Friday, May 27, 2011

Now Reading: The Warlock by Michael Scott

The Warlock
Book Five of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Published May 24, 2011
ISBN-10: 0385735332
ISBN-13: 978-0385735339

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series will easily go down as one of my favorite YA series to date. This is the fifth book of the series and in the next installment, The Enchantress, the war of Nicholas, the Twins of Destiny, and other famous Immortal warriors will end. They've been battling Dr. John Dee since the first book as the he grew an army of Immortals, Elders and baddies from all corners of mythology.

In this installment, we discover Nicholas Flamel is dying and fast. He will not live out the night. The Twins of Destiny, Josh and Sophie Newman, have been separated -- Sophie who has remained loyal to Nicholas and his wife, Perry, -- and Josh, who was taken and seduced by Dee and his minions to believe Flamel is evil.

What I know so far is that this novel will not take place in only one era. I'll say no more. Just know that time traveling is on the list of things to do.

These books are an easy and addicting read. If I haven't mentioned it in the original review of the first novel, my favorite part of the series is that it all takes place in the course of a week (so far). DANG! That's talent.

To send you off, here's a sketch I did of good ole' Nicholas Flamel. Yeah, I do remedial sketching when writing gets me down. It's nice to have a fall back.

Peace and Writing Love,


Review: Beyond The Shadows by Brent Weeks

Book Three of the Night Angel Trilogy
Published: December 1, 2008
ISBN-10: 0316033669
ISBN-13: 978-0316033664

Review: 4/5

So I took a massive hiatus in reading, writing, and even art. Work was just bogging me down for a long time. Anyway, it took me forever to finally finish Beyond the Shadows. Truthfully, I forgot a lot of the stuff that I read in the very beginning, but when I was finally able to sit down and pound away some pages, I got back into the swing of Weeks' world.

The only reason I gave this final volume of the trilogy four of five stars is because is very long. Long books are great. Long books with great characters are even better. However, there are WAY TOO MANY characters in this entire series. Some have all the face time while others are below third-supporting characters. They're basically mentionables.

However, into the grit of the story. Weeks finished off the Night Angel Trilogy with a massive blow. While I followed the boy Azoth as he became Kylar, an enigma and soon to be one of the most legendary Wetboys (assassins) in Cenaria, his character is every part of every other character's role in the series. He is connected to almost everyone. By meeting, speaking, humiliating, or killing.

The battle for Cenaria closes with Kylar finally earning his right as THE Night Angel. He is judgment and retribution, death and life, but he is lover and compassionate man at the end. Kylar's growth spans the whole series. If you ever find your to-be-read list running thin (which most readers don't), I would certainly recommend adding The Night Angel Trilogy to your TBR. The world is vast and rich, the magic and lore so woven into dialogue and mannerisms, it sold me from beginning to end.

Weeks has recently put out the first novel of his second series, The Black Prism. I hope to get to that one, but I also recently found out Weeks is set to publish (soon) a Night Angel novella, Perfect Shadow, which will tell more about the rise of Kylar's witty mentor, Durzo Blint.

Peace and Writing Love,


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Among other things, KISS is called the mantra for writers. It is supposed to make you think. Slow things down. Put invigorating, yet comprehensible storytelling in your manuscript.

For a long time, I never kept things simple. My writing has always been about the large and in charge: the next big thing that is going to change a genre. It was stupid of me to think like this.

All writers really want to do is have a kick-ass manuscript that agents can gobble up. However, it's not about complexity. It's not about how many words you can cram into the story.

It's about your protagonist. You've chosen your protagonist to be the guy or girl for you because you see something in them. They're interesting. They're fulfilling to you as a writer. They're witty or emotional. They carry a burden or are in the midst of creating one that will affect others. All of this surrounds the story, but if the plot cannot be made simple, it will become lost in the words.

My generous critique partners, who I trust indefinitely, have since pounded this mantra into my head. When I started a new project to get my head out of another giving me trouble, I went through two outlines, neither of which were simple.

It can be about the protagonist or it can be about the journey. It can be about growth or loss. But whatever you choose, make it the focus. Don't allow your strong protagonist to become lost in the journey. Don't let him or her both grow and lose equally. There must be a happy center point. Choose and make peace. If, at the end of your outline or planning process, that way doesn't work, you start again.

How do you KISS? 

Peace and Writing Love,