Tell our readers why story matters to you.
What a wonderful question. As an author writing gives purpose to my life. But as a reader, it is as much a necessity as water or food or air. Not everyone reads the same stuff. I'd love to have a bookclub with my hubby, but he is all about epic historicals or action thrillers/mysteries. I'm answering Katherine's excellent question a week from today, Halloween in fact, when I guest post on her blog: http://katherinescottjones.com/
In the meantime, though, here's a hint about what types of stories matter to me. It only takes one look at my writing to see the kinds of stories that inspire me- Set in beautiful places, like the movie Chocolat; filled with love and personal growth, like the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows; fast-paced and fun, like anything from Peter Mayle; and interesting, even quirky characters, like that hilarious guy from the movie Nottinghill.
I suppose I am into the escape of it all. During the rough times in my life, putting aside my worries or troubles through a great book has helped me get through... and sometimes even find the answers I needed to respond.
Scenes like this one make me want to rush out and live in this book:
Aiden appeared ready to continue his questioning so she cut him off. “What about you? Where do you live?”
“I rent a flat in London,” Aiden answered, allowing the change of topic. “Although, I’ve sublet it for the summer… so I guess you could say I live here now.”
Lucia laughed, thinking he was kidding. No one could actually consider living in that run down old house. Among other reasons, she wasn’t sure it was safe.
Aiden quirked his lips and his eyes shone with humor. “Are you making fun of me, Luuuchia?” he said, exaggerating her name the way he had heard Uncle Gianni say it.
“Nooo,” she laughed. “No, really, I’m not making fun of you. I just, um, is that safe?” she asked.
“Well,” Aiden said, “other than the possibility that the bats are actually vampires,” -he looked at Uncle Gianni for confirmation, “which is probably unlikely right?”
“Or,” he continued, “one of the snakes turns out to be poisonous and bites me.”
Lucia thought Uncle Gianni appeared a little more concerned by that possibility; but still no comment.
“Or, I suppose, I might fall through the ceiling.” Aiden said jokingly.
This seemed the most obvious concern to Lucia, but Uncle Gianni simply continued chopping the onion he was working on.
“Probably though if I die from anything it will be of malnourishment after eating canned tuna every night.”
This last comment finally demanded her uncle’s attention. He began speaking fast and forcefully at Aiden. Unfortunately, it was all in Italian. And while it clearly demonstrated to Lucia how upset her uncle was, it didn’t really help either of them comprehend much of the content.
“Are you getting any of this?” she asked Aiden.
“Not a word,” he shook his head and smiled at her. She thought he looked happy to have elicited such a passionate reaction from her uncle.
Uncle Gianni settled down and took a big gulp of his wine.
“This is NO good,” he finally said in a broken semblance of his normally excellent English. “No! No good.” He shook his head at them as if it was partly Lucia’s fault that some strange, albeit good looking, English guy was living in a tear-down.
“You,” he pointed the knife at Aiden, making Lucia wonder if she should step in to protect him, “you, cannot eat this, this, canned food,” he spat out, “every night.”
Really, she had never seen Uncle like this. She wondered if he knew he was repeating himself. It was pretty amusing. Lucia imagined the frenzy he would be in if he ever watched the show, America’s Worst Cook.
With her normal, interesting timing, Aunt Christina chose this precarious moment to arrive home.
“You,” Uncle Gianni pointed at her before she had even had a chance to say hello or meet Aiden, “you will fix his kitchen.”
That settled, Uncle Gianni turned around and began to chop his onions again…. with perhaps a little more force than when he had left off.
Ready to keep reading???? This is from Molto Mayhem, and all it needs are some patrons of books to pre-order to get it into production. So, forward this post. Write to Santa and add it to your Christmas list. Tell all the moms about it at the pick-up line at school. I could use your help. Here's the link: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/molto-mayhem
Here's to many happy journeys in books inspired by love.
A job interview.
We spend our life proving ourselves. When we are young, it is to our parents, our friends, our teachers. Over time this circle grows... bosses, boyfriends, husbands, even, possibly, consumers if we produce something for sale. Sometimes these opportunities to demonstrate our value is obvious. Like answers during an interview, we describe our lives to others verbally. We meet friends and, even with good friends, couch our actions in ways that make us look like the good and worthy people we are.
I think this is something we all do, every day, subconsciously even. But still, like walking down the street, it is part of our lives. But sometimes we are called on to do it. We are asked to speak at a conference about work we have done, or present a project in front of our class. We interview, or we set out to impress someone really important, like a lover or a boss. Or, we have to ask for something.
One of my least favorite jobs.... (well, and to be honest, the job I literally walked out of. Which, let me just say in the spirit of the above, walking out of anything is not like me at all!)... so anyway, this job was telemarketing, asking for money from alumni of my University. Even knowing the money was going for a good cause, I just could not handle it. I felt like I had to personally prove myself to strangers. And being just 22 ears old at the time, it was beyond my confidence.
Fortunately, since then, I have matured. I have learned that by not asking I don't give people who care about me a chance to support me. I have learned that some products deserve to be sold.... to be known about by the people who could benefit from them. I have learned that avoiding the no means I lose opportunities to grow and to prosper. Instead of adding to the world, I take something out of it.
But still, asking is difficult for me. This is particularly poignant for me right now as the model for publishing my third book is based on a kickstarter set up. I was both thrilled and anxious when Molto Mayhem was accepted by Inkshares Publishing. Backed by Ingram (the world's largest book distributer and marketer) I knew that Inkshares would bring a whole new level of professional publishing to my book.
But still, I was nervous. This new model is requiring that I put myself (and my writing) out there, asking potential readers to take a leap and pre-order this fun novel. In exchange I have to believe in the thing I am selling, my writing, my story, my book.
And this is at the heart of proving ourselves. When we do it subconsciously we do not have to consider the alternative, what if my proposal is rejected. What if I am rejected.
The interview was over.... the girl was sitting on her own for a moment and, thinking on all of this I leaned over to get her attention. "I would definitely hire you if it were me. You did great!" I told her. Because all of us need to be reassured, now and then, that the our proposition, whether accepted, or rejected, is valued just for being put out there.
Would you like to learn more about Molto Mayhem, or how you can support the drive to get it published?
Check out my Inkshares website page. It has a description of the story, First Chapter, funding/ordering levels, and more: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/molto-mayhem
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