Reviews and Sale

I’m very excited to announce that I have had a first review of my short-story Let me tell you a story while you sleep. Follow the link to read the review from my friend and fellow Greenwich Writer at The Fairy Dust Book Blog.

https://thefairydustbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/review-let-me-tell-you-a-story-while-you-sleep-by-liv-johannesson/

The other big announcement is that Let me tell you a story is on sale at Smashwords from today and until March 20th. I’m following in the tradition of the Swedish general book sale which kicked off this morning. You will need to use the promo code WC28S to claim 50% off the normal price.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/726968

The book sale in Sweden used to be little Christmas for me when I was still living in Sweden. I’d get the sales catalogs from the major book stores ahead of time so that I could brows what books would be on sale and plan which one’s to buy. It was not unusual that I carried home 15-16 books during the first few days and then had to tell myself that I really couldn’t afford to buy more. The great thing was that there were often just as many non-fiction books as there were general fiction and bestsellers on sale. I’ve picked up the weirdest little books but that’s what’s great about sale, you can try things out that maybe you normally wouldn’t think of buying.

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Trouble in Fairy Wood

Some writing news. My play for children Trouble in Fairy Wood has been accepted and published on Drama Notebook. Check out their website, especially if you’re a teacher and get involved in teaching drama. It’s basically a resource site where members can download plays, monologues and such, to use in drama classes.

Trouble in Fairy Wood is a play about four friends, fairies, who get bored with dancing, playing music and rescuing wild animals so they decide to play a few innocent games with the people of the village nearby. The innocent pranks soon escalate to a war between humans and fairies. Our hero Ruben and his sister Elsa seek out the King of the fairies to get help but their stories of the mischief are not believed. They have to confront the trouble makers on own.

I’m very excited for the opportunity to have my play as part of the downloadable material. It’s important that children get exposed to all kinds of arts and get an opportunity to express themselves and find their self-confidence in doing so. The arts teach us so much about life in a way that science and math cannot. It enriches our lives even if our strengths are not within the artistic subjects.

Additional news is that I will have Let me tell you a story while you sleep on sale. In Sweden, where I’m originally from, there is an annual book sale at the end of February. I have decided to have Let me tell you a story on sale at the same time, from February 27th and three weeks running. It will be half-price. The sale will be on Smashwords only and I will post the promotion code on the blog on the 27th.

For more information about Drama Notebook visit: www.dramanotebook.com

https://www.dramanotebook.com/drama-curriculum/scripts-for-kids/young-children-plays/trouble-in-fairy-wood/

 

Trouble in Fairy Wood

 

Writing for Radio – review

I don’t only read fiction. I pretty much read anything to be fair, although life-stories and non-fiction seems to be the predominant choice.

Writing for Radio by Margaret Wilkinson I picked up because I like exploring different ways to tell stories. Radio is very special since you can’t see the action, you can only rely on your hearing. You can also not go back and re-read something you didn’t catch. I used to love radio theatre when I was a child, sitting curled up on the floor between the kitchen table and the windows facing the garden.

I was expecting a text book that outlines the do:s and the pitfalls specific for the radio media. There is that…but a lot of the book is writing exercises. The exercises seem sensible and the way to become of writer is of course to write but it was not what I expected from the book. Especially as I normally read on my tablet on an over-crowded underground train on my way to work. Doing writing exercises isn’t exactly the top of my priorities.

The book will be a good reference book however, once I can sit down and start writing, preferably a Saturday morning when no one is around.

Swimming Lessons – Claire Fuller

I was gobsmacked when I read Claire Fuller’s previous book Our Endless Numbered Days. It took me completely by surprise and I carried the story with me a long time afterwards, re-piecing it in my mind. Swimming Lessons is more predictable, aspects of the relationships seem far too familiar, but it is yet another story I will carry with me as all the layers of the story continue to sink in.

The outer layers of the story deals with the relationship between Ingrid and Gil. While this is told in the past, in the present we follow Gil and his two daughters as they are still dealing with the disappearance of Ingrid, years after the event. Almost all of the story takes place on an island in a small house. I found the story claustrophobic due to its cut off world that seemed to exist separate from the rest of world events.

It’s a story – a book – where so much is untold. It’s not just that the characters leave out information from each other but you really have to read between the lines to catch all the layer, all that’s going on – events, relationships, perceptions and emotions. That is also why it’s a book you can read, and read again, and again.

The only negative I can think of regarding Swimming Lessons is that I liked the format more than I liked the story. Yes, I’m a writer myself and therefore more aware of formats than the average reader, but the story should draw you in so much that you don’t notice the form in which it’s written. I did notice and I loved the form. Details, such as the title of the book where a certain letter was placed in, tickled my mind.

With that said, after reading two of Claire Fuller’s books, I’m becoming a fan. I can’t wait to see what the next book will bring.

 

swimming-lessons

Länsimetro lighting design project

My first lighting design article was published yesterday. It’s many years since I studied journalism and it’s nerve-wrecking to be published, almost more so than when writing fiction. Fiction is fiction after all – I make it all up.

I’ve never really seen myself as a journalist although maybe I need to re-assess that. Getting in touch with strangers and probe them with questions always seemed like an odd way to make a living. Why would anyone want to answer my questions and do I do justice to the subject in my finished article? In this case, have I captured the project in a way that those involved can be proud of it?

I really like this project. When I came across images of it I was intrigued. That’s why it felt more natural to get in touch and the questions came of its own too. I’ve noticed when I’ve previously written articles about health that, since I have genuine interest in the subject, it doesn’t feel like writing an article. It brings it closer to fiction, there is a story I want to convey. One is based in my imagination, one is based in real life.

For those who are interested here is a link to the article:

http://www.lightinginsight.com/valoa-design-lights-up-the-extension-to-helsinki-metro-system/

170921_länsimetro_tapiola_006Photo: Kuvatoimisto Kuvio

Literary Agents

I claim to be a self-published author after publishing my short-story on Smashwords and Amazon. It was an interesting and time consuming process where I much enjoyed making all the decisions myself. With that said, I have never decided to be a self-publisher. I’ve kept my eyes on traditional and indie publishers as well.

Due to my self-publishing adventure, the encounters with literary agents and publishers have so far been very few. In Sweden, literary agents are still unusual. They are not the inevitable gate-keepers they are in the UK, and I suspect in other parts of the world. Often they act to sell already published work for international rights.

One of the reasons I have not put a lot of effort in to finding a literary agent is that I’m doubting that I am commercial enough to be of interest. Some of the encounters with literary agents has confirmed this, such as being told that it is an advantage if you already have 10,000 followers of twitter (!).

However, one should keep an open mind and I have submitted the beginning of a story to a literary agent, surprised and delighted that my writing was of interest. Part of me is aglow with the positive feedback but the other part is sensibly reminding me that this is only a first step. After a mini celebration dance it’s back to plain old writing again.