Tag Archive: Fantasy


Escape

Sometimes you just need to read, find your happy place and immerse yourself somewhere that isn’t the here and now.

This can mean going back to authors you love and finding something new from them, which I have done recently. My motivation truthfully was spending time with the truly delightful Keri Arthur, I stared at her backlist and realised I had big gaps. Two new books have been added to my collection and I’ve finished them both and adore them both and cannot wait to revisit them. I know a lot of people don’t understand that, the need or desire to return to a story already read but for me that is totally a thing. I love revisiting old friends, for that is who they become to me. Sirens that are private investigators, dragons that drink, ogres that fart and witches that run away from their families to werewolf reservations, what is not to love?

 

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What I Needed

I am enjoying some time off, I cannot deny that it is a good feeling not having to get up before dawn to go to work for 12 hours. You know what else is awesome? The sheer amount of time I am getting to read and write.
I’ve gone over my research, my character outlines and stared at my post-it note marked map. Building an entire world is a strange feeling. It takes hours of what, to many, may look like a complete waste of time, but time is what allows us to create a place that can sweep you away and seem so real.
It took me a long time to find the fantasy story I wanted to write. I always loved reading fantasy but my own story just wouldn’t come, until that day I found my opening scene. It remains a visual I love and the character who stood in the middle of it, is one I am proud to have created.
While I’m going thorough this structural editing process I find myself swept into the story of the characters I birthed, not wanting to stop to cook dinner or do other mundane things like housework (something that somehow never is a priority to me). As I’ve been wielding my red pen these people are becoming clearer in my mind. Is it a bad thing that I love my characters? I hope not.
I know even though the task that is finishing editing and completing these two books still seems like a mountain, it is one I am determined to climb. This break is giving me a renewed passion just like I hoped it would.
On the reading side of things I got to finish a book that has been sitting on my shelf for simply ages. I was left wondering why I didn’t pick it up earlier, even though I’d been meaning to. I suppose that is one of the drawbacks to being a reviewer, some books just sit on the pile because they aren’t a priority. (Not sure that it’s much of a drawback though because it means I always have something to read).
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a great addition to the YA Dystopian genre. Ashala is everything I like in a central character, she is strong, flawed, clever and just a little different. The world Kwaymullina has created is devastated, controlled by fear mongers and a wonderfully 3 dimensional place for Ashala’s story. I won’t spill any secrets of this tightly written, completely engaging book, I wouldn’t want to spoil it. I will say if you love the genre, or cleverly written stories with great protagonists, then this is well worth a look. If you want to check out my review then go here.
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Finding gems like this book make reading a joy. It’s why I read and why I write. I can only hope that one day someone will read something I wrote and enjoy it just as much.

Hmmm

I’m a little tired right now. Today has been really full on. I worked my 12 hrs yesterday but then did a bit more as OT that was tiring but it paid for one of my things at Comic Con tomorrow. I am so looking forward to that.
Yes I’ve been writing. Once I get my office sorted out I’m pretty sure I’ll get better flow happening but I’m writing a bit and any words down on the page is a good thing.
Tomorrow though is Comic Con and it will be a great way to refresh myself. How can it not be. I will spend time with like minded people, celebs from some of my fave shows and memories. The big one this year is Richard Dean Anderson. Yes that is right Capt Jack O’Neil is in town and my geek can’t wait.
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Exhausted too. So exhausted in fact due to much of my day being spent working on costumes. I don’t mind though. I haven’t had time to do one for myself but that’s okay, SuperNova is still to come and I’ll hopefully be ready for that.
Thing is it is good as a writer to remember to take time to refresh yourself. Get around like minded people, get around those who can feed your creativity. Take some time out from working and just do something for you.
I expect tomorrow to be very exhausting, I probably won’t get everything done I want because well the munchkins won’t want to sit still for the panels, but you know what I don’t care. I get to feed my inner geek and fan girl and spend time with my family. It is totally going to be worth it. And I am sure I will come back refreshed.
Though chances are it would be more effective if I wasn’t working monday, I’ll take what I can get.

