15 lessons a fantasy author learned from reading horror

This is not a review of “The Rats” by James Herbert and it contains a lot of spoilers. But if you’re ever in a horror novel these lessons might save your life.

At the behest of my friend and critique partner, Anna Kaling, who is also a talented romance author, I recently read “The Rats” by James Herbert.

It was partly my fault. I did agree to read a book from her favourite genre, horror, and in exchange she read a fantasy novel I chose. Check out how that turned out.

Don’t ask me why a romance author prefers to read horror, but I’ve read some of Anna’s books, and you can barely tell that the author gets her jollies from reading about people being eaten alive by giant rats.

Yes, this post is going to be one huge spoiler for “The Rats”, but it’s really old so if you haven’t read it yet you were probably never going to.

Also, saying that people get eaten alive by giant rats in a horror book called “The Rats” can hardly be classed as a spoiler. Come on.

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How not to use a thesaurus

Roget the thesaurus enjoys turning clear English into incomprehensible babble. Watch him mutilate a perfectly readable excerpt from my short story, The Emperor’s Cat.

I’d like you to meet my good friend, Roget. Roget enjoys long walks on the beach and messing with other people’s fiction. He’s also a thesaurus (which I suspect is some kind of dinosaur).

Good uses for Roget include remembering the perfect word that’s on the tip of your tongue and using your own vocabulary more effectively.

Bad uses for Roget include using other people’s vocabulary and looking up big words to insert into your magnum opus in an attempt to make yourself look smart.

Hint: it doesn’t.

Since doing things wrong is more fun than doing things right, that’s what I’m going to do here. Yes, it’s game. Here are the rules:

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Eating should be optional

Having to eat every day is a ridiculous design flaw in humans. Eating is expensive, time-consuming, and often dull. I have a better proposal.

Whoever designed humans so we have to eat every day made a serious mistake.

Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time, but if a bit of thought had gone in it would never have made it out of the boardroom.

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Interview for Who’s That Blogger?

Yesterday I was interviewed by Book Club Mom for “Who’s That Blogger?” I had a bit of fun with it and I think I even answered her questions. If you want to hear my story, why not wander over and take a look?

Book Club Mom does regular features of bloggers and indie authors, so check out her blog if you’re interested in being featured yourself.

You can become my special friend by signing up for updates. The monthly version comes with a standing offer to comment on the first few pages of your novel, and potentially beta read or review your novel.

Is reading poorly edited fiction bad for your health?

Reading poor writing desensitises you to it, and if you’re not careful soon we’ll all be drowning in custard.

This might be a short post because I’m trying to review five books and a camel today. Okay, it’s not that bad, but I have a few things I need to do before I can sit down and edit my work in progress.

If you pay any attention to the self-publishing world, you’ll have heard the frequent cries of outrage about how badly edited some self-published fiction is. I’m not going to argue that point. I’m going to assert some self-published fiction is terribly edited and some is not, and if you don’t agree with me you can go play on the see-saw on your own because I’m not going to play with you.

Glad we got that out of the way.

Now that we’ve established some self-published fiction is poorly edited, here’s my claim:

Reading it is bad for your health.

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