Posts Tagged ‘lynn flewelling’

As mentioned, I have three great new releases out this week ( THE WOLF SIREN by Karen Whiddon and TEACH ME A LESSON by Jasmine Haynes in addition to Lynn Flewelling’s novel below) and I’m blogging them one at a time.

Today, I’m talking about SHARDS OF TIME by Lynn Flewelling, the latest the Nightrunner novels, featuring two of the loves of my life, Seregil and Alec (rogues, thieves, spies, heroes…they’ve been called a lot of things over the years). Lynn and I first “met” through the query process.  As in, she sent a query back in the days when you had to print it out, sign, fold it into an envelope with an SASE enclosed, address and stamp the outer envelope, stick the parcel in the mail…whew!  There may have been initial chapters involved at that stage.  I was intrigued.  I asked for more.   Now, here’s where it gets good.  I’m fairly certain that she sent that first manuscript to me in 11 point type with 1 1/2 spacing rather than double, perhaps to use less paper for her 170,000 word tome.  I might be exaggerating, but…no, I don’t think so.  I started reading.  And reading, incredibly caught up in the narrative.  The words started to fuzz and swim.  I had to hold the manuscript pages increasingly close to my face to read them.  Yet, I would not stop because the story was that amazing.  I read late into the night and nearly went blind with the reading, but I took her on as a client.  One of my first.  The moral of this story is that agents are not out to say “no”.  We’re not out to get you if you don’t do everything right (though it certainly helps and increases exponentially your chances of success).  We ARE out to find amazing talent who we can tell stories on down the line.  Lynn is an amazing talent, which is probably why her Nightrunner series has gone on for so long, spanning so many books and a related series (book list below).

shards of time SHARDS OF TIME by Lynn Flewelling (Del Rey, mass market)

Acclaimed author Lynn Flewelling brings her beloved Nightrunners series to a close—at least for now—with a thrilling novel of murder, mystery, and magic.
 
The governor of the sacred island of Korous and his mistress have been killed inside a locked and guarded room. The sole witnesses to the crime—guards who broke down the doors, hearing the screams from within—have gone mad with terror, babbling about ghosts . . . and things worse than ghosts.

Dispatched to Korous by the queen, master spies Alec and Seregil find all the excitement and danger they could want—and more. For an ancient evil has been awakened there, a great power that will not rest until it has escaped its otherworldly prison and taken revenge on all that lives. And only those like Alec—who have died and returned to life—can step between the worlds and confront the killer . . . even if it means a second and all too permanent death.

Nightrunner Books

Luck in the Shadows

Stalking Darkness

Traitor’s Moon

Shadows Return

The White Road

Casket of Souls

Shards of Time

Tamir Triad

The Bone Doll’s Twin

Hidden Warrior

The Oracle’s Queen

Some very exciting book news!  First, happy book birthday to Dixie Lyle for the first in the Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot mystery series.  If you like the weird and wonderful, the dangerous and deadly, dogs and cats and ghostly gators, oh my!  This might be the book for you (more below).

In other news, the book that started off Lynn Flewelling’s award-winning and long-running Nightrunner series of spies, thieves, skullduggery and intrigue, LUCK IN THE SHADOWS, is just $.99 for a limited time for Nook and Kindle, so you might want to grab that while it’s hot!

And last, but not least, the new Knight Agency newsletter is out.  Those of you following along at home can view it here.

Taste fur murder A TASTE FUR MURDER by Dixie Lyle

Introducing an animal-loving Gal Friday with a telepathic cat, a shapeshifting dog, and a ghost of a chance of solving supernatural crime…

Meet Deirdre “Foxtrot” Lancaster. Trusted employee of eccentric zillionairess Zelda Zoransky, Foxtrot manages a mansion, a private zoo, and anything else that strikes her boss’s fancy. Her job title is Administrative Assistant, but chaos handler would be more accurate. Especially after she glimpses a giant ghost-beast in Zelda’s pet cemetery. For some strange reason, Foxtrot is seeing animal spirits. And, ready or not, in this mystery from Dixie Lyle, the fur’s about to hit the fan…

Still reeling, Foxtrot comes home to find her cat Tango—her dead cat Tango—alive and well and communicating telepathically. But that’s not all: There’s an ectoplasmic dog named Tiny who changes breeds with a shake of his tail…and can sniff out a clue like nobody’s business. So when a coworker drops dead while organizing closets, Tiny is on the case. Can Foxtrot and her new companions ferret out the killer among a menagerie of suspects—human and otherwise—before death takes another bite?

