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, October 28, 2011

Vampire Weenies Meet Bunnicula: MG Reviews for Halloween

Found a mystery last September, while browsing in a indie bookstore, with an intriguing blurb about a lady sleuth, who could talk to ghosts. Gave me the idea to do reviews of ghost stories for the Halloween month. After all October is the month when the veils between dimensions thin, until they're gone at Samhain.

Then, I started reading the book. Thought the MC was a wimp. Worse, the ghost was a whiner. A complete turn-off. I read about four chapters and found none of the characters engaging. Kept meaning to go back and give the book another try. I read a bunch of other books instead.

At the moment, I have to dig it out of the to-read pile by my chair and put it in the trade pile. [Have been a little busy trying to finish The Somant Troubles, a Half-Elven novella, about my callused character, Mariah, who many won't like because she's not warm. -- Don't think I'll get it done.]

Still, I've been reading some interesting books. How does Attack of the Vampire Weenies sound? Actually, the book is a collection of short stories by David Lubar. Lovely very short tales that twist and up-end all sorts of legends and cliches in scary and unexpected ways.

Lubar really demonstrates the short story framework: introduce the character/situation, throw down the complication, and solve the character's problem with a slight twist so the reader doesn't quite guess the ending. The book is part of a series. If you are working of plot pacing, a suggest you buy a book and study.

Then, practice by joining Write1Sub1.[The basic idea is to write a short story a week and submit it. The idea comes from Ray Bradbury, and Milo Fowler was one of the people getting it going. -- I may do it next year while I revise stuff in my computer -- five/six finished novels.]

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How about a vampire of another sort: Bunnicula, the infamous vegetable destroying bunny? James Howe continues his punny narratives of the Monroe family and their pets. In this episode, Bunnicula goes into a massive depression, and the fellow pets try to save him, even Claude, the cat, who usually tries to off him.

Not only did I read both books. I laughed out loud.
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