All my friends are
metalheads amazing writers, working hard and getting their stories published like the superstars they are!
There's been a lot of well-deserved successes in my circle of friends lately, so this post is me raising a glass to them and sharing some writers and anthologies you should be looking out for.
And if I've missed something, drop me a comment below with your exciting news.
K.C. and Rob are in the Fox Spirit "Piracy" anthology
Two of my friends and fellow Inkbots, K.C. and Rob, have stories in the upcoming 'Piracy' anthology by Fox Spirit. The accepted stories were announced here, and Fox Spirit owner Adele says "I’m really excited about this series and we have great stories taking piracy from a child’s mind, to the high seas and straight onto mind jacking. We have strange beasts and the penalty for stealing dreams."
It's part of the Fox Pockets series I mentioned yesterday, a series of reasonably priced pocket-sized books containing around a dozen short stories.
K.C.Shaw's story is "Skyway", starring two lady airship pirates in a fascinating steampunk universe. It's guaranteed to be awesome and I can't wait to read it.
Rob Haines' story is "Pieces of 2^3" swings more in the sci-fi direction, putting an exciting new spin on digital piracy.
It looks like there will be many more talented writers involved as well. I'm looking forward to buying this anthology!
Rob is being published in the "Tales of Eve" anthology
Rob Haines and K.C. are both insanely productive writers, putting my own workflow to shame. Have you seen all the books on K.C.'s site? They all sound amazing! Plus she's got a short story up on Daily Science Fiction.
Editor Mhairi said Rob's story made her cry, so no doubt I'll be blubbing as well.
Take a look at that cover! It's gorgeous, isn't it?
John Dixon's TV Pilot is looking awesome
The TV Pilot for INTELLIGENCE, based on John's upcoming YA thriller PHOENIX ISLAND, is going well.
Erika's ready for the end of the world
Erika Beebe is now officially a published author, with her short story coming out from J. Taylor Publishing later this year. J.Taylor create some fantastic covers and I'm sure this anthology will have a great one too -- I'll share the cover for One More Day, and a short summaries for her story, on May 13, 2013.
PRESS RELEASE: J. Taylor Publishing Signs Seven Authors To One More Day, A YA Anthology To Release December 2, 2013
Six authors to be featured with L.S. Murphy in Young Adult Anthology, One More Day, from J. Taylor Publishing.
J. Taylor Publishing will release One More Day, an anthology of seven short stories written for young adults, with a world’s end theme.
The anthology’s theme, centered around what would happen if ‘tomorrow’ didn’t happen, produced dozens of entries with seven stories selected. “We asked authors to think on a prompt, particularly what happens as characters feel the stop, feel the shift, as they realize, only they know how to make everything go back to normal,” says J. Taylor Publishing.
With a singular theme, one might expect all stories to be “the same”, but in One More Day, the challenge to create something completely unique was met by all authors. From contemporary to paranormal, fantasy to comedy and mixes of multiple genres, each of the seven stories represents the author’s interpretation and method of ensuring the world doesn’t end—somehow, someway.
About Erika Beebe
Inspired by her first grade teacher's belief in her imagination from the first story she ever wrote, Erika has been a storyteller ever since. A dreamer and an experiencer, she envisions the possibilities in life and writes to bring hope when sometimes the moment doesn’t always feel that way.
Working in the field of public relations and communications for more than ten years, she has always been involved with writing, editing, and engaging others in public speaking.
Her two young children help keep her creativity alive and the feeling of play in the forefront of her mind.
Because time isn't always on my side when it comes to reading books and writing reviews, here's a list of some of the awesome books I've bought or been sent recently. Despite one of my New Years Resolutions being to read more books from my to-read pile, I couldn't resist making a few purchases this month.
And be 'a few' I mean 'so many it's taken me half a month to write the post about them'.
"Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print" by Renni Browne, Dave King. I was in a 'writing reference book' kind of mood. It shows.
"Write To Be Published" by Nicola Morgan. Recommended to me by the Hi-Arts Work in Progress scheme, and it had been on my to-read list for a while, so I finally bought it.
"The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers" by Betsy Lerner. I've been a long-time reader of Betsy's blog, so I'm looking forward to reading this one.
"Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life" by Lamott, Anne. Not so sure about this because I've heard it has some heavy spiritual and Christian leanings to its advice, and I'm not sure how I feel about bringing religion into a craft reference book, but we'll see how it goes.
"Requiem" ("Delirium Series, Book #3) by Lauren Oliver. Review copy supplied by the publisher. Looks great, but I need to read Pandemonium first.
