Last Night’s Book Reading of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

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I had the good fortune of having a book reading at the wonderful Taylor Roasted CoffeeHouse in Northampton, PA last night.  The weather was not conducive to a large turnout because a nasty layer of sleet was falling, and driving was somewhat hazardous.  A few friends attended, and the event became a cozy discussion of my book and of writing in general.

As I always do when at this establishment, I had a very large cup of black coffee, and I consider the Taylor Roasted CoffeeHouse to have the best java in the entire Lehigh Valley, PA, if not everywhere!  They are presently working on redesigning their website, and I hope orders will be available for shipping anywhere. If that happens, I will highly recommend their coffee to coffee lovers everywhere!

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This was an enjoyable and very relaxing event! On to the next!

Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

 

Quotations on Imagination

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“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Albert Einstein

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“Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.”
Jonathan Swift

 

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“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
Carl Sagan

 

Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is now available on Amazon:

Amazon link

The book trailer follows:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

Update on my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French

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My Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for initial publishing and promotional costs for my horror novel Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I is progressing extremely well! To all who have donated, you have my thanks!  I hope the campaign continues to show great progress. To find it, please go to:

https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/my-kickstarter-campaign-has-begun/

I have also just set up a radio interview, about which I will speak much more in the near future!

I am also in the process of arranging several book readings and signings in my area.

I will also soon do a post in which I discuss several ideas I have for other forms of promotion, and I hope to get feedback from you about these ideas!

Happy Writing!

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(photo by Liz French 2016)

The Courtesan’s Avenger by Kate M. Colby: Themes in a Series

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I would like to welcome author Kate M. Colby to my blog.  In this post, she discusses the issue of themes in a series of novels. Kate is an excellent writer, one I am proud to know. I respect her abilities and writing, and I have used her previous novel The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) in two of my college English literature classes.  So, welcome Kate please as she discusses Themes in a Series:

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 What makes a good book series? Most readers would say a captivating world, strong characters, and an overarching mission or journey. I absolutely agree … but I think there’s something missing there. Theme.

While books can (and should) offer escape and entertainment, they have the ability to do so much more than that. Fiction allows authors the opportunity to explore topics that matter to them on neutral ground, to expose and evaluate unsavory aspects of society, to celebrate all that makes up this wonderful and crazy human experience. As someone who blended sociology and English in university, this is exactly what I try to do in my fiction.

The world of my Desertera series is a steampunk wasteland. It’s about as far from reality as I could run. But the themes within the world really hit home with me, and have with several of my readers, too. My first novel, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, is a revenge tale. When Aya, my protagonist, was a young girl, the king had her father executed for treason. Therefore, at first opportunity, Aya joins a plot to avenge her father’s death and trap the king into a crime, thus bringing about his execution.

If I’ve done my job as a writer, the readers should be on Aya’s side. They should seethe with anger and root for her to succeed in orchestrating the king’s execution. They should identify with Aya’s quest for self-redemption, love, and the reclaiming of her sexuality. They should be appalled at the social injustices in the world, the stratification of class and wealth, and the hypocritical palace politics – all things that can be found in reality.

When I set out to write the sequel, The Courtesan’s Avenger, I wanted to tackle a lot of these same themes. Class struggle remains a central issue, along with love and sexuality, friendship, and self-discovery. However, I knew I had a responsibility to address the other side of revenge: justice.

I had to face the ugly truth of the morality I had exalted. As much as I respect Aya and her mission, revenge isn’t healthy. Even if it is “justified,” it can turn a good person evil, blind them to their own wrongdoings, and pose troubling moral questions for a society. After all, if Aya can (essentially) murder and (definitely) commit crimes to avenge her father, what’s to stop the other citizens from doing the same to address their own grievances?

Enter Dellwyn and The Courtesan’s Avenger. When one of Dellwyn’s fellow courtesans is murdered, she doesn’t desire revenge or any sort of payback. She wants justice. Her whole goal in finding the killer is to submit them to the authorities and the judgment of law. She doesn’t take justice into her own hands, doesn’t commit any crimes, and even condemns Aya’s actions from the first novel. Dellwyn has seen how Aya’s quest for revenge created rifts in their world, and she refuses to do the same.

