Buy a coffee, help an author

Enjoy my work? Want to share your love? ❤

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Advertisements

What’s been happening?

First off, I know you’ve all been excited about my giveaway. If you’ve been following my facebook page, you would have seen my teaser posts. Each teaser post reveals a clue about an item in the giveaway book bundle.

Teaser #4 has been the most popular so far.

Quite a few of you managed to identify the book. So well done! If you were the first to do so, you will receive an extra chance at taking home this amazing collection of books (not literally. If you win, I’ll post the books out to you, obviously). There are 7 books in total, including 2 x Penguin clothbound classics! This book bundle is valued at $150, so I know you’ll want to get your hands on it!

Keep an eye out for the teaser posts. You’ll have more chances to name the books.

But, PLEASE read the rules. So many people have only completed one part of the rules. They will not be eligible, I’m afraid. There are only 2 rules:

  1. Like and follow my page
  2. Like the post

And that means ANY of the posts relating to the giveaway. It could be Teaser #1 or Teaser #10. As long as you like one of them, AND like the page.

And, there are two other optional steps, which are:

  1. (Optional) For an extra chance, be the first to comment the name of the book pictured (or comment the name from the clue — a quote, or other).
  2. (Optional) Tag a friend who likes reading.

That’s it!

There are a few books in my teaser posts that have not been identified… yet! Hop on over to my page. Look for the teaser posts, and see if you can name the books!

So far, I have posted these teaser pictures. Can you name them?

Giveaway teasers

This giveaway is open worldwide. It ends 30.09.17 11.59pm AEST, and that one lucky fan will be named 07.10.17.


Eleanor by Cadence

Eleanor

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to have a look at Eleanor. So what’s going on with Eleanor? As you know, my manuscript has come back from the editor. I’ve received mostly positive feedback, but there are some areas of concern I’ll need to address. So far, I’ve gone over most of the issues. There are a couple of things I’ll need to be more attentive to. My heroine, Eleanor, needs the most work at this stage. My editor really liked Mr Ashwood (Henry), Gaston, and Vivienne, which I am thrilled about — particularly her liking Henry, who I was most concerned about. Despite my readings and research, I have still not been very confident writing male characters, especially someone like Henry, who is the love interest of Eleanor.

“That’s not a good sign”, you must think, considering I am focusing this coming National Novel Writing Month on writing a book from the perspective of the Marquis de Sade. He isn’t too hard to get into the mind of though, as I have been researching him and his works for a number of years now. It’s simply a matter of conveying it, in the right way.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, as always.

Once I make all the changes, I will begin pitching to agents. As you know, I have a few in mind. I won’t name them at this stage, though I will keep you guys up to date whenever I have news.

And, because I’m feeling generous, here’s a little teaser taste of Eleanor.

Eleanor by Cadence teaser


Off topic

Also, did anyone watch the Matildas beat Brazil last week? It was a fantastic match! With a sellout crowd, this alone should encourage the networks to broadcast more women’s sports. Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr was amazing. Watching Kerr’s style and determination throughout the match, I could see that it was only inevitable she would score. Well done to the ladies, and I’m excited to see another match soon!

Anyway, I might leave it there this week. Knowing me, I’ll get distracted again, and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some important news I was supposed to give you. Oh well!

 

Eleanor is back from the editor!

As you know, Eleanor was recently sent off to the editor, to get all prettied and vamped up, but now my beloved debut novel is back in my hands, hooray!

So, right now I’m going through all the mark ups and comments, and the report to see where change is needed to be made in the manuscript. There are a number of minor and major issues to work through, so it seems I will be working on Eleanor a bit longer than I had initially anticipated. Still, I have set myself a reasonable deadline to get through everything. I’m hoping to finish by the end of the month, at which time I can finally start contacting agents.

I have to say that I am extremely happy with the editorial services provided by Phoenix Editing and Proofreading. Amanda J Spedding has been incredible to work with, and I highly recommend her to anyone looking to publish — because every manuscript needs an edit. We’re still in talks because we want to ensure Eleanor gets to as near perfect as possible. I just want Eleanor to have the best chance when I submit to agents and publishers.

