Magic and more with JY Yang

I am super excited to share this week’s episode with you folks! I have a wonderful talk with the wildly talented JY Yang. We talk the difference in writing short stories, novellas, and novels. JY talks about their recently released novellas The Red Threads of Fortune and The Black Tides of Heaven. 

I had a blast talking to them. I hope you enjoy!

promo image.png

JY Yang is the author of the Tensorate novellas from Tor.Com Publishing (The Red Threads of Fortune, The Black Tides of Heaven and two more slated for 2018). They live in Singapore and identify as queer and non-binary. Find them online at http://jyyang.com, or on Twitter: @halleluyang.

iTunes: https://goo.gl/bAXgLY 
Stitcher: https://goo.gl/ji3Yuy
Google Play: https://goo.gl/WTyuNu

Support the show on Patreon!

 

Closing out 2017

Photo by Shane Leonard (3)Whew!
The holidays are passing at a raging, hair-tangling speed on my end. How about with you?
In just a few short days 2017 will be over and a new year will begin. It’s been quite a year. I am trying to take a moment or three to catch my breath. 2018 is going to be a big one for me career-wise, so there is a part of me that really does

as want to take a breath so that’s what I am trying to do. Come January 3rd my schedule morphs into a sharp-toothed creature.

The show closes out 2017 with

slauthor, Myke Cole. Myke is the
author of the Shadow Ops Series and forth-coming The Armored Saint and a nonfiction history book Legion vs. Phalanx.

 
Myke and I talk New Year’s resolutions, the important role tabletop games have in the creative process, his recent release Siege Line and forthcoming works. And, quite a bit more.
 

Listen! Share! Subscribe!
Google Play: https://goo.gl/CNSsha

Jason Sizemore on Too Many Words

This week I talk with Jason Sizemore about what Apex Publications has in store for the future, what it’s like working from home, and the importance of animal companions.
 Photo by Shane Leonard
Raised in the Appalachian hills of southeastern Kentucky, Jason Sizemore is a three-time Hugo Award-nominated editor, writer, and publisher who operates the science fiction, fantasy, and horror press Apex Book Company. He is the author of the collection of dark science fiction and horror shorts Irredeemable and the tell-all creative non-fiction For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher. He currently lives in Lexington, KY.
Apex Publications – Strange. Beautiful. Shocking. Surreal
Website:http://www.apexbookcompany.com
Listen! Share! Subscribe!
Google Play: https://goo.gl/dynguo

 

Book Review: An Unkindness of Magicians

UNKINDNESSfrontcover_final-740x1118.jpgEvery so often a book comes around that is much more than a good read, or an engaging story. Certain books feel more like a portal, like the pages are kissed with magic and anytime you pick it up you are a hundred percent a part of the world as if you were inside the pages yourself. It’s those books that keep us digging through shelves. “An Unkindness of Magicians” by Kat Howard was all of that. “Unkindness” caused a similar stir in my mind that I experienced when I was read Harry Potter and Narnia as a child but I felt it as an adult. Magic is right there under our noses. Anything is possible. But, much like adult life, everything costs something and sometimes that cost is great.
Kat Howard threads an enchanting, mysterious, and dangerous world of social-climbing magicians with the familiar New York City, weaving a world both comforting and exciting and terrifying. The Fortune’s Wheel turned earlier than it should have. Powerful magical houses must get ready to hire their champions and battle to be the head of the Unseen World.
Hands down my favorite aspect of this book is Sydney, an unhoused magician with incredible magical talent and a fantastic backstory. I like to keep my reviews spoiler-free so this will remain no different BUT I will say that Sydney’s character arc is a raw and relatable thing of beauty. Every character in the story is complex and stands on their feet in their way. All of them kept my interest as the expertly woven story unfolded. Sydney is strong, brave, and full of faults and fear. I was rooting for from the moment I met her. Character-wise she’s one of greats.
I love the magic in this book. The magic is a character of its own. Many fantasy books have magic in them but so seldom does the magic come across on the page as having feelings, obstacles and faults. The visuals Howard painted of the magic casted were beautiful and never once slowed the story down but she also gave the magic a personality. This personality changes depending on who is using the magic and that is just fantastic.
I’m going to call out one more awesome aspect of this book and then you just have to go grab a copy because this is so worth reading. The relationships in this story (and there are many) are so organic and varied and real. Howard juggles multiple family dynamics and she does this with such a natural rhythm. I was invested in every one whether they were relationships built long before the story started or new ones we got to witness.
“An Unkindness of Magicians” is by far my favorite book I’ve read in 2017. Like I said in the beginning I felt the adult version of what I felt as kid when I read Harry Potter. That is awesome. So yeah, if you haven’t read it, grab a copy! You won’t regret it.

 

Anthology Review: Upside Down

upside-book-coverI received a review copy of Apex Publication’s newest anthology UPSIDE DOWN: INVERTED TROPES IN STORYTELLING. This anthology is a treasure for both readers and writers. Editorial super team Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli did a splendid job compiling stories, poems and essays of well-trodden fantasy and science fiction tropes turned on their heads.

