Saturday, 30 July 2011

Pet Peeves - concerning long series of books

I'm mainly talking about fantasy, here, because that's my pet topic - but it does concern some other genres, too.

You know those sprawling epic fantasy series? The ones with lots of intrigue, politics and character development? Those are the ones I mean. I love those kind of things, but there are things that annoy the H out of me. Here's some of them...


  • There's usually a large time span between publication dates. At the start, they'll be reasonable, but move more and more apart as the series continues. Don't get me wrong, as a writer I totally understand. As a reader, however, it's inconvenient to say the least. 
  • With some of them, later in the series, there's no more hardback books. I like having all books in a series in the same kind of edition, so I'm not a fan of this. 
  • They require a lot of attention. There's so much detail in these books (I'm thinking Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time, or the Cheysuli Chronicles) - that's what makes them so fascinating - that the whole experience looses a lot if you can't read one book after another. I'm not talking publication this time, but pure reading time. I mean, who has the leisure to read 12 books in a row? Or the attention span? 
  • Halfway through the series, they bring out a new cover design. *sigh* 
  • Unless they're REALLY good, there's bits that the story could have done without. At least in my opinion. At some point, it has to end, right? 
  • Then there's the stories where the poor hero NEVER gets left in peace. One book ends, happy ending, but you just KNOW the poor guy's world will be shattered all over again in the next one. And the next. And the next. Leave him alone, already! 
  • When they DO end, these series, it's traumatic. 
What about you? Any pet peeves with long series? 

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

10 Things about The Book Bunnies

Yesterday I told you about the new website/blog for my critique group, The Book Bunnies. Today I'm going to tell you 10 things you absolutely should know about us...


  1. It took us, oh, maybe 2 months to come up with the name "The Book Bunnies" for our critique group's blog. In case you're wondering... we each of us have our own plot bunny farms, so book bunnies seemed the logical choice...eventually
  2. We bonded over last year's NaNoWriMo. All of us had a blast, and the sense of community really helped get into the writing game. 
  3. All 6 of us write romance of some kind or another... 
  4. Four of us write m/m stories - that is, romance between two men. All of us greatly appreciate the "beauty of the male form", as Sasha put it... 
  5. Sasha Conte is my pen(name)sister, in case you were wondering about the name. 
  6. Kerry Freeman is a published author (!!). Her short story "Realize" is available at Torquere Press, and the novel she's been working on is set to be published, too. 
  7. We read. Lots. And then we talk about it... possibly on our newly minted website... ; )
  8. We all have blogs/websites of our own...mine is here, obviously, then there's Kerry's, Bella's, Becca's, Kimberley's and Sasha's
  9. All of us are on twitter... Becca is @booknerdbecca, Sasha is @sashconte, Kerry is @kfwritesbooks, Bella is @bellaleone and Kimberley is @kimberleydane. Me, I'm @tessasblurb, in case you didn't know that yet....
  10. And most important and somewhat self-serving is this: we'd be very happy if you'd stop by our new website The Book Bunnies and gave us a follow! *grins*



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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

10 Things about summer holidays

I'm on holiday. I'm guessing a fair percentage of you guys are, too... or about to go, or already back. Here's 10 things I think everyone on summer holidays should remember/think of/have fun with...


  1. Summer holidays require...wait for it...SUN. Ideally including sand and water of some sort or another. If you can't get to the beach, bring the beach to you... buy a mini zen garden, stirr the sand (ideally once it's warm from the sun) with your fingers (maybe sprinkle some on your hair for extra post-beach shower feeling later on). Have some ice-cold lemonade, or sangria. Put on your sunglasses and enjoy. Hey, presto, instant beach feeling. 
  2. Most summer holidays involve traffic jams or airport waiting times of some sort. So really, think about that zen garden. 
  3. Heat is nice. Unless you forget your sunscreen, your bottle of water, or your airconditioning is broken. Again with the zen garden. 
  4. Remember that pre-summer diet you meant to go on? Forget about it. Put it back on your schedule for post-christmanstime... 
  5. Summer holidays mean time to relax, to be yourself, to recharge those batteries. Don't forget that! Holidays can be stressful - don't let it get to you. Zen garden, I'm telling you. 
  6. BEFORE you go on holiday, sit down and write one of those "Last Summer I did..." essays we all used to dread be thrilled about when we were in school... write down everything you think your summer holiday should be about, then go to sleep. The next morning, read it and set out to do as much of the stuff in that essay as you can manage. 
  7. If you're going on holiday with your family, pack some extra patience (and anything that might help you with that - sugary treats, books, favourite music, whatever). You'll probably need it.
  8. Don't go for one of those student-type get-as-drunk-as-possible holidays. You do want to remember what you were up to, right? Or maybe you don't...
  9. Write postcards to friends and family. In the days of electronic everything, it's unbelievably nice to have something other than bills and/or stuff you ordered yourself in your mail. Also, it's nice to have a box of them and leaf through them on occasion. 
  10. Don't vanish off the face of the earth when you go on holiday. I have a bad habit of doing this - not answering my phone when I'm away and all that. Thanks to modern technology for making keeping in touch so easy... #lazyTessa... 
Last but not least... HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!! Let me know if you want a postcard from Spain... ; P


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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Hullo from Spain

Sunshine, beach, bronzed skin and a very embarrassed Tessa who somehow forgot all about that I-will-fit-into-my-bikini diet she was supposed to go on.

But I digress.

What I wanted to say is...

HOLA CHICAS (Y CHICOS)! Estoy en Marbella ahora, disfrutando...

But strangely, it's difficult to write whilst lying on the beach. Ah well. I'll get there in the end, Camp NaNo or no Camp NaNo.

Hasta pronto,
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ps. Do sign up for my Blogfest!! (see sidebar)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Blogfest, I Hate You! (+giveaway/contest)

As promised...

(*sorry, in the process of reorganizing my blog I seem to have mislaid the picture*)

OK, OK, so I overdid the design a bit... sorry 

; P

I'm calling it the Hatefest for short. (MWAHAHAHA and all that) 

Here's the rules my dearies: 

  1. Sign up by the end of August 12th
  2. On August 12th, post a story, an excerpt of your work or a poem you've written that shows HATE of some form or another - your character hates someone, someone hates your character, or maybe you hate someone/something? 
  3. Once you've posted, go check out the other entries and share some comment love! 
  4. Don't forget to link back to my blog when you post so people can find the other entries
If you want to win something... 

Now, for this blogfest, I shall be giving away some ebooks for your reading pleasure... 

THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS
 
by my bloggy friend
Roland Yeomans

Purple Knot

by Raquel Byrnes, another fellow blogger

Searching

by Stuart Sharp, who does the funniest lists on his blog


So if you want to qualify for the one of these, you have to do the following in addition to the stuff up above:


  • Post your entry on August 12th, not later (date on post counts) - 1 extra entry
  • Advertise the Hatefest on your blog (sidebar note by Aug 6th) - 1 extra entry
  • Advertise the Hatefest on your blog (badge in sidebar by Aug 6th) - 1 extra entry
  • Do a blog post advertising the Hatefest (please tell me the link in comments so I don't miss it) - 2 extra entries
  • Advertise the Hatefest on twitter using #theHATEfest (and @tessasblurb to be sure I don't miss it) - 1 extra entry
  • Follow me on my blog, twitter or FB - 2 entries
  • Comment on at least two other Hatefest entries (mine doesn't count) - 1 entry
The 3 winners shall then be chosen by random.org and announced on August 18th. If you want to take part in the giveaway/contest but you already have one or more of those books, let me know so you don't get a double...

And finally, here's the Linky list!




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