Win a copy of Dragon Noir!
You can play along in the comments here, or on facebook where I kicked the thing off yesterday. Comment for an entry, and I will draw a name at random on Sunday, July 19 and announce the winner. Then I will do it a second time and give away two copies of Dragon Noir, signed, and shipped to your door! If you play along on facebook, you can get your name in the hat a second time by sharing this post. If you are one who has successfully avoided that particular brand of social media, put a link (wherever you want, blog, Google +, twitter, it’s the thought that counts, not the locale) in the comments to this post and I will put your name in the hat again.
Since that won’t take long, and you need something to occupy your brain until Sunday (oh, not that these will take that long!) here are a few links to good blog posts today. Click on the headlines to read more.
My first reader muses on what makes bonds closer than blood.
Friendship isn’t what I’m talking about either. There are lots of folks in some of my online groups that I don’t particularly like that I will travel to see. Because, no matter how annoying they can be they are the family of my heart. Relatives OTOH we see because we are stuck doing so. I honestly think we may need new words to describe these people.
Amanda Green talks about some of the vitriol being directed at the behemoth company.
Oh my. The Amazon haters have been out in droves of late. Between those who are complaining that the new rules for payouts for titles downloaded and read via the Kindle Unlimited/KOLL programs and the media stirring up outrage over the supposed lack of “real” deals for Prime Day, it would be easy to think Amazon is nothing but a money-grabbing corporate whore. There are a few problems with this, of course. First and foremost is Amazon has never hidden the fact that it is a business and businesses exist to make money. The second is, from an author’s standpoint, the fact that Amazon has given us the power to make decisions about our careers that had been out of our hands for years. But Amazon is bad. Maybe if we repeat it often enough, we will start to believe.
Sarah Hoyt talks about something I have lived these last few years, multiple streams of income, and getting by on the strength of my wits and brain alone. It’s a terrifying journey, akin to whitewater rafting. When the rapids are high, you’re too busy fending off all the rocks coming at you to think anything other than a highpitched feedback squeal of ‘I’m gonna die!’ over and over at such a high rate it would take sophisticated machinery to slow it down enough to understand. When the river deepens and smooths out, you’re too busy preparing for the next rocky patch to think about the relaxing you could be doing. But this is the way of life for the artist, the creative.
But it’s not just writing. My sons have dipped toes in art and gaming, and some of their friends are making money from podcasts and indie music. The point is that if you are a creative, this is a great time to be alive. You can reach the public directly and because “the public” is so large, even a small success is enough to live on, more or less.
Hence the older son’s “get rich slowly” streams which include starting work in many small fields and running it over many decades, so eventually it amounts to something.
Not to say everyone will succeed. It still requires concentration and effort. But it is, at least a possibility
Jim McCoy gave me a really nice review on my last YA book. I’m putting a bit here, but he gets into depth with it over on his blog.
As someone who has a passion for this kind of thing, I’m going to start off this review by praising Ms Sanderson for the hard work she put into not just the writing of this book, but the research. She shows a lot of knowledge about various myths. We could argue all day long about whether or not things would shake out the way she thinks they would (and we WOULD and probably WILL because we’re nerds and that’s what we do. ) but she has obviously done enough work to at least make an educated guess. If her version of Fimbulwinter isn’t what I always expected, it works within the story and displays the concepts in her novel better than just about anything else could. Oh, and just for full disclosure, I’m an Irish lad myself and seeing some of the mythology of my ancestral isle probably did add to my enjoyment of the work.
The battle scenes in the book are well done. Sanderson does something that, quite honestly, TV shows and movies seem to capture better than most books in dropping us into the middle of a battle out of nowhere and making it believable. She pulls it off well. Oddly enough, I was thinking about this last concept last night while watching Star Trek:Enterprise and then read it today. Violence in the real world isn’t always presaged by anything definable or even noticeable. All too often in just happens out of nowhere. There is a lot to be said for the drama of two men staring each other down before the bullets start flying but a little touch of realism is even better. While we’re on the subject, Linn finds herself at times wrapped up in violence and wishing for a gun. As a guy who has read all of the Harry Potter novels multiple times and seen the movies more times than he’s read the books I find this refreshing. I mean, who hasn’t seen the assault on Hogwarts and wished for a M60 for use against the Death Eaters charging across the bridge? Add a few more points for further realism.