- by E. C. Ambrose
In a little less than a month, Elisha Barber will be published. It’s a historical fantasy novel, based on my reading too many medieval history books, and way too many books on the history of medicine. If you’re curious, you’ll find the bibliography on my website. I also attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo for a couple of years, and heard unpublished papers and spoke with front-line researchers who work will take time to be recognized. I was tempted, as I wrote, to include footnotes, and I may soon be sorry that I didn’t.
Allow me to admit it, right here, in advance, I have made mistakes in this book, but at the moment, I have no idea what they are. If I had known them at the time, I would have corrected them. You see, there are so many ways to be wrong, especially when you’re writing historical fiction. And soon, readers all over the world will have the chance to tell me so. And they will. Read more…
- by Dianne Drake
I’m reading a really bad book right now. Probably the worst book I’ve laid eyes on in the past couple of years. The writing is bad, grammar is wrong in too many places, the historical facts are way off, the historical liberties taken reach way too far for comfort, and we’re not talking by just a little bit. The writer obviously didn’t do his homework. Either that, or he totally underestimated his reader’s knowledge.
Yet, in spite of the glaring errors, which seems to be about every other page, and in spite of the fact that I vow I won’t read on, I do anyway.
Why haven’t I just put it down and moved on to something else? I honestly don’t know. The farther I get into the story the more this book promises to frustrate me. Judging from what I’ve read so far I truly don’t believe the author is skilled enough to carry out a decent ending, and I can pretty much predict the corner he’s going to write himself into. But I’m a third of the way through, still threatening to quit and still reading.
So, why don’t I quit?
- by Elaine Isaak
My beloved elder child cannot write a paragraph to save her life. I, a professional fiction writer, am perpetually mystified by this. I know that it’s common for parents to have children with different skill sets, and for this divide to cause consternation on both sides. It helps when the parent recognizes the child’s actual gifts and encourages those, and–only very gently–offers aid in the parent’s own area of expertise. I try to keep my writing advice to a minimum, and only when asked, but sometimes it leads to an awful lot of tongue-biting on my part.
Which leads me to wonder about the legacy author phenomenon in speculative fiction. Read more…
- by Barbara Meyers
Supposedly, every fiction writer has a theme. Have you ever noticed a pattern with your favorite authors? The heroines in their stories are always bumbling or a bit quirky. The heroes are always dark and forbidding but have a well-hidden soft spot that is key to the story. Or maybe in each book there’s some sort of bizarre family situation.
I realized as I wrote The First Time Again, the third book in The Braddock Brotherhood series, that each book in the series has a similar theme. I call it “The Misplaced Child.”
Starting with A Month From Miami, Molly wasn’t so much misplaced as she was abandoned by her mother. Her fervent wish for “a mommy who lives with me” comes true when Kaylee arrives on the scene and makes a deal with Molly’s father Rick: child care in exchange for car repair.
In A Forever Kind of Guy, the silent Fletcher is also semi-orphaned and in the custody of his step-aunt, Hayley. Mothering does not come naturally to Hayley, but Ray instantly connects with Fletcher.