Archive for 2010

Happy New Year Thoughts

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Happy New Year to all my blog readers. Thanks for stopping by from time to time, and for everyone who’s left a comment, thanks! I do enjoy reading what you have to say.

May everyone’s 2011 be full of joy and great books to read!

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Go Over There –>!

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

I’m giving away some books over at the Girlfriend’s Book Club. Find out what I have against Brussel’s sprouts, my favorite color and more in an insightful self-interview. Also, three silly questions for you. Go.

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Carolyn’s Holiday Greetings

Friday, December 24th, 2010
Sheep in a Our Field

A Green Christmas With Sheep

Christmas Kitty

Abu's First Christmas Eve

Christmas Ornament

Happy Holidays to everyone!

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Rounding out The Week, plus a request

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

I don ‘t know whether I’m more excited about Christmas or the fact that I have two days off and therefore Wednesday (tomorrow, as I write this) is a Friday equivalent. I realize that is pathetic, but that’s how things are rolling here. Tomorrow I have to get up at 4:15 am, but not again until Monday. Bliss.

Am revising something but staying on track plotwise with The Next Historical, although panic is sneaking up on me. Or breathing down my neck more like. I also have another thing to get ready to go out the door which I will do . . . uh . . . soon. Really soon. It is an erotic thing and provided I pull it off (no laughing!) I should have a link for brave souls sometime next week.

announcement

I am putting off mailing prizes until after the Christmas Holiday maddness, OK? Things should go out Monday.

Request (Puppy Eyes)

I have to write this article in re True Blood and it involves this: Shortlist: Celebs I would Date and if you have some time, it would be awesome if you could check out the list I made, vote, maybe comment and let me know, if you are so moved, what you thought.

And now I’m off to write fiction words.

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Foreign Relations

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Today I found out that My Wicked Enemy and My Forbidden Desire sold to Germany. Yay! I’ve been kind of moping (in my secret heart) that I’ve never, to my knowledge, sold German translation rights. Germany is a huge Romance market so I’m thrilled.

Economics

It’s interesting to me that the money, which made my eyes open when I saw the figure, is paid out between 2011 and 2014. Yes, the amount is more than I’ve gotten for foreign rights to date, but with the payout so long, it’s less than it seems, since inflation will decrease the present-day value of the advance.

What I’m finding with foreign rights, though, now that I’m actually selling them (either through my agent or my publisher, depending on the contract terms) is that these rights end up making me more money — over the long term, than the initial sale. Not all at once, but, as I’ve heard other authors say, in dribs and drabs. Huh. This is all very new to me, as to my knowledge my first two books were never translated and for the others that were, I was, alas, never paid for those translated editions.

Another Interesting Thing

According to the contract terms I saw, Book 2, My Forbidden Desire, will be translated and published first, then My Wicked Enemy. Not that it matters. I just thought that was interesting.

So hey!

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Help An Author Out

Monday, December 13th, 2010

It recently occurred to me that January 4th is coming up really soon, and January 4th is the day my paranormal My Immortal Assassin comes out. I suppose I ought to pimp the book. But how? What should I do? This author turns to you to select options in my scientific super-duper accurate and helpful poll.

To Pimp her January 4th Novel, Carolyn should. . .

View Results

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I have this suspicion your comments would also be helpful. Feel free to add suggestions.

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Bad Writing

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Bad

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1001 pages: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Behemoth Book Review

Today, I finished Brandon Sanderson’s 1001 page book The Way of Kings. OMFG. 1001 pages. You think The Rent’s Too Damn High is the new political meme? Well, in literary circles, the new meme is The Book is Too Damn Big.

Seriously.

On left there, is My Immortal Assassin by Yours Truly, which looks pretty puny there. In the middle is The Rise of Magic in Medieval Europe, a hardcover book which checks in at 402 pages. On the other left (right) there is The Way of Kings. 1001 pages. On the inside, there’s no header with the book title or author’s name on every page, which is usually the case. Because if there were this book would have been even bigger. You won’t be surprised to hear I read this book pretty much exclusively at home. But it was not comfortable to read in bed and it was downright unwieldy on the treadmill. In fact, this book was a PITA to read anywhere. It’s a damn good thing it’s a great story. I really wish I’d bought the book in a digital format because then my hands wouldn’t have been going numb or my back and neck getting all kinked up trying to get comfortable reading it.

But Wow!

I almost forgive Sanderson for the ending of the Mistborn Trilogy. Almost.

At first, I thought, holy hernia, this book is really only good. I kept reading because it was a good read, well-written and I’m all about that with my reading. Pretty soon it was damn good and then there were mostly parts that were fantastic and three days later I was done. And I want more. More More More! There were a couple of places where it got a wee bit preachy, but only a couple and it was still interesting and fascinating. The sad part is, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up buying the next one in hardcover unless, please god! they release the digital version at the same time. But maybe book 2 won’t be as freaking big.

