Back with a whisper, not a bang

I’ve got most of the Grad stuff set up. I’m getting ready to do a live Ustream.tv show for Think Sideways grads, and I may do another for anybody who wants to show up.

I’ve been doodling on the “dreaming the dead” novel, and pulling together themes and concepts and characters. Nothing much on paper, yet—some clusters, some questions. I don’t like tying myself into any one thing until I start to understand what the story is going to be, and I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to look at The Sentence. I’m certainly not ready for plot cards, or for book math. Not yet.

But I have a pretty decent research library pulled together.

In no particular order, I’m using:

  • Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York, by Thomas M. Truxes
  • The Mole People: Life in the Tunnels Beneath New York City, by Jennifer Toth
  • Archeology: Unearthing the Mysteries of the Past, by Kate Santon
  • Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome, by Chris Scarre
  • Alexander the Great, by Paul Cartledge
  • Worlds at War: The 2500-Year Struggle Between East and West, by Anthony Pagden
  • Handbook of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins, by Zander H. Klawans
  • Frommer’s NYC Free & Dirt Cheap: 382 Free Events, Attractions, Classes & More
  • Lonely Planet New York City: City Guide
  • The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of Three Great Cities of Spice, by Michael Krondl
  • The Killing of History: How Literary Critics and Social Theorists Are Murdering Our Past, by Keith Windschuttle
  • How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, by Thomas Craughwell
  • Born In Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, by John J. Robinson
  • The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination, by Daniel J. Boorstin
  • The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events, by Bernard Grun
  • Ten Discoveries that Rewrote History, by Patrick Hunt Ph.D.
  • Cave Canem: A Miscellany of Latin Words & Phrases, by Lorna Robinson
  • Ancient Rome on Five Denarii A Day, by Philip Matyszak
  • Ancient Mysteries, by Peter James & Nick Thorpe
  • Ancient Inventions, by Peter James & Nick Thorpe
  • 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed to Ask, by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

No, it’s not a historical novel, or anything like it. It’ll be fantasy. Big Fat Fantasy, as dark and gritty (and I hope as occasionally funny) as Talyn or Hawkspar, but set in this world, and in our day.

No, I’m not going to read all of those before I start plotting, or before I start writing. I don’t work that way. I’ll dig as I go, the way I always do.

But I’ll use all those books, and probably more, to dig out the ideas, the characters, and the details and get the story right.

33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters

33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters

And speaking of getting the story right, if you’re a fan of the 33 Mistakes series, I FINALLY put up the next book: The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About Blind Characters, by Stephanie Green. She did a kick-ass job on it.

It feels good to finally be getting back to the rhythm of adding folks’ work to the shop, and doing the other things I haven’t done in a while.

Like posting here.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

6 comments… add one
  • crystallyn Jan 28, 2009 @ 22:28

    That Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day is an interesting read. It’s a key reference book for my novel about a 1st century Roman gourmand, but I was surprised at how fun it turned out to be. One of the best things about all the Roman research I’ve done is how many killer ideas I’ve ended up finding for alternative universe or new fantasy stories.

    I have to agree on that cover for Silver Door. Truly enchanting, which, when people are judging by the cover (as so many people do) is exactly how you want your book to appear on the shelf!!

  • hollylisle Jan 28, 2009 @ 13:16

    Recent books…

    Hawkspar is out in hardcover and upcoming in mass market. (Not affiliate links—just links)

    The Ruby Key is out in hardcover and upcoming in paperback, and its sequel, The Silver Door, is upcoming in hard cover.

    It’s good to be back here, though I cannot believe how exhausted I still am.

    And as for the ‘dreaming the dead’ book—I’m having a hard time thinking about anything else. Unfortunately, I still have to get some work done before I can get to it. But I’m SO ready. And my reference library for this book is sending me little twinges every time I walk past it.

    And isn’t Middleton’s cover art amazing? I haven’t been allowed to show it off, but it’s some of the most beautiful book art I’ve ever seen.

  • firelight Jan 27, 2009 @ 6:50

    Interesting set of books. I’m very curious now to read the book you will write as a result of ingesting this long list! By the way, I was just on Joshua Middleton’s blog and he had the cover of The Silver Door up:

    http://joshuamiddleton.blogspot.com/2008/10/silver-door.html

    It’s gorgeous. Congrats! By the way, I’ve been hunting on your site but haven’t been able to find any info on your latest books – the newest book up is Talyn. Where should I go to find out more about the newer books? Thanks.

  • MarFisk Jan 26, 2009 @ 22:53

    Wow, I like your bookshelf, though I hadn’t considered that to be a greco-roman idea prompt. Just shows what I know :D. Pity we don’t live close enough to book share. I’ll bet you’d love some of my byzantine stuff :).

  • TinaK Jan 26, 2009 @ 18:04

    It’s so nice to see another post from you. You’ve been missed by those of us who didn’t take the Thinking Sideways course. Very interesting list of books Neat that it’s not historical but there are so many history books. Is that common for you?

  • LisaHartjes Jan 26, 2009 @ 17:13

    What a really neat list of books. I’m making a note of them, and seeing about adding them to my own library.

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