Friday, 26 April 2013

Like a kid at Christmas - print copy of Feedback recieved

I can't help it, I'm like a kid at Christmas. Look what just arrived in the post. My author copies of FEEDBACK from the publisher. I want to keep them all to myself, but like a painter who paints a picture, I have to sell my work in order to eat. But I will keep one for me and my husband always wants a free signed copy too! Pity, they look good on my shelf.


Want your own copy? Here's a few places where you can buy FEEDBACK online.

AMAZON   |   BARNES AND NOBLE   |   BOOK DEPOSITORY
POWELLS   |   BAM   |   AMAZON UK

Don't want to buy online? You can always ask you local bookstore to order it in for you through these online sites.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1
  

Friday, 19 April 2013

Trainwreck TV = bullying

Is it just me, or are more and more reality shows becoming bully generating factories?

Trainwreck TV is the term given to reality TV shows like My Kitchen Rules and Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, and with so many organisations, government bodies, and authors doing their bit to clamp down on bullying, how is that these shows are even given air time?

Gordon Ramsey can’t cook an egg without telling an aspiring chef how useless they are for bringing him the wrong *$%#$&#% egg. My Kitchen Rules contestants openly ridicule one another over cupcakes!! And don't get me started on The Biggest Loser. Forcing contestants to train till they puke is never going to be considered okay behaviour in my books.
Bullying is typically an act of nastiness against someone else in order to make the bully feel good. Bullying occurs in schools, in the workplace, even in the home. The effects can leave a person feeling alone, unsafe, afraid, even ashamed.

The sense of feeling alone can often mean a person is afraid to talk. When this happens, fiction novels can help as readers are able to relate to the characters, and this relationship can promote awareness and solidarity - ie the sense of not being the only person that this is happening to.

Here's a list of just a few books with bullying as the central core:

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.
  • Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S King
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown
  • By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters, C.J Bott 

It’s a shame that reality TV producers are turning a blind eye to real issues faced by teenagers. Suicide is the third highest cause of death in young people. Some statistics report that for every one suicide, there are 100 suicide attempts. And a study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people were related to bullying.  But when these trainwreck TV shows are viewed during children’s TV watching time slots because they take place in homes, it's like a huge kick in the teeth by those who are trying to stamp it out. But hey, you can always do what I do and switch these stupid TV shows off and pick up a book instead.
 
D L Richardson
 
Seriously, if you are a victim of bullying or you're suffering from depression, please talk to someone about it. Suicide is not the answer.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Notion of Belonging in creative writing

A few months ago I spoke to a class of senior English students about the "notion of belonging" in creative writing. I was told by the head English teacher that "the notion of belonging" forms part of the curriculum so the students would be graded on this subject.

I sat down and thought about this notion of belonging in creative writing and this is the table I came up with to explain it.




Stage 1. The real (or common) sense of belonging

Stage 2. The real (or common) sense of not belonging

Stage 3. The perception of belonging vs the perception of not belonging

Stage 4. The perception of not belonging vs the perception of belonging

Stage 5. The act of belonging

Stage 6. The act of not belonging

What does the above table really mean?

It means that the sense of "belonging" or "not belonging" dictates how a character or characters behave.
These behaviours are typical of all characters whether they are human, alien, or animal. Fiction is based on a character overcoming an obstacle or challenge; therefore the character/s must change their perception somewhere in the story and move from one box to another. Happy ending stories will spend more time in the box they start in and shift to the opposite box by the end of the story. Tragic ending stories should move quickly out of the box they begin in, spend more time in another box, and then (possibly) move back to the beginning box by the end of the story.

Here are some explanations of the six stages:

Stage 1. The real (or common) sense of belonging
Example: a cop walks into a crime scene. The cop and the people at the crime scene agree that each character belongs at the setting. Therefore they act as we’d expect them to.

Typical behaviours of the cop: empathetic, driven, analytical, inquiring, efficient.
Typical behaviours of the other characters: cordial, efficient, helpful, compassionate.

This is generally where a lot of stories end up. If all the characters are acting as if they belong at the beginning of the story, it should be changed quickly otherwise there is no obstacle/challenge.

Stage 2. The real (or common) sense of not belonging
Example: a clown walks into a crime scene. The clown and the people at the crime scene all agree that the clown doesn’t belong. Suddenly nobody acts as they do in the first setting.

Typical behaviours of the clown: wary, frightened, on edge, defensive.
Typical behaviours of the other characters: suspicious, offensive, angry.

In The Hunger Games, the main characters and the readers know they don’t belong in the arena. Some characters fall into other sections as they have different perspectives. Eg. the Career Tributes believe they belong there and the people of the Capital believe the kids belong there for their entertainment. The main character refuses to conform by helping another Tribute.  This helps the lead character change other’s perceptions. A satisfying ending.

Stage 3. The perception of belonging vs the perception of not belonging
Example: a cop walks into a crime scene however the cop perceives that he belongs but the people at the crime scene don’t. Maybe the cop’s partner was killed on duty due to suspicious circumstances and the other characters believe his partner’s death is his fault.

Typical behaviours of the cop: confident, arrogant, bossy.
Typical behaviours of the other characters: resentful, reluctant to help, insubordinate, derisive, challenging, spiteful.

In Interview With The Vampire, the main character wants to die therefore he believes that he belongs to death. A vampire disagrees and instead gives him a second life. He attempts to change his sorrowful view that he should be dead and attempts to be a typical vampire, but in the end all he ends up doing is convincing a mortal that his vampiric life is to be coveted so he returns to believing that he belongs to death. This is a tragic ending in that he didn’t convert everyone into believing he didn’t belong to death.

Stage 4. The perception of not belonging vs the perception of belonging
Example: a cop walks into a crime scene however the cop perceives that he doesn’t belong but the people at the crime scene don’t agree. Maybe the cop’s partner was killed on duty while they rescue 50 people from a hostage situation. Everyone thinks he’s a hero and only he knows that he was drunk at the time so his partner’s death is his fault.

Typical behaviours of the cop: sloppy, dishevelled, moody, depressed, guilt-ridden
Typical behaviours of the other characters: helpful, encouraging, grateful, in awe, inspired

In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, the main character enters a mental asylum for a break from hard labour. Throughout the book he is adamant that he doesn’t belong there. In fact he is adamant that none of the inmates belong there. The head nurse disagrees. He causes trouble and does everything he can to get the inmates to revolt. His actions get a few inmates to realise they’re better off away from the head nurse’s iron rule, but his actions also get another inmate killed. In the end, the sense of belonging is forced upon him when he is given a lobotomy by the head nurse. A tragic ending.
In Harry Potter, his relatives make it clear he doesn’t belong, at Hogwartz many other characters make it clear he doesn’t belong. His friends disagree. Harry remains neutral through most of the book because if Harry was to spend too much time believing that he didn’t belong, it would be the end of the story.


Stage 5. The act of belonging
Example: a kid at school acts as if he belongs with the in crowd and everyone acts as if he belongs, yet the moment the doors are closed his true character is revealed because he knows he doesn’t belong. This is typically for novels and movies as it shows sub levels. Short stories rarely have time to get to this depth.

Typical behaviours of the kid behind closed doors: nervous, sweaty, fidgety, stressed, out of character
In Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less, the main characters have to steal money from a man who swindled them. They disguise themselves and create fake situations to rob this man. The characters must act as if they belong in the environment they’ve created, but this places pressure on them. They manage to keep it together long enough to get their money, but one character is bordering on breaking. They get the money so it’s a happy ending.
 
Stage 6. The act of not belonging
Example: a kid at school acts tough or apathetic, as though he doesn’t belong or care about school and the teachers and other kids agree, however behind closed doors his true character is revealed because what he really wants is to be accepted. This is suitable for novels and movies as it has many sub levels. Short stories rarely have time to get to this depth.

Typical behaviours of the kid behind closed doors: caring, industrious, helpful, out of character
In Stormbreaker (Alex Rider series), the main character is 14 years old and reluctantly recruited to the spy world when his uncle dies. The other spies at training resent his presence and make it known. This changes when he helps one of the spies at a training exercise. As with Harry Potter, if the character also becomes convinced that he doesn’t belong, then the story is over. He can briefly experience this sensation, but he must move quickly into proving that he does belong.


Putting this into practice
If you're writing a story, or even if you've got a great idea but you're stuck on how to start it, one trick you can do is place your character in one of the boxes and move them within the first few pages into another box.

Remember that many stories will move around the boxes and that's perfectly normal, too. Just think about a normal day in the life of a normal person who wakes up thinking they belong in one place and then a set of circumstances shifts them into a place where they don't belong. What do they do? Do they act like everything is normal, do they act like they've been treated unfairly, do they act like everyone else is right and they're wrong. Whatever they do, you can now see how behaviours are dictated by a character's notion of belonging.

Good luck!

I'd love to hear some other examples of where you've identified a character's notion of belonging and how that dictated their behaviour. Drop me a line in the comment box.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has three teen novels and one short story anthology published. Her first novel reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Her second reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem is her third novel and recently won 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.


Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog           www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website          www.dlrichardson.com Facebook      http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Join An ex-Muso's Street Crew - for author D L Richardson

GET READY FOR PRINT RELEASE OF FEEDBACK - APRIL 2013
 
Join An ex-Muso's Street Crew
 


Street teams are becoming popular with indie authors. Yet the street team is nothing new.

The street team is a phenomenon rooted in the music world, where fans are so committed that for nothing more than the love of the band they will gladly do the grassroots marketing that big companies have to pay even bigger money for – leveraging social media, word of mouth “advertising”, postering or even the mundane chores of helping the band set up or sell tickets. The pay-back is being in the trusted inner circle for a beloved band.​

That street teams have moved into the publishing world is exciting.​


Creating my own street team really tickles my insides because I once played in a band and used to place stickers on everything in the middle of the night so I didn’t get caught.​


Why the name? For a very long time I sang in a choir or in front of a band. When I left school, I helped form a rock band and I played bass and sang lead vocals. That is, until I decided, at 26, I decided I wanted to be a writer. Writing is the fire in my belly, it gets me up each day and keeps me moving, but music never leaves a person.​ In some ways I'll always consider myself an ex-muso.

I’m not requesting anyone go guerrilla or over the top with promotion. I’m merely asking you to do what you already do – which is promote the books you love. And if you’re reading this then my writing has enriched you in some small way. I’m also only asking that you do this with professionalism and respect, because at the end of the day it’s my name you’re promoting. Just ask yourself this – if you don’t like spam, please don’t create it.



WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?
As an indie author, I get access to promotion I wouldn't normally. I get promotion is some of these ways:In person ​
       •   Take promo materials (bookmarks, postcards, etc) to your local stores, place them with the booksellers​
       •   You can leave them with libraries and even at coffee shops

       •   Hand them to friends and family

Online:​
  •     •  Tell 10 friends about my novels - which one you like best, why you like it, rave about the covers
      
        •   Tell 10 friends to join me on Twitter
           •   Tell 10 friends to like me on Facebook
           •   Share my Facebook posts with your friends
           •   Spread the word about reviews from Amazon and Goodreads
           •   Spread the word about giveaways I’m hosting
           •   Share guest posts from my blog page
           •   Forward promotional e-flyers to your friends
           •   Join my blog membership
           •   Post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads etc​

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

Signing up to be an ex-Muso's Street Crew member means you will receive fabulous promotional items, some signed.
      •   Bookmarks and/or postcards marks to keep and to share with your friends
      •   Stickers and/or magnets to keep and to share with your friends
      •   Certificate of membership and date commenced

      •   Annual certificate of service​

HOW TO JOIN


So, now that you’ve had a read this and told yourself you’d like to become a part of An ex-Muso’s Street Crew, joining is easy! Help promote my books using one or more of the above ideas, then record your success story in an email to dlrichardsbooks@bigpond.com. I’ll add you to the official Street Crew list and send you bookmarks, some autographed and you’ll be put into the running to win prizes.

All members will automatically go into a draw to win a super member only prizes. Maybe you’ll win a signed print book, or an ebook, or a framed photo, or a gift voucher, or a signed cover art.


GET READY FOR PRINT RELEASE OF FEEDBACK - APRIL 2013