Archives for posts with tag: The Seventh Sheep

Hi all:

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 by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller

Interconnected by Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller

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.

http://www.amazon.com/Interconnected-Story-Dimension-Book-4-ebook/dp/B00QFNX0YO/

Editorial Reviews

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)

(September 2013)

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 and Martie Preller

Mary Meddlemore and Martie Preller

 

Author page:

Mary Meddlemore’s/Martie Preller’s page:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26/

And check her awesome blog (and you can see her awesome videos and freebies):

https://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

 

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!

Hola a todos:

Como recordaréis hace unos meses os comenté que uno de mis libros en inglés Escaping Psychiatry (Una vez psiquiatra en versión española) estaba por fin a la venta en audio.

Escaping Psychiatry audio. Cover by Ernesto Valdés, narration by Alan Cooke

Escaping Psychiatry audio. Portada de Ernesto Valdés, narración de Alan Cooke

La historia de cómo creé este audio es un poco especial. Lo cierto es que no sé que os parecen los audios a vosotros. Yo en mi vida he escuchado unos cuantos, tanto de ficción como de otros temas, varios educacionales, y aunque me han parecido interesantes, me gusta mucho  leer así que…

Hace un tiempo hay muchos artículos sobre los audios, diciendo que representan el futuro (no sé), que el mercado no está tan saturado como de libros (en papel y electrónicos. Eso es cierto). Yo me metí en eso porque conocí a Alan Cooke a través de Facebook. Él es un actor, escritor y director que ha ganado un Emmy, y que se dedica, entre otras cosas, a crear y compartir versiones en audio de sus propios libros y de obras muy conocidas, que me encantan. Una autora y buena amiga mía, Martie Preller, acababa de publicar una colección de relatos The Seventh Sheep (sería la Séptima Oveja, si lo que contáis al iros a dormir son ovejas, o corderos, como queráis) y me pareció que quedarían muy bien en audio. Le encargué a Alan que le pusiera voz a uno (el que da título a la historia) y me gustó tanto que lo hizo a todos. A Martie le encantaron también, y me entró la curiosidad por oir la versión en audio de una de las historias de Una vez psiquiatra que estaba preparando para publicación. Y naturalmente, al final no nos paramos en una historia e hicimos todo el libro. (Por cierto, si os gustan las historias en inglés, las de The Seventh Sheep no están a la venta por dificultades técnicas pero las podéis escuchar en el blog de Martie, aquí).

Distribuir un libro en audio no es tan fácil como un libro electrónico. En aquella época (y creo que no ha cambiado mucho) ACX (hoy en día una empresa de Amazon) era la que se dedicaba a distribuir a las compañías más importantes (Amazon y i-Tunes de Apple). Pero si no eras residente en los Estados Unidos o tenías una cuenta bancaria allí, por cuestiones de impuestos no podías distribuir tu propio audio. Podías crear uno a través de sus servicios, pero a mí que ya había pagado el mío, no me servía esa opción. Les envié un correo y me contestaron que planeaban expanderse y que me tendrían al tanto. Y efectivamente, en Abril de este año me informaron de que aceptaban proyectos del Reino Unido. El proceso fue de lo más simple, ya que habíamos seguido los pasos que recomiendan para la creación de un audio, y ni siquiera hace falta crear una cuenta específica si ya tienes cuenta con Amazon.

Aquí os dejo los enlaces por si os apetece echarle un vistazo:

En Amazon:

http://bit.ly/1rMoqtz

En i-Tunes:

http://bit.ly/1rU3KSG

Por si os apetece escuchar una muestra, aquí os dejo el enlace a un video con un fragmento de narración de la primer historia ‘Cannon Fodder’ (Carne de cañón):

http://youtu.be/oZyVpOdgqtc

Las ventas…No he roto ningún record del Guinness, pero considerando que lo he promocionado poco y que solo está a la venta desde Junio, ha vendido más que el libro en otros formatos, aunque como los demás las ventas suben y bajan.