But, of course, to do that I also have to work on my cover letter more. I have a draft pretty well sorted, just need to perfect it. I also have listed a few agents I want to approach, just have to make sure I approach them at the right time, obviously — a lot of agents will only accept manuscripts at particular times.

I think I’ll leave it there for this week. It’s only a quick update, sorry guys, but I’ll fill you in more when I get closer to finishing up Eleanor. And, hopefully this will be the last time I have to work on this novel before I submit to agents. It’s not that I’m sick of working on it, I’m just ready to let it go.

The Asylum – a review

The Asylum by John Harwood

There seems to be a theme, in a number of the books I’ve read, being that a woman’s confinement within an asylum has been part of some great conspiracy to, as I’ve noted before, silence them.

This is the kind of thing I’d love to study, and write a paper on. And I might just do that!

The Asylum — where do I start?
The Asylum, by John Harwood, is another great find in the “neo-Victorian” historical fiction genre. The characters, narrative, and atmosphere reeked of rich, Gothic elements. Just about every convention of the Gothic literary genre can be found in this novel.

The heroine of the novel, Georgina Ferrars, wakes up in Tregannon House (an asylum) with no memory of why or how she got there. Dr. Maynard Straker informs her that she came of her own free will, under the name of Lucy Ashton, but then suffered a seizure (causing her to lose her memory). Desperate for answers (and for someone to confirm her sanity), Georgina pleads with Dr. Straker to contact her only living relative, her uncle Josiah, so that he may identify her.

Now pay attention, dear readers, for one of our first Gothic conventions!

Her uncle swiftly responds, informing Dr. Straker that Georgina Ferrars is in fact at home with him, stating,

Your patient must be an imposter. (14)

Dun dun dunnn! Doppelgängers! I was just waiting for this line to come, “But if you’re there, then who’s…?” but sadly, it didn’t.

Now, I’ve mentioned a theme of silencing women — that is, I’ve found in my readings of “neo-Victorian” literature — by committing them. In The Asylum, there are a number of motives behind silencing Georgina Ferrars. The doppelgänger, of course, has her own motive — she wishes to take Georgina’s place. This was a very interesting, very different, kind of “silencing” for me to read in the genre. I haven’t as yet come across one like it, where the silencer or oppressor wasn’t a man. Though, in reading further, you will find there is a lot more to it than simply trying to take someone’s place, it soon becomes about erasing a person entirely. But, why would you want to erase the evidence of someone? I’ll leave that for you to figure out, because I assume you’ll go buy the book now.

The structure of the book was a little confusing, as the narrative moves through time, back and forth, but I took little issue with that. Each character and setting was so richly defined, I always knew which character was the focus (Georgina, Emily, and Rosina). The characters were all three-dimensional, and their desires and motivations believable. Save for one. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

It is certainly a difficult feat, creating such depth for most, if not all, the characters, considering a number of the characters and their actions are conveyed only through a series of letters. I wished there could have been more play on that; the notion of the unreliable narrator, because the reader finds the story, or series of stories, through the eyes of three different characters.

However, there were so many characters it was hard to keep up. I especially had difficulty figuring out the family trees.

I actually drew up a family tree to help me keep track. When I get the chance I’ll post it up.

Spoilers from here. Do not read further if you do not wish for the book to be spoiled. Well, who wishes for a book to be spoiled anyway?

And, it proved difficult even remembering Georgina’s and the doppelgänger’s identities. I don’t mean confusing them together, I mean, their names kept changing! (Draws in long breath) First it’s Georgina Ferrars. She admits herself to the asylum as Lucy Ashton, but it’s discovered the name is actually Lucia Ardent (and that ‘Lucy Ashton’ was just a disguise), except that Lucia Ardent is actually the name of the doppelgänger. Then, Georgina discovers her mother is not actually her mother, so instead of Ferrars, she’s actually a Mordaunt! So, she’s Georgina Mordaunt. (Releases breath).

