The 'Write' Information

Questions & Answers with D.L. Gardner

I’m excited to have the chance to take a peek into the world of another new-to-me author. Today we are talking with D.L. Gardner.

About D.L. Gardner: 

A young adult and young-at-heart fantasy novelist living in the Pacific Northwest USA. Noted for her novels, screenplays, and film projects, she writes in all subgenres in the fantasy genre including adventure, historical, urban and comedy.

Today we’ll be discussing the book Thread of a Spider:

Following an ambush at the Upton Rail Station in 1921 Ireland, British troops burn Ailis’ home to the ground and arrest her fiancé, Liam, for murder. She and her younger brother Paddy flee to an enchanted glen. Lured by a haunting song, Paddy is abducted by forest folk. Perilous obstacles, and a questionable stranger, hinder Ailis’ attempts to find her brother or free her fiancé, until her only hope for survival rests on the magic of the Fae.

The light was nothing like a headlamp, nor anything man-made, nor anything man could conceive of making. It was, rather, a globe of illumination having no source whatsoever that Paddy could decipher. The brilliant glow appeared to be powered on its own. It hovered in space, casting a beam on the surrounding foliage and reflected like stars in the babbling creek. The longer he stared, the more transparent the radiance became, until he saw a lone figure inside the bauble—a most amazing creature. A woman, nay, a faerie the size of his hand. Slender with long, golden hair and smooth, white skin. She wore a flowing tunic that danced in the breeze of her own making and took on all the color of the globe that burned brilliantly around her. Her wings were a delicate lavender that fluttered like butterfly wings and changed hues from blue to periwinkle as she stirred. Beads of light reflected on a spider’s web which forked out across the foliage surrounding her—spires of ivory lace from which she tugged a single thread. With one end of the fiber in her teeth, she worked her fingers charmingly, so that the filament wound into a beautiful ball of yarn.

Questions & Answers:

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A. This my favourite part. My questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.

Question: Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
My favorite character in my book is Paddy. Whereas the story is mostly about his sister Ailis and her struggles to free her fiancé, Paddy’s the one that befriends the Fae, and convinces them to help the Irish win the war. He’s a feisty 15-year-old wanting to fight, yet hating himself for killing a man. He loves his family, his country and he learns to love the forest folk as well. There’s something to be said about passion, and Paddy is passionate!

Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.

He’s 15, red hair, a bit tall for his age. Lots of freckles. A real Irishman and proud of it. He everything a boy that age can be. A tease to his sister. Zealous. Anxious to join the Volunteers and fight but when he finally does fire that gun, the damage is devastating. His heart is as big as a pot of gold, and he embraces myth as quick as he embraces reality. He wants nothing more than to have his family safe, and his country free.

Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?

Zealous for his friend, Tommy, when he understands that the boy’s been kidnapped by Fae.

“Magic,” he snarled. “Fae!” He crumpled the cloth with his fist, and shoved the fabric into his pocket. “I’ll find you Tommy, I swear. By the sword of Saint Michael, I’ll find you and bring you back home.”

A tease to his sister.

He interrupted her thoughts. “You’ve heard the tale of the Black Boar? The dark swine is evil, Ailis.”
She glanced at him. His eyes were still closed. “What are your blathering ‘bout?”
“The spirit of the Black Boar. Chased from Northern Ireland to West Cork.”
“Sure, and that’s but a tall story!” she said.
“Thought they had killed him, but he came alive again, and lives to this day.”
“Craic!”
Paddy opened one eye and stared at her intensely. “In the form of a Brit.”

Passionate for his country and his countrymen.

There was fury in Paddy’s voice, and his face burned red with passion. “He’s a snitch. He’s going to have everyone we know either shot or hanged. Ailis, he shot you and left you for the buzzards! No one does that to my family. No one! He needs to die!”

Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Historical Fantasy

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about?

There is violence.

Question: Do you have any upcoming events?

I have a book signing coming up in Western WA.

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?

I’m currently writing a WWII historical romance based on the actual letters and life of a nurse in England and a wounded infantryman she cares for.


Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc…)

Cover artist Cover design Les Solot Les and Models which I hired for the photo Tess Stuart, and Kohde Rion Howard. Also, I want to thank ManuFixers for the encouragement and wonderful edits.

Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc.

I’d be in the green hills under misty clouds, a creek babbling at my feet, the sound of mourning doves in a stand of Paper Birch, the smell of mint and watercress surrounding me and the love of my life by my side.

Question: If the character from above were in that place, what would they be doing?

Considering there’s a war going on, I don’t think they would be enjoying the peace. I think they would looking for Fae, or tracking down the British that took Liam away.

Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?

Paddy would say, “Stay close to your loved ones, and don’t let them wander off where the woods are deep, or the fire of war burns. At least not without you watching their backs.

Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?

He’d be giving his coins to the unit his sister is a member of, Cumann na mBan.


If you’re interested, you can check out the following links to find out more about this author. Thank you D.L. Gardner and all my readers for your time!


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thread-Spider-D-L-Gardner-ebook/dp/B0748VX5LX

Applehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/thread-of-a-spider/id1258434485?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thread-of-a-spider-dl-gardner/1126687051?ean=9780692920480

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/D_L_Gardner_Thread_of_a_Spider?id=NNUtDwAAQBAJ

KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/thread-of-a-spider

The 'Write' Information

A Look at Author J. E. Muller

I don’t often feature an author in my weekly column, but this newly published gal has my attention. For being brand new to the world of writing, self-publishing and marketing, Mueller seems to have all the right moves down pat. That alone sparks my interest! Let’s take a look together at the self-proclaimed fantasy author, Skyrim lover, and cat herder.

J. E. Mueller has been an active writer for years, as well as a very out-of-the closet geek. From conventions in full cosplay, to movie marathons with themed food, geekdom is far from a turnoff. Mueller also enjoys a variety of video games from Skyrim to Stardew Valley, Splatoon to Mortal Kombat.

Mueller’s debut novel, Fire’s Song, was released June 17, 2017 and today is sitting at an Amazon ranking of 774 in its fantasy subgenre. Those are good statistics for a new author almost 2 months after release. I’ve added it to my reading pile and I’ll be sharing my review in the coming weeks.

Fire’s Song:

Having already lost and given up everything, Key is determined to find a cure for her curse. With her very touch able to kill, she must seek answers from a distance. In this world, if a curse born dies, then the demons win their soul. Without much more to lose, Key decides to try the last of her luck on a village catered to magic born. Her questions unleash events that take her places she never expected existed.

An excerpt was provided by the author to share with our readers. Let’s take a look inside the book:

“What foolish move is this?” He turned the swords to point at me.

“Your fire can’t kill me,” I replied simply.

“The swords can,” he said, confused and surprised by my boldness.

“Obviously,” I responded without stopping until I was in front of him. Before he could say another word I punched him in the face as hard as I could.

Not ready for it, he fell backwards. The swords clattered to the ground and I encased them in a smaller flame shield. The strain from the extra magic usage was instantaneous. I could only hope it didn’t show in my expression. My years of bluffing were finally coming into play.

Regaining his feet and composure, he glared at me. His nose was now bleeding and likely broken.

Holding up my fists I got into a defensive stance. “Wanna dance?” I asked, ready to go. My plan was very limited. I was making it up on the fly.

Questions & Answers

It’s time to delve into the Q. & A. This my favourite part. My questions are crafted to give a reader a clear look at how an author writes; what drives them; and what can be expected in their books.


Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?

Medieval fantasy

Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content readers should know about? Mild language

Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works? 

I am currently working on book two of my three book series. I’ve also started to outline a shorter, possible one shot. Aiming for novella length on that one.

Question: How does your cover tie into your story?

My main character, Key, is a bit of a wanderer thanks to her curse. So the forest in the background captures that, as well as the fire capturing and displaying just what her magic can do. The demons nicely off to the sides show the added effects they’ve had on Key as well as the world she lives in.

Question: What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

As a child, Ella Enchanted and Fever 1793. As a pre-teen/young teen, Harry Potter.

