Musings 7/10/16: These are a Few of my Favorite…Authors!

I thought since my last Musings was about the scarier aspect of the business, I thought I’d do something in contrast.  So with this Musing I’m going to discuss one of the best things about this business — US!  Authors I mean.  Hell, there wouldn’t be a business without us, right?  Anyway, I thought maybe I’d just mention some of my favorite authors and their works.  This list will not only present fantasy authors, but romance and paranormal as well.  And feel free to comment with your own works.  Who knows, maybe I’ll discover a new favorite?

Charlotte’s WebEB White

This is, and always will be, my favorite book.  More contemporary fantasy, I read this so many times as a child I committed it to memory!

The Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis

Yes, that’s right.  I have the entire series.  And now that I’ve looked him up, I remembered he has a science-fiction series as well and I plan on getting that as well.  Which is my favorite?  Do you even have to ask?  And it looks like a movie for The Silver Chair is in the works!

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz L Frank Baum

The book, not the movie — although the movie is fabulous as well as we all know.  The link goes to the movie site.  I’ve only read the one so far but I want the whole series.

Let’s jump ahead a little bit.

The Death of the Necromancer Martha Wells

I’ve read a few more of her books but this is my favorite.  And I seriously need to catch up.

The Tortall Universe Tamora Pierce

For some unexplainable reason, I got out of her series.  yes, I know technically it’s for young adults but, so?  I want to pick up where I left off, although I may need to start over again.

Poison Study Maria V Snyder

I have the first three books in this series but once again, I got out of them but that’s going to change soon.  I actually met Ms. Snyder several years ago at a book signing.  Very nice lady.

The Evenmere Chronicles – James Stoddard

I haven’t seen or heard anything of this author in years.  The last time I saw his site, which appears to be gone now or at least I get an error message, he said he was working on something new.  A third book was published by a small press in the UK.  I guess he should have gone on my other list.

The Anteros Series Allan Cole and Chris Bunch

Starting with The Far Kingdoms.  I also met Allan Cole at a signing and made a complete  idiot of myself by acting like some silly fan-girl.  I’m cringing with embarrassment now even as I recall it and write this.  Hopefully I’ve matured.  But hey, I love me some Amalric Emilie Antero.

The Chronicles of the Necromancer Series –  Gail Z Martin

Another author and series I need to get back into.  Also I have the first three books in the series and the fourth waiting in the wings.

The Sword of Change and The Chronicles of Josan – Patricia Bray

I interviewed her on my website WAY BACK in the day before CJ Black ever came into existence.

Elemental Blessings Series Sharon Shinn

I’ve read other works of hers but I’m on Troubled Waters now and this is going to become one of my top favorites.  I just wish she was on Twitter or Facebook!

The Mist-Torn Witches (Series)Barb Hendee

I’m waiting to start on the second book of the series which is sitting on my shelf.

Here are a list of romance authors who have written too many books to mention and I’ve pretty much read everything of theirs that I can get my hands on.  Some you’ll probably know even if you don’t read romance.

Beverly Jenkins:  I absolutely love her African-American Historical Romances!  And yes, I pretty much have them all and I believe one of her contemporaries as well.  Have to check the shelves.  Hey and I just checked her site and saw she’s written others since I purchased Night Hawk.  Time for a trip to B&N.

Sharon Sala: Excellent author and Facebook friend.  Need to look over her site to see what I’m missing.  AKA Dinah McCall.

Debbie Macomber:  I am really missing a lot of new works in the romance aisles.  I need to hop to it!  And she has a series on the Hallmark Channel!

Linda Howard

Nora Roberts: Need I say more?

Dorothy Garlock

JoAnn Ross

Wow!  I have a ridiculous amount of catching up to do with some of these authors.  Time really does fly doesn’t it?  There are likely more so I may make a part two of this list.

So what are some of your favorite authors and why?

 

Peace~

CJ

p.s. Maybe I’ll tackle video-games next.