My years of watching soap operas did help keep me up to date though 😉

The Asylum by John Harwood

I would have easily rated this book a Wuthering Heights, or Wormwood: A Drama of Paris, were it not for the ending. It wasn’t the type of ending that bothered me (though you know I have a particular love), it was the ‘bad guy’ spiel, the I’m-going-to-tell-you-everything-of-my-plans-because-I’m-going-to-kill-you-anyway-and-it’ll-be-of-little-consequence-should-I-do-so speech that every bad guy gives. It’s one of those cliches I could have done without, and it really bothered me after Harwood worked so hard to build this eerily beautiful and sublime Gothic atmosphere — one which won me over so easily.

I felt the ‘bad guy’ spiel undermined all of that (the atmosphere, story, plot, etc), and cheapened it, really, to the point that I groaned loudly when reading it. And it didn’t seem plausible that Dr. Straker was the big bad — I warned there’d be spoilers! He seemed suspicious and guilty of something, yes — perhaps in not being completely honest with Georgina — but it was rather elaborate the explanation behind all the incidents, behaviour, etc. One key example is the explanation behind Georgina’s seizure and subsequent memory loss at the beginning of the novel. I honestly groaned and rolled my eyes upon the revelation. I didn’t like it, but to Harwood’s credit, I never believed Dr. Straker when he said Georgina had a seizure — it was all too convenient that she couldn’t remember why she was at the asylum in the first place. I didn’t trust Dr. Straker even then, but it didn’t develop; there wasn’t enough to justify his actions at the end.

Really, to me, the ‘bad guy’ spiel seemed to come across as a clunky means of tying up loose ends (or answering questions the reader may have had), and creating a convenient justification for actions, and whatnot, unexplained. But, I guess, that is pretty much the motive of a ‘bad guy’ spiel, isn’t it? Why else would you have one?

And so that leads me to the other reason I decided on a lower rating — it just was not believable to me that Dr. Straker was the big bad, especially when considering the story and plot. His motives were minuscule and, frankly, I did not understand them. It was essentially a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde moment, except there was no build up to it — it was completely unexpected, and not in a good way. At least, not in my opinion.

One of Georgina’s greatest villains in the novel — the doppelgänger — becomes a meek shell of a person who doesn’t completely own her actions. Instead, this grand villain becomes the epitome of the Canadian never-ending apology…

Kate Beaton Canadian stereotype funIt seemed a little convenient for Georgina to be able to face her daemon finally (who had a mountain of motive, mind you), and forgive her so easily. Let’s recap though.

The doppelgänger (and main villain of the piece), Lucia Ardent, knows that Georgina has been falsely committed — it is revealed she is the one who sends the telegram, on “behalf” of the uncle. She is aware that Georgina has been trapped roughly five months in that damned asylum. She always had ill intentions, as she confesses at the end of the novel. And so, I simply cannot grasp Georgina’s ability to forgive so readily. In fact, Georgina decides that she will help keep Lucia out of prison for her crime.

Is it merely because there was a greater evil at work? That they had a common enemy in the end?

If I could go back in time, I’d tell past Cadence, “Stop about 80-90% in. You won’t like the ending.” Still, you guys know what I’m like. I like tragedies, I like sad or open endings, and I like the absence of ‘bad guy’ spiels.

BUT, revelation after revelation, this book was full of surprises and kept me on my toes. Despite the semi-predictable love elements to the story (even the one of a taboo nature!), there weren’t a lot of instances of me going, “Well, I knew that was going to happen!”

Again, the atmosphere and characters were rich and well-defined, and I’m always a fan of a bit of epistolary writing — another lovely Gothic element!

