Joe Hill’s STRANGE WEATHER

Authors, Blog, Book Cover, Fiction, Novel

In Joe Hill’s most recent newsletter (subscribe here) he shared the cover and some information about his next book, a collection of four short novels called STRANGE WEATHER. There’s even generous preview over at Entertainment Weekly’s website.

From his newsletter, Joe Hill writes:

My next book, STRANGE WEATHER, a collection of four short novels, is out this October (early November in the U.K.). It opens with “Snapshot,” the story of a man known as the Phoenician, who carries a modified Polaroid camera that can steal memories. An earlier draft of that novella appeared in Cemetery Dance 74/75, although the version in the book includes a few new chapters.

“Loaded” tells the story of a mall security guard who becomes an overnight hero to the gun rights movement after he single handedly takes on a mass shooter. But as his story of bravery begins to crack, so does his sanity, and on a breathlessly hot Florida afternoon, he reaches for the gun again, and embarks on a day of reckoning.

The third novella, “Aloft,” strands a young skydiver on an unaccountably solid cloud, leaving him a desperate castaway on an island in the sky. And in the finale, “Rain,” deadly storms of nails begin to shower down all across the United States in a glittering, lethal hail.

If you’re in the market for a signed book, Water Street Books in Exeter, New Hampshire has you covered. As they did with THE FIREMAN, they’re offering signed copies of STRANGE WEATHER to those who preorder. They ship worldwide. If you are kind enough to pre-order, you have my thanks. All the information is right here.
strange-weather4

 

Brother, Can You Spare Some Prose?

Authors, Blog, Journals, Notebook, Writing

~ Notebook #11 ~

When you’re looking to reincorporate lean muscle to your prose and you turn to the maestros of the minimalist, clean, no frills, straight-to-the-point (and straight-to-the-heart) narrative technique. I have a tendency in daily speech and writing to use a lot of complex sentences (and parenthetical asides) and when I’m not mindful of it, I tend to let that creep into my prose, especially when I’ve not been writing fiction narratives for a good while (an obvious drawback to mostly writing in a nonfiction capacity daily for so many years now).

I’ve been reading both Elmore Leonard and Bob Thurber since the late 90s (starting with Thurber at an online workshop just prior to his entering award-winning publishing success). Both of these authors cite Ernest Hemingway as a major influence on them. Only makes sense that I finally dig deeper into the guy at the top of this literary family tree I’ve adopted, so I hit up my local public library for Mr. Hemingway’s collection, and since I don’t (for some odd reason) own Mr. Leonard’s collection, I grabbed that too.

On my bookshelf I already have a few novels of Mr. Leonard, and naturally I have a personally signed copy of Mr. Thurber’s dysfunctional novel, Paperboy. On my hard drive I have a couple of Mr. Thurber’s collections of short stories, most of which are micro and flash fictions — hence the reason I dubbed him the Maestro of Microfiction over a decade ago, also because he writes with absolutely no fat in his narrative prose — it’s lean with only the most essential nutritional literary ingredients.

If I’m going to attempt to finally re-engage myself in pantser writing, and writing actual first drafts again with little regard to upfront editing (I’m an obsessive on-the-go editor), then I will need to help curb that OCD tendency by writing as plainly and as succinct as possible. Taking a refresher course with these three professors will help immensely.

Who are some of the writers you turn to when you’re needing to recharge your batteries?

New Book: Lost Storm Rider | A Novel by Jennifer Macaire

Authors, Book, Books, Cover art, Guest Blog, Novel, Promotion

Jenny Mac is back!

In April, the sequel to Riders of the Lightning Storm will be out! Get ready to continue the adventure! And here (drumroll….) is the new cover!

“…featuring an intimately detailed plot, Horse Passages is very highly recommended as action/adventure science fiction novel and an altogether entertaining read.” — Midwest Book Review 

You can get Book 1 of this YA digital novel series directly from the publisher Evernight Teen or via your Kindle at Amazon.

Source: New Cover!

Quote: Jennifer Macaire on Patience + Writing

Authors, Quotes

Today must be the day of Jenny M. because she makes yet another appearance on this here blog with more timely words that I’ve aimed at my own psyche. To wit:

So if I’m so impatient, how did I ever finish the book? I wonder myself. I tend to start things  – and finish them. I just did an interview where one question was: “How can I become a writer?” I answered, “Write, write, write and read, read, read”, but I could have said “Write and finish what you start.” It never gets easier. It never goes faster. Sometimes you write yourself into a dead end. Then you have to unravel the story – sort of like knitting, and start again. Sometimes you forget what the story was supposed to be about, and you have to spend hours cutting out what doesn’t matter – like pruning dead wood off a tree. It’s never a smooth journey.  It’s often frustrating. And when the book is done and published – you’ll always find the odd typo or mistake that got passed up. You shrug and try not to think about it too much. And when the book is for sale you wait for the readers to chime in.

Jennifer Macaire, from her March 5, 2016 blog post “Miss Impatient”.

Over the years of our acquaintance I have come to rely quite a bit on this kind of wisdom from my author buddy living abroad. This one is timely because I’ve been ruminating this very subject since last fall and over the course of this dark, cold winter. I’ll be expounding on this in better detail this coming week.

-B.

Guest Blog: Jennifer Macaire’s Fabulous Life as a Writer

Authors, Guest Blog, Writer

Jennifer Macaireby Jennifer Macaire

Taken from her own eponymous blog.

