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Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

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Struggling authors, please read.

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I found this blog via Chris the Story-Reading Ape, and was glad to come over, read it, and now recommend it myself via this reblog. Kyle has some interesting insights as to why writers need to keep writing and I enjoyed his blog immensely.

Author Kyle Perkins

By Kyle Perkins.

So lately I have heard from a few people that they feel like they should just give up on writing because for whatever reason, they are feeling like it just isn’t worth it anymore. Whether they feel like they aren’t getting enough attention, don’t have enough fans, or whatever the case may be, they are wrong, and here’s why.

Writers and authors have a gift, and because we have that gift, we have an obligation, a responsibility to use it. We may “just” arrange words in such a fashion that people enjoy reading them, but a heart surgeon “just” transplants hearts, and astronauts “just” go to space. We need to stop treating writing like it is simply a hobby that “anyone” can do, because that’s not the case. We “just” take people to places they can’t go on their own, and give them a form of escapism…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

August 28, 2016 at 4:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Listen Tomorrow to Dellani’s Tea Time for my First-Ever BlogTalkRadio Interview!

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Folks, it gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ll be a guest of author Dellani Oakes tomorrow (Monday, August 8, 2016 to be exact) during her Dellani’s Tea Time BogTalkRadio show, part of Red River Radio. It starts at 3 PM Central time and will run for two hours. Here’s a link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rrradio/2016/08/08/red-river-radio-presents-dellanis-tea-time-with-two-barbaras-and-an-eric

Dellani and I met during the recent Christmas in July event, and she kindly invited me to be on her show. I’ll be the third of three guests; the other two are author Barbara Ehrentreu (I also met her at Christmas in July) and author Eric Williams.

Please make a note of this, and make sure to listen to the show! (Who knows. Maybe you’ll have a question for me, or Barbara, or Eric, or even Dellani herself?)

 

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm

A Flattering, Appreciative Comment Can Do Wonders, Sometimes…

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…whether it’s about you, personally, or, as in this case, about you as an editor.

(What, you thought I’d be talking about something else? For shame…the summer romance bug hasn’t bitten me in a long, long time. Though I suppose it’s still possible…but I digress. Back to the blog.)

Folks, I’m very happy to pass along the following link from an interview author Kayelle Allen did with authorsinterviews (a WordPress site). Kayelle kindly mentioned me, and especially my editing. She didn’t have to do that. The interview was all about her, and about her excellent book, BRINGER OF CHAOS: THE ORIGIN OF PIETAS.

In response to the interviewer’s question about “one entity who supported you outside of family members,” Kayelle discussed her friend, writer Houston Havens, and then said this:

And Barb Caffrey, my editor. She’s a brilliant writer in her own right, but she sees details that I would have missed. She suggests slight changes that make all the difference in a scene. Often, simply the change of structure in a sentence can put an all new slant on a scene. I recommend her as both author and editor.

Thank you, Kayelle!

As I have said before, if you haven’t read Kayelle’s book yet, you should. It’s a military SF/action-adventure/bromance like no other. I said once to Kayelle that Pietas starts out almost like the ultimate bad guy, but he’s not; he’s complex, multifaceted, multi-layered, and in some ways, very human despite his genetic engineering and overall socialization/conditioning. That he makes common cause with Six, a guy who amounts to a Special Forces operative in the far future — reanimated, ’cause hey, it’s SF and you can get away with that (and why not?) — and has to learn that at least one human being is worthy of his friendship is…startling. That Pietas can be friends and admit to vulnerability and loss and frustration like anyone else despite all of his abilities at regeneration and immortality is, in an odd way, extremely moving. Pietas wants no pity. But he does want, ultimately, your understanding…hoping there may be one other human out there like Six who’s worth one iota of his time.

Why his people, the Ultras, feel this way toward non-altered humans is for you to read. But I think you will want to read it, if you enjoy milSF/action-adventure.

Now, as to what I did for Kayelle as an editor? She’s a very accomplished writer who turned in a sparkling-clean manuscript. A copy-edit, in her case, was more, “How can I help you make this section over here stand out a little more?” or “Did you ever consider X instead of Y” in a different place. I tried to give her a few options, and did my best to smooth out the (very few) rough spots.

My whole editorial philosophy, in a nutshell, is to help my client strengthen his/her authentic voice. If I make every book I edit sound like my style, that is doing my clients a disservice. And if I make every book I edit look and sound like something I’ve already seen — even if it’s from a widely acknowledged SF/F master writer like Stephen R. Donaldson or Lois McMaster Bujold — that, too, is doing my clients a disservice.

The trick in editing is to figure out what your client’s voice is, then strengthen it. That’s what works best.

Yes, fix all the typos and the grammar and punctuation, address all the stylistic concerns**, all that. But make the book better. Don’t just put in the hours…figure out what that book’s story actually is, and enhance it.

Otherwise, what are you doing?

Now, considering I am an independent editor, I can only suggest the changes rather than require them. But I’m reasonably persuasive in my arguments, and usually can point to various books or stories of my own or others and say, “What I’d like you to consider is X. What you did is Y. Maybe you don’t want to do X, but can you do Z instead?”

Anyway. I appreciate what Kayelle said. She’s the third editorial client I’ve had who’s publicly said she appreciates my editing. (The others, by the way, are Chris Nuttall and Dora Machado.) Most of the time, editors are treated more like furniture than an essential part of what goes into a book, so I’ve appreciated it immensely when someone recommends me as an editor…it means more than I can possibly say.

———–

**Sample stylistic concern: “You give Doctor Evil ‘s title as ‘Doctor’ in one section, but ‘Dr.’ in another. I don’t care which one you pick, but for ease of reading, it’s usually better to pick only one.” (This seems picayune, but can make all the difference to a self-published novel in looking professional — or looking like you just fell off the turnip truck.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 27, 2016 at 9:14 am

Go Check Out My Latest Guest Blog…

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…now up at the Opinionated Man’s very busy blog site!

