naomi_jay: (pen and paper)
So many things! Let us start with the promo-ish things:

WILD is free for Amazon Prime members right now. Free stuff is awesome. Free stuff about werewolves and drugs is especially awesome. So if you want to enjoy some awesome free stuff, WILD might be right for you!

Ethan Banning is here to save your Christmas (should it need saving). ICE, ICE BABY is my Ethan Christmas Special, in which he almost has a completely nice Christmas Eve, marred only slightly by a corpse. Like my other two Ethan short stories, you can read this without having read AFTERLIFE or DEMONISED.

I've read some really amazing books recently and you should read them too! Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist trilogy is definitely one of my top picks for the year. I adore Jusine, the heroine, and the concept is very fresh, very dark, and very cool. If you like PI books, you might also try LM Pruitt's Taken, There's a touch of the supernatural, but this is mostly a straight-up crime novel, and I loved it.

If, like me, you've heard of SOPA but didn't really know anything about it, you might want to check this video out from TotalBiscuit, and enjoy his strangely sexy voice telling you how we're all doomed if this passes.

Kit Whitfield has been analysing opening sentences of classic books. Her blog is worth reading anyway, because she's very smart and very funny, but this series has been really fascinating.

Laura Bickle is counting down the Twelve Days of Nerdmas, which involves steampunk corsets and Cthulhu sweaters, and is therefore amazing.

And that's it! Happy Monday!
naomi_jay: (dragon girl)
I fancied a break from urban fantasy so I picked up a traditional fantasy called Lord of the Changing Winds, which I was really excited about because it's all about gryphons, and I'm still hung up on gryphons from my Mercedes Lackey days.


Unfortunately I couldn't get past chapter two. The prose was far too flowery for my tastes, and everyone had unpronouncable names, which meant I just mentally called everyone Hank to save time. After I got halfway through chapter two and realised I'd read two entire pages without having a clue what was going on, I gave up. One for the charity shop.

So then I picked up my phone (and its Kindle App) and tried Jenny Pox.

It...I don't know what's going on with this girl's arms, but it really bothers me. Anyway, it seems okay. A little meandering to start, but I like the concept. The obvious love interest looks like he's going to be dull as hell, but I could be wrong. And because I like to mix up ebooks and paperbacks, I also started White Jazz this morning.

This has really gripped me, although it takes a few pages for the narrative style to make sense. I can't help hearing Rorschach's voice as I read. It's that kind of stilted, stream of consciousness speaking. Probably good reading whilst I'm working on an Ethan book. And secretly I would love to write this kind of gritty, nasty noir stuff, but I just don't think I could.

Anyway, that's me. Anyone else reading anything good at the moment?
naomi_jay: (mask)
Obviously yesterday was a bad day and it should feel bad, and I didn't answer my writing meme question. Le gasp! So, two for one today.

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

The first name that springs to mind is Richelle Mead, author of the Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy series. Firstly because I've loved everything she's written without fail. Secondly because to keep on top of three series and have them all be quality, engaging, emotional, beautifully-written books, she must work hella hard. Thirdly because that's the kind of career success I aspire to.

But there are so many other writers I admire. I love my friend [info]rjpayne's  writing, and know she's going to be a massive success herself. Her short story, By Starlight, is one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces I've ever read, the kind of story that stays with you long after you've finished it. And I know I'm not biased by friendship - By Starlight was placed fourth in the Interzone Readers' Poll 2009. Growing up I read Tamora Pierce's Immortals quartet over and over again, and those were the books that moved me from "I love reading books" to "I want to write books." I adore MR James and HP Lovecraft, and you can't talk about writers you admire without mentioning Shakespeare (well, I can't, anyway).

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing?

Yes, I do. Love is a pretty big part of life, yo, so it would seem strange to me to never have relationships happen in a story, whether it's just hinted at or the main theme, or whatever. I think so far I've never written anything where the relationship was centre stage, always a subplot, but I don't shy away from sex scenes. On the other hand, I don't write particularly graphic scenes or erotica, because that just doesn't interest me as a writer. 

Questions under the cut )

Book meme

May. 7th, 2010 04:26 pm
naomi_jay: (humans among us)
Because tedious work is tedious.

Bold the ones you’ve read COMPLETELY, italicize the ones you’ve read part of, and no cheating. Watching the movie or the cartoon doesn’t count. Abridged versions don’t count either.

Snikt for books! )

On a personal note, I'd just like to add that I think The Time Traveller's Wife is a horrible book with appalling characters and I wish I could get back the two weeks I spent reading it.
naomi_jay: (the lords' ways)
I really don't talk enough about what I'm reading here. I shall rectify this immediately by talking about the book I just finished reading: Once Bitten by Kalayna Price.

 
Snikt for review! )

I see from Price's website that she's signed up for several more books in this series, so, yay! Shapeshifters! And cat shapeshifters at that - I am all about cat shifters at the moment. They're the new black. I actually have about 5k written of a novella about a woman who injects herself with shapeshifter blood for great justice and ends up being a big cat. Haven't decided what type yet, and I'm not sure I'll ever get round to finishing it so it probably doesn't matter.

Anyway. Awesome, fast, fun book. I say you go read it.

Anyway

Nov. 26th, 2009 11:35 am
naomi_jay: (rapper with a baby)
I'm trying to write a bio for QueeredFiction. I don't know why I feel the need to provide a new one when there's a perfectly serviceable one on my website already, but I do. Possibly this is displacement activity, since if I'm writing a bio, I'm not doing Day Job Stuff. Always a good thing. The problem is, I can't think of anything to say about myself except "Naomi has a deep and unholy fascination with cephalopods, werewolves, and cocktails." Maybe that will do? Maybe I should make up a bunch of lies, like "Naomi travels in a pimped-out Mustang and always keeps a bottle of brandy and a flamethrower close at hand."

Anyway.

(I just copied and pasted the bio from my website, thinking I'd modify it accordingly, and have just deleted everything except the first line. Sigh).

Anyway.

I've also been pondering some more on the zombie/military UF. My ex-military heroine now has a name and a case of obsessive-compulsive disorder (got to keep everything clean when you're a plague-bearer, you know). I really, really want to write this book. I just need to settle on a title. I fancied Living Dead Girl, until I read Elizabeth Scott's book of the same name (it's an awesome, heart-wrenching book, you should all read it), and now I feel I can't use that title. Then I thought of Better Off Dead, but that's a bit too generically UF. So, I'm pondering more. I plan to start work properly once the Institute closes for Christmas (other projects allowing), so I'm sure the perfect title will hit me by then. If not, I'll just call it The Incredible and True Tale of the Zombie Plague Bearer and Her Brave Struggle with Hair Loss and leave it at that
naomi_jay: (mamas and papas)

I'll make no secret of the fact that I'm an unabashed Kittredge fangirl. Nocturne City is one of my favourite UF series, and if she released her discarded facewipes, I'd probably buy them I love her gritty, dark, Lovecrafty style, and how she's unafraid to give us morally ambiguous characters like Dmitri. So I was already prepared to love Street Magic, especially since it's set in London and I could be all like "OMG, I've been there!" about the locations and so forth.

And seriously. This book blew me away. I'd marry it if I could. I loved it. I loved Pete, loved Jack, loved their relationship, loved Kittredge's vision of London. This is a dark, melancholy book, although not without flashes of hope and humour, and it sucked me in completely. I didn't even mind the English-isms too much (I recently read a book written by an American set in the UK and it totally did my head in. Why say bugger when you mean fuck?).

I can't recommend Street Magic enough. Pete's ballsy without emasculating every man she meets, and Jack's flawed and dangerous without slipping into tedious melodrama and angst. The writing is evocative, the plot is fascinating, and this is the best book I've read all year. I have absolutely no doubt that Demon Bound, released in December, will be even better.
naomi_jay: (squid man)

My friend Lisa is releasing her first book today. It's available through Lulu, and all the details are here at Lisa's journal. Or you can check out her website here.

naomi_jay: (redhaired girl)

I read these two books over the weekend at my parents' - loved them both. There were some great stories in The Eternal Kiss, the standouts for me being Holly Black's The Coldest Girl in Cold Town, Libba Bray's The Thirteenth Step, and Karen Mahoney's Fall to Ashes. In fact, I liked Holly Black's story so much, I went out and bought Tithe despite the fact that I'm not supposed to be buying any more new books until I clear my TBR pil (ha ha ha, oh that will never happen and we all know it). And Tithe is so awesome that I now want recommendations for other UF/paranormal YA books, please!