"Angels' Blood" by Nalini Singh. Recommended to me on the AbsoluteWrite forums.
"To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. A present from Dave. I CAN FINALLY READ THIS. I'm so excited!
"A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin. Another present from Dave. I really want to read this serious, but I'm careful because they seem like a big time commitment.
"Batman: Hush", "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" and "Batman: A Death In The Family" A present from Dave. These are very popular Batman comics and I'm looking forward to them, since the Batman comics have some of the best writers in the industry.
"Death Note Vol 2" Another present from Dave. Death Note has some of my favourite manga artwork, it has a really nice realistic edge. "Megatokyo Vol 4" and "Watchmen" Dave was on an absolute present buying spree last month. He knows how to make a bookworm happy. :)
"Saga" by Fiona Staples, Brian K Vaughan. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. I read this last month, and it's already one of the best comics I've read in a while.
"Teeth" by Hannah Moskowitz. I've had this one on pre-order for months, and it's finally out!
"Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry. I hadn't noticed this book because of the terrible Kindle edition cover, but the plot sounds really good.
"Life Of Pi" by Yann Martel. I have this in hardback already, but for 20p I thought I might as well pick up a Kindle copy.
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Bought this so I could join in with Crash Course Literature but I don't think I'm going to be able to get round to it anytime soon. :(
"The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson" by Emily Dickinson. Same as the above, a Crash Course book.
Jeez, I really got a lot of books last month. February definitely won't be as crazy.
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: What's the best book you've read this January?
Oooh, tough one when you look at everything I read last month...
I'm going to discount all the comics, which narrows it down to Pandemonium, Seraphina, and Teeth. Seraphina and Teeth are my clear favourites, but if I had to pick one... it'd be Seraphina.
It's just such a fun, refreshing YA fantasy, (whereas Teeth was a very dark read and quite ruthless with the emotions). My review should be up tomorrow!
Book: Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium, Book #2
Genre: Fiction/Young Adult/Sci Fi/Dystopian/Romance
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and fame.
I love that title, even though I always feel like it needs an exclamation. Pandemonium! It's such a great word:
I've had a complicated relationship so far with Lauren Oliver. While I loved her debut, "Before I Fall", and the concept of "Delirium", the actual book left me flat due to it's confusing ending. I also get grumpy about the UK cover redesigns, though "Pandemonium" and upcoming final book "Requiem" have much nicer covers and I've actually grown to like them and how they fit in with the "Before I Fall" cover.
Thankfully, "Pandemonium" was full of pleasant surprises. It's a much tighter-written and ambitious book than "Delirium" was, alternating between the past and the present as Lena adjusts to a hard, scraping-for-survival life in the unregulated Wilds outside the city ('before') and sneaks into New York City to tail the son of the president of Deliria-Free America, an organisation that viciously promotes the idea that love is a disease and the only safe humans are those 'cured' by a lobotomy-like procedure ('after').
Lena is a stronger person, even as she deals with her grief over "Delirium"'s events realistically, and she's a much more enjoyable character to follow this time round. Oliver also expands the world laid out in the previous novel, taken it from a sketched-out dystopia into a realistic future society with a lot of moral grey areas.
The scenery descriptions are nicely done, though occasionally repetitive (snow seems to crackle a lot in the Wilds), and the new characters introduced are varied and feel like they have a lot of depth to them. The two story lines also alternated nicely, with very little opportunity for confusion, up until the merging point which felt a bit unclearly defined.
I'm very happy with how "Pandemonium" turned out. While a lot of middle trilogy books can be weak and plotless, "Pandemonium" is miles stronger than "Delirium" and restored my faith in Lauren Oliver's writing. I'll be looking forward to reading and reviewing "Requiem" closer to its March release date.
I bought a copy of this novel myself for personal reading, but I'll note that Hodder & Stoughton have previously provided me with review copies of "Delirium" and "Requiem" in exchange for honest reviews.
Because I like numbers! And I like lists!
My plans for 2013 have a heavy focus on personal creativity, then personal culture, and then being more social/getting involved in the writing community. It's a fairly involved plan so we'll see how it goes, though I achieved much more last year than I ever expected to.
New Years Resolutions
- Waste less time aimlessly browsing the internet.
- Read more.
- Write more.
- Have fun and spend more time outdoors
- Finish two first drafts. At the moment, these look likely to be the REBEL AGAINST HEAVEN sequel and the 'flooded Britain' WIP, but we'll see.
