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An Introduction to Author Ivana Hruba OR Utter Obscurity: Abridged
Ivana Hrubá is a lovely, lovely girl and a writer of some "notable" talent, the sum of which will, just for your entertainment, be very modestly noted here. Specializing in writing bold, quirky and outrageously entertaining fiction, Ivana is what we call an undiscovered gem, an exotic island waiting to be explored or, as some people say, a territory best left uncharted.
Ivana devised her first novel at the tender age of twelve when she was but a wee little girl wearing out her brother's hand-me-downs while chasing the geese off the village green in her native Czech Republic which was then under communist rule. Filled with poultry and very long sentences, Ivana's idyllic childhood came to an abrupt end in 1983 when she and her family crossed the Alps on foot to seek a new life free of communists and their blasted queues. After a year spent frolicking in a West German refugee camp, the family finally had a gutful of that sort of adventure, and, in 1984, they settled in Australia where they've been living it up ever since.
Forward twenty years. Following the publication of her debut thriller 'A Decent Ransom' Ivana developed the habit of talking about herself in the third person, a skill that comes in particularly handy when writing biographies. To this end, Ivana has also conquered her fear of appearing ridiculous due to excessive bragging as can be seen in this very intro right here. In the tradition of all gifted folk, working for a living has never appealed to our author; therefore, Ivana has largely given up on the idea, preferring to spend her time writing books.
In the wake of the tremendous success of her debut novel (18 copies sold in North America alone!) published by Kunati in 2008, Ivana has retreated from her adoring public to gain some much needed perspective on her life. These days Ivana can be found traipsing around her garden practicing the ancient art of Feng Shui which, in Ivana's case, consists of pouring manure on her flower beds and cutting shrubbery into interesting geometrical shapes. Yes, a regular Edward Sissorhands, Ivana's letting her creative juices flow in many a new and varied direction. Having successfully faded from public view, Ivana has been able to spread her creative wings and work as a freelance writer completely undetected, dabbling in corporate copywriting, theatre promotion, online blogging and wedding speeches. Finding these ventures a little more financially rewarding than her high-brow literary pursuits, Ivana has decided to seek out more of them so if you, dear reader, find yourself in need of a writer, give her a bell. She'll be delighted to get involved.
At the close of each day, Ivana likes to unwind in front of the computer, googling herself and drawing cartoons for her own amusement. To unwind from that pleasure, she takes her dogs, cats, mice, lice, ponies, chickens and goldfish for a walk down the beach. It's a good life for everyone involved and, for the most part, Ivana has enjoyed herself tremendously in it. However, certain unfortunate events, namely the untimely demise of her publisher Kunati Inc. in late 2009, left Ivana feeling rather flat; feeling like she had lost the key to the executive washroom. Yes, the Key to the Executive Washroom! Some of you who are fellow Published Authors will understand completely the scope of her devastation, for obtaining the Key to the Executive Washroom is the Mecca for all writers. It comes as no surprise then that having once obtained it, Ivana had every intention of holding onto it.
Not a day went by without Ivana mentioning to all and sundry that she was a Published Author with a Two Book Deal and that Sales of 'A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right' were Trending Upwards. On the days when Fan Mail arrived, there was no stopping her; armed with her trusty wine funnel, she trumpeted the news far and wide, catching unsuspecting passers-by at the bus stop, at the bakery, and on the school run. Yes, people, those were giddy times.
Ah well, all good things must come to an end. Her publisher's exit from the market economy did, for a moment or two, dampen Ivana's spirits but she eventually got over it and for a while was determined to get herself another key to the executive loo. She was foolishly hoping for a bigger, more established and dare we say more financially stable executive loo to offer her a key. So she fired off queries left, front and center, offering her wares. Perplexingly, nothing happened! Ivana realized that she was wasting her time. The door to the executive loo was firmly shut and staying that way. But! Every cloud has a silver lining! Ivana did get some lovely rejections during this process; beautiful, powerful sentiments wishing her luck elsewhere. Overcome with gratitude, Ivana has pasted them up into a keepsake album and is thinking of publishing them herself. (Stay tuned).
Ivana has recently split the atom (again) when she discovered ebook publishing on the net and proceeded to convert her entire body of work into ebooks in hopes of a tremendous public response. (Hint, hint, this is where you, the public, come in).
Meanwhile, if you find yourself with a spare 5, 6 hours and can't get hold of a Bollywood movie, why don't you just download Ivana's books, hey? It will only take a minute and you'll be glued (she writes good, you know). You will make her very happy. Cheers, Yours Truly
P. S. After agonizing, protracted reflection, Ivana has decided not to give her books away for free. You see, dear reader, it takes a lot of time, effort and hard work to write a novel, and there's really no good reason why this should be devalued. All Ivana's 'freebies' are either standalone short stories promoting a collection, or they are excerpts from her novels.
P.P.S. Should you decide to download Ivana's stories, your reviews posted online would be much appreciated. But please don't gripe about the books not having a conclusion; the point here is to convince you to buy the rest of the story, not to give the whole thing away. Other than that, say what you will. Hugs and kisses, Ivana
P.P.P.S. Ivana's a Goodreads author (Who isn't, hey?) and also has a blog where she gripes about the "advantages" of self-publishing and other similarly riveting stuff. Drop by, you'll be welcome. Love ya' all, cheers, I.
on March 11, 2011 :
This is a delight tale of a young girl coming of age in Czechoslovakia, before the fall of the Berlin Wall. As told by Franta, the little voice in her head, the story comprises Vendula, her communist-minded mother, her more slightly more free-thinking father, her quirky grandparents, and a group of stalwart friends.
As the story develops, we are amused with a boy’s crush on Vendula, enchanted with her first kiss (though not with said boy), and heartsick when her crush on a fellow band-member turns out to be unreciprocated. We are proud of her for getting on stage and singing with the band despite her tremendous case of nerves and we laugh heartily at the story of how GUN, a famous department store in Moscow, sells shoes by tossing them into the crowd and then accepting payment from anyone who happens to catch a pair (correct size or not). And we even shed a tear or two at the bittersweet ending.
This is a wonderful account of growing up in Czechoslovakia in the early 1980’s and I look forward to reading Parts 2 and 3.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on March 01, 2011 :
A quick entertaining and enjoyable book. The story is about the life of Vendula, a teenager growing up in Communist Czechoslovakia, and her family and friends. The book describes life in the Soviet Union, everything from surveillance to shortages. Through the course of the book Vendula deals with issues that all teens face including getting her heart broken and her first kiss. The illustrations were fun, and added to the humour of the book. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading part 2.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)