This one is for writers who want to be traditionally published. There’s a lot of good info and valuable tips shedding light on the whole process. I highly recommend reading the whole interview if you are aspiring to get an agent and go the tradpub way.
Following on from my interview with Nicholas Eames yesterday, I’ve invited Anna Smith-Spark to talk about the ‘production’ behind her fantasy debut ‘The Court of Broken Knives’, book one of ‘The Empires of Dust’ series. Anna’s already making a name for herself amongst the fantasy community, and her novel, pitched as a favourite for fans of Mark Lawrence and R Scott Bakker, promises to be an explosion of grimdark epic-ness. Back this up with the fact she’s represented by Ian Drury, Lawrence’s agent, and the twitter tag of @queenofgrimdark twitter handle sounds like a challenge to all would be contenders. Heck, if the crown fits, wear it. Or as Jorg Ancrath proves – take it!
So, without further adieu, I introduce, to you ladies and gentlemen, the Queen of Grimdark herself, Anna Smith-Spark.ME: Hi Anna!Before we begin, let’s start with some introductions – who are you, what do you…
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Great insights from Mark Lawrence about self publishing.
I think SPFBO is a great community service, for helping stellar indie authors get visibility and the fantasy readers find true gems they would otherwise never discover.
I’m planning to read all the finalists and semi-finalists of the SPFBO that are my cup of tea, I have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve read the reviews and added quite a few books to my TBR.
Josiah Bancoft’s Books of Babel is a great example to what kind of gems there are buried in the Kindle store. You can read my reviews by using the search widget.
Anyway, this is a great interview and I highly recommend all my blogger and reader friends to check out the SPFBO.
This is the first in a series of interviews with people involved in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO). For any of you who haven’t heard of it, you can read more here but essentially, self-published fantasy writers submitted their book to the blog-off. Ten book bloggers acted as literary agents, working through a slush pile and selecting their favourite. The ten finalists were then read and graded by each blogger until one was selected as a winner. The winning book received reviews on all ten blogs.
As an indie reviewer with BFS, I have come across some excellent self-published work (as well as excellent books published by small presses) and this competition fascinated me. I love the idea behind it and the recognition that self-published does not mean a book is not worth reading. I was really excited when Mark Lawrence agreed to be interviewed about setting up and co-ordinating the…
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Top ten tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish but they are on a winter break and this week is a freebie. I had a talk with a friend about how I love charismatis characters and how some books would be so much better with such. So I am going to list my top 10 charisma lords & ladies this week.
1. Fëanor from The Silmarillion
One of the earliest ‘grey’ characters with no moral compass whatsoever, he is perhaps one of the most badass characters Tolkien has created. LOTR characters have nothing on this guy, trust me on that one. He made the legendary silmarils that drove everyone into batshit insanity and stood up to Melkor aka Morgoth, the most powerful of the Valar at the time, with a zero fucks given attitude:
‘Get thee gone from my gate, thou jail-crow of Mandos!’ And he shut the doors of his house in the face of the mightiest of all the dwellers in Ea.
He took on an army of Balrogs without fear, not to mention he single-handedly changed the fate of the entire world along with the race of elves. He is the reason elves moved to the Middle Earth in the first place.
2. Jorg Ancrath from The Broken Empire
Not going to lie here, I hated his guts at first, but he became one of my all time favorites by the time I finished Prince of Thorns. Oh boy. That young man racks up serious charisma points where is lacking in the moral compass department. He is a legendary badass in every sense, broken and messed up as he is.
“Dear lady, I killed them from youngest child to oldest woman, and when I was done I blunted three axes dismembering their corpses. I am Jorg of Ancrath–I burned ten thousand in Gelleth and didn’t think it too many.”
This quote may not quite do it on its own, but when you read it in the context of the book, it makes your jaw drop. Seriously. He isn’t all that bad, though. You gotta read the books to see for yourself.
3. Jaqen H’ghar from A Song of Ice and Fire
My friends know he is my biggest book crush along with Fëanor. Now you know, too. He has a very small part in the saga but boy is that man dripping charisma and leaving a trail of it as he walks. Tom Wlaschiha playing him on the TV show naturally added +50 charisma points. He is one of the few characters I fangirl about with my BFF on a constant basis.
4. Nona Grey from Red Sister
If you love Arya Stark, I can say she has serious competition now. Nona is taken from the gallows by Abess Glass of the Sweet Mercy convent when they are about to hang her for the attempted murder and severe maiming of a 7 foot something giant of a pit fighter who happens to be the son of the richest and most powerful nobleman of the empire. And she is nine years old in the beginning of the book, go figure what a little badass she is. Nona gets bullied, beaten within an inch of her life and picked on all the time in her new life, but her inner strength and perseverence is mind-blowing. And her intellect too. She is one of the most charismatic young female characters ever. You think Hermione is great? You ain’t seen nothing yet!
5. Sand dan Glokta from The First War Trilogy
Once a dashing cavalry officer and star fencing champion, Sand dan Glokta is now a hideous, broken cripple working as an Inquisitor for the King’s Inquisition. He tortures criminals and traitors for a living and he has developed an exquisite torture-interrogation style after he has been tortured in the Gurkhul prison and got slowly mutilated into his current crippled form. His sharp intelligence, gallows humor, cynical and bitter attitude and extreme cunning combine into a huge vat of charisma and make him one of the most memorable characters of modern fantasy literature.
6. Alica Kendeth from Red Queen’s War
One of my favorite charismatic female characters, she is a side character in the series but when she makes an appearance, she steals the show. She is one tough cookie whom all the big rough dudes fear and for good reason. She isn’t a tyrannical bully, no. She was a ruthless warrior and kickass strategist in her youth, and she is a charismatic no-nonsense grandma in her old age.
7. Mara from The Empire Trilogy
Mara was my first all time favorite female fantasy character, and she is the epitome of charisma. Her political intrigue skills are second to none. In fact I am missing her so much I can’t wait to re-read these books. She is not a badass shieldmaiden or anything, but boy can she beat everyone with her incredible wits and glib tongue!
8. Drizzt Do’Urden from The Forgotten Realms
R.A. Salvatore’s iconic drow character is featured in a load of books but I linked the first trilogy in the reading order. You must have already noticed I have a thing for morally ambiguous, broken, stone-hearted male characters, but Drizzt as the ultimate good guy with a heart of gold is the exception to the rule here. I’m quite the fangirl always surfing Deviantart for Drizzt fan art and post it around to share with my friends. Drizzt with his dual scimitars and his magical black panther Guenhwyvar will always have a special place in my heart.
9. Arakasi from The Empire Trilogy
Mara’s spymaster is not exactly a grey character, but since I have a thing for well written spies and assassins, I’m a big fan of this dude. He is a creation of Janny Wurts (as she stated in numerous interviews and Reddit AMA’s) and the best spy character I have read in fantasy to date. He is not just a badass spymaster, but also a complex character with a traumatic past and emotional conflicts.
10. Anasûrimbor Kellhus from The Prince of Nothing
A lot of people hate this character, but I find him quite charismatic, even though he is a horrible person. Thing is, you don’t realize he is horrible until much later. He isn’t exactly the type I’d fangirl about, but the charisma is there. Most everyone loved the barbarian Cnaiür dude, but the barbarian killing machines are so not my thing. Kellhus is a heartless bastard but he has superhuman qualities, cold and supreme intellect, and mind-blowing manipulation skills. He is one of the grimdarkest of grimdark characters out there.
Who are your favorite charisma lords? Let me know in the comments!
I hope some of y’all have some common with mine, I want to know I am not alone!