Eyes Open

The oak tree keeps its dead leaves through winter, dropping them in spring. Its dark trunk slides through the bronze leaves, gilded by the sunset over the frozen snow-covered lake.

The healing burn on my hand looks horrific now, but at its most painful it simply looked like a large blister.

When I look through the glass of the patio door at this angle, it is so wavy from age that objects beyond it, trees, mostly, seem to move as I adjust position in my office chair.

There’s almost no difference between the ATV tracks in the snow and those you’d see in sand.

As the sun sets, shining slightly in my eyes, the house looks darker by contrast, when in fact it is lighter than at any other time of day.

The knots holding the dining room chair cushions in place are never even; one always off to the side or listing somewhat to port.

snow fence
… more … “Eyes Open”

When They Say “What’s Your Book About?” You Say . . .

does this make my pants look big?90% of the folks who discover you’re a writer will find a quick escape route, or feign boredom. (I tell myself it’s feigned because that’s less painful.)

The few who don’t flee just might ask the one and only question a reader really cares about:

“What’s your book about?”

Just like the question “Do these pants make my backside look big?” this question has nothing to do with the actual factual answer, it is an emotional plea for reassurance. … more … “When They Say “What’s Your Book About?” You Say . . .”

Vicarious Experience Depends on Description

photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/391902 by Bill Davenport http://www.sxc.hu/profile/lumix2004The descriptions written by masters like Chandler aren’t there so we know what a wing-back chair looks like or because the cigar smoke plays a role in the book.

Psychologically, statistically, we are conscious of less than 1% of what we experience. The other 99% goes to our unconscious, bypassing our conscious mind.

But we still experience it.

If I don’t know that your protagonist is a little chilly, or that the drapes are green, or the woman at the next table is wearing flats instead of heels, how will you connect with my unconscious, touch my memories, dredge up what I’m afraid of, or willing to fight, or fight for?

Chandler wrote great long paragraphs of what most authors would call “description.”
… more … “Vicarious Experience Depends on Description”

Media Kits, Live Appearances, Second Book? What, When, and Why

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell
Mon, Aug 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM
To: Joel D Canfield

Hi Joel,

Hope you had a great weekend. I was reading on this link (again) and was looking at the Media Kit piece. Is this something you do?

What’s the difference between a book summary and the description on the back of the book?

I saw your weekly email with the start of my loooong run of questions. Looks like I still haven’t run out so I’ll keep giving you plenty of fodder for that. :)


… more … “Media Kits, Live Appearances, Second Book? What, When, and Why”

Descriptions, Synopses, and Carnivorous Subterranean Aliens

Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell

Continuing our conversation with author Cheryl Campbell

On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM, Cheryl Campbell <ccampbell.me@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Joel,

After doing much digging and reading other book descriptions, and working to shift the synopsis to be more around the concept, here’s what I have come up with….Short description:

Two families find their lives in quiet, rural Maine turned upside down when they discover a deadly world hidden beneath Burnt Mountain.

Longer description for back cover of book:

The savage world lurking beneath a mountain in rural Maine is home to the Tuars, a race of carnivorous, battle hungry creatures determined to wipe out their enemy clan. Led by Ilnin, the Tuars actively seek out their enemies and hunt anything or anyone they can for food. The world also becomes home to humans unfortunate enough to discover the new world. Staying to explore the fascinating yet deadly realm may mean acquiring special abilities, but these come with a price of struggling to stay alive.

When thirteen year old Rio finds herself trapped in the world, but learns she has a gift to control the elements, she must work together with her friends and mother to escape the Tuars and the world threatening to keep them there permanently.

Let me know what you think.

… more … “Descriptions, Synopses, and Carnivorous Subterranean Aliens”