My Write Before Christmas: 2017

by @AnnieDaylon

 My Write Before Christmas: 2017

It’s my write before Christmas, I’m happy to pen
holiday greetings to all once again.
It’s become a tradition, these wishes in rhyme
To readers and wordsmiths at holiday time.

Authors work solo but none are alone.
It takes a village (an adage well-known)
With thanks in mind, I’m herein highlighting
The best things this year in my world of writing.

At the Heart of the Missingmy latest creation,
Was published in April. I was filled with elation.
My great editors Michael and Ken, I do cheer!
An outstanding job! Readers, check it out here.

I love writing contests. There’s fun with deadlines.
This>Contest Calendar’s< a favorite of mine.
As is Poets & Writers, a site that makes space
For a Contest and Grants and Awards Database.

I’m a Canadian writer. Award lover too.
Whistler Writers and Vivalogue have a contest that’s new.
It’s juried! A first for indie writers.
My book was a finalist so I was invited
To the Whistler Writers Festival this year…
What a venue! It’s gorgeous! A gift to be there!
On Friday, I spoke about Of Sea and Seed,
And then was invited to Vancouver to read
By Margo and Carol from Canadian Authors
I quickly said yes to that fabulous offer!
On Saturday and Sunday, it was time to sell,
Brought more books than required; that served me well.
My thanks to organizers (Kilmeny and Lynn)
I sold lots at Whistler, due to promo by them.


Thanks to all writers, reviewers, and friends,
And bloggers and techies on whom I depend.
Thanks, Mary & Fran for Tea & Critique
Our bi-weekly meetings are fun and unique.

Most of all, here’s to readers, on you we rely,
The work’s not complete until you stop by.
Samuel Johnson once said (and I paraphrase herein)
“A reader finishes what a writer begins.”

With readers in mind, I’m working hard and
Book II of the Kerrigans is Of Sea and Sand.
There’s joy in this writing, my priority one,
Less tweeting and posting until it is done! 

That’s it for this year. Best wishes to you
As 2018 comes into view.
And now, ere December rolls out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all! Have great reads and great writes!

All the best, always,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Happy Thanksgiving and a Goodreads Giveaway!

by @AnnieDaylon

On this Thanksgiving Day, in the world of writing, I have much to be grateful for. First, thank you to all far and wide for your response to my recent Kindle offer of my novel, OF SEA AND SEED. Your numerous downloads improved this novel’s rankings on Amazon>>>>

Also, OF SEA AND SEED is a finalist for the Whistler Independent Book Award. This coming weekend I will attend the Whistler Writers’ Festival where I will give  a presentation about this novel,  sell books, and attend writing workshops!

October 12-15, 2017 Whistler Writers Festival

Thursday, October 12:   I will attend the Whistler Public Library Reading Event for fiction and nonfiction finalists in the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Host: Lynn Duncan.
-Looking forward to meeting other authors and to talking about OF SEA AND SEED, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I.

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada! Here is a Goodreads Giveaway, an opportunity for you to win a signed print copy of OF SEA AND SEED>>>>

This GOODREADS BOOK GIVEAWAY OFFER has now ended. Many thanks to those who entered!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Of Sea and Seed by Annie Daylon

Of Sea and Seed

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends October 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Free on Kindle: OF SEA AND SEED

by @AnnieDaylon


Time’s Up for Free Kindle Offer!
Thanks for all those downloads.
Happy Reading!
*****

Limited Time Offer!
FREE KINDLE DOWNLOAD!

Of Sea and Seed October 4, 5, 6, 2017.
Click Here!

Of Sea and Seed
Meet Kathleen Kerrigan, a ghostly family matriarch who is doomed like some ancient mariner to tell and re-tell the story of the lives of three generations of the Kerrigan family as they struggle to survive tsunami, secrets, and betrayal in early twentieth century Newfoundland. “Heaven does not open its gates to a woman of my ilk,” Kathleen tells the reader.
What is she guilty of?