Question: If you could meet any character from any book, who would it be? Why?

Modra from the Chronicles of Lorreck series. I see a lot of myself in her. The good, the bad, and some terrible decision making reminds me a lot of my own journey.

Question: When did you realize you were meant to be a writer?

When I first started writing ‘books’ around fourth grade. They were around 5-10 pages, and at that time doing something like that just for fun really showed my interest in writing.

Question: If your life was a book, what would be the tagline?

Blundering attempts at simple things with extra laughs.

Question: What advice would you give new writers?

Books change lives. You never know how your words can impact someone, how your words can change, and help another. Don’t give up.

Question: What has been the worst mistake you have made in your writing career?

Trying to show my story to an alpha before it was ready. I learned a lot from that experience.

Question: What is the best moment you have had with a fan?

A fan was rereading my book and sent me a wonderfully angry message. They forgot one of the plot twists. They knew everything would work out in the end (mostly) from prior reading, but that one moment of dread caught them off guard a second time and it was a wonderfully hilarious interaction.


Thank you for your time. If you are looking for more information you can connect with this author online using the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/authorJEMueller/

https://twitter.com/ThePenguinBard

https://www.amazon.com/Fires-Song-J-E-Mueller-ebook/dp/B0721J22K2/

Until next time, happy reading!

Book Reviews, Young Adult

Review: Sparks Fly by Kadian Thomas

Sparks Fly is an amazing debut novel in Young/Adult Fantasy. What’s different about this book? There are two strong female main characters.

The first is a young girl named Calina who runs into a forest, hoping to avoid being attacked by bullies.

The second is Anorvia. She’s been bred her whole life to fulfill a prophecy. Destined to return to her homeworld as a saviour, she too enters the forest.

Only one person can travel between the two worlds – the wrong one does.

I love the idea of alternating between the two girls and seeing both of their struggles to end up on the side of the portal they were meant to be. Later on, we are given a third perspective, which in some books would be confusing, but here, I believe it works well.

The ending is where I felt this first-in-a-series lacked. Cliffhanger endings can be a good thing. They build up suspense for what happens next. This, however, wasn’t a tension-building ending – rather, I found it a bit confusing. I came away with a feeling of What just happened? I even went back to reread the final pages to see if I missed something. Alas, I did not. I will simply have to wait for the next book to understand why.

Four out of five stars!

Book Reviews

Review: Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick

I decided to read Border Lines during the voting period of the Summer Indies Book Awards as it was one of eight books listed in the Dystopian category.

I am going to start by saying this book is well-written with vivid descriptions. Fitzpatrick crammed so much into 233 pages and the book is bursting with action. It takes place in and around apocalyptic London. The book starts out with an interesting murder. That sets up the mystery that needs to be solved.

As the second book in a series, the story follows the already established trio of Charlie, John and Rachel as they take on a new “job”. I wish had more information from the first book. I found it a bit confusing in the beginning. For example, I did not know what type of “jobs” the group did, although, whatever they were, they appeared not to be legally sanctioned.

Although I enjoyed all the different perspectives, early on I found it a bit disjointed; by the halfway mark it came together nicely. The second point of view is more a detective-on-the-case style, following up on a slew of recent murders. This adds in place a whodunit aspect to the tale, which proved to be quite interesting. Fitzpatrick gives a few possibilities along the way.

Overall it was an interesting read that held my attention. I’ll need to read the next book to answer a few questions left over at the end.

Four out of five stars. I’m not taking off any points because I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I strongly suggest other readers do.

Book Reviews

Review: Evasion by Becca Boucher

A zombie pandemic has already happened and left scars behind. In the meager life that is left behind, a new problem arises – drugs. The main character, Lizzy, never saw the signs her husband was involved until it was too late. As the story progresses it becomes clear much more is being created than meth & heroin – someone wants to recreate the pandemic.

I am obligated to give my usual warnings: strong language; drug addiction; and violence. Recommended for mature audiences.

