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Showing posts from March, 2014

NIKOLAI GOGOL - UKRAINE-BORN RUSSIAN AUTHOR - PREEMINENT FIGURE OF RUSSIAN REALISM LITERATURE

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March 31st. Yikes, last day of the month, where did it go?

Today we celebrate the birthdate of Ukraine-born, Russian author Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852)

Gogol is important in that his writing laid the foundation for Russian realism literature. His most famous works are his novel, "Dead Souls," and his short story "The Overcoat."

"When and at what time he entered the department and who appointed him, no on could recall. However many directors and other superiors came and went, he was always to be seen in one and the same place, in the same position, in the same capacity, as the same copying clerk, so that after a while they became convinced, that he must simply have been born into the world ready-made, in a uniform, and with a balding head." From Nikolai Gogol's short story "The Overcoat."

Learn more about this author here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Gogol

ANNA SEWELL - AUTHOR OF THE CLASSIC NOVEL "BLACK BEAUTY"

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March 30th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Anna Sewell (1820-1878)

Sewell is the author of the classic novel Black Beauty. Published in 1877, the novel not only teaches about animal cruelty, it also teaches that one must treat people with kindness and respect. The story is told in the first person, by the horse.

Sewell was an invalid for most of her life. She was, however, able to get around by horse carriage. This led to her love of horses and her concern for their welfare. The novel was an immediate success. Unfortunately, Sewell died only 5 months after its publication.

"My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt." Anna Sewell from Brainyquote.com

Find out more about this author here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Sewell

MARIO VARGAS LLOSA - ONE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED WRITERS OF THE SPANISH-SPEAKING WORLD

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March 28th. Happy Birthday author Mario Vargas Llosa (Born 1936)


He is one of Latin America's most significant novelists and essayists, and one of the leading writers of his generation. Mr. Vargas Llosa has written more than 30 works of nonfiction, plays and novels, including “The Feast of the Goat” and “The War of the End of the World.” He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010.

"Writing a book is a very lonely business. You are totally cut off from the rest of the world, submerged in your obsessions and memories." Mario Vargas Llosa from Brainyquote.com

Here is a NY Times article on this author: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/books/08nobel.html?pagewanted=all

THORNE SMITH - AUTHOR OF SUPERNATURAL FANTASY FICTION

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March 27th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Thorne Smith (1892-1934)


Smith was a writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction. His most famous works are two "Topper" novels, which were made into a film with Cary Grant, a TV show, and a top radio program. Smith was prolific, writing nine fantasy novels, one mystery, a serious novel, two military themed comedies, a volume of poetry, a children’s book, two short stories, and two screenplays.

"Quite casually, I wander into my plot, poke around with my characters for a while, then amble off, leaving no moral proved and no reader improved." Thorne Smith from Brainyquote.com

Learn more about Smith on this website devoted to the artist: http://www.thornesmith.net/

KIM STANLEY ROBINSON - MAJOR SCI-FI AND FANTASY WRITER

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March 23rd. Happy Birthday author Kim Stanley Robinson (Born 1952). "Kim Stanley Robinson is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers; collectively, the three novels of his “Mars” trilogy—“Red Mars,” “Green Mars,” and “Blue Mars”—have won all the major science-fiction and fantasy awards." Tim Kreider, The New Yorker Magazine, Feb. 12th, 2013.
"That's one of the ironies of our time: Right when we're on the edge of serious improvements in health care, we're also cooking the planet." Kim Stanley Robinson from Brainyquote.com FInd more info about this author at: http://kimstanleyrobinson.info Photo courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Stanley_Robinson

MY SIX-STEP FORMULA FOR WRITING THE SHORT SHORT THAT EVERYONE WILL WANT TO READ

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(Back in 2011 I introduced my 6-Step formula for writing a short short. I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect the formula for those who may have missed it. This formula also works for writing other formats of a story such as short stories and even the novella.)

        A short short is a short story that usually contains between 1200 - 1500 words. Experienced writers can spit 1500 before breakfast. It's as easy for them as swiping a credit card.
        However, an experienced writer also knows that writing the short short can be more difficult than writing a full length novel. The brevity of the story constricts the wordsmith, depriving him of developing character, plot and setting, all of which he can develop fully in a short story, a novella or a full-length novel. Every line and paragraph of the short short must be significant to carry the story forward with rapidity and terseness.
        Like a prize fighter, the author of the short short attempts to score points with …

ERNEST BRAMAH - AUTHOR OF MANY INTERESTS & TALENTS

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March 20th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of a very interesting author, Ernest Bramah (1868-1942).



Ernest is interesting because, not only was his output impressive (21 books + short story collections), he was ranked among the greats of his time in many different subjects - mystery, sic-fi, supernatural stories, etc. Read his bio, you'll be amazed.

"He who thinks he is raising a mound may only in reality be digging a pit." Ernest Bramah from Brainyquote.com

Find more about the author on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Bramah

JAMES REDFIELD - AUTHOR OF "THE CELESTINE PROPHECY"

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March 19th. Happy Birthday author James Redfield (Born 1950)


Best known for his book "The Celestine Prophecy," which, by the way for all you indie authors, was self published.

"One of my teachers once said that the way you know you're on the right path is that it works. Now, that doesn't mean you don't run into blocks and brick walls, but it does mean that you can find a way around them or find a way to change yourself or your project in order to find the flow again and have it work." James Redfield from Brainyquote.com

To learn more about this author log onto his website: http://www.celestinevision.com

JOHN UPDIKE - AMERICAN NOVELIST, SHORT STORY WRITER, POET, ART & LITERARY CRITIC

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March 18th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author John Updike (1932-2009).



"What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit." John Updike from Brainyquote.com

Best known for his Rabbit, Run series, Updike published more than twenty novels and a dozen short story collections. He is one of only three people to have won the Pulitzer Price twice. His short story "A & P" has been anthologized in many collections and is one of the standards taught in writing courses in many colleges and universities.

Photo courtesy The John Updike Society: http://blogs.iwu.edu/johnupdikesociety/

PENELOPE LIVELY - AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF FICTION FOR CHILDREN & ADULTS

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March 17th. Today we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We also want to wish Happy Birthday to author Penelope Lively (Born 1933).



Dame Penelope is a multi-award winning author of fiction for both children and adults.

"The pleasure of writing fiction is that you are always spotting some new approach, an alternative way of telling a story and manipulating characters; the novel is such a wonderfully flexible form." Penelope Lively from Brainyquote.com

To learn more about Dame Penelope here is her official website: http://www.penelopelively.net/

ALICE HOFFMAN - AUTHOR OF "PRACTICAL MAGIC" AND MORE

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March 16th. Happy Birthday author Alice Hoffman (Born 1952) writer of the novel "Practical Magic," which was made into a hit film staring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.


"After a while the characters I'm writing begin to feel real to me. That's when I know I'm heading in the right direction."

Alice Hoffman's books, films, news and more can be found on her website: http://alicehoffman.com

WOLCOTT GIBBS - EDITOR, THEATER CRITIC AND AUTHOR

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March 15th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Wolcott Gibbs (1902-1958).



Gibbs was an American editor, humorist, theatre critic, playwright and author of short stories, who worked for The New Yorker magazine from 1927 until his death.

"…anything you suspect of being a cliche undoubtedly is one and had better be removed." Wolcott Gibbs from Brainyquote.com

Here is a link to an article about his theory and practice of editing: http://grammar.about.com/od/writersonwriting/a/gibbsediting.htm

Photo courtesy of www.amirite: http://www.amirite.com/famousthoughts/author/wolcott-gibbs

TAD WILLIAMS - FANTASY & SCI-FI AUTHOR

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March 14th. Happy Birthday Tad Williams (Born 1957) bestselling author of fantasy and sci-fi.



“We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” Tad Williams from goodreads.com

Here is his website: http://www.tadwilliams.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tad_Williams

HUGH WALPOLE - AN ENGLISH AUTHOR'S LIFE OF ADVENTURE

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March 13th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Hugh Walpole (1884-1941)

Between 1909 and 1941 he wrote thirty-six novels, five volumes of short stories, two original plays and three volumes of memoirs. He lived life to the fullest. You'll be surprised to learn of his other accomplishments if you read his short bio on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Walpole

“The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.” Quote courtesy of Goodreads.com


A SHARP BEND IN THE ROAD - 16 SHORT STORIES READY TO BE PUBLISHED

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A Sharp Bend in the Road - sixteen intriguing short stories in my debut collection, each a delectable treat that leaves the taste buds wanting more. It's finished!!!! Now it's off to the agent. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.



Here is an excerpt from “Putz,” one of the sixteen stories: http://writerenroute.com/A_Sharp_Bend_in_the_Road.html

JACK KEROUAC - FATHER OF THE BEAT GENERATION

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March 12th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) considered to be Father of the Beat Generation.


