Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Review: The Tiny Wife

There are some books that you want to save for a special occasion and The Tiny Wife is one of them. Knowing this was on my Kindle kept me going through the long tunnel of a very long, frustrating book.

The Tiny Wife is an enchanting short novel from Andrew Kaufman, author of My Friends Are Superheroes. The book opens with a robbery but the robber isn't after money. Instead he makes the customers and the bank workers each hand over one object of sentimental value. The narrator's wife hands over a calculator that she has used to calculate house costs and if she could afford to have a child. Another hands over their house keys. The robber has taken bits of their souls and tells them to regrow or they will die.

The robbery frames the series of capivating stories as the reader learns what happens to the victims. One of the women turns to sugar and is eaten by her family as a way to pacify them. Another has their lion tattoo come alive and chase her through the streets, someone finds God under their sofa and then loses him. The narrator's wife, as well as having to deal with a shaky marriage, starts to shrink.

Kaufman's ideas and writing are very imaginative. The Tiny Wife is heartbreaking yet heartwarming. It's a book about hope and finding that there are always ways to reignite your soul.

The silhouette illustrations through the book reminded me of the fairy tales illustrated by Jan Pienkowski that I used to read as a child. They capture the tone of the book perfectly.

The Tiny Wife is an enchanting fable and modern fairy tale. It is definitely one of my books of the year.

You can buy The Tiny Wife from any bookstore or online store.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Sit Down And Write The Story

I came across this a few months ago but I'm afraid I saved it on my hard drive and forgot to remember who posted it. I need this at the moment - I have a review half written across two notebooks and my computer and there's a short story (a long short story) needing some attention too. And there are another two short stories needing some edits and re-jigs too.

The main reason for not writing that much is the face that I won an iPad the other week and I have been playing with it ever since. My mantra at the moment is 'I'll just play another game of solitaire and then I'll do some writing...' but you know how things go - solitaire sucks you in and spits you out two hours later.

I might do a Kindle vs. iPad - but can they really be compared with each other. One is a tablet computer with eReader functions and another is an eReader with limited internet browsing functions. I know one thing - I won't be ditching my MacBook anytime soon.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Trends in Literature

I should have posted these a few weeks ago but I have been writing and rewriting and submitting. I am only now catching up with blog posts.

Here are a few bullet points from a talk given by The Society of Young Publishers back on the 25th October 2011, in a very cramped room in London. It was really hot and crammed with bodies so most of this is from memory and people who 'live-tweeted' the event.

Trends in Literature
Society of Young Publishers
25th October 2011

The panellists were Jo Rodgers (Literary Agent), Carrie Duffy (Author), Kate Bradley (Commissioning Editor, Harper Fiction), Emma McArthur (Bookseller), Kirsty Schaper (Commissioning Editor, Bloomsbury) and Sam Copeland (Literary Agent).

  • It’s the job of an agent to ignore trends – you can’t predict trends.
  • If you spot a trend then it’s probably not worth trying to write for that trend because it could be over by the time the book is over.
  • Series publishing is on the way up – easier for readers to stick with what they know – Mills and Boons are on the way up.
  • Recurring characters / sequels are the next big thing.
  • Richard and Judy have changed people’s perception of reading. More people want a challenge when reading.
  • Publishing is all about connecting the author with their readership.
  • Debut novelists need to build up a readership / have fans like long-term novelists. The best thing to do is have an internet presence e.g. blogs, Twitter, reviews, Facebook page. Need to be interactive / approachable.
  • Brands aren’t important to agents – they just want the publisher to be enthusiastic about the author. Publishers are concerned about brand but people aren’t ‘imprint’ loyal.
  • The panel believed that Amazon can’t do what Publishers do i.e. nurture careers.
  • Trends are unpredictable.