Sunday, January 31, 2016

Talkin' the Talk

Posted by: Joshua Roots
Wash: “Little River just gets more colorful by the moment. What'll she do next?”
Zoë: “Either blow us all up or rub soup in our hair. It's a toss-up.”

The above is one of the greatest lines of dialogue in the final episode of Joss Whedon’s ill-fated Firefly. While the show wasn’t long for this world, the impact it has had on the Sci-Fi community is undeniable. Only 14 episodes were ever produced, yet it lives on as a cult classic.

So what was the recipe for it’s now iconic status?

Perhaps it was the setting; a spaghetti Western in space. Maybe the ragtag bunch of underdog heroes. Or it might have been the open-world feeling of humanity stretching to the far corners of the universe.

While those may have helped, I personally believe the center of gravity for the show was, and always will be, The Dialogue.

Characters conversing is one of the hardest things to master in writing. Some authors have a knack for it, but for the majority of us, trying to figure out how to make our creations communicate well is difficult. Yet cracking the code can mean the difference between a decent story and one that readers can’t put down. And while there’s no set formula for what works, there are certainly some elements that help. Here are a handful of tips that I’ve picked up over the years from reading or watching the people who excel at dialogue:

1)   Don’t Say What You Mean:

Lord Polonius: “What do you read, my lord”
Hamlet: “Words, words, words.”
Lord Polonius: “What is the matter, my lord?”
Hamlet: “Between who?”
Lord Polonius: “I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.”- William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Good communication may be the key to a happy, healthy relationship, but it’s boring in a story. If two characters have an open dialogue about their feelings at the onset, all the tension and build up is averted. While we may prefer that in real life, the lack of tension slows the pace of a story to a crawl. We need characters to dance around a topic, to want to say something, but fail to do so until a critical moment. Good stories build to a climax. We, as writers, want to pop that dialogue bubble at the right moment and not a minute sooner.

2)   No Straight Lines:

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!”- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

One of the things I love about Joss Whedon’s dialogue is that it’s never drawn in a straight line. Zoe could easily have said something like, “Hey, guys. River’s bonkers.” Instead, she comes at it from an angle that you just don’t see coming. It catches us unawares, which keeps the interchange fresh. Rub soup in our hair? Who says that? Well written characters, that’s who. Readers want to know that a character is evil or a mountain is gigantic, but hitting it sideways often times makes more of an impact than simply telling it like it is.

3)   Let it Flow: 

“We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.

Good dialogue flows naturally. There’s a beat to it, a rhythm that clips along at a realistic pace. Readers who fall in step with the timpani of the conversation can quickly find themselves lost in a great story. But mess that up and you’ll pull a reader out of your world immediately. Stilted, forced dialogue is like speed bumps on a smooth highway. Granted, there are boundaries based on genre or setting, but even if your story takes place in Victorian England, the dialogue needs to feel natural and real.

4)   Make it Beautiful:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.” – Frank Herbert, Dune.

This is one of my favorite quotes from Dune. It’s short and simple, yet flowering with beauty. Excellent prose in general is wonderful, but dialogue that is more than just a string of words is addictive. There are parts of Dune that I re-read from time to time just to soak in the beauty. Finding dialogue that resonates with an almost musical quality is like unearthing a treasure chest of gems.

5)   Make it Smart:

Bond: “I have a dinner jacket.”
Vesper: “There are dinner jackets and dinner jackets. This is the latter.” – Casino Royale

While dialogue can be beautiful at times, it should also be smart. Snappy exchanges between characters pop with energy and that keeps readers enthralled. Drag an exchange on too long or let the conversation dwindle and folks will put a book down. But keep the energy flowing and people will want to read just one more chapter before turning out the light.

In the end, there’s no formula for getting dialogue right, but there are many writers who have mastered it. Studying those authors can help you find the perfect tone, pace, and energy for your own story so that your dialogue excels. And while the above quotes are just some of the ones I’ve discovered, they barely scratch the surface of fantastic craftsmanship of dialogue.


So what are some of your favorite examples of truly exquisite dialogue?


