THE BAT is part of a string of stories told by the patrons of The Red Grouse Inn. I can see them there, sitting by the fire, a pint in their hands, spinning their yarns. I liked THE BAT, a coming-of-age story since it demonstrates that adult fiction does not have to pivot on adult protagonists. Instead, the friends enjoy Thomas’s tale, and the reader gets to listen in.Actually, while this set-up frames the narrative, it also creates a bit of a distance. We know…Continue Reading “Review of Leslie Garland’s “The Bat””
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Original and unique, both the story premise and the setting of Margaret Holton’s TRILLIUM triggered my interest. TRILLIUM tells the story of Canada’s Niagara Peninsula from the advent of the first European settlers in 1750 up to the beginning of this millennium, a story that becomes an epic journey not only through time but also a very specific location. A story? No: an epic saga of three families spanning generations. Three young settlers, Tom, Franco, and Paddy sow the seeds of the novel, that grows…Continue Reading “Review of “Trillium” By Margaret L. Holton”
I love reading intelligent humour. I love unique voices and, even more so, a pretty damn cool premise. Anybody surprised that I loved reading this novel? Richard has been parked in a nursing home, abandoned like a crusty old tomcat. Nobody expects him to do anything but grumble through his day—and die. Nobody – apart from another inmate, the super-dapper, mega-chipper Stanley Kapcheck. Oh, and he’s British, which makes things even worse. Of course, he’s the one who will shake Richard out of his misery,…Continue Reading “Review of E.A Comiskey’s “Some Monsters Never Die””
Pissed-off rattlesnakes? Check. Hungry Caimans? Check. Murderous thugs and heinous villains pulling strings from afar? Check and check. Add the forgotten tomb of an Incan Emperor into the mix, a Texan treasure hunter and a British librarian, ah—sorry Kate, make that a historian—plenty of untouched jungle and, yes, a raging underground stream and you get GOLD RIVER. Think Die Hard, only in the Peruvian Andes. The whole story is pure action from the moment Tom tests his latest Amazon purchase—a metal detector—in the Texan desert….Continue Reading “Review of “Gold River” by Eric Dabbs”
“ It’s every archaeologist’s dream to explore the hidden tombs of Egypt. Unfortunately for me, my dream turns into a nightmare when Xander Harrison, a childhood friend who betrayed me, joins my team.I came to Egypt to study the ancient past, not to be confronted with my own.” I love Egypt, I’ve travelled there many times. Not so much in the recent past, sadly. Which is why I’m forever looking for stories that can transport me across to the Nile (and the Red Sea). “The…Continue Reading “Review of “The Stolen Papyrus” by Cate Turner”
The old adage „Every word counts“ still applies. Agents won’t plough throw waffle, nor will the reader. Easier said than done, though. If you’re an over-writer, which I am, a crucial part of editing is cutting through the creepers, making sure your plot and characters can dazzle and shine. How? Search your manuscript for those instants where you combined a speech tag “she said” with an action beat. “You’re a real jerk,” she said and tossed her hair. Either let her say it or let…Continue Reading “The Fiction Editing Files – On Writing Lean and Mean”
Welcome back! This blog continues the editing subject I started last week. This time, I’ll give you an example from my own novel (well, I would, wouldn’t I :-)). My offer still stands – I’ll give you a feedback on the first ten pages of your novel. They’re crucial. If you would like to take me up on the offer, subscribe to the blog and I will respond to your mail with an email address on where to send the PDF to. Or where you…Continue Reading “The Fiction Editing Files #3”
How to kill you darlings – editing tips for self-publishing authors
With quite a few extensive review loops under my belt (the reason this blog was so quiet for quite a while), I want to share my tactics, tricks and tips for successful self-editing. Ultimately, the principles and techniques needed for kneading your story into shape also apply to those of us who prefer to self-publish. Authors keen on self-publishing “simply” will have to add a couple of copy-editing and proof-reading rounds, to ensure their manuscripts survive the critical eye of the reader. For authors signed…Continue Reading “The Editing Files–getting your fiction manuscript ready for querying (and self-pubbing)”
In my Pet Peeves I’ll throw light on a wide variety of stylistic and plotting bloopers I come across when critiquing and editing. “Head-hopping” for me tops the list. It’s what I consider to be a pretty understated expression for a writing style guaranteed to bounce me out of a novel faster than you can write “she groaned”. Head hopping describes the practice of shifting viewpoint characters within scenes. I’ll give you an example, a scene featuring two viewpoint characters (i.e. the protagonists through whose…Continue Reading “Pet Peeves #1 – Bouncing heads and slippery Points of View”