Showing posts from August, 2018

Looking for some female protagonists?

Sometimes I feel like a bit-player in my life, as events outside my control rock the boat and threaten to engulf me. Maybe that's why I like to read at least a few novels with powerful female protagonists, just to remind myself I can steer the ship. (In fact, the protagonist in one of these novels is a pirate captain, more surely steering her own vessel!) And maybe it's why, as a child, I despaired of "girl's books" and devoured all my brothers' books instead, all the while telling myself stories where girls had just the same adventures as all those heroic guys. Anyway, here are some reviews of books I've read recently with female protagonists. If nothing else, posting the reviews is something under my control--it will distract me from the many things that aren't. First is Stranger in Town by Cheryl Bradshaw . Fourth in a mystery series, it reads well as a standalone novel about a private investigator in Utah/Wyoming, chasing after the case of a miss

I need to read children's books to stay sane!

Aghghghg! My book-world is quietly falling apart, as publishers change and close, and even self-publishers prove to be built on shifting sands. Createspace is going to merge with KDP (logical - they're both Amazon) and "some" of my books won't work, but no one will tell me which. Or was that just a general warning sent to everyone. Or... whatever, it caused unhappy (unproductive) hours researching "stuff." But those were hours when I was meant to be researching public domain images for re-releasing my Bible stories. (They have a fantastic publisher, but he's closing soon and is very generously helping me cope with the change.) Perhaps they were hours that should have been devoted the re-release of my Mathemafiction novels (getting distribution through Ingram Spark, etc). Or perhaps to releasing overdue book reviews... Yes, book reviews. Reading books is the only thing keeping me sane (well, that and drinking too much coffee and eating too many gluten-f

Chilled Spines anyone?

Today I'm delighted to welcome the spine-chilling author, Nancy Gray to my blog, as she tours the internet with a cool scary book for middle graders, The Scarecrow. But what draws an author toward writing horror... and horror for kids? Here's Nancy's answer to the question: Why Horror? When I was asked to write a blog about my work, I honestly wasn’t sure where to begin. So I started thinking about questions people have asked me before, and one of the things that seem to surprise people when I talk about my work is the fact that I enjoy writing horror. People probably wouldn’t expect it from me. They probably, in fact, would think I would prefer to write fantasy or young children’s stories instead of middle grade horror novellas, but horror stories are how I got my start and what I enjoyed when I was a child. So I’m going to try to explain why horror is important to me and why I think these books are worthwhile. Even though people don’t like to admit it, deep

Plotter? Pantser? Yes and yes, perhaps?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Dan Jolley to my blog, with new about Gray widow, walk, web and war. If you look at those covers, you'll the spider-sense in these cool scifi, fantasy, superhero novels. Plus there's a female protagonist. I'm hooked and eager to read. But I'm also curious, so I've asked Dan:  Do trilogies start with all three books planned out, or do they grow as you write them? The answer is... yes and yes. The Gray Widow Trilogy is a good example. I technically got started on it back when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth (1996), when I had only ever had comic books published and didn’t really know anything about writing novels. (If I’m being honest, I didn’t really know anything about anything back then. Twenty-five seems so YOUNG to me now. Get off my lawn!) Anyway, I originally intended the story to be a comic book, but when I couldn’t find the right artist with whom to collaborate, I decided to turn it into a scree

1984, Brave New World, and Narnia... What's you brave new world?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Stephen Zimmer back to my blog. He's written lots of scifi, swords and sorcery, fantasy and even steampunk--you can find my reviews of Heart of a Lion and Thunder Horizon by clicking on the links--two books that I really love! But today he's touring with something a little different... Dream of the Navigator Blog Tour August 15-22, 2018 I've heard this new young-adult release described as "1984 and Brave New World meets Narnia."  So, of course, I had to ask the author... Over to you Stephen! What did you love about 1984, brave new world, and narnia? 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis all had profound influences on me during my formative years.  Of these, I read the Chronicles of Narnia first, in grade school, then encountered 1984 in high school, and finally read Brave New World during my college years. The Chronicles of Narnia is one of th

Boxed or Trained? Where does Steampunk Inspiration come from?

Today I'm delighted to welcome JL Mulvihill to my blog, author of the Steel Roots series which began, not so many years ago, with the wonderful Boxcar Baby (click for my review)  I'm eager to "meet" her here... and eager to read more of her series. (Will someone please invent time travel so I can fit more reading hours into the day!) So here she is, ready and waiting to tell us about inspiration, steampunk, history, fantasy, and, of course, trains. If you ever dreamed of growing up to be a train driver... Welcome!  J L Mulvihill Changing the world one story at a time. You may ask me where I draw my inspiration from when combining real historical detail with fantasy.  I feel sometimes like I am standing in more than one world at a time. I have a fondness for fantasy and the wonderful child-like state of believing in it all. Yet, I am also fascinated by history and the evolution of invention. I am also a firm believer that every element in a story should be