Con respecto a las promociones, no hay opción como en KDP a darlo gratuito (es costoso enviar ficheros tan gordos) pero sí que Audible envía una serie de códigos de regalo (normalmente 25, y cuando yo los pedí me enviaron 25 para .com y 25 para .co.uk) que podéis usar para promocionar. Y si alguien no es cliente de Audible, el primer audio les sale gratuíto (y si tenéis la suerte de ser el autor de uno de estos libros os dan un  bono de $50. De momento solo me ha pasado una vez, pero se todo se agradece).

En ACX, aparte de poder subir un audio que hayáis creado vosotros mismos (y mucha gente hace sus propias narraciones. Hay muchos consejos sobre cómo hacerlo, pero sobre todo os recomiendo que sigáis las pautas que ellos recomiendan para no tener problemas luego), también podéis buscar un narrador y/o productor y crear vuestro proyecto con ellos, y también tenéis la opción de ofrecer vuestro libro como proyecto de audio para narradores y productores a los que le pueda interesar, a cambio de la mitad de las regalías (o derechos de autor).

He decidido probar suerte con mi novela I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes). Así que si conocéis a algún (preferentemente alguna) narrador/a o productor/a a quién le pueda interesar, o me podéis recomendar a alguien, ya lo sabéis.  Os dejo el enlace al proyecto, por si acaso:

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes (Me encantan tus cupcakes) de Olga Núñez Miret. Portada de Lourdes Vidal

https://www.acx.com/titleview/A2NCGYHKZ0DC0S

¡Gracias por leer, y si os ha interesado, ya sabéis, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid, y haced CLIC! Y si conocéis a alguien, pasadle al información. (Y si se os da bien el inglés y os apetece uno de los audios de regalo…pues decídmelo).

Hi all:

I don’t know what you think about audiobooks. Over the years I’ve listened to some, fiction and non-fiction but probably love reading so much that I’d miss it. But the best audiobooks can be amazing.

I have had one of my books turned into an audiobook. Escaping Psychiatry.

 

Escaping Psychiatry audio. Cover by Ernesto Valdés, narration by Alan Cooke

Escaping Psychiatry audio. Cover by Ernesto Valdés, narration by Alan Cooke

The process how it became an audio was not your usual way (this being me). I met Alan Cooke, an Emmy Award winning writer, actor and director, through Facebook, and became fascinated by his work, films, videos, and also his readings and audios, both of his own books and of well-known stories. Another writer and good friend of mine, Martie Preller, had published a book of short tales/stories, The Seventh Sheep, and I thought they would sound fantastic narrated by Alan. It first started with one of the stories, but I liked it so much that as a surprise, I got the four stories done for her. The results were amazing although due to technical difficulties (and the peculiarities of the system) it is not on sale as an audio. But you can listen to them in Martie’s blog, here.  Then I thought I’d like to have one of the stories of Escaping Psychiatry in audio format, and one thing let to another.

One of the difficulties at that time was that ACX (now owned by Amazon) was the main option to distribute audios to the big players, including Amazon and Apple’s i-Tunes. And unfortunately you needed to be a resident in the US (for tax reasons) to be able to distribute your audio through ACX. And I wasn’t. I queried this, and in April this year they e-mailed me to let me know that now residents in the UK could also use their services, and I did. Having followed their instructions into how to record the audio, downloading it wasn’t a problem and it all went pretty smoothly. (You don’t even need to have a separate account with ACX if you already have one with Amazon.)

Here are the links in Amazon:

http://bit.ly/1rMoqtz

And i-Tunes:

http://bit.ly/1rU3KSG

Just in case you fancy a sample, this is a video I created sharing some of the narration of the first story:

http://youtu.be/oZyVpOdgqtc

Most of the posts about audiobooks suggest they are up and coming, they are going to boom soon, and the market is not as saturated as it is for either paper or e-books. Yet.

Although you don’t have access to promotions KDP style, and the prices are higher due to technical constraints, Audible sends you up to 25 free codes (in my case I got some for .com and .co.uk) that you can use to promote the audio, and if somebody is not already an Audible Client, they get the first audiobook free (and you have a bonus if this happens with one of your audios, or $50).