If I had stopped 80-90% in, I would have rated The AsylumWormwood: A Drama of Paris, or even a Wuthering Heights, but because I read to the very ending, I had to change my rating. So, instead…

I rate this book a Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

The scale:
10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
9. Wormwood: A Drama of Paris – Marie Corelli
8. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
7. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
5. Fox in Socks – Dr. Seuss
4. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
3. The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
2. Dune – Frank Herbert
1. Fallen – Lauren Kate
0. 50 Shades of Grey – E. L. James

Read more about the scale here

 


Image credits: Kate Beaton

Hardwood, John. The Asylum. Mariner Books: Boston and New York, 2013. Print.

1,000 likes #sharingiscaring giveaway!

So, what’s this giveaway I’ve been harping on about?
In celebration of reaching 1,000 likes on my Facebook page, and in thanks to the #sharingiscaring initiative, I have an amazing book bundle to give away to one lucky Facebook fan!

There are 7 books in this collection, including 2 x Penguin clothbound classics (Paperback and hardcovers, NOT ebooks!) Total value of giveaway bundle is approx. $150!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting up teasers and clues as to what books can be found in this collection. (Hint! Included are some of my all-time favourite books, and books which have inspired me.)

And, if you are the first to correctly guess which book I’m referencing (on my teaser posts), I’ll give you another chance in picking up this awesome AF bundle!

Your first clue: The heroine is a pure woman faithfully presented.

You can ONLY enter this giveaway through my Facebook page, so jump over to my page now to find out how you can be that one lucky person who receives this mega-effing awesome, utterly mind-blowing bundle of books.

Keep your eyes peeled, and be sure to follow my Facebook posts for more clues, teasers, and chances. (Some of these clues will be pretty tricky though!)

Giveaway ends 30.09.17 11.59pm AEST. See my Facebook page for more information and rules to enter.

Book covers, giveaways, comps, and Nano

It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve given you all an update, and I guess it has, as last week I posted up a review of Florence & Giles instead of my usual post.

Eleanor by Cadence

Editing and Eleanor
My fabulous editor is currently working on Eleanor — doing a copyedit and assessment of the manuscript. I’m expecting to hear back (with notes, etc) in a couple of weeks. It’s very exciting! And I can’t wait to hear about all the things wrong with the manuscript 😉

Cover designs
Phoenix Johnson is working on designs for my National Novel Writing Month project on the Marquis de Sade — still thinking of titles — and also looking at putting together covers for my Wings of Malice series! I have some great ideas. It’s just a matter of making it all cohesive — I want all the covers to look like they belong together.

NaNoWriMo project
National Novel Writing Month is coming up, and so I plan to reserve all of October for research and planning for the event in November. As you know, the project will be on the Marquis de Sade — and will focus on several incidents and events in his life. Of course, there will be an overarching plot, but the story will be separated into different chapters and each chapter will look at each incident. So, I guess it will a series of mini stories, but with a plot to join them all together. Does that make more sense now?

I have some particular incidents and events in mind to focus on, and I have the overarching plot pretty well sorted, but I won’t reveal them to you until October. Sorry guys!

Wings of Malice
Okay, onto Wings of Malice. This has already been a major project in the works for a long time now — I think I started it back in 2012 — but, of course, I decided (just recently) to make things harder, I decided to set a challenge for myself and turn my 86,000 word (near complete) novel into a series instead.

I think this is the best option considering the story length itself — I was looking to reach around 120,000 words (if I had my way!) — and I think it is the best option given the genre (fantasy) — even though I prefer standalone novels! I am however looking to write each novel to be read either as part of the series or as a standalone.

At this stage, I am primarily focusing on the first novel in the series. However, as I’ve technically already written the entire story and plot line, I need to now dissemble my novel and put each part in its appropriate novel in the series. This therefore means working on both the first novel and the second at the same time — as they are a little more cohesive, and I want to avoid repetition, inconsistency, etc. The third novel is quite different, and so I shouldn’t have that problem. I’ve already formed a basic skeleton of its parts.

I also went against instinct (sort of) and decided to make Book 1 of the series about one of the sidekicks of the protagonist. Book 2 will focus on the protagonist, and Book 3 will focus on another sidekick (sort of). I don’t want to spoil it obviously.

