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, August 18, 2012

Can Your Characters Stand the Series Test?

Picked up a copy of Christine Feehan's Samurai Game, the new Ghost Walker novel, in the grocery store. A couple of books back I stopped looking for her new titles because it seemed to me that she was giving the same character different names and matching him up with a different woman who was a cookie cut-out from the previous heroine. I think this is a minority opinion because they are re-issuring her Carpathian series -- and publishers don't do that unless an author's books are selling.

In the series, the Ghost Walkers defend themselves against Dr. Whitney's attempts -- the man who created them by enhancing their psychic abilities to use as military operatives -- to regain control of the soldiers and their women. At this point in the story line, the pairings of different Ghost Walkers have now produced children. Whitney plots to kidnap the babies for further experimentation. This time around, Feehan complicates the story line with an added element --  a female character is as lethal as the overprotective males.

So, how did Samurai Game stand up to being read? Well, I read it all the way through with very little skimming. ... All the action you expect from a Feehan novel is there, maybe more than some previous volumes in the series. What kind of action? Well, how about three assassinations in the first 20 pages. Firefights, intrigue, more assassinations follow, and plenty of sex in between the fights.

The book's well worth studying for how Feehan paces the plot. Even though this is tenth in a series, very little back-story clogs the action. Even though I hadn't read the last few books, it didn't matter. Dribbles of info here and there gave me enough to know where this book fits in the story line.

I still haven't decided whether this book's a keeper or is going on the trade pile, but I recommend it as a read.


[Christine Feehan. Samurai Game. New York: Jove Books, Penguin Group, 2012.]


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Looking for success with the help of an agent? Rachelle Gardner, one of the best for sharing publishing info, recently blogged on what catches an agents eye. So, if you'd like a pointed commentary on what agents look for in a writer, the info is only a click away.

I'd add one other point that's a necessity if you are seeking an agent's quality time. Write consistently and productively. There's a pace in the commercial publishing world that can eat up a writer alive ... especially if you write genre fiction. Read the blogs of professional writers, especially when they write about revisions and copy editing.  Both eat up hours.

At least Gardner nor any other agent need to worry about me clogging their in boxes. Since I can't sit at the computer long enough to be efficient, I've decided not to query agents ... even if I had something to query with.


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Which reminds me of the status of my writing. My pig prequel has a new title ... Troublesome Neighbors ... and I'm slogging somewhere in the last third. So much for spending a week on writing a free short story. Worse than being a slow writer is trying to tie together several story lines into a new whole.

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