Tag Archives: Urban Fantasy

Author: Juggler in disguise

As an author, I often feel like a juggler, tossing a multitude of balls around, trying to get everything accomplished.

First ball that gets thrown into the air is the time needed for the actual act of writing. Many experts suggest delegating specific segments of time each day to write.

Doesn’t work in my life.

Sometimes my creative juices are flowing and the words pour out. At other times, I stare at the wall wondering what is going to happen next, or I have other events that demand my attention. Yesterday, I was at the dentist.

That’s when Larry Brook’s outline suggestions help me move to the next chapter. When I start a book, I spend time laying out an outline that encompasses his plot points and pinch points. I have an idea of the overall scheme of the book. The devil is in the details as to how it is all going to happen.

But how do I know to do this?

Research.

That ball of time is important, but it takes time to learn about the writing game if you’re planning on being good. Hundreds of websites offer helpful advice of how to improve your writing. I have to balance what will make me better against what will confuse me. Not all advice is right for what I write. I have found that science fiction is written differently than, say, fantasy. Readers of science fiction want fast moving action with lots of tech toys and interesting science. The best stories also include relatable characters and an interesting plot. Fantasy leans more toward elaborate descriptions of time and place. Characters often have a mentor who guides an acolyte fighting against evil creatures. Often a magic system is in place. Rarely does it happen in a futuristic society. Romance readers require a still different format. Taking the time to understand your genre is critical.

Then there’s editing that bounces into the picture. I doubt there is any author that gets it right on the first draft. As for me, I have my writing group edit, I edit, and often a professional editor goes through it. I spend hours using the search/find on words such as that, was, looked, and lately some. I love to repeat words and often need to tighten up my sentences. So a lot of time is spent in the editing penalty box… And still I find errors. I also edit over fifty pages a week for my writing group as a reciprocal for their edits. However, I find editing others’ work helpful to understand what makes my stories sing.

The third segment that I have to juggle around is blogging and reading other websites. I love to blog about my favorite books and read what other authors are doing. (hence, this blog) I spent a huge chunk of time on Utube watching Brandon Sanderson’s lecture series. It was helpful. I should interact more on Facebook, Twitter and others, but it takes so much time because I end up going down the garden path. You know what I mean. You start to read one article, and next thing, hours have passed and you’re asking: How did I end up here, and where has the time gone?”

I spend a major part of a day on my blog, but I can’t even begin to blog until I’ve read the book that I want to suggest. Have you seen how long some books are? Actually, it’s my own fault, as I like to submerse myself into a world. But keeping up on the reading is a major commitment.

Then there’s marketing. Gah! Now with this time sphere, you can vary your involvement. A signing or attending a convention takes a huge portion of time and money. Signing up for an ad takes only money and a little bit of time. An author has to weigh the results to his bottomline. Time needs to be spent researching the best avenue for marketing according to the author’s resources and situation. An author with a bestseller and an eager publishing house may spend days traveling and attending conventions or signings while a self-publisher with a modest pocketbook (like moi) may be more limited. Each individual has different options available. I attended a craft show and sold very little, but a fellow fantasy writer in her own hometown where she was well known sold sixty paperbacks at a Christmas open market. Seasonality can be key. And a book about a dog’s journey might sell at a vet’s, or an advice book sell in a small boutique, whereas science fiction might not sell well there.

Side note here is that next Friday (after Easter is over) my book Cosmic Entanglement will be advertised on Freebooksy and be offered free for a limited time only on April 20, 21, and 22. Although this is the third book of the series, it can be read first.

Time travel stories will let you do that.

Last Friday Free Kindle Books and Tips advertised Caught in Time. They just wanted a mention in my blog and here it is. So check them out. In March I advertised with Book Barbarian. They take only science fiction and fantasy, but I sold the whole series to a couple of readers.

You can buy the series and get a special price on Amazon. Amazon provides several ways that help authors sell. Check out my Author’s Central page under Sheron Wood McCartha.

Which brings me to the business part of the juggling act. Yes, if you are serious about the time commitments that you will need to make, then you should take the time to rough out a business plan or at least a business direction. We all know that if you don’t know where you are going, often you’ll get lost or end up in the wrong place. How many books do you plan to write this year? How much do you need to sell to pay for a cover? And, gosh, who’s going to do it? Do you keep track of sales? Do you even control that information? How are you going to publish and distribute? A big publisher? A small publisher? Self publishing? And how are you going to decide?

