On giving a workshop, becoming a publisher, revising …

On giving a workshop, becoming a publisher, revising …

A few weeks ago, as I’ve likely mentioned on this blog, I gave a workshop at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference: Net Book Promo for Luddites. I had given this workshop two years before at the Kingston WritersFest, but quite a bit had changed since then.

My intention is to someday offer the content of this course as a free e-book on this site.

The workshop went very well, but the experience, for me, was a bit fraught because:

1) of course the Wi-Fi didn’t connect,

2) we needed to track down a cord that would connect my newish Mac to the projector,

3) only to realize that I didn’t have the files I needed on my computer (because I was expecting a different type of projector).

And then Naomi Wolf slipped into the class: she of the kazillion Social Media followers! (If you haven’t read her book — or seen the resultant movie — The End of America: do. Extremely important.)

During the conference and after, writers Merilyn Simonds, Wayne Grady, Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson stayed with us. Do you think we talked about writing and publishing? You bet. It was a wonderful week.

With the help of novelist, designer and tech wiz Kris Waldherr, I’m getting closer to launching Sandra Gulland Ink, my e-book publishing venture.

The covers have been finished, accounts set up with Kobo and Amazon — iTunes yet to come. (Apple is so slow!)

I read a lot of e-books, and I want these to be special. Kris has done a beautiful job of designing the books inside and out. I’m imprint proud!

Also, of course, I’ve had to re-read all my books, to proof them. Also, of course, I’ve made changes.

I’ve been putting off re-reading Mistress of the Sun, however — but the time has come. It’s timely, because right now I’m working on the final draft of This Bright Darkness (working title of what will become The Shadow Queen), and the two novels are linked.

As I’m rewriting, I think often of Ariel Gore‘s summary of the revision process: lather and rinse, lather and rinse. Right now, I’m lathering, working up detail, adding scenes. Then I’ll edit (rinse) before I send the manuscript to my editor.

And then it will be time to dive into the next novel, my YA about Josephine’s daughter Hortense.

Busy: yes!

How to (easily?) make a podcast interview

{Image: “The World in 2030” by E McKnight Kauffer, as shown on the wonderful blog BibliOdyssey.}

My friend and excellent literary writer Catherine Mayo (C. M. Mayo) is also a tech and Social Net wiz (although she would never admit it). She’s making audio podcast interviews with writers and making them available on her website, iTunes and other sites.

Here’s how she does it.

First, you will need:

1) A Mac. (Sorry! This process can no doubt be done on a PC, but Catherine and I are Mackies.) You will also need the software GarageBand, which comes with the Mac.

2) Skype software and an account. (Free.) To record an interview, both parties must be on Skype.

3) Skype recording software, Call Recorder: download here. (This is an add-on to Skype, $19.95 U.S., but you can try it out for free.) Once installed into your Skype software, select Skype preferences, and then click “Recording” on the far right.

I selected AAC Compression for Audio Encoding (because I have a newish Mac), High Audio Quality and, under Recording Options, “Audio Only.”

I opted to “Show Recording Controls at Launch” and to “Keep Recording Controls in Front During Calls.” I also checked “Record Voicemail Playback Automatically” — although I don’t know what that means.

I opted to save the audio file to my Desktop so that I wouldn’t lose it.

4) An account (free) with podOmatic.com.


1. She interviews the person on Skype, using Call Recorder.

2. She edits the recording with the Mac software GarageBand, using the “podcast” instrument setting. (Okay, I’ve a bit to learn here!)

3. She then uploads the audio file to PodOmatic.com, which will send it to iTunes.

4. She puts the link to the interview on her website.

5. She also makes the interview more widely available — and thereby giving it more exposure on Google — by uploading the podcast as a .mov file onto YouTube and Vimeo.

Okay … I’m going to give it a try and report back.


Women writers, women reviewers: still invisible.

Women writers, women reviewers: still invisible.

I’ve long been a “counter.” When I pick up a book review magazine or newspaper book pages, I scan the headlines. How many female reviewers? How many books by women reviewed?

This began years ago, when I looked at an issue of The New York Review of Books and realized with a shock that there was only one woman represented in the entire issue. For years there were heated discussions on-line by members of the Writers’ Union of Canada.

Recently, VIDA, an association for women in literary arts, published shocking graphs showing the inequality clearly. For example:

An on-line article on Slate, “Women at Work,” concludes:

The world of novels, we often hear, is a feminine one: book buyers are predominantly women; novels and memoirs by women and about women’s lives often do extremely well commercially. (Think of Eat, Pray, Love and The Lovely Bones.) So you might shrug and say: what’s the problem? But VIDA’s study raises questions about how seriously women writers are taken and how viable it is for them to make a living at writing.

What’s the problem? What do you think?



(Check here for more details.)

  • April 7 — Historical Tapestry: http://historicaltapestry.blogspot.com/ Guest post: “Why I love unhappy endings.”
  • April 10 — Reading Group Guides: http://www.readinggroupguides.com/content/index.asp Guest post: “How a bookclub changed me as a writer.”
  • April 14 — Scandalous Woman http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com/ Review.
  • April 15 — Reading the Past: http://readingthepast.blogspot.com/ Guest post: “What to leave in . . . and what to leave out: crafting a story from history.
  • April 16 — Marta’s Meanderings: http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com Review, giveaway, guest post: “The ups and downs of historical research.”
  • April 17 — Travels of the Bookworm: http://travelsofthebookworm.blogspot.com/ Giveaway, guest post: “Viewing history through a kaleidoscope.” Hosting the giveaway right now!
  • April 20 — Historical Novels: http://historicalnovels.info Q&A
  • April 21 — Devourer of Books: http://www.devourerofbooks.com/ Guest post.
  • April 23 and 24: Peeking Beteen the Pages: http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com Review and guest post.
  • April 24 — Epicrat: http://epicrat.blogspot.com Q&A
  • April 29 — Planet Books: http://planetbooks.wordpress.com/ Q&A
  • April 29 — Booking Mama: http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/ Review, giveaway and guest post.
  • May 1 — The Tome Traveller: http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com Review and giveaway.
  • May 1 — Racous Royals: http://blog.racousroyals.com Review and guest post.
  • May 4 — Shhh! I’m Reading: http://shhhimreading.blogspot.com/ Review and guest post.
  • May 5 — My Friend Amy: http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/ Review and guest post.
  • May 7 — Enchanted by Josephine: http://enchantedbyjosephine.blogspot.com Review, giveaway and guest post.
  • May 8 — Skrisha’s Books: http://www.skrishnasbooks.com Review.
  • May 14 — Linus’ Blanket: http://linussblanket.com Review and giveaway.
  • May 15 — Kris Waldherr http://kriswaldherr.com/blog Review, Q&A and giveaway
  • May 20 — Books Love Jessica Marie: http://bookslovejessicamarie.blogspot.com Review and giveaway