Congratulations to Mark and Edith, who won copies of “Characters and Viewpoint” by Orson Scott Card and “Jack Cloudie” by Stephen Hunt, respectively. Watch this space for more great books in the run-up to Christmas!
How to Write a Damn Good Novel II, by James Frey (hardback)
“Frey expands on his earlier take on the art of novel writing. His focus here is on dramatic fiction. Using examples from a broad range of fiction, he shows what these works have in common and how writers can learn from the authors to improve their own writing. Some of the areas discussed are developing characters, creating suspense, using a strong narrative voice, and understanding the author/reader contract. Chapter 8, entitled “The Seven Deadly Mistakes,” talks about being timid, trying to be literary, and the failure to produce; it gives some advice on how to avoid these writing traps. The final word is to write with passion. This is a good choice for the writing shelf. It is a clear-headed study, with a bit of humor and solid advice. Anyone who owns the first book should have this one, but it can also stand on its own.” (Library Journal)
The Crown of the Blood, by Gav Thorpe
Another convention freebie, this time some military fantasy by my fellow Angry Roboteer Gav Thorpe. Rather than repeat the cover blurb, I thought I’d quote from a review by Pornokitsch:
“The hero or, at least, the protagonist is Ullsaard, the most successful general of the empire of Ashkor (a vaguely Roman analogue). When we open the book, he’s busy conquering some uppity savages – the general himself punching a dinosaur to lead the way into battle. Despite being a military genius and dinosaur-puncher-of-renown, Ullsaard has his frustrations. As he’s not of “The Blood” (a direct descendent of the centuries-dead Ashkor), Ullsaard is forever a second-class citizen. The lowliest noble – one who could barely slap a newt – can order him around.
The Crown of the Blood is a testosterone-fueled, dinosaur-punching of a book. It is a collection of violent conquests and vicious battles, from the fields of war to the equally-bloody arena of politics. It all culminates in a very surprising twist ending – the sort that neatly wraps up the book whilst getting readers excited for the sequels. Not I, Claudius, but definitely “Rome”, this book is hairy, gory, sweaty, shameless… and perhaps even a little bit thoughtful.”
Same rules as always – only UK/EU residents may enter, owing to postage. Leave a comment below, saying which book you’d like (or either, if so inclined!), before noon (UK time) on the first Saturday of December. Please use a valid email address in the comment form so I can contact you to get your snail-mail address if you win (don’t put either in your comments, for security reasons!).