All posts tagged: author

Review: White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht

“I am a haenyeo. Like my mother, and her mother before her, like my sister will be one day, her daughters too – I was never anything but a woman of the sea. Neither you nor any man can make me less than that.” This novel captivated me in a way I really wasn’t expecting. I had been looking for some more Korean-based WWII lit since I my disappointing affair with Pachinko left me gasping for a story I could connect with more easily. If you had similar feelings towards Pachinko, read on my friend, because White Chrysanthemum could end up being the story you’ve been searching for. ______________

AUTHOR PHOTOGRAPHS, A NOT-SO-EVIL NECESSITY

Just as we have a tendency to literally judge a book by its cover, we humans subconsciously judge an author, and their work, by their photo. This knowledge is primarily what made me avoid getting head shots taken. Ever. You can’t use Snapchat filters on a professional photograph, I told myself. Anyway, I’m self-publishing, I just won’t include an author photo and bio in my book. Then I remembered marketing is a thing. If I want to post blurry #writerlife selfies on Twitter that’s my business, but if ever want to be considered for a book signing event at Waterstones, I’d likely be needing something a little less casual for their promotional material.

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“When I was twelve, my parents had two talks with me. One was the usual birds and bees. […] The other talk was about what to do if a cop stopped me.” This book should be required reading. Not for schools, for everyone. The premise is simple but powerful, the characters are every day people but they are excellently written. The message is one we’ve heard a million times before but we still haven’t heard it enough. The story follows sixteen-year-old Starr, a private-school student who has always felt out of place. At school, she is one of the few black students. Back in her neighbourhood, she is mocked for going to school outside the area – with white people nonetheless. Although she feels like she lives in two different worlds, she’s determined to prove to herself that both of her lives can co-exist.

#WriterLife Update: I’m Exhausted

Years. Actual years of editing. So many drafts I’ve forgotten to celebrate when I finish one. But this week something special happened. This week I finished draft eight of The Young Volcanoes of Tenemere. And I’m not going to do what I usually do, that is, take a couple days off then get cracking with the next draft. This time, I’m going to take the time to be proud of myself, because it draft eight has turned out to be quite a special one. Of my eight drafts, three have been major. What do I mean by major? I mean I’ve basically re-written the entire thing. If I opened up my first draft, the one I started in November 2014 after two years of part-time planning, I don’t know if I would recognise it. I’ve put a lot of work into this novel, only the first in a whole series I am still building. But as slow, and painful, and hard and sometimes full-on depressing as it has been, it’s also been pretty damn great. …

Review: Brave by Rose McGowan

I’ve always enjoyed Rose McGowan for the fiery individual she appeared to be on screen. Even though she states in her memoir, “for those who knew me as an actress, I must inform you I was never that person”, she’s still a damn queen, I know it. Her fire comes across from the very first page. Her words are fierce, they demand attention, and damn right. For a survivor of abuse to come forward and tell her story, I would expect nothing less. “I was told I had to have long hair, otherwise the men doing the hiring in Hollywood wouldn’t want to fuck me, and if they didn’t want to fuck me, they wouldn’t hire me. I was told this by my female agent, which is tragic on so many levels.” Brave is less of a memoir, more of a social commentary with McGowan’s own experiences as the starting point. It’s a story about women and the abuse of women; it’s a painful and, yes, fairly triggering account, but it’s the kind of book …