Waiting On Wednesday – 21

Hello gentle reader and Happy New Year!

I’m starting off 2013 with THE book I can’t wait to read this year: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (expected publication: June 18th 2013 by William Morrow Books).

the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-by-neil-gaiman

It’s no secret I love Neil Gaiman’s books and I’m very excited by the prospect of reading his new Adult Fantasy book.

From Goodreads:

“THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.”

What do you think? Are you looking forward to reading this book? Or do you have another book you’re eagerly anticipating? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. You can see what other bloggers are waiting for here.

The Best Of 2012 – Books by Debut Authors

Hello gentle reader,

I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

As the end of the year draws near, I am looking back at 2012… I already mentioned a few TV shows I watched this year in this post. And today I’d like to give you a list of my favourite 2012 debut authors. I have interviewed a few of them on my blog and you can click on their names to read those interviews.

Leigh-Bardugo-The-Gathering-Dark-UK

The Gathering Dark (aka Shadow and Bone) by Leigh Bardugo (YA High Fantasy)

Something-Strange-and-Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (YA Steampunk/Horror)

Throne of Glass- UK cover

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (YA High Fantasy)

Skylark

Skylark by Meagan Spooner (YA Dystopia)

Hollow-Pike

Hollow Pike by James Dawson (YA Paranormal)

The-Forsaken-UK

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (YA Dystopia)

Struck-JenniferBosworth

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (YA Paranormal)

Cavendish

The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand (MG Gothic Fantasy)

Black City-Elizabeth Richards

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (YA Dystopia)

What did you read in 2012? Which debut author did you discover? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

End of the World Giveaway! (closed)

Hello gentle reader,

This week I’m taking part in the

end of world button

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterMy Life With Books

12/21/12 

The Mayan Calendar Ends!

Does it mean the end of the World? 

Probably not but just in case…

Which books would you save if the world was coming to an end?  

The giveaway runs from today until Friday, December 21st 2012 and it is a chance for me to share with you a book about the end of the world. I have chosen to give away A SIGNED COPY of Eve by Anna Carey (paperback, US edition). The giveaway is international. Assuming the worlds is still spinning the winner will have a new YA Dystopian book just in time to start off the new year right!

Signed-Eve-Anna Carey

Signed-Eve-Anna Carey 2

Giveaway is now closed – Thanks to all who entered!

The winner will be contacted by email.

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Friday, December 21st 2012 at midnight (BST time)

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email.

If you follow my blog by email, WordPress or RSS feed, if you are a Twitter follower , if you like my page on Facebook or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I am not responsible for items lost in the mail.

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below…

This is a blog hop! Visit the other giveaways here.

On originality and writing a book that doesn’t already exist

shakespeare-in-love

Hello gentle reader,

Today is Thursday and I thought a post about the writing process was in order.

 I was actually inspired by this post written by YA author Aimee L. Salter on 19th November 2012. In her post, Aimee made a list of all the good reasons we writers have to read other people’s books. Among other things, she mentioned the importance of knowing the competition and of understanding what works (or doesn’t work) in other books.

On that same day, Epic Fantasy writer Jeff Hargett published a blog post in which he admitted to having just realised his book (which he has been working on for ten years) was very similar to the TV show/movie Airbender and Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time book series.

It reminded me of another blog post I read in February 2012. Back then, YA author Elizabeth May published a great post entitled The Unfortunate Case of the Book that Looked Just Like Someone Else’s, in which she confessed having written, edited and queried a manuscript that was extremely similar to a published book that she bought later on Amazon. When she found out about it, she felt embarrassed and she shelved her manuscript, feeling that she had somewhat wasted her time and the agents’ time.

So what’s the moral of these stories? Listen to Aimee’s advice and READ. If your story is derivative of other works, you need to be aware of it and it needs to be intentional. Being derivative by accident is the worst thing that could happen to you as a writer.

Secret Window

Let’s face it. If you live in the US, Europe or Down Under, chances are you are influenced by the same things that other writers are. We all watch the same movies and TV shows, we all hear about the news from around the world and we have all read the same books as children. This means that it is likely we will write stories that remind us of other stories.

And it’s fine, AS LONG AS YOU ARE AWARE OF IT.

Discovering that the book you’ve worked so hard on already exists is crushing. To avoid it, read the books that are already out there. Read books in your genre and category. Read publishing news and newly published books. Agents do. Publishers do. You won’t have the excuse of not knowing once you try to get your own story published.

I’ll finish this post with my own little experience in the matter: I finished writing the first draft of THE LAST QUEEN in the summer of 2011. Then I heard about a series of books entitled THE SEVEN REALMS (by Cinda Williams Chima). The blurb goes like this: “Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for for his family. Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Her mother’s plans for her include marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.” My heart dropped. This sounded A LOT like THE LAST QUEEN. Especially the Princess Heir part. So I bought the book, read it (loved it) and realised that this book had nothing in common with mine. Cue sigh of relief.

But I keep reading YA High Fantasy books. For my pleasure, to know the competition, and to make sure no one has already written and published a book similar to mine.

What about you? Have you had that kind of experience? Have you written a book then found out it was similar to another book? What did you do? I’d love to read your comments!

Book of the Week – 15

Hello gentle reader,

I realise I haven’t done a “Book of the Week” post in a while, but this is because I have been reading a series of books by YA Fantasy author Megan Whalen Turner and I wanted to finish it before I shared it with you.

Nicknamed The Queen’s Thief by its readers (MWT has no name for it herself), the series has four books so far, with 2 more announced. The first book in the series, The Thief, was published in 1996 and it won the Newbery Medal in 1997.The following books are The Queen of Attolia (2000), The King of Attolia (2006), and A Conspiracy of Kings (2010).

This YA High Fantasy series is not well known, and I came across it because Sarah J. Maas (author of 2012 debut Throne of Glass) recommended it.

And I’m so glad I went ahead and read it. Not only is this series so well written it makes me want to weep, it is also a very clever, audacious and captivating example of great High Fantasy for young adult readers. Each book plays with points of view, has a smart twist at the end and explores themes such as religion, politics and personal choices. The main character, Gen, is nothing like you’ve read before, I promise. And if you haven’t read this series yet, I suggest you get it sooner rather than later, because you’re missing out.

From Goodreads:

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

What are you reading this week?

Book of the Week – 14

This week I am reading What Kills Me by Wynne Channing (published June 2012 by Jet & Jack Press). It is a YA Paranormal romance. I don’t usually read that kind of books, but I won a copy on Kayla Curry’s blog during her Trick Or Tweet Giveaway. And it’s a story about vampires, so I really couldn’t say no to reading that book!

From Goodreads:

An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

What are you reading this week?

All Hallow’s Read Giveaway (closed)

Hello gentle reader,

Halloween is one week away and I have decided to take part in an awesome initiative called All Hallow’s Read. The idea? Give someone a scary book for Halloween.

Fantasy author Neil Gaiman made a lovely (!) video to explain this Halloween tradition:

So I’ve chosen to join this initiative by giving away a copy of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman himself (YA Fantasy, UK paperback).

From Goodreads:

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED -Thanks to all you entered!

The winner will be contacted by email

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Wednesday, October 31st 2012 at midnight (BST time)

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email.

If you follow my blog by email, WordPress or RSS feed, if you are a Twitter follower , if you like my page on Facebook or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally.

The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

I am not responsible for items lost in the mail.

I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.

I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.

Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below…