As I said, it’s still in the works, and I am quite fickle. It could change again before my next blog post. We’ll see.

It will be a massive project, and I will work on it intermittently — given that I will be starting my Sade novel soon.

Comps
In reading through all these books (as part of my list of comparable works to Eleanor), I’ve come to the realisation that “neo-Victorian” literature is about conveying female empowerment and the injustices of Victorian life for young girls and women. At least I think so. I’m planning to write a short essay on the idea. I love reading these novels, and I think there’s absolutely something there for study, which is great, because I love to learn!

A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

Of course, this idea of female empowerment is not strictly limited to neo-Victorianism. O no! Female empowerment “is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.”
(Sonnet 116, Shakespeare)

I don’t know why I wrote that. It just came naturally. Do not try to comprehend my mind; how it functions nor where it dwells.

Anyway, as I was saying, I have also found, in Natasha Lester’s A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald (which I am currently reading and loving!), this idea of women’s desires being silenced by male oppressors and the expectations of society. Though this story is set in the early 20th century, these same limitations on the feminine still apply. And, sadly, similar (if not the same) limitations will still apply or be relevant for many more years to come.

I will also write a review on Lester’s novel, when I get some time.

And finally…
If you’ve read this far, congratulations! The post is quite long, so well done! But also, I shall now impart to you information regarding a giveaway I will be running soon. You will not be able to comprehend the awesome of this giveaway.

I’m putting together a bundle of books — a collection of my favourites, and ones which have inspired me (I’m sure you can figure out which ones they are!) — and giving them away to one lucky follower.

To stay in the loop of this giveaway, and for regular updates on how to get your hands on this amazing collection of books, be sure to like and follow me on Facebook. Keep an eye out for teasers too!

Florence & Giles – a review

Florence and Giles by John Harding

Florence & Giles, by John Harding is unlike anything I’ve read before. Sure, I’ve seen the Gothic elements before, but I’m talking about the language. At first I was like, “Jeez, there seems to be a few errors.” then I was like, “Have I forgotten English?” then I realised, “Ah!” and then it was like, “Holy shit! I love this!”

…for a girl my age I am very well worded. Exceeding well worded, to speak plain. But because of the strict views of my uncle regarding the education of females, I have hidden my eloquence, under-a-bushelled it, and kept any but the simplest forms of expression bridewelled within my brain. (5)

Florence is a girl who has been banned from reading. “Banned from reading?” I hear you say. “Bollocks to that!” You’re damn right, and Florence does not accept this rule of ‘illiteracy’ implemented by her uncle. While her younger brother, Giles, is sent off to school, Florence whiles away her days by sneaking into the library to read. From The Monk, by Matthew Lewis (yeah, I know what you’re thinking — and she’s only a young girl!) to The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins, The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, and Jane Eyre, by you-know-who, it is clear that this 12-year-old is more cultured than me! Yeah, yeah, they’re on my TBR list, I assure you. Well, I’ve started The Mysteries of Udolpho… but anyway, back to the review.

When you read this book you see, hear, and feel her invented language. It’s very beautiful, and pleasing to the senses, in my opinion at least. This was another “Holy shit!” moment (it’s a long quote, because I loved it so much):

All I awared was that she neglected Giles, in whom she had less interest than in brushing her hair and mirroring her looks; I innocented her true nature and when she tragicked upon the lake I near drowned myself in a lake of my own tears, it so upset me. I thought her merely foolish and I guilted I had so despised her almost as much as I guilted that I did not save her, even though it impossibled me to do so, and kept thinking ‘if only I had this’ and ‘if only I had that,’ even though all these things would nothing have availed. (72)

I really wanted to add the entire block of text, as I found it so mesmerising, but it is indeed quite long as is. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but please calm down. I definitely would not consider this a spoiler. This particular scene is mentioned in the blurb. I merely wanted to give you a taste of the beauty of this novel; of Harding’s story, and of Florence’s words.

