Thursday, March 21, 2019

Why write short fiction if I'm a novelist?

There were no questions for O'Abby this week, so I thought instead I'd share an excerpt from a longer article I wrote a while back about why, as a novelist, writing short fiction can be valuable.

Next time we're without a question for O'Abby, I'll share the other part of this article, which is about why publishing that short fiction is equally valuable.

Hope you find it useful!

I wrote my first novel when I was still a teenager.  Barely a teenager.  I’d never written anything except stories for school before, and had no idea what I was doing.  And the finished novel was a complete mess.  So were the next two I attempted, and the fourth.

It wasn’t until I took a step away from pouring myself into novel after novel that I learned how to be a writer.  And what taught me those valuable lessons, was writing short stories.

Writing short fiction has many benefits for novelists, whether you’ve written your first novel or your fourteenth.

Writing short fiction helps you discover what you love writing.  There are thousands of publications out there asking for stories in every genre from crime thrillers to romance to fantasy and beyond.  Why not test your ability across a range of genres and styles?  Find out what you truly love to write before you invest the hundreds of hours required to write a novel.

While I figured this out for myself, I wrote sci-fi, fantasy, horror, erotica, historical fiction and more.  And throughout all this, I think I knew my heart was always going to be in YA, but I don’t feel at all like I wasted my time by writing more broadly.  In fact, I think writing all those different genres helped me find my own unique voice because I tried so hard to change it when writing stories that weren’t wholly my own.

Writing short fiction is also a valuable tool for honing your writing craft.  When a publication is asking for a story of only five, three or one thousand words, there’s no room for waffle.  The story itself needs to be focused and crafted so it has a beginning, a middle and an ending.  The writing must be powerful and evocative.  In short fiction, every word must have a purpose and pull its weight.  There is no room for flabby writing.   Nor is there room for a cast of thousands or myriad subplots.

I like to keep this in the back of my mind when I’m editing longer works.  Each chapter can be looked at like a short story, and each word in that chapter needs to push the story forward, not send it off into some dark alleyway with no exit in sight.

As a writer, I find writing short fiction is fantastic for keeping my writing tight. Novels give us the freedom to explore subplots and side characters and elaborate on worlds, but sometimes it’s valuable to go back to short fiction and try to get to the core of the story in as few words as possible.  Once you get back into the habit of making every word count, it will transfer into your novel writing and make your writing there stronger and tighter too.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Natasha Tynes' Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

They Called Me Wyatt by Natasha Tynes link


1- Would you tell us something about Jordan that many people don't know?

Do you want to hear a fun fact? Do you know that it actually snows in Jordan? When I first moved to the US people kept asking me if it was my first time seeing snow. Of course not. I played with snow all through my childhood.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Write everyday, writers block is a myth.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I have always known that I was going to be a writer. As cliché at it may sound, writing was my true calling. I just knew it very early on, maybe when I was nine or ten years old. That’s why I pursued journalism as a career, because I was attracted to the writing aspect. I only started writing fiction in my late twenties after I read a profile of Yiyun Li in the Washington Post. I was really impressed by the fact that when she moved to the US she hardly knew any English, and that she first majored in science, and later on switched her major, pursuing her love for writing. I started writing and publishing short stories, before I wrote my debut novel.

4- Do you believe that fans of the movie "The Invisible" or The Lovely Bones will enjoy your book and why?

Yes, for sure. Just like the Lovely Bones, my novel is told from the perspective of a dead person, and just like the Invisible the narrator is trying to solve her own murder and will do anything in her might to help in the investigation. It’s a murder mystery with supernatural elements similar to the plot of the Lovely Bones and the Invisible.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My Twitter handle is @natashatynes. The writer friends that I would like to give a shout out to are: @Christinamac79 and @smariedowning

6- Would you share a picture with us of your book?

Natasha Tynes' Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome

7- How excited were you to see yourself in Writer's Digest? Did you know about it beforehand?

Being published in Writer’s Digest is definitely a dream come true. Yes, I knew about it beforehand. They contacted me a few months before the publication after they found out about my book on Goodreads.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

I pick books mostly based on friends’ recommendation. I still believe that word of mouth is the best marketing strategy out there.

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: Imbolo Mbue
Title: Behold the Dreamers
Love because: I loved it because it was very well written and tackles issues I’m interested in like immigration, race, and the pursuit of the American dream.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

I think my biggest fan is my publisher Robert J. Peterson. He believed in me and acquired my book, and he is always supportive as you see in this twitter thread: https://twitter.com/robertjpeterson/status/1089590271904337920


11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I think the biggest takeaway I want is a better understanding of the identify of Arab women and the struggle that they face both at home and elsewhere. Also, I wanted to shed light on the hurdles people face when they move to a different country and how they battle issues of identify race, and the need to belong. It’s like being in purgatory. You don’t belong anywhere anymore.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

I like DC based bookstagrammeer: https://www.instagram.com/booksandmargs/

Your blog article stirred my belly and made me nod along as I sighed with understanding.
13- Do you have any suggestions for a way to increase tolerance via online communities and social media?


I truly believe that fiction can combat racism and promote understating and tolerance of other races. When you get in the character’s head especially a diverse character, you develop empathy, and you truly get a better understanding of people of different races, cultures and ethnicities.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

Wyatt has a birth mark on the back of his head. Siwar died by falling from a building. She cracked her skull. Any link between the birthmark and the location of the skull fracture? The readers should be the judge of that.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks

My book has characters from all over the world: There are Jordanians, Americans, a Greek an Italian, an Indian, a German. My characters have different racial backgrounds and speak different languages.

