Archive for the ‘Fantasy novels’ Category

As a writer of Paranormal Romance, I was looking forward to reading Bone Dressing. Most of the books I review tend to be non-fiction or horror; all that is about to change…

I tend to try to avoid reviewing books from the genre in which I write for fear of accidental plagiarism. There is no need for me to worry, as from what I can gather from reading Brooks’s Bone Dressing; we all write VERY differently.

Brooks main character Syd is a tortured teenage soul due to losing both of her parents, and spends most days in the cemetery where they are buried. It’s one of her favourite places, or as the character says, “her neighbourhood”.

Syd lives with strict but caring foster parents, and Brooks carries the natural angst and feelings that such a situation would create, cleverly onto the page.

Our protagonist, Syd, is first person narrator throughout the story and Brooks does not disappoint with her ability to keep in age perfect character throughout. There are moments of adult speak, but didn’t we all think that we were grown ups at that age???

As the genre category suggests, this is a love story, and Syd finds love in the form of Beau (clever naming). Thank goodness that he does not have sparkly skin, nor does he drink blood.

(One of my novels is a vampire story so I really shouldn’t say that!)

This is a fast-paced book cram-packed full of adventure, fear, joy and lurrrve (on top of the angst-filled teenage stresses). Oh yes, and there is an evil teacher thrown in there too, i’m sure that we’ve all had one of them *daydreams*…

…I was once forced to stand on my desk and chew chewing gum – in an exaggerated fashion – for a whole lesson, with boys looking up my skirt! My only crime was not putting my gum in the bin / trash before I got to my desk! Evil.

Anyway, congratulations to Michelle I. Brooks for a grand job, and for creating a thoroughly fabulous read!

4/5 🙂

Perfect for teenagers!

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I first had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Wylie through the Twitter webiverse, at this point she was waiting for some clever publisher to snap her up. Friendly and encouraging, she always offers great advice and is still bubbly and jolly when she has the flu!!  You can imagine how delighted I am that she has agreed to talk to us about her writing journey and the forthcoming release of her amazing short story, JUMP.


What was your favourite / most inspiring writers’ guide?

I’ve never actually used a writing guide. However Google is my friend for any questions I may have. Luckily I’ve become quite adept at using it properly so I don’t have to wade through pages of non-relevant material. 🙂 I    find it helpful both in looking up technical aspects of writing, as well as in researching.

I’ve also been lucky the last few months to meet some amazing authors on twitter. They have all been a wonderful support, not only encouraging my writing but answering any questions I may have.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given as a writer?

That would be to never be too nice to your characters. You can’t have EVERYTHING go right for them and still have an interesting story. You need things to go wrong, you need hardship and conflict. The more the merrier. 🙂


What is the best piece of advice you can give to other aspiring authors?

Always keep writing. You can always improve, and practice helps this. Not only do you need to know how to write, but to edit. Research editing online, make sure you are using correct grammar and punctuation, be wary of being repetitive in your word use. If you can find readers or editors to go over your work then use them. Fresh eyes are always helpful.

If you are searching for a publisher I definitely recommend you create a web presence. Most either require this or it is an added bonus. Have a website, Twitter, Facebook, blog. Even if you aren’t published yet you can gain followers over time. It is also an excellent way to meet authors, agents and publishers.

What do you enjoy reading? Which books have helped you develop your craft?

I love reading anything fantasy. If there is some romance involved I’m extra happy LOL. (I’m a romantic girl, what can I say) I suppose all reading has helped, with every book you pick up a little something.

Tell us briefly about your publishing journey?

Before I signed on with Echelon and had been querying agents I lost count of my rejections over the year and half I was sending them out. Certainly over 50, perhaps even 100. I didn’t let it get me down. Obviously I query wasn’t good enough (so I kept rewriting). The problem is getting someone interested enough to want to read more, hard to do in so few words!

This past summer I read about Echelon Press online and found them interesting. I started following them on Twitter and had some nice tweets with Karen there and also in a comments section on another’s blog. I checked out the publishers website, and also the books they’d published so far and thought they would be a great publisher for me. I submitted my novel, as well as two short stories. After a few months of waiting (the waiting is always the hardest!) I received contracts for both of my shorts in mid-September. Near the end of September I got one for my novel as well. Since then there has been more waiting and editing. I’m quite excited for my work to be coming out soon!

Short Story Blurb: Jump

If you were told to jump off of a bridge would you? Perhaps it would depend on who was doing the asking. Our heroine has spunk and a sense of humor, however suffers from an extreme case of inappropriate clothing. When things take a turn from dangerous to worse what will she do when fantasy becomes reality? Warning: May include hot leather clad men, singing and demons.

Jennifer’s short story, Jump will be coming out in eBook for December 15 2010.

Pre-order Jump by following this link:      https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-jump-493574-234.html

 

Her second short, The Forgotten Echo will be released March 1 2011.

