Being Katniss Everdeen
Reality is not always a pretty place to live. Day to day life can be mundane or in some cases very difficult and we all find different ways to deal with that. Some people lose themselves in the bottom of a tumbler of whiskey and others become addicted to computer games, losing themselves in realms of warlocks or druids. For some the lure of the Penny Black draws them in like a siren, but for me it’s books.
I am a bookaholic. I’m not a reformed case, unless you count moving from exclusively paper to electronic and audio as reform. This may shock you, I’ll be honest, I don’t want to reform. There, I’ve said it. I’m happy here. When I’m not reading books I’m writing them. When I’m not writing, I’m planning them. For the last couple of weeks I have been Katniss Everdeen.
I’ve been rereading the remarkable Hunger Games Trilogy and for those all too brief and elusory hours I have not been a middle-aged woman dealing with real world issues. For those precious, stolen moments I have been a young participant in the Hunger Games, living by my wits and an expert with a bow and arrow. Every so often one of the dogs has interrupted to remind me they, if not I, are real and need feeding. Then reluctantly, I’ve laid down my bow and come back to reality. Looking on the bright side, when I’m writing fiction, I can get lost in the world of my characters for months. At least reading a book only takes me a few hours.
At the moment I am getting increasingly excited about planning the launch of my new novel. I want to do everything NOW, but of course that is not possible. You the readers want the cover to look brilliant (and it does) and you want to be able to read the book uninterrupted by errors (which is in process). You might even think you’d like an invite to the launch (which is being planned). All those things take time.
In the meantime, books are a great and largely safe place to spend time. They can fuel the imagination, and broaden horizons. They can inform, challenge ideas and inspire. In my opinion they are as relevant now as they have ever been and if spending a few hours being Katniss Everdeen gives me the strength and courage to face the world then Katniss Everdeen I will be!
It’s finally here – The Appearance of Truth is now out as an audio book. The narrator is Reagan Boggs and if you need any recommendation my husband says he could listen to her voice all day! It’s been great working with her to put the project together. Here is what she said about the book: ‘The concept is such a great one. You hit on all the questions that someone would have to have in a situation like that – addressing the uncertainty and upheaval that makes you question everything about who you are. The frustration of hitting wall after wall when trying to figure out what happened feels so realistic. The need to love and have a child that fuels the desperation to make Maureen to do what she did – the way you have written that is so compelling – I completely empathize with her. You have written the emotion so well, it makes it very easy to narrate. All the characters are so well developed – they all have depth and layers that make them interesting. The overall quality of the story seems to be so much better than what’s usually available on the ACX site.’
You can download the book from Amazon or Audible and, on condition that you are willing to listen and review the book on Audible, I have codes for a free copy to give away to the first five of you who reply to say you’d like to provide a review. If you would like to take part email firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s bad enough when I’ve got more book ideas than I will ever write, but other writing ideas then foist themselves on me at regular intervals.
The Book reviews page of this site is now fully up and running (http://rjkind.co.uk/wp/reviews-of-other-books/) and will have books added at regular intervals as and when I read something I can recommend. Now it’s occurred to me that my compulsion to write hotel reviews should be put to good use as well. Whilst I will continue to write reviews from a human point of view and included them on some of the travel sites, ‘Wilma’ will start writing reviews from a dog’s perspective and award a suitable bone rating according to how much they impress her. She is developing a whole section on my Alfie’s Diary blog of dog friendly places to stay. (http://alfiedog.me.uk/travel/)
In the meantime, none of my other projects are being abandoned. The Orphan Train is currently through to stage two of the UK novel writing competition. At that point, the original 3100 novels have been reduced to 250. I am waiting to see if it makes round three in which there would be just 25. It is also out being considered by agents, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.
In the meantime, From Story Idea to Reader has now garnered 15 Amazon reviews, of which 15 are 5 star ratings. Those seem to have come from writers at all stages of their writing careers which is particularly rewarding.
