You can also listen to Helen read three of her Mermaid Tales on the Story Circle Network podcast site.
Helen Ginger is an author, freelance editor, and book consultant. She teaches public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. In addition, her ezine, Doing It Write, goes out to subscribers around the globe. 2013 will be its fourteenth year of publication. She's also an Owner/ Partner and the Women’s Marketing Director for Legends In Our Own Minds®. 'Course, what she gets asked about most often are her three years as a mermaid at Aquarena Springs. Swimming with a shimmery tail, picnicking underwater, performing synchronized ballet, blowing air bubbles ... all year round, even in the winter.
In her book, Angel Sometimes, she drew upon those years as a mermaid. Angel Sometimes swims in a tank at a bar/restaurant. You can check out her Books page to read more about Angel and her life. You can also find out about the three books she's written for TSTC Publishing's TechCareers series.
Actively involved in the writing community, Helen was the Executive Director of the Writers' League of Texas from 2003 - 2005. Currently, she serves as a Committee Chair for the Texas Book Festival, and volunteers as a gift wrapper for the Bess Whitehead Scott Scholarship fund.
You can find out more about Helen on her Happenings page. On October 24, 2012, she spoke at the Wildflower Terrace Literary Salon. It was a full room and great questions. "I had such a great time getting to talk to everyone during the book signing afterwards!" On January 13, 2013, she'll be reading and signing at BookWoman in Austin, TX.
In February of 2012, Helen took over as the Coordinator of Story Circle Network's Editorial Services. SCN has a great line-up of editors who can work with authors on their manuscripts, from line editing to manuscript evaluations to ghostwriting.
Over the years, she's worked with a lot of writers. If your organization is interested in having her teach a workshop, be sure to visit her Workshops page.
Browse around the site. You can sign up to receive Doing It Write, a free weekly ezine packed with writing tips, news about the publishing industry, and updates on contests and events.
In case you're wondering about that Bunko link, it'll take you to pages of recipes contributed by the Bunko group Helen belonged to.
And remember to visit and bookmark her blog, Straight from Hel. You'll find daily entries about writing, publishing, and my life, as well as occasional visiting guest blogs from others. Straight From Hel received the Thinking Blogger Award, among many others.
You'll also find Helen occasionally blogging on The Blood-Red Pencil with other editors. A group of editors launched this blog on September 1, 2008 and they take turns posting. Stop by and ask questions, make comments and let them know what topics you'd like to see covered.
Writers try to keep abreast of what's happening in the publishing world. After all, it directly affects us. We read writing magazines, visit news websites, belong to writers' organizations. We notice what books make the bestseller lists, which ones are sold near the checkout counters at the grocery store, which ones get special placement in the bookstore. So, I'm sure we've all heard the mantra that mid-list authors are being squeezed out. Publishers want the "big book" or are looking for the "big idea."
But, what the heck is the BIG BOOK?
That's hard to define. But, over the next few days, let's try.
In the big novel, the stakes are high. Very high. That doesn't mean, though, that it has to involve the very future of the country or a race of people. It could be that one of the major characters in your book is in dire peril. But if it is only one person's life or future, usually that character is representative, either directly or subtly, of a larger community. The reader can see that the character's problem could easily be or become his dilemma. He wants that character to survive and triumph because it gives him hope that he, and humankind, will find solutions, redemption, or survival.
If you've read some of the best-sellers, you've probably noticed that the main characters are larger-than-life. Big novels have big characters. They do extraordinary, steel-emotioned, desperate, even outrageous things. They do what you or I hope we would do in impossible situations. Somehow, through their amazing inner strength, or their physical power, or their intelligence, wit, energy, daring, guts, and spirit, they transform themselves, and, in the process, us. Look at Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. She started off ordinary and became extraordinary.
Tomorrow, more things that define the big or high concept book.