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Showing posts from February, 2016

How Do You Build A World?

I hope my Hemlock stories find a home sometime. They're set in a world not too far from our own, where four teens learn the power of magic in their dreams. But why do their parents want to keep them away from the wizard school, and who is the white lady?

Of course, if Hemlock finds a home, I'll have to finish writing the series, as well as writing everything else, and book reviews. And I'll have to worm my way back into their curious world.

But for now, I'm about to start on the next of my Five-Minute Bible Story books. I'm imagining myself back in the world of the New Testament, and following Paul through shipwreck, riot and storm. They're kids' stories, so I don't want to include too much detail - just enough to give a sense of what's happening, without making the world feel alien. It should be fun.

And in other books...

Author Walt Socha creates worlds not too far from our own in the nicely Twilight Zone-style stories of Eclectic Shorts. Pleasing…

Have you entered the world of female protagonists?

When I was ten, fourteen seemed like the perfect age. I started writing stories whose protagonists were always female, of course, and always fourteen... and most probably always me. When I was fourteen, I decided it really was the perfect age so... when I was fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, I continued writing stories whose protagonists were fourteen-year-old females. I really wanted to stop the clock, but life moved on.

There's a limit, of course, to how many life experiences a fourteen-year-old protagonist can encompass, and I learned, in time, to enjoy being older, and to write about guys, dogs, cats, babies, middle-aged grandparents, or even "old people" (but help, how old do I think I am!) I spread my metaphorical wings to encompass a worlds of many protagonists, and I tried to remind myself, once in a while, they shouldn't all be men.

Huh? How did all my protagonists get to be male? Perhaps it was something to do with the books I read--certainly as a kid I much pr…

What's in a Cover, with Proposals and Poison and a dog?

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I learned that the cover for Rachelle J. Christensen's latest Wedding Planner novel has just been revealed. Isn't it cool! Not just a great cover picture, but a cool, fun plot, and a giveaway. But you'll have to read to the end of this post to find the details. Meanwhile, thinking of covers got me pondering...





...what's in a cover? My Old Testament Bible Stories have just appeared in print with their gorgeous new covers, provided by the publisher. Which one do you think is new? And what makes it so good? The colors? The design? The sense that it wasn't created by a kid on a computer?

I can tell one thing that makes Rachelle's new cover great - it's got a dog on it! Add a dog and I'll take any book down from the shelf. But it's also got that hint of intrigue as the man hold something - what - behind his back. What secrets will this wedding hide? Read on!

Proposals and Poison, Wedding Planner Mysteries book #3 Rachelle J. Christensen

“Cozy mystery meets…

Short's Not Just For Kids

Every once in a while I get to review a short book. It gives me a break from the long ones, refreshes the parts other books can't reach, to paraphrase an old English beer commercial, and lets me feel good about getting a few more book reviews off the waiting list. Of course, reviewing a short book takes just the same amount of time as reviewing a long one. But reading it's faster.

Oddly enough, writing a short book isn't necessarily that much faster. It's faster than writing a novel, simply because the fingers don't have to fly over quite so many keys and pages. But editing short takes way longer than editing long. With fewer words, each one has to count, whether in a children's book or an adult's. With fewer pages, every error sticks out like a sorer thumb. And those fingers that typed so hard hover over the keys while the eyes hover over the words.

I'm editing my Fred and Joe stories at the moment. Each short story needs editing on its own. Then I hav…

What's In A Title?

My novels have mathematical titles - I even call them "mathemafiction" when I'm feeling whimsical. The titles have the advantage that there aren't many other novels sharing them, but that doesn't help people find theem on Amazon. You type one title, and Amazon helpfully guesses you really meant another. So my novel (Divide by Zero - the only one published yet) languishes behind Continental Divides and the Zeros of Dangerous Ideas - and then only if you specify you're looking for a book.

Divide by Zero has the disadvantage, of course, that nobody knows what it means, but it's perfect for my book - a village divided under the infinite horror of a terrible crime. Would you pick it up? (Please do!) And will you read the companion novel Infinite Sum, where a middle-aged woman seeks escape from the sum of past trials?

Perhaps you'd rather go for a novel with more fire in its title? I've just read two very different, fiery tales, and enjoyed them both. Th…

A Switch In Time?

Once upon a time I wrote a novel in which two timelines intertwined. In one, the protagonist was middle-aged, trying to resolve the issues she still had after childhood abuse. In the other, the abuse was yet to take place, and readers followed along with the child while innocence headed to betrayal. I was told the novel would never sell - it never did - and that writing multiple timelines was a strict no-no, especially for relative unknowns.

The novel truly never sold, but it's been rewritten since then. The later, much better version is called Infinite Sum and I'm eagerly awaiting its release from Indigo Sea Press. Meanwhile, I've snatched some very enjoyable moments from the (also very enjoyable) time of my mum's visit, and read some excellent books that do, in fact, blend more than one timeline successfully and enticingly. I dream and hope my novel might be up to the quality of these.

So, grab a coffee; remember the rating is just to tell the blend of coffee to choo…