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.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Finding Something to Read

The Read ...
Yeah.  I've been reading ... and putting the book down ... and reading ... and putting the book down.  Did I finish anything.  Well, yeah ... but the book I read puzzled the heck out of me.  What puzzled me more was the books I put down.  

I remember being an avid reader of Patricia Wentworth back in the day.  She had a British spinster sleuth in the Miss Marple vein.  She told a several good tales [it seemed from what I skimmed] about the vices of the gentry, but I couldn't get interested in them.  Maybe it was the amount of telling in the story line.  I'm guessing screen writing has had a greater influence on my reading than I thought.

What did I read?  C. S. Harris' When Gods Die which opens with Prinny [George the IV while his father was still alive] talking to and clutching a corpse.  The characterization was so sharply drawn, Harris drew me into her story of would-be revolutionaries capitalizing on the Napoleanic Wars, the main character/sleuth's discovery that his mother is still alive after he thought she'd died when he was a child, and other subplots that keep the action popping.  Harris really knows her Regency history, unlike a thousand other writers I can't name.  More interestingly, she gets her characters out of the drawing rooms and into the sewers ... literally. 

So why did this surprise me?  Well, I bought three books in the series on the basis of a review ... and put the first one on the to-trade pile without getting more than a couple chapters into the book.  Read the second that had been languishing at the bottom of the to-read pile.  Started to read the third, and it went on the trade pile.  There's a fourth where the MC solves a crime with the daughter of the MC's nemisis.  It looks intriguing, but I doubt if I'll go looking for it.  Stephanie Laurens did something vaguely similar in one of her later Cynster novels.  

Web and Other Stuff ...
A  Twitter link underlined one of the questions rotating in my mind.  What the heck should I blog about to interest people.  You might read Dawn Rae Miller's blog about:  you shouldn't be writing about writing.  Miller has some serious credentials on building platforms, so I think her opinion is worth thinking about.

If you've been pressed for time [like I have been], you might check out Brooke Favero over at The Writing Bug, the blog of the Northern Colorado Writers.  She's gleaned some good posts from the blogosphere from last week.

If you want a second opinion, you might also check out Patti Struble's blog, The Writer's Bump.  Patti offers her on take on the week in her Friday Mash-Up.

One last promotional thing:  N. R. Williams has been doing a blog book tour for her new fantasy book:  The Treasures of Carmelidrium.   You want an example of good promotion?  Go spend some time at Nancy's blog reading her posts and following her links.  She made me tired just twirling my mouse. 

Progress ...
The more I work, the behinder I get.  Or, at least it seems that way even though I finally figured out a framework and did the revision for another Renna's Tale.  Check it out.  It'll take you a lot less time to read it than it took me to figure out how to write it.

Had a 2000 word first chapter for Maren and was all set to jump into chapter two.  Only new ideas kept popping out of my brain.  Of course, I ended up making revisions as I inserted the new ideas into the text.  The chapter is now over 3,000 words long ... and I still have some scribbled notes for additions.
Trivia ...
Spent waaaaay too much time in nursing homes ... checking out the facilities.  At least, they let me out again. 
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