November has come and gone, but these audio books are here to stay! If you are looking for a great new audio book keep scrolling, because we have a lot to offer.
We work hard alongside our authors to give the audience a different approach to a novel. An audiobook can help you visualize the characters and story better in your own mind by listening to it. Allow your eyes to rest, and your imagination to take over.
On this fine Wednesday, we’re talking about a very strange legend from Scotland. This creature can transform into a variety of other creatures…but from my research, I couldn’t find what the creature appeared to be when not transforming into another creature…Help?
Kelpie | Scotland
“Water horse that lures victims to ride on its back to their doom.”
The name “kelpie” is suspected to be a slang/mash-up of a couple of Scottish Gaelic words. “Cailpeach” or “colpach” are just a couple to name and these can be loosely translated to heifer or colt.
Since they’re most commonly known as a water horse, they typically can be found near a river or stream.
In their horse form, they attract children. But they’re not limited to only one form; they can turn into almost anything! An example is a beautiful woman, to lure a man out to the stream, where she snatches him up and takes him down the river!
These creatures wield magic. Mainly pertaining to the water to help them easily catch their prey.
What’s their weakness? Latching onto its bridle. Once you do that, you’ll have the power of a hundred kelpies.Eh, actually just one – but they’re darn powerful!
“My first rule was given to me by TH White, author of The Sword in the Stone and other Arthurian fantasies and was: Read. Read everything you can lay hands on. I always advise people who want to write a fantasy or science fiction or romance to stop reading everything in those genres and start reading everything else from Bunyan to Byatt.”
In any genre, writing gurus have created “golden rules” that should never, ever be broken. They convince authors that if they dare to break these rules some rare meteor is going to hit Earth and life as we know it will end, along with their writing career. Some genres have more freedom in rule-breaking than others, but when it comes to the science fiction or fantasy realm, that freedom is vast. In science fiction and fantasy writing, there are some very specific rules these genre writers should try and break. The risk will most certainly be worth the reward.
Authors should always be encouraged to break the rules of writing. Whether it revolves around the point of view, character development, or novel structure- any writer can raise their hand and say, “I’m sure I’ve done that before.” Today, we looked at some of the “rules” of writing a science fiction or fantasy novel and decided to feature the ones we found most interesting and bold to break:
Prologues are unnecessary.
Creating a whole new world for a reader can come with a price if there isn’t a prologue. Not all successful sci-fi or fantasy novels have them but if your fantastical world is layered and complex, you might want to consider having one. The absence of a prologue can lead to there being info dumps in the middle of scenes or conversations. These digressions can sometimes make readers feel like they rather just get straight to the point or like the author is just throwing in random information. Getting large chunks of background information out to your readers right from the start will make for smoother writing later.
Fantasy novels must be a series, not standalones.
There are many standalone fantasy novels that proved to be a success (i.e. Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott; Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay; Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells…the list can go on!). Don’t feel as though you have to produce a trilogy because other writers have done so.
Portal fantasies are overrated.
On the contrary, portal fantasies can help the reader discover a new world with the protagonist. It can be appealing to be the ordinary person traveling to a strange world.
Women & hard sci-fi.
Hard science fiction emphasizes scientific accuracy. It is a male-dominated genre, but some women have made their way into the category. There are a list of female writers who have published works in the ‘hard sci-fi’ category. Some of those authors being Linda Nagata/Trey Shiels, Catherine Asaro, Nancy Kress, Sarah Zettel, and Ann Leckie. So don’t be afraid to go somewhere you feel you don’t belong.
Magic is always needed.
Sometimes fantasy novels stress the use of the magic. George R. R. Martin created Westeros and Essos with magic being only a rumor. Magic wasn’t needed to create the turmoil amongst the people, making it a “rule” you can break. There are many ways to make a science-fiction novel feel magical without well… the magic.
At HRM, our office has managed to enter a few different worlds during audiobook month with these titles from our authors:
“The First” by Kipjo EwersSophia Dennison wanted a normal life. She wanted to raise a family with the love of her life, and further her medical career as an up and coming surgeon in neurology…But everything changed when she was convicted and sentenced to death for the brutal murder of her husband. Several hours after her execution, FBI Agent Mark Armitage is called to investigate a serious disturbance at the prison. Upon arriving he finds the place a war zone. After being debriefed by his friend and partner Dustin Mercer, he views the video tapes and learns that the source of the destruction is Sophia. Footage reveals that seven minutes after her execution she miraculously resurrected, breaking free of her bonds and overpowering several guards before being viciously gunned down and dying for a second time. Sophia Dennison has escaped, and is now on the run…The hunt is on for the first actual superhuman.
