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.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

When is a Book Too Good?

This Week's Book Review:
Everyone looks for good books to read -- however they define that. The Serpent's Shadow by Mercedes Lackey is definitely a good book. I reread it over the weekend because I needed a comfort read as I tried to labor, unsuccessfully, through another book. Lackey had me reading until almost 3 AM after the nightly news ... on a re-read, no less. --  [A big pain since my head was so fuzzy the next day I couldn't write. Didn't get much else done either except two naps. Don't think I remember any of the web stuff I read either.]

The Serpent's Shadow follows Maya Witherspoon's move to England escape from the evil magic that killed her mother and father. Maya fights to establish her medical credentials in an Edwardian world in spite of being mixed English-Brahmin ancestry. The book is part of Lackey's Elemental Magician series, and Maya is triply handicapped by not knowing how to work in the magical tradition she inherited until the love interest finds and teaches her. -- [It's also a take-off from Snow White. Not the Disney version, thank the-powers-that-be.]

Love the way Lackey had separate conflicts for each important secondary characters to solve in this book. Yeah, seemed like every meaningful character each had his/her own problems, and Lackey managed to delineate and solve all those loose ends without pages of back story clogging the pace of the story. I thought it a masterful performance that lured me to read waaaay past my bedtime. [Like, 3 AM.]

Even the villain had problems with incompetent help ... but then, that's the kind of weakness that enables the heroes to defeat the villains. In this case, Lackey created a wonderful straw-villain who was a delight to watch.

Yeah, her characters are well rounded enough to have angles you don't expect.

Grumbling About My Reading: 
Is social networking a mystery to you? Thanks to all the people I've been reading on Twitter and the blogosphere, its not a mystery to me ... but I'm sure as h**l  rebelling.  Still, the social networking titles keep jabbing their hooks into me. 

Michael Barrett has a blog with a marvelous pre-primer on social networking which includes a list of all the stuff I should be doing on Facebook and Twitter. Only problem I can't ever get things to work right without lots of trial and error.

Case in point, my marketing guru [Actually, there are many, but only one talks to me.] told me to set up a Facebook page for Taking Vengeance. I did ... and even came up with a gimmick to add content in spite of my slooooow writing/publishing rate. Then, I did a test on Twitter looking for likes. Score: 1 person shows up on the page and 3 people emailed me it works, but didn't show up on the page.  Oh well, back to the drawing board someday. -- Hey, I got a Twitter post. Maybe one of them can help me?

Hey, maybe I should share a bit of marketing the guru gave me -- a way to update your book Facebook page. You should have quotes from the book or, maybe, a character[s] making comments about what happens in the book.  So, once a week ... if I can remember ... I've decided to write a Mariah grumble. This week's has her commenting that cleavage is more attention-getting than bells sewn to the hem of your skirts.  --  Why a grumble? Grumbles are one of my favorite things. 

One guru suggestion I'll gladly ignore: Having my name in the title of my blog. My name is in the sub-title. Sufficient. As I said, I'm in a rebelling mood. More important. Seeing my name first thing just plain annoyed me.

If you're caught in the marketing scene, what is your favorite way to make sales? Is it effective?

I can see the end of the endless drops in the old man's eyes.
Only putting them in every two hours now.
It used to be every hour with up to three meds needing five minute breaks in between.
The doctor visits were the worst time-wasters, though, since they always took about three hours.

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