Although I’ve been busy writing away in a vampire-style, hermit fashion, I have read one book recently that made me chuckle and say ‘this sounds familiar’. Why familiar? Well it’s because this book gives an honest insider’s view of my part-time job, and that book is Shaun Bythell’s ‘Diary Of A Bookseller’.
If you haven’t guessed by now or read my other blogs, I’m currently working part-time in a large second hand bookshop. It’s got two floors and over seventy thousand books, with genres ranging from fiction, sci-fi, classic fiction and children’s to history, science and art. Seventy thousand is a big number, and as John Green mentioned in his vlog on Tuesday, humans tend to be pretty bad when it comes to visualising big numbers. So think of it this way, imagine your average small retail shop and then times it by six or eight, that’s about the size of the bookshop I work in. You may be wondering why I’m trying to get you to visualise the scale here, but scale is important. Shaun Bythell, the author of the ‘Diary Of A Bookseller’, runs The Bookshop in Wigtown in the Dumfries and Galloway region in Scotland, which has one hundred thousand books. read more
It’s the run up to Christmas and you’re looking for the perfect present that isn’t plastic toys, socks or alcohol? Well, maybe I can help. When it comes to books that are being read by the people around me, particularly those closest to me, I like to keep my ears and eyes open. So the last few months I’ve done just that, I’ve watched what people have been reading and what customers have been buying at the large bookshop where I work part-time. I’ve got book recommendations from myself, friends, family, bookshop owners and complete strangers, so without further ado, here are my book recommendations this Christmas… read more
“The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing it well or you’re doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That is actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.” – John Green
If you’re an indie author and either have, or are considering self-publishing, then let me borrow a few minutes of your time to tell you why I think investing in a good editor is important.
I’ve read many books over the years and I’m by no means an expert in the field of writing, but I have noticed reoccurring patterns and feelings. Particularly feelings of disappointment and confusion when a book I’ve been reading has fallen flat or the characters have just acted bizarrely for no apparent reason, and yes I have fallen into this trap too.
As a writer and author, I know how difficult it is to come up with compelling, yet realistic ideas that make sense for your story. When I was writing my first published book Anomaly, which I rewrote dozens of times with the help of a couple of editors, I found that in later rewrites my mind had become so saturated with my story that I could no longer decide whether my writing and ideas were good, or if they were just plain terrible. I experienced feelings of panic and anxiety for weeks and months, even after I finished the book and it went off for publication. In fact, the earliest versions of Anomaly bear very little resemblance to what I eventually wrote and published in 2016. read more
There have been a number of authors who have inspired me over the years and some of them I have only discovered recently. Whether they have made me laugh, cry, or just hooked me into buying more of their work, there are just some books that you will talk about and remember forever.
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to write about all the authors who have inspired me right now, so I’ll save them for future blogs. However, I have noticed a certain trend that crops up amongst some of my favourite books. If the author’s writing style or ideas are quirky, funny, clever and/or unusual, then it will most likely snag my attention. With that knowledge in mind, I couldn’t resist writing about these three particular gentlemen… read more
‘The MORE that you READ, the more THINGS you will KNOW. The MORE you LEARN, the more PLACES you’ll GO!’ -Dr. Seuss
I have been a keen reader nearly all my life and now at the age of 24, I often reminisce over the books that I have read and loved over the years. The first books I opened had a major impact on me, they are the books that fueled my imagination, taught me big words, imparted knowledge and wisdom, and I’m pretty sure they helped my emotional development too.
There are many benefits from reading; countless studies have shown that children who read, and have been read to from an early age, often perform better at school. Every person should read, and every reader has a personal list of books like mine, that kick-started their love and appreciation of the literary world.
So without further ado, here are the books that I loved from my childhood, right through to the present day…
1) The Beatrix Potter Collection.
Arguably one of the most famous and popular book collections for young children worldwide, the Beatrix Potter Collection is a wonderfully illustrated collection of stories featuring countryside and farm animals such as cats, mice, rabbits, squirrels, hedgehogs and more. I owned a number of books from this collection when I was young (from birth up to 6 years), and I loved to read them over and over. This collection made such an impression on me that I remember my favourites being; The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. If you are a parent with young children, or are going to be a parent soon, then I would definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy of this collection. read more
Many authors choose to write under a pen name or pseudonym. It’s a difficult decision to make and comes down to personal preference and what you hope to achieve.
Personally, I chose to use my real name but I deliberated for months over it. Luckily my name is pretty unique, and uniqueness is a good thing in the literary world. It means whenever someone searches my name up on the World Wide Web, I’m not lost underneath thousands of ‘Caitlin Lynagh’ results. If you search my name now, you will most likely find Troubador’s website featuring my novel Anomaly, at the top of the first page. However, not everyone has a unique name and not everyone wants to use their real name, and there can be a number of reasons as to why.
Some authors use a pen name aka nom de plume, because they don’t want family and friends to know that they have written, let alone published, a novel. Writing is exposing and there is undeniably a huge part of the author in any published novel. As you write, you will consciously and subconsciously draw upon your own thoughts, feelings and past experiences. The characters in your novel may even be loosely based on your friends and family, and the locations may be based on actual places you have visited. This is all pretty normal, and authors habitually venture into the real world searching for inspiration or sit and watch the world go by. Nonetheless, it ultimately means that your readers will be judging you subconsciously as a person and consciously as an author. This thought can be scary, and it is why some authors choose to use a pen name. read more
Imagine it’s two o’clock in the morning. You’ve been awake all night, working on this and that, and now your little spot on this planet is slowly rotating its way to dawn. You’re tired and you know you should be asleep, your body is practically yelling this at you, but you’ve just been hit by an awesome idea that cannot be ignored. You quickly scribble down the awesome idea in your notebook, but it’s frustrating, your mind feels thick and sluggish and you keep yawning like a Venus flytrap. You desperately want to work on the awesome idea, but your bed is calling you. This often happens to me, yet it is apparently quite common.
Research has shown, and I mean actual scientific research, that people tend to be more creative when they’re tired. read more