What has my audiobook done so far? Well, I can’t say it’s been a roaring success, although it has sold more (especially considering that I haven’t promoted it much and it has only been on sale from June) than the actual book, and I got one of the bonus sales. The sales pattern seems similar to standard books. It peaks when it is new on sale and then it goes down.

In the case of my audiobook I got it done and paid for it myself. You can do the same through ACX too, rather than having to find your own by your own means. But ACX offers  you the chance of posting your book as a project and then partnering with a narrator/producer, and splitting up the royalties. That shares both the risks and the benefits. Of course, depending on the interest generated you might get many offers or not.

I’ve decided to give it a go, and here is my project for I Love Your Cupcakes.

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

I Love Your Cupcakes by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Lourdes Vidal

https://www.acx.com/titleview/AJXZ5XZSZ0XTH

If you know any voice artists, narrators or producers who might be interested (or you do narrations), or you can recommend somebody, let me know!

Ah, and I still have some of the free codes for my Escaping Psychiatry audio, so if you’d like one…just ask. If many people are interested…I’ll think of something!

Os traigo grandes noticias. Algunos ya lo debéis saber si seguís su blog, pero a las dos nos pareció que se merecía un poco más de explicación y personalmente yo encuentro a mi invitada fascinante. Y ella no es solo una escritora fabulosa e imaginativa, sino que también es una gran amiga que me apoya mucho.GetAttachment[1]

Martie Preller es la autora que se esconde detrás de Mary Meddlemore y sus libros. Martie, de Sudáfrica, es una conocida y premiada autora de libros infantiles y juveniles y amablemente ha accedido a visitar mi blog hoy y a contarnos unas cuantas cosas.

Antes que nada: ¿por qué decidiste publicar tus historias más recientes con el sobrenombre Mary Meddlemore? Sé que Mary es un personaje muy importante en Por siempre jamás. Una historia de amor dimensional (Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story) pero estoy segura de que muchos lectores deben sentirse muy intrigados.

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¡Gracias por tenerme de invitada, Olga! Bueno, de hecho yo no decidí publicar usando el nombre de Mary… ¡fue ella la que lo decidió!  Todos mis libros anteriores, excepto mi segundo manual de escritura, los publicaron editoriales locales – la mayoría en afrikáans- así que la auto-publicación era una aventura totalmente nueva y todos los libros de Mary son en inglés, así que yo quería mantener mis dos carreras separadas.

Y ahora, la típica pregunta que se les hace a todos los autores, ¿cómo empezaste a escribir? Y aún más importante, ¿qué te inspira a seguir escribiendo?

Muy rápidamente me convertí en una maníaca lectora de niña. Cuando estaba estudiando en grado 1 (yo tenía 6 años), nuestra familia dejó el país y viajamos (a Inglaterra y Holanda) durante un año para que mi padre pudiera completar su documentación para el doctorado. Viajamos en barco (fue hace muuuuuucho tiempo) y mis padres se llevaron algunos libros para que yo tuviera que leer. Los acabé cuando aún estábamos en el barco y como allí no había libros en afrikáans, por supuesto, empecé a leer en inglés. En Holanda, donde pasamos la mayor parte del tiempo, empecé a leer en holandés. ¡Fuera como fuera yo tenía que leer!

En la escuela me gustaba escribir trabajos, etc, y los maestros me empezaron a decir que tenía mucho talento, pero nunca conseguí imaginarme a mí misma de escritora. En esos tiempos aún escribíamos cartas de verdad a los amigos y familiares y a mí me encantaba escribirlas y todo el mundo me decía que debería dedicarme a escribir, pero yo no sabía por dónde empezar… Probablemente me asustaba que me lo dijeran solo por ser amables… Entonces empecé a escribir sketches para la radio…(¡hace muuuuuucho tiempo!) e historias cortas para revistas y las aceptaron… así que pensé, bueno, quizás podría dedicarme a escribir… pero seguía sin estar muy convencida  y quizás me preocupaba que me rechazaran y todas esos miedos que tenemos y entonces, un amigo que era el director de un instituto me ordenó que escribiera una obra que ellos pudieran producir y eso me puso contra la pared… porque estaban esperando la obra y no les podía desilusionar… así que escribí la obra de teatro, tuvo muy buena recepción y el instituto ganó la competición y yo estaba en el séptimo cielo. Envié un manuscrito a un editor, lo aceptaron y me quedé de habitante en el séptimo cielo  y entonces se abrió el grifo y las historias empezaron a chorrear…

