Dare to Read

December 3, 2011

The Case of the Misleading Trailer/Book Cover

Filed under: Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 7:26 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro

 

 

I watched The Descendants last week-end and was surprised by the director’s serious, non apologetic approach to his story. Although I agree with the many positive reviews I have read about it, I was disappointed because it is not at all the humorous movie the trailer had led me to expect.

This discrepancy between the expectations and the reality of the movie, reminded me of Candi Cradle’s review of my book Two Moon Princess (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/182304921).

“I weirdly liked this (Two Moon Princess) a lot,” Candi writes, “but not for being any of the things it said it was. (…) the title says “princess” and there is some weird girl on the cover I never could place.”

(…) This book was about culture shock, growing up, and sacrifice; not time travel, romance, and princesses.”

In both cases, the trailer and the book cover/blurb were misleading. Although they are well done, they failed to establish the mood of the story.

According to Jess C. Scott at: http://komzreviews.blogspot.com/2011/11/be-my-guest-how-to-design-book-cover.html a book cover has to:

“(1) have visual appeal, and

(2) attract the right audience.”

Both the trailer for The Descendants and the cover of Two Moon Princess are visually appealing, but, because they do  not convey the right mood of the story, may eventually fail in attracting the right audience.

A lesson well taken.

November 11, 2011

The Book Cover as Visual Blurb

Filed under: On Publishing,Self-Publishing,Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 12:00 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Shelli who runs a wonderful blog, Market my Words, has been blogging for the last few months about her road to self-publish her YA novel Untraceable.

Today she revealed her book cover in her blog post (http://faeriality.blogspot.com/2011/11/untraceable-cover-reveal-finally.html), and as I read her explanations of how she came to choose this particular shot, I realized what she was trying to do with her cover was to give us a visual blurb of her story.

Yes, I know, it sounds obvious. But it wasn’t for me before, because I am not a visual person, and I find very difficult to summarize my story in a picture.

I didn’t have to do this with my first published book Two Moon Princess. Tanglewood Press did it for me. In fact I had no saying in the matter. This was good (I didn’t have to worry about it) and bad, because the cover didn’t fit my expectations. How could it really, when I didn’t know what I wanted in the first place?

But now that I am older and wiser, as I consider self-publishing my second book, The King in the Stone, I have given a lot of thought to its cover, and although I will hire an artist to do the real design, I do have a clear image in my mind of what I want.

And this is, I think, how it should be for who knows better than the author the particular mood she wants to elicit in the reader with her story?

November 4, 2011

Would You Read More?

Filed under: On Reading,Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 1:45 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

These are some of my favorite first lines.

I have included the one from my YA fantasy Two Moon Princess. A little biased there. But it wouldn’t be my first line if I didn’t like it. No agenda on the others.

“He was born with the gift of laughter and the sense that the world was mad.” Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini

“The arrow knows the way. Just let it free.” Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“When I was nine years old, I hid under a table and heard my sister kill a king.” Quest for a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry

“Call me Ishmael.” Moby-Dick (Dover Thrift Editions) by Herman Melville

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.” The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” 1984 (Signet Classics) by George Orwell

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Go-Between (Penguin Modern Classics) by L. P. Hartley

“Jim Gallien had driven four miles out of Fairbanks when he spotted the hitchhiker standing in the snow besidde the road, thumb raised high, shivering in the gray Alaska dawn.” Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

“Marley was dead: to begin with.” A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

“I didn’t know how long I had been in the king’s prison.” The Thief (The Queen’s Thief, Book 1) by Megan Whalen Turner

“King Constantine IX of Regia had been killed three times and was bored with it. He wanted a bath.” The Beggar Queen (The Westmark Trilogy) by Lloyd Alexander

“It was just past midday, not long before the third summons to prayer, that Ammar ibn Khairan passed through the Gate of the Bells and entered the palace of Al-Fontina in Silvenes to kill the last of the khalifs of Al-Rassan.” The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay

“Sometimes he whispered his real name in the dark, in the middle of the night.” Among the Impostors (Shadow Children) by Margaret Peterson Haddix

“On a winter’s day in 1413, just before Christmas, Nicholas Hook decided to commit murder.” Agincourt: A Novel by Bernard Cornwell

November 1, 2011

Two positive Reviews of Two Moon Princess

Filed under: Books, Reviews,Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 2:50 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, my YA novel Two Moon Princess received not one, but two positive reviews.