Bio:




Joshua Roots is a car enthusiest, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

Paranormal Chaos, the final book in The Shifter Chronicles, is available wherever digital books are sold.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Imbolc, Disting, Candlemas, Charming of the Plow--Celebrating Labor

Posted by: Jax Garren
"Now I stoop the seeds to scatter,
As from the Creator's fingers...
Rise, O earth; from out thy slumber,
Field of the Creator, rouse thee,
Make the blade arise and flourish.
Let the stalks grow up and lengthen,
That the ears may grow by thousands,
Yet a hundredfold increasing,
By my ploughing and my sowing,
In return for all my labour."
- The Kalevala (Finnish epic and Pagan holy book)

The beginning of February is currently celebrated as Groundhog Day (the inspiration for one of my favorite comedies of all time), but throughout Western history it's been about a lot more than whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow. Before the conveniences of modern technology, when society had to follow the seasons as a matter of survival, the coming of spring meant time to plan and plant for the harvest--and the continuing survival of the community. It was a time for blessing tools and preparing ourselves for plowing, a great labor that requires patience to see the results. Women were often celebrated at this time--like Brigid in Ireland who comes on Imbolc to bless houses and the Disir of Scandinavia, like the Norns (Fates) and the valkyries, great female spirits who guide the future.

This holiday season reminds me of writing a book--or any other great endeavor, really, but writing novels is the one that hits home for me! Writing is a lengthy endeavor that requires commitment and patience to see the rewards of your labor. In our modern society of near-instant gratification, it's my opinion that we too often celebrate completion and not the work it takes to get there. For me, the February holiday--no matter what you call it--is a reminder that success comes from work and we should bless the perseverance in day-to-day labor. 

At the turning point of winter, I wish blessings on your great efforts--whatever they may be--and hope for a prosperous "harvest." On February 2, I plan to bless my laptop, notebook, and pens--the tools of my plowing--as a reminder to myself of the work it takes to see success. What great work do you have plans for this year? I'll be happy to include your tools in my blessing if you let me know what they are, and if you do a blessing, I'd appreciate if you'd include me in your thoughts!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Motivation

Posted by: Shona Husk

New year! New goals! New ideas!

And old manuscripts to edit and send out. Errr….

I wanted to start the year in a flurry of fresh ideas, new stories and excitement.

Instead I have spent January editing. Editing is vital (no one needs to see my first drafts) it can sometimes be fun and rewarding to get a story pulled into shape. But when my heart is bursting with all the shiny awesomeness of a dozen new stories editing is well, like being forced to eat tinned beetroot or marshmallows (I hate tinned beetroot and marshmallows—yes I know I am weird).

I am on to the third novella to be edited this month. When it’s done I can play with the shiny. But not even that is motivational enough. After all the story I’m working on has no deadline. It isn’t contracted. There is no pressure. 

So I play mind games. One scene. One chapter. Ten pages. Write that new scene and slot it in.

Last year I tried a new method, where I would write 1k/day on the shiny and then edit for the rest of the day. Sometimes that works, sometimes it becomes an excuse because I’m so into the new story it would be a shame to break the flow…

I know I will get there in the end. It’s just that at chapter one the end seems so far away.

