books

All posts tagged books

The Boy in a Suitcase – Book Review

Published 05/12/2012 by julierkendrick

Product Details

 

I read this book as part of a review group and thought you may be interested to see my review of it.

The title and first page were certainly intriguing. The rest of the book, however did not deliver.

So many characters, which are introduced in the first 4 chapters have Eastern European names which are very hard to read. Coupled with the fact that there are no clues as to how they link up for a long time, the book is hard going.

Nina Borg finds a three year old boy in a suitcase. Not until the very end of the book do we find out why he is there. This would be OK but for the fact that Nina makes the most irrational decisions for no apparent reason. The boy and Nina do not speak the same language but nowhere does it state that she tries to talk to him. There is next to nothing written about the boy other than he is taken from place to place by Nina and just sits there quietly. This is not true of any 3 year old I ever knew. If he was scared, upset, shy or angry some kind of behaviour would have been displayed, challenges for Nina to overcome, but it seems that the boy was a vehicle for the story to progress. He was the least fleshed out character in the book.

The boy’s mother Sigita was a more sympathetic character but even she made some silly unexplained decisions.

I found it unrealistic. Nina was irritating and weak, not someone I imagine many women would identify with. She has a husband and two children that she regularly leaves without saying a word yet we are expected to believe that she is compassionate towards this small child and his mother.

This is the first in a series of three books featuring Nina Borg. I will not be reading the others.

I give this book 4/10

 

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think, do you agree with me?

 

My Characters Won’t Play With Me

Published 16/10/2012 by julierkendrick

 

Characters. Now there’s a descriptive word. When someone is described as a character it usually means that they are lively and unpredictable. Well my characters are just that.  As they are created by me they tend to act like me. That doesn’t mean that every character I create is a 40 something English female with 4 sons and 2 dogs, it just means that they are temperamental, just like me. And just like me they don’t always want to fit into the story lines that I give them. We even fight over this occasionally and it can get messy, with me threatening to delete them altogether. Then I invariably storm off in a huff and later decide to play it their way.

One such example is my new character, Warren. He is supposed to be the sex-god in my new novella which I was originally writing as a paranormal erotica. Sadly, Warren didn’t want me to watch him having sex with my heroine (what a cheek!). He was far too private. We argued and argued for almost a week and no writing got done. Warren was telling me that the story line just wasn’t working and reluctantly I had to admit he was right. He is now much happier that I am leaving him at the bedroom door to seduce the lady without spectators. So I am now writing a paranormal romance and feeling much happier with it.

However, that brings me to the question, should you always listen to your characters?  On this I am sure we could debate. A well known author friend of mine told me that she wanted one of her characters to feature in the next book of a trilogy, but in her words “he wouldn’t come out to play”. She had to rethink the story line a little but she tells me it is all the better for leaving him out.

Conversely I have had a character completely switch on me. In my story “Chuckles” which you can find in the anthology “Here Be Clowns” my protagonist was originally written as a victim of Chuckles. She played the part of the damsel in distress very well but once I had finished my first draft I decided I wanted her to have a meatier role. I rewrote her part and ‘boom’ the story was complete and accepted rather quickly.

I think that debating with your characters is a big part of the creative process. It certainly is for me. It means that my creations have life, personalities, opinions and direction and that must mean I am on the right track to creating something worth reading. I’ll leave that for you to decide and I’ll keep you posted on Warren.

J 🙂

Changes at Waterstones For Better or Worse?

Published 07/10/2012 by julierkendrick

I have just read this article about one of the great loves of my life, Waterstones who are stopping signing events by new and up and coming authors. I think it is very sad when things change so much and it only convinces me more that soon they will be a thing of the past. I really hope that this doesn’t happen but with the demise of events like this I cannot help but think that Waterstones are on the path to failure. I just hope that I am wrong. It will be a very sad day if they do have to close.

Read the article here.

A grey area

Published 03/10/2012 by julierkendrick

Well I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it forever as much as I tried.

Yep, I was never going to be able to write this blog without at least one reference to the phenomena known at the 50 Shades trilogy. I have had many a discussion with my friends of the merits (or lack thereof) of these books and they all know exactly how I feel about them.

