Hello and happy March, everybody! I feel like I’m bursting with news this new year (although it makes me laugh that it’s March, yet I’m still in “it’s a new year!” mode). Anyway, without further ado, I’m ecstatic to announce the recent launch of my brand new book:SOMETHING OLD.
If you enjoy emotionally compelling stories about family relationships, women’s friendships, romance for women over forty, and the pets who bring us so much joy (and I know you do!😁 ), you’re going to love Madeline’s story about surviving heartbreak, starting over later in life, and finding home again.
After crushing loss, could you find the strength to start again?
Madeline’s world caves in when her husband, daughter, and sister are ripped away in one fell swoop.
After three years of heartbroken limbo and loneliness, she realizes that to survive, she needs to fight her way back to some kind of life. If not for herself, then to honor her lost loved ones.
She throws her belongings into storage, sells her house, and heads to a new-to-her small town. There she invests every dime she has to open what had been her and her daughter’s shared dream: an upscale second hand, consignment, and upcycling store. It has to work, or else—No. She can’t think about that. It has to work.
The birth of Madeline’s heart-healing Second Chance Shop is not without pain, which she expected. And despite the ticking clock on whether the shop can support her, she is floored to find things she’d lost hope of ever experiencing again: laughter, dear friends—including a fat, slightly cantankerous cat and a distinguished old yellow lab—and surprising moments of joy.
She might even have a second chance for something as old as humanity itself: romantic love.
If she’s brave enough, that is—and if she can let go of talking with her deceased family and fully embrace living.
A few of you kind folk following my blog asked for me to let you know when WEDDING BANDS was out in paperback. Good news! It’s out and ready for your hot little hands. Find it online at Amazon.com (.ca is slower, don’t know why) and Barnes & Noble (Will be at Chapters, too – but again, slower to show up there, for whatever reason), for order into your favorite bookstore and in stock at my favorite bookstore Misty River Books. (Misty River Books’ copies are signed.) If you’re in the mood for romance and/or food and entrepreneurial adventure, Wedding Bands, Book 1 in the River’s Sigh B & B series, might be just the thing!
I definitely recommend reading with chocolate and tea – or red wine – close at hand. (Then again, I always recommend that. 🙂 )
p.s. Want a signed copy made out to you or a friend or family member specifically? I’m happy to oblige. E-mail me at ev_bishop AT SIGN yahoo DOT com or give me a shout here for more details. I can take credit card payments or you can pay via PayPal, e-mail transfer or personal cheque. **Free shipping for orders going to Canadian addresses**
I’ve had a few people ask me about the writing and birthing of BIGGER THINGS, so for your reading pleasure (or not, lol) I’m sharing a blip that I originally posted on the Compuserve Readers and Writers forum. 🙂 E.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The beginning: Once upon a time, quite a few years ago, I was walking my dog along a quiet, totally deserted street. Suddenly a woman spoke so clearly that I actually paused and looked around. “Everyone gets a happily ever after, yeah right,” she said. There was, of course, no one there, but I had this person, fully-formed in my head, blathering away at me like we were good friends and I knew I needed to write her story–and then the story of her two lifelong friends as well.
The Middle: BIGGER THINGS wasn’t my first novel, but it was an early one. It took a while to finish it because I was learning as I went (which is still true for every book), and I struggled with how to organize it. Once I realized it was written in seasons that worked as a metaphor for the changes in the friends’ lives over one pivotal year, and that it was interspersed with letters to a columnist called “Fat Girl,” everything took off and came together.
The Climax (which was, like so many early publishing attempts, actually an anti-climax): I had a finished, polished, “long enough” novel, the first I’d written that I wanted to publish. I believed in the story and was super excited about it. I had worked it over a lot–and had it worked over by other people (which was sometimes super helpful and other times . . . the opposite of that). I wanted an agent. I sent it out and sent it out. And sent it out. I had quite a few requests for full manuscripts from “big” agents. It was horrible. Almost without exception they all said really, really, really positive things–then went on to say they didn’t know where it would go on the shelf, how it would be marketed, or who it would sell to. I probably quit too soon but I was a bit disheartened–and more and more involved with/excited about other writing projects.
The end (which is actually another beginning): I shelved BIGGER THINGS and tried to move on, but it stayed lodged in my heart (corny as that is!) and frequently muttered that it wanted to be shared. . . .
