It is time for another book review, friends, this time with a book authored by a great guy I was lucky enough to connect with beforehand. For this In My Opinion, I’ll be talking about a science fiction murder mystery novel titled Slain in the Spirit by Walt Rosenfeld.
Recently I was notified that a short story I wrote won a contest and will be featured in an upcoming anthology along with some pretty big names in fantasy and sci fi. Let’s just take a moment to let that sink in.
Today I did not get much actual writing done on my draft. But that’s not really a bad thing. I spent the time instead doing a day’s worth of research for accurate world building, a TON of minor details here and there, and lots of backstory.
See, the story I’m writing now is essentially a Journey story, which means that the book takes place over a long journey(duh). It takes up more of the book than anything else, and if I want to sound like I know what I’m talking about as my characters travel cross country on horses, I need to do a lot of research. Thankfully I found a lot of blogs and articles with the sole purpose of clearing up a lot of misconceptions and myths about various things in both Sci fi and Fantasy. I found a blog series called Fact in Fantasy that was immensely helpful. Not just for horses and how to care for them, but for proper classification of trees in certain areas, what specific names of rocks and stone deposits are on mountains and what herbs grow where and what time of the year. That’s a lot! I mean, I could go out to a forest and learn each tree that way, or go to a farm and work with a breeder for a bit. But that would take much longer than a day of reading.
So today I read mostly. I read about how horses are measured in hands, from the ground to their withers, and I learned horses get shin splints often. I discovered just exactly what a deciduous forest is and the different foliage in each level of it; top canopy, second canopy, understory, floor. I downloaded map making software and actually developed the world and terrain my characters will be traveling over, then I discovered that through the course of the story they travel for more than 400 miles. Phew. Now that’s a journey.
Then, taking all of that freshly discovered information, I sat down with my trusty outlining notebook and got to work reworking bits and pieces of my story. In doing so I worked out many kinks that I had near the end of the book, and have really pumped myself up for the next book. Because in the next book there is no extremely long journey taking up the story, it’s thievery, magic and murder. That’s right, I said murder!
My goal is to have the story finished by the time I head to a writer’s conference at the end of this month. I’m… probably not going to make that. BUT, I’d at least like to have the first draft done by then. I already have the first few chapters how I want them, and could honestly hand them to a few agents if they show interest at the convention, but I’d rather have a finished product in my hands first. Either way, I NEED TO GET CRACKING ON THIS NOVEL.
Also, I now have several copies of my book on hand and am looking to give them away to some peoples. Free of charge. Well… sort of. All I ask is that you write a review about it. Good, bad, hated it, loved it, WHATEVER. A copy of my book is yours for a review.
And now I must return to more writing. For the end is nigh, friends…
I bet you’ve been wondering just what the heck I’ve been up to lately. Well wonder no more, friends! For I am here to enlighten you to all I’ve done the past few weeks. Lots going on behind the scenes…
Nonlocal Science Fiction
First and foremost I’d like to talk about Nonlocal, the science fiction magazine that accepted one of my short stories. The magazine will be out the 15th of this month and will be available as an ebook or digital download from Amazon or the Nonlocal site. Dan, the head editor at Nonlocal, has been throwing out some free material in the days leading up to the release, and the link to preorder the issue is already live right here. I encourage you to check out the site and see what it has to offer. The stories are good.
I’m pretty excited about this magazine because I GOT A SHORT STORY PUBLISHED. There look to be lots of other great stories and poems in the issue, but the story I submitted is one of my favorites. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the other authors and contributors have to say about not just my story but the issue in general. Nonlocal is a really cool site that has the best in Sci Fi stuff. I’ve met a really nice author already through the site and plan to submit stories to them in the future. Hurray for Sci Fi!
Short Story Contests
I recently submitted a short story to an anthology hosted by the awesome staff at sffworld.com. The theme of the anthology is “Ecotones”, so all the stories submitted must follow that theme. I wrote a story that I’m pretty fond of and submitted it a few days ago. I originally submitted almost a month ago, but got a super helpful email from one of the editors giving me some pointers and advice. I took their advice to heart, mainly because they are in charge of the anthology, and then resubmitted. I received another email from said editor saying the changes I came up with on my own made the story work much better and he had high hopes for it. HIGH HOPES. That just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside
I dropped another story off at the cwinst.com for their yearly phrase writing contest. Every year they come up with a phrase and any story submitted to the contest needs to have that phrase in it. I forget what last year’s was, but this year’s had to include the phrase “I got more than I bargained for!” That was a little tough for me. I stared at that prompt for a long time trying to formulate a story around it. I think I did a damn fine job of it, if I do say so myself. You’ll just have to wait till I win in order to read it, unfortunately.
