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What I’m Reading Now: Traitor’s Blade

  Have you always wanted the Three Musketeers, but without D’Artangan and with more magic and assassins? Then the Greatcoats are your boys. Falcio and his two best friends are loyal to a dead king, just trying to keep their heads above water long enough to gain some semblance of security. Of course, this goes poorly for them, and from the very first chapter we’re tossed into a maelstrom of sword fights, double-crosses, and callbacks to people in Falcio’s past. Overall, the book was rollicking good fun. My only quibble… Read more What I’m Reading Now: Traitor’s Blade

What I’m Reading Now: KIN

  “What I’m reading now” is, today, more of a “what I just finished reading”, because I couldn’t quit until I knew the ending. If you’re into Vikings, murder mysteries, and the details of feeding a bunch of warriors who show up randomly to your medieval farm and want to drink up the good mead, Kin by Snorri Kristjansson is the book for you.  (As someone who both has brewed mead and regularly has to feed a bunch of people who show up randomly, I maybe empathized more with that… Read more What I’m Reading Now: KIN

What I’m Reading Now

I devoured–which is a hippo pun, although you wouldn’t think it was–Sarah Gailey’s book River of Teeth in about a day and a half.  You would, too, if you don’t mind having rivers and bayous becoming even more nightmare-fodder than they already are. What’s this book about?  Well, it’s about hippos.  And cowboys (or “hoppers”) who ride hippos.  And muuuuurder.  What can I say?  I’m a sucker for a great concept, especially one where the introduction promises me a fair array of hats. The hats, as with the rest of the… Read more What I’m Reading Now

Music Monday: Playlists for Villains

My characters often get their own playlists, but in the last book I wrote the villain was a very specific personality, and he inspired a beautiful thing: a big sprawling Pinterest board full of photos and music videos that became a Spotify list.  Here’s some things I’ve found that help with figuring out songs for the list (and the character’s personality): A sense of aesthetic.  This is the main thing.  What feel do you associate with the character?  Melancholy? Epic-ness?  Sass?  Choose songs that reflect that. A sense of story.… Read more Music Monday: Playlists for Villains

The 30k Cliff

When I wrote my first novel I was 12 years old, and my goal was pretty much to type until I had 100 pages of words.  “There,” I thought to myself, “I did it! Novels are 100 pages long, I just wrote one!” (Even at 12, though, I recognized that 100 pages of “they leave home, they wander for a while with the guy who can talk to birds, and then they come home again” was not actually a plot.  More like typing practice.) I wrote a lot through high… Read more The 30k Cliff

Music Monday: Astoria by Marianas Trench

Welcome to Music Monday, where I tell you about music I love and how it relates to storytelling, or maybe just spam you with music videos.  And fair warning, I don’t care if an album is old–in this case, two years old. Here, from the Marianas Trench album Astoria:   Astoria is a concept album, and I love a good concept album.  Josh Ramsay (the cutie with the blue hair and the Tolkien rune tattoo) was going through a difficult time, which he decided to process through the album–but he… Read more Music Monday: Astoria by Marianas Trench

Four Ways to More Writing Willpower

How was your holiday?  Mine was spent with my family and my sister’s family.  Behind her house is a lovely trail, shadowed by trees and full of birds and bunnies and frogs and so on, and I was reminded of one of the best tools for writing: walking. Writers tend to be people who mostly live in our heads.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my head.  It’s well-furnished.  But the downside of spending a lot of time inside your own skull is that you forget to inhabit your body,… Read more Four Ways to More Writing Willpower