Lo que me hizo seguir escribiendo fue el éxtasis de descubrir nuevas historias y escribirlas tan bien como pude. No había mayor gozo… ¡era incluso mejor que leer! Cuando escribo empiezo con una escena que puedo ver como se desarrolla en mi mente: por ejemplo, alguien huyendo a todo correr, como en ‘Entrando’ (‘Entering’). Quiero saber por qué huye y la sigo (como una espectadora invisible) y miro, y escucho, y escribo, y así se desarrolla la historia…

entering small

Estoy encantada de que la gente insistiera tanto porque creo que eres una escritora nata. Sé algunas cosas sobre tu carrera, pero ¿no podrías contar algo sobre tus publicaciones previas?

Acaban de publicar mi libro número 37 y el número 38 será publicado en noviembre. La mayoría son libros para niños y jóvenes. Si consigues que empiecen a leer de niños, serán lectores todas sus vidas. Me pareció que sería bueno ayudar a que las nuevas generaciones se aficionaran a la lectura.

Es verdad. Hay gente que empieza más tarde, pero para mucha gente los libros y la lectura son un romance de por vida.

Y, por supuesto, ¿puedes contarnos algo sobre tus libros: En el reino del Ilev (In the Kingdom of the Ilev), Por siempre jamás. Una historia de amor dimensional y El séptimo cordero (The Seventh Sheep)? Y especialmente sobre tu nuevo libro, el maravilloso Entrando?

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‘El Séptimo Cordero’ es una especie de reciclaje de algunos de los guiones para una serie de televisión, que desgraciadamente se fue a la porra cuando la televisión pública se encontró en….ejem…dificultades financieras. Está disponible como libro GRATUITO (en formato PDF) en mi blog.

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‘En el reino del Ilev’ y ‘Entrando’ son traducciones y versiones nuevas y mejoradas de libros publicados localmente. Mary consiguió hacerse con ellos y añadió ‘Por siempre jamás. Una historia de amor dimensional’ porque ella tiene un plan diseñado para la humanidad… Mary y yo estamos ocupadas con la continuación de ‘Por siempre jamás’. Ella dice que lo que el mundo necesita es alguna historia… SANGRE… (no vampiros ni zombies… la humanidad ya es lo suficientemente extraña… )

Martie y Mary tienen muchos otros proyectos, pero si queréis estar al día os recomiendo que le deis a los enlaces y visitéis su maravilloso blog, su página de autora y su página de web (aunque si no habláis afrikáans necesitaréis Google translate o algún otro traductor de la red. Yo lo he probado y no funciona demasiado mal…)

Su blog

http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

Su página de autora:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26  (all my books are there etc)

Su página de web (en afrikáans)

http://martieprellerauthor.wordpress.com/

Gracias Martie por tu visita, por hablar con nosotros y espero que vendrás a visitarnos pronto con tus nuevos libros. ¡Ha sido maravilloso tenerte aquí!

Y gracias a todos por leer. Si os ha gustado, por favor, dadle al me gusta, comentad, compartid y por supuesto, ¡haced CLIC!

I bring you big news. Some of you might know if you follow her blog, but we both thought it needed more exploration and I personally find my guest fascinating. And she’s not only a fabulous and imaginative writer, but a great and supportive friend.

Martie Preller is the author behind Mary Meddlemore and her books. Martie, from South Africa, is a well known award-winning children’s author and has kindly agreed to visit my blog today and talk to us about a few things.

GetAttachment[1]

First of all, why did you decide to publish your recent stories under the name Mary Meddlemore? I know Mary is a very important character in Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story but I’m sure quite a few readers will be intrigued.

