Happy 50th to Roald Dahl’s Charlie

R. Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryRoald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (publ. 1964) is turning 50 this year. I read this book over and over when I was a young girl, along with the sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. I was going to say that was in the days before Willy Wonka took center stage for the movie titles, but really, Gene Wilder’s rendition of this larger-than-life character in the 1971 movie was contemporaneous to my reading the book. They are utterly intertwined. I think I liked them equally well, and felt that the movie was further illustrating the book in my mind at night as I read. Naturally, I still have my dog-eared, ratty copy.

I also still have my copy of James and the Giant Peach, which I think I liked even better. To me, it was the best escape-adventure ever and is even older (publ. 1961).

R. Dahl's James and the Giant PeachI was pleased to see a tribute to Mr. Dahl’s wonderful tale of Charlie on author Nathan Bransford’s blog. Nathan is spot on that for a child, the “sinister underpinning” of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory made it, along with the Giant Peach story, positively irresistible. And I would add the indelible melancholy was another draw. These books were fanciful but didn’t talk down to children; they didn’t offer a false world without sorrow or fear.

No matter how many times, I read these two books, I dreaded Charlie’s birthday scene when he opens that one chocolate bar and doesn’t find the golden ticket, and I urged him to get out of the sweet shop and run home after he did find a ticket; of course, I feared the scary spy who intercepts him, but oddly enough I wasn’t bothered by any of the things that happened to the other children once inside the factory. In the Giant Peach, Spiker and Sponge were, to me, both absolutely terrifying. And what about the heart-wrenching moment when the magic all disappeared back into the earth and James seemed doom to stay with his terrible aunties forever?

It’s all coming back to me. And no matter how many times I read those tales, I still felt every emotion of sadness, fear, and joy right along with the characters.

Mr. Dahl was truly one of the greatest storytellers of all time, and not only for children. To his spirit, I say thank you from the little girl who went to bed with his books next to my pillow.

What about you? Any magical childhood stories that still feel your head with their characters or vivid images?

An Intriguing Proposition – Latest Release & Other News

Latest News:

1) I’m no longer published by Cat Whisker Press.

2) My new publisher is called ePublishing Works!

3) They re-covered all my books. Here are the before-and-after digital covers:

An Improper Situation digital version cover An Improper Situation by Sydney Jane Baily

 

web-cover_small An Irresistible Temptation by Sydney Jane Baily

 

inescapable attraction An Inescapable Attraction by Sydney Jane Baily

The new covers are brighter and the titles are definitely easier to read.

4) EPW has just released my latest book, a novella (25,000 words), called An Intriguing Proposition. It’s the prequel to the Defiant Heart Series as these books are now called:

An Intriguing Proposition by Sydney Jane BailySynopsis:

Following her father’s untimely death, eldest daughter Elise Malloy discovers that the family home is collateral for a mysterious loan. With no record of payments made from her father’s accounts, whoever was paying the bank has now stopped, and foreclosure is imminent.

Desperate to keep the news from her grieving, funds-starved family, Elise answers the bank summons and faces Michael Bradley, an old flame who still owns her heart. When Michael extends an unseemly dinner invitation, Elise invents a nameless suitor as an excuse. Now, to save face, she must produce him.

Jonathan Amory, Esquire, seems the perfect choice, until her long-desired relationship with Michael unexpectedly catches fire, and Jonathan makes it clear he will stop at nothing to destroy her family and lock her into a loveless marriage.

An Intriguing Proposition is available at Amazon.com and other fine ebook retailers.

REVIEW:
“…a glittering tale of star-crossed lovers, threatened by a web of lies… a great new book in a new series.”
~Adrienne deWolfe, Bestselling Author

That’s all the news for now.

 

Maybe Facebook Ads Aren’t Fraudulent

In all fairness, here’s the view from the other side regarding my last post indicting FB ads. Jon Loomer, in Facebook Fraud Response: Are Facebook Ads a Waste of Money?, says that it’s all in how you target your ads.

His site is for “Advanced Facebook Marketers,” and to read his view on the Veritasium experiment cited in my last post as well as how to make Facebook ads work, click here.

I would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think he’s correct and FB has improved since 2012 or whether you still think that FB ads are a waste of money.

Facebook Fraud: Beware of FB Ads

As with many writers, I’ve toyed with the idea of using Facebook ads in order to reach more readers. I’m sure businesses of any ilk have the same thought. Well, it’s past time to rethink.

Here is a video from the owner of a YouTube science channel called Veritasium. This likeable, watchable man did an experiment or two to see if Likes on FB actually cause your posts to reach more people. He dealt with Like farms (people paid to click Like) and legitimate FB ads that should have brought real Likes. They didn’t.

And worse, as his FB Likes grew, since the percentage of people who were showed his posts by the FB gods stayed the same, his posts were reaching more fake-Like people and less of his engaged, interested followers.

Definitely worth watching this one: