Tag Archive | books

Fifty shades of abuse?

 

 

 

I heard today a UK charity called for people to hand over their copies of Fifty Shades of Grey so they can be burnt in a huge bonfire.

 

While I don’t like the idea of burning books or any forms of extremism and intolerance (remember the Nazis?)

 

"North Hampton is a Domestic violence fre...

“North Hampton is a Domestic violence free-zone” (Massachussetts) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

, I can see their point. I like to listen to both sides. That said, I’m really uncomfortable with the idea. Burning books, burning flags? No. What will this achieve?

 

 

 

One can only hope this is done to shock in hope of garnering publicity for the charity and highlight what victims of domestic violence go through. I can also understand this charity’s frustration as authorities cut down on the services they provide for these victims. Not so long ago some of these women were told by their local authorities to go and sleep in the Occupy movement tents because of a lack of hostels.

 

Really? What a ridiculous suggestion!

 

 

 

When I was asked, as an author, for my views on the Fifty Shades phenomenon, I declined to comment, pointing out I hadn’t read them. No problem, they said, we’ll send you a copy right away. Ah thanks, not my type of book was my reply.

 

I have toyed with the idea of reading them since everywhere you look, someone is talking about it. Comments, reviews, articles in newspapers, you can’t escape the wildfire.

 

The more I read, the less I was inclined to read these books, even though I enjoy reading different genres and have at times been nicely surprised. It’s just not for me and that’s fine.

 

 

 

The fantasy of the young virgin being taken in charge by a millionaire is nothing new, but I baulk at the idea of reading a novel where someone enjoys inflicting pain. Oh, but he has a tormented past. Hmm, so what? Many more have had a difficult start in life, no reason to turn on others, on the contrary. There is a time when people have to grow up and make their own choices.

 

While victims can find solace and healing with others, this sounds a bit extreme. Most of the healing has to start from within. Imagine if all of us who had a difficult childhood did this? In reality, you can’t just change people, not unless they want to.

 

Some will say this is a novel, no harm done. Perhaps, but will it do anything to help change attitudes about rape and violence?

 

Each to their own, but let’s not forget the vulnerable, the victims. While everybody are making jokes, they’re still suffering.

 

 

A love story

A review I wanted to share by the wonderful Crystal Trent Dobson. My thanks to her for this lovely review.

Lost in your time

Reviewed By: Crystal Trent Dotson

I fell in love with Elle Amberley’s writing with the first book I read of hers “No Place To Hide” though this is the sequel to it,but it is a standalone book but, it is even better, with even more challenges and a love story of it’s own. It’s so close to the challenges that we face, which brings the character to life, and makes it as if you are Natasha’s friend and helping to see her through her journey. It is an incredible story. I can’t wait to read more of Elle Amberley’s writing.

Where did she go?

Some of you got a bit worried, as I haven’t posted for a while. Bless you. I’m ok. A combination of things.

First of all, I was stalked. Not very nice, but it’s been dealt with.
Then, my site got hacked. We don’t know yet if it was the same person. Anyway, our tech team did a brilliant job and secured the site. This is why the site was down, so they could work behind the scenes and do whatever they do. Don’t ask me, I’m just glad someone took care of it. I’m not very savvy in that respect.

My health has not been brilliant, an ongoing battle, I’m still working on it.
Most of all, I’ve been busy with my family, and of course, writing. I’ve been writing like a woman possessed, still no sign of the dreaded writing block. Too many ideas, too little time. Sleepless nights, spent writing. I resorted to pen and paper, hoping that not switching the laptop on would allow me to get some sleep. Lost cause. I’ve used lots of notebooks. In fact, I need more.

Short stories are flowing out of me like no business, anything starts me off. Watching the news, the radio, one word, one comment, and I’m away with the writing fairies. Some of these will be coming out soon. I’ve really enjoyed writing more diverse subjects lately, some are quite dark, and those of you who haven’t read my literary books will witness a new facet of my personality.
Anyway, I hope you will enjoy these. Get in touch, I love hearing from you :)

The comments’ system has been changed. I hope it will make it easier for you to drop me a line.
Thanks for reading Xx

Don’t forget to check out my books, and if you’ve enjoyed reading them, I’d be thrilled if you posted a review. Thanks

Forget word count

I’m often asked about word count.

Okay, so I’m a total nutter. I have three novels on the go, one of them in French. Too many ideas bursting out. No idea what this writer’s block is about.
I do try and concentrate on one project but what do you do when inspiration strikes?

I just go with the flow. That’s one thing I can be organised with. All my neat and not so neat little files, I bounce from one to the other.
I’ve been known to pen an entire draft in  one week. When it flows, it flows! I can’t stop until it’s done.
And the word count? Yes, so it’s thrilling to see it add up but I don’t get fixated on it. I know when the story is finished and that to me is what matters.

