Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I validated my word count today because I saw I was over the 50,000 on Neferseshotep - and the novel is far from over!  So I might have plenty to write in September too.

This might also be a project that needs more time because it has big concepts.  It might be I put this down for November's NaNoWriMo to write a sequel to The End of the World Sucks and then stay working on Sucks II before picking Neferseshotep back up after it's sat for a while.

I have caught little errors as I'm writing now - but NaNo's about the writing, not the editing and rewriting - so I might be feeling a little down for not conceiving of all logistical problems as I wrote the initial draft.  How could I flood New York City and forget to turn the electricity off?

The other night I was trying to spell out some basic themes in the book - it's not just a bunch of people get together and set off on advenure (but that does help it keep moving).

If I just gave them some superpowers and problems they handled easily, that's boring.

I recall the Ancient Greeks gave their gods weaknesses and stories to make them human-like, but their problems were so much bigger.  Scooping cat litter - that's nothing, you hear about Hercules and those stables?

I am also revisting a theme from Sucks.  Everybody knows the difference between wrong and right, but what if the other guy's right is different than yours?  Vanna can't kick anything's ass, so the similarity stops there.  Here, as with Spiderman, with Great Power comes Great Responsibility - what is that responsibility?  The huge hint is all the central characters in Neferseshotep have something to do with death - death happens, people die all the time.  Would any of them feel inclined to save someone's life?  Do they even value their own lives?  And with a Valkyrie,  if you're of the Norse persuasion, the end of the world is one great big fight that we're going to lose - woo hoo!

There's also the issues of belief, not believing, and also conflict regarding that.  Then there's the possibility of conflict between the 'holy roller' types.  Just because someone looks like they have cooler powers, doesn't make their god(s) better.  There's also the groups that work based on faith alone - God/their god(s) don't need to prove anything, that's because they're God/god(s) and without Him/him/her/them you wouldn't exist.

I have to be careful with that last part because I'm not writing this to insult anyone, though I may do some additional reading about why some beliefs are labeled as 'cults'. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Demon's Night

Demon's Night
Demon's Night by Guido Henkel

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed Demon’s Night very much – despite my Kindle app dropping the book from my library numerous times – I kept remembering to go back and pick it back up.

This is old school, black and white horror that isn’t trying to gross the reader out. I can go both ways with that, but Guido Henkel is working against the current trend of guts, disgust and foul language.

Fast paced with lots of action that doesn’t sacrifice the characters for the sake of action.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Progress

An August CampNaNoWriMo update -

Just a little past the halfway point in terms of days, and almost to the halfway point in terms of words.  I'm clocking in at a little over 22,000 right now.

The news is mixed because I know I'm not even at the halfway point of the plot so I have a lot more writing to go, but that also means you'll have plenty to read when it's finished.

A couple things in the back of my mind as I write

  • I have too much fun writing miscommunicating dialogue.  Creating a character who speaks in tongues and also detects lying - still impossible to get a straight answer out of a teenager.
  • Am I writing enough action?  My critique buddies should let me know - yet, I don't think this story's about the action.  When there's characters that are all-powerful, I want to dig into what makes them more human.
  • Some of the characters need fleshing out since they're kind of cardboard placeholders at the moment.  I think that'll improve in editing as I follow each one's path.  The omniscient viewpoint should help me convey info to the reader without creating an every-being-for-itself atmosphere.
  • Why did I want six sort-of-main characters in the first place?  That is a good question and I'll give that some more thought.  
    • Neferseshotep is the title character, but alone he's not so interesting.  He seems powerful, but there are flaws.
    • My 'from the real world' character might be too much, but I patterned her whiny self-centeredness on Sarah from Labyrinth.  I might change her name to something even more obnoxious sounding like Bettina.
    • Am I doing justice to six different characters in terms of growth?  Do they all need to grow? Or better yet, do they grow in different ways? 
Enough teasing?

Anyway, you can also enjoy this sort of thing and at the best time of year - November.  November is National Novel Writing Month  It's more fun in November because the regional groups are operating so there will be a kickoff party, write-ins, encouragement, and an end of the month party.  There may even be a cake challenge in your region.  There's even a buddy system so you can take a quick look at others - including those not in your region.