Nor have I forgotten I’m supposed to be writing another book. That is now at the 14,000 words mark and growing slowly. I’m also doing some work to refresh some of my older publications and hope to have news of some offers of free downloads soon.
Now all I need is more time… Of course, if fantasy were the genre I wrote in then I could just write that into the story. I can feel another idea coming on!
Well, it’s only my opinion, but I’ve been building up a page on my website of books I recommend. They are not all ones I’ve given five star reviews to, but ones that I think are worth taking the time to read. I’ve included a review, without giving away any of the plots, so you can read them safely.
I have been going through everything I’ve logged on Goodreads over the last few years and bringing them together in one place. I’ve left out the ones that I did not think were worth reading and there are a few of those! I shall be adding to the page over the next couple of weeks until I bring it completely up to date. After that I shall only add to it as I read a new book and think you might enjoy it.
It’s an eclectic mix. I hope you find something there you enjoy too.
You can find the page HERE
What a delight it is to write this post. Since its launch on 30th November ‘From Story Idea to Reader’ has been selling well in both paperback and ebook formats. However, what is giving me a wonderful glowing feeling is not the actual sales figures, but the reviews we are getting for the book. It is always gratifying to hear that something you have written has made a difference.
This book has, up to this morning, already picked up nine reviews on Amazon’s UK site, eight of which have been five stars. The comments which accompany the ratings have been great and spur me on in my other current writing projects, which I will tell you more about shortly.
You can find From Story Idea to Reader, along with the accompanying reviews, on Amazon HERE. If you are outside the UK, you will need to go onto the Amazon UK site to read the current reviews. I am not aware yet of having received any in other countries, but hopefully it’s only a matter of time.
I was delighted to be interviewed by the website Virtual Book Club about some of my writing and in particular The Appearance of Truth. Better still was an email from a lady who went and bought the book as a result of the interview and read it cover to cover, unable to put it down. It’s things like that that make this the best job in the world.
If you’d like to read the interview you can find it HERE
If it were alcohol you’d be sending me to get help, but it’s not. It still leads me to lose touch with reality, become distant from my family and become depressed if I have no opportunity to feed my addiction. If you are reading this you may share my problem. We don’t sit around in an old hall on wooden chairs and come out with lines like ‘Hello, I’m X and I’ve been on the wagon for three weeks.’ Instead we join Goodreads and say things like, ‘I only give this one two stars because the characters weren’t believable.’
I’ve known for years that I’ve had an addiction. I can’t walk past a bookshop without going in. I get bookcase envy almost anywhere that I see a row of books and own more Ikea Billy Bookcases than is reasonable for a human being to have. My mother and I have labelled ourselves as Bookaholics for years and if you search the Internet we are clearly not alone. However, even in my own family my problem is not fully understood.
This became painfully apparent when my father decided to THROW OUT some books! My mother did the responsible thing and immediately sent me a list of all the titles to see which I would want. It took willpower, but I didn’t just respond with, ‘All of them.’ Instead I carefully selected the ones I would like to read and having managed to eliminate one or two sent the list back. That’s when the problems started. My father assumed I must want to give them away elsewhere or sell them. My mother understood and reassured him that she was sure I’d want them for myself. He still found it hard to believe and it took some fairly emphatic explaining to convince him that of course I wanted to read a book about the Goons that I hadn’t got and various political memoirs (not written by the Goons), as well as some works of fiction. They will be carefully added to the pile, ready to feed my addiction at a moment’s notice.
In the meantime you’ll find me in America, or falling in love, identifying a murderer or back in 1840. If you need to rouse me, just remember it can take a while to bring me back to the real world and be gentle as who would with any other addict who needs your help.
Except… I’m happy to be addicted and I really don’t plan to stop anytime soon. My eyesight might be suffering and I would look at everyday objects as possible murder weapons, but I’m just fine. Now, what page was I on?
I’m currently giving away a copy of Pet Dogs Democratic Party Manifesto in a Goodreads Giveaway – see below for details: