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.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Enjoy the Holiday Season. I am.

Christmas Joy ClipartFeliz Navidad

Happy Holidays

Noel, Noel


Feliz cumpeanos
[if your birthday is close to the holiday season]

   My Christmas baking for the family is done. All we have to do is mail the bags & other incidental presents. Then, I'm kicking back and relaxing until after the New Year. So this is my last blog of the year. I wish you and yours the best of times however you remember the return of Light to the world ... which shows my northern hemisphere bias as well as the Christian background I grew up in.

Shakespeare's Christmas (Lily Bard Series #3)   While waiting for the koulouradia to bake, I found myself rereading Charlaine Harris' Lily Bard series, one of my favorites. Yeah, the Sookie vampire/fae books aren't my favorites among her books -- though I've read all of that series and kept many. How many? I don't know, but I have some decisions to make about keepers if I ever do get around to cleaning my bookshelves like my son and I have planned over the holidays.

  Back to Lily Bard. The series shows all of Harris' craft skills, especially her creating many well-rounded secondary characters who add complimentary threads to the plot lines. Harris has the small town bit down pat, especially how even casual meetings can influence events. At the same time, she shows an admirable ability to keep her focus on the plotlines of her books. The result is a rich story that doesn't meander into cul-de-sacs or leave dangling ends.

  Like courageous tough women recovering from catastrophe?
  Lily Bard's your woman. Highly recommended.


   Don't plan on doing much writing over the holidays. Just a revision of Taking Vengeance. Even decided to get a new cover. We're still working on it. In the first draft, the bottom half was filled with a cloudy pink mist. While it looked pretty with the dark blue, pink? For a battle scene??????

   On the orangish the second draft. The font's still iffy since it doesn't reduce well. When reduced to a thumbnail, the font of the cover was blurred when test-posted on Twitter. Here it looks clear. Seems like you need to test how your cover reduces in several places before you make your final decisions.

   My reaction to the new cover in process. I love the stern expression on Mariah. Compare the old blue one. Think the new one's a great improvement.

   Other news, Night for the Gargoyles is still ranking above ten in free teen fantasy short reads on Amazon. It's gotta sink soon, but must say I'm enjoying the ego boost. Still, it makes me wonder about their algorithms. It really doesn't take many downloads to get a high ranking. Guess Amazon has created so many categories so authors can brag about their best selling status. Only this is one of my free offerings. You can find Gargoyles here and on my website. Incidently, the story could use a few reviews ... if anyone has any spare time. The price is right.

     Hear That Damn Owl will probably be published sometime before Christmas. It's another dark fantasy, but not about Christmas. There is some bad language in it so it won't be a teen story. Again, it'll be a freebie. Anyone who wants an early free copy can get a PDF copy by emailing mkkaytheod-at-yahoo-com -- when it's ready.

   My big promotional bit will come next February for The Ghostcrow. I'll begin sending queries to reviewers soon. My goal is to send five a night. Just thinking about it make me laugh at myself.

Enjoy whatever holiday you celebrate at the end of the year.
If you're lucky, you'll find lots of excuses to have fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Challenge of Writing: Solving Craft Problems by Wolf Schimanski

Today my guest blogger is Wolf Schimanski, thriller writer and author of Meter of Deception and Meter of Corruption.