Florence and Giles by John Harding

So, the story
As you know, Florence is pretty well trapped inside a mansion with nothing to occupy her time. She is encouraged to take up embroidery (as many of her sex are encouraged to do), instead she uses the opportunity to hide her books beneath her work, and sneak a read whenever possible.

I have to say, as I side note, I am just loving reading all these books about women who defy their oppressors. Though, as you know (and from my reading of other works of the genre), most of those women are seen as a disgrace to their sex and are committed to asylums, to “cure” their waywardness. Or silenced, as I’ve discussed in other posts. In any case, they have been enjoyable reads, and quite empowering too! And, in reading these types of books, I am compelled to write a short essay on why “neo-Victorian” literature is becoming a means of conveying female empowerment.

Sorry, no more distractions
Florence also finds a kind of safe haven where she can read for hours without disruption. I’d honestly love something like that; a place, like Florence’s, where it’s difficult for others to access. I’m thinking something like a hidden room behind a book case! Sigh! Damn my wandering mind.

When Giles gets kicked out of school, Florence feels a sense of respite — they’re finally back together. But their bliss is short-lived when, after the death of their governess, a second one arrives, who completely overshadows the first in evilness. For while the first (Miss Whitaker) “unlibraried” Florence and the second (Miss Taylor) actually re-instated her librariedness (now I just made that one up!), Miss Taylor’s true motives soon become clear. To Florence, she is a spectre who wishes to do Giles harm. This (Part Two of the novel) is where the Gothic conventions are really thrown in your face. You cannot help but wonder if Miss Taylor truly is the evil spectre (of a vendetta-fuelled Miss Whitaker) as Florence imagines, or if her actions are misunderstood, and that Florence merely creates an enemy in her for she fears losing her brother — it is one thing to be lonely by yourself, and entirely another thing to be lonely because your brother has been stolen away by the affectionate hand of a stranger. In either case, I was hypnotised by every aspect of the novel, and scrupulously analysed every word, every action, because I was looking for clues, and even the tiniest moment was significant. For this reason, the book deserves at least a second read through — I want to take in each moment again, with the wonderment of hindsight on my side!

A love interest?
Yeah, there’s a bit of that going on. Theo Van Hoosier dotes on Florence, and even writes her terrible poetry in his attempt to win her. Still, terrible poetry is kind of sweet, if you like the guy (or girl). Their relationship sort of reminds me of the relationship between Eleanor and Mr. Ashwood (Henry) in my historical fiction, Eleanor. It’s a relationship that’s one…um… no, it’s probably best I don’t divulge any more.

And because I can’t help being cryptic, I must say, I do wonder about this line though…

My heart hopelessed a bird-in-a-cage flutter. (107)

And damn the beauty of it! Damn Florence and damn John Harding!

The ending
You guys know how picky I am with endings, but this novel’s ending… oh my god! I loved it. It was brilliant. Though I had an inkling of what was to come, Florence really came to life at the end, and I did not expect that. Her true nature — all the dark, macabre parts — was so thrilling to read. It was simply survival; her need to protect her brother (but perhaps she was influenced by her literature as well?), and I drank it up so easily. I loved her dark side.

Of course, I will not spoil it, I just had to tell you how much I loved Florence’s callous nature. It was beautiful, in a way. In a macabre way, haha! I told my partner about one particularly dark scene and how I loved it so much, and would possibly do the same were I in her position, and I was met with a face stricken with horror. Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t have said that!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Florence & Giles has certainly convinced me to get cracking into The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James — another in my TBR bookcase, and a book which inspired Harding’s novel — and I will absolutely have to get myself a copy of Harding’s novel, The Girl Who Couldn’t Read.

Oh my god! I just went to my study and found that I already have a copy of it, haha! I will get into it asap. But, has that ever happened to you? You buy a book then realise you already have a copy? I have two copies of The Last Man, two of Jane Eyre, two of Beloved, and probably a lot more double-ups than that. Jeez!

