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Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Two new reviews of The Spirit Eater in one day!
"It has been a pleasure to watch these characters grow as the series progresses, and the world around them has only become more fascinating as Aaron reveals different lands, peoples, and events in each of the books; these are the sort of books that prompt late night dashes to bookstores in order to secure the next adventure, for who can bear to be left out of such a good time?" - Book Geeks
"Rachel Aaron gives the impression that she simply enjoys writing, and that enjoyment is contagious. Her prose has a fun, sly tone to it that’s genuinely enjoyable to read... If you’ve read and enjoyed the first two books, you should have no problem with this and will probably love The Spirit Eater, as it’s the best book of the bunch so far." - Fantasy Literature
Can't ask for more than that on a Tuesday, can you?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I do want to take a sec here and dispell some weird mis-information about the series that's going on, for which I will use this handy bulleted list icon!
- The Legend of Eli Monpress is a 5 book series, not a trilogy. I can understand the confusion! Trilogies are a standard series size, and we did have 3 books coming out all together with matching covers. But no, there are more! The Spirit Eater would be a terrible book to end a series on anyway. I don't even want to think about all the questions left hanging. But fear not! There are 2 more books where all questions shall be answered!
- The Spirit Thief is not urban fantasy. Unless you count the fact that the book does take place in a city, the Spirit Thief could in no way be described as urban fantasy. I know it has a photo on the cover! I know it's blue-toned! But work with me, here. Take the book, turn it over. That's right, easy. There! What you are looking at is a blurb filled with kidnapped kings, wizards, and swords. Definitely fantasy, just not urban. Now, the book has been described as having urban fantasy pacing (which I will take any day over epic fantasy pacing), but it is not, in fact, urban. Deep felt apologies to anyone who was disappointed by the lack of vampires!
- The Spirit Thief is not a romance. Again, I get it - photo cover of a cute, snarky guy, blue tones, but no. Though Eli does open his shirt in the climax (it makes total sense at the time! I promise!), there's no time for love, Doctor Jones. Of course, this doesn't mean characters don't fall in love over the course of the books, just that romance is not a central theme (unless you count Eli's romance with his bounty).
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The Spirit Eater eats reviews!
"The latest Monpress Spirit fantasy (The Spirit Thief) is a super tale... However, even with Eli at his outrageously charming thieving best, what makes this a super tale is the internal conflict within Nico as the demon inside her battles for control with her essence in a sort of fantasy version of dissociative identity disorder." - Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round
" Whilst this is the third (and sadly for now) final offering in this series/world to date, it’s definitely been one that’s been a real joy to read. Her descriptiveness is crisp; the characters a barrel load of fun to hang around and perhaps most importantly the type of people that you’d like to hang around the pub with." - Falcata Times
"This series has been one of my favorite this year. I can't think of a series where I've liked every single character as much as I do in these books. My concerns in the review of first volume of Rachel Aaron overusing magic and powerful characters in the series has come to seem silly to me as she has weaved her tale with a masterful balance. I couldn't recommend this book more to anyone interested in a fun fantasy adventure series." - Jeremy Shane, The Outhousers
And though the give away is sadly over, you can still read my full interview about The Spirit Eater and other tibits about the Eli world over at Bitten By Books!
Feel free to post in the comments if you see reviews I've missed, or if you want to leave one of your own ;)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Blog comment problems
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Live Q&A today!
See you there!
Monday, November 29, 2010
god, architect, and janitor
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
my favorite review of the moment
"In contrast to a lot of the fantasy I’ve been reading lately, The Spirit Thief is fun, fluffy, light and a glorious sweet soufflé of a novel. It’s still highly original – any novel that begins with the hero in jail, chatting up the door into letting loose of its frame and thus letting him out is at least somewhat fresh out of the box. And then we discover that getting locked up was all part of his plan to steal a king! Unlike many fantasies, which bog down in details, this one keeps the action going. I was particularly pleased with the handling of the climatic sequence. Now, the climax is generally the best reading in any novel, but in a lot of fantasy novels it can be over all too quickly. But here, the climactic action begins on page 230 and keeps going until 286. Now, that makes over fifty pages of the fun bit. It’s impressively handled, and followed by a tidy resolution. The characters are interesting and well developed, without too many minor non-entities cluttering up the background. The lady writes a fair sentence, plots neatly, has a cheerful sense of humour, and I’m really rather looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Page 69 Test
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Giving away books today!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
November 17th - I'm doing a guest blog post for SciFiGuy. I'll be giving away your choice of my books, The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, OR The Spirit Eater, which doesn't even get released until December! You can get it first, weeks before it hits the shelves, just by leaving a comment. How awesome is that?