Hannah at http://hannahmariska.blogspot.com/2011/10/review-two-moon-princess.html, says:

“Seamlessly blending historical and contemporary fiction, Two Moon Princess creates a superb and fast paced tale of a young girl trying to find her place in one world, only that discover that she might be destined for another.”

Namine at http://clutterboxread.blogspot.com/2011/10/two-mood-princess-by-carmen-ferreiro.html, writes a very personal and disconnected review that ends as follows: “I love the travel and it seems the more I like a book the worse sort of review I do… so read it, enjoy it and write a better review for me to link up to! 🙂 ”

Thank you so much Hannah and Namine. You made my day.

October 5, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Title

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Given that my agent has requested my full manuscript, I have stopped rewriting my query and, instead, dedicated my efforts to another, if possible, more difficult task: finding an enticing title.

I must confess that if writing a query/blurb/pitch is intimidating for me, looking for a title is paralyzingly scary. My track history of naming my books having been one of utter failure so far.

I called my first novel Leaving the Castle, a title that, in my opinion, conveyed my protagonist’s goal of leaving her father’s castle to find freedom and live life on her own terms. My editor didn’t agree and published it as Two Moon Princess (http://www.amazon.com/Two-Moon-Princess-Carmen-Ferreiro-Esteban/dp/1933718277/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1317490293&sr=1-1).

I thought I had found the perfect title when I named my most recent YA fantasy, Requiem for a King. But when I published my first page for critique at the writeon.com conference last year, I was told my writing was engaging but the title made my book sound terribly boring. Humbled by such comment, I changed the title to The Revenge of the Wolf King and, voila, my rate of manuscript requests increased substantially after I queried with the new title.

Seeing that my instincts cannot be trusted when it comes to naming my book, I studied the titles of many classical and modern books looking for inspiration. I also read many articles on the subject.

From Jane Lebak’s recent blog post, You Called it What? (http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2011/09/you-called-it-what.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+QueryTracker+%28QueryTracker.net%29) I copied the following advice:

“Your title should fit (and be specific for) your book.”

“It must fit your genre.”

It “should convey tension” and “elicit an emotional reaction.” A good title allows you to “predict the central conflict without knowing any more about the story.”

Overall the purpose of a title is to intrigue, to “entice someone to learn more about the book.”

It’s all great advice, yet still I can’t decide.

Here is the list I have compiled so far:

Becquer Immortal

Becquer Eternal

Meet Becquer

Becquer’s World

Becquer Forever

Any preference?

July 31, 2011

The Querying Game

Filed under: On Publishing,On Writing,Query — carmenferreiroesteban @ 11:16 pm
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

If you are serious about becoming an author you must be willing to play the querying game. The looking for, and seducing that agent, that publisher you think would be perfect for your story.

And you have to be willing to accept defeat and move on to the next target, taking rejection in stride and giving any suggestion you are offered the utmost consideration.

Querying is painful not only because of the rejection that usually follows but because of the long waiting in between.

I hate waiting. So the minute I send the queries for a finished project, I start a new one. A new project includes reading to get ideas, and, when the idea starts to take shape, reading some more to research the subject, the time period, the geography of the place where the story will take place. I love this part of writing, as I love the writing itself and the editing that comes later.

So today I should be excited because last week I finished and sent my third novel, and I am free to move on. Yet, for all my preaching, the waiting is nagging at me, more than usual. Maybe because this time it is three fold:

1. My publisher at Tanglewood Press has my second novel (The King in the Stone, the sequel to Two Moon Princess) downloaded to her e-reader and has promised me she will read it over the summer.

