Book Review
Review: The Summer Dragon
September 2, 2016
0

The Summer Dragon
The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first thing that stood out for me was the writing. One would think that someone who has spent their professional life illustrating books rather than writing them would be lacking in the prose department. Any assumption along those lines proved highly inaccurate in regards to this book. Todd Lockwood engages the reader from the first page with this lovely story of dragons and those who breed and raise them. The villains in this tale are down right nasty and every time they appear in the book I found myself wondering how the hell anyone was going to survive. It was this combination of prose, well thought out characters, and gripping story that kept me up late several nights. This is the first in a planned trilogy and I can’t wait for the next book to come out. I will be buying it the day of its release.

View all my reviews

Writing
Call for Short Story Beta Readers
August 19, 2016
0

My short story is ready to send out to beta readers and I’m looking for a handful of people who might be interested. As a content warning, there is graphic violence and language used in the story, so if that’s not your cup of tea, this probably isn’t the story for you.

The story is about 7,800 words long and is set in a dystopian future (no teenagers though!). I’m looking for people to read the story and then perhaps connect via Skype or Phone for a thirty minute question and answer session.

If you’re interested in being a beta reader for this story, contact me and I will add you to the list.

Thanks!

Writing
Is it Okay to Stop Writing Your Novel?
August 16, 2016
0

David MullinI had planned to be finished writing the damn thing before the end of June. But then High School graduation of my oldest daughter happened and Summer began and everything went to shit. Those aren’t excuses, though, because when I’m in the middle of writing a book, I stick to it, no matter what. Not with my fantasy novel, however. I climbed up to 69,000 words and called it a day. But why? And was that a smart thing to do?

This has been a weird year for me so far. Everything I’ve written feels like its just practice. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with lots of practice, but at some point, you’ve got to produce some quality work. As I was transitioning from screenwriting to novel writing, I wrote a short story that I had edited by the wonderful Elisabeth Kaufman over at Writing Refinery and I’m in the middle of revising that sucker. I hope to release it on my website before the end of the month. Other than that, I haven’t really produced anything worth showing to anyone.

The first novel I started was a fantasy novel. A first in the genre for me. My wife actually reads more fantasy than I do, but I’m a fan of the genre and thought I’d give it a try. At the same time, I used it as test case for outlining a novel–which I covered in a previous post–which also caused some of the problem. I tried and tried to adhere to my outline but I found myself fighting against it so much that I found my story just drifting and going nowhere. I decided to put it in a drawer for the summer.

I wasn’t too worried about stopping the novel before it was finished because I have finished three novels in the past, so I know that I have what it takes to complete a novel. Believe me, if it were my first novel, I wouldn’t have stopped it for anything. It is vital as a first time novelist to complete your manuscript. Good, great, or complete shit, it doesn’t matter. Finish the damn thing to prove to yourself that you can do it. The world is full of started novels.

Last week, I decided to print out the first 90 pages of my fantasy work and I read it. It started off pretty good, but there were a few chapters in there that were just total shit. That’s okay, it’s a first draft and there’s supposed to be a lot of shit in there. But I still wasn’t sure whether I wanted to put the effort into steering the story in a more solid direction. So I decided to let my wife read those 90 pages expecting her to completely agree with my dire assessment. To my surprise, she liked the story and the characters and requested to read the rest of what I had written. Today, I printed out the rest of the 330 page incomplete manuscript so that she could finish reading it and give me a more complete appraisement.

If she thinks the story is salvageable, I’ll sit down with a notepad and see if I agree. In the mean time, I’ve begun a new story starting with a harrowing situation that hasn’t been outlined or imagined further than the beginning. We’ll see if that turns into a novel or a short story. I’m excited to see where it goes.

Book Review
Review: The Black Widow
August 11, 2016
0

The Black Widow
The Black Widow by Daniel Silva

I’ve read every single one of Daniel Silva’s books, going back to The Unlikely Spy (a time period I wish he would return to someday) and I must say, without a doubt, this was the best one yet. Reading about an Israeli spy who also happens to be one of the world’s best art restorers always gives his readers a history lesson amidst a tense thriller plot. But what made this book so memorable and hard to put down was the timeliness of the story. With what seem like daily attacks around the world coming from ISIS, it was engrossing to get a glimpse into that horrible world and it’s players. Obviously, this is a work of fiction, but Silva has a knack for hitting things close to reality with his books, and he has even foreshadowed real events in some of his earlier books. Make no mistake, the massive attack in the climax of the book is plausible and it makes the story all the more breathtaking. His writing style is breezy and flawless as it fades into the background and doesn’t interfere with the joy of reading. I cannot recommend this book enough.

View all my reviews

Book Review
Review: Lost Stars
August 2, 2016
0

Lost Stars
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

I listened to the audiobook on audible and I rather enjoyed it. I was expecting it to take place after Return of the Jedi but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it occurred during the entirety of the original trilogy. It was fascinating to get a different perspective of the events we’ve all come to know over the years. Especially getting inside the heads of soldiers of the Empire after losing so many friends with the destruction of the Death Star. I thought the two main characters were well drawn out and I found their life long relationship arc to be realistic and natural.

Another nice touch with the audiobooks is that they play music and sound effects in the background which adds another layer to the story. I’m sure some find that distracting but it definitely added to the experience for me. I would highly recommend this book to any Star Wars fan or YA fans in general.

View all my reviews