Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Got Books? With Guest Blogger: Mona Karel

Welcome author Mona Karel to the Book Boost today!

Here's what she had to say...

A Book is a Book, is a Book

How many have said they only want to read “real” books, that they need the feeling of paper between their hands to feel as though they are reading? How many of you have heard scorn heaped on the concept of electronic book publishing?

I ran across this on You Tube a while back, and find it a gentle poke at those resistant to change: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cd7Bsp3dDo

In this instance the subject is introducing bound books to a monk accustomed to scrolls, and his resistance to learning how to access the printed page. Funny, but I’m thinking maybe not so far off the mark. It wasn’t all that long ago paperback books were held in contempt, and the goal for many was to become popular enough to be published in hard cover. Writers strove to break into series romance with the ultimate goal of mainstream publishing. They wanted to write a “real” book.

Along comes the e-pub world, tossing goals and preconceptions right out the window. Without the need to underwrite an inventory, publishers are willing to take more of a chance on new authors, and on books that don’t fit a specific niche. What used to be seen as “fringe” books are now available side by side with more traditional stories. With one click, or a few easy steps you can download and start reading. Is this a good thing, or are books being published that aren’t up to the quality of “real” books. Let’s take a step back and give that statement some historical perspective.

What is a “real” book? Is it paper and ink, or is it a manifestation of the writer’s imagination, words linked together to present a story for the reader’s pleasure? Do we really need to see those words on paper, or does the e-book screen serve as an acceptable vehicle to bring the words from writer to reader? Could we possibly be developing into book snobs?

Of course some books just can’t translate onto that smaller screen. But in the same vein as made for TV movies, written for e-book stories are as good (or bad) as the underlying words and scenes. Being able to carry twenty books on the plane and still have room for an extra pair of shoes has to be seen as a positive, and allows us to experiment with authors or story lines we would not have considered when weight and space were a critical issue.

If you are at all like me and my husband, you have books piled on every surface of your home. Books perch precariously on your clothes hamper and have been taken along for the ride on most trips. Once these books are read, a few might take up residence on your ever changing keeper shelf. Some might be shared with friends, and some will end up supporting your local library at the semi-annual sale. A high percentage of your ink and paper book purchases won’t be taking up permanent residence in your house, though they might help contribute to our ever increasing landfills. And here we come to what I believe is the greatest argument in favor of electronic books.

Do I think e-books are superior to more traditional forms of reading matter? Absolutely not. A good book is a good book, in any format. It’s all about the story, and finding a writer whose words resonate in your own imagination.

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for joining us today, Mona. Please tell us more about your book.


The Atrahasis, immortal overlords of the sacred places in the universe, have given Mykhael Alastor one last chance to redeem himself by punishing the person they think desecrated an ancient forest in Northern California. When he meets Kendra, he realizes he’s doomed to disappoint them yet again. Kendra is the missing part of the soul he didn’t know he still possessed.

Kendra Weiss spent much of her childhood with her grandmother since she didn’t fit in with her parent’s high powered corporate lifestyle. Upon her grandmother’s death she inherits the cottage and the powers of certain women in her family. She must learn to use and trust her powers, and Mykhael, to help protect the ancient forest.


"You did well, learning from your grandmother, and it seemed the area would remain secure. Then the watchers sensed a disturbance in the area, a violation of the space. I was called to take care of the situation."

"Why you?"

"A heritage. Some are watchers, some are guardians, some are...enforcers. Alastor, my clan name, was misinterpreted with all the different translations throughout history."

"Alastor..." she mused, searching for an elusive nugget of information. Then the book opened in her mind's eye, and the answer appeared. "It was the duty of Alastor to ensure that the sins of the father were visited upon the son."

"Not precisely. It is the duty of the clan of Alastor to ensure that the sanctity of the places and balance of power is maintained at all times. When violations occur, a member of my clan is called, and we are given an image of the person responsible for the violation."

His eyes were even more remote, with that far away, almost sad, look she'd seen so many times before. A chilling premonition came to her and she lifted her chin, seeking the strength to ask the next question.

"Quit the games, Michael. Why exactly are you here now, in this place, at this time?"

He looked at her directly, and she saw the agony he had to be feeling.

"Darling, I've been sent here to kill you."

Want More Mona?

Visit her blog here: http://mona-karel.com
Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.


Christine Ashworth said...

Nice excerpt, Mona! And I agree - once I got that kindle in my hands and started to read, I didn't care that it wasn't a paper book. But I still won't take my kindle into the bathtub, lol!

AMry george said...

Nice post, Mona. As a tactile person I will always love the feel of a book in hand. And someone that's worked on computers since 'GOTO', 'SYNTEX' etc stayed on the screen while you typed, I'm tired of the screen. As a writer looking for readers, I'll put my story in any format they choose to read it in. Sidewalk chalk, milk paint, cave writings doesn't matter.

Mary George.

Mona Karel said...

Sidewalk chalk? Love it! Yeah, I've been there with the screen for many years, and never thought I'd want to change. But the opportunities for new authors are just too great to pass up, as an author and as a reader.