Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Minor Mystery

Trivia:  Think I've recovered from Thanksgiving.  Too much eating, yes.  (Though I only ate one meal [which lasted several hours]).  The sitting was the worse.  After our family went home, we went to a neighbors for "pie night".

Americans can't be the only ethnic group that practices mass gluttony.  Can they?

Lessons from My Reading:  I keep thinking this should be the title of the blog, but I rather mutter.  I enjoy talking to myself.

The mystery:  Why the h**l am I reading Mary Balogh?   I've stated I don't even care much for romance any more.


I have a very nice YA fantasy filled with runes and Nordic mythology set in an English-ish background by an English author.  Even was getting into the story line after I waded through the backstory and telling.  

(Another side mystery:  Why do the British write such good fantasy?  I've been reading a variety of writers since the 70s ... if you don't include Tolkien who I read in the 60s several times.)

Maybe the question should be:  Why am I reading Mary Balogh's A Precious Jewel, a Regency romance in its pure form (no thriller, mystery, etc. to dilute the relationships).  I hadn't intended on reading it.  I just saw it at the grocery store ... wondering what series she was doing next without looking to learn it was a reprint.  Then, after finishing editing Demons and sending the gargoyles on their way, I picked it up to fill in the time before the 10 PM news.  I was still reading at 11:30 ... when I decided I was tired and didn't want to stay up 'til 2.  (Yes, I considered staying up and finishing the thing.)



Why?  Well, first you have to appreciate the irony of a fallen woman discussing Jane Austin with her madam over tea.


My real answer revolves around characterization.  The people come off the page as possible people, not contrivances.  Also, I discovered one of the few un-hunk heros -- who is struggling through feelings of abandonment.  I think romance writers would put this in a discussion of alpha and beta heros.  Anyway, since it's a romance and HEA (happily ever after) is looming at the end, I assume a nice ordinary, not so good looking Regency guy is going to find happiness.


I'm waiting for the heroine to have the confrontation with the cousins who inherited her fortune by default and forced her "onto the streets".  I'm sure it will be handled with Balogh's usual sense of ironic humor.  Probably tonight.


Progress:  As hinted above, I finished editing There Be Demons from 65,000  words down to 61,000.  I was surprised I didn't get bored with it.  The ending even surprised me, sort of.  So, now I get to market it to agents again.  So, after the holiday market and baking cookies, I get to search through the fantasy agents to find ones that do fantasy and don't mind congenital anger. 

(First, though I'll send it to my 'fantasy agent'.  Rational:  It's sort of a thriller under the YA urban fantasy, and she's said in her blog:  If you have any doubts, send it.  All she can do is say 'it's not for her'.  Also, I've read about another YA agent who says she's their agent.)


Emma's still resting though I have to print her out soon to start major revisions.  I should print out Mariah too since I've changed a huge amount, and my current printout doesn't reflect the book any more.  One reason, I've been ditching prologues.


Maren is still in the research stage.  Have learned that you can do DNA analysis on charred remains (even from the inside of a tooth) as long as it isn't ash.  Thanks to a NCW member for that info.
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