I love the idea of a man-made, mind-eating bacteria and the use of drugs as a means of distribution. Bringing in elements of intrigue, government conspiracy, interwoven lies, kidnapping, and murders, all within a small town, makes this a fast-paced page-turner. There is a touch of romance that hits out-of-the-blue. It’s a nice touch, but happens a bit too fast considering all that is going on.

Overall, the characters are well-developed, but I was more intrigued by them rather than emotionally vested in their fight. I would have liked to have had a bit more of a look at Luca and Lizzy’s relationship before the pandemic to give me a little extra emotion about what was happening to them – perhaps a prologue of life before the war.

A recommended read for government conspiracy theorists. Although this book is technically about zombies, they have a rather short role on screen.

Four out of five stars!

The 'Write' Information

Hide a Book Day – September 18th

I’m sure you’ve heard of it before – celebrities hiding books in well-known places. This year is a bit different. Goodreads, for their tenth anniversary, is teaming up with The Book Fairies.

Don’t be surprised if you find a book or two on your way to work or at the park. Book Fairies will be hiding books in some unusual places to help promote reading and literacy. Pictures of Emma Watson hiding a few of her favourites are already making rounds on the internet.

This is an amazing event, but did you know you too can participate?

As a reader, I know first hand I always have excess books my shelves can’t handle. Rather than leaving them sitting in boxes this year, I plan on distributing a few around nearby towns for people to find. As an author, I’ll be adding a few of my own into the mix.

On the Book Fairies website, you can order book bags, bookmarks, stickers, buttons and ribbons to include with the books. It can add up fast, though. Authors can also offer their books to be hidden by others – an amazing idea. Other than the price, the other downside is you have to order them from the UK, making shipping time an issue. I’ve ordered mine.

If you want to participate and are out of time there are still a few options. Write a note on a sticky pad and attach to the inside cover, or, if you are the author, write a note directly in the book and sign it for an added special touch!

I’m looking forward to participating and hope to run into a few other fairies on September 18th. Thanks for reading, and see you next week for more of The Write Information.

For more information on The Book Fairies please visit http://ibelieveinbookfairies.com/

Articles

Winners in the Summer Indie Book Awards

Voting is all wrapped up for another year. The Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing has released their winner list. Congratulations to all the winners! Let’s see how my predictions did.

Anthology

Prediction: There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Winners:

  1. The Collective by Riley Edwards and Jonathan Edward Ondrashek
  2. Ghostly Writes by Plaisted Publishing House and Many Others
  3. Man Behind the Mask by Audrey Brice (Author), Stevie Kopas (Author), S. L. Mewse (Author), D M Slate (Author), Dawn Cano (Author), Debbie Dodds (Author), Michelle Garza (Author), Alice J. Black (Author), Melissa Larson (Author), Fox Emm (Author), Dani Brown (Author), Kasey Hill (Author), Delphine Quinn (Author), Kindra Sowder (Author), Carly Holmes (Author), Jaime Johnesee (Author), Lisa Lane (Author), Rose Garnett (Author), David Owain Hughes (Editor), Veronica Smith (Editor), Jonathan Edward Ondrashek (Editor), Linnea Quigley (Foreword)
Results: I missed the mark for the Anthology genre.

Biography

Prediction: There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Winners:

  1. Breaking the Glass Slipper by Sherry Rentschler
  2. The Puppet Master by Stephen E. Crockett
  3. From Cropduster to Airline Captain by LeRoy Brown
Results: No prediction was made

Children’s

Prediction: Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Winners:

  1. Dragon Lightning by Jenny Burke
  2. Giorgio and the Olive by J.L. Gonzalez
  3. A Home for Emy by Chris Turnbull
Results: I’m left asking… Where’s the Frog? My predictions rate a zero in the Children's category.

Contemporary

Prediction: We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Winners:

  1. An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco
  2. ICE – Knights of Silence by Amy Cecil
  3. Enigma of Life by Shandi Boyes
Results: ICE made the list.

Crime

Prediction: Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Winners:

  1. Take You Home by T.J. Spade
  2. Right to Silence by Lily Luchesi
  3. Blood Lust by Markie Madden
  4. Siren Song by Markie Madden
  5. Welcome to Central City by Adam C. Mitchell
Results: A fail in Crime!

