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Konrath Challenge Shorts: Reviews

So Joe Konrath did a challenge that I mentioned a while back in a blog post (to write a book, edit it and design its cover in less than 8 hours). I have finally got around to reading the first 5 of those that I picked up and thought I’d review them all together (I grabbed quite a few so there will probably be another review of 5 to come at some point).

This was my first choice in reading and I have to admit it really surprised me. I expected something quite silly, especially from the title (I also expected knitting to be more of the focus). This was a cute, feel good story that had a touch of romance and a quirky main character.

If you read none of the other Konrath challenge shorts, read this one. I really enjoyed it and think others will too. My favourite of the lot but only just. (also included in the kiss anthology, which is free at the moment).


My next one was 31 ways to not be a douchebag. This one had me laughing out loud. Packed full of good advice with a funny, slightly angry focus (these things all seem to have happened to the author and when you read them the anger is perfectly understandable).

At several points I found myself cringing at how anyone can do the things mentioned and I’m sure some of you will too, but it does say these are all true stories. If nothing else, reading this made me very thankful for my friends and gave me a few laughs at the author’s expense.

My third read was Horror Stories of a computer tech and has a similar feel to the previous short, in that it recounts stories of things that have actually happened. I also found myself laughing out loud at a couple of the stories in here. There are several, not quite so smart people out there.

There were also a few that I found were quite grim and I soon felt sorry for our computer tech storyteller. It sounds like every trip to a customers house is a potential for a crazy story. I’d have liked to see more that were funny over the ones that were gross or strange, but that may be a personal preference.


The fourth of my Konrath shorts was probably the most useful of the five (although I can’t eat macaroni or cheese at the moment, unfortunately. In here was an honest mum’s guide to feeding your kids with the quick useful ingredients in your kitchen cupboard, without breaking the bank or taking too long to cook. Many of the ideas were concepts I’d never have thought of, although I couldn’t try any of the recipes to see if they were any good, unfortunately (I definitely wished I could).

I also highly recommend this one for those who want a quick way to spice up their kids food on days when they are exhausted.

And finally, the fifth of the shorts I picked up to read. This one probably has the weakest cover but don’t let that put you off. This was one of my favourites. It’s a story format like the first and good for the younger readers to enjoy.

I especially thought this one was good imagination wise. For such a short space of time to create a book this was by far the most imaginative and the up sise is that if your kid likes this one, then there are several sequels listed in the back.

That’s my reviews folks. It’s hard to list these in any particular order as they are all rather different and all have their seperate uses and reasons to like them. Not disappointed with the Konrath challenge, that’s for sure.

Writing dialogue: How-to

I was going to come up with some simple instructions for how to write dialogue well, but I actually think someone else has already summed it up well on their own blog, so I’m actually just going to link to a post Joe Konrath made here. I don’t agree with everything he says as I think dialects can work if done well but it’s pretty  much spot on and I know my dialogue has improved thanks to reading his blog.

Indie Authors First Book Project

Inspired by Joe Konrath’s blog a week ago where he pledged $500 to the charity First Book if his book made it to the top 100 of Amazon.com’s listing, a group of Authors have all come together to do the same thing. All books involved are being kept track of here and I’m expecting mine to be up there shortly. Yup you heard me right. I’m doing it too with my book With Proud Humility

Now don’t panic that it’s Amazon.com doing it and that leaves all you uk people out of the fun. I’m pledging to pay $500 to the charity regardless of which Amazon it gets to the top 100 in and if it manages it on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk I’ll donate twice the amount.

Here’s the book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Book synopsis:

Marie’s mother died protecting something, but what? Determined to find answers, Marie is prepared to go to any length to locate her mother’s legacy, even to pursue the man responsible for her death. No price is too dear to Marie, who gambles everything on a marriage of convenience to a ship’s captain she knows she can’t trust, but who may be one ally she needs.

This is a historic story of romance and adventure, set on the Caribbean seas of the early 1800′s, a tale of betrayal and sacrifice in pursuit of an unknown goal.


So please go check out the books on the list and even if you don’t buy mine buy one of them.