Featured Author: Elisabetta Dami

elisabetta damiElisabetta Dami was born in Italy in 1958.

At the age of eighteen, Dami started working as a proofreader for Dami Editore, the publishing house owned and started by her family.

She has a wide collection of works, but her most popular (and my favourites of hers) is her Geronimo Stilton series.

The first book was published in the year 2000 and are targeted at children six to twelve years old. Since being published over 100 million copies have been sold all over the world in many different languages.

Dami has written over 100 books.

I love the Geronimo Stilton books. I remember being in elementary school and I had the same teacher for two years and she used to read us these books every day.

I don’t remember everything about them, it was a long time ago and I’ve read a lot of other books since then, but I do remember looking forward to that time in the day when she’d grab one of the books and sit at the front of room.

I think part of the appeal was that she never asked one of us to read it she would always just do it herself which definitely made it more enjoyable as she could pronounce everything.

These books are great for children of all ages, not just the age group they’re aimed at. I’d definitely recommend these for anyone with kids, whether you’re a parent, a siblings, a babysitter, or ever a summer camp councillor.

I guarantee the kids you know will enjoy these books.

Have you read any Geronimo Stilton?

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#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter

Last week writers all over the internet took to Twitter to share their hardships as writers by using the hashtag #TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter. These are 24 of those tweets that perfectly sum up things you shouldn’t say to a writer.

Anne Theriault“Have you been published in real life or like just on the internet?” – @anne_theriault

Bill Corbett“We can’t pay you but the exposure might be good.” – @BillCorbett

Butterfly

“Do you actually make money doing that, or do you also have a real job?” – @jesskristie

Cassandra Carr

“I downloaded your books from one of those torrent sites. Those sites are great, you never have to pay for a book.” – @Cassandra_Carr

Colleen Hoover

“‘You’re a writer? Oh, I have a GREAT book idea!’ (And then proceed to tell us your entire life story.) – @colleenhoover

Cristela Alonzo

“You’re a writer? But I’ve never heard of you…” – @cristela9

Daniel Parsons

“‘Can you help me with this? It’s not like you’re doing anything important.’ Yea, I’m not WORKING or anything…” – @dkparsonswriter

Dean Gloster

“‘That’s nice. But some of us have to work for a living.'” – @deangloster

Donalyn Miller

“You’re still working on _______? Shouldn’t you be done by now? – @donalynbooks

Dream Traveler

“‘I want to be a writer. Can you suggest a plot for my story?'” – @IamAlytoony

Esther RobardsForbes

“Oh, you’re not published? So, you’re not a real writer.” – @hungryjourno

Hugh Fraser

“Would you mind if I borrowed your laptop?” – @realhughfraser

Jacqui B

“You write for children? Is that because you aren’t smart enough to write for adults?” – @Jacquibwriter

Jarrid Wilson

“I just read a book really similar to yours…” – @JarridWilson

Jen Savran Kelly

“Person: So, where can I read your work?
Me: It hasn’t been published yet.
Person: Oh you’re THAT kind of writer.”
@savranly

Joanne Harris

“It must be lovely working from home. You can combine your writing with housework and childcare.” – @Joannechocolat

John Scalzi

“I’m worried you’ll die before your series gets finished.” – @scalzi

Lauren DeStefano

“You’re lucky you don’t have to work.” – @LaurenDeStefano

Lauren O'Neil

“A journalist? Wow. You don’t look like a journalist.” – @laurenonizzle

Laurie Boris

“You aren’t one of those ‘self-published’ authors, are you?” – @LaurieBoris

Madeline Ashby

“They pay you money for that?” – @MadelineAshby

Rachel Kennedy

“Poetry books don’t exactly become national best sellers.” – @RachelKennedy88

S.E. Hinton

“I thought you were dead.” – @se4realhinton

Sarah Dessen

“Told a teen I write YA. She hadn’t heard of me. Said, ‘It would have been so cool if you were Suzanne Collins!'” – @sarahdessen

These are only 24 of the amazing tweets in this tag. I highly recommend going and checking it out, especially if you’re a writer. It’s definitely one of the most relatable things I’ve read online.

