Reading is my life: Links and discussion

I’ve been doing a lot more writing and editing and a lot less reading for pleasure lately and that must be corrected!

Here are some favorite articles and resources I’ve found about reading recently:

Reading is my life: Links and discussion

Book recommendation: Axis of Aaron by Platt and Truant

Axis of Aaron by Platt and TruantAxis of Aaron by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant (released November 2014)

Ebon Shale Is Desperate To Forget, But Terrified Of Being Forgotten…

Desperate to forget the sudden death and illuminated betrayal of his new wife and longtime girlfriend, Ebon Shale flees to the quiet seaside town of Aaron, a place that’s been calling him back since he was a child.

But once there, Ebon feels lost. The small town’s citizens are as odd as its energy, and seem to shift the reality before him.

Will Aaron help Ebon forget, or will it swallow him whole?

Review:

The first thing I want to do is get a paperback version of this book because I plan on re-reading it in the future for sure.

It has hints of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Mulholland Drive and Vanilla Sky — the mind-bending unreality is just enough to hang on to as you read through Ebon’s experience on the island, but certainly deserves a re-read.

My personal preference is I wish they would trust my memory, my reading and just let me as the reader figure things out for myself instead of explaining everything 17 times. But that is a stylistic trait of Platt and Truant books, so I’m getting more used to it.

It is more or less impossible to discuss the characters and plot without spoilers, but I simply love the way the authors handled memory throughout the book. Repetition with small, noticeable alterations. Characters blindly ignoring certain parts of the past. Idealizing other parts. It is fantastic.

So far this is my favorite Realm and Sands book; I really hope they write more literary fiction in the future.

Get the book here on Amazon or add it to your Goodreads to-read shelf.

Harry Potter re-read beginning December 1

I have been thinking about re-reading Harry Potter for about six months. I think about re-reading Harry Potter all the time. ALL THE TIME. I only want to read it in cold weather, so in the middle of summer I day dream about curling up under a quilt with coffee and Harry.

I love these books. I love love them. I wrote my Master’s Thesis about them and these are really the first books that made me feel like maybe I could write fiction (counter intuitive since I can’t imagine ever writing something as good).

I love these books. I’ve been on a very busy treadmill of library books recently. But my to-read piles of books I own are getting taller. So I’m starting fresh. As of today I have a couple library books to finish, and then I’m not going to check out any more until at least 2015.

On December 1 I am starting a Harry Potter re-read! My seventh or eighth probably. Maybe more. I’ve lost track.

AND YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN ME!

harry potter_edited-1

My friends will be joining me and we will be taking over the NovelTea Book Club Facebook Group as a central hub.

You should know –

#1 — IT IS ASSUMED YOU HAVE READ THE BOOKS ALREADY.

No one is going to be precious about spoilers. Seriously, the books came out like almost 20 years ago. No sympathy. Don’t visit the Facebook group if you don’t want anything spoiled for you.

#2 — We don’t really have discussion questions planned. Something may come up organically, but this is more just a mutual love-of-HP-gush-fest.

#3 — Read as fast as you want. Read as slow as you want. There is absolutely no reason you need to finish these books on any set timetable (particularly by the end of the month)

#4 — We’re using #HPDec if you post about it on Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr/etc.

That’s it! No rules, just a fun group read-along.

I hope you’ll join us!

Beyond the Gate Anthology

Beyond the Gate: Stories from the world of The Dream Engine is now available!

This is the anthology of short stories that I contributed to over the summer. My story is near the beginning, and I also developmentally edited every other story in the anthology! I’m pretty proud of my work!

Here’s an excerpt from my story:

Martin stumbled up the path , back the way he came, barely making it past the edge of the Fog before he fell to his knees. He collapsed out of breath, heaving his lunch into the grass. His eyes watered. His scalp sweat. The sour taste of bile filled his mouth. In spite of all of this, he could not help but be pleased with the day’s work.

He had thrown his gear and supplies to one side of the path just before collapsing on the other. They had been similarly abused often enough that Martin no longer worried. It would all need to be replaced and replenished soon anyway. This physical wear and tear—on him and his equipment— was worth the reward.

Wiping his mouth on the back of his hand, Martin looked up the path towards Waldron’s Gate . He wondered if he could return home before his wife did. His fear was receding, but he knew from previous adventures it would still take another few moments for him to catch his breath.

Want to find out what happens next? The book is now available on Amazon and Kobo!