Don’t have a Kindle, you say?? You don’t need one. Simply download the Kindle App and you can read Kindle books on tablets, i-Phones, Computers. To learn how,
Click Here .

Download OF SEA AND SEED now and enjoy your free Kindle read! 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Short Story: Post Mortem

 From my collection Passages, an autumn story for the autumnal equinox. Enjoy…


© by @AnnieDaylon

Isadora was not willing to renege a lifetime of promise. For years she had planned, scrimped, and saved and now, at last, opportunity was here. She sprinted through the autumn woods, tendrils of silver hair streaming behind her. Every few steps, she let out a delighted laugh. What a sight she must be! An octogenarian in a full-length, black-velvet skirt, with a bulging shoulder purse hammering her titanium hip. And yet, she was dashing along with the agility of an adolescent doe.  

As she neared the clearing, she slowed her pace and kept her eyes down. What if the cabin wasn’t there? For a few seconds, her mind flirted with the extermination of hope and her body responded by coming to a standstill. A sense of fragility imbued her and she felt as one with each crisp leaf she had just crushed beneath thoughtless shoes. With heart and hope plummeting, should she go on?

Overhead, the call of bird and whoosh of wing distracted her. Isadora’s lips curved into a smile. Canada geese. Bidding their annual farewell. She took a deep breath. Wood smoke. A comforting aroma. Emboldened, she raised her head and instantly clapped her hands in glee. It was there, all of it: the old, log cabin with its red-brick chimney; the faded, inebriated-looking Adirondack chair; the window boxes with their peeling, green paint and stubborn, pink geraniums. Still blooming. Amazing.

She felt content to linger, to stare, but a blast of cold air slapped her, snaked under her billowing skirt, and caused her whole body to shudder. She clutched her purse to her chest and rushed to the rickety porch steps which whined in protest as she climbed. Sidling up to the door, she knocked. A timid knock. She waited.

As Isadora hovered, another gust of wind sent leaves flying. They swirled and spiralled around her and fell at her feet in a mosaic of ochre, red and brown. Autumn. She grimaced. To some, autumn meant renewal. To her? Her whole life, she had watched as autumn approached, encroached, and retreated, taking all living things with it.

Isadora recalled her first encounter with autumn’s cruelty. She had been playing outside and a single oak leaf, which had magically turned from green to yellow, had fluttered down and landed on her shoe. She snatched it up and ran home, intent on show-and-tell with Mommy, by the fireplace. But an eerie sound emanating from the house caused her to hesitate, to peer through a side window instead of entering. Her eyes widened and flooded as she watched her father fall to his knees, wailing, at her mother’s bedside. Interspersed with his cries, were words of regret and apology. Hard to decipher but, within seconds, the young Isadora understood. Doctors cost money. Her father had no money and, because of that, her mother, like the leaf in her hand, was dead.

That autumn, Isadora watched leaves fall, one by one, until none remained. All winter, she listened as naked trees moaned, echoing her pain. She was alone. Shuffled from one relative to another. Abandoned by a devastated father who knew nothing of raising a three-year-old girl.

Every subsequent autumn, as leaves rained to the ground, regret haemorrhaged through her pores. If only she could have changed things. Doctors cost money. If only she could have given her father money. Somehow, she always felt that she could have done something. Should have done something. But she had failed.

As she stood on the porch now, waiting, Isadora’s hope began to dwindle once again. She repeated the knock. Still no answer. Anxiety crept into her body, causing her to tremble. She let out a sob, formed her fingers into a fist, and pounded the door.

This time the door squeaked open and a tiny girl, a mere waif, stood there. Isadora gasped and recoiled. When she caught her breath, she leaned forward. “Hello,” she said to the bedraggled child who was hugging a filthy, hairless doll.

The little girl was silent.

Isadora held out the purse.

The child’s eyes popped wide. “Mommy’s purse,” she whispered. “That’s Mommy’s purse.”

“Yes.” Isadora opened the purse, displayed its contents, and closed it again. “I kept it all these years, filled it, just for you.” She placed the purse at the child’s feet. “You know what to do?”

The child nodded slowly. “Doctors cost money.”

A tidal wave of realization flooded through Isadora. She had done it.  For a few seconds, she stood, frozen. Then, in measured motion, she turned and headed down the steps. At the bottom, she paused and looked back.

The little girl, waif no more, was still standing there. Her dress, new and pink and velvet, matched that of the pristine, porcelain doll she carried and her waist-length, glistening blonde hair was topped with a pink velvet bow.

 The two exchanged no words, only smiles.

Isadora walked away, gradually picking up her pace until she was skipping along the woodland path. Deep within her, sad memories began to disperse, dropping away one by one, like the falling leaves around her. Soon those recollections were gone, replaced by images of a happy little girl, learning, laughing, and singing, at her mother’s side. 

Isadora returned to the starting point of her journey—the funeral parlour—and slid through the front Passages Book Coverdoor. She entered the viewing room and floated for a while, staring at her body, resting in its mahogany coffin. She sighed in contentment and slipped back into place. Cradle issues resolved, she was ready for the grave.

 

 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

Creating the Cover: “Of Sea and Seed”

by @AnnieDaylon

When I finished writing Of Sea and Seed, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I, I realized that it was not only the ocean that connected all the main characters, it was also a small boat. I decided instantly that the cover had to incorporate both of those images. I did not expect the attention that that decision garnered.

The cover for Of Sea and Seed has been featured on Indie Brag’s Cover Crush Blog and has appeared under the Small Boats category on Fictionophile’s Cover Love Blog. 

Recently, this same cover won an award — the 2017 Best Literary Fiction Cover Design from B.R.A.G. Medallion.

 

 

The creation of this cover started with the title and even that underwent a few changes… that happens to all my titles. This one was initially called Wave over Wave.

Gradually, I came to know that the sea was a metaphor for the matriarch of the story and the seed a metaphor for her offspring. Somewhere around that time, I read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and well… you can guess the rest. 

What about the small boat?
Each of the three point-of-view characters in Of Sea and Seed experiences a life-or-death situation in a small, traditional fishing boat, called a dory*.

I began the hunt for photos of sea and dory. I looked through all pictures I could find by Newfoundland photographers but could not find what I wanted, a picture of a lone dory tossed in a powerful sea. It was at my go-to site, Shutterstock, that I found the image below (© Andrejs Pidjass, www.nejronphoto.com.)

*Wikipedia Definition: “The dory is a small, shallow-draft boat, about 5 to 7 metres or 16 to 23 feet long. It is usually a lightweight boat with high sides, a flat bottom and sharp bows. They are easy to build because of their simple lines. For centuries, dories have been used as traditional fishing boats, both in coastal waters and in the open sea.”

From there, I worked with the design team at Create Space.

The traditional Lunenberg dory, as depicted on the cover, has a yellow base and dark green gunwales. There’s a reason for those colors: the yellow makes the base visible against the water; the dark green makes the gunwales (the upper edges of the side of the boat) visible in the fog.

I asked the design team if they could make the green color pop a bit more. They responded by reversing the colors, putting the green on the base, the yellow on the gunwales.  Uh-oh!
I knew better than to let that pass but I got a second opinion from my brother Richard who did not mince words. “No fisherman in his right mind  would have gone on the ocean in that thing.”  The act of reversing the colors had negated their purpose, making the dory unsafe, and making my dory story less plausible.

I explained. Create Space amended, happily.

I also requested that Create Space remove the red gas can in the above image (barely visible, but none of the dories in my story had one, so I wanted it gone.) Done!

One choice that Create Space made without any input from me was to flip the image of the dory. I instantly took a liking to the switch. If left to my own devices, I never would have come up with such a perfect detail. (It’s great to have a design team.)

