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Writing from the Dark Side

Heh! I started out calling this blog post "Blogging from the Darkside" and then went to "Writing from the Darkside" and then went on to finally arrive at "Pubbing from the Darkside".  This little tidbit of information should be able to give you a little hint over what has been happening at the Oliver Homestead since I last posted.

Big News! I am part of a great collaboration with a collection of Writers who decided that if a romance book should be done, it should be done by us! Hence, the beginning of what is now know as Welcome to Serenity Harbor, Maine.

This is huge! This is ginormous! All of the books are set around the fictional coastal Maine town of Serenity Harbor. We didn't limit genre, only that their characters fall in love in Maine.

For me, this was a return to something that I love... well, yes... it was a return to writing. I've blogged a little bit about some of my struggles with illness that left with being unable to write for a whi…

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

First, let me say that I haven't read this book. Yet. This is not a review. But it has definitely made it onto my TBR pile for a couple of reasons. One, the incredible cover is a complete draw and had me hooked as I walked by it at Barnes and Noble. Two, the storyline is so bizarre and the format so unique that it's destined to achieve attention. (I'll add a third... the author's name is Ransom Riggs, which is about the coolest name I've heard in quite some time.)

From Ransom Rigg's blog about the book:
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather—were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

It's hard enough to write a book that stands out in a market as tough as Teen Paranormals, but this storyline is exactly what it means when burgeoning authors are given the advice to write what you know and to write the story that you want to read. After all, if you write what you like there has to be someone else out there that will enjoy it. I was intrigued enough from scanning the book in the store to come home and do the research online. Normally, I'd forget and it would be days later before I went back to Google the book.
There were a couple of other interesting facts from Mr. Riggs' blog. Since childhood, he's collected photos of people he doesn't know. I couldn't believe there was someone else out there who'd felt as I did as a child. I remember collecting photographs at yard sales and flea markets because I couldn't stand the thought that some unknown relative was being put out for sale, unnamed and un-revered. Now, after all these years, I wish I'd kept up with the collection. Perhaps, it's that fascination with the history of the nameless faces that helped me become a writer. I'm sure it had something to do with my becoming a ghost hunter. I never could stand the idea of anyone being forgotten.

There are good and mixed reviews on Amazon for this book. But I accredit this to the fact that there is no way you can put a round peg in a square hole. There is really nothing to compare it with, and as such, people are going to have a hard time with the inability to categorize it. As for me? I've always said that "non-typical" is a very good thing.

Happy Reading! I'm off to buy the book online...


Susan Vaughan said…
The book has a unique and scary premise. If I'd read that as a teen, I'd have had nightmares.
Teagan Oliver said…
You're right, Susan. The premise is very scary, especiallly in light of the fact that the market is "teen". I think if we look at the actual ages of those reading "teen" book versus "YA" books you'll find that there is no clear delineation in the age brackets. For that matter, most of the adults that I know are reading what is categorized as "YA" or "Teen". Maybe they're meeting the market better than some of the so-called adult fiction? Maybe they are restricting less boundaries on the creativity? Hmm, I think there may be enough here for a rousing post for my blog :)
Thanks for the comment!

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We have the cover and that is a really good thing! Especially, since it's a really great cover!

This has been THE project for the last six months. Much of that time has been spent writing my part of the anthology, a novella called ONLY YOU. Another part of that was working with my friend and cohorts to come up with this great anthology! Why wouldn't you enjoy it?! It's filled with stories of love that are all set around the fictional Maine town of Serenity Harbor. Want to know which town Serenity Harbor is patterned after? We'll never tell... well, maybe we will!

Anyway, who can write better about love in Maine than a bunch of Maine Romance authors! I gave you a tantalizing tidbit the other day from my story. Poor Nate Cooper, he doesn't know what he's up against when he decides to take on Kara Simpson. Lucky for him, he's got the whole town behind him!

And what is this rumor of sheep wandering the streets of Serenity Harbor, Maine? Well, you'll just ha…