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Friday, April 30, 2021

A To Z Challenge 2021 - Reflections


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So, yet another month of A to Z has passed! As usual, I chose a topic of which I knew something already, and it worked, I think. This is a subject that fascinated me when I first discovered it as a child in primary school.

Oddly, the first one I can remember is the story of Achilles being dipped in the river and his mother missing the heel. But I did read the whole Robert Graves book from cover to cover.

Again, I have only visited the sites of people who visited me. I would have liked to discover some more and will try next year, but I have made some new friends here, whom I am now following, and had visits from old ones, which is nice. 

It’s a fun activity and makes me write something every day, even if it’s not something I can sell.

I do try to choose a topic each year that connects in some way with my book blog. I think Greek myths worked in that respect. 

No idea, yet, what next year’s theme will be, but that will continue. 

Thank you to everyone who visited and commented! You were much appreciated. For those who are now following, I will see you soon, as I have a few reviews to do. 

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Just one sad thing to share. A lady called Valerie Parv has passed away. I only met her once or twice, but we did correspond for a while. She was Australia’s best known romance writer, and someone pointed out on social media that she had sold literally millions of books (in fact, 34,000,000), which would put her on a bestseller list if it was anything but romance fiction. She did receive an Order of Australia. Personally, I don’t read romance except for books of other genres with romance in them,  but I admire anyone who can do it. It’s not a skill I possess, alas! I had a pen pal who wrote for Mills And Boon, who told me that any new book would stay  on bookshop shelves for a month and no more. You have just that much time to woo new readers.

I knew Valerie before she became a big name, back when she was a Star Trek fan writer. Who knew then that she would do so well? 

Vale, Valerie! 


Hels said...

I don't know every author, and I certainly don't read every book in the shops, but how come I have never heard of Valerie Parv. After all, how many Australian writers are there who have published 70+ romance novels, with 34 million+ books sold? Hopefully you won't say that advertising would have made the difference...I don't like ads.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Hels! Romance books really don’t need advertising or even reviews. If you read them, you know where to find them. I’ve only heard of her because I knew her through Trek fandom! 😂

AJ Blythe said...

I knew Valerie as well. Her passing has certainly sent shock waves through the romance writing community. She passed away on the day the writing contest, the Valerie Parv Award closed for entries (a contest she was immensely proud of). Funny story, for years no balloons were allowed at the annual RWA conference because Valerie had a phobia...until someone actually mentioned it to her and it wasn't true! Not sure how the story started, lol.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I was never one for romance novels until I started reading M/M fanfiction which is full of the classic romance tropes. Good fanfic writers (and there are many) amaze me with their productivity and I applaud those who are able to parlay those talents into a mainstream publishing career.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Anita! I heard that the Valerie Parv Award prize was being mentored by her. Sad! I hope another good writer takes over. Balloon phobia is a thing, even if it wasn’t true in this case. I had a student with it. When she entered the room where we were having a party for the class, she turned and walked back out. We had to take down all the balloons before she would return, poor kid!

Hi Debra! There are M/M fan stories of a kind called “hurt/comfort” and I can’t help noticing that this trope has turned up in professional books as well. I’ve never been into hurt/comfort anyway, so avoid those ones. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the authors started in fan fiction, as this is quite common - I started in fan fic myself, and know some big names who still write it under pen names! 😂

Timothy S. Brannan said...

Wonder theme this year and congratulations on completing the A to Z challenge.

Tim Brannan, The Other Side

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks, Tim! Congratulations on your finishing the challenge too.

TWW said...

Condolences on the loss of your friend.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks, TWW! I knew her, but that was years ago and we only met briefly. Still, a lot of people will be sad now.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - I'm sorry to read about Valerie ... but at least you had found her and enjoyed her books and had met her.
I've still to read through your A -Zs ... and will do ... the British Museum have something on the Gods at the moment ... and I got a National Geographic entitled 'The Most Influential Figures of Ancient History' - which gives excellent summaries ...
So ... I'm around - rather vaguely ... depending on connectivity, which was off this a.m. - now I want to do other things is on! Such is life ... cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Here 'tis:

Sue Bursztynski said...

Thanks for that, Hilary! I’ll check out that link. I hope you enjoy my A to Z.