Who’s Going To Blurb My Book?

I haven’t mentioned yet that Atwood is going to blurb my next book. Squee!!!! That’s right, my publisher has asked and she’s agreed. Nothing elaborate, mind you, just short and sweet and to the point.

This is Best’s best work by far……Agnes Atwood

Admit it, you thought I meant Margaret Atwood, didn’t you? Trust me, if dreams had wings I would fly to the moon just to have Margaret Atwood blurb my next book. Unfortunately, for this author, it ain’t happening.

Okay, just to clear things up there is no Agnes Atwood (at least that I know of) and she sure as heck isn’t writing a blurb for my next book either…..Best’s best work… sheesh! Amateur time.

Don’t think of the things you read here as lies, think of them as fiction reflecting my dreams. One thing I’d like for all of you to understand is this, when you come here to visit you’re free to dream. And none of these measly little dreams. If you’re going to dream you might just as well dream big. It’s the only way to go!!

So I’ve been dreaming of blurbs.

Why a blurb? Well, why the heck not?

I’ve even exchanged a few emails back and forth with author pal, Syr Ruus, in which I accused her of using the word blurb more times in a blurb than was humanly possibly. It was all for fun, and I do like fun.

Truth is, I kind of thought the word “blurb” was newish but, after looking it up, I discovered it was first used in 1907.  While new fangled phrases, and fashions, often take time to trickle down to rural communities, the word blurb must be moving at a snail’s pace. Where the heck have I been for the past 104 years? Tell me you’re surprised to learn that the word is that old ‘cause I don’t want to be the only one who’s outdated.

I have given some time over to dreaming about book blurbs and the fact that I didn’t have one on my first book. Not just that, I’ve been dreaming of who I’d like to write one for my upcoming book.

Although it must be considered effective, I can say in all honestly that I’ve never purchased a book because of it. In fact, I seldom read them or pay any attention at all. I’m more interested in reading a short synopsis of the story. The cover and title influence me as well. But hey, this from someone who’s a 104 years slower than the rest of the world. I’m sure plenty of people read them and take what the author has to say into consideration. I’d truly love to have a certain someone write a teeny blurb for my book. , and while I do love Margaret Atwood, she’s not the person I have in mind. Since I believe that dreams do come true I shall wait to see where this dream will take me.

Are you influenced by author endorsements on books? Have you ever blurbed or been blurbed?

Time for you to dream…

If you could have anyone, dead or alive, blurb your book who would it be? Here’s your chance to write the blurb for your novel. Dream big–What have you got to lose? Show us what you come up with.

How Did You Say That–Book Review?

Have you ever written a book review and posted it online?

I’ve been thinking about the act of reviewing books. Yes I know, anyone can write a review whether they’re qualified to do so or not, and with the internet these days anyone can post their review online and they do. But what does that really mean? I ask because I’m not certain. Do people pay attention to these reviews or do they read them for the entertainment value? Does it effect their decision when it comes to buying a book or reading a book? Am I asking too many questions here?

Every author loves a good review– a bad review, not so much. But who are book reviews really written for, the author, the reader or the reviewer?

I recently read a review of someone’s book that pointed out plenty of positive aspects, as well as negative, with a clear defined reason as to why this person didn’t particularly like the book. I thought it was wonderful. They even went so far as to say they understood why this book would appeal to others. That particular review made me feel that, if I were to ever write a negative review, I’d want to offer such a balance the same way this reviewer did. Seems to me there are always nice ways to get your point across.( Our intent should never be to offend.) Not only that, feedback, if offered the right way, gives the author something to consider and keep in mind when writing their next book should that feedback be at all helpful. Good solid criticism never hurt anyone. It’s what makes us better writers. Nasty comment, on the other hand, shouldn’t be worth our time writing or reading. Just saying.

I’ve read a few reviews that felt like a personal attack on the author. Have you?

Perhaps I’m sensitive that way knowing what all goes into writing a book and finding a publisher. Perhaps the reviewer’s energy would be better spent bashing the publisher who deemed a particular worthy book of publication and not the author. After all, it is our art, take it or leave it.

Interesting things to consider.

Would I ever write a negative book and post it on line? Probably not. That’s just who I am personally. I have to be honest here and say that maybe if I wasn’t a writer myself, who knows? Maybe I would. Would I write a negative review that was nasty and hurtful, that had nothing positive to contribute? Absolutely not. What would be the point? That would make it my own personal bias. While we’re all entitled to our own opinion, and rightfully so, can’t we at least be mature about it?

