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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Monday, January 12, 2015

Writing a Good Story is All in the Details

Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel   Lucked out before the holidays. I had bought Jacqueline Carey's Autumn Bones so I had something to read while I coughed up my lungs. Turned out it was the second book in a trilogy, but the book stood on its own two feet. Found the book a delightful light read when I really didn't have much energy to keep my eyes focused. Great literature Bones isn't ... but the book did hit the spot. I remained entertained even though I first thought the storyline plodded through a bunch of miscellaneous characters.

  Yeah, I found the book dragged a bit, especially when the main character, Daisy Johansson dithered over who was going to be her boyfriend out of three potentially hot candidates. Granted the main character is young and uneasy with her dual demon/human status, but she lives in a town where the preternaturals have gathered in sort of a safe-haven created by a transported Norse goddess, Hel. In fact, Daisy's her enforcer and liaison with the mundane world.

  The problem? Daisy acts more like a fourteen-year-old with boy problems than an adult. I would of thought the Goddess Hel'd pick a more mature person as her representative.

  That caveat aside, Carey's constructed a light-hearted romp with a diverse crew of well-fleshed characters, many of whom get their moments in the sun. At about page 200, I thought she had introduced too many types of beings into her world. Various fae, preternatural, and human  had pranced across the stage. But Carey soon laid my qualms to rest as she built her storyline encounter by encounter. Seemed that the various people all had some contribution to make towards the denouement after the headstrong, mother from hell released, without any qualms, a ghostly persuader to encourage her errant, adult son to return home--whether he wanted to return or not.

Recommended as a light read. If you're an ardent fan of hard-hitting, supernatural chick lit and/or urban fantasy, this may not be the book for you. It skims across the genre cliches and tells a story all its own--and you don't have to read the first book in the trilogy to follow the plot line. To me, that's a plus.

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   Oh, I had plans to finish some "quick, simple" things over the holidays. Even accomplished a couple of them, like got Hear That Damn Owl? published on all venues--Amazon, Nook, Smashwords, KOBO, etc. The Ghostcrow is getting beta read. But haven't even started to look for reviewers yet.

  Owl's now free on Amazon. Of course, all reviews appreciated. Do want to share a piece of my one Owl review with you. "My favorite part about this book is the vivid, visually rich writing style..."

  Perhaps the most important thing I did was to mull over my social media involvement. Seems like I spent most of last year marketing my stories. Oh, it was nice that Night for the Gargoyles was in the top ten free short stories for a while. But I didn't see much in the way of reviews from the downloads, and I definitely didn't make any money.

  Bottom line. I'm thinking of forgetting about sales and concentrate on writing. The sequel to Noticing Jamilla has been nagging ... and I'm thinking about concentrating on that. Anyone care for Demon Eyes?

  One thing playing with all the Andor stories has done: clarified my ideas about the demons stalking Andor.

  Oh, There Be Demons was rejected by a couple publishers over the holidays. I'm submitting it in a lackadaisical fashion. I think Curiousity Quills is next in line to send me a rejection letter. Bottom line, though, I've decided I really don't want to bother tracking a bunch of publisher and/or agent submissions ... so I'll be sending it out when I'm not sending Dark Solstice Turning Point or Bad Luck Emma out. The strange part? All three book manuscripts aren't a bad read even if they aren't marketable.
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