What are your motivational tricks?
~~~
Lover in a Bottle is on sale for 99c at the moment. If you like genies and holiday romances, check it out!


Rebecca is determined to have the perfect holiday on her own. She never planned on having a holiday fling. Ashur is a genie, and there’s a time limit when he’s of his bottle. To convince Rebecca to set him free, she first has to believe in magic.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

10 Reasons Why Books Are Better Than Your Ex’s Mother

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
H.M The Queen Mother
by Allan Warren from
Wikimedia Commons
I doubt any of us here need a list of why books are better than anything. If you're hanging out here at Here Be Magic, you're likely to believe (like me) that there aren't a whole lot of things in life that are better than books. Even sex and chocolate need to watch their backs, because books are a pretty big deal.

Still, here's a ridiculous list based partially on experience and partially on things I've observed. I hope with all my heart that none of you can relate to every single one.

I won't tell you which parts are from my own experience, but at least half of them left me feeling a little bitter and "anti-nostalgic." Is that a word? It totally should be a word. I bet there's a word in German for it. They have a word for everything.


  1. Books think you’re plenty good enough for them, their sequels, and the books sitting next to them on the bookshelf. 
  2. Books never interrupt you when you have something to say – nor do they give a fig about your tone when you say it. 
  3. Books are there when you need them, but never butt in when you already know what you’re doing. 
  4. Books won’t tell you to “toughen up” when you get emotional. 
  5. Books won’t judge you for staying in your pajamas all day, eating in bed, or gaining some weight. 
  6. Books don’t show up unannounced, then comment about how dirty your house is. 
  7. Books don’t care if you have children or not, and they don’t care how your raise them. 
  8. Books are straightforward in their dealings – never passive-aggressive in any way. 
  9. Books won’t tell you the same story over and over unless you enjoyed that story and want to hear it again. 
  10. Books will never compare you to the last person who read them.
If any of these rang true, I hope none of it happens to you again. If all of it rang true, send me an email and tell me your story. I'll send you a digital copy of one of my books to cheer you up. Because books are always better than anything else.


Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

Sign up for her newsletter for news, extras, and exclusive stuff: Newsletter
Hang out with her here: Website Blog Facebook Twitter
Buy her books here:  Amazon B&N Carina Press

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The MSU Method for Speculative Fiction Writers

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
Two full moons rising? I thought this photo was appropriate for Here Be Magic. I was photographing the rising full moon with a long exposure and accidentally jarred the camera. Couldn't have done it on purpose!

I'd love to write a story - or series of stories - about a world with multiple moons or suns, but I worry I'd go down a serious rabbit hole of figuring out the physics of such a thing. I always joke that I write fantasy in part because I can Make Shit Up. (MSU - a tool for every writer's toolbox!) I know this is a huge part of the fun for some science fiction writers, calculating how the scientific principles would function in an alien environment, and I can see the appeal of that. But I'm also enough of a perfectionist that it would drive me crazy to get something really wrong.

Then there's Change.

On the SFWA forums we've been discussing the announcement regarding a potential new planet discovered in our solar system. This would either bring us back up to ten planets or restore us to nine, depending on where you stand on Pluto's status. (Plenty of people are annoyed that this only-mathematically-detectable planet is being given that honorific when Pluto's was stripped away.) At any rate, several of the science fiction writers brought up that this is why they write stories set in completely fictionalized solar systems. Imagine having an entire series set in our solar system and repeatedly referring to the wrong number of planets!

Of course, plenty of books and movies become dated that way. I laugh every time at movies like My Best Friend's Wedding when Julia Roberts hauls out that shoe box-sized cell phone. Or, less amusing, when the World Trade Center twin towers appear in the background. Some of that is inevitable and the best of these become iconic of the time. Jane Austen's books continue to be classic partly because they give such an interesting glimpse of the constraints of that era.

So I have sympathy with the science fiction writers gnashing their teeth over Planet Nine (or Ten). And I think I'll continue with my MSU method as long as possible.

Speaking of SFWA, however - did you know there's a New Release Newsletter? It comes out every two months and lists new releases from SFWA members. Anyone can sign up here!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

Inversion Point

Book four of Chaos Station

Zander and Felix's relationship has been to the brink and back: the Human-Stin War, imprisonment and an actual death/resurrection. Zander's death, to be specific, and the experience has left him…changed. The mysterious race known as the Guardians chose to revive him and appointed him as their emissary. A high honor, but he could do without the group of would-be cultists following him around the galaxy.

