Intimidation is nine-tenths of the writer’s law

What do I mean by this? I don’t mean that writers are the intimidating type–actually just the opposite. What I mean to say, is that writers tend to be their own worst enemies.

This is something I have been thinking about for a while. It used to be that when I started a writing project, the first thoughts in my head were always about the project itself: title, chapter length, beginning, middle and end. In recent years my initial thoughts (after the story idea itself) become more about audience, marketing, price, platform, etc. So what happened?

I became obsessed with the ideas of successes and failures. I had an epiphany yesterday, whilst buried up to my elbows in topsoil:

 

If you write–you are a writer.

 

Well, duh.

When we become authors we spend a lot of time worrying over how our work will be received. Will people like it? Will they hate it? Will it be compared to some other work? Ever hear someone say it is amazing that we survive our births or our childhoods? I think of writing the same way. It is amazing any project we begin ever gets completed, let alone published.

I have a dear friend who took her first adventure into publishing this year. She was not only amazed that anyone would want to read her work, but was shocked the first time she was referred to as “an author.” I thought she was silly, as clearly, her work was good enough to be published and enjoyed, but I kind of understand at the same time how she felt. She had spent so much time reading published works, and yet did not put herself in the same category as those other authors. We read so much about what other authors go through that sometimes I think we do ourselves a disservice. We are worried the horse will collapse on the track before it is even out of the gate.

This post is a simple reminder that if you write, even if it is not published–you are a writer.

Perhaps the best thing any of us can do to help out our writing careers, is to sit back and take a breath. Look around you. Decide what is most important during the writing. I am willing to bet the first thing that comes to mind when you are about to write that first sentence, next chapter, fantastic ending–whatever, will not be marketing or audience reception—if it is–take another deep breath and try again.

 

Writers write.

 

 

Family of the Tri-Rune Blog Tour

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Legends of Windemere: Family of the Tri-Rune has Arrived!!!

Buy it Here for $2.99!

Book Blurb:

The magical adventure continues after Luke Callindor and his friends recover from their battles in Haven.

Nyx still has nightmares about casting the genocide spell in Hero’s Gate. Every night her heart is gripped by the sensation of hundreds of goblins dying by her magic. By the request of Lord Highrider and Duke Solomon, she is returning to fix the damage she caused. With Luke Callindor and Sari by her side, Nyx is ready to face the vengeful goblins and opportunistic thieves that plague Hero’s Gate. Yet, there is a darker threat that was born from her violated magic: The Krypters.

It is another action-packed, character driven story that will reveal one of our heroes has been lied to for their entire life.

Wondering what you’re in for? Check out the praise earned by the first three installments of this high fantasy series.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero:

“I greatly enjoyed the vivid characters, the gripping plot, and the refreshingly unique writing style (present tense). ” – kdillmanjones

“One of the things that won me over was the bouts of humor. Especially in the beginning. “This is not possible! I am a Paladin!” I thought I was going to die with delight.” – C.N. Faust

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Prodigy of Rainbow Tower:

“Nyx is such a strong personality. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and more of the other characters, new and already known, with the rich tapestry of Windemere unfolding in between intense actions scenes and moments of kindness and budding friendships.” – Danielle Taylor

“Almost like the Harry Potter series. The books start out so young and innocent, but by the last book – watch out!” — Momto4Booklover

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Cover by Jason Pedersen

Review Excerpts for Legends of Windemere: Allure of the Gypsies:

“One of the things I love most about this series are all the characters! They are developed so well that I feel like I know them personally. Even the newly introduced characters fit in immediately.” – BarbBookWorm

“Let’s talk about action. The author creates interesting action sequences with believable use of fantasy elements. He is very creative. There are also good sections where the characters stretch out and we get to know them better.” – Donald L. Mitchell “Music Lover”

Charles author photo B&WAuthor Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Contact:

Blog- www.legendsofwindemere.com

Twitter- @cyallowitz

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/CharlesYallowitz

An interview and opportunity to win a signed copy from Francis Guenette

The Light Never Lies - ebook cover - Francis L. GuenetteFrancis Guenette - author photo

 Synopsis:

