Archive | March, 2013

Two posts in one day, wow

30 Mar

Fifty Shades of Kay

Sorry, couldn’t resist!

Addenum

30 Mar

I probably shouldn’t be blogging because I’m bagged – I don’t know why, but ever since I’ve had strep (that was last month, heh) I just can’t seem to catch up on my rest, but here goes:

 

Book Tour here is mostly done – it started off late, which was my fault; when things rain it pours for me, so I’ve been focused on Real Life stuff lately (and, it seems, making dumb mistakes). I just wanted to add that if you comment,  I’m open to sending you an Amazon gift certificate or for another bookstore of your choice (honestly, anyone who takes online payment is fine; I don’t want to be limiting the contests just to Canadians).  So far the reviews I’ve seen have been positive – which is nice, but I’m still working on getting snarkier ones. I dunno; if I’m checking out new titles, I tend to believe them more if someone has something rougher to say (or at least has some beef with it) but I think I’m bound to get the people who’ll hate it, so I shouldn’t go poking for it, either.

I am planning on doing that cover thing when I catch up with my thoughts. I’ve been slated to start blogging for World of the Imagination, starting on my birthday, April 3; so yeah; I think my schtick will probably be stuff that’s more educational in content, because that’s really all I got.  I gotta go poke some of my author peeps anyway.

Ah well – I’m back on duty for this Easter Long Weekend – if you’re Southern Manitoban and don’t have anything to do tomorrow, consider checking out the Brandon Royal Winter Faire – I went two days ago after I wrote a test (didn’t do anything for my self-induced exhaustion) and it was a great time. And no, it’s not a carnie – it’s more like a calm rodeo and educational venue. No bucking, but lots of pretty prancing ponies. (And I bought an incredibly thick leather belt from a guy who *can* make leather EMS holsters, so I’m a very happy camper. A tired one, but eeeh, I’ll get over it). So if you’re going anywhere this weekend, drive safe, be safe, and enjoy time with those you love.

Busy over here!

23 Mar

Who likes images? Cause you’re getting a lot of ’em.

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And me and a bunch of the other Burst Authors are doing an all-day chat. I’ll be popping in periodically – I’m currently at work and on call tonight, so check this out:

ctrannoucmentnewj

A bunch of us will be chatting up fantasy and world-building, and there’ll be some giveaways – including my own novel – so if you have time and are interested, come check us out. We’re kind of a new thing, so there’s also This Website, which I’m hoping to put up a new article every week or so until our May 3 chat. I’m kind of busy for Spring Break – but that’s just life and I should get used to the idea. Enjoy your Saturday, everyone!

I do so love me my zombie apocolypses…

20 Mar

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…the last thing I played was my Zumba Core on the Wii. I don’t want to count that!

Me: Hey guys, the zombies are coming… stop that merengue at once!

I think that would be… Oz from Oz: The Great and Powerful, Wreck-it-Ralph, and The Yellow Toad from Mario Wii. I haven’t been reading much in terms of fiction, I have a bunch of tests coming up.  Yes, I am pushing thirty and I still am writing tests.

A TL;DR Opinion on Fanfic

19 Mar

I can’t play this week’s Broke and Bookish game because the only books I have sitting unread are in my immediate to-read pile. Without too much information, basically life throws you curve balls when you least expect it, and it took me until last year to have extra spending money for books. I’m good now, but it’s not like I have That One Book sitting there, making me feel guilty. Even though I’m kind of addicted to bookstores in general, I read what I get and, I’m happy when people lend/give me books. I also like to reread books (but not right away) so I kind of just made do rereading what I had, and, in its own way, it was kind of a mixed blessing because it’s interesting to revisit something when you’re already familiar with it or at least have an idea whether or not you liked it.

Anyway, just to plug a bunch of us are going to be at CTR  doing an hour-long chat on Saturday, March 23 from 7-8pm EST – so if you have any questions you wanna slug at me or a few of the other Burst/Champagne writers, come on down! I’ll be on-call at that time, so I might be That Jerk who doesn’t show up, but hopefully it’ll be a quiet night on the radio.