While you’re pondering that momentous decision and reading blogs about it or talking to colleagues, the laundry is beeping, you’re running out of food, and the house needs a vacuum. Maybe you have delegated some of these chores to a significant other, but life and family still come rolling in and want attention. I have a smallish social life, but Sunday I’ll be attending a family and friends get together. I spent two hours at social security today so my daughter’s married name will be legal on her taxes.

Juggle. Juggle.

And finally, (or maybe not) is that ball with the great big word job. Whether you’re a mom, and your job is raising kids, or a wage earner out in the business world, that ten-ton ball can be hard to juggle around. You’ll have to reshape and be creative with your tosses.

It can be quite an act for anyone wanting to be an author.

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This week I picked an unusual book for me.

I warned you.

I’m not one for fairies and such, but trans-dimensional worlds were involved, and again it was a Powell’s reading selection. I’m trying to keep up in my reading group and writer activities also.

It turns out that Tinker by Wen Spencer was delightful.

Tinker is a feisty, petite orphan who scratches out a living in a junkyard located in near-future Pittsburg, which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. A trans-dimensional gate built by her father is responsible for the situation. When a pack of wargs chases Windward, an Elven noble, into her scrap yard, she saves his life and becomes entangled in the royal elven court, which is full of intrigue. Tinker is one of very few who is able who understands the science involved in building the gate that brought Pittsburgh to the land of the elves. When certain enemies discover that, she becomes vulnerable to kidnapping by those who want to control or destroy the gate.

Possessing genius level mental ability, steel-toed boots, and a “take no prisoners” attitude, she takes on the NBA, the Elven court, technology smugglers, and an amorous, but powerful, elf out to change her life in disturbing ways.

A delightful, fun romp with engaging characters and non-stop action, Tinker takes everything in stride, including her first kiss.

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Filed under Alternate Reality in Literature, Alternate Universes, Best selling author, fantasy series, Marketing and selling novels, modifying humans, Paranormal Romance, Self-publishing, the fae, Wizards and magic

Time to Read: Bone Clocks

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Interesting science news:

Currently I’m writing about space travel. It’s a story called Worlds too Far and has been a blast to write. I had the convoy of ships stop at an asteroid field for water and minerals…then I saw this great article on space.com.

Also turns out that oxygen has been found within a comet. There’s more out there in space than man can imagine…. except for we science fiction types.

http://www.space.com/30582-asteroid-mining-water-propulsion.html?li_source=LI&li_medium=more-from-space14-space-future-spaceflight

In the marketing information section:

This month I’m back to marketing. I will be trying out the Amazon Countdown for Caught in Time January 22 thru 29 and combining with Booksends on January 22 @ 99 cents and Bargain Booksy @ 99 cents on the 23rd. With Countdown, the price goes up every two days so get in early for the best price. I like that doing it this way encourages readers to act immediately rather than put off a purchase. Caught in Time is my first book, although often I’ve said that with time travel you can read any of the the first three and be fine. Each book in the series has a stand alone story. I’ve tried to model Lois McMasters Bujold’s concept of a series having a timeline with each book complete in itself.

November’s marketing strategy turned out well using Booksends for Cosmic Entanglement and carried over into December where I was too busy to do much marketing. Now’s a new year and I want to keep momentum going.

Figuring out marketing is difficult. Personal signings require a large local fan base and craft shows aren’t always successful. Having said that, one of the authors in my writing group sold 70 books at a local book fair over the holiday. So, you never know. The word got out.

Bone Clock D. MitchellBook Review:

This week I’ll report on one of my 2016 selections. A lot of people have read this to mixed reviews. It is different– Urban Fantasy with a background of paranormal.

Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Voice. Sometimes a story has a character with a distinctive voice brought on by unique dialogue and particular behaviors.

Bone Clocks tells a story unlike any I’ve read in speculative fiction. Actually, it’s four sections told from different viewpoints that intersect each other, going from 1950 to the far future.

The start is the strongest part of the book, as fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes has a row with her mother and hies off to live with her boyfriend only to discover him in bed with her best friend. A fifteen year old, torn by betrayal, doesn’t stop to consider the dangers and struggle in store for a homeless and penniless young girl as she runs off aimlessly and grief-stricken.

But Holly is no ordinary girl. She hears “radio voices” and, as a young girl, was visited frequently in the night in her bedroom by a strange and ghostly woman who would have conversations with her. Something is going on behind the curtain, but Mitchell is shy about revealing all too soon.

