A blog by Tara Sparling
Tara Sparling writes fiction and satire. Her blog www.tarasparlingwrites.com looks at book humour, bestselling book trends, the realities of traditional and self-publishing, writing follies, book marketing, author success stories and spectacular failures. She also pokes a lot of fun at character and genre stereotypes. She can be found lurking @TaraSparling on Twitter.
You Think 5-Star Reviews Are So Great? Think Again
I hate 5-star book reviews, and I'm about to tell you why. While I'm at it, I'm also going to try and persuade you to hate them too. Wish me luck.
Writing Freedom: Is There Something To Be Said For NOT Being Published?
Writing in a different genre can be a difficult sell, even for a successful author Literary success seems to prescribe that you find a writing style, and stick to it. But not everyone wants to do that. And not everyone is able to do it either. J.K. Rowling made headlines when she began to publish crime fiction under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, having previously confounded the market with adult contemporary fiction in The Casual Vacancy. Both are far...Read the full article >>
What If The Movie Is Better Than The Book?
We tend only to talk about the great books we know which were murdered by being made into terrible films, but we forget that there is another angle to this story. Producers of film and TV are always looking for new ideas, and screenwriting veterans will tell you that it’s a hell of a lot easier for an unknown writer to sell a script if it’s based on a published book – presuming you have...Read the full article >>
Gender Is A Funny Thing. Does Comedy Depend On It?
I said something disgusting last week. I was describing a book I’d read to a friend. “I think it’s for men,” I said to her. “I mean, it was good. But it wasn’t great, and I kind of waded through some of it. I think it was probably written for men.” To my credit, I slapped myself in the face with a large fresh monkfish after I said this, because it’s a really stupid thing...Read the full article >>
Theakston Old Peculier Crime Festival: A Microcosm Of Machiavellian Merriment
In less than two weeks, the writing.ie team and I will be Ryanairing off in no style whatsoever to the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, Yorkshire. I was there last year, and I still even remember some of it, despite the disgraceful amount of fun I had. Writing.ie will be live tweeting as much as possible, so that readers sadly unable to attend can get some of the flavour, wisdom and entertainment which characterises this festival of books....Read the full article >>
Literary Fiction: No, I Don’t Know What It Is, Either
Here’s a quick literary joke for you: ************************************************ Q. What’s the difference between Literary Fiction and Crime? A. Two empty coffins. ************************************************ Isn’t that a brilliant joke? Aren’t you rolling around the floor laughing? Isn’t it crammed full of the sharp wit of the universe? Of course it isn’t. But if enough people said it was, you might believe it. Which seems to be increasingly how Literary Fiction once worked. Nobody’s saying that Lit-Fic (I know such snazz-tags are annoying,...Read the full article >>
Are Unread Books Piling Up On Your Shelf Of Shame?
I have a stack of books on two shelves in my hallway which I liked enough to buy, but not enough to actually start reading. How did we come to this? They haven’t lost or put on weight. They should look just as good as they did on the day I bought them. But something happened to them in the time that they languished, horizontally, rather than standing upright and proud, on those shelves. Somehow, they...Read the full article >>
3 Foolproof Ways To Write A Blockbusting Bestseller
Many great authors will tell you that it’s really hard to be successful in publishing. They will talk about doing boring things such as having a really good idea, perfecting your craft, editing, designing an expert marketing strategy, and all that other tedious stuff. I’m here to tell you they’re wrong. In fact, it’s quite easy. Here are three agonisingly simple ways of writing a smash bestseller. Method 1: Spontaneously enshrine the cultural zeitgeist which began defining an entire generation...Read the full article >>
Don’t Judge Me By My Book Cover
They say don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge a reader by book cover, either Sometimes it feels like we’re all boxed off into horribly homogenous categories. We’re segmented into target markets for fashion, food, cars, and even umbrellas. When it comes to books, it’s worse. We’re either into crime, sports autobiographies, romance, or hamburger history, but never all four. Everything must be packaged according to its genre, and there are labelling rules....Read the full article >>