Okay, I Think We’re Done… For Now!

Source: Okay, I Think We’re Done… For Now!

Impressive press release from a writer friend. We’ve already ordered his books!

ANNOUNCING PUBLICATION OF OUR LATEST BOOK: JAKE, LITTLE JIMMY & BIG LOUIE

 

 

JLJBL Book Cover

Finally the day has arrived to announce that our latest book is now available for order. We are proud of the product and hope many of you will be anxious to read it. We think adults will enjoy the book as much as children or teenagers will.  The book is written on the pre-teen reading level. You can order a copy online at the following link: https://www.createspace.com/5114278.

Signed copies will also be available from the authors at a Book Launch and subsequent book readings in Vernon, British Columbia, probably in the month of February.

Sometime in February 2015 the book should also be available for order online through amazon or from book stores. Unless you want to take advantage of free postage through amazon by placing an order at a minimum of $25, we request that you place your order through Create Space as listed above as we get a larger royalty and you receive the book at the same price and same shipping and handling fees as through other methods of online ordering.

For those who want to read the book in an e-book format, we will be listing it on amazon as a Kindle book shortly.

Below is the information from the book’s back cover:

Has a pet ever held a special place in your heart?

Though written for children, this book will appeal to pet lovers of all ages. It tells the story of Jake, an 11-year-old boy who adopts Little Jimmy, a budgie bird, born without wings. Jake learns to help Little Jimmy live and feel like a very special bird.

Later, a rescued baby chick is literally dumped into Jake’s hands. “Thing,” as Jake originally names him, soon insists on his own name, becoming “Louie.” Eventually Big Louie grows into a huge and very smart raven. Though he didn’t want the raven at first, Jake soon realizes that Big Louie has become an important part of the family who comes to the rescue when Little Jimmy gets into dangerous situations. One adventure follows another and the three become fast friends who really love each other.

Author Ian Moore-Morrans had ample experience raising his own Jimmy, a cockatiel, from newly-hatched to adulthood. Ian has used that knowledge in portraying realistic characterizations of both birds, including intelligence, comic actions, dependence and independence, plus an ability to “talk” and a knack for finding a very special place within a family.

Co-author Gayle Moore-Morrans, also Ian’s wife and editor, has added her own touch to the story, giving a spiritual dimension to Jake’s family and his decisions in caring for and loving his pets.

For that special “kid’s touch,” Ian and Gayle invited two of their great-grandchildren to collaborate on Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie. Great-grandson Leland German was their age-appropriate consultant and Great-granddaughter Hannah German served as the illustrator. They are pictured at the top of the following collage.

Wee Yins' collage-2014

TO OUR ‘WEE YINS’

Our book,” Jake, Little Jimmy & Big Louie,” is dedicated to the eleven children in our lives, three of them born since we first started blogging a draft of the book  almost two years ago. They are our youngsters (or “wee yins,” as Ian would call them in his Scottish vernacular).

In the center is a picture of Ian signing a stack of his books and one of Gayle busy at one of her Location Writing sessions. We are surrounded by photos of these very special children who make up our blended family: from top left and clockwise, Leland, Hannah, Logan, Eva, Gustav, Haylee, Brayden, Alex, Lexi, Madison and Caleigh. We love them all!

 

 

AN INVITATION TO VOTE AGAIN FOR IAN MOORE-MORRANS, A FINALIST IN THE AUTHOR’S SHOW CONTEST “50 GREAT WRITERS YOU SHOULD BE READING”

Seal-2013Finalist-300On September 18, 2013 we blogged an invitation to vote for Ian Moore-Morrans as he entered the first phase of The Authors Show 2013-1014 contest “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” which ended on November 1st.  We greatly appreciate any and all votes cast. Enough of you did vote for him so that now Ian is a finalist in the second (and final) phase of the contest. This is an invitation to AGAIN VOTE FOR IAN in this final phase.

Here is the information from Danielle Hampson, Executive Producer of The Authors Show:

The final phase of our contest is now open for voting through December 1, 2013. The top fifty authors with the most votes will be included in the 4th edition of  “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” to be published in January 2014.  A special prize will also be awarded to the top winner in each book genre: Fiction, Nonfiction, Children and Christian.  To view the names of all the finalists and to vote for your favorite author in our final phase, go to: 

http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow50Writers2013-Contest-Finalists.html.”