"Offer them what they secretly want and they of course immediately become panic-stricken." Jack Kerouac from Brainyquote.com

Watch rare footage of Kerouac reading from "On the Road Again," on the Steve Allen show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzCF6hgEfto

Photo of Kerouac by Tom Palumbo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Kerouac

DOUGLAS ADAMS - ENGLISH WRITER, HUMORIST, DRAMATIST

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March 11th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


Adams is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

"This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

"I love deadlines. "I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Adams

JOHANNA LINDSEY - AMERICAN ROMANTIC FICTION AUTHOR

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March 10th. Happy Birthday author Johanna Lindsey (Born 1952)

Johanna Lindsey has been hailed as one of the most popular authors of romantic fiction, with more than 60 million copies of her novels sold.



"If you can't laugh at your own characters, or shed a tear for them, or even get angry at one of them, no one else will either." Johanna Lindsey from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Simon Schuster: Johanna Lindsey/ Official Publisher Page

MICKEY SPILLANE - AMERICAN AUTHOR OF MIKE HAMMER FAME

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March 9th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of mystery writer Mickey Spillane, one of America's best-selling writers of all time. (Born in Brooklyn, 1918-2006)



"Authors want their names down in history; I want to keep the smoke coming out of the chimney." Mickey Spillane from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Spillane

KENNETH GRAHAME - SCOTTISH AUTHOR

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March 8th. Today we celebrate the birthdate of Scottish author Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932). Famous for "The Wind in the Willows" & "The Reluctant Dragon."

"Monkeys who very sensibly refrain from speech, lest they should be set to earn their livings." Kenneth Grahame from Brainyquote.com Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Grahame

BRENT EASTON ELLIS - AMERICAN AUTHOR

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March 7th. Happy Birthday author Brent Easton Ellis (born 1964)



He is most known for writing "Less Than Zero," and "American Psycho."

"No one is drawn to writing about being happy or feelings of joy." Brent Easton Ellis from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bret_Easton_Ellis

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ - COLOMBIAN NOVELIST, SHORT-STORY WRITER, SCREENWRITER, & JOURNALIST

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March 6th. Happy Birthday author Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Born 1927)



Some of his best-known novels: "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (1967), "Autumn of the Patriarch" (1975) and "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1985). He popularized the literary style of Magic Realism.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it." Gabriel Garcia Marquez from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_Garc%C3%ADa_Márquez

CHARLES FULLER - AN AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT

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March 5th. Happy Birthday playwright Charles Fuller (Born 1939) best know for his play "A Soldier's Play" for which he received the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A prominent figure in theater for more than 50 years.



“Waters: Not havin' ain't no excuse for not gettin'." - Charles Fuller "A Soldier's Play."

Photo courtesy of aalbc.com - http://aalbc.com/authors/charles_fuller.html

JAMES ELLROY - AMERICAN AUTHOR OF CRIME FICTION

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March 4th. Happy Birthday author James Ellroy (Born 1948)



Best known for Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L. A. Confidential, and White Jazz.

"I love thinking about American history, thinking about LA history. I love brooding on crime." James Ellroy from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ellroy

ARTHUR MACHEN - WELSH AUTHOR OF SUPERNATURAL, FANTASY, & HORROR FICTION

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March 3rd. Today we celebrate the birthdate of author Arthur Machen (1863-1947)



Best known for his novel, "The Great God Pan." Stephen King called it, ". . . one of the best horror stories ever written. Maybe the best in the English language."

"Every branch of human knowledge, if traced up to its source and final principles, vanishes into mystery." Arthur Machen from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Machen

JOHN IRVING - AN AMERICAN AUTHOR & ACADEMY AWARD-WINNING SCREENWRITER

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March 2nd. Happy Birthday author John Irving (Born 1942)



"The World According to Garp"; "The Hotel New Hampshire"; "The Cider House Rules," are just a few of his novels.

"If you presume to love something, you must love the process of it much more than you love the finished product." John Irving from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Irving

WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS - AMERICAN REALIST AUTHOR

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March 1st. Celebrating the birthdate of author William Dean Howells (1837-1920).



He wrote more than 40 novels and story collections and played an important part in the rise of the American Realist movement.

"Tomorrow I shall be sixty-nine, but I do not seem to care. I did not start the affair, and I have not been consulted about it at any step." William Dean Howells from Brainyquote.com

Photo courtesy of PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/howells.html