As circumstances spiral out of control, Lisa-Marie is desperate to return to Crater Lake. The young girl’s resolve is strengthened when she learns that Justin Roberts is headed there for a summer job at the local sawmill. Her sudden appearance causes turmoil. The mere sight of Lisa-Marie upsets the relationship Liam Collins has with trauma counsellor, Izzy Montgomery. All he wants to do is love Izzy, putter in the garden and mind the chickens. Bethany struggles with her own issues as Beulah hits a brick wall in her efforts to keep the organic bakery and her own life running smoothly. A native elder and a young boy who possesses a rare gift show up seeking family. A mystery writer arrives to rent the guest cabin and a former client returns looking for Izzy’s help. Life is never dull for those who live on the secluded shores of Crater Lake. Set against the backdrop of Northern Vancouver Island, The Light Never Lies is a story of heartbreaking need and desperate measures. People grapple with the loss of cherished ideals to discover that love comes through the unique family ties they create as they go.

 

Author Bio:

Francis Guenette has spent most of her life on the west coast of British Columbia. She lives with her husband and finds inspiration for writing in the beauty and drama of their lakeshore cabin and garden. She has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She has worked as an educator, trauma counsellor and researcher. The Light Never Lies is her second novel. Francis blogs over at http://disappearinginplainsight.com and maintains a Facebook author page. Please stop by and say hello.

Read on after the interview to find out more about how you can win a signed copy of this book.

 

Tell us a little about you and your writing projects.

I live on the shores of an isolated lake on Northern Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. If you’ve read my books, that will sound familiar. I’ve used this setting as my fictional jumping off spot for the first two novels of The Crater Lake Series – Disappearing in Plain Sight and The Light Never Lies. I’m currently working on the third in the series that is tentatively titled, Chasing Down the Night.

I’ve worked in various areas of education most of my life – lately as a trauma counsellor, earlier with challenged young people. Many of these themes come out in my writing. Because I’ve always had a good sense of humour, even though my books cover some hard-hitting topics, the reader will find more than a few laughs amid the tears.

What first made you decide to become an author? Was there a specific genre you knew you would write in or did it just happen when you began writing?

My way into writing fiction was through a round-about route. I spent a lot of time honing my writing skills in very different arena – academia. Then one day, I ran up against a brick wall. I came home to the lake and wandered the trails for days on end trying to clear my thoughts and figure out why my ability to get on with my current project was so blocked. I found no answer to that question, but in those days of being near the lake and walking, the characters for my first novel popped into my head. The idea of these people and the unique situations they found themselves in took over my thoughts and resulted in an absolute shift from one type of writing to another – from one career to another. I didn’t think at all about genre – I just knew I had to tell the story my characters were clamouring to have told.

Who are some of your literary heroes?

I have always been a big fan of Hemingway – mostly his short stories. To be able to say so much with so few words tends to make a writer heroic, at least in my mind.

If you could have a conversation with any author, alive or passed on, who would it be and why?

I would love to sit down and have a chat with J.R. Rowlings about what it was like to start out the way she did and end up where she has gone. How did she find the courage, especially in the beginning, to stay with the writing? Was there a moment when she saw the fame coming? How did she feel? Did the popularity of the first books shape her writing of the last ones? Her rise to fame as a writer fascinates me.

What advice do you have for new authors about publishing and marketing?

Hands down, marketing is the most difficult part of the entire writing process. I chose self-publishing and that has its picky, hair-pulling moments, for sure. The learning curve is steep, but that is nothing compared to the grind that marketing can be. There are so many voices (blogs, books, those who have made it big) telling the new author what to do and it is very difficult to make a wise choice. Advice from those who made it big is almost always out-of-date – things are changing so fast in the realm of self-published book promotion. It seems as though every click on the social media network reveals new sites offering services that will bring one’s book to prominence. Rarely are there any statistics to relate these services to actual sales. It is a buyer-beware market. Okay, lest I sound all doom and gloom here, I do have three small pieces of advice. Hunker down for the long haul, limit time spent on social media, and write your next book.

Anything else you would like the audience to know?

