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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Friday, July 15, 2011

Magic in Paranormal Fiction, etc.

Fantasy Book Comments [aka Review]:
Is there a greater cliche in fantasy than "magic"?  Ilona Andrews Magic Slays and the other books in that series has one of the more interesting concepts of magic I've discovered.  The stuff ebbs and flows, making everyone -- nulls, weres, vampires, magic workers -- cope.  In Magic Slays, the coping becomes more complicated because a bunch of nulls is taking advantage of disaffected magic workers to create sleeper cells dedicated to destroying magic.

Do you catch the hint of social commentary there?  Yeah, the team writers, known as Ilona Andrews, make some interesting comments about the "human condition"  within the context of the story.  What amazed me was they stopped before the commentary became tedious a la Edward Bellamy's Looking Backwards.

On the writerly level, Andrews trims all sorts of dangling loose ends as they complicate Kate Daniels' first job as a private investigator.  Yeah, its a delight to watch how the flaws in characters come back to bite Daniels in the behind with fangs longer than a were's.  The reader is even treated to some back story about her family which doesn't clog the action flow.

Never fear, even though lots of complications are resolved in the Magic Slays' story line, there're plenty more to carry the series forward.  This is a series that hasn't bogged down ... yet anyway.

Grumping About My Lessons:
Barb Drozdowich at the Indie Book Collective has blog on book blogger/reviewers, simply titled "Reviews".  The reason I mention it is to kick myself in the butt ... or is that "but ..." ... because I've been ignoring the "email for books reviews" on my to-do list.  But then, I've also got this little item about formatting for Amazon and Pub It that's languishing from list to list.

Guess I'm going to have to bite the bullet and ask "followers" on Twitter to do it.  --  My Facebook pages are for people I know/met so I really don't want to beg there.  --  I think my dislike of marketing could very easily rub off onto social networking.  --  What do you think about begging for reviews?  Personally, I don't even care if they're bad.

I'm glad I don't expect to make any money as a writer.  It saves me from lots of disappointment since I'm so deep in an accounting hole, I may never see black again on my Schedule C.  Then, I discovered a fascinating blog by Ellery Adams "Bares All" ,giving us the statistics on the life of a mid-list author.  While he makes some money, he seems to be getting about as much respect as Rodney Dangerfield.

Guess I should say I found him doing a guest blog on Jessica Faust's Bookends blog.  No, Faust isn't a slouch as an agent.  Adams has three mystery series, at least one of them published by Berkley.   Still, he doesn't make enough to make the IRS sit up and pant ... unless he didn't file his taxes. -- It's just that most authors don't make the best seller lists.  It's statistically impossible.  So, forget the leather elbow patches and pipe.

[How's that for a sexist comment?  
Whatever, the article is fascinating ... or did I say that already.]

Is there a cure for paltry sales?  Maybe the WANA? Don't know the term?  Maybe you should read about Kristin Lamb and her approach to social networking. It's a little self-promotional, but has some great insights on increasing your ebook sales.  Basically, it gives some pointers on not promoting alone. Kay rating:  worth printing so you can underline the pertinent parts.

Doesn't all that sound good?  Unfortunately, I think I'm more congenitally geared to growling than glad-handing ... even if I'm only pressing keys.

Trivia:
The dumb cat has decided it likes to be twirled in my computer chair.  I get up to touch my knees so my hip doesn't ossify, and he's usually there meowing for a ride.  Today, he hissed at me when I tried to remove him.  He soon got the message he's not the boss.
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