So without further ado, here’s a topic that divides writers:

To Fanfic or not to Fanfic?

This is brought to you by the fact that I saw Oz: The Great and Powerful this weekend. I’m not saying it was the greatest movie or adaptation, but it was aesthetically beautiful and I loved the creativity that went into the backgrounds, costumes and especially the work that went into the China girl and Finnley. I’m not a huge Oz fan – I did however watch the Japanese anime when I was a youngun’, and I read Wicked and at least a few of the canon series when I was in elementary school – I like Oz in general, but I won’t say it’s my favorite series, ever.

Now, I know that it might come across as a little bit presumptuous for me to talk about fanfiction considering I’ve been a published author for less then two months now, but this is my blog and I’ll talk about what I like.

There’s a lot of complainin’ on the internet about fanfiction lately. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, basically it’s taking someone else’s idea (usually a book or a movie or whatever) and telling their own story taking someone else’s character, world, and admitting to it. Some authors like it, some abhor it, others are just scared that they’re going to be bombarded by Rule 34 or get sued. The way I see it, is that my happy-meal generation got toys that went with our half-hour commercial, and we acted out our own adventures. Or: people will think about what-if the character went down the other road then what the author said, so I had better get used to the idea. That’s not to say I have to like it, but I think it’s kind of like the option of free speech: I don’t have to agree with what you say, but I think you have the right to say it deal. Personally, I think that fanfic is mostly harmless, at the best it’s free advertising for the author, at its worst, we have fans who get egos about things who think their work is as equal to the authors and they know better, but hey, I’d rather have respectful discontentment and discussion then cheerful stepford BS any day. (Ever been part of a fandom and seen a shipping war? All I have to say is that it gets nasty).

Are there authors who dislike fanart? (Not individual works, as a whole)

The best argument I ever heard against fanfic is that ‘I don’t see why anyone would waste time putting so much work onto something they can’t publish.’  Recent best-sellers proving that the Replace-All function on MS Word is a useful tool, I think that fanfic is useful in starting you in the right direction. The danger, of course, becomes when you take for granted the world and character building of other authors and ride off audience expectation. Another argument I have against that is even though I thought my first novels were OMG Brilliant…! If they survived, really don’t think anyone would bother publishing those, either.

One piece of advice a lot of writers told me when I was in Uni was practice writing by stealing another writer’s style. Okay, they said mimic, but the point was I wasn’t only writing using my incredibly bland random voice because I really didn’t have one yet. I can’t speak for other writers, but I practiced learning how to write by copying other writer’s styles because I had no idea what I was doing. It was helpful – and there are writers who made names for themselves going back and addressing the works of the dead, I’ll pick on Jane Eyre because I can. It sounds like it’s inevitable that even if I, as a writer, put the kaibosh on it while I’m alive and people respect it, after I’m gone, someone might take it upon themselves to view my works through very different lenses.

Another  argument I’ve heard is money – and hey, I can’t blame the writers who are making a good living. (My honest policy on this is inspired by a quote from George Orwell – if I’m dependent on a paycheck, I can be censored. If I don’t need to write to eat, I’m no longer motivated to put out something I’m unhappy with). This is another topic to discuss (Virginia Wolfe, however, discussed it at some length) but bear with me: while I think it’s safe to say that we should be protecting artistic property, the minute I unleash anything it’s open for criticism. If I allow discussion, why not allow alternative ideas, or, an exploration of character?

I know the internet is a big scary place and a cesspool for the lowest common denominator, but we shouldn’t be scared of creators and fans in the same space.  Maybe your average fanfic is really a lemon fic about the ‘real’ couple hooking up or giving Sherlock Holmes a pet dinosaur but that isn’t to say we haven’t seen adaptation from media to media where we alter things because they just don’t transfer well (look at your average book to musical adaptation) but once you start opening the big scary box of adaptation, you open the doorway for interpretation. And at least in my opinion, novels are a lot more open to interpretation as compared to other forms of media. The author could turn around and say, “I don’t like this, but at least I’m being compensated for my idea.”

