New Children’s Books series – The Diaries of Montague J. Milford


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The Diaries of Montague J. Milford can be summed up as Sherlock Holmes meets The X Files.

Set in the mid 1800’s the stories center around Montague J. Milford, a young scientist who travels around investigating accounts of the paranormal trying to disprove them only to discover the strange goings on are real. He is joined on his adventures by Lady Ann Pendelton, a young Victorian era English daughter of nobility who shares his insatiable curiosity and love of science.

Geared for young readers the material is a mixture of adventure story telling, accurate period scientific technology and fantasy. My goal is to create stories that entertain the young readers while at the same time offer a hero and heroine that use there wits and scientific knowledge to save the day. With a mixture of humor, bravery, and ingenuity Montague and Lady Ann face down phantoms, creatures and things that go bump in the night. Montague is a scientist who uses his expertise to try to debunk accounts of super natural goings on only to have his courage tested when faced with the existence of super natural beings. With clinical problem solving reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes he sets out on his quest for the truth. The character of Lady Ann also provides an excellent roll model for young girls through not only her bravery in peril but through her being the intellectual and technical equal of Montague.

Raising money for a Halloween launch!

It’s such an exciting feeling! We already have two books completed, The Shadow of Cavendor Manor and The Phantom of the Docks, and we are working on a third The Beast of Boston!. The goal is to have an ongoing series following Montague and Lady Ann on their adventures. But to do that we need to complete the third volume and get the word out!

The funds we are raising will not only go towards the cover design and editing costs of the third book but also to a promotional campaign for the series this Halloween. Graphic design and editing are quite expensive.  And promotional materials even more so with printing costs and ad placement. After all a project can only be successful if people know about it. So we have come to indiegogo to raise what we need.

We truly do believe in our concept and I love writing about these two wonderful characters. I know a lot of people say it but I think we honestly do have the next Harry Potter on our hands. The concept is completely original, the stories are fun and exciting, and the possibilities for adventure are endless.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR INDIEGOGO CROWD SOURCING SITE AND HELP SUPPORT OUR BOOK!

OUR SPECIAL THANK YOU GIFTS!

I want to thank everyone who supports us in bringing our books to the public. You are as much a part of the team as we are. So the best way to show thanks is with credit in the books and even first edition copies to share and treasure. We appreciate all contributions large and small.

And if you think you may know someone who would like to help us as well please tweet a link to our indiegogo campaign or share it on your facebook

Do You Know the Story of Gentleman Jack? NEW BOOK!


An exciting new release involving a new theory about, Jack the Ripper!

A young lady traveling alone in modern London. A chance encounter with an older gentleman. What follows is a conversation about the most famous murderer in history, Jack the Ripper!

This short story is an entertaining and fascinating journey through the crimes and the mind of a killer. Although this story is a work of fiction, the crimes and details of the Jack the Ripper case are historically accurate. And it serves as a way to present an original and very terrifying new theory as to who could have committed these ghastly crimes and why. Delving into the crimes, the methods, and the reason Jack the Ripper was never caught the author lays out the new theory and the psychological make up of the legendary villain.

With reproductions of newspaper clippings from the period and even the infamous ” From Hell” letter this book is a must for any mystery fan, true crime buff, and all those who are still fascinated by the legend of Jack the Ripper.

To visit the publication sire : CLICK HERE

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8 Writing Techniques to Win You a Pulitzer


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This entry was originally posted on http://www.janefriedman.com by .

We all know there are novels and then there are “literary” novels. When you read Margaret Atwood, it just feels different than when you read Tom Clancy. And for some reason, these literary novels are the ones that win all the most prestigious awards like the Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Literary authors are known for their unique voices and experimental styles. You might have learned not to write run-on sentences in school or to avoid beginning a sentence with “and,” but literary writers often seem to flaunt their rule-breaking ways.

This is both good and bad. Literary novels can be difficult to understand, but they can also be beautiful to read, like poetry.

So if you’re salivating to win a Nobel Prize, and just don’t think your diplomacy skills are good enough to win the Peace Prize, here are eight techniques you can use to make your writing more “literary.”

1. Write long sentences.

Long sentences can make for beautiful, complex prose that you want to read again and again to fully appreciate.

Hemingway, Faulkner (both Nobel winners), James Joyce, and all those 1920s modernist authors were known for their long, run-on sentences, full of conjunctions and lacking “correct” punctuation. Contemporary writers, like Cormac McCarthy and Tim O’Brien, do the same. Here’s a quote from O’Brien’s The Things They Carried which illustrates it clearly:

Now and then, however, there were times of panic, when they squealed or wanted to squeal but couldn’t, when they twitched and made moaning sounds and covered their heads and said Dear Jesus and flopped around on the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed and sobbed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and to God and to their mothers and fathers, hoping not to die.

Isn’t that beautiful?

2. Write short sentences.

Writing long sentences can get old. If you follow up an extremely long sentence with a short snappy one, you can whip your reader to attention. Notice how Cormac McCarthy does it in Suttree:

One thing. I spoke with bitterness about my life and I said that I would take my own part against the slander of oblivion and against the monstrous facelessness of it and that I would stand a stone in the very void where all would read my name. Of that vanity I recant all.

Try reading it aloud. Notice how that last sentence feels like a gavel, cracking in a loud courtroom?

