What Books Should You be Buying? part 1

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Where to find ‘Blackbirds Sing’.

What books should you be purchasing with your hard-earned cash? Well, come closer, beloved reader, and I will give you some excellent recommendations. This is the first of three posts about recommended readings. You can give them as gifts, buy them for your summer holiday reading, or just as a treat.

Blackbirds Sing, by Aiki Flinthart, is going to be considered a classic in future years. It is a series of interlocked tales, embroidering a story arch into a rich tapestry. It is set in an alternative past. Flinthart has quite a few successful novels under her belt, but this is a new venture for her. There is still plenty of action, but the intricate interweaving – of the characters and settings – is rich, deep, and wonderful. The illustrations by Caitlyn McPherson are glorious.

Pamela Jeff’s Five Dragons is an anthology of dragon stories, including a Steampunk dragon tale. Yes… she had me at Steampunk dragon. If I say anything else, you will just think I’m gushing.

 

Five Dragons: A Dragons of Eridan Collection by [Jeffs, Pamela]

Where to find ‘Five Dragons’

Gillian Polack is one of the best writers in Australia (and the world), using her academic background to strengthen her narratives, making them compelling reading. I can recommend all her books, but I have a particular fondness for The Wizardry of Jewish Women, with its haunted lemon tree. The Year of the Fruitcake is her latest book. I think. I haven’t read her books in order of publication, because you don’t need too. They stand on their own merit.

The Year Of The Fruit Cake Front Cover With Text

Where to find ‘The Year of the Fruit Cake’

 

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Filed under Aiki Flinthart, Australian Author, Australian Steampunk Author, Book Review, Books & reading, Caitlyn McPherson, Gillian Polack, Pamela Jeffs, Recommended Reading, Steampunk

More Good News

Persistence pays off. After two years of submitting to DailySF, I have had a story accepted!Image result for cherry

My story, currently titled ‘Cherry Ripe’, made the grade. I did have one other story make it to the second level of reading, but it didn’t get accepted. For DailySF, appears I get better results with humour than with any other writing style. 

 

 

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Filed under Humour, Personal experience, Submissions, The Writing Life, Uncategorized, Writing Career

A post on Steampunk Sunday takes off

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Steampunk Sunday – on Facebook – has had a post go viral. When I saw this level of enthusiasm, I was gobsmacked!  So I am going to write a short story just for my Constant Companions and New Likers.

I can never predict what sort of post will trigger this kind of response. But it’s nice to have my tribe support me in this manner!

Steampunk Sunday

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Mixed News

I have had some interesting news about my health. I have cysts in my liver. Sorry to be a bit vague, but that’s all I really know until I see the specialist in January. I’ve decided I’m not going to get too concerned until I’ve seen the specialist. This comes right on the heels of discovering a cyst in my breast that was completely harmless, so I’m not burying my head in the sand. Apparently I just like growing things like cysts and polyps.

On the other hand, for the first time since June, I’ve made my goal of ten submissions in a month! My muse is working overtime and I keep getting solid ideas for short stories and for added scenes for my Regency-era Steampunk novel. I think there has been so much going on in my life, I’ve just become numb to the drama.
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In unrelated gardening news about growing things … I discovered these eggs before they hatched and started gobbling up my leafy greens in the vegetable garden. They have been quarantined.

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Filed under Personal experience, The Writing Life, Writing Career

Support Simon Groth

https://www.pozible.com/project/ex-libris

As quoted by Simon: Ex Libris is a novel with twelve chapters that can be shuffled into any order yet will always present as a cohesive story arc. The project aims to make a print run where each individual copy contains chapters that have been arranged at random. With nearly half a billion possible combinations, each copy will be one of a kind yet all of them will tell the same story.Image result for simon groth

Simon is one of the most innovative and intelligent writers I know. Please consider supporting this special project in storttelling.

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Why Steampunk? Why Fairy Tales for Adults?

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Why do I mainly write in the genres of Steampunk and Fairy Tales? One is a Science Fiction subgenre, the other is a genre all of its own. I have both a rational and emotive nature, and these two genres manage to hit all the buttons for me.

Steampunk has it roots in alternative history, but without its strong links to scientific advancements and innovations, it wouldn’t exist. I love Science for its own sake; I blame Isaac Asimov and his robot stories I read when I was eight. Science fiction has so much potential.

Fairy Tales tap into the archetypes that underlie all storytelling. They are metaphors, told with beautiful prose. They are a completely different style from Steampunk. Richer in symbology.

I wouldn’t be happy if I couldn’t write both.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, Genre, Steampunk, The Writing Life, Writing Career

Reading for Fun and Profit

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I make no apologies when claiming to love reading. I was reading before I went to school, thanks to my parents reading to me every night.

All writers start out as readers. If someone tells me that they write books but don’t read them, I can’t help but wonder how he knows to construct a sentence, a paragraph, a story arc, and how to avoide clichés and stereotypes. How does he know what genre he is writing in, and what is already in that that genre.

So, a successful writer has to be a reader, for many reasons. Reading is the gateway to being a writer, any sort of writer. Off the top of my head, I read for:
1/ Pleasure;
2/ Research;
3/ Inspiration;
4/ Even more research (I do a lot of research); and
5/ Educational purposes.

Reading for research! You need to research for both fiction and nonfiction texts. I’ve done enough research to fill a library with historical detail for my Steampunk novels; and I still feel like I’ve never researched enough. I find it is easier with my scientific articles, because I can list my references!

Reading has physical and intellectual benefits apart from supplying inspiration and verisimilitude to your prose.

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This is why I have ten bookcases in my house and shelves packed with a double layer of books.

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Filed under Books & reading, Creativity, Inspiration, Research, Steampunk, The Writing Life