Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Expanse

So, I’ve got a new addiction. The Expanse. I’ve started reading the novels by James S. A. Corey (who is actually two coauthors, more on that later), and I’m simultaneously watching the SyFy television series of the Expanse as well. I’ve never actually read a series and watched the TV version at the same time. Needless to say, I like both, but definitely have some preferences.

If you haven’t read the books, start with Leviathan Wakes tomorrow. You won’t regret it. One of the coauthors was actually George R.R. Martin’s assistant, so parts of it have a SciFi Game of Thrones feel, but the rest of it is truly original. There’s a lot of hard science in the books as well as some genuinely good storytelling. The series is not finished, and continues to evolve as the authors churn out more sequels.

Even though the books are better, the TV series is still fun. It’s substantially different (about 50% sometimes), so it’s like watching a similar scifi mystery in the same universe, but with different twists and turns. I like the TV series, but I love the books more, no question.

Oddly enough, the SyFy channel has chosen not to renew the successful show after 3 seasons, although there is a campaign by fans to try and get the show picked up by Amazon or Netflix. Either way, I strongly recommend anyone interested in groundbreaking SciFi, neo-noir mystery, or just plain good storytelling to check out the Expanse first chance you get.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Some Very Messy Medieval Magic

Hey everyone, please check out C. Lee McKenzie's newest book: SOME VERY MESSY MEDIEVAL MAGIC.

Pete’s stuck in medieval England! Pete and his friend Weasel thought they’d closed the Time Lock. But a young page from medieval times, Peter of Bramwell, goes missing. His absence during a critical moment will forever alter history unless he’s found. There’s only one solution - fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England. But what if the page remains lost - will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again...

Release date – May 15, 2018
Juvenile Fiction - Fantasy & Magic/Boys & Men
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477

C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand. http://cleemckenziebooks.com

Links:
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/some-very-messy-medieval-magic-c-lee-mckenzie/1127622061?ean=2940154648575
Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/some-very-messy-medieval-magic
iTunes - https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/some-very-messy-medieval-magic/id1324257652?mt=11
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Some-Very-Messy-Medieval-Magic/dp/1939844460/
Kindle - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079V72G8R
Foyles - http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/childrens/some-very-messy-medieval-magic,c-lee-mckenzie-9781939844460
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37537343-some-very-messy-medieval-magic

Available now!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

First, Second, or Third Person - Which is Best?

I loved everyone’s responses last week about writing from multiple points of view! Based on your comments, I could see that a lot of you logically started discussing preferences for first or third person as well. So I’d like to pose the question: Which is best in a novel, first, second, or third person?

First Person - Super popular. I admit I write and read it myself quite a bit. Although I notice there’s almost a highbrow effort in some circles to make this the only acceptable form of serious literature. Which strikes me as odd because pulp literature loves first person too.

Second Person - The ignored stepchild of perspective. Outside of cookbooks and videogames, we don’t see this too much. But I’ve read and even enjoyed writing in second person, especially in short stories. I think it’s innovative, but are reading audiences really ready for it?

Third Person - Also, mega popular. The old standby, I still enjoy it and I think most people do too. Is it dated or really the best way to move a plot forward still?

So what do you think? What’s your preference? And most importantly, why?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

POV - One or Many: What’s Really the Best?


It’s sort of like asking someone what their favorite flavor is or which sports team is better...or religion for that matter. When it comes to POV (point of view) in a novel the modern debate only seems to be intensifying. Should there only be one point of view in the story? Two characters’ points of view? A dozen?

Personally, I’ve always loved multiple points of view in a novel, but I’ve also written with just a single point of view myself. I’ve heard every end of the argument. A speaker at a writer’s conference told me she would never represent a book with more than one point of view (which kind of shocked me). At the same time, I know a lot of readers who adore the multiple viewpoints in a book.

So what’s your preference? And more importantly, why? Do you think one way works better with certain audiences or publishers? Do you just like a single or multiple POV simply because it’s your preference or for another reason? Don’t worry, there’s no right or wrong answer!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Book Club for Dark Winds Rising


I had a blast speaking at a book club the other night about my most recent novel, Dark Winds Rising. I’ve been fortunate to speak at several book clubs over the last year for both installments in the Queen Branwen Series, and I look forward to more.

It got me thinking about how special book clubs are. Once many of us have left school and moved on to jobs, families, etc. there often isn’t a venue where we can discuss our books in person with other like-minded readers. I love getting to be part of not just discussing my novels, but other people’s work and interests in a free flowing, open-minded environment.

I guess this is my long winded way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those book clubs out there. Thank you!



You can leave reviews of Dark Winds Rising here at Amazon and Goodreads too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My San Bruno, My Home


I never thought I’d have to write this. I worked at Google for 4 and a half years, and every day I walked through the YouTube campus. It’s less than a mile from my house, within easy walking distance. It’s across the street from where I buy my groceries, where I grab coffee with friends, and the park where my children play.

I grew up in this area. Like many, I work in the Tech Industry here and it’s where I raise my family. Everyone knows everyone, from parents to kids to teachers to first responders. It’s a nice slice of Americana where good people have a good chance to live the American dream. And I’m proud to call it my home still.

It’s disconcerting to see places that are so familiar to me now broadcast on the local, national, and international news. To hear the helicopters hovering directly over our house. We are fortunate that everyone we know is safe, both those who work there and live nearby. But not everyone was so lucky.

I tell you all this because until yesterday I was relatively silent. Bad things happen on the news all the time, but it’s always somewhere else, not right in your community and in your own neighborhood. Whatever your beliefs or views, I’m not here to try and convince you one way or the other. But this problem is not going away, and it will not get better on its own. If it can happen here, it really can happen anywhere.

Whatever you believe, whatever you do, I merely ask that you do it with love and compassion. Do something and do something now to change this. Simple kindness to the stranger you pass on the street. Joining the peaceful marches to end gun violence. Whatever your cause remember that real, decent people are hurting and that this violence needs to end.

So hold your loved ones close today, and maybe even a few strangers too. God bless.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Authors on the Move

I had a blast this Saturday night at the annual Authors on the Move fundraiser in Sacramento. I had a great time signing books and talking with avid readers, all the while raising money for public libraries. All and all a great evening!

I also got to meet keynote speaker Sasha Abramsky, who is both a lover of books and ideas, as well as an all around great guy. Needless to say, I was losing my voice by the end of the night, but I had a great time getting to meet so many interesting people. I also signed quite a few copies of my latest novel, Dark Winds Rising, and was humbly surprised to find out just how many people had read my work.

It was a great cap to the night to find that between bidding from attendees and other efforts, we raised over $100,000 for charity that evening. Pretty darn cool, if you ask me. This was the second time I'd been invited to speak at Authors on the Move, and hopefully I'll get a chance to come back again.  

 

Friday, January 26, 2018

The Book Tour Continues!

Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. Whew, it’s been a busy, but good time so far. I just wanted to share my status on my ongoing book tour for Dark Winds Rising, the latest sequel in my Queen Branwen Series via St. Martin’s Press.

I’ve gotten to speak at some great venues so far, the most recent being at the beloved Avid Reader bookshop in Sacramento. We had a great crowd, sold lots of books, and had a really good time during the Q&A session. Thanks a million to everyone who came to listen to my talk and to get their books signed!

I’ve got plenty more upcoming stops on my tour too, including a talk at the annual San Francisco Writer’s Conference, a returning invite to speak at the Authors on the Move Fundraiser in March, and I’ve even been asked to teach a few sessions at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference later this year. All in all, a pretty busy, but pretty fun schedule. I’m looking forward to an invigorating 2018!