Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Book Review / Author Interview: War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson / Christy Sloat

Hello everyone,

Today's post was a little bit late, and by that I mean perhaps a week or more. My apologies to anyone who may be reading. I had a short interview with Christy Sloat, author of The Brown House. I also recently read a short poetry book entitled War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson. It seemed like a good idea to combo these two into one post so as not to come off to brief, and to possibly make up for the recent lack of posts. Let's have the interview first.

1) When did you first start writing?
I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. Always making up little stories of a kid. My imagination always ran wild. But I started my first novel, The Many Lives of Avery Snow, three years ago. I wanted to write and to put my thoughts to paper. Then low and behold I had a novel.

2) As I had stated in my review of The Brown House, I am not a fan of the paranormal romance/young adult genre. I know that many people who follow The Fraser File are, so I gave the book a go. I think you're a great writer and very technically sound. I also think you hit the nail on the head in writing this as a first-person narrative. You really seemed to be able to get into a teenager's (Brylee Branson's) mindset. Did this come easily to you?
Thank you, I hope there are more readers who havent tried books in this Genre that give it a shot due to your review.
To answer your question, yes it did come easily to me. I am by far not a teen, but I have a teenage neice who I watch and mentally take notes. Her behavior is much like Brylee. She was my inspiration for her. Not every teen is like Brylee. Brylee sees the world in the honest way that it is. The nitty griddy tough life we all live, that most teens don't see. Brylee saw because her life fell apart all at once.
It's easy to write as a teen because I think I read so many YA books and I adjusted my head to that genre. I love to read them because they make me remember my youth. You can never be too old for YA.

3) I understand there is a sequel to The Brown House. Are there or will there be more books coming in this series?
Yes I plan on doing a short novella in the early spring on one of the characters, Kayla. Her story just has to be told so I decided to do a short story on her life. I am also planning on debuting the next novel on this series in the summer of 2013. So many people want me to hurry up and write it. But I have 2 series going at the same time. I only have so much time in one day. I can't say how many books we will end up with this series, only time will tell.

4) What other books have you written and what genres are they?
The Many Lives of Avery Snow and Ianni. They are paranormal romance and I enjoy writing them too. But I love writing suspense more.

5) Lastly, if you could tell the readers where they can purchase The Brown House and your other works. 
My books are available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-million and more. Pretty much everywhere. I have also been accepted to be on the shelves of Barnes and Noble for my first book and I am super excited about that.
Thank you for the interview, Christy.
Ok, now for part two. 

I want to go on record that I am not as much into poetry as I used to be. I have written quite a bit of my own, but over the years I have gravitated away from it somewhat. This book was a gift from my sister, who shall remain nameless. After reading War Outside My Window by Dea Dickinson, I decided a review is in order.

It's definitely a straight-forward book of poetry. Poetry for me is hit or miss, and a lot of what I read in this book didn't appeal to me. There are some that did however, especially the title poem. The ones that I enjoyed weren't for the flow or rhyming schemes, however. It was for the content. In some of her other pieces the rhyming scheme came off a little underdeveloped. I find it tough to use that word sometimes, though, because there might not be enough time in the world to fix how cheesy a rhyme sounds. Certain ones are just not meant to be in a piece. I've committed this same flaw in several of my pieces, and either found a better scheme, or just avoided it entirely. What really draws me into a poem isn't the words themselves or the rhyming schemes in general. It comes back to the content. If it can give me a clear mental image of what is being conveyed and the content is interesting to me, then I tend to enjoy it. I feel that Dea Dickinson did a pretty decent job of that in some of her poems, and out of those, some had content I related to or found interesting. I'd have to say that a good chunk of what I didn't care for was more to do with content than writing style, et cetera.

In light of that, and knowing that poetry is a very subjective thing to review and comment on, I will give it 3 and a half stars. It wasn't necessarily my cup of tea, but it might be for you in you enjoy poetry at all. It's at least worth picking up and reading. Decide for yourself from there.

The ebook is available for purchase/download at
for $!.50.

It is also available on in paperback and ebook (pdf)

Until next time,

R. M.

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