16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

I’m so grateful for all the book bloggers who reviewed my novel. A special shout out to https://jessbookishlife.wordpress.com/

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I tried to get an agent for over a year with no luck. I went with California Coldblood Books mostly because they believed in the novel, and were very excited about it and also because they were open to unagented submissions.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

I love book reviews, and I wrote some myself. I think book reviews are extremely important because that’s one way for authors to hear from readers, and see what resonated with them and what didn’t work. I read every single review about my book (on Goodreads, Instagram, blogs, etc) and I want to continue to do so. I want to see if I succeeded in stirring emotions in the readers. I want to know what annoyed them and what they truly hated. I want to be a better storyteller.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

One issue that has been on my mind lately is the challenge Own Voices writers face. We are criticized for showing the faults in our own culture and also for commenting on other races and cultures. We are always in the position of damn if we do and damn if we don’t. I wonder if readers of this interview agree and would like to shed light on this.

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Bio


Natasha Tynes is an award-winning Jordanian-American author and communications professional based in Washington, DC.. She has appeared on a number of national and international TV programs, including Larry King Live, PBS's Foreign Exchange with Daljit Dhaliwal, Paula Zahn show, CBS's This Morning, Scarborough Country, and BBC's Up all Night. Her byline has appeared in the Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and the Jordan Times, among many other outlets. Her short stories have been published in Geometry, The Timerbline Review andFjords. Her debut novel They Called Me Wyatt will be published in June 2019 by California Coldblood Books, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Tynes was born in Amman, Jordan. She moved to the US when she was 28 years old.
 

Natasha Tynes' Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome
new cover



They Called Me Wyatt by Natasha Tynes link

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

#FirstPageImpressions 03/19/19



It's time for...




#FirstPageImpressions is here again! That first page is so important, and I hope this event will provide some solid feedback that will help you improve your work. I'm so excited to see your first pages!

Here's how to participate:

1. Comment on this post and at least one other post from this week by Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 12:00 pm EST.

2. Leave your email address in the comment or have it available on your Blogger profile. (Or else I can't find you to give you your critique!)


For a rules refresher, please visit this post.

The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post on Thursday evening. Best of luck!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Writing Journey #atozchallenge Theme Reveal

Theme Reveal #AtoZchallenge Tenth Anniversary 2019


TWO GUYS, THREE GIRLS, AND A WRITING JOURNEY


The 2019 Operation Awesome Team has two guys and three girls. So our theme is a play-on-words of the show "Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place."
We would LOVE if you'd help us out by voting for one of the two three images below. Oliver, Banner, or Olive pizza?
Tell us what you love or loathe about them in the comments, please!


Oliver!
Banner
Olive Pizza
ADDED MARCH 20


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badge

Friday, March 15, 2019

#QueryFriday


It's that time again, everybody! Enter here for a chance to win a query critique by yours truly! Here's how to participate:

1. Comment on this post and at least one other post from this week by *SUNDAY 3/17 at 12 pm*.

2. Leave your email address in the comment or have it available on your Blogger profile. (Or else I can't find you!)

The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post on Sunday.

See this post for additional rules. Good luck!

-Nathaniel

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Dear O'Abby: How do I deal with a major plot twist in a synopsis?

Dear O'Abby,

I'm currently querying my novel and have discovered that many agents seem to want a synopsis as well as a query.  So I read up on how to write synopses, and it appears a synopsis of a novel tells the whole story, beginning to end.

My book has a major plot twist toward the end, and revealing this in the synopsis seems like a really good way to make sure the agent won't bother reading the MS.

Do I really have to give away this major piece of plot in my synopsis?

Sincerely,

Twisted

Dear Twisted,

I'm afraid so.

Agents and publishers use synopses to make sure your novel has clear story and character arcs, a plot that hangs together and makes sense, and a plausible ending.

I know it's tempting to hold back something as important as a major plot twist, but by doing that, you're actually weakening your synopsis by not showing the agent reading how genius your plotting or character development really is.

Just make sure you seed hints to this twist through your synopsis the same way you no doubt have through the novel.  I've read synopses for novels with big character reveals or twists in them where they appear, in the synopsis, not to make any logical sense because the seeds haven't been planted earlier in the synopsis.  And these were for books I'd read and knew the author had very cleverly pointed toward the twists throughout the book without making it obvious that's what they were doing.

It makes writing your synopsis harder, but yes, you do have to reveal that twist in your synopsis.

Hope that helps!

X O'Abby

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Gail Shepherd's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions at Operation Awesome

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd


1- What was the best and worst part of being a middle-grader (or a 12-year-old) for you?

Twelve was a big year. I broke up with my best friend. Went steady for the 1st time. Got my period. Smoked my 1st cigarette, rolled up my skirt, wore my sweater backwards, stuffed my bra with socks. I was trying to grow up. But what an awkward, hellish year. My teachers hated me. I was always wondering if I smelled.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Figure out what has the deepest, most resonant meaning for you in life. Write that.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

Enthusiastic encouragement from my fourth-grade teacher. Teachers and other adults should never underestimate the power of mentorship on children.

4- The car nicknamed The Blue Bullet sounds interesting. Would you please tell us a little more about it?

The Blue Bullet is Lyndie’s ticket to adventure—it speeds her away from the oppressive rules and manners of her southern grandmother. Riding in it with her daddy is like being shot out of a canon.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

@gailshepherd.
@dgephartwrites @stacieramey and @joycesweeney have been my life support. There are so many, though!

6- Would you share a picture with us of your book with the flag?



7- In your opinion, how could people better support teachers?

Lay off with the constant carping—teaching is *really hard*. Lobby your legislators to pay teachers a really good salary.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

Word of mouth recommendations, reviews, and lists. I try to read as many new middle grade and YA books every year as I can.

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: @jackiewoodson
Title: Harbor Me
Love because: we desperately need to provide safe harbor for kid humans in this moment.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

My wife. Now and always. She loved most about my debut: how many of her jokes I stole.

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

Empathy. You never know what another person is going through. I most love the scenes where Lyndie is taken aback by what she failed to see or understand even about her best friends and close family.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

Trinna_Frever. https://www.instagram.com/trinna_frever

13- Shows like Homecoming, and books like yours, are shining a light on veterans. Is it getting any easier for veterans to get help these days, and is there less stigma now for needing help?

