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Brave New (E) World

April 18, 2012

A little over a week ago, Marielena wrote about the challenges facing today’s writer – that of keeping pace with the changes taking place in the publishing world. It is, as a well-known writer so aptly described another time of change: “the best of times, the worst of times”. Indeed, like the time portrayed in that book, a revolution is occurring and it is involving people who, a short time ago, did not imagine that they would be swept up in its swirling currents.

 I was a bit late in joining the revolution, but am now committed to the cause. As recently as a year ago, I had never read an entire book on an electronic device. That changed one afternoon when a dear friend gave me a kindle. He, being a real techie and knowing that I am not, handed it to me with a sly smile. I thanked him, looked at the thin rectangle, and was not particularly impressed. It seemed rather anemic compared to the heft of a real book. However, not having spent the past few years under a rock, I understood that I needed to get to know this little gadget. With my friend looking on, I opened the cover – and had no clue what to do next. He showed me the switch and spent about five minutes demonstrating how to operate it. It was easier than I had expected. After playing with it a few minutes, I downloaded a book, thinking this is fun, but doubting that it would ever come close to the pleasure of holding a book in my hand and turning pages as a story unfolded. I was wrong. I discovered that, once I’m immersed in a story, I’m not aware of how that story is delivered to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a complete convert. Given a choice, I still opt for a print book – probably, at least in part, because that’s how I learned to read. So – book or electronic device? For me, it’s not an either/or question. I love both them both.

 Once I was an e-reader, it didn’t take long to decide to become an e-published writer. The learning curve here was a bit longer. I struggled to master the formatting. (It’s clear to me that the brains of writers who compose instructions work differently from those of fiction writers.) As I said, it was a struggle; it still is sometimes, but I don’t intend to give up. I firmly believe in the survival of the persistent and have managed to produce offspring to attest to that belief.

 In the tradition of all proud parents, I invite you to look at my family album:

 The life of a disillusioned peace activist takes on new meaning when she takes a day off to visit a small town Folk Festival – all because she can’t ignore a creature in distress. Finding Peace is my firstborn; it was originally written as a prologue to the novel, Love and Not Destroy.  This story is free on smashwords (downloadable to any computer).

 A baby is found in a basket during a museum’s annual Folk Fest. Twenty-two years later, a homeless man is murdered in exactly the same spot. The foundling, now an adult working at the museum, can’t believe it’s a coincidence and thus begins a search for identity that explores the nature of family, of loyalty and responsibility.

Does familial love bind us or set us free? Or both? This trio of short stories explores those questions. In A Perfect Wedding, a mother longs to pass on the traditions that have made her happy to a daughter who is determined to forge her own traditions. In Generation Unto Generation, a young woman comes to terms with the loss of a beloved family member. In Next Time – The First Time, a free spirit finds himself in a trap from which there is no escape. 

What happens after “I do”? Does “happily ever after” mean “always and forever”? In Beyond the Fairy Light, a child looks to magic to heal her troubled family. In All is Calm, a young woman longs for a harmonious celebration in a family made up of proud Irish rebels and Jews savvy enough to get out of Babi Yar before the arrival of the infamous killing squads. Best Laid Plans starts out simple, but is anything simple in a marriage? This collection is free through Friday.

My e-babies are only part of the Birth of a Novel family. They have a cousin, the child of my blogging sister, Sharen.

Events that occur throughout the years during the month of September connect the interwoven destinies of two women, born a generation apart on different continents. Amanda and Rani both grow up in South Australia, but never meet until their paths finally intersect in New York  where they are caught up in the September tragedy that will change the world.

 Sharen, Gretchen, Marielena and I are all proud of our little family and expect to announce an addition soon, one we’re quite excited about. We’ll let you know more as our due date approaches


10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 4:42 PM

    A great blog Sandy. I love all your book titles, and I admire how enthusiastically you have embraced e-publishing. You are right, it is a brave new world, but it’s an exciting one.

    Although you and I are about level on the kindle stakes you are well ahead of me with electronic publishing. My first e-book, Cabin Fever @ was published in March. I didn’t think I would be as thrilled as I was when my paper books were published, but it turned out to be just as exciting. And even better is the fact that it is so easy to keep track of how many are being bought…which is fantastic, because every writer wants their books to be read.

    So good luck with your growing family of e-books and their cousins, from another writer from across the pond. My solitary effort is hoping for an e-sibling very soon.

  2. April 19, 2012 7:18 PM

    Thanks for stopping by, Sheila. Love having a visitor from across the pond. Thanks for the good words about the book titles too. I agree that it’s nice to be able to keep track of sales, etc. Have to admit, though, I find myself checking way too often. I’ve read Cabin Fever and really enjoyed it; it’s the next best thing to an actual cruise.

  3. April 20, 2012 6:49 AM

    I agree with Sheila–you have wonderful titles. And of course, wonderful books to back them up. Love and Not Destroy was such a good book. A Perfect Wedding is on my Kindle. Soon!
    I’m an eBook lover too, but I’m sure print books will always be part of my library. When you’ve collected books for a lifetime, they begin to take over the house. I love that I can carry an entire bookcase in my purse.

    I’m trying hard to get my next one finished. Maybe I should talk to you about the title, which is currently Time of Death. Not so inspiring, is it? I hope to finish it soon.

    Keep your family growing–I’m looking forward to more.

    • April 20, 2012 7:33 AM

      Thanks, Ellis. I smiled when I read “Soon!” The “soon” list on my Kindle is growing as fast as my TBR stack. Actually, I think Time of Death is a fine title (as are Cold Comfort and Haunting Refrain) and am already imaging the covers you will design to go with it. Keep us posted on that one.

  4. April 20, 2012 11:32 AM

    Congratulations, Sandy.

    I am impressed that you are so brave and so prolific.

    So far, I’ve only read and loved LOVE AND NOT DESTROY.

    I haven’t read the others only because, I must confess, I haven’t got a Kindle. Yet.

    Best of luck!

  5. Marielena Zuniga permalink
    April 20, 2012 6:08 PM

    I add my kudos to those above, Sandy. I am so impressed by the way you continue to navigate the e-publishing world. Your e-books are so well written and a real joy to read, on my Kindlefire or in hardback. A great post, as usual!

    • April 20, 2012 7:43 PM

      You’re very kind, Marielena. It’s still a learning process. As I said, I believe in “survival of the persistent”.

  6. April 21, 2012 11:39 AM

    Great post, Sandy. I’m part way through LOVE AND NOT DESTROY on my Kindle, and enjoying it. How great to know that there are other supportive authors going down the same road, even if we are on opposite sides of the continent!

    • April 21, 2012 12:28 PM

      I agree, Mona. The internet, for all its quirks and challenges, has opened doors and provided opportunities not even dreamed of a few years ago. I have discovered many wonderful new writers (including you) because of this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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