Category Archives: literary news

Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2011

Great blog by writer Sara Toole Miller about her take on the upcoming NaNoWriMo Challenge. Prepping for NaNoWriMo 2011.

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CinchCast: Details About the Write Your Book in 30 Days Challenge

Today on Cinch, I discuss how you can join the Write Your Book in 30 days challenge. I hope you take a few moments to listen to the recording, but I also included some guideline for the challenge below.

You can listen to the recording at http://cinch.fm/joyfarrington/301315.

Also, the Write Your Book in 30 Days Challenge begin Nov 1st, 2011.

Write Your Book in 30 Days Rules and Guidelines:

  • Commit at least 30 to 60 minutes a day to writing (preferably more if you can fit it into your schedule)
  • Gather your previous work (your intellectual property) to help you outline your book
  • Do not worry about grammar, sentence structure, spelling, or formatting. That comes later. For now all you need to do is write
  • Find a Success Partner / Writing Buddy to help keep you focused during the process. You can post a request for a Writing Buddy on our Facebook wall
  • Share your process by posting daily in our Facebook Group and joining the Twitter Conversation by using the #bookin30 hashtag

Haters Comes Out the Woodworks as Tyra Banks Makes the New York Times Bestseller List

Tyra Banks can now add the title “New York Times BestSelling Author” to her resume.

Her new book, Modelland ranked number 2 on the NYT’s bestseller’s list and a movie deal is rumored to be on the horizon.

But it seems to be an online backlash from those claiming that the book was ghostwritten and is nothing but “trash.”

One blog announcing Ms. Tyra’s new NYT’s status produced numerous comments ranging from “crap book+ nice tits/gullible idiots=bestseller”  to “…a lab rat could have written her book.”

My guess is those same commenters never read Modelland, plan to read it, or even knew Tyra wrote a book until they read the blog announcement.

Although there’s plently of criticism from reviewers there’s seems to be more likes than dislikes for Modelland. One reviewer even dubbed it “Hogwarts Modeling School.”

I don’t have the inside track on whether the book was ghostwritten or not.  But when you take into account the numerous celebrities and even well-known, highly esteemed authors who have others write their books, it seems unfair to point the finger at one person without chastising other authors for doing the same.

It’s obvious Tyra Banks is adding to her ever-expanding franchise and frankly I for one refuse to hate on her for basically doing the damn thang!

Bestselling Author Sued Over Character in Book

I’m not a lawyer. But I was always under the assumption that the disclaimer “the characters in this book is fictional and in no way represent a person, living and/or dead” protected the author from lawsuits based on character representation. Yet, a woman is suing best-selling author, Kathryn Stockett, for depicting her in a “poor light.”

Since I was curious about the exact  wording of the disclaimer,  I quickly grabbed a book from my book shelf, opened it up and… no disclaimer.

Ok, no problem.

So a grabbed another… and another… and another… and  finally after 8 tries I found a disclaimer in Beverly Taylor’s book, Desire of the Heart.

It’s states:

“All characters and web addresses in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individuals known or unknown to the author and all incidents are pure intervention”

So now I’m scratching my head wondering if I missed the memo. When did publishers stop placing the “…characters in this book is fictional…” disclaimer inside books.  Or do I have the weirdest luck and just randomly pick 7 books that decided to omit it.

Below is the article that started my completely unscientific search.

African-American woman sues author of ‘The Help’ over maid character in bestselling novel

By Holbrook Mohr (CP) – Feb 17, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. — A black woman who once worked as a maid for a relative of novelist Kathryn Stockett is suing the author of the bestselling book “The Help,” claiming she was the basis for a black servant character who she thought depicted her in a poor light.

The novel is based on relationships between white families and their African-American maids in the segregated South of the 1960s, and a driving character in the book is a woman named Aibileen.

Now, a real-life woman named Ablene Cooper, who said she worked for Stockett’s brother, is claiming Stockett used her name and likeness without permission and with embarrassing results.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 in Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Mississippi, where Stockett grew up. It asks for $75,000 in damages, an amount chosen to keep the litigation from ending up in federal jurisdiction, where larger actions are often decided.

Cooper referred questions to her attorney when contacted Thursday. Her attorneys did not immediately respond to messages.

Penguin USA publisher Amy Einhorn said she doesn’t think there’s any basis to the lawsuit.

“This is a beautifully written work of fiction and we don’t think there is any basis to the legal claims,” Einhorn said Thursday in an email.

The six-page lawsuit claims, among other things, that Stockett’s refusal to publicly admit that she based the character on Cooper’s likeness “is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

It quotes passages from the book, including one in which Aibileen’s character describes a cockroach: “He black. Blacker than me.”

The lawsuit said Cooper found it upsetting and highly offensive to be portrayed as someone “who uses this kind of language and compares her skin colour to a cockroach.”

“The Help” tells the story of black maids Aibileen and Minny, who work with a white woman named Skeeter on a book about their experiences as domestic help. The black characters fear retribution for working with the white woman on such a book, but Aibileen decides to help in part because black maids are forced to use outside restrooms.

Cooper’s lawsuit claims it was offensive to be portrayed as someone who must use a segregated toilet.

Stockett told The Associated Press in 2009 that growing up her family had a maid named Demetrie, who used a restroom on the outside of the family’s house. Stockett said Demetrie died in the mid-1980s.

“The Help” debuted in 2009, and there are 2.5 million hardcover copies in print in the U.S., according to the publisher’s website. Scenes for a movie based on the book were shot in Mississippi. The film has not yet been released.