Yes, absolutely. My book takes place in the mid-80s, when most people barely had a name for PTSD. Now we know so much about the causes, the physical changes induced by trauma, ways to treat it. Particularly when veterans can help veterans, there is far less stigma attached to seeking treatment.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

DB has heterochromia, his eyes are different colors.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
Alternative question: What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?


N/A

Because it can be impossible to think of even one, that's why we need more diverse books. Anyway...
16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?


I’m pretty fond of Middle Grade Mafia.

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

I’m traditionally published. I don’t have hutzpah or the confidence to market myself in the way self-published authors have to do.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

Ideally, so they’ll have to really think about the books that they’re reading in some depth. At least, that’s why I write them.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

I’d love to know what expectations readers bring to a book. Do you read to feel more deeply? To have an adventure? To escape? To learn about worlds or things that are foreign to you? To fall in love with a specific character?

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

THE TRUE HISTORY OF LYNDIE B. HAWKINS.
Middle grade. Pub date: March 26, 2019.
“A one-of-a-kind voice lights up this witty, heartwarming debut set in 1985 Tennessee about the power of homespun wisdom (even when it’s wrong), the clash between appearances and secrets, and the barriers to getting help even when it’s needed most.”

Linkies:
Website: http://www.gailshepherdauthor.com
Twitter: @gailshepherd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gail.shepherd.fiction/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gailshepherdauthor/
Order: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/317784/the-true-history-of-lyndie-b-hawkins-by-gail-shepherd/



The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

We Need to Talk about New Adult

New Adult, sometimes abbreviated to NA, should be what exists to fill the gap between young adult and adult literature. It is meant for readers approximately between the ages of 18 and 25, and features characters within that same age range. Some people refer to it as literature for college students, and in that vein, a lot of the major works address issues like leaving home, finding ones’ place in the world, and developing meaningful relationships with other people outside of the constraints of school.

So…where is it?

No NA over here, no NA over there...

A lot of major publishers are uninterested in pursuing NA as an age category because they see it as a category without a reading base, and I get it, sort of. YA is incredibly lucrative, and it has readers of all ages (my own grandmother often read the same book that I was reading, or would suggest books for me, when I was in high school). Because of YA’s proven profitability, NA characters will often get “aged down” to YA with a simple find-replace in the manuscript. Bada-bing, bada-boom, YA-ified, Make Me Some Money.

The thing is, this ridiculous practice is as transparent as having 25-year-old actresses play high school students in movies (looking at you, Mean Girls). No high school junior looks like Rachel McAdams – and no 15-year-old acts like a 25-year-old, either. Believe me, I remember being 15, as much as I would like to forget how much of a dork I was. It’s misleading and irresponsible to age down characters who very much act like adults and pretend that they’re just “mature” teenagers. It’s an extraordinarily short-sighted move that’s pushing YA readers out of their own space.

My face when I read YA high school students acting like my graduate school buddies.

The other issue with this belief from publishers is that…ya know, people between the ages of 18 and 25 do, in fact, exist. I am one of them (gasp!), and as far as I can tell, I am very much alive and interested in reading books. Every time I head to the library to find something new to read, I’m faced with a dilemma: Should I head to the teen section and grab a book with a protagonist almost ten years younger than me and whose main concern is what they’re going to wear to prom, or should I go to the adult section and read something about a 35-year-old woman who’s struggling to take care of her aging parents in the wake of her messy divorce?

(Yeah, I know that’s not all there is to YA or A, but bear with me here.)

As someone in the NA age range, it’s frustrating. I want to read about other people going through the same struggles as me. It’s the same problem I had when I was growing up, never seeing LGBT characters in the literature written for my age. I thought we were past this already. The NA books that exist are 90% romance, mostly due to the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, with some Sarah J. Maas thrown in because she has the reading base to be able to properly categorize her books. I want NA fantasy, NA mystery, NA thrillers. NA deserves its place on bookshelves because the reading base exists, the people who want these books exist, and I know the people writing these books exist.

NA writers and readers are a people without a genre. If you’re a NA writer, don’t give up. Fight for your manuscript and for the readers who want it. If you’re a reader, support your writing friends. I sincerely hope that this is something we can look back on and laugh about in the future, because the current lack of NA is truly sad and a loss for writers and readers as a whole.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Dear O'Abby: Should I Enter Twitter Pitch Contests?

Dear O'Abby,

There's this thing called #PitMad happening on Twitter this week.  I don't know if you've heard of it, but it's a thing where you tweet a pitch for your book and agents and publisher request the things they like the look of.

Are these kinds of contests a good idea?  The word limit on Twitter is so small, I can't quite figure out how an agent or publisher can figure out what's worth asking for.

Do you have any thoughts about this?

X Twitchy

Dear Twitchy,

I actually got my agent through a Twitter pitch contest, so I'm evidence that they work, at least sometimes.

Like any contest, these Twitter pitch parties are another way to get your project seen.  They are also a really good way to distill your story down into a really tight, punchy longline that will catch attention.  If you can get people re-tweeting and favoriting your pitch tweet, chances are you've managed to write a compelling pitch.

The key is to just focus on the main details of your story and make them unique and interesting.  For example, here's the pitch that got me my agent (and is for my recently published novel, The Sidewalk's Regrets):

When Sacha's sheltered life entwines with sexy rocker Dylan's, she gives him her cutting-edge sound; he gives her his drug habit. #PitMad #YA

Or this one, for a project I've been re-working recently after several agents requested it and gave me feedback on why they didn't think it worked:

A trans-boy and a pregnant stranger struggle to survive in the woods after an earthquake. But are they as alone as they think? #PitMad #YA

Like any other contest, it pays to do your due diligence on any agent or publisher who favorites your tweet before you send them the material they're requesting.  Just because they like your idea doesn't mean you have to send them anything.  If you don't think they're someone you want to work with, just ignore their interest.

