As you know, on Fridays I normally bring you new books and guest authors. Today I bring you a very recent book, the fourth in a series, by an author who’s been a guest in a few occasions, Martie Preller (whose alter ego/character/co-author in this series is called Mary Meddlemore, a very apt name). I’ve read all the books in the series and her collection of short-stories The Seventh Sheep (that you can get free by visiting her blog) that I love. You can read more about Martie later on, although I can tell you that she is a very well-known author of children and Young Adult stories in South Africa (in Afrikaans) and this is your chance to get to know her work. Don’t miss it! And now, this is her latest book:
Interconnected (The Story Dimension Series Book 4)
Christina is a postgraduate literary student in the United Kingdom. A freelance photographer contacts her and promises fame and fortune if she does a modelling shoot at newly discovered ancient ruins in Africa. She has no modelling experience whatsoever, but Bjorni assures her that a fresh new face is just what they are looking for. She suspects that it is some kind of hoax, but agrees, because, if it is genuine, it may indeed be the opportunity of a lifetime. They land at Cape Town airport, and her life explodes in unimaginable possibilities which change her life forever.
The book celebrates the power of stories and the difference one single human being can make. We are all heroes, if we give what we can.
From the Author
“The idea of 10 dimensions might sound exciting, but they would cause real problems if you forget where you parked your car.” Stephen Hawking in The Grand Design
I have read quite a few of Hawking’s books and understood almost half of what I read, I think, but I found his books fascinating and thought-provoking.
What if there is a . . . Story Dimension?
The Story Dimension is, of course, the place where “characters” live their life stories, just as we live ours on earth.
What if one of the characters found her way to our earth and people thought she was just another person? It has happened! Mary Meddlemore is living proof of that.
How did Mary manage to do that?
If it wasn’t for Amy, who was in distress and saw what most people do not see (though it is there), Mary would never have known that she lived in the Story Dimension and neither would we have known that there is a place called the Story Dimension.
This pivotal happening in Amy’s life is documented in ENTERING. (BOOK ONE)
The way in which Amy’s story influenced Mary’s story is documented in FOREVER AFTER – A DIMENSIONAL LOVE STORY. (BOOK THREE)
One thing leads to the other thing (as it happens daily to us too) and Mary arrives on earth and starts living an “earth” life. (You have to if you live on earth!) Mary interacts with people and this gives rise to . . . more stories!
Mary was horrified by what had happened to her friend Nina from the Story Dimension, This is documented in IN THE REIGN OF THE ILEV. (BOOK TWO) and when Mary comes to live on earth, she experiences that Nina has not exaggerated — power abuse in all its variations is rampant on earth. Mary is shocked and decides that something has to be done.
What Mary does, is documented in FOREVER AFTER – A DIMENSIONAL LOVE STORY. (BOOK THREE)
As everything that happens, has consequences, Mary’s actions had consequences. INTERCONNECTED (BOOK FOUR) documents the dramatic consequences of Mary’s interference!
From the Back Cover
MARTIE PRELLER – AWARD-WINNING SOUTH AFRICAN AUTHOR – WRITING AS “MARY MEDDLEMORE” TOO
What if we were all only characters in somebody else’s book?
I think crazy thoughts like that and try to keep away from people who want to label me, because I think labels are meant for tins of peas on a shelf in a shop.
I started reading when I was six and devoured book after book. I was enchanted with all the different worlds I discovered and the “characters” in books seemed much more real than the “real” people around me. They had thoughts and feelings, were sometimes disturbed and anxious etc., while it seemed to me as if “real” people seemed to almost “cardboard” or two-dimensional people. I was so happy to have found people like me in stories!
I love stories. I love the way a story tells the “whole” story, with a clear-cut beginning and an ending. Life is a very confusing place and it seems to get more confusing every day!
My name is Martie Preller (Martie is a local variant of Martha!) I am a well-known and award-winning South African author of many books published by main stream publishers. I grew up in a medium sized town, where my father was a professor and my mother a teacher. The town is well-known for its enormous oak trees and I was in perpetual movement on my bicycle under those trees: visiting friends, the library and the bioscope! The seasons are still visually imprinted in my mind as being deep-green and full of shadows, brownish-yellow that crumpled under your feet, bare, black, stark branches and new green in September.