“Faerie Blood” by Emma L. Adams
“I’m Ivy Lane, and if I never see another faerie again, it’ll be too soon. Twenty years after the faeries came and destroyed the world as we knew it, I use my specialist skills to keep rogue faeries in line and ensure humans and their magically gifted neighbours can coexist (relatively) peacefully. Nobody knows those skills came from the darkest corner of Faerie itself. When a human child disappears, replaced with a faerie changeling, I have to choose between taking the safe road or exposing my own history with the faeries to the seductively dangerous head of the Mage Lords. He’s the exact kind of distraction I don’t need, but it’s work with him or lose my chance to save the victims. It’ll take all my skills to catch the kidnappers and stop Faerie’s dark denizens overrunning the city – but if the faerie lords find out about the magic I stole last time I went into their realm, running won’t save me this time…”
“Magic Hunter” by C.N. CrawfordRosalind’s mission is simple: hunt demons and mages. As a member of the Brotherhood, she’s dedicated to protecting the world from dark magic. Someone’s got to stop the supernatural bloodlust – even if it means getting up close and personal with vamps. Everything’s going to plan until she meets Caine, a powerful dark mage. He’s scary as hell and just as sexy. Worse, he’s brought her a warning: rumors are spreading that Rosalind is a mage, too. Now the Hunters have chosen their next target – and it’s her. To save her own life, Rosalind must form an uneasy alliance with Caine, traveling with him to the vampire world. But what if the rumors about her are true? If she can’t figure out who to trust, and fast, she’ll be exiled to the realm of the very monsters she once hunted.
“Dark Siren” by Lee Dignam and Katerina MartinezSupernatural bounty hunter Alice Werner loves her job. She gets paid the big bucks to take down her targets and doesn’t ask her clients too many questions as long as the money’s good. But when a girl goes missing and the case feels all too familiar, Alice can’t help but act. Concern for the girl’s safety draws her into a risky case. Compassion keeps her involved when the stakes begin to rise. Desperation forces her too call on an old flame to help. Despite their unfinished past, Alice and Isaac Moreau, a prominent Mage, must work together to save the girl. When clues reveal more than meets the eye, Alice must face her deepest fears and confront demons from her past to protect the victim, and herself, from a fate worse than death.
During some weekend web surfing I came across an awesome hub for science fiction writers and readers. Locus Online has been around since 1997. Although I am happy I discovered this website, I’m upset I haven’t heard about it sooner since I had a lot of fun poking around on it and reading some great articles. Locus Online is a website/magazine dedicated to science fiction and fantasy writing. It seems to be a great place for writers to go to share or discuss issues regarding writing in the science fiction or fantasy genre. It can also appeal to readers of the genre as well with book reviews and author interviews. I’m particularly excited about this because both science fiction and fantasy are very popular categories across all formats and any glimpse I can get further into this world will allow me better serve its fans and writers.
One of the articles I particularly enjoyed was a post by Kameron Hurley, who is both an author and reviewer of books. Her post is all about who she writes for and how she blocks out all the negative criticism. She points out that you should only write for your targeted readers and forget about what everyone else thinks. I couldn’t agree with this more. I do a lot of work with and reading of romance and erotica books and let’s just say the genre is absolutely not for everyone. I can completely understand and relate to that. I hear a lot of negative feedback about these books- too graphic, too much swearing, weak story line/not enough going on, only focused around sex. Many times I find myself saying, “So what?” to these comments. Romance/erotica is one of the most popular genres out there, it has a huge loyal fan base and many talented authors. Just because it isn’t your cup of tea doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. These books are doing exactly what their targeted audience is asking for and they are succeeding beyond belief. If you don’t agree then you aren’t the targeted reader and maybe you should find something else that better suits your style.
Kameron also goes into detail discussing how there are always going to be people who do not like your work. Unfortunately, especially in today’s society with the internet so readily accessible, if you put something out there for public viewing it will get scrutinized. There’s no way to avoid, even the most successful authors have haters. I am a firm believer that if you don’t have any haters or criticism then you aren’t doing your job right. The key is learning to accept that this will happen and learn how to block it out and focus only on the people that matter. The only people you should worry about are the readers who are your targeted audience because you will never ever, for as long as you may live, be able to make everyone happy. In fact, Kameron suggests (through an inspirational Colin Powell quote) you are actually doing a disservice to yourself if you try to make everyone happy. You need to remain true to yourself and your readers or else your biggest supporters will soon turn into your biggest haters.
At the end of the day, worry about yourself, your work, and your readers. Listen to your audience’s feedback, not the haters. Criticism is a good thing, we all need it, but pick your battles because not all criticism is correct. Make your work the way you want to, something that you are proud of. Your work should make you happy, make you feel good because after all it has your name on it and no one else. Once it is out there in the world, it is not coming back. Write on.