This is all a longwinded way of saying that theme, just as much as characters and setting and plot, is a central part of writing a book series. As an author, you have the opportunity to highlight the wrongs and praise the good you see in society. You can help readers gain empathy for the corrupt, question their sense of right and wrong, or just consider an issue they’d never thought about before.

Readers, you have the greatest blessing of all. You get to pick and choose what to take with you. Every book, no matter how thematically driven, leaves a piece of itself with us. Pride and Prejudice encourages us not to judge others too harshly and be open to love, The Girl on the Train reminds us to take responsibility for our actions, and The Picture of Dorian Gray condemns vanity, self-indulgence, and moral duplicity. At least, that’s what I get from those three – your interpretations could be entirely different! You can take the author’s message at face value, mine for deeper meaning, discover something the author didn’t know was there, or ignore it all completely. That’s the beauty of theme.

So, fellow writers, have the courage to experiment and make theme a central part of your series. It’s not just for stand-alone literary fiction novels. And, fellow readers, examine everything the author presents and take whatever it is you need. Every possible meaning lurks between those pages, and you can have whichever one you like.

Happy reading!

Author bio:

Kate M. Colby is an author of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Her first series, Desertera, consists of steampunk fantasy novels with themes of socio-economic disparity, self-empowerment, romance, and revenge. She lives in the United States with her husband and furry children.

 

Book links:

The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) – http://books2read.com/the-cogsmiths-daughter

The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2) – http://books2read.com/the-courtesans-avenger

Social links:

Website – http://www.katemcolby.com

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/katemcolby

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/authorkatemcolby

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/katemcolby    

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Blog tour for my upcoming novel.

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Hello to everyone. I am planning on doing a blog post tour in October for my horror novel Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I.  I will be setting the release date for the book soon, but it will probably be somewhere in the area of October 20.

The blog tour will probably run 2-3 weeks. I admit I should have this schedule set, but I am running a bit behind on some of the planning.  But as an absent-minded professor, this fits me perfectly!

If you are interested in hosting a post on a particular day, or on any day from October 1 through October 20, please email me at frenchc1955@yahoo.com .  The subject is something we can discuss with some possibilities being discussions of how I wrote the book, interviews with questions you prefer or those I can write, interviews with the characters, or themes of the novel. I am certainly not limiting the subject matter; those are simply suggestions.

Here is a sneak peak at the tee-shirt for the book!

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(photo by Liz French 2016)

Happy 50th Anniversary to Star Trek!

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This month is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek! Congratulations to extraordinary longevity and influence for a television show that ran 3 seasons beginning in September of 1966.  What had been seen initially as only an action-adventure space opera, the influence and importance of this series would grow slowly.

The series was scheduled to be canceled after only two seasons, but an onslaught of mail and calls from fans convinced the television executives to renew it for one more season, but it still was finished after a partial 3rd season. This run of circumstances ordinarily would have been the end of most shows, but something was happening.

Star Trek was in many ways a response to the turmoil of the 1960s, but it was also a vision that transcended that particularly chaotic era. Gene Roddenberry, the creator, of the series, imbued it with a sense of optimism and humanism that suggested it was possible for humanity to confront and overcome its enormous problems. It was the first series to create a multi-cultural, indeed multi-planetary, crew.  In many of its episodes it dealt with issues that were then, and still are, current and facing humanity; among these themes: racism, war, and the spread of weapons in various cultures.

After a short period of dormancy, Star Trek went into syndication and soon would spin off 5 other series, and a 6th is coming out soon. Additionally, many feature movies have been made, including the most recent from this year Star Trek Beyond.

I am a proud Trekkie, especially favoring the original series. The humanism and optimism of the show has resonated with me, and I find the writing especially to be at the top level of television science-fiction shows, right along with The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. I hope that the messages of  this show continue to inspire people for many years to come.

“Live Long and Prosper!”

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Quotations on Teaching

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“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

                                                                              Malala Yousafzai

 

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“There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race.”

                                                                                John F. Kennedy

 

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“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

                                                                               John Dewey