Monday, 2 December 2013

Busy as a Bee/Book Stuff by Dec 2

Oh cherubs. I was so busy last week, and I am so busy today. Bzz bzz. I hope you don't mind if I just give you a lot of links to the latest reviews and interviews for Ceremony of Innocence, with my remarks.

But first I will share this hilarious comment from "Sexy Sadie" in Norway: "Why should single women need your help? There are no more boring and unsexy person than a married woman."

Well, I suppose her English is better than my Norwegian, but do you think she knows that the Beatles's song "Sexy Sadie" is about John Lennon's disillusionment with his dodgy guru? "Sexy Sadie" is the Maharishi. "Sexy Sadie", indeed.

Meanwhile, there are many exciting and sexy married women, and I would be one myself were I not afraid of tempting the men of four nations to adulterous thoughts. Although occasionally labelled a feminist, I love men so much that for their sake and in the hope of their ultimate salvation, I have chosen to be as boring and unsexy as I possibly can be. The video below will doubtless provide evidence of this self-sacrificing, spiritually maternal love. Sadly, thought, my attempts at uglification are not always enough. Have I mentioned the young Bangladeshi chef who tried to chat me up on the bus...?

Okay, so first here is a splendid review by Jennifer in Melbourne, Australia's Kairos magazine. Thank you very much, Jennifer. It was a timely reminder that I ought to write about weighty subjects more often and not just rabbit on about how men are the caffeine in the cappuccino of life.

And here is Anamaria's review in Oklahoma City's Sooner Catholic, in case you missed it. Anamaria is not related to the Anna Maria in Ceremony of Innocence.

Here is the latest on Amazon, which contains my first (public) squashed tomato. I was wondering when I would get a squashed tomato, and what sort of squashed tomato it would be. It was a "this isn't Catholic enough" squashed tomato. And my disappointed reviewer still gave me 3 stars, so I can't complain.

Now, here is the Toronto Catholic Register interview, which I am afraid to read because my interviewer gave me my first break at the CR and our mutual Church politics are so different when I am at home we shout at each other about Vatican II while others stand outside his office door and giggle. Okay, that happened only once. But look how he referenced Colm Toibin. Oh, oh, oh. David Lodge, okay, but Colm Toibin is... Blah. Incidentally, I am not wearing make-up in that photograph.

And below is a snippet of the live video of the interview, which was conducted over the internet. I was wearing more make-up than Tammy Faye Baker so that my face was not entirely washed out by the many lamps I set around myself so that Michael could actually see me. Oh dear, it's terribly embarrassing, and my hair looks white, but don't forget that although I am trying to sell a book, I am trying to be boring and unsexy, too, so as not to tempt the men of the world. Incidentally, Polish readers will note my momentary confusion of Poland with all of Europe, which B.A. says is the only mistake I made. Naturally I cannot stand to watch this video myself.

Oh, crikey! I have a radio interview at 5 PM today, and I just remembered!

Update: And here's a mention from Sarah. Thank you, Sarah!


Woodbine said...

You kind of have a Margaret Atwood glow - which is not a bad thing at all. Yes, definitely the Atwood aura, without the Atwood monotone. That has to be a success.

Seraphic said...

Are you sure I don't have the Atwood monotone? I think I sound a lot like Atwood, but on the other hand, I live in the UK, and the only Canadian voice I hear on a daily basis is my own!

Jackie said...

Seraphic, congrats on all the press-- that's fantastic! I will try to leave an Amazon review by Christmas.

(BTW, I asked our library system to order the book-- maybe that might be something other readers of the blog could do, if they felt like it? It's nice because libraries will do it for free and the form takes about 2 seconds.)

I thought your video was great, too! I wonder, have you experimented with lighting placement? It looks (to me) that you are being lit on your LH side, instead of directly above. I actually have a little lamp shining above me, directly on me, for video stuff.

Also, it looks like your webcam is filming you from below? Have you experimented with being filmed from above? It can create a more "heart shaped" effect for your face. And things like your eye makeup can "pop" more that way.