In the years that passed I sold two short novels under a pen name, a variety of short stories in addition to my non-fiction, and wrote five other novels, two that start a mystery series I’ll be pitching to traditional publishers; one that’s Book 1 in a romance series for Winding Path Books. Yet BIGGER THINGS kept whispering. And the publishing world kept changing.
I love romance and women’s fiction–and my romance and women’s fiction author friends and clients were doing marvelous, exciting, FUN things with indie publishing, but I hung back. . . . What writer doesn’t dream of New York, right?
Then one day I was walking on my property, contemplating an old cabin and what it could become, and a woman that I recognized spoke in my ear. “Oh, for crying out loud. Just publish me yourself.” I’m obedient. I dug BIGGER THINGS back out, did yet another rewrite and a polish and another polish. I met some amazing, talented people as I hired a designer, a formatting guru, and yet another editor. . . . and I have loved every bit of the process.
I have a lot of editing experience and have done some desktop publishing (small stuff, like chapbooks, anthologies, etc.), so Winding Path Books isn’t a brand new world to me, but it is a thrilling one. I’m wowed by the resources and tools available to any writer who goes looking.
There can be a lot of negativity and fear in author circles–or, at the very least, a lot of uneasiness–about the future of publishing and making a living off of your writing, but I’m excited. Never in history has there been more avenues to share your passions or the things that keep you up at night. I only see new bridges to cross, new lands to explore, more opportunity for adventure.
I’m solidly pro both indie publishing and traditional publishing, and I don’t see an either/or attitude as beneficial to anyone, particularly to any authors. Both worlds offer unique advantages and disadvantages, but the biggest, most exciting pro of the indie world is the door it opens for great books and stories that don’t fit easily into a perfectly-defined traditional market spot, how it helps them find their home. 🙂
Okay, okay . . . I fully admit the title of this post is a tad corny (or perhaps more than a tad!), but seeing BIGGER THINGS—a novel by me!—in the window of my long-time favourite bookstore, Misty River Books, did made my insides jump and skip like a playground full of happy six-year-olds!
I adore my e-reader as my friends and family will attest, but a paper book, one with a comforting weight and presence in your hands and a papery ink and daydream-delicious scent, one that you can snuggle with on the couch or lose yourself with in the tub, is a sensory delight that never gets old. I still do at last half my reading, if not more, the old school print book way.
But it’s not just seeing BIGGER THINGS in paperback that’s so special to me. It really was its placement in the window of the shop that got me. Many, many years ago now, Misty River Books opened its doors in its first home on Lakelse Avenue in Terrace, BC (one street and one block over from where it resides now), and my first visit impacted my life forever. Sounds dramatic—but it’s true.
I had just launched from my childhood home and was enjoying a day off from the Grand Trunk restaurant (now the Bear Country). I remember how I felt perfectly, even think I can recall what I was wearing, and I’d just purchased a to-go coffee, was planning to window shop, and was feeling terrifically adult and a bit heady with my new freedom.
It was a brisk autumn day with lots of crispy red and gold leaves and a brilliant blue sky, and as I walked down the pretty 4600 block of Lakelse I spotted the window display of the new bookstore everyone was talking about. I felt ridiculously cool and grown up, entering the store unaccompanied, coffee in hand. (I moved out of my house really young, hence the continuing awed feeling of being sooo “mature.” :)) Anna was super cool and friendly (as she still is today) and after affirming that I was “just browsing,” I perused the shelves with delight. Terrace had become a real town. It had an independent bookstore!
The day wasn’t just a lovely moment in my coming of age, however, it was a huge turning page for my writing self. I had wanted to be writer since about second grade, I took all and any writing projects in school seriously, participated in any writing classes available, and had I suspect, though I can’t quite remember Misty River’s inaugural year, just signed up for Creative Writing 101 at NWCC. Yet deep down I still worried I was kidding myself. How on earth could a kid hailing from Nowhere, BC (those were my thoughts then; I’m fonder of my hometown now) ever make it as a writer?
But what did I discover in Misty River Books that day? A magazine that did huge things to grow and give feet to my dreams: Writer’s Digest, a treasure trove of craft advice, inspirational articles, and information about how to sell stories. I was hooked. It really was a pivotal find at a pivotal time, the first thing to ever truly help me see that my “pipe dream” might actually be able to be a practical reality. And Misty River Books facilitated that.
