95 results for 'Shane Joseph'
I use the term "Flogging" loosely as it was coined by one of my writer-friends. And this refers to the parasitic practice of attaching links to other people's posts on the internet to deflect traffic to one's own peddling, moral or immoral.
I stumbled on this phenomenon when I began to receive an unusually high volume of comments to a post titled "Travel is Education" that I had posted on a public blog site. The initial comments to my post were complementary and interesting, but after awhile they started to deteriorate into statements that were totally out of context. However, at the... (more)
Blogging went mainstream in the late ’90’s and started a tsunami of self-expression. Many writers, felt that they could have their voices heard instantly, without having to weave through a bureaucracy of gatekeepers. Some turned blogging into a subtle form of marketing and self-promotion. And now, for some, it appears to be a magnet for attracting their killers.
When I read about Saudi Raif Badawi’s fall from blogging into flogging with a potential death sentence at the end of it, when I heard of the brutal machete attack on American blogger Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida in Bangladesh,... (more)
I review books, and have a few hundred posted in the public domain. Writers constantly request me to write reviews of their books. Of late, I have resorted to writing reviews only of the books I like and politely turn away many that I don’t, author notwithstanding. Why? Because reviews sell books, I’m told. But what I have experienced is that while good reviews do not necessarily sell books, a bad review by a respected reviewer can stop a book in its tracks. And I do not want to hurt anyone’s career, unless they are established writers now resorting to writing junk and riding on their fame,... (more)
I did the math on organizing a writing contest and wondered if I was sitting on a hidden goldmine; should I turn my career from writer to writing contest organizer?
First, I need a snazzy title, something like “The 30th Annual Emerging Writers Gold Awards Contest” (no need to worry about the prior 29 contests - perhaps, some fictitious names of winners in the previous three years would suffice).
Next, I need to have some handsome prizes: first prize $1500, second prize $1000, and third prize $500. The three winners may be offered a book contract from XYZ Publishing (XYZ will subsequently... (more)
Books take a long time to be born, we know that. I have had stories published after 30 years. Two of my novels took seven years between their writing and their publication. My other books have averaged three to four years in that pipeline. That is usually par for the course if one is not writing pulp fiction. But I have faced another situation which I thought of writing about: where a book can take also as long as the aforementioned publishing cycle between being purchased and being read by a reader.
I’ve often heard, years after I signed a book at a reading for an avid reader who was... (more)
Christmas brings out mixed feelings in me. Will it be good or bad, white or green this year?
There were the Christmases of childhood when I cradled a lonely Roy Rogers annual while my more fortunate cousins flashed multiple gifts received from doting parents. The Christmases of Pyrotechnics followed, when my bachelor uncle would buy a car load of fireworks each year and appoint me master organizer of the Christmas-eve “firing schedule,” when I became the envy of the neighbourhood kids. The fireworks-less Christmas followed in the year my sister was born—our Christmas baby, who as a missionary... (more)
They say that we are born alone and that we die alone. Though there may be many gathered around us at these two seminal events, we are the ones being born and who are doing the dying, the rest are spectators. And between these two bookends of life lie the many people whom we encounter along the journey, people who motivate, inspire, discourage and disparage—heroes and villains. Your life is like a novel and the people in it are characters. I have tried to categorize these people:
Motivators: Children, spouses, extended family – those you have to struggle to give life to, to protect,... (more)
I recently attended a mammoth book fair that included all shapes and sizes of publishers, writers, and related support workers in an industry that is undergoing a sea change. Walking the floor of that massive exhibition hall, I observed the hierarchies in the world of books—all labelled clearly and displayed under one roof.
The Stages: the main stage for international celebrity authors, replete with camera crews; side stages for mid-list authors; and a small one tucked away by the washrooms and aptly named the Soapbox for the selfies (self-published authors) and wannabes (unpublished... (more)
When I decided to return to writing thirteen years ago, after a long hiatus, I wondered how the heck anyone was going to notice me. I did not belong to the literary community in my adoptive country; I had not even been educated in this country, had no industry contacts, no MA, MFA or other academic title that seemingly confers literary status. I had no published works that had sold in the millions. I was starting out (again). And like many hundreds of those in my demographic and education level - who believed they had a story (or several) to tell - I realized that there were many in the same... (more)
I have been asked whether I ever correspond with my readers. Well, naturally we writers do, especially when we are so embroiled in social media these days. Writers automatically seek an audience, that’s why we write, so when someone writes back to us and refers to our writing, our interest is aroused, our vanity is stoked, and our bubble of loneliness is punctured.
But what happens when a writer takes a reader unawares and initiates the conversation? I am guilty of this act of commission, and after three lessons, I decided to discontinue this practice. The first incident occurred when... (more)