Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Concept Behind "Exchange: The Uxel Herum Saga" by Alain Gomez



This particular story takes place two years after the last.  I considered spending some time delving into Uxel's training on Kortholt (might make some short stories on the blog about it later).  The thing was that I really wanted these books to be more about her developing and maturing.  So book 3 starts with her already more confident.  She may have stuff to learn still but she also has a few tricks up her sleeve.  This has really unleashed her need for recognition and power.  

One of the most interesting things about learning is that it's not always just a steady climb upward.  Sometimes we can plateau or even get worse and something before we get better.  In Uxel's case, she is certainly changing but she's not quite sure if it's for the better just yet.   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blogging vs. Storytelling

I've been blogging for a few years now.  Almost as long as I've been self-publishing.  I started blogging not really sure what I was getting into.  But I stuck with it.  I've now been around long enough to see plenty of new bloggers come and go.

Blogging takes time.  And if you're a writer it takes time away from when you could be working on a story.  But I don't necessarily feel like it's wasted time.  For me, blogging is a way to get back in touch with reality.  To actually "think" about what I'm saying rather than rambling about in the bowels of some science fiction adventure.

Most importantly, blogging helps me to figure out my storytelling voice.  This is a concept I've really been thinking about lately.  Good writing is not just about having an interesting plot.  It's about making that plot come across in a memorable way.  It's your writing "speaking" voice.  Blogs are fantastic for exploring this.  You're at liberty to spew just about anything on a page and no one gives you guff about your plot or story pacing.

If I look back at some of my old Brouhaha posts the subtle changes that have been taking place over the course of many years becomes obvious.  Yes, it's still essentially me.  But I feel like my personality is now coming across more clearly.  It's not perfect.  I've got a long way to go.  Better get writing?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lit Bits Rebrand

PRESS RELEASE

The Other Publishing Company rebrand short story imprint from Lit Bits to Cracked Eye, after further angel investment funding. 

After securing further investment from angel investors, and as part of their mission to bring the best short stories from new and established authors to keen readers around the world, The Other Publishing Company are rebranding their short story imprint from Lits Bits to Cracked Eye, focusing on new ways their content can be accessed.

London, 3rd March, 2014: 2013 was a great year for Lit Bits. They launched the imprint and have quickly established themselves as a force within the wonderful world of short stories. They’ve been featured widely online, run the hugely successful Lit Bits Weekend Challenge and continue to commission stories from bestselling established authors and exciting emerging talent.

Their stories are read by keen readers around the world but in 2014 they’re setting the bar higher.

This year they’re on a mission to become the leaders in short-form fiction. They’ve successfully secured more funding from angel investors to push on and create something exceptional. To do this they’re investing in commissioning more short stories, producing audio and visual versions of those short stories, novel serialisations, a new website, and finding inventive ways for people to access their content.

Because of their focus on short fiction, in whatever form that may take, they felt the name Lit Bits restricted them. They have grand plans for the imprint and needed something fresher, something that could come to stand for inventive ways of storytelling. Lit Bits has gone through a stage of metamorphosis, and has been reborn into something bigger, bolder, and more beautiful. From now on they’ll be known as Cracked Eye – nothing will ever look the same again.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review of "The Handler," short story by Susan Kaye Quinn



Summary:
It's time for Julian Navarro to fulfill the mission left to him by his dead parents: to spark a revolution that would allow mindjackers to live freely in a mindreading world. While his ability allows him to mentally control the instincts of others, Julian wants to win jackers to his cause with words, not weapons. But when his first recruit has a secret--and bloody--history, Julian has to decide how far he'll go to ensure his revolution isn't snuffed out before it begins.

Review:
While Quinn is a solid and engaging writer I found it difficult getting into this story.  It's a spin-off novella for what appears to be a series of novels.  This particular story occurs in the middle of the series and it's painfully obvious for the reader trying to enjoy it as a standalone (which was me).  I felt like I had been chucked into the middle of a conversation full of inside jokes.  By the end I was able to sort some things out but the minimal action never really grabbed me.  I had no idea what the mindjackers were nor did I know what their cause was.

So as a standalone plot, this story was weak.  As a part of a greater whole I could definitely see the appeal.  The concept was interesting enough to leave me frustrated that I wasn't told more.  How did the mindreaders take over the world, for example?

Worth looking into if you start at the beginning of the series.

3/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

Buy this story on Amazon.