In addition, Jennifer’s novel, Sweet Light, will be coming out in May 2011.

 

Author Bio

Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother, she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, an Australian shepherd, a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

 

Website: www.jenniferwylie.ca

Blog: http://jlwylie.wordpress.com/

Honorary Patrons
Dame Beryl Bainbridge
Baroness James of Holland Park
Jacqueline Wilson OBE
Maureen Lipman
Colin Dexter OBE

2010 was the year I decided to become a serious writer and Winchester was my foot up.

Don’t get me wrong, i’ve been writing poetry and stories from around the age of five, but 2010 was the year to take my writing seriously; to be brave and let other people read my work.

Two years prior I had been involved in a car accident that left me with fairly minor injuries…….at the time! The injuries became more serious as time went on. Last October I spent almost four long weeks in two hospitals, and many more months sick and weak; not nice! But it was the kick up the butt I needed to release my inner creative genius, ahem. Boring back story over and done with; exciting future beckoned.

Where do I start? I mean, it’s obvious you take the first step on a ladder, but which ladder?

So, first things first – the internet. Research into other writers I like, read and respect; Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, James Herbert, Tolkien, Kate Morton, Dickens etc, etc to name but a few (I have eclectic taste in everything!!).

Stephen King had published a book on writing called, well, Stephen King, On Writing; what a perfect place to begin. His “memoir of the craft” was inspirational (a fellow accident survivor) and brilliant, just what I needed to read.

Wise words!!

Amazon was my next port of call; books on grammar, writing and publishing.

Finances and my situation at the time did not allow me to attend a course / college, so books and websites were my only option. Within minutes of searching (books on writing) I found the most brilliant and comprehensive book; Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff. This book covered pretty much everything, so became my bible.

Jurgen Wolff recommended that I attend the Winchester Writers’ Conference, so, I checked out their website. Wow, this year they had the one and only Sir Terry Pratchett giving the Plenary Speech. SIR TERRY PRATCHETT!!! I love him….. ticket sold. Saving every penny I had, I bought my place and entered a couple of the competitions detailed on their website.

Attending this conference was the best decision I had ever made. Winchester guided me to a doorway into a world I never knew existed; a world of words and wordsmiths, aspiring authors just like me. For the first time in my life I felt like I was somewhere I belonged, with people just like me.

“Hello, my name is Kirie and i’m a bibliophile.”

Hundreds of delegates from all corners of the globe attended the 2010 conference, I am honored to call some of these budding writers my friends. We keep in touch, moan and support each other in our otherwise solitary fantasy lives.

 

“The Winchester Writers’ Conference offers a wide range of courses, workshops and one to one appointments for the aspiring or established writer.”

The 2011 conference is a must! I recommend that all budding writers reading this do their best to get there!

http://www.writersconference.co.uk

Barbara Large MBE FRSA HFUW
barbara.large@winchester.ac.uk
Founder-Director Winchester Writers’ Conference

In their words;

“The Word Cloud is a free community where writers can read each other’s work, offer comments and get feedback. Our forums allow you to discuss books, scripts and writing with fellow writers, enter regular competitions, and much more.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

The site is run by The Writers’ Workshop & York Festival of Writing organiser; Harry Bingham, “The Boss”.  Harry is a busy published author of five fantastic but very different books, his most recent work being “Getting Published” which was published this year by A & C Black (The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook).

By Harry Bingham

Other regular professional contributors consist of a mixture of non-fiction and fiction authors across a variety of genres including:

Emma Darwin (A Secret Alchemy, The Mathematics of love)

By Emma Darwin

Jane Struthers (The Psychic’s bible and many, many more titles)

By Jane Struthers

Kate Allen (Fateful Deception, Perfidy and Perfection)

By Kate Allan

Debi Alper (Nirvana Bites, Trading Tatiana)

By Debi Alper

How these fantastic authors find the time to contribute, comment and critique, is beyond me! Their advice is invaluable to all who write.

From personal experience I can say without doubt that this is the most honest, friendly and unpretentious writers site that I have come across. Once you become a member you can understand why thousands of other writers have done the same; both published and unpublished alike.

It is devoid of any form of prejudice, bullying or cliqueiness, which I have observed on other sites and the critique is honest and professional.

I have made many friends through The Cloud, both cyber and in the flesh, and may not have continued on my writing journey if it had not been for this wonderful and encouraging people who camp within.

http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk

After completing a vast amount research, it has become apparent to me that to become a fully fledged author, I must first creat a blog. “Easy” you might say. Setting up the blog was easy; knowing what to write is a little harder and this required more research.  Not wishing to bore my potential audience / readers, I have decided to be honest and interactive on this blog. I want others to join me on my journey to Word World (my name for the publishing industry) and be a part of my success.

My intention is to entertain and tell fantastic, amazing and enthralling stories to those that are willing to read them. So here goes nothing, and I thank you for accompanying me in advance. 🙂

Every reader is valued.