So many exciting things going on over at GoodReads! Here are a few things of note:

Diana Pharaoh Francis’s publisher, Pocket Books is, doing a giveaway of her latest Horngate Witches novel BLOOD WINTER. Enter now for a chance to win!

Rachel Caine is doing a giveaway of her latest bestselling Morganville Vampires novel BITTER BLOOD (ending Nov. 20th). Enter here for a chance to win!

The GoodReads Choice Awards are in their semi-final round, and I’m so pleased to see on the ballot:

Whoever you’re rooting for, I hope you’ll go cast your vote!

In other news, Ramez Naam, whose debut novel NEXUS is coming out from Angry Robot Books in December, is offering up a free preview for Kindle of the first three chapters.  Get them while they’re hot!  AND if you order a copy of NEXUS before December 31st, Ramez will give away a copy of his non-fiction book MORE THAN HUMAN as well.  Details here.

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1-      Agent Cartel: Top: Carolyn Grayson (Ashley Grayson Literary Agency), me, Elaine Spencer and Nephele Tempest (The Knight Agency); Bottom: Natasha Kern (Natasha Kern Literary Agency), Pamela Hopkins (Hopkins Literary Associates), Michelle Grajkowski (3 Seas Literary Agency)

2-      Knight Agency company dinner: L to R: Melissa Jeglinski, Deidre Knight, Nephele Tempest, Jia Gayles, Pamela Harty, Elaine Spencer

3-      The great gals at my Literacy Signing table: L to R: Robin LeFevers, Terri Clark, Marlene Perez, Jordan Dane and Marissa Doyle

4-      Crystal Perkins and me at the Literacy Signing. Love that shirt!

5-      Deb Mullins, looking fabulous and flashing her National Reader’s Choice Award-nominated book TOO WICKED TO LOVE at the Literacy Signing

6-      Kira Sinclair and Rhonda Nelson at the Literacy Signing

7-      Me & Kira Sinclair after she won her National Reader’s Choice Awards for WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN and CAUGHT OFF GUARD

8-      National Reader’s Choice Awards: L to R: Knight Agency authors Robin Owens, Kira Sinclair, Debra Mullins and Vicky Dreiling

9-      Lynn Flewelling, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Guy and me.  I was about to say that Lynn, who’s now a Californian, is one of my oldest clients, but I didn’t think that would come out right.  Let’s say long-standingest and leave it at that.

10-   Tammy Kaehler (mystery writer, author of DEAD MAN’S SWITCH) and me at PF Chang’s with a suspiciously Heroes-like speed walker in the background.

11-   Me & Vicky Dreiling all dolled up for the RITA Awards, waiting anxiously to hear the fate of HOW TO MARRY A DUKE and HOW TO SEDUCE A SCOUNDREL.

12-   Vicky Dreiling, Elizabeth Hoyt and her editor Amy Pierpont from Grand Central Publishing

13-   Nephele Tempest and Nalini Singh, also dolled up and looking fine, there to celebrate the nominations of ARCHANGEL’S BLADE, LORD OF THE ABYSS and “Angel’s Wolf.”

Lynn Flewelling’s wonderful Nightrunner series and Tamir trilogy have been continuously in print and back (and back!) to press since their original publications.  She’s truly one of the masters (mistresses?) of high fantasy and one of my earliest clients.  We’ve been together ever since the beginning, and I couldn’t be more please to present Lynn Flewelling to you here, guest-blogging about The Female Character in High Fantasy in the 21st Century.  Comment below for a chance to win a signed copy of her latest Nightrunner novel, CASKET OF SOULS.  Go on, ask her some really pithy questions!  Here’s your chance.

