Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Friday, December 30, 2011

Over 25 Free Books, Ebooks, and SWAG in This Giveaway!

Hey guys,
First off, if you haven't already, be sure to check out the cool SWAG I'm giving away on my blog to celebrate Transcendent.

Robot Playground, the publisher of Transcendent, is hosting this huge giveaway of all these awesome books from amazing writers like...

Lani Woodland
Melanie Marks
Elana Johnson
Karen Hoover
Heather Justesen
CK Bryant
Tristi Pinkston
Cindy Hogan
Laura Bingham
Cheri Chesley
RaShelle Workman
Ali Cross
Cathy Witbeck
Tori Scott
Elizabeth Mueller
KC Blake
Rita Webb
& Wendy Swore (That dashing, amazing, brilliant writer)

I mean really, can you get any cooler than that? With twenty five different prizes, your chances are really good.
Here's the link.

 It runs through January 15th
Have fun!

If you could choose any prize for a giveaway, what would it be?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Transcendent Interview with Heather McCubbin

Today we're visiting with Heather McCubbin, one of the new authors of Transcendent, Tales of the Paranormal.
     1)     Tell us a little about your story in Transcendent, Tales of the Paranormal:
My story begins in what is rumored to be a haunted house; haunted by the ghost of Ms. Ravenscroft who died 60 years earlier. Dawn, the main character, really doesn't want to be there so she is standing on the outside of this haunted party, people watching and supporting her best friend's ghost hunting habit.  Up until this party, Dawn is a firm believer that there aren't ghosts, as she has never seen one and neither has her ghost-loving best friend. Dawn's belief is shattered after she begins hearing voices that aren't in the room and comes face to face with a ghost from her past. A ghost who has answers to questions that enable Dawn to move on in her life.

 2) What gave you the idea for the story?
For some reason, I have had an obsession with twins ever since I was younger. I wanted a twin sister when I was little and when I began writing stories as a preteen each story had a character that was a twin, triplet or more! So, right away I knew there had to be a twin. Also, when this opportunity was presented to me before Robot Publishing picked it up, I was told to have a scene where the character was drinking punch (the original name was Paranormal Punch). So, working around those two ideas, the story just wrote itself.  The name "Ravenscroft" is one of my ancestors' names, and it sounds a bit Edgar Allen Poe-ish. That's how I chose that name for the ghost who is supposed to haunt the house…

      3) What would you tell yourself if you could send a letter back in time?
I would tell myself to NOT throw away all those stories I hand wrote, on the back of my father's scrap paper from work. When I left for college, I purged my filing cabinet knowing I didn't have room for them in my dorm and I didn't want my parents to read any of them. I have memories of two young adult stories that I wrote and I think I was about 7th or 8th grade when I wrote them…
      4) What was the best moment you’ve ever had as a writer? The worst?
      The worst was when the very first rejection letter came for one of my YA Romance books that I wrote around 2005. When you finish an 80,000-word manuscript and love it, edit it and then send it out you think you are the bomb. That because you love it, so will an agent.


After getting rejections, I took another look at it and finally got two friends to read it and give me suggestions.  I read books on editing, attended workshops on writing and had a published author (Edith Hemingway) listen to my first paragraph. After encouragement from her and the writing group, I continued to work on it. Now, it was a polished as I could make it. This leads into a best moment (not counting this short story being published!) when I sent out that story refurbished, polished and edited the best that I could and I received some interest! Four agents wanted more, so I gave it to them. Of those three, two wanted the whole thing. Of those two, I got great feedback (one in an email and one in a handwritten letter) as to why it wouldn't work and what I could fix it, plus the strengths of the story. One even said he'd look at it after I fixed what he suggested.  However, life happens, I got a new job and the book got put on the back burner. I am hoping that in the next few months, I can upload it to Amazon if there aren't any takes on publishing it!

5) Have you ever written a short story like this before?
No, never. Besides the usual essays and papers you have to write in high school and college, I never wrote a short story. I am too wordy and find that I get attached to the characters and want to tell more about them. This was a challenge for me and the story took about two weeks to write. The editors were amazing and helped me trim it down. I had so much fun writing this short story, I know that I could do it again!

