Friday, October 28, 2011

"Summer Breaks" Reviewed

I asked Rod Richards, author of "Readerman.net" and fellow card collector, to write up a review for my debut novel, "Summer Breaks."  I respect his thoughts and insights and have enjoyed reading the reviews of the many other books he has posted to his site.

One of the advantages to having Rod on my Facebook friends list: direct discussion.  He let me read the review before posting, and I was able to explain some of my thoughts on his responses.  He then had some follow-up comments, and the whole process showed me where certain weak areas might exist in the novel.

The two main issues he had with the novel: time and age. 

I wrote the story without a particular time in mind because it was meant to have nostalgic feel without limiting the setting to a particular decade or specific year.  I can see where that might actually detract from things in retrospect.  In one scene, Decker opens a pack of baseball cards and tosses most of them away.  As a collector, knowing just what cards (and what year of the cards) is a piece of information we basically thrive on.  Did he throw away a rookie card of some guy named "Eddie Murray?"  Was it Nolan Ryan?  How about Derek Jeter or Albert Pujols or, heaven forbid, Mickey Mantle?  Okay, well, the songs referenced in the story would prevent some of those names being opened in a fresh pack of dime-store cards, but hopefully you get the gist.  The date is probably more important than I had given thought.

The ages of the kids in the story, I thought, were self-evident.  But, after reading back over it again, I can see where a reader might not quite be sure just how old these kids are.  I did have one reader ask me, "Are you sure ten year olds would do this?"  I then explained that though this tale was fiction, some of the episodes in it were based on actual adventures I had myself... when I was about eight.  I figured no one in their right mind today would believe such things could happen to eight year olds, so that is why I made them all around ten.  As an aside, the original story was called, "Summer of Seven" and was about a group of seven kids who were all seven years old.  Again, I figured no one today would believe seven year old kids would be doing these things.  Truth is stranger than fiction.

There were a couple of editing errors as well.  They are the kind that we make when we insert words mentally we know should be there physically.  They even got by my editor.

What I really enjoyed about the review, especially when connected with the follow up conversation, were the afterthoughts I had because of it.  The story will eventually be included in a compilation of the "Decker Stories" once I finish the series, and some revision/reworking will certainly be in order.

The review can be found here: http://www.readerman.net/201110_3388/

Thank you, Rod, for the review and the thought-provoking discussion!

Two asides:
1) Yes, there will be a series for this novel.  The next book, "Lost Summer" is already in the works (meaning I have started writing it and will use it for my NaNoWriMo entry this year).
2) I always wondered by authors re-released some of their books.  And now I know why.  After a story has left an author, it takes on a life of its own, and just like real life, as the story ages, it gains new character, deeper personality, and age lines.  Sometimes, an author feels like they need to do a little plastic surgery to keep the story fresh - not really changing its appearance completely, but just enough for readers to see a slightly different side of it.  I don't plan on going all "Michael Jackson" with it.  But, maybe more like "Jennifer Grey" - just a nip to make the reader look twice.

Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Fall Gathering of Authors!

Want something fun to do this Saturday?  Want to help the kids at St. Jude's Hospital in the process?  Want to win some VERY cool door prizes?  Would you like to meet some local (and some not-so-local) authors? Want some food to eat?  Want some cool things for kids (of all ages!) to do?

The 2011 FALL GATHERING OF AUTHORS is here!!

When: Saturday, October 22 from 10am - 4pm (come and go, or stay the day!)

Where: Four States Fairgrounds, Fine Arts Center, Texarkana

Who, What, Why? For those answers, jump on over to here: http://www.tammydthompson.com/fall_gathering_of_authors 

I will be there to sign books, chit-chat, and have a good time! Come on by and say "HI!"

SHOW SPECIAL: 50% OF ALL MY BOOK SALES GOES TO ST. JUDES!

You can also have a chance to win a signed copy of one of my books!

Books I'll have on-hand include:


SUMMER BREAKS: a novel
ALL THIS DIGGING and other stories


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A new project in the works!

I haven't posted on my author page lately.  Sorry about that, but I try to save posts on here for things pertinent to my writing (or writing in general), publishing, appearances, etc.

Well, after more than a year's searching, I finally found the songwriter responsible for "Jesus Saves" performed by Hannah Blaylock and Eden's Edge waaaaaay before they were famous (or on the verge of stardom!!).  Last Fall during the 2010 NaNoWriMo, I started a story based on the song, but wanted to be sure I had his okay before moving toward publication.

