Monday, March 31, 2014

Bibliophile's Corner

The Riverman
by Aaron Starmer

Flap Copy Description:
Alistair Cleary is the kid everyone trusts, the who wraps his fingers around secrets and never lets them go. Fiona Loomis is not the typical girl next door. One day she shows up at Alistair's house with a proposition: she wants him to write her biography. Fiona says she's been traveling to a magical world where a creature called the Riverman is stealing the souls of children. And Fiona's could be next. If Fiona really believes what she's saying, Alistair fears she may be crazy. But if it's true, her life could be at risk. It's up to Alistair to separate fact from fiction, fantasy from reality.

My Thoughts:
The Riverman by Aaron Starmer is a dark, imaginative, coming of age story that kept me turning its pages. I must admit, what first caught my attention was the book's cover design that strongly resembles the cover for Wildwood - written by Colin Meloy and illustrated by Carson Ellis. However, although both fantasy books are for upper middle grade readers, the stories are vastly different. Mr. Starmer's novel is set in a small, and somewhat isolated community in Upstate New York where Alistair Cleary and Fiona Loomis wrestle with poignant memories and the pain of young love. Aaron Starmer has skillfully shown that he is a master storyteller of mystery and intrigue. According to Amazon, The Riverman is the first book in a trilogy, which is good since the ending left me with several unanswered questions! I would highly recommend The Riverman to readers from the ages of ten to fourteen.

To learn more about the author, Aaron Starmer, click here:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Storyteller's Journey

Photo credit: Vojko Kalan - Public Domain
Three Buds a Blooming

With the onset of spring just around the corner, and with the start of something new for me as a writer, this photo seemed appropriate for my post.

The three buds also represent the three concurrent projects I have on my plate, in addition to my writing. Here's what's keeping me busy:

1- As I mentioned last week, the publication of my children's book.

By Victoria Lindstrom - Paintings by Michael Lindstrom
(This is one of FIVE dummy books I've made for The Scandinavian Santa. My publisher and graphic designer are presently using another copy - as well as high resolution images - to begin the work of formatting my book.

Thankfully, it will be available in hardcover w/dust jacket, and will also be available in electronic copies from Amazon, B & N, & Apple - yeah!)

2- It has become apparent to me of my definite need for a professional website. I always thought a website was something I didn't need to worry about until later. Well, later is here. (I plan on blogging more about my thoughts on websites in the near future.)

3- In preparation for my professional website, Michael and I are having a video made of the two of us discussing our creative collaboration in the making of The Scandinavian Santa. Thankfully, that is several weeks off, but still, something to be scripting.

When I thought of blogging about my "three-pronged" work load, I actually thought of the three-headed dog in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter - The Sorcerer's Stone. (Maybe that's a subliminal message for how the stress of all this is affecting me!) In any event, it's a good time to take a blogging break for a couple of weeks.

I'll see you back on Writ of Whimsy in early April. I'm planning to visit my parents in Arizona next week for my dad's eightieth birthday.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Whimsical Word of the Week

Courtesy of the Public Domain
Shambolic -

disorderly or chaotic: poorly organized and in a messy or chaotic state.
Example: When the hikers discovered the abandoned shack it was in a sad and shambolic state.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bibliophile's Corner

Wildwood ~ Imperium
by Colin Meloy, and
illustrated by Carson Ellis

Flap Copy Description:
A young girl's midnight séance awakens a long-slumbering malevolent spirit...

A band of runaway orphans allies with an underground collective of saboteurs and plans a daring rescue of their friends, imprisoned in the belly of an industrial wasteland...

Two old friends draw closer to their goal of bringing together a pair of exiled toy makers in order to reanimate a mechanical boy prince...

As the fate of Wildwood hangs in the balance.

My Thoughts:
Since I am a big fan of Colin Meloy's first two books in the Wildwood Chronicles, I was not surprised to find that the third installment of this scintillating series is just as spectacular. The lengthy 580 page epic saga includes multiple points of view, so I would say that it's not for the faint of heart. However, the wonderful web of extraordinary excitement and tantalizing twists and turns make this idyllically illustrated novel well-worth the read. (And, oh, did I mention that Mr. Meloy is a master of alliteration?!) I would highly recommend Wildwood Imperium to readers from the ages of eight to eighty!

To read an inspiring letter from Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, click here:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Storyteller's Journey

Book Tunnel - Courtesy of the Public Domain
Path to Publication

Once I decided to focus my energy on independently publishing my book, The Scandinavian Santa , I've felt like I'm spiraling through a turbulent tunnel. Within days of making my monumental decision, I actually discovered a small and highly reputable publishing house. We are discussing the details of my book, and if all goes well, my book will be released by my target date of September!

The great thing is, since this publishing house is a boutique-style press; they welcome the author into a collaborative approach to publishing. There are so many details to be determined: Choosing the format, choosing the font(s), choosing the paper, designing the cover, and on and on. All those choices will need to be made while I simultaneously start to market "my baby." The thing is, that for me, none of that matters. I haven't been this happy in a long time. When I discovered the amazing publishing company that will be bringing my book to life, I cried. No joke...real "rolling down the cheek" tears!

Although this is an exciting time, I can see that the challenge will be maintaining my word counts, blog posts, and number of books read!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Whimsical Word of the Week

Evanescence -

the act or state of vanishing away; disappearance.

Example: The quick, but quiet, evanescence of the fog was eerie.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Bibliophile's Corner

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
by Karen Foxlee

Amazon Description:
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

My Thoughts:
Karen's Foxlee's modern day fairy tale, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale: The Snow Queen. I found Ms. Foxlee's book delightful, and especially enjoyed her well-written tale's alliteration and whimsical word choices. This scintillating story is also full of wonderful elements of friendship, courage, and love. I would definitely recommend Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy to female readers from the ages of eight to twelve.

To learn more about the author Karen Foxlee, click here: