Wednesday, 30 March 2016

I went weak at the knees when this popped into my email:

A book that will break your heart and then restore your hope for humanity, March 29, 2016
By Francis Guenette This review is from: Broken (Kindle Edition)

Sometimes you get lucky and happen upon a book that breaks your heart. Broken is such a book and Barbara Spencer is a writer who knows how to bring the reader along through the thick and the thin of trouble, right to edge of despair and then, like a magician, she waves her wand and makes it all come out right.

There are so many wonderful things to say about this book, I hardly know where to start. It is the rare author that can render the voice of a fourteen-year-old boy with as much depth and believability as she can bring to a somewhat hardened going-on-thirty social worker - but Spencer manages this feat hands down.

Then there is the writing - words flow through descriptions that leap off the page with vitality. I'm not going to say anything about the story - it has to be discovered for itself. But I will say this - at about the three-quarters mark, I wanted the book to end the way it did so badly I could scarce get my breath.

Read this book - you won't be sorry. It will make you believe once again in happy endings that glitter like gold as they sit in the dustbin of cold, hard reality. Such is life and some truths of life are best rendered in fiction.

Visit my website Barbara Spencer.

Check out my facebook page Barbara Spencer on Facebook.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2016

It's March 28 - 3 days to go! As a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, I think both Philip James Longbotham and Cash Harris the heroes of The Amazing Brain of O C Longbotham, they are most likely quivering in their boots. Kitty says, waiting to hear the result is worse than having your teeth out. Anna says, if Kitty had cleaned her teeth every day then she wouldn't need to have them out. To which Kitty replied: 'Der! Anyway, Mrs. Longbotham thinks it is quite wonderful to be in the final. She says ' it doesn't matter about winning, making it to the final is okay, too. But don't tell your grandmother, I said so.'

Visit my website Barbara Spencer.

Check out my facebook page Barbara Spencer on Facebook.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Once upon a time ...

I used to love getting up in the mornings. As a children's author, the fun-filled frolics of my characters filled my heart with light and laughter.
No more!
Since I decided to go it alone and write for an older audience, I have become a droop-faced moody creature for whom the cut and thrust of battle-filled pages belongs in the past. Instead, chained to my desk facing a list of 'things to be done today', my little pleasures (Oliver Twist) have been taken away by the need to market my own books.
For many of us, for whom the written word was a life-engendering force, the trend towards self-publishing is ... at the very least, an uncomfortable experience. At its worst, it is like a manned-mission to Mars. Unthinkable! The excitement on children's faces as they dipped into O C Longbotham or one of Jack Burnside's Dangerous Adventures, or the sight of my books on a shelf in the public library, it was enough to send me scurrying to find a notebook and pencil to write down my latest ideas.

These days, I don't bother to ask, 'who IS the bell tolling for' because I know damn well it is tolling for me. When faced with the list below, like the favourite at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, I fall at the first fence ...

  1. mail your contacts to announce it.
  2. Create a post on your blog—include an image and an audio sample.
  3. Post a status update on Facebook, and link to your product page at online retailers.
  4. Tweet about it.
  5. Send influential colleagues and reviewers a synopsis or free copy of your audiobook.
  6. Ask key peers and colleagues if they would help share the news by emailing or tweeting about your book.
  7. Request listener reviews from your contacts. Retailers that are selling your book will allow for reviews.
  8. Review related titles on Amazon and link your reviews back to your Author Page on Amazon.
  9. Respond to or retweet any commentary you receive.
  10. Encourage your audience to buy your book

Visit my website Barbara Spencer.

Check out my facebook page Barbara Spencer on Facebook.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

As I grow older, I become more and more like the Leaning Tower of Piza, although in my case the curvature of the spine is the result of constantly stretching to pick up my Thesaurus, as valuable to me as a bottle of water in a drought! From that has come the phrase: ‘Going to bed with a dictionary’ 

To my my mind this immediately conjures an obscure radio interview or perhaps Desert Island Discs, in which some celebrity or egg-head of sparkling wit and inexhaustible vocabulary also admits to reading several daily newspapers and a least one obscure novel, translated from the Russian, a month.
In my case, however, the term, ‘going to bed with a dictionary’ means something quite different. 

My computer is upstairs in my bedroom and often, in a spirit of laziness I leave my bed unmade, pulling the covers over when I go to bed that night. In the middle of the night, I stretch out my hand and encounter something with spiky pages, hard and unyielding … my dictionary that I have forgotten to put away. (Indeed, I might as well as said, a thesaurus except this sounds more like some prehistoric animal.)

Not exactly the answer to my dreams. 

Visit my website Barbara Spencer.

Check out my facebook page Barbara Spencer on Facebook.