Monday, May 08, 2006

Monday Update

Yes, I am an Author Pimp extraordinary! (Note: I do not receive any monetary remuneration for said pimpage and therefore cannot, technically, be dubbed a pimp, oh you investigators of ethical compliance for admittance to the Bar)

This weekend I read three novels (yes, I have been quite busy).

Sword of Rhoswen by Brenda Williamson was my favorite of the three by far. Ms. Williamson mixes elements of fantasy, history, and romance in such a way that I was drawn into the novel and read it nearly all at once, staying up past 3am on Saturday to finish it. Her writing is clean and refined, her descriptions vivid without being overkill, and her character development satisfyingly thorough. Rumor has it there is a sequel in the works.

Magic in the Blood by Silvia Violet is another novel from Samhain Publishing. The plot is intriguing and the characters moving, but the novel ends up being "your typical vampire erotica" more often than not. There were some places where I feel very strongly that Ms. Violet's editor steered her wrong, or just plain did a piss poor job. Her writing lacks a refinement of sorts, and there were typographical and grammatical errors that an editor should have caught, but it is by no means a bad read.

I was speaking with H.S. Kinn the other day about critical and editorial reading. I find it nearly impossible to turn off "editor mode" when I read these days, correcting things in my head even when I am reading something for fun. It's frustrating.

Don't take my overly critical opinions too seriously. When I say that a book was poorly edited, I'm not faulting the author. Each and every one of us has "bad habits". Me? I love adverbs. It's a love/hate relationship, in truth, because I hate that I love them. But I am madly in lust with them and use them desperately as I fervently write my novels. My characters say things quickly. They kiss greedily, hungrily, desperately. Yes, adverbs.

I also, according to my own editor, like circles far too much. "He circled her breasts with his hands". "She moved her hips in tiny circles". Alisha tells me someone is always circling in my sex scenes.

Oops.

This is why an editor is crucial. This is why Anne Rice is, in my humble and impoverished opinion, a moron when she says that "novel writing is a virtuoso performance". I counter that with a familiar saying amongst us actual virtuosos: "There is no such thing as a perfect performance". My violin tutor used to tell me that all the time - an incessant perfectionist, I would beat myself up endlessly over even the smallest error in any given audition, performance, or hell, even practice. I thought he was just trying to keep me calm. Then I took a master class from Daniel Heifeitz, grandson of Jasha Heifeitz (considered by some to be the violinist of the 20th century), and he told me the same thing.

When I took a master class with Scott St. John and played Paganini's Variations on his Stradavarius, guess what? He told me the same goddamn thing. I think that was when I started to believe it. There is no such thing as a perfect performance. Hell, we could take it one step further and say nothing in this world is perfect, and I could begin a discourse on Plato's Forms and you'd all hate me forever.

My point is this: An extra pair of eyes is never a bad thing, and no matter how many times an author reads over her own work, she's never going to catch everything. It's too close to her, too personal. So if given the opportunity to have someone help her to improve her writing, she should always accept, with open arms. Always.

*puts away soapbox*

I found out today that I won this month's Sexy Authors With Attitude Contest! My prize is a free copy of Chamberlain's Knight by Skyler Grey. I haven't read anything of Skyler's yet, but if she's anything like her fellow Sexy Author Emma Wildes, I know I will love it!

My website has been updated. I have added a much longer excerpt from Svetkavista, and updated my links page. If you aren't on there and would like to be, please drop me a line. I love to pimp. It is my destiny.

1 comment:

Brenda Williamson said...

Thank you for the complements and I'm so glad you enjoyed Sword of Rhoswen. Now you make me nervous that I won't live up to the praise. I guess I better take special care to give it all the things you loved about it.

There are actually 2 sequels in the works and they are worked on at the same time.

I'll give you the first snippet of information about the next book:
It is about Brienna and Brogan's daughter, Kiara, and the erotically sinful love she feels for a man forbidden to her.