Press Release – Monthly book club for adults begins at WPL

By Melissa Winn

mwinn@star-telegram.com

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‘ & –>The good news, if you’re a writer, is there’s never been an easier time to get published.

The bad news, if you’re a writer, is there’s never been an easier time to get published.

That’s the message author and former Weatherford resident Mark Fadden shared at the Weatherford Public Library last week during the initial meeting of The Edge Bookclub Jan. 18.

WPL Director Dale Fleeger said the club will meet every third Tuesday of the month through May 2011.

Geared toward adults, the theme for this month was “On the Edge of My Seat” and readers were encouraged to check out books on mystery, true crime and the supernatural.

Fadden was invited to speak about his latest novel, The Brink, a Dan Brown-inspired faction (a blend of fact and fiction), and also about the business of being what he terms an “authorpreneur.” He has been a freelance writer for nine years and The Brink is his third novel.

“One of the things you have to ask yourself is, what’s your end purpose?” Fadden said.

Giving examples of other authors who’ve self-published material including James Joyce, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain and John Grisham, Fadden explained the pros and cons of doing it yourself.

He also shared with the audience the best ways to take advantage of social media and what he thought the future of books would be in light of the popularity of e-books and e-Readers like the Kindle and the Nook.

“Only 9 percent of all bookstore sales are attributed to e-books and print book sales were $4 billion last year,” he said. “Last year alone, there were 550,000 books published; that’s about 1,500 a day.”

He added, however, that electronically publishing a book is beneficial to the writer because it gives them “street cred.”

“If you’re a real-estate agent, you could do a book on how to sell a house in five days,” Fadden suggested. “The thing is anybody who has an idea or a way to do something can e-publish. And it can be 20 pages; it doesn’t have to volumes.”

At the end of the evening, Fadden took questions on both publishing and The Brink and signed copies of the novel . He donated a portion of the sales from the night to the Friends of the Weatherford Public Library.

Fleeger said anyone who’s interested in the book club is welcome to attend. The next meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Feb.15 and the topic is “Life on the Edge.” Readers should check out books on relationships, biography and social issues.

At the end of the series, a drawing will be held for those who’ve filled out the Reading Log with the Dewey number of the books they’ve read each month. Entries are due by May 31 and the drawing will be June 1.

For more information, call 817-598-4150.

Melissa Winn, 817-594-9902, ext. 104

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/01/24/2792494/monthly-book-club-for-adults-begins.html#article_comments#ixzz1C1QfaSHO

It’s the Characters, Stupid

“It’s the economy, stupid.” That one sentence, spoken by then Clinton campaign strategist James Carville during the 1992 presidential campaign, referred to the notion that Clinton was a better man for the job because then President George H.W. Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which was still healing from a recession.

Those four words still have resonance today and will continue to resonate into eternity because in politics you can talk about your plans for a better future, better education, better technology for the masses, better transportation, better energy that’s cleaner and more abundant, but if the economy is in the crapper, all the other grand plans and ideas don’t mean zip.

Writing, I think, is the same way, a notion I was reminded of during my lecture on being an “authorpreneur” last night. I was giving my “Beyond the Book: how being an authorpreneur will help you sell more books and make lifelong fans” at the Weatherford Public Library in Weatherford, Texas. They are starting a new book club and wanted me to come talk about the writing life, how to get published, how to get an agent, and my latest novel, The Brink. During the end of the lecture, I opened it up for questions and we talked about how I do my research, the formula for a successful thriller, and the conspiracy behind the book. Then, out of nowhere, one lady raised her hand and said that, for her, what made her like the book wasn’t all the action and conspiracy and suspense, it was the characters. The main character, Danny Cavanaugh, who also is the main character in my first novel, Five Days in Dallas, is a troubled soul, to say the least. In Five Days in Dallas, he was a Dallas detective that had some issues that had plagued him for most of his life and that he had dealt with by self medicating with the bottle. In The Brink, he is now a fugitive Texas Ranger on the run for killing a dirty FBI agent. In some respects he’s grown, in some he hasn’t. It’s only when he meets the woman in The Brink, Sydney Dumas, who forces him to deal with his issues while they are running for their lives, does he actually begin to take a hard look at himself for the first time in his life. I must admit, I love his character, and her character, too.

Anyway, her comment about it being “all about the characters” touched off a long discussion about characters and we came to find out that for all the people in the room, it is mainly about the characters. Readers see bits and peices of themselves in characters, either who they are or who they would like to be. If they didn’t care about the characters, and fast (meaning a few pages into the book) they would close the cover and be on to the next book.

“It’s the characters, stupid.” No one actually said those words last night, but I will make sure that no matter how fast-paced, suspense-packed or conspiracy-laced I make my next story, I will remember those words. I’ve already put them on a sheet of paper and taped it up next to my computer.

What about you? Do you agree about the importance of characters? Or is there something else that’s more important? To the keyboards!

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The Brink by Mark Fadden has just been nominated for the Star Award from its publisher! Read more about The Brink and Mark’s writing at www.markfadden.com.