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Blogging For One Year!

1-year-anniversary

One year. I’ve had this blog for one year. That’s crazy! It does not feel like one year.

So many amazing things have happened and I’m hoping there are many more amazing things to come. I have a lot of plans for this blog in the upcoming year and a few changes I want to try out.

First, I’m going to be buying my domain name. The plan was for me to buy it this morning and then by the time this post went up it would be the first post with my official domain name. However, as I was going through the process of buying it there were some extra fees and some more info that I hadn’t been aware of before.

It’s actually pretty stressful, but I’m trying not to concentrate on it too much and just enjoy the fact that I’ve been blogging for one year! So, buying my domain will definitely be happening (hopefully today!), just not quite when I was hoping it to.

Another change that will be made is to my Thursday posts. Previously, Thursdays meant I would be posting a Poem of the Week. However, this just wasn’t exciting to me. With everything else, I get excited when I post, but it wasn’t the same for weekly poems.

I am not eliminating it entirely though! Instead, I will be posting a Poem of the Month on the first Thursday of every month. Thursdays will become my random monthly post day. Starting in August, Thursdays will include: Poem of the Month, Top Ten Lists, Featured Authors, and things like that. I’m hoping to make each of these a monthly thing.

Another possible change that might be coming at some point is the possibility of me incorporating Youtube into this. I’ve wanted to make Youtube videos for ages and while it probably won’t be happening any time soon, I wanted to get your opinions on this.

So, I think that’s all the changes that will be made. Everything else will be staying the same as I’ve been enjoying and I think you have too (at least I hope so)!

Thank you so much for an amazing year! I have 213 followers on this blog which is 213 more than I was ever expecting so thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I hope you’ll stick with me for this next year that will hopefully be even better than this first one!

Wordpress Anniversary

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Camp NaNoWriMo Week One!

Camp NaNoWriMoIt’s the end of Camp NaNoWriMo week one and I have done so much of nothing! Literally nothing… Well, that’s not entirely true. I opened the document. Does that count as working? Can I give myself a sticker?

Honestly, if this were regular NaNo in November I’d probably be freaking out by now. However, for Camp NaNo I’m not writing a brand new 50,000 word novel. What I’m doing is trying to finish my rewrite of BYB. So, I’m not freaking out about not having anything done, I’m more frustrated at the fact that I haven’t got anything done.

Now that’s not to say I haven’t been writing. I’ve been working a lot (and I mean, a lot) on blog posts and fanfiction and stuff for Buzzfeed and other things that need doing. However, on top of those things, I will be spending the next three weeks working on finally getting my rewrite done.

How are all of you doing on Camp NaNo so far?


 

Also, in non-Camp NaNo news, I changed my second blog! It was jcarsonrants and it is now jcarsonreviews because I discovered I much prefer reviewing episodes of things I watch as opposed to what the blog was originally going to be for
Also, I’m on Buzzfeed now. I think I might have mentioned this before or I linked to a post on Buzzfeed or something, I don’t know. But yes, various forms of social media have officially taken over my life and I apologize if I have mentioned this before, but I’m really excited. Some of the stuff I’m posting there will be on this blog as well, but a lot of it will only be posted there. So if you want to check that out I’ve put the link below.

Good luck to everyone on their second week of Camp NaNo and on anything else you’re doing this month!

Happy Easter!

Or, if you don’t celebrate Easter, happy Sunday!

 

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Camp NaNoWriMo Day One & April Updates

Camp NaNoWriMoIt is day one of Camp NaNoWriMo! How many of you are doing Camp NaNo this month?

Camp NaNo is basically the same thing as NaNoWriMo in November, except that the goal isn’t to write a brand new, 50,000 word novel. The goal is to set your own word goal and work on whatever project you want.

I will be taking this month to work on finally finishing my redraft of Brave Young Boys which has been getting pushed to the back burner a lot lately. So this month Brave Young Boys is my main focus and it won’t be getting pushed anywhere except hopefully into a willing publishers hands.

And this brings me to my April Updates. I won’t be posting a book review today or on the fifteenth.

I spent majority of March working to get everything done that I needed to before April first arrived and for the most part I got everything done. The two days I would normally be posting book reviews on are my two busiest days of the month so I won’t be doing those, but everything else will be going ahead as planned and book reviews will return in May!

Good luck to my fellow Camp NaNoWriMo participants! What projects are you working on?

Happy April!

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Six Years of Fanfiction!

fanfictionSo I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am an avid fanfiction writer. I love fanfiction. Well, today marks exactly six years since I joined fanfiction.net. Six years since I took up the screen name: OwenHarpersGirl. In that time (as of 11:59 last night) I have:

 

84 Stories
275,007 Words
982 Reviews
448,819 Views
1,512 Story Favourites
1,013 Story Alerts
149 Author Favourites
157 Author Alerts
Included in 12 Communities
Have left 119 Signed Reviews
Read in 158 Countries

To celebrate six years, I updated every ongoing multi-chapter story I have posted so far, as well as uploading three new things.

But why is fanfiction so important to me? Well, before discovering fanfiction, writing was something I had always done for fun. It was a hobby. And when I say always, I mean always. I found some old notebooks from when I was four to six that I had written in and they contained stories I had made up about Pokemon and Digimon characters.

OwenHarpersGirl is like a second name to me now. It’s the name I use on all three writing websites I’m a part of (ff.net, AO3, and Wattpad) as well as my deviantart, NaNoWriMo, and tumblr. It was even the name on my Twitter and Pinterest up until I created this site. While at first it was a name I created because of my favourite character in a tv program, now it’s literally become like a part of who I am.

Writing fanfiction has changed my life. I never thought six years ago, when I first signed up, that I would have almost 100 stories with readers in 158 different countries! I have made so many amazing friends and learned so many new things through fanfiction and it’s crazy to think that my life could be totally different right now if I hadn’t signed up that day.

A big thank you to anyone who has ever read any of my fanfiction and I look forward to many more years of fanfiction writing.

If you haven’t you can check them out by scrolling up and clicking on my Fanfiction Page.

Do any of you write fanfiction? Why or why not?

 

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Goodreads Readers Choice Awards 2014

GoodreadsHow many of you use Goodreads? As both a writer and a lover of books, I find myself on Goodreads quite frequently. Users can create lists of books (Books Read, Books You Want to Read, etc.), write reviews on books, and discuss books with others (sometimes even the authors!)

Starting in 2009, Goodreads launched their Readers Choice Awards. Here’s 20 categories and people are able to nominate, and eventually vote on, their favourite books. Here are the winners of 2014!

Fiction:

Landline

Landline, Rainbow Rowell

You can read more about Landline on Goodreads

Runner Up: Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty

Buy Landline on Amazon

Buy Big Little Lies on Amazon


Mystery/Thriller:

Mrmercedes

Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King

You can read more about Mr. Mercedes on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Silkworm, Robert Galbraith

Buy Mr. Mercedes on Amazon

Buy The Silkworm on Amazon


Historical Fiction:

all the light we cannot see

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

You can read more about All the Light We Cannot See on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd

Buy All the Light We Cannot See on Amazon

Buy The Invention of Wings on Amazon


Fantasy:

the book of life

The Book of Life, Deborah Harkness

You can read more about The Book of Life on Goodreads

Runner Up: Words of Radiance, Brandon Sanderson

Buy The Book of Life on Amazon

Buy Words of Radiance on Amazon


Romance:

written in my own hearts blood

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, Diana Gabaldon

You can read more about Written in My Own Heart’s Blood on Goodreads

Runner Up: Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover

Buy Written in My Own Heart’s Blood on Amazon

Buy Maybe Someday on Amazon


Science Fiction:

The_Martian_2014

The Martian, Andy Weir

You can read more about The Martian on Goodreads

Runner Up: Lock In, John Scalzi

Buy The Martian on Amazon

Buy Lock In on Amazon


Horror:

Prince_Lestat

Prince Lestat, Anne Rice

You can read more about Prince Lestat on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Girl With All the Gifts, M.R. Carey

Buy Prince Lestat on Amazon

Buy The Girl With All the Gifts on Amazon


Humour:

yes please

Yes Please, Amy Poehler

You can read more about Yes Please on Goodreads

Runner Up: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris

Buy Yes Please on Amazon

Buy Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography on Amazon


Nonfiction:

the opposite of loneliness

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, Marina Keegan

You can read more about The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories on Goodreads

Runner Up: What If?, Randall Munroe

Buy The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories on Amazon

Buy What If? on Amazon


Memoir/Autobiography:

this star wont go out

This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, Esther Earl, Lori Earl, and Wayne Earl

You can read more about This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl on Goodreads

Runner Up: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner

Buy This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl on Amazon

Buy As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride on Amazon


History and Biography:

the romanov sisters

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, Helen Rappaport

You can read more about The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra on Goodreads

Runner Up: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, Karen Abbott

Buy The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra on Amazon

Buy Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War on Amazon


Business Books:

girl-boss

#GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso

You can read more about #GirlBoss on Goodreads

Runner Up: Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt

Buy #GIRLBOSS on Amazon

Buy Think Like a Freak on Amazon


Food and Cookbooks:

make it ahead

Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Ina Garten

You can read more about Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook on Goodreads

Runner Up: My Paris Kitchen, David Lebovitz

Buy Make it Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook on Amazon

Buy My Paris Kitchen on Amazon


Graphic Novels and Comics:

serenity leaves on the wind

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, Zack Whedon, Georges Jeanty, Fabi Moon

You can read more about Serenity: Leaves on the Wind on Goodreads

Runner Up: Saga, Volume 3, Brian K. Vaughan

Buy Serenity: Leaves on the Wind on Amazon

Buy Saga, Volume 3 on Amazon


Poetry:

lullabies

Lullabies, Land Leav

You can read more about Lullabies on Goodreads

Runner Up: Poisoned Apples, Christine Heppermann

Buy Lullabies on Amazon

Buy Poisoned Apples on Amazon


Debut Goodreads Authors:

red rising

Red Rising, Piece Brown

You can read more about Red Rising on Goodreads

Runner Up: Cruel Beauty, Rosamund Hodge

Buy Red Rising on Amazon

Buy Cruel Beauty on Amazon


Young Adult Fiction:

we were liars

We Were Liars, E. Lockhard

You can read more about We Were Liars on Goodreads

Runner Up: Isla and the Happily Ever After, Stephanie Perkins

Buy We Were Liars on Amazon

Buy Isla and the Happily Ever After on Amazon


Young Adult Fantasy:

city of heavenly fire

City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare

You can read more about City of Heavenly Fire on Goodreads

Runner Up: Hollow City, Ransom Riggs

Buy City of Heavenly Fire on Amazon

Buy Hollow City on Amazon


Middle Grade and Children’s:

the blood of olympus

The Blood of Olympus, Rick Riordan

You can read more about The Blood of Olympus on Goodreads

Runner Up: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Jeff Kinney

Buy The Blood of Olympus on Amazon

Buy Diary of Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul on Amazon


Picture Books:

the pideon needs a bath

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, Mo Willems

You can read more about The Pigeon Needs a Bath! on Goodreads

Runner Up: The Book with No Pictures, B.J. Novak

Buy The Pigeon Needs a Bath! on Amazon

Buy The Book with No Pictures on Amazon

Find me on Goodreads

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

NaNoWriMo 2014 is Over! Now What?

