Review: ‘Castaways of the Flying Dutchman’ by Brian Jacques

As most of you know, I am a major admirer of the literary work of Brian Jacques (see my previous post on the Redwall series here). His writing has been a source of amusement as well as inspiration for me since the age of 18. I recently read through the Castaways of the Flying DutchmanContinue reading “Review: ‘Castaways of the Flying Dutchman’ by Brian Jacques”

Plans for January

December was a very full and fulfilling month, all told. Though I did not quite get around to everything I’d hoped, all the main goals were met and then some. I reviewed the sequel to Sauragia earlier this month (some changes need to be made, but still planning to publish this summer), as well asContinue reading “Plans for January”

Making Fantasies Real: The Art of Plausibility

One of the biggest enticements to write fiction is the ability to express ourselves through vivid use of imagination. We can do, say, and create virtually any reality we want on the page simply through a few pencil or keystrokes. Nowhere is this truer than in science-fiction and fantasy, where we are given virtually aContinue reading “Making Fantasies Real: The Art of Plausibility”

The Pros and Cons of Making Books Into Films

The book is always better. That’s what they say, anyway, and for the most part I agree. There isn’t much that the big screen can do that the pages of a book and a little imagination can’t do better. That said, movies do serve their purpose, as I intend to outline here.

The Pros and Cons of E-Books

I’m no big fan of e-readers (as you can probably tell if you’ve read some of my former posts). I never have been, and never will be. While I do own one, I’ve never quite been comfortable with using it the way I am with printed, bound works. With that in mind, here’s my listContinue reading “The Pros and Cons of E-Books”

My Ten Favorite Book Series

I was a tad pressed for time this week, so here’s another top 10 list. This time the subject is my 10 favorite book series! These selections exclude nonfiction, short stories, picture or poetry books, sagas, etc. (The numbers in parentheses indicate how many novel-length books are in each series. All book titles are listedContinue reading “My Ten Favorite Book Series”

Sci-Fi or Fantasy: The Fine Line Between Genres

What is the difference between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Lord of the Rings? It’s a common enough question (among a few folks, anyway) with a common enough set of answers. To some, there is no difference: both are speculative fiction (i. e. deal with made-up worlds and situations). To other, more devout followersContinue reading “Sci-Fi or Fantasy: The Fine Line Between Genres”

Ten Problems with the ‘Redwall’ Series by Brian Jacques

On this day in 1986, the very first Redwall book was published by Hutchinson in the UK. To mark the 34th anniversary of this monumental work in the field of middle grade and young adult fiction, I am releasing this list of critiques that I have lovingly assembled over the course of reading this otherwise phenomenalContinue reading “Ten Problems with the ‘Redwall’ Series by Brian Jacques”

Reading Between the Lines: Sending a Message to Readers

Everybody’s got a point to make. That’s how it often seems, anyway. From movies to television, ads to periodicals, there’s almost always some kind of takeaway message. Some are subtle: others much less so. Thus, it is only natural that books should follow the same pattern. Authors have their ideals and opinions too, after all,Continue reading “Reading Between the Lines: Sending a Message to Readers”

10 Ways to Improve Your Writing

There’s all kinds of advice out there you could offer to someone who’s looking to get better at writing. Foremost among these are, of course, write and read as much as possible. But these are rather vague suggestions at best, and there are a number of other things you can do as well. So, hereContinue reading “10 Ways to Improve Your Writing”