When working in the bookshop we had to stock hundreds and hundreds of copies and I felt embarrassed having to sell them. No, not because I am a prude, far from it. I was embarrassed that a bookshop of the calibre of Waterstones had to sell this tripe. My manager, quite rightly said, “Just think of all the money we are making.” But I cringed every time I sold them.  It got to the point where women would come into the shop looking curious and before they had a chance to say a thing I would just point to the shelves where Mr Grey lived and watched them dribble their way over.

I find it incredible that a book promoting sexual abuse of a vulnerable (but dim) girl in the name of ‘lurve’ is acceptable, nay craved. I can only console myself with the fact that maybe the majority of people who read it just didn’t get it.

Anyway, I don’t want to alienate all my blog readers so I’ll shut up now, but maybe you can have a read of this article on a signing E L James did in California. It amused me.

See ya soon

Julie 😉

Book vs Film controversy

Published 30/09/2012 by julierkendrick

Ah a truer word was never said.  Well actually loads of truer words have been said but these particular true words are what this blog is about.

Ever since books have been made into movies people have been saying, including myself  “Ah but the book was so much better.”  Book purists will probably go to a movie, having read the book, expecting it to be substandard in comparison. There are many examples I can give where I truly believe the film adaption (and there’s a word I will be coming back to later) has not done the original book justice.

The Woman in Black for one. Susan Hill has written a fantastically dark, scary and atmospheric book and I was actually looking forward to seeing the movie. The film industry does dark and atmospheric pretty well, what could go wrong?

Daniel Radcliffe for a start. Now I have nothing against Mr Radcliffe; he is a pretty good actor but for the time being he is Harry Potter and will be until he gets some lines on his face and stops looking like a 12 year old wizard. The role of Arthur Kipps should have been played by a slightly older character and I kept expecting Kipps to yell “Avada Kedavra” at the ghostly woman.

Radcliffe aside, the film failed to truly scare me, unlike the book which had me leaving the light on by my bed all night (and I’m 42). Now I find this  strange as the film industry has all the props in the world to scare the bejesus out of me but only managed a mild hiccup of a jump.

However, my main problem with this, and many other films that fall into this category  is that they changed the ending. Why oh why oh why? When you know that thousands of movie goers will have read the book why change the ending? I’m willing to bet that 100% of those viewers will be disappointed. The ending is usually the reason they go to see the film in the first place.  If they had felt let down by the finale in the book then the film would not inspire excitement in the first place.

But hey, I didn’t set out to slate the Woman in Black in this blog, as I stated before, many films fall into this category this was just the first that came to mind. But my recommendation here would be, read Susan Hill’s books as she is a fantastic writer and you will never be disappointed.

So back then, to that little word I mentioned above, adaption. I think that this is where the movie makers think that they have us fooled.  As long as they use the words “adapted from the book by……” or “based on the book by…….” we have no cause for complaint because they never said we were getting the real thing anyway. So there! It looks like we will be disappointed movie watchers for a while yet then.

But ah ha!! There is another phenomenon that swings in and saves the day. The film into book version. Now this is more like it. I can go to watch a movie without any preconceptions and then if I like it I can read the book, which of course will be fabulous because it will have been written from the film. Happy bunnies all round. One example I can give of this is The Cabin in the Woods. I have yet to see this film but of my friends who have they all raved about it and then went out and bought the book; so far no one is disappointed.

I must add at the bottom here that of course there are exceptions. The Green Mile for one. This is a truly magnificent film with amazing actors playing their parts stupendously well. I have seen this film many times and cry every time. I have also read the book and it remains one of my favourites to this day.

So you see it can be done, just not often enough for my liking.

What do you think? Film or book or both?

See you next time

Julie 🙂

New Releases

Published 20/09/2012 by julierkendrick

I have heard from my publishers today that two new books containing stories I have written are to be released in October.

They are:- The Egg which is in Spring Fever

and Brotherly Love which is in Sleep Walkin’ & Pick Lockin’

I’ll keep you update and post links where you can buy them.

Very excited.

Julie 🙂