BOOKS

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by Karolina Danek

 

 

Books change me.

They influence me

And make me theirs.

I become their characters.

I live their stories.

 

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Theme MUST be the Foundation of Your Novel

What are the hallmarks of an amateur novelist?

This is a question I get all the time and, of course, there are many answers: poor pacing, flat dialogue, a lack of believable character development. All of these things are a death kiss for any fiction writer.

However, even if all of these elements are in place and you have the most exquisite dialogue and beautifully realized characters, there can still be something missing in your novel. And very often, it relates to theme.

Theme is something that all readers will pick up on when reading a book, whether they realize it or not. At its core satisfying novels need to be about something — whether that’s something broad like ‘love’ or something as narrow as ‘corrosive corporate culture’. Even novels about gods or dinosaurs or space aliens will have something to say about the human condition — a vein that…

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FILL THE PAGES

FILL THE PAGES


Fill the pages of our lives
with words and stories.
Leave no blank pages.
Fill them with people and events.
Stories to tell our children.
Words to light our journeys.
We need to stand in the light.
Enjoy life to its fullest.
It is our right to fill in the pages.

A REVIEW OF MY BOOK

A REVIEW OF MY BOOK

4.0 out of 5 stars Great horror debut, March 10, 2014 By  L (UK) – See all my reviews

This review is from: The Dead Game (Paperback)
Susanne Leist does a wonderful job of setting her debut novel The Dead Game, in the sweet seaside town of Oasis, a place where one would never expect evil to lurk.
At the beginning of the book we are dropped into a historical piece showcasing the gruesome capabilities of End house, this sets the novel up nicely for our introduction to recent times.
Oasis is a town which should require little by way of regular law enforcement, but it has suffered a disturbing history of disappearances and unexplained phenomena that have been covered up. Interestingly, the sheriff deputy has a habit of sneaking away when there’s work to be done!
The story progresses to tell us a bit about Linda and her perception of the town and its residents. A sense of menace builds quickly and there are surprises to be had when she and her friends accept an invite to a party at End house (unbeknown to them as the locus of the original horrors) A property in which everything defies the natural laws, the friends are subjected to a host of horrors that they try to attribute to mere ghoulish humour on behalf of their host. Vampire, Wolf, sets his eyes on the prize, (Not world peace!) and progressively works his evil machinations against the young people.
In Leist’s town we find that humans, vampires and vampire humans have come to coexist.
This is a book where the characters have more guts than sense! and in true horror fashion I read this book on the edge of my seat, willing and hoping for them to seal their fate by disregarding the warnings and jumping into the crises that could have been avoided. I was not disappointed!
Among the horrors, Leis introduces black magic and hallucinogenic apparitions; the walls bleed and pointy cages drop to trap the partygoers, and many other horrors follow. I loved how Linda and Todd’s romance blossomed through the midst of it, and how Todd’s true nature is hinted at throughout before being revealed.
There are many characters in Leist’s horror, and though I could have happily strangled some of them, (Par for the course) I was kept involved in true morbid fascination. I must confess that evil vampire, Wolf was my favourite character in this book, and I was entertained throughout.
This is a must read for horror lovers.

THE DEAD GAME BOOK 2

books-and-more-books

 

I was on way with my second book, developing my characters, setting up the story, introducing conflicts for them to overcome. Then the problems began. I started to read articles from popular authors’ sites, claiming to know the best way to set up a story and its characters.

I agree the midpoint should be placed at the middle of the book and be the pivotal spot for the plot, where characters are spun about on their axis by unexpected events or people. However, these authors lecture about specific spots where each plot point is to be introduced.  They outline the exact number of pressure points and where they should be placed. 

I began to dissect my book, bit by bit. I follow an outline of my own. Each chapter is created to be a full scene with a beginning, middle and end. My midpoint is the big reversal. I didn’t plan on pressure points but I have them; not at the exact percentage points as recommended by the articles but close. After the reversal, I have pressure spots planned leading to the ultimate climax. 

I did all of this instinctively, from reading books my whole life. There is a rhythm to writing like there is to music. It doesn’t have to be strictly set at one speed. It can flow at your own pace. Characters don’t have to direct opposites or heroes to your main character, they could play off your protagonist to elicit humor or bring out the story.

There are rules but not hard and fast ones like in math and science. I followed the rules in my past jobs in Finance. I love formulas where you can input your data and come up with the one correct answer. Writing is more creative. There is more than one way to tell a story and each person has a different story to tell.

The beginning of my book has been rewritten four times before I realized that my story has been following the rules of writing but at its own rhythm. My own pace. I’ve stopped reading these preachy articles about the best way to structure a book. Scenes, character arcs, plot points and acts still float around in my head, but once I began writing all of these details took care of themselves. The plot can reach the midpoint and reversal on its way to the climax without any calculations of percentages.

If you’ve read enough books, an author knows how the story should flow. You instinctively know how to introduce characters and how they should play off the main character. I’m off to the finish! I’ve cleared the midpoint and on my way to the climax! Don’t ever doubt yourself. Let your story evolve from inside of you.

I LOVE THIS REVIEW!

book cover
on March 5, 2016
“The Dead Game” by Susanne Leist is one of those great reads that you stumble across and end up eternally grateful for discovering it. In a vast sea of paranormal novels, The Dead Game stands out in all its horrifying glory. If you’re seeking chills and thrills this book is definitely a great read. Just the prologue will be enough to drag you deep into a plot filled with brilliant twists and turns. Leist brings her world and story to life with strong vivid language that flows seamlessly, lulling you into a tale you’ll never forget. I find her cast of characters to be truly unique and real, expressing human nature as if it were bare before us. Without hesitation I can say this is among the best novels of the year I’ve come across. Highly recommended.

Review of THE DEAD GAME

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I had to share this review. It’s the type of review that authors dream of. A reader that understood the book, the plot, the characters. Thank you Deneale !
Deneale Williams rated it it was amazing

This book, “The Dead Game” would make an excellent horror movie. I just could not get enough of it, and would love to see it on the silver screen. In fact, I think it would be even more fantastic in 3 dimensional. 

Let me start by saying: I read this in the dark, along with one light on and in a big house. Wait, did I mention I was alone? I might suggest that , you might not want to do that. I’m just sayin…

Just let me be frank with you here. Okay, wait. I still want to be me. Here goes. I honestly love watching TV, and I know what would make for a good show, or movie. And as I was reading this, I was just so totally freaking out all through it, I could totally visualize everything. I know this book would be amazing as a Movie, you seriously need to read it, because you know it goes. When they turn books into Movies, they ruin them. And if the words are this good, you need to read them now!

Another thing that I loved about this book, was the fact that it is portrayed in Oasis, Florida. As most of you know, I am I currently live in Florida. So I love it when books put Florida, or Ohio on the map, I’m in. 

This book, “The Dead Game” has Vampires, Beachfront property, a scary haunted mansion, dead bodies, romance and of course people. What a unique kind of mix.

But let me tell you, never ever go to a place called: “End house” and never attend a party on a Friday night where the invitation envelopes are black. I mean if that doesn’t just say: “It’s going to get weird.” As a warning, then nothing will. 

I was so impressed, with “The Dead Game”, I couldn’t put it down. I give it five stars, it was just that exciting. If you’re anything like me, and enjoy horror, with a kick, then you need to read this. And you better be ready to get comfortable, because you’re not going to want to put this book down! It’s just that enjoyable.