. There’s slow food, slow living – and slow reading, that makes you appreciate the nuances of the story more, to really savor every sentence.

I finished yesterday a 600-page long historical novel I got as a Christmas present. Normally I would have read the book in three days, now it took me three months. And I enjoyed it very much. The book and its characters became friends after such a long time, and it was a melancholic moment to close the back cover of the book.

I think I’ll keep doing this after my studies end in July this year. I’ll take one book, and read it slowly, a few minutes per day, even if I read other books fast simultaneously.