Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Taking a Hiatus

I wish I didn't have to, but I think it's the right thing to do at the moment. I am totally into my new book and find it hard to manage a blog. This doesn’t mean I won’t be posting reviews. I may still do it once in a while. But I won’t be accepting books for reviews. I’m still reading a lot, but right now I prefer acclaimed authors who can teach me to write better. It will be four years soon since I’ve began writing in a second language and I want my next book to be better than the “Witch Hollow” series.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t reached the level I wished I would have reached after four years. I still struggle for words, misuse them, pen awkward sentences, and bang my head against the keyboard more often than is okay for the human brain.

This is how I look like most of the day.

And the book isn’t going as fast as I want. But it’s going. If I want to be done with the book by the end of autumn I need to focus solely on it.

Wish me luck, fellow witches and wizards!

With love,
Irena

The painting is The Passion of Creation by Leonid Pasternak.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Covers: Original or Not?


A picture speaks a thousand words
New authors tend to forget how important the cover is. I’ve seen a great deal of abysmal covers, and of course most of them (if not all) belong to the books by indies. I was about to post some 20-30 of the worst covers I’ve seen on Amazon, but then decided against it. It might have seemed like a mockery, and mocking a fellow indie author is the last thing I wish to do.
A lot of authors order original covers from designers, others buy a ready one. It might seem improbable that among the millions of books on Amazon you’ll see two or three with the same cover, but I have stumbled upon a few.
Here’s an example:


 

Two different books have the same cover (a bit altered).
It’s not a big deal actually. Both this covers are stunning. Both do their job: attract the reader and leave a good first impression.
You can order original covers (like I do), or buy a ready one (like these authors do). Many authors are on good terms with Photoshop and make their own covers. You can do that too.
What you certainly have to do is use a good cover. Promoting a book with a good cover is much, much easier. Trust me on that.
 


A picture speaks a thousand words.
New authors tend to forget how important the cover is. I’ve seen a great deal of abysmal covers, and of course most of them (if not all) belong to the books by indies. I was about to post some 20-30 of the worst covers I’ve seen on Amazon, but then decided against it. It might have seemed like a mockery, and mocking a fellow indie author is the last thing I wish to do.
A lot of authors order original covers from designers, others buy a ready one. It might seem improbable that among the millions of books on Amazon you’ll see two or three with the same cover, but I have stumbled upon a few.
Here’s an example:
- See more at: http://authorswritinginasecondlanguage.com/?id=72#sthash.H3Cvg9Zt.dpuf
A picture speaks a thousand words.
New authors tend to forget how important the cover is. I’ve seen a great deal of abysmal covers, and of course most of them (if not all) belong to the books by indies. I was about to post some 20-30 of the worst covers I’ve seen on Amazon, but then decided against it. It might have seemed like a mockery, and mocking a fellow indie author is the last thing I wish to do.
A lot of authors order original covers from designers, others buy a ready one. It might seem improbable that among the millions of books on Amazon you’ll see two or three with the same cover, but I have stumbled upon a few.
Here’s an example:
- See more at: http://authorswritinginasecondlanguage.com/?id=72#sthash.H3Cvg9Zt.dpuf

Monday, August 1, 2016

Last Night I Dreamt About JK Rowling

I must have told a few times I am currently working on the first book of my new series, Abracadabra. The title is enough hint about the genre, isn’t it? Those who have finished my Witch Hollow series know that the new series will be about the Witchcraft Academy. I am excited, but I am also nervous. I know my new book might be called a copy of Harry Potter. In the vast cyberspace, where indies are bullied on a regular basis, I might be called a plagiarizer, a wannabe-Rowling, and many other things. But I’m still writing my book and hope to publish it somewhere around the most magical time of the year: Christmas!
Maybe I am thinking too much about the possible reaction towards my book, and maybe because of my impressionable personality, I had a dream last night, where I was having a conversation with Miss JK Rowling! I told her about my upcoming book and its plot, and asked her if she felt offended because I was writing about a school of witchcraft (in real life, I don’t think I am offending Rowling, but we do and say strange things in our dreams, don’t we?). She answered me, “You have chosen a topic that can be explored and create hundreds of interesting stories. If you have one in your head, write it by all means.”
Then we talked about our favorite magical items. I told her how much I wished to receive a flying broom as a Christmas present when I was a little kid, hoping to find it inside our big Christmas Tree. She told about hers, but I don’t remember.
What’s strange is that I’m not even a very big Harry Potter fan. At the moment I’m stuck in the beginning of book 4. I do like the series, and love the second movie, but there are diehard fans, and I’m not one of them.
Then I woke up, checked the Internet, and found out it was JK Rowling’s (and Harry Potter’s) birthday. :))))
So, happy birthday, JK Rowling! And even if you say "The Cursed Child" is the end of Harry Potter stories, may you change your mind and make your readers as happy as they are at the moment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

10 Ways to Seduce a Writer

There are a lot of memes over the Web about the writers. Very often we are portrayed as nutjobs, insomniacs, introverts, edgy, crazy and even suicidal. There’s a bit of truth in all of these characteristics. But we can be cute and sweet too. All you need to do is follow some rules. Here’s a great list I’ve found (from Writers Write), which does a good job at telling what the writers love.


I especially love the first two. Can there be such a thing as too many books? I can’t fit paperbacks in my home anymore, but there are always digital books, which I love no less. I don’t care that they are digital; they are readable, nothing else matters. So what am I trying to say here? You can give me digital books as gifts, too! I’ll be more than happy to receive them. And if you decide to give me paperbacks, then also remember to build me a bookcase!
Alright, I’m kidding :D But digital books are indeed appreciated. Just because we can’t touch them doesn’t mean they can’t touch us. Don’t underestimate their value as gifts.

Then there is another list: How to drive a writer crazy.


Every time I see a list like this, I remember my friend and her great idea for a fantasy novel. I might have to ask her if she has finished her book. After all, writing is nothing complicated, is it?  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Author Lois Duncan Has Passed Away

Just learned that author Lois Duncan has passed away today. She's probably most famous for "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and other YA suspense novels (I had reviewed IKWYDLS back in November 2015). I didn't knew Lois Duncan personally, but I am so saddened by the news of her dead I can't stop thinking of her. I followed her on Facebook and to me she had become a friend, someone whom I admired and whose career I followed. She had written over 50 books and had sold hundreds of thousands copies worldwide. She was a pioneer of Young Adult Suspense genre and had some of the most original story lines. As far as I know Lois was over 80, and she'd sometimes post on FB how hard life was for elderly people. She had recently moved to a new place, and I remember so well when she posted on Facebook that she felt she had reached the last haven. It was sad to read about her constant pain in the back, but despite all that pain just a few months ago she found time to send hundreds of autographed books to her readers. She was a wonderful person, a truly great, inspiring author, and she will be greatly missed by all her readers all over this wide world.
Rest in peace, Lois. Thank you for the books.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Witch Hollow: Stories From the Past

I just realized I hadn't posted on my blog about my latest book, which came out on March 8. No idea how I could forget about it, but here it is:

Witch Hollow: Stories From the Past

The book contains six short stories: 3 of them about Electra, Cassandra, and Medea, and 3 about Andromeda, Valeria, and Sophia.

Because these are stories from the past there is no Eric of course, but something tells me you won't be disappointed in these 6 stories with scary monsters and fun adventures. Also, you'll get to meet Valeria and Sophia, who are no less mischievous than their daughters.

Please buy this collection only if you have finished "Witch Hollow" series, otherwise the stories may not make sense to you. Go to Amazon and get the book for just $1.99.

 Happy reading!