Last week I officially started sending out queries for my epic fantasy novel Under the Darkened Moon. I started by selecting five literary agents and sent them all queries. I followed their submission guidelines and sent what they requested, whether it was just a query, a query plus a synopsis, or a query plus a synopsis plus sample pages.
A couple days later I got my first official rejection. It was a rejection based only on a query letter and a synopsis and not the actual story itself, but a rejection none-the-less. Now I am looking at my set of next five lit agents to send letters to. (more…)
| 12/31 Joanna Penn gave 5 stars to: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly? by Seth Godin
status: Read in December, 2012
I was part of Seth’s Kickstarter so I bought this early, and reading is has totally fired me up to commit to creating and sharing my own art.
There were many parts of the book that resonated with me, but in combination with Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro, the message is really to pick yourself, and persist at the practice of creation. “Creating art is a habit, one that we practice daily or hourly until we get good at it … Art isn’t about the rush of victory that comes from being picked. Nor does it involve compliance. Art in the post-industrial age is a lifelong habit, a stepwise process that incrementally allows us to create more art.”
This book is useful for writers, but I would also urge parents to read it in order to understand the world your children are growing up in.The industrial world is disappearing. The old world of standardized exams, tick-box education and guaranteed jobs won’t be there for much longer, and people need to be creative to survive the future. But more than that, life’s too short to spend it doing something that isn’t rewarding. So aim to thrive and not just survive.
I spent 13 years as an IT consultant, a miserable cubicle worker, rewarding myself with sugar and alcohol in order to make it through each day. In September 2011, I finally broke out of that old life, and I couldn’t be happier. Sure, I have less money now, fewer trappings of (so-called) worldly success, but I am making my art, and this feels like real life.
More Book reviews from my friends on Goodreads covering The Rise of Nine, Jackie Blue, James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing, The Dead of Winter, and The Red Pyramid. (more…)
The following book reviews are from my friends on Goodreads. (more…)
Comments on this list before I begin. First of all, this is not a top 10 list of books published in 2012 that I read. This is a top 10 list of books that I read in 2012, regardless of year published. Only books that I read for the first time in 2012 qualify for the list. For example, I reread The Black Company by Glen Cook. which I have rated at 4.75 stars and my #18 favorite book. However, because it is a reread, it does not qualify for this list. Lastly, these are my opinions, and my opinions alone. (more…)
Here are some recent reviews from my friends on Goodreads for books they have read. (more…)
Under the Darkened Moon once had a character named Kal. Kal, alas, is no more. Oh, he still exists in the story, but he is no longer called Kal. His new name in the final manuscript is Tarek.
Why did I change his name? Ultimately it was because too many characters had names starting with the letter K. Kyel and Kath were enough, so I changed Kal to something else.
The decision was made easier during the live read edit when my wife was reading the story. She has this particular drawl to her speech where she constantly replaces the “a” sound in words with an “e” and visa versa. She also does the same thing with the “e”s to “i”s for some reason. But she only does it on certain words. For example, pen is pin, but ten is not tin. She never pronounced one of the characters, called Den, as Din. (more…)
Yesterday, something wonderful happened. I completed the manuscript for Under the Darkened Moon.
It’s been a wonderful journey, considering that it is the first novel I have been able to completed in darn near twenty years of attempting to write a novel. I’ve gone through a whole range of emotions from joy (at having done it), to sorrow (at realizing my characters, my children, are all grown up), to fear (at realizing that now the hard part begins as I search for an agent and publisher).
The whole experience of writing this story began last year on July 18th and has spanned, officially, 517 days (44,668,800 seconds) of my life. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve spent over 2,000 hours either directly working on this story or thinking about it. That’s a lot of time.
The Ambasador’s Mission, released in April 2011, is the first book in the continuing saga of Sonea, and a few other characters, from Trudi Canavan’s The Black Magician Trilogy (circa 2001). We rejoin Sonea, her son, and Cery for further adventures.
The Ambassador’s Mission, as far as its own story goes, drags. The narrative is chalked full of superfluous text that drowns out more important aspects in favor of droning political intrigue. When read as a continuation of The Black Magician Trilogy, some of this is forgivable. But, anyone picking up this story without having read the former will be seriously wanting for explanations.
In an episode of Family Guy, Peter is listening to the police scanner. Brian walks in and remarks, upon hearing a crime being reported, by saying, “Is it just me, or is rap music just getting lazier?”
Well, I have come to believe something similar when it comes to what is popularly known as “dark fantasy”. Dark fantasy is that sort of fantasy where you have an anti-hero with morally questionable motives. Decades ago, I read The Black Company by Glen Cook. It’s a great piece of dark fantasy, following a band of anti-heroes (The Black Company) and narrated by an analyst (named Croaker) who has a knack for coming up with really fun, yet bizarre, ways of describing common occurrences and The Company’s exploits. (more…)