Tag Archives: reading

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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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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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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First Person Narrative – a guest post by Juliet E McKenna

Thoughts on writing a first person narrative when that person isn’t you. Early reviews for The Green Man’s Challenge are coming in, and readers are commenting favourably on the way Dan Mackmain’s character comes vividly off the page. This isn’t … Continue reading

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The Subtle (and Unsubtle) Art of Critiquing

At the end of August I did a post about the run up to Milford. It starts next Saturday so I’m deep into reading and critiquing the 23 pieces submitted by the fifteen attendees. I’m obviously not going to comment … Continue reading

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Genevieve Cogman: The Invisible Library – For your reading pleasure

This is the first in an ongoing series, and a terrific starting point. As an ex librarian I have a fondness for anything library-oriented so I wanted to like this a lot – and I did. Genevieve Cogman’s debut novel … 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: Dodger – For Your Reading Pleasure

I’m a big fan of Pratchett’s discworld and although this book is set in London in the early years of Victoria’s reign, the feeling is very Ankh-Morporkian, or maybe that should be that Ankh Morpork is very much based on … Continue reading

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Sherwood Smith – Rondo Allegro – For Your Reading Pleasure

I’ve always enjoyed reading Sherwood Smith’s fantasies, in particular the Inda sequence, and I just realised there are more books in her bibliography that I misse4d, so I can see I’m going to have to spend some time catching up. … 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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Ann Aguirre: Grimspace – for your reading pleasure

I really liked this one. Telepathy, space travel, adventure, a damaged heroine and tormented telepathic hero. What’s not to like? Sirantha Jax carries the J-gene that enables her to jump ships across space. It’s a talent that’s likely to kill … Continue reading

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In My Other Life

I have two blogs, this one and a book blog at https://jacey.dreamwidth.org/ where I blog every book I read and every movie I see in the cinema – that one’s a bit thin on movies this year, but rich on … Continue reading

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Books etc. for Christmas

2020 has not been the year it was supposed to be. (Not fit for purpose. Can I get a refund?) I didn’t get anywhere as much writing done as I could have, but I read, and re-read an awful lot. … 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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Georgette Heyer: The Toll Gate for your reading pleasure

Everyone has their favourite Heyer. This is one of mine. When Crazy Jack Staple, lately of Wellington’s army returns to civilian life after the defeat of Napoleon, he finds that there’s not much to satisfy the adrenaline junkie he’s become, … Continue reading

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Boy Wizards on the Lam. Three series beginnings – for your reading pleasure

This is the first of my new alternate Tuesday reading posts, so I thought I’d dip back in time to tell you about three books that are each the first in their own well-loved series. They all owe something to … Continue reading

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Reading Writing and Rewriting

I was a voracious reader as a child, working my way steadily through the stock of my local public library children’s department. My literature of choice was anything with horses or ponies in it. Some of the books in my … Continue reading

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Book Browsing

This is a revamp of a post from 2013, updated The tor.com blog had a feature on book browsing back in September 2013 and it prompted this original post, reminding me that I so very rarely got to browse real … Continue reading

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What I Like to Read, and Why

Though I have a large collection of paper books, some of them from my childhood, I mostly read fiction on Kindle these days. It’s not that I prefer electronic to dead tree books, but books are books and it’s the … 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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It’s never too late to talk about a book

Unless you are lucky enough to live in a city which has good bookshops, or even better, specialist science fiction and fantasy bookshops, your browsing of new SFF titles may be limited. My little local bookshop sadly closed last year, … 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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Dropping a Pebble in the Pond

I used to think that if I could only get one book published by a major publisher I would be able to die happy (though I did not necessarily plan that particular event soon). Now I have five books published … Continue reading

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The Reading Conundrum

When I got my first publishing deal back in 2013 I found that when I was writing to a deadline it was difficult to keep up with my reading. This reading conundrum is something many writers suffer from… When I’m … Continue reading

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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

My first book, Empire of Dust, launched on 4th November 2014 from DAW and, boy, was I excited. I’d waited a long time for that moment. When I got the first review , from Publishers’ Weekly, no less, I read … 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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Corwen Silverwolf Speaks

Denby Hall, September 1801 I don’t usually get the opportunity to say much. It’s not that I’m henpecked, you understand, but—well—my author is female and she lets my beloved, Rossalinde, tell the story. So it’s nice, for once, to be … Continue reading

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Goodreads Starry Update

Five stars to Goodreads for their customer service. Yesterday I queried the ‘unstarred reviews equals zero stars reviews problem’ and today got this email. “We did recently migrate our database to bigger servers, and that change did cause some unexpected … Continue reading

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Stars in your Reviews – The Goodreads Conundrum

Authors appreciate your honest reviews. They appreciate you talking about their book, recommending it to others, tweeting about it, blogging about it, sharing on Facebook, signing up to mailing lists and groups, including it in lists. In fact, if you … Continue reading

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Ten Favourite Children’s Books

My Top Ten Children’s Books Last week I posted  Ten Books I couldn’t Put Down, and when compiling my long list I realised some of them were children’s books. I used to be a children’s librarian (way back) and I’ve … Continue reading

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Guest Blog 2: Gaie Sebold – How (Not) To Write A Steampunk Novel

Please welcome the lovely and talented Gaie Sebold as my second guest blogger. How (Not) To Write A Steampunk Novel To start with, I didn’t actually really intend to write what ended up as a fantasy Victorian spy adventure, with … Continue reading

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