6) Why do you write?
  I write because what I want to read, sometimes, isn't out there. I can only read so much about vampires, werewolves and the mortals who love them. I can only read, "boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl" romances. so many times in a row. So, to change things up, I write so the hundreds of story lines floating around in my head will become a reality on paper and will finally have an ending or closure. I find that when I go back and read the stories that I have written, I can't put them down (if I can, then that's a bad sign and I delete it or put it in a "To Be Worked On" Folder) it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Finally, I write because it's relaxing and gives you another world to live in for just a little while so all your worries float away. Just for a bit. Until a child comes in needing something!

7) Where are you from and does it impact your writing?
 I am from Middletown, MD which is a small rural town about an hour west of Washington DC. I have lived here since I began Kindergarten so this is all I know. "Shadows of Promise" doesn't really reference a specific place, but the haunted house looks like a house that is here in town. My other stories that I have written all take place in a small town, with a larger city easily accessible. Every house that I mention in any of my stories exists within Middletown.  You know how Forks, WA began offering tours of areas that the "Twilight" books referenced? I could probably take my readers on a walking tour of "Shadows of Promise" (or my other unpublished stories) and show them where Dawn attended school, what her house looks like, what the haunted house looks like or where the popular hang out is for teens. So, yes, where I live has a huge impact on the setting of my writing.
 Be sure to find Heather on  goodreads, facebook, or her blog.

Can you relate to Heather's perspective on writing?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Free Books, Prizes, and Goodies! The Transcendent Blog Tour Starts Now!

Welcome to the Transcendent Blog Tour!
Are you in the mood for some sweet paranormal prizes?
Excellent. You've come to the right place!  In fact, we'll be giving away three,
yes count 'em,
three prize bags full of awesomeness.
(more on that in a moment) 

Transcendent, Tales of the Paranormal, is a collection of short stories from some of the newest names in YA fiction.     ...and Evan Joseph.
 You can read its blurb and great reviews on goodreads, or in my last post. The ebook is out now, and the hardback will be out in about a week.

(Okay, back to the fun part... Let's give away some prizes!)

Goodie Bag #1:
A hardback copy of POSSESSION by Elana Johnson,
an ecopy of TRANSCENDENT,
and your choice of Sour Patch Kids,
  or (in honor of one of Elana's Favorite foods) Bacon Popcorn!
*Update, Elana says this popcorn is not as good as regular bacon, but it mails better.*

Goodie Bag #2
A hard copy of TRANSCENDENT,

an ecopy of BECOME by Ali Cross,

an ecopy of BOUND by C.K. Bryant,

And your choice Twizzlers,

or a Symphony bar (C.K.'s favorite treats!)

Goodie Bag #3
A hard copy of TRANSCENDENT,

an ecopy of its sequel, THE ARMOR OF LIGHT

and your choice of Russel Stoffers Chocolates (Karen's Favorites),
or Junior Mints.

(Shipping only to the continental US. International winners receive ecopys only)

Thanks to everyone who entered! See the winners here!
Tweet, Blog, OR Post on facebook about TRANSCENDENT
AND link back to this post
OR add Transcendent to your Goodreads "To Read" list
OR review TRANSCENDENT (on goodreads, amazon, or another online scource)
OR Subscribe to this blog via feedburner (on the left of this page)

= one bonus entry of each kind per day
= 7 possible bonus entries per day.
Leave a comment telling me what you did with the link so I can verify.
Be sure to keep a running tally of your points.

Want More Chances to Win?
Go on the Blog Tour! 
Check out these awesome bloggers--each with a different giveaway! The number in front of their name is the date in December when their Transcendent giveaways begin.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Awesome New Paranormal YA Anthology!

