In case you’re looking for an unconventional summer read or if you enjoyed the Frames fragments I’ve shared with you so far, then you should take advantage of the Amazon giveaway and download it for free or offer it as a gift to someone who might like it. Happy reading!
A glowing review is a delight for any author. But receiving such a review from a writer you admire is a priceless treat. Thank you for your beautiful words, Carol!
I’ve always liked Ana Linden’s books. She’s very good at getting inside her characters’ heads.
Frames consists of four short character driven stories. These are not ordinary characters and through their flaws Ana Linden gives us insight into relationships and human nature.
The subjects of her stories range from the damaged educational system, the cruelty of abuse, loneliness, losers and guilt.
Linden’s writing is not ordinary. She is unafraid to show the rawness of human nature in a unique literary voice. She is an artist using words as her medium. It is reflective writing. The stories in Frames are the kind that you want to savor and allow the beauty of the writing sink in. There is no sermonizing in these stories and we understand what is not being said. This makes for quite satisfying reading.
Visit Carol Balawyder’s site for the full review of Frames and if you have a moment to spare, check out her books as well. She is such a gifted writer!
Warning Signs, Carol Balawyder’s first psychological crime novel will pull you in from the first page. Nowhere near the typical whodunit, it provides a compelling, complex image of the emotional process behind becoming a serial killer, the struggles tormenting such an individual, and their social and amorous interactions.
Thorough psychological research and her background as a criminologist provide the author with a strong foundation on which to build realistic characters and trace the effects of their damaging history and dysfunctional relationships. Brilliant in their own ways, the killer, the woman who loves him and the detective trying to stop him are inevitably drawn to each other in a fashion dictated by their obsession, trauma, guilt, loneliness, loss and despair.
“I’ve worked on so many cases where there’s a history of a violent parent. There always seems to be. Mothers abandoning them. That alone can stir a lot of anger in a kid. If he’s not allowed to express his anger, it’s going to get directed at someone else. I have yet to work on a case where there isn’t some kind of abuse in the family,”
I had been looking forward to that getaway for months – a trip I wasn’t sure would materialize – and as I was driving that early morning, it was finally beginning to feel real. It was real. That patch of beautiful wild flowers featured in my title story, Frames… well, it was also real. Everything else is fiction, but the flowers were real, an out of place wonder covering a mound of dirt in an otherwise prosaic field by the freeway.
Some images stay with you… their impact makes you want to find out the story behind them or at least create one such story. By the time I reached my destination, a rough outline of a nameless story had already taken shape in my mind. But I had recently finished Albatross and needed a bit of a writing break, so I knew it was a story for another time.
A shot would easily take that patch of flowers out of its natural context and create an entirely different reality for the unknowing observer in another context. It could suddenly be a dreamy field of wild flowers instead of some wild flowers on top of dirt by the freeway. Reality reframed or just one frame of a bigger, more complex reality? The answer is a personal subjective choice.
Coincidentally, I took some poppy shots the other day. What an unexpected find, I thought to myself, blooming poppies in the wind, with the beach, a calm sea and a blue sky on the background. Some of you also liked the one I already posted. All sorts of positive words come to mind when thinking of those shots, especially considering the recent lockdown months. But… but what you don’t see in any of those photos, what I carefully avoided to include in any of those frames is the large pile of rubbish only a few steps away from those beautiful flowers. Thinking back, perhaps I should have included it, but I was too taken by the angle excluding it.
My point is, we go about doing this in many, if not all, aspects of our lives. We like to think we see the full picture, we have the full truth, when in fact we only have instances, a few frames on which we choose or are forced to build our judgement, conclusions and decisions. Sometimes we get it right, even by mistake… other times we ignore the background, we find a way to exclude the ugliness from the picture in order not to have to deal with it.
The same happens to my characters. They’re neither picture-perfect, nor horrid, but they might appear to be either one or the other, depending on the moment one interacts with them. But once the angle becomes wider and the background less blurry, does their behaviour become understandable and acceptable? That, too, is a personal, subjective choice…
Here I am, once more… I mentioned working on a new book, as some of you might recall, but I didn’t dwell on it. Well, in spite of various changes and challenges, I can now relax and enjoy, because I managed to stick with the schedule and it’s finally ready!