Self-publishing has thrown the gates wide open for all the people who always thought they had a story in them. Now they can tell that story and get it out in the world. This reality is a double-edged sword. For every author who rewrites so many times they’ve lost count, has the money to spend for a discerning editor, good cover design and formatting, there are a dozen others who didn’t think rewrites, or editing, or cover design and formatting are all that important. Or maybe they couldn’t afford such luxury. Either way, if you read widely across the self-publishing spectrum you will definitely find a mixed bag of lemons and gems.

This need not discourage anyone. Quality will always rise – it just takes time. More gatekeepers are not the answer. Readers will decide. They’ll find the books they like and then they’ll come back for more. We writers must produce the most professional product we can and then we just have to be patient. In the words of W.B. Kinsella in his wonderful novel, Shoeless Joe (that became the basis for the movie, Field of Dreams) “If you build it they will come.”

Where can we find you on the various social media outlets?

I blog over on WordPress: http://disappearinginplainsight.com

I have an author Facebook page that I keep up-to-date and topical: https://www.facebook.com/pages/francisguenetteauthor/377139735716267

You can also find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/FrancisGuenette

And over at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6978213.Francis_L_Guenette

 

*Want to win a signed copy of this great book? All you have to do is comment to be entered in the drawing. One random commenter from this blog tour  will win a copy signed by Francis. Give it a shot, it could be you!

Happy Birthday Helena!

If you are not familiar with Helena helenahannbasquiat.wordpress.com

You should take a moment to visit her site and see all of the fantastic material there. Helena is one of the most engaging and witty people that I have had the pleasure of running across on WordPress. She is also an author, so if you visit her site, be sure to check out what she has written. Or you can check it out here:

http://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Dilettante-One-Helena-Hann-Basquiat-ebook/dp/B00J6B3GB4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1397322389

 

519nklPbAOL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

But this post, is about something else. Today just happens to be Helena’s

 

                                                                            Birthday!

If you find a moment, go tell her happy birthday today. In the mean time, enjoy these videos.

Dial L for Latch-Key by Scott Fivelson (an event you don’t want to miss)

Reprinted with permission from Yahoo Voices
150_30904-3

MICHELE E. GWYNN

Michele Gwynn is a Freelance Photo-Journalist in San Antonio, Texas (The

Herald/MySA.com), a contributing writer for Examiner.com, and has been

featured on Film Industry Network, FashionErotica Magazine, and AlwayzTherro.com. She writes Sci-Fi, and has published both children’s and erotic fiction.

Dial L for Latch-Key Honors Hitchcock

When is the last time you watched a stage play? Better yet, when is the last time you listened to one performed on radio? If you haven’t yet experienced a radio play broadcast, now is your chance as WMNR Fine Arts Radio will air a production of Dial L for Latch-Key as performed by the ‘By the Time I Get to Tucson Players’ Friday, April 11th at 9 p.m. (Link below)

In the tradition of the great Alfred Hitchcock, writer Scott Fivelson (American Reel, Three Holes Two Brads and a Smoking Gun) crafted his stage play, Dial L for Latch-Key, as a satirical ode to Dial M for Murder with his own personal twist. (Published by Hen House Press)

The play has been performed on two London stages; the New End Theater and Upstairs at the Gatehouse Theater as well as the Phoenix Theater in San Francisco. James Torme, son of the legendary Mel Torme starred in the Upstairs at the Gatehouse production. The radio play has aired on stations in London, Tucson, Arizona, and Portland, Maine, and an excerpt of Dial L; the stage play, has been featured on Suspense Magazine’s Suspense Radio.

The one-act-five scene play centers around a murder mystery, of course. The suspect, Raymond, is preparing to leave town. He believes himself to be getting away ‘Scott-free’ since his wife, G, was arrested for the crime. Enter the Inspector and Bob, a perceived dimwitted new boyfriend of G’s. The inspector brings G and Bob back to the mansion where the crime took place under the guise of her showing them exactly what happened and in her own words. A little mayhem ensues, and strange occurrences are noted such as the large steamer trunk Raymond is trying to take with him. Just what is in that trunk? The style is reminiscent of earlier decades of the bygone days of classic Hollywood. Hitchcock himself makes a cameo; something Fivelson points out is expected. “Well, you know, Hitchcock found a way of working a cameo in for himself in just about every film he ever made. In “Dial L,” I couldn’t let Hitch down by not letting him make an appearance.”