We skip to Hughe’s part in the story. Hugh Lamb is the opposite of Holly. A rich kid at university with low morals and a clever mind, Hugh manipulates his friends, eventually causing one to suicide. In the end of the second section, he briefly meets up with Holly but selects to follow strange, shady beings who promise immortality and awesome power. We leave the dangerous Hugh tripping off with his new companions. The timeline then continues with Ed, a wartime journalist and Crispin, an embittered author, past his prime.

Eventually two factions reveal themselves in the background. One powerful and immortal faction fights for the survival of humankind; the other immortal aliens, are trying to consume humans. The ending is a bit of a let down and confusing for me.

However, the strange and powerful immortals in the background fighting for power while only certain human with psychic powers are aware was interesting.

Still, if you are looking for a different slant to a speculative novel, you might enjoy the Bone Clocks.

Some readers did; some didn’t.

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Filed under Alien and human bonding, alien life forms, Aliens in Science Fiction, Alternate Universes, Best selling science fiction, book fairs, Comets and asteroids, ebook marketing, hard science, Lois McMasters Bujold, Marketing and selling novels, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, science fiction science, science fiction series, Self-publishing, Space opera, time travel, Uncategorized, Urban Fantasy

Costume Ideas from Science Fiction

 

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Halloween is coming, so get ready! Do you have your costume yet?

What Urban Fantasy book could you enjoy and get lots of ideas?

Why, that would be Skin Game by Jim Butcher, the latest in his Harry Dresden Series.

Jim Butcher writes Urban Fantasy, and although I’m not usually a reader of the genre, I am a fan of this series.Skin Game

Throughout the first several books, Harry has dealt with Vampires, Werewolves, the Fae, Chicago gangsters and every fantasy creature imaginable, including his faithful Foo dog and Bob, a genius spirit that resides on a shelf in a skull.

We have watched Harry develop from a sketchy, part-time detective, cooking up amateur potions in his underground basement, to becoming a full fledged wizard that gets killed and returns from the dead. He is now a warden of the White Council while serving as Maab’s Winter Knight…

A juggling act if ever there was one.

And when he yells, Forzare, Disperdorius, Lumios, or Artispinae, step back because powerful magic is about to happen.

Now in Skin Game, Maab, Queen of the Fae, lends him as her Winter Knight to assist Nicodemus Archleone of the Blackened Denarius as payback for a favor. Nicodemus pulls together a team that he plans to take into The Underworld in order to steal the Holy Grail. They have to blow up a Chicago mobster’s vault and pass through the three gates of Hades: the Gate of Fire, The Gate of Ice and the Gate of Blood.

Ghost StoryThe team consists of: Hannah Asher, expert of fire, Anna Valmount, safecracker extraordinaire, Goodman Grey, fantastical shapeshifter, Genoskwa, Bigfoot style monster who can go invisible, Binder who controls an army of men that leap from the ground and dissolve back into dirt, Deirdre’s, Nicodemus’s demonform daughter, Karrin Murphy, ex-cop and weapon obsessed sidekick to Harry, and Harry Dresden, wizard. Harry is traveling in dangerous company, most wanting to eliminate him from this world all over again, so he has to watch his back at all times.

However, Knight of the Cross, now retired, Michael Carpenter, takes up his sword again for Harry’s sake, and the Archangel Uriel makes an appearance, along with several other familiar Dresden characters, including Kris Kringle also known as Santa Clause and Hades, Greek god of the Underworld.

Plus, Waldo Butters…who?…well…you’ll just have to read the story.Summer Knight

In spite of the fantastical creatures that populate Dresden’s world, the story contains real human emotion as Harry and Michael struggle to protect their family and the world against evil.

Storm FrontIt also provides an array of imaginative creatures, any one of which would make a great Halloween costume.

So now, you have some ideas.

I have seen the power of offering free books. I’ve read where many believe that free or discounted books, once downloaded, sit somewhere on readers digital bookshelves, collecting digital dust where they never get read. So it was interesting to see the blog: Eleven Things You Don’t know About Bargain Ebook Buyers from Bookbub that indicates otherwise. Keeping in mind that Bookbub provides discounted and free books, I still found the information worth mentioning. Follow this link: http://unbound.bookbub.com/post/87615381745/11-things-you-dont-know-about-bargain-ebook-buyers for more specific data and information, but here’s the top eleven conclusions concerning Bargain Ebook Buyers.