Unlike novels, anthologies give you the option of jumping around and reading at all different places in the book. Sometimes I do that right from the get-go, and I did the second time through with this anthology. But, my first time through, I was glued to each page from the very first to the last. The index of tropes and the stories that tackle them encouraged me to go back. Twice. The introduction sets the stage by getting into the comfort of tropes and the importance of them. “We all love comfort food. We all love surprises. A well-executed story trope, like a favorite meal, is always there when you need it, eager to satisfy. A chosen one destined to save the world. A love interest ready to transform your dull life…” -Jerry Gordon

It’s true. There is comfort in tropes. As readers, they give us something to hang our hat on and as writers we need to wield them. There is a fabulous array of authors such as Delilah S. Dawson, Alyssa Wong,  Micheal Choi, Sunil Patel, and Micheal Matheson—to name a few—who take common tropes and do extraordinary things with them. Alex Shvartsman takes all that we count on when diving into an epic fantasy and riddles a satire native with “Nouns of Noun: A Mini Epic” that kept me chuckling. I was delighted by “Drafty as a Chainmail Bikini” by Kat Richardson, which comments of the absurdity of women’s armor in the fantasy genre.

Each story has its “WOW” moment. There are a few stories that stood out to me so strongly I had to go back and reread them and soak in the beauty again and again. That’s the thing about the written word. Stories can carry a certain weight or personal response that just clicks instantly. When that happens, it’s a beautiful thing.

In “The First Blood of Poppy Dupree” Delilah S. Dawson takes the trope of an unprepared preteen’s first period. She paints an incredible picture of a girl who knew it would come, adds some Greek and Southern Gothic mythology and writes a story I wish I could have read when I was a preteen. I was in Walmart wearing white terrycloth shorts when mine first came without a clue. Dawson took all the shame out of it and made getting your period truly badass, raw, and slightly terrifying.

“The White Dragon” by Alyssa Wong is one those stories that reels you in with every sentence and then when its ended, everything just washes over you. Wong built so much in so few words. She tackles the trope of Yellow Peril, which is the fear that Asia poses a dire threat to Western civilization. Wong’s characters are so deep and well conveyed. The layers of magic realism packs such a punch.  It’s truly amazing.

“Those who Leave” by Micheal Choi tore my heart out and convinced me once and for all magic is in the world. Choi took the trope of the cold and calculating Asian scientist and built a world with hope, magic, and the ever-complicated mother/daughter relationship. Just gorgeous from start to finish. I teared up a little.

After the string of awesome stories, the impact of the essays detailing some tropes such as “Into the Labyrinth: The Heroine’s Journey” by AC Wise and “I’m Pretty Sure I’ve read this Before” by Patrick Hester really ties it all together. Each essay detailing basic story concepts somehow made every story I read prior more powerful.

There is whimsy and underlining darkness, heartbreak and satire, that flows well throughout the anthology. UPSIDE DOWN is really worth the grab!

You can find copies here!

 

Writing and The Vulnerable Mind

Episode 46 Promo.pngToday I have New York Times Best Selling Author, Richard Kadrey back on the show talking about the writing process, juggling projects, the importance of listening to instincts and learning to trust yourself. We get into the power of pen and paper, and leaning into the story’s flow. Richard talks about writing DC/Vertigo’s Lucifer and the upcoming Sandman Slim film. Richard and I also talk about the impact of finishing big projects and the vulnerable mind.
I had a great time talking to him! I hope you enjoy!
 
 
This episode is sponsored by LuLaRoe Rebecca Clark VIP. 

updates and high hopes

Hey, everyone!

I want to start by saying thank you so much to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy of The Shadow Bearers. Rebecca and I really appreciate it!

Today on my podcast, Too Many Words, I talk with Rebecca all about The Shadow Bearers. What inspired us, how much fun it is building a fantasy world with a friend, and quite a bit more. You’ll get to learn more about us as well.

Do it up!

iTunes: http://goo.gl/0yXoZN

Stitcher: http://goo.gl/GlYWRa

More exciting news is that original artwork of Athea, Tag, Mayhem, and the locketts is in the works! So definitely keep your eyes out for that.

We are having fun getting new chapters ready for you to read. Both Rebecca and I are having so much fun working together. We are excited but also anxious to get in the Top 10 soon. We are in September, which means The Shadow Bearers is now in the second month of the Geek & Sundry Fantasy contest. There are a lot of great books, and we are excited to be a part of it.

10 more pre-orders unlocks Chapter 5: Drawn to Darkness

25 more pre-orders unlocks Chapter 6: Evil Alliances

Please pre-order your copy and tell a friend!

https://www.inkshares.com/books/the-shadow-bearers

Thank you so much for all your support and continued support. We can’t do it without your help!