It's August and I'm talking about November?  Preparation is key to accomplishing 50,000 words in 30 days.  Turning on your preferred word processing program on November 1st and staring at the cursor is not a good start.  Outline a plot, get some character names together, write some back story for them, do some research, interview your character after the end of the book.  There's all sorts of things that can be done beforehand that don't include actually writing the text of the novel.

Review: The Silver Collar

The Silver Collar
The Silver Collar by Kate Policani

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very nice short story.

I thought of instances within it for possible violence, yet Kate avoided them all.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: The Falcon and His Desert Rose

The Falcon and His Desert Rose
The Falcon and His Desert Rose by George R. Lasher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m going to give this four stars for the premise and parts of the plot.

At times the story moved too fast to get a feel for the characters. I do enjoy characters that are neither white hat or black hat. Though Horus/Horace’s moral compass was a late bloomer due to the restrictive environment he was raised in, I hoped for better. More time with any of the three main characters should have added depth, rather than shadowing a superhero/villain relationship origin story.

The not-too-distant future was not well received. It may be because I don't care about reminiscing about any Red Sox victory, or the exciting advancements regarding cell phones and cars.

I would not discount the stars based on minor details, but I'm an obsessive type so there were some trivial things that caught my attention that should have been caught in editing.  An average height woman does not weigh 78 pounds.  If it was a mistake between kg and lbs, 78kg = 172#.  I think the old adage should be adhered to - never inquire after a lady's weight.  I also recall the mention of Safeway supermarket near MIT (Boston MA).  I don't know why I focus on store names, but Safeway is not in the New England area, or even the mid-Atlantic.  Some people are fickle about their grocery stores - like Alec Baldwin's mom refusing to move away from Wegman's.

View all my reviews

Review: Speed Dating with the Dead

Speed Dating with the Dead
Speed Dating with the Dead by Scott Nicholson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Speed Dating with the Dead has a King/Shining feel to it, even though it’s during a ghost hunter convention. Besides set in a hotel, I think it’s because the main character is an alcoholic who falls off the wagon due to demonic stress.

Other than the reliance on the alcoholic trope, everything else about this novel was very nice. It takes the modern fascination with ghost spotting, along with the equipment and assorted people that are in ‘the biz’, and puts them somewhere that they can have real experiences so they can react based on their backgrounds and beliefs.

View all my reviews

Review: Atticus for the Undead

Atticus for the Undead
Atticus for the Undead by John Abramowitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A good genre blender that moves quickly. The legal bits don’t drag out the story.

Insertion of a mix of supernaturals in the real world is something I find enjoyable. The author does not waste time redefining how his vampires/zombies/witches are different. Where there’s differences, the readers are told up front, when they need to know it.

Characters have a trope feel (the boss blind to his assistant’s crush on him), but not overly so.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 13, 2012

Author Blog In: Changing Gear by Eileen Sutherland

Changing Gear cover
Changing Gear
by Eileen Sutherland
Changing Gear is about love, loss and adventure. It’s available on Kindle UK here.  and US Amazon here. (second link edited in by Sharon)
In the summer of 2006 Allan and Eileen cycled from Britain to Bulgaria. He was a fit 52 year old with a new Dawes Galaxy bike and she was an overweight 54 year old with a dodgy knee and an old Trek. They set off with only a hazy idea of the route and not much money.
Three years earlier, on the 8th August 2003, their son Matt had died unexpectedly while on holiday. Things were never the same after Matt’s death. Allan and Eileen had tried living normally and found they couldn’t do it. So they looked for alternative ways of being, one of which was to cycle from Britain to Bulgaria.
‘As we got on our bikes I experienced an intense sense of freedom. A fraying of the cord of sadness. I felt light and irresponsible. With few possessions to worry about and a sense of space stretching ahead, anything seemed possible…’

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Author Blog In: The Silver Collar by Kate Policani

The Silver Collar

By Kate Policani

The Silver Collar is always free on Smashwords!
Bought as a child to slave at an inn, Lyneth suffers under a terrible curse. Her frightening transformations can only be stopped when a priest puts a silver collar around her neck. The collar stops the change, but makes her ill. Her dangers increase as she matures into a beautiful and desirable woman. When a mysetrious nobleman visits the inn,her life changes forever.
The Silver Collar is a short story highlighting the fine line between gift and curse, belonging and alienation.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The End of the World Sucks - Kindle free Aug 11

Since I don't repost my own book on my day of the Author Blog-In, I set up the kindle version of my novel to be offered free on Amazon today.  I went to the European Amazons, and it appears it's zero across the board.

