Tag Archives: revision

Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Andrea Dunlop

Posted by August 8th, 2014

Andrea Dunlop on Book CountrySo excited to have my friend and fellow Book Country member Andrea Dunlop back on the blog this morning! I just read Andrea’s book, THE SOJOURN, and I was blown away by how good it was. Just as I was finishing the book, Andrea wrote to tell me that she’s signed with literary agent Carly Watters. If you haven’t yet checked out the excerpt of THE SOJOURN that is available to read on Book Country, I highly recommend that you do so ASAP!

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Lucy Silag: Tell us what compelled you to write THE SOJOURN.

Andrea Dunlop: It was inspired by the time I spent in France as a student. Traveling abroad for the first time is an incredibly heady experience, it has a way of blowing open your perspective on life.

LS: How long have you been working on it? What is your writing and revising process like?

AD: I’ve actually been working on the novel off and on for twelve years now, if you can believe it. There have been many, many versions of the story but it always came back to the friendship between [main characters] Brooke and Sophie. I’ve gotten lots of feedback from different sources over the years that have helped me shape the book: fellow writers, agents, professors, I ended up hiring a developmental editor and I can’t overstate the difference that made. After you’ve been working on something for a certain amount of time, you lose perspective on it. It really helped me to just let go and be willing to do whatever it took to make the story better. Continue reading

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THE THORN OF DENTONHILL by Marshall Maresca: Cover Reveal and What “Done” Really Means

Posted by August 4th, 2014

Longtime Book Country member Marshall Maresca is back on the blog today to unveil the gorgeous cover for his first book, THE THORN OF DENTONHILL, which was workshoppped in the Book Country community and was picked up for publication by DAW Books. The book will go on sale in February 2015.

We are very excited about this! Congratulations, Marshall!

THE THORN OF DENTONHILL cover

The gorgeous cover for THE THORN OF DENTONHILL by Book Country member Ryan Maresca. Read on to hear about what it’s like to finally be “done” with the manuscript.

“Done” is a tricky word in this business.

By which I mean, I was “done” with THE THORN OF DENTONHILL—the rough draft of it—in September 2008. Of course, that’s just a rough draft, so that isn’t done. Really, a year later, I had finished my edits and was querying to agents. Then it was “done”. Continue reading

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Vince Salamone on Editing His Book SERAPHIM: GENESIS

Posted by August 1st, 2014

SERAPHIM: GENESISWhen it came to writing my recently self-published novel, SERAPHIM: GENESIS, daunting is the word that often comes to mind. Set in a world teetering on the edge of technological and medical evolution, GENESIS follows Jade Tetsumo, a disgraced Royal Marine haunted by a violent past and faced with a dangerous future when she is chosen to be part of the Seraphim, a six-man black-operations security force operated by the powerful Alighieri Bio-Solutions to protect the secretive and highly sensitive research contained there–but when a rogue geneticist forces the team into action, the past bleeds into the present and Jade realizes that the hardest battle to come might be from within.

The act of writing can be a harrowing and overwhelming task. Crafting characters, set pieces, events, histories, worlds, stories and plot; it can often feel like a titanic ordeal to get the ball rolling–and that’s just the prep work! Getting it all to work together is another story entirely and it’s something you won’t figure out until after you finish the first draft. When it came to my first write-up of GENESIS, there were bumps in the road but for the most part crafting that draft was organic and painless. After all, it was just my computer and I, content in the isolated flow of the creative stream. Continue reading

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Read and Review New Waiting to Be Discovered Books

Posted by July 31st, 2014

Book Country Waiting to Be Discovered

Creativity is abound this summer! The Book Country team has uploaded 10 new Waiting to Be Discovered books on the Read and Review page. We have quite a diverse mix including a memoir, a couple contemporary romances, and a story about an immortal empress-in-hiding trying to run away from dangerous religious zealots.

Read and review! Continue reading

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Read Book Country’s Top Rated Books!

Posted by July 24th, 2014

Book Country's Top Rated Books

The reviews don’t lie! Ten new highly lauded books in the Book Country community are featured in the Top Rated section of the Read and Review page. Find out why these books are so good and get inspired!

  1. DEAD BEFORE DYING by Kerry Schafer
  2. HOPE by James Blackford
  3. ROOM 303 by Greg Meritt
  4. RASH DECISIONS by A. Rosa
  5. THE THIEF, THE GUNS, AND THE PLANET by Kevin James Miller
  6. A TALE OF TWO SOULS by Talisha Harrison
  7. I WONDER WHAT SHE’S DOING TONIGHT by James Hold
  8. THE BOY, THE BAKER, AND THE BASTARD by M.L. Mundy
  9. I REST MY CASE by Bill Barrett
  10. PROJECT APEX by Seth Durham

 

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New Editor’s Picks for July!

Posted by July 10th, 2014

Editor's Picks July

We are happy to announce the 10 new Editor’s Picks for July!

Everyday, we are impressed with your work on Book Country, and we want to share with you the 10 books that really stood out.

If you’re looking for a great story this weekend, read and review our Editor’s Picks!

