I’ve just released my first Urban Fantasy novel entitled, SEIZE THE SOUL. It’s the first book in a series called Confessions of a Summoner. Take a look, and if you’re interested, grab a copy and let me know what you think!
HOW TO FIND GREAT BOOKS
If you’re a book lover like me, then you’re probably in the hunt for the next big thing – the next book that you can read and really think, “Wow…that was exactly what I needed.” In fact, just recently I was thinking that I could really spend days entrenched in books and reading and writing – not a good practice, but hey, who says introverts can’t have fun too?
HOW TO CREATE A LIKABLE CHARACTER
When it comes to understanding the main character, a lot of times it’s difficult to near impossible to figure out what characteristics are actually “likable” and what characteristics are despised by readers.
Honestly, this doesn’t vary much from genre to genre, and quite frankly, it doesn’t vary from male characters to female characters.
Will there be some subtleties in how likability is executed from a female character to a male character? Of course, there are some keys that will ensure that your readers won’t roll their eyes at the characters you’ve developed.
1. Confidence Continue reading
A GAME OF THRONES
–by GEORGE RR. MARTIN
Gets 5 out of 5 Lattes!
“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength, and then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” –George Martin
1. CHARACTERS [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The development of the characters in A Game of Thrones is like a very slow snowball bounding down a hill. There is little momentum at first, and it seems that there isn’t much aim.
They are just men and women living out their lives, one trying to get a better hand at life than the other.
Somewhere along the line, we start caring about the characters, particularly Eddard Stark, also known as Ned Stark. He is the noble and honorable father of 5 children, each of whom are lords to the castle of Winterfell.
But behind every nobleman is dark past that looms, and we are left to see Ned’s oldest son, Jon Snow, be shunned by Winterfell and the lady of Winterfell, Ned’s wife Catelyn, because Jon Snow is Ned’s illegitimate son — a bastard.
There are a slew of other characters who are named in Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire (the actual name of the series, not A Game of Thrones, as many may believe).
One particular character is a dwarf named Tyrion Lannister who is a lord himself of house Lannister, but because of his size, he is hated, much like Jon Snow. Due to Tyrion’s height, he has chosen to use his tongue instead of his sword to fend off his enemies, and he does a jolly good job of it!
My favorite character would have to be Arya Stark, Ned’s younger daughter. She doesn’t want to be lady like her sister Sansa, and so she picks up swords and longs to be soldier like her brother Rob Stark or Jon Snow, both of whom she adores.
You won’t find any characters in this book whom you hate because of how poorly they are written (i.e. bad writing). However, you will certainly find characters whom you hate due to how well they are written — characters whom I will not name for fear of spoiling a great tale!
2. WRITING STYLE [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The writing style of George Martin is one to emulate. It is as if his pen has disobeyed him and chosen to write the story itself, splashing ink across the papyrus and designing letters in an ancient calligraphy that Martin himself could not comprehend, even if he tried.
One of the opening lines of the book is: “Fear filled his gut like a meal he could not digest.” That image is so vivid that I cannot get it out of my mind. And this line alone is not one that unique to the story.
In fact, imagery along these lines are speckled through the story like neatly placed flowers, sprouting up like beautiful blossoms as you saunter by with your eyes.
Even in my foolish attempts, I cannot mimic Martin’s writing style. I would say that he is the Tolkien of our day, being able to take lords and ladies of the 16th century and transfer them to an audience that specializes in twitter-speak and text-talk.
3. PLOT [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
The plot is similar to watching water boil.
Though we have come to associate that phrase with something ill, actually it’s not a bad problem to have. The issues in this book seem very mild at first — a bastard son, a cunning dwarf, a spoiled prince.
With a few smacks on the wrist, it appears that the conflicts could be easily resolved. However, the more you read, the more intricate the plot becomes, and once that first boiling bubble bursts, you are in for some heated trouble!
The Starks, our heroes, are cast into scenarios that we would never have wished on our worst enemies, except the Lannisters of course, but even then, the lines between good and evil seem to dissolve like salt bubbling within the boil.
Also in this story is the fantasy element that seems to be like a distant other character, coming at you in the darkness, though you cannot see from which direction it comes. Having read through book 3, I see its direction, but in book 1, the fantasy is very minimal.