So my advice would be to do it if you want to, but don't get too hung up on whether your pitch gets noticed or not.  You can always query.  That option is always there.  And even if you do get noticed in the pitch contest, you still have to send a query to the agent.

There are no shortcuts, I'm afraid...

X O'Abby




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome

Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

Metl: The Angel Weapon by Scott Wilson


1- We hear you're a fan of OA. Thanks! What do you like about our site?

What first got me to follow OA was the Pass or Pages series. Like all authors, I went through the joy of writing query letters, sending dozens of them out with a twinkle in my eye... and smiling through the pain of getting nothing but form rejections and radio silence.

Pass or Pages, with its great feedback from real agents, was a huge help. I even made it in at one point! Getting swiftly passed by all the three agents was an awesome and humbling learning experience.

You can see my incredibly lackluster performance here: (for a different book that never got published) https://operationawesome6.blogspot.com/2016/05/may-pass-or-pages-entry-2.html

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Getting constructive criticism sucks, and it always hurts, but it's the only way to get better. Never blame a reader for not understanding—just make it clearer.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

Back in 2000, 13-year-old Scott had a big problem: the fifth Harry Potter book was taking too long to come out. So I was inspired to write my own fanfiction version of the Order of the Phoenix… and a fanfiction sixth book too… and half of a seventh, because when you don't have friends in middle school you have a lot of free time.

After that I didn't do much creative writing until college. I was on a summer internship in Tokyo where I made cold calls to Japanese businesses, asking them if they wanted to purchase my company's fringe benefits plan where their employees could essentially save 12 yen on cans of squid paste. For some reason I was suddenly hit with an idea for a book while walking home one night.

So I wrote that book. And no one wanted to publish it. So I wrote another. And another. And another. And another. (No one wanted those either.)

But the sixth time was the charm!

4- What's the best part of working for SoraNews24?

For my job that pays the bills, I'm an editor/writer/translator for the Japanese news entertainment website SoraNews24, bringing all of the best Japanese current events, social media explosions, and funny cat videos to a Western audience.

The best part of working for SoraNews24 is being able to set my own schedule. Since I work from home, I get to pick when my butt is in the chair working. As long as everything that needs to get done actually gets done on time, everyone's happy. Oh, and I get to work in my pajamas! It's the best.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My handle: @scottdoesstuff

Erika David @ErikaDavidCAN Erika was my writing mentor in the query contest that got my book Metl noticed. Her advice was incredible, and she is still one of my most valuable beta readers. When one of her books gets published, she's going to be a name that everyone knows.

Erica Deel @EricaDeel Erica is a viewer on my creative writing livestream that I do on Twitch three times a week (ScottWritesStuff). She's written some incredible short stories, one of which is about her rare "supertaster" tastebuds that will soon be published in the online digital health community The Mighty.

Chris @Totes_Coax Chris is also a viewer on my livestream who writes/draws a weekly comic strip called MONDAYS. If you're a fan of puns and/or anthropomorphic toasters, then definitely check it out.

6- Would you share a picture with us of your book in a fun setting?

Here's Metl with some nutcrackers!
Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome


7- What entertainment technology is better in Japan than anywhere else?

Too many good choices! The video game arcades that make you feel like you've tripped into the future, the private soundproof karaoke rooms with thousands of songs in Japanese and English. The list goes on. But as far as "entertainment technology" goes, Japan has everyone else beaten at just good old fashioned TV.

Japanese TV has a knack for taking pretty much anything and spinning it in a way that makes it seem like the most amazing thing ever. In the U.S. every news show is crammed full of stories meant to send your blood pressure through the roof, and the dramas are the same. But in Japan, you get stories on TV like this:

A Japanese girl goes to find her Iranian grandfather.
https://youtu.be/4axfUIhHUFU

A guy visits a museum where there's a "gold bar challenge."
https://youtu.be/iz27orlBBDU

We need wholesome stuff like this in the U.S. too!

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

I am a horrible reader. If a book isn't one-hundred percent grabbing me by both my heart and my eyes, then I lose interest and think about all the other things I could be doing, or more often, the things I should be doing. I only finish about one-fifth of the books I start.

I know, shame on me.

So while it takes a lot for me to finish a book, I have a pretty low threshold for starting one. All it takes is a recommendation from a friend or someone I know and then bam! I add it to the TBR list.

Whether or not I actually make it past chapter three, however, is a different story.

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: Brian Katcher @BrianKatcher1
Title: Almost Perfect
Love because:Brian Katcher was the author who got me into YA. Before I read Almost Perfect, I thought YA was just "kid's stuff." He showed me how wrong I was. It was the first book in years that I read the whole way through in a single day, because I had to know what happened next. I loved how the story made me feel like my insides had been scooped out and pumped full of concrete, never to feel anything again… in a good way!

The book is so good I even did a video about the opening first pages on my livestream:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BPJ29ph7Nc



10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?
Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome


My wife, Abbey.

My book takes place in a future without technology, where society has reverted back to Pilgrim-era ways of living, so horses are how people get around. The main character Caden is responsible for taking care of the horses where he lives, and one of them in particular, a small white horse named Deber, has grown up with Caden and sees him as his mom, master, and best friend all rolled up into one.

Abbey grew up around horses, so she loves Deber. Every chapter that I had her read, she asked: "But what about Deber?!" It was thanks to her that the horse grew from a very minor role in the book to a major player!

Also, Abbey drew the first official fan art for the book, starring Deber:

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

More than anything I hope to inspire a sense of wonder about our world. I want readers to question why things are the way they are, what their own purpose is, why we exist on this planet in the first place, and not settle for the usual vague and boring answers.

12- Could you offer some travel tips for people headed to Japan?