3. Be lyrical.

Literary writers are interested not just in what their words mean, but in how they sound. The technical term for this is phonoaesthetics, the study of the sound of words and sentences. Like poets, literary writers want their words to melt on their reader’s tongue like rich, dark chocolate. They want their readers to stop and say, “Mmm,” and stare off into the distance contemplating all that is beautiful.

There are a few techniques writers use to make their writing more euphonic, including alliteration, assonance, and consonance, but the best way to develop your “ear” for lyrical writing is to read other lyrical writers very slow. You might pick up some Annie Dillard, William Faulkner, or Virginia Woolf.

4. Make an allusion to the Bible or Moby Dick or Milton.

Literary writers are well read. They realize their writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and so they subtly pay homage to the classic writers who have gone before them, which also deepens the meaning of their own work.

To make an allusion, you use an image, character, or even a direct quote from another work of literature. These act as portals, coloring your story with the meanings wrapped up in the work you’re referencing.

Also, it makes those who “get it” feel special.

5. Use an eponym to name your characters.

Another way to use allusion is to name one of your characters after a character in another work. This technique works as a kind of literary pun, and creates an implicit association, a shared relationship, with the character in the other work.

6. Be specific.

Literary writers often study the vocabulary of the subject they’re writing about. They want their writing to be precise. For example, if they’re writing about nature, rather than just talking about the trees, they might describe the tulip poplar, the white oak, the eastern red cedar.

If they’re writing about birds, they might avoid describing them as the red bird or the blue bird, but rather the kingfisher, the painted bunting, or the yellow-bellied sapsucker.

7. Write a story within a story (or a story within a story within a story).

The story-within-a-story is one of the oldest literary techniques, and it’s a simple way to create rich, multi-layered stories.

It works simply by having one of your characters tell another character a story, and this second story becomes the main story of the novel. Think Arabian Nights, where Scheherazade tells the Sultan story after story and eventually manages to make him fall in love with her.

Or Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, where the story of Petruchio “wedding and bedding” Katherina is set within another play about a drunk tricked into thinking he’s rich.

Or Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, where the protagonist writes his memoirs as he narrates them to his mistress.

8. Have a wide scope.

Literary novels tend to have a wide, national or international scope, even if they portray local events. Hemingway, for example, often set his novels within the context of great wars, like World War I or the Spanish Civil War. Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby is considered a portrait of the “Lost Generation” and the Roaring 20s because of its memorable characters who were caught up in the decade’s debauchery. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is about the rise and “fall” of India, from Independence to Indira Gandhi’s injustices.

You may not want to win a Pulitzer, but if you do want to give your writing a touch of literary flair, these techniques are a good place to start. By far, the best way to learn more about these techniques, though, is to read more literary fiction. Here are a few good titles by authors I’ve mentioned:

  • For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner

 

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting loves to write and to help other writers improve their careers and craft. He can be found at The Write Practice, an online and offline community for creative writers, and also on Twitter.

Roger Ebert Dies at 70 Following Battle with Cancer


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Originally posted by:

By Meriah Doty | Movie Talk

 

Famed movie critic Roger Ebert died Thursday in Chicago after battling cancer. He was 70.

An opinionated writer, but also a movie fan, Ebert reviewed films for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years. He was perhaps best known, however, for his 31 years reviewing films on television.

Ebert experienced health problems over the past ten years, suffering illnesses including thyroid cancer and cancer of the salivary gland. In 2006 he lost part of his lower jaw, but — as his obituary in the Sun-Times points out — it didn’t drive him out of the spotlight.

President Obama, also from Chicago, released a statement on Ebert’s passing:

Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans – and especially Chicagoans – Roger was the movies. When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive – capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient – continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won’t be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family.

Many may not know, but Ebert was an early investor in Google and believed in the power of the Internet to share his messages — especially through his site on rogerebert.com.

The acclaimed writer enjoyed wide and varied accolades, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 and was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005. He also won a Webby “Person of the Year” award in 2010 for special achievement.

Fresh off the heels of his Pulitzer, Ebert launched his television show — along with Gene Siskel (who died in 1999) — the same year he was honored with the esteemed writing award. It started as a local Chicago show, but its popularity eventually pushed it into the national spotlight, making the duo’s famed “thumbs up, thumbs down” a household gesture.

Ebert graduated from the University of Illinois in 1964, where he wrote and edited for student publications. He studied in South Africa on a Rotary Scholarship after graduating and later went on to the University of Chicago with the plan of earning his doctorate in English. As a student, Ebert also expressed interest in working at the Sun-Times and by April 1967, he was asked to become the paper’s film critic when the previous critic, Eleanor Keen, retired.

He was savvy from the start, calling 1967’s “Bonnie and Clyde” with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway “a milestone” and “a landmark.” “Years from now it is quite possible that ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ will be seen as the definitive film of the 1960s,” he wrote in his review.

Aside from his early eye on Google, Ebert also broke character when he wrote the campy 1970 film “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” for sexploitation director Russ Meyer. Ebert’s newspaper editor of the time, James Hoge, made him choose between making films and reviewing them. He chose the latter.

Ebert is survived by his wife Chaz Hammelsmith, step-daughter, and two step-grandchildren.