I'm thrilled to announce the release of Transcendent, a new YA paranormal anthology which includes two of my short stories, Strike and Spectre. Check out these excellent reviews:      

"Transcendent is deliciously creepy with hauntingly unforgettable stories that will keep readers glued to the page--even after the lights go out." --Elana Johnson, author of Possession

"Holy cow, I loved this book!!! I'm not usually a short story person, but this was full of creepy tales, love stories, ghosts, and things that go bump in the dark. A fascinating, well written paranormal collection I'd recommend to any and all!" --Karen E. Hoover, author of The Wolfchild Saga

"Mystical, romantic, and downright otherworldly, these stories will open your imagination to the possibilities of all that lays unseen with our mortal eyes." --Tristi Pinkston, author of the Secret Sisters Mysteries
"Transcendent offers everything you get from a full-length novel but in bite-sized pieces--perfect for those times when you only have a few minutes to read!" --Ali Cross, author of Become
~ Back Cover ~
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the d├ęcor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories.

Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you.

Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction. Also included, are stories from Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper, (the co-author of Strike) Rita J. Webb, Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin, and Evan Joseph.
You can purchase an e-copy of Transcendent on Amazon now for just 99 cents. This clean, fun read, would be great for any teen or YA reader who'd like a little dip into the paranormal!  
The hard copy will be available soon. I'll update you as soon as that becomes available!

Isn't that awesome news? While I'm at it, here's one more fun bit of news to share!

 Aspiring Writers Short Story             Winning Entries:     Another of my stories as just come out in this anthology of twelve winning stories, each only 750 words long. My story, Voodoo Hog, not only won the horror competition, but is the overall winner of the collection. All proceedes from this book go to St. Lukes Children's hospital, the charity of my choice. I loved writing this story because I only had 750 words to tell a whole story, so every word had to count.  This collection is available on Lebrery. for $4.00--all of which goes to St. Lukes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Winners for the Variant Giveaway

With the help of Kidlet#5, we've chosen the winners for the Variant givaway!

And the winners are...

........drum roll please.......


And  kbrebes

Congrats, ladies! Look for my email today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kidlet#1 Reviews: Tears by Rita J Webb.

My eldest child, a book lover like me, wants to review some of her favorite books on my blog. So this is the first installment of… drum roll…
Please note that her opinions are 100% her own.
Kidlet#1 Review: Tears, By Rita Webb.
Review by Kidlet#1 (13 years old)
What was the book about?
It was about Lelea, a cyborg who was sort of insane because her mind lives in the past. And she started to rebel against her father, the evil Father General (muahaha!) by lying and then swearing her own oath to take him down and free her people. She goes on an adventure to find the dragon eggs and save the universe from her father.  Along the way, she finds love.
What did you like best about the book?
I like the adventure and description of the characters, I liked how immensely powerful the words are.
Did anything bother you about the book?
Nothing bothered me.
Who was your favorite character?
My favorite character was Jadon with her self-esteem & endurance.
How many stars do you give this book?  All the stars possible.
Kidlet#1 signing off...and read this book people, it rocks.
Wendy's note: She read the book in 1 day, then turned around and read it again the next. That never happens. It speaks volumes for how well this resonated with her.
Mrs. Webb, I'd say you hit your target audience spot on.
Here's some handy clicky links to find Tears on Amazon, or GoodreadsRita Webb blogs here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Variant Giveaway to Celebrate Writing Season

As you might have noticed, it’s November—my most favorite month of the year.

Goodbye farming, and hello writing season! I celebrated by attending an awesome writers retreat by Park City, with twenty other writers including Lisa Mangum, Kirk Shaw, Annette Lyon, Danyelle Ferguson, Ali Cross, C.K. Bryant, and many others from Authors Incognito that I'm grateful to call friends.  
Imagine 4 days in a condo/cabin by Park City, Utah, where everyone has a quiet nook of their own to plug in and write. There were enough of us there that we only had to help with one meal for the whole time. Can you imagine? Meals done, quiet time, no kids, almost no calls, and house full of people who shared your same passion for writing. After months of busting my rear on the farm, it was exactly what I needed. We also had prizes for word count sprints, early birds and night owls.
If you ever have the chance to go to a retreat, do it. You deserve it.
To celebrate writing season, I’m giving away 2 copies of Variant by Robinson Wells, a hot new YA dystopian that has been heralded as having the best YA twist since Enders Game. Also, Publishers Weekly has named Variant as one of the best books of 2011. That’s some high praise, my friends.
You can read the synopsis and some of its great reviews on goodreads here.
There are a couple of other great reasons why I chose to give Variant away. Bottom line: it’s an excellent book from a deserving author. If you’ve ever thought of buying it, today is a good day.
TO ENTER the Variant giveaway:

