Tag Archives: literature

Book Series: The Mad Rush for the Big Payoff

Is that you, Harry Potter? Oh, it’s not? What’s that? Ah, you’re the other character from a different book series about witches and wizards. My bad. You see, there are just so many book series out there these days that it is hard to follow along sometimes. The problem isn’t with you, generic magical hero. The problem lies with the publishers and writers. You see, the publishers only want something that they can stretch their dollar with. Why sell one book when you can sell seven of them! And if you’re a writer, why take the time to create new worlds and characters when there are perfectly good ones you already created? Just plop your characters – much like you, Harry, um, I mean magical hero – into the same settings and just tweak with the stories here and there and voila! instant book series! The publishers will love it! There will be a movie deal! Why make one movie when you can make three or four, or eight! Had The Hobbit been written today it would have been made into three books, just like it is being stretched into three movies. Who’s the hobbit? Well, never mind. I told you, you’re not the problem. You’re just doing your job. Please take your hand off of your wand.

Writers should write what they believe in and not what they believe will sell. You think you have  a lot of competition, wizard? You should have seen the vampire I met for breakfast. Poor guy. Everyone in the restaurant kept making fun of him. “When you gonna sparkle?” they would ask. Hopefully this whole series bandwagon will die down once everyone slows down and sees the glutton of related content popping up everywhere. I mean, come on, we ended up with half off a Harry Potter book being about doing nothing in the woods. Some of these series just keep going for the sake of going. Dollar signs replace each key on the keyboard!

What’s that? Oh, sorry. I get a little carried away. Are you really having eyes of newt for lunch? Typical.

Surface: The Perfect Writer’s Companion

As a writer, it is very important to always have easy access to all of the stories one is working on, especially on the go. That is why I would like to take the time to review what I believe is the perfect on the go device, the Microsoft Surface.

What is Surface? Surface is a tablet computer released by Microsoft, running Windows RT. Think of Windows RT like it is an iPad. Apple has the OSX operating system on their Macs and iOS for its mobile devices and tablets. Windows RT is a stripped down version of Windows 8.

Built in USB port means you can bring all of your files with you.

Why choose Surface? As I mentioned before, it is extremely important to have access to all of my stories I am working on, as inspiration  may hit at any moment. The Surface tablet has built in Wi-Fi and cloud storage, so all of my documents are always available. And when I update Eliza, the Witch on my Surface, it saves automatically to the cloud, so if I go home and want to continue working on the story on my desktop PC, the story is there waiting for me right where I left off.
There is another reason the Surface is a great writer’s companion: it comes with Office preinstalled for free. That is something that no other tablet can offer at this time.

A built in kickstand allows for greater portability, with the ability to set up and type in a matter of seconds on any surface.

Not only will you have access to 6GB of free cloud storage with Skydrive so you can work on your documents and have them sync seamlessly between your PCs,  there is also a USB port and MicroSD slot on the Surface. Let’s say you are out at a conference somewhere and there doesn’t happen to be Wi-Fi. All you have to do is carry your documents with you on a USB Memory Stick, external hard drive, or MicroSD card and you are ready to go. Again, another feature the iPad does not have.

Of course, the hardest part about tablet computing is always the typing. Portable keyboards are rarely that as they take up a lot of space and usually run out of batteries fairly quickly. The Surface has a solution for you, and it is nothing short of amazing. The Touch Cover for Surface is not only a smart cover for your screen, it also acts as a built in portable keyboard that is only a few millimeters thick. The keys are slightly raised and feel like felt and typing is as easy as tapping your fingers on a table. I had a few hours to play around with one and after about 10 minutes I was typing just as quickly as with a standard keyboard. On the plus side , you don’t even have to buy a stand for your tablet. The Surface has a built n kickstand that keeps the tablet at the perfect viewing angle.

With all of these great features, the Surface tablet from Microsoft is a must on any writer’s list this Holiday season. The clincher is definitely the free Office (although the USB port is extremely useful).
There really is no better tablet out there for a portable writing experience.

Microsoft Surface tablet is available for $499 at a Microsoft Store near you, or available online at Surface.com. Touch Cover is $119.

Thin and portable

Microsoft Store locations: http://content.microsoftstore.com/home.aspx?WT.mc_id=onlinestore_footertray

 

Surface.com: http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-US

 

Recommended Reading

Looking for a good book series to read with your kids? 

Check out this delightfully imaginative and just a bit creepy series, The Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West.
Highly recommended. I will be reading these all very soon and will post them up in my Fantastic Adventures Series as soon as I’m done!

The Books of Elsewhere website.

 

NEW RELEASE: Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern

 

My latest book, Jeremy, the Jack-O’-Lantern is now available to order! 
What does a pumpkin think about being turned into a jack-o’-lantern?

Join Jeremy as he goes from a small pumpkin on a vine to a delightfully wicked jack-o’-lantern! Go on a journey as Jeremy experiences Halloween for the first time!

Buy it at Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/ryan-r-palmer/jeremy-the-jack-o-lantern/paperback/product-20472337.html

Coming soon to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and more!!

Fantastic Adventures Halloween Edition: Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk

The Berenstain Bears are a popular series for both parents and kids because it teaches great life lessons, helping the parents approach difficult subjects. This Halloween edition has a similar theme, in that it teaches about dressing up for Halloween and why being scary is okay. When Papa Bear gets to design a haunted house for the school’s Ghost Walk at Halloween, he decides that it’s going to be the scariest Ghost Walk ever, with every frightening thing he can possibly use. Mama Bear is concerned that he might be going too far, especially since this event is for young children, but Papa is having too much fun to take her warning seriously. Then, a nightmare of his own causes him to reconsider.

Why it is a fantastic adventure: As mentioned above, the book teaches about Halloween and the appropriateness of the scary costumes, decorations and evil creatures shown on TV.
It is a good chance for parents to have a great conversation about Halloween costumes and what is appropriate. Of course, the level of that appropriateness is up to each individual parent. The illustrations also allow for your kids to open up their imaginations and really get into the different aspects of dressing up for Halloween. it is a great way to help them kick start costume ideas.

New Halloween Novelette Release

NEW RELEASE: The Haunted House of John Price
Buy it now for your Kindle for only .99!

*WARNING: Not for kids!*

Don’t have a Kindle? Download the FREE Kindle app for your PC, iPad, iPhone or Android phone and read right from your device!

Please review after you have read!!

http://www.amazon.com/Haunted-House-John-Price-ebook/dp/B009S2GW7Q/ref=la_B009SE8U8I_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350519491&sr=1-1

Eliza, the Witch delayed

Hello, fans. I have decided to push Eliza, the Witch back to next Halloween. The story still needs  a lot of time to cook and I want to make sure I am putting out the best quality of work I can. So, with an additional year to iron out the details, I hope it will be my best story yet!

I do want to stick to releasing something every Halloween season, so I will come up with an abbreviated adventure starring Eliza, most likely as a picture book form.

Also, I will be releasing my horror story The Haunted House of John Price this October in e-book format for Amazon Kindle, Nook, etc.