Meet the Author: Jasha M. Levi

Author Jasha M. Levi

[Note: I often bring a pocketful of snark to these interviews and sprinkle some around. I won’t be doing that in this interview because Jasha M. Levi is a man who has met and conquered greater challenges than most of us, and he is deserving of our full respect, admiration, and gratitude. ]

Author Jasha Levi says he wanted to be a novelist but as his background is journalism he feels he is better at non-fiction. Still, where there is a story to be written, there must be inspiration. Jasha says he used to find his in some hot political controversy, such as the rift between Yugoslavia and Stalin way back in 1948, or the Rajk pretend-trial in Hungary in 1950.

“My last two books are memoirs — The Last Exile was a kind of reportage about so many things that happened to me during the rise of Hitler in Europe, confinement as civilian internee of war in Italy 1941-43, a Jewish fugitive with false papers in Rome for nine months until the Allies liberated it, my career starting at age 24, as foreign editor, radio commentator and international correspondent until in 1956 I took asylum in the US in protest over Tito’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Hungary,” he says. Continue reading “Meet the Author: Jasha M. Levi”

The IU Polling Poll

An evil mastermind’s job is never done.

Last week, we realized a moment too late that the polling software we had for the writing exercise contest was insufficient to meet the needs of our 100 Megawatt nuclear-powered Death Star of a blog. The crack engineering team here came up with a workaround, using Facebook polling. This was suboptimal.

To address this problem, we put in place different polling software. We blew that up too when we tried to test it out, as helpfully pointed out by the first three comments below.

Damn soviet surplus.

As a result, some personnel changes have been made. The surviving members of our crack engineering team are hard at work finding a polling plug-in that will meet our needs. In the mean time, if anyone knows of some nice free polling plug-in that works well in WordPress, let me know.


Video Trailer: The Marshall Connors Series, by Allen Schatz

This is the book video trailer for Allen Schatz’ Marshall Connors series. Allen started writing formally in 2008 and released his first novel, Game 7: Dead Ball, in February 2011. He followed that up with two sequels (7th Inning Death and Rally Killer). The stories are mysteries with a baseball canvas.

You can find out more at Allen’s website. You can also find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Feedback for Writers by Harry Bingham

Author Harry Bingham
Author Harry Bingham

I run a business whose core service is simple. We offer feedback to writers. We work on everything from picture books through to memoirs, but probably ninety percent of what we deal with is novels.

Needless to say the same old issues come up time and again. They’re issues which writers could easily correct themselves. That’s not to say that getting feedback isn’t massively worthwhile – it is – it’s just that you’ll get better value from feedback if you’ve put in the hard yards yourself first.

And naturally, like all professional authors, I practice what I preach. Although I’ve had more than ten books published over the years, I still rely deeply on the feedback I get from my literary agent and from my editors. My most recent novel, probably the best one I’ve written, still benefitted from some 6,000 words of written notes from my editor. I didn’t need those notes because I’m a poor writer. I needed them because feedback makes a good book better.

But enough of that. If most writers coming to us are making the same old mistakes – what exactly are those mistakes? And how do you avoid making them? Continue reading “Feedback for Writers by Harry Bingham”