Monday, July 8, 2013

How the word cumquat could help you win a book...

Sometimes I like books that are just a gob-smackingly good read - with luscious language, pace and a plot so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. The ones that make you feel like 'I didn't really know reading satisfaction, until I read this book.' Sometimes I like books that make me think, challenge my preconceptions and tie my brain in useful kinds of knots, like some metaphorical, metaphysical macrame pot plant holder. But my most favourite books are the ones that are the former, with the latter secretly hidden inside. The entertainy, learny kind all rolled into one 'oh-my-goodness-I am-so-devastated-it-is-over-how-will-I-live-without-it-but-look-how-much-smarter-I-am-about-the-world-now' package. These are the books that you want to un-remember so you can read them for the first time again ... and again.

I like to try and write books that make people think. That aren't just superficial and glossy but have some kind of greater meaning or examination of universal themes or revelation of some useful truths, or helpful ideas that people can take away and use in their own lives. Sometimes I think I get there, sometimes I almost get there: but it is always the goal. Words are a powerful medium. And with power comes great responsibility. A book is one of the safest ways to venture outside your comfort zone. To gain an insight in to the lives of others. And it is my job to put it in an entertainy, learny package that makes you put it back on your book pile to read again.

Authors work very hard to draw the reader in. To help them see what the author sees. The brilliant Maggie Stiefvater explains it well here. And shows exactly why some books need more than one reading to get the most out of them.

And because I now have a total of 40 followers I am going to have a competition. You can win any one of my books (except the first one, Clever Moo) in print, or where available, in a digital format if you prefer. Enter by commenting on this post with the title of the book you would like to win and with your favourite word (no swears please). I will pick my favourite of your favourite words as the winner. For example 'phalanges' is quite an amazing word, or 'cumquat'. The competition will close on Friday.




9 comments:

Christine Hurst said...

Ooh, I love competitions! I would love to win 'The House that Went To Sea'. I have several favourite words - they're nothin' fancy, but sound cool:Pronk & Foible
:)
Thank you Melinda.
Cheers.

Maureen Crisp said...

Christine...that could be a lawyers firm...lol.
I am working my way through the behind the scenes making of Black Adder at the moment...so loved the quote. Very cunning, my lady.
I love the word cogitation...just the way you can chew the word as you say it...and I would love a picture book Melinda...am in awe that you can write them, my attempts are woeful!

Chris Gurney said...

I'd love The House that went to Sea. I want to be a passenger in it. Such a brilliant concept.

My word is 'clatterfart'. I've just written a story around it. Every teacher has a clatterfart in their class.... A chatterbox who talks too much. 😃

Talia Hunter said...

Callipygian. I love that there's a high-falutin word that means 'to have shapely buttocks'.

noizy said...

I think Talia's 'callipygian' is now my favourite new word.

For my entry: 'Dreep' - in the Scottish context of lowering yourself from a tall place (like a wall or roof), by letting yourself down while twisting yourself so you're facing the object, then letting go. (for Jack the Viking)

Vanessa Hatley-Owen said...

My absolute favourite word is "oubliette", followed closely by "pottle"

Such fun!!!

Helen Vivienne Fletcher said...

My favourite words are fractious and recalcitrant - most often applied to inanimate objects.

I would love to win The House That Went to Sea.

5inabus said...

Hi Melinda, i know what you mean about affecting books, last week i wrote a blog called "the perfect novel: an essential checklist" and it included many of your own observations...

My word nomination is actually a name - Scheherazade. A name as enchanting as the stories she told.... I love the way it looks, i love the way it sounds - that is, once i learned how to pronounce it properly!

And like many others... I would also love to win "The House that Went to Sea" ;)

Jane Bloomfield said...

My favourite fussy word is pernickety.