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‘Long and Short Australia Stories’: a lovely surprise!

14 Jul

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Short-Australian-Stories-ebook/dp/B008H457FY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=A24IB90LPZJ0BS

These last several weeks, I’ve had  a Q&A on the social reading site known as Goodreads, about my latest publication: a book entitled ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’. It’s edited by my husband, the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ: Ronald Sharp.

‘Long and Short Australian Stories’ is a collection of mixed length stories and vignettes of romance and human interest, set in present-day Australia. Although serious in tone, nevertheless the scenarios lend themselves to uplifting outcomes.

A Goodreads member named Mark has participated in the Q&A ; announcing recently that he had purchased it as an e-book.

Clearly, he enjoyed it, since just this evening I found that he had posted a review both precise and concise on the book’s Goodreads page. He rated it 5 stars.

I’m overjoyed that it’s off to such a good start!

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http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/368139202

<script src=”http://www.goodreads.com/book/avg_rating_widget/13596941&#8243; type=”text/javascript”></script>

Reminiscing….

12 Jul

Do you reminisce?

Do you look back on milestones: consider your life before and after THE EVENT?

I guess all of us, if we survive into middle age, can look back and pinpoint the decisions that have moulded our lives. It could be anything: from personal involvements, trips, or choice of career.

One of my most recent big moments came almost two years ago. I decided to write a book.

I think this idea came into being around the time of the wedding of a close relation.  Of course, I saw this a milestone in her life: a decision, a turning point, for the future. She would have this to look back on.

I suppose I then considered that I, too, wanted a milestone. Already happily married, it had to be something else. A career!

And realistically, the only career that held prospects of satisfaction for myself was as a writer. I had the background: successful completion of literary courses, followed by extensive reading and life observation.

So, egged on by my husband, and later editor, Ronald Sharp B.E.M., I started to write a book. A book of Short Stories, set in the Australia that I love. A book that spoke to others of the joys and vicissitudes of life and humanity: that could make you laugh, or maybe shed a tear or two of happiness. That book, a collection of Short Stories, became known as ’25 Stories of Life and Love in Australia’. It gave me my first taste of the pleasure of receiving a five star review; a pleasure which was not repeated for many months, since getting the work into the wider literary community is, unfortunately, a slow and difficult process.

At last, I’m making progress. Six books published, and it’s just starting to happen! Exciting times!

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http://www.amazon.com/25-Stories-Life-Love-Australia/dp/1456597736

‘Long and Short Australian Stories’ now on Kindle!

5 Jul

Let me first announce that my sixth book, ‘Long and Short Australian Stories’, edited by my husband Ronald Sharp B.E.M., the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ builder, has just been published on Kindle!

I don’t know exactly when Kindle came into being. It certainly wasn’t around when I was growing up: but then, neither were computers.

So I suppose it seems strange to me now, having come to the belief that my best hope of wide readership of my books comes from this previously unconsidered source. I say ‘unconsidered’ simply because it was so deeply entrenched in my brain that books were printed on paper; especially those aspiring to deemed as having  literary merit.

An outmoded idea, I now see, in the light of how far technology has come, and what astonishing benefits it has brought with it.

Anyone with a few dollars to spend, and the right accessories, can download my books,  or ANY Kindle books, almost instantly, and start reading. The convenience is overwhelming: and no dusting of books, left to their own devices on shelves, either!

It’s hardly surprising then that Kindle has grown: is growing: at an impressive rate, and its fans are spanning the ages.

What exciting times we live in!

http://www.amazon.com/Long-Short-Australian-Stories-ebook/dp/B008H457FY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

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Impressions of a Booklover

25 Apr

What books you’ve read have really left their mark: imprinted themselves on your memory?

I’m talking here about fiction, though I guess on reflection, without that qualification, this type of book is more likely to stand out anyway, due to its strong likelihood of emotional impact.

Today, I asked my husband Ron, the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, this question. His answer: detective novels, particularly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s  ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which he described as ‘terrifying’.

Looking back over my own life, my first tight connection with a character, and hence her fortunes, was  Beth March from ‘Little Women’. I guess the reason  identified with her so well because she had similar interests and characteristics to me, particularly her love of music and her perseverance.  Her life events,  particularly her misfortunes, touched me as though she were a real person, a best friend or closer.

For different reasons entirely, I remember Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. The plot and the characters enthralled me, though the events described were more than disturbing.

The volumes of James Herriot are well imprinted on me.  Although some  stories were sad, even quite disturbing, those with ‘happy endings’ or of very humorous flavour blended together to make the entire volume an enjoyable one.

In my own writing, I empathize with Bob, the central character in ‘First Impressions’, a tale from the short story collection entitled ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’. His struggle between his desire for peer acceptance goes up against an even greater goal: to find love.

I could go on and on, but I hope I’ve made my point, and have got you thinking.

What books have stuck with you for years and years?

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A Novel Slant on Books

10 Feb

In at least one municipality here in Australia, the National Year of Reading 2012 is kicking off in an innovative style.

The public library in Kogarah, a suburb of Sydney, N.S.W.,  is in the process of recycling its excess books into decorative features for what promises to be a stunning display.

The highlight of this venture- a sculpture for the library’s foyer-integrates more than two thousand books, glued and screwed together. Others will be made into art works, some suspended.

I wonder how many authors ever envisaged their works breathing new life in a such a striking way?

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Books versus Movies

7 Dec

I’m in the middle of re-reading Jane Austen’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, and I’m struck by how much insight we can gain through the written word.

For instance, did any viewers of the movie-length television series realise how much Elizabeth rebuked herself upon the discovery of the true character of Mister Wickham? Without question, readers of the original text are made very aware of her uneasiness as she perceived her own interpretation of the character of both Darcy and Wickham to be seriously flawed; that her own prejudices had caused her errors of judgement. However, viewers are, probably by necessity, far less aware of her internal turmoil on this issue.

Therein, a critical advantage of books is illustrated. Reading enables us to be vividly aware of the thoughts and motivations of characters, which  enriches our appreciation of  both the people and the plot. Surely, this scores  more than a point for books?

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