Diversity

Prediction: I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Winners:

  1. Catch Me If I Fall by Kay Blake
  2. Freak by Erin Lee
  3. Her Name was Sam by Erin Lee
Results: Successful prediction

Dystopian  

Prediction: I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Winners:

  1. Untamed by Madeline Dyer
  2. Border Lines by L.E. Fitzpatrick
  3. Operation Child by Jaci Wheeler
Results: Successful prediction

Erotica

Prediction: Pandora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Winners:

  1. Disgraceful by Dee Palmer
  2. Blurred Edges (Volume 2) by Kane Caldwell
  3. Waiting by R.M. Gauthier
Results: Failed prediction

Fantasy

Prediction: This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough though with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Winners:

  1. Hat Trick by Jeremy Croston
  2. Color of Evil by S K Wee
  3. The Council by Kayla Krantz
  4. Playing with Fire by Clare Meyers and Cris Meyers
Results: Failed prediction

Historical

Prediction: This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Winners:

  1. Letters Away by Elias Raven and Sharon Johnson
  2. A Nest of Hornets by Robert Krenzel
  3. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Jane Jordan
Results: Successful prediction

Horror

Prediction: Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Winners:

  1. Shadow Puppets by Carver Pike
  2. Odium IV by Claire C. Riley
  3. Dead Normal by D M Singh
Results: Failed prediction

Holiday

Prediction: Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Winners:

  1. Christmas Miracle in July by R.M. Gauthier
  2. Horny Santa by Ethan Radcliff
Results: I nailed the prediction in this category!

Humor

Prediction: This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Winners:

  1. Welcome to E. Mayberry by Chris Genovese
  2. Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me by Leia Star
  3. FaeTal by Becca Moree
Results: Prediction placed second

Mystery

Prediction: I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake-in the votes on this one.

Winners:

  1. Severed Heart by Kristy Ferguson
  2. Agents of Shadow by Richard Crofton
  3. Patriots Passing by Summer Prescott
Results: Prediction placed second.

New Adult

Prediction: I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Escape to Darkness by C.A. King
  2. Concealed by the Night by Michael James
  3. In Her Woods by Jaxson Kidman and London Casey
Results: Surprise - shock! Thank you!

Novella

Prediction: Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category for which one of my books is nominated. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated!

Winners:

  1. Tomoiya’s Story: Collecting Tears by C.A. King
  2. The Ghost in the Mirror by Faith Gibson
  3. Kiss of Vengeance by E.A. Copen
Results: Prediction placed 3rd. I’ll add some surprise and shock for my novella placing first. Thank you.

Paranormal

Prediction: This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Winners:

  1. Deceit Can be Deadly by Nicky Charles
  2. Night Orchid by L. Lombard
  3. My Champion by Alanea Alder
Results: Failed prediction

 Poetry  

Prediction: Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition. Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Winners:

  1. Love Letters Destroyed by Winter M. Balefire
  2. Inhale Love Exhale Poetry by Lo-arna Green
  3. Nova by Joanne Van Leerdam
Results: Failed prediction

Romance

Prediction: This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Winners:

  1. My Light by Echo Hart
  2. Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels
  3. Fit for a King by Susan Fisher-Davis
  4. Hart of Country by Kris Nacole
Results: 50-50

Science Fiction

Prediction: I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Winners:

  1. Riddle of the Gods by Lyra Shanti
  2. Starstruck by S.E. Anderson
  3. Zeeka Chronicles by Brenda Mohammed
Results: Successful prediction

Self-Help

Prediction: With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Winners:

  1. Victor or Victim by YM Zachery
  2. One Good Reason by Erin Lee
  3. The Lion and the Peacock: How I Conquered Anxiety by Jennifer Peacock-Smith
Results: All three did place well!