Remind me why I started writing? Oh yeah, I was stuck on the pampa in Argentina for 4 months, with 2 yr old twins and lots of free time. Susannah took care of the housework and cooking, so all I had to do was watch the twins splash about in the pool while my husband was away days at a time to look for horses. I had a couple notebooks, some pens, and an idea for a book. So I sat on the porch and wrote my first novel longhand on yellow paper. It never got published – I never rewrote it on the computer. By then we were travelling again, the twins were growing and I had no time to spare. Then my daughter was born, and once again I was sitting at home watching a newborn sleep. We had just gotten a new computer so I started a short story about Alexander the Great. It turned into a seven book series, was published in Australia, and did pretty well until the publisher folded. Undaunted, I wrote an erotic romance and sold that one, then a few more, (30 to date, I think) plus a few YA books, and some science fiction and straight romance…And it was all because my imagination just ran away with me and the best thing to do to stop thinking was to write it all down, because when I start thinking, I usually end up reading the Guardian and posting in the comment section because I want to change the world, my blood pressure shoots up – so believe me, it’s better I write fiction. 

Disclaimer: Do not become a writer if you want to make a ton of money. Do not envy me one single one of my published books – none of them made me more than 5k, and all took more time and energy to write, edit, submit and promote than can possibly be worth it. I’m in the middle (well, just started actually) writing a sequel to the Horse Passages series, and it will probably take me the better part of the year, and I’ll possibly get a hundred sales if I’m lucky. See? I’m a masochist. But I love it. I walk down the street and I imagine a story about what I see or hear. I drift off to sleep imagining a different planet, a different society, a different life. I cook dinner and I try to imagine how the Herders could make dinner over just a fire, under the stars.

It would be nice to earn my living as a writer, but I love my job as a receptionist, it keeps me grounded. I actually talk to real people and must be on time to work. I have a schedule, I have to answer the phone! It’s real life. It gets in the way of my writing, because I’m usually too tired to write when I get home, but it doesn’t stop me from day-dreaming – too much, LOL.

And as a writer, I have learned how to be humble. Very humble. The last zinger was my new fabulous cover. My name is misspelled-did anyone catch that? It will be corrected by the time it goes to print, but in the meantime, there is is – sort of a hymne to dyslexic writers everywhere – Jennnifer Macaire. Yep, that’s me.

For more about my life as a writer – the series starts here.


Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

GALILEE by Clive Barker

Authors, Book, Books, Review

GalileeNovelClive Barker’s 1998 unrivaled tenth novel Galilee  (subtitled asA Romance” inside the cover, and also known as Galilee: A Novel of the Fantastic) is hands down one of the greatest novels I’ve ever read.  It became the inspiration for a novel series I’d thought up one cold winter evening earlier this year.  It’s funny that I’ve found myself virtually connected to it.  If you were to do a Google search of the book, one of the top links that shows up leads to a review I did of it on goodreads.com back in summer of 2011.  It shows up at the top on goodreads.com because it is the highest rated review for the book by the members there.  I had no idea of this until just recently when I was looking for info links on the book to share with my co-writer. Here’s the four years old text from that review:
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Galilee, for me, is Clive Barker at his storytelling best. It may not be as inventive as Cabal (Nightbreed), Imajica & Everville, or as mind-bending as The Hellbound Heart (Hellraiser), nor as imaginative as Weaveworld, but it’s the best written, the best ‘told’ story of all of his with elegant, seductive, magnetic prose that’s as smooth as butter. His prose in this book can make even the most boring, mundane things seem worthy of your attention.

It should be stated right up front Galilee is not a horror novel, at least nowhere in the singular sense (though it has parts that may certainly exist on the periphery of that description). It’s a bit of a wonderful, odd beast. It’s my favorite kind of tome, running the gamut of several flavors from epic saga, historical suspense, myth-making, inter-familial drama, forbidden romance, light metaphysics, a teasing amount of the supernatural (almost maddeningly understated) and, being a Barker story, a touch of the dark fantastic, naturally.

It’s truly the hardest novel to nail down with a description that I’ve ever encountered, and I am honestly and thoroughly bummed that I have yet to encounter something of its ilk since. That’s over a decade of let down. Thankfully it’s so invitingly re-readable and continuously rewarding when you do so.

I love all the extraordinary elements . . . everything about the Barbarossa family, whom I did not ever think of as fantastical creations, but more supernatural. However, Barker wrote that Cesaria, the matriarch, was essentially a goddess-like being, more or less a demigoddess (in other words, she’s a direct descendant of, well, God) than a typical fantastical invention Barker is typically known for creating. Certainly a more metaphysical approach than his norm at the time. Like urban fantasy it’s a great merging of the mundane with the extraordinary.

As a writer, this book was such a defining, eye opening read for me. It was an “Ah, so THAT’S how you do it!” revelation. Part of that is due to the character-driven literary device he uses (kind of as a cheat) that allows him to tell a birds-eye view kind of sprawling epic story without sacrificing an ounce of the first-person intimacy since it comes from the MC’s near-omniscient point of view. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat, but damned effective. But I won’t get more into that because it’s a real treat of reading the novel and I’ve probably teased enough details.

After the book came out Barker mentioned a sequel one day that would essentially focus more on the Barbarossas instead of the Gearys, who get the bulk of the focus in this book. I so hope he gets around to it before he retires.

Note: I’m giving this book 5 stars because there is no option for 4 & 1/2 stars.

— from Brandon Rucker’s review on goodreads.com