Category Archives: About the Book

Isn’t All Immigrant Fiction Essentially Dystopian Fiction?

Posted by June 25th, 2014

Chang-rae LeeWhat does Immigrant Fiction and Dystopian Fiction have in common? You might be surprised! Award-winning Riverhead Books author Chang-rae Lee shares how is recently published book, ON SUCH A FULL SEA, reveals the dystopian nature of the immigrant story. 


I wasn’t intent on creating a “dystopian” tale while I was writing On Such a Full Sea. This might seem hard to believe given the society I describe in the novel: a future world beset by environmental contamination and rigidly partitioned by class, where the ultra-rich live in securely gated ‘villages’, workers spend their entire lives in cloistered production settlements, and the citizens of the wild and unregulated ‘open counties’ that surround them are left to survive wholly on their own. Certainly when I was young I was an admirer of classic novels of dystopia such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, but in fact, in writing this book I didn’t want any models of the genre to guide me. I was simply working the way I have always worked, which is to imagine characters who find themselves at a pivotal moment in their lives, characters who are questioning their place in their families and communities and, in turn, that community’s place in the wider world. In this regard, I consider On Such a Full Sea to be more of an extension of my previous novels than any radical departure. Continue reading

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Historical Romance Writer Madeline Hunter On Revising, Writing Visually, and Humor

Posted by June 3rd, 2014

the accidental duchessWe are proud to have Madeline Hunter with us today! Madeline is an award-winning historical romance author whose books have been translated in twelve languages and featured on the USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestseller lists. Her new book, THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS, is published by Jove, an imprint of Berkley Books. It features the unlikely love affair between Lady Lydia and the Duke of Penthurst in 18th century England. In this Q&A, Madeline shares her love of revision (or not), how her art history background influences her work, and what inspires her humor. 


Janet Umenta: Most writers would agree that revising is difficult, but what was the most enjoyable part when revising THE ACCIDENTAL DUCHESS?

Madeline Hunter: I love to revise! It is far easier than writing new material for me, so the danger is I will spend my working time revising, if given the choice. The really enjoyable part of revising is when my editor asks for what I call substantive revisions (as in rewriting whole sections.) It is such a cool team project then, so I dig right in, glowing with renewed inspiration. (No one is believing this, right? See question #5 about my sense of humor.) Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Romance Writer Lynn Montagano

Posted by May 19th, 2014

Lynn Montagano, Book Country member since 2012, has just published her debut romance novel, CATCH MY BREATH! Lynn shares her advice to writers workshopping their books on Book Country. Connect with Lynn!

Lynn MontaganoJanet Umenta: On your Book Country profile page, you note that you are an avid traveler. In CATCH MY BREATH, you take the reader to amazing places such as Glasgow, Scotland and London, England. How did your traveling experience help you write such vivid descriptions in your novel?

Lynn Montagano: The traveling bug first bit me when I was young and my parents took my brother and I to Disney World. The whole experience amazed me: the airplane, being somewhere that wasn’t home, meeting new people, etc. I’m from a small town in Rhode Island so venturing away from there sparked something in me. Continue reading

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3 Ways to Give Great Writing Feedback on Book Country

Posted by February 28th, 2014

Give feedback on Book Country

Readers have millions of choices when it comes to choosing a book to read. Without getting feedback, it’s extremely hard to see if your book is as interesting and smooth to read as the rest of the work that other writers are putting into the marketplace.

What are the best ways to give writing feedback on Book Country?

While we have offered you “Dos and Don’ts” for giving feedback on Book Country, we believe that there really is no wrong way to give writing feedback (as long as your feedback stays within the bounds of the Community Guidelines, of course!). However, if you’re unsure about how to craft a review that will really help other community members make their books better, try one of these three ways to give great writing feedback on Book Country:

Be specific, and don’t be afraid to have opinions.

Tori Schindler Brooks is a great example. Here’s an excerpt from one of her Book Country reviews:

Internal dialogue shouldn’t be in double quotes, it’s too easy to be mistaken for actual spoken words, except in the (hopefully) rare occasions the characters are genuinely talking out loud to themselves. Usually you use italics or single quotes, or just state ‘they thought’ for internal dialogue.

Along those same lines, when the book is in third person POV, “I” is going to be inside quotes almost always or it’s awkward. It feels like you, the writer, lost track of your POV when we’re reading it.

The dialogue was good but occasionally difficult to follow. Not all dialogue had clear tags or point of origin. Continue reading

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Enter the About the Book Contest for a Chance to Win Our Discover Publishing Package!

Posted by February 25th, 2014

about the book super finalWe all know how important that cover copy can be in selling a book, whether it is a physical book jacket you’re reading or the “About the Book” entry on an eBook retail site. To help you fine-tune your description—and attract more readers on Book Country—we’re launching the About the Book Contest!

How to Enter:

Describe your book in the “About the Book” section on Book Country and enter the URL of your title’s Book Details page in the contest form. (Hint: The page URL for your Book Details page is in the address bar at the top of your browser.)


Don’t have a Book Country account but want to enter the contest? No problem! Create an account for free, upload your manuscript, and enter the contest.

The Prize

The writer of the best “About the Book” description will win a Discover Publishing Package ($249), a fantastic eBook publishing option that includes services such as eBook formatting and cover design help, BookStubs and Marketing Copy Polish.

Important Dates: 

Contest begins today, February 25, 2014. Entries must be received no later than March 18, 2014, 11.59:59 PM Eastern Time.

Contest Criteria

Entries will be judged on writing style, clarity, grammar and book premise/originality. If your book were already published and you could glimpse at the back-cover copy, what would it say? Put that in your About the Book section on Book Country!

Need some tips on writing an original and intriguing book description? We recommend that you consult professional copywriter Carly Hoogendyk’s blog post on how to write an “About the Book” for insider tips.

Good luck!


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