Anyway, Florence & Giles was an amazing read, and I will absolutely be reading through it again soon. I highly recommend this book if you’ve read any of the works or authors that Florence has read, such as Radcliffe, Lewis, Collins, Brontë, Coleridge, Poe, Shakespeare, Scott, Austen, Whitman, Longfellow, Trollope, Eliot, Wordsworth, Dickens, Keats (though not sure about The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon). But I’d say, particularly, Gothic horror.

N.B.: There are some theories about this book; about the characters, their origins (Miss Taylor, for example appears seemingly from nowhere), their actions (whether they were just, for instance), and I am a little uncertain myself, I confess. I have my own theories, and I would love to hear yours. So, drop me a line if you wish to chat all things Florence & Giles.

I rate this book a Wuthering Heights.

The scale:
10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
9. Wormwood: A Drama of Paris – Marie Corelli
8. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
7. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
5. Fox in Socks – Dr. Seuss
4. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
3. The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
2. Dune – Frank Herbert
1. Fallen – Lauren Kate
0. 50 Shades of Grey – E. L. James

Read more about the scale here

 


Harding, John. Florence & Giles. Blue Door: London, 2010. Print.

Agents, editors, comps, and comps

It’s been crazy-busy lately! There’s so much to tell you guys, so I’d better do it quickly, before I forget it all.

Firstly, editors (or, more accurately, “editor”)
Eleanor is off with the editor for a copyedit/assessment of the manuscript. I am both excited and nervous as all Hell. I should get Eleanor back mid September, which is fantastic because I want to get my novel out and about asap. Which brings me to…

Agents
I’ve already started making up a list of agents I’m considering. I’m looking for agents who are members of the Australian Literary Agents’ Association (ALAA). The ALAA is the best place to start the search for reputable agents. Thanks, Natasha Lester!

Comparable works to Eleanor
I’m still going through my comps list. I recently read the Penny Dreadful comic, which was, really, a gorgeous read. The artwork is amazing. If you like the television series, I recommend you check out the comics. I likely won’t be able to put Penny Dreadful down as a comp. Though the genre is very similar, I’m not sure the format is appropriate for comparison. Perhaps when/if I get in contact with agents or publishers and they want to know more, maybe I could bring it up. I still think it is relevant. I mean, the “neo-Victorian” genre (including steampunk) is very popular across all media, so it wouldn’t totally be amiss to regard Penny Dreadful as comparative in some respects.

I will do a proper review at a later time, methinks.

I’m also just finishing up reading The Asylum, by John Harwood. I have to say that, seriously, I feel like I’ve struck gold with the novels I’ve picked. The Asylum is, so far, just another wonderfully beautiful read. If you liked Wildthorn, by Jane Eagland, then you will absolutely love this book. Again, I will write up a more decent review at another time. Right now, this is just an update of what’s going on.

So, what’s next to read?
One of these. I haven’t decided yet. I’m also still to find a copy of Emily’s Ghost, by Denise Giardina.

Blue Fringe Arts
The 25th anniversary of Blue Fringe Arts is coming up! I’m really excited… and nervous. I will be submitting two pieces this year; a poem and a short story. After the ceremony, I’ll be sure to post up entries, so don’t fret, guys. You’ll get to read them.

Book Pipeline competition
I’ve just discovered the Book Pipeline competition, which looks to turn works such as novels into TV or film adaptations! I plan to submit Eleanor (once it’s edited). I don’t know what my chances would be, but I’m honestly quite excited about the fact that every entrant will receive feedback on their work! So, as a realist (on occasion), I’m not going to get my hopes up high, but I’m stoked that I’ll get feedback regardless! Yay!

I actually have another work in progress (WIP) — a secret one — that would be more suited for this particular competition, but as it’s still only a WIP, I’ll give Eleanor a chance at entering instead.

Anyway… although I don’t think that’s everything, I might have to leave it there. Sorry, guys! Don’t despair, I’ll be back next week with more of my exciting, sexy adventures.

See you then!