Follow my blog and leave a comment with your email like myemail AT wherever DOT com so spammers don’t find you.
If you would like to tweet or Facebook about the Book Bomb or this post, then you win good Karma and my appreciation for passing it on. J
I'll draw a winner on November 20th!

So, to all you crazy nanowrimoers out there, good luck! (and don’t forget to occasionally do boring things like eat, sleep, speak to your family, and bathe.) To everyone else, may you have a very excellent writing season. I know I will.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Grammar Thief, and the Hag Herself.

Grammar is an evil hag that haunts writer's dreams and laughs as they dither into the wee hours of the morning--staring at the computer screen with haunted faces, agonizing over punctuation.

We've had our disagreements, grammar and I, but over the years, we've learned to tolerate each other fairly well. We give each other our proper space and even, dare I say it, respect. She's learned to bend just a little now and then, and I've learned to stay on her good side whenever possible.

The good news is that the more time we spend together, the better we get along. I don't know that we'll ever be friends, but I think we have developed a good professional working relationship.

How is your relationship with grammar? Do you love her, obsess over her, hate her? How do you deal with all the rules?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

COLORLESS took second...again!

Boy what a busy time this has been for me! I've been picking corn, harvesting other produce, making the corn maze, & hauling pumpkins. This picture shows one of the many loads we did today. Tell you what, the kids fell into their beds as soon as we were done.

But in the middle of all that, I entered the first chapter of COLORLESS into another contest and took 2nd place! This one was hosted by Authors Incognito. The cool part is that the other gals who placed 3rd & 1st are really wonderful, published authors. I'm happy to even be on the same page as they are.

Here's a look at the results...

The good news on the home front is that I'll be done with farming and back to writing full time on November 1st! Yay! I've registered for a writer's retreat that first week of November as my reward for working my rear off for no pay all year long.

It's great to get the feedback that people understand and enjoy my writing.

Have you ever gotten that one special feedback that just made your day?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DARK LIFE, One of the Coolest YA Books Ever

After much of the continent became submerged, people started prospecting and farming the only place left to find land: the bottom of the ocean. Ty lives with this family on their 400 acre farm and dreams of the day when he'll own his own land--except the common wealth says no one will get any land, or any supplies until the notorious criminals aboard the Seablite are caught. Ty tries to help Gemma, a girl from topside, find her missing brother amongst the ruff frontier folk while keeping an eye out for Shade, the infamous leader of the Seablight gang. He has a dark gift that makes him almost impossible to catch...and he's not the only one. 

WOW. If I could give six stars, I would. DARK LIFE is the most original and interesting YA book I've read in years. Take 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, mix in a little X-Men, and add a healthy dash of Kenneth Oppel's AIRBORN, and you've got DARK LIFE. 
I'm adding Kat Fall's to my list of favorite authors, and then I'm going to stalk her website to see when the next book, RIP TIDE comes out.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Winner of POSSESSION by Elana Johnson is....


We gave each entry a different number, cut the papers up, and had my youngest girl pick a paper with her eyes shut.

Thank you to everyone who entered! I do a giveaway every other month or so--so stay tuned for more good things.

Happy Summer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Giveaway, POSSESSION by Elana Johnson!

Since summer is always more fun with a giveaway, I’m giving away POSSESSION, by Elana Johnson.
I met Elana at Storymakers writer’s conference 2010 and she helped me change my pitiful query letter into something worthwhile. I was impressed by her vivacious personality and contagious smile. You can’t visit with her and not smile. She’s that cool.

Elana's debut novel, POSSESSION, is available from Simon & Schuster now!

Elana's Bio:

"She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

"She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query.

"She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI.

"Elana is represented by Michelle Andelman of Regal Literary."

