Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review of "Clockbreakers" by Kate Ristau

In Kate Ristau’s Clockbreakers, Charlie wishes that people would stop feeling sorry for her and just forget that she is in a wheelchair. Instead, at her eleventh birthday party Charlie receives a magic key from a stranger that unlocks portals. She is now a Clockbreaker, and she must cross to another time and place with her friends Maria and Trent to rescue her father who is lost somewhere in time.

This book is remarkable not only for its differently-abled protagonist, but also for the fine exhibition of craft Ristau displays.

First, Charlie, the protagonist, is in a wheelchair, but she doesn’t let the disability define her. She’s spunky and fun and determined and fierce whether her legs work or not. Also, the other characters in the main plot accept Charlie for who she is and do not lower their expectations of her. There is no wisp of pity, even when they are carrying her. Even the antagonist spends more time trying to take advantage of Charlie’s youth and not her physical limitations.

Ristau builds a world on top of familiar Greek mythology without either cheapening the original myths or using the old stories as an excuse to be lazy with her own imagination. She builds a labyrinth containing the Minotaur, but enlarges the maze so it fills square miles, and moves it to a vast desert. The original labyrinth was under Minos’s castle, which was not that huge.

Even the monsters in this book have rich backstories and complex emotions. Asterion, the Minotaur, is both a warrior and a gentle, patient soul with cow eyes. He’s a far cry from the virgin-eating half-man, half-bull prowling Minos’s dungeons.

However, if you want a true indication of how much I liked this book, here it is: I am handing my review copy off to my eight-year-old, who has been begging me for it since she saw the cover. I’m sure she will enjoy it even more than I did.

I'm teaching a #NaNoWriMo Prep Course 10/18/16 in Salem, OR

“Writing a Novel in a Month: How to Get Started” With Maren Bradley Anderson 

October 18 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 6:30 p.m., at the Salem Public Library, Willamette Writers Salem will host Maren Bradley Anderson who will present “Writing a Novel in a Month: How to Get Started.”
Note: this meeting occurs on the 3rd TUESDAY of the month and not on Wednesday.

“Writing a Novel in a Month: How to Get Started”

Do you write under deadline?
Do you want to learn how to write faster and more efficiently?
Do you plan to take part in the next National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?
Join us in an interactive presentation about how to succeed at the challenge of writing a 50,000-word first draft in 30 days.  Bring something to write with, and an idea to get you started.

Need more details? Here you go:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sex Strike Novel--Release 10/22/16

I'm re-releasing my comic sex-strike novel, Closing the Store, with a thorough edit and new packaging on October 22, 2016. 

It's about a crazy Presidential election that gets crazier and crazier. (Sound familiar?)

Closing the Store is the story of Liz A. Stratton, talk show host, who decides to run for President of the United States on the platform of ending a never-ending war. However, during a debate, she is patronized by another (male) candidate, and she goes off-script, calling for a sex strike to end the war.

Closing the Store is a retelling of a the Ancient Greek farce Lysistrata by Aristophanes, but before you dismiss it as being too high-brow, know that Lysistrata is one of the lewdest plays in the classical canon. My book is not as lewd as the source material, but I'm no afraid of frank descriptions of…acts…in the story.  

I'll be previewing the cover for you soon. So excited! 


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Help me pick a title for the Prequel to "Fuzzy Logic"!

The Prequel to "Fuzzy Logic" is nearly done! I can't wait to get it to you.

 But I hope that you all can help me with the one last hangup:

I need a title.

 So I'm having a contest. If I pick your title, not only will you get an e-book of the Prequel, but I'll send you a physical copy of my new/old novel "Closing the Store" when it's (re)released later this year! Plus, I'll thank you in the Acknowledgements of the book for your help.

 Here are the parameters:

  1. Must have the word "Fuzzy" in the title 
  2. The events in the book lead up to Meg's divorce, so the title needs to reflect that. 
  3. 2-3 words only in the title 
  4. Post your suggestions in a comment below. 
  5. One title suggestion per comment, please. 
  6. Enter as many times as you like. 
  7. In the event that I pick a title that more than one person suggests, the person who first suggested it will get "Closing the Store," and everyone else will get the Prequel ebook and my hearty thanks in the acknowledgements of the book. 

 You are all awesome. Thanks so much.