Today, Steve Smith gave his okay and I hope to have the new story ready for this year's Gathering of Authors in Texarkana!  This is my first "derivative work" venture and I am very excited to bring the characters from the song into life through the stories of their lives!

Thanks so much to Mr. Smith!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Inbox had bad news (Borders Goodbye)

The letter from the CEO was actually a series of images in my Yahoo! mail:

Monday, July 4, 2011

STARSNSTRIPES - Gets you 20% off my books!

Wow!  Lulu.com is offering a special for the 4th of July!  If you're looking for a fun summertime read, check out my book, "Summer Breaks!"  And, if you use the coupon code STARSNSTRIPES when you check out, you get 20% off!  PLUS, I am offering it at a 40% discount!  That is a total of 60% off!! Wahoo!

Get your copy here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/summer-breaks/11904667

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Let It Not Be Said - A poem of sorts

Our preacher, Perry Johnson, examined what would be worse than going to Hell after we died.  The answer: taking someone with you (or causing someone to go).  That weighed on my heart pretty heavily.  After all, I happen to believe that after we pass on from this world, our spirit (or soul or whatever word you choose) passes to either Heaven or Hell.  I also happen to believe that the deciding factor into which place one ends up is based on the belief that God sent His son, Jesus, to the earth in order to teach and lead us to Heaven, then die on the cross and rise again.  Jesus, and God through Him, also made it clear that those "playing church" were an abomination to God and Heaven.  I have a lot of friends and family on many of the social networks I hang out on, and I never want it said that I did not tell them about the way to Heaven.

Oh, I know a lot of my friends and family are not believers and will most likely never be.  But, if there is something I say that happens to cause even one to stop and think, maybe even reach the same conclusion, then posting this and sharing my belief is worth it.  I am not one to force my beliefs on anyone.  In fact, I have quite a bit of enough "well-rounded education" to live by the creed: Question Everything.  Why question everything?  Because, only by examining various angles and aspects of anything anyone tells you, can you truly know what it is YOU believe and WHY you believe it.  No one should believe that Jesus is the way to Heaven just because I say so, or because they read "John 3:16" plastered all over the walls of the world.  By the same token, no one should suffer an eternity in Hell because *I* neglected the simple act of TELLING it.

That is where this "poem" comes into being.  Let it not be said that I never told my friends, family, friends-of-friends, or anyone else that happens upon this post, that I did not tell them about Jesus.  And, if you want to know more about what I believe and why, or you want to talk to someone who is much smarter than I am about these things, let me know and I'll pass along your info to my pastor or our youth minister.  Whether you agree or disagree, love me or hate me, if you've read this far, you cannot truthfully say that I never told you that believing in Jesus and His resurrection was the way to eternal Heaven.
-----------------------
"Let it not be said" - David Henderson

Let it not be said
From here on out
That I did not say
Or scream or shout
That the way to Heaven
Is an easy route.

Let it not be said
From this day forth
That I did not make
A stand of worth
That the way to Heaven
Is there from birth.

Let it not be said
Of my own blame
That I did not share
What is ours to claim
The way to Heaven
Is by Jesus' name.

Believe in your heart
That God loves you
And He sent His son
To show it true
And that His son died
And rose anew.

Though the way to Heaven is easy
The path is hard.
Salvation is not
An "easy life" card.
Troubles and triumphs lie in wait,
For even Jesus' hands are scarred.

Let it not be said
Of me in this life
That I did not tell
My friends, or family, or my wife
Of the way, the truth
Or of the Life.


(copyright 2011, David W Henderson. All rights reserved. Please contact me: davidinark@yahoo.com for info, interviews, usage, etc)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Fall Gathering of Authors!

Wahoo!  Just got the word yesterday that the 2011 Fall Gathering of Authors will be held on October 22, 2011.  This will be your chance to head to Texarkana and meet authors from the four-state region as well as some nationally-known writers! 

The night before, there will be a benefit dinner for St. Jude's hospital and all money raised at the Gathering (through raffle ticket sales) will go to benefit St. Jude's.  Many authors also make a portion of their book sales a donation as well.

The event is tentatively scheduled to be held at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana like last year, but we'll know more as the time gets closer.  Of course, I'll keep you posted!  Looks like some fun changes are in store, too!