I've got Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely and Daniel Waters' Kiss of Life on my TBR pile, but I'd welcome any suggestions from people. I did want to try Cassandra Clare's series, but I've heard some rumours about plagiarism - anyone know anything about that?
naomi_jay: (red in darkness)
I'm having a bit of an ebook buying binge. I decided that buying ebooks isn't as bad as buying actual books, because they don't take up floor/bookcase/desktop space. I promised myself recently (as I do at least once a month) that I wasn't buying any more paper books until I'd cleared my TBR pile, which is currently big enough to keep me going well into 2010. I've managed to stick to this promise for a whole three weeks now without cracking, which is definitely a record.

But ebooks, that's okay, right? I couldn't resist Stephanie Draven's new Nocturne Bite - I loved Midnight Medusa, and [livejournal.com profile] madlee276  recommended me a Louise Allen Historical Undone, so yeah. I've kind of been slow to embrace ebooks because I love paper books so much, but I've discovered some really cool authors through Samhain, Changeling, and Harlequin.

I went out for a drink with Pip last night, planning not to drink because, man, I drank so much raspberry vodka on Friday night, but there were passionfruit and vanilla martinis on offer, so I had to have one. It was pretty good, so that was okay. We ended up bitching about work, as usual, and I remarked that signing the contract with QueeredFiction has changed my mind about leaving the Institute. Not that I'm anywhere near ready to pack up the day job and write full-time, but I've felt much less edgy and frustrated since I got the news. The burning need to escape at all costs has receded a little because I've got the satisfaction and excitement of knowing I can make it as a writer, and that puts everything else into perspective.

I'm going to speak to my line manager about changing my working hours so I can finish earlier and fit more writing time in in the evenings. So the Escape from the Day Job of Firetop Mountain is off for now. Everything else is going too well for me to stay unhappy at work anymore. Hmm. I must be in love.
naomi_jay: (river)
The fabulous Kit Whitfield has written a really fascinating post on Twilight, which I recommend everyone with any interest in the book of any kind goes and reads. As always, she's clever, eloquent, and persuasive, and gives plenty of food for thought. (Unlike me).
naomi_jay: (mask)
Only on myself, obviously.

[livejournal.com profile] chaostheoryand I had a write-in last night, and I added 3k to SILVER KISS, as evidenced below:


 
30218 / 60000 words. 50% done!

I'm a week behind my self-imposed deadline as last week I was frantically working on something else. Don't want to say much as I'm not confident about the outcome, but an opportunity came along that I couldn't say no to. With that in mind, I quietly pleased at how SILVER KISS is coming along, and hope I can make my goal of finishing the first draft by late July/early August.

I also managed 400 words on a submission for Samhain's 2010 Angels and Demons anthology:


 
2015 / 20000 words. 10% done!

The deadline for this isn't until November, so I can afford to take it slowly for a bit, but I'd love to get it in well before the deadline. Sigh. Another reason to reconsider the day job... They really are mounting up.

ETA: My long-time friend and writing buddy [livejournal.com profile] laburton is self-publishing her first novel, STORM OF MAGICK, this summer, and she's just unveiled the cover. Go take a look - it's gorgeous!
naomi_jay: (ragged angel)
I'm worried. I shouldn't be, but I am and I can't stop, and so I went into town and bought books. I know! But look, I'm really stressed out. So it's okay. I got this and this and this. The House of Night books are my crack reading fix - they're cheesy nonsense, Zoey is a total Mary-Sue, and I should know better. But I love them anyway. Daniel Water's Generation Dead is one of my favourite books, so I had to snap up Kiss of Life.

I also ordered a copy of Almost Human by Cat Marsters and a book on spontaneous human combustion from Amazon. Now I can worry about having no money because I've spent it all on books instead of worrying about The Other Thing.
naomi_jay: (stewie)

 

 19701 / 60000 words. 33% done!

I did an epic 3600 words today on Silver Kiss, curled up in my parents' conservatory. It was ... um ... my gift to my dad. For Father's Day. He really appreciated my efforts. My arm is killing me now, but I'm too happy with my progress to really care. Stuff is Going Down in the werewolf world. Crazy Stuff. Werewolf Stuff. And Ayla doesn't like it.