2. A fantasy and SF publisher in Spain has also promised to read my fourth manuscript this very summer, the one I called Garlic for Breakfast when I first started. He read the first chapter here in my blog (https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/garlic-for-breakfast-2/) and liked it well enough to request the whole manuscript.

3. Finally, I sent the revised version of my third novel, The Revenge of the Wolf King to my dream agent who had asked for me to resend it to her if I considered her suggestions.

And so now I wait. But, even as I wait, there are things I could be doing about my finished manuscripts. For instance, if the Spanish publisher likes my novel, I’d have to translate it into Spanish. So maybe, I should make the translation my next project. But my third novel is screaming for a sequel. And there is a character in Garlic for Breakfast whose story I think needs telling.

So as you see, I’m a little confused on which way to go. Not a good way to start the week.

If only I knew who will answer first.

If only I knew who will say yes.

July 27, 2011

Festival of Children’s Books at the Doylestown Bookshop

Filed under: Event,Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:11 am
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Please join us tomorrow Thursday Jul 28 at 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

I will be reading from Two Moon Princess along with 15 other local authors at the Doylestown Bookshop

A Festival of Children’s Books

 Meet the area’s best children’s authors and illustrators at the Doylestown Bookshop for an afternoon of readings, greetings, stories and book signings!  This event is free and open to all!

Authors appearing at the Festival
Ellen Jensen Abbott • Becky Birtha • Linda Brewster • Debbie Dadey• Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban• Lindsay Barrett George • Ponder Goembels • Lee Harper • Pamela Jane• Joe Kulka • Janet Lord • Andy Myer• Susan Shaw• Shannon Wiersbitzky• Eric Wight • Kay Winters
DOWNLOAD A READING SCHEDULE TO FIND OUT WHEN YOU’RE FAVORITE AUTHOR OR ILLUSTRATOR WILL BE READING.
Ellen Jensen Abbott lives in West Chester, PA and teaches at the Westtown School. Her debut novel, Watersmeet was an IRA Young Adult Award Notable Book, and was nominated for YALSA’s Teen Top Ten. The sequel to Watersmeet, The Centaur’s Daughter, will be released on September 1, 2011.
Becky Birtha’s picture books feature African-American families in U.S. history. Lucky Beans, in which Marshall Loman uses math to help his family through the Great Depression, is a classroom favorite. Grandmama’s Pride, set in the Civil Rights era, received a Golden Kite Honor for picture book text.
Linda Brewster, the author of the multi-award winning book “Rose O’Neill: The Girl Who Loved To Draw”. Linda was born in Dallas, Texas and has traveled and lived in many states and countries. Now living in Chester County, PA. she writes and illustrates for children.
Debbie Dadey, a former teacher and librarian, now battles creatures from mythical lands full time as a Bucks County author. With titles like Zombies Don’t Play Soccer, Mermaids Don’t Run Track, and the Wrong Side of Magic Debbie writes to delight every reader, even the most reluctant. Find out more about this Publishers Weekly best-selling author at http://www.debbiedadey.com.
Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban wrote the YA novel Two Moon Princess (Tanglewood Press) and its forthcoming sequel The King in the Stone. Two Moon Princess is the story of an independent Medieval princess whose desire to live in modern California has disastrous consequences for her kingdom. You can follow her at https://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/
Lindsay Barrett George is widely recognized for her striking illustrations of animals, birds, and fish in their habitats. She is the author-illustrator of numerous books, including Alfred Digs, Maggie’s Ball, Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse, In the Garden: Who’s Been Here? and four other Who’s Been Here? titles. Lindsay Barrett George lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her dog, two cats, and a very handsome duck. www.lindsaybarrettgeorge.com
Ponder Goembels is an award-winning children’s book illustrator whose work includes, Give Me Wings, Animal Fair and Sailor Moo. Reading to her daughter was only one of the many experiences that convinced her to create more art for children. Ponder now creates illustrations almost exclusively for children’s publications. She is a frequent visitor to schools, libraries and book stores where she loves to talk and show how she creates children’s illustrations. She resides with her husband and two cats in Bucks county Pennsylvania.
Children’s book author and illustrator Lee Harper lives with his family in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Lee’s latest book is The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, which he both wrote and illustrated. Mr. Harper’s other books include Woolbur, by Leslie Helakoski; Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano; Snow! Snow! Snow!, and Looking For The Easy Life, by Walter Dean Myers.
Pamela Jane has published twenty-six children’s books with Houghton Mifflin, Atheneum, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Harper, and others. Her books include Noelle of the Nutcracker, illustrated by Jan Brett, and A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! which Publisher’s Weekly called “a ghoulishly good time.” Her new book, Little Goblins Ten is illustrated by NY Times best-selling illustrator, Jane Manning (Harper, 2011.) http://www.pamelajane.com
Joe Kulka has illustrated over 20 children’s books including his award winning picture book “Wolf’s Coming!”. Joe illustrated the USDA Forest Service’s new book on Smokey Bear which is being used nationwide to introduce a new generation of children to Smokey’s fire prevention message.
Janet Lord earned her BA in graphic arts and advertising from Concord University and now works as a graphic designer. She also wrote Here Comes Grandma! and Albert the Fix-It Man, both illustrated by her sister, Julie Paschkis. She lives in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Over his 35 years career, Andy Myer has been a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, corporate publications consultant, editorial writer, patent illustrator, substitute teacher, and a few other things even he forgets. “Pickles, Please!” is his first published children’s book.
Susan Shaw, a life-long Pennsylvanian, graduated from Radnor High School and earned her B. S. in music education from Temple University. She and her husband live in Wayne, where they raised three children. She is the author of Black-eyed Suzie, The Boy From The Basement, Safe (Dutton Books, 2007), and One Of The Survivors. Her books have been chosen for many awards and appear on many reading lists.
  Shannon Wiersbitzky currently lives in Pennsylvania, but has called North Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Michigan “home” at some point in her life. She is married and has two young sons who are always coming up with new story ideas. The Summer of Hammer and Angels is her first novel.
Eric Wight is the author and illustrator of the popular Frankie Pickle series. He spent his childhood wishing for superpowers. When that didn’t pan out, he decided to learn how to write and draw. And while he may never fly or shoot lasers from his fingertips, getting to tell stories and make people laugh is pretty cool too. Maybe his wish came true after all. Visit him on the web at http://www.ewight.blogspot.com.
Kay Winters was a teacher before becoming a full time writer of 16 published books. She writes fiction, poetry, non fiction and early chapter books. Her newest book This School Year will be THE BEST is widely used in elementary schools. It even inspired a principal in Ohio to kiss a pig! Kay is a frequent speaker at elementary schools, colleges, regional and national conferences for teachers, writers and librarians.

July 8, 2011

Two Moon Princess Smart Review

 

 

 

 

Candi Criddle at Goodreads.com gave my YA novel Two Moon Princess a great review.

From her first sentence:

“I weirdly liked this a lot, but not for being any of the things it said it was.”

to her last paragraph:

“This book was about culture shock, growing up, and sacrifice; not time travel, romance, and princesses. I was tricked into reading it, but found I liked it and kept coming back to see what happened.”

She got it just weirdly perfect.

Thank you so much Candi.

See the complete review at: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/182304921

July 7, 2011

The Jagged Edge Book Giveaway

Filed under: Two Moon Princess,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 10:26 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

For a chance to win many amazing YA books, including Two Moon Princess, go to The Jagged Edge Giveaway by clicking below:

http://klearsreviews.blogspot.com/2011/06/giant-promotions-giveaway.html

 

Good Luck!

June 25, 2011

Wonderful Fantasies at Books of Wonder

This is tthe wonderful poster Books of Wonder at NYC has created announcing the book signing of Two Moon Princess and five other wonderful fantasies this Sunday.

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