Posts Tagged ‘his father’s eyes’

I’ve been neck deep in contracts/legalese and foreign tax forms this week and so am a bit slow with my happy book birthdays and congratulations, though if you follow me on Twitter (@luciennediver) you’ll already be up-to-date.  But to catch you all up here…

CRUX paperback I’m thrilled to congratulate Ramez Naam for winning the Philip K. Dick Award for APEX, the amazing conclusion to his NEXUS trilogy.  NEXUS itself, the first book in the series, won Endeavor Award along with Ken Scholes’ novel REQUIEM and the Prometheus Award along with Cory Doctorow‘s HOMELAND.  There’s other wonderful news in the wind for this series.  Can’t wait to announce!

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the new Knight Agency newsletter is out with all kinds of good stuff, including our regular Agents of the Round Table feature.

I’m very pleased to wish happy book birthdays to Susan Krinard and to David B. Coe for their paperback publications this week of BATTLESTORM and HIS FATHER’S EYES respectively!  More info below:

battlestorm BATTLESTORM by Susan Krinard (Tor Books)

Battlestorm: an all-new urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard, author of Mist and Black Ice.

Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya.

But the battle isn’t over, and Mist–living a mortal life in San Francisco–is at the center of a new war, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, while learning to control her own growing power.

It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.

 

his father's eyes HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe (Baen Books)

Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He’s also a private detective, who can’t afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay’s father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

dead man's reachhis father's eyes

David B. Coe has had two new releases out in the past few weeks:

DEAD MAN’S REACH, his latest Thieftaker novel written as D.B. Jackson, which Bookish chose as one of the Week’s Hottest Releases: 7/19-7/25.

HIS FATHER’S EYES, second book in The Casefiles of Justis Fearsson, which Kirkus Reviews named one of The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August.

In other words, David is a brilliant and prolific writer, and is here today guest blogging about…

“Point of View, Narrative, and My Newest Book,” by David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson

Many thanks to Lucienne for hosting me; it’s great to be here.

I am just completing what may be the busiest phase in my eighteen years as a professional writer. Two days ago, Baen Books released HIS FATHER’S EYES, the second volume in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy I’m writing under my own name. Two weeks before that, Tor Books released DEAD MAN’S REACH, the fourth book in the Thieftaker Chronicles, which I write under the name D.B. Jackson. And during the course of this summer I have also had three short stories published, all while attending conventions and teaching at writers’ workshops. As any author knows, busy is good, and I have been very fortunate.

The Fearsson series began with SPELL BLIND, which came out in January of this year. It’s a departure from my previous work in a couple of ways. It’s my first contemporary work. The Thieftaker books draw on my history background and are set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, and the epic fantasies I published before I began to write historical fantasy were all set in medieval worlds. The Fearsson books, on the other hand are set in modern day Phoenix. My magical private investigator hero drives a car and carries a firearm. He uses a cell phone and a computer, he speaks like you and I do, he swears occasionally, he has a girlfriend, he likes jazz and baseball and Mexican food. In other words, after writing point of view characters whose lives barely resembled mine at all, I finally have a protagonist I can relate to on all sorts of levels.

Which may be why Justis Fearsson — Jay, for short — is also the first point of view character for a novel that I’ve written in first person. When I started in the business, writing in first person point of view was frowned upon. Editors didn’t like it, so writers tended to stay away from it. In more recent years, though, with the success of first person novels (Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock books, C.E. Murphy’s Walker Papers, Susanne Collins’ Hunger Games books, just to name a few) this has started to change.

The truth is, I love writing in first person. I wouldn’t want to do it with all my books. It wouldn’t work in a big epic fantasy, with multiple point of view characters, nor was it the right choice for the Thieftaker books. For those, I chose close third person, which provided just enough narrative distance between protagonist and reader to allow me to explain key historical elements. These moments of brief exposition would have sounded awkward in first person.

With the Fearsson books, though, there is less to explain. And the intimacy of the first person narrative draws my readers in, allowing them to experience all that Jay experiences. This is particularly important for this series, which has an unusual magic system. Jay Fearsson is a weremyste. He is a runecrafter, who can cast a variety of powerful spells. But every month, on the night of the full moon and the nights immediately before and after, he goes temporarily mad, even as his power grows. So at the exact moment when he most needs to control his magic, he is least capable of doing so. Eventually the cumulative effect of these moon phasings will drive him permanently insane, as they have his father, who is also a weremyste.

The moon-induced madness that Jay goes through in the books would be compelling in any narrative voice, but in first person the phasings become a viscerally harrowing ordeal, which is exactly what I want. In addition, the immediacy of first person POV enhances the dramatic impact of Jay’s investigations of magical murders, enabling my readers to share in his discoveries and to experience “first hand” the twists and turns my plotting.

We writers have many tools at our disposal: metaphor and simile, dialog and internal monologue, misdirection and foreshadowing, to name just a few. To my mind, point of view is the most powerful. Using the perspectives of our POV characters — their emotions and perceptions and intellects — we guide our readers through our narratives, showing them not only what happens, but also the potential meaning of each new event. Point of view is, in essence, the point where narrative and character arc intersect.

