A fantasy author asks, who is my audience?

I attempt to find and befriend an audience for my fantasy novels (that don’t yet exist) on Twitter. Dragons may or may not be involved.

I read a lot about writing, and one of the uncomfortable pieces of advice I run into repeatedly is this: no matter what kind of book you write, your audience is not “everyone”.

What do you mean everyone won’t like my book? But it’s going to be awesome (or so the writing elves tell me). How could anyone not like it?

The conversation that finally convinced me of the truth of the advice went something like this:

Hubby: I’ve finished my book and I don’t know what to read next.

Me: Why don’t you read [favourite book that is the most amazingest thing ever that I would marry and eat and wear all at the same time if I could]?

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A dragon, a castle, and an audiobook

It’s always exciting to get packages in the mail, and the best way to ensure this is to buy yourself presents.

Recently I bought myself a present that (I fondly imagine) is currently winging its way across the ocean. I’m not sure I could have waited for it to get here, so fortunately I arranged a sneak preview.

Dragon and castle

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How to get fit without noticing

Get fit so you'll never be dinner for this guy.
Get fit so you’ll never be dinner for this guy.

If you want to learn how to get fit you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been fit enough to escape a charging anteater, and unfit enough to fall prey to a charging tortoise (luckily I didn’t, but I easily could have). Even more helpfully, I’ve figured out what causes the difference.

It’s mostly about how you set up your life.

Does your everyday routine motivate you to stay fit? Does it require you to stay fit?

If you just answered no to both questions, you’re probably not fit. But don’t fear! With just a few tweaks to your life, you can become the meal that got away.

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How to make a dragon fly

A dragon that can't fly
A dragon. Sort of. It can’t fly.

I said I wasn’t going to write about writing (much), and you’ll see I’m not. I’m writing about dragons, and that’s entirely different.

The seed of the idea for my current work in progress comes to me when I’m watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My thought process goes approximately like this: “Wow, fantasy is more fun than real life. I want to write a book about dragons.”

I didn’t say it made sense.

Having made this decision, I have to deal with the big question faced by everyone who decides to write about dragons: How do I make them fly? My physics is a little rusty, but I’m guessing any creature as big as a truck would need football field-sized wings, and if its muscles could even get up the strength to move them, flapping would snap its bones in two.

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How to find good books on Amazon

Books

Buying a book the old-fashioned way

I remember the days before Amazon, when finding a good book to read was easy. You’d go into the local bookshop, head straight to the fantasy shelf (or the shelf of your favourite genre), and run your fingers over all those beautiful spines.

You’d spot one with appealing colours, which was thick enough to be a good, solid read, and which had sequels sitting next to it in the shelf, so if you enjoyed it you’d instantly know what to read next.

It would have a title like “The Dragon’s Apprentice” or “The Warlord’s Dragon” so you knew it was about exciting things – like dragons. (No, I don’t know if either of those is a real book.)

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