In short, I think fanfic is an interesting way for a community to grow and discuss things. I think the major dangers are when the fans think they know better then an author, or the fanfiction becomes canon with a small (or majority) of the regular fandom.  The other danger is when you have, in particular a young fandom, looking up stories that aren’t categorized properly. Please please please – adhere to whatever rating system is in place for whatever community you post in.

If fanfic helps a writer develop or inspires them to an original work – so much the better!  Be respectful of one another, and you’ll have no problems from me.  But please – if you decide to alter your story into an original novel, do more then just change a few names with that replace-all feature. The internet is a scary place, and someone, somewhere, will have a copy. And no, taking someone else’s work and changing a word here and there is not creative.  Unless you’re into parody, but, that’s another topic for a new day…

Top Ten Books At The TOP Of My Spring 2013 TBR list!

12 Mar

Brought to you by Broke and Bookish.

Wow, I should really update this more often, heh. In my defense, a bunch of us are working on some chats and things, I’ll let you know when we get closer, I have some programming to work out in the meantime. And I know we’re three months in, but I used to give myself a reading challenge regarding LJ – since it’s Year of the Dragon, and my debut novel has dragons (sort of) in it, I’m planning on reading a novel with dragons in it at least once a month. I know I probably wasn’t officially ‘in’ with February, but to be fair, I was betaing a book that had a dragon in it, so that sort of counts.

Okay, this is a ‘I really need to read this soon’ – I have some of these books, others, I’m waiting for. I can’t guarantee that they’ll be in this order, or if it’s the same priority, but here we go:

1)      1) Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Oh the drama I can cause simply by commenting – I like religious discussion. You’ll see a lot of stuff from numerous sides from me if you follow along what I read.

2)      2) City of Night by Michelle Sagara West

 I’ve been reading this series since an online friend recommended the series to me years ago – yeah, I probably should have picked this book up a few years ago, but up until last year I was kind of broke, so I wasn’t buying all the books I wanted. Lots of rereading though, and that was more then okay with me.  (And I was buying the odd book last year, but I have student loans to pay off). I also have House Name and Skirmish, but I’m only counting her as one.

3)      3) The Pact by Graeme Brown

 Yes, he’s one of the Burst guys I’ve had featured here. I like meeting people and checking out their work. I know – we should judge books based on merit not because we know the people, but it’s his debut and if I can help a fellow newbie by reading and rating, I will.

4)    4)    The Queen’s Pawn by R.J. Hore

 Technically I’ve already read this one, this was the first book I beta’d for R.J. (not the first story, the first full novel). I haven’t seen it in years.

5)   5)    Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall

Saw an add for this one on the My Reading Addiction Tours – it’ll be touring at the same time as mine.  I like epic-fantasy, this one looks like it has a sword-and-sworcery feel, so that’s up my alley.

6)      6) Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

 My little cousin gave me a copy for Christmas. I guess I should read Brisingr first… I honestly haven’t read this series in years, but with my Year of the Dragon theme, hey, why not?

7)      7)Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson

OOne of my goals is to finish this series this year.  We’ll see if that happens…

8)    8)  Count Zero by William Gibson

 I’m currently reading Neuromancer; I need to read more cyberpunk to finish tweaking a cyberpunk novel I wrote.  Sadly, I’d say most of my science-fiction comes from pulp adventure, movies, and the odd Isaac Asimov story (No novels, just shorts).

9)      9) Heroes at Odds by Moira J. Moore

 As said before – up until last year, I’ve been a little broke. Another series I want to finish this year, but there’s only two left, and I’d like to see how the pieces finally weave together.