Thanks in advance to those of you who will cast a vote for Ian. We are including a copy of Ian’s entry into the contest which asked for him to write about his journey as a writer. We hope you will enjoy it.

Best wishes,

Ian and Gayle Moore-Morrans

Why I Write – My Writing Journey

by  Ian Moore-Morrans

Author of From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada

Folks remark that I have a gift for gab and storytelling. However, whatever free time I had was taken up by music-making. Important as it was to me, writing took a back seat to making music.

Though growing up in abject poverty in Scotland during the Great Depression, I was fortunate to attend school until I was 14. I liked learning and tried my best to do well in my class work. My English teacher had remarked about the quality of my essays and compositions. When she mentioned that I should become a journalist after I finished school, I found it an intriguing but totally impossible suggestion. I could only conclude, ‘What a picture that would be—me sitting at a desk with holes in my shoes and no underwear!’

When schooling was over, I had to find a job. Working as an apprentice to a local blacksmith, I had neither time nor energy to write, though I earned some money and built up muscle. My free time was spent learning to sing and play an instrument as part of the Salvation Army. Music-making became my passion.

Four years later I joined the Royal Air Force. Finally I had decent food, clothing and living conditions plus an opportunity to learn a trade—Flight Mechanic Engines—and to continue to play in a band. I served in England, Wales, Scotland and the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt. Being far away, I enjoyed writing letters home and hearing remarks about how exciting I made my life sound and how much folk learned from reading what I wrote. I was to benefit most by corresponding with my pen-pal. Mary and I kept up a steady correspondence and then met in Glasgow just after I returned to Britain. We were soon married.

Whenever I had a chance at work or leisure, I told stories when I wasn’t singing songs or playing my trumpet. I fancied myself an entertainer but never thought of trying to earn a living at it. After five years’ service, I left the RAF. Not only did I have a wife to support; we were soon blessed with two daughters. I found work as a machine fitter in the steel industry around Glasgow. After awhile I applied for a clerk’s job in a big steel company. When interviewed, the supervisor mentioned that one of the biggest problems in the job was reading what someone had written. He asked me to write the numbers from 1 to 10 and also spell each one out in longhand and then print the words in capital letters. “Very good” he said, “at least we’ll have one person whose writing is legible. When can you start?” I couldn’t believe that was the test! Soon, my “penmanship” earned me a better job as a shift scheduler.

Having been misled by the inflated promises of an unscrupulous Ontario official, we got “itchy feet” and headed for Canada. Arriving in 1965, we soon found that my promised machining job was not available, nor were we in a financial position to buy a house as we had been led to believe. After five years of misadventures finding and keeping jobs and suitable homes, we finally reached the level of prosperity we had had in Scotland.
My family and I continued to live and work in Canada, moving almost every year to a different house, town or province (and different band) as jobs came and disappeared. I never seemed to have time to write down my stories, though I told plenty of them, both true and made-up. Finally, in 1995 at age 63, I decided if I didn’t start writing, I’d never do it.

In longhand over three evenings, I wrote “My Friend Jimmy,” a children’s story about a budgie that had no wings. Then I bought a simple, used computer and studied a learn-to-type book. I rewrote my children’s story and sent it away to a publisher, thinking full well that he would deem it the very best children’s story he had ever read! Soon I could just about paper the wall with rejections. ‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘where there’s life, there’s hope.’ I went on to write others, thinking that I’d give “My Friend Jimmy” a try again at a later date. (Now, 17 years later, my wife/editor is starting the layout for “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” a highbred of the original story!)

Next, I tackled my life’s story. Several times I’ve encountered people who heard my Scottish “burr” and then told me of Scottish ancestors. After inquiring, I would hear they had died and the family didn’t even know where in Scotland they had originated. Finally, I vowed to write my life story to avoid that state. Thus began the long process of remembering and writing into the wee hours of the night over the course of several years. I ended up with two volumes called “From Poverty to Poverty” and “Came to Canada, Eh?” Again, I submitted manuscripts which were politely rejected.

In 1984, I taught an adult class for men who had metal-cutting lathes and wanted to learn how to better use them. I loved this first and only experience of formal teaching. Later, I wrote a “how-to” book about machining steel, written for the type of people I had been teaching. Completed in 1998, I called it “Metal Machining Made Easy.” I did all of the 60-odd illustrations by hand. This was published in 2002 through Writers Exchange in Australia.

