Akil N. DeBerry
Lidia, a novel by Akil N. DeBerry. (Opening lines v.002) “They were a feat of arrogance, of pride, of hope; and yet it was only after the world had died around them that they had truly took hold. Fire would barely scorch them and poisons only killed few, and seemed, with each of their dying breaths, they whispered somehow to the other, the secrets of servival. They were the Goliaths, trees engineered from countless others to save a world that no longer was, or ever would be again. And here, where once long ago a city unparalleled stood, they now conquered.”
Gail McFarland Goodreads author profile
born Cleveland, Ohio, The United States
genreRomance, Mystery & Thrillers
influencesYou name it, I’ve learned from it!
member sinceMay 2008
About this author edit data
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I have a long history of reading and writing. Got my first library card at age 3 and have lived in literary lust ever since.
I began writing for publication based on a dare from a high school classmate, and have written and published more than 100 romantic short stories, and seven full-length novels. DREAM KEEPER (Genesis Press/Indigo) is my eighth and most recent novel. I am looking forward to its December, 2009 release, currently hard at work on WAYWARD DREAMS, the third book in the series. WAYWARD DREAMS is slated for a June, 2010 release.
I’ve also taken a turn back to my romantic roots with a short story and novella for Lady Leo Press. Readers can look forward to “The Twentieth Century Fox” — a novel…more
13 April, 2012
Published by Amy Joy in Fiction Tips, Nonfiction Tips, Self Publishing, The Writing Life
With indie publishing booming and e-readership expanding daily, there’s never been a better time to become a writer. As a published author and writing instructor, my advice to the “would-be” author is this:
Write your book.
Plenty of people say they are going to write a book someday, but they never do. If you’re serious, then stop talking about it and start writing.
Re-write until you never want to look at your book again.
I know this probably sounds crazy, but if you read about successful writers, you’ll find that most have this in common: by the time they finished a book, they felt like they never wanted to look at it again. This has been true in my experience, and it’s been true for my writing students as well. So, if you still like yours when you’ve finished, there’s a decent chance you haven’t revised and edited enough yet. (Unfortunately, if you don’t find the errors in your work, your reviewers will.)
Don’t skimp on editing.
Editing errors are embarrassing and hurt your credibility as a writer. Have many people beta-read your book before you publish, and use a professional editor.
Read and research everything you can about publishing.
There are so many great, free, online resources out there for writers today to learn about traditional and indie publishing. Use these. They will help you learn what you need to do and help keep you from having to learn everything the hard way.
If you go indie, use a professional cover designer.
Like it or not, your audience will judge your book first by its cover. It’s the first clue potential readers about the quality and content of the book. If the cover doesn’t appeal to them, most won’t bother to read the description or look inside.
Don’t give up.
If you really want to do this, there’s no reason you can’t. I always remind myself this: If others have done it, that means I can too! (So can you!)
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS (reviewed on October 15, 2011)
The fifth installment in Martin’s (A Game of Thrones, 1996, etc.) Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series.
Fans of the author’s work will likely be satisfied with this volume ipso facto, for it’s vintage Martin: It’s a little cynical, plenty dark, with not many laughs and, truth be told, not much action. There’s the usual blend of exposition, sometimes seemingly endless, and the usual swords-and-sorcery dialogue: “The plunder from Astapor was much less than you were promised in Volantis, and I took the lion’s share of it.” “Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the son, so both die kings.” “False friends, treacherous servants, men who had professed undying love, even her own blood…all of them had deserted her in her hour of need.” Martin has been likened to J.R.R. Tolkien, but Tolkien was never quite so ponderous, and certainly not so obsessed with bodily functions of various sorts: “The Grand Maester befouled himself in dying, and the stink was so abominable that I thought I might choke.” “When you bugger a man you expect a squeal or two.” Indeed. Apart from all that, this volume furthers Martin’s long tale of a vast world war of the kind that sweeps through Middle Earth in LOTR, though some of the characters seem to have lost their taste for it; the once-scary Tyrion Lannister mostly mopes around, alternately insomniacal and prurient, while out on The Wall the stalwart Jon Snow comes over all Hamlety, wondering what to do, soliciting input and then keeping his own counsel. A few hundred pages of this, and one longs in vain for piles of headless corpses and flesh singed with the fire of dragon breath—something, anything, to induce a squeal.
Is Ice and Fire drawing to a close? There’s plenty of wiggle room for more volumes in the series, but on the evidence, one wonders if Martin isn’t getting a little tired of it.
