Fifty Shade of Grey – Writing vs Storytelling

There has been a lot of hype over Fifty Shades of Grey the novel by EL James. I have to admin I’m only 1/3 of the way through it but I’m captivated by the premise and the controversy surrounding the novel. For this, I take my hat off to EL James.


Nothing sells a book faster than to have people talk about it.


There is a very definite demographic for this novel. There is no denying that certain types of people will enjoy it more than others yet, everyone seems to be reading it to see what all the fuss is about.


I definitely fall into the target demographic. The characters have captured my interest. The build up of sexual tension was so well done, I was ready for a cigarette by the time they actually kissed (and I don’t smoke). She is a very good storyteller. She knows her audience and was able to titillate them to the tune of several million dollars.


But, she let her fellow writers and the industry down with sloppy writing.


I won’t criticize too much because she is in very good company with the likes of Stephenie Meyer and Dan Brown. Sure, they’re all making oodles of money but I have to wonder at their lack of pride in their actual writing… and I’m completely shocked at the lack of editing at the publishing level.


We’re a small company and we polish manuscripts tirelessly to showcase our authors in the best possible light. To have one of our authors held up as a bad example of ‘how not to write’ (like both Stephenie and Dan) would be devastating to us, so I have to wonder at the lack of care from the larger publishing houses which I would assume would have much bigger editing budgets.


Even with my editing hat off, nothing takes me out of a story faster than bad writing. Simple things like sliding point of view, bad descriptions, awkward phrasing and incorrect facts make me stop and shake my head. EL’s story was able to drag me back in, but many others have not.


So my advice to writers hoping to get published is:


Don’t take the chance – write well, don’t just story-tell well.



Thoughts? Comments?



Update on behind the scenes PBB

Lots of things happening in the background at PaperBox Books.


We’re receiving more submissions than ever as our reputation grows. Our beta-readers are loving their job right now. A huge thank you to the authors who send their work to us. We know the hard work you put into each manuscript, polishing them til they shine. We hope that you find our comments helpful, even if you don’t find a place here at PaperBox Books.
If you haven’t seen our latest offerings, check out our e-books for sales page.


Forged with Blood, the exciting 2nd installment from Maurice Lawless. Nelson Kirsh is back again only this time the Demons hire him to find an ancient artifact. Not that he can really refuse with the life of his wife and unborn child at risk. Picking up where Found in Blood left off, Nelson and his friends battle the demons they know… and don’t know.


Choices, A Selection of Short Stories is a delightful collection of humorously witty and touching stories from the Scottish Highlands. David O’Neil takes us on a roller-coaster of murder, mayhem, romance and under-kilt-smuggling that will leave you laughing or wiping a tear from your eye.

Breaking the Bonds – new book by P A Wilson

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for us at PaperBox books, we are publishing another new book this month. This one is from P A Wilson, the author of Closing the Circle and Off Track .


The new book is about three young people who have to grow up fast and save their world from the aliens who took over twenty five years ago.


Check out Breaking the Bonds at PaperBox Books.


The Meta took over Free Faith 25 years ago. The humans hadn’t stood a chance against them then…

Serena worked the crowds, juggled and told fortunes almost as good as any Romany. Michal like his life as he roamed from town to town, earning money for food and shelter by entertaining the crowds with Serena, his protégé. Life was fun.

Then, Oisin showed up while traveling after his final term as school. It had been a year since Serena left him at their betrothal ceremony.

One brutal act too many by the Meta had Serena, Michal and Oisin deciding that the humans have had enough.

Coming soon – Found in Blood

'Found in Blood' Book Cover We have been working hard with a new author to PaperBox Books. And now, we’re almost there, so it’s time to let the world know.


Maurice Lawless is the new guy on the block and Horror is his game. Found in Blood is the story of a man who is haunted by his mistakes and driven to save the world from Hell’s demons.


As horror, there’s lots of gore and gross, you won’t be disappointed. Maurice also brings in humor and a sense of hope to strike a balance (and maybe let you sleep at night).


Here’s a sneek-peak.


Exorcism is a nasty business. After your first couple of jobs you generally tend to get desensitized to certain kinds of things. Blood no longer fazes you, nor does seeing a grown man get tossed through a plate glass window by a toddler. What I saw in front of me sent a long-forgotten chill down my back. I witnessed a demon trying to claw its way into our world through a poor girl’s throat.


