eBook or Paperbook - How to Decide?

There's only one way to decide.


PAPERBOOK:  None shall pass.
  eBOOK:  What?
  PAPERBOOK:  None shall pass.
  eBOOK:  I have no quarrel with you, good Paperbook, but I must
      reach my readers.
  PAPERBOOK:  Then you shall die.
  eBOOK:  I command you as King of the formats to stand aside!
  PAPERBOOK:  I move for no electronic book.
  eBOOK:  So be it!
      [parry thrust]
      [eBOOK rips out PAPERBOOK's first chapter]
  eBOOK:  Now stand aside, worthy adversary.
  PAPERBOOK:  'Tis but a paper cut.
  eBOOK:  A paper cut?  Your whole first chapter is missing!
  PAPERBOOK:  No, it isn't.
  eBOOK:  Well, what's that then?
  PAPERBOOK:  I've had worse.
  eBOOK:  You liar!
  PAPERBOOK:  Come on you pansy!
      [parry thrust]
      [eBOOK rips out PAPERBOOK's next 3 chapters]
  eBOOK:  Victory is mine!
      We thank thee Lord, that in thy merc-

Fragmented Reviewed

by Jeremy Worman
Publisher: Cinnamon Press
Review: Grace Read

I almost gave up on this book of short stories. I found them to be lack lustre and without a distinct flare for words. There wasn’t any crafting of the sentences or the ideas. So my initial intrigue at the plain observational style of writing soon wore off as I became desperate for a spark.

Then, finally, I found the defining feature I was looking for. In the 15th (15th!) story. Finally, a narrative style that was infused with some playfulness. And this gave me the impetus to persevere with the rest of the collection. Although Worman’s style returned to observational, matter of fact description after the joyous 15th story, I was keen to read on to find the next gem.

The collection as a whole is obscure, fleetful and intensely introspective. I was unsettled by the (seemingly) entirely autobiographical content of the stories and the decision to call the narrator Simon. Is changing your name the difference between non-fiction and fiction? It seemed like a daft choice to me, and made the reading experience uneasy: it feels like a memoir, but it isn’t. Or is it?


Reader Logo by Elizabeth Baines

Here’s a proposal for the publishing industry:

Every book should be published at best anonymously, at worst under a pseudonym with initials that do not reveal the sex of the author, and every book cover should be of plain design, without images and bearing only text, like those early Penguins.

This would stop the following things happening:

Review: Unleashed: Wolf Spring Chronicles

Unleashed: Wolf Spring Chronicles
by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Published by: Doubleday books
Review: Jessica Patient

Unleashed, the first book in the Wolf Springs Chronicles, is a coming of age novel with a wolf-bite twist.

From the start, the plot starts to slide into Twilight territory minus the vampires. Like Bella, Katelyn has to deal with the whole newcomer in town anxiety and finding her place in society. Unleashed is captivating even though it has a conventional wolf-bite and love triangle plot.

Katelyn is dumped from L.A. and into a remote town in Arkansas, after her Mother is killed in a house fire. Katelyn feels like her world is about to go apocalyptic. Her new life in a remote cabin with her Grandpa is a long way away from Katelyn’s gymnastic routines, her best buddies and phone signal. But life isn’t so bad when Katelyn has a guy, Trick, taking her to school in a Mustang and wanting to take her on dates and Justin, a guy on a motorbike, turning up and smooching her in the forest. Yet neither of them are there when she gets a flat tyre, one night as she drives down a remote road, running through the forest. She gets bitten by a wolf. Uh-oh. Or maybe it’s something worse. Double Uh-oh. If only she had breakdown cover.

Neill Cameron Interview

Last month as part of The Luton Book Festival, comic writer and artist, Neill Cameron ran a comic workshop - we caught up with him after, flipped open the top of his head and took a peak inside ...

Hi Neill thanks for agreeing to chat with us – you’ve just finished a day of workshops at Luton how do you think it went?

Lots of fun! I had a great time in Luton, the library staff running the event were great, everyone was really friendly and the kids were full of suitably insane ideas and questions! Numbers were a little on the low side but, at the risk of getting into a whole other conversation, apparently this is due to cuts in funding meaning that they've had to start charging for these kinds of events, which sadly has a real effect on how many people come along. Still, I think those who were there had a good time. *I* did, and that is of course the main thing.

Everything I Know About Storytelling I Learnt From Bobbie Gentry

Reader Logo by Jonathan Pinnock

Back in July of this year, I was asked to be guest editor for National Short Story Week, and as part of this I made some recommendations for short stories to read. But it struck me recently that I’d left out one of my favourites, one of the best examples of storytelling ever written. The really odd thing about this particular story is that it’s hidden in plain sight; 3 million people own a copy and countless more than that know it off by heart. Chances are you’ll know it too, especially if like me you’re a child of the 60s. I’m talking (as you’ve probably guessed from the title of this piece) about Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe”. Here she is singing it on Top of the Pops back in 1968:

We Need To Talk About Kevin...and Damien and those kids from Midwich and oh Rosemarys baby.

Reader Logo by Brian Hutton

'We Need to Talk About Kevin' is the latest film from director Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar). It is based on Lionel Shriver's 2003 novel of the same name and is about a Mothers attempt to come to terms with the terrible crime committed by her eldest child Kevin and her part in the failed and distant relationship with her son. Some have said it’s a psychological thriller, and it is. Some say it’s a film that challenges the myth of the nurturing mother. But most say it’s a throwback to that horror genre which dominated 60's and late 70's horror cinema … the ultimate taboo … the child as the personification of evil. Ladies and gentlemen may I present the return of The Devil Child.

Living in Hebrew; Writing in English

By Gila Green

Artwork by Bradley Wind

I’m unattractive, unwanted and often uninvited. Geographically speaking that is. I write in English, but live in Israel, where the main language of culture is Hebrew. The hardship is double-barreled. I am far from English-speaking audiences and the pool of English-language publishers is strictly for wading and is, if anything, shrinking. I have encountered countless sites for agents, publishers and literary magazines that read: no international queries at the bottom of their guidelines.

Let’s face it. New York publishing houses aren’t funding book tours by locals anymore, unless you already have an established audience; who would dream of flying someone in from overseas today for a meeting or a book tour? And could most writers really jump on a plane with ease for an interview?

Luton Book Festival – Something to Celebrate

Reader Logo by Shanta Everington

On the 20th October, Senior Editor Mike French and I pitched up at Luton Library to deliver a workshop on Editing Your Book for Luton's book festival, run in partnership with The View From Here.

Mike explained how the collaboration came about: “We spoke to Waterstones in Luton late last year and agreed that it would be a good idea to pull the different strengths of The View From Here, Waterstones and the library together to try and foster an environment where literature could flourish in Luton. At the moment, the town is really a literary desert and when you look at the strengths and cultural mix of the place there really is no reason for that.