Go to Shakey's! It's my favorite restaurant in the world. Period. There are a few in the U.S., but they're all over Japan. Say what you want about going to an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet in Japan, but I believe that Shakey's shows off Japanese culture through pizza toppings:

Take a look at this slice of purple sweet potato (satsuma imo) with matcha, pear, and pistachio on the left, and the slice of fried-pork cutlet (tonkatsu) with sweet sauce on the bottom...
Japan #Food Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome Japan #Food Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome

…these slices of okonomiyaki pizza, based on the savory Japanese pancake made with cabbage, pork, ginger, mayonnaise, seaweed, and basically anything else you can find…
Japan #Food Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome Japan #Food Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome

…and of course dessert pizza, like these slices of chocolate mint, banana chocolate, and apple/walnut.

And that's just scratching the surface! There's corn/mayonnaise pizza, squid ink pizza, ginger and wasabi pizza, and so much more. No trip to Japan is complete without going to Shakey's.

13- Are there religious aspects to "Metl: The Angel Weapon," or does angel have another meaning in your book?

ANGEL has another meaning, but it is meant to bring religious imagery to mind. In the book, the Church asserts its authority over all parts of society, trying to gain the favor of their god that lives in Metl in the sky, to ensure that another technological apocalypse doesn't destroy the world.

The only problem is, a giant red X starts glowing on Metl, so there's probably gonna be some problems.

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

The glowing red Xs across main character Caden's palms.

Or, actually, maybe his overalls. They are quite stinky and covered in horse manure stains.

15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks (Alternative question: What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?)

Caden himself, as a white male teenager, isn't a terribly diverse main character. However Annika, his friend and companion throughout the story, is an Indian girl. There are plenty of characters in the book that I hope people from all walks of life can identify with.

My favorite book with a diverse main character is Brian Katcher's Almost Perfect. (Can you tell I really like this book?) In the story, Sage is a transgender teen girl that the main character falls in love with. Never before had I had my heart so thoroughly dismantled by a YA relationship.

16- What's your favorite vending-machine food in Japan?
Japan #Food Scott Wilson's Debut Author Spotlight #NewBook #20Questions and #contest at Operation Awesome

Even though nearly every street corner in Japan is blessed by a vending machine, the vast majority of them don't have food; they only contain drinks.

Instead, if you're looking for quick cheap snack, going to the closest convenience store is your best bet. There's basically just as many convenience stores as there are vending machines here, and they're so much nicer than in the U.S. You can get everything from fresh fruit to ready-made meals to even collared shirts and ties.

But my favorite guilty pleasure has to be the chocolate-monaka Jumbo. It's essentially a frozen waffle filled with ice cream and chocolate. Every bite is bliss.

Pair one of these bad boys with a black coffee and you will achieve Japanese convenience store nirvana.

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

The process of submitting, waiting, and getting dream-crushed in order to be published traditionally is miserable and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but for me personally there was no other way. Yes there's a lot of luck involved with it, but I felt that if my story wasn't good enough to be noticed by agents/publishers, then it likely wasn't good enough to be published yet. So I just kept writing book after book until I finally did that, only losing about 32% of my soul in the process.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

How else are we going to find out which books will grab us by the hearts and eyeballs?

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

If you were a flavor of ice cream, which would you be and why?

(Note: this is not asking what your favorite ice-cream flavor is, it's which flavor embodies you best. For example, I'm pistachio. No one is ever excited about it, but everyone's grandma has a half-carton of it hanging out in the depths of their freezer, the expiration date blurred out by spilled soup and peeled-away stickers from boxes of old macaroni and cheese. Your turn!)

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

If you like creative writing but don't have a workshop nearby you, then feel free to pop into my Twitch livestream. Together we do writing exercises, prompts, and have freeshare where anyone can get feedback on their work.

Twitch Livestream: https://www.twitch.tv/scottwritesstuff

And finally I want to give a shoutout to the amazing Monika Viktoria (@mossdolls on Instagram), who was the illustrator for my book. Not only did she knock it out of the park with the cover, but there's several black-and-white full page illustrations throughout the book that she did which really bring the world to life.

The opening spread blew me away when I first saw it, and I hope readers enjoy it too!
Monika Viktoria (@mossdolls on Instagram)


And now for the BIG CONTEST NEWS:


The author will pick one random winner of the ebook from the people in the comments!


Please be sure to leave Scott a way to contact you if you win.


Metl: The Angel Weapon by Scott Wilson

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

#FirstPageImpressions 03/05/19


It's time for...



#FirstPageImpressions is here again! That first page is so important, and I hope this event will provide some solid feedback that will help you improve your work. I'm so excited to see your first pages!

Here's how to participate:

1. Comment on this post and at least one other post from this week by Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 12:00 pm EST.

2. Leave your email address in the comment or have it available on your Blogger profile. (Or else I can't find you to give you your critique!)


For a rules refresher, please visit this post.

The winner will be announced in the comment section of this post on Thursday evening. Best of luck!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

We're Signed Up For the A to Z Challenge 2019



Operation Awesome is signed up and ready for the
#AtoZchallenge
2019 Tenth Anniversary edition!

A month of posts to make the writing journey better.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Dear O'Abby: An Agent Wants A Call. Help!

Dear O'Abby,

I just got an email from an agent I submitted my MS to saying she wants to set up a call to chat with me.  I'm going to have 'The Call'!

Sorry....  I still can't quite believe I'm at this stage.  I've been dancing around the house like a lunatic for a couple of hours now, but the reality is beginning to sink in and it occurs to me that I have no clue what to say on this call.

Do you have any advice on how to handle this?

Cheers,

Caller # 4

Dear Caller #4,

First up, congratulations!  Getting to 'The Call' is a huge step, and a very exciting one.  But it's also a very important one, so you need to be prepared for it.