So what inspired this homage? “Well, Hitchcock’s movie of ‘Dial M for Murder’ was an adaptation of the Frederick Knott stage play of the same name. So it was a classic drawing-room mystery that Hitchcock was working with… I think it was the part where the kaleidoscope is swirling, or the colors were changing — something like that — behind Grace Kelly when she’s on trial in this wonderful, fantastical sequence — quite unlike the drawing-room scenes — that made me think — “What this needs is a little more Salvador Dali!”

Dial L is quite fun and entertaining. If you enjoy audiobooks, you’ll surely enjoy this new classic.

Dial L for Latch-Key airs April 11th (2014) on WMNR’s Fine Arts Radio Friday Evening Classics at 9 p.m. Click here to link to the live stream.

Credits are as follows:

DIAL L FOR LATCH-KEY: The Radio Play Written and Directed by Scott Fivelson

Performed by the By the Time I Get to Tucson Players

Phil Gordon as the “Inspector” and as “Hitch”

Jesus Limon as “Raymond” and as “The Man Who Knew Too Much About Hitchcock”

Brian Levario as “Bob”

Colleen Zandbergen as “G”

Douglas Grant as the “Narrator”

Engineered by Jim Glinski

Recorded at JTG Studios in Tucson, Arizona

“Dial L for Latch-Key: The Radio Play” is available from Blackstone Audio at Amazon.com, Audible.com, and other sites where audiobooks are sold.

*  Just a quick note to mention that Dial L is also available as an ebook, paperback and audiobook and you can find the separate formats by going to Amazoncom or other major retailers.

Buy here: http://www.amazon.com/Dial-L-Latch-Key-Scott-Fivelson-ebook/dp/B004TNH9XK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397231117&sr=8-1&keywords=Dial+L+for+Latch-Key

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think many of us went into reading Doctor Sleep with some form of trepidation. When the central focus of the original book is a hotel–and that hotel is nonexistent at the end of the book, how does one pick up where they left off and write a second book based on that original?

Well…apparently what you do in this case is build a new story off of scant memories and fill in the rest with very imaginative and yet ultimately pretty pointless paranormal characters.

Did I love this book? No!

Why?

For so many reasons. Here are a few:

The Shining scared the Hell clean out of me. I’m not going to get into the Kubrick Vs. King debate here as far as the movies go and the possible hidden meanings (think Room 237,) but I will say that the thing I loved about the original book, was that there was a fine balance of psychological terror and paranormal terror. I didn’t get that from Doctor Sleep. Really, the only time I felt like the book bordered on any kind of reality I could accept was when Dan was remembering the events of the Overlook and his childhood.

Rose the Hat. My, oh my. One of my pet peeves is when an author spends an entire book building up an evil character and then they die a pointless, silly death that never showcases all of the talents they have for being bad. I won’t include a spoiler here to say how or exactly why I feel as I do, but I definitely thought this was a case of “ran out of good ideas,” when it came to the end of her story.

Abra was a spoiled, self-appreciative brat. I want to love the main characters in the books I read, I think we all do. I loved Dan, but I suppose much of that probably came from the already established feelings I had for him. (He was such a little slugger in the first book.) Abra did not impress me much. She was supposed to be such a powerful kid, and yet most of the time she was featured hugging a cuddly toy and taking the advice of others. Had this been a movie, it would have been a situation where the audience members kept saying, “how dumb is this kid?” for getting herself into the situations she did.

I could go on, but I want this review to be balanced, so I will move on to the things I liked.

If I wasn’t looking at this as “The Shining part Two,” I might have felt differently about it. Still, it was an interesting book with a lot of very captivating ideas. I liked that Dan still had some psychic abilities even after he got older and that he was putting them to use in a helpful way.

Azreel the cat was a nice addition to this story and worked well with Dan’s talents.

Whilst I expected there to be more reference to the events in the original story, and was somewhat dismayed that there wasn’t, I appreciated that the grounds where the Overlook stood were used as an important part of this book. I never would have guessed how they were going to be reinvented, and I liked how Rose could sense the evil that lie there, beneath the surface.

