What if Book Reviews and Author Interviews Ran Like Football Commentary?

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I was watching some football highlights and player interviews — okay, I wasn’t watching, exactly, I happened to be in the area when a television was playing. See, I don’t exactly follow football, as I tend to be of the opinion that if these guys are getting paid millions of dollars, they can each afford their own ball and they shouldn’t have to fight over one. Continue reading

Announcement: KITSUNE-MOCHI!

Kitsune glowing with fox-fire gather near Edo....
Kitsune glowing with fox-fire gather near Edo. Print by Hiroshige. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is with great hand-clapping joy I tell you that Kitsune-Mochi has a release date.

No, seriously, this is fun for me. I’ve been working on this a long while, and I’m really looking forward to getting to share it. Kitsune-Tsuki was a short mystery, and Kitsune-Mochi is a novel-length adventure in which Tsurugu must protect Kaede and the daimyou‘s household from a rival onmyouji without revealing their own secrets. A misstep will be disastrous.

Oh, and there are tengu, and oni, and kappa, and abduction, and rescue, and foxfire, and deception, and revenge, and bad poetry.

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Pirates! and a free sample

International Talk Like a Pirate DayAarrrgh! It’s offic’ly Talk Like a Pirate Day! And in honor, we’re goin’ t’ look at a burnin’ question: Why d’ our pirates talk like this?

Of course, thar aren’t a lot o’ recorded pirate speeches. Even court records o’ tried and convicted pirates don’t capture t’ dialect o’ t’ accused. What we think o’ as “pirate speak” developed rel’tively recently in modern media.

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Where Do Plot Ideas Come From?

There’s a joke among fiction writers about people who offer, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a book. You write it and then we’ll split the profits.”

There are a few problems with this, but one of the most obvious is that the idea is the easiest bit. It’s the writing that actually takes time. Ideas are everywhere.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a walk and look for plot ideas. How about last week’s Country Living Fair in Columbus, Ohio? Continue reading

Why Does Writing a Book Take So Long?

sticky notes color-coded for organizing plot during revisions
Shard & Shield undergoing color-coded revisions. Spoilers probably available if your monitor is sufficiently awesome.

A friend joked about my copious free time. “I mean, what do you have to do, really? You’re self-employed, so you can totally slack off there. And you’re writing a book, and that can’t be hard. I mean, really, how long can that take?”

He was joking about all of it, of course, which is why he’s still breathing. But he put forth a question which many people do ask less ironically — how long can writing a book take, really? (Seriously, just look at fans complaining about George R. R. Martin or Patrick Rothfuss needing time.)

That’s the wrong question — as NaNoWriMo and the 8-Hour Book Challenge prove, writing a story may not take long at all. But writing a good story does.

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Books By People I Actually Know

I know. I’ve heard your sighs in the dark before the dawn, when you thought no one was listening. I’ve seen your eyes slip over the bookstore windows, your fingers brush the keys as you open a browser to Amazon. It’s okay. You can tell me.

You nod. “I don’t mean to complain, Laura, but…. It’s just that, well, I keep reading all of these amazing household-name authors — people like Patrick Rothfuss and Neil Gaiman and Stephen King and George R. R. Martin and other superstars. And don’t get me wrong, I love superstars, but….” You sigh wistfully. “What I really want is some recommendations for mid-list or less known authors. Ones I can brag on having read early on, you know, before. And — I know it’s too much to dream, but if they could be writers who you actually know, Laura, that would just be perfect.”

Well, grab your hipster glasses, because here are some recommendations for 2013 titles by authors I know, and you’ve probably never heard of them. Yet.

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