I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies at the train station on Friday, and I have to say I'm disappointed so far. Jane Austen's parts are still marvellous, charming, and funny. Seth Grahame-Smith's parts are just ... I don't know. Wrong. I don't know how you can mix zombies with Jane Austen and have it go wrong, because in theory there's nothing bad about it. But they just fall flat. I feel like it wasn't done with any love for the original or real understanding of what makes Pride and Prejudice so great to begin with, but just as a novelty money-spinner.

Anyway. We're back into workshop season at work from tomorrow - three back-to-back workshops, which are just going to wipe everyone out, so I don't expect to be very productive writing-wise, although I shall try and crack something out where I can. And, oooh! Then it will nearly be time for this year's RNA conference. Woo! I'll be going along as a published author this year! ^_^

naomi_jay: (comedian)

 
I literally just finished reading this book and loved it! It's a refreshing spin on urban fantasy, and (yay) the first in a series. Melanippe Saka is an Amazon who's turned her back on the tribe to live a normal life with her daughter, mother, and grandmother. When dead Amazon girls start appearing on the doorstep of Mel's home/tattoo shop, the Amazons come crashing back into her life. Now she's got a bunch of angry warrior women camping in her gym, the police on her tail, and a teenage daughter who's ... well, a teenager.

I think what I liked best about this book was the family aspect. A lot of UF heroines are loners, for whatever reason, but Mel has a tight, if weird, family unit, and her relationship with Harmony, her daughter is great. There is a hint of romance, but it's underplayed in favour of the murder mystery, which works well for me. Romance is great, but too many UF books seem hung up on getting in the complicated love life, and it was nice to read something where the heroine isn't shucking her knickers every five pages. Here, the relationships between Mel and the women in her life - from her daughter to her former best friend Zery - are the most important, not the relationships with the men.

I'll definitely be looking out for the sequel to Amazon Ink, which from the looks of things will focus on Amazon queen, Zery. I hope Devoti does plan to return to Mel if the series continues, because I think there are a lot more stories to tell here.
naomi_jay: (running woman)


Holy crap.

I just finished this on my lunch break - it's amazing! I had to go and buy Pretties immediately, despite the fact that I've yet to pay this month's council tax and promised myself only yesterday that I wouldn't buy any more books until I cleared the mammoth leviathan that is my TBR pile. But I HAVE to know what happens next!
naomi_jay: (whale)
I hope this is isn't stalkerish, but I just woke up from a dream where we were discussing business strategies for marketing books on the bus. It turns out that we hold a lot of common views, including the idea that writing "BUY MY NEW BOOK" in the condensation on the bus window is a great way to attract attention.

I'm pretty sure there was also a mummy in the dream, but I don't think that was actually anything to do with you. I don't know if there are any deep or hidden messages here, or if you've developed a technique for advertising directly into people's subconscious? (If so, I salute you!) Anyway, the upshot is that I just went to Amazon to preorder Deader Still (I know, I can't believe it's not out in the UK yet either!). So, you know, your cunning business strategy succeeded. I am in fact buying your book.

Thanks,
Naomi
naomi_jay: (running woman)

For reasons best known to ... myself, I suppose, I read a lot of vampire books last month. I've got a bit of a love/hate relationship with vampire books - LKH scarred me deeply, but Richelle Mead and Jocelynn Drake have restored my faith somewhat.

Click for pretty pictures! )

March books

Apr. 1st, 2009 07:50 am
naomi_jay: (Festival)

Happy April 1st everyone! Please keep your practical jokes to a safe level of humiliating. Just a quick list of books I read last month, mainly because some of them were awesome and I want to spread the goodness.

Second Skin - Caitlin Kittredge - the third, and best so far, book in the Nocturne City series. Luna! Dmitri! Wendigos! Muscle cars!

Happy Hour of the Damned - Mark Henry - zombies and cocktails. This book was written for me.

Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - having read this book, I'm now even more suspicious of the weird plant on my desk at work. I'm sure it moves.

Acid Row - Minette Walters - this was a really surprising book; considering the subject matter I enjoyed it immensely. Definitely worth a look.

The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance - I'm actually about half way through this at the moment. Some of the stories are fabulous - I've just bought Jenna Maclaine's Wages of Sin on the basis of her short here.

Right, off to work to post that partial! Squee!

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