Short Story

Prediction: There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Winners:

  1. New Horizons by Joanne Van Leerdam
  2. Freeing his Dark Edges by Kane Caldwell
  3. When Leaves Fall by C.A. King
Results: No prediction made

Thriller

Prediction: I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Winners:

  1. Finding Forever by Amanda J. Evans
  2. Cain – Rage of Angels by Elias Raven
  3. A Tale of a Rough Diamond by P. J. Mann
Results: Prediction successful

Time Travel

Prediction: An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear-cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Winners:

  1. Booth by Jason Pellegrini
  2. Do You Realize? By Kevin A. Kuhn
  3. A Love Beyond Time by Bella Emy
Results: No prediction made

Young Adult

Prediction: Again, I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!

Winners:

  1. The Adventures of Nick and Billy by Michael Hoard
  2. 16 Myths by Aim Rivivar
  3. Fragmented by Madeline Dyer
Results: You decide!

Congratulations to all the authors both winning and nominated.

There is no exact science to predicting the results of a vote like this. In a fan-based award, it’s anyone’s game. Just being nominated is an achievement to celebrate. I’m following all of these authors and look forward to reading more from each over the next year!

Until next time, happy reading.

Articles

Things to Know About the New IT

I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as possible. We all know the story, but not the surprises.

IT was the very first Stephen King novel I ever read. I was a teen at the time, and after finishing IT, I found myself led into a fairly long love affair with his other books, although none ever quite lived up to the first.

As a Tim Curry fan, the miniseries in 1990 combined two things I adored. Over the years, I watched it multiple times. It strayed from the book and I wasn’t a fan of the ending, but overall I found it as an acceptable from-book-to-screen transformation.

When they announced a new IT was coming to theatres I was elated. Even better, it carries the seal of approval from both Stephen King and Tim Curry. I made sure I was at the first showing available. I stayed away from articles and trailers hoping for that “WOW” factor that not knowing brings. In retrospect, I wish I had known a few things.

  1. IT was split into two parts. The movie which was just released follows the children in Derry only. I found it reminiscent of The Goonies.
  2. The adult half is not being released until 2019.
  3. There are Easter eggs. Make sure you watch closely to collect them all. Some I found quite amusing.
  4. Be prepared for a long movie. IT ended up being over two hours, plus the usual beginning advertisements.

My Personal Thoughts on the Movie

Strictly from a film standpoint, I agree with the critics – it is good. A few spots were a bit slow for me, but all-in-all it was an enjoyable flick. The child actors were great choices and spot-on. There are some great shock-value scenes, which I loved.

From a book standpoint, it is a different story. The movie deviates so far from the novel. I was disappointed. While I understand some of the reasons why it does, I can’t help but feel too much was missing.

I’m interested to see the direction in which part two goes.

The 'Write' Information

My Top Picks for the Summer Indie Book Awards

It is September and that means the polls are open for the Summer Indie Book Awards hosted by Metamorph Publishing. Readers can vote in flocks for all of their favourites from September 1st to September 11th, 2017. This is the event’s second year and so far it looks like the growing pains it experienced in 2016 have been eliminated.

Full List of Books Nominated for the Summer Indie Book Awards


It’s still early, but here are the categories and my personal picks for front-runners in each:

 

Anthology

There are so many great titles in the Anthology category, but I’m putting my money on Hugs and Kisses: A Writers’ Retreat Romance Anthology coming out on top.

Biography 

There are only three choices in this genre. It is also my first time hearing about any of them. Good luck to all three authors.

Children’s 

Even though my kids are now grown, I love children’s books. After checking out the choices I think Where’s the Frog? could be a front runner.

Contemporary

We have a competition in this one! It’s going to be a close call, but I expect ICE to lead the pack.

Crime 

Dead on Your Feet could take this away. I have, however, added A Few Simple Murders to my wish list.

Diversity 

I’m predicting Catch Me If I Fall, but with only four to choose from, this is anyone’s game.

Dystopian 

I’d be surprised if Untamed didn’t walk away with this.

Erotica

PanDora’s Destruction by Kitten Wallace has potential in this category. I will note there is a distinct absence of some of this year’s top indie erotica titles.

Fantasy 

This is the category to watch! It’s so tight, anyone could take this. I’m looking for Crown of Delusion or More Things on Heaven and Earth to place well. The competition is going to be tough, though, with the likes of Grant Leishman, Mark McQuillen and R.R. Virdi being among the authors to choose from.