This is your opportunity to figure out if you want to work with this agent, if you feel she is the right person to represent your book and any future books you might write.  So pay attention to how you feel while you're talking to her.  When I did my 'The Call', we did it via Skype so I had the added advantage of being able to see the people I was talking to to read body language as well as tone of voice, but you may not have this option.

You should have some questions ready ahead of time.  In the excitement of actually speaking to someone who loves your book and wants to represent it, you are likely to forget a lot of what you wanted to ask, so it helps to have it written down.

Important topics to cover are the agent's experience, what their agency agreement looks like and the terms and conditions, what her preferred method of communication might be and how responsive she is to communications, editorial style and how much editorial work she feels might be needed pre-submission, how much detail you will be given about the submission process and contingencies for things like the agency closing or the agent moving on.

If at any stage the agent talks to you about money for services, that's a red flag.  An agent should only take 15% of any sales she makes.  No money should change hands between agent and client until a book is sold.

If there is anything else really important to you, note it down so you can ask about it now.  There's nothing worse than discovering six months into an agent-client relationship that something you consider non-negotiable is not possible with this agent or agency.

And good luck!  I hope the call goes well and you and your agent have a long and lucrative partnership ahead of you.

X O'Abby

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Rebekah Loper's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour

#AtoZChallenge 2019 First Book Tour badge Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6

The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper


1- Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?

I love worldbuilding. When I was looking for ways to learn how to worldbuild as a young writer, I was always disappointed by the lack of true worldbuilding workbooks, so this was born out of that desire.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Never stop looking for inspiration - it's always there. Even if you don't have time to write it, always keep looking for that magic 'what if'.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I've been telling stories for nearly as long as I can remember, but what really ignited my passion was the release of the Lord of the Rings movies when I was in high school. I realized the types of stories I loved to make up were ones people enjoyed, and through the LOTR fandom, I was able to connect with several other writers - many of us who are still friends and still write.

4- What was the reason you took part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was "given life"?

I honestly have no idea anymore. I think I had seen several other people attempt the A to Z Challenge, and I think I'd even attempted it before (but not completed it). And then I just had a random thought about if I could find enough topics on worldbuilding to complete the alphabet. I didn't let myself sign up until I had a topic for every letter, and I had pre-written the first week of posts.

5- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?

My Twitter handle is @Rebekah_Loper but I'll be honest - Twitter is my least favorite social media, so I'm not super active there. As for shoutouts... @lauraeweymouth @jmbauhaus and @natzers

6- Do you have any other books coming out soon? What other books do you have available?

I will have a fantasy short story in an anthology this spring, but release date has not been settled yet.

7- Please provide something from your book that is EXCLUSIVE to this tour:

Excerpt:

X is for Xenial

Concerning the Hospitality of Guests

The word ‘xenial’ has to do with hospitality. Specifically, it can pertain to the type of hospitality shown to strangers and guests. Since travel is an integral part of many speculative fiction plots, hospitality is an important thing to consider in your worldbuilding. We will look at both day-to-day hospitality and hospitality shown to guests and travelers.

Common Courtesy

There are many different ways people say hello or goodbye, as well as potential cultural reasons why they don’t say either of those things. It can be complicated or simple, and perhaps it ties in with other cultural occurrences. There may also be additional greetings included, such as during a holiday season (Merry Christmas!)
Depending on how your society is set up, there may be common mandatory courtesies for those of different rank. Think of whether royalty must be addressed in a certain manner, and if people are required to bow or curtsy. If someone is seen as having descended directly from a divine being, perhaps culture demands that people fully prostrate themselves in their presence.
There may be those who are not acknowledged publicly at all – like servants, peasants, or beggars. There are multitudes of reasons a society might see certain people as inferior, sadly.
Attitudes and language in general can be more or less formal, and may depend on how well people know each other, the capacity they are interacting in at that moment, societal rank, or gender.
When devising protocol and courtesies between ranking individuals and their equals or subjects, keep in mind that many things will be shaped to lessen the fear of the risk of assassination. Words and phrases that are perfectly acceptable in common company may be perceived as threatening when in the presence of ranking individuals.

Treatment of Guests

A guest can be a familiar friend, in which case they will not require much formality, but there still may be certain things that are offered because of custom.
Casual greetings can be a simple ‘hi’ or even greeting someone by name. But universal hospitality may be inviting someone to sit down and asking if they’d like a drink, regardless of whether they are a close friend or a new acquaintance.
Travelers, especially strangers, will receive a different kind of hospitality, and that can vary. If a town has been repeatedly pillaged or taken advantage of, they won’t be very friendly to strangers anymore. But some places might pride themselves on their hospitality, and will go all out to impress a guest.
In an agrarian society, or any place that uses livestock as their main form of transportation, it would be more than reasonable for a stranger to be offered feed, water, and a place in the stable for their animal. A drink, meal, and perhaps even a bath (or foot washing) are things that would be offered to nearly everyone, no matter what their rank.
However, if a monarch were to suddenly show up at the front door, it may even be an occasion to slaughter an animal for dinner, even if it was being saved for some other occasion. Not every guest is going to receive that kind of hospitality.
A family member who just showed up out of the blue, though, may not warrant very much special hospitality. It just depends. Hospitality and common courtesies are elements that can enhance a plot and the interactions between characters, as many different nuances and intentions can be made clear between what is offered, and what is not.
Another matter to consider is if and when guests can be turned away. It might be that certain guests may never be turned away – such as a monarch, though it would courteous of a gracious monarch to find lodging or sustenance elsewhere if there has been a death in the home recently.
Sickness will almost always be a reason to turn away guests. An illness potentially being contagious is nothing to ever mess around with, especially if medical care is not incredibly advanced.
The main thing to consider is whether one can turn away a guest for any reason, without giving a reason, or if they must have a concrete reason to do so.

Other Inspiration

Look up etiquette of different historical eras and different cultures – there’s some unique customs out there that can be great story inspiration. Etiquette will also vary by social and economic status. There are certain customs some might find difficult to part with, even if they have experienced a change in social status. There is also the fact that the rich can afford more niceties.