When a recently discovered species destroys a stin probe, Zander's new role soon commands all of his time and focus. The human ambassador—Felix's ex-lover, much to Zander's annoyance—pulls them into strategy talks aimed at preserving galactic peace. Soon everyone is relying on Zander's Guardian tech to telepathically communicate with the strange aliens.

Only Felix seems concerned with the strain piling up on Zander, but he has his own resolve tested when the very stin that imprisoned him show up to a summit. Zander and Felix will both have to find a way to face their doubts and preserve their love—while preventing another galaxy-wide war.

Available Now!

Read the first chapter and other extras on our website.

BirdWoman by Jeffe Kennedy


Just out!

BIRDWOMAN

A true short story of a paranormal encounter from award-winning fantasy author Jeffe Kennedy.

Available now on Amazon!










Other News

 Two award-winning urban fantasies on sale for .99 each! (Kindle edition)                                          


 Ravensblood and Raven's Wing.  Limited time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Musings on 'The 100' Season 3 SciFi

Posted by: Veronica Scott
This past week I wrote my first recap of a science fiction TV show, CW’s “The 100” Season 3 opener, for USA Today Happily Ever After. (Warning – spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the first two seasons or the new season premiere.) It was an interesting experience to watch a favorite program knowing I was going to sit down immediately afterwards and try to write a column about it. I wasn’t going to go for a review or a moment by moment reconstruction of the show, but more of a conversation with my readers. Did you see that? And wow, I never expected this! And do you think there’s a deep meaning to the other thing that happened….

I took scribbly notes to remind myself of certain points. 
·         Bellamy’s not all that into his new girlfriend
·         What book is that she handed him?
·         Creepy drones
·         Octavia on a horse
·         So much for the truce

If you haven’t watched this program,  here’s the original description from the Internet Database of Movies: Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity's lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet.

Ok, but that was only the beginning. This show has evolved into a complex science fiction story, pitting the “Sky People” against the more primitive “Grounders” (because not all life had perished, as the inhabitants of the cobbled-together space station Ark believed) and the high tech people locked inside the Weather Mountain shelter. The latter were defeated at great cost at the end of Season 2 and a new high tech menace was introduced. An AI named Alie seems to have caused the EOTWAWKI and now she’s got sinister new plots. There have been romances of all types, including bisexual. Betrayal and great, lasting loyalties have been shown. Seemingly key characters have perished while others are surprisingly resilient. The generations of Sky People are not always in agreement on the best course of action. The linch pin of the series is Clarke, a strong young woman from the Ark.

Ok, I admit I love the show, even if I do sit on the edge of my seat for the whole hour because they do kill characters off with no compunction.

So as a science fiction author watching a TV show to write a pithy column, I took great notice of tidbits of foreshadowing that might otherwise have gone right over my head. I was sad to learn that a character I’d loved at the end of Season 2 was dismissed with about 5 words. Doing an internet search later, I learned that basically the actor had other things to do (good for him though!) and so the character was written out of the show. At least I never have THAT problem with the characters in my books. They stay unless I want them to go. I’m pondering whether a copy of The Iliad that Bellamy, the main hero, received, has some deep meaning in terms of what we might expect this season. Of all the books in the world, this is the one they spend precious screen time handing him??? So it must mean something, right? Or is it a red herring? And does the passing reference to reversing contraception now that the people of the Ark are on the ground mean we’re going to see babies soon?

I love the through worldbuilding, especially when it comes to the Grounders, who have an elaborate language that sound as if it could have evolved from English (which they also speak perfectly). Their costumes reflect their harsh world and strict customs, which they’re governed by in order to survive but which seem barbaric to the Sky People (and to us).

The Sky People are no angels either though – they used to “float” people out the airlocks of the space station for all kinds of minor crimes. They also keep stridently claiming ownership of the Earth, even though the Grounders are clearly in possession of large swathes of it.

The Weather Mountain people were monsters in a lot of ways…but again, not all of them agreed and some actively tried to help.

OK, you do have to suspend belief sometimes (animals still trapped in a zoo 97 years later – WTF?) Two-headed deer but the humans don’t have radiation damage?

I realized that while romance novels such as I write will always have A Happily Ever After or at least a Happy For Now ending, the writers of a TV series want you to keep tuning in week after week, so they aren’t striving to resolve romantic relationships and keep them resolved. That’s not meant as a criticism on my part -  books and TV shows serve different entertainment purposes (plus they have sponsors and a network to keep happy). But it does serve as a helpful boundary for my expectations.