If you are struggling with getting good responses from your query, you should definitely check her out. She’ll rock your query.
If you like fast-paced, YA dystopian, then Possession would be a fun summer read for you.

Entering is easy! Just follow my blog & leave a comment with your email like this to prevent spammers: youremail AT wherever DOT com.
If you tweet or share this giveaway, let me know and I’ll throw in another entry for you.
I’ll draw a winner July 1st! Good luck!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pop Quiz, How Well Do You Know Me?

Hello, Awesome Bloggers,

A good Tweep of mine, Dorothy Dreyer interviewed me. Read it here for a glimse at Unlocked, my writer's journey, and woolly mammoths.

I  want you know how much I appreciate your support and friendship. Give yourself a cyber squeeze from me, and have a cookie. (When sharing with friends, calories don't count.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Author Website

We learned at Storymakers that we should have a website to make it easy for agents to find information about us!

Right now the site is just a bio with my links, but at least it's there. Tada!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Here's mine:


Saturday, May 7, 2011

COLORLESS Won 3rd...

Just a quick note to say that my alternate history WIP, COLORLESS, won 3rd place at the Storymakers first chapter contest. Yep, having a pretty good day...

I shall now go do the happy dance.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Successful Pitch

Hello awesome cyber-buddies! I'm thrilled to report that I got a request for a partial this weekend for COYOTE DREAMS! Yay! Would you like to hear my pitch? This is how it went...

After she smiled and shook my hand, she said, "so tell me about your story."
My pitch:

It's a coming of age story about sixteen-year-old Jenna who lives on the Sho-Ban reservation near Pocatello, Idaho. After her father has a near fatal accident, she has to run the family farm alone. But the dog that caused the accident is still harassing and killing her animals. This is no ordinary dog, but the fabled Coyote spirit.

Two neighbor boys, a farm boy and an Indian, offer to help, but their interest develops into something more than friendship. Jenna finds their attention both exciting and unsettling at the same time.

As the problems on the farm and the Coyote's attacks increase, she learns that accepting help is not weakness or failure. But when the Coyote goes after her little brother, she has to overcome her fears to save both their lives.

Coyote Dreams is 74,000 words and is similar to HATTIE BIG SKY, but with native mysticism and modern day characters.

Do you have any questions about my story?
The first thing she said was, "wow, that's a really good pitch. It sounded like the back of a book." Then she asked some questions and it ended with a partial request.
The reason why I'm posting this is because everywhere I turn people are saying shorter! Shorter! make it a one liner! Last year I did what they said and hacked at my poor query until it was something like this:
"After Jenna's father has a near-fatal accident, she must run the farm alone, but the dog which caused the accident is around and killing her animals. But this is not ordinary dog, it's the fabled Coyote."
The editor said, "so it's a horror then?" 
Um, no. Not even close.
I was so worried about getting it short, I'd lost the feel of what my story was about. This year I trusted my gut, listened to Elana Johnson on how to write an awesome query, and then followed the advice at Pitch University. And this time, I feel that regardless of what comes of this, I gave her a true look at what my story was really about.

***Update! I learned that your one liner/elevator pitch doesn't have to sum up the story, it can be a simple comparison to give the reader a feel for your story. For instance, my one liner for COYOTE DREAMS could be, "It's a contemporary coming of age story with Toni Hillerman aspects." Tada! Now you know it has some Native feel aspects but you also know it is a coming of age. I love learning new things!
Would you like to hear one more cool moment from this weekend? My boot camp instructor, Sheralyn Pratt said, "your writing is like the Mississippi; it's smooth and deep. It flows and takes you on this journey."
I'm going to write that one down in my journal. I'm still thankful that she said that about my story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Practicing Your Pitch

I'm very excited to go to Storymakers this weekend and meet all the wonderful writers, authors, editors, and agents! Last year I got several books signed by James Dashner, Jessica Day George, and David Farland.  This year I'm bringing two great YA novels (The Hourglass Door, and The Golden Spiral) in the hopes that Lisa Mangum will sign them!