Thank you for having me, Olga! Well, actually I did not decide to publish under Mary’s name … she decided that! J All my previous books, except my second writing manual, were published by local publishers – mostly in Afrikaans, so self-publishing was a new venture and all Mary’s books are in English, thus I wanted to keep my two careers apart.

And now, the typical question for all authors, how did you start writing? And more important, what kept you and keeps you going?

I quickly turned into a manic reader as a child. When I was halfway in Grade 1 (I was only 6), our family went overseas (England and the Netherlands) for a year so that my father could do research for his doctorate. We went by ship (it was a looooong time ago) and my parents took some books for me to read. I finished them while still on the ship, and as there weren’t any Afrikaans books available, of course, I started reading English. In the Netherlands, where we stayed most of the time, I started reading Dutch.  I had to read!

 

At school I liked writing essays etc and teachers started telling me that I had a lot of talent, but I never could imagine myself as a writer. In those days we still wrote proper letters to friends and family and I loved writing them and everybody kept on telling me I should try my hand at writing, but I didn’t know where to start … Perhaps I was scared that they were just being nice … Then I started writing sketches for the radio .. (loooong time ago!) and short stories for magazines and they were accepted …  so I thought well, maybe I could write … but still not sure and perhaps afraid to be rejected and all those fears we have and then a friend who was a in charge of a college  ordered me to write a play they could produce and I was cornered … because they were waiting for the play and I could not disappoint them … so the play was written, it went down very well and they won the competition and I was in heaven. I sent off a manuscript to a publisher and it was accepted and I was a permanent resident in heaven J and then the plug was out and the stories started rushing out …

 

What kept me going was the ecstasy of discovering new stories and writing them down as well as I could. There was no greater joy – it was even better than reading! When I write I start off with a scene that I can see happening: e.g. someone running away as in ‘Entering’. I want to know why she is running away and I follow her (as an unseen spectator) and look and listen and write and so the story unfolds …

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I’m very pleased that people kept insisting because I think you’re a born storyteller.

I know bits about it, but can you tell us about your previous published work?

My 37 th book has just been published and number 38 is coming in November. Mostly books for children of all ages and young adults. If you can get a child to read, he or she will be a reader for life. I thought it would be nice to help to get new generations reading.

Very true. Some people take it up later in life, but reading and book for many people is a life-long love affair.

And of course, can you tell us about your books: In the Reign of the Ilev, Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story and The Seventh Sheep? And especially your new book, the marvelous Entering?

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‘The Seventh Sheep’ is a reworking of some of the scripts for a TV-series, that unfortunately went down the drain when our public broadcaster went into a financial … ehm … slowdown. It is available as a FREE book (in PDF-format) on my blog.

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Both ‘In the Reign of the Ilev’ and ‘Entering’ are translated reworkings of locally published books. Mary got hold of them and added ‘Forever-After – A Dimensional Love Story’, because she has a plan for mankind … Mary and I are at the moment busy with the sequel to Forever After. She says what the world needs is some story … BLOOD .. (no vampires or zombies … mankind is strange enough already  … )

Martie and Mary have many other projects, but if you want to know more about them, you’ll better check the links to their wonderful blog, author page and also webpage (although if you don’t speak Afrikaans you’ll need Google translate or another web translator. I have tried and it’s not too bad…)

Blog:

http://marymeddlemore1.wordpress.com/

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26  (all her books can be found here)

Martie’s webpage (in Afrikaans)

http://martieprellerauthor.wordpress.com/ (need Google translate)

Thanks for visiting and talking to us and I hope you’ll visit again with your new works. It’s been great having you!

And thank you all for reading. If you’ve enjoyed, please like, comment, share and of course, CLICK!

Hi dear readers:

I bring you two reviews of two books I’ve read recently. I’ve given both of them 5 stars although they couldn’t be more different.