Throughout the years, Misty River Books continued to feed my love of books (and that of my children’s and anyone else I could foist books onto as gifts), but they also nurtured my writing dreams, with kind words and genuine interest in whatever I was up to writing-wise, and speedy-quick willingness to order in whatever magazine or book I decided was a must-have if they didn’t already have it in stock.
And I’m not the only writer who feels a debt of gratitude to her bookstore. I attend SiWC every year, and I’ve heard dozens of stories from well-published “big” authors who laud a bookstore from their childhood or early writing years as being a font of inspiration and support. (Michael Slade’s tale of Duffy’s is a particularly fun and poignant one.) But talking about bricks and mortar bookstores always seems to bring e-books back to the table. Yes, bookselling is changing. Change—in all things it seems—is inevitable. But I don’t believe bookstores have to be a thing of the past. Nothing pulls people together—or helps people in their everyday life—like a good story, a great yarn, or a wonderful, wise book. E-reads are lovely for a quick escape or for hefting twenty books with you on holidays in a mere eight ounces of weight . . . but you don’t peruse shelves of e-reads. Visitors don’t pick up your e-reader and page through it—or they better not! Kids don’t lose themselves—and find themselves—in the pictures and texture of stories on tablets. Paper books foster literacy and an appreciation for stories, and they’re not reliant, thus at risk, when technology changes or crashes. There’s not only room—there’s a need—for both e-reads and print books.
And yes, while I love my digital versions of BIGGER THINGS very much, seeing a physical book with my name across its cover resting on my favourite bookstore’s shelves? Well, it really is seeing a dream come full-circle-true.
p.s. In case you’re wondering, yes, I still feel terrifically adult and a little bit heady with freedom when I walk through Misty River Books’ door, inhale the gorgeous scent of possibility and adventure, and peruse its packed-to-the-rafters shelves.
Just a few of the words yelling in my brain right now: Phew. Yay! Whaaaat? WOOT-WOOT! Yippee! Crazy. WOW . . .
The last months and weeks have seen huge changes in my writing life—good changes. Exciting changes. Still a bit hard to believe changes! And I’m beyond happy to share the results of one of those changes right now. BIGGER THINGS by Ev Bishop is hitting digital shelves everywhere today, with trade paperbacks to follow in August.
It’s a story I care a lot about on a very personal level and one that I hope, if you’re kind enough to read it, you’ll relate to and talk about, especially to your daughters and sons or any other young people in your life.
A one-line description of BIGGER THINGS is crisis forces three friends to confront body issues, battle with hurts from the past, and strive to accept change, but I hope it becomes more than that to you. May Jen, Chelsea, and Kyra become your friends as you delve into parent/child relations, friendships, and romantic love alongside them, and may the ideas posited in the novel stay with you for a long time.
Now if I’ve made you afraid this is some deep, dark somber tome from my above description and desire for the story . . . have no such fear. I’ve been told it’s “scathing, hilarious, and tender”—which makes me very happy indeed as I think that pretty much describes life to the fullest.
If you do buy and read in digital, enjoy! If you want to wait until the paperback hits shelves, I’ll post the minute it’s ready (sometime mid August). But whichever way, if you do enjoy the read, please review it online wherever you buy it and/or on Goodreads or Library Thing. I’d really appreciate it.
Hoping your day, your week, your life is full of lovely bigger things.
BIGGER THINGS by Ev Bishop is available in digital formats at:
You may have read my moving note here. Well, disregard it. I’m baaaa-acck.
My lovely website (Let me praise it, please. I need to in memorial) got hacked and as I’m the middle of Nanowrimo, I don’t have time or mental energy to spend hours fixing it right now. But I have exciting news I want to share, so what better place than here?
As I may have happily blurted before, having a new story go to print never grows old, and today I’m thrilled to announce that 100 Stories For Queensland has hit the shelves. It contains my story, “Riddles”—about a boy and his Grandfather and questions that arise during tough times.
The anthology is chocked full of more than a hundred uplifting, heart-warming stories of every genre. In a year where there has been so much global bad news, it’s extra lovely to be a part of it. Plus, all of its proceeds got to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Appeal. )—and while the floods in Australia may feel far away in time and place to us in other parts of the world, for people still rebuilding, continuing help, support, and encouragement are crucial.
And on a similar note (great reads and great causes like charities and emerging writers!), I’d also like to mention another charity anthology, also from Emergent Publishing: Nothing But Flowers—a collection of 24 quirky short stories (including “I Dream of Cherry Pies” by my good friend and fellow writing fiend, Jen Brubacher) that in some way or another all celebrate and laud love—in the time of apocalypse. A little bit strange, a little bit odd, and definitely great fun.