That said, the plot is so powerful that you don’t consider the fantasy that much at all. And if you’re chomping at the bit for fantasy, then you’ll get a healthy dosage of it about 75% into book 1, but you’ll need patience, because remember, George Martin always pays his debts.
4. BELIEVABILITY [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
There was not one place in this book where I said, “Okay, now you and I both know that could never happen!!“
The story is linked together in a very compelling cause and and effect, hand in hand kind of way. One thing leads to another, but never do you get the feeling that George Martin is playing a hand in devising what happens.
His characters seem like real people with real emotions who do real things, even at the expense of the reader’s petty little feelings. If you are looking for the typical epic fantasy, this is not the book for you. There are many others out there that would suffice; but if you want a story with a fantasy backdrop, this is it.
One thing that bothered me for an instant was how the Starks found these animals called Direwolves. The Direwolves are these rare mega wolves which happen to also be the sigil of the Stark household.
It seems out of place for this event, but the Starks just happened upon 6 Direwolf pups whose mother had died. The pups were going to die too, so the Starks each take pup — one for each of the children. Oh yeah, and don’t forget that there just happened to be an albino pup for the bastard Jon Snow.
That seemed a bit coincidental and contrived, but I easily looked past it since the rest of the book, and the book up to that point, were believable. However, strike 1, George.
5. GRAMMAR [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
This goes without saying: the grammar is great, and the dialects that come about, along with the slang, are easy to read.
I highly recommend reading this book. Start now while it’s summertime, because…winter is coming.
ORACLE by JC Martin Gets 4 out of 5 Lattes!
“You don’t need eyes to see.” — JC Martin
I would say, “you don’t need eyes to see,” that ORACLE is DANG good book! I’m giving it 4 cups of coffee because you’ll want to be jacked up on caffeine so that you can stay up all night enjoying this great read!
1. CHARACTERS [1 CUP OF COFFEE]
JC Martin puts you right into the driver’s seat of the action with a very vibrant first scene, telling you exactly how things are going down. The opening scene is vivid and risqué, but not over the top, which is a big plus for me. Continue reading
HOW I DO MY BOOK REVIEWS
Currently I have taken on another endeavor: book reviews!
One of the most enjoyable parts of writing is connecting writers to writers and discussing all things writing. The actual art has been fulfilling / liberating for me in so many ways, I feel that true writers need to be able to express their inner-author.
My hope is take this passion and review published books (self-published or traditionally-published).
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU Continue reading
HOW TO CREATE A BATTLE SEQUENCE
For all the fantasy / thriller / sci-fi people out there, this post should be helpful — something to aid you in sorting out an intense battle sequence. If you’re anything like me, whenever I think about a large-scale fight, I tend to cringe. In fact, in The Pioneers Saga, there are several of such sequences, and there were times in my writing where I found myself skipping the fight scene so that I could get on to something that was a stronger writing point for me.
But after my escapism writing was done Continue reading
Available NOW : Amazon.com
A dead man cannot resurrect himself.
A new and incompetent governor has been named the head of the Polarist Region, and Broughtonhaven is at risk of being Dominated by these cold-blooded neighbors to the northwest.
The Spiritualists plummet into darkness as they struggle to defend themselves from their invaders.
The Alpha Council has refused to intervene, while Caleb, Sarai, and the Pioneers fear for the fate of the mainland. They must discover how to empower the Spiritualists if they hope to keep Broughtonhaven from crumbling.
HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE
Confession: I’m not really into romances. And here’s the reason why. Most of them aren’t believable, and we as the stupid readership are left to finish reading in horror. Others of them are just painful, like Wuthering Heights. You just feel bad for the guy.
Here’s what I mean. In The Wedding Planner, with Jennifer Lopez, I’m forced to believe that Matthew saves her life by pushing her out of the way of a car, and then he somehow lands on top of her. And she somehow isn’t about to pee her pants because she almost gets killed.
HOW TO WRITE SCI-FI
Sci-Fi is sometimes misunderstood. It’s obviously science fiction meaning that it is fiction that uses science as its work-horse. It takes what we know about science and stretches it to its logical end and asks the what-if questions.
Sci-Fi needs two elements to make it work. Let’s list these.