The Female Character in High Fantasy in the 21st Century by Lynn Flewelling

We’ve come a long way, baby, from the days of the strapping berserkers and boobalicious barbarian babes of the pulp days, of reticent square-jawed sword swingers  and wilting princesses desperate for rescue. And yet high fantasy and all its permutations persist, reflecting, as fiction does, the time stamp of its conception.

Now we have female soldiers, powerful queens who aren’t evil, snarky urban fantasy detectives, and paranormal heroines with harems of men—living and otherwise. All to the good, I say. But what if a female character isn’t that, doesn’t fit the new heroic mold? Is there still room for women who aren’t in a position of power? To create a believable world, don’t we have to address the fact that there are were and are myriad permutations of what it means to be female?

My answer as a writer is yes we do. There is no such thing as a mono-level society, and probably never has been, outside of a few short lived utopias, and maybe not even there. If you want to write a realistic fantasy world—and that’s not an oxymoron—then you have to know how the real world works, then play with those toys. I do lot of research for my writing, and am fascinated by how the great anthills we call societies have functioned across the centuries. Women have very often gotten the short end of the stick, it’s true, but some women also had their own spheres of power: the home, as the mistress of a guild, craftspeople, artists, and even soldiers and pirates. Real world stuff.

To make a fantasy world believable, it has to have social stratification. Historically the poor are always with us, and the oligarchs, and the sinners, and the saints. In my work I do a lot with gender identity, and strong female figures, but you can’t populate the whole world with them. It’s not realistic, any more than making all the men powerful—or weak—is realistic. Worse yet, it would be boring. I have my downtrodden streetwalkers and homeless children, as well as the nobles and merchants and soldiers, etc, etc. I just don’t divide them by gender.

One of the advantages of writing fiction in general, and fantasy in particular, is that you can design the world to suit yourself. In the Nightrunner series I try for egalitarianism within each strata. So there are female guild leaders and soldiers, women of noble birth who own and manage their own property, wives and mothers who raise strong families by being strong women, not meek and subservient. But you have to have to have the weak and the negative, too, or your world building is flat, and worse yet, a soapbox.  But—and this is a major but—either way, weak or strong, you have to have a good reason, as a writer, for creating those particular characters, one your overarching societal construct  both needs and justifies. If you degrade a character, it must be for a logical reason that advances the story. Otherwise it’s gratuitous. If it’s your main character you degrade in some way, then chances are she overcomes that and triumphs in the end. But with secondary and background characters, that may not be the case. Your female hero may encounter women in desperate straits. What she does or doesn’t do about that is indicative of her nature. But you also have the desperate secondary character. Can they be saved? Do they want to be? Are they trapped by fear or a view that does not allow them to change? That may sound like a lot of work on a background character, but it builds your world by giving the reader insight into the types of things that can happen to people in your society.

In the Nightrunner Series, although the two heroes are male, they are surrounded by and often helped or even saved by strong women. In my Tamír Triad, however, I give the girl hero front and center, despite the fact that she spends a significant chunk of her childhood as a boy. Not dressed or disguised as a boy. As a boy. Or rather, in a boy’s body. Although she does not know it, she is still female in her essence and while that in no way precludes her from being a kickass fighter with a lion’s heart, she is plagued by moments of dysphoria when her female soul doesn’t quite match up with her male body. To some extent, she could be called a transgender character. What I really wanted to do was to explore the idea of identity and gender.

So, let’s say that you’ve created a female character who can master “male” skills, who is strong and confident, who is a leader. All good. Now, what does her being female have to do with that? How does she manifest her personality, her power, as a woman rather than, as we say, a “man with breasts”? As a writer, that’s something you have to look deeply into, because your own personal attitudes and beliefs are going to jump onto the page.  Her prowess and power must be firmly enmeshed with her personality. No, she’s not going to scream and drop her sword if she sees a spider. No, she’s not going to give up the adventuring life to settle down and have babies. Or maybe she does. You, as the creator, have to make that logical and fitting. And you have to know why she makes the decisions she makes. I’m not a psychologist or a social scientist. But I am a woman, and I have some things to say about what that can encompass. While I do write from inside that paradigm, however, I’m not Everywoman. No one is. And my characters aren’t me. They are ideas on legs, and that’s why I say you have to examine what ideas you put on the page very carefully. Your words have the power to illuminate, encourage, educate, inspire, and elucidate. You can change hearts and minds.

