Books I'm Reading

This past week was a little like Christmas. My Barnes & Noble order hit the door along with a very nice surprise from a fan who only wants to be known as Sean McGivney. Three novels and COFFEE (Yo te amo, Columbia). My most heartfelt thanks to Sean. The coffee has been amazing and the books look to be just as delicious.

But first, a picture of the elusive Mr. Macavity ...

Read More

The Neverland's Library Anthology (#SFWApro)

A very short note to let you know that the Neverland's Library Fantasy Anthology is now available from Ragnarok Publications. I have a short story in this anthology, which is more of a traditional fantasy story, one that I enjoyed writing. "Love, Crystal and Stone" was written for my friend Mazarkis Williams, who wanted to know more about the dragon in my short story "Naked the Night Sings." Here's your dragon, my friend.

Fantasy Book Critic published an exclusive excerpt from my story back in October of last year if you want a peek.

There are a lot of great stories in this collection. Tad Williams wrote a beautiful introduction, and I'm looking forward to reading all of the stories this week.

From the blurb:

Dragons, magic, princesses of mighty kingdoms ... elements of fantasy that have carried on throughout the many ages, and yet, may one day be forgotten. Enter and delve into the roots of fantasy, rediscovering the fantastic, and exploring lost worlds. Neverland's Library is storytelling at its finest. This collection of original works will take readers back to that moment when they first fell in love with the genre.

Featuring an introduction by Tad Williams and stories from writers across the spectrum such as Mark Lawrence, Marie Brennan, R.S. Belcher, Miles Cameron, Teresa Frohock, Don Webb, Joseph R. Lallo, J.M. Martin, Brian Staveley, Tim Marquitz, Jeffrey J. Mariotte & Marsheila Rockwell, Kenny Soward, Betsy Dornbusch, Stephen McQuiggan, Keith Gouveia, Jeff Salyards, William Meikle, Ian Creasey, Mercedes M. Yardley, Peter Rawlik.

This is a collection worthy of one's library.

feeding the imagination (#SFWApro)

During 2013, I didn't have a lot of time to read due to writing and all the other things that I talked about in my year end wrap-up. I intend to rectify that in 2014. In addition to my annual business plan, I've decided to develop a definitive reading plan as well. Nonfiction is always a given for me due to the necessity for research; however, I think that having a good plan for reading fiction is just as vital.

More than once, I have arrived at plot or characterization solutions by allowing my imagination to free-roam through another's work, whether it be a short-story, a novel, or a movie. The experience is very difficult to explain, but often a word or a phrase will trigger the solution to an entirely different problem that I am having with my work. Fiction excites the imagination, and the old adage about drawing from an empty well is entirely apropos in any artistic endeavor.

Therefore, I will feed my imagination more this year. I've crafted a partial plan for 2014:

Colder Greyer Stones by Tanith Lee. I have long been a fan of Tanith Lee's works, especially her short stories. I am already halfway through this collection and I am savoring it to make it last. Lee's prose is haunting and lyrical and her imagery remains in my mind long after I've put her stories down.

Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman. I'm in the dead middle of this novel now and I will finish it during the first part of the year. If you love knights, angelology, and horror, you are in for a major treat.

Tainted City by Courtney Schafer. I always try to keep up with my friends and their works, not just out of the feeling of mutual support, but also because I always find something to enjoy in their novels. Courtney has created two very memorable characters with Dev and Kiran, and she knows how to write an adventure novel. I absolutely loved The Whitefire Crossing, and I am really looking forward to digging into the sequel.

A Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman. This book has earned nothing but praise from the book bloggers who I trust, so this will be my starting point for C.S. Friedman's works.

The Tower Broken by Mazarkis Williams. Having already finished The Emperor's Knife and Knife Sworn, I can't wait to see how Williams ends the saga. This novel is already available in the U.K. I'm waiting for it to hit the U.S.

Iron Night by M.L. Brennan. Generation V was the last book that I finished in 2013, and if you're looking for a fun romp filled with vampires and kitsune and all kinds of yummy action, this is the book for you. Meanwhile, Brennan continues Fort's adventures with Iron Night, and I hear there are some really interesting plot developments in store for the vampires and kitsune alike.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. Here is another author whose work I've been dying to read. I just love Ilona's voice and the snippets she posts on her blog, so I have this as one of my must-reads for 2014. Everyone, absolutely everyone, seems to love this series, so I will finally meet Kate Daniels in 2014.

There is a mix here of horror, fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance, and there is a reason for that. For me, reading a diverse selection of literature helps me grow as a writer. I love seeing authors use different techniques and methods to tell their stories.

In addition to the books that I've listed here, I will probably read some thrillers and literary fiction and romances too. I'm also trolling other authors and bloggers to see what they're reading. Whenever one of our librarians comes to me and says, read this, you will love it, I don't question either of them. I read the book, because even if I don't love the book, I will have broadened my reading experience and fed my imagination a little more.

So if you have a minute, tell me what is on your to-read pile in 2014? How will you feed your imagination? And in what genres?

Debut Authorpalooza (2012) & Reddit AMA

I am joining Justin at Staffer's Book Review, along with nine other debut authors for a two week long event of guest posts, prizes, and never-before-seen excerpts from our second novels. It is the Debut Authorpalooza 2012!

The following authors have all volunteered to write a blog post and offer up an excerpt:

Mark Lawrence Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns

Kameron Hurley God's War, Infidel, Rapture 

Elspeth Cooper Songs of the Earth, Trinity Rising

Courtney Schafer The Whitefire Crossing, The Tainted City

Stina Leicht Of Blood and Honey, And Blue Skies From Pain

Mazarkis Williams The Emperor's Knife, Knifesworn

Bradley Beaulieu The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh

Anne Lyle The Alchemist of Souls, Merchant of Dreams

Doug Hulick Among Thieves, Sworn in Steel

And of course, I'll be there with my blog post and the first chapter of The Garden in its entirety.

We are also participating in a giant AMA on Reddit on July 19, 2012. That's right! Ten authors answering your questions on a Reddit AMA. You can read the intro here. I'll post more links as they become available, but your best bet is to watch Staffer's Book Review for all the details.

So when is your favorite author posting? Justin has the complete schedule here.

It all begins today, July 16, and Justin is kicking off the event with Mark Lawrence ...