Monthly Archives: April 2012

Memorable Characters? Who Needs ‘em? by John Zunski


Memorable Characters? Who Needs ‘em?

by John Zunski

I was recently asked during a radio interview about characterization. Wait, let me back up…  unless you’re already a fan and you’re reading this you maybe wondering who the hell is John Zunski and why should I care?  My short answer: If you like memorable characters, it might behoove you to introduce yourself to my imaginary friends. They make their residence in Cemetery Street and Shangri-La Trailer Park.

In my humble opinion, great characters are high octane fuel for the story engine. Without deep characters a high-performance plot will ping and knock. Not to mention, memorable characters come with their own stories. Think about your family, friends, or neighbors: the memorable ones all have great stories, or even better, they have unique if not bizarre traits. Ask Barnum and Bailey, they made a name for themselves promoting such characters.

“John, they exploited those poor folks.”

Maybe… but, let me ask you this.  Who’s more interesting?

Granny A is navigating a shopping cart through crowded aisles. She’s tired, the two year-old throwing a tantrum in the candy aisle annoys her, and the inattentive parent angers her, but she says nothing and politely ambles by.

 Granny B hops onto an electric shopping cart. She hangs her cane from the handle bar and pulls in front of young couple pushing a cart. “Watch where you’re going,” she snaps. She finds a crowded aisle and steers down it. “Get out of my way,” she barks grabbing her cane, threatening to poke those in front of her. “I’m in a hurry; I don’t have much time left.”

I don’t know about you, I would rather know Granny A, she’s probably a dear person and bakes great cookies, but, boring! Without question, I want to read about Granny B. I find myself wishing that if I make her age that I’ll have such gumption.

“John, that’s well and good, but Granny B isn’t believable.”

Dear reader, you haven’t shopped at my local Wal-mart.

 Please help me save my sanity; help stop me from shopping at Wal-mart. How? Check out Cemetery Street. You may fall in love with my imaginary friends, and then I could shop at a real grocery store.

~~~~~~~~~~

Continue reading

Advertisements

Root – A Short Story by Emily Mah #sundayshorts


Sunday Shorts is a new meme. The rules are easy, a short story, an anthology of short stories, a novella, or a quick weekend read that is also short on your wallet!

Please join us at our Goodreads Group and see whats on our shelf! Also please add your link to the Linky at the hosts’ blog here, so everyone can easily hop from blog to blog  and read your short! This is a brand new Meme that I hope will grow! ENJOY!

~~~~~~~~~~

Book blurb, from Amazon:

Beulah has the worst luck with computers. They lose her files, corrupt her data, and in her more sleep-deprived moments she feels they conspire against her. When she begins to see little demons spring out of the CPU of one machine she fears she must be losing her mind, and yet, learning to control these creatures with some advanced programming classes enables her to take control of her electronic destiny.

~~~~~~~~~~

I downloaded a free copy of the book from Amazon when the author had it on promo in KDP Select. However, the book is just $0.99 on Amazon, so you can grab a copy HERE.

I still have to read this book but I love Emily Mah, and can’t wait to get to the book! Will let everyone know what I think about it.

~~~~~~~~~~

Cover Reveal for Orlind (Draykon, #3) by Charlotte E. English


This is something I have been waiting desperately for! When I first received the ARC of Orlind, I wanted to know what the cover was going to look like. Each book in Charlotte’s series has had remarkably wonderful, eye-catching covers.  The art work is simply mesmerizing on each of them. When I heard that the cover would not be ready for quite some time, I was hugely disappointed. I kept pestering Charlotte for updates which she did not really have.

Well, the wait is finally over! Today, I get to reveal the fantastic cover for the third and final book in the Draykon Series!

The cover depicts one of the seminal points in the story, where Llandry and Pensould are fighting the war, on the side of the humans. I won’t say more as I do not want to give away a MAJOR plot point. I think you should just go ahead and read this amazing series if you want to know more! 😛

~~~~~~~~~~

Cover Reveal for Orlind (Draykon, #3)

by Charlotte E. English!

Continue reading

Mr Warvel’s Red Cloak – A short story from the Draykon World


The Red Cloak

‘Great game! I should never have given up glowball.’ Pitren Warvel, the picture of youthful health and exuberance, slapped his quieter friend on the back.

Edwae Geslin’s answering smile was weak. ‘You’re only saying that because we won.’

‘That doesn’t hurt,’ Tren agreed with untouched cheer. ‘That’s your doing, of course. You were always the best at the Academy.’

‘Not at all,’ Ed demurred. Tren shook his head, smiling, but he didn’t argue. Ed was shorter then he was, his frame slight and not at all robust. Self-effacing by nature, he was inclined to interpret these physical characteristics as grave flaws; but glowball favoured those with agility, dexterity and strong sorcerous talent as much as those with brute strength, and in these areas Edwae excelled.

‘Come on,’ said Tren. ‘I’ve just got time to catch a bit of the next game, if we hurry.’

‘Oh? Someplace else to be?’ Ed followed as Tren made for the door, weaving his way through the untidy rows of glowball players still changing out of their games attire.

‘I’m on Cloak duty tonight,’ Tren said over his shoulder.

‘Oh? I thought it was Mern’s night?’

‘Had to go to the infirmary. I’m standing in for her.’ Stepping out into the air, Tren breathed deep. It was one of those crisp, fresh nights, invigoratingly clear. The moon, half full, hung low on the horizon. Tren took careful note of its position.

‘Nothing serious, I hope?’ Ed caught up again as Tren turned back towards the games fields. The sounds of the game carried far in the still air: a roar from the crowd followed by a burst of applause. Tren quickened his step.

‘She didn’t say,’ he replied with a shrug. ‘Didn’t seem troubled though.’

‘I’d have thought you would know.’ Ed cast him a meaningful glance.

Continue reading

How Indie is Changing Reading by Charlotte E. English


This post is part of the ‘Charlotte E English as ‘Featured Author’ for an entire week!’ extravaganza. As part of this, we have two other posts at the participating bloggers. So, go ahead and check them out as well!

  1. What Makes a Heroine Strong? – A guest post at Urban Fantasy Reviews
  2. Excerpt from ‘Orlind’, the soon-to-be-released third book in the series at Ebook Apothecary
~~~~~~~~~~

How Indie is Changing Reading by Charlotte E. English

I got my first e-reader in October of 2010, a Kindle. It looks a little clunky compared with the latest generation – it’s got the big keyboard on it and seems relatively huge. But I’m used to the weight and the feel of it by now.

I’ve always wanted to be an author, but when I first got that Kindle I wasn’t yet thinking about publishing my own fiction. Nor was publishing the first thing that I thought about when I began finding, buying and reading self-published books. As a reader,self-published ebooks were the most exciting thing that had happened in my literary world since… well, since I discovered books at the age of eight.

The new Self Publishing Phenomenon

The new Self Publishing Phenomenon

Why might that be? It isn’t as though I’d lacked reading material before that. Year after year, far more books are published in paperback than it’s possible for a single person to read in a lifetime. What excited me so much was the potential for literature to break out of certain fixed patterns.

I read a lot of different genres, though one of my enduring favourites is fantasy (no surprise there, right?). I’ve found a lot of great fantasy books that have come out of publishing houses in recent years. I’ve also slogged through an awful lot of same-old, however. You know the drill. Such-and-such was a huge hit, so about a million books that are similar in some way proceed to hit the market over the next few years. Most of the books that get published are novels of a certain length; shorter works don’t get much attention. The same plots, character types and worlds come up over and over again. It makes sense from the publisher perspective: these are the formulas that sell best, so they keep being used.

Continue reading