from Fact to Fiction!

Let’s begin a Jolabokaflod!

The small country (329,000 people) of Iceland boasts it has more writers, books published and books read than anywhere else in the world. Can you imagine that? To those of us who are “Book People”, this is astonishing! A tradition we can all be envious of is Jolabokaflod – the “Christmas Book Flood”. Christmas Eve is a time of giving books and stores are sold out long before the special night.  Each person receives at least one print books (not ebooks) along with chocolate to enjoy for the rest of the evening when it is tradition to spend the night reading. It wasn’t long ago that all TV stations in Iceland stopped broadcasting from 6pm-10pm because everyone was reading! The book season kicks off in September when each family receives Bokatidindi, a catalog of new publications from the Iceland Publishers Association distributed free to every Icelandic home.  By early December book stores are sold out. Because of this amazing tradition, Reyckavik has been named by the United Nations as a “city of Literature” and it host the international children’s literature festival and the international Literary Festival. Icelanders have a grand history of storytelling.  The Icelandic Sagas written around the 13th century…

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What Influences You To Write?

What influences you to write? Fact to fiction or a moving memoir, life gives us the stories we share. Bill Harper spent fourteen years with the Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter, writer, and editor. He has written several non-fiction books based on his investigative and personal experiences. This life experience is one no parent would ever wish to experience. Bill's story: On November 23, 1980 my youngest son, 25-year-old Brian Patrick Harper, was murdered in a convenience story holdup. The killer was eventually captured, tried, convicted of second-degree murder, and sentenced to a measly 10-years in a Minnesota state prison. For Brian's parents, his two brothers and three sisters, he was gone forever. The killer got $26 in the store holdup and a paltry 10-year sentence (with time-off for good behavior). That injustice has been stuck in my craw ever since. Shortly after the 25th anniversary of Brian's death, and having read of many other injustices in the legal system, I started researching material for what would become "Brian's book," which was titled An Eye for an Eye: In Defense of the Death Penalty. Because no traditional publisher would touch the subject from that point of view, "Brian's book" was…

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Foriegn Market for your Work

  Tui Allen, Author of the B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree Ripple, shares her experience in entering foreign markets- Why might you want to publish in a foreign language, considering the extra barriers it presents? First of course to increase the size of your market – that's obvious. But it's possible there may be foreign markets which are more receptive to your particular book than the English-language market is. New Zealander Mary Scott, wrote romances set on remote NZ farms, back in the mid-1900s. They did well at home in NZ, but sold even better in translation in Germany. Germany was a bigger market of course, but her authentic tales of a life so different from their own experience, fascinated her German readers. But she had her publishers to arrange it all. What if you are self-published as so many of us are today? I know another author who self-published an excellent novel in English. He wanted the book to reach the German market. The author himself had a fair grip on German, but it was not his native tongue, so he hired a friend, a native German speaker, to translate the book for him. The translation seemed okay as far as he…

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Continuing Jane Austen’s world

  Continuing the love! Jane Austen remains one of the most popular authors ever! The romance of her novels and the strength of her woman characters endear her to woman around the world. 60 films have been made or have been inspired by her works including the very popular "Clueless".Jane's life has been analyzed by so many. How much of her writing was influenced by her life? Well, isn't that usually the case? Jane Austen wrote about class and love – both things she knew well. Her one and only love was taken from her because her family had little to offer. She was also strong enough to forgo a marriage that would have brought her a very comfortable life but not love. The strength and closeness of her family comes to light in much of her writing. Even during an illness that eventually took her life, Jane continued to write leaving one unfinished work. Her loving family was able to get both Northanger Abbey and Persuasion published after her death. Her beloved brother, Henry, was able to his sister buried at the Winchester Cathedral.Jane Austen's' writing features love of family and Karen Aminadra has created 2 wonderful books continuing…

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Searching for the Golden Hinde by David Wesley Hill

                                                                  "The Golden Hinde off New Albion"by Simon Kozhin, oil on canvas, 2007. Little is known about the Golden Hinde even though she is one of the most famous sailing vessels in maritime history. No one can say for sure if she was built in England or if she was a prize of war. Originally christened the Pelican, she was the flagship of the small fleet in which Francis Drake and 164 men, gentlemen, and sailors embarked from Plymouth, England in 1577 on the three-year adventure that would become the second successful circumnavigation of the world—and one of the most profitable pirate voyages of all time. Drake changed the name of the Pelican to the Golden Hinde just before the fleet entered the Straits of Magellan in late August, 1578. He did so "in remembrance of his honorable friend and favourer," Sir Christopher Hatton, a major backer of the expedition and an intimate of the queen, since Hatton's family crest was a "hind trippant or." Drake felt the need to flatter Hatton because he feared the lord—one of his employers—would be displeased with him upon learning that Drake had executed Thomas Doughty in July for reasons that are…

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN ALL!

  Though the origin of the word Halloween is Christian, the holiday is commonly thought to have pagan roots. October 31 – Nov 1 was seen as the end of harvest and the beginning of the dark days of winter. This was a time when the 'door' to the Otherworld opened enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings such as fairies, to come into our world. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. However, harmful spirits and fairies were also thought to be active. People took steps to allay or ward-off these harmful spirits/fairies. Wearing costumes may have originated as a means of disguising oneself from these harmful spirits/fairies. In the Christian tradition, it was believed that the souls of the departed wandered the earth until All Saints' Day, and All Hallows' Eve provided one last chance for the dead to gain vengeance on their enemies before moving to the next world. In order to avoid being recognized by any soul that might be seeking such vengeance, people would don masks or costumes to disguise their identities. In Halloween: From Pagan…

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Hot Air Balloons during the Civil War

By Christopher Zuniga The Union and the Confederate armies both used Hot Air Balloons for spying during the Civil War. The first person to receive an order to build an Hot Air Balloons for the Union army was John Wise. In April of 1861 Murat Hasket wrote a letter to the U.S. treasury Salmon D. that the U.S. should create a balloon corps to use as a spying devise under Thaddeus Lowe's command. On July 17, 1861 Abraham Lincoln agree to form a balloon corps. During this time the opposing side tried to shoot down the spying balloon. After Lincoln heard that, he ordered Lowe to build four more additional balloons. The balloons that Lowe made were measured to be from 32,000 ft to 15,000 ft and were also able to climb up to 5,000 ft into the air. One of Lowe balloons was shot down on November 16, 1861. Lowe was not keeping orders so he resigned from balloon corps on May 8, 1861. By August 1861 the corps disbanded. Lowe also designed an aircraft carrier that was used to transport hot air balloons and allow them to be used in areas closer to the battles. They would launch…

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Finding Emma & the Missing Children Society

Missing Children's Society of CanadaWhen six-year-old Tania Murrell disappeared from Edmonton, Alberta, in 1983, the search efforts for her receivednational media attention and inspired the first non-profits in Canada dedicated to the search for missing children.These first search agencies focused on public awareness and prevention programs. With the exception of posterdistributions, little attention was put on the actual search for missing children or on support of searching families.Out of this need to do more for searching families, the Missing Children Society of Canada was created in 1986.Since that time, MCSC has assisted law enforcement and searching families in thousands of cases.The 2011 year marks our 25th anniversary of continuing the search for missing children. As we look to our future, weare as driven as ever to continue the search for our missing children.Looking Back on our 25 Year Legacy1986May 25th is officially declared "National Missing Children's Day" in Canada by then Solicitor General Perrin Beatty.In November 1986, the MCSC was created by our founder and first Executive Director, Rhonda Morgan. Wanting totake a more hands-on role in the search for missing children, Rhonda trained to become a licensed professionalinvestigator in 1985. She went on to found MCSC and develop its…

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The Wars of the Roses and Cecily Neville

  The fascinating truth behind England's most violent era .Can be seen in The War of the Roses: A Bloody Crown Using historically-accurate, battle-filled re-enactments and interviews with expert historians and noted authors, this definitive documentary series brings to vivid life the captivating true stories behind Britain's bloody civil wars. The Trailer   Cecily Neville - The great-granddaughter of one king, Edward III of England (and his wife Philippa of Hainault); was the wife of a would-be king, Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York; and the mother of two kings: Edward IV and Richard III.Cecily Neville's husband was Richard, Duke of York, the heir to King Henry VI and protector of the young king in his minority and later during a bout of insanity. Richard was the descendant of two other sons of Edward III: Lionel of Antwerp and Edmund of Langley. Cecily was first betrothed to Richard when she was nine years old, and they married in 1429 when she was fourteen.in 1460, Cecily and Richards son, the future Edward IV, won the battle at Northampton, taking Henry VI prisoner. Richard, Duke of York, returned to claim the crown for himself. Edwards Queen, Margaret and Richard compromised, naming Richard protector…

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