Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Question and Giveaway!

Author and editor A.B. Gayle has offered up a copy of her upcoming release, Mardi Gras, to any of my readers who answer two opinion questions! Mardi Gras will be released on June 28 from Noble Romance.

Fifty year old Damien, an American novellist, journalist and blogger has arrived in Sydney to write a story about the 2010 Mardi Gras.

He is travelling incognito because in a recent blog he criticised the relevance of the parade and bemoaned the fact it had drifted so far from its roots as a commemoration of the Stonewall Riots - the first time the fairies fought back.

He is met at the airport by Simon, a young Australian who has been asked to look after him and give him a real "Taste of Australia."

Set against the backdrop of Sydney and its world-famous and colorful Mardi Gras, the two men find they have a lot more in common than either at first realize.

What are the questions you ask?

1) What do you think of stories done in First Person (I, me, we, us, etc.)? If you don't like them, why don't you like them? Is it because you can't identify with a narrator who is of a different sex, age, ethnicity, etc?

2) What do you think of stories done in Present Tense? If you don't like them, why don't you like them?

Contest Rules (Borrowed and modified from Stumbling Over Chaos <3<3):
* To enter, leave a comment with your answers to the two questions. Contest closes Midnight EST on June 30.
* If you share this contest (on Facebook, Goodreads, you blog, etc.) I'll give you an extra entry for each medium you use, up to three extra entries. Please include a link to where you've shared the contest.
* You must leave a valid email address with your comment. If you don't include an email address in your post or on your Google Profile, Chris's Blog Gnomes will turn your post into kitty litter for the Chaos Cat.
* Winners will be selected by random number.
* If a winner doesn’t respond to my congratulations email within 48 hours, I will select another winner.
* If you win, please respect the author’s intellectual property and don’t make copies of the ebook for anyone else.
* This contest is open worldwide!


  1. Oh, I must say I like reading stories in First Person and Present Tense for the both the same reasons: I am discovering along with the main character.

    I AM that character and not some all knowing narrator outside the scenes. And I also do NOT have the gift of precognition. I like to be surprised when I am reading and not be able to predict the next plot twist. As long as most of the questions are tied up in the end, that is.

    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  2. Hi Miranda
    Sorry for the slow reply. I was at work yesterday.
    I'm really interested in getting feedback on these two subjects. In many cases there is no right or wrong way to do things.
    For example take this made up passage in first person present:
    1. Randy is at the door. I can see his tall figure through the frosted glass. My heart pounds in my chest as I walk toward it.
    Putting it into third person but keeping the present tense becomes.
    2. Josh can see the tall figure of Randy through the frosted glass door. Josh's heart pounds in his chest as he walks toward it.
    But doing it in first person past tense you get:
    3. Randy was standing at the door. I could see his tall figure through the frosted glass door. My heart pounded in my chest as I walked toward it.
    Not a great example, but for those not sure of the differences, maybe this shows it better.
    Thanks for your thoughts. Are there any others out there?

  3. 1) I like first person, when it suits the style of the story. I chose it for 'The Monitors' because it gave more of a feel for Stuart's personality: third person without visuals would have been harder to pull off. Mostly, though I prefer to write (and read) limited third person, with narrative changes only occuring between scenes.

    Neither of which gels with my love for Jane Austen, of course.

    2) Present tense appeals to me less, although the right author can make it work in some stories.

  4. I adore the First Person, present tense narrator. It gives the reader a sense of immediacy, a tangible, visceral feeling that the Third person does not quite possess. however, I AM biased, because I do so enjoy gritty, norish thrillers and they work best in the First Person!

  5. Thanks for the chance to win this book, please enter me in the drawing.

    First person, done well, can be wonderful. Done poorly, first person becomes a fourth grader's "What I Did Last Summer" essay, every sentence beginning with the pronoun 'I'. Very sad.

    Whether present tense works or not seems to depend quite a bit on the story that is being told as well as the skill of the writer. So many stories require a lot of back information that is harder to give the reader in present tense.

    Totally personal opinion here, nothing remotely scholarly or Earth shattering. :-)

    donnafisk at bellsouth dot net

  6. Hi Donna, KB and Stevie
    Thanks for giving me your input.
    It's all good.
    I'm really analysing this topic at the moment in my reading.
    When I'm reading deep Third, ie lots of inner thoughts and angst, sometimes I feel when the POV switches that I'm being pulled out of that head physically and thrust in another. It can be jarring.
    Plus when its not even, ie not equally in one head or the other, and they're both together most of the time, it also feels strange.
    If the people are physically parted, it's different.
    I like the mystery of not knowing what the other person is thinking. It allows my mind to imagine.
    Yet, some people hate not knowing.
    We're all different! Thank God.
    good luck in the draw.

  7. I have a problem with present tense. It just feels wrong to me.

    First person is iffy. It has to be done right and so often it isnt. But I do like it when done right. Its also very hard to write in first person.

  8. Hi Slave to Passion,
    love the name!
    I actually find it easy to write as it really puts me in the eye f the character so what they see, I see. Sometimes even in something that is in third person, I'll write it in first then switch. I seem to be able to generate more action that way.

  9. On a different note. I also subscribe to Linnea Sinclair's Yahoo group. Guess what's one of the current topics under discussion: The use of First person narrative and the present tense!
    The general consensus there is first person is OK if well done but still puts some readers off.
    Present is seen as gimmicky and they note how many award winning novels have been written in present. "Time Travellers Wife", Michael Chabon's THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN'S UNION.
    Yet one of the readers said: "The present tense in the Chabon novel stopped me dead in my eyetracks."
    Some agents apparently won't touch it.

  10. In general, I dislike both. Specifically, I love the way James Patterson writes in both first and third person within the same story. However, I do not like present tense, it just sounds wrong...:)

  11. First person is fine if it's done well. I personally have only written one first person POV piece, and that'll probably be my last one. LOL As for present tense, no. I find it tedious and annoying. I'm not the kind of reader who wants to get lost in a book. For me, reading a book is like reading someone else's diary.

  12. I like first person as it lets you into the mind of the character/s and it feels as if they are sharing their secrets with you. It is a deeper connection that some writers can't always pull off and it leaves the writing stunted, drawing you out of the story. On one hand it can be off-putting if you cannot relate to the character. A great 1st POV writer is Laurell K Hamiliton (even if you don't like what she writes)IMO).

    Present Tense is nice. It gives the reader a sense of urgency and is great for action scenes and stories that take place in a short amount of time.

    Thanks for entering me in for the drawing :)