Pub Date: July 12th, 2011
Page count: 1040pp
Review Posted Online: Sept. 27th, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2011
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Fantasy Book Review
Fantasy Book Review is dedicated to reading and reviewing the very best fantasy books for children and adults (both young and old). Featuring interviews, the latest fantasy news, audio-book reviews and competitions we aim to provide fantasy fans around the world with a useful, interesting and informative guide to the genre. If you would like to help us to read and review these fantastic books then do please get in touch.
Featured Book: Deep into the Heart of a Rose by Greg Denny
Fantasy Book Review Book of the Month, February 2012
A Tolkien inspired romantic fantasy that all starts with an extremely loving and well written letter… G.T. Denny’s novel, Deep into the Heart of a Rose, will help usher in a new generation of love sick teens. If you love fantasy and adventure fiction then this book is for you. Well written, charmingly detailed and epic, this truly is a must read for 2012.
Read our full review of Deep into the Heart of a Rose
For more information, visit http://gtdenny.com/
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rafael Ábalos at the ‘Comédie du Livre’ of Montpellier, France, 2009.
Born October 12, 1956 (age 55)
Archidona, Málaga, Spain
Genres Fantasy, Children’s Literature
Notable work(s) Grimpow: The Invisible Road
Rafael Ábalos (born 12 October 1956, Archidona, Málaga) is a Spanish author of the bestseller book Grimpow: The Invisible Road (ISBN 0385733747) published in 2007. The children’s fantasy novel was about a boy finding a mysterious amulet in France who becomes a focus of a “centuries-old mission” to enlighten humanity. According to a review in Publishers Weekly, Ábalos “blends the grand-scale storytelling prowess and epic quest element of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings with the cryptographic intrigue of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code”, and gave it a positive review. The book was published by Random House.
^ Ed Park (2011). “Running in circles”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
^ a b c Staff writer (2007). “Rafael Ábalos, translated by Noël Baca Castex. Delacorte”. Publishers Weekly. ISBN ISBN 978-0-385-73374-8. Retrieved 2011-02-12.
^ Staff writer (2007). “Random House Children’s Books”. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2011-02-12. “Random House Children’s Books … Grimpow: The Invisible Road by Rafael Ábalos;”
How To Write a Fantasy Novel
Bestselling Author of Mistborn Trilogy Shares his Writing Secrets
Nov 21, 2008Joe Lam
MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE – BRANDON SANDERSON
New York Times Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson shares his process of writing fantasy, how he handles character & plot, and how he deals with rewrites.
Suite101 sat down with Brandon Sanderson, fantasy author to discuss writing tips & tricks that he uses to write a successful fantasy novel. Sanderson is the author of Elantris, the Mistborn Trilogy, and also the childrens series, Alcatraz and The Evil Librarians.
Suite101: What is your process when you go about writing a book?
Sanderson: It’s honestly different for every book. For Alcatraz and The Evil Librarians, my middle grade book, I write much more off the cuff. I want them to be fun and light and free. I’m writing books that are more snappy so to keep that improve style, I do them very much off the cuff and that requires a lot of revision to make them actually work, but I like that spontaneity that comes from almost writing a free-write.
For my epic fantasy, I plan a lot. I do a lot of outlining, a lot of world building, a lot of preparation. Sometimes I’ll write hundreds of thousands of words of preparation before I’ll write the books themselves. I’ll lay that groundwork and then I’ll keep a floating outline, which is an outline I’m not married to. I’m willing to change it but I’ve got goals in that outline, big important scenes I need to get to.
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Suite101: What does it take to be a solid fantasy writer?
Sanderson: Determination. To be a writer of anything, I would say that the number one important thing to do is to read a lot. Widely in all genres, but specifically in the genre you want to write in. Know the genre, write what you love and so read what you love. And the next things is, just work at it.
American Novelist Robert Jordan
Review: Mistborn Book 1
Heads You Lose Is Hilarious Collaboration For Lutz And Hayward
Suite101: How to do you approach character development and plot in your stories?
Sanderson: I actually approach them very differently. Plot I tend to plan a lot ahead of time, I like to have explosive endings and for an ending to really work for me, I have to have it planned out before I start the book usually. If I’m not excited about the ending, I don’t start the book because I need an exciting ending. If it pulls me through to the end, I assume it will pull readers too.
For character, I don’t have what the characters are going to do outlined, I have who they are when they start the book. I have their conflicts and what’s inside of them, but then I let them change and grow as it’s a little bit more natural in writing the book. I can’t jump around in a book and write the ending or the middle first, I have to start at the beginning because my characters begin as people.
Suite101: In terms of editing, how often do you revise your own work? Do you just write it once and then send it out to an editor?