- Edit and revise the 'Girls Who Fix Giant Robots' first draft. Planning to do this in February or in March. After that, the beta readers will get a taste!
- Bonus points if I manage to write some short stories.
- Get 12 illustrations done throughout the year.
- Post more sketchbook and work in progress images.
- Update the site's design. I'm thinking of using a theme that focusses more on my books, a writing portfolio of sorts.
- Read 35 books (focussing on the for review pile, the personal to-read pile, comics and some non-fiction).
- Read 10 short stories (collections count as '1' because I'm cruel).
- Finish 5 games. (Currently planning: Persona 4, Shadow of Colossus, Ocarina of Time, El Shaddai and Tales of Vesperia)
- Watch a few seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and catch up with Season 8 of Supernatural.
- Go to Stornoway with the other half (he's never been) in February.
- Go to Cyprus (for a family wedding).
- Attend Strange Chemisty's YA Con (13/14th July in Birmingham if all goes to plan)
- Attend World Fantasy Con in Brighton (31st October - 3rd November in Brighton), most likely in the company of the lovely Laura Lam.
- Frown at the sight of my bank account.
Some other bits and pieces I have planned:
- Focus less on blog book reviews and more on personal, writing, and art posts.
The last few years of book reviews were originally started as an exercise in critical thinking, to force me to dissect what I like and don't like about books. These days, with drama levels rising over whether authors can also review and the role of book bloggers, it's stopped being a fun learning experience and turned into an added workload. I don't like finishing a book and going 'ugh now I need to put together a review', so I'll be slowing down on the reviews.
- Do more THINGS. Get LIFE EXPERIENCES. This one is an utter pain to do because... how do you add more excitement to your life? I dunno! But I guess I'll try to find things. The conventions should help, especially because I'll get to do some travelling and meet lots of writer friends offline.
- 'Pay it back' to the art community a bit by getting commissions from artists I love. I love doing this, but I need to be careful because good art costs.
Today, for their Road Trip Wednesday question for bloggers, YA Highway asked: Tons of writers are in the midst of NaNoWriMo, trying to stay inspired as we reach the dreaded middle. Share your most inspiring and/or motivational video, book, or quote on writing!
Which is rather convenient, given a new page appeared on my site last week designed to help out aspiring writers with motivational videos, useful reading material, and my own posts on things like what motivates me. So needless to say, I'll be gleefully diving through everyone's responses for useful things to add to my list.
Generally, for motivation, I find I just need the kick to remind me to get back to work -- Chuck Wendig's "25 Things" lists are great for this.
And for true, instant motivation, nothing beats suddenly figuring out a plot problem or being hit by a great idea for a story.
My favourite motivational book is "On Writing" by Stephen King. I haven't read "Bird By Bird" but I'm tempted to buy it -- any thoughts, blog friends?
Because time isn't always on my side when it comes to reading books and writing reviews, here's a list of some of the awesome books I've bought or been sent recently.
Above, we've got:
A red moleskine sketchbook: These hardy, reliable things are what I use to jot down writing ideas when away from my PC. This one's a present to myself because I've filled up my black one. This was purchased by myself.
"What's Left of Me" by Kat Zhang: This was a prize for winning the contest over at Once Upon a Bookcase! Can't wait to read this.
"On The Day I Died": A short story collection, just in time for Halloween. This copy was unsolicited, sent by Random House.
"Noughts & Crosses" series by Malorie Blackman: I requested these books (recently updated with new covers) from Random House and I can't wait to start reading them! Did you hear the drama over the racism in the "Save the Pearls" book? N&C has a similar concept, but executed properly.
"Tiger's Destiny" by Colleen Houck: Unsolicited copy sent by Scholastic. I have the whole series of these, and their cover art is fantastic, but for some reason I haven't picked them up to read yet...
I've also had a very e-heavy month, buying all the following for myself:
"Mockingbird" by Chuck Wendig, "Zoo City" by Lauren Beukes, "Empire State" by Adam Christopher and "The Alchemist of Souls" by Anne Lyle: Angry Robot's e-book store had a buy-one-get-one-free offer on, which I gleefully took advantage of to tick a few books off my to-buy list.
"Angel Dust" by Sarah Mussi: I have a publisher-crush on Hot Key Books (and Angry Robot, in case you didn't notice) so I've been picking up a lot of their work to read. These is a great urban fantasy novel set in the heart of London.
"The God Engines" by John Scalzi. One day I will get round to reading a Scalzi novel. One day.
"Leviathan" Series by Scott Westerfeld. Lots of fun, I need to get round to writing a proper review of this trilogy.