Friday, November 5, 2010
Now with RSS
cross post, like cross fire (but with less death)
Monday, November 1, 2010
The Spirit Rebellion launches today!
Rob Will Review: "I truly enjoyed The Spirit Thief. I flat out love The Spirit Rebellion. It’s so gratifying to see such a fantastic debut evolve into what is so far such a stunning series."
Fantasyliterature.com, "The Spirit Rebellion is once again an engaging, fun fantasy romp. The characters still bicker a lot, there’s once again a conversation with a door, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that Eli Monpress is incapable of ever being boring."
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thought for the Day
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Amazon.com is my master now
Civilian Reader had some lovely things to say, for which I was very pleased. Also, Atsiko, one of my book winners came through stunningly with a very in depth and thoughtful review. (If anyone else has posted reviews I'm missing, please let me know!) More reviews are showing up on Amazon, mostly positive ones, (and some from contest winners!) for which I am very grateful. There's something about Amazon reviews that make me freeze like a deer in the headlights. I think it's because I do almost all my book buying off Amazon.com and I often depend on their reviews to make that final purchasing decision. This makes me give my reviews on Amazon special weight.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Reviews and News
Next, my lovely UK editor Anna emailed to let me know that The Spirit Thief has officially launched in the UK! Hooray! For all my readers across the pond, I very much hope you enjoy the lovely edition of the book Orbit's UK division has put out.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
holy free books, batman!
Eli smirks in the face of the Dark Side!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Eli spotted in the wild!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
writing problem of the moment
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Eli in the UK
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
DragonCon! For Real!
As you can see, they're conveniently pocket sized! I'll be handing these little beauties out all over the con, but mostly at the long lines where people need reading material most of all. If you happen to be at DragonCon, look for this suspicious person:
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
A typography designer updated Tolkien's elvish script for the modern age. It's elivin Helvetica!
Monday, August 30, 2010
(30% shamelessly cross-posted from the front page news)
Closer to launch day and more reviews are starting to surface. SciFi Chick says "Full of humor and suspense, this action-packed fantasy adventure is highly enjoyable. If anything, this fast-paced novel was too short, having read it in just a few short hours. Fantasy fans will love this extraordinary new series." Now I'm blushing! Also, Genre Go Round calls The Spirit Thief an "amusing tongue in cheek thriller" which was kind of what I called it in my query. Was I just really right, or is Ms. Klausner reading my mail? The world may never know...
And since there's way more room here than up front, here's the link to Rob's excellent review at Rob Will Review. This one is from about a month ago, but it always makes me giggle like a school girl. I'll stop posting it when it stops making me happy (read: never).
Also! The folks at Good Reads have a lot to say. Some of it good, some of it not as good as I would hope. However, most of the complaints seem to be in the "this is too light for me" vein, to which I say, that's fair. It is a light, funny, fast book, and that's not everyone's flavor. However, I do hope that, even if you tend to like your fantasy on the heavy side, you will give the book a try (I make it so easy! You can read the first two chapters right now, for free, right here!). A little laughter and is good for the soul, you know?
And just a note to anyone wondering how I find these reviews, there is no author network that funnels them to me. I find everything the same way you do, Google! So if you've written a review or read one that I've missed, mea culpa! Let me know by leaving a comment here and I'll post it on the blog and front page.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
nothing is sacred any more
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
New post up on the Magic District
But I hate a too-short post, so here is another link to some amazing and inspiring landscape pictures! I could not write without beautiful and dramatic landscapes on my computer, which is strange because a lot of the time the landscapes in my books are fairly tame. I should change that.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
awsomesauce, also, win some books
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
CSS programmer is a great subjob to writer!
Friday, August 6, 2010
fresh coat of paint, ready to go
Friday, May 28, 2010
hotcakes? Mmmmm… hotcakes
So if you have a copy and have an opinion and are thinking about posting that opinion on line, do it! I’d love to read it! Even if you hated it (which I sincerely hope you don’t), I’d still love to read it just to know that someone read it and felt strongly enough about it to write something. Any review is always a gift, and as with all gifts, it’s the thought that counts.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
supporting your writers!
