Evelyn Chartres Author

One Star Review for the Grand

I noticed a new review on Amazon.com related to my latest release the Grand. The review one star and hints that it should have been lower. While they review is entitled to their opinion, I wonder why they would read a collection of short stories and expect a coherent story line?

i have given very few 1* ratings. however, this book really earned it. i slogged through a disjointed, unorganized, 100 year old slang ridden non-story. it moved all over: in time, in place, in characters, etc, etc. where was the story? who was it about: the hotel? max? 'the boss'? who? at times it felt like it was set in england. at others it was in the united states. if you like haunted house\hotel stories read 'the shining' or 'the legend of hell house'. do not waste your time on this.

The Amazon.com book description specifically mentions that the Grand is a series of short stories. It also mentions how the century old language and culture is used to give authenticity. So why am I being penalized for providing a product as advertised?

The Grand is not your ordinary hotel, nor are the clientele. Welcome to the twilight zone..

The above quote is also from Amazon.com and saw how the Grand was similar to the Twilight Zone, Goosebumps, and Tales From the Crypt. The core difference is that my story is centered on a Roaring Twenties grand hotel, so I often compare it as Hotel Transylvania meets Tales From the Crypt.

So how do I prevent this type of misunderstanding? Is there a way to make it obvious that the reader should not expect a coherent story line and main cast of characters?

The Van Helsing Paradox – Revision 3

Given my schedule for the next couple of months, I decided forgo my normal pause. Putting my revisions on hold would have me revising the Van Helsing Paradox during a business trip and that would have been fairly disruptive.

Revision 3 is now complete and I ended up with about 500 less revisions. There was an increase of 350 words despite the there being a net loss for most chapters. Two additional scenes were added to describe Clara physically, which led to a net increase. Revisions are getting smaller in scope and I rarely need to rewrite a few sentences are rewritten.

So what does this tell me? That I am on track. While this revision is far from perfect, my metrics are improving and I plan to restart the process end February.

Art Embodied

There few opportunities to go out and explore during this last trip. Sometimes the opportunity simply eluded me or other priorities were given precedence. To put it mildly, this had been a long and grueling trip and work hours regularly extend beyond sixteen hours. Hence given an opportunity to sleep, I embraced it wholeheartedly.

I did visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I had been there before but remembered little of it, so this time I made sure to bring my camera. I often prescribe to the shotgun approach to photography, as in take a lot of pictures and sort them out later. This has worked well for me in the past, since a random shot of a painting inspired the cover for The Portrait.

The embodiment of art

The shot above was one of the gems found in my archive of pictures from that day. In the corner surrounded by two paintings there was a patron enjoying the exhibits just as I was.  However, her clothes and pose seemed to fit in perfectly with her surroundings.

In a way she seemed to be the embodiment of art. True? False? Who cares! I only hope this shot can inspire others as did for me.

A Drive Around Saint John’s

I have been to Saint Jonh’s, Newfoundland several times in the last decade.  While sites like Signal Hill are iconic, I had seen them before and wanted to venture out beyond the periphery of the city. So, I rented a car and ventured out in areas that would be harder to reach on foot when time is limited.

I took a series of shots that I feel provide a certain amount of inspiration. Since it’s currently Iceberg season, I also took a shot of a few notable specimens that I came across.  For those curious, yes there is still snow and it’s nearly May!

Inspiration in Panoramas

It always surprises me how much detail the human eye can capture.  I look at a scene, seeing an object in the distance with something in the foreground and pull out my camera.  Looking through the viewfinder, I play between the various zoom settings only to find that I cannot replicate what I see.

Typically the frame is too tight, or I cannot seem to get just the right perspective.  Fortunately, a couple of years back I discovered a handy program called AutoStich.  I take a series of burst shots of a location and have AutoStich make it into a whole image. It can take a while, especially when you are dealing with hundreds of shots but it can really generate beautiful images.

This time around, I had an opportunity to try it out near Saint Jonh’s, Newfoundland. Here are the shots and I hope they serve well for inspiration!

None of these images were modified, hence why there are missing sectors. Still I think they are lovely.