What I’m Reading: Tree of Ages

Tree of Ages, by Sara Roethle, opens with Finn waking up, which is odd, since she’s a tree. Although now she seems to have arms and legs, and she finds the air is so, so cold. She tries to dig her feet in the ground like roots but it just doesn’t work. A kindly older man by the name of Aed happens by and takes her into his rustic cabin. He lets her stay a few weeks, until she’s gotten this being human thing down.

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Appearance on the Hourlings Podcast!

I recently did an interview with the Hourlings podcast, a cool podcast on various writing topics related to science fiction and fantasy. The podcast is hosted by authors Martin Wilsey, Shea Megale, and David Keener. We covered all kinds of topics about how I wrote Mother Ink and my approach to writing in general. Check it out!

What I’m Reading: Bolivar’s Sword

Bolivar’s Sword, by Jamie Edmundson, is the second book in the Weapon Takers Saga. I reviewed the first novel in the series here. This review will be a bit shorter than that one, as most of the same strengths and weaknesses in the writing apply to both books.

The weapons in question in the Weapon Takers Saga are seven mystical weapons, blessed by the gods, that date back to when the lands of Dalriya united to defeat the malevolent kingdom of Ishari. Unfortunately, the Ishari, under the leadership of Lord Erkendrix, who is possessed by an evil demon, were not totally destroyed then. Now, centuries later, the Ishari kingdom is again invading its neighbors with the goal of subjugating all of Dalriya.

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What I’m Reading: Toric’s Dagger

I was looking for a fantasy book with a bit of a twist, and thought Jamie Edmundson’s Toric’s Dagger looked like a fun heist novel–something like a team of fast-talking professional thieves out to steal valuable weapons.

And it does start out that way, with a heist going wrong in the first couple chapters, and introducing us to some of the main characters. But after that, it shifts into a story of medieval political intrigue involving nearly every kingdom in the land of Dalryia. Still, it’s quite good, even if it turned out not to be exactly what I was expecting.

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Mother Ink Now Available!

Next time a crow leads Lono away from the Observatory, she’ll know better than to follow…

Seventeen-year-old Lono wants nothing more than to become a Sister at the Observatory. After all, she’s been an acolyte her whole life—she doesn’t know anything else. But on the day of the ascension ceremony, a disturbing vision changes everything. She winds up outside the safety of the Observatory walls where a crow leads her to a boy in need of help.

The boy, Aku, is on a mission to deliver a mysterious key to a man in the city of Atlantis.

Worried he won’t make it on his own and her efforts to save him will be in vain, she joins Aku. Along the way, a disgraced scribe hiding dark secrets and a reptilian biped trying to get home join them. This misfit group has no idea what’s in store, but the dark, ominous clouds should be an indication they are walking into their doom…

Lono never expected to face the ultimate evil in a fight to save a city—will she make it out alive, let alone make it home?

What I’m Reading: The Way of Kings

My brother sent me Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings a couple years ago with his highest recommendations, but I’ve been put off until now by the sheer length of the book. It’s a bit more than a thousand pages, and I just don’t have time for that! I finally got around to reading it, and I’m glad I did. This is epic fantasy in every sense, and an incredible achievement in world-building.

The book takes place on the world of Roshar, where fierce highstorms–powerful thunderstorms that can destroy structures, and people left out in them–have shaped the landscape. The highstorms fuel magic in Roshar, as well, most notably by “infusing” gems as they pass by–just leave your gems outside when a highstorm approaches. Be careful they don’t get taken, though, as gems are the currency in Roshar, as well as the lamps, for an infused gem produces a magical glow.

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Last Days of Atlantis: Status Update, 28 April

This past week, I’ve felt a bit in the doldrums in my work on the third novel in the Atlantis trilogy. This often happens when you get to the middle of the book, once you’re past the initial burst of energy with starting a new project.

It’s happening to me now because I realized I had taken the wrong approach in several related scenes in the section I’m working on. I hadn’t given one set of characters anything to do, so all the action progression depended on another set of overworked characters. I had also put one character in the wrong place, and forgotten about her relationship with another character. So I had to re-write much of three chapters.

Yet my sense of losing momentum is actually a false perception. I added more than 3,000 words to my word count, and I set myself up for more progress. Writing a novel is such a long process that there are inevitably good days and weeks and bad days and weeks (sometimes months). With experience, you learn that your moods come and go, but as long as you keep sitting at your keyboard and plugging away, you’ll get to your destination eventually.

Stats below. Remember, title of the first book in the series is Mother Ink and you can read about it here.

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Last Days of Atlantis: Status Update, 21 April

Okay, I’m trying to make status updates on The Last Days of Atlantis trilogy a regular, weekly thing to keep interested readers in the loop. Have I made any progress in the past week? Yes, a bit! Details below. Remember, title of the first book in the series is Mother Ink and you can read about it here.

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