Now, I have lovely friends and family and am honored and flattered beyond all telling that they would want to stick their necks and hard earned dollars out for me. But I don't want them to waste their time or their money, so when they ask me "Rachel, what can I do to support your novel?", this is how I answer, condensed in useful list form!
How to Support Your Favorite Novelist Without Spending More Than 15 Minutes or the Price of the Book You Were Hopefully Going to Buy Anyway
- Wait until 2 weeks before the book's launch before doing anything - This is the most vital time for support. Any sooner and people might forget, any later and you miss those vital initial numbers that mean so much to publishers. You can of course talk it up earlier, but save anything big, and the actual purchase, until this crucial time.
- Preorder the book - Since you were (hopefully!) going to buy the book anyway, this is the best way to do it. Preorders boost an otherwise unknown book up the Amazon or B&N or whatever seller you prefer's list. Strong preorder numbers lead to more and bigger book orders from retailers, which make your author look really good!
- Leave an honest, informative review - Of course, we all love good reviews, but honesty is the most important. A page full of glowing reviews that ultimately say nothing won't draw readers, but even a 3 star review highlighting the book's pros and cons can lead sometimes lead to sales. After all, one person's gripe can be another person's love. Hopefully, your author has written a book that earns your giddy fandom, but even if you didn't like it as much as you'd hoped, write about it.
- Mention the book on your social media - Twitter shoutouts, facebook links, blog posts, they all help to raise a book's profile. Even if the only people who follow you are your family and that guy from high school who kind of creeped you out but you don't want to unfriend because you don't want to be rude. You don't have to spam or be particularly verbose, you even copy/paste the review you wrote for the book's sales page, just say something and get the title out there. Every little bit helps.
As Cory Doctorow says, an SF writer's biggest problem is obscurity. Anything you do, even if it's just one post, can be a big help thanks to the ripple effect of the internet, and your author will love you forever.
(Also, when I was typing the above I misspelled Cory Doctorow's name and Google's (I use Chrome) spellcheck corrected me. Folks, that is fame right there, when your name is in Google's spellcheck. )
Anyway, that's my list. You tell me, did I leave anything out? Mess anything up? Let me know!
Friday, April 30, 2010
author toolbox: the three hooks
One of the biggest problems I've had with my writing is excess flab. I have a bad habit of putting in scenes that I like (important, wonderful, fantastically written scenes) just because I like them, and not because that's where they should actually go (or be in the novel at all). This led to really big, unsellable books full of tension killing, scared cow scenes that went nowhere. It took me a lot of editing (and a lot of bad feedback) to finally learn my lesson: just because a scene is good does not mean it has a place in your novel. The good ship book is a small vessel. There's no room for scenes that don't pull their weight. But I'm an author. I generally like everything I write on some level (otherwise, why would I write it?) So how do I know what DOES belong?
To combat this problem, I created a checklist I call "the three hooks". Whenever I am planning a novel, the first thing I do is write out everything that happens. If I don't know what happens, this is when I figure it out. Some authors can just get an idea and go, and I do that a lot, too, but in the end novels always come back to their essence: a pile of scenes leading the reader from the beginning to the end. Once I have this pile of scenes, either in finished or outline form, I take each scene and I apply a set of standards. For the scene to pass, it must:
- Advance the story
- Reveal new information
- Pull the reader forward
Without all three of these elements, a scene, no matter how good or beloved, is just wasted words. A scene that does not advance the story, like a flashback revealing character information that is not pertinent to the story, may be brilliantly written, but it does nothing for the book. A scene that does not reveal new information, say a talking head recap scene, may be chock full of snappy dialog, but it does nothing for the book. A scene that does not pull the reader forward, say a break in the narrative where everyone is happy and all their needs are met, may be very cathartic for the author, but it does less than nothing for the book. In fact, I'd say a scene like that would give you negative progress. Resolved tension leads to put down books, and that is not what we want!
These hooks don't have to be obvious (in fact, the more creatively you can hide them, the better things get), but they do have to be there to keep the story rolling. These are the hooks that keep your reader reading, the tiny little claws of interest you constantly need to wiggle into the reader's brain to keep them turning pages. If every scene in your novel moves the plot ahead, reveals new and important information, and gives the reader a reason to turn the page and move on to the next scene, then you've got a book that a reader can not put down, and that is what it's all about.