Have a look and see what you think:

lost angeles

Lost Angeles. Trip to the edge of self-destruction

I came across this novel in Goodreads. I followed with interest the author’s reviews of other works and his blog and I must admit I loved the title. It had been on my `to read’ list for a while, and I’m pleased to say that I finally found the time to read it and I’m very pleased I did.
Lost Angeles reads like a memoir, but not your standard memoir (if there is such a thing). The book follows the protagonist, Doug, a young and articulate man from Belfast, and his travels/adventures in Los   Angeles. Doug is not in Los Angeles to see the sights, although the does see many sights (some that none of us would wish to see). From the beginning you realise that he’s there with a mission. You don’t come to realise quite how determined he is to self-destruct until much later in the book. He drinks, takes drugs, engages in casual sex, and drifts from cheap accommodation to even cheaper digs (including the `Lost Angeles’ of the title that used to be a place for sex for sale) all the time meeting real people. Some idiots, some nice but misguided, some lost and looking, some also drifters.
The reasons for Doug’s trip are slowly revealed through interspersed chapters about his life back home (I’m a bit reluctant to call them flashbacks. They’re memories, but too long, detailed and elaborate to be what’s more generally understood as flashback). You quickly realise that he’s mourning the end of what seems to have been his most significant relationship, but later you realise that there is more to it than that, and come to care and empathise with Doug even more. Because if there’s something notable about the novel is that despite behaviour that many of us would neither approve of, not adhere to, we like Doug. He might drive us insane if we met him but…whilst embarked on his self-destructive path he tries his hardest to help others and to do no harm. By the end you’re rooting for him and hope that against all odds things will work out for him.
A very personal novel, I truly enjoyed Lost Angeles. This is a novel for adults and I’d recommend it to anybody who wants to read about real people coping with life, as best they can. I look forward to many more books by Mr Louden.

Links:

e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG5NS30/

Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477563644/

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In the Reign of the Ilev by Mary Meddlemore. A dystopia that resonates.

I have had the pleasure of reading two of Mary Meddlemore’s works before. Mary Meddlemore is a character in Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story, one of the novels I have read and loved and has also adopted the writing credits for In the Reign of the Ilev and The Seventh Sheep, a collection of four of the most whimsical and magical short stories I’ve ever read. My previous experiences meant that I was really looking forward to Ilev and it did not disappoint, although it is a very different read.

Ilev is classified under the category of Young Adult Science-Fiction, although it would appeal to readers of any age. It is the story of Nina, and 18 y old girl how is one of the Chosen Four who have been the successful ones in going through a selection process from between 40 promising youths in the City. Now the Four had to go through the Final Test and only one will be the Champion. All the champions become rulers of the City and are in charge of the Master Computer. You’ll tell me ‘not another one of these stories of youths fighting amongst themselves to survive’. Well, not really. The test consists in their being dropped some distance from the City and returning to it. Whoever is the first, will be the new Champion. Nina is very confident, egotistical, and only interested in fame, success, material things and power. She does not tolerate weaknesses or flaws and even notices that the previous champions all seem defective in some way. She goes through a number of strange experiences that make her question her identity (children do not live with their families but are all brought up together) and her perception of reality (is she hallucinating or it is really happening? Does she have feelings for Daniel, one of the other Chosen ones, or is somebody interfering with her brain?). She discovers wonderful places and beings but also horrific happenings. All the things that she thought she knew and were certain are not, and that makes her question herself and become more human.

It’s difficult to empathise with Nina at the beginning of the novel, although from her description it seems that she is a product of the society where she grew up. By the end she becomes a true heroine, confronting the terrible truth destroying and deadening civilisation, and she brings forth a new order. There is a price to pay for the changes that take place, but there is hope for new beginnings.

How does Ilev compare to other dystopian novels of the genre? There is action; there are interesting characters, fantastic situations, a love (?) interest…and much more. Nina is an interesting narrator, not knowingly unreliable (she does not care enough about other people’s opinions to lie) although she becomes confused as to the nature of reality at points. She grows and changes throughout the novel and comes to appreciate the value of cooperation, of stories, of history, and of freedom. Winning is no longer the main goal and total power becomes clearly identified with evil. The City in Ilev is a terrible creation but not so far away from our daily lives and experiences. You can’t help but compare your life with that of the inhabitants of the City and wonder if it’s time to become a Chosen one and destroy the order that’s keeping people from really experiencing life and the universe. Given a chance, would you be a Nina?

