Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 28, 2014

Various reading and writing

It’s difficult when you get to a stage in your next book that you question. You sit chewing over very word and sentence. Are you taking the right approach? Is this really what you want to say and what you want to convey?  Is this an interesting story, really?! I thought I’d be flying through the editing process but no, no such luck. I’m questioning every word I wrote in the first round of my ‘Notes on Anna’, and that has taken years. So there’s quite a bit to go still.

Teabags eCover4Never mind. I’ve managed to do a final edit of another one of my shorts, “The Price of a Teabag”, which is now available on Amazon, Nook and Kobo. It’s a story about a Dutch woman revisiting Rotterdam and Delft after having lived abroad for a long time. Sounds as if you know? Perhaps you’d like it – just go and try (for the price of less than a cup of coffee, or a teabag!)



I’m reading various books but I have felt a bit stuck with rereading Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (now free on Kindle). This is our choice for the next book club meeting but I have decided that, reading it for the second time, I don’t actually like it. A bit of a problem. It’s too old-fashioned almost and also quite shocking in its prejudice and racism – a view of Africa and its people that as become completely unacceptable in its short-sightedness and in its unwillingness or inability to understand different cultures and races.

I’ve also read  ‘Vengeance”, which is written by one of our Indie authors, Shelby J Jacobs, who previouslyVengeance wrote Charlie. I wasn’t too keen on the latter but Vengeance is quite good, the story flows really well. It’s the prequel to Charlie, the Texan girl who takes revenge on the criminal killers of her husband, even if the latter was a bit of a crook himself. The writing is good even if the dialogues may at times sound like a Monty Python exchange, especially between the big bad criminal guy and his underlings, but you cannot help wanting to know whether it’ll turn out ok for Charlie and so you read on. There’s  good writing here and the story is definitely unique with the female outwitting most of the males around her.   Recommended for a bit of beach / holiday reading and my suggestion is that it’s also an excellent story for YAs to read, after all, the criminals are the losers and the good girl wins, deservedly.

Two very good holiday / beach readings are Alex Berenson’s ‘The Faithful Spy’ and Chris Morgan Jones ‘the Jackal’s Share’ (the second one in the Ben Webster Spy Series).

A spy among friendsYes, I’ve clearly succumbed to reading one spy story after another and to top it all I am now reading Ben MacIntyre’s “A spy among friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal”, an absolute must for those who (a) enjoy MacIntyre’s writing (e.g. Agent Zigzag, which btw is on our book group’s list for one of our forthcoming meetings), and (b) are fascinated by the Cambridge spies, the incredible story of the upper middle class Brits who got away with spying for the Soviet Union for years and years on end, during and after the second world war. I just cannot believe their audacity and how they got away with it for so long. Well, I’ve been a sucker for LeCarre’s books for years of course and MacIntyre’s book once more makes you realise that the truth is often more bizarre than fiction.




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