Short story anthology

There are some really fantastic stories in this anthology! I can’t wait for you to read it!

Waldron’s Gate, capital of Alterra. A land powered by steam, but inspired by the power of dreams, and surrounded by the mysterious Fog.

The Dream Engine explored this city. Now you are invited to go Beyond The Gate.

Twenty-three authors will take you over, under, into, and beyond the Fog in this cross-genre compilation of short stories.

From time travel to romance, young adult to horror, science fiction to historical fantasy, you’ll discover tales that delight, intrigue, and maybe even shock you.

This is only the beginning.

Grab your copy now! on Amazon; and on Kobo

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Interviewed at Blunderbuss World

I am so excited to let you know I was a featured author interviewed recently on Blunderbuss World!

Blunderbuss World is a site dedicated to featuring the works of a wide range of authors in the shared world of The Dream Engine (like the series I’m working on right now).

These authors participated in the “Fiction Unboxed” Kickstarter campaign, an event created by Realm & Sands authors Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt. They wrote a book live, in 30 days, during June 2014. The result of that project is The Dream Engine, the first book in the Engine World.

Johnny and Sean have opened up the Engine World to Fiction Unboxed participants, allowing us to write stories in their universe. Read more about the whole idea here.

I’d love if you checked out my interview and let me know what you think!

 

Reading is my life: Links and discussion

If there’s 1 thing you need to know about me, it is that reading is my life.

Here are just a few bookish articles from around the web recently:

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Currently working on

A couple weeks ago, I attended a writing summit in Austin (I wrote about it on my creative-work site here, here and here). It was fantastic. Amazing. I got to help make up the rules and history of the world of The Dream Engine and start to plan my first books in that world.

Right now I am working on book one of my series set in this world. My goal is to have the first draft done by the end of October, have it ready for beta-readers by the end of December and ready to publish by March 1, 2015 at the latest. And then book 2 out as soon as possible after that.

My young adult series will take place ~20 years prior to The Dream Engine and it is about a boarding school training future employees of the Ministry of Decorum. Totally cliche YA, which I love. You’ve got the recognizable elements of fish-out-of-water main character, but with all the specific details to Alterra. I actually think hanging my story on such a common structure will help bring in more readers who may not love The Dream Engine for various reasons, but can get behind the world as a whole.

Right now it is tentatively 5 books long, and inspired by books like Etiquette & Espionage, Little Women, Lemony Snicket and movies like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sherlock Holmes, The Princess Diaries, even a TED talk and others. Just little pieces and themes and flavors from a variety of sources.

Over the 2 weeks since the Summit, I have been ‘location scouting,’ collecting inspiration for fashion and other details for the school on a (currently private) Pinterest board. I have been researching the coast of Wales, natural remedies for mental illness and steam cars. I have been thinking about the overall series conflict, and my book 1 conflict, and I have started writing already. It’s amazing what you can discover just by starting.

I have a rough idea of what happens in all the books (more so in books 4 and 5), and am about ~17,000 words into the first draft of the first book. Once I get farther I will know what questions I need to clarify with Johnny and Sean. Once I get to the end of book 1 I will have a better idea for books 2 and 3.

I have been loving writing in this pseudo-British world. It is my first attempt at something more adventurey than just straight contemporary or literary fiction. I can’t wait to see where this book and the whole series goes!

Make sure you’re on my mailing list for first news of release!

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My favorite place to read (part 1)

I read a lot. This year I’m on track to read more than 100 books. And that doesn’t even include the books that I am editing.

I’ve got a few spots around my house where I like to read, but this time of year (just the beginning of fall here in SoCal) I am totally in love with reading in our backyard hammock.

The rest of the backyard is a disaster — weeds, half-killed trees we’re trying to get out, spiders. But the hammock? Heaven. It is fully under the shadiest part of the yard with branches coming all the way down to almost form a little arch. I bought a small little bistro table that is the exact height for drinks, snacks, my phone, or anything else I want within reach.

When I know I want to be out there awhile I even bring a blanket and pillow and fully relax.

In the heat of the summer or the dead of winter it is not my favorite place to read. But now? And about March through June? Ideal.

What is your favorite place to read?

Reading is my life: Links and discussion

If there’s 1 thing you need to know about me, it is that reading is my life. I’ve been reading since I was about 4, and in elementary school I would read 2 or 3 books every day in the summer. Instead of playing outside like a normal kid.

I always have an eye out for book news.

Here are just a few bookish articles from around the web recently: