Tag Archives: fantasy

Behind the scenes – or – Why I did not write two new books during lockdown.

During lockdown I had the time/opportunity to write two novels. Did I do it? Of course not. Why not? I guess the reason is multi-layered and complex culminating in writerly inactivity. I didn’t exactly stop writing, but I ceased to … Continue reading

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Happy Endings or Not?

Do stories really have happy endings? They do if we choose to stop the tale at the point where the prince slips a golden ring on Cinderella’s finger, or where Beauty kisses the beast, or the princess kisses the frog … Continue reading

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What I’m reading (March 2022)

You absolutely can’t write science fiction and fantasy without knowing what’s being published. It’s always better not to reinvent the wheel unless you can make your wheel very different. Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education begins a new trilogy about the … Continue reading

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Viewpoint

I’m in a Facebook writers’ group for writers of all levels. Someone asked what the POV (point of view) limit was on a traditionally published debut novel. The answer, of course is: there isn’t one. Sometimes you find prescriptive pieces … Continue reading

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Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Stories

My favourite short SF story ever is ‘They’re Made out of Meat’ by Terry Bisson. It was published way back in 1991, but it hasn’t aged. It’s short, less than 800 words, but it perfectly encapsulates what a short story … Continue reading

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Does it Need a Map?

I should have asked this question earlier in the process of publishing, but I left it until the last minute. The answer from the office was, ‘No. If Sheila had thought it needed a map she would have said so.’ … Continue reading

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The Amber Crown is published today – 11th January 2022

After what seems like an age, the Amber Crown is out today. I’d already written a first draft before I sold my first book to DAW in 2013. That sale led to six books (two trilogies), so I didn’t have … Continue reading

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Countdown to The Amber Crown – One Week to Go

Only one week to go to publication of The Amber Crown, and there’s still so much to do. I’ve been writing blog posts for John Scalzi’s Big Idea, and Chuck Wendig’s blog, plus a piece for Jean Book Nerd, Paul … Continue reading

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Books Read in 2021

With the year drawing to a close, here’s my list of books read in 2021. There are 73 in total, including re-reading a couple of my own. I’d like to give a quick shout-out to T Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon, particularly for … Continue reading

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Countdown to The Amber Crown – (less than) 2 Weeks to Go

Happy New Year to all. This is my last post for 2021 and the penultimate post leading up to The Amber Crown. If you already have it on pre-order, thank you very much. If not, you can pre-order it now … Continue reading

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Countdown to The Amber Crown – Three Weeks to Go!

The Amber Crown is out on 11th January and TODAY my author copies arrived. Whoo-hoo. I have so many people to thank for this book. I only wrote it. Luckily I get the opportunity to name names in the book’s … Continue reading

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Countdown to The Amber Crown

It’s here is just four weeks! Published by DAW on 11th January 2022 my seventh book is already getting some good reviews/previews, and I’m revving up to do a blog tour. It’s available in Trade Paperback or e-edition, with the … Continue reading

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David Barnett: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl – for your reading pleasure

Gideon Smith, son of a Whitby fisherman from Sandsend is an aficionado of the true adventures of Captain Lucian Trigger, Hero of the British Empire, so when his father’s fishing boat is found floating, abandoned, with all the crew lost, … Continue reading

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Seanan McGuire: Every Heart a Doorway – for your reading pleasure

Nancy is sent to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children because her parents can’t cope with her. They think she has a screw loose and don’t believe that she’s been through a portal into another world, a world of the … Continue reading

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Paul Cornell: Five Lychford Novellas – for your reading pleasure

I read each of these novellas as they were published. Each one stands alone, but together the five novellas make a complete story cycle. The Witches of Lychford A neat novella set in a sleepy Gloucestershire town threatened with the … Continue reading

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How to Write a Speculative Fiction Book

I’m not going to be able to teach you how to write a book in the twelve hundred or so words in this blog post – even presuming I have the skills. Yes I’ve written books, seven published so far … Continue reading

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C.E Murphy: Heart of Stone – Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1 – For your reading pleasure

Loved this.Margrit Knight, a lawyer and negotiator in New York City gets involved with a world she never knew existed when she meets Alban – a gargoyle and one of the Old Races. Someone is killing women in Central Park … Continue reading

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Terry Pratchett: the Shepherd’s Crown – Discworld #41 – Tiffany Aching #5 – For your reading pleasure

Ah, the very last Terry Pratchett and a farewell not only to the author but to one of his most endearing characters, Granny Weatherwax who sets her affairs in order, cleans the house, weaves her own coffin and meets Death … Continue reading

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Tom Pollock: The City’s Son – Skyscraper Throne #1 – For your reading pleasure

A gritty, smelly, enthralling original which races around a hidden version of London introducing an assortment of bizarre nonhuman characters here in a supporting role from the pavement priests (living statues entombed in marble) and the street-lamp dancers (the orange … Continue reading

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Brent Weeks – The Way of Shadows – The Night Angel Trilogy #1 – For your reading pleasure

I discovered Tanya Huff in 2003, Lois McMaster Bujold was a couple of years after that and Patricia Briggs in 2008. Brent Weeks become my discovery of the year in 2009. His Night Angel trilogy is riveting. Having bought the … Continue reading

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Kari Sperring: Living With Ghosts – For your reading pleasure

This is a gorgeous multi-layered work with a cast of characters which includes the city of Merafi – as much a part of this as are Gracielis, failed Tarnaroqui assassin-priest now courtesan and spy; Thiercelin, husband of one of the … Continue reading

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Patricia Briggs: Steal the Dragon – For your reading pleasure

There are no dragons in this book – well there is one, but not a significant one and it only appears on the page once, in a dream.  So having got that out of the way, this is early Briggs … Continue reading

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Lois McMaster Bujold: Legacy – Sharing Knife # 2 – For your reading pleasure

The continuing adventures of Lakewalker, Dag Redwing Hickory and his ‘farmer’ wife Fawn Bluefeld, following on directly from the events in ‘Beguilement’ which ended with Dag and Fawn’s wedding at the Bluefeld farm, having more or less overcome her family’s … Continue reading

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Lois McMaster Bujold: Beguilement – The Sharing Knife #1 – For your reading pleasure

All the reviews said: ‘Good, but not as good as Curse of Chalion,’ so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. On the whole I would agree, but to my mind it will be a very exceptional book that is … Continue reading

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Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares books – for your reading pleasure.

I’ll be perfectly honest, though I liked the first Raine Benares book, Magic Lost, Trouble Found I wasn’t 100% in love with it. Luckily I liked it enough to get the second book, Armed and Magical, which picks up just … Continue reading

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Scott Lynch: The Lies of Locke Lamora – for your reading pleasure

Thoroughly absorbing, interesting characters who are changed by events that happen to them, great backstory, twisty plot in the front-story leading to nail-biting tension. Highly recommended. Trying not to give away too many spoilers we get to see the formation … Continue reading

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Liz Williams: The Snake Agent – for your reading pleasure

Any book which opens with the main protagonist swinging by his heels in Hell has got my attention from page one. This grabbed me and never let me go. Det. Insp. Chen is the cop whose responsibilities include the underworld … Continue reading

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How Long is a Piece of String?

Chopping and Changing – Revisions, Cuts and Additions. How long should your story or novel be? A piece (story, novel or poem) should be as long as it needs to be – but that’s not always as long as you, … Continue reading

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Process

I’ve been thinking about process over the last few weeks. I’m writing a new, story which I hope will turn into the next novel project. It’s as yet untitled, and if I had to describe it at all it would … Continue reading

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For the Love of Prequels – A guest post by Gail Z. Martin

One of the tricky parts of telling a story is knowing where to start. The beginning of the interesting part isn’t always the place to start the main tale. That’s especially true when the main story is truly epic in … Continue reading

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Updated Blog Archive: 2013 to 2018

2013 Bated Breath Seven Short Men and a Waif Preparing for Milford Jumping in at the Shallow End Serendipitous Book Browsing Four days to go Three Book Deal Milford Writers Publishers Marketplace Announcement Editor Talk New Book Log on LJ: Karen Traviss: Star … Continue reading

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My 2018 Reading

It’s getting towards the end of the year and this is the time I usually post a summary of my reading. I’ve kept a booklog since 2009, and oh, how I wish I’d started decades ago. I post my booklog … Continue reading

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Jaine Fenn Guest Blog

Every writer has their obsessions, the themes we return to; real-world stuff that bothers us enough that we pick and peck at them repeatedly through our stories – because y’know, writing is therapy. I’m fascinated by juxtapositions. Especially physical ones: … Continue reading

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Rowankind Delivered

On Friday night I sent off the final edited version of my upcoming novel ROWANKIND. Let me say that again because it never gets old. On Friday night I sent off the final edited version of my upcoming novel ROWANKIND. … Continue reading

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Cover Reveal Rowankind

Cover reveal: Rowankind, the last book in the Rowankind trilogy is due in November from DAW. Need to read the first two? They are Winterwood and Silverwolf in that order.  The cover illustrates Ross (Rossalinde) with Corwen the wolf shapechanger … Continue reading

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Men in Science Fiction and Fantasy

A comedy panel at Eastercon 2018 with Jaine Fenn (moderator), Juliet McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Jacey Bedford. Comedy panel on Youtube

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Beginning at the Beginning

I’ve always been particularly fascinated by book-beginnings. One of my favourite opening sentences is the one which opens John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids: When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts out by sounding like … Continue reading

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My best books of 2017 – A personal overview of my reading year

There are inevitably lists of ‘Best SF Books of…’ such as this one from Barnes and Noble  but with the amount of books on offer from this year and from previous years, it’s almost impossible for any one person to … Continue reading

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Committing Trilogy

As I write this blog post I’m editing and polishing my third Psi-Tech book, Nimbus, the last in my trilogy of space operas (though there may be more ahead set in the same universe—it’s too early to tell, yet.) It’s … Continue reading

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Gotten, Tannoy, and Trug

Another milestone. I just hit send and emailed the manuscript for my fourth book to my editor. It’s 134,200 words long which is roughly the same size as Winterwood. Silverwolf is scheduled for publication on Tuesday 3rd January 2017. It’s … Continue reading

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Re-reading my own book: Winterwood.

Having delivered Crossways, due for publication in August, I’ve stepped sideways straight into the edits for Winterwood, my third book – and a very different one from the first two space operas. Set in an alternate 1800 with magic, Winterwood … Continue reading

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