I learned so much last year that I decided to be brave this year and sign up for a pitch with an editor there.

In a valiant effort to NOT look like an idiot during the pitch, I've been researching everything I can find on what to do. My favorite website help for struggling would-be authors is Pitch University. I love, love, LOVE the lesson that says "don't memorize it" because my memorized speech was flat and mechanical.

So, if you are as crazy as I am and have signed up for a pitch, I wish you the best of luck.

I promise to take good notes to share with all of you again this year.

Cross your fingers for me!

P.S. Don't forget that you have a couple days left to put your name in to win DEPTH OF DECEIT by Betty Briggs. Just leave a comment HERE to enter. Giveaway ends May 10th.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Betty Brigg’s  DEPTH OF DECEIT was the 2010 winner of the Silver Quill award for second place in the Fiction category for the league of Utah Writers Publication Awards.

Here’s the back cover:

“Blonde and beautiful, fledging attorney Stephanie Saunders vows to protect the innocent even though as indigent defense attorney her clients rarely are. Does that include Josh Durrant who seems to be following her? Stephanie is dismayed when her peers begin calling her “Prom Queen” as her boyfriend, Todd Saxton, often does. Desperately trying to prove her worth, she falls prey to those who steal her innocence. Although she plans to forgive Todd for his ultimate betrayal, she is never given the chance. Her boss, Attorney Charles Connelly, offers solace, but is Stephanie’s welfare, or his own, top priority? The only thing that keeps Stephanie sane in her insane world are the horses she loves but does not own, especially the abused mare, Riskie Business, whose example helps Stephanie make the most difficult decision of her life. Relying on wit and courage, Stephanie must save herself and another during the final showdown where she proves a loyalty of which she never knew herself capable.”

Sound good? Would you like a free copy? No big hoops to jump through. Follow this blog and leave a comment if you’d like me to send you a brand spankin’ new copy with a cool book mark to go with it. If there are multiple entries, I’ll pull your names out of a hat.

Life is just more fun when books are free!

(Winner will be chosen May 10th)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

If Zombies Attack

Spring break is wonderful...and so is the day we get to send the kids back to school. Today I'm cleaning and getting all those things done that I didn't do during our 2 week break (that's right, TWO weeks!). Just for fun, here's a few tid bits of wisdom that I thought you'd enjoy.
What can I say? They made me smile.
Have you seen anything that brightened your day lately? Share the link or tell us about it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Winners of Adopt a Book!

Thank you to everyone who adopted a book. I’m sure they will be well loved and cared for in their new homes.

And here’s the list of the proud parents with their new books:

lisasanuma , Unlocked, Ten Key Tales

Renee Miller , Artemis Fowl, and The Wish List.

Michelle Teacress , Artimus Fowl, The Opal Deception

Ladies! Congratulations. Please be sure to email me with your address!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adopt a Book!

Spring cleaning has yielded duplicate—but wonderful—books that need a home since I’ve ruthlessly ripped them from my shelves. 


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, hardback Disney classic (my son loves it, can you tell?)

UNLOCKED, TEN KEY TALES - This has one of my stories included in the anthology!

*Wipes a tear* Poor homeless little dears. Do you have a cozy spot on your shelves for these little darlings? The Goddess of the Corn Book-Adoption agency is ready for your application.

To apply:

Follow this blog, leave a comment stating which book you want to adopt, and mention something about what kind of a home you’d give the book = 3 points. 

For multiple entries or to adopt more than one book, you can get extra entries for:

1. Subscribing to this blog via email (The email widget is just above my picture) = 3 points.

2. Sharing this on Facebook or Twitter = 1 point for each post. (use the Facebook link at the top of the page. The one below is giving me fits today)

3. Blog about it, or adopt out some of your own poor homeless books in your Blog and link back = 5 points.

4. Tell me what you did!

Winners will be announced on April 1st (no fooling) *wink*. Good luck everyone!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Egyptian Revolution--A View From the Inside, Part 6 (Final)

We are visiting with my friend, Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly, a writer in Cairo, Egypt. You can read part one of this interview here.

What is your goal as a writer and as a citizen of Egypt?

