Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Whitepoint Press Pizza

Whitepoint Press has an official pizza, and it's a vegan pizza.  Here it is:


Of course, the official vegan pizza is different every time it's created, depending upon which veggies are used. There's no fake cheese either.  Instead of cheese, I use a puree of great northern beans with olive oil and whatever herbs I'm in the mood for.  That gets smoothed on as the first layer. The sauteed veggies go on top of that and then into the oven it goes.

What does pizza have to do with publishing? Or good story telling? Or even reviewing indie books (which I've put on hold because of this new publishing venture)?  Nothing.  It's simply a way for me to start blogging again.  And so 2013 is the inaugural year for Whitepoint Press, and things are going very well.  Three books have been published with one to go in December.  Here they are in order of publication:

We're planning a fabulous 2014.  Oh, yes, submissions are still open, and we're looking for high quality literary fiction and poetry.  We like the stuff that mainstream, traditional New York publishers shy away from--the stuff that won't guarantee those gigantic corporations millions of bucks. We like the kind of writing that  requires readers to think. Yeah, think. We want that kind of risky writing, but risky writing can mean different things, besides the requirement of the reader needing to think. The risk may be the subject matter or the writing style or the language. In general, the entire category of poetry is risky because NY won't touch most of it, but high quality poetry is rare. Risky writing requires writers to know their craft. Risky writing isn't a formula. It isn't about pleasing everyone. If this sounds like your writing, please feel free to submit a writing sample to us.  Here's our submissions page: http://whitepointpress.com/submissions/

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How They Spend Their Sundays by Courtney McDermott

Set in Lesotho and South Africa, Courtney McDermott’s debut story collection unveils a perspective of African life that is both startling and intimate.  An Afrikaner woman sleeps with a shotgun because she fears black Africans, an undead garbage man “saves” lives by taking them, a modern day Cinderella struggles to escape the bitter residual constraints of colonialism. These twenty-two tales embrace graphic realism, energetic bursts of truths that may otherwise go unnoticed, and magic.

Enter to try to win a prepublication copy this month at Goodreads or LibraryThing: http://whitepointpress.com/giveaways/

Monday, May 13, 2013

searching for a pulse by Nazifa Islam

Nazifa Islam writes cool poetry.  What?  You don't read poetry?  This will change your mind.  Check out the cover:

And you can win it-- a bound galley not a finished copy-- before it's published in August.  It's in May's Early Reviewer batch on LibraryThing, and it's a Goodreads Giveaway until May 31.

Still wondering what searching for a pulse is about?  It's the story about Rosemary who wants to love and to be loved but finds it tragically impossible.

She married a man with one glass eye
and divorced him the next day but he
still got his green card. She weeps now
while sitting in front of her television
watching Wheel of Fortune every night,
You haven't met her yet, but her name is Rosemary.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ten Thousand Heavens by Chuck Rosenthal

Want to read Ten Thousand Heavens before it's released in July? Do you like entering contests? Do you love animals?  Do you love horses?  Am I asking too many questions?

Please consider entering either Goodreads Giveway contest or LibraryThing's Early Reviewer contest this month to win a bound galley of the novel Ten Thousand Heavens by Chuck Rosenthal.

What's it about?  I'll tell you:

With patience, persistence and love, a man called Bird befriends Annie, an abused and difficult mare.  Eventually, Annie reciprocates Bird's affection, but their relationship is sorely tested when they are separated by a catastrophic wildfire.  In order to reunite, they must battle not only the forces of nature but the greed and cunning of unscrupulous men.

Ten Thousand Heavens is being published by Whitepoint Press, and yes, I'm the publisher of Whitepoint Press.  Hooray!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mechanic of Fortune by Peter Bollington

Mechanic of Fortune by Peter Bollington-- and indie published!-- is a picaresque detective story with a lot of wonderful social commentary. This novel is about James Terrell, a private investigator, who is hired by Evelyn Maxwell to find her ex-husband whom she believes murdered his own father. There you have it, the plot.  However, this is an ambitious novel with many big ideas (a singular idea isn’t what fiction is about) and many provocative themes that wind their way through the novel.

Yes, there’s a lot going on but not in a frantic or frenzied way. The last section of the novel picks up speed which some readers may interpret as frantic, but frantic isn’t an accurate description of the narrative. The last 20% of the novel-- I read it on a Kindle, thus the percentage instead of pages-- could stand to be slowed down.  What I mean is that the actual telling of the story needs to be slowed down.  This is a tempo issue, and this is where an editor assists in the publishing process-- although, and I digress, we must keep in mind that NY publishers rarely edit manuscripts these days in order to make them better books.

Anyway, an editor has the necessary distance to make suggestions that refine and strengthen the story.  And there are places throughout this novel that could use editing-- and I don’t mean proofreading-- because this is, as I said, an ambitious novel. Overall, this story is an engaging American road trip that travels up and down the much-mythologized state of California and deals in a humorous way with serious 21st century issues. Please give this one a try!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fiction Writing 101: Fifty Shades of Grey

I was curious about Fifty Shades of Grey, so I put it on hold at the library on June 27, 2012,  and I was number 886 in the hold queue.  It was finally my turn, and I picked up the book on January 8, 2013.  Now it is January 29, and I've only read three chapters, and the book is due tomorrow.  I'm unable to renew it because there are others waiting for it.  What should I do?

I read two chapters a couple weeks ago and tried to read it last night.  I finished Chapter 3 and was absolutely finished with it.  Yes, I gave it a try and failed.  The writing kept making me cringe. There was too much telling. Too many cliches. Terrible dialogue.  Too many things happened too conveniently.  In general, there's too much bad writing:

"Kate is ecstatic."  "My heart is pounding."  "She is so domineering."  My favorite: "He's finally asked me an easy question, away from all the innuendo and the confusing double-talk... a question I can answer."

And there's so much muttering and murmuring, I'm wondering what happened to the editor.  How many mutters and murmurs can an editor permit in 48 pages?  Obviously, many.  No longer curious, I am returning this mega bestseller to the library.  I'm sure there are plenty of patrons eager to consume this heart pounding erotic romance.