Although one of my own books was nominated in this category, I don’t expect it to place in the top five.

Historical

This is a hard choice, but I’m betting on The Beekeeper’s Daughter doing well.

Horror 

Yolanda Olson has a couple titles listed and both are probably going to end up topping the list. I’m looking for Dawn of a New Breed to stake a claim in the top few as well.

Holiday 

Only two titles are listed. It could be exciting to see who comes out on top. I can see both being in the top two.

Humor 

This is another category with only a few choices. I expect to see Actually, Don’t Write a Book About Me come out on top.

Mystery 

I’m picking Agents of Shadow to rake in the votes on this one.

New Adult 

I can see Jenna’s Story doing well.

I’m not picking a clear winner as one of my own titles is in the mix and I have to keep my fingers crossed. Good luck to all the authors.

Novella 

Another tough fight. I’m looking at Snowed In to be near the top. Kiss of Vengeance should also place well.

This is another category one of my books is nominated in. As a sequel in a series, I don’t think it has the following needed to hit the top.  Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Paranormal

This genre is packed with choices! I expect to see Embellished by Karen Glista finish high on the list. I’m not counting out Jill by Rose Montague, either. This is going to be a tight race to the finish and one of the more exciting categories to follow.

Poetry

Wow! Talk about some great poets! I’m picking Transverse to edge out the competition and Look for Stained Glass to place near the top.

Romance

This is an impressive list! I’m expecting to see Refusing to Expire by Tricia Daniels and Advance by K.A Duggsy to take the top two spots.

Science Fiction 

I expected this genre to be slam packed with titles. As it turns out, it is a manageable size. I’ll be looking for Starstruck and The Riddle of the Gods at the top of the pack

Self-Help 

With only three titles listed, all will place well. I’m taking a pass on predictions on this one.

Short Story 

There are a lot of good short stories on this list. I’m taking a pass on picking the top spots as one of my own titles is in the running. Good luck to all the authors nominated.

Thriller 

I’m expecting Amanda Evans’ book Finding Forever to place at the top, but I can’t count out R.M. Gauthier’s two nominations either. This could be an exciting finish.

Time Travel 

An interesting category! This one is anyone’s game and I simply can’t pick a clear cut winner. I’ll be watching the results closely!

Young Adult

Again I see some familiar names I expect to do well, but I am predicting a surprise victory for an underdog title in this one!


Good luck to all the authors nominated. I can’t wait to find out the winners! Whether you agree or disagree with my picks, you can have your say by voting daily!

Until next time. Happy reading!


KEEP READING! ARTICLES ON BOOKS AND AUTHORS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE: 

Q&A: E.A. Comiskey
Q&A: Karen Glista
Q&A: Amanda J. Evans
Review: Grave Beginnings by R.R. Virdi
The 'Write' Information

The Art of Writing Short Stories

One might expect writing a short story to be an easy task in comparison to penning a full sized novel. The age old saying, ‘not everything is as it appears’ definitely applies here. The short story is actually one of the most difficult literary genres for an author to find success.

For all intents and purposes, the short story is a beast on its own. It isn’t a poem or novella or even a novelette. It isn’t meant to lead up to something bigger and should never be the first chapter of a book yet to come. When a reader picks it up they know it is self-contained and stand alone.

That doesn’t sound so hard, until you break down what needs to be incorporated:

  1. A complete plot, beginning to satisfying end.
  2. All loose ends need to be tied up. Readers shouldn’t be left with questions.
  3. Characters worth caring about. This is probably the most difficult part. Many times it is difficult to make readers connect with characters in larger works.
  4. The story needs to be thought-provoking.
  5. An infusion of emotion.

All of that needs to be accomplished in less than ten thousand words. That’s a task! Those who are successful find a way to infuse the emotions of their genre into a web of words that traps their audience for a short while, before releasing them back, ever so slightly changed.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring the world of short stories and their authors. I hope you’ll join mine on my latest literary adventure! Until next time, happy reading!