I read this book years ago, long before the movies started coming out. I thought it was great and was excited when the movie came out in 2002 starring Matt Damon. I thought Mr. Damon did a fantastic job. The movie stuck very close to the book, but of course the book goes into a lot more detail as expected.
I found an original hardcopy of the book at a used bookstore. I thought I would enjoy reading it again. I was right. Mr. Ludlum has a great way with words. His descriptions are easy to see with the mind’s eye and his delineation of characters are right on.
I would recommend this book even if you’ve already seen the movies.
Robert Ludlum wrote the Bourne trilogy. They are: “The Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, and the Bourne Ultimatum. There are other Jason Bourne books but they are written by Eric Van Lustbader.
This is the first time I’ve read anything from this author. I’m probably one of the few who hasn’t read any of his books considering he is an international bestselling author with over 70 million books in print. That’s nearly twice as many as I have. (Yeah, I wish).
Myron Bolitar overhears some young girls in his basement talking about drinking at a party. He is concerned about them driving and drinking. He insists the girls promise him that if they have been drinking or in some kind of bind and don’t want to call their parents, they can call him no matter the time. He promises not to tell their parents.
It is several nights later when Myron gets a call at two in the morning. When he picks up the girl, she asks that he drive her to a friend’s house and not to tell her parents. Myron is a little suspicious, but he made a promise.
The girl is soon declared missing. Weeks earlier another girl disappeared.
Myron feels responsible for the girl and sets out to find her. Leads take him in several directions with several suspects. The question is: what happened to the two girls. Did they run away or were they kidnapped?
I thought the story was very suspenseful with some good twists. It was worth reading.
Goodreads is an extensive reading site owned by Amazon. It is a great place for writers both self-published and established bestsellers. The site offers multiple promotional options in advertising and book giveaways. I have used book giveaways before with success. Recently I entered a giveaway that I had been reluctant to try. The giveaway cost $119. The giveaway started on July 1st and ended on July 31st. During that time people would click on the book to enter the contest. When they did the book would be added to their “to read” on their book list. One hundred entrants would win an eBook of my book “The Entity”.
A giveaway of one hundred eBooks for that price is not a great deal. On my most recent giveaway, I paid $75 to FREEBOOKSEY, a promotional site, and got over 1400 downloads. The reason I went with the Goodreads giveaway was for the reviews. Goodreads encourages all the winners to give a review of the book. Since this is a site for readers with multiple book clubs I expected to get quite a bit of reviews. Not a hundred. I figured some would still refuse to give a review or even a rating. I figured I would get at least fifty percent, but I would accept twenty-five percent. So, what did I get? After three months I have gotten 3 reviews/ratings. A big disappointment.
I would not recommend this giveaway to anyone. To me, it is a rip-off. Amazon is charging way too much for this. I did get some sales from the giveaway. Unfortunately, I didn’t make enough to justify the cost.
I just finished on writing by Stephen King. I have wanted to read it for some time but never got around to it. Until someone bought it for me.
It you’re not familiar with the book, Mr. King wrote it in 1999 and it was published in the year 2000.
The first part of the book is a memoir. It speaks about his early years and what led him to where he is today. Like many people he had to struggle to finally make it up the ladder. He got plenty of rejection slips and made mistakes along the way. But he kept his focus moving from short story to novelist. I found this section interesting, but I liked the second section of the book better.
Like the name of the book, the second part of the book was titled on writing. In this section he talked about the craft of writing. He spoke plainly, going into detail about what he thought worked and didn’t work. He told of other successful authors, of how their styles differed. He disagreed with some of the writer’s norms, but I don’t want to reveal too much of the good stuff. I think you should read it for yourself.
Overall, I thought it was a great book and not as stuffy as some of the other“how to” books.
Patience is required both when writing a book and when one is attempting to get it traditionally published. From the first contact with a literary agent, it takes weeks, even months before you hear back from the agent or agency. The exception is the person with plenty of money and/or great connections. Most celebrities who write books don't have to go through all the stress and hard work that the average person must go through to get a publishing contract.
Rejection slips are part of most writer's lives. People like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling received plenty of them before they were published. For most aspiring writers this is a part of life.
I have queried several literary agencies in search of an agent to represent my manuscript/novel "The Awakening". I have gotten several rejections and I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of others. I have learned a few things along the way.
I bought a book titled "Guide to literary agents". It not only lists agents and agencies, but it offers a lot of helpful hints. I recommend it but don't use it exclusively.
I began on the first page of the list of literary agents. I checked under the heading of each agency to see if they were accepting manuscripts for the genre that I am writing in. In this case I looked for those who accepted science fiction stories. Then I look up the agency on the internet. Sometimes you will find differences between the book and the website but it's usually pretty close. Definitely go by the website. It should be the most up to date.
The book tells you how to submit to these agencies, but it is a general recommendation. All the agencies I have come across tell you what they want and how to submit your material. Very rarely will an agency accept snail mail. They want it electronically. And I can't imagine sending it any other way.