<- I have a button to the left here on my web site.

Kindle claims it's global, so I'm not sure if localities with an Amazon branch not offering my novel will allow an easy workaround by allowing you to purchase at a different Amazon.  I get frustrated with setting up an account over and over.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Author Blog In: The End of the World Sucks

The End of the World Sucks by Sharon Trembley

This is a genre blender book that might be compared to Lord of the Flies meets Let the Right One In in a post-zombie apocalyptic world. Don't worry though, it's about the people even though there are elements of horror.

This novel will be offered for free in Kindle format on Amazon on Saturday, August 11th for the Author Blog-In.

Zombies, a Vampire, or her fellow Man - Which is most likely to kill Vanna Ames? Who can she trust? 

After surviving a whole month past the End of the World by hiding and staying quiet, recent college graduate and fashion retail employee, Vanna, luckily finds others who have gathered together as a community for their mutual survival on a college campus. 

Although claiming to be a democratic society, tempers become frayed, decisions defy logic, and rules are broken. Further emboldened by the lack of society and law, some even gain a sense of entitlement because they are self-labeled heroes.

Now that all the rules have changed, a vampire arrives with a deal - his help for blood. An equally beneficial offer or a Faustian bargain? 

As the community's flaws grow, Vanna must decide whether to stick with her own kind in relative safety, or reject their community service nightmare, risk her life, and appeal to a vampire who claims his only interest is human blood.

And for the Author Blog In, here's an excerpt to give a better idea of Vanna's character because she is a character.  This occurs after Vanna hears gun shots early in the book and goes for a walk to find out what happened -

     When she reached a point where two rolls of chain-link were joined together with some twisted wire, Vanna saw her. If she had seen that dress before, she would have remembered.
     Muumuus were made for a woman of this size. Displaying a cheery, floral print provided no slimming effects, but proudly declared big and beautiful. Along with the turquoise, orange, and pink poly-blend tent, she also wore a pair of nude knee highs, and filthy, pink terry scuff slippers, and large, turquoise-colored plastic earrings with a matching chunky bracelet.
      The woman had fallen on her side facing the fence, and like most of the corpses, her eyes remained forever open. Vanna thought the zombies didn’t blink, so that might be why their eyes turned that spotty white color.
     Even with a visible gunshot wound to her face, Vanna could see the trivial details that further defined who this used to be. The woman’s short, not-so-natural blond hair was arranged into a crown of curlsframing her face. She also had heavy blue eye shadow still caked all the way up to her plucked, then redrawn with brown pencil, eyebrows.
     Her lower face was grimy, Vanna couldn’t confirm her expectation of coordinating lipstick to match her screaming pink nail polish, brightly visible on the tips of her dirt-caked fingers from a distance. Vanna’sconstant fearful imagination made the gunk smeared on the zombie’s lips still appear fresh, wet and red, when she knew it had been there for weeks.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Author Blog-In - Quick Explanation

Huh?  What't this?

Kate Policani gets together a short list of authors, and on Day 1 of the Blog In, they each blog about their book.

So tomorrow, I'll be yakking about my book :^)

The next day, they copy author #1's blog into their blog, then author #2 on day 3.  So you'll get to see other books here on my blog, besides what I've been reading lately on GoodReads.  Okie doke?  Team effort here.

I like people to read, and would like them to practice writing too.  Remember I'm from the NaNoWriMo participants?  Thousands write in November, and in 2012 they exceeded 3 Billion words.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: City of Ashes

City of Ashes
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An improvement over City of Bones which I did give 4 stars.

There were some plot tweaks that I would have preferred, but this series has books to go so nothing's written in stone yet.

There's drama, conflict, miscommunication, and more than one single-thread plot going on. All things I like.

View all my reviews