Now, why did I write a guest blog? Mostly, it’s because of the Christmas in July event tomorrow at Facebook…and partly, it’s to give people the idea that I’m very happy about my books, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, because I am.

My books are very different than many out there, as they’re funny YA urban fantasies–you don’t see a whole lot of those, these days. I keep hoping that down the line, people will find my novels and that they’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them…anyway, it’s good to think about springtime, and young love, and fights against nearly impossible odds when it’s really hot and kind of nasty-humid outside. Best in such weather to curl up inside with a good book, where you can laugh and cry and cheer…

Anyway, do go read my guest blog, will you? You’ll enjoy it.

And then, make sure you stop by the Christmas in July Party on Facebook between eleven a.m. and noon Central Daylight Time and give me a yell. (C’mon, it’ll be fun!)

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 24, 2016 at 11:26 pm

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Reintroducing: Loren Jones’s ALL THAT GLITTERS

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Folks, back in 2010, I wrote a blog about Loren Jones’s novel ALL THAT GLITTERS. In it, I described the adventures of Stavin, soon to be DragonBlessed, as:

All that Glitters is a fantasy novel/coming of age story about Stavin kel’Aniston, once the smallest and least-regarded of all the warrior-candidates in his village.  Because of this, he feels he has nothing to lose in attempting to beard a dragon in its den, and ends up with …dragonscale armor, something no one else in his village has — or has ever had.

But this is just the start of Stavin’s problems; he still must learn how to work within the system in order to show his worth.   If he can do so, fame and fortune will be his, but more importantly, he’ll be able to marry the woman of his dreams (a slightly older, and nearly blind, scholar).

All that Glitters is just under 100K words, and is an excellent read.  I urge everyone who loves fantasy, coming of age tales, or simply something fun to read to check out Loren K. Jones’s fine novel.  And better yet, it is the first in a series . . . more reading pleasure awaits, if you only will accept the challenge of buying — and reading — the first book in Stavin’s journey. (Changes by BC to original post, mostly for emphasis)

When E-Quill Publishing closed, for a time Loren’s work was out of print. However, publisher Lida Quillen enjoyed first Loren’s INADVERTENT ADVENTURES and published it, then put out Loren’s short story collection STORIES OF THE CONFEDERATED STAR SYSTEMS, and now has put out ALL THAT GLITTERS as well. Stavin’s story is up to seven volumes, last I checked, and with luck and book sales, we will be fortunate enough to read them all, in time.

And now, it has a spiffy new cover, too! (Ta-da!)

All that Glitters

I’m very pleased that Loren’s ALL THAT GLITTERS is back out and available. It’s a book that continues to make me smile, because Stavin’s adventures move quickly but somehow seem to foreshadow something…more. He’s young, and he enjoys being a warrior (no matter how short), but his true passions are for books and stories…maybe that’s why I like Stavin so much, even though I’m about the farthest thing from a warrior the world has ever seen.

(Oh, yes…before I forget, Loren did put a very interesting Tuckerization of my late husband in there, which you will have to be quick to spot…I know I enjoyed that, too!)

So, do go get a copy while it’s still ninety-nine cents, will you?

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 23, 2016 at 3:45 am

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“What is Military Science Fiction, Anyway?” – Guest Post…

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Folks, rather than talk too much about why I wrote this, head on over to Chris the Story-Telling Ape’s busy blog, and dive in. I think if you like milSF, or if you like Chris Nuttall’s work — even if for some reason you don’t like mine too much and read my blog ’cause you enjoy me or my fantasy or whatever — you will like this post.

So, here is “What is Military Science Fiction, Anyway?” Enjoy it.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

When you think of the words “military science fiction,” what comes to mind?

Is it spaceships, maybe? Or at least space suits…or perhaps far-future events, on a space station, or on another planet entirely, but with future warriors?

There are so many different things that the words “military science fiction” (henceforth shortened to milSF) bring to mind, aren’t there? So my thought was, what usual conventions do writers use when they’re dealing with milSF?

Perhaps looking at the works of a few current writers will give an idea of what is meant, here.

For example, David Weber has a far-flung interstellar empire in his many-book saga about Honor Harrington (also called the “Honorverse”). In addition to war, the Honorverse includes political drama, various different styles of government and ways of living—but without the backbone of Honor Harrington’s military service (not to mention the war and its aftermath, and the war…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 16, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Agnes Mae Graham

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For some reason, when Chris the Story-Telling Ape put out the announcement that his mother’s book of poetry was now available, I didn’t see it…thankfully, Susan Toy did and recommended it. Now, I’m going to do the same thing.

Reading Recommendations

Christopher Graham, aka Chris The Story Reading Ape*, has done a wonderful thing! He’s gathered together poetry written by his late mother, Mae Graham, and published it as an eBook, available worldwide! Here’s “Mae” to tell us about “her” new book!

Mum B&WAgnes Mae Graham (Mae)

What is your latest release and what genre is it?My Vibrating Vertabrae: and other poems

Quick description: We all have dreams, loves and hopes; but what if you are a girl growing up in 20th century Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’?

From the poetic thoughts of our Mother, we get a sense of what it was like, ranging from humour, sadness, wistful thinking and sometimes just downright nonsensical, these are the words of one such girl.

Each poem tells a story.

MMVV eBook PNG SMALLBrief biography:
I was born into a poor-in-money, rich-in-spirit-and-determination, proud, hard-working family on 2nd July, 1926.

Both my parents…

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Written by Barb Caffrey

July 15, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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