110)   Instinct by J.A. Garland

 I’ve been trying to familiarize myself with most of the authors in my imprint, if only because if I’m at an event, hocking my stuff and someone walks up to me and asks what books are like mine, are different, whatever, I can answer without sound too dumb and ignorant as to what everybody writes. I already read one book by her, I’m trying to limit myself to one each to start (unless it’s R.J., because I beta’d that stuff darn it) but I really wanna read this one.

So there you have it – I feel like I should be leaving one out to mention my EKG stuff, but I never counted school-related stuff before. This list is probably grossly innaccurate, but we’ll see.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten Series I’d Like To Start But Haven’t Yet

5 Mar

So when I was researching book bloggers I stumbled across this – I was kind of busy with work, but things seem to be calming down, so I thought I’d start blogging with this. This is brought to you by Broke and Bookish, but I’ve seen lots of bloggers play along.

 

This list is by no list comprehensive and in order – I have series I’m still trying to finish (Malazan, House War) and I guess I’ll link to the authors goodreads for the curious. (I suppose I could have linked to the first book in the series, but this is probably a faster way to look over everything).

 

#10 – Joe Abercrombie The First Law Series: I like the works of Glen Cook and Steven Erikson – from the write-ups they strike me as along that vein.

#9 – N.K. Jemisin Inheritence Trilogy  I know, I’ve yet to read The Shadowed Sun, the reason I picked the duology over the trilogy is I prefer third-person narrators over first-person. Yes, we do exist. Yes, I’ll get around to reading The Shadowed Sun this year.

#8 –  Robin LaFever His Fair Assassin: I can be what’s known as ‘bitchy’ in regards to females who supposedly kick ass, if only because so many times I don’t see the delivery. This one has had promising reviews, so even though there’s a bunch of series I think look like they’re going to be… less then what they promise… I’m actually hoping this series inspires some hope and less cynacism.

#7 – Orson Scott Card Ender’s Saga: I’ve been told everyone says that the first book is awesome then the rest of the books in the series are rather hit and miss, but I gave my brother-in-law a copy of the first book for Christmas, and both he and my sister (the one who doesn’t read) said it was good.  I’ve yet to talk to anyone who read the first book and didn’t like it. I didn’t even hear about it until last year. I either need to read it before the movie comes out or wait; I don’t hold with being trendy (I gave in and read The Hunger Games last year because about seven people demanded to know why I was avoiding it).

#6 – Steven King The Dark Tower: Two people in real life have just gone on and on about this series. I haven’t read much Steven King, I like his work, but I have my preferences. Anyway, this seems like a series of his I’d like.  (And I probably will read more Steven King as I get older).

#5 – Robert Jordan Wheel of Time: I guess I’ll link to Brandon Sanderson as well, but this is one of those series that I’m intimidated because of how many books there are in the series. I mention this to people who like them, and they’re all like, “Yeah, but they’re great!” Consider I once plowed through most of The Discworld books in a year, this shouldn’t be that intimidating… but yeah, I look at some of other series I haven’t finished, but meant to.

#3 – Jacqueline Carey Santa Olivia:  I read the Phedre Trilogy, liked it – read The Sundering Duology – didn’t care for it – I will get around to her werewolf series, I swear. Will I read the Imriel and the other series set in the same world as Phedre? Probably.

#2 – William Gibson Sprawl Trilogy: Apparently this series defined cyberpunk. I wrote a cyberpunk novel two years ago that needs some tweaking. This is, in my mind, essential reading. I have it, and I’ll get around to starting it… soonish.

#1 – Octavia E. Butler Earthseed Duology: I only discovered Butler last year and I’ve only read two books by her – I told myself I’m spacing them out for as long as possible. I don’t know why I want to read these two books more then the Xenogenesis trilogy – but I want to read all of her work, so there.

 

Honorable mentions go to Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus War and Lloyd Alexander’s Pyrdain Chronicles. This list was very random and was just as it popped into my head. And, I will add that I have about a ton of series that I need to finish, so while I will get on with… some of these books in the next year, I’d like to finish up a couple series before starting new ones.