I provided Create Space with all of the information required for the rest of the cover… blurbs, back copy, and my imprint (McRAC Books) with Logo. The fonts (love them!) were chosen by my Create Space Design team. 

I am currently entrenched in writing Book II of the Kerrigan Chronicles, this one titled Of Sea and Sand.  (Could change, stay tuned.) As I work, I am keeping cover possibilities in mind. There will be an ocean. No doubt about that. But what else? I am looking for commonalities, one of which will surely leap to the fore and land on the cover.


NEWS FLASH!   This weekend, I learned that Of Sea and Seed is a semi-finalist in the Literary F
iction genre of the Kindle Book Review’s Kindle Book Awards. Goes without saying that I was thrilled and immediately sent in my email requesting the semi-finalist sticker.

( A note to Lynne Legrow , a.k.a. @fictionophile: Thanks for putting my book in the Small Boat Category of your Cover Love Series, but, with another sticker on the way, I think I’m gonna need a bigger boat!  Ha!)



Readers, love looking at great covers? Writers, looking for great  cover ideas? Check out the covers posted in the Fictionophile Cover Love Series! So many themes: windows, lakes, doors, gates, jars, piers, umbrellas… over thirty categories to choose from. Lots of fun!


Many thanks to all who helped make the cover of Of Sea and Seed a success!

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

My Personal Literary Canon

by @AnnieDaylon

The term “literary canon” refers to a collection of works considered representative of a period or genre.

Having studied English Literature (Renaissance, 19th century, Canadian Lit., and Shakespeare), I was familiar with the term, but it was not until I read “Speaking of the Canon” , a post by agent/blogger Janet Reid, that I gave serious thought to the idea of a personal literary canon.

Janet Reid begins her post as follows: “The canon is what one must have read to be considered well-educated. There is the canon for Western civilization which is largely books that are non-fiction. There is the canon of English literature (the books you’d see in an English Lit survey class in college.) There is the canon for literature of the American West.” She goes on to say that there is also a canon for whatever genre you write in.

I write historical suspense set in Newfoundland, modern day suspense set in Vancouver, and short stories with… you guessed it, suspense. I read a lot, nonfiction and fiction (literary and commercial.) When I started writing, my reading became studying. And I found my influences, my personal literary canon. These are books from writers I admire, books which sit on my shelves (not just in my Kindle) so I can go back to them frequently, riffle through the pages, find sections or paragraphs or sentences or phrases that moved me, and get transported all over again. These books make me want to write better. 

My literary canon is listed below, alphabetically by author (no affiliates here, by the way.) This list is fluid in that it changes as I learn and grow. 

Amazing things come from the dark! I fell to my knees and crawled beneath a giant fir tree to get this image.

 


Do I have an absolute favorite?

Actually, I have two:
The Crimson Petal and the White (dark) and
Fall on Your Knees (darker still.)

 


Authors, do you have a literary canon? Which writers move you to write better? Readers and writers, any titles you can suggest to me?? 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Canadian Authors: Consider the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest!

by @AnnieDaylon

The Whistler Independent Book Award contest is jointly administered by the Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing. It is a cutting edge contest in that it is the only juried novel contest for independent writers in Canada. (For more information click HERE.)


I entered this contest this year and, on May 31st,  learned that Of Sea and Seed, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I had made the short list. On July 17th, I was thrilled when my novel made it to the finals.

In addition to receiving a prize of $250, finalists receive opportunities outlined in a congratulatory letter, part of which, with permission from Tidewater Festivals, is reprinted below:

“Your nomination brings with it an invitation to attend the Whistler Writers Festival from October 12-15. Here are the events that I think will be of particular interest:

  • Thursday, October 12, 4:30 – 5: 30: Finalist Reception. This is a private event where finalists and their families will have an opportunity to meet each other, festival organizers and WIBA judges. There is no charge for this event but there will be a cash bar.

  • Thursday, October 12, 6:00 -7:00: WIBA Readings. This is a free, public event where you will have an opportunity to read from your book and answer questions from the audience.