The relationships Dan built throughout the course of Doctor Sleep reminded me that he was human and gave me a sense of nostalgia, particularly at the end, when he sees a certain specter.

Typical of Stephen King works, there is a healthy amount of telepathic ability between the characters. Although I found the paranormal aspects of this book more over the top than in the original novel, I also felt the “King vibe” that has been absent in some of the more recent works. His sense of humour and use of irony was ever-present in this book, and that was nice to see.

My overall opinion of Doctor sleep is this: If you are a big fan of Mr. King and in particular of the Shining, you will want to read this to satisfy your curiosity about what happened after the Overlook. You may love it or hate it or, like me, find yourself somewhere in between, but either way you should check it out.

As a standalone novel this might have earned a higher rating from me, but as a book in any way connected to one of the finest horror works in history (my opinion of course,) this did not in any way compare. The feeling of claustrophobic, psychological terror that made the Shining so frightening was absent in this book.

While there may have been 237 reasons to love this book, there were at least 217 reasons not to. It wasn’t the worst book ever, nor the best. 3 stars is my final opinion.

A discussion about poetry with Pamela

My good friend and fellow author Pamela Beckford has recently taken her first foray into the publishing world. Today we are going to sit down with her and talk a little bit about her experiences and the art of poetry itself. Please welcome her to Readful Things and take a moment to check out her sites:

http://poetrybypamela.wordpress.com/

http://pamela984.wordpress.com/

 

You have been experimenting lately with different forms of poetry. Are there some that are easier to work with than others? What has been your favourite so far?

Thank you for noticing the different forms I’ve been working with. I really have enjoyed learning about them and how to make them work. I think that many times the shorter poems (tanka, doidotsu, cinquain, etc) are more difficult than a longer poem. With the shorter ones, the choice of words to make the biggest impact and convey just exactly the right feeling, can be very challenging. My favorite form is whichever one I’m working with at the moment. I haven’t found any that I really don’t enjoy.

 

You write with such emotional depth, and yet you haven’t been writing anything public for very long. Was it scary to share your talent with others?

I haven’t been writing anything privately for long either. I think that poetry is so personal and I feel like I am sharing my inner most self. It makes me very vulnerable. I still struggle with sharing some of them and feeling like I’m good enough. If it hadn’t been for a couple of individuals encouraging me, I might still be keeping most of them in my head. But I find poetry to be a great outlet.

 

What do you find inspires your poetry?

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m really a romantic at heart. I put up a tough guy facade, but deep down, I want to love and be loved. I have a couple of muses as well that keep me inspired.

 

Tell us a bit about your first collection of published poetry and how we can find it.

I put together a short collection of poetry called Dreams of Love. It is available on Amazon as a download and also in paperback. It is only $.99 for Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Love-Poetry-Collection-Pamela-ebook/dp/B00I9H9K3Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394495040&sr=1-1&keywords=dreams+of+love+a+poetry+collection

 

Any plans for further books?

I’m glad you asked. I collaborated with Kirsten on a book of nature poems, Voices of Nature. I love her poetry and we work really well together. http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Nature-Pamela-Beckford-ebook/dp/B00JCRWVJU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1396639061&sr=1-1&keywords=voices+of+nature

 

Any final thoughts/ ideas you would like to share?

First, I would like to thank you for spotlighting my poetry. Second, I would want everyone to know that all poetry is not alike. If you think Walt Whitman “Leaves of Grass” is what poetry is all about, you need to explore poetry a bit more. It comes from the depths of your soul and I hope that anyone who reads my poetry feels deeply.

Heaven

Come, my love
Surrender to my touch
Waves of desire bring raptured delight
As tenderness yields gently to deepest longing
Ecstasy insists we never part
Laying with you’s pure joy
Paradise

 

Thank you, Pamela, for agreeing to the interview and for being my guest author :)

The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

The InheritanceThe Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

When Emma uses blackmail to force her father into giving her the inheritance owing to her early, it sets in motion a chain of events that will change the lives of her and her elder sister Kate forever. Although Emma and Kate have grown up on their father’s farm together, they each want two very different things. Emma is fed up with her boring, suffocating lifestyle and longs to break free. Kate by contrast is happy living and working for her father on the farm and can’t understand her sister’s urgency to leave.