This is why the choice of the proper narrative voice is so important. The Fearsson books would work in third person, rather than first, and I could probably rewrite the Thieftaker books in first person and they would remain good reads. But for reasons I’ve already covered, those are not the voices I chose for the two series, and I believe strongly that both set of books work best as written.

As writers we should be deliberate in choosing the proper voice for each story. We shouldn’t choose third person simply because the market might prefer it, as once it did, nor should we automatically gravitate toward first person just because that voice is in vogue right now. Rather, we need to consider several factors in choosing the right POV voice and, for that matter, the correct point of view character. Whose story are we telling? Is that person the logical choice to tell the story, or should it be told by someone close to that character? (See Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD.) Do we need several POV characters to tell the story effectively, or will one do? Will first person be the best choice, or will it be distracting? Does the amount of exposition we’ll need necessitate a third person approach?

These are the questions I ask myself when I begin a new project, either novel length or shorter. I would suggest that you ask yourself similar questions as you begin your next project. You might find that doing so helps you make optimal use of a powerful narrative tool.

*****

David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of eighteen fantasy novels. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and, the newest volume, Dead Man’s Reach, was released on July 21. Under his own name, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first volume, Spell Blind, debuted in January 2015. The newest book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, came out on August 4. He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

http://www.DavidBCoe.com

http://www.davidbcoe.com/blog/

http://www.dbjackson-author.com

http://www.facebook.com/david.b.coe

http://twitter.com/DavidBCoe

https://www.amazon.com/author/davidbcoe

So many new and exciting releases out today!!! Awesome to see them already garnering the attention they deserve. I’ve already mentioned about N.K. Jemisin’s THE FIFTH SEASON appearing on Kirkus Reviews’ list of “The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August” and Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August. Most recently, Book Riot called it one of The Best Books We Read in July!

ALICE by Christina Henry is not only on Kirkus’s list, but on Amazon’s Best Books of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy. NewInBooks also names it one of The Four Best Alice in Wonderland Inspired Books, along with another great Knight Agency novel ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND by Gena Showalter!

THE VEIL by Chloe Neill is one of Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August (along with NIGHTWISE by R.S. Belcher, which comes out on August 18th)!

HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe is another great book on Kirkus Reviews’s list of The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books for August and the second in his Casefiles of Justis Fearsson series for Baen Books. (First is SPELL BLIND.)  BTW, David will be back here on Thursday talking about point of view and narrative, so check back then!

Karen Whiddon’s Colton’s book THE TEMPTATION OF DR. COLTON officially released over the weekend, but since I was out getting my geek on at Tampa ComicCon, I’m wishing her a Happy Book Birthday today as well!

More about these books is below! And just to be absolutely fair (or tricksy, however you’d like to look at it), I’ll do them in reverse order from above.

temptation of dr colton THE TEMPTATION OF DR. COLTON by Karen Whiddon (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

The Coltons of Oklahoma series continues…and for one Colton doctor, the prognosis is deadly…

After a hit-and-run, all the frightened victim can remember is the handsome Dr. Eric Colton, who rescued her. She has no identity and no memory, other than the flash of a gunshot and a man’s name. But she knows she’s in grave danger.

Eric can’t explain his irresistible attraction to the mystery woman who, in hours, transforms him from workaholic surgeon to vigilant bodyguard. He can’t let her out of his arms, not when danger stalks her. But why? What lies hidden in her mind? Eric doesn’t know what she’s forgotten, but he knows people will kill to ensure she never remembers…and it’s up to him to stop them.

his father's eyes HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He’s also a private detective, who can’t afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay’s father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

the veil THE VEIL by Chloe Neill (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

A brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill.
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…

alice ALICE by Christina Henry (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

fifth season THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

A new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.

I have to interrupt these blogs of my Ireland trip for amazing book news…after all, this is primarily a book blog!

mullinsnrca First, huge congrats to Debra Mullins, who brought home the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance for HEART OF STONE, the second in her TruthSeers series.  The first book, PRODIGAL SON, won first place last year in the Book Buyers’ Best Awards!  Plus, among other accolades, Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said, “Suspense and romance are wrapped together in such a way that neither overwhelms the other—and they combine beautifully with intriguing secondary characters, sensual passion, and powerful themes of trust and loyalty.”  Take note, paranormal romance fans!

alicehis father's eyesfifth season Because I don’t believe a TBR pile can ever be TOO big, I’m excited to pass along Kirkus Reviews’ list of “The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August”, which includes ALICE by Christina Henry, HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe and THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin.  Such a great list!

the veilfifth seasonnightwise Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August is also full of win!  B&N gives well-deserved nods to THE VEIL by Chloe Neill (first in a brand new series!),  THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin (also the first in an exciting new series) and NIGHTWISE by R.S. Belcher (his first contemporary fantasy)!

ShadesInShadow[2] In case you haven’t already taken the hint that THE FIFTH SEASON is among this fall’s must-reads, Bibliotropic just gave N.K. Jemisin 5/5 Stars and called THE FIFTH SEASON, “A legend in the making” and Publishers Weekly gave it a great starred review!  Incidentally, her Inheritance Trilogy triptych of stories, SHADES IN SHADOW, just released this week, and you should check that out as well!