The Flow

The scenes are starting to flow. This is always good and awesome. My problem now is that I am motivated to do so many things I wish I could cut work out of my daily equation.

Part of my problem is that when I have the time to write other things have a tendency to come up and so the writing gets put aside. Or I know I only have a short period of time and can’t bring myself to sit at my desk and try and get stuck into it because if I do I know when the munchkins come in I’ll get grumpy with them. Oh I try not to. There are times I go out of my way to make them feel welcome in my office but if I’m honest there is a part of me that just wants to be left alone to do my thing at times.

I guess part of the problem is also that the task ahead of me with my fantasy project, is such a big job. Stripping one idea into two and then adding the rest isn’t as easy as writing one story. I have the idea there for both sure but going  through and deciding which goes where is a big enough project let alone writing the extra parts to ensure that two separate stories then exist…Well like I said not easy.

It’s nice that some of it is flowing with the new writing so that I’m writing complete scenes not just snippets but there is still so much to do and that is daunting.

So here I am, much later than planned because my eldest is getting so she stays up later and something else came up that was kind of  important, finally getting my blog entry down. I often have such hopes for a saturday night but so often it becomes my flake night. I could console myself with the fact that we all need time to do nothing and flake, but that only works sometimes.

Then of course there are moment like right now when I realise I really want something sugar loaded. Maybe that’s why my writing has slowed…because I’ve reduced my chocolate intake. This might need some looking into.

Reading the Epics

This week has seen me finish a few books and start a big one. I’m finally getting around to reading The Song of Ice and Fire Series (Game of Thrones)

. It’s been a while since I’ve immersed myself in such sweeping epic fantasy. I’ve got to say I’m really enjoying it. The only problem with reading something so good and grand is that it makes me wonder at my gall in writing fantasy. The thing is if I’m honest mine isn’t anywhere so grand and in that I take hope. I also wonder how you keep so many strands straight, but that is besides the point really.

I do think it’s a good thing for me to be reading, it’s always good to read variety though I cannot, for the most part, bring myself to read what is considered literature and I don’t read a lot of general adult fiction, chic lit just holds no interest for me.

So now my challenge is to take the time to read something splendid and a rather big investment whilst still writing and being able to stay true to my character. The other thing is that a challenge is not necessarily a bad thing. Like with my hubby who is a muso, he can play with some people and cruise through the gig but if you put him in a room with muso’s he considers better than himself then that pushes him to be better. Now I would never really claim to be even in the same league as some of my favourite writers but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t read and enjoy their work and hopefully aim to be on the same shelves that they are one day.

News!

I finally got a reply from the agent to whom I had submitted my fantasy novel. It wasn’t a flat out no.

So YAY!!!!!!!

Of course it wasn’t a straight yes either and for someone like me that means I start questioning. Mostly they are silly questions including doubting my writing ability and wondering if her interest in my story relies on my answers to these questions. Of course I already know the answer to that one. It’s yes and no. No in that she has expressed further interest by even asking these questions, and that is definitely something to be happy about, because if it wasn’t something she was at least a little interested in I would have got back a flat no. Yes in as much as there are things an agent needs to know before agreeing to work with you. The other thing I know is that these questions are any different to ones I’ve seen that other agents expect answered with your initial submission.

So now I need to consider my answers even though I really already know them, but I’d hate to stuff it up here by not showing the proper consideration and replying in a shoddy way. I’ve put quite a lot of thought into them already and pray that I in no way stuff this up, which probably means I shouldn’t spend too much time thinking because then I will be in danger of over thinking and that will only confuse me even more.

A friend asked me if this is the furthest I’ve gotten in my publishing pursuit and I had the think about it. The long-listing in the comp last year was a success (even though there were times it didn’t feel that way), and this is just a possibly. The thing is though, without the comp result I may not have gotten this far so I decided that yes, this is the furthest step I’ve managed to take and I hope it is the first of many more.

