I made a challenge this year to read a book a week and by the skin of my teeth, I made it (although at the time of writing this I still had a couple more to go) so there’s the optimistic me hoping I squeeze the last two in, other wise this is going to be super awkward!
Anyhoozle, of my 52 books, I wanted a quarter to be indie published, and a quarter to be non-fiction, because 1. supporting other authors, and 2. I’m a knowledge whore.
I’ve been surprised and delighted by looking back at my reading list, some of the stats have shocked me. Continue reading →
I re-wrote Keepers three times… from scratch. I won’t be doing that again. It breached all acceptable tolerance levels of inefficiency. So much so, I developed a permanent twitch, and I’m pretty sure I herniated the moment I realized I had to start again… for the third time.
Part of the problem was the world building. See, writing in most genres, you use the real world as the world your story is set in. But as a fantasy/sci-fi writer, your world could be populated by angry hooman eating marshmallows. The sky could be on the ground and the ground in the sky. Suffice to say we get to push our sleeves up and play book-god. But playing book-god is hard. There’s a lot of shit to create.
You can’t just pluck a sword made of magical fish fins, that’s about to reign down a plague and cause world ending genocide, out of thin air. There’s got to be a reason, context, and history. Why? Because it has to mean something to the reader. I mean psssht, magical fish fins indeed. How do they even work?
The problem is, unless your George R.R or Tolkien, you only have three hundred or so pages to convey your entire world and all its constructs. Not an easy task.
So how in the glistering fudgemuggins do you do it?
Well, dear reader, I’m glad you asked. Here are my 4 top tips for building a fantasy world. Continue reading →
This has been possibly, the longest coming post I’ve ever written. For months now, I’ve sat on this cover. Desperate to share it but unable to because the publishing light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t in sight.
But today, all that changes because I am tentatively announcing a launch window of November 16-18th 2017. *Gulp, chews nail, sweats a lil’ bit*
There’s a significant amount of work to be done, not least of which is continuing to dictate the sequel book so its launch isn’t too far behind Keepers. Continue reading →
Today I’m delighted to host Suzanne Rogerson, Suzanne and I met through this blog and we’ve shared many a tweet and comment since. Today Suzanne launches the first book in a series called The Lost Sentinel: Silent Sea Chronicles. To celebrate, she’s here talking us through 12 key questions we should ask ourselves before launching into a book series. Continue reading →
I’m a genre whore. 70% of what I read is Young Adult fantasy or dystopian fiction. I’d make it 100% but I actually want to read my friends books and occasionally I like dipping my toes in other stuff like (thrillers, crime, literary fiction) and then there’s non-fiction business, marketing and mindset books and of course, my other love, conspiracies.
But the point is, I’m a big slutty slut slut when it comes to YA fantasy/dystopian. I gobble it up like a starving orphan. Why?
Because I love that shit. I love it so much I’d motorboat them books all night long and carry a caffeine drip to work because I stayed up so late reading (happens a LOT).
But, having read a lot of books in the same genre I can confidently say, they are ALL the same story. No really, they are. But its the familiarity that drags me back.
And it’s the familiarity that drags other readers back too. We actually want to be told the same story, over and over and over. It’s just that we want to be told it in a different way, so it doesn’t feel like the same story.
That’s where tropes come in. Tropes give your readers the familiarity they crave, which is why they are so important to you if you’re a genre writer. Continue reading →
I confess… Instead of reading the half dozen books I already have on the go, I accidentally (ok, on purpose) opened a guilty pleasure novel. And no, that’s not a sexual reference, you filth-bag, I meant my fave genre – YA fantasy).
Because it’s my genre I took the opportunity to research. I never read a book without taking a lesson from it.
This time I learnt all about the character arc and one awesome method for achieving the perfect curve! The book I read: Frostbite by Richelle Mead (part of the Vampire Academy series), used an awesome technique in which to perfect that arc – Lies. Continue reading →
I was always more of a star trek than a star wars fan. Specifically, Next Generation, with ol’ Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He was ‘da man’ according to my dad. To which, of course, I immediately wanted to rebel against any such assertion, so I insisted on calling him Captain Plackard for the better part of half a decade.
In both those franchises, there are more creatures and ugly aliens than puss filled spots at a 15th birthday bash.
But what of ‘real’ aliens? And what if you wanted to add a pinch of reality to your science fiction? Continue reading →