Easy Life?

Who said life was easy?

My mother died when I was a teenager. Many years have passed but I’m still learning about her, not from family or friends. When she married my father she distanced herself from the only friend she had and there is no family.

My mother is still a mystery to me. I discovered many things about her after her death, through letters and legal documents. Photos revealed a woman who was a far cry from the old-fashioned, prim and proper mother I knew.

Writing has helped me sort out my feelings and offered perspective. Friends never understand how I’ve forgiven her for the miserable childhood  I had.

As a mother I’ve struggled to understand the hows and the whys. I also missed the special bond most mothers and daughters have when a grandchild is born. Knowing this would not have happened didn’t lessen the void. Seeing friends with their mothers sometimes hurt.

Life is a long path of recognition and learning. Not so long ago, it finally dawned on me that more than having just grown up in difficult circumstances, my mother was suffering from a mental illness.

It all came clear to me that morning. Why did I never even suspect it? I was raised not to question things, but I did. I kept it all to myself. But my mother, well, I was so afraid of her. She was so strong, indomitable.

All the crazy spells, smiling and screaming the next minute, throwing a basin full of water at me in public, trashing my room in the middle of night while raving.

Still, I didn’t click. Because for years I lived with guilt, like many children who have suffered abuse, I thought it all my fault. I was conditioned to believe everything that happened was somehow my fault. It’s not easy shaking those labels.

Her son from a previous marriage is schizophrenic. I wasn’t told this until after she had died. It was not something my mother wanted known, another secret under the carpet. I didn’t even find out he was my half-brother until I was 12. He terrorized me through my childhood. I remember my mother taking him to this centre, it was only years later that I learned what this centre was.

So here I am, all these years later, proud mummy to my gorgeous children. Who said life was easy? But one thing is for sure, you learn something every day, and with love you cannot go wrong.

Writing advice

Do this, do that!

Many writers are concerned about their “platform,” sometimes forgetting to take time to write their books it seems, some of them haven’t even written a book to start with.

Nothing wrong with being prepared but when I hear so many saying they haven’t got time to WRITE, the balance seems all wrong. Ah, balance, always a tricky one.

It seems though that there is so much advice about promoting yourself that writers become obsessed with it, questioning their every moves be it about what they’re writing , how they’re writing…

So it’s confusing out there, you’re not sure who to listen to, what do you do?

Write, of course, that is the whole point, isn’t it?

Write, write again and then worry how you’re going to promote yourself. Make contacts, talk to people, sure and don’t forget to listen to your gut instinct. You’re the one writing this book, either you can or you can’t, but nobody can tell you how to write.

Lost in translation, or not

The beauty of writing and reading in two languages

I’m English but I also speak French fluently. On many occasions, reading translated comments or subtitles on the television or at the cinema has provided a few laughs and/ or head-shaking.

I love the fact I can pick up any French book and read it without any problems. It does open the mind to read authors whose mother tongue is not the same as yours. I also find it influences my own writing at times as I might  find another turn of phrase as I think of an expression in another language.

I was very interested therefore to read the interview of an Italo-British author. It struck me how she explained how either language was best fitted for different purposes.

There are subjects I find easier to write in english and vice-versa. When a personal tragedy affected me, I found release by writing about it in French, which is how the French writing adventure all started. I had never written in French before, nor had I thought about it. It just poured out of me, taking me by surprise.

Here is a sample of this interview.

ITALO-BRITISH AUTHOR SIMONETTA HORNBY SPOKE WITH DW ABOUT WRITING HER LATEST BOOK IN HER ADOPTED TONGUE OF ENGLISH – AND TRANSLATING THE ITALIAN VERSION HERSELF.

She originally went to England at the age of 17 to study the language. There, she met and fell in love with an Englishman, whom she married at 21. Hornby has lived in England since 1969 and has worked as a children’s lawyer in London for the past 30 years. “There’s Nothing Wrong with Lucy” is the first novel she’s written in English, her second language.

Having completed the English manuscript, when it came to publishing the book in Italian, she decided to re-write it herself rather than have it translated.



There were bits of dialogue which didn’t fit in Italian so I stopped it. And descriptions were different. I remember I was describing the sky in St. James Park. In the English sky I was talking about the color of the sky. In Italian I had to talk about the clouds, not the color of the sky. It’s extraordinary. But when you think of it, logically, it’s right because language is harmony and some words are more harmonious than others in a language or in a particular sequence.

You just have to use different words. That is the richness of a language. A language is the soul of a nation, of people. The language is not just the way of identifying a shoe or a microphone or a finger, it’s just a way of expressing yourself.

Are there any things that you discovered about either of the languages in this process?

I think I discovered that each of them has its own beauties. And I discovered that I feel more at ease with English because it’s crisper, it’s shorter, it’s more to the point.

You can read the whole article here:
 

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14797751,00.html