Okay. Maybe it’s a bit presumptuous to hold our very own Summer Reading Festival
but we’ve got so many great deals on so many good books, we figured - Why not?
Here’s what we’ve got for this week and next
June 27 - June 30 FREE
June 26 - June 30 for only 99 cents
July 1 - 7 for 99 cents
July 4 - 11 in honor of Shark Week
This is a great time to stock up on some excellent summer reading. Something for everyone.
In 1969, Jake Thomas made his first voyage as deck cadet aboard the SS James Wait. The American freighter wasn't meant for passengers. But despite the captain's misgivings, several passengers traveled from Subic Bay to San Francisco. Among the passengers was a missionary, his beautiful, young wife and their two children.
The captain was sure nothing good ever came from having a woman aboard and he was right. The young wife was murdered. Forty years later, her grown children want Jake to help them uncover the truth about what really happened that night the ship made landfall.
In this riveting story-within-a-story, Jake’s peaceful routine in Portland, Oregon, stands in stark contrast to his days as a merchant seaman in Subic Bay, when he set off on a journey to discover his dark side. A journey that hasn’t yet ended.
Like Joseph Conrad, Joseph Jablonski has created a novel set at sea that is as much a careful observation of human nature and a powerful condemnation of war as it is a fascinating sea story.
The Story Behind the Story.
About a year ago, Danny Wynn (Man from the Sky, Lucien and I) told me he’d passed along information about Bacon Press Books to his friend Joe. Joe lived in Oregon, traveled to New York often, was a good writer with a novel he’d like to publish.
We’re always pleased to get a good recommendation; we were looking forward to hearing from him. I read Joe’s op-ed piece in the NY Times ("Pirate Nights," 2011). I looked at the one book he’d already published - Three Star Fix. This sounded interesting. But. A few days later, Danny wrote to say his friend Joe had died suddenly. He was only 58.
Skipe ahead a few months. Joe’s son Peter, an artist living in California, contacted me. He said he’d told everyone in his eulogy for his father that he was determined to fulfill Joe’s dream of having his book published. He and his mother, Darlyn, would like to go ahead. Would I take a look at the manuscript?
By this time, we were no longer so new to publishing that we thought every story had potential. We’d seen our share of novels that just weren’t ready to be published. But this one - Landfall - was good. Really good. It felt complete, so editing wouldn’t be a problem. It reminded me of Joseph Conrad, in a good way.
Would it be difficult to promote a book without the help of the author? Probably. But the book was so good I was sure it would find an audience anyway.
Maybe we were newer to publishing than I wanted to admit. It’s been tougher getting the word out than I thought it would be.
Landfall has received a few excellent reader reviews, but not nearly what this book deserves. So we’re offering it for free from June 17th to 19th.
We hope you’ll take a chance. Add it to your summer reading list. Tell your friends.
Where do writers get their ideas? What makes a good story? Kate Blackwell writes about writing, published on Mythical Books, June 15th. You can read the original post here.
STORY OF A STORY
Vampires, Hobbits, buried giants, girls who kill by dreaming, or the guy with acne scars sitting in a booth in a King’s Family Restaurant, talking to a young girl. What is he saying? Who are they? Why are they here? You open your laptop. You begin to write.
What draws writers to their subjects?
Grace Paley: “Almost every story is an argument of some kind. You write it because you do not know something, you write what you do not know about, otherwise you would not bother to write.”
Fantasy, the paranormal, what we call realism—it makes no difference; the strange and the ordinary must contain mysteries in order to be written about. Forget the old aphorism “write what you know.” Go for what you don’t know, for what is beneath the surface, hidden like a throbbing heart.
You start with what you can see. The girl looks to be about twelve. She has green-painted fingernails. She is playing with the pepper shaker, walking it back and forth across the table. The man says, “Did I ever talk to you about pepper?”
You add a feeling, a desire, a fear, something from the past. He wants her attention, his daughter whom he doesn’t often see. The pepper stirs a memory of when he was a boy, the same age the girl is now, and his father used to take him hunting. He remembers they used bread to attract the animals, bread smeared with pepper.
“Pepper can be dangerous,” he says.
You write the story he tells the girl. You begin to understand him, who he was as a boy, who he is now. Then you write your story.
None of this is easy. The initial spark—something you observe, something someone tells you, something you dream—may sit fallow in your journal or on your computer for years before you re-discover it and begin to write. It takes time to make art out of the raw material of life or fantasy.
It was five years after I saw the man and the girl in the restaurant that I wrote “Pepper Hunt.” It appeared first in a literary journal, where it won first place in a short-short contest, then in two anthologies, and it’s now in my story collection, You Won’t Remember This.
photo © duncan1890
Writing Stories About Marriage And Its Many Mysteries - An Interview With Kate Blackwell on Examiner.com
A few quotes from an interview with Kate Blackwell on Examiner.com, you can read the whole interview here.
Thanks to Dorothy Thompson and Examiner.com.
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