“The 100” is based on books by Kass Morgan. I tried to read the books but alas, I’d been imprinted by the TV series, and some of the characters and plot points have been changed so much, I found it confusing.  She recently did a quick Q&A on twitter (@kassmorganbooks), answering queries from reader/viewers, and she seems pretty pleased with the choices made by the TV producers/writers. 
There’s also an excellent interview with her in the March 2014 “Parade”  http://parade.com/272468/sonacharaipotra/the-100-author-kass-morgan-talks-sci-fi-mood-music-and-writerly-rituals/ where she explains how the books came about and “talks scifi, mood music and writerly rituals.”

That would be my #1 dream, to have one of my books made into a movie or TV show – FUN stuff. Well, never say never! Can't say more but fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jane's January Book Binge

Posted by: Jane Kindred
For some reason, this is a thing I do. I often go for months without reading because I can barely manage to get in my 1,000 words a day of my own writing. And then something seems to happen after the holidays. All I want to do is read, and usually it’s passionate m/m romance I’m after.

So far this month, I’ve read ten novels (two were rereads) and five novellas, and this lust for other people’s words doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon.

Part of it, I think, is that I finished writing my last manuscript at Christmastime, and I’ve been in a huge postpartum funk. As a writer, I carry these characters around with me all day and all night the entire time I’m writing their story. I go to sleep “writing” in my head. They’re my constant companions. And then I get to the last page and they aren’t with me anymore. It’s like having your closest friends and lovers abandon you after spending every waking (and non-waking) moment with you for months—and right after the best moment you’ve spent with them—that climax, that, yes, often lives up to its euphemism.

So in solace, I dive into other people’s stories, but they only last a day, or at most two. (I find it almost impossible to put a book down at night unfinished, so at this point, I’m obviously short on sleep.) The books are my drug, and I need another fix, and another to maintain that high.

So what have I been reading this January to keep me company in bed? KJ Charles’s A Charm of Magpies series tops the list. Hot, domineering, former Shanghai smuggler returned to Victorian England after years of exile to take his place as a reluctant earl, paired with a powerful but unassuming magical practitioner who’s submissive in the sheets? Complete with magical tattoos? Yes, please.

I also finished up Joanna Chambers Enlightenment series, a Regency Era romance set in Edinburgh. A secret romance between a lowborn lawyer and a world-weary earl, also hot and domineering. Okay, I’m in.

I read a few books by JL Merrow, whose contemporary m/m romance tends more toward the sweet than the hot (not that there’s anything wrong that!), and especially enjoyed the short novella Trick of Time because I can’t get enough of Victorian rentboys. Plus time travel? Please and thank you.

And then I stumbled on Ava March’s delightfully dirty Brook Street Regencies. More Victorian rentboys and thieves! Woohoo! And lots and lots of no-holds-barred m/m sex that is not kidding around. I think my favorite of the lot were the Rogues, a pair of notorious rakehells who haven’t quite figured out that they’re made for each other. Hot, angry sex between two dominant lords. What’s not to like?

Ahem. So…what have you been up to? Read anything good lately?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

23 Years Later I Still Want to Believe

Posted by: Angela Campbell

Note: A modified version of this post originally appeared on my publisher's blog in March 2015. Since the show will air this Sunday, I thought it appropriate to share my excitement with the readers of Here Be Magic. — Angela

***
I can easily remember the night I watched the very first episode of THE X-FILES when it aired live on Fox Sept. 10, 1993. I was 18 and a couple of weeks into my freshman year of college. I happened to be home that night, so I cuddled up in my room, turned off the lights, and watched the pilot episode of a TV show that would have a profound effect on my life.

I know. It's silly to credit a TV show with having a profound effect on you, but it's the truth.

Then again, you only have to look at the type of books I write to understand this is THE X-FILES and it had a profound effect on me. I had just started college and was starting a new journey, one I was uncertain about, one that both terrified and excited me, and one that made me feel more like an outsider than I already did. I had always been a bit of a geek, interested in the paranormal and science fiction, quiet and kind of a loner, too. Suddenly, there was a guy named Mulder who had an “I Want to Believe” poster in his office who ran around investigating UFOs, monsters, ghosts, and conspiracy theories. He was smart, funny, and sexy. And there was a woman named Scully who was skeptical, but she was intelligent, witty, badass and was right there at Mulder’s side no matter how harrowing things got.

I look at THE X-FILES as the birth of the modern day cool nerds. I made friends in college because of Mulder and Scully. People who already seemed really cool loved THE X-FILES as much as I did and didn’t judge me for all of the geeky things I liked. It gave us something to talk about when ordinarily we wouldn’t have said a word to each other. We discussed the possibilities of Bigfoot, aliens and the Loch Ness Monster between classes. We all admired the heck out of Scully and wanted to date Mulder — or vice versa, depending on your orientation. I wasn’t such an outsider anymore.