  1. They are Power Readers
  2. They read everywhere: at home, while traveling, in bed, at work,
  3. They read primarily on Tablets
  4. They don’t just read e-books but read paperbacks and hardbacks also
  5. They have higher than average income
  6. They are genre readers: mysteries, thrillers, romance
  7. They buy full priced e-books
  8. They read the books they download
  9. They try new authors
  10. They become loyal fans
  11. They recommend the books they like.

As an ebook author, it’s food for thought I wanted to share.

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Filed under Alien and human bonding, alien life forms, Alien pets in science fiction, Aliens in Science Fiction, Best selling science fiction, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, fantasy series, magic, Paranormal Romance, science fiction, science fiction series, the fae, Urban Fantasy, Wizards and magic

Noir Fantasy with a Cutting Edge

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Is it just me or are fantasy novels getting grittier? Looking over several lists, I notice that fantasy dominates popular reading and selections for 2013, but ever since Game of Thrones, the stories I’m reading seem harsher, gorier, gritty. Does this reflect our society? And in what way? Are current writers being influenced to write coarser protagonist with more violent plot lines?51LqynbphlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

In George R.R. Martin’s last book, Dance with Dragons, the hero still standing  was a one-eyed dwarf with a torn off half face who suffers from dysentery. You end up with him at the close of the story on a gory battlefield knee deep in mud.

No swashbuckling hero him.

Skin GameAnother current favorite is the urban fantasy series by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden fights to protect the city of Chicago against vampires, goblins and evil enemies, but he is usually tattered, aching, bruised  and needs a bath when dealing with “the dark side.” It is only after he dies and becomes a ghost that all the aches and pains go away. Yet his frustrations continue with the limitations imposed on his ghostly self. Can’t even twist a doorknob open.

Now, the next book coming out in May is titled Skin Game…and dare we hope he returns to his battered human self? And what mayhem and grotesque ghouls and evil doers will he confront to cause this transformation?

What sparked this introspection is that I’m currently reading Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself and while the writing is vivid, every character seems damaged in some way. One of the main characters is Glokta, an Inquisitor, who performs particularly violent procedures to wring confessions out of his victims.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night for images of fingertips flying through the air as he hacks a confession from a prisoner, or teeth breaking under pliers as he wrenches information out for his master all the while groaning in his own pain and agony. Even the king is a fat gross fool who is manipulated by greedy and power hungry ministers. The supposed brave knight/soldier is such a self centered fool that you want to strangle him yourself the moment you meet him. Still, the story is engrossing and I do keep going back for more. This seems to be the popular offering nowadays.The Blade Itself2

Whatever happened to unicorns and strong jawed heroes that save fair damsel?

Fantasy is not reality…it’s fantasy.

Reality is for tv shows.

Interesting that two of the Oscar nominations were in the science fiction genre. “Gravity” dealt with outer space and “Her” with a man following in love with a computer.

No wonder I want to jump back into the science fiction genre where I only have to deal with space battles and the occasional deadly aliens.

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Filed under dragons, fantasy, fantasy series, Noir Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Wizards and magic

Between Heaven and Hell

If you’re not writing or reading about dragons, then the next best thing is angels.

Or some say vampires, zombies and assorted ghouls. Paranormal romance seems to be the hot in thing.

Last week I was talking about Urban Fantasy and mentioned Jim Butcher’s series. I thought I was done with the genre, but as I was casting about for what to read this week, I stumbled across an old favorite who has given a new twist to his stories and falls into the Urban Fantasy genre and whalaa

Has an angel as his main character.

Meet Doloriel, advocate angel of the Third House, otherwise known as Bobby Dollar, and author Tad Williams of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series that was a favorite of mine back in the day. Tad Williams made a name for himself in the fantasy genre with this riveting and satisfying  chunk of fantasy. I recommend The Dragonbone Chair, The Stone of Farewell and parts 1 & 2 of The Green Angel Tower novels. These are not skinny little handbooks, but large tomes full of action and interesting characters.

Now he has come out with a totally different style and story in the form of The Dirty Streets of Heaven. The story is told in the first person, as if you and Bobby Dollar, advocate angel, are in an intimate conversation while all hell breaks loose around you…literally.

The story has a very Jim Butcher taste to it and if you like his Harry Desden series, you’ll like this too.

Angel Bobby Dollar has a past as an avenging angel, which turns out to be a fierce and dangerous job. So he knows survival techniques, but has opted for a quieter vocation as angel advocate in a San Francisco area town called St. Jude. When anyone dies, Bobby goes to bat for their good side, trying to get him/her to heaven against someone from the lower region who reviews his/her life in hopes of gaining a new resident in Hell. Earth is a battle ground between heaven and hell.

