One of the things I miss most about not having my bookshop is all the reading I got to do. Basically it was my job to read – not just all the new releases, but also the older books that I’d never read before, that I needed to know about so I could recommend new books for our customers.
When I think about my literary tastes with regards to science fiction (as opposed to fantasy) I realise that from the get-go I’ve always been attracted to more adventury, character focused, space-opera kind of stories. When I was at school I devoured all the Andre Norton I could lay my hands on – and I still have super fond memories of the Tom Swift novels in my high school library. The Norton was undeniably superior fare, but even so … for me it was all about the fun and the imagination and the characters. Hard science was never my thing. Ideas over people never floated my boat.
So I suppose that makes it pretty much inevitable that I would fall hook, line and sinker for Hugo and Nebula winner Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga novels.
So, while recently flailing about on my bed of pain, I rewatched one of my favourite tv series. Thank God for dvds, eh? It’s been off the air for a while now, and perhaps some of you never watched it. So allow me to share with you my love for the Ridley and Tony Scott produced crime show Numb3rs.
Here is the next podcast on the craft of writing … in which I continue to talk about the elements of creating characters in fiction. It’s in 2 parts because I had a brain fade moment and left out an important element. Sorry about that!
As always, if you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Inevitably, when you’re roaming around some of the world’s great places researching your epic fantasy novel, you’ll stumble across cool stuff that doesn’t actually apply. But because it’s so great, you take a photo anyway! And here’s some of what I saw …
One of the most fascinating things I’ve learned while travelling around looking at castles and other buildings is how different cultures produce such aesthetically different styles, all while conforming to the basic formula. Kind of like chicken recipes region by region! Here are some stunning examples …
So I was very kindly asked to do a guest post for the great blog City of Stars. Shortly thereafter my stupid liver decided to knock me for six, and then a couple of lumbar discs slipped … so it’s been fun, fun, fun at Casa Karen. Not. And sigh. And moan. And grumble.
However, I’m on the mend and back on my feet and now playing crazy catch-up. To that end, here’s the link to that guest post!
One of the great delights of Europe is the ubiquitous gargoyle. So much character, so much creativity. To me they’re the artisan’s finger given to the sometimes repressive conformity of the established church over what could and could not be portrayed in art. Almost pagan in their nature, I love the juxtaposition of that old belief literally grafted onto the great churches and cathedrals.
Another of the tantalising aspects of visiting wonderful museums in search of medieval inspiration is that so often only moments of those ancient lives have been preserved. A cup here, a coffer there, some jewellery, some glass. Little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle only, and never enough. But the pieces we do have are magnificent, and it is a miracle that so many have survived the centuries. Here are some for your perusal …