I usually try to read books written by my friends, but I often fail. Here are the main reasons why.
If you make friends with enough unpublished writers and stick around a few years, you find yourself friends with a lot of published writers. And because you’re a supportive friend, that means a lot of books you want to buy and read.
I always start with good intentions.
I like you. I want to buy your book, read it, love it, and leave a helpful, honest review on Amazon for your future fans to find.
Usually I manage the first step quite well.
The second step is harder. The third even harder.
Please allow me to offer some possible explanations why I haven’t read or reviewed your book.
Continue reading “Why I haven’t read your book”
This is not a review of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, because there are rules on how to review and this doesn’t follow any of them.
Sebastian, my writer half, and Rain, my reader half, recently read The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams, which is the first book in The Winnowing Flame Trilogy. They finished it, which was quite an accomplishment given the pandemic wrecked their concentration.
Rain: We finally finished reading a book. We should do something to celebrate.
Sebastian: We can’t go out – we’re still in lock-down.
Rain: We could drink.
Sebastian raises his eyebrows and his half-empty glass of wine.
Rain: Fine. Let’s talk about The Ninth Rain.
Sebastian: Given our state of mind, this isn’t going to be a fair review.
Rain: This isn’t a review. It’s a not-review. I thought we’d done this enough that you got the idea.
Continue reading “Not a review of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams”
No matter how old you are, life is terrifying for one reason or another. Here are some of mine.
When you’re young, you don’t know anything and that’s fine.
You get older and start to believe you know some things. But you look young so no one believes you know anything.
You get older some more and realise all those things you thought you knew–actually you have no idea about them. Or possibly they made the world more complicated while you were watching Red Dwarf.
At some point when you (again) don’t know anything you start to look old enough that people think you know things. They listen when you speak and assume you’re correct.
Then you’re in trouble.
I’m not putting numbers on the age when these things happen. When my sister looked old enough to know everything, she was six. For the average stranger, perhaps this happens around forty. Or twenty. Or sixty. Or a hundred.
Continue reading “Life is terrifying”
I’ve written trunk novels that should be kept from the world for its own good. Doesn’t mean I can’t read them, laugh, and maybe learn something.
I expect most people who write long enough end up with a collection of novels (or pieces of novels) that will never see the light of day. I have.
I love my trunk novels. I love how cringeworthy the earlier ones are, full of purple prose, plotless plots, nonsensical worlds, and blatant plagiarism from my favourite authors.
I love the progression of goals: save the village, save the kingdom, save the world. Because what else could the goals possibly be?
And there are so many Mary Sues.
Golden Horse Summer
It’s a fantasy novel so there has to be a magic sword. I know! I’ll have them find one lying by the side of the road, because that makes sense. And the sword’s purple. Come to think of it, the main character’s eyes are purple too.
Purple is the best colour.
Continue reading “Lessons from my trunk novels”