Tag Archives: books

Nanowrimo Day 10: Captain’s Slog

A fellow NaNo author’s experience and getting out of a writing slump, if you fall into one this year.

He’s definitely not alone in the NaNo slump – I got myself ahead of word count in the first couple of weeks and had – dare I say it – three days off last week!

This author seems to write in a similar way to me – I like to write all the big, exciting, important bits (which flow nice and naturally) and then go back through to join them together. My main struggle this year has been when I got bogged down in the bridging stuff to get my main character from one part to another, when I just wanted to write the exciting action stuff. I also find, that if I’m getting stuck, I start to mini-edit which then affects the flow as well…

In the end, after my break early last week I’ve skipped writing in order, in favour of doing the big stuff again. I had quite a few one-shots drafted in my note books as well, which I’ve typed up and used as prompts to get me going into a scene – always helpful to have old notes, for when your writing mojo abandons you 🙂

Anyway – check out the post to see how NaNo is for someone else

Mel x

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Horrorfest is coming…Join Us

After the success of our Indie Month at Aside from Writing in May, I really wanted to do another ‘feature month’ on the blog – and here it is!

We’ll be hosting our first ‘horror fest’ in October on the run up to Halloween. As this is the first time we’ve done it we’re looking for horror authors, or just creative types with spooky short stories up their sleeves, to take part. We’d also love to feature some reviews by bloggers of any ghost / horror books they’ve read and would like to share with us.

Our own group of authors who run the blog will be testing their skills writing in the genre and posting them for you to scream (or laugh) at. We’d really love to feature more short stories from the creepy side of life, so if you’ve got one you’d like to showcase – get in touch! We also have a range of other features to offer authors – if you would like to take part, with an interview, guest post or ‘book of the day’ feature, please contact us at bonniesyorkie at gmail dot com

(You know what to do with the email address, put the right symbols in to keep the spammers from our door!)

 

 

 

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Just Finished…Zed by Stephen Herfst

I first came across this book when the author came on board for the Indie Author Month on Aside From Writing and I loved the cover 🙂 It fits perfectly with the book / blurb and really made me want to read it. And so I have…

The Blurb

The story revolves around a teenage girl’s promise to save Zed from the human hordes.

Zed is not your typical zombie. He is cursed with the affliction of thought … although he tries to make the best of a bad situation. The goals for his unrest are simple: to improve his stride, to taste a lightly-seared pork loin once again and avoid Activists at all costs.

His life was predictable, controlled and good until chaos crashed the party. In just one day his world is destroyed and his ability to survive is tested. Would he be able to get through this in one piece? And would he somehow be able to survive the unstoppable force that goes by the name of Chase?

The Review

Let’s start with the obvious: Bruce Willis was wrong – Zed’s not dead, he’s undead – which is way more fun!

I am a big sucker for zombie films, but have never actually read a book about them before – so this could go one of two ways. Thankfully for me – this is a great zombie book! I loved the quirky idea of seeing everything from a zombie point of view – albeit a very smart, Mr Darcy-esque zombie in his thoughts and language. Because he is a smart ‘thinking’ zombie Zed is an interesting creature to be inside the head of.

In the first few pages I was hooked on this book: the do-gooder activist humans who want to help train and re-educate zombies to integrate back into society; Zed’s sarcastic and intriguing thoughts on human behaviour seen from a zombie POV and the wonderful backstory of Gumbies, chewable Zombie Treetz TM used to reward good behaviour. For fans of zombie stuff the inversion of the genre in this book is very well done and should give you some laughs.

The action in the book is done well and on the whole moves on at a pace. Also, I think most people will enjoy the antagonistic relationship Zed has with his accidental companion. In parts Zed’s thoughts can ramble on a bit – perhaps that’s the zombie in him getting his brain stuck in a loop? And there were a few occasions where I really had to think about what was written and am still not sure I actually understand the point…maybe I’m not as deep or intellectual as Zed?

Stephen Herfst does a great job of making Zed real and believable. He writes very descriptively and builds an interesting and well-thought out world where the action takes place: it sits clearly within the genre with familiar themes and features, but at the same time gives you more to think about when you actually start to look at zombies as creatures/individuals, rather than a mass horde of sluggish-walking brain feeders. It was these details that made the book for me – that took you deep into a world that you don’t even bother to consider when you’re watching a zombie film and rooting for the grizzly guy at the front to take out the zombie in the supermarket with a banjo-related-decapitation.

Rating: 4* – Zombie fans and lovers of sarcastic heroes should enjoy this!

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With my review sorted, I’m off to watch some Zombieland, Walking Dead and 28 Days Later…I’ve got me a hankerin’ for the undead in a non-sparkly-glittery vampire way…And let’s face it – zombies are probably the real undead anyway…They’re not so pretty and a bit stinky, but at least they’re honest when they maul you and don’t try to baffle you with beauty and sex!

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WWW Wednesday – 5

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
——————————————————–
What are you currently reading?

Little Zombie 🙂

I’ve just started Zed by Stephen Herfst – really good so far…I’m a sucker for zombie films/shows, but this is the first time I’ve read a zombie book. I’m also still plodding along with The Passage by Justin Cronin – but it’s been relegated to my ‘lunchtime’ read and I don’t often get a ‘proper’ lunch so I think it will be a slow burn.
What did you recently finish reading?
I’ve just finished Shade of Grey a series of short stories by Michael Cargill. Although the stories aren’t specifically linked they have a particular flair and style that is recognisable in each. Overall, I loved the set and will definitely be reading more by this author – he draws such fantastic and beliveably real characters that I frequently found myself lost in the worlds he created. There is something particularly immediate about the way he writes and I love the realistic flaws and personality traits each of his characters exhibit – he does a good job of crawling around inside people’s heads.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Next up in my tbr pile is Last Stop This Town by David Steinburg and Fall for You by Cecilia Gray – both are YA books and the authors are featuring in the Indie Author Month in May on my other blog http://asidefromwriting.wordpress.com Take a look at the site and see who’s featuring as there are a whole range of different YA authors covering romance to horror and dystopian to vampires – there are daily freebies and competitions, as well as the chance to meet new authors and books in time for summer!
🙂

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WWW Wednesday – 4

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
———————————————-
What are you currently reading?
The Passage by Justin Cronin – as it’s a pretty big book I’d put off starting it in March because I had a lot going on at the time and needed to meet my target of reading five dystopian books for a Goodreads challenge – so even though (I think) it is going to be dystopian-ish, it would have killed my chances in the challenge. Now I just have to read it and give it back to my friend at work and so I’m jumping right in now!
What did you recently finish reading?
Shadowland by C.M. Gray – fantastic YA/adult historical adventure (the male protagonists are both young men). It’s a fast paced, interesting read set in Arthurian England and has some nice twists and turns, mystical elements as well as action. It’s also really well written, lovely description and scene-setting, in-keeping with the historic setting, as well as plenty of witty dialogue between the boys.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m really need to start Zed – the zombie with a brain – by Stephen Herfst, as a broken kindle held me up last week (now replaced by the lovely peeps at Amazon) and then I’ve got some other lovely books I can’t wait to get to (but you’ll see those in Friday Finds over on Aside from Writing!) 🙂

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WWW Wednesday – 3

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
What are you currently reading?
I’m still reading Shadowland by C.M. Gray because I took a break over the weekend to read a couple of different books. I’m about halfway through though now and enjoying it still – lots of dark ages adventure and mystery set against a backdrop of Saxon invasions and the decline of the Roman Empire – the main characters are both interesting and well-written – reads a little like a book springboarded out of a film like King Arthur with Clive Owen.
What did you recently finish reading?
I read The Tower by Jade Varden, which is Book 2 in the tarot inspired Deck of Lies. Really good mystery-thriller contemporary YA and I enjoyed it as much as the first book Justice. You can read my review of it here https://melcj.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/just-finished-the-tower-by-jade-varden/ and if you like the sound of it there’s a giveaway running this week to win both books so you can enter off my review too.
What do you think you’ll read next?
I’m thinking Zed by Stephen Herfst – I’ve never read a zombie book, but I love zombie films (guilty pleasure) and so I’m looking forward to this 🙂

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WWW Wednesday – 2

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading – swing by there if you want to join in…Anyway – back to WWW Wednesday…it just takes a few minutes: to play along, just answer the following three questions…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?
—————————————————–
What are you currently reading?
I am about 10% into Shadowland by CM Gray – loving the olde worlde Aurthurian-style setting and its really well written. The only thing I find odd about Kindle reading is saying things like ‘I’m 10% in rather than – on page 94’ 🙂
What did you recently finish reading?
I read Bites by Ninfa Hayes this weekend and Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis – both were good, especially liked Demonica short story in Bites. 
What do you think you’ll read next?
Well I’ve started The Passage but ignored it for a week or so now – it’s just so big it’s putting me off! 🙂 Just got The Outsiders through from Amazon for the classic YA read in April on one of the Goodreads groups, so will probably try that.

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