A Fiction Writer’s Library: Part one

October 8, 2008 at 8:43 am (Book Reviews, Books available through Literary Emporium, Canadian Booksellers, Online booksellers, Uncategorized, Writing books - fiction, Your library) (, , , , , , , , , )

I am currently taking a Creative Writing course through our local college, which has encouraged me to purchase a number of books that I found very interesting for someone interesting in becoming a writer. Having spent many years in university where I wrote reams and reams of non fiction papers articles and so on, I have found fiction writing to be an interesting and exiting change, but also a challenging one.

To focus on dialogue rather than research sources and to come up with material that is not fact based but derived from imagination is creates an interesting twist for the new fiction writer. I have to really get my mind into a different state to be able to  loosen up the writer within. Mediation has been suggested and I have tried to do so, but it isn’t easy when a person has spent many years learing to be logical, focused and to be sure to support any facts you may utilize in your writing with solid, academic research.  To push me beyond this block to the creative side I have a few recommendations that might help others who are experiencing the same dilemma.  Today’s titles that I encourage you to check out start with one that focuses on the fine art of writing dialogue.

The book’s is “Write Great Fiction – Dialogue: Techniques and exercises for crafting effective dialogue” written by Gloria Kempton. ISBN-13: 978-1-58297-289-3 Published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio (2004)

This excellent writer’s reference manual will create dialogue that will make your story interesting, powerful and well paced. The author is a successful writer and instructor and the book provides exercises and examples to get you on the road to excellent fiction writing.

THe second recommendation I have for you in Part one is the book “The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways To Bring Fiction to LIfe.” by Noah Lukeman.  ISBN-10: 0312-28467-5   Published by St. Martin’s Press. New York, NY  (2002)

Mr. Lukeman is a literary agent who hears thousands of book pitches a year and although many sound as though they would be great, when they get to the page they don’t live up to their potential. This book provides new and seasoned writers with priceless pointers on how to get a story to come to life. It also includes valuable exercises meant to develop your skill and provide you with practice in plot development.

These are just two of the many resources I have gathered to assist me in developing my skill as a writer. If you have any further suggestions please add them with a comment on how they have assisted you  in developing your skill as a writer. If you could add the title, author, ISBN, Publisher, Place published, publication date and a few comments on how the book can help writers to develop their skill it would be much appreciated.


Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!




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The Best Cocktail Recipe Books for You

October 8, 2008 at 6:13 pm (Uncategorized)

The hottest trend in cookbooks for fall are Cocktail recipe books – filled with a wide variety of enticing cocktails, both with or without alcohol, now is the time to start checking out these great finds! Any of us who entertain want to be sure we are ready with the latest and greatest in cocktails so what better time, than now to start testing great recipes so you can serve your guests the best, plus an added bonus of personal enjoyment in trying these delightful blends!  I have gathered up a great list of cocktail recipes books that contain fabulous recipes for entertaining and as an added bonus I will share one recipe from each book for you to try before you purchase these great little books!  My early gift to each and evey one of my readers. Don’t forget to sign up for my feed so you don’t miss out on any of these great finds!

Today’s selection:

Cocktails: Directions for preparing Aperitifs, Cocktails, Coladas, After-dinner drinks, and more … written by Alessandra Redies, published by Barrons,  ISBN 07641-5869-4 (2002) and available from the LiteraryEmporium on Amazon.ca or through Alibris.com

This great little hardcover book includes a Getting Started section providing a great list of necessities for the bartender to have on  hand – shakers, barstrainers, glasses types of alcohol and mixes are all covered. Best of all this section even includes a list of hangover tips for the morning after and a section on Bar Speak from A to Z! After reading this great little book, you will come off looking and sounding like a pro! 

My favorite Recipe from this book is called a white cloud, a delicious creamy drink sure to inspire you to try many of the other great recipes in this great little book

White Cloud


1 1/3 oz of Vodka

2/3 oz White cocoa liqueur (white creme de cocao)

2 ounces pineapple juice

2 TBSP heavy cream

Plus: Ice Cubes, crushed ice, shaker, bar strainer, tall 8 ounce glass and straw.

1. Combine all ingredients into a shaker with four ice cubes. Cap the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.

2. Fill the glass about one-third full with crushed ice. Pur the contents of the shaker through the bar strainer over the ice. Serve with the drinking straw.

Stay tuned for our next Cocktail book suggestion and free cocktail recipe! 

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Canadian Booksellers

October 8, 2008 at 7:41 am (Uncategorized)

Selling books in Canada, particularly online is a harrowing experience. First of all, I am under the impression that most people who live in our fine land are only aware of the one major bookseller and that would be Chapters.com  Most cities of a reasonable size in Canada have at least one Chapters store, which usually incorporates a Starbucks cafe. So when a Canadian is looking to purchase books online where will they go but to Chapters. 

This is a dilemma for the Canadian online bookseller. First of all, the main venues for selling books online is Amazon.ca, which many Canadians are unfortunately unaware of.  Secondly, Abe books is anothr avenue that book buyers may look to for locating used, rare or out of print books.  For a beginning bookseller, the dilmma is that to list on Abe books you really have to have a website, and a fair number of books. Generally most booksellers start small, very small selling books they have on hand to get a feel for the business. This leaves sellers having to list on Amazon.ca  This is a good beginner’s website as their is no minimum number of books you must list and generally it is pretty easy to get started. The down side is that it is free to list but once you sell you are slapped with a variety of commissions and fees which cut into your profits, along with astronomical shipping fees running up to and more than $13 to ship from one end of Canada to the other, even if the item is as small as a pocket paperback.  Amazon offers a $6.49 shipping credit that apparently is reduced by other fees and costs.  I have never quite figured it out to the penny but I am often shocked when I see how much commission I am paying when I am not making much at all on my books.  Many beginning sellers put themselves out of business trying to compete with the vast numbers of American sellers who for some reason have their items listed on Amazon.ca for prices that are as low as one cent!  If a Canadian seller attempts to match these bargain basement price tags they  will be in the red right away and will be losing money all the way, not a great way to conduct a business that is meant to make a profit.

The other choice that can be made is to list on Alibris.com  – the upside of this venue is that the site lists your books on a number of other sites which includes Chapters. Unfortunately on the Chapters site, used books are shown but their is a general comment listed with used books stating that shipping usually takes three to four weeks and most people aren’t that patient when it comes to ordering a book online. By the time it arrives you forgot why you ordered it in the first place. 

What needs to happen is that Canadian booksellers need to get the word out to  the general public that buying books online is a great way to get all of the books they could possibly dream of and more. If everyone passes on the word to others it won’t be long and the Canadian online book market will start to boom, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.  So do your part, support  Canadian Independent  online booksellers that are listing and selling a wide variety of wonderful books on Amazon.ca, Alibris.com, Abe books, Chapters.com, Ecrater and more.

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Hello world!

October 8, 2008 at 7:05 am (Uncategorized)

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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