fantasy, fiction, writing

Easy Reading

I had something unusual happen to me yesterday (well, it started the day before, but…). I got so sucked into a story I couldn’t put it down (metaphorically, as it was online). I stopped long enough to make dinner for us, mainly because I felt guilty that I was ignoring the First Reader so I could read, but I didn’t finish reading until I was done with the story.

It has become harder for me to find really compelling reads like this, and for me, this was something extraordinary: it was a graphic tale, not a textual one. Ursula Vernon’s Digger, although those of you who saw my post yesterday had probably already guessed that. Someone had posted in comments over at ATH, or maybe MGC, a link to vampire squash as shown in Digger, I clicked through idly… and realized who the author was.

See, a while back I read and reviewed Nine Goblins by T. Kingfisher. It was a brilliant, snarky, sweet, Pratchettian bit of fantasy. And Ursula Vernon wrote it under a pseudonym. So I started reading Digger from the beginning. And, as I said, I found it really difficult to put down. Now, I was good – I kept up with my homework and classes. I even did some work on a cover commission. But I couldn’t stop reading.

The First Reader and I were talking about it when I was done, and raving about it to him. He’s unlikely to read it, at least in the web-form. Although I’m seriously tempted to buy the omnibus. buying the omnibus.  Anyway… he’s been reading an old familiar author and series we both know and love, Weber’s Bahzell and Brandark tales, the War Gods series. Because he’d been trying to get into Monster Hunter Nemesis and failing. He thinks, as we lay there in the dark talking, that it lacks a hero. Stricken he finds far too close to reality for comfort, having met government officials like that. Like me, the First Reader reads not for realism, but a bit of escape. In MHN he wanted a hero, which Franks is not. I pointed out that there is one, if he can push a bit further…

I find that there are authors I trust, to give me that good story which will suck me in and captivate me. John Ringo, for one. I just recently finished his latest zombie book, and it was every bit as easy to read as I expected. Easy reading doesn’t mean small vocabulary words and light plot. It has more to do with an elusive quality that draws you into the story, connects you to the characters, and keeps you guessing about what comes around that next corner. I’m always looking for another author like this. When I’m tired, and just don’t have it in me to plug through one more tedious chapter in whatever book I’m supposed to be reading, I can fall back on a trusted author to give me that immersive experience.

Speaking of new authors, we have been organizing a list of people who are participating in a Labor Day Booksale. Amanda Green put a huge amount of work into organizing all of this, and the list is posted here, on her blog. It will appear on my blog tomorrow, and tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, every book on that list will be 2.99 or less. Including three of my novels that have never before gone on sale.

Did you know you can give an ebook as a gift? All you need to know is the email address of the recipient. They don’t need to have a Kindle to read it, the Kindle Cloud reader is free and works on any computer. Kindle apps for smartphones and tablets are also easy and free. In fact, my new laptop came with the Kindle Cloud reader pre-installed, all I had to do was sign in. So for someone who is going back-to-school, a little pleasure reading to remind them that literature can be fun, too. Or for those parents who are taking a deep breath and relaxing as the mad whirl of summer lets up… or just planning ahead for long winter evenings curled up by the fire!

My novels, Vulcan’s Kittens, Pixie Noir, and even Trickster Noir, will all be $2.99 for four days only. If you’ve already got a copy, and you’re feeling really nice, share the news, for your friends and family to be able to get a great deal!

16 thoughts on “Easy Reading

      1. Well, yes, but kind of depressing for me personally. It’s like, “Hey, somebody just said everything you’ve been trying to say about identity and personal responsibility and theology and did it in a webcomic that features talking slugs. So you might as well just give up on the writing thing–you’ve been pnwned.”

        1. I dithered, but then had an epiphany and bought the omnibus. I’m going to study her storytelling, and her art, so… But yes, it’s brilliant. Makes one look at oneself and be humbled. But we can learn!

        2. No no no! Take it, learn from it, and redeploy it– I’m trying desperately to learn how to write so I can say the things I SENSE are true, but every telling is going to be a bit different and we NEED more!

          It’s not enough to just say something once, you gotta say it over and over, in different ways.

          1. And besides that, you live, you learn, and you grow. Something that strikes you really hard right ‘there’ now, might now have hit five years ago. Or five years from now. So many people connect in their own unique ways, and as Foxfier says the more saying of it, in more ways, the better.

          2. This. I’m currently setting out to study the CW series, Nikita — not only for what may be to do, but for what NOT to do. When you have this, “WHY did they DO that?” reaction, study the piece and figure out what you would do better.

            1. From the description of the show:
              When Nikita (Maggie Q, “Live Free or Die Hard,” “Mission Impossible 3”) was a troubled teenager on death row, she was “recruited” by a secret U.S. black ops program known only as Division. They faked her execution and turned her into an assassin. Nikita never lost her humanity, and when she learned that Division was a corrupt organization

              She was awarded the rank of Captain Obvious?!?

            2. Doesn’t really matter the actual work– just that you pick a work and study it. It doesn’t even have to be a masterwork. I first thought to perform this autopsy on the Jani Killian stories by Campbell award winner Kristine M. Smith. But it’s not the work so much as the analysis. Nikita is a series. 73 episodes. A lot of major and minor story and character arcs. Analyze. Dissect. Decide what’s right and what’s wrong. Work it out for your applicable story (ies).

        3. Just because someone did an awesome job in this format doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write it your way. Chances are you will reach someone this story missed.

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