Sanderson: I revise quite heavily. I usually do between seven and ten drafts depending on the book. The first three or four are done only with my desires. I read through and I change it and usually I’ll give myself some space and time between those. Then I’ll run it through writing groups. It’s not that I’m looking for advice on how to make the story better. I’m looking for how people respond to my writing to see if those are the responses I want so I can make the right emotions in the right places.
Learn more about Brandon’s fantasy novels at: Mistborn Trilogy: Interview With Fantasy Author
Also visit: Brandon Sanderson’s Official Website
Copyright Joe Lam. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.
Joe Lam – My Life’s Purpose “To Benefit Humanity through Storytelling”. About Me I have worked in the entertainment industry for over 10 …
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When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.”
Today, writing well is more important than ever. Far from being the province of a select few as it was in Hemingway’s day, writing is a daily occupation for all of us — in email, on blogs, and through social media. It is also a primary means for documenting, communicating, and refining our ideas. As essayist, programmer, and investor Paul Graham has written, “Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them. If you’re bad at writing and don’t like to do it, you’ll miss out on most of the ideas writing would have generated.”
So what can we do to improve our writing short of hanging ourselves? Below, find 25 snippets of insight from some exceptional authors. While they are all focused on the craft of writing, most of these tips pertain to pushing forward creative projects of any kind.
1. PD James: On just sitting down and doing it…
Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.
2. Steven Pressfield: On starting before you’re ready…
[The] Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around “getting ready,” the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. Resistance loves it when we hesitate, when we over-prepare. The answer: plunge in.
3. Esther Freud: On finding your routine…
Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.
“News, Views & Clues… to Writing Success”
|Crazy Cut Price: Writing Resources from Rob Parnell|
The Fantasy Fiction Formula
Now, most fantasy writers have been constructing their fantasy world since childhood. It grows with them; they add to it as they develop as writers until it’s so real to them that writing about it feels effortless – even when they seem to have created a huge, sophisticated universe.
But if you’re new to the genre, where do you start?
Many professional fantasy writers will joke about ‘the formula’ for good fantasy because it does exist and good fantasy authors still use it – not because they’re lazy but because the fans want it – in fact insist on it!
It has been condensed thus: ‘Hero, artifact, quest’. That’s it. All you need to start a fantasy novel! Think Froddo, the ring and the journey to Mordor and you’ll see what I mean.
I prefer something a little more organic and creative.
Get a very large sheet of paper. A3 at least – that’s about 3 feet by 2 in the US. Draw an outline for your kingdom – or kingdoms. Experiment with the shape of coastlines, archipelagos and spits. Maybe put some islands around it.
Use a blue crayon or chalk to shade in the sea and draw a compass somewhere on the paper to orientate the map. Maybe a scale too: one inch equals 100 miles say.
Divide your kingdom into countries or regions – draw in the border lines.
Using different color pencils, add mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, whatever you like. Have lots of fun with this bit!
Cities normally grow up on rivers and ports – so start placing important cities and towns, farming communities, military posts etc. Start thinking about trade routes, badlands and resistance enclaves where nobody goes…
Don’t forget that most fantasy is set in an entirely medieval world where technology is limited to bows and arrows, spears and fire, with a liberal sprinkling of magical swords, jewels or articles of clothing like magic capes or belts. Don’t take this element too lightly.
I have known many writers who try to insert guns and flying machines into their world and are promptly asked to remove them by pedantic publishers!
Now for some writing.
Invent three major castes of inhabitants. For example: human, elven and dwarves say, or make up your own. One of the caste may be dragons if you want to be faithful to the ‘formula’.
Describe the class system for each. Who’s the king or the head magician, how the government of Elders work, what the peasants do, whether there are bands of mercenaries roaming the countryside, that kind of thing.
Now think of three characters for each caste – have them related for maximum impact. For instance three characters might be Princess Tumar who needs to regain the crown after her father was killed by the evil Majadon, aided by her younger brother.
Write a paragraph for every character, describing their physical appearance.
Give each of the characters an agenda that is at odds with at least two of the other characters.
Write a few pages describing the scenario you have invented.
By now you should be feeling an attachment to one or more character. Choose one to be the hero and give him or her an important quest that they must undertake to gain maturity, power or enlightenment (perhaps all three!)
Next, choose a magic artifact that the character must obtain during this quest. Don’t choose a book!
Then create a huge threatening situation (a war, natural disaster or magical event) in which the characters are all at risk – of losing their power, authority, self respect, lives etc. and then…
Open up a new file and write: Chapter One.
Okay, over to you!
Best regards and keep writing!
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