Lastly, this may sound weird, but do you know if your lipstick has undertones? Like one of my retro-red lipsticks shows up as orange undertones and looks quite tomato-y on camera. Another one of mine has a rather unfortunate blue undertone that the camera will catch. I went to the MAC counter and asked for help with camera-ready makeup and did a tutorial with me for fun. It looked rather strange IRL-- totally different on camera!

Woodbine said...

You definitely don't sound like Atwood, apart from having the same accent (more or less). Your voice is much higher and has a lot of inflection. She sounds like Eyore the donkey.

Seraphic said...

Well, you are right. I couldn't get much light directly over my head; it's just the way our lamps and lighting are. Boo.

Well, I'm glad I don't sound as flat as the great M.A. Sometimes I wonder how B.A., who has a lovely accent, feels about hearing my Canadian voice all the time, but he doesn't seem to mind.

Julia said...

About accents, does anyone back in Canada tell you that your accent has changed (if it has)? My mother, an Australian, did her postgraduate study in the US and came back with an American accent (to my dad's Australian ears, anyway).

You've mentioned that you had to make sure that Catriona had appropriate 'Scottishisms' in her speech. I read the book, and I don't remember thinking that I didn't understand any slang or whatever, so what is it that you mean? Maybe I'll have to read the book again!

Seraphic said...

It's my secret plot to make you read the book again! Muha ha ha!

Actually, it's things like "boot" for "car trunk" and "pavement" for "sidewalk" (and I have found a sneaky sidewalk which will have to be corrected for any subsequent English-language editions!)

Some of the insults are a lot more insulting in the UK than in America. For example, if someone called someone a cow in Canada, she'd be confused. However, if someone called a woman in the UK or Ireland a cow, she'd be really mad.

Julia said...

Ah, well that explains it. In Australia we say 'boot' instead of 'trunk' and 'pavement/footpath' instead of 'sidewalk', so I guess that's why the vocab didn't strike me as odd. And yes, Australians use the word 'cow' as an insult too (women will say about each other, 'She's a bl**dy stupid cow').

Tanny said...

Hahaha! Woodbine, your comment made me laugh! The Atwood monotone is one of those things that permanently etches itself in one's memory.

Skype/any kind of webcam must be one of the most difficult ways to be interviewed, ever, and I thought you did a lovely job!

Magdalena said...

I finally managed to read your book, and I liked it very well! I think you really captured quite well how Germans think and act. You were in Germany only for a few months, right? You seem to have caught a lot of the essential information about us in that short time! And it does one’s soul good to be liked by people from other countries. ;-)
Of course there are a few things which make us shift uneasily on our armchairs when we read them… For example when it is too dangerous for Catriona to drive by car through Eastern Germany because of the Neo-Nazis. That certainly does not reflect reality, although there are more problems with Neo-Nazis in Eastern Germany than in the rest of the country. I should have liked at least one sentence like “Neo-Nazi riots had increased dramatically during the last months, so that now it was too dangerous to drive through Eastern Germany”, so that readers realize that in reality the situation is different.
And, well, there really are quite a few grammar and spelling mistakes…

Apart from that, it was an exciting story, and I hope I will manage to write a nice Amazon review some time soon.

Julia said...

Seraphic, you look good without makeup on too.

Seraphic said...

Magdalena, could you send me an email? I'd like to correct those mistakes for any subsequent edition. (You mean in the German, right?)

The anti-Ossi stuff mostly reflects Dennis's Wessi paranoia, and not just that of Dennis! The "neo-Nazi village" is made up, although any incidence of neo-Nazism in Germany is most definitely reported in English-speaking countries.

I spent a lot of time with German graduate students in Boston, and my parents are both German-speakers, so it wasn't just the few months in Germany!

Cordi said...

Seraphic, I hope you won't mind my saying that I love your sans makeup shot--you look so cute and fresh and friendly!

Seraphic said...

No, I don't mind! That's what B.A. says. H(e prefers me not to wear make-up, but then of course he found my Local Katie Price Wannabe costume, complete with fake tan, very attractive. Men are so inconsistent, really.)