Can I borrow a feeling?

As a writer you can’t help but empathise with just about every thing around you. Being empathetic is a very useful thing as a writer as you need to be able to get inside the head of the character you are writing about, to feel as they do, and anticipate their reaction to the situations you put them in. In effect you are borrowing feelings and channelling them into sentences. If you’re successful, then your readers will be hooked. They’ll fall in love with your characters and your story, villains and all, and keep coming back for more. Great writers are not always those who actually write the best (I mean look at the Da Vinci Code – terribly written, but obviously compelling to enough people to get made into a movie) but who create the best stories, with the most vicarious characters. 

However, there is a huge down-side to all this. Firstly, for me, it means I tend to cry in movies … a lot… because I feel what the characters on the screen do. Similarly, certain TV shows are now off limits for me, as I can no longer watch awkward shows, which sadly is a staple of British Comedy, one of my favourite comedy genres. English people are just so awkward, and the way they deal with awkward situations is hilarious, but I get so caught up in that awkward feeling that I literally want to crawl under the couch and die. Urgh! Even thinking about it now is horrible! 

Then there is the problem of empathising with inanimate objects, that obviously have no feelings. For example, you see a car parked by the side of the road and one of it’s headlights is smashed, and to you it might just look like a pranged up car, but to a writer it’s a sad, forgotten creature who has come to harm at the hands of some human ogre. OK, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but all I’m saying is there’s a reason the Herbie films were so popular, why KIT (the car in Knight Rider) talked and why kids and ‘grown-ups’ love the animated Cars movies. I also hate throwing out anything. I feel bad for it. Like Andy’s toys in Toy Story… Yah huh. Now you’re getting it. 

If you’re not a writer though, by this time I’m guessing you’re probably thinking, this lady is bug-arse crazy, and I would be the first to agree with you. I sound rather unhinged, but hey that’s why I write. All the crazy has to go somewhere and on the page is as good a place as any. Well, it’s either that or I start a 3-piece, cutlery-inspired, pots-and-pans folk band with the neighbourhood possums and come play out the front of your place. On Saturday mornings. Before you’ve had coffee…. Ya huh. Now you’re definitely getting it. 

Image taken from The Simpsons

Thirteen Bones media kit

As a writer, you become accustomed to her face.... hang on - that's My Fair Lady... I'll start again.

As a writer of fiction you become accustomed to creating characters, with complicated back-stories (whether they make it into a story or not - believe me, we create them), who live in amazing worlds or brilliantly mundane ones that we make up. Characters who live wonderful or terrible or boring or fantastic lives - and we create those for them them too. Sometimes the words fly onto the page in an ecstasy of cleverness... and sometimes you have to tear them from your brain a word at a time like chipping away at the folds with a blunt fork leaving you in a terrifying state of self doubt. However as horrifying as that is, nothing compares to the fear that grips a writer when they have to write about themselves - or worse their own work! 

And with that admission of cowardice out of the way I present you with the Thirteen Bones media kit in case you should have need of it.

Download the Thirteen Bones media kit



The Read Me Project kicks off

As a writer who has just self-published their first novel, I don’t want to be forcing my book down people’s throats via social media and blog posts ad-nauseam so I wanted to find a fun and creative way to share my book with the world and connect with my audience.

My first thought was, well wouldn't it be cool to just leave copies of my book around the city, tied up with string and with a little sign that said “Read Me” to encourage people to pick up and take home my book to read for free? It was also a bit of a cheeky nod to Alice in Wonderland.

I spent the weekend wrapping up copies of my book, and getting them ready to go. I couldn't wait to get these out into the world.

Then I thought, wouldn't it be great if others did this too? With their books or magazines, or 'zines? Or even if you had a book you’d read and didn't want any more – why not share it with someone else in a fun and engaging way?

The Read Me Project was born from this, and now here I am 6 days into it and the response has been fantastic. It’s a real hoot to see my books disappear from where I have left them and also to have people in the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter community messaging me to let me know they picked up a copy of my book or they just missed out on getting one but would love to buy a copy.

I'm sincerely hoping more people join this initiative and have fun with books.

Here’s looking at you finding a book #thereadmeproject
Jo Jette

Journey to the centre of the page

Every so often on this amazing blue marble of a planet a writer emerges whose genius withstands the test of time, and their work passes into history and popular culture in a must-read-or-fail-at-life kind of way. When this fantastic and rare thing happens, your beloved works will not only continue to line bookshelves throughout history, but the wonderful paper castles that your words are housed within will live to reflect the times they are re-printed in. Thinking out loud, I honestly don't know one person (well that I am aware of) who does not appreciate delicious book cover design. I mean after all usually they are the hook that lures you in, forcing you to flop your hard-earned dollars out on the book store counter, where they rustle in the wind from your empty wallet like a lonely silver fish who knows that, really, there are other things in life he probably should have been doing before he chanced upon that hook in the first place. However now he is uncontrollably locked into this purchase like the Millennium Falcon in the tractor beam of the Death Star. 

Today I was thinking about Jules Verne and how his brilliant works of science fiction and imagination have been to be housed within some of the most wonderful book cover designs to be created. Whether his text resides inside the gold leafed ornate designs of the 1900s to the more modern, clean and minimalist look of the here and now.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be looking at the cover designs for a few more Author’s for inspiration, and perhaps a little motivation to get off my arse and keep the keys clacking.