What’s On The Other Side?

Writing has always felt like this to me_ (1)

There’s a wall by your house. It’s old, decrepit. Sad thing, really. There’s bound to be little furry, slimy things living in its stones. Maybe some beautiful, rare flowers grow just on the other side. Or this is the refuge of the Fairy Queen & her Sparrow Prince.

Writing has always felt like this to me: a curiosity, something to step towards slowly so I don’t disturb the rest of the world. To stand before, nervous because I don’t know how to find my footing. To finally grip, slip, & fall. To grip again, & again, until I pull myself over the ledge.

I’ve come to find my footing in writing fantasy with characters who crack wise, screw up, and hurt. Hard. Come with me now, and find them in worlds of magic that sing with the elements and race beyond the stars.

You can visit my new podcast Story Cuppings on Anchor and other platforms, such as Spotify and Google Podcasts. Click here to subscribe to my newsletter. Information on my newest fiction is here!

Recent Posts

You’ve Got Five Pages, #ThePeacekeeper by B.L. Blanchard, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

Hello, amazing fellow creatives! Here’s to more fun perusing the library’s new releases to see what strikes our fancy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve retitled Story Cuppings to better fit the premise of the podcast.

As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.

Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.JEFF GERKE, THE FIRST FIFTY PAGES

Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

The Peace Keeper by B.L. Blanchard

The opening pages of The Peacekeeper by B.L. Blanchard are a bit of a slow burn, but it does successfully mix character development, worldbuilding, and a major cataclysmic event all at once, and that is a major feat.

If you do not see the audio player above, you can access the podcast here.

The first chapter is preceded by excerpts from two Native American authors whom I mistook for fictional writers in Blanchard’s universe–my apologies for that! This is what I get for reading too many mysteries, apparently. 🙂 That said, I can see how Tommy Orange’s words on the “Urban Indian” help inspire the setting Blanchard creates in this first chapter. The United States and Canada never came to be: these lands are still dominated and governed by different Native American tribes, such as the Ojibwe around the Great Lakes region. Names of places and things are connected to their language, which readers see with the reference of Shikaakwa for Chicago. Chapter 1 also shows seven different cultural calendar dates, and I see that it’s just past five pages that we learn the Aztec and Mayan empires still exist. I can see there will be a richness in the alternative history timeline here, and that fascinates me as a writer and reader alike. Our adult protagonists struggle with their mother’s murder at their father’s hands during their childhood, and the opening pages help us see their current relationship, which definitely inspires empathy and sympathy from readers. I was worried that the family drama would dominate this story–we had enough of that with Anne Tyler’s French Braid–but by the end of five pages, protagonist Chibenashi is showing readers more of his world and preparing us for the coming murder that launches the story’s plot. For those who love alternative histories and/or mysteries, this could very well be a perfect fit for you.

As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

  1. You’ve Got Five Pages, #WhatMovestheDead by T. Kingfisher, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast #HalloweenReads 4 Replies
  2. You’ve Got Five Pages, #FrenchBraid by Anne Tyler, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 7 Replies
  3. You’ve Got Five Pages, #HatchetIsland by Paul Doiron, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 4 Replies
  4. You’ve Got Five Pages, #ASecretAboutASecret by Peter Spiegelman, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 8 Replies
  5. You’ve Got Five Pages, #WhentheShootingStarts by William W. and J.A. Johnstone, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 8 Replies
  6. You’ve Got Five Pages, #DoggoneDeadly by Deborah Blake, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 5 Replies
  7. You’ve Got Five Pages, #TheDiamondEye by Kate Quinn, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 4 Replies
  8. You’ve Got Five Pages, #BlackMouth by Ronald Malfi, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 2 Replies
  9. You’ve Got Five Pages, #BlackMouth by Ronald Malfi, to Tell Me You’re Good. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast 11 Replies