Click on the covers to buy the books on Amazon—or, if you don’t want to splurge right now, add them to your wish list to help boost the books’ chart standing.
As some of you know, three of my short stories (“HVS,” “Wishful,” and “Red Bird”) are available through Ether Books, a fantastic forward-thinking publishing company that I can’t say enough good things about. Not only have they published my work, they supply me with an inexhaustible source of new short fiction!
I’ve been playing with the idea of promoting some of my work with video and since Maureen Scott, one of the gurus behind Ether, put a call out for Ether authors to share their sentiments about Ether Books in 30 seconds or less and post them on youtube, I’d thought I’d start there. So all that said, here’s me, Ev Bishop, on Ether Books. Enjoy!
When I have my office back under control, I may do short blip on each of the stories they’ve published. Stay tuned.
And hey, if you haven’t read “Wishful,” or “Red Bird,” or “HVS”—you don’t need to wait ’til there’s a video promo! Grab your iPhone, iPod, or iPad, download Ether Books’ free app here and check me out. 🙂 I hope you enjoy them.
So how many of you found an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or some other e-reader wrapped in pretty packaging this year? I sort of did. My mother-in-law spoiled my hubby and me with a very generous gift and I decided to dedicate my half to my craft: an online writing class and an iPhone (Yay! I knew there was a reason I was still using my old flip-talk even though Bell has been telling me for almost five years that I’m “entitled” to a new phone). I’m completely excited, primarily because of the phone’s e-reading possibilities.
As a reader and a writer, I have always adored the short story form, but it’s become harder and harder to find short stories to read (and short story markets to submit to).
The boom of e-zines has been good for us short story lovers, however (especially the story-a-day sites like Every Day Fiction Magazine and Daily Science Fiction, but perhaps the saviour of the short story will be electronic readers, including the new generations of phones with their lovely do-everything-but-the-dishes apps and gorgeous screens. Perfect for packing lightly in your bag or pocket, you have a variety of reads available wherever you go. And what better read could a person have in transit or when waiting for a meeting than a short story?
Ether Books, a UK publisher, agrees with me so much that its whole focus is publishing “the very best short stories and essays from today’s literary stars and up-and-coming writers directly to your own phone.”
And, I’m ecstatic to say, Ether Books has acquired three of my short stories–all speculative in some way or another–for your reading pleasure (er, well, I hope it’s pleasure!): “HVS,” “Red Bird,” and “Wishful.”
I’d love for you to read them and share the word with any one you know who likes a weird little story–and don’t stop with my works. Ether’s “shelves” are full with a great collection of short stories and essays in every genre you can imagine.
Ether Books’ app is available for free here or by searching for Ether Books with your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.
You can find “HVS,” “Red Bird,” and “Wishful” by selecting New Releases (green button) or New Authors (orange button).
I’m always excited whenever I receive a new book or magazine that has something I’ve written in it–and receiving this wonderful anthology was no different. When I unwrapped the package of copies that arrived in the post today I actually gasped a little bit — From the Heart – A Collection of Stories and Poems from the Front Lines of Parenting is a simply beautiful book and photos of its cover don’t do it justice.
More important than the cover, of course, is the content. It’s packed full of short essays, poems, and personal vignettes about people’s personal parenting experiences–and from what I’ve read so far, I’m excited to read more. Its editor, Beth N. Davis, did a great job . . . . So yes, a very fun day for me. I’m looking forward to adding From the Heart to my rainy-stormy-crazy-weather to-read pile (Bring it on, Northcoast October, bring it on!).
The piece I have in From the Heart is “Simple Things” — a short essay about, if you can believe it, cud. Yes, you read that correctly: cud, “the stuff, like grass and stuff, that a cow chews and swallows and then regurgitates–that’s barfs up–and chews again for a long, long time . . .” Of course it might not just be about cud. You’ll have to die curious or buy the book! 😉
If you’d like to read more about the anthology, its authors, or the great cause its profits go to support, click on the cover picture within this post and explore the From the Heart website. There’s a buy-it-now link should you be interested in adding the collection to your collection.
Happy writing and reading, everyone.
p.s. I’ll be drawing for kc dyer’s books, FACING FIRE and THROUGH THE WINDOW on Friday, October 15, so if you haven’t already, comment in the post just prior to this one and get entered in the draw!