Have you ever bought a book that everyone said was wonderful? I don’t mean a few of your friends recommended it. I’m talking about the book that is being hailed by all the big review sites and most of the smaller ones, raved about up one side of Facebook and down the other side of Twitter, and has a #5 sales rating on Amazon. Everyone from your local librarian to your favorite author has bought and loved this book, so you fork over your hard-earned cash and buy yourself a copy, only to discover that… you hate it. Suddenly you’re holding a book you can’t even bear to finish, wondering what on earth is wrong with you. So many people shouted their love for this book for all the world to hear, and there you sit, unable to stomach another chapter.
The hardest part is facing everyone who loved […]
Continue reading Everyone Likes It, So Why Don’t I?
Folks, we once again welcome Laura Anne Gilman, author of Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West), a thrilling adventure set in an American West that isn’t quite ours, ruled by the Devil and watched over by Isobel, his Left Hand. It’s a wonderful start to what I expect will be an exceptional series, and I hope all of you have been able to score your own copy by now. Today Laura Anne presents a little chat about bucking trends.
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Back when I first came up with the idea that would become SILVER ON THE ROAD, I sent it to my then-agent, asking “what do you think?”
Her response was that she loved it, thought it was great…but that it didn’t seem very commercial, and I probably should stick with what we knew was working, the urban fantasy. And because my then-agent was savvy […]
Continue reading The Business Side of Bucking Trends
Today we’re delighted to welcome back Laura Anne Gilman, who has just released her newest novel, Silver on the Road (Book 1 of The Devil’s West). I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC, and I promise, all of you are going to want to read it. It’s the story of Isobel, raised by the devil in the territory west of the Mississippi river and deputized to be his Left Hand, she who must be “the quick knife in the darkness, the cold eye and the final word.” Honestly, go buy your copy now. And while you’re waiting for it to arrive (or download), here’s Laura Anne to tell you how it all began.
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The World of The Devil’s West Or, “How being a history major finally became relevant to my actual career.”
The Devil’s West was born in 2010, when, during a class […]
Continue reading The World of The Devil’s West
I love to lift weights with my husband. But doing the same exercises every week becomes dull awfully fast, and the surest way to kill enthusiasm for an exercise routine is to let it get boring. The same truth holds for creative exercise. Sometimes sitting down and putting your hands on the keyboard isn’t quite enough to wake up your muse. Today I’m going to share a few nifty exercises for you to try next time there’s a wall between your brain and the empty page.
Dictionary Open up a dictionary and find a word you’ve never seen before. Read its definition. What does it say to you? Is it frightening? Amusing? Confusing? Good. Now using that thought, try to come up with a short story featuring that word. You don’t need to write the whole story (unless you’re inspired!) Just scribble yourself a few lines.
For extra-credit, see if […]
Continue reading Writing Workout
This month, next week in fact, I was supposed to have new book out. First book in a new series. Big dealio. Mucho excitement. I scheduled this date at several blogs to get the word out. I had PR ramping! Yes, as early as six months ago.
Annnnd it didn’t happen.
Why? Simply put, the book was not ready. BLOOD OF THE EARTH, the first in the Soulwood series, needed a serious—and I mean deeply serious—rewrite. It had bones. It had some good bones. But it wasn’t put together right.
I know, you are singing “The toe bone’s connected to the … ankle bone…” and you hate me right now. But bear with me.
I knew there were problems with the book but I could not see what was wrong. I was too close to it. This is why a writer, even an experienced writer, needs a developmental […]
Continue reading Of Success and Failure – Magical Words
Last night I finished reading a well-reviewed YA novel that had the coolest title ever. (Yeah, sorry, since I’m about to complain, I’m not sharing. You’ll just have to go look at YA titles and make your best guess.) The writing was good, the voice was distinct, the story was interesting and the characters were fleshed-out and individual. And when I got to the end, I wanted to throw the darned thing against the wall. (If you ever feel this way, try not to do it. I did once years ago, and left a substantial dent in the drywall.) The author didn’t finish the story. Now I understand that writing a series means you can’t tie up every loose end, answer every question. But when I’m reading, the last thing I want is to feel that the printer forgot to include another three chapters. There needs to be a conclusion […]
Continue reading Quick Thoughts I Had Over The Weekend