What I’m Reading: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

Book Review: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay

A month ago I had the amazing experience of attending the When Words Collide writing conference in Calgary and listen to Guy Gabriel Kay read. I’ll be honest, I’d never read a Guy Gabriel Kay book prior to learning he would be a keynote speaker at the 2017 festival. Tigana was the first book of Kay’s that I’d ever read, and I loved it.

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Tigana is one of those fantasy books that doesn’t feel like fantasy because the world is so concrete, so real, that you can taste the blue wine and drink the details. Tigana might be set in a fantasy world based on renaissance Italy, but it comes alive on it’s own. With a myriad of characters, there was a lot to discover in Tigana, and it one of the most wonderful endings I’ve ever read.

So, if you’re like I was and you’ve never read a book by Guy Gabriel Kay, now is a great time to start.

5/5 Stars

JEH

Making Goals, Taking Breaks, and the Inevitable Arrival of Fall

Somewhere in the past week I was sure that I’d posted an update, but I guess my much needed break ran away with me. It is an amazing feeling to accomplish a goal, even if it is last minute and by the tip of your pinkie. But I did it, I typed the last word, wrapped up one last project, took a break, and now it is time to switch goals. And what a good time to do it as the season is also changing!

As part of my celebration I went out and purchased some of my favourite things: books! I also drank coffee, gorged on mouth-melting cinnamon buns, and made salsa fresh from my garden. Over the next couple months, I plan on reading and getting The Torc ready for publication.

The next twelve months are going to be a year of rewriting. I will still work on some drafts, but I’m slowing down my word count in order to focus on beautifying my completed first drafts that have been gathering dust for months to years, and I’m truly-possibly for the first time ever-looking forward to rewriting.

Like I said, a complete change of pace. I’m still going g to blog about what I’m reading about and what I’m writing about, but of course there will be no word count updates, but project updates.

Join me. We’ll have a blast!

JEH

Road Trips and Toadstools

Recently, I went on a ten day road trip, which began with the conference I recently blogged about (if you haven’t gone to a writing conference and you’re a writer-Go!-they are amazing). Road trips too, can be an amazing source of creative inspiration. But they are also busy, so of course, I got little to know work done.

But what I did get was a great idea for the book I’m going to write for the 3-Day Novel Writing Contest, which runs from September 2nd to 4th this year. I’m at that stage where I’m sorting out characters and names and dramatic points, but it should, hopefully, come together in time.

Below are a few of my favorite scenic pictures I captured on my iPhone during the road trip. I took a load of pictures, most of which are still on my digital camera and have yet to be reviewed. I know I took more than a couple photos for inspiration. Mostly, I loved the woods.

JEH

What I’m Reading: Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

Young Adult book review: Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story, by Adam Rex

I picked up this audiobook on a whim before a long road trip, mostly because it was available, but also because it sounded interesting. Fat Vampire follows Doug, a fat, fifteen year-old with very low self-esteem as he attempts to adjust to his new life.

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At first, I thought the book was quite funny, and I was interested in Doug, in seeing him become a better person (or vampire). But in the end, I found his lack of growth a bit off-putting. My favorite character was Sejal, Doug’s crush and an exchange student from India. This book was a case of secondary characters being stronger than the main character. This book may have worked better if it hadn’t been written mostly from Doug’s point of view, since after a while he just felt whinny. It wasn’t a bad audiobook, it was well read with a fair bit of action, but definitely not among my favs.

3/5 Stars

JEH

Conferencing the Weekend Away

I spent the past weekend at the annual When Words Collide readers and writers conference. This was the third time I'd attended, and, as always, I had a great time. I got to listen to various speakers, some of headliners being Guy Gabriel Kay and Jennifer Estep, who both write genres I love. I had plenty of time to visit with friends and meet new people, and even stayed out late to listen to some up and coming writers read their work.
If you love reading or writing, and have never been to conference like that before, I highly recommend it. It will be an experience you won't forget.

JEH