Reading Wednesday 28 September 2016

Maybe now that I’ve published the book I’ll have time for more reading? On second thoughts, given how uni is ramping up and I’m still hard at work on the third book, maybe not.

What I just finished reading

Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maas – Thus I continue my habit of arguing with writing guides. There’s some useful stuff in there. There’s also some bewildering stuff, like Maass claiming that Jim Butcher invented urban fantasy, or stating that some classic books deal with things of the past such as prohibition and racism, as if racism was some quaint thing that no longer exists and had disappeared much the way prohibition has. (Don’t we all wish?)

What I’m reading now

Writing textbooks for uni, a Fiona McIntosh book I was given, and a space opera.

What I’m reading next

I really do need to get back to any number of half-read books in my house.

My book: The People Want Dance Pop

My new ebook is up on Amazon.

The People Want Dance Pop book cover


In 2011 Wesley and Uri formed a band, dragged in two of their best friends, and set out to see the world together on the adventure of a lifetime. Along the way they discover the wondrous effects of ill-advised drug use and poor sexual choices. By 2016 they’ve gone their separate ways and Wesley can only look back. Is it Wesley’s drinking that comes between them? Is it the arrival of beautiful, normal Gloria and the promise of a life outside the band? Or is it the mysteries Uri clings to that threaten everything they’ve built between them?

This is a story of the journey between those two points, between hopeful youth and bitter-sweet experience, and all the mistakes people make along the way.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Reading Wednesday 21 September 2016

What I just finished reading

Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel by Cathy Yardley – (library book) Decent but dated.

The Writer’s Reader: A Guide to Writing Fiction & Poetry edited by Brenda Walker – (library book) Some of the essays contained within are infuriatingly pretentious and wanky. Given this is aimed at an audience of university students, I suppose that should be no surprise. I’d already read the essay on voice before as a reading for uni, but that does actually have usable information. It’s a bit of a grab bag, really. Some is okay, and some is people just wanking on about things that have next to nothing to do with writing because they can.

It’s so Easy and Other Lies by Duff McKagan – As rock memoirs go this is pretty well written. Doesn’t go too deeply into the grosser details of his years of alcoholism, for which I was thankful, but is still fundamentally about his struggle toward sobriety and getting his life together.

What I’m reading now

More writing and publishing textbooks and about a billion issues of Real Living.

What I’m reading next

Hopefully one of the many books I have started and put aside but probably just more uni books. Sorry for the boring update but I am swamped.

Wednesday reading 7 September 2016

What I just finished reading

Wannabe a Writer? by Jane Wenham-Jones – (library book) Because I am working my way through pretty much all the writing guides in the library. Skim-read because there’s a lot of irrelevant stuff in there but some of the advice is actually useful (though it was published in 2007 so a lot is dated) and there’s a huge section at the back with advice from novelists, agents and editors.

What I’m reading now

The Writer’s Reader: A Guide to Writing Fiction & Poetry Edited by Brenda Walker – A lot of this is nearly incoherent pretentious literary wank, honestly. It turns out I’d already read the more useful articles for uni, anyway.

What I’m reading next

More writer’s guides, I’m sorry.

August 2016 recap and links

In August I reviewed:

War for the Oaks and Music Business for Dummies on the 3rd; and
Sleeping with Her Enemy, Dirty, Music Business: a musician’s guide to the Australian music industry, The Journalist’s Guide to Media Law, How to Write Your Blockbuster and Strong Signal on the 25th.

Some interesting links:

At The New York Times: Criticism’s Sting: The Author Curtis Sittenfeld on Book Reviews by Jennifer Senior

At The New York Times: 1896 | The Book Review Is Born by David W Dunlap.

Storyteller’s Rulebook #69: A Good Movie Has An Hour of Plot by Matt Bird.

At Black Gate: Three Ways to Write a Cast of Supporting Characters Without Confusing the Reader by M Harold Page.

At Romance University: How To Vividly Describe a Setting That You’ve Never Visited by Angela Ackerman.

At Read a Romance Month: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan – Can’t Resist Romance. The ladies from GFY talking about their favourite romances.

At Observer Culture: The Fascinating, Complicated Art of Designing a Book Cover, An Interview with Paul Buckley, Creative Director for Penguin Classics by Dana Schwartz.

At All About Romance: The New Age of the Series – A Reader Rant by Janet Boatman. I have to admit I often find the idea of starting to read a new series daunting or exhausting. Sometimes you just want a stand-alone story.

On the Reddit fantasy board, a comment on the idea that ‘quality rises to the top’ in book publishing and how it’s not true. Beautifully illustrates the difficulties with getting any book read by anyone, let alone liked by many, and how many layers of gatekeepers and fumbling marketers are between the author and the readers, whether trad-pub or indie.

Women, Work, Creativity, Leisure and Time. Because Time is a Feminist Issue. by Kelly Diels.

At The Creative Penn: Self Care And Productivity For Authors With Ellen Bard.