Shortly thereafter, my wife Mary died. I vowed to go on with life, continue to write but also to socialize and enjoy what time I had left. Then came the most significant encounter of my life. I started a conversation with an attractive widow about the eclectic assortment of stories I had begun writing after retirement. When I learned that Gayle was working as a magazine editor, I began to envision a future of our living and working together. We married in 2003 and, after she took an early retirement, we bought a motor home and set out to explore Mexico. While basking along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Gayle started editing my stories while I sat at the laptop and did re-writes, as well as writing a story of revenge called “Legal Hit Man.” Later moving inland to the mountainous north shore of Lake Chapala, we became residents of the world’s largest community of English-speaking expatriates. We joined the local writers’ group and met some wonderful writers from around the world. Soon my short story, “The Moonlit Meeting,” was published in a local magazine.

We returned to Canada in 2007 and now live in British Columbia. We have since published two books with a Scottish flair—a novel of adventure and time-travel, “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie” and my memoir “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada.”

Age has caught up with me. When I first started seriously writing, I sketched out a few notes and went to work with everything flowing fairly smoothly. I kept going at all hours and wherever I was. At present, after over five years of illness, it’s becoming harder to find the energy to write. Luckily, I have a number of manuscripts waiting for Gayle to work on. Then I read through edits, give my approval or comments, and let her do the rest. Aren’t I fortunate?

Celebrating Self-Publishers

Phantom Battle book cover

With thanks to Xlibris, the self-publishing company with which we published Ian’s novel, Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie, we are re-posting the latest encouragement about self-publishing from the Xlibris website.

Self-publishing has been both an enjoyable adventure and a lot of work. We enjoy the freedom self-publishing gives us to publish and edit our books with a free hand. It is good to see that a number of very successful authors have also gone through the self-publishing procedure.

The following article is re-posted from Xlibris:

“Getting Your Push from Big Name Indie Writers

“They say it is wise to learn from the mistakes of others. This also holds true for self-publishing. Famous independently published authors—then and now—have been rejected by traditional publishers at one point but eventually made a name for themselves by choosing a publishing route off the beaten track. If, however, you have already stumbled along the way, these nuggets might save you from giving up your self-publishing dreams.

“Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) Born and raised in poverty with his father dying when he was four, Dumas faced discrimination because of his ethnic African ancestry. However, with his rich imagination, the Count of Monte Cristo author overcame his lowly social stature by penning quite a number of high-adventure tales and historical chronicles published under his name. His works were translated in numerous languages, making him one the world’s widest-read French writers.

“Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) The creator of the detective fiction genre had to fight tooth and nail to make a living from his craft. The American literary genius was unfortunate to have written at a time when the US publishing industry suffered from weak copyright law. While his first self-published work The Raven didn’t bring him much financial success, the poem is considered one of the greatest gems in literature history.

“Mark Twain (1835-1910) The American author of the timeless novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn built his own publishing company that flourished but suffered bankruptcy following a failed investment in a faulty typesetting machine invention. To rebuild his fortune, he used his natural gift of gab, touring different countries for public speaking engagements. He also wrote more books to pay off his debts.

“George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) The Irish playwright had initially published his early works to attract producers. Although his first novels were a flop, he was a dedicated playwright who learned from his mistakes. ‘Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time,’ he said.

“Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) The British Nobel Laureate in literature was known to be a fervent artist who wrote almost without pause. He reported for his newswriting job six days a week, with only a day each off Christmas and Easter breaks. His passion for writing was such that he self-published his first collections of poetry. The rest, as they say, is history.

“Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Hailed by literary pundits as ‘one of the most innovative writers of his generation,’ he started writing at the age of four and published his early works at age 16. His first novel Maggie: A Girl of the Streets was, however, rejected by a traditional publisher who thought the story was too unrealistic. Crane loaned money from his brother, published the book, and enjoyed commercial success thereafter.

“Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) She and her husband co-owned a publishing company where her works, along with other notable writers such as T.S. Eliot, were published. Although she believed that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,” she married an average-income earning civil servant with whom she nurtured a healthy personal and business relationship.

“Ezra Pound (1885-1972) As a twenty-something sacked college professor with dwindling funds, the American poet self-published his first poetry book, A Lume Spento (With Tapers Spent). He sold 100 copies at six cents apiece. The compilation was praised by The London Evening Standard for being ‘poetic, original, imaginative.’ Pound also befriended celebrated Irish poet W. B. Yeats, whose publisher promoted the book, resulting in its success.

“Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) She is best known as one of the pioneer women writers of the female erotica genre. The French-Cuban diarist, whose journals detailed her own erotic adventures, self-published her first book Under a Glass Bell. The book, hailed as Nin’s finest work, launched her literary success.

“E. L. James The British author of the best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey revealed that the novel sums up her ‘midlife crisis.’ Starting out as a fan fiction writer, she got her inspiration from the vampire series The Twilight Saga. The worldwide-commercial success of the erotic trilogy has proven that a novice writer can make it big in the publishing industry.

“Amanda Hocking Cashing in on the popularity of vampire-themed novels, the twenty-something American novelist, formerly a group home worker, has used the booming e-book industry to self-publish her paranormal romance novels. She has sold more than a million copies and was the first self-published author to hit $2 million in sales in 2011. She later signed a $2-million worth contract with a traditional publisher.

“J. A. Konrath The American e-book writer of mystery, thriller, and horror genres is an ardent supporter of self-marketing. He holds a spot in the ‘5 E-book Authors To Watch’ by Mediabistro.com. It’s almost impossible to believe that his previously unpublished stories had reportedly been rejected almost 500 times before he reached his rock star status as a self-published author.

“We hope these stories will motivate you and keep you writing, whether you’re considering starting a writing a career or are already working on your first book.”

Writing Dialogue isn’t Easy

Writing Dialogue isn’t Easy. Please check out the referenced posting from Francis Guenette on her blog: “disappearing in plain sight – writing about writing”. I’ve also added the following comment with reference to the difficulty of writing dialogue.

Thanks for this post. It’s very true that writing dialogue isn’t easy. The particular “problem” I’ve encountered in writing dialogue in both my novel: “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie” and my autobiography: “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada” was writing in the Scottish vernacular, as both books were set in Scotland (the latter partially so).

My editor, who is not Scottish-born, had quite a workout learning the spelling and nuances of my attempt to record written Scots-English. In fact, one computer program sent us the message that there were so many errors in spelling that we could not use the spell-check!!! In the novel, which uses the vehicle of time travel, I also had to try to convey that the Scottish persons my 21st Century heroes encountered when they found themselves somehow transported back to the 12th Century spoke in the Gaelic but the heroes, who didn’t speak or understand Gaelic, heard it as Scots-English and vice-versa. I chose to show the Gaelic, not by using that language, but by eliminating all contractions from their speech and using old-fashioned words or sentence structure whenever possible.

One reviewer remarked that he found the dialogue stilted and old-fashioned at times, not recognizing why I chose to use the differing speech patterns. On the other hand, another reviewer remarked that the dialogue read realistically for the most part and added, “Character personalities come through well in their speech, and you’ve managed to suggest the Scottish ‘lilt’ without overdoing it. I don’t know how you do it, but there’s a cadence to some of the speech that just seems to work. Very nice.” I can only conclude that some reviewers “get it” and others don’t. That probably goes for general readers as well. I now realize I should have addressed the difference in speech patterns in a preface to the book.

Having learned my lesson, I noted in the preface to my autobiography: “The reader will notice that I’ve used the Scottish vernacular when Scots are speaking amongst themselves and normal English when they are speaking with non-Scots. That reflects my own speaking pattern. When among Scots, my speech becomes increasingly ‘Scottish-sounding.’ For example, ‘Ah’ (I); ‘tae’ (to); ‘ye’ (you); ‘no’ (not); ‘canna’ (cannot);’ ‘oor’ (our); ‘widna’ (would not); ‘aboot’ (about); ‘aye’ (yes), etc. I’ve also used British words for the period before I emigrated from Scotland (such as ‘lorry,’ ‘chap,’ ‘bloke,’ and ‘cheerio’); and changed them to North American words sometime after I immigrated to Canada (such as ‘truck,’ and ‘guy’). My editor and I had a disagreement about allowing ‘Scottishisms’ (as she calls them) into my narrative. I insisted on leaving them in, however, for that’s how we (Scots) speak. Thus you’ll find the occasional sentence such as ‘So, there’s me, the great boatbuilder.’ instead of her ‘cleaned up’ version, ‘So, there I was, the great boatbulder.”