What do you think, if you truly disliked someone’s book would you write a negative review? If the review was negative would you just lay it all on the line or would you offer some solid reasons as to why the book wasn’t for you? Would you mention some positive aspects about the book if you felt there were any? Or do you think the author doesn’t even factor into the review, their book is out there and you have a right to say if you think it stinks? I’m really interested in some honest, helpful opinions on this.

Gone Fishing!

Fishing at West Lahave

So while I was off fishing with my family in West Lahave there was a little bit of a stir going on unbeknownst to me. My daughter called my cell phone to say congratulations. “Bitter, Sweet” has been shortlisted for the Geoffery Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Word from the publisher is that it’s quite a honour.  Hey, I’d say!!

So do you think I am excited?

Excited doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.

Here’s part of the official word, straight from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre:

GEOFFREY BILSON AWARD FOR HISTORICAL FICTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ($5,000)

Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

Bitter, Sweet
Written by Laura Best (Springfield, NS)
Nimbus Publishing
for ages 10 and up

“A beautifully crafted novel set in 1948 in Nova Scotia told by Pru, a young girl trying to keep her siblings together after their father abandons them and their mother dies… Best has masterfully created a sense of time and place… The characters are thoughtfully developed and their relationships to each other skillfully described.”

I’ve been nominated along with some pretty cool writers : John Wilson , Barbara Haworth-Attard, Shane Peacock , and Nancy Hartry.

Here’s my son’s girlfriend catching her very first fish ever.. I kind of know how she  feels.

Guess I should go fishing more often!!

Upcoming Anthology

A few years back I had a piece chosen for publication in an anthology about rural living– actually about growing up in a rural area. I was pretty excited about it and wasn’t even sure at the time if I had anything worth writing about since I had this idea in my head that I was a fiction writer and that writing non-fiction was something I’d never be able to do and do well. Something urged me to try and to my shock and surprise mine was one of the pieces chosen. I worked with the editor on the piece, sent in a photo, filled out a questionnaire with information and she wrote a bio. Everything was set to go. We even had a publisher willing to take on the project; payments were sent out to all the contributors, contracts signed, all that technical stuff. There was nothing to do but wait for the publishing date to arrive which we were told would be last fall.

But when fall came the publication date was pushed to the spring. No problem this was still within the contract agreement. Then last winter I received a letter from the editor telling me that for a number of reasons which I won’t go into here, the anthology had been cancelled and she was left looking for another publisher. I can’t imagine all the work this editor put into the book– working with over thirty contributors–only to have this happen. I was disappointed of course but I’ve had similar things happen in the past. I knew getting upset about it wouldn’t help and to be perfectly honest I still had hopes for this anthology. There are some great Canadian names included in the anthology such as George Fox, Pamela Wallen, Preston Manning, Brett Sutter, to name a few.

This Friday I received some great news from the editor. The anthology has been accepted by another publisher and as soon as the contract is signed she’ll make an official announcement!! Woohoo!! I’m quite tickled about this. We have all been waiting a long time for this anthology.

So there’s my big news. When it’s all official I’ll let everyone know who the publisher is and when it will be coming out. Hopefully it won’t be a terribly long wait. After all it’s ready for publication. My thoughts are perhaps spring but we shall see!!

Book Launch

Although it is still a few months away I am going to mention that a time and place has just been set for the book launch. It’s to be held on October 25 at the community centre in East Dalhousie. Although there were other suggestions made, suggestions I was most grateful for, because let’s face it had I not been able to have it in the community I would have been looking for an alternative, the community centre in good old E. Dalhousie was my first choice.

Might I add  that I’m very pleased to be having the launch here because I happen to live in a pretty awesome little community. The people here have been extremely supportive of my work over the years and that support has meant so much. (Likely more than many of them even realize.)  As I told my publisher, I really couldn’t imagine having it any other place. Not only is the Dalhousie Road the setting for “Bitter, Sweet”—a fictitious Dalhousie Road of sixty years ago—but many of my family and friends live here, as well. It is the first time an event of this sort has been held in the community and, who knows, it may never happen again. So there you have it! I’m happy, my publisher’s happy, hopefully the good folks in the community will be happy with the news as well.

At this point I really have no expectations about the launch, for me it will be wonderful to celebrate the release of my very first novel right here in the community I’ve lived in my entire life.

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