A few agencies want you to send your material through their email often requesting that it be incorporated in the body of the email. That's fairly easy. It's just a matter of copying and pasting. Then there's the other way which it seems that more agencies are gravitating to. They have a portal. You simply fill in the spaces with the information requested and hit "submit". I wish all of them were like that.
What the agencies are requesting are pretty much the same. This refers mostly to fiction. To start with they want your name, the title of your book, and the word count. They require a query letter. This is to introduce yourself. Some of them ask for specific information, such as experience. A synopsis is often required. It usually consists of one or two pages but go with what they specifically ask for. Sample pages are also required. They can range from a few pages to several chapters. Some will ask you to name a book that's similar to yours and how your book is different.
My advice is to follow their directions as close as possible. These agents get a ton of submissions, and you wouldn't want to get turned down on a simple technicality.
I am still seeking a literary agent for my science fiction novel. It has been a couple of months now and I have had three rejections. One letter, a personal response, was encouraging. The agent said she loved the concept and there were some good qualities in the story but unfortunately it wasn't quite right for them. It's depressing to get turned down, but most successful authors have racked up quite a bit of rejection slips before finally making it. Also, agencies ask for only a few sample pages along with a synopsis and your bio to make a decision. I can understand that, though. Most agencies get hundreds to thousands of queries every month. They don't have time to read entire novels unless they feel strongly that one has merits.
Currently I have two queries out to literary agents. One I submitted a month ago. The other was just a couple of weeks ago. It may be days or weeks before I hear from either one of them.
Something else has come up. I submitted my manuscript directly to ANGRY ROBOT PUBLISHING COMPANY. It is a publishing company located in the UK but accepts authors worldwide. They accept mostly science fiction. Normally you have to have an agent, but once a year they accept manuscripts without an agent. I was lucky, or blessed, to find them right at the time that they were open to new authors. I sent them the first three chapters. If they like what they read, they will request the rest of the manuscript. Here's hoping!
On September 30 I submitted a request for representation from The Knight Literary Agency.
I first found out about this agency from a Facebook ad. They seemed to be what I was looking for. They appeared professional and listed several clients who went on to become bestselling authors. Though I hadn't finished my novel it was nice to have a target to shoot for. And even though their website sold me I still searched for information on them to be certain they were legitimate. I found information on them in a book titled Guide to Literary Agents. This book was endorsed by the senior editor of Writer's Digest. I was convinced. I decided this would be my first, and hopefully last stop in finding an agent for my book.
This act of acquiring an agent tends to be a long process and is by no means a given. First of all, the agency receives over 1,000 submissions a month and only a handful are accepted. This is fairly normal for all the legitimate agencies. It is also just the first step.
This agency has a portal where you submit all the required information. Each agent has their own portal so there may be some differences, especially regarding fiction and non-fiction works. Here are the items I had to submit: Personal information such as name, email, website (though not required), blog (though not required), and Twitter handle (again not required). Required items are word count, query letter, synopsis, bio, and first 10 pages. Now I have to wait to see if there will be a next step. For this agent it can take up to 8 weeks to hear back. If the agent is interested they will ask for the entire manuscript. Then it's another long wait. Tick tock.
I have downloaded my first chapter on my site. The novel is science fiction. See if you think I have a chance.
Moving forward I have decided to seek traditional publication for my next book. I realize that as an unknown and someone who has some age on them this will most likely be a difficult task to achieve. But I think it's the right move. I seek a larger audience and a feeling of legitimacy that I can't get with self-publishing.
As I go I will document my ups and downs. I don't expect a smooth ride. In fact there may be a lot more downs than ups. In the end though I expect success. Either way It is sure to be a learning experience.
I can't rightfully call this day one because the book is not finished. I have finished my first draft but I still have a long way to go. I am starting again on page one. I am looking for misspelled words and grammatical errors with the help of an app called Grammarly. At this time I will also be seeking to improve on my characters and the plot. The manuscript may get larger or smaller depending on what I find. Like other authors sometimes I think I made something perfectly clear to the reader but on second look I realized that I didn't. I hope to improve on the book quite a bit on this second draft. A third draft will be necessary to make sure I didn't miss anything.
Currently the manuscript is right at 70,000 words. I see that as a reasonable length for a novel. I've read that publishers don't generally like big manuscripts from new authors.
I plan to pass on what I learn to other aspiring authors. Something that I can pass on right now is that whatever story your writing has to be great and it has to be unique. It can't be adequate or simply good. There is way too much competition out there. If you're already well known then ignore what I just said. Even if you can't write you can always hire yourself a ghost writer. Or if you're financially well-off maybe "Ghost Rider". Though I don't know how good of a writer he is.
I do plan to continue marketing my books and writing others that may be self-published. The truth is I don't know for sure what I'll be doing in the future. It just depends on what's happening at the time. So, I'll just see where this road takes me.
When I write a blog, I try to keep it relevant. Often it will be about writing and books. I also review books that I read.