At first I wasn’t sure what I was seeing. Imagine for a moment the idea of someone’s hand pressing against a piece of plastic drop-cloth. Now imagine that drop-cloth is skin. Five circular bumps pushed out of her, and within seconds they had grown longer and narrowed.  I had the space of a few breaths to take action before the thing’s claws tore through. 


Picture that, and you might understand what I had to do next.


Found in Blood will be available at the end of July, 2011 from for your Kindle and Smashwords for all e-readers.


Watch for it!

Hiding in Plain Sight – ready for sale is proud to announce their newest title:


Hiding in Plain Sight by Sue Nelson Buckley


book cover for Hiding in Plain SightSet in her hometown, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Sue explores what would happen if the new neighbours turned out to be from another planet.


Hilary is excited when a new family moves in next door, especially since her new neighbours have a gorgeous son. But even his good looks and classic car can’t distract her from the strange things she starts to see.


Ben and his family are from the planet Myonus. They barely escaped when the Hurliingen began their take-over of their planet’s government. But, even on Earth, they aren’t safe. Ben and his kid sister, Alex, have something that the Hurliingen need to squash the rebellion and complete their conquest of the planet.


The Hurliingen are coming to take Ben and Alex away, can Hilary help stop them?



About Sue: Sue has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. She loves going back to the scribblers from her creative writing classes in grade five, that’s when she really caught the writing bug. She hopes they never find a cure.

Coming Soon – Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding In Plain Sight PaperBox Books is proud to announce the newest addition to its catalogue.


Hilary is shocked to find out that, Ben, the gorgeous guy next door, and incidentally her new boyfriend, is a refugee from Myonus. He and his family are hiding from the Hurliingen, a species of space pirates, who are determined to kidnap Ben and his sister.


Can she help to keep them safe or will everything be lost when she comes face to face with the Hurliingen.


“Hiding in Plain Sight” will be available for sale through Smashwords and Amazon mid-March and also through Sony, Barnes & Noble and Chapters/Indigo by mid-April.

Writing Resolutions

A short post here because I’m working on my own writing resolution (okay, maybe not a resolution more a goal)


Are you wondering what to do for a new year resolution when it comes to writing? Try some of these.


1 I will revise my work – first drafts are exciting but not ready for publication


2 I will try something new – breaking out of a habit can help boost creativity


3 When I submit to a publisher, I will read and follow the submission guidelines – it makes you seem more professional when you take the time to present your work properly.


That’s all. I posted my writing goals on my blog at P.A. Wilson feel free to borrow any that may work for you.


Happy New Year and Happy Writing.



Happy Holidays

Tis the season to sit back and take stock of the year before. This has been a very good year for PaperBox Books and for that we are very grateful.


We have read some amazing books (have I mentioned I love my job?), met some wonderful authors (seriously you guys ROCK!), and learned a lot ourselves (when you stop learning you stop living).


Thank you all for being part of our year and we both sincerely hope you stick around and join us for the next few (we have lots of cool stuff still up our sleeves).


Oh yeah, I almost forgot…


for Canadian authors, editors and other publishing industry folks:


There is a “Who is Who is Canadian Writing Directory” a printed publication published annually by BookLand Press and managed by Trade Architects Canada. It’s the first publication of its kind in Canada, the directory provides accurate and comprehensive data of Canadian writing professionals including writers, editors, journalists, screenwriters, technical writers, literary agents, illustrators, and freelancers.


Don’t get left out! Here is how to get yourself listed in the Who is Who Canadian Writing Directory.


May your Holiday Season be filled with peace, happiness and at least one good book.




New Titles at PaperBox Books

and…. they’re up! Go check them out!




Okay, so I know it’s not very professional to do a dance of joy in public, but you KNOW that’s what we’re doing behind the scenes.

Meet Our New Authors

Our new books are up and ready for sale. We’re very excited. We have some wonderful new authors working with us and more to come in February 2011.

Jessica Dall Jessica Dall, hailing from the Eastern United States, Jessica loves to explore the blurred lines between good and evil.
Carolyn Maine Carolyn Maine writes from the heart about the perils of big families and the impossible decisions you face when you’re not quite an adult.
and the sinister side of our own Perry Wilson a.k.a. P.A. Wilson

Mystery lurks in her mind. She makes it impossible to put her book down until the last page is turned.

PaperBox Books will be launching another set of books in February. If you have an edited and polished novel check out our guidelines and submit it to us. Even if we aren’t able to accept your work, we will review and give you advice on key points to improve your writing.

Psst – even though the official launch isn’t until tomorrow, all of our new titles are already available through and will be up on by the end of today!