A final word on writing across gender: can men write believable women? Of course they can, if they’re good writers who are observant, do their research, and have a decent imagination. I write about men, after all, and the feedback makes me think that I am doing ok with that.  I may bring different insights to female characters, but it’s not a “girls only” sandbox.

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Check out Lynn Flewelling’s latest novel CASKET OF SOULS or any of her fabulous fantasies, like her story in the TALES OF THE EMERALD SERPENT anthology.

Follow her on Twitter!

I’m so excited that we’ll be having fantasy week here on my blog.  Check back each day for a post by wonderful fantasy authors Lynn Flewelling, D.B. Jackson, Steven Harper, Kalayna Price and N.K. Jemisin with a chance to win signed copies of their books!

To kick things off, I want to start with a huge congratulations to epic fantasist Carol Berg, whose THE SOUL MIRROR won the 2012 Colorado Book Award for Genre Fiction this past weekend!  THE SOUL MIRROR is the second novel in the author’s amazing Collegia Magica series (which starts with THE SPIRIT LENS and ends with THE DAEMON PRISM), and well worth the read.

I also want to give a shout out to amazing new releases coming to you within the next month:

GRAVE MEMORY (out July 3rd) is the third novel in Kalayna Price‘s USA Today bestselling Alex Craft series, which has sold in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia and Turkey.  So excited for this new release!

Blurb: As a grave witch, Alex solves murders by raising the dead—an ability that comes at a cost. After her last few cases, that cost is rising.  But her magic isn’t the only thing causing havoc in her life. While she’s always been on friendly terms with Death himself, things have recently become a whole lot more up close and personal. Then there’s her sometime partner, Agent Falin Andrews, who is under the glamour of the Winter Queen.  To top everything off, her best friend has been forever changed by her time spent captive in Faerie.

But the personal takes a backseat to the professional when a suicide occurs in Nekros City and Alex is hired to investigate. The shade has no memory of the days leading up to his brutal ending, so despite the very public apparent suicide, this is murder. But what kind of magic can overcome the human will to survive?  And why does the shade lack the memory of his death? Searching for the answer might mean Alex won’t have a life to remember at all…

THIEFTAKER (out July 3rd) by D.B. Jackson kicks off a brand new fantasy series featuring history, mystery, magic and murder.  Something for everyone!

Blurb: Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker of some notoriety, and a conjurer of some skill, is hired to find the killer of a wealthy young woman. Soon he is swept up in a storm of intrigue and magic, politics and treachery. The murder has drawn the notice of the lovely and deadly Sephira Pryce, a rival thieftaker in Boston; of powerful men in the royal government; of leaders of the American rebels, including Samuel Adams; and of a mysterious sorcerer who wields magic the likes of which Ethan has never encountered before. To learn the truth of the girl’s murder, Ethan must recover a stolen gem and sound the depths of conjurings he barely understands, all while evading Sephira and her henchmen, holding the royals and rebels at bay, and defending himself and those he loves from the shadowy conjurer. No problem. Provided he doesn’t get himself killed in the process.

TIGER BOUND (out July 24th) by Doranna Durgin is the latest in her wonderful Sentinels paranormal romance series for Harlequin Nocturne.  Alpha heroes, danger, romance, suspense…yup, true love.

Blurb: Like the Siberian tiger he can transform into, Maks Altán is a strong, ferocious fighter who’s incredibly protective of his Sentinel kin. But thanks to a debilitating injury, he feels anything but fierce. That is, until he is sent to guard Katie Maddox, a gorgeous healer who awakens a dangerous lust within him. Problem is, in the shifter world, Katie’s deer alter ego is easy prey…and much too tempting for Maks.

As unnamed danger lurks just beyond her awareness, Katie has doubts—about her abilities, her role in the Sentinels and the strange desire she feels toward her new protector. But somehow, the wounded predator and his wary prey must ignore their instincts, their fears and their dangerous attraction to each other in order to defeat their common enemy!

ALL-SEEING EYE (out July 31st) by Rob Thurman is a dark, tense paranormal thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  This is a move into the mainstream for Rob Thurman, but never fear – fans of her bestselling Cal Leandros, Trickster and Korsak Brothers novels (CHIMERA and BASILISK) will find lots to love!

Blurb: The New York Times bestselling author of the Cal Leandros series delivers a bold new supernatural thriller where one man’s extraordinary abilities come with an equally phenomenal cost.

Picking up a small, pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee’s life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead—murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well—but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa’s death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack’s life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind and found a semblance of peace.

That is, until the government blackmails him. After Jackson is forced to help the military contain the aftermath of a bizarre experiment gone violently wrong, everything he knows about himself will change just as suddenly as it did with his little sister’s shoe.

And while change is constant . . . it’s never for the better.

HEX APPEAL, edited by P.N. Elrod – because I missed giving the amazing HEX APPEAL anthology a happy book birthday shout out at the time, I want to mention this here now as well.  Lots of phenomenal writers, no waiting!  HEX APPEAL has stories from Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, Rachel Caine, Carole Nelson Douglas, Simon Green, Lori Handeland, Erica Hayes and P.N. Elrod herself.  You don’t want to miss this anthology!

There now, I hope I’ve whetted your appetite both for fantasy week and some new and upcoming titles.  See you back here soon!

I’m really pleased to host Girlfriends’ Cyber Circuit sister Elana Johnson with an interview about her latest novel, SURRENDER!  But first, some quick congratulations:

To Lynn Flewelling for sitting pretty on the PW and Bookscan Fantasy Bestseller list at #8 with CASKET OF SOULS (her latest Nightrunner novel featuring rogues Alec and Seregil)!  You can chat with Lynn Flewelling on Twitter this Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, hashtag #knightauthor.  Come join us!  Details here.

To N.K. Jemisin for THE KILLING MOON being named to Publishers Weekly’s list of Best Summer Books 2012!  Best of all, the second book of the duology, THE SHADOWED SUN, releases tomorrow, so you can read the books back to back!

And now, a bit about Elana Johnson and SURRENDER:

About Elana: Elana’s work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

About SURRENDER: Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

 Interview with ELANA JOHNSON

What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you schedule time to write each day or are you a spree writer?
My writing process is extremely messy. I’m a pantser who loves the thrill of discovery writing. I’ve been getting better and better at brainstorming and quasi-outlining though, but it’s hard.
 
At the beginning of the day, I check the Google calendar and decide if I have a block of writing time. This usually happens on days my daughter has dance, because I can drop her off and go to the library to write. If I have a block, I write during that time. If I don’t have a block, I take the 15 minutes before school, and the 25 minutes before dinner needs to be started, and the hour or two after the kids go to bed.
 
What is the hardest part about the publishing process for you and how do you get through it? (For me, it’s copyediting and barbeque pita chips.)
The hardest part of the publishing process is the social networking. It’s also the thing I love the most. Weird, I know. But twitter and Facebook and blogs take a lot of time. They sometimes also remind me of what others have that I don’t… And I try really hard to not compare marketing plans, etc.
 
To get through the social media maze, sometimes I just turn the computer off. It’s fabulous!
 
We drop your hero or heroine on a deserted island. Quick, what are the three things he or she can’t live without?
Electricity, gloves, and a hoverboard.
 
 
Are there any contests or upcoming appearances/interviews/etc. you’d like to plug?
GIVEAWAY: Elana is hosting a Spectacular Seconds giveaway this week! You can enter to win one of five signed sophomore books by Beth Revis, Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Kristi Cook, and Kim Harrington. CLICK HERE for all the details and to enter.
 
Congratulations on your fabulous new release!
Thank you!