Mageborn Trilogy: Initiation
You see that title right up there? All bold and glorious. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what I’ve come up with for the title of the novel I’m writing. It’s a working title, but I’ve always envisioned it as a series, a trilogy, and when I look at it spread over three books the title of this one becomes apparent. Initiation. Man, I am so pumped for this story!! If I were to make a rough estimate of word count so far, I’d say around 80,000, and I still lots to go. LOTS TO GO. I hit the halfway mark a while ago and was very conflicted because the story is so long already and I have a lot more to go. *Sigh* Such is the life of a writer, I suppose. The story is coming along swimmingly, though, and every day that I get to craft more of the world is a day where I’m content. I have the first few chapters the way that I want them and can start sending them off to editors and agents soon. SO CLOSE! AH!
In order to help immerse myself in the world that I’ve created, I’ve pinned some of the more important notes around my computer desk for reference. It helps me to write more, a major plus. Every time I walk into my room and see the papers hanging on the wall, it makes me want to write more. It makes me want to sit down and add more to the lists, or get to the really cool stuff on the list. Did I mention that I’m excited for this book?
Who’s going to a writer’s conference later this month in Orlando? THIS GUY. Who’s going to hopefully have his novel done by then in case he meets an agent or editor in search for the next greatest story? THIS GUY AGAIN. SF:SE stands for speculative fiction: south east, and is held by a group called the Dirty Little Bookers. The conference is basically a gathering of the biggest heads of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror in both indie and traditional publishing, coming together to celebrate their love for the magical and spacey. And I shall join them. I shall be one of them. Check it out here.
Man, that’s a lot of update for you peeps, and there’s even more I could write about(like the reviews for my book, author exchanges or writers I’ve met)! But I’ll leave you with that for now and hope that satisfies your curiosity. I added a subscribe button to my site for all you non-wordpress users so you can get my posts. I’d be grateful if you felt like signing up.
TIL NEXT TIME! PEACE!
Anyone itching for another review? In My Opinion, you should be. Because this post I’ll be writing about a novel I recently finished called The Perfect Drug by Hollie DeFransisco.
Hollie DeFrancisco is another author who I entered into a review exchange with, and it was an absolute pleasure to meet her. First and foremost, Hollie is actually an artist, a painter mostly, and does some incredible work. She painted the cover for her book, as well as dozens of other really breathtaking portraits. You can check out her gallery here. Hollie does book designs for indie authors, as well as some black and white stuff. Bottom line is, she’s rather talented.
Now let’s get to the book!
Plot: The plot of the story follows a girl, who is actually a demon, as she struggles to find a place to fit in in our world. It’s a lot more than that… but that also just about sums it up. Adelice, the main character, lives in a house with a few other mythical/supernatural creatures and acts as their huntress, if you will. All of her roommates require blood to survive, but lack the murderous intent to gather it. Adelice does not. She be killing people left and right. Or did, at least.
The story begins with Adelice in a serious relationship with a guy named Trent and proceeds to show just how unstable their love really is. The beginning does take a sort of TV drama sense as it establishes characters through unenthusiastic fights and a lot of “yeah, whatever” responses. But the story picks up about halfway through when hidden plots and secondary motives arise to throw Adelice way out of her comfort zone. Though the beginning moved slowly, it really did pick up about halfway and a truly good story blossomed out of it.
Characters: As I mentioned, I really wasn’t a big fan of the characters at first in the novel, simply because they all acted like spoiled high schoolers… In my opinion. I just… yeah. It was sour in the beginning. But then one character, a witch it turns out, really started to develop into her own person. Then a few more started to show very distinct personalities as action grew and the end neared. I was much more accepting of them by the end.
Imagery: This is where the story shines. The descriptive narrative that takes place is top notch. Reading the beginning of the book impressed me in that it flowed better than a few traditionally published novels I’ve read this summer. Hollie drops some fantastic vocabulary to spice up the writing, and created a handful of extra characters that really drew my attention. It almost felt like a Hellboy movie or something, with the vast mix of different who-knows-what creatures going about their business.
Verdict: If you like paranormal/supernatural stuff with a strong Buffy the Vampire feel to it, check out this book. If anything fantasy related or remotely creepy turns you off, stay away. That is, of course, my opinion.
And if you like the read of feel like checking out more cool artwork, take a gander at Hollie’s website here and the stuff she does. You’ll find a few hidden geek references here and there that might just convince you to say hi 🙂