Reading and Writing Books

August 25, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Australia, Culture, Mental Health, Reading, Writing, Writing and Life | 9 Comments
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the-author-and-the-reader-know-each-other-madeleine-lengle

I have written a whole series of posts about my reading through my life. But I am not just a reader. For the last eight years, I have also been a writer.

Read and write a lot -S.King quote

I write in a variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. If you want to improve your craft, you read about it as well as practising it. I write teen novels, children’s stories, memoir, biography, family history, articles, and even poetry.

Book genres

There are lots of great books on all aspects of writing available in both print and electronic format. I have quite a number in both formats. Among them are:
Writing Craft: – Kate Grenville: The Writing Book.
– Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones; and Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life.
Memoir: – Patti Miller: The Memoir Book; Writing Your Life,
– Denis Ledoux: Turning Memories Into Memoirs
– – Ann Patchett: The Getaway Car – A Practical Memoir

The Memoir Book

Because I write memoir, I read memoir. Mostly, they are Australian. The first I ever read was Alan Marshall’s I Can Jump Puddles. C.J. Koch’s The Year of Living Dangerously was a good one too, then A.B. Facey’s A Fortunate Life. I also read Frank McCourt’s two memoirs, among others.

Kate Grenville’s novel, The Secret River, I enjoyed, and then followed it up with her memoir about the writing of it, The Search for the Secret River. The latest I read was Patti Miller’s The Mind of a Thief, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There are several other memoirs I’ve read whose titles and authors escape me at present.

Over the Top with Jim

Because I write memoir, biography and historical novels (as mine are), there is lots of research to be done. Two memoirs by Hugh Lunn have been helpful in reminding me about growing up in 1950s and 1960s Australia – Over the Top With Jim was the first, as was his Lost for Words, about Australian idiom of the time. –I have also read memoirs by people who lived in Lancashire mill towns at the time I was little, and my parents’ generation before that. Two good ones were William Woodruff’s The Road to Nab End and W.R. Mitchell’s By gum, life were sparse!

Total Teen Fiction

I also write Teen/Young Adult novels. Because I do, I enjoy reading them – indeed, I would be silly if I didn’t. I find that many teen/YA novels are more real than most of those written for adults. They – even the fantasy stories – mostly deal with issues that have relevance, depth and guts.

Ben's Challenge look inside

I recently read two teen novels that I came across at a print book sale, and I still have a couple more of them to read. The quality of the first two is high, and I expect the rest to be also. I’d recommend anyone to have a look at this genre. A lot of good stuff is being written – often much better than that being written for adults. Jesse Blackadder’s two books are on my To Be Read list also.

Stay Last Dog Blackadder

Children’s and Young Adult books I have read in the last couple of years include:
Morris Gleitzman’s trilogy: Once; Then; and Now
JK Rowling: The Harry Potter series
Witi Ihimaera: The Whale Rider
Marilyn Halvorson: Let It Go
Jackie French: Pennies for Hitler

Pennies For Hitler

Ebooks for Children and Young Adults
C.S. Lakin: Time Sniffers (Shadow World 1) I rated 5 stars.
Aida Brassington: Between Seasons
Amy Kathleen Ryan: Shadow Falls
Kristah Price (from New Zealand)’s Where the Moths Dance

BeyondFear_Cover_FINAL.indd

Being a writer, I know how difficult it is to get your work out to the reading public. So I like to support local writers. Wherever I can, I attend book launches and author talks. I usually come away with signed copies of their books that I have purchased.
Some of these local authors and their books are
– Jaye Ford’s psychological thrillers: Beyond Fear; Scared Yet?; and Blood Secret.
– Kaz Delaney’s Y.A. paranormal novels Dead Actually and Almost Dead.
– Lachlan Ness’s stories of his time as a Presbyterian minister, the first of which is A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock.
– Debbie Robson’s historical novel, Tomaree
.
– Victoria Norton’s short stories, purple emerald gold.
– Pam Garfoot and Elizabeth Conway’s Making Them Real: Finding a Queensland Past.

so-many-books-so-little-time

There are always more books than anyone can find, let alone read. However, within the limits of reason, I am doing the best I can.

Books -imprisoned souls

Are you a reader? What are your favourite genres?

© Linda Visman

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9 Comments »

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  1. Hi Linda,
    I didn’t know about all your other writing! Your poetry, biography and memoir. What are you working on at the moment.

    • Hi Debbie. 🙂
      I write poetry when the urge takes me – I wrote one today actually.
      The biographical writing is Dad’s story, but it is going slowly at present – I think I still have to get over losing him last year. Some of my blog entries have touched on some of his stories.
      My own stories (memoir) also sometimes appear in my blog entries. I have written many thousands of words about my life and experiences, and hope one day to get them together into a book – but not one that will be published for the public probably.
      Additionally to that, I write short stories, articles and other material that appears in our writing group’s Newsletter-cum-magazine, called “MacMuse”. I am its editor-publisher as well as being the current president of the group. Aaand, I convene a monthly writing critique group at my home and am involved in a monthly write-in group where we jump in and write against the clock on our W-i-Ps. Phew!
      As you can see, my writing life is actually very busy. 🙂

      • My gosh! It certainly is. I don’t know how you work on so many projects at once! I’m in awe!

  2. There is an adventurer/writer named Roger Deakin, who died back in 2006 of brain cancer, but left a legacy of beautiful work behind him. I stumbled across him while reading Robert Macfarlane’s “The Wild Places”. Intrigued, I read Deakin’s book “Wildwood”. This is one you might enjoy too..

    • Thank you for your suggestion, Lavinia. 🙂 They both sound good, and I will look them up. It is good of you to drop by.

  3. Awesome, I didn’t realise you wrote so many different things…

    I’ve often given some thought to writing some short stories, but that is as far as it has progressed.

    I must say I am a big fan of Kate Grenville and read her book before paddling down the Hawkesbury a couple of times.

    • Baz, you have had some great experiences and travels – it would be wonderful to write about them. 🙂 Or you could adapt them for fiction.

      • Would love to do short fiction stories, some thoughts rolling around, just not sure how to put them down!

      • Just … er, write! 🙂


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