This novel could be read as a straight adventure sci-fi novel (although somewhat more challenging that many), but it has a message, learning points and reflections that would satisfy more sophisticated readers. I can only say that I hope Mary Meddlemore (and the writer behind her) keeps writing. I’ll keep reading her. I hope you do too.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GXHI84/

Thanks for reading and if you’ve liked it, leave a comment, share, and of course, don’t forget to CLICK!

Hola a todos:

Os traigo las reseñas de un par de libros que me acabo de leer. Aunque de momento solo están disponibles en inglés, me parecieron los dos tan interesantes que os los quise traer. Y, quién sabe? Entre Google translate y los escritores que buscan mercados nuevos…

Espero que os guste.

lost angeles

Lost Angeles (Angeles Perdidos) Viaje al borde de la auto-destrucción.

Descubrí esta novela en Goodreads (por si no conocéis Goodreads escribí un post sobre esta web hace un tiempo, os dejo el enlace). Seguí las reseñas que el autor escribe sobre otras obras y su blog y tengo que reconocer que me encantó el título (que en inglés como habréis notado es un juego de palabra entre Los Angeles, el nombre de la ciudad, y Lost Angeles, lost=perdido…). La tenía en mi lista de libros pendientes de lectura hace tiempo y estoy encantada de haber encontrado el tiempo de leerla por fin. Mereció la pena.

Lost Angeles se puede leer como una memoria, pero no es la típica memoria (si es que eso existe). El  libro sigue al protagonista, Doug, un joven de Belfast con el don de la palabra, y sus aventuras en Los Angeles. Doug no está en Los Angeles para hacer turismo, aunque desde luego ve muchas atracciones (algunas de las que no están en los listados de los libros de viajes y que la mayoría preferiríamos no ver jamás). Desde el principio nos damos cuenta de que tiene una misión, aunque no llegamos a apreciar como de decidido está a auto-destruirse hasta mucho más adelante en el libro. Bebe, se droga (todo tipo), se acuesta con cualquier interesada, y pasa el tiempo mudándose de acomodación barata, a hotelucho aún más barato (incluyendo el  motel ‘Lost Angelest’ del título que solía ser una casa de mala reputación, y que no ha mejorado demasiado en el ranking). Durante sus andaduras conoce a todo tipo de gente, gente de verdad. Algunos idiotas, algunos majos pero que han despistado y andan por mal camino, algunos perdidos intentando encontrarse, algunos vagabundos sin dirección.

Las razones que justifican el viaje de Doug son reveladas poco a poco a través de unos capítulos entremezclados con la acción en Los Angeles, sobre su vida anterior en su país (Yo no los llamaría flashbacks. Son memorias, pero demasiado largas, detalladas y complejas para encajar en la definición de lo que normalmente llamaríamos flashbacks). Muy pronto en la narración nos damos cuenta de que está de duelo por el fin de la que ha sido su relación amorosa más importante hasta entonce, pero más adelante vemos que es algo más que eso, y llegamos a simpatizar y a identificarnos con Doug aún más. Porque lo que me pareció más notable de la novela es que a pesar de comportarse de una forma que la mayoría de nosotros no aprobaríamos ni seguiríamos, Doug nos cae bien. Probablemente nos volvería locos si lo conociéramos pero…aunque persigue su camino hacia la auto-destrucción a la vez  intenta ayudar a los demás y no hacerle daño a nadie. Cuando llegas al final estás apoyándole y deseas (aunque con pocas esperanzas) que las cosas acaben bien para él.

Disfruté leyendo Lost Angeles, una novela muy personal. Es una novela para adultos y se la recomiendo a cualquiera que quiera leer sobre gente de verdad intentando sobrevivir lo mejor que pueden. Espero tener muchas más oportunidades en el futuro de leer otras obras de Mr Louden.

Enlaces:

e-book:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG5NS30/

Papel:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1477563644/

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In the Reign of the Ilev (En el reino del Ilev) de Mary Meddlemore. Una distopia que resuena.