Here’s to perseverance and hope in the sometimes slow moving worlds of publishing and bringing your story (or any creative endeavour) before the eyes of others.

End Of Holidays

This has been a great two weeks off. It was wonderful to spend time like I have with my girls and be a little more involved in their school lives. I’ve really enjoyed it. Of course I have a really good idea (don’t we all think that about our own ideas) but so far no-one has got back to me in a positive way about it. I think after so much success with the book blog this little problem is really bothering me more than it should. I always knew it was a long shot but I’m not going to give up on it. If I don’t act on it someone else will.

The other thing is my writing. I submitted my fantasy novel to Angry Robot this week. A good thing, re-reading over it got me all fired up to work on the sequel.

My YA project is still happening, but it’s a bit of work at the moment. I think it’s hard because part of me doesn’t want to spend too much time in my main character’s head space, I’ve been there, done that, it can be a hard place to be. I’m still very passionate about this project, still really believe that it needs to be written, but putting myself back onto the darkness of my past is sometimes a difficult place to go.

I’m not sure it is helped by the fact I am going back to work this week coming. There is a part of me that just longs for the time I really truly can put all my time into my passions. Don’t get me wrong, I still really love selling books, I just love books but working from home feels so much more satisfying to me.

Hopefully one day. Till then perseverance prevails.

Opening Event – Truth and Fiction

This is the one that hammered home that I really didn’t know what I was expecting. I went because it seemed like something that would be interesting and  something I should do to make the most of the fact I finally had the money, the time and the opportunity to attend the Festival. I hadn’t heard of all the authors because I just don’t read their styles but I still thought  it would be interesting. They all had very different interpretations of the topic at hand ‘Truth and Fiction’ but I did get a few little snippets (I have come to the conclusion this will be a weekend of snippets) and the desire to pick up the novel of one of these authors. (It also swayed me into attending another of his appearances in one of my empty spots).

Here are some of the snippets:

Most important truths are found in fiction – T Flannery

Your attitudes shape what you perceive – A Joseph

Each age has it’s own view – L Gordon

Complete truth about a life isn’t possible – L Gordon

We seem more certain of our fiction – M Syjuco

We believe what we want to believe – M Syjuco

Fiction is the lie we tell to get to the truth – M Syjuco

Fiction is a powerful tool in illuminating, disseminating and contributing to conversation to build and create a better world – M Syjuco

Good fiction…is a seeker after truth – R Gaita

Fiction can make us believe in miracles – R Gaita

I wonder if the point of an opening even like this is to allow people to be in the same room as these authors, allow them to say they have heard them speak, and give it a fancy appeal by tying it up with an opening gala name. If this is the case what kind of credential does it give you to say you have been to it?

Fantasy Affairs

This was my first saturday session and billed as a discussion on ‘what is it about fantasy and science fiction that is so attractive for teens and adults alike?’

I was a little disappointed, as a children’s/YA specialist I was really interested to hear what was said on this topic, however it turned out to be more of a discussion of spec fic rather than it’s appeal across the generations. I don’t know that anyone minded too much (except me) and I was the only one who asked a question related to age.

There were though more snippets to come from this session so here they are  (please note that these aren’t direct quotes) :

Alternative reality works really well for teenagers because it allows them to not feel like teenagers – Beckett

Puzzlement about a thing can lead you forward – Beckett

Readers perceive something sometimes quite different from what the author had in mind when they wrote it – Beckett

Books can (should) be compelling, immersive, like the reading experience you had when you were young – Grossman

The further you go into a fantasy word the more you encounter problems … magic doesn’t make it easier – Grossman

When fiction resonates within you, you hear an echo of you soul – Elliott

Spec Fic allows us to poke at perceived truths and allows us to explore themes that are not the sole property of teenagers – (Beckett I think it was a mash up of a couple of half notes)

This session was accompanied by a slightly more lively discussion between Bernard Beckett and Will Elliot about what is reality…which I have to admit to not totally understanding.