In case you noticed that countdown on my site and wondered about it, that’s what it’s about. Frames, my new book, is already available for pre-orders on Amazon and it will be published on May 15th. That’s also when the printed version will become available (click on the image).
Maudlin as it may sound, before I go on and tell you what the book is all about, I’d like to thank you for your support and encouraging words over the years, ever since I’ve started this blog. As many of you know from your own writing experience, this sort of warm, inspiring and supportive blogging community means a lot to an indie author.
I know it’s customary to do a cover reveal first, to create all sorts of buzz about the book, building suspense before the big publishing day. All’s well and good in theory, but promoting the book – relevant as that may be – is the part of self-publishing I loathe. So there I go again, revealing everything at once.
I’ve put together four stories this time, not exactly short ones, but no novellas either. Hopefully the common denominators will become clear as you read them, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. All I can say is, once they took shape in my mind, I couldn’t separate these stories.
What does one do when life comes to a hopeless standstill and the desired fresh start is not what it seems? Four enthralling, emotional short stories capture diverse characters who are stuck, desperately searching either for a new beginning or for an end to their misery. Opportunity presents itself under the unexpected guise of theft, murder and suicide intertwined with love, friendship and generosity. In need of purpose, as well as affection and passion, they are torn between their conflicting desires and moral values, often finding solace and support in unexpected, shocking situations and people. Can an assassin love? Is one’s death someone else’s fortune? Should outcasts dare to dream of a better future and should the past be put behind? These are merely a few of the questions tormenting them, pushing them to honestly acknowledge and assess their needs and their existence.
I’ll stop here, in an attempt to keep it short and sweet. I’ll explain my choice of title and I’ll share excerpts from each story over the following days. Hopefully, you’ll find them enjoyable.
… the writing game, that is.
I know, I know, ‘tis the season, but I’m not the New Year’s resolutions kind of person, so this endeavour doesn’t fall under that category. As it happens, this January is simply a good time to start focusing on my writing again.
I’ve made plans for it in 2019. I’ve written an outline. I even have a title and a book cover in mind. I’ve already started to work on the project and paused over the holidays. But come January, I would start writing again, I told myself. I set a deadline for myself and I estimated how much and how often I could write, barring unexpected circumstances. Well, we all know we can always count on the unexpected to take place; and I don’t want to force myself into writing more than I feel I can handle or to dedicate all my spare time to it; but it’s good to have a plan, that works for me.
A blogging anniversary notification from WP, that’s yet another sign that Christmas and the end of the year are near. It’s been six years, apparently… six years which passed too fast. But thank you for sharing this time with me, for letting me be a part of your lives and for teaching me so much about appreciation and kindness simply by opening up and telling your stories.
My small thank-you gift to you is the same as every year since I started this blogging journey – electronic stocking stuffers, my ebooks. If you enjoyed the Albatross fragments I’ve shared with you, then you should take advantage of the Amazon giveaway and download it / offer it for free starting today, until December 23rd.
If you’d rather have a copy of Parallel Lives or Glass Slippers and Stilettos or perhaps you would like to offer them to someone who might enjoy them, use any of the following links:
…and on iBooks, of course.
Feel free to download as many copies as you like!
Happy reading and Happy Holidays!
“The truth seems to be, however, that when he casts his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him better than most of his schoolmates or lifemates. Some authors, indeed, do far more than this, and indulge themselves in such confidential depths of revelation as could fittingly be addressed only and exclusively to the one heart and mind of perfect sympathy; as if the printed book, thrown at large on the wide world, were certain to find out the divided segment of the writer’s own nature, and complete his circle of existence by bringing him into communion with it. It is scarcely decorous, however, to speak all, even where we speak impersonally. But, as thoughts are frozen and utterance benumbed, unless the speaker stand in some true relation with his audience, it may be pardonable to imagine that a friend, a kind and apprehensive, though not the closest friend, is listening to our talk; and then, a native reserve being thawed by this genial consciousness, we may prate of the circumstances that lie around us, and even of ourself, but still keep the inmost Me behind its veil.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
Take a few minutes and read a poem today… feel the words and let emotions take over you… Remember how the written word enriches our lives, it’s World Poetry Day after all! 🙂