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

A fascinating summary, followed closely by a stunning book cover!

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: Rachel Hartman @_rachelhartman
Title: Seraphina
Love because: AMAZING worldbuilding and a protagonist who's not afraid to be herself, even when it's scary.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

I have a couple, I think, both I know through NaNoWriMo. Both have told me that they loved my worldbuilding workbook, and have recommended it to multiple people. I've heard from multiple sources that I manage to make worldbuilding interesting, and the workbook thought-provoking and non-encyclopedia-ish.

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

I hope that it will make the reader more confident in their craft, because worldbuilding is vital to understanding the culture of your characters when telling a fantasy or scifi story.

12- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?

I honestly don't follow a lot of #bookstagram people, but the first one that comes to mind is @dreams_in_blue

13- Why did you start blogging?

To create a platform for my writing and connect with an audience.

14- What sets your book apart from other reference books on creating settings and worldbuilding?

The length of the book (well over 200 pages in paperback - and it's an 8 1/2" x 11" so it's not small and about half of that is worldbuilding exercises), the conversational tone, and how many layers it delves into. I basically wrote the book I wish had existed when I first started worldbuilding. It was definitely influenced by my varied interests over my (not terribly long) lifetime - I've had bouts of fascination with costume history and design, cooking and baking, agriculture, and well... I read encyclopedias for fun when I was a kid. These days I'm also an urban farmer, and all of that together has helped me to put layers and nuance into my worldbuilding because everything is so interconnected. Since much fantasy takes place in pre-industrial societies, I really wanted to make people think about how natural resources and innovation help to create societies and cultures, and culture is what creates characters. It's all tied up together, and I'd not found any worldbuilding sources (at the time I wrote the original A-Z posts, and then the book) that really delved into that aspect of it.

15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?

It's older and really niche, but a blogger I followed for a long time wrote a really good mystery/thriller where the protagonist dealt with an eating disorder, and it was part of the plot, not just a character trait. I've never dealt with an eating disorder, but know several people who have, but the book really helped me to see the different ways it could impact someone's life. The book is In Her Shadow by August McLaughlin.


16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

I don't read nearly as many blogs (or as often) as I used to, but Anna Tan (blog.annatsp.com) is definitely one I make a point to visit often.

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

My book is SUPER niche. Like... niche of niche. Because it's only a small subset of all writers out there who worldbuild. I also wanted something that I could have out there and making passive income to start funding other expenses (either attending writing conferences, or self-pubbing other books) while I continued to write.

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

It helps readers to become more aware of what they do and don't like in a story, as well as helping authors to potentially pinpoint issues in their own writing that they might want to improve on in the future.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

What about worldbuilding most inspires or hinders you, either as a reader or writer?

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Rebekah Loper's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour
Worldbuilding is the ultimate act of creation for speculative fiction writers, but how exactly do you worldbuild? You ask ‘what if’ and use each answer as a springboard to more questions and answers about your fictional world.
In THE A-ZS OF WORLDBUILDING, that ‘what if’ process is broken down into 26 themed chapters, covering topics ranging from architecture to zoology. Each chapter includes a corresponding set of guided exercises to help you find the ‘what if’ questions relevant to your story’s world.
Fair warning, though: worldbuilding is addictive. Once you get started, you might never put your pen down again.

amazon
B&N
https://rebekahloper.com/the-a-zs-of-worldbuilding-the-book/

Rebekah Loper's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour
https://rebekahloper.com
Twitter @rebekah_loper
https://www.facebook.com/RebekahLoper/
https://www.instagram.com/rebekah.loper/
https://www.pinterest.com/rebekah_loper/
https://www.amazon.com/Rebekah-Loper/e/B075F8VT6D
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17145989.Rebekah_Loper
https://nanowrimo.org/participants/rebekah-loper



The A-Zs of Worldbuilding: Building a Fictional World From Scratch by Rebekah Loper

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Writing a Synopsis (Because I Had To)

I recently had the (mis)fortune of having to write a synopsis for my current work in progress, GIRLS BREAK THINGS. You may recall my fever-dream reverse outline from a couple weeks ago, which was also about this work.

This manuscript is still pretty fresh – if it were paint on a wall, it’d be in that tacky stage – but I thought, hey, let’s start putting it out there and see what kind of response I get. On Valentine’s Day, I participated in a pitch event for this work on Twitter. Amazingly, I had a couple agents request pages. Of course, in their submission requirements, they asked for a synopsis.

Womp.

Insert about three days of me flopping around the house, moaning that I didn’t want to write a synopsis because they’re hard and I don’t wanna and can’t the agent just read my manuscript please so I don’t hafta. Honestly, I probably should’ve had a synopsis ready before I tweeted about this work in the first place, but I did this to myself, so I don’t even pity myself and you shouldn’t either. Regardless, a synopsis was needed, and I had to write one if I ever wanted this work to go anywhere.

So what follows is my (messy) process of writing GIRLS BREAK THINGS and getting to this point – it’s all relevant, I promise. Let me also preface this by saying that I did zero research on how to write a synopsis before I started writing mine. Operation Awesome has posted about writing a synopsis before, so if you're looking for something more like instructions, you should check out this post.

When I wrote GIRLS BREAK THINGS, I started with an outline. I followed the 90-day novel process of getting into my characters’ heads and repeatedly fine-tuning my outline before I even began writing. (I started writing this manuscript a couple times with very limited success, so this was super weird to me.) I began this draft about a week before NaNoWriMo 2018 and finished a few days shy of the end of the month. After letting the manuscript sit for a couple months, I went back and wrote my reverse outline.

The reverse outline was the most helpful tool I had while writing my synopsis. I had the major plot points already laid out in order, as well as the finer influences each of those points had on the plot overall. From there, it was a matter of deciding which points absolutely needed to be included as written and which ones could be further reduced, summarized, or glossed over. I copied those points over into a new document and set about transforming them from bullet points to proper sentences that flowed from one to the next, adding in details as needed.

