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Jan 19

Susan Shiney

Q & A with French Author Jade Corbeau

Tell us a little about yourself.  

Like a cake, I am made of several ingredients, including chocolate and stories. On one hand, chocolate is a delicious and comforting ingredient, and on the other hand, it’s a raw, beautiful and artistic material. All these features inspire me in many ways. Regarding stories, I’m fond of both reading and writing. I love to discover fictional words and their fascinating characters, as well as creating my own ones.

Jan 14

Susan Shiney

How Graphic Novels Help my Writing

I have been on a big graphic novel kick lately. I think it is in part because I have been making more use of my public library in France, and graphic novels and comic books are popular here. If you are interested in reading more about the French and their reading habits, you can check out this article, In France, Comic Books are Serious Business.

Jan 06

Susan Shiney

10 Reasons to Apply to Author Mentor Match

What is Author Mentor Match?

If you have ever wondered about how to find a mentor for your writing, look no further. Author Mentor Match was created by authors Alexa Donne and Heather Kacynski. Each year the program matches mentor authors that are more experienced in traditional publishing with aspiring authors just about to start querying. Authors that are looking for a mentor submit a query letter, synopsis, and the first fifty pages of their manuscript. It is even free.

Dec 29

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction : As I Lay Bare - A Young Tree Accepts Winter

Spring

Lush green leaves sprout and spread on my twigs.

¨My leaves are growing Momma, they're growing!" I say shaking for her attention.

¨I see it my little one, I see it," she says as she looks toward the sun breathing in the rays, her branches stretching back to life.

"When will the birds come to play with us? When, when, when?" I wobble around splaying myself out to capture each ray I can.

¨Any day now, if you listen you can hear the faint flapping of their wings in the distance.¨

I try to stop sucking in the water from my roots to hear better, but it is too hard. "I can't hear anything."

¨One day you will, you will,¨ Momma says.

Dec 22

Susan Shiney

Interview with Ness Mercieca of Verse Atlas: The Map Zine

What is Verse Atlas?

Verse Atlas is a digital zine in the form of a map that showcases poetry and art from around the world. The only criteria is that the work must be about a physical place, and is then pinned to that location on the map. The connection to place that can be fairly loose. It could be a place you miss. It could be a place where you were just inspired by the landscape. It could be a place you hated. Whenever I have had an intense experience related to place, I have often wondered what other people have had an strong reaction to that place, and thought it would be really interesting to see those responses along-side each other. I have had the idea of a map that is devoted specifically to art and to poetry for a long time and the only reason it doesn’t include other art forms is because poetry and art traditionally have a connection with landscape, and are more succinct; they can really wrap up that feeling a bit more tightly than prose or video.

Dec 16

Susan Shiney

Owlcrate November 2020 Subscription Box Spoilers

This is my first ever subscription book box! I researched a couple of them for months and have been interested in checking it out as I go deeper into the reader community and the lives of avid readers.

What is Owlcrate?

I chose Owlcrate to start off with. I signed up for a six-month subscription. Each box is 29.99 (shipping is not included) and if you sign up for six months you get twelve dollars off. Owlcrate sends boxes with a special edition signed young adult book along with a mixture of bookish merchandise related to other popular book fandoms.

Dec 09

Susan Shiney

Why is there a Faun in Release by Patrick Ness? Exploring the Genre-Bending Book

What is Release about?

Release by Patrick Ness has a main plot that follows a day in the life of a teenage boy, Adam Thorn, who lives in a small town and has a religious family. He hasn't come out to his parents yet, and is dealing with preparing to say goodbye to his ex (who didn't treat him particularly well) at his going away party while negotiating a romance with his current boyfriend. This thread is the majority of the book and fits snugly into the contemporary young adult coming of age story. The book is also influenced heavily by Mrs. Dalloway from Virginia Woolf and Forever by Judy Blume. Both books I haven't read yet. Adam is searching for a release on several different levels with his family and with himself.

Dec 02

Susan Shiney

What Genre is the Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan?

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan is one of my favorite books because of its hard to place genre and literary mode. The beautiful prose and compelling story helps too. I also loved the atmosphere created with the reader experiencing Taiwan along with the main character.

This book opens a lot of doors bringing experimental fiction to the mainstream. It is a well received success with critics as well as readers. This is hard to do with a book that doesn't fit neatly into a traditional marketing category or genre.

Nov 24

Susan Shiney

Flash Fiction: Taytum in the Trees

Right when the clock hit 12:00 p.m. Taytum Murphy got up from her desk grasping her Nike gym bag and headed to the bathroom to change. She came out with a black Lycra outfit sculpted to her body, a silver backpack flopping behind her. A comic book hero rolling through the tan cubicles. She draped her blazer, collared shirt, and trousers over her ergonomic chair so they wouldn't wrinkle and left the office.

Nov 17

Susan Shiney

Losing the Plot: The Many Challenges of a Multi-Book Series by S.J. Howland

The learning curve for a writer who aspires to become a successfully published author is both steep, and well-trodden by those of us in the writing community. The burst of enthusiasm from an initial idea, blossoming into characters who come to life in our imaginations, and worlds that open up before us, is the gateway drug that carries us inexorably forward - until we hit that first stumbling block. For some of us, it is the realisation that the muse alone will not carry us through to the finish; writing is a hard mistress, demanding the sacrifice of time and other easier pursuits. For others, passion for the story itself fades: the ideas and the characters not strong enough to hold our own attention, dooming them in any attempt to beguile others. For many of us, however, the answer is more straightforward: we have simply lost the plot.