Tag Archive: Christendom College

23500493Recently, I gave you all a review of Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted series, an urban fantasy romance set in a version of New York where wizards, fairies, gnomes, and elves live among unsuspecting humans, hidden by magical illusions, with lives both astonishingly similar and predictably different from reality. My future co-author Elizabeth Hajek has given her own enthusiastic verdict on the series, and I should note she hadn’t even finished the sixth book before deciding to endorse it.

Well, while I waited for Swendson to publish the next book in the series, I decided to take a look at what is currently the only book in a separate series written by her, titled simply A Fairy Tale. This is similar to Enchanted because it takes place in New York, it’s a fantasy, it’s women’s fiction with significant cross-gender appeal, and it’s very good. It’s different because it’s adventure rather than romance; it’s urban fantasy only in that some of it takes place in New York; and it’s not as light and humorous as Katie’s adventures with Magic, Spells, and Illusions, Inc.

It’s also one of the best examples I’ve found so far of adapting British fairy folk tales to the modern fantasy genre that is their direct descendant. If you like your fairies to be less like Walt Disney’s Tinkerbell and more like Jim Butcher’s Queen Mab, you’ll be right at home.  Continue reading

If you’re viewing this anytime after this week, I’m sorry. But hey, you get a review, right?

Audible.com is running a sale on the first books of series. There are several good choices, all for $4.95 each, but I didn’t go through the whole thing yet. I got distracted by William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New HopeContinue reading

Arabian Nights

Next week is the final regular session for my workshop at Christendom College this semester. (There’s one more session, which amounts to a pizza party the day before finals start.) I gave my students a choice of topics for the last two lectures, and they chose “Writing the Opposite Gender” and “Hooking the Reader.” The first was last week, and the second is next week.

Shocking even myself, I started doodling up my lecture notes today, and a familiar phrase went through my head. It’s a line from an old TV movie from 2000 that’s stuck with me as I gradually taught myself to write. “You’re starting your story again,” said the Master Storyteller. “You need to hook your audience again.”

The movie in question is a two-part Hallmark miniseries, Arabian Nights. It’s my second-favorite Hallmark Entertainment TV movie (the top spot going to Leprechauns, which is completely different from the horror movie with a similar title), but I’d only ever seen it once. That’s how strong it was and how much it resonated with me.  Continue reading

Well, sort of.

I just got word from my apprentice, Rebecca, that the administrivia has been settled. I’m officially teaching an extracurricular writing workshop this fall at my alma mater, Christendom College. It’ll be on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30. Continue reading

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