Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review: HARMONIC FEEDBACK, by Tara Kelly

I don't normally post book reviews. I don't have a degree in literature or journalism, and I usually don't dissect what I read. There's a list of "Books I've Read in 2010" on the sidebar of my blog. If a book is listed, I finished it. If I finished it, I liked it.  I read for interest, escape, or pleasure. Period.

When I ordered Harmonic Feedback, I didn't read the synopsis. Instead, I read the praise from Stephanie Keuhnert, "An impossible-to-put-down, must-read book. Brilliantly written and filled with music, but even more so with emotional truth." And I read the short bio: "Tara Kelly is a one-girl band, writer, filmmaker, video editor, and digital photographer. Harmonic Feedback is her first published book."

I liked that Tara had multiple creative outlets, and I do my best to support debut authors, especially those who frequent VerlaKay's Blueboards. So I purchased the book and began to read. I made it half-way through the first chapter and set it down. The main character had Asperger's Syndrome. I don't read about AS. I live with it, and it's been beyond difficult. Did I mention I read to escape?

I carried Tara's book in my purse for three weeks before pulling it out again. When I did, it was because I was stuck someplace with nothing to do, not because I made a conscious decision to finish the book.  I began reading, read for two hours, came home, and continued reading into the night until it was finished. It was beautiful, it was heartbreaking, and it wasn't about AS. It was about yearning to belong, the pain and joy of relationships with family and friends, and first love. It was Drea trying to understand the gray areas of life when her world was black and white.

Tara Kelly is an incredible talent who writes with an authentic voice. Harmonic Feedback IS brilliantly written and emotionally true. I highly recommend it, and I hope she publishes again soon.

Congratulations, Tara, on a fabulous debut!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Writing and Must Read Resources

School's out!

I've been writing quite a bit this week. It feels good to have uninterrupted time to do so. I'm working towards having a complete 1st draft before leaving for Chautauqua. Wish me luck!

I've read quite a few interesting blog articles lately, and I'd like to share some of my favorites.

For those of you who blog and use social networking to market yourselves, here are two articles you might be interested in reading. The first is from SocialMedia Examiner: 5 Easy Steps to a Winning Social Media Plan.

On the flip side, I found this article about The Hidden Costs of Social Networking posted on Chip's Blog (MacGregor Literary)

This post left me hopeful... How the Intern Reads Your Proposal, by Lauren at BookEnds, LLC - A Literary Agency.

Query Tracker Blog has a terrific post about Providing Better Critiques: Being Detailed in Your Feedback.

Marissa Graff and Martina Boone have a wonderful blog called Adventures in Children's Publishing. Their Pre-submission Checklist is an excellent piece of advice to anyone beginning the submission process.

And finally, Sara B. Larson had Elana Johnson as a guest poster on her blog. The topic: "Finish Strong!!!" Elana includes her "embarrassing stats" on her way to publication. This is a MUST read for any writer who is discouraged about rejections.

Keep Writing!