I majored in Latin and English, acquired a Teacher’s Diploma and much later an Honors Degree in Psychology. I taught Latin and English for three years. I got married and was divorced after almost twenty years. Mismatch!
I have three lovely grownup children, an extra daughter and four super delightful grandchildren.I only started writing at about forty because I was too scared to try. A friend (Thank you, Susan!) eventually “tricked’ me into writing a play, which was a huge success and then I was unblocked (!) and the books started coming.
My 37th book has just been published and the next one is due before the end of the year. I gave thirteen Story Workshops. I wrote a Children’s Story Series in a local monthly women’s magazine for 13 years; I worked on a TV series for children with Katinka Heyns, famous local Director and Film Producer, but unfortunately the Broadcaster ran into financial turbulence …. Oh well. At least it was tremendous fun! (The Seventh Sheep and the other True Tales are reworkings of some of the scripts) … I have been very busy.
A book that sells 3000+ copies is regarded as a bestseller locally, and I’m happy to say that most of my books have been much more than just bestsellers. My Babalela – Series (three Picture Books … fourth one coming in November 2013) has sold more than 70 000 copies and still going strong (Babalela means “little one” in Sesotho – one of our indigenous languages)
I have published eleven Picture Books, twelve Middle Grade Books, eleven Young Adult Books, two Writing Manuals and a Reading Series for little ones consisting of 60+ little stories. I also received eleven local awards for my Picture Books, Middle Grade Books and Young Adult Books over the years.
Then Mary Meddlemore pitched up …I’m used to dealing with characters – you just shut up and let them tell their stories. If you don’t, you are in deep trouble, otherwise known as writer’s block.
But Mary is … well, Mary! She insisted on being the author of the books too. I agreed. It was fine by me! No problem! I’m having an adventure with Mary! New and advanced technologies have made the world “small” and I can publish new stories in a different way on Amazon etc. and the social media make it possible to connect to people all over the world! I love it!
Stories can literally fly and come and nest on your kindle or other e-reading device in a few minutes! And as I have been a fanatical reader long before I became an author, it gives me the greatest of pleasure adding more stories to the wealth of available stories.
I live near Cape Town, one of the most beautiful places on earth and I love the place and its people.
Although times are turbulent, I always feel that we all live in the cradle of mankind and we will make it work.
There is a more info on my work on my website, though you will have to make intelligent use of Google Translate.(http://martiepreller.co.za)
Here is my personal review of Interconnected:
I’ve had the pleasure of reading the previous three books in the Story Dimension Series (and also the stories in The Seventh Sheep) even before it had taken full shape. The connections are now quite clear but I would find it difficult to comment on how easy it will be to read this book in isolation from the other three (Entering, In the Reign of the Ilev, and Forever After, A Dimensional Love Story) although I suspect this novel would be a wonderful flight of fancy and a puzzle on its own right.
If I had to highlight a theme that runs through the series it is the importance and the power of stories and how they can conjure up feelings, bring people together, and change people’s lives.
Interconnected has two distinct parts with the same protagonist but not quite. A young woman called Christina in nowadays South Africa taking part in a photo shoot that ends up being only an excuse for…mysterious happenings is the main character in part one. How does she relate to the girl by the same name in the second part, who is living in a post-apocalyptic society, and trying to find a place to rebuild a civilisation? I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to read it to find out.
Mary Meddlemore, the character who plays a very important part in Forever After, and alter ego of award-winning South African writer Martie Preller, weaves poetic language, philosophical musings and ethical questions into a tale that challenges our understanding of narrative, reality and authorship.
A young woman trying to find her true identity; the same (?) young woman trying to build a new civilization by reading stories, preserving books and liberating Lady Liberty. This is a book of magic and wonders, and does not fit easily in any genres. Full of unique characters, mystical events and layer upon layer of stories and interpretations, Interconnected proclaims the deep connection between all human beings, the beauty of language and the way we create meaning through narration. If you have plenty of imagination and love books and stories, I recommend you go exploring the Story Dimension Series.
Mary Meddlemore’s/Martie Preller’s page:
And check her awesome blog (and you can see her awesome videos and freebies):
Thanks to Martie/Mary for visiting my blog, thanks to you all for reading, and you know what to do: like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!