The hardest thing with writing the synopsis was deciding how many characters to talk about. I have at least thirty characters of varying importance, and while it was clear that the waiter I wrote about in chapter nine wasn’t going to make the cut, deciding which major players were important enough was a challenge. Ultimately, I realized that the players could be reduced to five characters: main character Joyce, love interest Nyx, Joyce’s BFF Laddie, Nyx’s mom/the high school principal Mrs. Otero, and robotics club adviser Mr. Reed. There are certainly other characters who impacted the plot, but it was easier to refer to them by their role (Joyce's moms, Nyx's ex-girlfriend, etc.) rather than by name.

The synopsis clocks in a bit shy of two pages. I’ve seen suggestions that a synopsis should be anywhere from 1-10 pages, but the agent submission pages I’ve visited usually say “Please copy/paste your 1-2 page synopsis here” so that’s the length I went with. And to be honest, I’m pretty pleased with it. I think it does a good job of referencing the stakes while also connecting with the characters and their emotions – but I might be a little biased. I did get a request for more pages from one of the agents I submitted to from the pitch event, so maybe it wasn’t a total dumpster fire.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dear O'Abby: Are prologues good or bad?

Dear O'Abby,

I write fantasy, and my book has a prologue.  It's a very needed prologue as it sets up the entire system of magic and politics for the world my story takes place in. 

But I've heard a lot of agents hate prologues and that it is a bad idea to include one as pages with a query.  So now I'm wondering if having a prologue is going to spoil my chances of ever getting published.

Can you help?

Yours,

Fantastic

Dear Fantastic,

Prologues are tricky wee things.  Personally, I'm not a fan and often skip them when reading because I'm interested in reading the story, not whatever backstory the writer has chosen to tell me in the prologue.

I certainly would suggest not including a prologue with your query package unless your protagonist is a part of the prologue and it is an essential part of your story.  It sounds like in your case, the prologue is there to create context for the story and do some of the heavy lifting for your world-building, so I would not include that with your query package.

In terms of the bigger picture, think about whether or not you can weave those world-building elements into the actual story.  Do they need to be in a prologue people may or may not read before the story starts?  If people skip the prologue, will they still understand the story?

It's always better to show how the magic systems and politics work in practice than to tell a reader all about them in advance, so if you can weave the detail in with the action, I think you'll find the prologue becomes redundant.  Plus the way these systems affect your characters becomes clear within the context of the story.

So my advice is to think hard about what your prologue is actually doing and whether or not that work can be done within the main body of your story.

Hope that helps!

X O'Abby

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Balaka Basu's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour

#AtoZChallenge 2019 First Book Tour badge Debut Author Spotlight from @JLenniDorner on @OpAwesome6


Golden Rainbow by Balaka Basu


1- What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis is an autoimmune disorder that affects the bladder. The symptoms are almost similar to urinary tract infections.

2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?

Write from the heart, always do proper editing, be careful with grammar.

3- What ignited your passion for writing?

I have always been fond of writing. I used to write a diary and later on switched to write that diary through my blog and gradually writing became my primary passion.

4- Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was "given life"?

I just wanted to blog regularly and write.

5- What do you love most about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge?

The discipline to write daily makes sense. It literally helps us to push the threshold and keep writing our best.

6- You contribute at Momspresso, BuzzingBubs, and Babychakra. What's your favorite parenting tip?

Don't try to raise a perfect kid rather raise a happy kid. Always respect and listen to your child.

7- Please provide a quote from your book that is shared EXCLUSIVELY to this tour:

‘I was a golden bird inside a golden cage, now I have wings to fly’

8- What most motivates you to read a new book?

The blurb

9- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!

Author name: Haruki Murakami @_harukimurakami
Title: Norwegian Wood
Love because: I almost felt he wrote this story on my life. The character Midori is so similar to me in real life.


10- Who is currently your biggest fan? What does that person love most (or "ship") about your debut novel?

I am not sure who is the biggest but there is a good amount of fan following 😊 Readers loved the real-life stories and many could relate to the characters. They loved the lucidity and emotions expressed in the stories.

11- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader, and is there a particular scene you hope will resonate with readers?

Readers would get nostalgic, sad, happy and in few stories may even roll out on the floor laughing. There are many scenes difficult to pint out one. As these are real-life stories they should resonate with the readers.

12- What is your favorite place to travel to?

Prague, Czech Republic

13- Why did you start blogging?

To give words to my emotions

14- What is the most memorable trait or visual oddity of one of your characters?

The hunch in a character called Nani.

15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?

Okonkwo from Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe


16- Who is your favorite book review blogger?

Shalini Baisiwala shalzmojo.in/category/bookview/

17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?

Self-published

18- Why do you think readers should write book reviews?

It helps the writer improve, it helps the writer understand his/her good and bad points, additionally, it helps other readers to know about the book.

19- What is one question or discussion topic which you would like the readers of this interview to answer or remark on in the comments?

How they liked my style of writing.

20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?

Golden Rainbow is an interesting collection of 26 memoirs written as short stories. These are not heroic tales but ordinary stories of ordinary people; nevertheless, they are thought-provoking. Some of them will make you laugh out loud while others may make you cry. The stories are rich in emotion, empathy and compassion.They are deeply profound. Reading the short stories is like a visit to Kolkata and typical Bengali life. You will connect with so many characters from your own real life but with different names. The anecdotes are not just stories but also a smart commentary on the various aspects of society. Easy to read, they will directly appeal to anyone fond of short stories. This book is not just a one-time read. It gets better with each reading.

Amazon.in
https://trinalooksback.com/

Golden Rainbow Balaka Basu's Debut Author Spotlight Operation Awesome on the #AtoZChallenge Book Tour



Golden Rainbow by Balaka Basu