Editor’s Review of “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie” in Goodreads

This posting is being done by Gayle Moore-Morrans, Ian’s wife, editor, publicist, etc. as Ian is hospitalized at present and waiting for an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiogram and Pancreatogram, better known as an ERCP. Tests have indicated a possible blockage or stones in a liver duct and this ERCP should be able to extract the stones or insert stents to clear the blockage. Yesterday he was in good form, joking and visiting with his roommates and also selling copies of his books to hospital staff and visitors. Today he was not feeling as well and actually fell asleep as I was visiting. At least he’s getting a rest.

Since I’m the one who has developed this blog for Ian and do most of the manual labour to put this on the website, I’ll take the opportunity of his absence to post the review of his novel that I recently entered on Goodreads, a great site for readers. I recommend it to anyone interested in reading and passing along or getting book recommendations. I’ve found it a great way to connect with the world’s largest community of readers.

*****Review of “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie” by Ian Moore-Morrans. Posted by Gayle Moore-Morrans on Goodreads.

*****A tale of adventure, time travel, fantasy, historical fiction and romance set in the Scottish Highlands. As I’m married to the author and have edited the book myself, perhaps I’m a bit prejudiced. However, I don’t think you’ll find a better read that will take you from the 21st Century back to the 12th Century when Vikings were invading the Scottish Highlands. The author grew up and lived in Scotland, in some of the area of which he writes. Geography buffs will enjoy his knowledge of the highland area from Inverness south to Argyll. Historical fiction buffs will enjoy his depictions of 12th Century Scots and Vikings. Fantasy buffs will relate to his turning the historical claim by “witnesses” (to have seen a ghostly conflict taking place over the years around the first of May at Loch Ashie near Inverness) into a tale of two brothers from Edinburgh traveling to that lake and attempting to witness the battle for themselves. Adventure enthusiasts will thrill to the battles, intrigues, trials, discoveries and voyages the brothers endure. Fans of the supernatural will relish the character of “Ancient One” or “Aeoh” as the brothers call him – a wizard-like being with both good and evil powers which he uses with gusto. There is also a wee bit of romance as the brothers fall in love with two 12th Century lassies. Mystery buffs will speculate if Aeoh will really succeed in helping them to return to the 21st Century. Readers invariably mention how they enjoyed the surprise ending.

 

HOW TO HOST A BOOK READING/SIGNING WITHOUT THE AUTHOR

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While I was laid up at my daughter’s house in Winnipeg this summer, my wife and editor, Gayle, made a whirlwind book reading tour to North Dakota and Minnesota. She visited her two sisters and did a book reading at each of their homes, to which they invited friends and other family members from the area. A longtime friend of Gayle’s from her days in Heidelberg, Germany in the late 60s, Leah Droubie, also came to the Frazee event all the way from St. Paul, Minnesota. Thanks, Leah, I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you but have heard all about your visit. The slide show includes a photo of Gayle and Leah  displaying the two books which were featured.

If you are wondering how Gayle managed to pull off a book reading and signing without me being present, hears how: I signed a couple boxes of books before she left, leaving space for her to personalize them and also add her name as editor. I really did read from the books, though not “live.” We had recorded several videos of me reading from various parts of “From Poverty to Poverty: A Scotsman Encounters Canada” at a previous book reading in Vernon. She also showed a book trailer video that had been made for my novel, “Beyond the Phantom Battle: Mystery at Loch Ashie.” After showing the videos she then answered questions about the books.  Though this was an experiment, Gayle tells me it worked well.

At her sister Barbara’s house the first glitch was that Barb didn’t have wi-fi on her Internet. However, Gayle was able to “borrow” Barb’s neighbour’s wi-fi, bring the U-tube videos up on her iPad and then hook them up to Barb’s television. Slick!

The next day, Gayle was able to use her sister Doreen’s laptop computer to show the videos. Not quite as good as using a large TV, but adequate, as they had a smaller audience. Luckily the sales were similar, as attendees at the latter reading were buying for others who weren’t able to come. Thanks, Gayle for your efforts. I’m glad you were able to see your sisters again, visit with other friends and relatives and also have a nice boat ride on a Minnesota lake.

You’ll notice some amused reactions among a few of the guests. This was in response to the story I’ve named “More Than Slightly Sloshed” from the autobiography. It tells of my first leave home to Campbeltown after I had joined the Royal Air Force and of my first and only encounter with my Irish stepfather’s “poteen” or home-brewed whisky. Janice, we especially love your guffawing and glad Gayle could capture it for the record.