  1. The First Nine by Linnea Ren
  2. Satan’s Lure by DJ Pizzarello
  3. Sly! The Rogue Reconsidered by Mimi Spieke
  4. The Romeo Catchers by AlysArden
  5. Order of the Garter by Jaycee Ford
  6. The Kings of Carnin: Rise of Ari by Dan Croutch
  7. The Sojourn by Andrea Dunlop
  8. The Outlands by Julie Artz
  9. Athena Charles by Ayesha Court
  10. Permutations in the Ribbon of Time by Rob Emery
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Alys Arden: Early Feedback on THE ROMEO CATCHERS

Posted by June 27th, 2014

THE ROMEO CATCHERSAt this year’s RT Booklovers Convention, we raffled off 1-on-1 manuscript feedback sessions with yours truly. Book Country member Alys Arden was one of the winners. It’s fitting that she won this package, because the first book I ever read and reviewed on Book Country was THE CASQUETTE GIRLS, which Alys published on Halloween 2013. Now she’s hard at work on the sequel, THE ROMEO CATCHERS. As a big fan of the first book, I was super excited to jump into the next volume.

As usual, reading the work of another writer was very helpful to me in thinking about my own views about good writing. Much of my review will only make sense if you’re also reading her book (which you should!), but I wanted to share a few takeaways that I hope will resonate for the rest of the community as they write and revise their books.

 

What’s working:

I am not a huge fan of prologues. Writers need to win over readers from the very first sentence, and I think writers have more success when they immediately include concrete details about setting, specific characterizations, and most importantly, strive for clarity. Prologues, on the other hand, tend to be vague and sometimes dreamlike. They often hint at a situation that for which the reader does not yet have a context. This can be confusing and even off-putting to readers. I think the reason Alys succeeds here is because the prologue is a self-contained story. It does the job of hinting to the reader of what’s to come–historical significance, a later threading in of this urban legend–but it’s also enjoyable for its own sake. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Middle Grade Writer Sherrie Petersen

Posted by June 17th, 2014

Member Spotlight: Sherrie PetersenToday we are talking to Book Country member Sherrie Petersen, whose book WISH YOU WEREN’T is a June Editor’s Pick. Connect with Sherrie on Book Country, and read on to find out more about her experience with beta readers, designing her own cover, and why she loves writing for middle graders. 

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Lucy Silag: Congrats on publishing your first book, WISH YOU WEREN’T. Tell us the story of how the book came to be, and how you brought it into the world.

Sherrie Petersen: I wrote the first page of this story several years back after watching stars with my kids one night. It was right before a writer’s conference where I had the chance to get feedback from an agent, an editor and an author. (Someone else read the page out loud, thankfully!) All three of them loved the voice, the setting, the mood that page evoked – they wanted to read more. That totally encouraged me to keep going. And despite many rewrites, the first page has stayed essentially the same. Continue reading

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Member Spotlight: Meet Writer Mimi Speike

Posted by November 25th, 2013

mimi_speikeToday we have one of our most seasoned Book Country members, Mimi Speike, as our guest. We caught her at an opportune time–as she’s making final revisions to her historical fantasy series and is preparing to launch them into the world. 

NG: When did you fall in love with writing?

MS: I wrote in school, of course. I didn’t start writing for my own pleasure until around 1984. An idea got hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I’d always read. I began to examine style, particularly that thing called flow. I started writing Sly! and fell so in love with the somersaults that you can turn with well-chosen words that I’m still at it. This is the greatest game there is.

NG: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about yourself as a writer? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome?

MS: I’ve learned to follow my gut. Screw rules. My Intrusive Author style is universally despised, apparently. But, that’s my voice. I’m sticking with it.

Biggest challenge? The one we all face: self-doubt. Once in a while, I manage to subdue debilitating insecurity, only to be seized by its equally evil twin, unabashed arrogance, no improvement in terms of objectivity. I don’t think in terms of overcoming. I try to balance the Jekyll and Hyde of my authorial personality, and let it go at that.

NG: How did you go about cultivating your writing style, and what role humor plays in the SLY series?

MS: I admire nineteenth/early twentieth-century lush description. I try to emulate it. That whole out-of-fashion scene-setting really turns me on. I also adore exceptional grace of phrasing; I think of it as a musicality. I scour the classics for vocabulary, sea terms in particular. I have a pirate episode in Sly! What do I know of the sea? Nada! Two Years Before The Mast, set two hundred years after my period, furnished information on shipboard routine. That has to do, until I lay hands on more timely material.

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Connecting with Members on Book Country

Posted by August 20th, 2013

Connecting imageOne of the aspects of Book Country that we’re most excited about is the expansion on what it means to connect with one another on the site.

Before, you could “Follow” as well as “Connect” with other members on the site. When following a member, you would receive updates on their site activities, such as uploading a new book or responding to a discussion, but you wouldn’t be able to see those members’ connections or the books that they were following, or even read their full manuscripts. Most importantly, the person you were following wouldn’t know that you were interested in building a connection with them. We wanted to change that so members could seek more meaningful relationships with each other.

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