Some Thoughts

I loved the world and the main characters. Sanderson builds a detailed, rich world and populates it with real people. I loved the world beyond all reason and I’m sorry I won’t be going back tonight. The magic was in some ways traditional, but this volume only sets the scene, so I expect more developments. Kaladin was by far my favorite character. By a HUGE margin. His story was epic and the stakes were enormous for him and, well, I’m just a total sucker for the common hero who develops/transforms into something amazing. I know it’s cliche, but that’s part of the point of epic fantasy and I LOVE it. Love it. In Kaladin, Sanderson delivers in a major way. My second favorite character ended up being the warrior highprince Dalinar, though for a long time he was third favorite. Shellan was my second favorite for a bit, then she dropped to 3rd on account of a major issue I will discuss in a bit.

One of my favorite parts was the way Sadeas (a cohort of Dalinar’s) was portrayed as noble and worthy when we were in the point of view of Dalinar and others from the same country but in Kaladin’s POV, Sadeas’s actions and decisions do him no credit and must naturally call into question the nobility shown and presumed in other chapters. Sanderson never makes any authorial reconciliation of that, which in my opinion, was a brilliant decision. Show don’t tell.

I felt there was a major lapse in the subplot with Shellan because she never considers an action I thought was completely obvious. I’ll have to give a mild spoiler here. Shellan convinces Jasnah (a woman) to take her on as a student (am understating here) with the ulterior motive of replacing a broken magical item with Jasnah’s functioning one and without Jasnah’s knowledge. Ulterior motive stories (AKA “the Lie”) rarely work for me. I always end up wondering why the person doesn’t just come clean before they really make a mess of things. Here, Shellan has a broken gizmo. Her boss, a genius, has a working one. Why doesn’t Shellan ever show Jasnah the broken one and ask if she knows how it can be fixed? If the answer turns out to be, sorry, can’t be done, then maybe she could have made the switcheroo. That really bugged me.

Something else That Bugged me

Another thing that bugged me was the way women took such a huge backseat in this story. A chasm. Jasnah is an awesome amazing, brilliant woman and if there were any chapters from her POV, I can’t recall them. Shellan was the only female major character. And she’s young and innocent, interesting, but basically undeveloped, with an ulterior motive that was a flaw for me. That’s it. 1001 pages and all but two women played the traditional fading into the background role of women in High Fantasy.

In this world, only the women read and write. The men, by and large, don’t. If a man needs to know the contents of a book, he needs a woman to read it to him. Women are also, it seems, the engineers and inventors. Huh. And yet women play essentially no political or economic role in this world. Everything is still run by men. How is that? All the information and technological/magical advancement is in the control of women and they aren’t running the show? Really? I mean, really?

I understand that this is to be a 10 book series. I could see that Sanderson appeared to be at least laying some groundwork for some major gender-role upsets and I certainly expect Jasnah to eventually be a major character, but this first volume made me sigh in sadness to see women play no major role in the political stakes of this story.

Sex?

Nope. None. There’s this wonderful, complex world that’s full of dirt, death, murder, crime, adventure, magic, unfairness, war, nobility, honor, intrigue, thrills and chills and one of the most powerful reactions known to humans — sexual desire has this itty bitty little part. All these noble warriors walking about and if any of them have lovers, it’s not on the pages. Sexual passion is almost entirely absent as a part of the emotions and reactions that drive a character. Why? The cynic in me says it’s because that sort of thing is too sissy for a boy book. There’s one kiss in 1001 pages.

Noble warriors apparently can’t have sex or sexual desire. At least the bad guys weren’t perverts (just to prove they’re bad.) The one character who is in anything like a potentially romantic relationship is Shellan and that has a completely expected result, in my opinion. I don’t count Dalinor’s “relationship” because it comes in very late and play a minor part in the development of his character and the plot. The relationship could have been written out of the story with NO impact. The same, however, is not true of Shellan and her relationship. Write that out, and a major portion of her plot goes away. Shellan, however, has no sexual feelings toward the man. She is being manipulated and used through this relationship and well, I found that one of those pernicious cliches that abounds in fiction for men.

Retrench

I feel like I need to retrench a bit because it’s sounding like I didn’t like the book or that there are major flaws. But I LOVED this book and the things I’ve pointed out about the roles women play are not the kind of ham handed BS that pervades material in the hands of lesser writers. It’s just that the gaze of the book is very very male and after the wonderful way women were major players in the Mistborn trilogy, I was not so secretly hoping for something more from the women in this book. I have every hope that this will happen in subsequent volumes, which I fully intend to read.

Other Observations

This book had art. Yay! Interesting art that mattered and enhanced the story. And it was more than maps! I loved that. Inside front and back Sanderson got COLOR art. Now, I love maps. I do, but it was fun to have other art. Yay for art! I wish there had been more.

In Conclusion

If you like High Fantasy, this is great stuff. Go read it. As a digital book, unless you’re weight training.

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NaNoFail Winner!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Jocelyn Z

I’ve emailed you, but in case you don’t get that email, email me your complete name and mailing address so I can send you a Bucky The Hero Deer toy.

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I am NOT procrastinating

Monday, December 6th, 2010


I’m a superviolet magic drafter!

Take the quiz at Brent Weeks.com

Really. Not procrastinating at all. Next up, the pantry and all those out of order soup cans.

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