The Challenge of Writing:
Solving Craft Problems

     My Worst Writing Fear? Interesting question. I love to write and have my ideas come to life in print. I struggle with bad habits such as lengthy paragraphs and sentences, whether my chapters are too long or two short and if my I’s are dotted and t’s are crossed like I suspect most writers do. I have learned a lot from the experience of writing my first book and tried my best not to make the same mistakes again. It’s an evolving process; if you want to get proficient in something you have to practice, practice and practice some more and that is what I am attempting to do.
            Another thing that frustrates me massively is the expectation of perfection that some readers seem to have. What impresses them is perfect punctuation, sentence and paragraph structure and everything else that comes with it. I have read literally hundreds of novels by the best authors on this planet and still see mistakes even with the professional editing staff they have at their disposal. But I am looking for an exciting story that makes my heart race and keeps me up at night turning the pages. A mysterious, intriguing and captivating story with a killer plot, great pro and antagonists and that excitement of not knowing what is on the next page until I turn it, is what I strive most of all for.  
            Writing is the magic to paint a scene from words to the big screen of imagination and the best writers have learned the formula for doing it consistently over and over and over again. That is why they are the best. And what else am I doing to get to that level? Read, read and read some more and write, write and write even more. I am one dimensional in the sense I only have created lengthy action/thrillers to this point as that is where my passion lies. Writing smaller pieces such as this is certainly a welcome way to hone my craft.
            One of the things on my bucket list besides finishing my third novel is to set up and dedicate some time to a blog weekly as it will commit me to write consistently as currently I write in spurts. One chapter and then I may not write again for a week. But I am working on that and have settled down to a more regular pattern. I am also in the process of joining a local writers society in my town as I am learning is that I can’t do it alone and need input and help from others who are more knowledgeable and experienced  than I am.
            These are some of my writing issues and how I am attempting to deal with them. The beauty of writing is that the sky is the limit but you need to get off the ground first to get there.

Author Bio:
Wolf Schimanski

     Wolf Schimanski is a man of many interests and talents. He has trained in martial arts, enjoys a variety of sports and is an accomplished guitarist and musician. Professionally Schimanski worked many years in the information technology, management and financial planning industries.
            An avid reader turned breakthrough author, Schimanski brings his own unique spin to the action/thriller genre and thus far has released two exceptionally gripping, fast paced works of fiction---Meter of Deception and Meter of Corruption.              
           Schimanski lives with his wife Terri and divides his time between their lakeside home in Mount Forest, Ontario in the summer and their winter residence in London Ontario, Canada.  He is currently working on his third novel, the final installment in the Meter trilogy. 

          So how let me tell you a little about how “Meter of Corruption” came to be. I have been an avid reader of Action/Thrillers all my life and one day asked myself what type of story would I like to read?

The old washed out alcoholic detective theme stumbling along in a serial killers tracks had been done to death in so many ways, I really wanted to breathe some fresh life into the genre.  Take  4 friends,  furious action, a relentless pace, an evil and ruthless villain, some humorous and sexy diversions and an ending no one will see coming!

You can purchase Meter of Corruption at Amazon and B&N Nook.                                                                                       
  Jon-Erik, Joey, Angel, and Tina have been through some severe tough times together, and they’ve made it through to the other side. But just as things are fina
lly calming down and starting to go smoothly for them, chaos reenters their lives, and it threatens to destroy everything they hold dear.

This highly anticipated sequel to author Wolf Schimanski’s debut novel Meter of Deception finds the fearless foursome comfortably settled into a domestic paradise. Jon-Erik and Angel as well as Joey and Tina have settled down and are engaged to be married, and the men are working together as partners in Joey’s family furniture business.

  But corporate shark Richard Rasmussin has his sights set on their business, and he’s determined to swallow it whole. A ruthless, underhanded, crooked man, he’ll stop at nothing until he takes hold of the business, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that no one interferes with his larger, wide-sweeping wicked schemes.

  Can these four friends muster up the courage and skill to survive Rasmussin’s attacks? Or will they fall victim to corruption, depravity, and danger that is unprecedented even for them?

  The second installment in the Meter trilogy, Meter of Corruption, follows the protagonists as they battle to protect their lives and livelihoods from the sinister web that threatens to suffocate them. Full of non-stop action, unexpected plot twists, and spine-tingling revelations, this page-turner spans wayward and exotic locations, such as Jamaica and Russia, and delves into an underworld so dark and diabolical it’ll leave you at a loss for words.