Life is supposed to be quieter and healthier as an advocate, but  when a valuable article is stolen from a Lord of Darkness, fingers point to Doloriel as the culprit. Soon Bobby has a monstrous beast that is an undead avenger after him, a high level seductress and she-demon called the Countess of Cold Hands who tempts him, and a new suspect angel Haraheliel whom they call Clarence in homage to “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Events go from bad to worse as Angel Bobby goes on the lam to figure out what’s been stolen and what’s really going on. Then souls go missing at judgement day. Both Heaven and Hell are in an uproar and Bobby is right in the middle of it all.

Wild times guaranteed.

Now for those of you that ask, “What happened to the scifi gal with cutting edge science facts?”

Here’s a tidbit that titillated me. http://inhabitat.com/transgenic-spider-goat-hybrids-produce-tougher-than-steel-silk/

David Pogue hosts several shows on the television series of Nova that are very well done. In “Making things stronger,” he mentions transgenic goats whose milk contains the gene components of spider silk. Two genes from the silk spider are inserted into a goat’s embryo. Their milk can be processed so that it produces spider silk. Spider silk, it turns out, is stronger than steel or kevlar, and is one of the strongest substances in nature.

Think of the possibilities!

There’s still a ways to go with it, but we are breaking new ground in genetics every day…see my blog “Slice and Dice” back in November 2, 2011.

Now if they could only make up a “Marilyn Monroe Cocktail” for me. With my luck, I’d turn dumb and suicidal.

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Filed under award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Cutting Edge Science ideas, fantasy, gene modification, genetic manipulation, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, science news, supernatural, Urban Fantasy

Complicated Magic

Hocus Pocus…Abracadabra…Open Sesame. It used to be easy. Discover a  word of power, hold a wand and be a wizard.

Shout the word and magic spews forth.

What happened to the good old days?

Not so easy in the now popular Urban Fantasy genre. Most modern day legerdemain requires a graduate degree in arcane arts.

Harry Potter, for example. A story where gifted students  study magic and learn all the rules, regulations, potions and spells in order to become proper wizards. And there are a multitude of rules, regulations and spells to learn at Hogwarts.

One of my favorite books is Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (see earlier blog) The main character, Kvothe,  struggles with poverty and sacrifices everything he has, so he can attend a college of magic where different types of incantations and spells are taught. There, the strongest magic is naming magic, particularly calling up the name of the wind. At the University, various talented students pay to study in order to find the magic they are best suited for.

Another of my favorites is the Mistborn series  by Brandon Sanderson. It employs a highly complicated system of alloy conjuring. Silver, gold, lead, etc.,  each one is taken into the body in pellet form and “burned” to produce various supernatural abilities; such as flying through the air, stopping time, and becoming invisible. Different characters wield different metals and certain gifted people can combine more than one alloy to produce unique combinations of abilities.

You have to read the complicated chart at the back of the book to understand it properly.

Now, Devon Monk’s delightful book Magic to the Bone contains a highly developed conjuring system where the use of magic results in painful side effects. As she writes, “Every act has a cost. And every act of magic exacts a price from its user.” Her main character, Allie, also attended a  university of magic in her past with courses on Grounding, Siphoning, Dispersement and various other spells before she becomes a Hound, who scrounges a living, providing black market revenge spells and taking on various odd jobs of enchantment around town. Within the first few pages, she becomes desperately ill because she forgot to set a Disbursement spell when handling a young boy dying from an incantation’s Offload. You learn that she has gaps in her memory from previous magical dabblings. 

Instead of being painful, I wonder why doesn’t magic doesn’t make the user richer and happier? You would think having supernatural abilities would give the local sorceress or wizard an edge, especially in a big city. And that would have good results. Alas for poor Allie, it brings pain and problems and memory gaps. Now, I’m thinking that might not be too bad, depending on the memory that is gapping. I, myself,  have a few memories from my teenage years that…but I digress.

Along similar lines, Jim Butcher’s well known urban fantasy, the Dresden series, also portrays a down-on-his-luck mage who takes on odd jobs involving wizardry along with his detecting. He’s a wizard for hire in big city Chicago. In his case, the magic also manifests through a wide variety of exotic creatures that he confronts. Fighting vampires, werewolves, the Fey, wizards, trolls, and others, often entails vicious battle scars and Harry Dresden carries many. His magic also exhausts him, but as in many cases dealing with the occult, he grows stronger as he gathers more powerful magic to himself and learns how to use it better. It’s called learning on the job. Of course, he takes on more and more difficult assignments and attracts more and more powerful enemies, so that he gets into some serious situations and eventually gets killed. Still, that doesn’t stop Harry and the latest novel, Ghost Story, is about how he goes about solving his own murder while a ghost.