He tenido ya el placer de haberme leído dos de las obra de Mary Meddlemore. Mary es un personaje (el más importante en mi opinión) en Forever After. A Dimensional Love Story (Siempre jamás. Una historia de amor dimensional), una de las novelas que me leí y me encantó y también ha adoptado el título de autora de En el reino del Ilev y The Seventh Sheep (La séptima oveja), una colección de cuatro cuentos a cual más mágico y original. Con tales experiencias previas tenía muchas ganas de leerme Ilev y no me defraudó, aunque es muy diferente a las otras dos obras. Ilev está clasificado como ciencia-ficción juvenil, aunque es apropiado para lectores de todas las edades. Es la historia de Nina, una chica de 18 años que es una de los Cuatro Elegidos que han conseguido superar un proceso de selección que tiene lugar entre los 40 jóvenes más prometedores de la Ciudad. Ahora los Cuatro tienen que pasar el Test Final y solo uno llegará a ser el Campeón. Todos los Campeones se convierten en gobernantes de la Ciudad y controlan el Ordenador Central. Me diréis: “¡No, no otra de esas historias de jóvenes que tienen que luchar entre ellos para sobrevivir!” En realidad, no. El test consiste en que los llevan a un lugar remoto fuera de las murallas de la Ciudad, y tiene que encontrar el camino de vuelta. El primero en llegar, es el nuevo Campeón. Nina tiene mucha confianza en si misma, es egoísta, y solo le interesa la fama, el éxito, y las posesiones materiales. No tolera debilidades o fallos e incluso se da cuenta de que todos los campeones previos parecen tener algún defecto. Pasa por una variedad de experiencias extrañas que la hacen cuestionarse su identidad (los niños no viven con sus familias sino que se crían todos juntos) y su percepción de la realidad (¿está teniendo alucinaciones o es real lo que le está pasando? ¿Siente algo por Daniel, uno de los otros Elegidos o alguien está interfiriendo con su mente?). Descubre lugares y seres maravillosos y sucesos terroríficos. Todas las cosas que ella creía saber y pensaba que eran reales no lo son, y eso la hace dudar de si misma.

Es difícil identificarse con Nina al principio de la novela, aunque de acuerdo con su descripción parece que ella es un producto de la sociedad en la que vive. Al final de la novela se convierte en una heroína de verdad, enfrentándose a la terrible realidad que está aniquilando y paralizando la civilización, y creando un nuevo orden. Hay que pagar el precio por los cambios que suceden, pero existe la esperanza de un nuevo comienzo.

¿Qué me pareció Ilev en comparación con otras novelas distópicas del mismo género? Tiene los elementos típicos: acción, personajes fascinantes, situaciones fantásticas, un interés romántico (?)…y mucho más. Nina es una narradora muy interesante. No intenta engañarnos conscientemente (no le interesa la opinión de los demás lo suficiente como para mentir) aunque a veces no sabe lo que es real y lo que no. Ella crece y cambia durante la novela y llega a apreciar el valor de la cooperación, de los relatos, de la Historia, y de la libertad. Ganar no es ya el objetivo final y el poder absoluto en lugar de ser una virtud es el peor mal.

La Ciudad en Ilev es una creación aterrorizante pero no está tan alejada de nuestras vidas y experiencias cotidianas. No es posible evitar el comparar nuestras vidas con las de los habitantes de la Ciudad y preguntarnos si no es ya hora de convertirnos en un Elegido y destruir las estructuras que impiden que la gente experimente la vida y el universo. Si tuvieras una oportunidad, ¿crees que serías una Nina?

Es posible leer esta novela como si fuera una novela de aventuras más (aunque algo más complicada que la mayoría), pero tiene mensaje, lecciones y reflexiones que satisfarán a los lectores más sofisticados. Solo decir que espero que Mary Meddlemore (y la escritora que se esconde detrás de ella) siga escribiendo. Yo la seguiré leyendo. Y espero que vosotros también.

Enlace:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009GXHI84/

Gracias por leer, y si os ha gustado, no os olvidéis de comentar, compartir, y si leéis inglés, de hacer CLIC!

Y el enlace al post sobre Goodreads:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/y-eso-de-goodreads-que-es/

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