With her inheritance, Emma is soon off to London with her wealthy friend Natalie. She begins to live a life of luxury whilst her sister Kate is left hard at work on the farm. But things are not all they seem. Before long Emma is finding that London life is not all roses, whilst Kate is forced to re-evaluate what it is she wants from life. And even though Kate and her father are living in the middle of nowhere, she discovers that a past relationship may pose a present danger to her.

ebook, 156 pages
Published August 27th
2013 by Elaine Jeremiah
The Inheritance
ASIN
B00ESLWOW4
edition language
English

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Score one for setting in this lovely book by Elaine Jeremiah. She did a beautiful job with her descriptions, making this book an easy one to fall into and not leave until the last page was read.

I enjoyed Kate’s story and the mystery that surrounded it, but I have to admit that my heart lie in Emma’s portion of this tale. The author did a brilliant job of blending the various story lines together and making this novel a joy to read. I particularly found myself fascinated by the story of Stephen. I could never quite figure out exactly what was happening with that part of the book until all was resolved. I like it when I can’t guess right.

This story begins after some startling and important events have already happened and offers the reader a chance to know well established characters that are both interesting and fully formed.

The dialogue is written well and the story has a nice pace that is not too rushed, yet not too slow either.

Overall this was an enjoyable book with a lot of excellent qualities to make me comfortable with recommending it. If you are looking for a charming book by a new author, this is one you should consider.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author, all opinions are my own.

Lincoln’s Boy’s by Joshua Zeitz

Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's ImageLincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln’s Image by Joshua Zeitz

 

A timely and intimate look into Abraham Lincoln’s White House through the lives of his two closest aides and confidants

Lincoln’s official secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay enjoyed more access, witnessed more history, and knew Lincoln better than anyone outside of the president’s immediate family. Hay and Nicolay were the gatekeepers of the Lincoln legacy. They read poetry and attendeded the theater with the president, commiserated with him over Union army setbacks, and plotted electoral strategy. They were present at every seminal event, from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address—and they wrote about it after his death.

In their biography of Lincoln, Hay and Nicolay fought to establish Lincoln’s heroic legacy and to preserve a narrative that saw slavery—not states’ rights—as the sole cause of the Civil War. As Joshua Zeitz shows, the image of a humble man with uncommon intellect who rose from obscurity to become a storied wartime leader and emancipator is very much their creation.

Drawing on letters, diaries, and memoirs, Lincoln’s Boys is part political drama and part coming-of-age tale—a fascinating story of friendship, politics, war, and the contest over history and remembrance.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have great respect for this book, having just finished it and now feeling as though I understand things about the former president and those closest to him that I did not before.

It is not a secret that I am somewhat of a Lincoln freak, so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. I expected this book to be well organised and interesting. What I didn’t expect was the level of careful detail the author included about the lives of John Nicolay and John Hay. He was meticulous in his research and recounting of their lives, and yet this book was not just a string of boring facts.

Looking back into the past through the author’s words was an experience that I shall not soon forget. If you are a fan of historical non-fiction, his book will definitely be one you will want to add to your shelves.

It was fascinating to see where these two men came from and what happened before the careers that they became synonymous with. This book reminds you that even the most powerful and memorable people came from somewhere besides fame.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

View all my reviews

A question of film and lit

I want to see that book made into a film! We hear this and say this all the time, but do you ever think, I want to see that film made into a book? I have been wondering about this for a while. There have been many times when I watched a film and thought–this would have been so much better as a book. Every have that feeling? Often it is because I didn’t feel the film had the time to explore the story as much as the book would have and that gets me wondering where it might have gone had it been a book.

What movies would you turn into books if you could?

What are some of your favourite books that have become movies?

 

*As a side note, I know I haven’t been around much lately everyone, and I apologise for that. I miss reading blogs and interacting with you all. Work has been crazy and it has been pre-testing time for my boys in preparation for their state mandated CRT’s. Busy, busy. I’ve also got a pile of books to read–but that is a problem I am willing to smile about.

Anyway–I love you guys, and as soon as things settle I will be back in action full time, stalking your blogs with nonsensical comments and hugs.

 

 

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