Crime Writer by Dime Sheppard

If you have ever suffered from writer’s block, you will understand exactly what Evie is going through. Her published novels seem to mock her as she struggles to write her next book. And having the pressure of being overdue for her deadline (all the while juggling a wedding and facing family pressure to take a break from writing) is not helping matters.

She is running on tea and licorice. She recites affirmations for creativity and waits for inspiration to strike during cardio. She is willing to try almost anything to spark her creativity (cardio, meditations, affirmations, coffee…) but nothing seems to help her out of her writing rut. And it seems as if her characters are feeding on her energy; they are as tired as Evie is after 15 books of danger and mysteries.

As the story goes on, we learn more about Evie and her characters. Writing drama is great fun for readers, but, looking at things from the characters’ perspectives, drama is less fun. Evie’s characters are getting out of control. She is finding it harder and harder to control the story: her characters are rebelling, because they have been through a lot of drama. 

And then, one night, the lines between fiction and reality cross. One of her characters comes to life, and is standing right in her kitchen, in the flesh. Soon, a disturbingly familiar homicide surfaces, and it seems as if more of her fictional characters have crossed over into reality. In which case, Evie is in a lot of real-life trouble. If she’s going to survive (or even just get her life back to normal), Evie has some choices to make, and she has to make them fast. 

More than just a fun read, this book suggests that the stories authors write carry over into their real lives. It raises questions on existence: what makes a story real?

“‘But they’re not there,’ he argued. ‘They don’t exist.’ Daniel is very practical.

‘They do exist,’ I argued back. ‘Just not here, exactly.'”

Fiction, no matter how surreal or otherworldly, is a response to reality. So even though the characters Evie writes may not be real in the physical sense, they are real to Evie, and to her readers. A part of Evie exists in her characters, as do the characters live within Evie. They are her creations, they are a part of her story.

“‘But they exist to me, and when people read my books they exist to them, too.’”

This novel is perfect for crime and mystery fans. Filled with drama and excitement, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

Crime Writer is available now at all major book retailers.

Thank you to Dime Sheppard for sending me an early copy of Crime Writer! All opinions are my own.

The Handmaid’s Tale: Comparing The Novel To The Series

Image result for the handmaids tale book huluI read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school, and I didn’t ‘get’ it, TBH. I understood it, of course, but it didn’t resonate with me in the way my teacher had hoped it would. It wasn’t until watching the new Hulu adaptation that I was really interested in the story. But I couldn’t understand why my memories of the book were so far from what the show was saying, so I dug out my old copy, still covered in post-its and margin scribbles, and forced myself to give it a second chance. Image result for the handmaids tale hulu

With my first reading, for whatever reason, I had a very obscure picture of the world Atwood was writing about. I wasn’t able to imagine what it would be like. But, after watching the series, I was able to really picture the world of Gilead, and it made me want to understand it better. So I decided to revisit the book, and I re-read it while watching the show. It completely changed my opinion of the novel, and now I love a book that I once hated.

Although I loved both the book and the series, I can’t ignore their differences. Though both are important and relevant, they have different missions and different lessons. The ideal would be for audiences to read and watch both; they inform each other, each provides what the other lacks.  Continue reading “The Handmaid’s Tale: Comparing The Novel To The Series”

The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Image result for the rules of magic by alice hoffman

Image result for practical magic book and movie

Alice Hoffman returns, 22 years later, to tell the first part of the story. The Rules Of Magic follows Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens as they uncover the mystery of their witchy heritage, and try to break the curse that haunts their fate. This prequel to the 1995 best-seller Practical Magic is an essential prelude to the first book, providing a fundamental understanding of the family and the secrets that follow them.

In The Rules Of Magic, we are introduced to Maria Owens, the Salem witch Hoffman uses to root the family tree in witchcraft and magik. The plot opens with Franny, Jet, and their younger brother Vincent, and explains to readers why they are the way that they are. Witch-y.

“What mattered was the blood that ran through him, the same blood that flowed through Maria Owens.” (53).

Continue reading “The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman”

Patchwork Girl Stands on The Shoulders of Shelley & Baum


Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl demonstrates how intertextual allusions are used as piecework in order to construct new literatures together from various sources of the past. Presented in hypertext format, Patchwork Girl uses intertextual allusions borrowed from canonical texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and L. Frank Baum’s Patchwork Girl of Oz to create a new work inspired by and in reference to Shelley and Baum’s works, reinterpreting their ideas and making them modern. The work of Patchwork Girl proves that literature has always been intertextual – writers have forever been influenced by other writers. We are all only standing on the shoulders of giants.

Continue reading “Patchwork Girl Stands on The Shoulders of Shelley & Baum”

Pry as a “novel”

nov·el  /ˈnävəl/  noun

1. a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.
2. new or unusual in an interesting way.
Poet Ezra Pound once wrote, “The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, or a discovery is of little worth.” The very word “novel” implies innovation; in fact, the first printed novels were thus named for their specific cutting-edge contemporary style of writing. The novel itself (which was different from the other books available at the time of their invention, which included but were limited to *mostly* Bibles, ancient plays or works of poetry, or books of science or history) has gone through many iterations over the years, evolving from Gothic romance stories of the 19th century to modern series’ and now experimental novels.
This work Pry, though it is digital literature, can be considered [a] “novel” by some, in the way that it is taking the tradition of storytelling via literature and “making it new” (“novel” here meaning new, as well as a book) .

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Authenticity of Voice in People of Paper: A Close Reading The People of Paper (9780156032117): Plascencia ...Salvador Plascencia’s debut novel The People of Paper raises questions regarding authorship and voice in a work. Blurring the lines between author and speaker, the work leaves readers questioning who is really getting to tell the story.

In a world where the victors of war (colonizers, or Saturn) dictate written history, The People of Paper offers a novel wherein the colonized (members of E.M.F.) have the opportunity to dictate their own point of view. This novel forces readers to question the authenticity of what they are reading; how much of the story has been fabricated, misrepresented, or mistold? This novel requires readers to glean their own understanding of truth by sifting through various sides of the same story. Continue reading “Authenticity of Voice in People of Paper: A Close Reading”