 

Mini-Musing –This is a Scary Business

So I’m cleaning my office today, despite being on stay-cation.  Trust me, it’s messy and needs it.  Now last time I did this I mentioned on Facebook that I came across some books I don’t recall purchasing and/or reading.  I guess it happens when you have almost 400 books in your office alone and keep buying more every month or so.

Some of the books, I took the time to look up the authors to learn more about them and to see if they had more works.  Some did of course but many didn’t.  In fact a few of them seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth – or at least off of the internet.  It just makes you wonder what happened.  Did life make it impossible from them to continue?  Did the publishers cancel their contracts for whatever reason?  Did they decide writing wasn’t for them or only wanted to do one or two books?  Did they pass away?  

For example here are some of the books I have been looking over and whether or not they have a sequel.

Diana Marcellas – Mother Ocean, Daughter Sea.  There seems to be one sequel and a few other books and some reprints by another publisher.  The last being 2014.  There’s no website or blog for her.  I did find a posting on Goodreads from her ex- who gives some additional info and provides pen names, but there’ still nothing recent.

S.D. Tower – The Assassins of Tamurin.  I really liked this book if I recall.  But she’s not written anything since, looks like or at least I’m not finding anything.

Devin Cary – The Winter Queen.  This is another book I liked reading and again nothing online except re-sale copies.

Drew Bowling – The Tower of Shadows.  I haven’t read this yet and I want to but it’s Book 1 and there’s no indication of a Book 2.

Caiseal Mor – The Meeting of the Waters.  It looks like the author is concentrating on music which is cool of course but this has one sequel and that was in 2010.

This is just a sampling.  I hope all of the authors are planning to return to this hectic thing that we all love called writing, because I’d love to see the continuation of their stories.  In the meantime, I’m going to try and find as many new authors that I can and discover new works.  And of course, purchase more bookshelves.

Peace~

CJ

Musing 5/30/16–OK, so I bent the rules a bit.

First off, have a great Memorial Day everyone and remember to take the time to honor the brave men and women who protect our freedoms!  I have an important article posted on my Facebook page but here is it again: Memorial Day 2016: In defense of memorials to our military heroes.  Read it and look to see if there’s a monument you may have to protect.

I’m on stay-cation right now which to me is the best type of vacation you can take.  I’m finishing up school work and chores today then I’ll have the entire week to do my thing.

I had a very interesting last week.  I participated in Query Kombat as stated in my last post and actually had a blast!  The contest is fairly well known and is presented by authors Michelle Hauck, Michael Anthony and Laura Heffernan.

My query wasn’t chosen but I have had two very nice authors volunteer to critique my query, so here’s a shout out to the fabulous, Elizabeth Roderick  and T. Frohock!  Elizabeth BTW is the author who gave me the heads-up about the chat and stuck with me throughout the contest.

Now here’s where I bent my own rule.  After Query Kombat there was a 140 Twitter Pitch contest for those authors whose queries weren’t chosen.  Now you’ve read how I feel about Twitter Pitch contests and how my feelings haven’t changed.  But again after posting this:

2016-05-30 (1)

I received an extraordinary amount of positive feedback, encouraging me not to let some a**hole (well maybe not that word but you get the idea) ruin it for me.  And I’m giving a shout-out to them all!  May your books end up on the bestseller list!  So with the help of author Kathleen S. Allen (MAJOR SHOUT OUT!) to help me tweak the choices I obtained from Carissa Taylor’s Twitter Pitch Logline Generator, with a shout-out to author Tina Spear,  I was actually able to come up with a few good pitches, and then of course received the request to critiques.  So I guess I can try another one.  I’m still a bit wary because this was only one contest so I suppose we’ll see how the next ones goes.  Peace ~

CJ

 

Musings 5/15/16–Just an Old Fashioned Update

It’s been way too long since I posted something but I can’t promise that will change in the future.  Is anyone reading this blog at all?  I think maybe once in a great while I get a comment.  Of course I’m always appreciative when that happens.  I’ve just been a bit discouraged lately when it’s come to my writing.  That and the problems I’ve been having at the 9 to 5 if you follow my Facebook page.  Top that off with the journey to obtain my BS in Business Management takes up a lot of time and causes a lot of stress.  One more so than the other.

