Wow! Just wow! I just finished reading a fantasy novel called Wyndano’s Cloak by A.R. Silverberry and let me tell you what: I LOVED IT! I do not think I can type fast enough for all of the excitement I have over this story and I don’t think I have enough words to describe how much I enjoyed it. But let me go ahead and try!
A.R. Silverberry is a born story-teller, this much is true. But he is also a fabulous character craftsman, scenery setter, descriptionist, and a master wordsmith! (I know “descriptionist” is not a word, but it is MY word. So deal.)
We start the story with a wayward princess named Jen who lives in Aerdem with her mother and father, the King and Queen, and her brother, Dash the prince (who is quite Dashing–if I may say so myself.) Jen came from the Plain World where she had lived most of her life with an old woman named Nell before being reunited with her rightful–and very royal–family here in Aerdem. Aerdem is a beautiful world full of colors beyond the imagination, magical wonders, and strange creatures. A.R. Silverberry paints vivid and realistic pictures for the reader that make you actually feel you are there right there alongside the characters. But there is also a dark evil that is penetrating the land. And along with many other lovable and–quite rightly–hate-able characters, Jen makes her journey through different worlds to find the key to saving her family, fighting off the evil, and setting things right in Aerdem. Will she ever be able to overcome her fear and seek the help of Wyndano’s Cloak? Throughout her story, Jen may overcome many obstacles–inner and outer–but can she find her true inner-self? Can she master the mystical Wyndano’s Cloak?
You HAVE to read this book to find out. And trust me, you will not be disappointed. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good long fantasy. I actually would recommend this book to anyone, because it is that good.
I give WYNDANO’S CLOAK by A.R. Silverberry a magical, mystical, and magnificent 5 stars! Please grab yourself a copy today. Here is where it is available.
WAIT! There is more! I had the pleasure of interviewing the author of Wyndano’s Cloak. Please go here to check out A.R. Silverberry’s awesome interview!
Halloooo! How is this November weather treating everyone? It was the first night of a deep FREEZE last night for my town and mind you I live in the desert so we don’t see too many of these. BRRRRR! So I’m all snuggledy-wuggledy in warm clothes and blankets today. And what is my favorite thing to do when it is cold outside? Yup. You guessed it. READ! And now I will be reviewing a fantastic book I just devoured.
I just recently read a phenomenal book by a phenomenal author. It is called NINETY-FIVE PERCENT HUMAN and was written by Suzanna Williams (one of my favorites!) The story starts out on a rural farm from the perspective of a young man named Joe. With his parents no longer in the picture and his grandma and brother the only family he has left, Joe is stricken with the hard decision of sacrificing his youthful opportunities to fix up and work on the dilapidated farm or to sell it and let go of a history of life-long memories and hard work. Just as he struggles with these obstacles, a mysterious girl named Sarah shows up and Joe is forced to save her from drowning in the lake on his farm. And from that point on things only become more curious and exciting, from car chases to exploding fires, from action to drama. Will Joe be able to handle all of the trouble thrown his way since Sarah showed up? Will Joe ever find out Sarah’s true purpose?
This story is a science fiction thriller with a splash of romance. It leaves you on the edge of your seat and wanting more with every turn of the page. I loved it thoroughly and cannot wait until the sequel, Five percent alien comes out next year! Woo Hoo! This book is great for anyone of any age, although it sure has that youthful undertone that I love! I give NINETY-FIVE PERCENT HUMAN by Suzanna Williams a fantastic 5 STARS!
Get your copy here and snuggle in this winter with NINETY-FIVE PERCENT HUMAN!
Hello all and Happy November!
First off I’d like to say that if you have emailed me in in the recent past and haven’t heard a response, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about you. I have just been so craaaazy busy! I will –eventually being the key term–get back to you. I promise. But on to the point of this post.
I am re-blogging this article by Esther Lomardi over at About.com (filed under classic literature) about keeping track of characters when reading a book. Sometimes–and especially in epic fantasies, I’ve found– it is tough to keep track of who is who. This is a neat little list of tips to help you! I am also curious of all you readers out there. Do you have trouble keeping track of characters while reading? And in what genre do you find this happening most? What do you do to remedy this? Please comment on this post and let me know what you think.
Ok, so on with the show!
- Where to Keep Track of the Characters?
A book journal is a perfect place to write about the characters you meet in books. And, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on one of those really nice leather-bound or nicely lined gift books (although, I love those books). You can use a notebook, a stack of paper, a few sticky notes, or the back of a receipt (any scrap of paper will do if you’re in a pinch). Whatever you are using to write down your characters and bio information, make sure you have it readily available when you are reading your book!
- The First Character?
Who is the first character? In some novels, the first character is sometimes the most important character. Or, even if the character isn’t the most important, the first character may lead you to the character you really need to track. So, write the name down. Keep track of when the character first appears, and take note of who he or she meets.
- The Protagonist?
The protagonist is a character in a work of literature, who you may love or hate. Emotional involvement in the successes and failures of the character makes reading a much more rich and memorable experience, but there are a few things you need to track… When did the protagonist first appear? Is he/she the first character? With whom does he/she interact?
- The Details?
For each of the characters (particularly the most important characters), make special note of how much information the author gives you about the character. Does the author tell you:
- Physical Description
- Relationships (family, friends, and acquaintances)
- Motivation (for the major characters in particular, what makes them do what they do?)
- Personal History (birth, childhood, marriage, etc.)
- The Length?
Epic novels often go into much more depth with the details of each character, so you’ll be able to track most of these details. It’s also much more essential for your understanding of the novel that you track these details. For shorter works, the author may be more frugal with his/her use of details regarding a characters life and personality. Or, the author may compress the details more. You may discover details where you didn’t at first realize they existed.
- The Plot?
Where do the characters fit into the plot? How often does a character appear? How does he/she drive the plot? Is there a pattern as to when and where the character appears, how he/she affects the main characters, or how he/she departs from the plot?
- Switching Characters and Complicated Plots
Now, you’re writing all the characters down, and you’re keeping track of all the important developments in the plot. But, if it’s an epic novel (or even for some of the “smaller” books), you may still be having a hard time differentiating one character from another–particularly if the author is using stream of consciousness, multiple points of view, and other literary devices. They really aren’t designed to make you pull your hair out! So, what do you do? Try using a different color of small flags for each major development for a character–to track each character.
How do the characters relate to the setting in which they appear? Is it important that the protagonist meets a character on a beach, but he meets another character in a bar? Is the character a product of the setting (the setting would not seem “real” without the presence of the character); or does the character seem out-of-place and alienated in the environment in which the author has placed him/her? The setting can offer important insight into the characterization and plot, and it’s important not to overlook how a setting can seem to become a character in its own right!
Is the character a villain, a lover, a trickster, or a rake (in other words, does the character have a archetypal role to play in the plot)? Does the character stand for something larger (something universal)? Sometimes, you can look up the definition of a character’s name and find that the name means “peace” and the character is attempting to bring about reconciliation. Even if the name doesn’t really mean anything to the plot (or overall scope of the work), the character’s actions may point to something larger, more mythic, archetypal, or epic in scope.
- Character as History?
Is the character based on a historical figure? A king? A queen? A writer or a killer? As readers, we have to be careful about comparing the historical character to the fictional one. The author probably took a number of liberties with the fictional version–in keeping with the direction of his her plot, characterization, and setting. While we must believe the author when he/she says the character is “fictional,” we also can’t ignore the fact that the person really did exist in history.
- Flat versus Round Character
Is the character flat or round? In other words, do you have a sense that you don’t really know the character at all? Do you feel that the author neglected to give you enough detail about the character? And, do you find the work lacking because of the many stock (or flat) characters in the work? When you look at your list of details about your characters, you’ll likely notice that the protagonist and the villain likely are the most “round” characters. The author has given you the most detail about these two. But, did the author give you enough detail about the supporting characters?
How dynamic is the character? How memorable is he/she? A character can often be said to be dynamic is he/she has experienced a life-changing event or an epiphany. Coming of age stories are great examples, but you’ll see dynamic characters in many works of literature.
- Use a book journal or notepad, and keep it with you when you read.
- Keep a pen or pencil with you when you read.
- Look names up in the dictionary (or baby-naming book).
- Particularly with complicated plots (with stream of consciousness, multiple points of view, etc.), use different colors of Post-It flags to track the major events in the lives of each character!
Hello my fellow ghouls and ghosts! It is almost time for All Hallow’s Eve and I really wanted to get into the spirit of things…get it? Spirit? Bahahahaha! Ok back to the point. Because of my love of all things Halloween, I decided to pick up an appropriately haunting book to cuddle up with (more like huddle under the blankets with like a scaredy-cat,) and I chose a spooky anthology called CREEPIES: TWISTED TALES FROM BENEATH THE BED. Sounds awesome, right? YES! And freaky and gruesome and spooky and gross as hell at some points. This is a collection of short stories and poems that definitely lives up to it’s creepy title. This book totally freaked me out! I am a grown woman and felt like I was a kid again at the campfire, scared out of my mind from all of the ghost stories. So if you want zombies and grim reapers and ghosts oh my! This is the place to find just that! This must read gets a 5 stars from me! Go here to get yourself a copy of CREEPIES tonight and make sure to leave a light on!
Why hello there everyone! It has been quite a while since I’ve posted any MER related info or anything to do with my involvement as the author of the MER series. And I think it is about time I do so. And what an exciting time it is folks! (And merfolks) HeeHee MER: Falling Kingdom (the second book in the series) is just around the corner from being published! Woo hoo! And therefore a perfect time to reveal the Falling Kingdom book cover, compliments of its designer Paul Beeley over at www.create-imaginations.com. AND HERE IT IS. DRUM ROLL….
I hope you all are as excited for this as I am! Beautiful isn’t it? Alright kids…keep tuned, as I will be soon announcing the book launch party of Falling Kingdom (MER 2)!