Not to mention, THE X-FILES became a cult hit, and suddenly paranormal romance books became a thing. Like, a really big thing. Other paranormal-centric TV shows followed — SUPERNATURAL, FRINGE, LOST — but none have lived up to THE X-FILES in my eyes. When I met Gillian Anderson at DragonCon a few years ago, I could barely say a word to the woman because I was so nervous, and I don’t get nervous around celebrities. I remember simply saying “Thank you” because how do you express gratitude to an actress for bringing to life a character who feels like one of your best friends, who was there to help you through good times and bad without even realizing it? You know, without sounding like some whacko stalker? So I just said “Thank you” and probably mumbled some other nonsense that embarrassed me, but whatever. I MET SCULLY! Ha!

When Fox announced it was bringing THE X-FILES back with actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in their original roles for a six-episode run (scheduled to premiere this coming Sunday), I can't even explain how I felt.

The revived series might suck — you can’t be a true X-Phile without admitting some episodes were sloppy at best and the theatrical movies didn’t turn out too well and you either love or hate Chris Carter as a writer — but until I see it, I remain hopefully optimistic. And excited!

Regardless of how it turns out, there's one thing that hasn't changed in the 23 years since I first watched the pilot episode of THE X-FILES. I bought a replica poster of Mulder’s “I Want to Believe” poster at an X-FILES convention once, many, many years ago (Yes, I went to an X-Files Convention once. Shut up). It's in storage now — I think — but the sentiment hasn't changed. I still want to believe, even though I'm not quite sure I always do. 

It's a good thing, too, because as long as I still want to believe, I'll feel compelled to write stories that explore the paranormal, supernatural, and fantastic, conjuring up my own theories as to how those things actually exist.

What about you? Are you excited for Mulder and Scully's return this weekend? Share your love for THE X-FILES in the comments!

***
Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series from Harper Impulse. Learn more about her and her books at www.AngelaCampbellOnline.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What's a Writer to Do?

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
As the new year gets underway, I find myself at a crossroads. For perhaps the first time since I started this crazy career, I have NO writing commitments. No contracts. No sequels due. No publishers asking for this or that special project. Nothing whatsoever that I need to do. Except, you know, earn a paycheck. And that's becoming more and more difficult in the rocky landscape that is the publishing world today. Still, a writer's gotta write, write, write. Right?

Long and short answers both point to yes. Writing, for most of us, is something of a psychological imperative. If you don't get the voices out of your head and onto paper, they make you even more nuts than you started out. Also, writing is about the only way I know to make a reasonable contribution to the household income. In the last year, I've branched out of fiction and added some promotional copy-writing to my resume, but still, it's writing. It's what I do.

But what? Steampunk isn't selling. Paranormal is supposedly on a downspin. Contemporary romance? Epic Fantasy? Historical? Even without my two mainstays, the possibilities are literally endless. So endless I find myself all too often staring at a blank page, not knowing what to say, or even where to start a new project. Mention this, though, and the first thing someone will say is, "Write the book of your heart."

Ahem. I've published over 60 works of fiction. Book of my heart is probably in there somewhere. In fact, every book is the book of my heart while I'm writing it. Besides, it's not a heart thing that's got me frozen. It's definitely all in my head.

So if you're one of my readers, you probably already read paranormal. Part of me wants to say, to hell with trends and stick in my comfort zone. Another part would rather be able to eat dinner and go to cons. Can my steampunk chops translate into historical romance? Can I remember back when I wrote contemporary? Do I want to try mystery or epic fantasy? Is urban fantasy still a thing? How about the 20s? Between Mrs. Fisher and Downton Abbey, that period seems pretty hot.

So, a shout-out to readers here.What do YOU want to see? What would make you pick something up? Tell me in the comments below. I'll give a free backlist ebook, your choice, to one random commenter.

***

Check out my current books at www.cindyspencerpape.com

And don't forget to pick up the Here Be Magic anthology!



Monday, January 18, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Great deal on Jody Wallace's Urban Fantasy series, Dreamwalkers! For a limited time, you can get Tangible (Book One) is only $0.99, and Disciple (Book Two) is $1.99. 







Jeffe Kennedy's award-winning fantasy romance, The Mark of the Tala, is on sale for $2.51 on Amazon. Great time to pick up this book if you haven't yet!










 Raven's Heart, the third book in Shawna Reppert's award-winning Ravensblood series, is now available for pre-order on Amazon! 

The reformed dark mage Corwyn Ravenscroft, Raven, has finally found his place in the world. He has a fiancé, friends, and meaningful work. Yet a shadow hangs over everything. His former master, the darkest and most powerful mage of their time, the man he betrayed, the man he thought he had killed, still lives. William is determined to destroy everyone and everything Raven ever loved.
Will Raven find a way to defeat him, once and for all? Or will he see the life he has built crumble around him as William rises once again to threaten the Three Communities, perhaps even the world?



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