Intriguing.

In every story, however, if you are going to do magic, you have to be born with a specific set of genes. You have to be born with wizard or sorceress potential. The common man can go to Kvothe’s college, or Hogwarts all he wants and all he’ll get is understanding, not ability. But, in most cases, as the protagonist uses his magic, he gets stronger and more powerful. Many times this results in deadlier enemies on his doorstep. The deeper the main character wades into solving the mystery, the blacker the magic he must overcome.

And, in the case of Urban Fantasy, it offers the magic wielder the opportunity to stalk down dark, creepy, alleys and meet scary, handsome/beautiful, vampire type characters that want to drink his/her blood.

Makes me want to pawnshop my wand.

Whatever happened to Cinderella’s godmother who used point and click magic?  Bippity boppity boo. A pumpkin turns into a coach and you ride away.

We live in a “No pain, no gain” world nowadays. Give me the good old days…

Shazaam.

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Filed under alloy magic, award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, fantasy, magic, Mistborn series, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, Science Fiction Mystery, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, Steampunk, supernatural, the fae, Urban Fantasy

Award Nominated Blog

Ye gads! I’ve been nominated for a blog award.

But before we get too excited about it, please know that I was nominated by a fellow author in a fun contest that feels very much like a chain letter. I reviewed Yvonne Herzberger’s book “Back from Chaos” a while back (liked it) and have kept track of her posts on Indies Unlimited and on LinkedIn. She recently e-mailed me to notify that I had received a Nomination for a blog award.

So here’s the deal: Once nominated, you have to say seven things about yourself that may surprise your audience and you have to nominate some other blogs for the award.

Sounds like fun. Okay, so here are seven things you may not know about me.

1. I am 5′ 11 1/2″ tall. They grow ’em tall in my family.

2. I have soloed in an airplane, and owned several…the last being a Mooney.

3. I have done runway, magazine and television modeling…but briefly. It didn’t pay.

4. I have raced in numerous sailboat races, (living in Annapolis and San Francisco) and my daughter was 5 weeks old when she was in her first race.

5. I was a stockbroker at Legg Mason Wood Walker for over five years. (still check the market every day)

6. I love art and paint oil landscapes.

7. I play a mean game of scrabble

Okay…Now here are several blogs I would nominate.

1. http://www.Kriswrites.com  Kathryn Kristine Rusch is an Oregonian and has some important things to say about the publishing business. She was editor of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine and her husband Dean Wesley Smith has a great blog too.

2.www.deanwesleysmith.com. has written over 90 novels and also written extensively in the Star Trek and other established universes.

3. www.whatever.scalzi.com. John Scalzi is seriously funny and a serious science fiction best selling novelist.

4. www.rosannedingli.com Rosanne Dingli has offered her time and expertise on Linkedin and continues that sage advice in her blog.

5. www.Indiesunlimited.com A collection of blogs, interviews, novel offerings and writing contests by upcoming Indie authors.

6. www.NathanBransford.com  Ex-literary agent with a wildly popular blog for writers.

7. www.veronicasicoe.com Veronica has offered some interesting science facts for my writing.

8. www.bookviewcafe.com  A consortium of Northwest writers. Phyllis Radford has her http://ramblin-phyl.livejournal.com which is a daily diary of a successful Northwest writer.

9. www.bentopress.com David Levine’s interesting blog.

10.www.Morgenbailey.com. Spelled with an “e”, like me, Morgen’s an English gal with a robust website that spotlights a lot of authors.

So that’s the contest. Comments are welcome.

Last month I was at Powell’s and met Devon Monk, a Northwest writer. She suggested I try her Urban Fantasy novel Magic to the Bone, which is the first in a series. Series are killing me, but I do love them. (Still finishing up Mad Ship and Sisterhood)

I must warn you that I am a more traditional Science Fiction Reader, but I did like Jim Butcher’s series. I also read some of Simon Green. So stay tuned and I’ll check out Urban Fantasy.

Have you read an awsome Urban Fantasy novel? Who was the author? Let me know.

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Filed under Best selling science fiction, blog information, Classic science fiction, Indie authors, Indie Science Fiction Authors, science fiction, Science Fiction book review, science fiction series