nanoprep
This is it. The last day of NaNoWriMo. OH MY GOD! WHAT DO WE DO? HOW CAN IT BE OVER ALREADY? AHHHHHHHHH! Okay, now we’ve got that out of our systems, relax. Maybe you reached your word goal, maybe you didn’t. Like I said yesterday, I won’t be hitting 50,000 words, but I’m only a couple hundred away from beating my final count last year.

Maybe you wrote 100,000 words or maybe only 100 words. But that’s okay! That’s better than okay because that’s 100 more words that you may not have written if you hadn’t signed up for NaNo. But now what? You’ve got what you’ve written in front of you, whether it be a full novel, half a novel, or half a chapter. But what do you do with it?

Well, if you haven’t finished writing yet, I’m going to encourage you to continue doing that. Even if you didn’t finish it in 30 days, there’s a novel in you somewhere just waiting to be written.

However, if you have finished writing, I’m going to encourage you to put that novel aside. Wait, what? Put it aside? But there’s so much editing to be done if it’s ever going to be published! Yes, there is a ton of editing to be done before it can be published and I know how hard it can be to put it aside right away. Last year, the only edits my NaNo manuscript received was me going through it and fixing anything Microsoft had underlined in red. After that, it was put in a drawer for several months.

That was hard, it took a lot self-control to not pull it out and start editing every day. But it had to be done. Why? Because by putting the manuscript away and waiting to edit for several months, it allowed me to have a fresh perspective when I returned to it later. It was like I was reading it for the first time, which, in a way, I was. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. The mistakes and the plot holes! I’m crying now at the thought of it. But if I had started editing right after I finished writing, I wouldn’t have noticed those things the same way I did after waiting a while. So put it aside. Put that manuscript in a drawer and wait for as long as you can stand to and then edit.

Sure, look into agents and publishers because it’s fun and it’s good to know who is looking for what. Tell your friends you wrote a book because you did that and it’s pretty amazing! But take you time getting it off the ground. Especially if this is your first novel. You may not have any deadlines other than ones you set for yourself, so relish in that. Relax a bit while you can. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you wrote a novel! Congratulations! You did it!

*Throws confetti at you in celebration*

How did you do during NaNoWriMo? Doing any last minute writing today? What do you plan to do next?

 

Come say hi on NaNoWriMo!

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NaNoWriMo 2014 Week Four

NaNoWriMo 4Tomorrow is the last day of NaNoWriMo and many people have already reached 50,000 words. Like I said last week, I won’t be one of these people, but I’m okay with that. I’m only a little ways away from my personal writing goal to reach more words than I did last year and I intend to complete that this weekend.

This last week has been pretty crazy. I have had some new opportunities arising and they have taken up most of my time, preventing me from being able to do much writing at all. I didn’t post a book review or poem this week and even missed updating my fanfiction. So, while I absolutely love participating in NaNoWriMo, I think it’s probably good for my sanity that it’s almost over. I have so much I have to do and I think this’ll definitely be a bit of a weight (however fun it may be) off my shoulders.

I intend to do what I did last year and complete my novel in the upcoming month, hopefully before Christmas. I found it really refreshing last year to be going into the New Year with a completed first draft and am hoping to do the same this year.

How has your final week gone? Did you reach your word goal?

Current Word Count: 34,266 words

Excerpt:

Herro wasn’t sure how long they had been driving, but he was having a serious case of deja vu right about now. He hoped they weren’t bringing him back to that prison. At least if they went somewhere different there was a chance no one would know who he was. If they went back to the prison they would know him and they would want to know more about Katya. They may even do what Katya had said and go looking in that area for more people. Damn her for being right.

Come say hi on NaNoWriMo!

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