My goal has always been to revolutionize the arts in Egypt, because I’ve always felt like people have lost interest in art around here, I wish I can revive that. My goal is to change the way people look at Egyptian writers who write in English, it’s not like they look down on them or anything, it’s just that they do not take them or their writing seriously. And at the same time, I think that the standards of books that’d been published in the past two years have had very low standards in comparison to the international market, the reason is that the authors are poor writers and poor editors at the same time. Writing is not easy, especially if English is not your first language, but this does not refute the fact that they shouldn’t pay more attention to their craft.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?

Thank you for having me here, I’m really glad that people around the world paid attention to this historic event. I wish I could’ve answered your questions better, but I’m still recovering from the shock of it all.

One more thing, please do not take things for granted, never let anyone silence your thoughts, fight for your freedom and give peace a chance.

Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Ahmed. We may be half a world away, but our hearts are with you and your country. I think we all hope for a world where freedom applies to every man, woman, and child, and where religion is no longer used as an excuse for violence. I loved the pictures where Muslims and Christians stood side by side. It gives me hope.

Take care and good luck. May this new freedom you enjoy be a part of your life, always.
You can follow Ahmed @ANadarGretly on twitter. Have a question for Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly? Please comment.
Please join me in thanking him.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Egytpian Revolution--A View From the Inside, Part 5

We are visiting with my friend, Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly, a writer from Cairo, Egypt. You can read part one of this interview here.

Who is now in control of Egypt?

The Armed-Forces are in charge right now, they’ll stay in charge along with a transitional government until the presidential elections in about six months.

How do you feel about the military?

I respect and trust the military. You see, there’s this relationship between the military and the people, the military is the most respectable sector in all of Egypt, and people just love them. The Armed-Forces even sends everyone text messages every now and then. Do you get the connection between the people and the military? It’s just wonderful.

What is next for your people?

We’re in a state of recovery right now, trying to shack off the past government. I personally see a bright future for all Egyptians. People are cleaning the streets, painting pavements and other projects are being made to push this country forward, to re-build our country and make it a better place. You should see it; the youth of Egypt are cleaning their country, such a beautiful sight.

Do you think it’s fair to have free and fair elections there, or do you think there will be the same problem of ballot stuffing on Election Day like there used to be?

I think the next election will be the fairest election in the history of mankind, but that’s just me, I’m very optimistic.

Do you feel that you have greater freedom now than before?

Of course I do, freedom is in the air. No corruption, no dictatorship, it’s the New Egypt Mrs. Swore.

How do you feel these changes will affect you as a writer?

Well, I’m currently overloading on inspiration, but it’s like I still cannot fully comprehend what happened, and at the same time I feel like I cannot put my infinite thoughts into mere words. The thing is that the market will feast on this revolution, songs, movies, and books, which I’m not sure is a good thing or not. I think if I’m ever going to write a novel about this revolution, it’s going to be like 3-5 years from now. But I like the atmosphere, there’s this creative sense in the air all around Cairo which is something new over here, artists of all kinds are working really hard to create something relevant. I think this is not just a political revolution, I think it’s also an evolution of the mind.

Do you read many books that are from popular writers here? Do you have a favorite genre or author?

Well, I started with horror and thrillers. Stephen King and Thomas Harris taught me a lot, ‘Silence Of The Lambs’ is one of my favorite novels of all time. In my point of view, I think Hannibal Lecter is one of the most well written characters in modern fiction.

Lately, I’ve been getting into the beat generation. Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and others are just mind blowing. I’m changing my voice from horror fiction to like a narrative, dream-like voice. I took that Goodreads 50 books challenge at the beginning of the year. So far, I’ve read ‘Big Sur’ by Kerouac, and I’m currently reading ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire’ by Stieg Larsson, which I’m really enjoying.

A new section of Ahmed's interview will post everyday this week. Only one post left! Tomorrow's question:
What is your goal as a writer and as a citizen of Egypt?

Have a question for Ahmed Nader Al-Gretly? Please comment.
You can follow Ahmed on Twitter @ANaderGretly