  • Friday, October 13, 1:00-4:00: Speed-Dating for Authors. This is a chance to pitch your book to two publishers of your choice. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • Friday, October 13, 8:00 – 10:00: Literary Cabaret. This is one of the marquee events of the festival and will be where the WIBA winners are announced. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • The winners of both the fiction and non-fiction category will be invited to participate in a panel event on Saturday, October 14

  • Book sales will take place all day Saturday and Sunday morning.” 

In addition to the above, finalists (including family members) receive a special code that gets them a reduced rate at the Summit Lodge in Whistler. (Even my dog CoCo is welcome… a good thing since we rarely go anywhere without her!)

I have long been a proponent of writing contests. (See post: Why Enter Story Contests?) I have used writing contests to hone my craft, and have won or been short listed in many, both for stories and novels. I have done workshops on writing contests available in Canada and the United States and believe that contests are a viable choice for all independent authors who want knowledgeable eyes on their work. I highly recommend that Canadian independent authors consider entering the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest.

Thank you to The Whistler Writing Society, Vivalogue Publishing, and Tidewater Festivals. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity provided to me and am looking forward to attending the Whistler Writers Festival in October.

C

Click on above image to read a review by Lynne LeGrow, Amazon Top Reviewer and Award-Winning Blogger of  Fictionophile.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Big News! Shortlisted for the Whistler Independent Book Awards

by @AnnieDaylon


I am thrilled to announce that
Of Sea and Seed,
The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I
has been 
nominated for the
2017 Whistler Independent Book Award.

 


I entered this contest because I love writing contests. In fact, I started with contests—story, poetry, and novel. I believe contests provide a viable route into the writing world and are therefore something that all authors among you should consider. Many times contests offer a word count limit and a time limit, both of which force you to hone your craft. Many times contests give a prompt, a creative spark, which forces you to think outside of the box. Both of my Vancouver suspense novels—Castles in the Sand and At the Heart of the Missing— have their beginnings in short stories that won contests. Castles in the Sand went on to win the 2012 Houston Writers Guild contest in mainstream fiction.

Of Sea and Seed is the recipient of the Book Readers Appreciation Group (B.R.A.G.) Medallion, bestowed for excellence in independent writing. And now, it has received this nod of recognition from the Whistler Independent Book Awards. My heart is in this book, readers. It is a literary and lyrical and suspense-filled sea saga, kindled when my father told me that a little girl had survived a tsunami in Newfoundland. 

 A ghostly family matriarch chronicles the lives of three generations of the Kerrigan family as they struggle to survive devastating tsunami, toxic secrets, and shocking betrayal in 1920s Newfoundland.

 

About the Whistler Awards…

The Whistler Independent Book Awards are relatively new, having been “established in 2016 to recognize excellence in Canadian independent publishing.” They are the “only juried Canadian award for self-published authors” and offer prizes in both fiction and nonfiction. This year, the three finalists for each of these categories will be announced on July 17th, and the winners’ presentation will be held at the annual Whistler Writers Festival, October 12th to 15th.

The Whistler Independent Book Awards, which are jointly administered by the British Columbia Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing, are a boon for self-published authors who struggle to have their work recognized. The fact that these awards are juried and the winners chosen by distinguished authors can ease the burden for librarians, one of whom informed me that librarians wish to support independent writing but they do not have staff available to vet the tons of titles that cross their desks each year.

I am grateful that my work has been nominated for the 2017 Whistler Independent Book Award for fiction and am thrilled to be in illustrious company.

For more information, check out the

Whistler Independent Book Awards site.

 

 

A free short story is yours when you join my email list! My newsletters contain book news, blog posts, sneak previews, and, occasionally, fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To join, place the required information in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason.


My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

My Write Before Christmas: 2016

by @AnnieDaylon

christmas-wreath-2016 My Write Before Christmas: 2016

It’s my write before Christmas, I’m happy to pen
holiday wishes to all once again.
It’s become a tradition, this greeting in rhyme
To readers and wordsmiths at holiday time.

Authors work solo but none are alone.
It takes a village (an adage well-known)
With this in mind, once again I’m highlighting
Links and events in this world of writing.

A new writer? This world’s a mysterious place.
Catch a conference! It’s there that you’ll come face-to-face
With writers and editors and agents and such.
Volunteering’s an option if the cost is too much.

Love story contests? There’s fun with deadlines!
This>Contest Calendar’s< a favorite of mine.
As is Poets & Writers, a site that makes space
For a Contest and Grants and Awards Database.

Got a post that helps others? Want it retweeted?
@MondayBlogs is a place you’ll be greeted.
Ready to market? Don’t know the score?
Book Marketing Tools has ideas galore.

Having trouble with structure? Can’t seem to outline?
K. M. Weiland has guidelines to help you refine.
Seeking courses or webinars to carry you through?
Writer’s Digest will surely have something for you.

Bestseller Labs has suggestions for selling;
Enovel Authors (Thank you, Jackie) has info compelling
Need free promo, authors? Reader’s Gazette is the one,
Need help with Tweets? Try AskDavid.com

Do you have a routine? Great tales must be spun
And writers toil daily to get the job done.
(On that note, dear writers who are reading this verse,
If today you’ve not written, go away and WRITE FIRST!)

So here’s to my tweeps, and all Facebook friends,
And bloggers and techies on whom I depend.
As for Tea & Critique with friends Fran and Mary,
I always apply their sage commentary.

A toast to all editors (writers, pay heed!)
You need that blue pencil if you want to succeed.
Take it from me, I once published alone,
A difficult lesson but from it I’ve grown.
(Despite years of grammar in English and Latin
I made mistakes and had to go back in
Re-edit the published, suck up the shame,
Suffice to say I won’t do it again.)

Accolades to my editors, Michael and Ken,
At the Heart of the Missing‘s being scoured by them
For content and structure and copy and line
My new novel! Pretty soon you’ll see it online.

Here’s to writers who’ve found success on the road,
Who’ve looked back to aid others to lighten the load,
You help bridge the gap from the dream to real ground,
Your help is essential for success to be found.

Some bloggers review without compensation ,
They truly deserve a standing ovation!
Fictionophile is a gem I discovered this year
(Stop by. Check her posts. You’ll find great reads there.)

Most of all, here’s to you, readers, on you we rely,
The work’s not complete until you stop by.
Samuel Johnson once said (and I paraphrase herein)
“A reader finishes what a writer begins.” 

That’s it for this year. Best wishes to you
As 2017 comes into view.
And now, ere December rolls out of sight,
Happy Christmas to all! Have great reads and great writes!

 

Coming in 2017! Images: Shutterstock.com Design: michaelhiebert.com

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

Indie Author Day

by @AnnieDaylon

indieauthorday_postcard_authors_5x7_web_214_300October 8, 2016 is INDIE AUTHOR DAY , a day when libraries across North America host indie authors. The event will raise awareness of self-published books, demonstrate their place as a vibrant part of publishing, and provide a vital connection between indies and readers.

 

Who is involved?
Hundreds of Libraries, Thousands of Indies across North America!

Am I participating? Yes!

I will be reading and signing books at the…

Vancouver Public Library Indie Author Day Event
Date: Saturday, October 8th
Place: Central Branch of VPL, 350 West Georgia St.
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Activities: Author Readings, Author Tables, “Talk-to-an-Author” Corner.
In Vancouver on October 8th?  Drop by and say hi!
Not in Vancouver on October 8th? Check out this event in your own area>> List of Participating Libraries

Free Short StoryA free short story is yours when you join my email list! My newsletters contain book news, blog posts, sneak previews, and, occasionally, fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To join, place the required information in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason. 

My best to  you,

Annie Signature Light Blue