I’m not feeling too well right now, so I’m going to sit here quietly and sip some ginger ale.

But, now I believe I’m back in the game.  I participated for the first time in a query chat – namely the chat associated with #QueryKombat.  They are one of the group of folks who present some of the Twitter Pitch contests.  No, this doesn’t mean I’ve changed my mind about them.  However, my participation started with a post:

2016-05-15

I came upon the #qkchat rather by accident  and it caught my interest.  Even though I’ve been in this business for decades I still have questions – especially now with the way the business is changing.  Just re-read some of my Writing the Way I See It posts.  A fellow author very graciously advised me of the 9:00 pm time and I managed to get home early enough to participate.  And what a good time I had!  In fact a good time was had by all.  Drop by my Twitter Page to see the questions and answers and to look over the chat tweets in general.  They are very informative.

So tomorrow #QueryKombat submission opens May 16th at 9:00 am EST and closes on May 20th at 12:00 pm.  The link above is to the submission guideline pages.  Basically, you’ll be presenting the query for a completed work to be looked at by a list of agents. Have a look around the websites of the sponsors and the Twitter feed for more information.  After this, I’ll probably hang out on Twitter for awhile.  But I say, give it a try.

Now I’m off to tweak the appearance of this blog and my website.

Peace~

CJ

MUSINGS 3/20/16 ~ Writing The Way I See It Part 3: Twitter Pitch Contests.

Tomorrow is the first day of spring and that damn groundhog has some serious explaining to do.  After a week of wonderfully warm weather we get hit again with freezing temperatures.  I have a mountain of gardening catalogs sitting in my office and my desk at work and I can’t do a thing with them.  Well that’s not entirely so, I can order what I need although the seeds will sit around the house for awhile.

Was a bit bummed today.  I’m officially on spring break from school so I am finding myself without activities for the first time.  I just bought one of those stand-up freezers a few weeks ago and have filled it with all kinds of goodies so grocery shopping is no longer a worry, although I wonder what we would do if the power went out.  But after Big Brother and I watched about twenty episodes of Fairy Tail, I felt a bit better.

So if you happened to stop by my Facebook page and looked at my Twitter, I mentioned something that’s kind of been discouraging me lately.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I give all the authors who obtained representation this way a big Boo-Yah!  For those of you who happen to be visiting here and may not have seen it, I spoke of what seems to be a new and rising trend, Twitter pitch contests.  I’ve spoken of this in a previous musings from 2/15/15 – wow, a little over a year later Writing the way I see it:  Changes in the Industry.

I recently was looking on Query Tracker, and checking to see if there were any new comments when I came upon one where the author had happily announced she’d taken part in a Twitter pitch contest last week and got a full request the next day!  Again, I say Boo-yah.  But on the other hand I sent a query letter to that same agent back in January and haven’t heard a thing yet.  I’ve also seen pitch contest requests get offered representation a few days after the initial request.  How do agents go through a full manuscript so fast?

But as to what I printed exactly on Facebook it was:

Maybe I shouldn’t say this but sometimes it’s very discouraging when you take months or even years to perfect your query letter as many an agent and editor has instructed, only to read that someone got a full request at one of those Twitter Pitch Contests on the same day. Meanwhile I and others like me have to wait months or years before we hear any word, if ever. Should we even bother with query letters anymore? I tried a Twitter Pitch contest once and all I got was my work dissed (no, not a critique) by an “author” who didn’t even have anything published or even a web presence as far as I could see. And when I complained to the people that ran it, no response. To add injury to insult, my comments on that person’s novel idea never appeared.

So is the query letter soon to go the way of cassette tapes and floppy disks?  Sorry I can’t think of any appropriate examples.  Oh wait – the way of publishers who actually accepted unsolicited manuscripts?  So are we now all going to have to learn to tout our books in 140 characters or less?  Maybe I’m over-thinking it as usual but still – sometimes I feel like the query is being kicked to the curb.  And I still have no desire to pare down a 95,000 word book into two sentences.

Peace ~

CJ

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