Jilly: Avoiding Me, Me, Me, I, I, I

Me, Myself, IHow many of your favorite stories are written in first person? All, most, or none? Any recommendations? What do you particularly enjoy about them?

One piece of advice often given to newbie writers is to choose the point of view that best fits the story you’re trying to tell. Something that’s shared less often is that for many flavors of genre fiction there seems to be a consensus on that ‘best’ point of view choice. Certainly that’s the way it works for the four hundred or so books in the main menu of my kindle.

Continue reading

Jilly: Books That Go Bump in the Night

Books That Go Bump in the NightDo you enjoy ghost stories?

The rest of the year I’d say thanks, but no thanks. This weekend, whooo! The whole Halloween/All Souls/Samhain/chill in the air/approaching darkness vibe just cries out for a spooky story.

According to that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, ghosts and ghost stories are a cultural universal. Around the world we’ve been telling ourselves variants of the same stories since time immemorial. Victims of violent crime seeking vengeance, like Hamlet’s father or Macbeth’s liege lord. Innocent Girls Done Wrong, like Giselle. Horrible examples like Scrooge’s late business partner, Marley.

If you enjoy traditional, chilling, scare-you-so-much-you’ll-be-afraid-to-turn-out-the-light type stories, you might like to check out this list of classic stories courtesy of the Guardian.

If, like me, you’re a bit of a wuss and prefer more fun and less stress with your seasonal helping of ghostliness, I’d like to offer you the following recommendations: Continue reading

Jilly: Well-Read by Moonlight

Well-read by MoonlightYesterday Michaeline had us writing haiku to the Harvest Moon. She explained that in Japanese culture tonight, 27th September, is the Fifteenth Night of autumn, when it’s traditional to contemplate the beauty of the full moon and wish for a successful harvest. (For more about Jugoya, or Fifteenth Night, click here.)

My brief excursion into haiku territory got me noodling around all things lunar, so in honor of Fifteenth Night, I offer you fifteen (very) loosely moon-related tales for your reading or watching pleasure. Continue reading

Michaeline: Books, fans and fantasy marketing

This week, Lois McMaster Bujold announced on her blog the long-awaited coming of a New Book. Then she announced it on her mailing list, which is where I heard about it.

She wrote:

I am pleased to report that a new Cordelia Vorkosigan novel has been sold to Baen Books for publication, tentatively, in February of 2016.

The title is Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.

It is not a war story. It is about grownups.

And that is probably all I ought to say right now in a venue read by the spoiler-sensitive. It is, after all, a long haul till next February.

2016 will also mark the 30th anniversary of my first publication by Baen, which ought to be good for a little PR fun.

Ta, L.

Continue reading

Nancy: All I Want For Christmas…Are Books!

Reading List

I love a good list. I get an incredible sense of organization from writing to-do lists and a huge feeling of accomplishment by crossing off each completed task. I adore reading lists like those Michille shared last week, as they give me great ideas for new books to add to my TBR pile.

But one type of list I dread writing every year is my Christmas wish list (yes, I know, most adults don’t do this, but I have a few family members who still request it, even though my childhood years are…ahem…decades behind me). And sorting through reading lists right now (because really, what do any of us want more than books? 😉 doesn’t fit into my current schedule as I fight through multiple to-do lists, none of which have anything to do with the impending holidays.

That’s where my secret weapon comes in, because I have a built-in group of smart, well-read people who, I’m sure, won’t be shy about sharing some ‘best of 2014 books’ of their own with me. (Those of you reading the 8LW blog are the smart people, in case you missed that.) I’ve already started my Christmas wish book list, but there’s a problem. Continue reading